It’s that same old story.
Boy meets girl, girl asks boy for money so boy can sleep with her.
In this particular rom-com, boy seems to think ‘money’ can mean anything from half the amount she’s asking for, to a selection of utensils from the boot of his car.
Sex work does what is says on the tin, It’s work: we offer sex to make a living.
We then use that money to pay for the luxuries in life, such as rent, electricity, food and water.
So where, might one ask, would a JML pan set be seen as a suitable substitute for cold hard cash?
It’s not. It’s really, really not, but you would be amazed at what men have tried to exchange for a bit of nookie.
Theme-park thrill seeker
Yep, a two-adult, two-children ticket to ride his log flume.
Now, I’m a fan of the occasional rollercoaster, but that’s not going to get the rent paid.
Needless to say, I declined.
Call me old-fashioned, but if you’re in possession of a family ticket to Thorpe Park, I would say it was best spent on a family?
Friends and I speculated wildly about how, and why, someone might think this was an acceptable offer.
Did he win the ticket and, possibly being a single male, thought it would be a waste on just him?
Was it a turn-on to deprive his (possible) family of a day out?
Did he just not want to queue for his happy ending?
I would have asked him but, when I turned down the offer, he swiftly turned nasty and sent some fairly insulting texts.
Maybe if he was a bit nicer, he would not only have had friends to go to theme parks with, but also wouldn’t have to pay just to get his end away.
The tea-leaf looking for relief
‘I quit my job this morning, and just filled my bag from the stock-room’
He had been pushed too far, having been over-worked and underpaid for so long at a designer shop in Oxford Street.
The adrenaline rush and ensuing joie de vivre had led this young man to my door, both because he had a bag of swag he needed to get rid of and he couldn’t go home before 6pm without getting into trouble with his mum.
His adolescent, media-fed brain had assumed any sex worker would be in the market for some dodgy designer purses in exchange for a good time.
Sadly, he was wrong, especially because I’ve never gone in for purses, designer or otherwise.
Instead I’ve opted for letting all my belongings sink to the bottom of my bags’ abyss, where they will duly get stained with lipstick and covered in loose tobacco.
In a way, I could absolutely relate to him and I admired his fight against capitalism, so while I told him no services would be forthcoming, I also recommended a nice warm library he could use for eBay, and hide out in until bedtime.
Maybe read some Marx.
The travelling salesman
I was invited to a fairly mid-range hotel for an outcall – the type where you would see suits hunched over laptops in the lobby – and the air was filled with the distinct musk that comes from pine car air fresheners and stale Ginsters pasties.
Travelling salesmen are usually fairly nifty clients; they know the ropes and most of them rely on being friendly people for a living. Just like me.
This one, however, had made some fairly erroneous calculations and openly said it would be cheaper for him to give me ‘some stock’ rather than pay me in actual money.
Before I had a chance to tell him where to stick his non-stick, he unzipped a duffel bag and began his salesman patter, like he was doing the kitchen segment on QVC.
‘They come with a ten-year guarantee, free from any chemicals, and they’re dishwasher safe.’
So is my vagina, but you don’t see me banging on about it.
By the time I turned down his offer of a pan set, kitchen knives and ‘the world’s most intuitive thermos flask’, we were already 15 minutes in.
I was feeling so insulted by the kitchenware, I made him pay the full hourly recommended retail price for 45 minutes of my company.
Stick that in your calculations.
I know what you’re thinking.
‘Couldn’t pay your rent this month? Well, we’ll have to think of another way to make it up to me.’
Instead, this was an outcall with the landlord of a classy pub on the outskirts of the M25.
The kind of place where you wonder how people got home, because there’s no buses and the car park is worryingly large.
He was also every inch the stereotypical pub landlord.
Loud, gregarious, and fairly convinced he was such a ladies’ man that after our initial appointment I would ‘stick around in the bar, ‘ave some drinks and dinner, and stay over’.
He thought that as he had paid for our initial hour, I would then be happy to give him an overnight booking as a freebie, or at least in exchange for free beer n’ burgers.
I declined and went on my way, mainly because offering me all the booze I could drink would definitely mean I would win the deal. And possible bankruptcy.
The curmudgeons out there might read this and say, ‘Urgh, but don’t we all pay for sex in one way or another?’
Only if you’re doing it wrong, my loves.
Sex work is work. It’s not a hobby, relationship, or something you can haggle over.
Like any other kind of retail or service, you get what you pay for.