• Mon, Jun 11 2012

Harlotry: How I Became A Whore

I decided I wanted to be a prostitute when I was seventeen. Most people assume I made this decision because I had seen Pretty Woman too many times, because my parents didn’t hug me enough, or because I was somehow coerced into my decision. None of these assumptions are correct. I’ve always been prone to viewing my life more as a story or a series of discrete experiences than as an actual life of connected events. However, saying I decided to join the oldest profession to advance my story is also overly simplistic.

During my teen years, almost all of my friends were older than me and many of my female friends were sex workers. Unlike my civilian friends, my sex worker friends never worried about rent, yet almost always had money for nice things. They weren’t rich by any means–most sex workers aren’t–but they were secure. They were also incredibly cool. Of course, I wasn’t so stupid to think their jobs were easy: the fact that they could juggle both the outside prejudice and the layers of euphemism (even deceit) their professions required was… inspiring to me.

Still. Despite my admiration for the sex workers I knew, I probably would never have become one myself if it weren’t for my friend Leslie.

Leslie was slightly closer to my age than most of my other friends. She had a kind of luminous sensuality and an ability to manipulate men that I admired . She had a regular job at a trendy shoe store that I wished I could afford to patronize, and she took appointments with what she called “Mr. Spankys.” Mr. Spankys were men who paid girls to lie across their knees and get spanked. It seemed sort of glamorous. Better yet, they usually paid her between $150 and $200. The more she told me about it, the more attractive the idea became.

…But I figured I was too young. One day, I shared my sorrow with Leslie and she just looked at me.

“Um, they don’t card or anything, you know?” she said.

Somehow–despite the fact that this was all organized via Craigslist and although I had been buying cigarettes since I was fourteen–it never occurred to me that I didn’t necessarily have to be of age to be a sex worker. With that, all of my problems were solved! It didn’t matter that I was a little girl with an armful of bad tattoos! I would be able to move out of my mother’s house completely! No one would ever be the boss of me again!

My enthusiasm for the idea of being an unstoppable sex worker team was really all it took to convince Leslie. She called me the next day to tell me that she had convinced a new Mr. Spanky to see both of us at the same time. He would pay us $500 each, and was I free that weekend?

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  • Jon

    ended kind of abruptly for my taste but interesting nonetheless

    • E. K. W.

      Agreed. I want to know more!

    • porkchop

      I would also like to know more, and I’ll try not to hope it’s all as good as this:

      “I’ve always been prone to viewing my life more as a story or a series of discrete experiences than as an actual life of connected events.”

      I mean, that is one hell of a sentence.

    • Ashley Cardiff

      I am particularly fond of, “It took me a few months to work up the nerve to post an advertisement. In the meantime I got spanked a lot, gave a few footjobs, bought a lot of shoes, and considered the pros and cons of going all the way to real prostitution.”

    • Cate

      You guys are so nice…I’m seriously overwhelmed.

  • Jamie Peck

    I like your stories so far, Cathryn Berarovich, and am excited to read the rest of them.

    • Jon

      i hope she uses your terry richardson article as a blueprint for this column. footjobs are all well and good but we need a period joke in there somewhere.

    • Jamie Peck

      Tampon tea for all!

    • Cate

      Thank you Jamie! I hope that there will be many more. I certainly have plenty of stories to tell.

  • L

    Lady, you have the balls i never will. bravo!

  • MM

    Did anyone else read this and think: wow, you can actually get paid $100+ just to be spanked?? I could use some shoe money.

    • Fabel

      I did! I’m afraid to continue reading this series, because I’m already halfway convinced into joining this profession.

    • MM

      I doubt I’d be able to go as far as sex or even handjobs – I would get terrible performance anxiety and I’m not a great actress. But getting spanked? You don’t even have to do anything! It sounds like a pretty good way to make some extra cash on the side.

    • Hana

      Yes haha! But I also thought men pay to just spank a girl, nothing else? You’ve got to be kidding me… Spanking turns many people on, but they all have to get off at some point, so they spank you and then let you leave? It’s a little too fluffy to me, does not sound realistic.

