From Streetwalker to Escort–How One Woman Made the Transition

Interview with veteran sex worker:

A Streetwalker is easy to describe. She walks the streets that are known for prostitution and gets into the car if any guy who pulls over for her. The workers on the street are usually homeless and addicted to several substances. For a woman to be on the street in her own home town where people she knows can see her, she has to reach a level of not caring that’s hard to imagine if you’ve never been there. This not caring extended to asking price. She would prefer to get $100, the usual maximum in downtown Honolulu in the early 2000’s. But make no mistake about it she will take $20 bc that’s enough to get her high. That meager amount of money is gone faster than it takes her to instruct a man to pull over into an isolated parking space for quick sexual favors. But she is only seeing as far as the next high. Later on, that’s when she worries about later.

You have to understand that no mental state remains constant. Sometimes she wants a chance to make money, to get a place. For me, I asked one of the guys I had taken to hanging out with after he became a date. He said he knew someone who ran an escort service. This was before the internet. Guys would look in the yellow pages for “escort” for all the world to see. Half page ads. Local women, foreign women, older women, younger women. It looked like a guy had many different choices for companionship. In truth, all of these half page ads in the Honolulu yellow pages belonged to one guy–a black man named Steve who answered the phone in a deep Barry White voice with, “May I help you?” The guy I was hanging out with could relate to my desire to earn more and more importantly, he knew if I worked escort it would be taking calls from all over the island so I would need a driver. Like him. So, while we were staying in a hotel frequented by ne’er-do-wells called the Pacific Marina, out by the airport, my associate called Steve. Steve told him to bring me to a spot in Waikiki. I thought we were going to meet but instead he observed me from afar. I had no phone, back in those days phones were not standard, but Steve called my associate and told him that I looked like I needed to “come up” but that I would do nicely. Then , I did meet Steve and he provided me with a phone and told me what I needed to do to make $300 an hour instead of turning $20 dates.

No matter where you are in the world it all comes down to who you know and if they are willing to endorse you.

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