LA is dead! Off to Bellas?((scared!))

Ack!  Sitting up late in my hotel room in Vegas..kicking myself because I had signed up for the “adventure” of trying out brothel life by way of Madam Bella who presented to us at the Chicago Desiree conference.  I knew it wasn’t going to be the ideal situation, but hey, it was only 10 days right?

Vegas is 6 hours from LA.  and 6 hours from Wells, Nevada.

I am sort of homeless and playing travelling hooker just to ease my mind of ending fighting relationship with a boyfriend I had sugarmama’d (meaning somewhat non consensually) for the last year.  My emotions are already in turmoil.  And then I read Amanda Brooks’ blog on her experience at Bellas. Terrified.

Is it too late to turn back? to give up?  Yes.  Unfortunately.  It is.  Bellas was my one hope in dark shithole of LA escort market and I had planned this trip based on the fact that I have fallen short of my monthly expense minimum because of my credit card debt and it has caused me to be constantly frantic about money, fighting with the boyfriend over money, taking bigger risks in sex work, GETTING ARRESTED.  Yes, I also must somehow raise money for my legal fund, as I recently get charged with prostitution in the city of LA in May of this year.  Need to pay for the lawyer to fly down for the pre-trial conference (where we will plead NOT GUILTY) on September 5th.

I have subletted my apartment for the month, because of going to Mexico for 2 weeks made it impossible to pay rent, so in many ways, I cannot go back.

I just got into a wicked screaming fight with my ex/boyfriend…finally got him to move out and finally he returned his key to my house…He was blaming me again for irregular bumps on his penis.

I swear the amount of fights with partners where you have to scream to defend yourself against the title of reigning Ms.Disesase is tiring enough to make you give up sex work forever…It doesn’t matter how much you get tested, or how many barriers you use, you can still catch things, break condoms and/or flaw so in an unsupportive partner’s eyes (8 out of 10) you can still be blamed if ANYTHING happens.

I’ve decided to STOP PAYING ALL MY CREDIT CARD BILLS!  Another liberating but scary thing, and start work on something called Debt Settlement, which is something you might hear about on the radio.  If you have debt and it has become your PIMP like me, then you should consider it.  You pay 40% of your total debt with the help of a lawyer, but your credit rating tanks for a year and then you have to buy something called Credit Repair…

I am in the heart of where I’ve had the worst times in sex work–Las Vegas.  I tried casino cruising after Desiree 1 and had no luck.  I tried being a stripper here many many times, when I was in my supple 20s, and didn’t make $1000s a day like the girls next to me.  I HATE VEGAS.  If I don’t go to Wells, where will I go?

Part of me wants to chicken out of the ranch idea and just pay for an Eros visiting ad for a couple of weeks.  But then, I HATE VEGAS and it is 105 degrees out here.  My Comfort Inn is exactly that right now.  I am terrified of giving up my space, my peace, my sanity.

I burned out on stripped clubs because of the repetitive conversations and the repetitive music and stage fees and rules and endless bullshit.  Stripclubs in San Francisco are defacto brothels anyway, just like in Thailand, everyone knows that sex happens in the club and after the club but the local government is paid by club lawyers to turn a blind eye to labor and human rights violations.  But perhaps all that will be changing in San Francisco very shortly, and perhaps I will return there to be a whore.  I burned out on stripclubs because people who were endlessly profiting off of your sexual labor could give a flying shit about you.

I wanted to go to the brothel to experience being legal.  Having experienced jail and being an illegal for so many years, I thought it might be a refreshing experience.  But Amanda Brooks and I are very different people.  So there is a chance I could have a good experience.  But, from her blog, it doesn’t sound like she made a lot of money for the amount of work required.  All I remember reading was “how sore I was” and “the bell was ringing every 5 minutes.”