  • Janna

    I’m intrigued. Very enjoyable and fascinating to read! Looking forward to more. I chuckled at: “Uhm…They don’t card you or anything, you know.”

  • Sabrina

    Can’t wait to read more! Thanks for sharing

  • tatts

    interesting :)

  • Rehtak

    Love this. “It may seem strange, but I wasn’t concerned about the sex. I was already having mediocre sex with near-strangers regularly enough that I viewed prostitution as just getting paid to refrain from kicking the asshole out of bed.”

    Can’t wait to read more.

  • Will

    So basically you hung around with a bunch of literal whores who convinced an impressionable underage girl to enter into a life of prostitution for purely materialistic indulgence? Cool story sis. Underage sex work is awesome! Maybe even reading this glowing review of whoredom will recruit a few more 15 year old girls to run away from home and join you! Fingers crossed!

    • Miss C

      With you 100% on this one Will.

    • Cate

      If you read the essay thoroughly, you would have noticed that I was eighteen by the time I actually ascended to full-fledged prostitution.

      I’m glad that this piece caused you to have such strong feelings that you were inspired to make several condescending comments, but I hope that in the future you’ll refrain from attempting to impose your own morality upon others.

    • Miss C

      @Cathryn, I was curious to see if you’d written about anything else, so googled your name, and see that you mention in your Pinterest profile that you are “disgusted by feminism.”

      So I think that issue, rather than morality per se, is the cause of the differences in viewpoint here: I am incidentally also a former sex worker myself (15 years past and counting – people would probably pay me to keep my clothes ON these days!) so a shot at “morality” misses very badly, in my case at least.

      One of the issues feminsts come up against time and again is “personal exceptionalism” – in which situations that en masse can clearly be seen as damaging to the wellbeing of women don’t have to be addressed in one’s own particular case, because of some unique factor about amazing old you that lifts you above the common run of things – for example, it’s okay for your husband to punch you, because you’re actually into S&M and/or have a high pain threshold, it’s okay to be paid less because your rent is low and hey! You’d just waste the money anyway – and so on. The old saying “the personal IS the political” is the counter-argument to this reasoning.

      My concern about your article wasn’t that you made these choices: it was that your portrayal of an underage person entering the sex industry (not yet full-on prostitution, but allowing men to inflict pain on you in a sexual context, and so on) glossed over the possible dangers that are so much more a part of that profession than of almost any other, and portrayed your experiences in a way that focused solely on the joys, benefits, and safety of this work.

      That makes it all look damned appealing to young women desperate to get independence and some money in their purses – which is worrying, because although prostitution carries some unique health risks, as well as social stigma, levels of addiction, and violence, it seems to be very hard for many of the women to just walk away once they’re drawn in.

    • Cate

      I should have specified that my reply was directed at Will, not you. While I don’t agree with you on all points, you seem to approach this issue much more respectfully than he did.

      This particular piece is written under a pseudonym, but that was my actual Pinterest profile (I actually forgot I had started that, I should probably take it down since I never use it).

      I feel as if I should probably elaborate on the disgust I feel towards feminism. While I obviously bear no hatred towards women, and there are even parts of feminism that I agree with wholeheartedly (the fact that a patriarchal system hurts men too, for instance), I feel as if simple feminism is far too exclusionary. At this point in time, most women in Western societies are faced with plenty of problems, yes, but so are men. I don’t think I’m alone in my belief that this society is very, very broken in an awful lot of ways, and I believe that focusing on the problems of just one gender, whether male or female, is not only not going to fix our problems, but could actually make them worse.

  • Will

    Thank god theres nothing more important for a woman to strive for in life than the ability to purchase multiple pairs of expensive designer shoes!

    *watches as women’s health coverage is gutted and both abortion and birth control become illegal in America*

    • Jamie Peck

      Please mansplain to us how it’s sex workers’ fault that conservative male politicians are doing these things. Or how having a job (which is all being a whore is) precludes someone from caring about these things. I’ll wait.

