• Mon, Jun 25 2012

Harlotry: On The Time A Client Outed Me As A Prostitute… To My Mom

It only took four days for my mother to answer the phone before I could silence it. She woke me up at eight in the morning–the crack of dawn for me–to tell me that she’d just had “the most interesting conversation.” Even in my groggy state, I knew exactly what had happened and my dread was immeasurable.

…Not that I was really worried about getting grounded. I was more concerned about the loss of my very first regular and what exactly this (seemingly) imbalanced man now knew about my real life.

On the phone, my mother and I sound almost exactly alike, so naturally there was some confusion when Grant asked if he was speaking to ‘Miranda’. For better or worse, my mother is a chatty and helpful person and her natural inclination to remove all obstacles from her path caused the misunderstanding to be cleared up almost immediately. Once established he was talking to his underage mistress’ mother, most normal people would probably hang up the phone and send an email to that mistress canceling future appointments. But Grant was not a normal man.

Instead of cutting his losses and extricating himself, he proceeded to cross-examine my mother, claiming that he had met me on an internet dating site (a lie that my mother says immediately aroused her suspicions). He knew that she was recovering from surgery–because I had cancelled an appointment with him in order to pick her up from the hospital–but he wasn’t sure what kind. Being the proud cancer survivor that she is, my mother was quick to tell him that she had just gotten reconstructive surgery on the breast removed in her mastectomy.

This is when the conversation got weird.

What We're Reading:
Share This Post:
  • Amanda Chatel

    I heart this series so hard!

    • Cate

      That means a lot coming from you. I love your stories.

  • Janna

    I love these articles! Just like the new “Blue” webseries with Julia Stiles (<3) I like it for the lack of preaching and the honest-sounding and very relatable stories and thoughts.

    • Cate

      Julia Stiles has a web series where she is a sex worker?! I am so there.

  • MM

    This series is great.

  • Julia

    Please, please write a book. Your writing style, your story, the personality that shines through are all so endearing and enthralling. It’s so interesting to read this from a first person view that isn’t entirely drowned in guilt or framed as a “cautionary tale.”

    Also, let’s be friends? :D

    • Cate

      I have friends who also say I should write a book, but geez, this is the first place I’ve ever even been published. I am in no way ready to commit to anything as big and scary as a book, I don’t even know how I would publish it!

      But thank you? Compliments make me nervous, but I appreciate them all the same.

  • alexandra

    No judgment on any involved party but… what the fuck your mom didn’t stop you when she found out? I don’t think mine would have ever let me leave the house again. From earlier articles it sounds like you may have lived outside of the US– were you living somewhere where sex work was legal? If so, your mother’s reaction would make more sense to me.

    • Cate

      There was less than a month left before my eighteenth birthday, at which point she wouldn’t really have any say over what I did or did not do. Even aside from that, my mother has always been unusually permissive, raising both my sister and me with a kind of, ‘I’ll tell you the risks, but if you want to go ahead and take the chance it’s your funeral’ mentality. My dad was the taskmaster, my mother just says ‘I told you so’ a lot. She would help me pick up the pieces of any disasters I met with, but she never, ever made decisions for me.
      I’ve lived in Chicago my whole life, so prostitution was totally illegal, although I was still treading the line between legal and illegal sex work. My mother, though, definitely sees a great distinction between illegal and immoral behaviour. As I said in the column, she isn’t pro sex work, but she doesn’t think it’s immoral, just stupid.

    • Psych Student

      I like that your mom seemed more concerned with your safety than the legality. My wife worked as a Pro Domme for a while and I supported her entirely (I thought, and still think it’s super hot, plus, I got to help sometimes!) I told her that she was free to drift into illegal activites as long as she’s safe, doesn’t get caught, and tells me about it (freakin’ hot!) :)

  • Karen

    I love reading these! Keep them coming :)

  • Dani

    Oh Grant, Grant, Grant. I would have blown poor Grants spot completely up. I currently work in a “field” where I have to deal with gentlemen like this all of the time. You definitely have to let them know who’s boss, otherwise they will try you in more ways than one. I think its great the way that you and your mom were able to handle it. My mom was similar, growing up in the 60′s and 70′s she approaches it with a feminist flair. She is the total opposite of judgemental about what I do, which makes life a tad bit easier when you don’t have to lie to everyone in your family.

    • Dj

      If you aren’t ashamed than why lie ? How are things supposed to ever change ?

  • Brendan

    Not a regular Gloss reader (but I might start now!); your sister is actually a friend of mine and pointed me to your article. Love it! Here’s what I told your sister (after which she suggested I post this in a comment):

    “I would love to meet your sister, she just sounds fabulous. (P.S. Give her a big thank you from me for helping to spread the perspectives of sex workers. I’m so tired of paternalistic social workers speaking for all prostitutes, hookers, whores, trollops, etc.)”

    To elaborate: clearly there are many cases of sex slavery, and this needs to be fought. But equating sex slavery with ALL sex work is not only inaccurate but demeaning and ignorant, both to clients AND to workers. Hearing someone preach on the immorality of sex work because of “how degrading it is to women” (because, of course, only women do sex work!) is so Puritanical as to be almost plagiarized from every line of dialogue spoken by Dimmesdale in The Scarlet Letter.

    So, in short: write on, sister, violate them Victorian sensibilities!

    Sincerely,

    A Sex Work Sympathizer

    • Cate

      Pleased to meet you, Brendan. I’ve heard a lot about you from Rach.
      There is so much I could say to this, but I’m just going to go with WHY DOESN’T EVERYONE IN THE WORLD THINK LIKE THIS?! Especially the part where you point out that not all sex workers are women, something that doesn’t get said nearly enough. Ignoring such a large part of the sex worker population does no favors to anyone.

    • Psych Student

      Very well said!

  • A Jaret

    First time I’m reading these blogs, whatever they are.. and i love it!
    Its different, nothing in my norm, but I respect it. Its what you pick to do, and btw, you write so well! You go girl, more power to you for being you and not explaining why to the world.