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Working Girl: Don’t Tell Other People What They Should Desire | Kansascity

Working Girl: Don’t Tell Other People What They Should Desire

Working Girl: Moralistic Values Gleaned from My Time in Chicago’s Seedy Underworld

Moral 87: Don’t Tell Other People What They Should Desire. It’s Almost Always Selfish.

bad girl good girl by Phoebe !

Bad Girl, Good Girl by Phoebe ! at Flickr Commons

“Sex is a need,” my boss Caroline told me. She was a professional escort, so I tried to believe she knew what she was talking about. Sex was her business. “Whether you acknowledge it or not. Whether you have it or not. It’s a human need—like exercise. Now, not everybody exercises. But does that mean your body doesn’t need it? Hell no! Your body needs exercise. If you don’t do it, you’ll suffer the consequences—physically, mentally, energetically, emotionally. Maybe you won’t see the consequences immediately, but you’ll see them. It’s the same for sex.”

I was Caroline’s personal assistant, and however much I tried to take her word for it, I didn’t agree with her assessment of sex as a necessary human function. I was 20, and a virgin, and I didn’t feel lesser for it. And I didn’t like the thought that I was not a whole and complete person because I wasn’t having it.

My own sexuality, or lack thereof, was denigrated many times because it did not conform to someone else’s version of what was healthy. This happened again and again—Caroline did it a few times, and countless male friends over the years did it, too. I was in some form of denial, they said.

One friend, a fellow writer, told me again and again, “It’s a waste that you’re not having sex. Hot girls should have sex.” I tried to take this as a compliment. Somehow, I never could.

A waste?

What did he care if I wasn’t having sex? He was happily married. I knew his wife, and we were all three friends.


Moral 87: Don’t tell other people what they should desire. It’s almost always selfish. Just look at the advertising industry.

To be fair to her, Caroline only denigrated my lack of libido on occasion. The rest of the time, she told me to do whatever I wanted. “Don’t let anyone tell you what you should or shouldn’t do,” she said. “Especially with sex. And be ready—because all kinds of people are gonna tell you what to do when it comes to that. Everybody thinks they know best.”

She was right about that.

“Doing something sexual to prove yourself or because you’re told to isn’t empowering,” she said, “The only way to be empowered as a woman sexually is to do what feels right. And make sure you’re doing it because you get off on it. Not because someone else gets off on it.”

“Do you do things because other people get off on them?” I asked, because of course she did.

She smirked. “Well, I’m a whore, right? That’s my job description. But I chose the job. So that empowers me.”

I didn’t argue with that, although I could have (and I did for a whole article in this series). If Caroline wanted to tell herself she was empowered by sex work, I had no place telling her otherwise.

“Don’t let anyone tell you what’s healthy and what’s not,” Caroline said. “If you don’t wanna do something sexual, then doing it is going to be unhealthy. If you do want to do something, then depriving yourself and being in the closet about it is going to be unhealthy. Sex is like that.”

“Like what?” I asked.

“It brings out aspects of your personality that need attention. And it’s when you deny that—you’re denying yourself, see? You really have to be true to yourself. And that’s what I do for my clients. Sometimes it’s just sex, you know? But sometimes, I’m giving them access to something they can’t get to in daily life. Some part of themselves they can’t experience. It’s like my clients have to step outside their daily lives in order to really live.”

This was super insightful for Caroline. She rarely got this deep. I wondered what kind of person she would have been if she didn’t sell her body on a daily basis, pop pills to deal with the stress, work a profession that ran off youth and beauty and plastic surgery to keep everything in place, and live in a hyper-vigilant state that made her reluctant to trust anyone, always on the lookout for people’s weak spots and the best way to squeeze a buck out of them.

Most days were a coin toss of whether she’d be calm and eat candy, or throw a tantrum and try to exploit someone. But she had her good moments.


Moral 88: Everybody has good moments. But everybody has bad moments too. If you’re going to let someone into your life, the good should outweigh the bad.


Caroline capitalized on the fact that our society tries to keep sexuality in a box. And most of the relationships we form only operate with the sexual templates provided by society. We understand monogamy. We also get heterosexual partnerships. Although we don’t really get it when two people have been together for a long time and don’t get married. And we don’t always get it when two married people choose not to have children. We don’t really get the whole consensual BDSM thing. Or the whole polyamory thing. We’re starting to get the whole birth control thing, and the whole same-sex relationship thing.

We even treat some people like they don’t have sexualities, and aren’t viable sexual partners—such as the obese and the disabled.

“One of my clients has cerebral palsy,” Caroline told me. “I’m the only person he’s ever had sex with. He lost his virginity with me. And someone had to help him set up his first appointment. If it weren’t for me, he probably would never experience sex, and that’s just not right. And let me tell you–he is so much fun. He’s an easy client. I trust him, too.”


Moral 89: Sometimes the prostitute is the good girl.


I was glad this client got to experience sexuality with Caroline, but at the same time I was a little worried for him. I knew Caroline pretty well. I knew she sometimes went without a condom. I knew she exploited people and fleeced them whenever she could. She probably overcharged this guy, and he was taking a very real health risk by having sex with Caroline.

But would it have been healthier for him not to have sex at all?

What would have been healthier is if he’d lived in an evolved society that had a place for developmentally or physically disabled people to experience dating and sex in a safe way. But from my time working with Caroline, I learned that many disabled people don’t feel they have options, and turn to sex workers.


Moral 90: Some hot girls don’t want sex. Some people with cerebral palsy do. You don’t get to decide which is which, or who gets what.


Quick—What’s the second most profitable criminal industry in the US? First guess, then click.
L. Marrick is a historical fantasy writer and freelance copywriter. She waxes poetic about swords and the Renaissance Faire at her author blog. She looks all professional-like at her copywriting site. She eats too much chocolate and still doesn’t believe downward dog is supposed to be a restful yoga pose. You can connect with her at either of her websites, and follow her on Twitter @LMarrick.

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