    • Will

      Because promoting, advertising, and recruiting for the underage prostitution industry means youre working for the Patriarchy, obv

      Maybe you should get a real perspective on underage prostitution that doesnt read like an unused script for a shitty Julia Roberts movie: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/06/12/child-sex-trafficking-la-county-campaign-video_n_1590842.html

    • Will

      And “mansplaining”, nice touch. Because as we all know, the central tenet of Feminism is that the worth and veracity of a persons statements are based entirely on what kind of sexual plumbing theyve got going on downstairs. Real progressive.

    • Jamie Peck

      How is she “recruiting” merely by telling her story? Where exactly does she say that prostitution is unqualifiedly awesome and everyone should do it? And it says right up there that she didn’t start having sex for money until she was 18. And yeah, I will continue to take offense when men tell women what they should and shouldn’t do with their bodies, whether it’s couched in “feminism” or conservative rhetoric.

    • Will

      “How is she “recruiting” merely by telling her story? Where exactly does she say that prostitution is unqualifiedly awesome and everyone should do it?”

      Please dont be so disingenuously naive. We’re all intelligent people here, i know that you know how advertising works, how recruitment works, how “grooming” works. Painting a pretty and false picture of how easy and safe it is for young women to enter into a life of fulfilling the perverse and neurotic sexual demands of wealthy male sex criminals is pretty obviously a direct harm. How do you feel about people extolling to black teenagers the benefits of a life of selling drugs? Do you think thats done them a lot of good?

      And this thing about “full-on prositution” vs “quasi-prostitution” or however youre trying to dismiss the underage portion of her sex work career: how is that any different from Patriarchal dismissals of non-penetrative rape as not being “real rape” or “RAPE rape”? Its literally the exact same argument.

      And im not telling anyone what to do with their bodies. Im telling them what to do with their influence. If the writer of this article wants to continue to be a prostitute, thats fine. What i take issue with is her being a bad influence and obviously promoting something that is an EXTREMELY harmful lifestyle for 99% of the women in it. The writer’s depiction of sex work is either a) intentionally deceptive and false, or b) incredibly anecdotal and non-representative.

      Maybe its her upper-class upbringing, maybe she just got lucky. But most young girls who enter into prostitution become victims of drug addiction and CONTINUAL abuse at the hands of men. I know youre just dying to sandbag me with accusations of “male privilege”, but i suspect the only privilege being expressed here is the privilege of wealth, and the inherent shield of safety it brings. Most sex workers dont have that benefit, and she should recognize that before she exerts her influence to others.

      Just because youre a woman doesnt mean your every action is non-harmful to other women. Just because youre a woman doesnt mean youre not an unconscious agent and perpetuator of the Patriarchy.

    • Jamie Peck

      Wow, it’s so cool that you know so much more than me about sex work. Where did you get that 99% statistic? What kinds of studies did you do? CITE YOUR SOURCES.
      I’m not gonna argue with you any more on here because this is getting concern trolly and ridiculous, but feel free to go read Tits And Sass, a website for and by sex workers. Try as you might, you cannot silence them.

    • Will

      “Wow, it’s so cool that you know so much more than me about sex work. ”

      What you “know” is non-objective an anecdotal. Your defensive, reflexive response is no different than an addict accusing a psychologist of knowing nothing about drug addiction just because hes sober. If you were groomed or recruited into sex work, then by definition your perceptions on the subject cannot be entirely trusted. The fact that you think your very PERSONAL experience somehow magically invalidate decades of statistics and consensus on the harm caused by the deeply exploitative sex work industry alone is proof of that. The illusion of personal empowerment is a common defense mechanism when living under a system of exploitation and oppression.

      Tell me, a man who pays 16 year old girls to let him slap them around…what kind of man is that? A feminist? Does a grown man using the Patriarchal power of capitalist wealth to coerce an underage girl into allowing herself to be used and debased for his own selfish gratification really seem like a form of female empowerment to you? If so, then i guess its over, the CIA has successfully won the Cultural Cold War, and true progressivism is dead and buried. We’re all Patty Hearst now.

