The holidays are just around the corner, and many are looking for ways to rake in some extra cash. Wrapping gifts at the mall and dog-sitting come to mind, but we know of a few other ways you can rake in additional income. Bizarre, strange, weird, crazy, unconventional ways.
Here’s a roundup of side hustles you might never have thought of before.
1. Nude art model
If you want to make money for just being you, look no further than the art department at your local college, says J, who worked as a nude figure model during her college days in Boston. Figure drawing classes often hire live models, and you can expect to earn about $20 per hour for posing in the buff. Depending on the length of the session, you can work anywhere from one to four hours, and you’ll be expected to hold a pose for 30 seconds to 3 hours.
To land a gig, inquire at a nearby art school, art store, university, or community college. As you become more experienced, you can also collaborate on poses with artists, or spend a bit of time studying figurative art to learn what it takes to be a more masterly model.
2. Financial dominator/dominatrix
Some people are aroused by serving as a cash slave, coerced into giving a financial dominator or dominatrix their money. (Yes, this is an actual thing.) Some cash slaves enjoy being blackmailed and forced pony up funds, while others work out an agreement to pay their dom or domme on a regular basis. Financial domination is a niche job that requires a strong familiarity with the world of kink. It may take some time to sniff out someone who is willing to fork out dough for psychological arousal.
Z, who lives in Chicago, stumbled upon being a fin dom when he learned that a friend was looking for a dominator. Every week, Z checks in on his cash slave via texts. As his slave also harbors a shoe fetish, Z occasionally sends photos of his boots. The slave electronically sends Z $100 every week, even if no communication takes place.
3. Probate lead searcher
K from Los Angeles looks for U.S. probate leads on Craigslist. She is essentially a freelance data collector. When she receives a file with court docket numbers for probate cases, K goes to the records room at the courthouse, digs around for the cases, and fills in missing info such as name, address, date of death, and attorney information for each case.
The gig pays $0.75 a record, and K averages 25–30 records per hour, netting $18.75 to $22.50 an hour. The downside is that she can only access the courthouse computers for five minutes at a time when anyone else is in queue to use them. Building rapport with court employees has helped her gain a little extra computer time.
4. Test subject for medical experiments
If you live near a university, you might apply to be a test subject for medical experiments, normally conducted through the psychology department or medical school. The pay averages $20 to $25 an hour, and up to $300 to $350 per experiment over the course of several visits. Perks might include health care related to the study, food while on site, and compensation for basic travel costs.
Some of the topics your local school might want to study: smoking cessation, mood disorders, genetics or the neurobiology of stress. Depending on the nature and setup, expect to answer questions on your family and personal health history, complete detailed cognitive and psychological questionnaires, have blood drawn, submit urine and saliva samples, and even submit to an MRI or PET scan. You will need to agree to follow the protocol for the study, which could mean anything from medication to a nicotine IV to low-voltage shocks. Also, prepare to commit to a series of appointments.
5. Sell used underwear
D from Chicago generates a robust side income selling his used socks, underwear, shoes, and T-shirts on a website that auctions adult-themed items. Someone out there is willing to shell out dough for anything with your scent on it. Just take a photo of the item, list it on the appropriate website, and wait for a buyer. D recalls buying in bulk to get the greatest return on his sales. For instance, he’d buy 18 pairs of socks at a flea market for $10 and then sell each pair for between $15 and $25.
Besides used underwear, you can also sell shoes to buyers with shoe fetishes. To go the frugal route, buy a pair of lightly worn shoes at a second-hand store, flea market or yard sale, wear them for a short while, and sell them at a marked up price.
As with any online selling venture, the keys to success are to be authentic in who you are, gain repeat customers, and collect positive feedback ratings.
6. Sell urine for drug tests
If you have friends who need to take drug tests for work and are concerned about their results, you can sell them your urine (assuming it does not contain evidence of banned substances). M does this for extra cash, and even knitted a cozy wrap to keep the urine container warm. M sells his urine, along with the wrap, for about $50 a pop.
Just keep in mind that you might be breaking the law with this hustle. In some states, it is illegal to sell urine with the intent to defraud a drug or alcohol test, and at least one state supreme court ruled against a urine-seller who claimed he had no idea what his buyers wanted the pee for. Even if it’s legal where you live, you’re helping someone else break a law or company policy, so proceed with caution.
7. Sit in on city council meetings
K learned about an opportunity to sit in on a city council meeting through a local online classified ad. In a nutshell, a neighborhood association was contesting a large development in their neighborhood by a real estate developer. They needed about 75 people to show up. A few members of the neighborhood association who had previously committed to showing up dropped out, so extra people were needed to fill the seats. The association offered a $50 Trader Joe’s gift card in exchange for two hours of time.
Yes, you heard correctly: you can get paid for hanging out with someone, by signing up on a website where buyers pay by the hour for platonic companionship. You can set your own hourly rate, starting at $10 dollars an hour. J from Los Angeles gets $40 an hour to hang out at a museum and grab lunch (also provided) afterward.
Other types of available gigs include being a tour guide or dinner companion for out-of-towners, a plus-one, a sporting event buddy or a sober party pal. Arrangements are usually predetermined, and the customer typically pays for admission, meals and possibly even transportation costs. The method of payment needs to be sussed out beforehand, and can be electronic or cash after the gig. Some friends may ask to be Facebook or Instagram pals afterward, so be sure to set your boundaries at a comfortable level.
Perhaps these out-there ways to rake in side cash have piqued your interest or even persuaded you to take on an unusual side hustle. Whatever creative endeavors you drum up for side money this holiday season, make sure you feel comfortable and safe doing it.