Chapter One; 5/21/22
Dewey remarks that sex workers live in a gray area where they are simultaneously objects of desire and objects of revulsion. She attempts to allow them the “complex personhood” that society denies them, stripping them down as it does to a stereotype, which is misrepresentative of the truth.
Methodology: All fifty dancers were surveyed, two dozen were interviewed at length and five were selected for the book’s analysis, as their stories were representative of the varied whole.
Generally: Most of the dancers were between the ages of 20-35, with the majority falling in the shorter 20-24 range. More than half of them had children, and all of the women over 26 had been previously married. None owned their own homes, most were local, but a few traveled from other towns to avoid discovery. Most spent 1-2 weeks of pay on rent and the average income approximately equalled minimum wage. Without exception, the women with children cited their responsibilities to their children as their reason for turning to sex work.
Twenty percent of the dancers quit within the first month, citing income, interpersonal issues, safety concerns, or a general disillusionment as their reasons. Another 25% quit within three months. Most of these women were aged 18-24 and were never married with no children.
Very few of them had been previously abused, challenging traditional notions for why women enter sex work. Most of them knew a family member involved in some subcategory of sex work and all of them knew of at least one acquaintance. A few of them had aspired to the job and some aspired to make dancing a career. Most were attracted by the earning potential and believed they were making intelligent investments in their futures.
Dewey believes that poverty “blurs the lines of propriety” for US sex workers, forcing them to make decisions that appear irresponsible to others, or which have immediate benefit and potential long-term costs.
Angel: -Young looking, under 5′ tall, wears no make up except lipstick, usually black, has few ensembles, lives couch to couch.Aged out of the foster care system, lost son to system, into drugs and alchohol, shunned by the others who believe she engages in prostitution.
Star: Brunette, 24, two sons. First husband was a cheater & a drinker, family forced to tolerate until she was 21 and he left for another woman. New guy, moved away, got her knocked up, married someone else. Teams up with Cinnamon.
Cinnamon: Pregnant at 13, kept baby, lost family. Daughter is now 14.
Diamond: Most beatiful, professionally ambitious, strawberry blonde hair “Diamond in the rough.”
Chantelle: Deeply ashamed about job, pregnant, just wants to save up enough for the baby.
Chapter Two; 5/22/22