I read this article today by Bradley Myles of Polaris about how he's "discovered a town where pimps are raised". My first instinct was to call Bradley. Only I know from many many past attempts to communicate with him about this article he won't return my calls or answer my emails. In fact, not one of my attempts have been responded to. Shame. Maybe if he were to consider opening up a dialogue with someone who is not only a survivor of American sex trafficking, but also the founder of the oldest and largest group of recovering survivors of the sex industry he wouldn't be sounding in this article so shocked by what he saw down in Tenancingo, Mexico. Because this sort of thing is not only nothing new – it's the sort of thing that was part of my story and it's going on right now in the United States.
I answer our hotline personally and when ours was launched in 1987 I didn't have choice but to be the person answering the hotline. You know why? Because people who had not witnessed what goes on in "the life" don't believe you when you describe this world. So who else was going to launch the hotline but me? Besides – I'm the one who got the “call” (wink wink). If you don't know what I mean by that – you can read John Quinones' interview with me about how our work got started and why in more depth.
That outsiders didn't believe us was proven to be the case when Linda Lovelace released her book "Ordeal" in 1980 to audiences on talk shows yelling "boo" and "liar" or "crazy" at her for revealing she had been forced to film "Deep Throat" while her pimp pointed a gun at her head from off-camera.
We were the only hotline there was to call if you were over 18 years of age. Meaning if you were being held captive by your pimp handcuffing you to the bed and you managed to break free one night and escaped by running down the streets with no clothes on to a pay phone to call us for help - we were who you called.
So if a porn performer found out she/he was HIV/AIDS positive and couldn't work in the industry any longer - we'd get the call. There were posters up at HIV testing sites saying “if you want help to quit the sex industry for any reason – call XXX”. Before the Telecommunications Act of 1995 – we had PSA's with Frances Nuyen running all night on TV and cable where she'd say “do you want help to leave? Call XXX-XXXX” and it was that simple (we didn't want to upset anyone either so we kept it simple).
We launched our hotline because sex workers had nowhere to go for help. We couldn't go to the police or the mental health professionals because we'd either incriminate ourselves, or not be believed, let alone helped. Back in the 1980's we were even turned away from hospitals, homeless and domestic violence shelters. We welcomed calls from anyone in any part of sex work for any reason because if we turned our back on them - it could mean a potential death literally of someone.
Which means I've witnessed and experienced the sex industry from many levels while I was in that world in the late 70's and early 80's. In fact, I've have answered an estimated 500,000 calls into our hotline from 1987 to 2014. I mean by that I've personally answered those calls myself to protect callers anonymity and confidentiality. I also couldn't hire a professional answering service - because commercial services all refused to take incoming calls of such a volatile nature. No one wants the legal responsibility or liability should someone sue. Which by the way - no one has filed any lawsuits against us for doing bad work to date.
When my daughter was eight years old in a Las Vegas school she had a pimp HER AGE trying to recruit her to work for him. In her case however she just laughed and brushed him aside because my daughter knew better. So please stop trying to make us think this kind of thing is going on "elsewhere" when in reality it's going on right in our own back yard and it's going on right now.
To go back to when I was first "turned out" in Tarzana, California - I knew about "boys being groomed into pimps" when the "family" that lured me into sex work was the same family Richard Pryor speaks about when he talks about his mother working in his grandmother's brothel. In that "family", the young women worked as prostitutes, but they were trained and groomed in "the game" by their mothers and grandmothers.
I remember the first family BBQ I went to where the young girls as young as five were being taught how to "trick" for quarters in exchange for dancing while the adults coached. The boys in this family were taught how to be drug dealers and pimps. To train them to be pimps they were first worked as prostitutes also. In other words the boys were taught not to give their quarters to the girls to dance because that made them “tricks”. The boys were taught they had really “won the game” when they could get the girls to spend their quarters on them. The boys would engage in prostitution at a young age by doing live sex shows and/or pornography with the other young girls so no "statutory rape" occurred.
The average age a man starts becoming a pimp is 13 years of age. I invite you to listen to a man talking about going out to learn "the game" at this young age. http://www.blogtalkradio.com/stopsextrafficktalk/2013/05/20/ex-pimp-of-32-years-tells-all-1 I invite you to listen to Aubrey speak about how her boyfriend/pimp turned her out at 13 years old while being taught how to do so by his father raping her while he watched. Sort of "hands on" training in rape and "turn out 101" for pimps. http://www.blogtalkradio.com/stopsextrafficktalk/2013/07/08/hear-from-a-nevada-brothel-prostitute
I invite you to look at the relationship between Montana Fishburne and Jeremy Pipes. http://www.thisis50.com/profiles/blogs/report-laurence-fishburnes This couple met online and were in school together. They are about the same age. To the outside world they looked like “high school sweethearts”.
The day Montana turned 18 years old, she was tired of being arrested for prostitution. Jeremy marched her into the Vivid offices the day she turned 18 years old to sign a XXX film contract. Snoop Dogg confessed to "pimping across the USA" during his 2003 tour in Rolling Stone. The "johns" were NFL players. After Montana's film debut, all kinds of athletes were hitting her up on twitter for "personal training sessions".
She wasn't walking the streets any longer - but I assure you she was in the sex industry. She wasn't being "trafficked" either. Montana was being pimped. There is a difference. That difference and how pimps brainwash their victims is what I was certified by the FBI to testify about as an expert witness because a true pimp rarely uses force or threats. These are facts that are being left out of many of these new trafficking laws and I'm finding that very frustrating.
Why don't “real pimps” threaten or coerce their victims? Doesn't last. If you scared some one bad enough – then they'll find a way to leave. If they leave – game over. The “trick” is to get the victim to do it over and over, willingly, gladly, and then sign up for more. Think Hitler. People didn't get on the trains thinking they were going to be gassed – but because they believed they were going to get jobs.
They aren't being "exploited" - they're "taking care of the family". They aren't being threatened - they are "willingly giving" in their mind. Listen to this interview with a SWA member - http://www.blogtalkradio.com/stopsextrafficktalk/2014/06/21/playboy-to-prostitution--sex-workers-anonymous-member This single mother feels she was putting her daughter through school without the burden of school loans over her head. If you talk to her about being a “victim” she won't know what you're talking about.