Is Escorting the New Feature Dancing?

This story has been a while in the making, when the young lady first contacted me she didn’t want to make the story public but for some reason she felt the need to tell me.  I think more than anything she wanted to clear up some misconceptions and, as much as anything. justify her decisions.

She is an A List performer by anyone reckoning but she doesn’t shoot very much, just once in a while, and the reason she does shoot…..to keep her escort rates high.

She told me that she was like every other girl who comes into porn, she wanted fame, attention and the money but she quickly realized that the business wasn’t what she thought.  She had one of the best agents and she had a good work ethic, she drew top dollar bookings for the best companies.  Despite this she got Chlamydia twice and Gonorrhea once in the first six weeks she was in the business.  She thought, like many that the two week test cycle would protect her but she quickly realized that “with so many people working together all the time STDs stay in the talent pool”  She didn’t like most of the male performers she was working with and she quickly had second thoughts.

That was when a friend of hers, also in the biz approached her about escorting with her as an extra girl for a particular client who had a thing for relative newcomer.  It was “a lot of money and I mean a lot” and she started thinking that it couldn’t be any worse.  The next day she felt good about it, the guy had been polite, well groomed, clean, educated and was fun.

She inquired to the agency who took her on “under the radar” and she found a source of income that far outweighed doing porn.  As she said to me ” I didn’t have to have sex with anyone I didn’t want to and I never got any shit about requiring a condom”, she told me that in over a year escorting she had never gotten an STD from a customer because she always used condoms.  She also told me that the guys always treated her nice and didn’t always want sex, about half of her dates were “more for companionship and someone to listen to them” in her words that beat the hell out of “some french douchebag” hitting on her before a scene, trying to warm himself up, putting his hand around her throat and telling her she belongs to him.  “EEEW that was just so gross.”

So now she shoots porn “once in a while” to keep her name out there and keep her rates high.

When I first came into porn in the 1990’s it was common to get feature dancers who wanted to do porn to boost their feature rates.  Porn star features made 10 times or more what the non porn features did.  Back then almost no porn girls escorted, if they did it was very much on the down low, less than 10 percent of the porn girls escorted, and almost none of the guys did.  The big money fell out of the feature market though and girls turned to other avenues to make the big bucks, and those avenues were escorting.

Today it’s less than ten percent who dont escort and that includes the guys.  Some people say that is why the STD rates are high and most performers tell me that is true because so many of the porn girls and guys who escort will do it bareback.

My friend tells me that her clients don’t have any desire to :choke her, spit on her, slap her, gag her” or other things that “the guys in porn have to do to get their dicks hard these days” She says they are educated and polite and they treat her like a lady and she likes that and finds it way better  than spending a whole day to shoot a boy girl scene for 1500 dollars, she make ten times that spending a day with someone who wants to be with her.

When I listen to her it is hard to argue with her logic, nor would I try, she has found her niche and she is happy and apparently thriving in it.

Indeed I can’t say that escorting is worse than doing porn, if she were seeing all of her clients bareback and allowing them to have unprotected anal sex with her and slap her around I think anyone would agree that would be a bad thing but is that not what she does every time she shoots a porn scene?  By that standard going to dinner, then having drinks at his hotel where they have protected sex and she gets no bruises seems pretty tame by comparison.

Maybe it is pornographers that have pushed so many of the performers into escorting, mabe it isnt the girls that have changed but the industry that has changed them.

It has given me pause to think…what do you think?

36 Replies to “Is Escorting the New Feature Dancing?”

  1. Karmafan

    Porn isn’t illegal but prostitution is. I’m sure the girls make good money escorting and its better for wallets but lets not forget there will come a day when the law is gonna come down hard on all this porn star escorting.

  2. Karmafan

    Porn isn’t illegal but prostitution is. I’m sure the girls make good money escorting and its better for wallets but lets not forget there will come a day when the law is gonna come down hard on all this porn star escorting.

  3. Jaybarry

    Another reason why girls are escorting is because there are so many girls in the industry and not enough work for all of them. 10 years ago there were a couple 100 girls, now there are over a 1000+. Regarding the choking, etc. Most of these girls like it. Do they like it in their personal life? I don’t know but they like it on film because they feel like they’re performers and they are putting on a show, they feel aggressive sex is more entertaining on film then just standard sex.

