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Moscow Babylon October 2, 2003
A Harlot High and Low… and Lower
By Mark Ames Browse author Email

In the last Whore-R installment, I told you about Alla, the whore-babe from Kharkov, and her cousin Vika, who helped me review a pair of horror movies. What I didn't tell you is how Alla and I went through something that approached the beginnings of a "relationship."

For some time now I've thought about shacking up with a whore. To rescue her, as it were, build her up and then release her into the wild where hopefully she wouldn't have to turn tricks again. It would make for a good change in copy, and it'd be a good deed by the standards of most modern civilizations. (I've also considered pimping the whore whom I'll rescue, Iceberg Amzalak, as a way to supplement my meager income and buy her a pair of shoes every so often, but I'm not sure I could pull off that trick starting so late in the game, seems as dicey as drug-dealing, only with scabies and cold sores thrown in to the paranoia brew.)

So many bleeding heart Westerners talk about the evils of sex trafficking without knowing a thing about their subject. They can only see prostitution through the facile Christian prism of victim/victimizer. Gladstone, the patron saint of today's so-called anti-sex trafficking activists, used to obsessively interview whores on 10 Downing Street during the height of Victorianism, his interest purely Christian and humanitarian, of course... although he had a strange obsession for prying every last lurid detail out of each whore he'd interview. Today we can admit what drove Gladstone: pure penile lust. Free Gladstone from the oppressive Victorian morals of his time, and what you'd have is the patron saint of the eXile's Whore-R stories. If he was just a healthy nihilist like your humble john here, he'd have ended each of those tedious whore-r interviews with a right good shagging and an "Off you go, then!" which could have saved all sorts of peoples in the British Empire from extermination. But no: he couldn't fuck the whores, he could only interview them, but it was perfectly okay to exterminate natives in the great cause of Christianizing them. All I've done is drag Gladstone into the 21st Century, and rescued his legacy from the Victorian fundamentalists who control much of how we frame prostitution and all of its "evils" today, and stripped him of the imperial violence. I've reduced Gladstone's prostitution obsession to what it is for all of us who are honest: sex and labor.

I remember when I first started writing these Whore-R stories, my evil Mexican friend, Ricky Ramirez, burst out laughing over the long-distance line. But then he got serious. "You know, you're fuckin right, Ames. That's a great fuckin idea. Whores are just fuckin people who do a fuckin job. Regular people don't want to think about whores that way. But whores, they're like Mexicans or niggers, you know? Fuckin middle-class guerros don't want to look at whores as people, just like they don't want to look at Mexicans or blacks as people. But that's what they are: they're just fuckin people. White people want whores to be in a fuckin shelter somewhere, somewhere out of view. But whores are just fuckin people. With stories and lives and problems. God, it's so fuckin obvious! Good for you, man. So that's your job, huh? Ask whores questions, then bed them?"

"The eXile shareholders demanded it at an extraordinary shareholder's meeting."

"How do I become a shareholder, Ames?"

"Sorry, they don't like Mexicans."

"I don't blame em. Mexicans are fuckin animals, man."

Most whores are just people at their job; young women who are generally dull and dumb and desperate to varying degrees, but who also feel as much in control of their choice of employment as any office slave or spouse in a dead-end marriage, or a kiosk saleswoman working in a provincial Ukrainian town, or any number of shitty, unhealthy dead-end fates that await a young East European woman. By all accounts whoring is a pretty lousy job, but for almost every whore I've met-and believe me I've been with more whores than my doctor would like to know-most were able to tolerate their work surprisingly well, many turning tricks for years without incident, and some seemed addicted to the lifestyle, either out of masochism or because of the money and because it is the only trade they know. I haven't met a single whore who's behaved like a terrorized slave or traumatized victim, not even in Kosovo, where I hung out both with whores who had traveled the notorious sex-trafficking routes (though I never fucked any of them), and with UN and NGO aid workers tasked with "saving" sex slaves. The most senior UN worker I met, a smart, no-bullshit woman originally from Tajikistan, had grown completely cynical towards the whores she was "saving" by the time I met her in late 2000.

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