Customer Reviews: Working: My Life As a Prostitute
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on March 29, 2000
Delores French did an excellent job protraying the profession of "working" as it is without getting into trying to talk the reader out of it. Like it or not, prostitution is a profession. Anyone who reads her very informative publication will learn this message. In her pages, Delores goes into her "pilgrimage" from working into the traditional world into the various worlds that comprise sex businesses. She describes her work throughout the world and seeks to decriminalize the field. For those who want to learn about this field and has been seeking a "career" guide, I recommend you read these pages. For those trying to talk people out of working in this field, I hope you read Delores account, as she does a good job protraying the field in it's objective light.
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on July 29, 1998
This smart, witty, and courageous autobiography shatters the stereotypes that most people have of prostitutes. Contrary to popular opinion, the majority of American prostitutes are not abused, exploited, drug-addicted, pimp-controlled street whores with low self-esteem who have turned to sex work in desperation after a lifetime of poverty and violence. Nor is it true that prostitutes are significant transmitters of STDs or responsible for the spread of Aids. Dolores French is refreshingly candid, passionate, possesses a deep sense of justice, and genuinely enjoys what she does for a living (and how many people can honestly say that about their jobs?). While acknowledging that prostitution--like any other profession--isn't for everyone, she argues convincingly that women should be free to choose prostitution as a career without having to fear stigmatization, discrimination, police harassment, arrest, and incarceration for doing something that would be perfectly le! gal if they didn't have the audacity to charge for it. Like other sex workers' rights activists, she favors decriminalization rather than legalization.
"Working" is a perfect blend of engrossing autobiographical storytelling (Dolores has worked as an escort, in brothels, out of apartments, and on the street; she has worked in the U.S., the Carribbean, and in Europe--and she has plenty of fascinating tales to tell) and facts & stats about prostitution. This book is essential reading for anyone who's ever wanted to know what it's really like to work as a prostitute, and it should be required for individuals who are making and debating laws and policies pertaining to prostitution.
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on October 9, 2001
Amongs the best real-life accounts of the prostitution business I have read next to the excellent Sydney Biddle Barrows, 'Mayflower Madam'.
Delores French is an 'ordinary woman' with a zest for life, who chooses an extraordinary lifestyle.
Delores happens to be a woman who enjoys her job: entertaining men in numerous ways..from the conversational to the carnal.
She is independent, gutsy, quick-witted and terribly sensible.
Ms French also has a killer sense of humour.
She has been a professional prostitute in the USA and several other countries.
Because she is a bit of a bright-spark she takes the opportunity to explore all levels of the job...from high class courtesan to street walker.
When she susses out the workings of a scene she moves on to pastures green and adapts to her new surroundings.
Rivetting, amazing, shocking ...but highly educational too.
I learnt a hell of a lot from Dolores- THANK YOU BIG-TIME GIRL!
If you are not a prostitute you need to read it to get an insight into what men 'really' want; if you are a prostitute read it to discover how to be a better one.
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on July 19, 2003
I fully agree with the author. I know best about prostitution as my mother was prostitute from age 15 to 61, my sister,wife,2 daughters are also in same business.We all are very happy & proud of this business.We have never cheated any customer. We donate for charity too.I hope that our future generation will continue this business with same honesty & dedication.We never refused aged or bad looking clients.
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on March 13, 1998
If you are or ever wanted to be a sex worker, you have to read this book! It's entertaining and informative. It'll make you want to go out and live your life any way you want, with absolutely no regrets.
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on June 4, 2000
I know very little (nothing) about the sex for hire business, but this book is a delightful read and scores at least 5 stars on my scale. I enjoyed every page, and am willing to believe that she didn't have to embellish to write this story. Would love to meet this lady.
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on March 27, 2000
I was looking for a book that I couldn't put down, and this was it! My sister recommended it to me, because she and I like reading books about people with lives vastly different from ours. It was a true winner: interesting, insightful, intelligent, and exciting. Dolores French is a true expert on prostitution, and the things she writes about both shock and delight the reader. I would recommend it to anyone open-minded enough to enjoy it!
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on March 14, 1998
A must read for any woman who has been subtley or blatantly taught that she is the property of first her parents and later her husband. The most powerful and the scariest thing for a patriarchal culture is a woman who is in charge of her own life. Dolores French made a practical decision and uses her body to earn a living -- not scrubbing floors, not selling real estate, not doctoring sick people, not playing tennis, but providing sexual services. A funny, eye-opening, delightful read. No wonder it was banned from the Hall County, Georgia library. This woman is honest and bold and makes more sense than is good for keeping women in a subservient role. Dolores French is a feminist who has by-passed victimization and has gone straight to thriving in the world as it is. The suffragettes got women the vote, prostitutes bear the standard for autonomy. When whores are as free to conduct their business as football players are, we women will have reclaimed our rightful position as equals and patriarchy will shrivel up and waste away.
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on November 20, 1999
I was amazed to find such an eye opening book. It changed my perception of prostitutes and prostitution radically. I'm definately a Dolores French fan.
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VINE VOICEon February 17, 2010
Sex, money, and more sex. And there's plenty of it in Doloris French's 1988 book entitled "Working:My Life As A Prostitute".The Happy Hooker: My Own Story French made no apologies within the 384 pages of this book whereupon she parlayed her high libido into big bucks in the U.S.,the Caribbean and Europe. French wrote that in 1955 when as a little girl she was watching the TV show "I Love Lucy" with her mother in Louisville, Kentucky, the notion of sex for money first gelled. Watching "Ricky and Fred" fall over a beautiful woman while "Lucy and Ethel" angrily scorned her, French asked her mother why the two woman were being so mean to the men for watching this woman's every move. After her mother explained to young Dolores that the woman was a "call girl", Dolores wrote in her book: "That's what I want to be when I grow up!" The Raped Vagina: A Military Prostitute's StoryFrench preserved the authenticity of this book beautifully, ensuring the anonymity of her clients, madams and fellow prostitutes by using pseudonyms with the exception of Sydney Biddle Barrows, the "Mayflower Madam" whom French briefly worked for in a brief stint in New York. Mayflower Madam: The Secret Life of Sydney Biddle Barrows

