Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Spitzer Impacts The Local Whoring Market

The Washington Post sent some reporters out to get the skinny on just what a person can expect to receive at the hands of high-end escorts for around $4300, which is the amount Spitzer spent on his Mayflower shiksa fantasia. It's good work for the most part: they basically find out that $4300 will get you quite a bit here in the city, up to and including 430 ten-dollar blowjobs in the alley behindthe H Street Theatre. Still, the Post misses something big, which is that Eliot Spitzer's reckless actions, profligate spending, and disregard for local fare add up to a looming market crisis for DC's whores.

The truth is, Spitzer was probably overpaying, regardless of location. And the publicity his case has received could have serious ramifications for whoring across the board. As the NY Magazine's Daily Intelligencer puts it:

The preferred escort service of former governor Eliot Spitzer, according to the complaint, charged between $1,000 and $5,000 an hour. And, as one potential prostie was heard to complain, that didn't even include dinner. Inflation affects even the oldest profession, and according The Wall Street Journal, the "wealth boom — and the explosion in the number of multi-millionaires — has created entirely new pricing levels for escorts." Of 661 people who own private jets, a survey from Prince & Associates, a Connecticut-based wealth-research firm, found, 34 percent of males and 20 percent of the females had paid for sex. And that's just of people who owned private jets. If you apply those percentages to, say, people who own BMWs, that's enough to skew the numbers for everyone.

What worries me is that Spitzer, while not lean in the bankroll department, isn't exactly rolling with the sort of wad that gets you a private jet. Yet, here he is, spending top dollar on escorts. Factor in a crowded and competitive market, typical male oneupsmanship, and a economy that encourages debt, and you can see that the prostitution industry could be headed for a housing-market-like bubble economy, where hookers charge well beyond their intrinsic value for customers who grow ever more willing to pay for it. Soon you got a lot of overpriced inventory in the marketplace - three whore-diamond whores charging six whore-diamond whore prices on the basis of frippery like granite countertops and GFE.

The looming Spitzer bubble is bad enough, but if we get close to home, you can see that DC is about to get hit with the backhand whammy of devaluation. See, Spitzer, for all his pretension to the national political stage, was actually quite parochial, choosing to import his hookers from New York to rendezvous in the 202. With the news out on this, DC's own thriving prostitution market has taken it on the chin, publicity-wise. Having it known that the most high-profile whoremonger in years would rather book out of town, overpay and risk taking a Federal charge just to avoid the local trim is going to depress our market at the same time the bubble blooms everywhere else. Concomitant price drops locally might seem to be a boon for the consumer, but as whores stretch themselves thin in order to maintain profitability, the overall quality of the product declines.

In short, we are facing a whole host of external exacerbations that could pace a serious downturn in the whole local pimpeconomy. I'm not sure what the solution is, either. It's probably too late to negotiate some out of town price controls, and I feel that it will be hard to enforce some sort of protectionist control at the DC border. My one hope is that DC's annual festival of Asian Erotica and Monument Stalking, the Cherry Blossom Festival, is coming up soon, and a concerted effort could be made to harness the influx of tourists as a way of stimulating the market and restoring our brand.

The folks what are in charge of tourism need to put together a robust campaign, but there's a role for all of us to play. When you encounter out-of-towners, greet them with a warm "Hello," and add, "Gee, fella, you sure look tense!" Keep a copy of the City Paper's comprehensive whore pages on you, and be prepared to make some recommendations. DO NOT ALLOW the tourist to confuse the prostitutes with the "Crafty Bastards" - that could lead to a lot of confusion and recriminations. And push the local fare for the unique experience that it is, in the same way a vineyard might tout the sea air or the temperate climate. With a concerted effort, we can help to undo the damage done by Spitzer.

We've taken our local whores for granted for a long time now. We've just assumed that they'd always be there for us, ensnaring our NBA players, keeping Thomas Circle "edgy." When it comes to DC and prostitutes, we too often remember only the hilarious Marion Barry, "Bitch set me up" line. Well, it's time we all helped to set up those bitches in kind. Will you answer the call? If so, Visa/MC, 10am-2am. Incall/Outcall avail. Serious inquiries only.

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