A friend of mine recently looked into the possibly of becoming a paid escort. A prostitute. The thing I found funny about this was the fact that she really didn’t need the money, but she was insulted by the pittance she was told she’d receive anyway. Most of her research revealed that after the agency had taken its cut of the payment, she’d be left with only 200 (or so) dollars per client, an amount that she considered too meagre to consider.
Women turn to this sort of thing all the time, and for many different reasons. The most obvious reason might be that the woman needs the money, and sex work is a good way to pay the bills. My research has revealed that often this type of person will not make very much after all, choosing to spend most of their profits unwisely on things such as designer clothes and handbags, or expensive manicures and facials, or even holidays, because she feels that ‘she deserves it’ for all her hard work.
Other women (and I use female sex workers only in this example, although I acknowledge that there are many male escorts too) do it because they have been recently hurt by someone, usually a partner, and they are taking up the work to ‘get back’ at the entire male sex. They feel that by choosing to sell their bodies they are making a stand and taking something back which they feel has been lost. These women often end up cold, empty and lifeless.
Another type of woman may decide to go into this line of work because they genuinely enjoy sex and feel that they might be able to make a good profit, often holding down another job while they do escort work on the side. From what I have read, although these women go into the profession with the best of intentions, they often end up as cold and heartless as the first two kinds of women. It only takes one inconsiderate and rough client to start to erode their sense of self-respect.
I used to think that this sort of work was harmless, although I could never consider doing it myself. I thought that in a post-modernist-feminist world, why shouldn’t women be allowed to profit from something they have which is in demand. But we all know the reason. Allowing people into your personal space (your body) that you do not know and love is an aberration. It is showing disrespect to the corporeal self and probably has karmic repercussions (if you believe in that sort of stuff).
I’m sure there are a few people who can dip in and out of this sort of work without too much going wrong. My opinion is that it’s hard enough when your corporate boss criticises a report you’ve handed in, imagine the feelings of rejection and humiliation if it was criticism of your sexual role or performance.
Many years ago I ventured into a strip club with some friends. We had all been to a few nightclubs (ok I was younger back then) and to be risqué, we all decided (guys and girls) to go into a strip club. Luckily for me, it was free for women to enter the premises and I got a good look at some of the ladies who were performing up on stage. Rather than the bedazzled, hard-bodied and glamorous strippers I had imagined, they really just looked like regular women.
I found out later from one of the guys in our group that many of the strippers at that particular club were simply university students, trying to make a few extra dollars to pay for their tuition (or their shopping habits, who knows?). It certainly seemed like a reasonable premise to me. I was particularly taken by one woman on stage. She looked about 23 and was neither particularly fat nor thin. She was just an average Jane.
She did have a lovely set of breasts and I was mesmerised watching her gyrate rather amateurishly up on stage. She still had a spangly bra on at that point, and I changed my mind when I heard her speak to the crowd. She was trying to have someone in the crowd give her money to take her bra off.
“Ten dollars?” she said to the crowd. “To take my top off?” She eyeballed the crowd and there were no takers. Asking again she started to sound a little desperate.”Ten dollars?! Anyone got ten dollars? Come ON!”
It was at that point that I realised I could never, ever do what she was doing. I thought to myself, “The moment I’m up on a stage asking for a tenner to take my top off, I know I’m in trouble.”
Seriously. I find it hard when no one likes a photo of my holiday on Facebook, imagine how it would feel to be refused a ten dollar note to bare your breasts. How embarrassing. I probably didn’t have ten dollars that evening and even if I did, I probably wouldn’t have given it to her anyway. I’m not sure why. I guess it just seemed like the crowd was embarrassed and ‘put on the spot’.
So- going back to being a prostitute. Imagine if someone asked for a refund? Imagine if they were cruel to you? Imagine if any one of the millions of petty frustrations that manifest in a regular office job came to light while you were on your back (or your knees)? I really couldn’t bear it!
I’m not sure if my friend will go through with it or not. She’s quite pretty, university educated, a lovely body, but she is the wrong side of 30. Having said that, many of the women who work in the sex industry work up until their fifties and beyond.
I’ll finish with a quote from Churchill here:
“Churchill: “Madam, would you sleep with me for five million pounds?” Socialite: “My goodness, Mr. Churchill… Well, I suppose… we would have to discuss terms, of course… ”
Churchill: “Would you sleep with me for five pounds?”
Socialite: “Mr. Churchill, what kind of woman do you think I am?!” Churchill: “Madam, we’ve already established that. Now we are haggling about the price” (Winston S. Churchill)