Hooking is definitely one of the better jobs I’ve had, but it’s still a job, and sometimes it gets me down. A slow week, a jerk client, a particularly gross newspaper article, being outed by a friend—it can be hard to keep your spirits up and your head in the money-making mindset amid all that noise. At those times, I like to take refuge in quality pop music and pithy political analysis. These songs combine both.
Dolly Parton, “9 to 5”
We all gotta work, and Dolly Parton (my hero) has always been pretty savvy about using what she’s got to get ahead. She also knows it’s not easy, and she never sugar-coats it either. If there’s a catchier, more incisive pop song about working women negotiating capitalism’s daily grind, I want to hear about it (I mean that, please tell me about it, I love that shit). This song never fails to perk me up before a particularly dire day or night of work. Whichever 9 to 5 you work, Dolly is there for you.
Salt-n-Pepa, “None of Your Business”
“Opinions are like assholes and everybody’s got one”.
What is it with being a ho and people feeling entitled to tell you what they think about it all the time? It sure gets tiring, and it can mess with your game if you let it. Shake it off with Salt n Pepa’s ultimate anthem to fucking whoever the hell you want for whatever reason.
“I just can’t believe that you would choose this.” None of your business.
“I just worry about your mental health.” None of your business.
“It makes me sad that the sex trade exists.” Boo fucking hoo, still none of your business.
Nicki Minaj, “Sweetest Girl” (feat Wyclef Jean, Akon, and Lil Wayne)
Fuck me, blame me? Fuck you, pay me.
Without Nicki’s verse, this is a pretty grating song about dudes feeling sad about sex workers (while also wanting to bone them). “She used to be the sweetest girl”, but now she’s just a hooker for Wyclef et al to moralise about. Yawn. But then Nicki jumps in and pretty much eviscerates them all in under 60 seconds. She neatly unpacks how social circumstances produce our lives, she defends her choices, and then she spits righteous anger all over Wyclef’s hypocritical concern-trolling. It’s very, very satisfying, and transforms a boring song into a right-on-the-money dialogue about sexism and women’s choices. A useful soundtrack for run-ins with the abolitionists in your life.
This one has nothing to do with any of that stuff. I just really like raps about pussy.
What songs get you through the hooking (or other kinds of sex-working) week?