  4. Mr.Anonymouse

    It all depends on the girl, her expectations, and what her goals are. If a girl truly desires to be an adult film star, and she’s attractive, and she is a good performer, then it is possible for her to make a ton of money and do very well. There are certainly girls in this business shooting so much that they probably wouldn’t even have time to escort.

    The thing about today’s business is, public perception lags behind reality. The public still thinks that, if you’re a hot young girl, you can come into the porn business and you’re guaranteed to make six figures a year easily, and you don’t have to work that hard for it. So you have all of these girls coming into the business, practically believing they’re somehow divinely entitled to make six figures a year. Many of them don’t really want to be adult film stars. They don’t have any desire to actually put in the work. They just think “I’m pretty, people should want to see me naked, all I have to do is have sex and I should be paid lots of money for it.” That simply isn’t true (at least not now).

    So many girls come in, and all they’re really looking for is easy money. They discover that, unless you really WANT to be an adult film star, its not really easy money. But you know what is? Hooking. So they’re more drawn to that because it accomplishes what they want to accomplish. They have no real ambition to put in work, or do anything other than lay down and collect cash. I’m sorry if that sounds harsh, but its true.

    It always amuses me when I see models who come into the business, bounce around to 5 different agencies, and they’re just completely stumped that they actually have to put in work, and that people don’t really want to book them because they’re just not that great. Its absolutely mind blowing to some of them, and they blame everyone else but themselves. They don’t understand how they can have random guys on twitter blowing smoke up their asses about how great they are, yet no one seems to want to book them.

    This business requires you to be the cream of the crop to make great money now. It is possible, but its no longer enough just to be a pretty face. The decline of the number of shoots happening has made things more competitive, and has forced performers to up their game. Today you have to be attractive, but you also have to be professional, have a good attitude, be willing to really work, and your on camera performances have to be great. That is the only way directors/studios are going to have incentive to book you month after month. Otherwise, why book you again when they can book the next hot thing behind you? There is no more rolling out of bed 30 minutes past call time, smoking weed, stumbling over to set, turning in an OK scene, and being entitled to $15,000 a month. Just not going to cut it in today’s market

    What I also think you don’t mention here Mike is, escorting is NOT all roses and sunshine. I have heard many tales of girls being ripped off, assaulted, robbed, drugged, etc. And yes, this is by those same well-off clients. This isn’t street walkers I’m talking about. Many of the girls who are avid escorts are also not very happy people. They may put on a front to everyone else like their job is fantastic, but when they’re alone at night with their own thoughts its not always like that. Many of them struggle with feeling lonely, feeling like no one cares about them, feeling used, dealing with drug issues, depressing, etc. Some of these girls go on “tours” where they literally spend a whole day in a hotel room seeing client after client. It gets to many of them after awhile. Many of them also turn into professional manipulators and liars because that is essentially part of their job, and it affects relationships in their personal life in a very negative way.

  5. Karmafan

    I’m always surprised by the number of girls that have large amounts of tattoos. The girls make their living with their bodies and the vast majority of porn fans hate to see beautiful girls ruined by lots and lots of tattoos.

    I know its all the rage now (along with pierced tounges/bellys) and the occasional tattoo is fine but some girls went and got full sleeve or back tattoos and ruined their looks. If you look at message boards devoted to porn stars always the number one complaint is the girls are piling on the tattoos and fans look for girls that don’t have them.

  6. mharris127

    Karmafan, I have to agree on the tattoos. I know if I were directing for a top-tier company (like the extra cute Jacky St. James and her very lucky boyfriend Eddie Powell do today at New Sensations) I would be lamenting about the lack of girls with minimal tattoos and especially none on the front of their bodies (tits, chest, stomach, thighs, knees, front/sides of neck, face) and also no tattoos on their hands. I don’t want to give names but there is one (mainly BDSM, I think she only does scenes for Kink and an occasional scene for Woodrocket) performer in particular that would be ravishingly beautiful if she didn’t have jailhouse style tattoos all over her body, especially on her fingers. From what I have seen BDSM viewers in general are less picky about tattoos on performers and that is what is allowing many performers today to remain in the porn biz although that greatly reduces their incomes and the number of companies they work for (essentially limiting them to working for Kink, Intersec and a very few small one-person operations such as Lew Reubens’ and Damon Pierce’s websites). Billy Watson at Dogfart and Porno Dan at his company are also a bit less picky than many mainline companies as to the tattoos on their performers bodies although not as accommodating as Kink and Intersec in this regard.

