More women are turning to sex work in a bad economy. Does it beat working at McDonald's?
"Boob play," "pics of kitty," "topless housecleaning" and "hypno role play." The list, scribbled in a lined yellow notebook, is followed by a double-underlined figure: $725.
It's 9 a.m. on a Friday and 30-year-old Marie is sitting on her couch clad in Donald Duck pajamas, munching on buttered toast and staring at her cellphone like she can will it to ring. If someone calls in response to the ad she posted this morning on Craigslist, she can add $75 to her projected income for the month.
Five months ago, before being laid off, Marie was bringing in $45,000 a year at Enterprise Rent-A-Car. Now, she operates out of two offices: her living room and a regularly changing hotel room. Her uniform is different, too: Instead of conservative business attire, she dons a lace bra and booty-hugging capris. The former corporate supervisor has become a sex worker.
She's applied for every strait-laced office gig she can find -- regardless of hours, pay or whether her University of California degree makes her absurdly overqualified. She went from being a manager to fighting for personal assistant positions. But last month, after innumerable unanswered cover letters, overdue bills and a delay in her unemployment checks, she entered a world of code words and cash wads. It was baptism by -- bodily fluids: She peed on a guy in her own bed for $100. Since then, she's been paid more times than she can count, or cares to count, for sex, blow jobs, hand jobs and sensual massage.
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