Brenda Sandquist: She’s someone’s daughter
She’s someone’s daughter, sister and, yes, even some sweet child’s mother. The reality of a woman who has found herself trapped as a working girl in a brothel is one with little hope and a lot of rejection, competition, damaged self-esteem and a financial nightmare.
To enter the brothel atmosphere your eyes need several seconds to adjust to the dark dimly lit and warm parlor, where girls have assembled at the bar to wait for the buzzer to ring. Every time the buzzer rings once, girls scramble to line up in such a way to entice a client as they’re looked up and down to be chosen to “party” (yes, that’s the term for a man buying a prostitute for sex).
You can see it in their eyes as they line up, please pick me, I need you to pick me so I can pay my ever-growing debt to the house. If you look a little deeper though, you can also see in the deep recesses of their eyes, please don’t pick me, I really don’t want a party with you.
When the selection is made feelings of rejection come when your competition won the chance to “party” and you wait for the next time the buzzer rings, which could be hours. The Lyon County brothels average 20 to 40-plus girls in each location, there’s not a prospective “party” for every girl with each buzzer and so the financial nightmare begins when you owe room and board every day, the doctor fees weekly and 50 percent of anything you may earn which belongs to the brothel owner is taken, plus the tips you pay the bartenders, housekeeping, cashiers and managers.
The debt becomes insurmountable at times when you lose 75 to 80 percent of what you earned.
The lure of the lie to work there is you’ll make a lot of money, that’s not the reality for the majority. The lure of the lie is it’s a safe work environment. The lure of the lie is you can leave anytime you want (if you have no incurred past debt, and you’re allowed to leave). The lure of the lie is if you decide to leave, employment becomes extremely difficult, what do you put on your resume?
Anxiety, panic attacks and PTSD become the norm and often creates such trauma it’s difficult to leave their room, their homes and be a part of society. They become trapped from fear and abuse. The constant “parties” also take a toll on their bodies mentally and physically.
I’m so tired of the statement “they chose to work there, it’s their choice what happens to them and they like what they do.”
If you have ever met one of these rare beauties and had the privilege of listening to their story without the fear of being overheard and having their words manipulated to protect the image of the ones who employ them, you would have a different opinion. She’s someone’s daughter, sister and some sweet child’s mother and when you see her in that light it changes everything. She deserves to have a voice and she deserves to be free.
Brenda Sandquist is founder of Xquisite in Carson City. Xquisite is a support group for every woman who has lost her voice, identity or passion, for more information visit http://www.Xquisite.org.