Tuesday, May 27, 2008

I Decided That This Was a Weird Moral Decision to Make Anyway

My story as a working girl is an ongoing one, and somewhat less than textbook, though, to be honest, I have no idea what the textbook case is.

About me: I am nineteen years old, good-looking, with a great figure, enough to do modelling now and again when I feel like it. Guys buy my drinks, drive me home and light my cigarettes. So why oh why, you might wonder, did a girl like me turn to being an escort?

The reason is simple: money. I have a student loan and an overdraft to pay off, along with rather large phone bills (what being a sociable person gets you), and a miserable part-time job in a bar that has, up until now, paid minimum wage. Full-time work is near impossible to find, and there is no way that I can drink, smoke and get around on sixty a week; the taxi home from work costs ten alone. I know that might contradict the previous paragraph, but I do like to be independent sometimes.

Another thing is that since becoming sexually active, I have become somewhat cynical of men and their motives. I’m good in bed, I instinctively know what to do and how to do it, and men love it. And after being used in the past, I have decided that I’m going to use them as well; might as well get something out of it, rather than waiting for the phone to ring!

As well as that, I do not see prostitution as a stigma, like some people do. I have always been for the legalisation of the profession; after all, it is jokingly referred to as ‘the oldest job in the world’, and every joke has a grain of truth to it. If it has existed for so long, wagging your finger at it is not going to make it go away all of a sudden. And what is so bad about it? Why has having casual sex become acceptable, yet charging for it is not? And why consistently put women in danger of mugging, sexually transmitted infections and bodily harm for doing nothing but using their body to earn money? There are far worse ways, like robbery, or conning a charity. And what about trafficking?

But I digress; I am not here to debate the legalisation or to tell you all about the dangers that working girls go through; I am sure you must have heard about it at some point. Moving on to yours truly, I am a fully fledged Internet addict (not much else to do all week), so I registered on a website that is an adult version of personal ads sites, where people register and look for people to have sex with. My profile looks for someone ‘generous’ and ‘non-judgemental’ to ‘help me pay off my overdraft’, and I have no face photos on there – after all, I do know a lot of people, and being seen on there soliciting would do me no good.

I also posted an ad on Craigslist, which is slightly more problematic, because as opposed to being click on the sender and being taken to their profile detailing their location, interests, photos etc, I have to ask people for this before I begin sending photos.

Within days, I’ve had numerous interest from both sites, from old men and guys that were married to their jobs, and guys that wanted webcam fun (no way in hell), and weirdos, and guys whose fantasy was to pay a girl for sex. I spent some time oscillating between telling myself I couldn’t afford to be picky and if they were paying for it then there was no reason to discriminate, and feeling disgusted at the thought of sleeping with some of them. In the end I decided that this was a weird moral decision to make anyway and there was no reason to begin to hate myself in the process by having sex with people that made my skin crawl.

I’ve never done this sort of thing before, so I didn’t really know how to go about the whole safety thing, but I used common sense, suggesting hotels and using my intuition – a useful tool that many women ignore, and better to be safe than sorry! Prices-wise, I looked at the guy and asked for either a hundred, hundred and fifty or two hundred, without a set timeframe though. Most of them wanted to go for a drink or two before the ‘main event’, which was fine by me, as I am generally quite an aloof and standoffish person, and need alcohol to warm up. One person moaned about a hundred and suggested sixty, to which I replied that a) I was not a street walker and b) I did not make deals or negotiate. Others had no problem with two hundred and paying for the hotel.

The only difficult thing for me is to be nice to people who are genuinely stupid, through no fault of their own, just a lack of brain cells, and to be forthcoming to guys in general. My general stance is to be slightly sceptical of them, to be sarcastic and to make them feel slightly insecure; here, I have to laugh at their lame jokes and pretend to find them adorable because I feel like I have to. It’s hard to explain but I guess the basic idea is that I don’t suck up to men, ever, and now I have to be nice to them. It’s a novel way to behave for me!