Before French reached her twenty seventh birthday, she had worked in telephone sales, as an art director and census taker. Working in an unsatisfying job as an administrator and fund raiser for a small Atlanta based radio station, she met the station's general production manager, named Stephanie. French wrote: "I didn't know at first how someone wearing emerald earrings and a diamond engagement ring fit in at our small station". Striking up a friendship, French found out that Stephanie had a second job: she was a prostitute.Confessions of a Working Girl: A True Story French was intrigued, and one day, Stephanie had a "date" that she couldn't keep, and asked French to fill in for her. The night before her first experience as a prostitute, French wrote: ""That night, I lay in bed, thinking about what it would be like to walk into a strange room the next day and have sex with a strange man for money. I had already slept with a number of men I hadn't cared for, for the company or the pleasure or as a favor or just because we were both there. What was so difference about this, I wondered. The money, of course, the "great equalizer" as someone called it". Survivor: Memoirs of a Prostitute

Dolores French graphically describes this experience, and many others, embarking on a career choice where men were viewed "as prey" for financial gain.Miss Bangkok: Memoirs of a Thai Prostitute French wrote on this experience: "It was over with quickly, and I got dressed. He was delighted to give me money, nearly half my weekly salary. That man treated me with more respect than I had got in most other occupations, and he paid me a lot closer to what my time and my mind were worth. He paid me with a smile on his face...and I was proud to have been able to help him". Due to propriety, it is impossible to describe French's multitude of experiences as a prostitute, which is extremely graphic in "Working". However, Dolores French makes it very clear throughout the book that if a woman enjoys sex, being a prostitute affords her the opportunity to have a lot of it. And if she doesn't enjoy sex, at least she's being paid, and handsomely at that. Confessions of a Working Girl: A True Story

Her career takes her from "hooking" at shopping malls in Atlanta to the Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico, taking on all the sailors of the U.S. Warship "Nimitz" in Saint Thomas, and on to Amsterdam, and New York. French also wrote of her appearance on the Phil Donahue show, and explaining to her family the truth of what she did for a living. French also described the tricks of her trade, cataloging her clients as follows: "There seemed to be basically only four kinds of clients-maniacs, druggies, nice guys, and cops".Vice Cop: My Twenty-Year Battle With New York's Dark Side However, there were other clients French also served. French wrote in that regard: "A lot of celebrities call escort agencies. What their looking for is anonymity. A rock star or tennis star or a famous author or politician or athlete wants sexual services but is worried that the person they meet might talk afterward and want more from them, either personally or financially".

Mentioning the famed "Polly Adler" as a trailblazer in the legitimacy of society's need for prostitution, French became "the most public prostitute in America".A House Is Not a Home Although tiring at being asked questions such as how many times she contracted VD or if she felt dirty and degraded, French talked to police officials about prostitutes rights, announcing to the world that a prostitute who was a rape victim should press charges against anyone who committed a crime against her, including her customers. Furthermore, French wrote: "Prostitutes do have some unique problems. like being arrested, and dealing with fear, and dealing with stigmatization, and worrying that their children might be taken away from them". Although never doing "hard time" like other women in her field did, she does have a minor scrape with the law, which she escapes due to fancy legal footwork of her attorney's, one of whom she marries at the end of this book.Cop to Call Girl Whether you are turned off by the vulgarity in "Working", are for or against the legitimacy of prostitution or what side of the fence you sit on in terms of society's "need" for sexual release via prostitution, "Working" makes a very interesting read in a field very few talk about.
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