I grew up poor in Sarasota, a Florida town of millionaires. I’ve seen Stephen King’s beach-access mansion, seen Jerry Springer with his wife at the movie theater. In contrast, I was raised by a single teen mother on library movie rentals and Hamburger Helper. In our one-bedroom cottage on the edge of town, I watched My Fair Lady so many times the tape broke.I stood inches from our bulbous, decade-old TV and mimed Audrey Hepburn’s marble-mouthed language; at 10, I begged my mother to take me to the opera and to etiquette classes at the Ritz-Carlton. I deconstructed Eliza Doolittle’s transformation from flower girl to London society toast, if only so I could aspire to it. Although the play is British, the narrative is pure American dream. As an adult, I’m still fascinated by social hierarchies; as a sex worker, my class studies have become a competitive skill.In the industry, escorts range in class from Pretty Woman’s Vivian Ward to Belle de Jour; in this context, and in this essay, the word “class” doesn’t define an escort’s actual economic status, but rather the way she presents her economic status, real or imagined. And this spectrum of class, as it’s understood… Read full this story
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