It's not often you'll meet a successful professional who openly despises his profession - except, possibly, if you manage to get your lawyer drunk. But Fatima, who does quite well as a prostitute in Montreal, is clear. "Prostitution is wrong," she says.
This startling statement isn't what I expected, to say the least. I was sure this free-spirited, young woman would launch into a libertarian defense of sex work, based on our sacred ownership of our own bodies and the rights of adults to do as they please provided everything is consensual. I was wrong.
"Prostitution," Fatima explains, "is exploitation. Very few people engage in sex acts with strangers they don't find attractive unless there's money to be made. And face it, sweet and good-looking people don't need to solicit services of women like me."
That was such a better start to the previously rambling column, Sophie thought as she folded the paper and put it back in her knapsack. She could hear Claudio's footsteps down the hall.
"Hey, honey," that was his opening line now. He'd grown so much more confident. Sex is such an important thing for humans, when you get right down to it.
"What's up sweetie?"
"Well," his cheeks went suddenly pink as he put down more money than usual on the table, "I've been thinking and I'd like to ask you something."
Uh-oh. This was never good.
"I'd like to try anal."
She didn't expect it from this guy and his crooked cock, but hey. They all get there at some point so why not him.
"I don't do anal, sorry."
"But with me?"
"You know me! I'm a nice guy. Why not?"
"Because I don't do it."
He looked so confused, like somehow the law of gravity had been suspended and he had no idea why.
"Are you afraid of getting hurt?"
"I don't have to give any reason. I don't do it."
"You know I'd never hurt you!"
"That's not the point."
"What's the point, then?"
"Nothing more than what I've already said. I don't do anal. Point final."
"I thought hookers did whatever they got paid for.” Whatever sweetness was in him disappeared. “I have money. I'm a nice guy. Why won't you do it?"
She grabbed the pile of bills from the table and put it back in his hand.
"No. We’re done. You should leave now.”
And just like that the terribly inadequate lover who knows it came back.
"Sophie, I'm so sorry. Please don't be mad at me."
"I'm not mad."
For a moment there she wondered about needing to call the cops if he refused to leave. What story would she tell them?
We all have our limits in life. Hers was reached at that point. It was the thought of having to explain to the cops why she wanted this guy out of an apartment that wasn't hers because he wouldn't respect her right to refuse getting fucked in the ass for money. There was no way to make that sound good.
Yeah, she'd always known that was a probability, having to call the cops and being unable to. But that probability receded to the level of vague possibility after her first few weeks of activity. Her screening method worked pretty good. She got asked for anal at least three times a day, but up until that point they'd all asked her that question during the initial phone call. It was a lot easier to say no at a safe distance. Physical proximity makes that exchange a lot scarier.
Claudio took his money and left without another word. She locked the door behind him, breathed a huge sigh of relief, and began gathering her things, leaving money for her friend to cover another two months of rent and a note thanking her for the space.
There were a few tears on her face as she left the building. Nobody will never know whether they were sad of happy.