One night, quite some time after she started working, she was driving around on her own, and all of a sdden emotionally broke down. It had only just hit her at that moment what she was doing - the fact that she was a prostitute and that she was selling her body for money, and the realization scared her. Even the week before she started working she said that she could never sleep with someone for money, and the fact that she was doing it now, and that it was her job, shocked her.

That night she met a girl and fell in lust. I'm told it later turned into love. Her girlfriend was never comfortable with her working, so a few weeks after that experience she stopped. Even though she stopped, she never once regretted that she did it.

I am deeply defensive of prostitutes and prostitution now. It fulfills a service. It's a place where men can go to live out their fantasies without hurting anybody. It is a place where the sex is clean and safe. And it was through this line of work that I saw one of my closest friends become one of the strongest women I know.

Prostitution is legal in Australia, and because there are laws to regulate it, I guess it is safer seeing a prostitute there than it is in the United States. At any rate, prostitution should never be outlawed anywhere.

What am I trying to say by all of this? I don't know.. figure it out for yourself. But while you're doing so, please check out the following links:

BAYSWAN - Bay Area Sex Workers' Advocacy Network

COYOTE (Call Off Your Old Tired Ethics) Los Angeles

COYOTE Seattle

Prostitutes' Education Network

Exotic Dancer's Alliance

The Cyprian Guild

Whore Activist Network

The photos accompanying this story were taken in 1912 by an obscure commercial photographer, E.J. Bellocq. They ae portraits of prostitutes that he had photographed in Storyville - New Orlean's red light district.