Nairobi Nights: Why I Became A Prostitute – An Attempt

Often I am asked by readers of this blog  why I chose to become a prostitute. And quite a number of times I have set out to write my reasons for choosing to engage in this particular kind of  pleasure business. In all the occasions I have stopped after the first few sentences; and this time too I might be in for another futile attempt. The question as to why I am a prostitute arises mainly from the fact that I have admitted to having a relatively good education, which according to many could be put to better use in  the loop; some formal 8 to 5 till 55 employment cycle, rather than in an illegal trade where the advantage of having read many books is hard to pin down. If like a number of my colleagues I had talked of having not more than seven years of education, a high school pregnancy or other such tale of woe and poverty no one would be asking why. However that is not the case.with me.

Many times when writing I am in a soul scratching state; and when writing about why I became a prostitute I find myself  not able to relate to tales of misfortune and a poor background. Its not surprising then, a few sentences later I realize I have no explanation that is  ‘acceptable’ or ‘good’. Yet society requires the choice of  prostitution as a way of earning a living to be justified, and not just by anything that comes out of the mouth, but by some very specific reasons. This is unlike in other careers, for instance accounting, where a generality like,” This is something I always wanted to do” sounds rich enough to explain professional choice . In prostitution such would hold no water, what with sex work being a ‘crazy’ high risk and ‘dehumanizing’ career.

So what led me to prostitution? The easiest thing for me to say is that after college I couldn’t get a job and with bills to pay I had no option but to sell my body. But that, to a large extent, is a lie. True, after college I didn’t immediately get a job, but so did many of my classmates, yet they did not jump to prostitution instead opting to survive and persevere until they got  ‘proper’ employment.  I also know I didn’t look for decent work hard enough. I only made some few applications and didn’t wait for all the responses from the employers before I hobnobbed to the SJ where I got hooked, literally. Courtesy of my ego and the reality of the work, I would be hesitant to say I was destined to be a prostitute or worse still admit that I choose prostitution because I was lazy, wanted freedom and having it easy. The same way I woulnt say, as some readers have suggested, I am in it because of a sex addiction; As interesting as it is, sex does not stimulate my mind enough to an extent of getting addicted.

Seeing that, for now, I don’t have a simple,clear reason which can qualify as ‘acceptable’,  and  because for once I want to try conform and satisfy society a little bit, I will assume there is a complex reason somewhere which can explain my participating in the flesh trade. Complexity, in this case, being a virtue . And so I start the search for the complex reason by looking at my Sexuality; from the time I was around eight years and used to sexually harass the boy sitting next to me in class, to the now, when I am harassed by men in hotel rooms.

Writer: Sue