By Ben Wolinsky, 2012
I wrote this article back in 2012, and so far no magazine or newspaper wants to print it, so I’ve published it myself.
Here’s how I’ll describe Gigi: five foot nine, blonde hair (natural, not dyed), looks to be about 60. Gigi is a mature prostitute who sees her clients at her apartment on the Upper West Side. She agreed to an interview on the condition that her professional name not be used. We spoke while she sunbathed by Strawberry Fields in Central Park.
Does your job mess up your sex life?
No, because I don’t have an alternative sex life. I’m satisfied with my work, I have orgasms, and I don’t think about sex that much, and I haven’t had that many boyfriends. I never married either.
Do your friends and family know about what you do?
Certainly. I have two kids, 25 and 19, and they were the first to know. I raised them differently, according The Continuum Concept by Jean Liedloff (better known as attachment parenting.) It includes home birth, extended breastfeeding, carrying the child with you at all times until age two and a half. It also encourages “family bed,” so the kids slept with me, and I breastfed one of my children until age three. The method allows breastfeeding until age eight, in public if they like. But neither of my children nursed after age three.
How did you start out in this business?
I left the USA in 1973 to travel, and I’d already been doing sex work already for two years, starting at age 20. I left the USA at 23, did portraits in pastels and colored pencils, supported myself that way. So far, I’ve been to 54 countries.
How come you left the USA?
I was in a college in the Midwest in the early 70’s, dating a black man, and my parents broke it up. Keep in mind this was 1969, and it was unconventional at the time, because interracial dating had only been legal for a few years. Anyway, I couldn’t take it; I grieved, got into drugs, crime, and prostitution, spent three days in a county jail in Missouri. But then I had an epiphany; my dad bailed me out for $10,000, and I accepted a new kind of respect for them, threw all my negativities over a bridge, carried on with a new purpose in life. My folks invited me and my brothers to Europe. While my parents and I were having dinner at a private club, I met a Swiss maître-d who said he’d met this Hindu holy man and asked him “are all people different” and the holy man said “because you asked, you already know the answer.”
I went to California, and joined several spiritual groups for a while. I wrote to the Swiss maître-d, who was now working at a hotel in Haiti, he told me to come down there and try doing portraits. I said to myself “if I can make it in the poorest country, I can make it anywhere else.” A girlfriend asked me where I’d like to live more than any place, and I said “South Pacific.” Australia would be too much like the USA, but New Zealand? I looked that one up in National Geographic. I lived in Haiti for a while, then I joined the merchant marine, and five years later I was in New Zealand.
You were in the merchant marine? What do the guys on the ship do for ass, do they jerk off?
Yes! That’s what the sailors do. Then of course they flood the port cities’ red light districts. The father of my kids took me to Pusan in South Korea, introduced me to his favorite girl. She was cute, but she giggled too much, and it was annoying. All the girls ran out to me when I came to the Pusan brothels. I guess they’d never seen too many white women. The sailors all save their stuff for the red light tour, so I was fine on the ship. One of the old timers told me “pick one guy on the ship, and the rest will leave you alone.” Merchant sailors, they’re all loners, their wives accept that they’ll be gone all year and having sex with other women. I was a waiter for the officers, and we got equal pay to the men.
Do your neighbors know and/or object?
They have no idea, the customers don’t hang out, and I dress normal. Most think I’m a teacher-I wear dresses, glasses, comfortable shoes.
Any threat of violence from your customers?
No, someone negative comes to the door, he usually turns around and leaves, he’ll be uncomfortable. I’m always smiling, and it’ll scare some of them off. If someone’s dark they won’t want to stay. I also refuse anything from a restricted number. The cops, I know when they’re calling. If someone says “is this Gigi?” I’ll answer yes, and when they say “how much do you charge?” I say “have you seen the advertisement?” and they hang up. I had several different people call, always the same question, always they hang up. One client, he was an ex-cop, he told me what to say.
What about health & hygiene?
There’s Planned Parenthood. Back in New Zealand, this is legal, and there are free health clinics, but prostitution isn’t unionized.
What kind of clients do you have?
My clients’ average age is early 40’s, mostly professionals. Here in Manhattan you get all these guys in the finance business, but a few tradesmen and construction workers too. They don’t get too weird, most of them want me to be their mother or teacher. After all, I am 61!
Some customers have difficulty reaching orgasm, one had shrapnel damage from Iraq. I’m very patient, so they usually feel comfortable with me.
Do you find your job demeaning or empowering?
Empowering, definitely, empowering! I get all kinds of people, I learn a lot, talk to them, find out their concerns-I am extremely curious, it satisfies my sexual needs. I feel like I’m doing a service to society and nature. It’s a very vital part of society; every man needs the touch of a woman, and they come to me because they’re not getting it anywhere else. They need comfort and love, and I give them what they need. I also believe that when a person has an orgasm, he/she releases healing energy for the planet. I feel like I’m doing something great.
Do you have any advice for a younger woman getting into this business?