  • S Buydens

    Well written article. I would just hope that girls doing this type of work would understand the value of investment. Of course every girl wants a new pair of shoes, but does she always need it. Why not invest that money in say real estate? I would be open to discussion on this matter at sherwinfilms@hotmail.com. Thank you!

  • Patricia

    “It may seem strange, but I wasn’t concerned about the sex. I was already having mediocre sex with near-strangers regularly enough that I viewed prostitution as just getting paid to refrain from kicking the asshole out of bed.”

    I love this!

  • Miss C

    Here’s one thing that can gon wrong when teens think selling sex is mainstream, okay, and harmless:

    http://www.leaderpost.com/news/Ottawa+police+charge+girls+with+running+prostitution+ring/6763931/story.html

    If nobody can see a deeply misogynist subtext in underage teenage girls trapping other teenage girls and selling them to adult male clients for sex, then I give up.

  • Miss C

    @Cathryn Berarovich, I’m curious: how did you file your taxes? What did you claim you were working as?

    And do you happen to know offhand what the rate is for sex-workers of all ages in the USA to file 100% complete and accurate tax returns, and to vote?

    This goes to the issue of sex workers, and political factors affecting women’s rights around healthcare.

    I’m curious to know what the stats are on the levels of involvement by sex workers in areas that will help other women access the healthcare they need – or whether, as has been posited, glamorous portrayals of sex work are aimed at appealing to the self-centred desire for a high income to be spent on consumer goods, and to hell with the larger political picture for women.

    • Cate

      Unfortunately I didn’t file taxes during my time as a prostitute, partly because I had no idea what to file AS, and no-one I knew seemed to know either, and partly because I was a dumb eighteen year old who felt like I shouldn’t have to do anything I didn’t want to do. Almost all of the full-time sex workers I’ve known have been either dominatrixes or strippers and could therefore easily file as independent contractors, while the women like Leslie who did sex work to supplement the income from straight jobs filed for their straight jobs and didn’t claim the income from sex work. It’s very, very easy not to claim sex work income since in all but a few fields, such as phone sex or webcam modeling, it’s almost entirely a cash business.

      Due to the illegal nature of prostitution and the stigma attached to other forms of sex work, there isn’t, as far as I know, any accurate data on voting and tax-paying among sex workers. I do know that almost all the sex workers I’ve talked about these issues with vote and many of them pay taxes, but like me, the majority of them have come from relatively privileged backgrounds so I doubt that that’s the most accurate sampling.

      As to involvement in women’s healthcare, it really depends on the sex worker. There are facilities such as the St. James Infirmary in San Francisco that is run by and for sex workers, and I’m sure there are other ones around the country, but it’s not something that I personally have much knowledge about.

      I think it’s possible that glamorized portrayals of sex work might be aimed at appealing for a desire for consumer goods, but most people who enter the sex industry expecting to strike it rich will likely be sorely disappointed. Most sex workers aren’t rich, we are comfortable, yes, but even the fields with higher earning potentials don’t generally lead to sable coats and diamonds.

    • Miss C

      Thank you for your detailed reply – I’m British, and I think our welfare system alters the picture completely for women who do any kind of sex work here, particularly for those who only dabble now and then – this was especially true 15 years ago when I worked in that field, and our system gave comprehensive cover, including rent payments, whenever someone was out of work. It meant there was always a safety net – also, you had to be upfront about your earnings, in order to qualify for it (most people, myself included, filed as “model” – even where the remit went a bit beyond that!).

      Back then we also had far less of an issue with women of all ages trafficked to the UK from eastern europe, women who are not even given their earnings, let alone a tax form – I imagine a lot of women involved with pimps in the USA are also limited in that way.

      That infirmary sounds encouraging: it’s always good to see facilities run by people who understand the issues involved.

    • Cate

      No problem. As I said in my other response (sorry about the misunderstanding with that) you actually seem to be approaching this respectfully, and respectful comments deserve good responses.

  • Miss C

    That “mansplaining” comment earlier has been bugging me – sorry Jamie, I like some of your stuff on here, but it was pathetic. But it did raise one point for me: that things get interesting when you start moving gender expectations around.