    I can live with an understated navel piercing or a tongue piercing (as long as the girl takes out the tongue piercing for liability reasons if she is going to give a blow job to male talent). I can see how people would object to them, however.

  7. Mr.Anonymouse

    Yes unfortunately it is extremely difficult to find girls without tattoos these days. I would say that maybe 1% of the girls who enter the business have NO tattoos. Tattoos are so common that its more unique to NOT have one now.

  8. Karmafan

    How about when the girl’s tongue piercing makes it so she can’t even speak properly to deliver her lines in a scene. Many a time I went “huh”? when a girl with a pierced tongue spoke in a scene.

  9. MikeSouth

    You may well be right about that, at the moment the authorities dont seem to be very interested in the high end escorts but with an election year coming up that could change

  10. MikeSouth

    If you think most of the girls like the abusive things like being spit on and slapped around and gagged then you are misguided, I have only had a very few over the years that said that they liked it. Dont fall for the BS stories that they tell to fan magazines or what they say when you talk to them while they are signing autographs…just because they can “put on a show” and pretend they like it doesnt make it so, it only means that you bought the act…

  11. MikeSouth

    you are so correct about the expectations of the girls these days at one time the biz put up with Jenna Jameson and her flakiness because they kind of had to….girls cant get away that that shit anymore no matter how good they look.
    As for the prostitutes being killed and harmed yes that does happen but I think that may be the difference between escorting and prostitution, I can see that at the core they are the same thing but a high end escort is dealing with prescreened clients who have already submitted to a thorough background check by the agency, if for no other reason than to make sure he can actually pay for the 15,000 dollar weekend he booked. Im not saying that makes it safe but it does make it “safer” particularly when the clients are well known public figures…theres a big difference between escorting at that level and escorting for 150 or 200 dollars an hour booking through an agency in las vegas whose screening process is simply to try to weed out undercover cops.

    Im not really for or against prostitution but when the young lady explained it to me from her perspective it did make sense to me on many levels, enough so that even I might consider that escorting at that level is safer than doing porn…you can certainly be killed on a porn set…ask anyone who hgas gotten HIV or HEP C

  12. schlermy

    Porn had it’s heyday from about 1975-2006 but ever since then it’s been in the shithole. Even Larry Flynt said back around 2007 that most porn companies would be out of business by 2008/09. When the money per shoot went down the cute girls went away and the skanky biker girls came in. I’m not a big fan of fat assed girls oiled up performing slimy sex, it’s just not my thang.

    I”m not mad, it’s just that the market went to shit because of the Internet. The last money cow for U.S. porn was DVD’s and that is sooooo yesterday.

    U.S. porn sucks
    European porn is only a little better
    Japanese porn is the best in the world.
    The Internet ruined music, movies, late night TV, Porn, and a bunch of other stuff. Hopefully the Internet will kill cable companies..at least their atrocious cable boxes.

    Funny the Internet does not help with buying new cars from cuntish dealerships.

    Porn will be better next decade. It can’t be any worse than it is now.

  13. Dirty Bob

    What worries me is that some news agency or whoever is going to quote your comment as gospel since it was uttered by someone in the adult industry. While there may be some basis in your figures, there is absolutely no definitive way of knowing if your following comment is true: “Today it’s less than ten percent who dont escort and that includes the guys. “

  14. Dirty Bob

    As for tattoos, I have come to the realization that, if you ask someone, who has an abundance of inked skin, how to SPELL the word tattoo…9 times out of ten they will get it wrong. Seriously – try it; you will be surprised!

