Childhood Dreams

Memories surface, popping into consciousness at the oddest moments.

I was talking with a good friend of mine, a provider who feels uniquely equipped for her work and can trace her desire to be a courtesan back even to childhood. I thought that was interesting but moved on as the conversation flowed. It wasn’t until later that a memory surfaced, clear as day.

It is a child’s drawing. Stick figures represent men and a woman. The scene is a bedroom, sparsely furnished, dominated by a four poster bed with elegant curtains and steps leading up to it because the mattress is so thick and well cushioned. The woman reclines on the pillows and a speech bubble contains a name; Stan or Will or some such. On the other side of the door is literally a line of men trailing away. If I had any concept of perspective they would be disappearing into the hallway and receding into oblivion, their only import that they have literally lined up to visit with this woman.

I drew this picture in middle school. I know the age because of the friend who was with me. She and I were only briefly friendly enough to draw together and the two of us were happily drawing extremely high volume prostitutes and admiring their elegance and the power they had to draw men to their door. They only had to lie there, sensual and desirable, and these stick figure representations of lust would come and lavish attention on them. They were glamorous. I wanted to be them.

The memory faded until some conversation jostled it to the surface. The amusing detail in the drawing is the thought bubble above the woman’s head. It contains a different name, as if she is under obligation to have sex with the men outside the door but she wishes for another. Amusing may not be the right word. Poignant, perhaps? Distressing? I don’t know why I chose to add that detail at age twelve. Perhaps I saw myself doing that someday and my conservative upbringing pressed it out of me, only for me to discover it later and use it to liberally season life later. I came to Seattle and at the first opportunity leapt feet first into stripping, then moved on to more one-on-one engagements, all the while flushed with pleasure.

I am exactly where twelve year old me thought I would like to end up. I didn’t know it until recently but this is exactly what I thought I would grow up to be. My provider friend said it this way about herself: “I though ‘I haven’t had sex yet but I bet when I do I’ll like it. I’d like to do that for a living.'” Which is far more deliberate than my fumbling in the darkness of ignorance until I found a place and a community. I have been fortunate in that I found a welcoming community of supportive friends, a safe space to practice, and a partner who supports me.

I find the whole anecdote amusing. When I told my college friends about my profession, most if not all were amused and supportive, full of questions, but respectful and absolutely not surprised. Not one of them thought it odd that I would go into this business, though some who hold to their religious beliefs find it ill conceived.

Now I sit here at a coffee shop, drinking chai, tip tapping away on my iPad with money in the bank and an eye toward the future. Despite my bachelor’s degree I find myself without debt and in fact I have been able to support myself and my practice as well as a modest but comfortable lifestyle. I think twelve year old me would be proud.