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by Patrick Appel

Charlotte Shane, the pen name of a prostitute and blogger, writes a letter to the girls who envy her life. She insists that "envying someone for prostituting is like envying someone for eating at McDonald's" because there "are no bars to entry":

There's something profoundly human about wanting to be sexually valued, and it transcends genders. More than one young man has told me he envies my life, too. I suspect these young men are hinting at the same longing for affirmation as the young women who e-mail me. We all want to know that we matter, and being paid is one way of knowing we have value. It may be inelegant and often impersonal, but because money is quantifiable, its message is indisputable. Where do you go for reassurance if you doubt your physical and sexual desirability? Talk is cheap, so you take cash instead.

Her blog is worth a read.

(Photo: Nikki, a teenage prostitute, waits for customers in the red light area of Bradford, England on May 27, 2010. By Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)

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