The life of a sex worker may not be glamorous, but Boston’s prostitutes are raking in the dough, comparatively.
According to The Economist, Boston’s female escorts earn an average of $370 an hour—more than any other city listed.
That’s more than San Francisco ($360), Seattle ($350), Atlanta ($320), New York, and Los Angeles (both about $315). And much more than Chicago’s $270, the lowest US. city listed. The lowest city overall, at just under $160 an hour, was Tokyo. Boston’s average was also better than the worldwide average of about $260 an hour.
The Economist based its data on an analysis of almost 200,000 profiles on an “international review site.” The magazine wouldn’t disclose the site’s name, saying it was “not willing to be identified” and that while the site said its listings were fictional, the Economist was operating under “the assumption that they are informative all the same.” So it’s not the best data source ever, but it’s not like there’s a verified worldwide database for prostitute prices the Economist could have used.
Before you take your $370 and look for some adult fun, bear in mind that prostitution is illegal—and that police in this city are actively looking for Johns to arrest. Last month, the Boston Police Department took part in the “National Day of Johns Arrests,” a nationwide program that targets the people who solicit prostitutes rather than the prostitutes themselves. Sgt. Michael McCarthy told Boston.com that the BPD made “several arrests,” and focused on “street level, on-line and hotel prostitution.”
In June, the BPD announced it was partnering with a Cambridge-based advocacy group to try to reduce the demand for prostitutes by 20 percent, in the hopes that this will also reduce the supply. A 2011 human trafficking law increased penalties for those convicted of soliciting prostitutes to up to 2 1/2 years in jail and a fine between $1,000 and $5,000 (though, as The Boston Globe points out, this law was not being enforced as of December 2013).
If you think $370 an hour is pricey, try a few months in jail.