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Monday, November 15, 2010

A Harlot With A Heart Of Gold

I've never in my life patronized a prostitute, but since I started working in the sex industry I've met a few. There were no less than four legal brothels represented at last year's AVN show, and I enjoyed talking to the very friendly (and very expensive!) ladies who were working the booths. There was the hooker I met in the casino who, when I mentioned I was visiting Vegas with my wife, was considerate enough to include her in the proposal for a nominal fee (for the record, while amused, we never seriously considered such a thing! Old married couple . . .) And I've recently learned that an acquaintance of mine occasionally meets men in airport hotel bars as a side business, much to my surprise. Actually, more like shock -- you would never guess, to look at her.

So I have the utmost respect for a woman who has a true vocation for sex work. While theoretically any woman could do the job, in practice only a few have the mental and physical skills to stick with the rough business for any length of time. But in this crappy economy, despite the dangers and risks involved I can see why a woman with few other options might consider the profession. And while the tawdry cheap trick pulled by the common streetwalker is, unfortunately, the usual method of a sex-for-money transaction happening, thanks to the Internet, Craig's List (at least, it used to be) and an entrepreneurial spirit, a small but growing class of independent women offering sexual services in a safe and sane environment is thriving.

Some of these women are former professionals who can't find work in their fields and want to trade on their youthful good looks and sex appeal between assignments. Some are single moms who find "working" a few days a month preferable to welfare lines and food stamps and late child support payments. And some are just naturally drawn to the profession for no other reason than that they are really, really good at it, and they enjoy both the work and rewards.

Are their problems with prostitution in America? Of course there are. And for every "happy hooker" or "pretty woman" story out there, there are hundreds of horror stories of sexual exploitation, rape, drug addiction, and the like. In far too many cases a woman is prostituted against her will, or even trafficked specifically for sex.

I'm not ignoring the inherent dangers of the profession one bit, nor am I endorsing or even recommending it -- I'm merely observing a trend. The fact is, like so many other industries prostitution has seen a productivity boom thanks to the Web. The anonymity of the internet and disposable cell phones make it much easier for a woman to get into the business as an independent operator, without a pimp, and cultivate a small, loyal clientele without automatically falling victim to all the horrors that prostitution can bring. Consider them sexual entrepreneurs or the cutting edge of a 21st century cottage industry, but these ladies are pursuing their clients just like any other small business -- and that includes specials, group discounts, and options.

But this is the first time I've seen a "scarlet woman" who is offering a canned food drive promotion. (Props to Creamer for forwarding this to me.)

The woman who ran this on her blog uses the trade name "Norah", and by her website's account she's an
"attractive and discreet lady. Very friendly. I provide adult companionship services and sensual full-body rubs"
. . . and last week, as you can see, she even provided a military service discount for Veterans' Day. Plus she works frequently near military bases.

A patriotic prostitute.

But it's the canned food drive that gets me. Norah's offering $10 off her normal rate (which runs around $200 an hour) for 5 cans or boxes of non-perishable food. It's not a lot. And having some experience with what it takes to execute even a small-scale canned-food drive, I can assure you that it's an effort. But this North Carolina lady is clearly trying to do her part to alleviate the suffering of others in her community, and doing so without being apologetic for her profession. It's unlikely she's going to get any credit for her work -- and doubtful she really wants recognition, as she prides herself in her ads on her discretion -- but one cannot help but appreciate what this one woman is doing in a difficult time.

Patriotic and compassionate.

This isn't going to change the minds of those who condemn prostitutes or prostitution -- but perhaps it might show even those people that by de-humanizing the sex workers with cries of slut shaming that these ladies are real people, people who care about their community and their clients. Sure, they're in it for the cash. But not every hooker is a money-grubbing, self-centered wench, as Norah clearly demonstrates.

Some harlots really do have a heart of gold . . . and the price of gold is sky-high right now. Take that metaphor for what you will.

I'm not going to publish her contact information here, but I'm willing to forward it to those who likewise wish to honor Norah . . . in whatever capacity. Nutjobs need not apply.


  1. hear, hear. Well done, Norah! And you for helping her get the word out.