I have done a lot of hard sex work and have been hardened by the hustle in LA (where most of the money made is by upselling and bait and switch agency work).  You simply can’t make enough money to survive by being honest, using your real picture and posting your actual price.  My honest escort work is supplemental to my agency hustle.  This is why a lot of independent girls try to work in LA and hate it.  You have to be a hustler and willing to not care about most of the people you see in order to make it. In fact, many of the girls who do agency work are anti-prostitution sex worker perpetrators who, together with their drivers love to bully money out of all the “perverts who call them.”  I don’t feel that way about my clients, and actually make my money in de-escalating the suprise of the agency scam and the usually keep me even though they didn’t expect me and tip me another $100 even tho they didn’t expect to do that either…(upsell defined: I am the Jiffy Lube of escorting, go in thinking you’ll spend $39.99, leave with a bill of $300 :)

You have to be willing to drive long hours in traffic, sometimes at the crack of dawn, sometimes for no shows.  Maybe Bellas wouldn’t seem so bad to agency work in LA.   I have had crackheads and multiple other druggies in motels, alcoholics sloshing around in drool like Nicholas Cage, recently released felons with fake credit cards and more at the low end of my client list.  Because of the hustle I do as an agency girl, I have been told off, insulted, kicked out of mansions and had countless doors slammed in my face–and that has hardened me to not feel guilty about the way I make my money.  This is not to say that there isn’t a high end of the typical $3-400/hr escort, getting paid just to talk to business men, record execs in boutique hotels on sunset strip and more..but LA is dead right now and the money is just not there.  I used to have an “agent” who had a system of spamming craigslist for me.  But, craigslist seems to be on to that game and craigslist is also the favorite tool of sting operations nationwide, and exactly how I fell into the trap that got me busted.

I just got back from an amazing experience singing and doing art work in Mexico City.  I never finished blogging about it for this page, but i did do so on my personal blog.

Will I make it to Bellas or chicken out of the ranch??

check out my fate in a couple of days, because at this moment, I feel like turning back.

10 Responses

  1. Hi Mariko,

    I could not stand to live in LA, what with all the driving you have to do. I’ve been to that city at least two times in my life and it rubbed me wrong both times, although LA is interesting in it’s own way.

    New York is for me. I don’t think I should recommend you coming to work here, what with the Pink Scare and all.

  2. However, there probably aren’t so many clients in New York who are druggies or sleezeballs, but definitely do not quote me on that, cuz they exist everywhere, unfortunately.
    :-)

  3. The Democratic National Convention begins next week (8/25) in Denver. The Erotic Review took out a full page ad in the official DNC entertainment guide. So there’s that…

  4. Yeah, if we weren’t in the middle of freeing ourselves, that’s we we’d be, and then there’s the republican convention…I hear you make more money the more conservative.

  5. After reading Amanda’s blog, I’d be terrified, too! :lol:

    Good luck.

  6. You certainly would be a welcome escort in the Dallas/Ft Worth area. Amanda Brooks worked here for a while and seemed to like it.

  7. Best to you, Mariko, at times like these. I identify a little as I recently had a run-in similar to the one you related with your former boyfriend. I was also paying my Guy’s bills by escorting, which didn’t stop him from flipping his shit at me (he is a former hustler, too!), punching holes in my doors and walls, along with my Ho-so-open heart, etc. So, I mean it when I say

    F#$% OFF to your Boy
    F*&^ OFF to Debt Bondage
    F#$% OFF to State Pimps

    We all know you’re a survivor, Mariko, and if you ever need to get facial reconstructive surgery to hide from the FBI here in New York, you’re welcome at my pad.

    Just remember, even the f-in Bible fears us: “Many are the victims she has brought down.” Proverbs 7:26

    Bring em’ Down

  8. Good luck. I am n LA now. I found it is better to do incall. I couldnt stand working for an upsale scam agency, I dont like the door slammed in my face. I wish you well.

  9. Will, I LOVE your post!! Bring ‘em down, indeed.
    Kiss!

  10. July

    When I called and spoke to Bella she gave me Shaunia’s number and told me to call her. I emailed some pics and they booked my ticket for July 23, 2008. I explained to Shaunia that I had never worked at a brothel or for an escort service. She advised me that they were very busy and that I could make a lot of money. When I arrived Deb, Bella’s sister was one of the first people I met. She introduced herself to me as my “crazy, Aunt Deb.” She said all of the girls call her Aunt Deb and gave me a big hug. I felt very welcome and comfortable. My first night I had to stay in my room because I wasn’t cleared to work. There was a fight in the bar with some of the girls and two girls were asked to leave the next day because H had called another girl a nigger, or so the story went.

