Often, I sit for hours at night, trying to piece together the reasons I went against social norms and decided to have sex for money. Even more so, how did a girl, from my cultural upbringing, join such an industry? I could attribute part to instability in my family, but that alone isn’t the main factor. There are many social factors of contemporary Western society that are driving women to sex work. Immense pressure to succeed, to be independent, to be sexy, to appear luxurious – these shallow values, sadly, are projected on young minds. The overarching cause of women entering the sex industry is due to Western-Liberal political, social and economic values. These cause instability in families, influence women to objectify themselves via popular media, leave limited options for women who do not desire ‘normal’ low-pay jobs, etc…
As mentioned, my origins are from the East. However, I did not have an entirely traditional upbringing. My Mother is a modern woman, whose own childhood was filled with strictness, and as result she chose to raise her children (me) in a relatively relaxed manner. Ironically, I often wished my Mother was more strict with me, because her lack of discipline lead to my insatiable curiosity. Yet I don’t blame her, as she could not have foreseen the implications of raising children in a new country.
My Mother, in her younger days, was a very beautiful and desirable woman. So beautiful, young, and naive. And unfortunately, her beauty captivated a womanizing man such a my Father. My Father neglected and mistreated my Mother, as with all the women he’s had. Thankfully, my Mother had more than just her beauty, and she was brave enough to leave my Father. In our culture, divorce, especially occurring 20-odd years ago, was taboo, and sometimes equated to social-suicide in Eastern cultures.
The brick-wall of family security was broken shortly after my birth, but nonetheless my Mother remarried a good man. I grew up in a middle to upper class neighbourhood, and my peers and I were accustomed to always having the best of the best. In many ways, I was a privileged child, and overly indulged (which hurt me later, as being privileged made me unable to accept the transition of being relatively poor years later). In my mid-teenage years, my family security broke. My Mother became separated, and our family socioeconomic status went dwindling. It was a difficult transition.
During subsequent years, my innocence faded. I developed insecurities that I believe stemmed from growing pressures of being a young lady in a Western society. I was growing into a woman, a very attractive young girl. I was getting lots of attention from men, and I liked it. Somehow, I believed I had to please everyone. I started to realize how my looks opened doors, and made people desire me (the wrong people, of course). However, I had a mind. I was well-traveled as a teenager, and seeing so many countries and cultures didn’t allow me to neglect my mind. The fact that my mind was constantly observing life, trying to analyze things, often lead me to feel isolated. I adored the attention I got for my beauty, but I also felt deeply neglected as a person. I internalized this idea (thanks to the media) that my worth was based on my beauty only — back then, I had no idea that shallowness equates to emptiness.
When I first had sex for money, I was barely of legal age. I was still finishing my last month of high-school. I was conflicted between two sides of myself: the one that was passionate about the world and knowledge, and the other side who was consumed by society and it’s pressures to be attractive. My curious mind lead to look at the “escorting” section of the daily newspaper. I was curious what these ads were about. I didn’t even know what an ‘escort’ was. I thought prostitutes could only be desperate women with heavy drug problems. I had no idea that beautiful girls have sex with business men and get paid for it. But once I discovered the financial rewards, I was seduced by the idea of selling myself — it was my ticket to living a more ‘comfortable’ life.
So I tried it. I worked one night. I slept with men, all of whom were decent and treated me with respect. Most of them were business men, some had wives or didn’t. I made a lot of money, and without effort. At that time I had no idea what “good” sex was. I didn’t realize that men got so easily aroused by just looking at me, and that the actual sex only lasts under a minute. I liked the fact that I didn’t have to do anything ‘disgusting’ and condoms were mandatory for my protection. Strangely enough, I felt empowered by the money and the admiration from men. Despite that, I was terrified to do it again after my first try. I never thought I would do it again..
But what happens is that……the money, the lack of effort and the quickness of it, the admiration of men….becomes an addiction.
After six months, I tried again. Like the first time, I stopped and swore I couldn’t do it again. But it was just too easy, and the clients treated me so well. So I went back, and it slowly turned into a lifestyle. Thanks to God, my family condition improve and went back to middle-class status. Initially, I worked periodically to fund all my desires for luxury, as I had felt deeply deprived. Sadly, back then, I had internalized the idea of shallow beauty. With the money, I transformed myself into an elegant, elite young lady, draped in designer clothes and items.
Only later, I realized that this job came with implications….
…to be continued