Women Working on American Sex Industry Turns to Have Toughest Life Experiences
＜The Corona disaster has hit all industries hard. The U.S., the world’s largest economy, is no exception, but compared to other industries, the sex industry is the one that is not in the spotlight. Nonfiction writer Soichi Hayashi follows the lives of American sex workers in the wake of the Corona disaster. ＞You can read more about it here.
Online Sex Services” to Survive
In the first part of this report, we talked about the current state of Nevada’s brothels and interviewed a woman who had been working there for only three months. Next, we turned on the IC recorder to Lexie, a veteran of the CHICKEN RANCH who has been working there for 19 years.
I’ve been doing this for a long time, so I have a good amount of money saved up. I’ve been in this business so long that I have a good amount of savings, which is why I was able to get by during the 14-month shutdown. In this business, if you want to make money, the sky is the limit. Some girls are only under contract for two weeks, while others are under contract for a month and repeat. If you want to work non-stop, 24 hours a day, seven times a week, you can do it.
I relaxed during the time CHICKEN RANCH was closed, thinking it was a vacation. But I did miss my regular customers. I felt like, “I wonder how he’s doing,” or “I wonder if we’ll ever grow apart. We are not allowed to talk to our guests on the phone or meet them outside the inn. We don’t want to lose respect for the inn, so we definitely follow the rules. That’s why I kept in touch with my friends via email and social networking sites.
The newcomers to this job must have had a very difficult time. That’s why they were focusing on online services.
Lexi has a 27 year old son and a 26 year old daughter. She got into this business to support her two children as a single mother.
I got married when I was 21 and divorced when I was 33,” she said. When I decided to get divorced, I was running a cleaning company with two employees. But it wasn’t going so well. …… I worked hard until I was a wreck, but I couldn’t make any money. With two elementary school-aged children, I had to feed myself. I love sex, and I have orgasms every day (laughs). I even get flowers from customers. So I can enjoy my work.
And since I live in …… North Carolina, I could come to Nevada every month and tell my kids, “I’m going on a business trip.” I would work for two weeks, come home, and repeat. I was able to separate my daily life from the act of earning money. At home, she concentrated on being a mother, but in Nevada, she worked. Once the kids were out of the way, I spent less time at home and more time at CHICKEN RANCH.
When she received a gift from her son on Mother’s Day last year, Lexi, who will turn 50 this year, confessed how she had made her money. It was hard to keep it hidden for so long,” she said.
My son was shocked, but he didn’t say he was disappointed,” she said. He said, ‘You protected us. He said, ‘You protected us, you’re a great mom. I’m in the military now.
After graduating from a community college, she went to a four-year university to major in psychology so that she would not be a burden on me. She did that because she understood that community college is cheaper, and it would save her two years of tuition. She works as a consultant now, and she said to me, ‘I really admire you, Mom.
Lexi has an education policy that she tells her children.
As a mother, I taught my children over and over again, ‘Don’t put superiority or inferiority on others. Each person has his or her own merits, so don’t tell them what is good or bad about someone else. There is no need to compare. You don’t need to think that you want to be like someone else. I told her that the most important thing for a human being is to be herself.
From her words, I could feel that she had done all she could as a mother.
My dream is a restaurant.
The next interviewee was 26-year-old Suzy. She is a tall Hispanic from Brooklyn, New York. She learned about the existence of brothels from a documentary program broadcast on a cable TV station in 2002.
When I was very young, I was watching the HBO series “Cathouse. I thought, ‘Wow, there is such a world out there. My father is Cuban and my mother is Puerto Rican. I majored in tourism at a community college, but my mother didn’t have a good career because of her lack of education. We were poor, and she was placed in a foster home when I was four and a half years old. So my Puerto Rican grandmother, who is not related to me by blood, raised me.”
At least the family that took Susie in could afford to take care of other people’s children and watch HBO.
When I was in school, I worked in a kitchen and was paid $7.25 an hour. That’s not a lot of money for a 60-hour work week. Every time I watched a series on HBO, I thought that if I could make money, I could make a living this way.
After graduating from community college, I decided to work in a brothel. I couldn’t depend on my foster parents forever, and I had to rent my own apartment.
I’ve been in this business for three years, she said quickly.
It’s been three years since I started,” she said quickly, “and I work at Chicken Ranch five or six months out of the year. I get about $100,000 out of it, so it’s not bad.
When Corona closed CHICKEN RANCH, he returned to New York.
When Corona shut down CHICKEN RANCH, he returned to New York. “It wasn’t as much money as here, but I made a lot of money with clients in New York, so it wasn’t as much of a financial struggle. As for the content…let’s just call it massage (laughs)…I started working here the month after CHICKEN RANCH reopened. Being able to have financial stability is a huge thing in life. I would like to save up and open a restaurant someday. I love to cook. Seeing people smile when they eat something delicious also gives me joy.
I don’t have the motivation to go into a fourth year of college now and become a doctor or a lawyer. I just want to be able to provide the best food and a good time to people who bring their families to visit my restaurant. I have a dream to open a Puerto Rican restaurant in Las Vegas. New York is too expensive for rent, so I’d prefer it here.”
Suzy’s words gave us a glimpse of her life without a family.
Lana, 30, with her conspicuous TATTOO on both arms, seems to like to read, and there were 14 books stacked in her room.
I’ve only been doing this job for three weeks. I just finished my first two-week contract and now I’m on my second. Before I came here, I was making $45,000 a year working from 9:00 to 5:00, so I researched for a job that would pay more and found CHICKEN RANCH.
What jobs didn’t pay well? I replied that I was a writer like me.
When I asked her what she did that didn’t pay well, she replied that she was a writer like me, “I didn’t do journalistic reporting like you, but I wrote PR pieces and reports for companies. It was boring. It was very stressful. Even if you love writing, you’ll never be able to make a living as a writer. ……”
Nevertheless, a single, childless woman living alone could get by with $45,000 in earnings.
I had always wanted to be a veterinarian when I was very young. My mother, who was a teacher, always talked about the importance of education. She said it would expand my world. I really felt that way. I also loved to read, and eventually I decided I wanted to pursue writing. I went on to graduate school and got an MFA in Creative Writing.
But then I took out $55,000 in student loans, and I’m still in debt. That’s a lot of money for me to pay back on a job that pays $45,000 a year. That’s a lot of money for me. My immediate goal is to pay it all back.
The rising cost of college tuition in American society continues to plague the nation. Poor families do not even have a chance to go to college. According to a Georgetown University study published in Forbes magazine last October, the median lifetime income of college graduates is $2.8 million, compared to $1.6 million for high school graduates. Everyone wants a better life, but there is no shortage of young people who drop out of high school to work in blue-collar jobs in order to make a quick buck to satisfy their hunger, or teenagers who become drug dealers to escape poverty even if it means committing a crime.
Lana grew up with an understanding of the importance of academics and went to graduate school. But she is still struggling with debt. Each of the prostitutes got a job at CHICKEN RANCH as a way to survive.
John Screntney, a professor of sociology at California State University, San Diego, which is ranked A-plus in the U.S., says, “Children from poor families often go through life without understanding the importance of education. They end up with a high school education or less. The gap will only widen. It is a strange thing to say, but I think we need to take measures to reach out to people born into poor families.
I felt that the RANCH business is a legitimate trump card for these women to turn their lives around. These women spoke about their choices in their own words and welcomed customers, showing their will to remain unfazed by the Corona disaster. In that way, I saw their strength as human beings.
Interview and text： Soichi Hayashi