Under the pseudonym "Charlotte Shane," a young prostitute chronicles her experiences on a blog entitled, "Nightmare Brunette." Her aim, she explains at Salon, in addition to needing a mental release, is to provide an unsimplified account of a real prostitute's life, for better or worse, because the stories that usually reach non-sex-working audiences are too often two-dimensional and extreme -- focused on a white, "high-class" call girl finding happiness through her designer-label lifestyle, or drug-addicted and pimp-abused street prostitutes whose lives have been a series of degrading assaults."
But Shane is troubled by the large number of emails she has received from young female readers who are envious of her career. At Salon, she attempts to explain what draws girls to prostitution in the first place. She suggests that, even in our modern-day culture, we are immersed in the idea that only by being well-dressed, skinny, and pretty can a woman really be successful. "They're educated, sensitive, observant, and they have the complex sentences and insightful wording to prove it," writes Shane. "But they are living in a world where a woman's worth is constantly equated with her sex appeal. Is it any wonder that many women might find it compelling to take that equation to its logical end?"
The writer emphasizes the power of insecurity--the main motivation behind her entree into the sex industry. Although Shane is dismayed by her young admirers, she doesn't condemn them, saying she understands what they are going through. "Where do you go for reassurance if you doubt your physical and sexual desirability?" she asks. "Talk is cheap, so you take cash instead."
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.