If you have looked through my work you will notice a lot of my material is based on or about my relationship to prostitution and the sex trade. That should come as no surprise if you also know I spent many years as a criminal. For people, mainly men, involved in “The Game”, one term criminals use for the business of crime, the dating pool is pretty shallow and sparse. It’s not like you can meet a girl who can share your life style at a church function.
I loved some of these women, saved and bettered a few of their lives and sadly attended too many funerals. This is one reason I do not approve of criminalizing or demeaning the sex trade or sex trade workers. By criminalizing areas of the sex trade we make criminals of many women who have been victimized. This of course is why they are demeaned and victimized further.
In fact, I have more respect for prostitutes and people in the sex trade than I do many Company Board members, CEO’s, politicians and other “respectable” careers which in fact cause far more damage to the environment and people’s lives. This also forces them to look for companionship and social entertainment with people like me. Basically scumbags who in many cases, feed off their “talents” and instill fear and destructive social values..
I used to think because I didn’t take their money for aid in their work, I never profited from sex work by others. “I will walk you to Hell but I won’t profit by it.” I would say. I now realize I had and still do. Even if it is by writing works like this:
Did you hear about her and all the “Haters” who follow?
They say she is big trouble and her soul’s dark and hollow.
They say she is selfish, cares but only for herself.
That she rips out hearts to put up high on her shelf.
They say she is a slut who thinks she’s a high class whore.
I say They don’t know her because I see so much more.
They say, They say, on and on, until it gets very old.
Well I say They are jealous she won’t fit Their mold.
Look at yourself and the company that you keep?
Look at your home and how safely you sleep?
When her nightmares rise they are soul crushing things.
Your terrors are so pathetic and your fears untrue ring.
Oh They say a lot when she is not around to be seen.
They say things so I wonder where have They been?
So if you can’t understand how she survives each day,
Shut the FUCK UP!.. I don’t care what They say.
This low classification by society was not how prostitutes were viewed historically. In the Ancient Mediterranean World and Ancient classical times, some prostitutes rose to a level of celebrity though many were referred to by writers of the time as “Dancers”. Even in the Byzantine Empire, Dancers associated with sports leagues and their fan clubs were sought after by nobility as escorts, a term used even now by many sex trade workers.
In a way this type of classification continues but instead of raising the social status of sex trade workers, it demeans the status of other professionals with that designation. Most men now, when they meet a girl with a bubbly personality and a very flirtatious nature, will think “prostitute” when hearing her occupation is as a “dancer”, “nurse”,” actress”, “model” or “student” and what have you. I am not going to argue or discuss if this is because we live in (according to feminists of both sexes) a patriarchal society. The fact is many women do the same. Instead of raising the meaning of prostitute, we degrade other trades like nursing and acting.
One reason that prostitutes have a bad image is because of their criminal classification and the view society has of their work. Not many prostitutes are going to go call the police when things go “wrong”. Also, by criminalizing the work, the law unconsciously creates an unsafe work environment to a trade already more dangerous than most any job a man or female would have. The average “working girl” learns this very quickly and will seek out ways to protect herself.
This protection comes in the form of pimps or other criminals simply by the nature of the societal classification as a criminal. The tasks do not require any special skills for the most part and is mostly “Thug Work”. Checking the room for recording equipment, holding money and adding security by letting their clients know they were not alone. As a result many women turn to thuggish criminals and the like creating another element of crime and sadly danger. The line between relationship duties and rape is often blurred as well furthering any psychological problems these women have.
Not surprisingly these women really do not want a boyfriend for any sexual reason. Romance and protection meant many girls acquired ghastly men in their lives. Others sometimes get lucky and find another way and date “Hobo-sexuals” Men who they provide shelter and drugs for so they could have otherwise missing elements in their lives. Lately this term, “Hobo-sexual” is entering the main stream and applies to any man who lives off a women’s work. When your work means taking the risk of being hospitalized with severe injuries or murdered, you might make some less than savory acquaintances.
I was never a Hobo-sexual but I did work security for a few women, often falling for them. It was in this capacity that I wrote the following poem. On a side note, this poem did very well online in the great state of Texas.
IN AND OUT
I remember a time so long ago
Where I was waiting on Her
Drinking another man’s libations
As She gave sensual pleasure
I didn’t know whether to stay
And listen to her moans
The slapping of their flesh
And his incessant groans
I would make it to the door
And stand in the space between
Never quite exiting the door
Striving not to make a scene
Never neither in nor out
Much like his phallus inside Her
The exit promising relief
The room some unholy allure
A time that was so long ago
And trust me it’s different now
But the problem still remains
Of leaving when and how?
I care not about sounds of flesh
Nor pleasures moaned real or fake
The issue is where I truly belong
Is my presence some odd mistake?
Yet as long as you wish me near
This feeling will lie about
Whether to remain in the doorway
Never neither in nor truly out
Sometimes these “working” associations required other duties than simple protection. On more than one occasion I was asked to “work the phones”. For a lot of sex trade workers, it is hard enough being nice to a client for the time booked, let alone any sort of “sales period”. That was something that even the biggest most dangerous thug would have to learn to do. That is help reel in men on the phone who called the ads that advertised sex trade workers and prostitutes. Of course this is done by texting or messaging. Imitating female voices is not something even effeminate men can do well..
