Narrative prose is a legal wife, while drama is a posturing, boisterous, cheeky and wearisome mistress. – Anton Chekhov
Anti-whore activists like to claim we have more than our fair share of drug addicts, thieves, women who were abused as children, women who are unhappy with their work, women who feel trapped in the job, etc; it is unlikely that any of this is true. While there are certainly druggies, dishonest practitioners, neurotics and misfits among our number, I doubt we have any more than any other profession and possibly fewer than some. But there is one type of woman whom I certainly believe we have more of than any other profession except for stripper, actress and singer, and that is the drama queen.
Why should this be? Well, explosive overreaction to conflict or disappointment isn’t unusual among teenage girls; many of us (myself included) tended to wildly exaggerate the importance of everything when we were 13 or 14. Every crush is “love”, every pimple is a disaster, every argument with one’s parents induces screaming and every Saturday night without a date is the end of the world. But most of us learn to control such histrionics as we get older, and most who don’t learn by the end of high school are forced to learn when they enter the work world. A drama queen is one who is so self-absorbed that she just can’t take the hint, and goes on imagining that she is the star of her own movie and that everyone else are just supporting characters. The reason our profession has more than its share of such prima donnas should be obvious; without a rigid work framework under a “boss” there is nothing to discourage a woman with drama queen tendencies, and the freedom, good money and being the center of the undivided attention of adoring males can turn even an ordinarily levelheaded girl into a diva. Though I am usually quite self-possessed, even I tended to be more labile and impatient when I was working, so I can only imagine how escorting can go to the head of a young woman who finds herself a “star” for the first time.
This of course flies in the face of neofeminist propaganda about prostitution; a woman who is “degraded” and “humiliated” does not behave like a spoiled pop star. No, such a woman becomes meek and submissive, which as just about anybody can tell you hardly fits the profile of the average hooker. Even those of us who do not ascend the drama throne tend to be steel magnolias, iron hands in velvet gloves, whose soft, sweet, yielding veneer vanishes in a heartbeat if we’re sufficiently provoked. But the good customers never get to see that in call girls or escorts of quality, whereas anyone who has ever visited a hooker board has seen the (usually but not always) young drama queens in action. And it’s even worse behind the scenes; in dressing rooms of strip clubs, offices of escort services and female-only areas of escort boards these girls are free from even the most minimal constraints they must adopt in order to avoid offending men, and it becomes a huge Kabuki performance. Every bad customer is Satan, every slow week is the Great Depression, every spotty review the end of her career and every publicized bust of a streetwalker the beginning of a pogrom. Older and wiser ladies avoid fanning the flames, but unfortunately drama queens encourage each other so the melodrama never ends and Chicken Little never shuts up.
Alas, it’s part of what we have to deal with; funny how the things the general public (not to mention prohibitionists) imagine to be our biggest problems are not the things we have to worry all that much about. If anything, I think the single largest cause of stress among escorts comes from clients failing to respect our personal boundaries. There are many forms of this, all bad: Asking improper questions, failing to call or show up, attempting to negotiate price, trying to do things to a girl she clearly doesn’t like, attempting to change the rules or reverse the relationship (“But I want to give you pleasure!” or “What do you want to do?”), spying, stalking, prying into her personal affairs…these are the things which upset, worry and embitter most whores, not the “terrible humiliation” of giving a guy head. A friend of mine recently sent me this link; though it is exaggerated for humorous effect and overly dramatic and hostile (unless she has a lot more bad customers than I ever did), every complaint she makes (other than those which apply only to touring girls) is one every hooker has encountered at one time or another, and some often. I disagree with her on a couple of points (refusing to take the money in your hand directly will NOT protect you from arrest, sugar, and drinking with a client is far more dangerous than BBBJ), but otherwise she covers a lot of the same ground I have in various places, especially my Advice for Clients column. And her extended restaurant analogy at the end is both hilarious and dead on target.
In a similar vein…
Whores have no monopoly on histrionic behavior nor, apparently, men on aggravated sexual assault. Here’s the exception that proves the rule, reprinted from The Smoking Gun:
Meet Melissa Lee Williams. The West Virginia woman, 41, is facing assault and weapons charges after allegedly waving a knife at two men who declined her demands to engage in sexual conduct at a West Virginia motor inn. The October 22 incident is detailed in an amusing/gross Jackson County Sheriff’s Department report excerpted here.
According to investigators, Williams–who lives four doors down from her estranged husband at the 77 Motor Inn–showed up at his door and asked Danny Williams and another man to “eat my pussy.” At this point, Williams, pictured in the mug shot at right, “commenced to undress herself,” reported Deputy Ross Mellinger. While Danny Williams “declined said invitation,” the other man, Adam Watson, told cops that he “agreed to perform at her request.” However, as Watson approached Williams, “he became overwhelmed by horrible vaginal odor emitting from Melissa Williams.” Watson, understandably, “declined to proceed any further.” This is when Melissa Williams allegedly “produced a lock-back folding knife,” opened it, and pointed the weapon at her estranged husband. She then reportedly uttered a line never before memorialized in a police report: “Somebody is going to eat my pussy or I’m going to cut your fucking throat.”
When Deputy Mellinger arrived on the scene he observed Williams–who, like the two men, appeared to be intoxicated–nude from the waist down. After pocketing a knife that was on the coffee table in front of Williams, Mellinger arrested her for domestic assault and brandishing a deadly weapon. Williams, who was released from jail after posting $3000 bond, is next due in Jackson County Magistrate Court on February 16.
If this nasty woman had actually managed to hurt someone this might not have been funny, but as it is I find it hilarious. Please, let’s not have any whining about “sexual assault not being funny just because a woman does it to a man”; Mr. Watson was perfectly happy to submit to her demand until prevented from doing so by her improper feminine hygiene, and considering the drunkenness of all involved parties and the fact that she put the knife down before the cops arrived (and who called them, anyway?), I hardly think she ever constituted a credible threat except to the men’s olfactory health.
Another Column on Sex-Worker Rights
This commentary on the introduction of sex-worker rights to the recent UN Human Rights Council is another example of the turning tide of public opinion; though it’s easy to read between the lines and see that Michelle Chen is personally uncomfortable with the idea of sex work, she still recognizes that whores have human rights and deserve protection from the abuses inherent in prohibition. She may wish our trade would vanish, but she has the intellectual sense to recognize it won’t and the moral sense to recognize that “The work itself may represent realities that people find immoral or disturbing. But the people doing the work are more than mere proxies in a culture war; they’re human, and that alone entitles them to equality before the law.” Even more heartening are the replies, which (except for a few token cranks) are overwhelmingly anti-prohibitionist.