You need a certain attitude that you’re doing this as a service to society, not just for the money. No alcohol, drugs, or cigarettes; you can’t have any addictions. If I were a madam, I would say no to addicts. She should be educated and worldly, which is why younger women don’t do as well in this business. They tend to be less patient, they rush things and try to get the man out the door as fast as they can. If the men are paying for your time, they might as well cum three or four times. You can’t try to speed things up; you need foreplay, get him relaxed, you don’t want him to feel any more guilty than he already feels. Know his sensitive parts, give good head, look him in the eyes.
My youngest customer was 19, wanted me to be his “mommy.” Their first time is often with an older woman, so they’ll want to have sex with me. When I was in New Zealand, the population was half that of NY, so I’d get few customers. I take women clients too, and yes, I’m bisexual and I eat pussy.
What’s the difference between peoples’ sexual habits here and abroad?
In the USA it’s more religious. The Pilgrims and the Mayflower are our heroes, and we inherited their prudish attitudes. In some countries, there’s no disdain for sex, breasts, penises, vaginas. Here, men get horny, they have one woman, it doesn’t satisfy them, they get hornier. They can’t always be satisfied by one woman. They jerk off, but the hand won’t do you any good after a while. A lot of it has to do with porno.
So porno wrecks your sex life?
I find a lot of guys who are sexually dysfunctional. The internet numbs them by making it too easy to get instant nudity, and when they get aroused, a signal in the brain sends them running for the computer. If you have the urge, these things are in place. You get less of an incentive to seek out a woman to fulfill your needs when you can just log onto the internet and masturbate. Whatever you get from having an orgasm by masturbating to internet porn won’t last long.
What’s the most luxurious thing about your career?
I have an apartment that’s just a stroll from Central Park. Talk about a dream come true!
What’s your opinion on Elliot Spitzer’s prostitution scandal?
He was in a position where he could’ve had it legalized. He should have spoken outwardly that he’s just a man, and men do this for sex all the time. This isn’t something you can stamp out, so you might as well run with it. It’s as normal as eating and breathing.
Marriage; now that’s something that’s really just for the financial and emotional stability of the women, not much else. For companionship, you can have marriage, sex, or both. But if you don’t fulfill your sexual needs in your marriage, then it’s perfectly normal to come see me. Every man has had a mother, and the touch of a woman is the first thing he’ll experience.
When my children were growing up, I had an open door policy with regards to my body. I let them see me clothed and naked, and had sex in front of them.
You had sex in front of the kids?
Yes, I was very open about my body. But they stopped watching me have sex after age 5, because they were bored by it.
Would you have had sex with your kids?
Yes, but it would have to be their choice, I never make the first move. Anyone who wants to have sex with me, I’ll let them in, but it must be their choice. When my son was 18, I said to him “now you’re legal, would you like to experience sex?” He answered “Mom, I don’t think of you that way,” and that was the last time we spoke about it.
I raised my kids with a tolerance for nudity, and it didn’t damage them in any way. Public nudity won’t change anything, but porno numbs desire. My generation had no internet; we had to be able to talk, dance, learn the social graces. Talk to a 23 year old these days, he can’t carry on a normal conversation. There was a 23 year old that came to me once, and he couldn’t get it up. Ten years of masturbating to internet porno made it impossible for him to get started, let alone finish.
A man needs to go out, ogle at women, and get an erection, just like when you were 14. You should not masturbate after the age of 18. Learn to proposition women, you might get lucky. Guys these days, they’re stuck behind a computer all day, and that’s no good. Learn to flirt, and for goodness sake, learn how to dress! Women are attracted to money; it’s a biological instinct, the same way that men are attracted to beautiful women. Everything boils down to the laws of nature.
How do the men in the USA compare to the men in New Zealand?
New Zealand guys grow up in an agricultural environment, lots sheep and cattle, and chocks (chickens.) They’re more manly, and satisfied with life, not that attitude that you have to reach the top. They just work eight hours, go home, and enjoy themselves. NZ men have workshops, they go pig hunting, lots of activities. There’re no theme parks, just nature. You’re never more than two hours from the sea and you can run around barefoot.
I spent one and a half years in Haiti, three months in the UK, three months in Israel, and another three in Morocco. 85% of Haiti’s men are pure-blood African peasants, while the Mulattos had the better jobs. In Creole there were these terms called granmoun (adult) and timoun (child). A timoun is what they call a peasant, while granmoun means money and business. On the street, the men would ask if I had a boyfriend, and I’d say granmoun, because I wanted a guy with a car and some money.
Haiti was the safest country in the world in the 1970’s, and this was back in the days when Jean –Claude Duvalier was in power. They still had the Tonton Macoute, you could recognize them by their black clothes and sunglasses. But I could walk to the taxi and the guys would be sitting on the sidewalk and say “bon-soir mademoiselle.” I never had any problem there.
I’m going to call you Gigi in this article.
Gigi? Okay, I thought you said “chichi” for a second. I think chichi means butt or tits in Spanish. Then again, I do have nice big nipples.