An agency no show had brought me to the Wall Street area of Manhattan, a business hotel that had, like most other financial districts nothing else going for it at night except suits in bars and ladies of the night like myself seeking out their wallets. This would have been my 3rd call of the week, which for me was a lot as this national agency usually only booked me on 3 calls a month while I was in LA. If they were able to keep me this busy in New York City, I reasoned that I would definitely be able to relocate to the big apple and take a bite. I had gotten one indy call off of backpage as well and was already doing better than I had even expected. I had left LA with only about $300 in my pocket with a rent bill upcoming that would either be able to be paid or put off upon my return home. This is how I travel and work usually. I don’t know how it comes together, but somehow I make it work until I get back home to LA to grind out the losses. I knew that I would have friends to crash with, about $100 on my one credit card and the emergency plan was to ‘gold dig’, bar cruise and ‘internet street walk’ (find free internet posting opps to try to hustle a little, and I do mean a little (never more than $100 at a time) money for survival cash which resembled what I was doing that night I was in the area. I had to do this in Miami a couple of years back when I extended my trip there after a harm reduction conference to try my luck working there. Yes, I did place an Eros traveling ad and it did absolutely NOTHING for me. So what is the back up plan when you live on cash and have expended all of your emergency credit card money (which for the last 2 years has been at an available credit of less than $300 at any given time since I did my own personal bailout on all my credit card debt).
My landlord was used to my rent being late. Sometimes, I’d pay the $50 late fee and other times I’d just quietly ignore it and wait to see if they said anything about it, but often they never did. I’d lived in the same apartment in South Central LA now for about 5 years this October and even though I loved how big, sunny and all to myself it was I had been feeling like leaving LA for somewhere with more opportunities for a radical sex worker artist like myself to get her big break. I left San Francisco for LA for growth opportunities and the challenge of the huge city that LA indeed is. In these 5 years I did manage to get a Masters Degree from UCLA, teach and triumph in some of the roughest student populations and become the overworked and unpaid director/founder of the LA chapter of SWOP, which is pretty much not active anymore after I burnt out and stepped down last year. I also managed to be robbed for the first time as a sex worker, arrested and jailed for my first time in LA and then 6 months ago, robbed for the second time as a sex worker in my own house; this time using the event to be the catalyst for my current obsession with Israeli martial arts, yoga and boxing training.
Los Angeles was the city where I became a full fledged full service escort. (My second hymen had been broken!) Los Angeles was the place where through being an agency hustler, I found a way to make more money in sex work than I had made since I was a stripper in San Francisco. It is through the money (which is really not a lot considering what people think of as “a lot” in escort income but for someone who has been black balled from stripping in most clubs because of the legal battles I fought and won from former Strip Club employers) It was, and is more than enough for me to live comfortably alone with a 2005 car that I make payments on. Agency work keeps me stuck in LA working from 10pm-6am and driving up to 150 miles a night all around the county. The agency hustle is about posting a fake beauty standard photo that a guy calls and upselling for additional money for additional services after collecting the “show fee” of $250-300 which, little to the knowledge of the unlucky trick literally only gets him a girl to “show” up for the fee. Agency girls only make 50% of the show fee at most (which is my cut of my higher end, national VIP agency) and as little as 20% (!!) or the show fee for my lower end craigslist and weekly paper advertising agency. (They buy out the entire last two pages of the LA Weekly with fake ads and fake pics, and spend $1000s per week to keep us more than busy during the 10 hour on call shift. You can start at 8pm but I don’t).
