Tweeting at mgcotax Jun 4, Dirty Little Boy: It is noon on a Sunday, and I stand, frustrated, outside a movie theater on Alvarado Street. There are no cell phones. I hang up in frustration. I wheel around and a tall, pudgy young man with glasses and a crew cut smiles at me. I make him instantly as Navy. Monterey is a military town; we have a huge army base and regular fleet visits. I have nowhere else to be.
Bill was going to pay for my movie. Mike and I walk two blocks to his dingy motel room. I am one month past my 17th birthday. I have kissed three girls, but never gone past first base with any of them. Most days I masturbate twice — once before getting out of bed and once before falling asleep. On weekends, if I have nothing else to do, I can get off six or seven times.
I am very clear I am bisexual. When I walked into that room at the Casa Munras motel, I had never even kissed a man on the mouth.
For the first time in my life, something other than my own hand had made me come. Mike was not well-endowed. Being fucked in the ass would have been far more painful had he been larger, but it was still uncomfortable. I shut my eyes tight and tried to relax my body as he pushed his way inside.
Mike was silent when he came inside me, so when I came in his mouth a few minutes later, I suppressed all but the tiniest whimper. I learned sex with men the way I always learned, by mimicking, by faking it till I made it, by copying what others did. Mike asked me if I wanted to go to college, I asked him what he did on his ship. I was eager to go, not because I was disgusted or ashamed or needed to get home, but because I desperately needed to poop and I wanted to do that in private and in peace.
Finally, Mike got up and I rose with him. I took it, gratefully, confused. Mike and I had an odd goodbye: I defaulted to training and tried to shake his hand; he seemed offended and pecked my lips before almost pushing me out the door.
I took the bus home instead. The next Sunday, I took the bus over the hill again. I was superstitious and insecure: My heart raced and my palms were damp and I was so aroused I could barely stand still. A couple of guys eyed me as they went in, but most ignored me. I began to feel stupid and hungry. I sat on a bench about 20 yards from the entrance, decided to wait five more minutes. A man in his 50s, not military, sat down. He was not handsome. He was sweating, but he smelled wonderful.
I was not a fool. I shook my head. Fake British Guy took me to his little apartment in Pacific Grove. He wore a condom when he fucked me in the ass. He was much bigger than Mike. It hurt much more. FBG did not approve of my body. If Fake British Guy told me his name, I forgot it.
Walking home, I started to cry because my butt hurt so much. That night, still in pain, I masturbated to the memory of what that man had done to me.
It was also the fear that if I did tell anyone, they would find a way to make me stop. I had sex with men for money for another two and a half years. In Monterey, it was almost always military guys who picked me up on the weekends when I was supposed to be with friends.
When I went off to university at Berkeley, it was older men looking to pick up college boys in north Oakland. I first did cocaine and meth with johns who picked me up.
On at least two occasions, I drank so much or was drugged so that I passed out. At least once, I woke up bleeding and aching with no memory of what had happened.
Once, two men took turns fucking me while watching a Raider game. The Raiders won and I got twice what I was hoping for. I was a terrible negotiator. The least I ever made was zero, and that happened more than once.
My best guess is that I had sex with between 70—80 men for money between June and March — maybe 25 per year, or two a month. It is a very big number in one respect: I had had sex with at least 20 men before I had sex with a woman for the first time. I had sex because I liked money. I had sex because I liked sex. I had sex because I liked danger and risk. I never told anyone. Any connection between the sex with men for money and my own despair was incidental, I decided.
He seemed convinced I was holding something back. Indeed, a lot of my penchant for public confession was born of my desire to conceal being a sex worker.
I wrote and spoke so often about other aspects of my sexuality, and I did so with such apparent candor, that I could pull attention away from what I wanted to remain hidden. The first time I told anyone about having done sex work was in October I was in an outpatient intensive mental health day program in Monterey. I knew what I needed to let go. I raised my hand, and told the story.
The reaction was kind; the relief overwhelming. That night, I called A. We sexted even though the meds had taken my libido; we also checked in almost nightly just to see how the other was holding up. In a calm voice, I told A. When I was done, there was a pause. You actually expect me to believe you were a male prostitute? I felt like the boy who cried wolf. I fell silent on the subject again for another two and a half years, until I told the whole story to my therapist in early After yet another hospitalization, and worsening suicidal ideation, I needed to let go of the last secret, even with the risk that it would seem attention-seeking or implausible.
Danielle believed me, as did other friends I told. I have not had sex with a man for money since I was 19, over 30 years ago. It matters because I still live with so many emotional consequences from sex work.
I started self-mutilating after I saw a fellow teen whore cut himself to deal with the pain. I began to burn myself with cigarettes after a man crushed out a cigarette on my stomach. I began to diet compulsively and battle eating disorders because of what men like Fake British Guy said about my body. And yet, sometimes the sex was wonderful. Not just while I was having it, but in retrospect. Many of the most enduringly erotic of those recollections are of things that were originally painful and dangerous, but are now simply hot.
I want to talk about the sex work, work that began when I was still legally a minor and work that often felt like rape, because it fills in a huge missing piece in the story of why I am what I am. Our past is always with us. This is my first attempt at telling the tale; like every diarist, I learn about myself by writing. This is an old story in one sense, as the events themselves happened decades ago. It is a brand new story in another sense, as I am seeing it on a page for the first time, asking to be understood.