The Las Vegas Madam - by Jami Rodman


The Las Vegas Madam - by Jami Rodman

Read: 2023-12-21

Recommend: 10/10

The book is one of the best I read this year. It delves into an alternate universe from the madam’s perspective, linking to the story of Suzy Favor Hamilton, an Olympic runner turned Vegas call-girl. Jami Rodman’s writing is honest, presenting a realistic view of the world’s oldest profession. It critiques the public’s focus on sensational scandals while overlooking serious issues like human trafficking.


Here are some text that I highlighted in the book:

  1. Often a trace of uncertainty flickered through my mind before a date. Dating for a living was like blind dating all the time, and even after I’d been doing it successfully every day for a few years, it only got easier because I adapted. It never felt completely natural. I caught the peppery whiff of a cigar and watched the smoke swirl into the canopy of lights above. Bronzed bodies edged their way through the crowd and a drone of chatter rose above the music. I took a deep breath and sucked it all in. This was what I liked—the vibrations, the hum, the lullaby of Las Vegas. I dismissed the anxiety. I forgot about everything but the night ahead. Yesterday didn’t matter and neither did tomorrow.

  2. I put in a bigger effort because I wanted to keep him coming back. Sam was a high roller, both in the casino and in the bedroom. And I never forgot the number one rule in courtesan dating: the ones who pay are the ones who stay.

  3. As I walked back through the hotel, I took a breath and tried to rein in the myriad of emotions that coursed through me—excitement, pleasure, boredom, loneliness, guilt—when one went away, another took its place. I wondered if this was the way everyone felt, not just prostitutes like me. At least that crushing emptiness was gone for the moment.

  4. I saw that girl drift from posh hotel rooms to penthouse suites while the champagne flowed and bachelors cheered her on. It was like something had been released inside her. There were no rules, no watchful eyes of a small community, and no boyfriends or bedtimes. “You are like a kid in a candy store,” her roommate had remarked. “If you’re going to have one night stands all the time, you might as well get paid for it.” It was the thing to do, dating for a living. Monogamy wasn’t trendy anymore; open relationships and polyamory were. Escorting didn’t feel that far away. “The more sex you have, the more you want,” a friend told the girl over coffee. “It’s like there’s a sea of sexuality. Those with average sex lives stay safely on shore.

  5. Sometimes I wonder if that may be the way to go. Some of us are tempted to go farther. We might dip a toe in the water and try something kinky, like a threesome. Then, we wade deeper. Maybe we start going to swinger’s parties. We’re pulled in by the current, and suddenly we realize we’ve gone father out than we ever thought we would. Sometimes we look back at those close to shore and wonder what it would have been like if we’d never even stepped into the surf.”

  6. When I looked in the mirror, I barely recognized myself. The blue of my eyes had turned to midnight black. I had felt empty for as long as I could remember, and despite trying to fill the void—with drugs, parties, alcohol, love, sex, money— nothing worked for long; it just covered up for a short time what I was feeling. Now I felt emptier than ever.

  7. That’s when I finally understood how Vegas works, how it plays out differently for each person. For me, the appeal wasn’t the gambling or the drinking. It wasn’t the non-stop partying and the opportunity to indulge every vice. It wasn’t the unconventional lifestyle. It was the liberty to be who I wanted, when I wanted. The Bible says, “Judge not, lest you be judged,” and Vegas was the only place I didn’t feel like I was being judged. I had been looking for this kind of freedom my entire life. If this was Las Vegas, maybe it wasn’t Sin City after all. Maybe Vegas was my heaven.

  8. Since I was the new hire with a fresh face, I never made the night shift, the holy grail of strip club cocktailing. They kept me on in the afternoon, when serving burgers and buckets of beer was somehow more appropriate with my country-girl smile. I envied the glamour of the night waitresses. Some of them were models on the side, and their chiseled features and practiced smiles were plastered across Las Vegas billboards and magazine covers. I tried to be like them. I even moved in with one, hoping some of her gorgeousness would rub off on me. I swiped rainbows of color across my eyelids and slathered gloss over my lips, but I was lucky if I went home with twenty dollars in my pocket. I rarely even made enough to tip out my bartender and bouncer. Most of my paycheck went to Uncle Sam.

  9. My first time didn’t feel as exciting, or as bad, as I thought it would. I waited for that moment, for a pivotal change, for when I felt like a prostitute, but it never happened. I’ll just do it this one time, just to get ahead, I told myself. Besides, he’s not a complete stranger. He’s a friend. It’s not like I’m a real prostitute.