    Would this article be perceived as cool or edgy or fun, if the people who had introduced the author to the idea of selling sex when she was still underage had been exclusively male? Would you have the same perceptions of the author as liberated, in control of her own choices, and so on? Would you even have published it?

    If not, why not?

    Would any of the people who are “intrigued” and feeling that this might be a fun thing to do, be happy if their daughters – or, more tellingly, their sons – were willing to sell full penetrative sex, handjobs, and spanking sessions to adult men for money?

    Again, if not, why not?

    • Jamie Peck

      Like I said before, I do not take kindly to men telling women what they can and can’t do with their bodies, whether it’s couched in “feminism” or conservative rhetoric. Sex workers do not need us to save them or shame them, they need us to fucking listen because most of us have no fucking clue about their experiences, their needs, etc. and understand them purely on a subjective and theoretical level (i.e. not at all). And if you really care about helping women (not just saving them from themselves), you will fucking listen to what they have to say.
      And I don’t necessarily think this article is “fun”–Cathryn has made it clear already on this site that prostitution is not an easy life. But I do like reading her stories, because I find value in reading about people whose experiences are different from my own.

  • Jamie Peck

    This is taking up way too much of my mental space but I can’t let it fucking go, because it seems like a lot of these comments are sincere and not trolls.
    You can say prostitution in general–as in, its very existence–is damaging to women. You can make that argument from a feminist viewpoint. I’ll disagree with you, but I won’t tell you to shut up. But it is a HUGE FUCKING RED FLAG if someone, while making a collectivist argument, blames *individual women* who are just trying to survive in a patriarchal society for allowing prostitution to continue to exist. As if the patriarchy is their fault and not the fault of…well, the patriarchy. This is utterly ridiculous and fucked and shows you do not care about women at all, only the idea of them. Congratulations, you are not a feminist.

    • Miss C

      Addressing that issue, when feminists (male or female) are banned from voicing critical opinions on what other women do with their bodies or lives, especially where that woman has decided to describe those choices publicly, then we run afoul of personal exceptionalism almost right away.

      The personal is *always* the political, and therefore it IS legitimate to discuss the personal choices someone shares in this way, in a political framework.

      And only by allowing all voices to be heard, can we avoid scenarios in which over a century of painful struggle is undermined by a few vocal souls, who tell the patriarchy what it wants to hear to further their own 15 minutes in the spotlight (based on her replies here, I’m not including the author of this post as that, fwiw). I’m thinking, off the top of my head, about Ann Coulter, for one.

      Jamie, you might disagree with Will, but to use his gender ALONE to discredit his opinion is exactly what men have been doing to women since the dawn of time. And it has no more validity, in logic or reason, than when it was being done to us. By definition, all any of us ever has is “the idea of women” – or men, or anyone at all outside our own self.

    • Jamie Peck

      Blaming a prostitute for allowing patriarchy to exist (assuming you think sex work props up the patriarchy) is like blaming someone who works at Walmart for allowing evil corporations to exist. It’s placing the blame where it does not belong.

    • Jamie Peck

      And here’s another logical fallacy:

      1.) “Prostitution is wrong because there’s no way a woman in her right mind could consent to do that. Anyone who thinks she likes being a prostitute is suffering some sort of false consciousness she’s not even aware of, poor dear. And she’s probably being exploited, and has no other choice. Let’s save her.”

      2.) “Prostitution is the fault of women who have consciously made the immoral choice to be sex workers (even though they know it’s wrong) because they want to make lots of money.”

      WHICH ONE IS IT???? You can’t have it both ways.

    • Miss C

      “Blaming a prostitute for allowing patriarchy to exist (assuming you think sex work props up the patriarchy) is like blaming someone who works at Walmart for allowing evil corporations to exist.”

      Firstly, I (Miss C) haven’t made the exact arguments you’re rebutting in your two replies above, so can’t address them: perhaps you replied to the wrong comment, I’ve done that before on here.

