It isn’t unusual for me to wake up in the morning with a message from a confused or upset friend claiming they have either ‘done something really bad’ or they ‘really need to talk’.
I’ve heard it all. Everything from having orgies, sex with a seemingly ugly person, taking a cocktail of drugs, embarrassing stories regarding certain bodily secretions, being bashed up, hooking up with an ex, starting a scene-stealing argument at a club and so on.
My friend, Opal, was what you may say someone always looking for love but constantly found himself involved in casual sex and romantic trysts that generally never lasted very long.
However, I was not expecting what I was to wake up to this one particular morning. ‘I need to talk to you urgently. I have done something really bad!’ my phone screamed at me.
My brain still half-asleep, I replied immediately asking if, most importantly, he was okay and, secondly, what had happened.
‘I slept with someone for money.’
To be honest, I was more shocked that he was telling me. Opal was quite private when it came to his sex life and would generally only offer the odd tidbits.
Growing up, I’d never really thought much about being paid for sex. It was something I’d only ever seen in movies.
The first time I ever really gave it much thought was on my first visit to Sydney when I went to Kings Cross. For anyone familiar with Sydney will know, this is the local melting pot of sex and drugs. Well I’d never seen anything quite like it! There were beautiful young girls, drug addicts, young boys, old women… Standing outside shops, sitting on steps, bustling down the street.
I was nearly eighteen. Over the next few years back in Perth, I saw the odd few in and around Northbridge – our nightlife hub and where the majority of any dodgy dealings would occur.
I knew of a friends friend who was a prostitute on the side of her normal job. She was a relatively normal girl. She dabbled in drugs socially but I wouldn’t call her an addict. She lived in a nice inner-city apartment. She had a good job and lots of friends.
They were about the only encounters I’ve had with sex for money. And I’m sure it goes on a lot on the gay scene that I just don’t even hear about.
So I guess I was shocked in that sense when my Opal told me. I think he was expecting me to be angry or disappointed with him. I was neither. In fact, I kind of understood.
He had recently quit his job as he was on the move and was not all that financially prepared to do so. He was emotional because he was in his final few days before leaving and had said a teary goodbye to his parents and close friends. I don’t know if these were the reasons but he was very down on himself about it.
It definitely got me thinking about my stance on having sex for cash. I think that there is probably a line to be crossed. I definitely don’t think it’s healthy when people are doing it to pay for their next line of coke or they have infectious sexually transmitted diseases or if there are children involved.
What do YOU think?