Stickman Readers' Submissions February 25th, 2012

Serial Sex Worker

I met a Filipina girl a few years back in Shanghai. At the time she was working a legitimate, marketing job at a professional firm in Shanghai. Prior to that, she had worked another office job in Shanghai.

We went out partying in Shanghai on that trip and a second trip later that year (2009) and became very good friends. After nearly 1.5 years of chatting and flirting online, mostly just as friends, we struck up a romance while visiting with
each other in Europe each time I traveled there for business during late 2010 and throughout 2011. Including all of my business trips to Europe and my visits to see her in South-East Asia, we have spent probably spent about 3 months in aggregate
together (since October 2010).

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In November 2011, we were on a vacation in South-East Asia. We were already in bed and I was using her iPad. I came across an e-mail from a man from 2004. The e-mail mentioned something along the lines of, "I don't judge you for
how you choose to make money." After reading that, so many things just clicked in my mind. My heart was racing. I instantly confronted her about it (she was in bed, next to me at the time). She said she worked as an escort in Singapore, but
never did it in the Philippines. She gave a long—and from what I’ve read, typical—explanation that she did it because she had to support her six younger siblings.

I had fallen in love with her months earlier. Additionally, I have a very spotty relationship history; having cheated on two wives and every girlfriend before them. I think these two facts coupled together, made me tolerant of her history.
So after talking about it for a few hours, I settled down and just decided it was something in her ancient history and probably helped shaped the amazing woman that she is today.

The next day, I found an e-mail from a man that was a serious boyfriend of hers back in 2002. That e-mail mentioned working at a particular bar in Manila. I confronted her again. Now, she confessed to being a bargirl in PH. She explained
some of what she had to do, but the story seemed typical i.e., I was only there for 3 months because I had to go back to college, etc. She did finish college, so there may be some legitimacy to the story, but it seems more likely to me that she
tried to get barfined early, so she could get home to bed to make it to class the next morning.

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Fast forward through all my interrogations and I've come to find that she has been an escort (she refuses to use the word prostitute, even though the dictionary definition is pretty clear) at various times, in various Asian countries,
on and off over the past 12 years. Probably in the last 6 years or so, it's been more off than on because she has had a few serious boyfriends and legitimate jobs. It seems believable that if she's living with a guy, working a full time
job and even taking language courses, it would be difficult to slip in a little extra “work” on the side. But alas, perhaps I'm just being naive.

Long story medium (I'd say "short," but I've already rambled), she tells me that she hated that life, hated herself for doing it, and of course, never wants to go back to it. Of course, I believe this. From what I’ve
read, there are very few women that do this that actually WANT to be doing it. That said, the last time she did it was in February 2011. I should mention, in her defense, that at that time, I was living with the mother of my one year old daughter.
We've since split, but my Pinay was feeling like she and I would never be together, so she was trying to get enough money to get a vocation-specific training in HK and figured the fastest way to her tuition was through prostitution. She resisted
sleeping with her first two dates, but then did sleep with her third. She said he asked her to stay the week, but she was disgusted with herself so left that evening. She claims she didn't accept any money because she felt so shitty about
having given in to that life again.

Fast forward to today (a year later) and we've just been approved for her to get a K-1 visa and come to the States (we started the process a few months before I found out about all of this "working" history). I am in love,
but I don't want to get burned by a woman that can't resist the temptation of the money. She claims it was all to support her family and put her six younger siblings through school and buy them a nice house away from the slums of Manila,
but if she was making anywhere from $25-$50,000 a year being an escort throughout South-East Asia, I doubt all that money was going back to the family. I think part of the reason that she had such a problem breaking away from this life is because
she was no longer making the $500/month of a PH-based bargirl, but instead was escorting fat bankers and C-level executives in Hong Kong, Singapore and Shanghai (the most recent guy in HK had offered $5,000 for the week).

So after all my ramblings, my question to the readers is simple: has anyone reading this story watched any of these bargirls graduate through the hierarchy of prostitution and have a life of on again, off again dabblings in prostitution?
If so, I guess my real question is, DOES IT EVER STOP? And if so, what is the trigger that makes it stop? Must they do therapy? Do they just outgrow it? What?

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Any advice, anecdotes, opinions, etc. are welcome.

Stickman's thoughts:

Given that until you came across these old emails that you seemed to be happy with how things were with her, so long as there are no issues no, I would leave the past in the past and enjoy the present. I'd like to think that if it were me, I would be able to do that – but then you never know until it happens to you!

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