      If you did aim them at me, you’ve maybe missed the bit where I (unapologetically, note – and with no accompanying tales of woe) discussed having been a sex worker myself, and also a feminist, so that’s that one cleared up. I was certainly in it for the money – also, an innate exhibitionism, among other things.

      My primary objection to your earlier comment was where you claimed that men must never question women’s choices, if they are to be considered as feminists – which I disagreed with above.

      If you want to ask my opinion on the broader subject, neither options 1) nor 2) that you posted above is anywhere near the real picture – it’s my belief that:

      3) Sex work is an area fraught with potential real dangers for women, many of them due to society’s innate sexism, and so the ongoing discussion of it is a legitimate topic for feminists – both inside and outside the industry. And that above all, some people are emotionally very vulnerable, and are the exact type to be attracted by superficial descriptions of sex work as empowering, rewarding, and safe, and that those of us who have come to it from some degree of privilege must be aware that not every women has anything like our resources, self-awareness, or ability to speak up for her rights, and walk away when she’s in a potentially damaging situation.

      My main concern with this article was the issue of the media glamorising prostitution without even touching on possible downsides, and I’ve said, and read, all I wish to regarding that topic – some things, people simply won’t agree on no matter how often they rehash the same points.

    • Jamie Peck

      I was addressing Will, who places the blame on prostitutes for doing something that is “BAD FOR WOMEN.” Like I’ve said, this is placing the blame where it does not belong. And we can get into the dos and donts of being an ally, but I really do believe it’s important for people who’ve never had a particular experience to shut up and listen to the people who have before before making baseless, uninformed judgments about them.

      And I think we need to read more installments of Cathryn’s story before we decide whether or not she’s “glamorizing” sex work. That said: what makes a good experience with sex work any less valid a story to tell than a bad experience? Everyone’s story is valuable, and the more stories we get, the clearer a view we will have of the big picture. Just because someone else’s experience is different from yours, doesn’t make them wrong or unworthy of a voice.

    • Miss C

      “… I really do believe it’s important for people who’ve never had a particular experience to shut up and listen to the people who have before before making baseless, uninformed judgments about them.”

      But then you’re basically saying that your opinion on the wider issue of sex work and its place in society is less valid than mine, because you indicated you hadn’t ever worked in the sex industry, and I did for several years – this might sound weird, but I don’t see it that way!

      Mainly because neither I, nor any other sex worker, is omniscient when it comes to the wider picture – in fact while we might each individually think “not me!” it’s reasonable to think that we might have a subjective perceptual bias about our own choices – something not limited only to sex workers, or women, by the way. I was addressing this regarding personal exceptionalism within a sexist society, and Will summed that up neatly as “The illusion of personal empowerment is a common defense mechanism when living under a system of exploitation and oppression.”

      While I don’t feel that “exploitation and oppression” describes my own experience *at all* I’m willing to look beyond defending my choices, to the wider framework in which I made them, and also to be open to the idea that the industry isn’t always, or even usually, a beneficial thing for the people involved in it.

      Now I’ve said all I feel I want to on this, stating my own concerns and reading some interesting further input from the author, as well as other people’s viewpoints, so I’m done.

    • Bo$$

      If a woman wants to sell her body well shit son it’s her body. The problem with so many “feminists” is that ya’ll think that if a small amount of woman do something like selling themsleves it reflects on all women, if sombody even pays for a hooker you will say they dont respect women.Fuck that man, every single woman is different thislady wants to sell herself so people will buy but do you think that someone will pay for her then go up to you and try to pay you for sex too?No they won’t and you’re stupid this lady is probably smarter then you anyways.

  • Lastango

    Readers comment: “Did anyone else read this and think: wow…” …… “I did! I’m afraid to continue reading this series, because I’m already halfway convinced into joining this profession.”

    Let’s go out and get some reality:

    http://www.anorak.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/downward-spiral.jpg

    http://home.earthlink.net/~insure/downward2.jpg

    I’m looking forward to the rest of this series. An author with enough nerve to skip the euphemisms and title her article “How I Became a Whore” probably has a message to share. Something tells me the kneejerk you-go-girl crowd isn’t gonna feel all warm & fuzzy about it.

