Flipflop: I had a pretty horrible childhood. I grew up with addicts. I’ll tell you the truth. I’ve been in and out of prison and jail. What brought me to prostitution is because I got molested a lot growing up. You lose everything. I’d rather be out here homeless than to go through the shit I went through with them, growing up.
BW: Who molested you? Family?
Flipflop: Yeah, a lot of my family did. Cousins, uncles… my mamma was in and out of prison. I had to learn to take care of myself early. That’s how I’ve survived on the streets but I’m getting older now and I want something in life. Who wants to wake up in the fucking bushes and wonder what you did? I stay maybe a day or two at the shelter and I’m ready to go because I get lonely. I don’t like to be by myself.
BW: Does prostitution help with the loneliness?
Flipflop: Yeah, it does. Sometimes you meet somebody and you’re like, “Wow! Is this person really that cool with me, knowing what I do?” I know I need a man all the time but I think it’s just the hurt, so deep inside, you know? Anybody that’s given me a chance, it’s too much for them. I always end up, just like I am now, back on the street. They just want pussy all that time and it’s hard for me to have sex, period.
BW: Why is it hard? You think it’s hard because you got molested?
Flipflop: I think so and then, I just know what I’ve done out here. Then I’m thinking I’m worthless. I don’t know… who wants to be with someone who aint worth a fuck? I mean, look at me now. I’ve let myself go. What are they gonna say about this girl? “She aint worth a fuck. She aint nothin’ but a ho. She aint got nothin’.”
It’s hard, when you love a man though, and you can’t be intimate with that man. I mean, it’s gonna take time, especially with a woman like me, coming off the street. But it’s like learning how to walk again. I tell this to every man I’m with. You’ve got to take steps with that woman. You gotta show that woman she’s a queen. You gotta help that woman come off that shit.
I just wish I could get somebody in my life that will say, “that’s my girl” and they could see me through coming out of this shit. I’m a damn good cook and I try to keep the house clean.
Part of these collections: Sex Work