Every time I hear Tone Loc’s ‘Wild Thing’ I get hung up on the part when a “fine young chick” tells Tone that she will need fifty dollars to make him holler, because she gets paid to do the wild thing. I’m not an authority on prostitution pricing, but this has always seemed low to me, even for 1988. Yes, I’m sure you could get some old crack whore to fellate you for fifty dollars or less these days, but a “fine young chick?” No way.
Once the song ends, I’m always left pondering the same questions:
1) Was $50 really the going rate for the Wild Thing in 1988?
2) If Tone Loc only had $50, what could he get for his money in 2012?
Recently I attempted to answer these questions, so ‘Wild Thing’ would start being a fun song for me again, instead of an economic brain puzzler.
To answer the first question, I needed to first find out the average price for the Wild Thing these days. This wasn’t easy to do, since you have high-priced prostitutes, low-rent crack whores and what I like to call the in-betweeners. But, after some quick research on various local sites promising “escort services”, I came away with an average price of $150 an hour. I didn’t do a lot of math to reach this number, but that’s the number I decided to use.
Then it was time for some inflation research. I figured that if I could calculate how much the price of a few standard items have increased since ‘Wild Thing’ was released, I could find out if $50 made sense. Since the single was released in early 1988, I decided to use 1987 as my year, since that’s probably when Tone Loc had his encounter with the fine young chick. Also, you’ll see I used the year 2010, which is the only year I could find.
I did my best to double check the following numbers, but I didn’t feel like spending my entire day doing this shit. Also, something you should probably note about the food prices is that these are average prices. These are not Whole Foods prices. For our purposes this is probably okay, since Tone Loc stopped shopping at Whole Foods when they refused to stock Funky Cold Medina.
1987 – Loaf of Bread 75 cents
2010 – Loaf of Bread $2.23
1987 – Average Cost of new house $92,000.00
2010 – Average Cost of new house $232,880.00
1987 – US Postage Stamp 25 cents
2010 – US Postage Stamp 44 cents
1987 – Cost of a gallon of Gas 95 cents
2010 – Cost of a gallon of Gas $2.73
1987 – Dozen Eggs 65 cents
2010 – Dozen Eggs $1.37
Since sex is more popular than bread, I decided that the 197% increase in price is what we should apply to the illegal sex trade. Also, since I’m a fan of rounding up, I’m going to just say 200%. $50 increased by 200% = $150.
There you go. Mystery solved. At least I thought so. Then I started thinking more about it and realized that making one holler could be considered a fetish, and those services usually come with an upcharge. For our purposes, however, I think the math is close enough and I am convinced that $50 was probably the going rate for a quickie in 1988.
As for the question of what $50 would get Tone Loc these days, I decided the easiest thing to do was ask. So, I emailed a few local dominatrixes to see what, if anything, Tone Loc could get for his $50. Surprisingly, I wasn’t flooded with responses. I did get two, however, and they were enlightening, if not frightening.
“I would allow him to consume my spit,” said Empress Ming, a self-described lifestyle mistress, fetishist, professional dominatrix, serious model and dungeon owner.
Atlanta-based, professional dominatrix Mistress Ayn said she could also accommodate Mr. Loc.
“For $50, Tone Loc would get exactly 11 minutes of my time,” she said. “It’s quality time though, because I guarantee that he will holler.”
After checking out her site, I realized that not only wasn’t she kidding but Mistress Ayn was even cutting Tone Loc a deal. Her hourly rate is $275, which is roughly $4.58 per minute, meaning eleven minutes would normally be $50.38. Okay, so it’s not much of a deal, but at least Mistress Ayn knows that saying, “I need fifty dollars and thirty-eight cents to make you holler” doesn’t have the same ring to it.
Mistress Ayn also wanted to make it clear that dominatrixes are not prostitutes and that there’s no sex, no handjobs, no blowjobs, etc. during sessions. So, while Tone can be made to holler for fifty dollars, if his definition of the wild thing is broader, than he’ll need to keep looking. However, let’s not forget that he responded to the request for money with, “Say what? You must be kidding. Hasta la vista baby.”
Okay. Now that I have all that figured out, I’m off to research whatever happened to ‘Jessie’s Girl.’ Did she break up with Jessie once Rick Springfield hit it big? If so, what happened when Rick stopped producing hit records? Did she go back to Jessie? Did she turn to meth?
I read too much into things sometimes.