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The Internet Made It Easy to Become a Teen Prostitute

It all started when I was 17-years-old, a month or two after I graduated from high school. I was having a hard time getting a job. With no real job experience and a down economy, even for a position at Starbucks, I was competing against people with college degrees. They had far more impres­sive resumes. I quickly became frustrated with my search.

One day, while browsing the jobs on Craigslist, I spotted the “Adult Gigs” and “Adult Entertainment” section. I decided to check it out, mere curiosity at the time. The moment I clicked the link, I was met with hundreds and hundreds of links and posts from various men and women (most­ly women) offering their “companionship” or “GFE” (Girl Friend Experience), in ex­change for “roses” (i.e. monetary compen­sation). I was awed by how much money they made. Anywhere from $100 for 15 min­utes to $600 an hour was the going rate. So, just for the hell of it, I posted my own ad.

Dangers In Online Prostitution: I Was A Teenage Prostitute

Next thing I knew, I was getting calls and texts from a bunch of men who saw my ad. At first, I hesitated to reply, but I finally did and went to meet one man. He was in his mid-30s, and I met him at his house while his wife was out getting her nails done. It was a nice place, and he looked normal, which made me feel more at ease. We had sex for 15 minutes. He tried to coax me into not using a condom, but I insisted, and he eventually agreed. He gave me $150 for the deed, and I was on my way.

I’m a very shy person and have always avoided social situations. I didn’t have any real close friends, and I was picked on in school. At first, escorting helped me feel beautiful… wanted. But, it was all just a lie, and it soon became a path filled with sexual abuse and beatings. I was robbed and raped several times, and I internalized the hurt, hating myself more and more every time.

Getting Caught

It was my mom who busted me. Even though I was really angry at the time, deep inside, I felt grateful. Without her interven­tion, I don’t know if I could have stopped. I was caught in a vicious cycle of feeling bad, getting money to get drugs to feel better again, only to feel bad again. Today, at 21 years old, I am sober and a lot wiser than I was at 19. The experience changed me. I look at everyone differently now.

I now understand how very dan­gerous the Internet can be. It’s a portal to ev­erything, with only your keyboard acting as the barrier.

Note: Thanks to the efforts of advocates for victims of the sex trade, Craigslist shut down its “adult” section in 2010. Unfortunately, however, the Internet continues to serve as a primary way for perpetrators to find victims.

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