How Did Downtown Prostitution Work in the Year 2000

When I started using drugs in my early 20’s, for the first time my demands exceeded the money I allotted for “recreation.” Recreation was my personal accounting term for drugs. It is important to keep a budget. Making lists made me happy, especially since I was flawless in my personal finances. Then I had to choose between work and drugs. Then i had to choose between drugs and maintaining a savings. Then i had to choose between drugs and maintaining my moral standards. Drugs always won until there was nothing left to compete with using drugs. It was all I had left. But how do I live?

I returned to Honolulu after I became unemployed in NYC. I had spent a summer here dou g a project for college. I investigated to find out where the drugs were. Yes, they were in world famous Waikiki but you had to know people. In a spot a couple of streets over from Chinatown and the downtown business district, the dealers were out on the street and so were women and female-types. Someone told me to go pick a spot about 20 feet away from any other girl. I was told a car would pull over to the curb in front of me. Get in the car, go somewhere people can’t just look in, but close to command central. Ten, fifteen minutes later, the guy would bring me back. He might offer as little as $20 or as much as $100 but usually he would give $40 or $60. Then he would be off on his day. Busy times were when men were not expected home. Before work. Lunch. After work. But it was happening all day, an open air sex market as public as a farmer’s market.

Society did not approve so I was embarrassed. I did not like being with strangers (not even after I got to know them!) But to be clear, I did not have a moral problem with this secret, since the significant other never found out. It was quick and easy. The wait times in balmy weather were always under a minute, in downtown’s heyday, around the turn of the century. Hawaii was not a place runaway teens could reach by bus. There were no kids out there. Only 30-40 providers, everyone of us making $300-$500 a day and blowing every penny on drugs and related expenses, like giving a guy with a studio apartment $40 to spend the night because none if us had our own places. I am sure of the numbers because I recorded income and expenses even then. There was no competition from the internet at that point in history. If a guy wanted quick, cheap sex, he came downtown. Anytime, all the time, se were there and so were the tricks except for one day. Superbowl Sunday.

That was the basic structure. This structure provided the framework for the drama from the cops the tricks, the gurls (male and female!), and from ourselves. Coming soon: to rob a trick ir not. Pros and cons.

#Honolulu Prostitution, #Secret Street Sex

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