“How did you get started in this business, anyways?”
If Julie had heard that once back in her working days, she’d heard it a thousand times. Back then her stock answer had always been, that she was just a girl who loved to fuck, so why not get paid for it. That had been a long time ago, back in the early seventies. The question had come back today down at the beauty parlor. There had been a big vice raid in town the night before and it was in the morning papers. The police had raided a whorehouse just up the street and taken a half a dozen girls into custody. The girls at the salon were all talking about it and the question had come up again; just how does a girl get suckered into a life like that?
Julie had kept her mouth shut; nobody except her husband knew she had once been a working girl herself. In her mid-sixties, she felt it was ancient history and best left in her past, so she bit her tongue and kept quiet. In her mind however, she was dying to tell the story. Now that she was back home she sat down and remembered that first night.
It was spring of 1973, she was working at Woolworths, her husband had left her. It had been a bad marriage and she would have been glad he’d left, but she had a two year old daughter to raise on her own. It was overwhelming for a twenty-two year old. Working between thirty-two and forty hours a week at minimum wage, she was barely making ends meet, she was forced to apply for public assistance; it was something that embarrassed her to no end. If it weren’t for the fact that her mother and sister helped her out both financially and by babysitting while she was at work, she wouldn’t be able survive. That was her life, taking care of her daughter whom she loved, and going to a job that she hated. There was no time for herself.
One of the friends she’d made at the store had often invited her to go with her to the local American Legion hall after work on any Friday night. There was always a good crowd at the bar, men who were happy to buy a couple of young women drinks. It was always a good time and cost next to nothing. Both her mother and her sister had offered to have her daughter stay overnight with them anytime she wanted a night out, whether it was a girl’s night out or a date with a man. So, one night when her friend Betty brought it up again, Julie decided to go.
“We’ll see you in the morning, honey,” her sister told her when she dropped her daughter off, “enjoy yourself for once. You deserve it.”
After work that night she went off innocently with Betty, two girls out for some fun. Julie didn’t know what to expect, but she knew she needed some fun and relaxation. Betty had assured her it wouldn’t cost her next to nothing. It would basically be a free party. The hall was in one the smaller outlaying towns and it was a popular gathering place for men on the weekends. The parking lot was fairly crowded, as they pulled in Betty made an announcement.
“Be good pickings tonight, honey. We can expect some action tonight.”
Julie wasn’t quite sure what she meant, but it didn’t matter at that point. She was simply looking forward to a good time. When they went into the hall, Betty showed her social membership card at the door. They told Julie she’d have to buy one of her own to get in. She hesitated, slightly embarrassed.
“It’s only a quarter a month for us ladies,” Betty said, winking at her, “they like having some girls around. It makes things interesting.”
Julie didn’t know how interesting, all she knew was the place was alive. It was crowded and noisy with people having a good time and she desperately wanted a good time. Betty had been right; there were no shortages of men buying drinks and asking them to dance. Julie was having the good time she’d wanted. Throughout it all she couldn’t help but wonder if there was a chance she’d meet somebody special, someone she could build a relationship with.
Returning to the table after dancing with an older man, she was pleasantly surprised to find two nice looking guys sitting with Betty. They both appeared to be about thirty, well dressed and good-natured. She sat down, anxious to meet them.
“Julie,” Betty smiled at her, “I want you to meet Nick and Phil. They’re a couple of old buddies of mine. Guys, this is Julie, she works with me down at the store.”
“Hi, guys.” It was all she could come up with. Not sure if she was supposed to shake hands or not, she settled for a giving a little hand wave.
“So,” Phil asked, “you come here often with Betty?”
“No, it’s my first time here, seems like a fun place. Hopefully, it won’t be my last.”
“I hope so too, we need more good looking girls like you around.”
She loved the flattery; it had been a long time since she’d received any. In fact, it had been a long time since she thought of herself as attractive. She was too busy being a mother to worry about such things. Tonight, however, was different; tonight she was just a young woman out on the town. Both men had an endearing charm about them, and Julie quickly felt at ease with them. Nick, the more talkative of the two, seemed to be especially interested in Betty. As a result, Julie turned most of her attention on Phil. They chatted, getting up occasionally to dance; all the while Julie noticed disappointed looks from other men in the Legion Hall.
This too was a form of flattery, it thrilled her to realize these other guys wanted to be with her and were jealous of the fact she was spending her time with Phil. She was beginning to feel like Cinderella at the ball. Nick and Betty seemed to be hitting it off rather well, also. Julie began to wonder if they had some sort of relationship that she wasn’t aware of and the whole night hadn’t been planned to set her up with Phil. It didn’t really matter to her though, after all, she had come here hoping to meet someone. It seemed as if everything was working itself out.
Finally, later in the evening, both women went to the lady’s room. Standing by the sinks, touching up their make-up, Betty turned to her.
“OK, hon, we have to talk.”
“Sure,” she answered cautiously, “what’s up?”
“What do you think of the guys?”
“I’m not sure what you mean, but they seem nice.”
“Nice enough to go to bed with?”
“What?” the question shocked her, “I don’t know, what kind of a question is that?”
“Simple, they’d like to go to bed with us and I’ve worked a deal with them. There’s twenty five bucks apiece in it for us.”
Julie was shocked, the very notion of taking money for sex had never occurred to her. It was prostitution; that would make her a whore. How could Betty suggest such a thing? She simply wasn’t that type of girl and it hurt her to think that anybody thought she was. It was a few moments before she found her voice.
“Betty, what are you asking, how could you? I’ve never done anything like that.”
