SLike the drug trade, booze, and motion pictures, prostitution can muster through any economy. Although New York City's ladies of the evening say that the $1000-an-hour sex workers that Eliot Spitzer favors are having a hard time of it, for the middle-range pros business is pretty much as good as ever. "The market is down, business is down, but we feel it less," said Dylan, 24, a promotional model-turned-Manhattan prostitute. "We're still busy. If men are horny, they're going to come in here." Dylan works for a madam who runs a pair of brothels just north of Wall Street, where the going rate is $260 an hour, $160 for half. The madam says that that's all the market will bear right now: "The $1,000-an-hour girls are just not making it." While the woman say their clients are still showing up, they're spending less time and money. "He used to spend at least an hour or two," Sienna says of a banker who's a regular. "Lately he's down to a half-hour, and he's no longer a big tipper." Just when the story couldn't get any drearier, two of the madam's newest recruits turned to selling sex after the shit economy drove them out of more mainstream work. "Shana, 42, lost her $45,000-a-year job as a secretary last year. Sienna [who's working on her graduate degree in English Lit] was laid off in July from her job as an executive assistant with a travel agency. Shana, who worked briefly as a waitress before hooking up with her current gig, is putting her son through college. 'He's trying to get an engineering degree,' she explained. 'With the economy the way it is, how is my son going to get a loan? And he's going to finish college.'" [NYDN]
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