katya m

When you just really need to get away from this guy.

Dear Tits and Sass,

I am an escort in Calgary, Canada and am desperately looking online for some help. I’ve been escorting for a year now and throughout the year I feel I’ve gone through some serious turmoil, and want to get out.

Particularly, throughout my journey almost right away I [met] a sugar daddy and we have had an arrangement for pretty much the whole time I’ve been escorting. Of course, he was very generous with his money in the beginning. Then it turned into an arrangement and everything was still fine and reasonable. As time went by and boundaries got crossed, I have now shared so much personal information with him and started to develop feelings in a weird way. He obviously doesn’t feel the same, as he is married, but he does use manipulation tactics to keep me interested by almost promising some sort of false hope that we will get married and live happily ever after (he doesn’t say it that way, but he gives subtle implications).

Aside from the emotions, though, he has become my top client as he provides the most income for me. However, during this time, I feel I have put up with so much emotional drainage and despair. He has manipulated me and treated me so poorly (mentally). He stays at my place for hours and expects me to text and entertain him when he’s not around. Escorting also became a problem to him at one point too. So it’s like I just can’t win and make him happy. Plus, I have to be so honest with him [about] my personal life on top of that and it’s just draining.

Long story short, I just don’t think I can handle it anymore, but I don’t know what to do. I am so scared to cut him off as I’ve been (in some ways) more comfortable seeing fewer clients due to having him as a source of income, although he consumes so much of my time and demands [so much of] it. Plus, he always thinks I’m lying to him about my “feelings” towards him and always wants me to prove it. I’m just exhausted. I’m starting to wonder if it would be better to just cut him off and go back to seeing more clients again. At what point do you end it with a client, even though I have become dependent on him? I realize as time goes by it’s just going to get worse and worse. How can I change this dynamic again? I barely have enough time for school, and I feel it’s almost like he doesn’t agree with me being in school, which is why I started escorting in the first place (to pay debt, etc.). How can I fix this mess I got myself in? I just want to be normal. Please, I’m crying for help,

SAD (Sugarbabying Ain’t Delightful)

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Latesha Clay cries at her sentencing. (Screenshot from MLive video of the sentencing.)

Latesha Clay cries at her sentencing. (Screenshot from MLive video of the sentencing.)

Content warning: This piece contains general discussion of child sexual abuse.

Reading about the plight of Latesha Clay, the child in Grand Rapids, MI sentenced to nine years in prison after being used as live bait in a robbery scheme, the thing that struck me was the use of the word “victim.” Of course, referring to Latesha Clay as a victim of human trafficking and the rampant racism of the criminal justice system makes sense. However, in this case, the 15-year-old mother is being painted as a villain. Every time I’ve seen the word “victim” used in relation to Latesha Clay, it’s been used to describe the men who responded to her Backpage ad, which featured the words “teen sex.”

To give you a quick rundown, in case you haven’t been exposed to this case in the media (and how could you have been? Almost all the coverage on it features the same news story that ran last October on a local crime blotter), Latesha Clay was used by two older teenagers, Trayvin Donnell Lewis, 18, and Monee Duepre Atkinson, 17, to lure men to their motel room. Both Lewis and Atkinson await criminal convictions, and like Clay, have both been charged as adults, though legally only Lewis is no longer a minor. Charging Black children as adults for crimes less severe than their white juvenile counterparts have committed is nothing new, but it is especially disheartening in the case of Clay, who, at 15, is a long ways off from adulthood.

Mlive, the website that initially ran her story, asserts that a man came to a hotel room expecting to have sex with a teenager. Upon arrival, he was greeted by Clay, who took the agreed upon payment and stepped aside. Lewis allegedly then came forward brandishing what investigators later said was an Airsoft pistol with the orange tip removed—not even a real firearm. He ordered him to the ground and requested the man’s money and cellphone. The older teens then allegedly forced the “victim” to drive to an ATM and withdraw a mere $300 before taking them back to the hotel. The teens also allegedly cleared the history from the victim’s cell phone.

After the man—unharmed except for his pride—called the police, a search of the hotel room turned up the three suspects as well as $650 in cash and the doctored Airsoft gun. Lewis is being charged with possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony, even though an Airsoft gun was the only firearm found on premises. All three teenagers were hauled in and interrogated.

Something that stands out starkly in this case is the police department’s total exoneration of the men who were soliciting sex from a teenager over the internet in the first place. Kent County Undersheriff Michelle LaJoye-Young has gone on record assuring “robbery victims” that the department is not focused on investigating them for solicitation of prostitution in this case, urging them to come forward.

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