  10. One of the first things we do when “crossing over” into the sex industry is create a new identity. We all do it—dancers, prostitutes, johns, madams, pimps. Having a separate identity keeps us safe from crazies, but it’s also easier if it’s not really us making the decisions. Somehow, as Haley, everything seemed less real. If Haley doesn’t work out, I can just go back to Jami. I can always go back to my real life one day, and forget Haley existed, I told myself. I had new rules to go with the new name: I didn’t orgasm with clients. I didn’t do anal. I didn’t swallow. I didn’t spend the night. I didn’t have sex without a condom. Those rules made me feel like I was still in control, like I wasn’t selling my whole self. They also equaled respect. By holding something back, I felt like I was able to retain respect for myself.

  11. Shelly and I knew the more risqué we got, the quicker it would be over, so we put on our best act. She buried her face between my legs and worked her fingers inside, one up my pussy and another up my ass. We flipped around and traded partners. It became a frenzied free-for-all, with legs, cocks, mouths, and breasts pointing every which way.

  12. Screening a client was a superficial method for protection— from rapists, serial killers, sadistic torturers, murderers, psychotic schizophrenics, and law enforcement. Still, it was the only buffer, that and intuition I had when I walked into a total stranger’s hotel room.

  13. There’s always a reason, a justification for paying for companionship. Most clients went into a session with some expectation. Clients like Jack and Tim the jolly cop wanted to explore their fantasies but keep them safely hidden behind closed doors.

  14. In the several months since I had moved to Las Vegas, my dating had turned into one night stands and casual hook-ups. At first, it was exciting. But one aimless night rolled into the next, indistinguishable from the others, and none were fulfilling after the first kiss.

  15. Prostitution and other sex-related businesses can skirt the law, and they thrive. Prostitution is not legal in Las Vegas. It’s illegal in all of Clark County, where Las Vegas is located. In fact, prostitution is against the law everywhere in the United States except for twelve other counties in Nevada, where it is legal in licensed brothels only. The many escort agencies and independent escorts of Sin City technically do not offer sexual services. They provide entertainment, like models and dancers, or companionship.

  16. To him, I was a warm body with a wet spot. To me, he was nothing more than a few dead Benjamins to toss into my purse.

  17. Hiring prostitutes isn’t cheap. He deserves what he paid for. I at least owe him my attention. If Zeek can fuck seventy-year-old men, I can fuck a gross guy. It’s a business transaction. Just get it over with.

  18. One minute I wanted to poke his eyeballs out and the next I felt pity for him.

  19. Bareback full service, or BBFS as abbreviated on the message boards, was popular in the underground world of prostitution, and it was big in porn. But I’d had a decade of STD and HIV awareness in school, and I knew the dangers. I didn’t want to catch anything, regardless of how much he paid. My vagina was my meal ticket. If I got something, I would be out of work.

  20. That was what Thomas paid for—the charge of being with someone, the charisma and passion, minus responsibilities.

  21. All three of us—me, Jason, Thomas—realized paid companionship wasn’t as fulfilling as we’d hoped. But how long did we have before the consequences were irreversible, and our lives became even more unsatisfying? When I focused on escorting, I forgot about finding a companion. Without someone to come home to, I can party more, I told myself. I was having fun and didn’t have to answer to anyone. I threw myself into work, becoming the Vegas girl everyone wanted to see.

  22. Hourly clients will allow you to get your hair and nails done, pay your rent, and fill your gas tank. But you need a high end regular to make this profession worthwhile. I had several. These are the guys who don’t want a clock. They also don’t want commitment, as sugar daddies do, and you can’t depend on them. They’re too busy, too married, and too into variety to commit to any one courtesan. But any escort worth a nickel keeps two or three high-enders in her rotation. They will drop $3,000 to $5,000 and expect you to fuck, suck, and massage their egos through the night and into the morning.

  23. Bill had conquered the world. He had everything, but that was his problem. The more successful he was, the more he had available to him, the harder it was to find satisfaction. Bill was a powerful politician, a lawyer, a scientist from Switzerland, a Stanford professor, a lobbyist from Chicago, one of New York’s top celebrity chefs. I can’t remember. I’ve fucked them all. From my angle, they were practically all the same. They could buy just about anyone they wanted, but they had done that already.

  24. We told stories about ourselves, ones that we could tell in our sleep. I knew theirs were all lies, just as mine was. It’s part of being an escort. I learned in the beginning to make up a story and stick to it. It was easier that way, and sexier. A struggling college student is more of a turn-on than a single mom.

