I have met some very interesting people during my process of interviews for my exhibition. Yesterday I met Darla. Darla started working in Parlours when she was about 23…and she surprised me when she said she had been fascinated with the profession since she was little and wanted to see what it was like to be a working girl. That is the reason she got in to it. Researching the profession for about 4 years before she entered was also a good way to start I guess. She isn’t in it for the money, she wanted to be a working girl.
For the past 2 years she has had one client. Darla left the Parlour scene to be a courtesan/companion for a gentleman who proposed the idea to her…she calls him the Count. Darla and the Count have had their arrangement for 2 years now, it is a very rare situation for a working girl and a strange or unique situation to get your head around (for me at least).
Even though I am not naïve about the industry Darla works in and don’t like to put people in boxes, I had anticipated the person I was going to meet would be telling me a whole bunch of stories about abuse, drugs, needing money to pay the bills etc. That is the stereotype that most people have of working girls. I have now met several women like Darla, who do the job because they love what they do…not because they need the money or because it’s all that they know.
Reading, watching movies, drinking and dancing are on the list of things Darla does to escape. I guess you could say it is ironic that another one of Darla’s forms of escapism is sex. Does that mean that sex to her means she can forget herself, just for that moment? Does she use sex as a need to escape every time? I think I have some unanswered questions I need to find out…