LA is full of wanna be stars in the making like me, but unlike me they are “real” actresses who are afraid to get fully naked in a mainstream film shoot without a tan colored bra and panty set so that they are not misconstrued as being an actress who ends up wayward and strung out in Porn Valley, Hollywood career gone and ruined just because a nipple was flashed at the proverbial half time show of their lives. I got cast in a talk show that featured myself and an up and coming comedian who were supposed to pretend to be a couple and talk about our fabricated sex lives. I told Mr. Funnyguy that I was a prostitute and he freaked out. He told me that he couldn’t do the shoot because he was afraid that it would ruin his career! Within 10-15 minutes of picking him up from his place, I was dropping him back off in his Hollywood apartment because he didn’t think that an unpaid role in a TV pilot would be worth “ruining his reputation” (as a comic? Was he Bill Cosby?) Welcome to LA LA land where you can be a Pussycat Doll but never dare being a singing prostitute. Nor can you be the fake girlfriend of some stupid comedian in a TV show that probably wasn’t even going to see the light of broadcast. A few months back, in my first and only experience at a Sunset Blvd comedy club I was totally mortified by how hookers, Asians, faggots and transgenders were used as “comic” relief. I’m sure Mr.Funnyguy was one of those comics who would rather degrade me through some joke on stage about me and my people than do himself the honor of pretending to be my boyfriend on TV.
I had found a brightly lit sex toy/adult magazine shop in downtown Manhattan and stopped in to buy some lube which had just run out in my work bag. The African clerk hit on me, but I told him I would only do him if he had enough money upon which he took no offense that I had priced him out and we had a friendly enough conversation about Jenna Jameson’s new deluxe sex toy for $135, which he ran to get batteries for just to demonstrate in the store for me. Since first becoming a sex worker 13 years ago, this interaction between strangers who clearly were sizing me up as a piece of meat, I would castrate them instantly by propositioning THEM firmly and flirtatiously, returning their gaze like a seasoned pro that I am. A counter attack from the supposed prey comes as a surprise to the average heterosexual male. They look at me and I look back at them. They hit on me and I quote them a price. Whore power in action. They usually go away or stop looking at me after that. Problem solved.
As I was leaving I passed by a very good looking white guy in his late 20s who had just gone next door to use the ATM at the adult store.
“Hi there..” I said seeking this one for a free vacation fling and not seeing him as a client. He was pretty hot to me. A pretty good find for bumping into someone at the ATM of a sex shop. (Red Flag?) I follow him into the strip bar called Pussycat Bar and it’s a go go stage of topless strippers who are 10 feet away from the customers at the bar, separated by the bar staff. Bullshitty strip club standards according to most patrons (and dancers actually). I was killing time doing nothing in Manhattan, waiting for the next call, trying to get laid, scanning the club for potential clients. Me and Mr. Ad Agency (I’ll name him) have a round of drinks. I even pay for the first round, with the verbal agreement that he would do the next round. (Red Flag #2? WTF am I doing buying a GUY drinks??) I tell him that I used to strip in my 20s, and do my usual demand of dollar bills from him so I could try to tip hot girls in their cleavage. This is what I always do at stripclubs. No such thing could occur at this place because the distance between the bar and the stage. I dare not spend my OWN money to pay other sex workers whenever possible, and if I can’t do this, then I’d prefer not to go to a stripclub because there is NOTHING worse than someone who watches but doesn’t TIP. The only way to really tip the dancers was to make dollar bill balls and throw them at them. I felt like this was disrespectful but whatever, it’s all cash counted up at the end of the shift. The girls laid on the stage motionless and non chalant until you tipped them at least $1. It sooo reminded me of my days as a stripper at the Crazy Horse in San Francisco. It’s a great thing to work at a club that allows the dancers to be demanding on the patrons and not force them to be all customer oriented when there is no reward for them. At the club where I spent the most time, if no one was tipping we were allowed to lay without dancing on our sides, bang our fists on the stage, yell at customers who dared to sit at the stage, order them to sit somewhere else and more! The stripper is always RIGHT motherfucker. Fuck YOU. Pay me. LOL. Those were good days at the Crazy Horse..The club had mostly young women of color with attitude and I loved working there! Agency escorting carries a lot of that same female superiority complex, which is why when people talk about sex workers as powerless victims, many of us know from experience that it really depends on the stage and the setting. Many times, the opposite is true. It must be why the industry attracts so many wounded women who can finally revel in the power that was rightfully theirs to celebrate in the first place. I suppose I choose work that embodies this power exchange on purpose, it has a certain story because I am replaying my own story. I owe much of my healing and strength to being able to safely play out scenes, set strict boundaries, play with the edge of these boundaries and “date” hundreds of anonymous men to practice my spellbinding powers and/or verbal defense/survival skills on.
