Since the studio was originally founded well over a decade ago, members have frequently asked the scheduling desk for gratuity (tipping) guidance. When asked, we have always been happy to provide the requested guidance. Conversely, when not asked, we never bring up the gratuity topic. Over the years, we discovered that the majority of the members that wanted guidance on gratuities were reluctant to ask because they didn’t want to risk offending anyone. Some were concerned that tipping wasn’t allowed, some were concerned that their lack of knowledge would be negatively viewed, and some were concerned that the staffer(s) didn’t get all or most of the gratuity.
As always, there are no stupid questions – there are only stupid answers. And we don’t do stupid, so you know we are going to give you excellent answers. 😉 Here’s our take on gratuities for any BDSM/fetish professional:
- Is a gratuity required? No. Never. Despite us having some of the lowest session tributes for a full-size BDSM/Fetish studio in a commercial space in the USA (because we aren’t greedy and we love having our members being able to maximize their number and length of studio visits), we don’t believe that a gratuity should ever be expected or mandatory since BDSM/Fetish professionals are fairly compensated without said gratuity. This is totally unlike food service as you should always tip your waiter as their base wage is below the traditional minimum wage since tips are truly how they are compensated.
- I can just comfortably afford my sessions. I can’t afford a reasonable gratuity, too. Will no gratuity or a lower than I feel is appropriate gratuity be viewed negatively? Absolutely, positively not. We love that our members stay within their budgets for their visits to the studio. If the choice is between a low or no gratuity and the correct session length versus what you feel is an appropriate gratuity and a shorter than ideal session, we prefer that you go with the correct session length for your interests.
- Who gets the gratuity? 100% of the gratuities go to the staffer that you are visiting. If you are visiting multiple staffers, our staffers, by unanimous staffer decision, split the gratuity evenly unless you provide a gratuity allocation.
- When should I give a BDSM/Fetish professional a session gratuity? Ideally, gratuities are given after the session. By providing a gratuity in advance, you are giving a gratuity for an unknown result. Very often, that will lead to the gratuity not being in alignment with your session experience and budget.
- Some people prefer giving the gratuity in advance when handling the session tribute. If that is more comfortable for you, then that is what you should do.
- Wait a minute. You mean I shouldn’t give a BDSM/Fetish professional a gift when I arrive? Gifts aren’t gratuities. Of course, the best time to give a BDSM/Fetish professional a gift is upon your arrival, before the session begins.
- What forms of gratuity are accepted? Cash, credit cards (always billed very discreetly at Studio Sanctuary), cryptocurrency, Amazon gift cards, or any other gift cards desired by the staffer.
- That all makes sense, but how much of a gratuity should I give? The proper gratuity depends on three factors:
- Your budget. Please don’t break the bank or cause yourself financial hardship for the sake of a gratuity (or session).
- The quality of the session. A mediocre session (which will never happen at Studio Sanctuary) is a session we would not recommend tipping for. In our mind, session tipping starts at good sessions.
- Your comfort level. Does giving a gratuity make you feel uncomfortable? If so, don’t do it. If you want to show your appreciation and a session gratuity isn’t your thing, you can always buy something from the staffer’s Amazon wishlist, or send them an Amazon gift card, or get them that really cool thing they mentioned they would never buy for themselves.
- You didn’t fully answer the question. I still need guidance on how much of a gratuity that I should give. All right. You got us. Precise guidance is where it gets tricky because the three factors (directly above) make exact guidance impossible. Here’s our wild stab at it with the caveat of *if* you are comfortable giving a gratuity and *if* giving a gratuity is in your budget:
- Good Session – 10% gratuity (5% to 15% range depending on your budget)
- Very Good Session – 15% gratuity (10% to 20% range depending on your budget)
- Great Session – 20% gratuity (15% to 25% range depending on your budget)
- Exceptional Session – 30% or more gratuity (25% to 100% range depending on your budget)
- Gratuities greater than the session tribute are a bit gauche and best to be avoided.
And one last time. If you are not comfortable giving a gratuity or a gratuity is not in your budget, don’t give a gratuity. The singularly most important thing is that you are visiting the studio for a session. That has to be the focus. Anything that would make you feel uncomfortable takes away from that – and must be avoided.