  15. Mr.Anonymouse

    Mike: Escorts get robbed ans assaulted by high end clients as well. I’ve seen this happen several times in the last couple of years. I’ve seen cases where these guys want to be more than just a client with the girl, and they go crazy. Also, in many cases escorting agencies don’t screen these guys at all. I myself have sent emails to some of the large escorting agencies, in a fake attempt to book known adult film stars. I didn’t actually go through with it, I just wanted to see what they would do screening wise. I was able to essentially book dates and times with models without being asked a single question about who I was during the whole process. And I’m talking about well known agencies here. I’m not for or against escorting. I’m pretty neutral on it. I think in many cases it is detrimental to both girl and client, even if they don’t realize it. It is important though to note the darker side. There are dangers within escorting, even on the high end. The universe doesn’t allow someone to make that much money with that little work scot-free. I think ultimately it comes at a price for many girls, whether it be mentally, emotionally, spiritually, or physically. I don’t know very many successful escorts who are really happy people or not fucked up in some way. So many of them also have no clue what to do with their money, and they end up broke by 30. That is a whole other topic of discussion though

  16. monicaf

    “A list” pornstars should be paid far more and receive residuals just as traditional Hollywood mainstream actors and actresses do.

    Prostitution is only legal in the Nevada brothel system within the United States. Yes, ideally there’s a “difference” between prostitution and escorting but really – if you plan to be an “escort” – you’re better off not EVER entering the porn industry (as your worth / value is heavily dependent upon your ability to remain off the radar).

    http://www.pornnewstoday.com/pnt/2015/10/28/axel-braun-porn-director-or-peter-pan-xxx-pimp-of-riley-steele-on-eros/

    Between this post and the Vivid Rape situation – your blog is the talk of the town Mr. South.

  17. Ivy

    Perhaps if the rates were higher for shooting scenes, and if the talent pool was smaller, AND there were more protections against predation of the talent pool, and more resources for the talent (such as non shaming STD testing, mental health services, insurance that covers both mental and sexual health) than maybe a lot of porners wouldn’t have to resort to escorting. There’s a reason why the word porn whore is such a popular phrase. The industry cannot treat their workers as disposable wet holes if they (as a whole, from the top to the bottom of the food chain) expect to make money. If you berate and mistreat any worker, in any industry, you are fucking up your bottom line. It costs a hell of a lot more to train new employees constantly than to keep your loyal talent. In addition, why the fuck has this industry not caught up with the social progress our country has made? The LGBT community has more brought more mainstream awareness of the issues they are struggling with, and there are more protections now for them. There is dialog in the LGBT community and those outside of it. The porn industry is toxic, with toxic people who infect others with their shittiness. How can you punish talent for what they do, yet praise them at the same time? There are deep issues to work through, because the industry it seems is masochistic, and misygonist. Talent absorbs this environment and they adapt and become part of it simply to survive. Feral even. All I am saying is protect your workers, don’t be a piece of garbage, and fucking pay better so that those who do not want to escort do not have to. The industry really should come together and figure out how everyone can make more money and keep up with the times. Seriously most porn these days are so disgusting I can’t watch it. This is why I prefer Erika Lust as a director, she shoots beautiful scenes and she gets it right. And one last thing, I just watch the 2015 AVN awards on Hulu recently, and what the fuck how can anyone in that audience keep a straight face for that bullshit. So toxic you could choke on the fumes right from your TV screen.

  18. BT

    I think Mike is absolutely right. I know there’s a lid for every pot, which means that there is some good-looking chick out there who really wants to be degraded and choked. But, let’s not confuse what someone is willing to do for money with what they prefer to do. How many times do you see actresses in interviews talk about how much they love, love, love anal, the harder the better …… then you see the occasional girl who gives an honest answer, or posts on a site like Mike South, saying that anal is driving girls out of the business. My guess is that if you’d asked Julia Ann, Lisa Ann, Nina Hartley 15 years ago if they thought they’d be doing anal, double anal and DPs to stay relevant, they’d have laughed you off.

  19. MikeSouth

    Why worry DB it is the truth, I would even say that 90% number is low….Look around, look on eros or TLC or pamelapeaks and try to find someone who is not escorting, and even if you do there is a good chance she is one of the ones listed as “Under the radar”

    And think about it logically….if it were you and you had the option of a porn scene at 1500 bucks (wish is top dollar these days) or 10K for a day of being wined and dined when sex may not even be required….which would you do?

    As for the guys escorting I took one look at rent a boy and was astounded.

    And if you think mainstream doesnt already know this you are living in a vacuum, they do, they are simply waiting until something relevant happens.

    Sticking your head in the sand doesnt make it not true ya know

  20. Ivy

    Everyone knows about instagram escorts, and web cam girls and whatever, see rule 34 of the internet. The internet is a big dirty place, and anyone can use google with some creativity. Read theDirty.com, see how many “instagram models” get outed as escorts. Not too hard to put two and two together.