My first john was a guy called S, that looked a bit stupid but not particularly ugly in his photo; he was from the personals website. He was fine with a hundred and fifty. We arranged to meet in a car park, and I was about half an hour late because I was staying at the house of the guy I was seeing – shock horror, how unprofessional! I know I mentioned staying in a hotel and letting people know where I was, but who could know where I was? Besides, I knew the town I was going to well and could make my way to the train station if anything happened.

We went back to his and had a few drinks (me, as he had to drive), chatted about things and then there was that awkward moment where he clearly wanted to move things on but didn’t want to throw me on the bed and I was at the “oh my god, what am I doing?” stage, but we moved on. The sex was fine, he clearly loved it (the words ‘incredible’ etc featured a lot) and I wasn’t really complaining. He went to take money out of his bank account (should have asked for it up front, I know) and it wouldn’t come out, so he gave me his iPod as something to keep until he got it, and indeed I did get it a few days later.

Now he wants to take me to dinner before going back to his, and I’m thinking, isn’t this not what men do with call girls? It seems a bit formal, and not my thing, and to be honest I don’t want anything to do with him other than getting paid – not because he paid for it the first time round, but because we have nothing in common and he doesn’t particularly entice me as a person.

I’m seeing a guy right now that doesn’t know about this side of my life, and I’m not going to tell him. I want to discuss things with him soon – if he wants a relationship, then I will stop this immediately and try to pay off my overdraft the ‘honest’ way, and if he doesn’t then I will carry on. That way, I have a backup either way…

