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Interesting Findings And World Unfolding Through My Eyes.

Monday, September 3, 2007

The life Of Call Girl

To the potential sex workers who write me:

“Looking to try this,” you say. “Is it really, really awful?” you ask. Some of you sound reluctant, like you want to be told no. Others like you’re just looking for the word to bolt into a new lifestyle. You’re college students and single moms and probably none of you as sweet and fresh-faced as I’m picturing. You want tips and pointers and even when you’re asking about prices and services, the question deep down at the bottom of your emails is “If I do this, will I be ok?”

I know I’m not the only reason you want to try sex work. But I know also that you’re responding to something you’ve found in my writing–the vicarious thrill of someone who seems to have played with fire and barely singed her fingertips. That glamour exists–the empowerment of getting away with something, embracing your sexuality and behaving in a way society tells you you’re not supposed to. It can be empowering to get something back on the body that has for so long been used and abused and objectified. And the money is good. But there’s another side to this deal that I’m afraid I haven’t shown you.

It’s not easy to write about prostitution in a totally honest way because it is painful. Painful like being fat growing up and having people yell lardass at you out car windows and strangers approaching you on the street to tell you to lose weight. Painful like being a 13-year-old girl saving her virginity for marriage and being held down and robbed of that. I am embarrassed to talk about my pain, about the times I have been hurt. Especially when the road there was tricky and circuitous and partially of my own design. It’s hard for me to sift through the detritus, much easier to poke fun, to glam it up, to be some badass character. You guys don’t come to this blog to be depressed and there is plenty to write about that isn’t depressing. But when I get these letters, I see the danger in that approach.

I want to be very clear that I recommend this lifestyle for no one. It is easy enough to cross the line because the line is invisible. Much harder still to go back, to return to a time when you shared no piece of yourself with strange men, men you don’t like, even men who don’t like you. I detached myself completely from the work I was doing and felt that I was getting off scot-free with minimal psychological impact. I was having fun at first; I felt beautiful and confident and adored and I was financially secure for the first time ever. But those nights found their way underneath my skin. They just burrowed down deep under the folds of my subconscious like a rat nestled at the bottom of a shopping bag.

The first thing that happened is I started throwing up. After a job, too shiftless and scattered to cook dinner, I’d stop and pick up a huge bag of chips or order a whole pizza. I’d gorge myself until I felt nauseous, then bend over my toilet and make myself puke. In pictures from this period my eyes are puffy and swollen and dotted red with busted blood vessels underneath. I look older than I do now.

I drank too much and fell down the stairs in my heels a lot. I was lucky that I didn’t get into the harder drugs during my hooking days, but I considered free drinks and pot part of the asking price. This got me in trouble.

I saw a Jewish lawyer named Michael about once a week, and we’d chug red wine and smoke a few joints before I put my legs around his neck and let him pound his mattress askew. Afterward, he would ask me to rub his feet, which I did until he abruptly kicked me out. I know it’s no speedball, but the combination of booze and pot in my bloodstream is particularly lethal to my sense of balance.

That night I tripped back into my open-toe heels and prepared myself for the slow downstairs descent, gripping the railing and going down sideways. I had the marijuana-induced sense that each cluster of steps was taking me 1,000 years to navigate. I was supposed to have another appointment, but my cell phone was suddenly very difficult to operate. It was full of numbers, so many numbers, and such tiny buttons.

I lose the narrative thread at that point and the rest comes in flashes –me on the street corner, calling the john on my cell phone, getting in a cab, answering my phone again, talking to a voice I don’t quite recognize but who says I called him and asks me to meet him at the corner of 53rd and 6th. For whatever reason, I gave the cabby the new directions and soon was standing on a new street corner waiting for my mystery dream date. Would he be a stud? Or a dud?

Turns out he was someone I didn’t recognize at all, but I faked it. He kissed me on the cheek and led me back to a bar where friends of his were waiting. I remember desperately trying to pretend I was not falling-out-of-my-seat trashed, but I am sure I was only semi-successful. A part of me wondered if the client had slipped me something, but I wasn’t sure why he would drug me only to ask me to leave. The friends were very nice despite my deplorable state, and when one of them asked where we had met I smiled vacantly and waited for my new friend to connect some dots. “We just met tonight!” he unhelpfully chirped. I shifted through my mental Rolodex-was he a man I was corresponding with on Nerve personals? Or someone I met through Craigslist? Was he a potential trick, and if so, did his friends know I was a hooker? Overwhelmed by the mystery of it all, I told him that I had to leave, and he insisted on walking me back to the train.

Outside, with the fresh air doing little to clear my head, he invited me back to his place. When I told him that I was going home, he led me the wrong way with a grip on my arm. “You’re gonna come back to my place,” he corrected in the chiding tones you’d use with a little girl. My debating skills were weak; I continued to mumblingly insist on going home, but I followed where I was led, despite the fact that I could barely walk.

The last thing I remember is insisting that he wear a condom and being completely ignored.

I woke up in a basement apartment with the sun streaming through the windows onto my naked chest, next to the man whose identity was still completely unknown to me. Unfortunately it was far too late to ask. From what I could remember of the previous night’s events, I can at least be sure he’s an asshole. He never called me after that night. I don’t think about it a lot, but it was something akin to a bottom–I still don’t know who he was.

That didn’t happen just because I was a hooker, but sleeping with men for money made me lower the boundaries around my body. Afterward I had trouble knowing how to say no, because after all what’s it to me to sleep with one more guy? Sometimes it just seemed easier. And detaching myself from some of the demeaning and demoralizing situations I found myself in was hard work, and I held those demons at bay with alcohol. I then got myself into dangerous situations drunk.

I was drunk. I was depressed. I had an eating disorder and practically non-existent self-esteem. Whether the sex work led to these issues or these issues drew me to sex work, within 6 months I was a straight-up mess, and not a hot one either. I am still in therapy and I still struggle with depression, now with the help of my round white boyfriend named Lex A. Pro.

I am a tangle of contradictions. I am not ashamed of my choices and I will fully defend mine or anyone else’s right to make them. But when you ask me if you should do this? My immediate instinct is a loud, desperate no. It’s hard for me to write you back. I can’t make your decisions for you, but I am scared for you. I just want you to know that for every dollar you make there is a price. It’s up to you to decide if that price is worth paying.

College Callgirl, who promises to be funnier tomorrow

Posted by Ajay :: 9:48 AM :: 0 comments

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