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Now that I had a job that I found intellectually engaging, I didn’t want to do anything else. I wanted to go home after work. I wanted to spend my evenings with friends or with David. I wanted to feel normal. So it was goodbye to escorting, goodbye to Lance, to the Adult Help Wanted ads, goodbye to cabs, stiletto heels, and the make believe worlds of Sydney and Karla.

There was another reason I said goodbye to escorting. While organizing my new office, I found a stack of paper shoved into a metal cabinet. I asked Rachel, the company’s graphic designer, if she knew what it was. She said it was a DNS list.

“DNS? What does that mean?” I asked, grabbing it, thinking it had to do with domain name servers.

“Do not serve.”

“A ‘do not serve’ list?”

I had no idea what meant. Rachel had to explain it to me. It was a list of men who weren’t supposed to get escorts, with their names, phone numbers, and the reasons for denial of service. Some of the reasons were basic (“doesn’t answer door”; “contests credit card charges”; “waste of time, may pretend a French accent”; “sweet voice but won’t answer the door when woman arrives”), but some of them were scary (“violent”; “asshole”; “violent, hospitalized model”; “raped girl at knifepoint”).

When I asked Rachel how she knew about the DNS list, she told me that she had worked as a phone girl for Ron—for one night.

“I booked lots of girls. I had a great night. I made tons of money. But one of the girls I booked got beaten and raped. She even had a driver. He was outside waiting while it happened. The girl went back to work a few days later. For her, it was kind of like, okay, the worst is over. But I couldn’t handle it. I told Ron I couldn’t do it anymore. He told me he needed someone to do graphic work for his website, so I started working over here. I could never work as an escort. If I ever did it, it would only be for one of those super high class places, and I’d have to have a bodyguard!”

Hearing her words and looking at that stack of papers, at least two inches thick, I knew I was done. I’d gotten the closure I needed. I wouldn’t go back. I couldn’t. I was lucky that I’d never gotten hurt, but I’d be an idiot to keep pushing my luck. If David and I split up, I’d find something else to occupy my time, someone else to engage my sex drive, and other ways to pay my rent.

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