A Working Girl’s Next Job

bad girl good girl by Phoebe !

This Flickr Commons pic was supposed to be my book cover, but I can’t get in touch with the photographer.


Did you read the last posts in the Working Girl series? The ones where the FBI called and asked whether my boss was a professional escort, and how I functioned in her employ?

Well, that’s what my last few posts were about. That was also the end of my stint in Chicago’s seedy underworld. That means there’s no more Working Girl posts coming up.

The entire series has been kind of a journey for me to write. It ran for something like six months, every Sunday.

But all good things must come to an end. I was running out of material—I only worked for an escort for about seven months, and I didn’t feel right making up situations and episodes to write about in order to stretch the series on and on. I think it would have gotten old, and I’m sure I would have jumped the shark.

However, at some point I realized I had enough material to make into a book. So that’s what I’m doing. I’m collecting every post in the Working Girl series (except for the one about sexy Christmas—that one was weird), and throwing in a few brand new ones for good measure.

50% of all my profits from this book will go to sex-trafficking non-profits. Forever.

Why? For a lot of reasons.

In Working Girl, my boss is a professional escort. But she chose this line of work voluntarily.

There is a big difference between being a voluntary sex worker, and being trafficked. That’s one reason it’s so difficult to make fair prostitution laws. They might affect women in my boss’s position one way, but a woman* being forcibly pimped in an entirely different way.

In a report of information from 2007 to 2012, the National Human Trafficking Resource Center Hotline received nearly 10,000 reports of human trafficking cases. About 67% of those were sex trafficking cases, and about 85% of sex trafficking victims were female. These calls came from every state and region throughout the United States. The most common form of sex trafficking was pimp-controlled prostitution, followed by commercial and residential brothels, and escort services.

According to Polaris Project, an organization geared toward ending human trafficking, named for the North Star which guided slaves to freedom on the Underground Railroad . . .

Human trafficking is one of the most profitable criminal industry in the US.

In the United States, the average age of a person first forced into the sex trade is 13. That. Is. Horrifying.

Maybe it was being so close to the sex trade myself that made such an impression on me. Being involved in an escort’s day-to-day life made it clear to me how lucky she was, and how hard she had to work, to keep her independence. There were many moments when I was starkly aware of how easily my boss or one of her girls—or me, or my sister, or my cousin—could be targeted, manipulated, and forced into the industry.

My boss could have taken advantage of me easily. She could have drugged me and sold me to the highest bidder. It would not have been difficult for her to find a buyer. She could have duct taped me in her closet and threatened my family until I agreed to do what she wanted. She had already gained enough of my trust, which so many pimps and predators work so hard to do to their victims.

My boss, fortunately, wasn’t that kind of person.

But these things are not unheard of. In many places throughout the US, you can call a number and get a girl delivered as quickly and easily as you can order a pizza.

So I’ve decided to continue writing about the sex trade for Social N, to raise awareness about how prevalent trafficking really is in our country, and to shed light on the differences between forced and voluntary prostitution.

I’m far from an expert on the subject, but I’ll learn a lot as I continue writing for Social N. I think it’s worthy way to spend my writing time, and a worthy cause to incorporate in a career.

In order to perpetuate the cause and sell more books, I am planning a series of ridiculous, humiliating, and frightening stunts to perform at sales milestones. The stunts have to start out low-cost and relatively easy, but they’ll get bigger and more intimidating the more books we sell.

500 copies sold: I’ll karaoke “Damn, I Wish I was Your Lover” by Sophie B. Hawkins. I’ll film it and put it on YouTube.

1,000 copies sold: I’ll make a scale model of Winterfell out of gingerbread. I will call it Gingerfell. It will be so Candyland epic.

2,000 copies sold: I’ll make 100 people organic unscented shea butter body cream. (I wouldn’t even bother with this if I hadn’t seen the recipe change the texture of my skin after one week.)

3,000 copies sold: I’ll write a classic book by hand in calligraphic fountain pen. I’ll take input regarding which book, but it’ll have to be something public domain. I’m thinking Beowulf. I’ll then send this hand-written epic to a contest winner.

4,000 copies sold: I’ll host a lip-sync party to “Counting Stars” by OneRepublic. I’ll cajole people into sending me videos of themselves lip syncing the song, and I’ll cut them all together in one video.

5,000 copies sold: I’ll exploit myself to stop sexual exploitation! I’ll do a photoshoot wearing nothing but traffic signs and symbols. I’ll call it “STOP TRAFFIC.”

Other stunts I’m considering, which are a little more intensive, include living in a tent for a month, re-enacting an entire episode of Firefly all by myself and putting it on YouTube (then again, Fox can be kind of touchy about copyrights, so maybe I’ll have to go with another series . . .), and filming an hour-long old-school dance-a-thon, where I do choreographed dances to awesome songs, such as Jon Secada’s “Just Another Day.” (That song is awesome, I don’t care what anybody says.)

Do you have other ideas for how I can attract attention in cringe-worthy ways? Tweet me!

My publication date is March 25 2014. If I don’t make it, I’ll dye my hair pink.

I’m serious. I’ll do it. Maybe I’ll do it anyway as one of the milestones (and sing the theme song to Jem!)

To follow this project, sign up for my newsletter, or follow me on Facebook.

My first proceeds go to Polaris Project.

I’m still looking for an online fund-raising platform to help with this. Until then, I’ll just have to divvy up the proceeds myself. If you don’t trust that I’ll do it, fair enough. But I encourage you to go read the last few Working Girl posts, where my own inability to lie well ruins everything. Also, lying about donations is just bad karma. Jesus sees that shit.


* In a UN report based on data from 2007 to 2010, about 29,000 people were trafficked, either for forced labor or sex. Most were for sex. 75% of those trafficked were women and girls. 25% were men and boys.
L. Marrick is a fiction writer and freelance copywriter. She waxes poetic about swords and the Renaissance Faire at her author blog. She looks all professional-like at her copywriting site. She eats too much chocolate and still doesn’t believe downward dog is supposed to be a restful yoga pose. You can connect with her at either of her websites, and follow her on Twitter @LMarrick.

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