I believe that people tend to do the best that they know how to at any given time.

Crystal - Springfield, Missouri
Entered on February 14, 2009
Age Group: 18 - 30
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Last February, I got sick of dating and decided to try escorting. I felt unappreciated by the guys I was meeting and often felt used and like I was wasting my time. I was sick of cheap dates and of trying to find “the one”. I had always been curious about it, and I finally got up enough nerve. I took some pictures, and placed an ad on Craigslist.

It was thrilling, naughty, and empowering!

I got more flowers, more gifts, and more emails to say thanks than I’d ever gotten in the normal dating world. I was able to afford the saltwater aquarium I’d always wanted, and to pay off old bills. I enrolled in graduate school, and saw an open-minded psychologist just to make sure I wasn’t going totally crazy (it was surreal at times).

I met my boyfriend while on vacation. My client there had canceled on me and I was lonely. I told him about how I made my living on the third day we spent together, and he was fine with it. Soon afterward, he got a job and relocated to my town.

Starting out my adventures in escorting, I had told my sister and my best friend. Even though I screened my clients, I didn’t trust them completely.

Turns out, I shouldn’t have trusted my sister or my best friend completely.

The hate I received from my parents after my sister told them, and the hate from mutual friends my former best friend told, shocked me. My step-mother threatened to damage my car (within 2 days it mysteriously broke), and my dad cursed me out. My mother called my boyfriend’s employer and got him fired from his new high profile job (they told him why, and that they couldn’t risk the drama and bad PR). I received creepy emails in my escort address calling me by my real name, and to my personal email calling me by my escort name. My boyfriend could not find another job in our town. I dropped out of graduate school. No one ever once brought up their concerns for my health, safety, or even morality/ethics.

If you substituted the word “abortion” or “Muslim” with “escort”, what I experienced would have been blatant hate. It would have been more accepted if I were a meth addict.

Unlike issues of race or religion, tolerance is not taught in our society for escorts and other sexually alternative lifestyles. Conversely, there is a lot of misinformation about who escorts are and why they do it; media portrays them as either hookers on the corner or as outrageously high-end, not anyone who could realistically be your relative or old college chum.

Despite everything, I can honestly say that I forgive my sister, friends, and parents. They were ignorant. My choice to escort was a decision based on what I perceived were my options at the time. My parents, sister, and friend made decisions and reacted based upon what they perceived were their options, when faced with the very emotional issue that their daughter/sister/friend was an escort.