I’ll start from afar but not as far as last century, don’t worry. Around 6 years ago I met a woman who was also a beginner in sex trade. I was a poor student jumping from one temporary job to another, struggling to make enough to buy a travel card for the next day so I could attend my classes (and more often than not, ending up borrowing my bus fare from flatmates). She had just finished her education – she was homeless, jobless, with thousands of debt, and, when she joined the agency I met her through, only a hundred quid in her pocket. A couple of months later, as we were chatting, she asked me:
– So what is it for you? Now that you don’t have to worry about your bus fare for tomorrow, now that you know that each week you will have a few pounds left for yourself, what do you use this money for? What’s your vice?
For her, it was cabs. For me, it was food.
As many other things, this one was rooted in the childhood. My mother never cooked. She used to say she had better things to do than slaving away in the kitchen. She chose to do the better things and had someone else do the slaving for her. So our fridge was always full of delicious stuff that I never saw being made. Up to the age of 22 the only cooking I did was adding milk to my cereal. Sorry, cooking coloured boiled water (tea in layman’s terms) also counts. Naturally, I took it for granted.
When I was around 14, my eyes were forced open to what cooking actually meant. My maternal grandmother loved it (even I wonder whom my mother got her progressive views from) and I remember a feast she once organised for the extended family. I was called in to do my part. For three days non-stop my grandmother only left the kitchen to sleep. This was when I realised how much effort and time cooking required. I suddenly saw kitchen for what it is – a branch of Hell Ltd. Forget cooking for a party. Think of cooking for yourself. You spend at least an hour peeling, chopping, grating, frying, boiling and mixing. Another half hour will be spent washing up pots and pans and plates and spoons. Add 10 minutes for serving and cleaning the table. Then you eat everything up in 10 minutes and some time later (hold your breath!) IT ALL GOES DOWN THE LOO. To sum it up, if you still don’t see the point: 2 hours of your life, 2 hours that you will never have back to re-live in a better, more useful way, will be washed down the toilet. And you are not even paid for this time! I suppose it’s all fine if you enjoy cooking, but what if you don’t?
So when at 22 I was finally given the independence I’d been fighting for for years (not all parents are happy to see their children go) and found myself living on my own and in London, I had to face a choice:
- I could hire a cook,
- I could eat out 14 times a week,
- or I could learn to cook.
The only financially acceptable option for me was to cook. Talk of getting what you asked for. I took up cooking with the enthusiasm we all have for things we are clueless about. If anyone is interested, I could come up with “How I learnt to cook” post. You’ll pee yourself laughing at my expense. The result of my efforts was by most part still flushed down the loo, only without having passed my digestive tract as nature intended. Moreover, at that time I was so stupid and inexperienced, it didn’t even cross my mind that I could get a boyfriend and thus have someone cooking for me in exchange for sex.
So what do you think happened when I became involved in the sex industry? Yes, that’s right. At last I had a few pounds a week left for myself and I could EAT! And my 2-year-long abstinence from food helped me realise how much I loved it. I love food from the bottom of my stomach. In fact, food and I, we have a very healthy relationship – food loves me back. It satisfies me, it pleasures me, it never disagrees with me. We’re inseparable. We’ll die together on the same day.
6 years down the line, sex trade gave me many things that I’m grateful for:
- Opportunity to be independent financially, emotionally and otherwise
- Variety of sex that mere mortals only dream of
- Countless ways of self-expression
- Respect and adoration of men
- New shoes now and then
and I could go on and on. But being able to afford to eat what, when and how I please without having to waste my life on cooking is priceless. I can afford to do my food shopping every day – not once a week or a month. How can I buy food for a month if I don’t know what I will want to eat tomorrow? I can afford to buy organic food, as fresh as you can possibly find in a city. I can afford to not own a fridge or a freezer – if it needs to be stored in a fridge, it’s not fresh. And, best of all, I can afford to eat out every time I can’t be bothered with food shopping. Life is beautiful.