Monday, May 19, 2008

I Wanted Them To Leave Happy

The rooms were small, most had a corner shower but one had a hot tub. In the winter we'd run the hot water a while to warm them up. The guys would come in, pay $25 for a half hour and pick their girl. For $40 they could get laid, or "half and half," a blow job was $30, but some girls would do it for less. The desk didn't care if you took less, but they'd fine you or cut your shifts if they found out you were over charging. The year was 1979 and this was a massage parlor in small town Connecticut. I worked there two years, and I loved it. I had a college degree from a good school, real jobs, no drug problems, no loser boyfriend or pimp. Each girl had a kind of persona--sex kitten, earth mother, grad student, biker chic, victim. I went with preppy girl next door. I gave great blow-jobs, didn't always make them wear a rubber, let some kiss me, faked great orgasms when I wasn't actually having one, listened endlessly, commiserated, told amazing stories, and was very very popular. I usually worked 4 days a week, preferably the day shift, on a good day I'd see 9 or 10 guys, a slow day maybe 3. I had a lot of regulars--lawyers, truck drivers, shrinks, clergy of every kind, a famous writer, old guys, regular guys. I averaged $1200 to $1400 a week. We did not have to kick back any to the desk. I saved my money, and invested it. Remember now, at this time, teachers were making maybe $15,000 a year. Most of my friends from college were making less than $200 a week. I wanted to buy a house, maybe open a restaurant. The two guys who owned the place were easy to get along with, not abusive, mostly just business men. Once in a while they'd hit a girl up for "extras," but overall they were benign. They pretty much left us alone. The girls more or less got along. We could wear what we wanted, some chose lingerie, some leotards or one piece swimsuits, I wore short shorts and heels (remember candies mules?) or in winter, boots. We read magazines, watched soaps, constantly ordered food, talked-talked-talked. If a girl fit in--didn't try to over charge, didn't overtly try to steal customers from other girls or take them "outside," did her share of the work, and didn't shoot drugs, she could stay. If not, we'd push her out. We were mostly in our 20's, but one was at least 50. All sizes, some very cute, some not. Some girls never had more than 1 or 2 guys a shift, some of us would have a lot of appointments and guys lined up, waiting. There were 5 girls on a shift and 4 rooms. The guy would pay for his time out front, come into the lounge and pick who he wanted, we'd put him in any available room and tell him to get undressed and to take a shower. They didn't always want to and that was up to the girl. No talking about "services" or money until they were naked. This was in case they were cops, but in the time I was there, we were never bothered, although I don't know why. I learned real quick to get the money up front. The rooms each had a large, solid massage table, a small table with a lamp, and a radio. There was a TV mounted up high and they could pay $5 extra to have a porn movie on, which most of the girls hated--it almost felt like competition, more than help. Sometimes, especially if it was their first time, we'd start out giving them the massage they were ostensibly there for. If he was a regular they'd just put the money on the table and we'd go from there. Some of the guys were really great--some had great bodies and were young and good looking, some were quick and easy, some wanted to go down on you. I would tolerate it briefly if they weren't so good at it (most), and lay back and enjoy it if they were. I got off a lot. If I didn't, I faked it. Either way, they loved it. For the fucking I liked to be on top--more control, but sometimes I'd let them do it doggy. I did not take it up the ass. Still, I was always in control. I tried to be patient, and would really work hard to get them off, but I would not let them pound me endlessly. I'd use my tits, I'd lick their balls, sometimes I'd end up having to jerk them off, many guys have a hard time coming. I wanted them to leave happy. If they were impossible to please, looking for trouble, drunk, coked up, or hateful, I'd get them out fast and wouldn't see them again. Sometimes, if I could see right from the beginning that we weren't going to get along, I'd try to get another girl to take them, or get them to go for a two-some. Usually in the two girl sessions we'd fake going down on each other, but there were always a few girls you could really do it with. Some guys were not so great. Cheap, grabby, hard to do, demanding, stinky, crude. They would try to get away with things by saying that another girl had done it, so you should too. We all got stuck doing these guys from time to time. I found that there seemed to be less problem guys, more older guys (easier) on the day shifts. Most times we'd finish and lay there talking until their time was up. Some guys were more interested in talking than getting off. Yes, we had the foot fetishists, the slaves, the others. These guys always had to pay extra, so most of us liked doing them. One guy, in particular, we all loved. We called him "park bench." He did not get undressed, he laid face down on the table, and the girl sat on him, naked, reading a magazine, not talking to him. After about 20 minutes he'd say thank-you, and that was it. I had a lot of regulars, and some that I really liked, that maybe not many other girls would. One guy who was in his 90's and couldn't afford much, he was a $20 hand job. He did get off, but not much came out. I worried when I didn't see him for a while. I had a very very fat guy, very smart interesting guy, he was not easy to do, but he was generous, and I liked him. More than one highly neurotic professor, and a very acerbic conductor (symphonies not trains) that was a very smart unhappy man--but fun to talk to. Some guys were almost like real lovers, I liked them, most of course were instantly forgettable. The worst things that happened to me? I got ripped off a couple of times, once by a girl, and I got crabs once which completely freaked me out. No diseases, no violence, no bad dreams. I always liked sex before selling it, and I still do. I have always felt good about myself. It has always seemed to me that it was more like being a therapist, albeit a very intimate one, than something dirty or immoral. I left this place for a trick (what he was as I didn't even like him) who set me up in a condo and gave me money to open a restaurant (I absconded). I worked as a very high end escort in NYC (big money, studio 54, drugs, some well known guys), ran my own service in South Florida for a year (a girl got raped and beat up--I closed the service), got married, got divorced, and am now back in the business. I live in a very hip, alternative, new-agey mountain town, where being 50ish is not the kiss of death for a woman. I'm calling it "intimate touch for healing and well-being." I found I missed it. Also, I grow organic vegetables.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

I Am Just An Ordinary Woman With The Knack Of Making People Love And Trust Me

I am not terribly good at writing letters, which is strange because my day job is one for which I write constantly. I am a journalist call girl. Or at least I was, until recently. I met someone. I quit before he had a chance to ask me to. It's just easier that way.

I think at this juncture, I should defend the men that came to see me. There was nothing wrong with them, and they were not perverts. Most of my clients were single, unhappily married or married to a person that couldn't understand their needs. One even had a wife with cancer. I know you're probably thinking that he's the worst of all, but sex is important. He needed the comfort and solace of flesh against flesh, and in today's society, the only way to get the flesh against flesh comfort is sex.

