The life of an escort wanders between sacrifice and luxury; sex skills can lead to a first-class existence, but the cost can sometimes be very high.
Armida doesn’t like her name. He thinks it’s’ladylike’, he says. That’s why he changed it to Johana. The name doesn’t bother her because Johana is blonde, white, like the women of the Sinaloa mountains, tall and with well-formed curves. He does not seem to have left an adobe house with a tin roof, with a latrine in the courtyard surrounded by henhouses and pig pens. Nor are there any traces of her childhood, sowing cotton in the agricultural fields of Mazatlan, or of growing up among the land, misery and sun that falls like a burning mallet on the valley. Now a lush, 26-year-old woman, she buys her clothes in San Diego’s malls, comes to the beauty parlor once a week and drives a Patriot. “You manage your money very well,” I tell him. “That and that I have very good clients”, he points out.
Johana has been an escort for three years. The basic difference between a companion and a common sex worker is that the former offers, in addition to a sexual service, a temporary companionship, so that her rate is not measured in hours or in the number of sexual encounters. Johana, moreover, does not stand on street corners or go to shabby hotels. She receives a certain number of “permanent clients” in an apartment she has in front of the Mazatlan boardwalk. Among its neighbors are retired Canadians, narcos from Culiacan who spend their weekends in the port and local businessmen. She is also frequently invited by some of her clients to vacation in other cities. Thanks to them he got to know the United States and since then he can only buy his clothes in California, as in Rodeo Drive. A port businessman who owns hotels in Cabo San Lucas asks her to accompany him and while he’s at his business, he waits for him there in the presidential suite. When I say that he leads a life of luxury, he attacks me with a phrase: yes, but it has its price’.
But what’s the price, besides giving his body to men he probably doesn’t like? If we take into account that half of all married women live this situation, what is the sacrifice thanks to which this life of a queen is given, “I cannot seriously fall in love with anyone. Sometimes I feel lonely, I want to go out with someone my own age, I want to fall in love, but I can’t bond with anyone because I know I have a busy week for my clients. He tried it once and the experience was disastrous. She was with her friends, former college friends at one of the most popular beach clubs in Mazatlan. Immediately, the table occupied by five beautiful women caught the attention of the group at another table where there were five boys of the same age. They put the tables together and immediately after Johana sat down a kind of glasses that caught her attention. They isolated themselves from the rest of the group and talked all night long. He told about his travels and Johana already knew the places he mentioned. But when he asked who I had made those trips with, she had to lie. “I certainly wasn’t going to confess that my clients had taken me to those places,” he confesses.
After that night, they made an appointment to eat together the next day. She didn’t go on the date. One of the clients called her and she couldn’t refuse. For six hours, his cell phone was off. The time the client was in the apartment. “We had sex, we ate, we talked on the terrace, we had a beer, we had sex again, he invited me to Cancun because he had to see about some hotels there, his shirt got stained with beer and I had to wash it because I couldn’t get home with scent, see? That’s all an escort does.”
Fornicating, talking, preparing food, serving company on boring business trips, doing laundry. A regular housewife with a high salary,” I think. More like a housewife on a salary. Period.
The guy at the club didn’t call after the sit-in anymore. She looked for him. They met again and went to the movies for the weekend. But then she remembered that Saturday was scheduled for a very special customer: a state government official who, taking advantage of the fact that the governor would be at the port on Saturday, wanted to see her. “I can’t afford to turn down a client like that, because with what he gives me for a weekend, I pay the rent for this apartment. When I ask her if she has thought of renting something simpler (with a kitchen worth fifty thousand pesos in the background), she replies that “no, that would be going backwards. I never want to be poor again. Johana studied a bachelor’s degree in communication at the Autonomous University of Sinaloa. Johana, like many women in the port, dreamed of becoming a carnival queen. But the rules of the competition are that the girl who accumulates the most money during her candidacy will be the queen. So the crown usually falls into the hands of girls from wealthy families, daughters of narcos or famous singers.
“How did I get started in this,” he says, “was not even aware; I became a lover of a married man. Once I didn’t even have enough to pay the rent, I borrowed from him. He went to the house and gave me the money (in exchange for sex all afternoon). I felt like he was doing himself a favor. I paid the rent and thought: why not charge every guy I wanted to fuck?” It was after she became a client of the hotel bars, where the businessmen arrived. Government officials, American tourists. He immediately began to differentiate. Gringos don’t pay, he says. Some entrepreneurs are very stingy. The best are the civil servants. They don’t even have a hard time making the money they’re paid, so they spend it like shit. The heads of various state agencies have passed through his bed. The profiles of some of them are similar to Johana’s: poor by birth, rich when they come across that gold mine of corrupted public service. I ask her if she thinks of the future, when her charms cease to please and she is relieved by the new generations of pretty girls of humble origin: “Sometimes, but when I want to go out of business, since I save enough to live well and open a business, I will go to another city. To start a family like all women.” Her story is interrupted and she asks me to accompany her. We go out to the terrace; we are on the tenth floor of a beautiful condominium with its own swimming pool, gym and bar. Johana wants to show me the twilight. It is six o’clock in the afternoon and the sun sets behind the islands that are in front of Mazatlan’s boardwalk. The wind, the color of the sky, the sea in front. This life is perfect, after all, who would want to leave it?