Tag Archives: cooking school

My Night As a Hooker

You read that right; I was a hooker for one night.  Not by choice, mind you, but a hooker nonetheless.  It was a harsh lesson for me in human behavior, what one would do when they needed money.  Some background for you…

I grew up white, Catholic and middle class, surrounded by mostly white, middle class people, in a suburb of Washington, DC.  I didn’t smoke, drink, party, sneak out, lie to my folks nor have pre-marital sex.  And none of my friends did, either.  That was my world.  The first college I went to was just like my high school only twice as many students and no  Catholic school uniforms.

But shortly after arriving, I felt the need for a change and transferred to a culinary arts school in another state.  Holy, moly was that place different!  There were 8 males to every 1 female.  The majority of the students were African-American and the average age of freshmen students was 27.  I don’t know about now but, at the time, drug and alcohol use was prevalent in the food service industry and most of my fellow students had been working in the field for years already.  I didn’t know what a drunk person looked like and it was confusing to have a nice, friendly conversation with someone at night and they not remember who I was the next day.  My fellow students came from all different financial backgrounds, states and countries.

Oh my goodness, I just remembered the day, freshman year, that one of my roommates threatened to kill me!  Good times, good times, that cookin’ school!  Sorry; getting off track! Will save that story for another post.  Back to the prostitution thing…

It was the Fall semester of sophomore year and I was rooming with one of the 3 roommates who had not threaten to kill me the previous year.  We were renting a 2 bedroom, 2 bathroom apartment and I brought my white daybed from home.  I set the trundle up all the time, so it was like sleeping on a king-size bed!  Later, I would regret having so much room in that bed.  My roommate, we’ll call her Maria, did not come from a middle-class family and she approached me one evening with a proposition: she wanted to pimp for me.

Yes.  That reaction right there?  The one you are having with your eyes bugged and your jaw on the ground and the, “Wait, WHAT?!”  That’s the same reaction I had.  But she was serious.  She was a business major and explained her whole business plan to me.  You remember the stats I gave y’all up above about the students with whom I went to college?  She pointed out that the supply of young, white girls at our school was quite low but the demand was high.  She wanted to find and screen clients for me and would make sure they all provided proof from the local health department that they did not have any STDs nor tested positive for HIV.  After passing her “rigorous” background check, I would still have final say on whether or not I would have sex with them.  I thought that was a very considerate clause to add to our contract, don’t you?  And for all her hard work, she would only take a 25% cut of my fees.

I was amused, then shocked, then horrified!  “No!  Abso-LUTE-ly not,” I screamed.  But she wouldn’t let it go.  She kept trying all evening.  I finally went to bed to get away from her, but she crawled in bed with me and kept trying to change my mind.  She even tried to play on my sympathy and make me feel guilty, by saying I didn’t know what it was like to be poor and could I please just do this for her?  The next day, neither one of spoke to the other.  By the end of the week, tensions had subsided some between us and I was sure she’d let the idea go.  I was so naive.

Maria and I were hanging in the living room Saturday night, talking, laughing, listening to the radio as usual.  Then we said goodnight, went to our respective rooms and I closed my bedroom door.  Hours later, something caused me to awaken.  My eyes popped open.  Something was definitely not right in my dark bedroom, but I couldn’t figure it out.  Then something touched me on my right side, followed by something touching me on my left side.  I screamed bloody murder, jumped up and leapt off the bed towards my bedroom door.  I didn’t stop to turn on the bedroom light nor look back at my bed, I just ran, screaming, hoping to wake Maria.

But there was no need.  She was already awake and entertaining some “gentlemen” in our living room.  I stood there, blinking fast in the lamp light, confused by the guys on the couch as well as the slurred voices coming from my bedroom.  Two guys finally extricated themselves from my blankets and stumbled into the living room.  I recognized them; they were roommates and took classes with Maria.  I didn’t know what I was more – scared or angry – as I stared into her calm face.  I took a deep breath so I could start yelling but she quickly dragged me back into my room and shut the door.

Her explanation?  The two who had climbed in bed with me were clients, as were the others waiting their turn in the living room.  Being the meek, pleasing girl that I was back then, she thought I would be too polite to make them leave once they were already in my bed.  I told her they all needed to go and that this better not happen again.  “But they’ve already paid,” she whined.  “Couldn’t you just do these two?  For me?  What’s the big deal?  It’s not like your cherry hasn’t already been popped.”  That last sentence was declared coldly.  I realized I wasn’t her friend; I was merely someone to exploit.

That was low.  That really hurt.  That opened my eyes to a side of humanity that, in my “little white bread world” as she called it, I didn’t even know existed.  I didn’t know how to fight like she did, but I got in her face and told her she had 1 minute to return their money and clear everyone out of my apartment or I was calling the police.  I didn’t sleep at all that night.  The next day, I told her she needed to find a new place to live.  The lease was in my daddy’s name, only, so she couldn’t argue.  The following weekend her family drove in from out of state to move her out, but her older sister asked me to please let her stay.  I didn’t tell her family why I wanted Maria out; I just let them know that this was not going to work and she had to go.

I do have to thank Maria for one thing – picking the right guys to be my first clients.  They were nice boys and harmless drunks.  Even though it was two against one and one was on either side of me in my bed, they didn’t try to stop me from leaving.  It could have been much worse and I don’t know if Maria would have helped me or not .  After all, she’d already gotten paid.

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