    Someone wanting to know more and who lives in a city can try phoning the medical team that visits the sex trade workers and see if they have a ride-along program. A couple of nights out in the truck as it makes its rounds ought to do wonders for the understanding.

  • Grant

    I won’t weigh in on the deeper context of feminism and patriarchy and whatnot but will share one little anecdote: The love of my life (met her outside of the “industry” – I’ve never even been to a strip club, she was 32 at the time) had worked in what she called the “adult industry” since around the age of 16. She was the coolest, smartest, most amazing woman I’d ever met and I wanted nothing more than to spend the rest of my life with her. I had had many relationships prior, I wasn’t any kind of John; we lived together and shared our lives in many ways, made plans for the future; it was us against the world… After over 3 years of bliss/pain including me being incarcerated, I realized she was incapable of loving anyone, or even considering them at all really. I have a feeling the “adult industry” might have had something to do with that.

  • Kat

    I’ve been reading this blog with a fair bit of interest – I’ll admit I’ve been wondering to what extent Cate’s experiences are reality for sex workers, but a lot of the posts provide entertaining or sobering insights into people from a viewpoint that is far from often talked about, and it’s definitely gripping reading.

    If I’ve been wondering about the rest, however, this post really disturbs me. If I read this post alone, all I can imagine is a girl letting her life get out of her control, fooling herself into thinking she’s doing it to be independent, and apart from the sex work it looks exactly like far too many people I knew at that age.

    “I was already having mediocre sex with near-strangers regularly enough that I viewed prostitution as just getting paid…” Why, since you clearly weren’t enjoying it much anyway, did you go the whole way to prostitution instead of stopping having bad sex with guys you think are assholes?

  • Emily

    “It may seem strange, but I wasn’t concerned about the sex. I was already having mediocre sex with near-strangers regularly enough that I viewed prostitution as just getting paid to refrain from kicking the asshole out of bed.”
    >>>See, this is EXACTLY the sort of self-denigrating, anti-feminist crap that gives sex workers a bad name! Seems like you became a “whore” before you became paid for being a whore…

    As a 20 year old woman living in a crappy city where there are no jobs, I would resort to prostitution as a one-time deal to afford a ticket out and a few month’s rent in a better city. You seem to suggest that prostitution is a foolproof option available to women at all times, like when they want a new pair of shoes. That disgusts me. Prostitution should always be a last resort.

    You are also incredibly ignorant with regards to the danger aspect. The fact that these sorts of transactions are conveniently handled on Craigslist is NOT reassuring. Just because “nothing awful happened” to you doesn’t mean your fear was irrational. Are you suggesting that a young woman who avoids prostitution due to the very real possibility of being gutted by some psychopath with severe mother issues is just being silly?

    • Kahlee

      You are incredibly rude, classist and sexist. If a woman enjoys sex work and likes it, why does it have to be a last option? I am a sex worker and I love my job, that is why I do it. If it was my last resort and I didn’t want to do it/wasn’t comfortable, I’d get my ass up and go work at a supermarket. No amount of money is worth my mental health. Stop trying to be elite and special – you are just a rude little miserable person.

    • Kahlee

      You are incredibly rude, classist and sexist. If a woman enjoys sex work and likes it, why does it have to be a last option? I am a sex worker and I love my job, that is why I do it. If it was my last resort and I didn’t want to do it/wasn’t comfortable, I’d get my ass up and go work at a supermarket. No amount of money is worth my mental health. Stop trying to be elite and special – you are just a rude little miserable person.

    • Harry Mann

      There are women out there who will assure you that they would never set foot in a gym because they don’t want to have a lot of bulging muscles. As if it were that simple. And then there is you imagining that a one time paid sexual experience will net you a one way ticket out of Palookaville and several months worth of rent to top it off, when in fact you’d probably be “lucky” if you were paid enough to buy an expensive pair of shoes. And the fact that you’d consider it means you have a whore mentality, it’s simply a matter of negotiating the price. A lot of women have mediocre sex with their boyfriends, husbands, or simply with the guys they are dating. Isn’t that the norm? Why slam her for admitting the obvious?

