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Guest Post: The Hidden Cost of Sex

Shortly before I met my current husband, I stopped dating anyone. I didn’t even sleep with anyone for a short period of time. Anyone who knows me well can tell you that this was highly unusual for me, and to a point, it was almost a total anomaly.

During that brief period, I noticed something very strange happen. Though I’m biologically female, I noticed that my bank account spiked. At first, I couldn’t figure out how I had extra money at the end of the month. After really looking at my spending habits, the answer dawned on me.

I was spending money on sex.

No—I wasn’t shelling out money on callgirls or male escorts. Rather, I was spending money going to venues to meet people, spending money on fare that would let me drive to peoples’ houses to get laid, and also shelling out cash on things to make me more attractive to people I wanted to bone.

When I stopped caring about sex, my bank account spiked. Even though I wasn’t overtly paying for sex, I was still paying for sex. Realizing this about myself, I took a look at guys’ predicaments. My male friends often decried how expensive dating was, so I began to wonder: how much does it actually cost to have sex?

Everyone Pays For It In One Way Or Another

Before we get into the discussion of sex, please do not take my question lightly. We all pay for sex. Sex is pricey. Whether you’re male or female, sex and dating costs money. One can also argue that you can either pay in effort, cash, or both. Either way, there’s definitely an unspoken cost to sex.

For women, getting laid often means that you will need to spend money to look good for your dates. You also might need to pay for your transportation, nights out on the town with potential playmates, as well as a number of other goods. For men, it involves the same, plus more dating costs simply because of tradition and how much effort it takes to find a girl.

To find out how much it takes for a guy to get laid, I decided to take a look at the different costs associated with different methods of procuring sex. Here’s what I discovered…

The Old Fashioned Way

When I say the “old fashioned way,” I mean meeting a girl at a bar, club, or social gathering, getting her number, then having a roll in the hay. This is the organic way that people have met their lovers, play partners, and spouses for centuries. It also is the most socially accepted way to get laid.

For guys, getting laid through this route is often extremely expensive—especially since it often takes multiple attempts to find a sex partner through this route. How affordable this route is, is based on how attractive a man’s body and personality are.

On one end of the spectrum are men who simply do not have the social skills to find a sex partner this way. In most cases, they will not find a partner through real-life interaction. On the other end of the spectrum are men who are extremely attractive and charming. They may be able to get laid one out of every two or three excursions.

Let’s assume that you’re a guy who hits up clubs or social gatherings to find a new sex partner. Here’s what you should expect on average.

  • Business Insider pointed out that the average person spends $81 per outing, and goes out twice a week. Let’s assume that you’re a single guy who maintains that price point.

  • Total So Far: $81 per outing

  • From a random survey of my (notably extroverted) male friends, it takes an average of 11 times before they find a partner through a club outing.

  • Total So Far: $891 until you find a sex partner

  • If you rent a room, that’s an additional $120 on average.

  • Total So Far: $1011 for a hotel on top of it.

  • If you agree to pay cab fare for a one-night stand, that’s an additional $15.

  • Total So Far: $1026 per sexual encounter

Dating Via Tinder

Now that the internet exists, you don’t have to hit up bars and restaurants anymore. Those venues really only have so many people to meet. If you strike out too many times, you might not be able to really get anywhere. The net gave us dating apps and hookup sites galore.

These are almost as socially accepted as the old fashioned way, and are currently one of the most popular ways to get laid. Tinder dates and online dates are typically a little cheaper than the traditional “dinner and a movie” date of yore.

  • A dating app can cost anywhere from no money at all to $25 per month.

  • Total So Far: $0 (I’m assuming we’re cheap!)

  • In 2016, dating site OKCupid reported that couples typically have sex after three to five dates.

  • SimpleMost ran a study that showed a typical formal date would cost about $230 in my home state of New Jersey. Most of the country, though, will spend approximately $110 on a date.

  • High-End Total: $330 to $550

  • From a (admittedly casual) survey performed on about 30 guy friends of mine, most Tinder dates are little more than just “hanging out” at home or hitting up coffee. They said they spent an average of $20 on coffee dates, while home dates involving wine and food topped $30.

  • Low-Ball Total: $60 to $150

“Massage” Parlors

The drawback with typical dating is manifold, especially for guys. There’s a lot of rejection you need to face, random ghosting moments, and you never really know what the person you’re seeing is thinking. We’ve all heard dating horror stories, and in some cases, you might not even get laid after all your efforts have been put forth.

A lot of work with no guarantee of success makes for a very expensive and frustrating endeavor. That’s why a lot of guys just want to pay for sex to get their jollies off. So, I started to interview sex workers to find out how much money it costs to have sex.

After talking to five massage parlors that offer “happy endings,” I learned that there are different rates.

  • The lowest rate for sex I heard was an additional $50 on top of a $70 massage.

  • The highest rate for sex I heard was a total cost of $275 to $300.

