I never liked this song until I realized that it was sung by an Indian female MC and it went with the great film Slumdog Millionaire! (Gotta support one of the only South Asian singer/MCs and the 3rd world democracy..) it sort of makes what I’m complaining about seem so trivial…but its all relative folks. 1st world oppression (gangster government and corporate entitites stealing and lying and killing its own for profit) looks like this below…Most Americans except the Eminem white kids, the triple beam lyrical dream rappers, and my full time erotic service revolutionaries don’t have to hustle from hand to mouth…
What is that keeps you on the edge of your chair as you check your online bank account, unsurprised if yesterday your checking account balance was some $142.12 for example and this morning as the screen logs you on for about 2 seconds it stops like a Russian Roulette wheel on an overdrawn balance of $121.88 because $35 overdraft fees x 7 WILL chomp an easy $150-200 like the shark did Samuel L Jackson in Deep Blue Sea(these numbers are made up, i didn’t want to do the math nor blog my real bank balance but it’s something that’s happened to me on average about 10x ($350) a year. Multiply that by 30 million customers.
…And now you have to beg customer service at your bank for them to pleease do a courtesy reduction of at least half of them. So they bargain with you, and take off 3 of them (which they can only do ONCE a year and after that you basically are screwed.
Now you only owe them some $105. And all you did was use your debit card for some shitty fucking $2 purchases, and it cost you nearly $200. It’s the biggest predatory lending practice, and it is why the banks are so rich and why I don’t feel sorry for them hurting. They make sooo much money off of this. And they get people to use their cards more by giving them “points” and “rewards.” You spend about $3000 and they’ll give you a $20 gift card to Barnes and Nobles. And they always have these stupid stock photos of families painting their homes, getting the loans they need, smiling in convertibles. We’re here to help you realize your dreams…After we tax you more than an agency escort with a drug habit and a pimp driver outside…
Such a great analogy, because I learn that in America, it seems the only way to get rich is to exploit the working class and the working poor with constant parking tickets and overdraft fees that pile up and double, while their paycheck to paycheck living forces the late fees to pile on top of those fees and then suddenly, well, if they happen to be sex workers, they SCORE and the bills are paid. Phew. Survival. I’m not sure if it feels that way in the drug game, but in the employee working world, the term “paycheck to paycheck” is supposed to mean, just barely making the bills while feeding yourself until the next pay cycle. Some of us on the edge live from client to client, trick to trick…waiting for that phone to ring. Some of us live from hand to mouth to hand to mouth to cock…! Waiting for that car to pass with someone decent. someone that you’ve seen before. Here comes your regular. survival.
It’s like, you either HAVE to bank there, or be the banker. Or, there’s the CHECK CASHING place with the dirty floors and the dickhead cashier in the cage who won’t let you receive your money unless you have 3 forms of government issued picture ID (which everyone carries on them, go ahead..check if you do, I’ll wait).
I’ve taken money from clients that were barely consensual, totally fucked up on massive amounts of drugs, alcohol, ego, testosterone, manic depression; and I’ve upsold and cashed in on their impulsiveness, their self destruction and their weaknesses because in this game, if you don’t make this money, someone else will come up right behind and gladly make it. And even selective morality like I have leads me to not be as prosperous as I could be say if I had the attitude of Wells Fargo or Bank of America all year.
Such is the life of the working on the cusp of lower middle class and broke, straddling the fence of the next day, the next client, the next rush of a good night, an easy client, a big easy tip. Make it rain on me playa!…One of the strippers that came to a support group I led told me about how much she loved to roll around in all of the money she made on good nights.
Making money is payback to them. To all of them that told you that you were not supposed to make it. (I know of at least 2 adult male/TG sex workers who were brutally raped as teenage prostitutes by cops). To all those of the gender that you might be attracted to who told you that you would never be . to all those men who fucked you and never called you the the next week. to all those people who abused you, assaulted you, used you and made you feel like shit. to your mom that kicked you out of the house, to your stepdad that molested you..and on and on and on. (this is not my personal autobiography btw, its a mixture of all of us..) This rain falls on me like redemption and I count my money with more satisfaction than you or sometimes I can even understand..I’m a survivor, I’m gonna make it, I’m not gon’ give up, I’m gon’ work harder…(Destiny’s Child)…
But this concept is simplified by the Melissa Farley and Norma Hotalings acting out our trauma. The money is not true acceptance. The money is a false enabler to your addiction…but I remember clearly seeing distraught and sobbing Paris crawling on her hands and knees in frustration after another bad night at the club. Because in sex work, making no money usually means standing or sitting in the same place for 12 hours in a row or more, and enduring rejection and verbal abuse from every dumb ass cheap ass rude dirty dick fuck that thinks he is too good for you. Or simply the phone just does not ring. Are you charging too much? Has there been a big sting? you ask yourself.. And then finally, just as you are about to drive to the airport back home after having lost money travelling, wasted money on that internet travel ad, your phone rings…Are you still in xyx city?? he says..survival..should I turn the car around and head back?
It’s not a secret as to why it is that sex workers seem “addicted to the money” as some outsiders may see it. Well, addictions are stigmatized. Once I realized that I wasn’t addicted to sex work or addicted to smoking weed my life became worlds more free. One person will look at our lives as perpetuating risk behaviors and some of us may look at it as merely surviving. For many of us, sex work has been the only way that we have been able to attain some of those minimum conveniences (like a major Bank account or credit card) or an apartment without 5 roommates for instance, that most people take for granted.
I’ve been watching more reality TV than I like to admit for some reason, and the last one I saw was this Tough Love show where this frat boy handsome hetero asshole was asking one of his suitors “why she only thought about the money all the time?” and she burst into tears and talked about how she was left with nothing and a daughter to feed and that people did not understand that she has been left with nothing…” Such is the plight of many women and some, like the contestants on GoldDiggers or I love money 2 or Tough Love thought it was too shame ful to actually sell (or rent) your body outright, so you did like the Marilyn Monroe club in “How to marry a Millionaire” date and marry rich is ok, being humiliated on reality TV, yes; being an escort, no. I see them all as whores just like me. As a joke, I applied to be P.Diddy’s assistant on actors access. They didn’t require you make a video and post it on you tube like the actual contest did. I wondered if a billionaire rapper could understand that I wanna be like Biggie and go from ashy to classy! Except instead of using just my body and sex alone, I seem to be very fascinated with the business aspect of it. How can I be my clientele instead of just my clientele’s whore?
I love to make more money than the last time. It’s like a high score I try to beat. I am proud of myself when I make a big chunk of money. It buys me time. But lately, there is still fear. Because there have proven to be too many times when after a “heavy rain” there has been drought and struggle and near starvation of the stomach and the soul..
I have learned in more than 10 years of working like this that it doesn’t matter how much you make in a night or a week, it’s safer to do it by the month because you could be starving and living off that one chunk for the entire month, and by the end, it’s just like gnawing off moldy crumbs from a hard piece of mousetrap cheese.
Why are you always broke? Why can’t you ever save money? Hmmm. I think it might have to do with a plan of some powers that be to keep us, and not just us sex workers, or people or color, something as colorblind as “everyone who has a bank account” which is class based for sure, but pretty generalized. Parking tickets is another example. In LA, there is no way for you to do any sort of community service for parking tickets like in San Francisco, and in 21 days your $35.00 ticket will efficiently turn into $70.00 right before your eyes as you log on 30 days later, or perhaps 60 days later, when you finally have $70 extra dollars to spare…I pay $1000s of dollars for street cleaning and yet, my streets aren’t even really clean!