“OK, calm down, sweetie. Look, you like these guys, right?” Julie nodded her head, saying nothing. “Now tell me this, if I hadn’t mentioned the money, would you have been willing to go to bed with Phil?”
“I don’t know, maybe, but you’re talking prostitution. I can’t, it’s not right.”
“So, you’d rather let some guy pick you up, take you home, give him a jump, and have nothing to show for it but a kiss on the cheek and a pat on the ass? My way is a little more practical, that’s all.”
“You’ve done this before? Betty, are you really a,” Julie searched for the right word, one that would be a little less insulting, “a hooker?”
“Look, hon, I see it like this, if I meet a guy who I’m willing to go to bed with and he wants to give me a present, I see nothing wrong with it. If the present is cash, so much the better. Let’s just say I’d rather money than flowers or candy. If that makes me a hooker in your eyes, then that’s what I am. But, like I said, I view it as being realistic; flowers and candy don’t pay the rent.”
“I don’t know Betty, you make sense, but I don’t know if I can.”
“Of course you can. Look, you worked eight hours at the store today at minimum wage. Eight hours and you’ve earned fourteen dollars, before taxes. Now for an hour of fun, you can get twenty-five dollars, tax free. Think about that. Hey, if the money bothers you, let Phil bang you and I’ll keep the money. That way you can keep your amateur status.”
Twenty five dollars in 1973 was nothing to sneeze at, especially when you were working for minimum wage. The thought that she could put that money to good use kept running through Julie’s mind. The problem was she would be stepping over a line that she’d never considered crossing. Betty, however, had made a good point.
“I don’t know, I have to think about this.”
“Think quick, honey. The boys won’t wait all night and if you don’t want to, I’ll make a deal with them to take on both myself. They’d rather have two girls, but I think I can get them to have a three person party.”
“OK, I guess,” she mumbled. ‘They’ll have to use something, though, you know, a prophylactic. Is that all right?”
“I don’t see why not, I’ll check with Phil. You’re in then?”
Julie nodded her head. She still wasn’t sure about this; she’d only mentioned the condoms as a stall. A part of her was hoping it would be a deal breaker, an excuse to say no. But she needed the money too much to turn it down.
“Good,” Betty continued, “I don’t think Phil will turn down a cute little number like you over a condom. I’ll tell him you’re new at this and nervous about getting pregnant. That whole loss of innocence thing turns some guys on. They’d rather be the first to introduce a girl to the world of play for pay than to pop a virgin.”
They returned to the table. When they sat down, Betty leaned over and, putting her hand up to Phil’s ear, began whispering. Phil looked over ay Julie, then back at Betty and nodded. Then he reached out and took a couple of quarters from the change on the table and went into the men’s room. Julie understood; there were condom machines in there. Her fate was now sealed, in her mind she had decided if he would wear a rubber she would do this. He was gone to get them, so she wasn’t going to back out. She felt like she’d given her word and now had to go through with it.
There was an awkward moment when they went out to the parking lot, Julie wasn’t sure if she was supposed to get into the car with Betty or with Phil. Betty quickly solved that telling the guys to go ahead in their car and the girls would follow. Julie got the impression she knew where the guys’ apartment was. She was glad that she’d be riding with Betty, she wanted to talk to her alone.
“Look, Betty, how do we do this?” She saw Betty give her a quick quizzical glance before looking back at the road. “I mean, when we get there, do we just undress, or put on some type of strip show, or what? I don’t know how this works.”
“No, nothing like that, just treat it like a normal date with a guy who you’re willing to put out for. Just follow their lead, do it the way they want. Oh, and don’t worry, these are a couple of nice guys, nothing freaky. Just relax and enjoy it.”
Julie agreed, the trouble was she couldn’t relax and wasn’t sure she was going to enjoy it. When they arrived at the guy’s apartment, she did what she could to hide her misgivings, acting like Betty had suggested, as if it was just another date with someone she was willing to put out for. When they went in, the guys treated it the same way, it was just another date. Nobody would know they were paying the two girls to have sex with them. Julie was thankful for that, it made things easier for her.
They mixed some drinks and put some music on the stereo; soft seductive stuff. The girls danced with them, slowly, clinging tightly to them. Julie almost forgot that they were being paid to do this. Finally, she noticed Nick and Betty slip out to Nick’s room. That brought it all back to her, the reason why they were there; she felt herself growing tense. Anxieties or not, she’d agreed to do this and she wasn’t backing out.
When Phil finally suggested they go to his room, for “some privacy” she wordlessly nodded her head. Sliding his arm around her waist, he guided her to his bedroom. Unsure how to proceed, she was nervously depending on Phil to lead the way. With this in mind, when he embraced her and kissed her, she kissed back. She had no way of knowing that most working girls avoid this, as she would later in her career. Now it seemed like the logical thing to do.
She felt his hands between them, undoing her blouse; she felt a shiver of nervousness pass through her. He tugged the blouse out from the waist of her skirt, then pushed it back over her shoulders. She straightened her arms, allowing it to drop to the floor. Phil undid her bra and it joined the blouse at her feet. She stood there submissively as he began fondling her breasts, then, when he bent down to kiss her again, she slid her hands up to his shoulders and received the kiss willingly.
Her nervousness melted quickly away. She accepted what she was about to do, leaving all doubts and qualms behind. Phil was going to fuck her, pure and simple. She no longer saw it as that big a deal. Stepping back from him, Julie undid the waistband of her skirt and allowed it to also fall to the floor. She moved casually over to the bed, pushed her panties and hosiery down past her hips and sat down. Once she finished removing the last of her clothing, she lay back on the bed and watched Phil as he began fumbling with his clothes, hurriedly undressing.