I doubt that many women grow up wanting to be escorts, but the truth is that I’ve been interested in using my sensuality to my advantage since I was old enough to discover its power. As a young girl, I was in awe of the kind of women who could command the attention of an entire room with just a flick of their hair or a coy smile. While most other girls my age obsessed over Disney princesses with fairytale romances, I was drawn to Jessica Rabbit, with her sultry look and seemingly magical ability to turn the opposite sex into putty in her gloved hands.
Looking back, my choice in career shouldn’t really come as a surprise to anyone. In the 6th grade locker room while my friends awkwardly tried to cover up their white cotton training bras as they changed, I looked for any excuse to stride up and down the room flashing my first real bra. Dark, glittery denim with removable straps and padded cups. Sure, it was cheap, tacky mess and I barely had breasts to put inside it, but that wasn’t the point. The point was that in that dank locker room, hazy with a near constant mist of cucumber melon body spray, I was a goddess among girls… Or at least I felt like one. As I progressed through puberty and other girls my age experienced tentative first kisses and fumbled their way around the proverbial bases, I abstained. What was the point of fooling around with these gawky, desperate boys, only to have everyone whisper behind your back the next day at school? If I was going to suffer the insults and abuse that teenage girls just love to sling at each other, I wasn’t about to do it for 2 sweaty minutes with a boy with nothing to offer but chapped lips and a ride home in his mom’s car. I set my sights higher. Who cares if some clique of girls calls you a whore when your boyfriend has his own apartment? Sexuality for me wasn’t just a byproduct of maturation… It was a tool.
As I grew older and embraced feminism, I realized that I didn’t want to live in a world where everyone could profit off of my sexuality but me. As a model, I was tired of being praised when I was the sexy subject of the male gaze, but condemned as a slut for looking and behaving the same way when the cameras were off. So I decided to take control of my sexuality and remove the middle man. I began to find ways to monetize the things that men so often felt entitled to: my attention, my conversation, my time, my company, my body. You want it? You can have it. But you’re going to have to pay.
Now, I know you’re probably envisioning my heartbreaking backstory. Abuse, poverty, an absentee father— the hat trick of tragedies we’re taught to assume lead a girl into “the life”. But the truth is, I grew up pretty damn fortunate. And my choices were never my way of running from anything, but running to something. To power, to excitement, and to freedom.