  25. It got to a point where I couldn’t remember a single night in the last six months when I hadn’t blacked out. I dropped ecstasy several times a day, preloaded with vitamins to boost the high, and drank from night into morning. I rolled out of the beds of high powered businessmen into those of athletes and trust-fund kids with an insatiable appetite to party—these were clients who had bank accounts and bottle service that never ran dry. I shrugged off signs, warnings that I should slow down, but every night was another chance to get as wasted as I possibly could. In fact, the more inebriated I was, the more risky my behaviors, and the more clients liked me. All of that is probably why I felt invincible and let my guard down.

  26. I tried to piece the night together. The night had started off like most weekends, at a bachelor party. I remembered having a shot at the bar, but that’s where it turned hazy. I replayed the night in my mind, searching for a clue.

  27. I’ll never forget the way it felt when I took ecstasy. Ecstasy felt like freedom— freedom from myself, the world, expectations, responsibilities, religion. It made me the girl everyone liked. It made that leap from practicing on the bedroom floor to being an escort in Las Vegas no longer seem impossible. Gyrating around a pole, fucking forehead dildos, and participating in an orgy of strangers wasn’t daunting. The explosion of euphoria and sensations created by ecstasy lasts about four hours, unless another pill is taken.

  28. Ecstasy was also the Viagra of sex drugs, especially when combined with stimulants like energy drinks and cocaine. I, and most of the escorts and porn stars I knew, used some combination of these regularly. It took the edge off. It made a day of work seem easier. Anal sex and deep throating was painless. Sex work was fun.

  29. The more drugs I did, the further I felt from the high I was trying to find. I had taken so much ecstasy for so long that my brain had simply stopped producing the serotonin that usually flooded the brain after taking ecstasy, and I couldn’t get high anymore. Addicts call this “chasing the dragon.” I didn’t realize I was doing it, although I should have since I had worked in a rehab center. Everyone I knew in Vegas did the same thing. It was how we got through another day. Chasing the dragon means that your first high from a drug makes you feel like the world is perfect and at peace. You’re elated to the highest possible level. Then it starts to wear off, your mind races, you’re pulled from that dreamy state, and everything feels off-kilter. You crave that feeling, so you take more drugs, trying to feel like you did the first time. But it never happens again. That first high was the best it would ever get.

  30. Tired of spending every penny I made trying to fill a void. I felt like it had all been for nothing, because I still felt empty inside. “I can’t just lie down and go to sleep,” I said, more to myself than her. “Let’s have sex.” Sex was my refuge, my meditation. I knew what to do. It made me forget about everything else.

  31. An hour of paid companionship, for just a few minutes’ grand finale, was expensive. The average length of sex is between three and seven minutes, and nearly half finish within two minutes, say sex experts. To some clients a few hundred or thousand dollars was no big deal. Others saved for weeks or months. I tried to give every session my utmost attention

  32. Since I had gone away, since I had stopped doing drugs, since I had stopped drinking, I didn’t really know who I was anymore. I didn’t have the tools to understand myself. As an addict, I had run from my emotions. When I was lonely, I diluted the feeling with meaningless one-night stands. When I didn’t feel like selling my body to another nameless stranger, I did drugs to make it fun. When an orgy came up and I didn’t feel like joining in, I had another shot to forget.

  33. I cancelled a day’s worth of appointments and flew to LA, where I could get a newer kind of hair extensions. It was four thousand dollars for the service and two thousand for the hair. During the nine hours it took to glue long pieces of someone else’s blonde hair to my own scrawny strands, I kept staring at myself in the mirror and barely recognized the person looking back.

  34. They purchased me as a kind of vault to store other material. It was almost as if he was saying, I’d like to buy a blowjob and the opportunity to have you hold some of my resentment for me. I know I have a lot of privilege in society, but I’m still depressed because my wife hates me, my son only calls when he needs money, and everyone at work wants my job. So when I choke you with my cum today, it’s because I have something to prove to myself. It’s because I want to feel in control of something in my life.

  35. My privacy and freedom, the most important things to me, were being bought. Privacy is important to escorts. We have to give so much of ourselves intimately, physically, mentally, and emotionally to so many different people, it starts to feel like we’re selling our soul. And privacy is important to clients, too. There is usually an unspoken rule between client and provider about keeping our real lives out of it. We didn’t pry. I didn’t ask questions, make judgments, or stalk them. We were supposed to share a moment caught in time, a place where he could explore his sexuality without the pressure of a relationship. We staged a scene and both acted our part. Usually after a session with a client, it’s over. There might be a follow-up or random hello, but we both went back to our lives.

