Gia

On Being A Prostitute…

“Nine Things I Wish I’d Known Before I Became a Hooker”, by Gia James…

Some nights, I barely have time for a ‘whore’s bath’. Wet wipes, in other words…”

That some girls would jack my shit
It was one of my first shifts at the agency. What I should have done was buy a padlock for my locker because the establishments never have any. That girl that I complimented on her weave? Totally shoved my stuff in her fake LV handbag and helped me look for it later.

That a client would rip me off
It’s rite of passage into whore-dom, as every person I know in the sex industry has had this happen to them at least once. I just had to cut my losses and drink bin ends for the rest of the week. Now I always confirm the client’s name with the hotel, just in case he fakes the bank transfer receipts (or whatever).

That I need to spend money to make money
This is fairly straightforward. It doesn’t mean I splash out hundreds on SKII face masks (I call bullshit on them, by the way) but it does mean that some of that cash needs to be filtered back into my business. I keep my feet/hair/hands/makeup looking good, I smell nice, I maintain good dental hygiene and I always have a decent pair of shoes in which to swing around the pole or to walk to the hotel from my cab. My feet always thank me.

That if I’m having a shit night, I should go home
Some nights I will go to work and barely have time to have a “whore’s bath” (Wet Wipes in other words) in between dances or clients or whatever. Other nights I’ll be lucky to scrape enough cash for the tram ride home by the end of the night. There is no rhyme or reason to this – even the hottest girls have nights where nobody will go near them. If, after 3-5 hours, I still haven’t made a dollar, I usually go home. I don’t want to burn myself out, and on nights like these my self esteem can take a huge beating. Some girls love the challenge of making $$$ at the eleventh hour of a slow night, but some of us need to go home, unwind and try again another day.

That I should make sex worker friends
I didn’t expect all the girls to be nice to me at first. It takes a while to make pals at any job, but sex worker friends have a special kind of water-cooler chat. Who else is going to understand the ins and outs of work like a fellow ‘ho? I try my best to stay out of office politics; it’s much easier, and makes working a lot simpler. When I was working and didn’t tell any of my friends, having sex worker buddies made it a hundred times easier.

That it’s a job and that I had to create a routine
I work best to a schedule. I decide whether I want to work weekends or during the week. I also don’t over-extend myself – it was tempting to jump into a five day working week thinking it would maximise earning potential. The thing is, sex work burns me out – at times I will put in a huge amount of energy and emotion into it and I found that three days a week worked best for me, with maybe a small fourth shift if I had some bills. I have time for myself and my social life and I’m also able to live comfortably off my earnings. Creating a routine also gives me a sense of normalcy and balance. When my whole life becomes leisure time, leisure time gets old pretty quick.

That I shouldn’t do drugs
From my own personal experiences and sex-worker friends I’ve known, sex work and drugs can be dangerous. Some girls get so pumped up on endorphins and dopamine that they sometimes do stuff they really regret the next day. Drugs might make it easier to work but it quickly becomes a vicious cycle of working for drugs. Eat, sleep, fuck, repeat. Not so much fun.

That I should save my money
When it rains, it pours. At times I have more money than I know what to do with. I have a system now where I get my cash at the end of the night and take all the small bills – $5, $10, $20 – and put them straight into the rice jar. It’s quiet in June (tax time) and January (Christmas holidays). I start saving for it otherwise I’ll be at Cash Converters hocking my Kardashians DVDs. I also avoid telling myself that “I’ll make it back” as I slap down my night’s earnings on something I don’t really need. When I was broke the guys could smell it on me. Working with grocery and petrol money in my wallet feels so much better than 20 cent coins.

That I should trust my instintcs
The sex industry isn’t the serial killers one stop shop that society would have you believe, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t shifty creeps out there. I’ve found that my instincts will pick up on these things. When I feel queasy, uncomfortable or frightened, I listen to it. Every single client I’ve had who has hurt me, ripped me off or assaulted me? I didn’t listen to my instincts and I let them in.

That people who hate whores will never love me
I used to sit there and plan out all the things I’d say to people when they would sass me about my job. Truth is, nobody has the fucking balls. They prefer to message me on anon on Tumblr or tell a friend of a friend. People who don’t understand sex workers will ask me about my daddy issues, if I was sexually abused, commend my partner on “dealing with her job”, how I spend my money (the reply to that one is “very well thank you”) and when I am going to get a real job. I don’t let it get to me. I do things like donate some of my whorey money to the AIDS Council and walk in the pride march. I joined a peer-based sex worker program and I stay the fuck out of the comments sections on news websites. I’m also active in furthering acceptance of sex workers; I go to rallies and sign petitions. I’ve found a sex worker community that works for me. ■

Comments

comments

1 Comment

  • Reply June 6, 2014

    RANDY

    love it, please change the title or you look like this mag is run by people who were born in 1951