By Anonymous Academic
I wasn't an addict, a victim, a professional, experienced, a novice, or an offender. I was a person who happened to work temporarily as a sex worker for about three months, actually. I ended up making about $25,000. If I had accepted the numerous offers that involved the sharing of bodily fluids, I would have made more, but I was quite careful. First, because I didn't want to end up infected with HIV, and second because I knew "the pigs" often made those offers to catch you for selling sex.
Of course, all of those previous categories fit me in some way or another, but I like to think of the time I worked as an escort as MY choice. I certainly reasoned my way through the possibilities, assessed my goals, and preferences, evaluated pay outs, and finally came to the judgement that my most rational course of action at the time was to become an escort. I can't remember exactly how the idea occurred to me, save for its being a pretty random event.
My problem was that my mom with whom I was living at the time, and who had just divorced my father, spent all of the money from the settlement, and we didn't know how to pay rent. Also, I was a spoiled daddy's girl, and so was accustomed to a certain lifestyle I was not willing to give up, which did, I must admit, involve a lot of partying too. But hell I was 19 years old -- that's what a lot of 19 year olds do.
The only exception to my stringent policy of using protection was when I was with the manager -- Georgie. He was my first trick, and I was always his first choice whenever he came around. I remember his smell, and his hairy chest, his beer belly, and yes, the heavy gold chain he wore around his neck, and the big white limo I dreaded every time I saw it coming down the street. Strangely, I do not remember his penis. The first time I tricked, I made $100 for about 15 minutes of work. I left the agency kind of numb, but excited and proud at the same time.
I admit I was very good at this job, and that gave me some self-esteem. I got thousand dollar tips quite frequently. I built up a lot of regulars. The agency, of course, took their cut, but the tips were all mine. It was worth it for the safety and protection I got in return.
The "girls" and "boss" always encouraged me to wear more make up. In other words, to look more like a whore, but I just wasn't that type. And at least one of the secrets that the good ones know is that it is often times not about the sex for the men that visit prostitutes, but often about loneliness, about the desire to pretend for a just a while that they are actually with a woman who is real and who wants to be with them, not put on a show. A natural looking woman fits the bill, since it allowed them to forget where they were and indulge their fantasy that a real woman wanted them. I was also very good at pretending that I enjoyed it. And sometimes, against my will, I did.
Those times that I orgasmed against my will were the worst. They made me feel guilty and degraded and ashamed. But I learned that the idea that women can only enjoy sex in the context of love was completely wrong. Women were just as physically oriented genitally as men. They just had hang ups about it.
I also came to believe that there was more than one good reason to have sex. For me, now, there will always be two: money or love. Now, of course, it would take a lot more money. More money than anyone would be willing to pay for a woman my age these days. There's a kind of freedom in that.
I guess my point is that my experience as an escort was neither all good nor all bad, just like many other jobs of course. The bad things mostly involved some of my regulars: the guy that did me for the full hour every single time because he couldn't get off, the creepy one who always talked dirty to me and made me feel dirty and then made me come, the one guy who looked and smelled like my father. The good things were that I was financially independent, the amount of time I spent "working" was minimal, maybe 10 hours a week, and the power I felt from finally having the ability to use my sexuality to my benefit instead of feeling like I was being taken advantage of. I felt like I was the exploiter now, and that felt good for a change.
It also changed my view of men and men's sexuality. Something to be manipulated, instead of resisted. I still, to this day, divide men into friends, lovers, and "marks." Of course, many would say that having to take this avenue as an avenue to power is just another result of oppression. I agree. But under the circumstances, I'll take any edge I can get.