  21. mharris127

    That could be a problem. I haven’t seen it as an issue more than once or twice, though — although I mainly watch BDSM and top-studio scripted scenes. My bigger concern is a girl with a tongue stud piercing a man’s dick with the sharp end of her tongue stud while performing in a scene. That is a serious liability issue and I am surprised most directors don’t have a female performer remove her tongue stud before filming a scene.

    Off subject, my limited preference in porn scenes has put me at a disadvantage as to knowing of some of the performers — the most stunning of which was me thinking Jay Taylor was likely an industry attorney (in actuality she is adult industry talent) when she showed up in the APAC Porn 101 video (she was wearing a suit jacket and business-type blouse in it and not more typical performer clothing). I have since seen one of her scenes but promotion of her adult performing career is still lackluster (too bad, she actually puts out a decent performance in her scenes although the range of types of scenes she performs in is a bit narrow).

  22. NormalAndSane

    Great article, Mike. Wonder if the “douchebag French guy” is Manuel Ferrara?

    I’ve often thought about contacting some of the 3rd party companies that allegedly facilitate either setting up an escort date, or paying to be admitted to a porn shoot as an observer, but with all of the cyber security issues and hacking out there, I’ve always resisted.

    I recall there was an executive at Disney (I think it was Disney) a few years back who set up a production company on paper and then would record his dates so that he wasn’t getting into prostitution issues. I seem to recall he even did a private shoot with Samantha Saint, who claimed that she thought the whole thing was a legit shoot. Maybe that’s the safest route to take.

  23. mharris127

    Mr. Mouse, Matt Williams at Intersec and Jacky St. James at New Sensations have both commented multiple times on their blogs and Twitter accounts about the frustration of talent not showing up on set at least close to on time. Jacky in particular has a policy that if you are late for her movies twice you don’t perform for her again (Eddie Powell works very closely with Jacky, if you do a movie for one the other will be taking photos, coordinating story line, setting up lighting, etc. so if one blacklists you the other likely will too). That would cause a performer to be blacklisted by two of the three directors currently working at New Sensations — enough to drastically cut the scenes offered to her from that company.

    Directors at Kink have also commented that they have had to cancel scenes occasionally because talent show up on set drunk or high. They have given people second chances when that happened but I would think if they had to cancel scenes for this reason more than once in a year or two those performers would be blacklisted from the whole company. I haven’t seen comments from them on tardiness but they provide transportation from LAX to OAK and a ride from OAK to the Armory for the bulk of their performers so if they catch their flight tardiness is caused by the airlines and not the performers themselves.

  24. mharris127

    Normal, there is an article right here on MikeSouth.com about the Richard Nanula scandal (which you reference).

    I think Mike was commenting about a director by the way the comment was written, I don’t think Manuel Ferrara directs. Manuel also doesn’t come across as a douchebag (at least to me) when he talks but since his accent causes his English to not be clear sometimes he might be taken that way unintentionally.

  25. rawalex

    My take here is pretty simple: Porn is no longer a truly sellable product. Piracy, tubes, pirate tubes, and all that comes with it have effectively reduced the value of porn as a retail product to a level where it’s almost impossible to make real money with it. The knock on effect is that the performers are getting paid relative shit to do work, and are expected to do more (marked increase in anal scenes, gangbang scenes, and the like) for similar amounts of money.

    Those who are paying for scenes to be made are using them as a come on to either upsell users to cams, dating, and the like, or are looking for a fish to sign up to a porn site so they can pre-check cross sell them into oblivion. There isn’t really enough money left in the ecosystem to support the performer pool.

    Feature dancing isn’t what it use to be either, as there are only a certain number of clubs that really pay and the number of girls who could potentially do it is pretty high. End result is depressed rates.

    Now, compare that to doing PSE hotel meet ups for a couple of grand an hour. Fly to a city, do a couple of those a day for a four or five day “weekend” and boom, you are home with ten or twenty grand CASH (ie, no tax) in your pocket. A girl can live very well on that type of cash – or she can party her ass off for the other three weeks of the month.

    I am also seeing girls doing the best combo: Feature dancing and PSE on the side – so feature dance every night, and do a PSE meet up either after finishing for an overnight, or before going in for a couple of hours.

