Back in December, I was hit by a college kid who was texting while driving. I was on my bike, and both my legs were broken, plus I had spinal, muscle and tendon trauma. When my leg busted open, lots of bone was lost in the roadway, and my right leg isn't able to heal. I'm facing another surgery to harvest marrow from my femur to graft to my tibia and fibula. I am already tens of thousands of dollars in debt, and my savings are gone from the last recovery phase.
I'm honestly a bit worried about how I will survive. If I had the decency to just outright die, I am sure the awesome Athens community would have held some epic group rides and crowdfunded my funeral expenses, but I didn't die, and it's been nothing but crickets from 99 percent of those who I thought were friends. Taking care of people is hard. Too bad I am not part of a church community—maybe then there would be more folks who give a flying spoke.
Then again, maybe it's a good thing, because I've been considering prostitution as a means to make ends meet. I can't walk, but I can fuck without any overt morals to give me worse pain than I'm already in. Although, thinking about the overarching situational/community/societal pressures that drive women to the oldest profession—and drive the profession into the dangers of the shadows—has been some seriously flavorful food for thought.
I was running my own business before the wreck—a business that failed because of these injuries. I was in great shape before the wreck, and I’ve been keeping up my workout routine—keeping it tight! Is prostitution just another manifestation of the entrepreneurial spirit? Is it empowering if it saves me from starvation and allows me to heal so I can walk and function again one day (I hope)? And should I really be so hung up on who gives a flying whatever, when obviously there are plenty of people who could care less? Can your column help with my solicitation conundrum?
Seriously Jacked Biker Babe
No shame in your game? Get money! I have a few friends who have worked in the sex industry, and I also was young once as well—take that however you'd like—and sudden financial burdens are the thing that most newbies in that industry have in common. You can set your own hours and your own terms, and taboo plus illegality make pretty much all sex services expensive.
Personally, I’d like to see the legalization of all sex work, so each industry could be regulated for the safety of workers and patrons alike. That said, you need to be careful with any job that entails spending intimate time with others and allowing people that kind of access to your body. I’d recommend checking out the works of The Scarlot Harlot and Melissa Gira Grant for first-person accounts of what it really means to be a modern sex worker. My friend in Chicago also recommends asking a current sex worker if they’ll accept a consultant’s fee to advise you as you get started.
Of course, not all sex work is illegal, and I'd recommend you start with legal avenues, such as working for a chat line from home. It can pay pretty well, as it did for a friend of mine who lived in a Chicago high-rise off of the proceeds of phone sex. The only friends of mine in San Francisco who live roommate-free are sex workers and tech bros. You could also find an adult “tube” site, start a channel and monetize it with ads, and get a Venmo account to facilitate the currency-exchange part of your private interactions with patrons and fans. And don't forget cryptocurrency, which is totally anonymous.
You've expressed an interest in the direct exchange of money for sex—without a doubt the most lucrative form of sex work out there—but be careful, because you can be arrested for it, beyond the other obvious hazards. And sorry, I can’t help you with solicitation, but I do support you in this endeavor. Sex work is work. Just educate yourself, protect yourself and keep up to date with your health. Good luck.