The Money Experience (Story by R.C. Peris)

Here’s the thing. Even dating is a money experience. You meet a guy at a bar, online, or at Starbucks. He offers dinner or drinks. Sometimes both. You go on the date and get the free meal, drinks or coffee. He wants something though. A kiss. A grope. Sex. I get dinner and he gets sex.

I was a teacher. English literature. High schools students in South Central Los Angeles. I struggled to make my students care about Romeo and Juliet or The Grapes of Wrath. Most of the students were interested in rap lyrics. So I got creative. I introduced the Beat poets and writers. They still didn’t care.

I made $2200 a month teaching. I lived in LA. Near Koreatown. My rent was $1200. I had a car payment. I had bills. I was short cash each month. I figured I would tutor. That made the difference. But I was working my ass off. A friend said I could be an escort. Supplement. I was attractive if I put work into it. Spent time on my hair. Painted my face with makeup. Wore the right clothes. My friend said I was hot. She gave me the number of an agency.

A week later I was with some guy, out of state, buying me drinks in a hotel. He wanted sex. A blow job to be specific. That’s easy. I did it. He gave me money and I left. I made $800. Shit. I was flush with cash. The agency sent me more men. In one month I made $5000. I was still teaching but moonlighting.

Was it bad? Awful? Dehumanizing? Maybe. But money is money. I didn’t have any unresolved trauma. I had a good childhood. My mother called every Sunday. I wasn’t bad. I wasn’t good. I just needed money and I allowed men to use me. Sometimes it was arousing and sometimes I wished for it to end. What I was doing was technically illegal. It shouldn’t be. I should be able to do what I want with my body and another consenting adult.

Being an escort wasn’t a resume builder. It was a money builder. I gave the men a girlfriend experience and I got a money experience. Not ideal and not bad. Not legal but not bad. Besides, at the end of the year, I paid taxes on it. Freelance. Nobody was going to lock me up for tax evasion.


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