  • zam

    :-)

  • Wes

    Good for you! I am a professional businessman who loves sex and works in a very lucrative industry. I supplement my annual income with $80-100K cash (tax free since it’s not a regulated industry) through high-end escorting. I find nothing wrong with two consenting adults enjoying companionship that doesn’t always involve sex (sometimes it’s just talking, spending time together, counseling, etc). I started in Craigslist but found high-end websites to be more marketable and safer, with access to a higher-class clientele. Anyone who truly enjoys sex should check it out.

    • wes

      I also disagree that it’s selling one’s body. There’s a major difference between being a street-walking ho’ and being a professional escort. So long as the man or woman does it by choice, not necessity/doesn’t feel forced into it, it’s an acceptable career choice.No different than being a porn-star.

    • kittycat

      What about the male to female cross dresser a who want to be real girls

    • Rosy

      OMG U R A DEVIL

  • critic

    Selling your body should be the last resort-not a way to make quick money. Glamorizing Prostitution as the way to be secure with money, rent, to get nice shoes or clothes is the worst way to look at it. This is just a quick fix for you because you were too lazy to actually get a job. I have had a job since I was 15 and I was self sufficient to pay all my bills and at times I had two jobs but none of those required me to sell my body and my self worth.

    “It was surreal, all I had to do was get on my back and suddenly everyone wanted to hire me? Why hadn’t I done this earlier?” Seriously that is exactly the reasoning men to say that woman are not equal to men and should just be wives rather than pursuing career opportunities equal to or greater than men.

    Get a job- like most people that’s how you get money. It is disgusting that you decide to glamorize prostitution as a way to make quick money. It is not an only an insult to women everywhere but also to prostitutes who were probably put there because of necessity not laziness. Being a sex worker should be the absolute last resort and it is usually when people are really strapped for cash with nothing else left. With prostitution, after a certain age you are just left with possibly a disease and no skills. I hope making easy money temporarily was worth flushing your life down the drain.

    • Rosy

      WOW I LOVE YO VIEWPOINT MAN …KEEP IT UP

  • angelo

    Hi my name is Angelo, I am a self employed pimp with a very prosperous business and i am currently looking to expand my company. if am looking to hire 2 experienced sex workers to join my fleet of skilled employees.

    Candidates must meet the following criteria

    Must hold 1 GCSE (grade E or above)
    Somebody elses provisional driving licence
    A full set of teeth (Just Kidding)
    Their personal copy of Pretty Woman
    A homemade demo (DVD or VCR for the older clientele)
    Their own bus pass (no transport is provided for sluts)
    A little dignity
    Their own toothbrush

    All candidates must be in receipt of income based support and/or jobseekers allowance as this is an unpaid job. Strictly free whores.

    All successful candidates are reminded that hygiene is our number one priority, although we are not running a high
    class business, the least you can do is clean the seaman from the last job out
    of your jacksy. Nobody likes stirring porridge.

    All candidates should forward a copy of their C.V. to the following email address:

    michael.brookes.509@facebook.com. Alternatively call our team direct on 07889143644

    Best Regards and Good Luck,

    Angelo the Pimp,

    ***Angelo the Pimp will not be held responsible for any injury, disease, or death caused while partaking in any activities on behalf of the company****

  • Frida

    Hi Cathryn
    My name is Frida and I am a student from Sweden who’s studying social work at the University of Örebro. I read your story and was really touched of descriptions and experiences of your work as a sex worker. This fall I am doing an essay about this social problem that we also have in Sweden. And I would really like to ask you some deeper questions. Since we’re also comparing Sweden with other countries, this would be very helpful for me.

    My e-mail is
    uppsats.prostitution@gmail.com

    Best regards
    Frida

  • Oh shit!

    Oh Shit! Be careful out there, if you ever do deside to go full whore, get a bodygaurd/pimp

  • mark

    pethetic. these women have no pride and self respect

  • Rosy

    WTF …MORALESS PERSON …MITE CATCH A DISEASE AND THAT WILL BE EXPENSIVE