Tag Archives: How women get into prostitution

Can One Truly Leave the Sex Industry ?

In my 5-6 years in the escorting world, I have only seen one woman completely get out of the sex industry. Others, a small minority, may leave the sex industry but typically revert back to selling themselves after a few weeks/months/years. I will never forgot the words, “She’ll be back, ” said by a Madame (brothel/escort business owner)  at an establishment I worked at overseas. This was after a popular young woman decided it was her last day in the industry, and she wanted to pursue her new “normal” job and boyfriend. She’ll be back……how discouraging, yet later I realized how real the statement actually was.

Paulina

Leaving the industry is NEVER without conflict. Paulina is the only former-escort I know who has left the industry entirely. She has managed so far successfully, but it wasn’t easy at first. I came to know her intimately only after she left the industry and when she almost fell back to it. However, when she was still in the industry and we were working together we hardly mingled. I was the odd girl who stayed away from the “casual sex, drugs, and party” scene, so generally she, like many working girls, found little commonality with me.

Paulina was a beautiful South America girl who immigrated to the West at a young age. I witnessed her loss-of-innocence in her escorting days, which is when she involved herself with heavy partying and living with another escort (a match for disaster). She ended up getting involved with an expensive drug (cocaine) habit, which seems to be the drug of choice for elite escorts/clients. Thankfully, her ‘experimenting’ phase was short-lived, and ended in less than a year.

One thing that Paulina and I did have in common was our conflicting values of traditional and modern. She was raised in the West, yet she still held on to her traditional South American values (her cultural values conflicted with the individualistic, care-free values she was living as a prostitute). Selling sex is often not problematic, but rather the lifestyle commonly associated with high-class prostitutes is damaging (excessive partying, excess shallowness).  She had quit the industry, and completely got away from the drugs  and partying.  She called me out of the nowhere one day, and wanted to meet. At first I couldn’t understand why she would suddenly want to meet me, but later she told me that I was the only person she hoped to trust from the industry. In her view, I was someone who would not tempt her back into her bad habits, yet I could relate to her because I was an escort too. I was flattered, and determined to help her stay away from prostitution, even though I wasn’t ready to leave myself. She had deep emotional scars from being a prostitute, and found it hard confide in anyone. She had met a lovely man, but he had no idea about her past and she wanted to keep it that way. Whenever she got depressed or felt the urge to return to selling herself, she called me for comfort. I haven’t seen her in over one year, since she lives overseas where I used to live. Currently, she is still out of the business, and getting married soon to the love of her life. She is my hope…because if she can continue to be away from the industry, then there is hope.

Unfortunately, it is so easy to fall back into prostitution…

The pattern I’ve observed has become common: women leave the industry to pursue love, and then they return when that love failed. Another woman I know did ‘quit’ the industry, however she recently admitted that she is returning to escorting. Why? Because she broke up with the man she loved. Months ago I remember her telling me “If I wasn’t with my boyfriend, then I would still be selling my body.” This is classic of women trying to leave the industry, and perhaps the most depressing part of it. Over the years, I met countless women who’ve returned to prostitution after a failed relationship. Some of these girls say they “wasted” their youth in their failed relationships when they could have been essentially exploiting their youthfulness by selling themselves. And once these women return to sex work, their hearts are broken. Yes, I have seen many broken hearted women returning to selling their bodies, and sadly it seems like they’ve also lost their souls.

When falling in love with a potential partner, an escort has to ask herself: “Is he worth it?”  Is love, itself, enough to give up her autonomy and business? The men she rejects are the ones who cannot offer her financial freedom, even though they may be willing to love and treat her good. Other escorts choose the latter, which is to avoid relationships altogether and focus on making money.

How often do escorts leave the industry when a man is NOT in the picture? I have yet to come across a prostitute who leaves the industry for her own intuition. I have to ask myself this question: Do I want to leave because I want love? Perhaps, as we all desire love and acceptance. Sadly, acceptance is only granted when people conform to what’s ‘normal.’ And of course, being a sex worker is out-of-the-norm in modern societies, thus furthering us away from societies embrace. But again, it doesn’t have to be this way. There are people who fight these oppressive norms that marginalize sex workers — it’s not a bad thing to be different. But being outside the norms of society requires a LOT of strength. There is no social space allocated for prostitutes. As a result, we face tremendous pressure to follow the ‘normative’ ways of living life (such as marriage, owning a home, etc). Although I did quit for a short period when I was engaged, I never mentally prepared myself that I was finished with the industry. I still haven’t. It’s a question that I’ve been avoiding to answer: when will I quit?  Do I even want to quit? Why should I quit? I used to want to quit, and I told myself that I would quit selling my body after I am finished my graduate studies.  Regardless, I don’t feel that I’m ready to leave now. I like aspects of my job, but I just do not like the implications (the stigma, the degradation of the industry, the legalities, etc).

Fear of leaving sex-work is strange. It’s a conflict of emotions. I’m aware that the stigma is damaging me, but when times are good I tend to ignore the harm I’m doing. At times, sex work doesn’t feel like a problem for some escorts, and for others, it is deeply damaging psychologically. But overall, one cannot deny the problem of trying to live in a world where ones identity is constantly hidden and condemned. Social Darwinism, the idea that started this whole “survival of the fittest” competition” among society is a false notion, yet the idea is still very real in modern society. I’m aware that competition is only a socially constructed concept, but yet I feel deeply pressured to be part of this race in society. I fear that if I don’t sell myself, I will lose out in this competition. This is what needs to change, I need to let go of the pressures of mainstream society. Why do I want to be part of this shallow competition in the first place? This is what happens in a cold society (Western-Liberal societies) that puts emphasis on progress, individualism, competition, status, and monetary wealth. This is what drove me to the Social Sciences as a field of study:  society deeply impacts how people think and behave. I assign other reasons why I entered into prostitution on social pressures.

Once you’re in the sex industry, it is very hard to leave. A woman I know is trying her best to pursue a ‘normal’ job but admits she feels the pressure to return to escorting. It’s too easy (escorting), and the money is quick. Her mind, like most escorts, becomes tainted with the haunting fact: a few hours or an evening of escorting can pay all the bills that would take 1-2 weeks of hard work at a normal job. Did any of us imagine growing accustomed to our lifestyles? Did we ever imagine that we’d become a slave to our own addiction for fast-money? Of course not. A good friend of mine is a former receptionist in the sex industry. She told me how she was tempted to become an escort, however she changed her mind once she saw the reality: escorts may make lots of money, but at the high cost of our emotions. So I ask myself time and time again…”Was it worth it?”

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Filed under High-class prostitution, Relationships, The Escorting Business, Trying to leave prostitution

Stained Veil – How did I end up selling my body?

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 a 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 to 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). When I entered high-school, 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

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Filed under "High-class" prostitution