I roll up a couple of ones and throw them at the girls. They snap into autopilot dance. I was alone in Manhattan, just took the subway to Wall Street for a no show looking for adventure and the guy sitting next to me was really hot. This was better than any internet offers I’d gotten on adultfriendfinder so far since updating my profile to Brooklyn where I was staying. I love traveling single and finding adventures. I have never watched an episode of Sex and the City, but I feel like I just LIVE it everyday so I don’t need vicarious adventures through television and movie characters. If I don’t get paid to do it as an escort, I’ll find what I want and need out there usually. Me and Mr.Ad Agency continue to heavily flirt, my leg is between his leg and he’s already nearly started making out with me. My Hennessey cocktail is starting to channel my inner Tupac (which gives me power to do anything Tupac Shakur excelled in: getting laid, being on stage, dropping knowledge, getting thugged out if necessary, etc). I told Mr.Ad Agency that I used to strip after he said,”I really love the fact that you JUST met me at the ATM outside and 5 minutes later you are sitting here having a drink with me at a titty bar.” He was impressed but it was that very whore power that was propelling me through my life journey for the last 12 years. I didn’t know how to operate under any other persona even if I tried. We know that most men want the qualities that we have but either don’t want to pay for them outright or feel offended that they are the ones being hunted for once. Luckily for the purposes of the night, no other façade was necessary, or so I thought.
One drink is quickly downed and I’m ready to go home with dude hoping he has a nice bed and an impressive downtown loft somewhere so I could have a top grade getting laid in Manhattan experience. I expected no less from this guy for some reason. He explains to me that he has some upscale NBA golf tournament to wake up for. “Hmm,” I said. “If I was the kind of girl who cared about basketball, I might be trying to suck your dick just so I could come with you tomorrow.” I said.
“Well, I couldn’t get you into the event, but I DO like the idea of you sucking my dick.” He said getting closer to me.
“Ha.” I said. “I BET you do!” I said and backed away from him teasingly. I was ready to go. Stripclubs were pretty boring to me after about an hour, unless I was being fed money by some client who was paying me to be there. Then and only then could it be fun for me! I was on a vacation budget AND a mission to get laid which is NOT a formula for giving my money to other sex workers in New York while I was here. Perhaps if I was in Peru or Cuba or Thailand…but NOT New York City. If any sex worker was going to cash in on any situation in this city tonight, it was supposed to be ME. Looking at the dancers laying too comfortably frustrated with the non tipping morons in the bar it didn’t look too hopeful for these girls tonight. Mr. Ad Agency says he is ready to leave and catch a cab home. He is still adamant about leaving alone while still flirting and holding me close. I decide to try to use more of my whore power to get him to take me home and show me a good time. We walk out of the Pussycat Bar together and find a storefront where we can sit for a minute. I am utterly confused as to why he is still resisting me. He has roommates, he has to get up early..meanwhile he is steady eminating sexual energy, flirting with and touching me as if to say,’yes.” I am about to give up, as I know that cabs are plentiful in downtown Manhattan so it would be only 90 seconds before Mr.Ad Agency would be in a cab and gone from my life. During the casual stroll outside, I think that I told him that I was an escort now and how much better and easier I thought that was than stripclub stripping. Apparently, if I didn’t have a chance before I had already sealed my own fate. “Most men place an significant difference between a woman who is a stripper and a woman who is a prostitute.” my lawyer friend/high school boyfriend advised me. This was something that I knew, but I kept getting rude reminders of with incidents like the above. Most WOMEN see that seem difference too, especially a lot of strippers! I was one of those whore-aphobic stripper not prostitutes for years! I understood the significant difference only too well but in the last 7 years I seeked to break down the walls of hierarchy between sex workers by being matter of fact and non chalant about what I did to people who may not have expected it.
