Harlotry: The Time I Accidentally Got Trafficked, Pt. 2

Liam Neeson in Taken (2008)

Taken (2008)

In the last Harlotry, our resident sex worker explained how she was tricked into a terrifying situation with a friend in Florida. Check out Part 1 here.

After a few hours of sleep, Severine and I were ready for whatever horrors awaited us at the office. We got ready to leave, and then had to wake Eric up.

For maximum creepiness, Eric lived in the model home with the rest of the girls. I went across the hall and hammered on the door.

“Come in,” came a muffled shout from inside the room.

I was going to do no such thing. Instead of coming in, I cracked the door and yelled “time to go!” before slamming it again. I hoped that would do the trick because I sure as hell wasn’t going to darken the door of the filthy room myself.

Fortunately, my attempts were successful. Eric soon staggered out of his room in the same filthy jersey he had worn the day before. We piled into the filthy minivan and Eric drove us to the office.

Neither of us was sure what to expect, but we certainly didn’t think the office would be what it was: a small storefront in a rundown strip mall with printer paper pasted over the windows and door. The marquee above the door simply read 211 6th Street Private Office, as if posting the address would deflect attention from the shadiness of the building.

We rang the bell and were buzzed into a dingy little windowless room. Half walls partitioned off a little office area where an angry-looking woman in a cheap, matted lace-front wig sat in front of four telephones. A dark hallway lined with doors led to the back, and the whole place smelled faintly of clothes left too long in the washing machine. There was a big sign on one wall claiming that the office was a drug free workplace, and a sad, pathetic, two foot Christmas tree in one corner. There was a terrible aura of desperation around the whole place.

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    • Lindsey Conklin

      phew! so glad you guys made him get you out of there!

    • APick

      i cannot seriously believe this story… and if it is true, i cannot bear to think that girls are this naive. how can you honestly think it is okay to up and go to some place youve never been with a man you have no clue about and think that you will be safe. i dont care how worldly you are, that it simply, utterly, ridiculously stupid. i wish girls would take more responsibly for their own well being and safety. a lot of really bad shit could have happened to you. i am very glad it didnt, but you put yourself in that position. many others are taken not by choice and usually end up dead or sold. unreal. that is all i have to say about this…. and i do hope you alert the proper authorities about this hell hole of a place you were at.

    • Daisy St. Patience

      Glad you and Severine are okay. And hopefully they will be shut down. You really need to hone your common sense, though. Reading this just makes me sad for you.

    • Sarah

      I’m glad you girls are ok, and hope the others are too… but honest question here: why do/did you girls have no money saved? I know you’ve made a lot of money (or can, or have before) so I don’t understand why a smart girl like you would go into a *potentially* questionable situation (even if it had turned out perfectly great) with no money to fall back on? Like even let’s say if Eric hadn’t picked you up from the airport at all… you would’ve been completely stranded and would have had to figure out a way to get home. I guess I just don’t get it because I wouldn’t feel truly independent or strong without some money saved for unexpected circumstances, as I hate to be at someone else’s will because of my lack of money. I hope this isn’t coming across as insensitive or rude, I’m just truly curious about it your feelings on this topic! xo.

      • http://toyboxkiller.tumblr.com/ Cate

        As I say in the article, it was more an issue of getting to the airport than just buying plane tickets. We were in Pompano Beach, and the nearest airport was in Miami, an hour’s drive away. Neither of us even know how to drive, so renting a car was out of the question. It would have been really easy for Eric to just be like, “sucks you bought those tickets! You’re staying here!”

        Besides, we aren’t rich! This is actually something I’ve been thinking of writing about, since most people assume that all sex workers make enough money that we can weave $100 bills into blankets to sleep under. Both Severine and I do pretty well for ourselves. We live alone in nice apartments in the city, and we pay our own bills and stuff, but we’re hardly ballin’ out of control. In addition to that, there’s an ebb and flow in this industry, like any other. Winter is slow season, and therefore not a good time to be dipping into savings unless it’s absolutely necessary.

      • Cheryl Upshaw

        Cate, why can’t you drive? I’m from a small town, and moved to Denver in high school – in neither of these places could I have survived without knowing how to operate a vehicle.

        Please go learn. Learn how to drive both a stick and an automatic, so that you’ve got more options in sketchy situations. Please.

      • http://toyboxkiller.tumblr.com/ Cate

        Basically I don’t know how to drive because I’ve lived in Chicago all my life. There’s not really any reason to drive, as we have one of the best public transit systems in the country, and almost no street parking.

        I’ve been considering learning, and I definitely want to learn stick too, but it’s never really been an issue until now.

      • Cheryl Upshaw

        That makes sense. I recommend learning – go through a driving school, or have a buddy teach you. It’s worth it to know, just in case you’re out of reach of the bus/subway again.

      • KaluzaKlein

        People who live in big cities often don’t know how to drive. Think about it for half a fucking second: if you don’t have a car, how are you supposed to practice? My boyfriend knows how to drive but has been putting off renewing his license because getting a car to do the test in is expensive, and there’s no immediate need for it since we live in NYC.

        Not everyone lives in a car culture like you do.

      • Cheryl Upshaw

        …There’s a lot of venom coming from you.

        I do live in a car culture. It’s genuinely confusing to me that there would be people who are adults and don’t know how to drive, because while there is reliable public transit in Denver, it takes a huge amount of extra time to use it. And in my small town, it would be nearly impossible to get things done without a car.

        Basically, I didn’t get it. So I asked her. It’s okay if I don’t know things, sometimes.

      • KaluzaKlein

        Wasn’t meant to be that venomous, really. I was mostly just shocked that the answer wasn’t very obvious. As I said, I live in NYC, where public transportation is very good (and often faster than driving) so I have some bias. I also found the way your asked your question quite patronizing, which I resented.

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    • Jade

      Terrifying story, luckily it just ended up as a story and not a tragedy. Please keep yourself safe!

    • DreaTheGreat

      I am so glad to hear that you are rock solid on the decision to alert the authorities. I had a few awful things (similar to the counterfeit story) happen to me and I was too naive to even think about the possibility of it happening to other women. I have since abandoned the industry, it was short lived and not for me but it did pay for the security deposit to the apartment I now rent and a full semester of college. Bad Date lists are also excellent resources, and many organizations run them in cities throughout the us. So you can be safe even when the law is not on your side.

    • bb-girl

      Hi. First of all I’m really glad that you both are ok, second of all…I’m totally agree with the comments of you being naive and that you had a tremendous amount of luck!…but I’m still shocked about you deciding get back to that ugly house! Specially after threading them about calling the police…it could turn into a serious and really bad situation for both of you… inside the house, that guy could be an even more dangerous person who could compromise your life!…those are not games! If he was able to cheat on you and hide his real intentions…why he couldn’t be a killer too?….no no no this story mades me bit mad about this kind of situations. Please for next time be more careful and suspicious! Don’t trust so easy in any person. Again I’m glad that nothing happened! …and yes…traveling with no money at all or a low budget (only for 1 or 2 meals) is not a good idea…and I’m no0t talking about anything could happen with the un handy situation but also imagine any surprise or inconvenience with the flight or transport, or desease, or accident…and is not overreacting…is just prevention. It’s my opinion only. Hehe and I’m sorry if I any mistakes in my english writing, I’m a spanish speaker and a person who randomly got into your blog in searching for some advises in Pinterest. By the way you have talent in writing and telling stories! :) xoxo