  • Anal sex typically went for a higher rate.​

Street Walkers

If you’re not beat for going to a massage party, another common option is to call up a sex worker. Sex workers are often split into three major categories: street walkers, call girls, and escorts.

Street walkers are the cheapest and are typically picked up by clients while walking on the street. They usually are pimped out by men who take a large cut of their profits. Sometimes, men who manage them will also advertise their services online. I interviewed 15 street walkers, ranging from clearly addicted to substances to women who seemed to look just like anyone else.

  • The lowest rate I heard was $40 for sex.

  • The highest rate I heard from a street walker was $150 per hour.

  • Like with most other sex workers, street walkers charge extra for anal or unusual requests.

Call Girls

Call girls are sex workers who advertise online. These sex workers typically go out to visit clients in their own homes or hotel rooms. Most call girls are “middle of the road” in terms of both appearance and reputation. You can find a lot of them on sites that specially cater to adult services.

That said, FOSTA ended up destroying most sites that helped call girls gain business. They are extremely guarded as a result of the raids many experienced. I was still able to find 15 call girls and ask about their pricing.

  • The lowest rate for a call girl that I spoke to was $200.

  • On average, these ladies charged $300 per hour-long session.

  • The highest rate for a call girl was $450.

Sugar Dating​

Sugar dating is a very unique blend of both sex, image, and fetish dating. With a sugar daddy or sugar mommy arrangement, one partner in the arrangement is paid for time spent with the donor. The donor isn’t really paying for sex per se; he’s paying to have a person who would normally never be with them to spend time with them.

Though sex is definitely a part of the deal in most cases, that’s not always the case. Sugar dating is actually perceived as a status symbol for men and women in many circles. In some cases, people will pay just to have “arm candy” attend dinners with them.

To find out how much a sugar date costs, I started asking around.

  • Sugar dates can vary greatly in pricing methods. Some ask for cash, others for gifts, while even more ask for bills to be paid.

  • The cheapest professional sugar date I found would agree to date for the price of a fancy dinner and a lipstick.

  • Some sugar babies claimed to have men who paid them approximately $70,000 per year to be a paramour.


Escorts are the high end sex workers that you might hear politicians messing around with on newspaper headlines. These are sex workers who are typically employed by an agency or are independent workers.

Escorts are typically incredibly good looking, with many of them making a living doing modeling work during the day. They also are fairly well-educated and are often trained on the ways of etiquette and class. It’s not unusual to hear about escorts being paid to go on dates in public with clients.

Generally speaking, escorts are viewed as way out of an average guy’s league. Some escorts are actually celebrities. I was able to talk to several escort agency owners who were able to shed light on costs.

  • The lowest rate for an escort I’ve found was around $300 per hour.

  • One agent claimed that “$750 per hour, minimum,” was the baseline for their agency.

  • An agent who specialized in linking celebrity escorts to clients claimed that one of his workers earned $1.5 million in one night by spending it with an obscenely wealthy man.

Long Term Relationships

All this talk about paying for sex can be rough to hear, especially if you’re the type to want some romance with your playtime. That’s one of the reasons why a lot of people end up in relationships; they want that companionship and they also want regular nookie.

If you think that you stopped paying for sex once you got into a relationship, though, you’re wrong. Several studies completed by researchers showed that relationships, too, are expensive in a financial sense.

NEFE pointed out that 89% of people spend more when they’re in a relationship than when they’re single. On average, coupled up people spend $600 more per year than singletons do.

  • According to the Motley Fool, married people spend an average of $54 per date.

  • They also claimed that the average singleton only spends $43 per date, which is drastically lower than what my previous source claimed.

  • The same Motley Fool article also noted that married people and coupled people tend to spend more on gifts than singletons do, too.

  • The Cut pointed out that a typical wedding costs upwards of $25,000 to $50,000.

  • Divorce proceedings are even pricier, with many settlements involving hundreds of thousands of dollars.

  • If you are married with children, divorce can cost approximately half your wages in alimony and child support.

  • A divorce attorney’s fees range from $250 to $650 per hour on average. An average divorce costs as much as $50,000—assuming that it’s an amicable divorce.

  • If you choose to be the primary provider who stays married, this can easily add upwards of $1,000 per month in living costs.

Because so many major lifestyle changes are involved in long term relationships and marriage, I didn’t even try to put a price on this. That said, the average couple in a relationship has sex twice a week. So, it can be a solid investment if you’re looking for steady loving and companionship.

So, Is Sex Worth It?

It’s hard to say whether or not the high price of sex is actually worth it all the time. For the most part, humans are wired to desire companionship. We are also wired to crave sex, though sex is not a need for most of us. We are social creatures.

Studies show that people who have sex regularly look younger, report lower rates of depression, and tend to be able to cope with life better. So, is the high price tag worth a little sexual healing? That’s up for you to decide.

This article was originially posted here.

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