  36. I no longer met with clients who wanted to party all night or who were taxing to my sanity. The few clients I did see were ones who sought companionship and who became long-term regulars or sugar daddies. Because I gave so much of myself to Doug, and to the few other clients I saw, finding someone I could feel comfortable around had become even more imperative to bring balance to my life. I wanted to relax and be myself and to not worry how glossy my nails were, how many wrinkles had formed at the corners of my eyes, or if my breasts were showing signs of gravity. I was tired of wearing the wig I had spent so much time in over the past several months.

  37. I did know. The longer I worked as an escort, the more detached I felt from “normal” people who had a “normal” life, and the more critical it was to find someone to share my life with. Escorts yearn for closeness and companionship. We want someone to accept us for the way we are without having to wear a mask like we do with clients. Eventually we want someone to like us for us. “I’ve told guys I was dating before. It kind of slips out after the fourth glass of wine,” she laughed. “And then, oops, it’s not like you can say, ‘I take that back, I didn’t really mean it. That is not a secret you can untell.” That’s one of our biggest fears—finding a guy we like, telling him who we are, and losing him. That had happened to me with Santi and other boyfriends, and my choice to remain a prostitute strained the relationship. I gave up on normal guys. They just didn’t get it. I stopped going on normal dates. I didn’t go to nightclubs or parties. Soon it was just clients that were in my life.

  38. Sex is the world’s longest-running con game. A hard dick, a wet vagina, and the high of an orgasm can make a man and woman believe anything. It makes us believe we’re in love. Or we want to believe we are. Sometimes we do fall in love. For escorts and clients, it’s inevitable. When two people lie down together, it’s too easy for at least one person to get out of bed having “caught” feelings. The guy is just as likely to catch feelings as the girl.

  39. Escorts fall for clients, or for what they represent to us: someone who accepts us for who we are and respects us anyway. Clients fall for escorts, or what they represent to them: someone who gets paid to go on dates with men from across the globe, yet wants to be with them so much they’ll give up an extravagant and exotic lifestyle. We’ve both slept around for money. We’re on a level playing field. Both of us are optimistic, romantic, and maybe even a little arrogant, thinking that we’ll be the one special enough to snag their attention—at least for a while.

  40. Part of me wondered if it had been my fault—his family problems, his alcohol issues. If I hadn’t chased him, he might not be here, dependent on vices like gambling and drinking. But if it wasn’t me, it would have been someone else, the little voice whispered.

  41. We had been a game to one another all along. Our relationship was driven more by fantasy, manipulation, control, and lust than care for one another. We were both guilty of all of the above and took turns exploiting the other. I thought we were in it for love, but our relationship had started with deceit. All client-provider relationships do. Our friendship and compatibility had been an illusion from the beginning. We only lasted that long because we went on a twisted sexual journey together. I had been a sexual pawn, someone to act out his pornographic fantasies with. I had been using him too, really. I wanted his attention so badly, I became someone I wasn’t yet again.

  42. If you’ve found us from a review board, and run across activities certain models enjoyed in private, we have no control over what the internet says. Please be aware, we only promote companionship and time, not prostitution.” There was a universal understanding among everyone— clients, escorts, agencies—that escorts provided companionship, not sex. In doing so we remained neutral, in the legal sense

  43. Trick rolling is when the escort’s pimp meets her at the client’s room and they rob him.

  44. I never met trafficked women, physically coerced women, sex slaves, or anyone who didn’t make a choice to enter into the sex trade.

  45. I made a choice to relate to the women I worked with. I didn’t treat them like employees. I wasn’t a boss; I was their friend. I connected with each of our models and enjoyed getting to know them. This made it even harder when everything ended, and I knew some of them would become involved with pimps, and streetwalking, and hardcore drugs, things I had tried so hard to keep them away from.

  46. She didn’t understand that sex work really was work for a lot of other women, rather than a pastime. Escorting has phases, and the first is the excitement of the “honeymoon” phase. Kelly jumped into escorting quickly with shopping sprees and excessive drinking, staying out late, and scheduling too many appointments. “I want to be number one. I’m not going to stop until I am; I know I can do this!” It didn’t take long for her to become one of the top ten escorts in Vegas, especially since it wasn’t really work. Kelly didn’t have the everyday stress of things like paying the bills. In her quest to be the best, and because she was new to prostitution, she didn’t always follow the rules, like keeping a separation between fantasy life and real life. She also didn’t know where to draw the line with clients sometimes.