Most of these clients, tricks, etc. are not exactly careful about safe sex or cleanliness, even their own hygiene is questionable. Such conditions inspired this next little treat of wordsmithing.
Maybe if she didn’t
Maybe if she hadn’t been
Awake for three days.
Maybe if she was
Just good at it,
I would not have
To be her on the phone.
And I do it
“Hey beautiful, R U working?”
He must like her ad
And the erotic picture,
Face so carefully hidden
As if she wore a Muslim’s veil,
She carefully picked
From all the other
Photographs of deceit.
“Sure am sweetie, and open to anything but bareback”
“What are your rates beautiful?”
I like this guy.
Straight to business
No messing around.
None of that first timer
Fake romantic shit.
He wants a whore
And I have to seal the deal.
He won’t try and kiss her.
“$150/hhr and $250/hr”
Then I add
As she told me
“and open to Greek depends on size”
“Are you available now?”
She is with
A skittish type,
Whose communications were
All confused and
A man who must be
married or some strange
She had to host.
“In ’bout 20 min lover. need to eat”
“I am hungry 2. Can I eat U?”
Misjudged this one.
Maybe he will
Try and kiss her.
I don’t care that
They all wore
Latex sheaths or showered
She has been going
It has to be
A mess down there,
Full of six different
Latex lubricants and
At least two types
And he wants to
Dine At The “Y”
“Maybe I should shower first handsome?”
Though I know she won’t.
“NP, it makes no diff to me”
She is wonderful,
I could never bring
Myself to touch or enter
Let alone bring my face
Close enough to
Taste the aroma
Of her Floyd Mayweather
It’s his show
I think to myself.
“Sure Hun, whatever you like”
And my stomach heaves
Just a little
As I book him in
For an hour.
We are both whores
Her and I,
As we all can be,
Though she is
More honest about it.
Nor will I take the money,
Unlike the driver or
The weasel eyed man
In the lobby behind
The reception desk,
She will offer for
And small effort.
I can not
From her sale of flesh
And the small pieces
She loses each time.
Perhaps I am as big a fool
As “Mr. DATY”
On the other end
Of the telephone line
That drifts in the Cloud.
The other problem by criminalizing sex trade workers is that it causes them to be marginalized and easier to be ignored by the other classes of society and the law. No little girl grows up thinking, “One day I will sell my body to be used for sex”. I don’t recall meeting any women who willingly chose prostitution. Drug addiction is a factor and I think too heavily emphasized by most people. That “High Risk Lifestyle” comes along with a lot more baggage than drug addiction alone. I would even go as far to say that drug addiction is more a result of the trade than a driving force behind it.
Healthcare problems abound in the sex trade and its workers. Not just physical health problems which are numerous. Sexually Transmitted Diseases, injury from violent rapes, unwanted pregnancies are merely the tip of the iceberg for many prostitutes. Most of these girls have been sexually traumatized by someone or worse by somebodies.
I wonder how most clients would feel about their excursions of fleshly pleasure if they knew that some of these girls, consciously or not, relive their trauma during their work. Sometimes the act of sex for sale is even a coping mechanism. In such cases, though they may emotionally be reliving trauma but at least this time they feel control over the situation. This can lead to an addiction to prostitution as way of coping. Drugs of course, “numb” the emotional pain but then the “need” for drugs follows and the cycle becomes endless. Drugs numb the pain of prostitution; prostitution pays for the need for drugs.
The classification by the law and society as criminals means many prostitutes do not search out any form of psychiatric help.
Prostitution in these cases is just another escape, a way to run from the pain and trauma that affects their lives. Running that never stops, no matter how tired they become. Such were the thoughts that came to my mind when a young lady (who wrote me one of my earliest pieces of fan mail) gave me a suggestion for the final poem I will share with you on the subject. “Write a poem about a girl on the run from the law” she asked me.
I knew she had left the city, in fact the province for this reason. I never asked what her crime was and really didn’t care. It was the least I could do for a so called “fellow-criminal” who was “on the run”. A person who because of the world around her was following her own laws not society’s. I have lost touch with her since but I hope she has stopped running. I truly wish, with all my heart, she has found a life were she is safe, loved, respected and contributes to the world around her. Sadly, this is a bigger wish than most people realize
THE LAW of SURVIVAL
Her last home was nowhere, her next she’ll know on arrival.
She breaks all of the laws but her own – The Law of Survival.
Her name changes at will with all the people she meets,
She’ll fit in quite fine, we’re all the same on the streets
She out runs the Law and her exs, sometimes it got tough.
Boyfriends or the cops, they have all treated her rough.
And she’s left behind messes, some large, some small.
Its the only trail left behind her, if you see one at all.
Sometimes she imagines a different life when she awakes.
So she trades her soul to end pain, if that’s what it takes.
She thinks she’s ageing too quickly, more Mrs. than Ms.
But its too late for her to stop now, where ever this is.
She’s not waiting for death, she’s just out running life.
That’s how you move faster than chaos and strife.
Perhaps she’ll see different one day, follow a new Bible,
But ‘til then she follows one law – The Law of Survival.
(All material above copyright Dave Dutton-Fraser, Feb, 2018)