“okay, let’s just go over here and make out then..”I said motioning towards a wall still trying to work him. I was stooping lower and lower now.
He is still close to me and smiles with a chuckle. “I don’t make out with hookers.” A large ax has just cut straight from my shoulder blade into my heart and stayed embedded there gushing blood and still pumping around the wound. “But I can kiss your neck…and your ears.” He said trying to get close to my ears. I pulled away in disbelief. His lines were the same lines that I gave clients. I had put my purse down in preparation of pushing him up against the wall with my hips pressed into his, my full lips wrapping themselves around his—I reached down to grab it without saying a single word and turned and walked away from him at that moment. My heart still bleeding as I walked away I heard him call my name but he didn’t try too hard as I didn’t hear any footsteps following me or an apology (of course not). What a fucking moron. Didn’t he know that I was one of those hookers who ALMOST NEVER kissed clients in order to create an intimacy barrier (and spare me from tasting bad breath and dirty teeth of druggies) . If I WAS kissing you, you were privileged and special enough to experience something that so many get so close to having but never even touch? . If you are my client and I KISS you then you are no longer my client. Did he know that if I was kissing him or asking to make out with him that I CEASED TO BE A HOOKER IN MY EYES and that kisses to me seal the idea THAT WE TWO LOVERS ARE GREATER THAN THE EQUATION OF HOOKER AND CLIENT and that my kisses were the greatest gift of intimacy, connection, emotional vulnerability that so many men are unable to attain. NO. He did NOT know. Nor would he ever know. He was a total moron and I did not need to waste even another sentence in his company. I walked straight back into the titty bar bathroom to do a couple of lines of coke. Always the perfect remedy to numb my wounded heart. I loved cocaine for this purpose recently. 2 advil for the bruised ego! I didn’t often need to use it like this, however. I don’t usually let people get to me like that, but when I travel I am more vulnerable because I am constantly seeking and taking chances on an adventure to make new connections quickly.
When I got back from a New York trip that was completely fruitless in any romantic/sexual ways (although I definitely met with, flirted with and talked on the phone with lots of potentials) I REALLY wanted to kiss someone. I was so ready to rekindle my new relationship with my driver turned lover in LA. When our faces are close together a spark is lit and a magnetic energy starts from our mouths radiating through our entire bodies right down through at LEAST 6 out of 7 of my CHAKRAS. His kisses are like miniature journeys through a rollercoaster of BLISS, which are emotional, sexual, spiritual, electric and I imagine his tongue is his cock which penetrates me like an arrow of PURE LOVE. When he is done with me I am completely drained and knocked out, breathless, helpless, CAPTIVE. As a matter of fact, my baby LOVES hookers but I know in my heart that throbs against his when he kisses me deep that he is not thinking about what I do or how I make my money. That is the last thing on both of our minds during our love exchanges.
After he had picked me up from the airport, we had settled into my living room and he was in my office chair leaning his head back awaiting my mouth on his for the first time in 10 days. His face was soft from a new facial and he had made himself look clean and shaven for my return home. The last few kisses we shared marked the beginning of our relationship and was how we told each other we were no longer escort and driver to each other. The homecoming from New York included this important reunion kiss. His face is always so full of loving me when we kiss. I open my eyes to take this in while our tongues are wrestling playfully with each other especially so I can witness his love being transferred between us. I feel and see him love me as deep as he knows how and it is that which makes me burn hotter for him every time I witness this. Thank God that motherfucker didn’t kiss hookers. I have someone at home who does, and he has a hooker who is CRAZY for his kisses.