    I planned on staying 14 days and since I arrived on the 23rd, a Wednesday I planned on leaving the 6th, a Wednesday and had made arrangements for my children based on that. I wasn’t given a contract so I asked Shaunia for one and she said there was one behind the bar I could read. When I read it I discovered the 14 days was from the date you cleared (1st time in a brothel). Which for me was Thursday the 24th. The contract also stated that you couldn’t leave on Thurs, Fri. or Sat. So based on that information the first date I could leave was August 11th, 19 days after I arrived.

    I told Shaunia that I would probably not be able to stay until the 11th. She made it seem like everything was okay and we could work something out. I also asked her for something showing how much money I owed and she said she’d get it to me in a few days.

    The first day I cleared was in the evening and Bella was there with a friend of her (female) who wanted a tour because she had never been in a brothel. I lined up with the other girls and I gave her a tour of the house. After that Bella gave me a tour showing me the best way to do it. After they left the bartender on duty was T, she was drunk when she got to work. The rest of the evening when my timers were going off she was nowhere to be found, so other girls had to watch the clock for me and knock when my time was up. T spent the evening trying to keep her drunk boyfriend in the house because her husband was waiting outside and wanted to fight him. At midnight she counted the register. It took her 45 minutes to do it because she couldn’t figure it out because she was drunk. Meanwhile, myself and another girl had men in our rooms waiting.

    The next day Shaunia had all of the girl’s right a statement about T and what had happened. Shaunia said she fired her and another bartender. Later that afternoon Shaunia called a meeting and decided not to fire her. She said that T was an alcoholic and that she had been doing a lot better, the doctor said she had to drink every day, and that she couldn’t afford treatment. It was very strange for all of this personal information to be revealed in a meeting. Shaunia asked how we felt about it and I said I didn’t feel safe. I explained how the timers were going off and at one point I couldn’t get a man out of my room because he hadn’t hears the intercom go off, because it hadn’t, so he felt he still had time left. I said that I felt her behavior put all of us in harms way. The intercom system is there to keep us safe and that didn’t happen. Shaunia let her come back anyway, and we were to understand that she would be drunk, but if it got out of hand to call Shaunias cell.
    A few days later Shaunia gave me a breakdown of how much I had earned and how much I owed. At first, I didn’t understand the amount, but then realized it was correct. I may be off by a few dollars, but I believe I made $2400 (I hadn’t worked a full week yet) after my expenses and room and board were taken out I had about $400. She said she didn’t give the girls there money, because she wanted it to be safe and that you didn’t get your money until you left. She said it was always like that when you first start because of the initial expenses, but after you come back a second time you’ll see your money double or triple.

    She said I had done very well especially for my first time in a brothel and that everyone I “partied” with said they liked me and that I was nice. She said if I had any questions to ask V because she was helpful and give me some tips. V volunteered to sit in on a negotiation to help me. V did help me and was very nice about it. She also stated that it was good that I kind of kept to myself and didn’t involve myself with the other girls and their drama. I had to go to the doctor and so Shaunia said she was going to give me a draw (withdrawal) so I could get thing I needed and some outfits. There was a store in town that sold slutty clothes. She said that she was giving me $800.00. I felt that it was a high amount. I didn’t need that much for supplies and clothing and it didn’t make since to me especially since I only had $400 on the books. She said not to worry about it the other $400 would come out of the following weeks pay. I stashed most of it and ended up only spending $200 on the doctor and supplies.

    Looking back I think the reason for the large amount was so I could be back in the red, owing the house. If you owe the house you can’t leave. However, she disguised as doing me a favor. The next few days were really and we didn’t have many customers. I was getting homesick and missed my children and advised Shaunia that I probably would be leaving that Wednesday, which would be one day early. I asked her if I left early would I still get whatever money I had on the books because I had heard that I couldn’t get it. She said that wasn’t true and that I probably heard that from V or C because they were jealous because usually they made the mot money. She said that they were just trying to bring me down so they could make all the money. I guess she forgot that a few days earlier she told me how helpful V was.

