Sick and Sad

Tim took me to what is still the coolest bar I’ve ever stepped stiletto in. It was a dimly lit downstairs lounge, unmarked from the outside. It had useless design features that probably cost more than my whole apartment and low-key hip-hop played. He carried a bullet and sniffed cocaine from the deep cushions in dark corners, where we sat near a beautiful, sophisticated-looking girl who pronounced Sauvignon blanc flawlessly and confidently.

You realize the point of being good-looking in a place like that. And before we moved to our hotel room, he gave me a taste of sugar daddy. And it was sweet.

Time and time again my inherent insecurity rammed up against the world I gained access to by escorting. My ticket in was youth and relative good looks, which only reinforced my subconscious fears that those were the only valuable things about me. You don’t get fancy dinners for being smart or funny, or at least I never had. All my glimpses into the upper echelons of society were gained by being young and sexually available. A part of me wondered if I should aim higher, try to cash my chips in a more permanent way or at least a more lucrative one.

But the truth is, while I was willing to sell my body, I wasn’t willing to sell my independence. Life is difficult for all of us; it’s always been very difficult for me. It was tempting to let someone else take care of me; the word after all is “kept.” A kept woman is kept safe, fed, groomed, and presumably, happy. But even looking around the funky bar, at the beautiful people, as much as I was impressed by it all, what good would a life like that be if you didn’t like the person you were sharing it with? My free will wasn’t for sale.

But for many women it is and I don’t blame them for choosing to trade independence for security, for the Amex with their name on it and the rent-free apartment. I don’t begrudge them their big payday. The problem is placing so much value on wealth and privilege, I suppose, but these things have tempted many a young girl throughout the years. That’s why things like and Millionaire Matchmaker exist.

One of the cruelest tragedies of the sex industry is that it attracts girls like me who already have skewed ideas about sex and self-worth and then completely reinforces all our secret fears. The men you meet, the whole lifestyle, whispers to you that you were right all along, that all that really matters is being desired.

I still struggle every day to change my thinking. It makes me almost sick to my stomach to meet new people whether in a personal or professional capacity, because I worry they will not think I am pretty. Most of my friends are men with whom I have had former dalliances because I just do not feel comfortable around people who I don’t know with certainty find me sexually attractive. In my head, my worth is completely tied up in my appearance and sex. As a result of being abused at a young age, my thinking is fucked. There is something wrong with my brain. No matter how logically I know that who I am is more important than how sexy I look, I have internalized the lesson that it is my sexuality that makes me lovable.

Of course, this is a trap that will keep me perpetually insecure because not everyone is always going to be attracted to me. When you feel that perfectly normal fact as a deep blow to your self-esteem, it’s impossible to ever really feel confident. Except of course, when you are having your attractiveness reinforced and trading on what you feel is your most valuable asset while working as, what else, a callgirl. Being a talented writer, a caring person, a ballsy kick-ass woman with an amazing circle of innovative and unique friends…none of that makes me feel as good about myself as the drunk guy who wants to fuck me, something so common and cliché it means practically nothing.

It’s sick and it’s sad and I can’t get out from under it.

I spend my time in therapy trying to unravel these threads. It is a long, hard, painful road, and sometimes I feel like taking a break from my own head, which is what I’ve been doing lately, I guess. But the alternative to dealing with this shit is self-destruction. So I keep writing it down, keep trying to figure it out, keep trying to gain this hard-earned perspective. I keep writing lists of things that are good about me that don’t involve my tits or my ass. And I keep hoping that someone else out there knows how I feel, and that someone is comforted by what at this moment feels like an almost unbearable amount of pain.

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