Atlanta, GA
Lavish: I’ve been a ward of the state since birth. I met my mom when I was thirteen. She was a drug addict and I think she’s a sociopath. But none of that even matters because I ended up on Fulton Industrial and Fulton Industrial raised me. 

BW: When did you end up out here?

Lavish: I was fourteen. 

BW: You were fourteen when you started working?

Lavish: Yeah. I guess it’s a family [thing] that I’d start prostituting. My mom was a prostitute. When I ran away my mom was caught up in whatever she had going on. She didn’t care.

BW:  Do you think guys that picked you up knew how young you were?

Lavish: I mean… I had a colorful mo-hawk. Looked like a little rebel. I think they knew pretty much, but that’s probably what they wanted. 

BW: Tell me about the first time you smoked crack. 

Lavish: The guy got me geeked up and stuck in the room for a few days. 

BW: Was it someone you knew pretty well?

Lavish: Yeah he was one of my folks at the time. I really loved him. He just kept making me feel like, “Oh you don’t compare to such and such. That’s why I keep me a smoking bitch.” Shit like that. And I loved him… I’d basically done all I could do. I gave him everything I had. I didn’t have shit. He had everything. I didn’t even have a wardrobe. You’re giving someone $1000-$1500 a day and for him to just down me, down me, down me, all the time. I tried to be whatever he wanted me to be. 

BW: So you smoked crack because he wanted someone who smoked and that’s all you had to give him?

Lavish: Cause that’s what he kept telling me. [Voice shaking] Now that I have done it, I can look back on it I can see that I was a little immature. He was a forty-two year old man and I was nineteen… 

Part of these collections: Sex Work