    Two of the other black girls left on the morning of the 5th. That evening waiting for a lineup Deb came into the parlor and asked myself and another girl how were. We both replied that we were homesick. Deb snapped and said fine then get out, leave, I don’t care, start packing your shit. We were taken aback because all we said was that we were homesick. We still did the lineup and a few minutes later Deb came into the kitchen and said that Shaunia would be back soon to cash us out so we could leave right then.

    Shaunia came in a few minutes later and called the other girl into her office. A few minutes later it was my turn. She asked if I wanted to stay or leave I said I was probably going to leave anyway the next day. I told her I said was that I as homesick and she snapped off. Shaunia replied that she didn’t like how I said it. And that they were tired of attitude anyway and the customers complain that I don’t smile enough. Once again, she forgot that she already told me the customers liked me and that she was the one suggested not being super friendly with the other girls.

    She booked my ticket and said maybe it would be better to come back when my kids were in school. She asked if I wanted too work the rest of the night and I replied yes. After my plane ticket home I only had $11.00 left over. She said that the ride to Salt Lake City from Ace was on the house.

    Before she left I gave her a hug and said I would try to come back when school starts.

    August

    End of August I called Shaunia to let her know I could come back on Monday the 8th and that I only wanted to stay a total of ten days. She said that I was welcome back there and she booked the ticket for me.

    September 8th

    Shaunia picks me and another girl up at the airport. There were already two other girls in the van and they were talking about a new “sister” ranch Bella was working with Dovetail and that they had beam there working. After that we head to the doctor and then to the ranch.

    On the way I asked Shaunia if we could stop at a store cuz I needed to get a couple of things she said sure.

    We get to the ranch one girl is leaving and going to Bella’s. Then Shaunia tells me and another girl to get our luggage. I responded that I thought I was going to Bella’s. Shaunia said it was full so I had to work out of this house. I looked around for a minute there was hardly any food in the house. There was a random dog running around. The bathroom was disgusting the only shower ones like you find at an outdoor water park. I called a girl I knew at Bella’s and she said that it wasn’t there only like 4 other girls there. Clearly, Shaunia had lied.

    I went up to Bella and Shaunia and told them I wanted to go to Bella’s that why I came. I was only going to be there a short amount of time. I said I don’t mean to whiny or complaining, but I feel you should have told ne in advance, So I could of made the decision if I wanted to come or not. H, the same girl who had got kicked in July was there too, but she was in charge. And she took her job to the fullest. Not realizing that they got a free full time employee. I walked around and complained about being there for a while and next thing I knew Shaunia was on the phone. H was talking to her and she said “tell Samantha if she doesn’t lose her negative attitude she can pack her shit up and find her own way home.”

    That night the new girl was crying because she was homesick because she missed her kids. She also had been told the entire time that she was going to Bella’s and didn’t want to be at the Dovetail. H reported back to Shaunia and Shaunia decided that I was being negative and making her cry. Shaunia told H to tell us that we were not allowed in each others rooms. I guess they wanted us to talk where they could hear us, because this rule wasn’t in place before.

    She cleared us to work that day even though neither of us had received our work cards yet. She said just be careful and don’t tell a customer that you don’t have it. Neither of us wanted to work without work cards.

    On Tuesday Shaunia came in to drop off some food. When she walked in smiled at the new girl and said hello. I was sitting right next to her and she didn’t even acknowledge me. She took the new girl into the kitchen and told her to stay away from me because I didn’t want her to make any money. The new girl told her repeatedly that she wasn’t sad because of me. But Shaunia just kept telling her not to talk to me. She also said that last time I was at Bella’s I told her to “go fuck yourself” and that had paid for my airfare home. And that I was lucky I was getting a second chance.

    After all that I decided to go home I called a friend and had her book me a greyhound ticket. I had the new girl come in my room and watch me pack, so there weren’t any issues. I hear that once she had fired a bartender and then accused her of stealing a case of Jagermeister.

    I called my cab and didn’t tell H I was leaving until it showed up. Shaunia asked them where I had gotten the money from and did I take it out of the lacked register. The new girl told them my friend paid for my ticket. Shaunia went over to the registrar and realized we hadn’t made enough money for them to accuse me of taking. I have no doubt that if there were more money in there she would claim I stole it.
    Shaunia then checked in my room and said I stole an ashtray out of the room

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