I guess my role as a sex worker was to reclaim the human contact that has been lost with our island centric way of living. When was the last time you truly just held a person that wasn't your lover with no thoughts of the sensuality of the situation? Touch used to be a very important thing for people. We want to be touched. We need to be touched. Truth be told, I did more pillow talk snuggling with my clients than anything else. Even the submissive clients, after their fill of their fetish, wanted to be cherished. The older men and the lonely men, which seemed to go hand in hand, raced through coitus and settled down for the rest of their time with my head on their chest to talk about their days. This is not the behaviour of deviants and perverts. This is the behaviour of a person reaching out for affection.

I think our world is in a sad state when a man, in order to get the affection, touch and attention that he requires for his mental well being, has to go to a sex worker. I will concede that some men's fetishes are a little too hot to hold for me, but on the whole, nothing that I consented to was so weird that the asker thereof should have a look of shame and disgust on his face as he asked it. I know you probably think that I'm desensitized to sexual weirdness, but a blow job is not weird. Men were ashamed of blow jobs. That was the taboo activity. Some men were even ashamed to enjoy girl on top coitus. Is our world so upside down that for a man to enjoy a woman in a seat of power is wrong?

I know my thoughts have been all over the place, but it's hard to write about these things without being outraged and a little mixed up. I also realize that I've said very little about me. Well, there's very little to tell. At first I needed the money, then I wanted the money. After the thoughts of the money dried up in my head, I turned myself to analysing my clients. In them I found a rich burial ground of feelings. They felt neglected, used, put upon and some other things that make me wish I went to school for psychiatry instead of journalism.

I am just an ordinary woman with the knack of making people love and trust me. These were just men who needed to love somebody who would let them. It's all so simple. Not complicated in the least. There were no perversions too perverse to get in the way of the trusting bond that was needed. Women suffer out loud, and men suffer in silence. Until we allow men to suffer out loud, many a wife will wonder where her husband is during his lunch hour, and in my opinion, a lot of those wives deserve it. (Not all of those wives.)

Of course, my life as a pampered call girl was a little different than the life of a pimped girl. I had the comfort of working in my own home and the freedom to choose with whom I slept. I wouldn't trade my experience for the world. My life as a hooker taught me all about the many faces of love and truth. Not to mention, I can curl a man's toes without even trying. I am proud of me.

Monday, May 5, 2008

I'm Dressed To Kill

I am writing this with an hour before I meet a new john, and as always I am nervous, my heart beats faster and I'm dressed to kill. What boots! What a skirt! If my teenage self could see me now she would swoon with envy and pride. I look amazing and I know it, but that's not the point.

I am also, as always, conflicted. As a women with radical feminist politics, this is the one area where I diverge from the dominant opinions of that group. I am constantly evaluating how I can be a truly feminist sex worker. For me that question of feminist integrity matters more than how to be a safe sex worker, a high paid sex worker, or anything else. My integrity is the most important thing, and I never do anything with a john that I wouldn't do by my own choice.

I turn down the piss requests, the "will you let my dog fuck you?" guys, the ones who try to bargain for more time and less money. I do not turn down the ugly ones, the lonely ones, the very hairy and sexually confused ones. There is something in me that loves them and their small perversions, loves the taboo of sex work and the incredibly novel situations that I find myself in. As an Ivy league masters candidate, this is not my last resort. I've lived with the love of my life for years and am satisfied in every way by our love/sex/friendship. I'm educated and well adjusted, yet I am also a working girl. We tend to defy your expectations, don't we?

For me sex work is more intellectual than anything else. My reward is the money, but most importantly the understanding.

The truth is, I often feel less safe around men I'm not sleeping with for money, the ones who harass me on the street or at my day job. The patriarchy is so overpowering and omnipresent that my feminist self feels in danger almost everywhere. What I like about sex work is the exploration, the digging through layers of sexism and sexual politics, finding where I stand and how men act when they are given free reign. It's a chance to dig through the hidden and bizarre aspects of our lives, and it fascinates me.

Sometimes johns are beautiful. Sometimes they are violent, or threatening.

But they always teach me something, however small, about the realities of human existence and I feel privileged that they let me in.