  47. I knew how easy it was to get caught up in the lifestyle. For a while Kelly became my go-to girl. Whether it was 2 a.m. or 8 a.m., I could always count on her. Eventually, though, she started showing signs that her habits were becoming a problem, like many of us did when our addictions overtook everything else in our lives. For some it was drugs, shopping, or drinking; her addiction just happened to be sex. She’d mess up her appointments, schedule too many at once, or forget about them. When escorting became the focus of her world, everything around her started to collapse. Even though she had been a great part of our team for a long time, and was one of the best escorts I’d ever known, she too had become a liability. But by the time I tried to step in, it was too late.

  48. The website server was hosted in another country. All cell phones were unregistered. Everything was paid for with prepaid credit cards, or cash. I didn’t keep records or a black book. That erase button they were talking about was a metaphor—that I wasn’t going to throw them under the bus. Their data wasn’t stored on a server that would be handed over and investigated by authorities. “I’m doing everything I can,” I told Kurt. Then I called a friend. “I should have stopped running the agency a long time ago. I don’t know why I just kept pushing forward.” “That’s why they call it ‘golden handcuffs,’” he said. “Once a business like that takes off, the money is hard to walk away from.”

  49. A big challenge with being an escort is keeping a distance, especially with clients. When we share pieces of our lives that are best kept private, emotions rise, jealousy and other unexpected feelings come out. That is the danger zone in escorting.

  50. Part of the reason I continued working with her, despite my intuition to stop, was because I wanted the agency to become number one also. And as long as she was striving to reach the top, she was taking us along with her. I’m just as much to blame.

  51. What did success mean anyway? Was it the power of having so many people depend on me? Was it the money? Was it owning my own business? What did success mean to me? I posed these questions to myself over and over. The truth is the business owned me, I didn’t own it. I was living the lifestyle but not in the way most thought. I ate, slept, and breathed everyone’s problems. I couldn’t be passive and let it grow slowly, not when everyone wanted a piece of it.

  52. I was trying to do the right thing. I was on call all day, every day, solving problems, being a sounding board and a mentor, but sometimes it didn’t feel worth it. If I had started seeing clients again, I would have made a lot more money, for a lot less time. And maybe I should have, instead of trying to start an agency. Maybe I would have been better off escorting for just a few more years and saving enough money to start something different. But it wasn’t the money that kept me going, I realized. It was the satisfaction I got from helping my friends and clients. I was providing a safe way for providers to meet clients, and a way for clients to meet legitimate and compatible companions who weren’t going to rip them off. So many people depended on my agency.

  53. I helped many women get back on their feet, pull away from abusive boyfriends, build the confidence they needed to get rid of a pimp or to get off drugs

  54. Success isn’t always about money. Success to me was about responsibility and doing what’s right. I helped many women get back on their feet, pull away from abusive boyfriends, build the confidence they needed to get rid of a pimp or to get off drugs. I provided a service that helped men find intimacy again. It was those things that gave me the most satisfaction in the business, and it was for those reasons I’d stuck it out and hadn’t quit a long time ago.

  55. Just then the hotel phone rang again. It was Suzy. “I can’t believe it was Luke that exposed me. He has a wife and kids, a career. He has a lot to lose,” she said, exasperated. “The IP address matches the same one in the email sent to the reporter. It has to be him. I know he was pissed when I canceled our date. I didn’t think he would get that jealous. “Guys are like that, but he should never have broken the rules. Are you going to “out” him?” I asked. “I’m better than that,” she finished, and I admired her for it.

  56. I looked at my phone when it rang yet again. This time it was my brother. I cringed. We had never made time to talk in the past few years. Now I had all the time in the world and there was a lot to catch up on. I just hoped my choices hadn’t isolated me from my family too. “Wow, it’s been a hell of a few years, huh?” he said. “You wanna talk about it?” And just like that I felt like I was ten years old again, and he was eight, and we were building forts in the backyard, carefree and oblivious to the world around us.

