HOW TO BE A WHORE

AKA How I Got Into Sex Work

I could (and probably will) write an entire book on how I ended up ~250 miles away from my childhood home, ousted from my boyfriend’s (and his girlfriend’s…and her other boyfriend’s and their daughter and occasionally her other children from her previous marriage) house, sitting on my own bed in my own 400-sq-ft apartment in Houston at only 18. But that’s not important right now. What is important is that I had just quit my relatively okay-paying first job ($400 every two weeks was indeed “okay” for me in 2011), my hours had been cut at my second job, and I was in danger of missing my rent for the first time in my life (after only having paid rent for about 5 months total before this point). 

I had applied for another coffee shop job but didn’t have an interview until the next week, aka the same week rent was due. I had $140 in my bank account—$100 once I bought my monthly bus pass—and no clue where to get the rest. For the first time since I had run away from home barely a year before, I felt scared.

I hopped on my tiny Acer netbook and, with no expectations at all, Googled “how to make money fast.” I scrolled for hours, changing my search terms—“how to make money in Houston,” “easy online jobs,” even “paid surveys”—until my little computer died (I had forgotten to plug it in), forcing me to take a break from my mental breakdown and get a cup of pudding (my snack of choice to this day) while I waited for it to charge across my apartment where the only accessible outlet resided.  

I flashed back to the rerun of the Tyra Show episode about sugar babies I had watched a couple months before. Tyra, of course, had been a total judgmental bitch to her guests, but I remembered watching it with stars in my eyes. I could get money just to be cute? My naive optimism, coupled with my dire financial situation, commanded my fingers to explore this taboo but promising idea. 

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