    Using porn to make a name and establish value is pretty much the name of the game. People pay for the fantasy – they won’t pay for the video anymore.

  26. BT

    Again, Mike, you’re right on. I’m not in the porn industry, but from my perspective the economics are something like this. I can get $1,500 to do a scene that is going to take 2 to 6 hours of my time and involve intense pounding for a portion of that time. At the end, my day (and my vagina or asshole) is shot. Or …… I can see three guys who will pay me $500 to a grand or more each to spend some time with me. They’re going to spend a whole lot of time on foreplay – and by foreplay, I mean chitchat, unzipping their pants, fondling and being nervous as hell – and shoot their wad in 10 to 30 minutes with not a lot of wear and tear on my private parts. In all likelihood, they’re not going to choke me, spit on me, yank my hair, or slap me. Rather, they’ll probably be grateful. I walk away with more cash; and I still have time to hit the gym and go out to dinner.

    Maybe I’m simplifying things ….. but when I go on eros and read the reviews, that seems to be the way events go.

  27. MikeSouth

    i dont know if it was manuel or not that was my first guess too and you do remember correctly the Disney executive was named Richard Nanula and yes Samantha Saint swore she thought it was a regular shoot but most people dont believe her, trinity St Clair set up the shoot and most people think she rolled over on Nanula for a cash reward…in other words she set him up. Trinity is pretty much personna non grata on porn sets these days and her partner in the scam Greg Dodson is also mired in troubles

  28. mharris127

    I have read (from well-regarded sources — including this one IIRC) about girls flying to Dubai for a week to fuck an Arab prince and making up to $50K plus expenses for doing so. If a girl needs to use that money for traceable items such as a house, car or investments she needs to figure out how to launder that cash to pay taxes on it and make it look like the money was made legally (which is a big problem for a girl doing this). Even with that issue a porn chick could fly to Dubai for a week once every other month, do a scene or two during that time to “promote” herself on the escort market and live quite well.

    The advantage of working stateside and booking through an “escort” service (compared to flying to Dubai to prostitute herself) is that the money is already laundered and looks legal (at least at first glance), the disadvantage is she would only make $20K working a full week minus the escort agency’s fee and that is during a good week.

  29. Karmafan

    Look at some of the well known escort agencies on line and you will see over and over the famous porn star escort is on “tour” in Dubai for a week at a time.

  30. DannyOcean

    Even escorting is competitive because now you have these college girls, housewives, ex models advertising on these sugardaddy sites wanting much less than what traditional escorts want. I know one of my other Director friends will not bring back a lady if as he says “She f*ucks like a prostitute”. It’s hard to bring back those ladies on a Porn Set when they start escorting..They will say things like “How many positions?” or “How long will I be here?” or they will simply cancel the shoot because of a Private and be honest about it.

  31. MikeSouth

    the dubai trips are history, the prince they were seeing died (the circumstances are somewhat blurry but it isnt something I would generally look into anyway. technically I think the first 100K you make working outside the USA is tax free anyway, of course it could be argued depending on how and where they were paid. Regardless the Dubai bookings are history now

  32. schlermy

    There was a 20/20 story about a hot mom who went over to Dubai to “work” for that prince. She said she was there about a couple of months, the girls worked together in something akin to a nightclub but they didn’t have to sleep with anyone else, they just had to wait for the prince to pick them out. And check this out; the girls started fighting with one another over the prince lol!

    Hot mom eventually got picked to fuck the prince and shortly after that she was on her way back to L.A. or wherevers. I forget how much the hot mom said she made but I think it was something between 75k-100k.

    If I was a rich prince I’m not sure I wouldn’t do the same thing. RIP prince pimp.

  33. mharris127

    You are in the ballpark regarding foreign earnings being tax free as far as the US is concerned (the figure increases some each year). However, it is approx. $100K per year free of US tax, not per trip. The Dubai trips are history but I wonder how many escorts that did go work there misunderstood that and are now being assessed interest and penalties on hundreds of thousands of dollars. $50K a month adds up to $600K a year (my understanding was that “prince” paid all expenses), leaving $500K taxable at up to 39.6% federal (the net rate would not be quite that high in most cases due to a progressive federal income tax rate tier) and whatever the high rate is in the escort’s residence state (varying from none at all in Alaska and Texas to a tiered rate as high as 11% in California).

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