  57. It was hard to remember my life as a club kid, escort, and madam back in Las Vegas. It had only been a handful of months since I’d left, but as the days passed the particulars of that life dissipated, just as they had when I’d gone to Europe, and later to the Bahamas. The transition had been rocky and painful at times, mostly because I fought it. This time around, though, I was going to just let it happen. I was going to embrace what the universe gave me. No one here knew about Haley, the madam responsible for the safety and business of many people, or Haley, the party girl who gave her clients the night of their lives. One had come with powerful accountability, the other with the heavy chains of addiction. Here none of that mattered. What mattered to these people was my compassion, my willingness to learn, and to connect as human beings. I was free to be myself and to find myself. It was freedom that attracted me to Vegas in the first place. In Vegas, I finally felt like I had escaped the expectations that came from a lifetime in a small town. I felt like I could start over. It was a new chapter, a new identity. But that one came with even more expectations.

  58. I imagined if I had made other decisions, taken different paths. I could have continued climbing the corporate ladder, building the art company, and be well into running a lucrative business. What if I had continued dating Vance, instead of Martin? What if I had taken up one of my client’s offers to get married? What if I had never started the agency? What if I hadn’t let Jami turn into Haley? What if I hadn’t been addicted to drugs or turned into an alcoholic? What would my life be like without the ten years in Vegas? What if I hadn’t moved away? What if I had worked my way up to director at the treatment center in Oregon instead? What if I hadn’t made that pact with the devil? But I wanted my independence. Escorting gave that to me. I wouldn’t be here, nor would I have the same appreciation or fulfillment of what life could bring. It’s not just the person standing here, that strange mix of Jami and Haley, and the different things each one did that makes me who I am. I am a blend of everything. Just like the twists and turns of this mountain, expansive beauty followed by dark unknowns, my life too was pieced together like this landscape.

  59. I watched them climb the mountain with steady feet, carrying fifty pounds of gear between their heads and their backs. I only had the small pack on my back. I realized just how insufficient in the chain of evolution I had become. My emotional burdens, and my regrets, were so heavy that I had little strength left for the physiological ones.

  60. For years I was a relatively anonymous sex worker. The real me could always pull out my driver’s license and escape Haley Heston’s reality. Now, the real me and Haley Heston are one and the same. “I had to hide who I was for so long, from everyone,” I told her. “I don’t have to hide from the world anymore. Yes, I have some regrets, but I’m not going to let them consume my life anymore.”

  61. I’m still Jami, the person they thought they knew. I’m still their daughter, sister, and friend. I’m still the same person who spent time volunteering, who helped others achieve a better life, and who found pleasure empowering other people. I’m still the same person I had been all along. When others judged, those who mattered didn’t. It was just like Suzy had said. My friends and family love me for who I am, despite who I am. I don’t need approval from the rest of the world. One of my biggest regrets was disappointing my family. They now knew where my money came from, where their holiday gifts came from, how I was able to travel to see them as frequently. But they didn’t turn their backs on me. They had been there all along. I just hadn’t seen it.

  62. With good luck on my side, I had made it to the top of the grandest mountain in Africa. There’s nothing up here. It’s empty of life but filled with raw beauty. Maybe I, too, thought I was empty and alone, but had actually been filled with beauty. Maybe I had just been looking in the wrong places. I never found it with relationships, or with clients, or with sex. I had to find it within myself. Maybe the beauty is in kindness, for myself and for others. Giving a child hope for tomorrow, turning my ear to someone’s story, or helping them achieve a life goal. That was what I had done in Oregon, and in a way it’s what I did as Haley. I was fortunate to have the financial means and the time to discover that helping others gave me pleasure and meaning. I’ve had opportunities to travel, and meet amazing people, all because of escorting. But maybe it’s time to move forward, continue my International Studies degree and move on in my journey of helping others. This time in a different way.

  63. I continued taking phone calls from the women I once mentored. Some of them found ease and success in the transition. Others were seduced by pimps and became addicted to drugs. Some disappeared and their friends called me to help track them down. Stories about pimps continued to circulate into my life. I met girls who were smuggled over from Eastern Europe by organized crime rings. Instead of putting tracking devices in the girls’ cell phones, the pimps implanted microchips under their skin. Yet we focus on scandals like Suzy Favor Hamilton’s and mine, ignore the human trafficking and importation of women, of people. We’re cheating ourselves the most, for it’s empathy and compassion that brings us closer to happiness and fulfillment. There will always be another round, another cycle of prostitutes who will make the same bad decisions, and the same good ones as I have done. I realize now my involvement with this life was a gift. When I look in the mirror each morning, I am happy with my life. I had an opportunity, to reach out, to help others, to find myself. I wasn’t afraid to seize it. Tomorrow is another opportunity, and I won’t be afraid to seize that one either.