Thursday, December 9, 2010

Sex in the city of Cartagena

Got here from an internet search? Are you looking for girls? Well this blog might help you incidentally (though it's not intended to), just please think twice about going with a prostitute if she does not seem to be genuinely willing. Prostitutes are people too, not possessions.

Sometime in September 2010
Right, I'm giving up with chronological blogging, at least for this paragraph. I don't know where to start on this tricky subject, so I may as well start anywhere, jabber a little bit more before jumping into the deep end.

Hang on, maybe just one more paragraph, my heart is beating a little harder now and I'm still not sure where the next paragraph is going. I've corrected a sentence 5 times now and it's going nowhere. Delete. Let's try again.

Pause, breathe. Good advice for any situation.

People have a lot of reasons for travelling, but I think there's only one. Escapism. Why move if you're happy where you are? Ever since we fled from Africa as runts - our bigger brothers staying behind - we've been in search of the promised land, and so it goes on.

That's pretty cheery isn't it, but it's not all bad. Escapism is fun too, and one of the most fun forms is f*cking.

Now I'm sweating too, and it's not just the heat from this beautiful tropical coastline.

You can be told something and believe it, eg f&cking prostitutes is bad, but you can only really learn anything by experience. So, to quote Nicolae Grigorescu from a wine bottle, "Do what you feel, as long as you feel it." I've probably bastardised his quote, but anyway he's long since dead.

So am I saying doing whatever you feel like is ok? F&cking prostitutes is ok? Well, the point is, that's for you to decide, I'm not making any judgement. But judgement lingers like a shadow and trying to put two fingers up to it is hard.

In Cartagena I felt like f&cking prostitutes, so I did. Of course it was a feeling like I feel like a cup of coffee, not I have feelings for prostitutes. Though I did have feelings for one, and she was free. Free love, so to speak. Though I will never know if she was free because I had feelings for her, or I had feelings for her because she was free, or I just had feelings for her.

Anyway, I digress. So I shagged some pros and fell for one. Not the first time for either, so I've a little experience here. Based on this experience, here is an opinion (maybe this contradicts what I said about judgements): having sex with prostitutes is fine as long as they are consenting - e.g. not under the control of a pimp (I say "control" because a prostitute might consent to be managed by a pimp, but be free to leave at any time, a bit like IT contracting)

Sex with a prostitute is at the extreme end of a spectrum of sexual relationships. It's a completely deterministic transaction - the relationship is going to end, and the settlement is agreed upfront. At the other end of the spectrum there is sex with love - making love - a journey into the complete unknown, there is no known end, because the unknown is timeless. The two extremes have something in common - they are both honest. In between are all the games we play.

In any profession, a job is done well when it's done with enjoyment, and prostitution is no exception. Sure, there is a good amount of acting, essential in this and any sales profession, but if this is all it is then I've met some damned good actresses. There should be awards, some of these girls do an amazing job.

Safe Sex
This goes without saying, and prostitutes are amongst the most careful of women when it comes to safe sex. But not all, and anyway quantity obviously increases the risk. I would however put promiscuity generally in a risk category equal or above prostitution, especially in melting-pots such as London, where various social, cultural, and economic groups mingle. The statistics speak for themselves, however I haven't got any to hand, and anyway I just made this all up based on experience/ whatever I want to believe.

Unsurprisingly prostitution seems to be more prevalent in countries with a greater rich-poor divide. In Latin America many cities have brothels that are open only during the daytime, frequented by married men during office hours. They maybe discreet but smart houses in good neighbourhoods, with rooms rented by women working on a freelance basis advertising on the internet. By contrast, the tourist market operates largely from "discos", usually exclusively visited by prostitutes, but also by the curious or part-timers, just topping up an otherwise insufficient income from a regular job or to help fund studies. Many of these women would rather another job if it paid well enough, or settle into a decent relationship. But the local economics and demographics means a shortage of work or elible men.

Did I say they are happy? Maybe I just looked for the happy ones. I wonder though, would the slappers of western countries accept cash payment if they needed it and it was more socially accepted? UK students, how will you pay your fees?

The Porn Palace
Ok so back to the travels. I arrive in Cartagena with a couple of mates. They're not all as sinful as me, and one had a girlfriend back home so I was impressed at his self-restraint. We stay in a guest-house the first night, then make some enquires about apartments. Questions like "can I bring visitors at night?" let's the agent know what the score is. So we are shown an apartment in Laguito, a smart tourist neighbourhood west of the old town (The old town by the way is gorgeous and romantic, don't be put off going to Cartagena thinking it's sleezy)

The apartment is perfect, spacious, modern, amazing views all round, has a great pool, gym, and just happens to be right opposite a disco invitingly called La Dolce Vita. And it certainly has a sweet proposition:
1) it's free to get in
2) it's free to get out (!)
3) the beer is cheap
4) there are 3x more women than men
5) they are all beautiful
6) they all want to talk to you
8) they will all sleep with you

Dating a prostitute
So I dated a prostitute. How does that work? Well, basically it doesn't. It lasted a few days only. The first time I visited La Dolce Vita I was window-shopping only, happy to admire the scenery and take a few phone numbers for a rainy day. I took 4 phone numbers then as I was leaving I caught the eye of a girl having a cigarette outside. Something connected, whether her demure manner was an act to lure me by my soft nature, or it was entirely natural I will never know. Maybe the question is irrelevant, in the quantum world - now generally accepted science - they can both be true. Good news for trust.

Anyway I called her the next day and invited her over for an afternoon shower with me. I'm a tactile person, I love touch, and what could be cleaner than soaping up a naked lovely on a sweaty afternoon?

And lovely she was - clearly in demand, she didn't show up. However later in the evening she calls me and asks if she can come round, she says she just wants to chat - she needs a friend. This is strange I think, but I let her in and we sit on the balcony and chat a while. That same connection returns and the chemistry takes over.

The bill
Later I'm lying in bed wondering where on the spectrum this lies. There had been no talk of money, and she showed no sign of leaving. The next morning she was due on a long assignment, some poor guy had come all the way from Bogota to meet her, and arranged a boat to collect them and whisk her off to an island. But it wasn't to be - she turned her phone off. So she stays, there's no talk of money - the sparkle in her smile is priceless as it is.

But now I'm in a dilemma. When I first called her I expected to pay, and therefore be on the completely deterministic end of the spectrum. Now I'd not paid, and we'd made love instead, where was I?

This is all very lovely for a while, we spend the day by the pool, and exchange tragic stories of abandonment and mayhem. Mine are pretty bland. Hers would make good film. She has two children in Bogota (a nanny looks after them), the father is serving a 25-year sentence in the US - she didn't know he was a drug dealer when she married him. She had met him as a client - she was working at a high-class joint in Panana, serving the rich and a few famous.

The strain on our fledgling relationship starts when she has to go back to work. Unsurprisingly I'm not tucking myself into bed with sweet dreams at the thought of what she does for a living. Repeated promises to meet become apologies, I sleep badly, but cure myself by screwing other whores instead.

The truth is I've set myself up for this. Whether or not I paid for her I knew she was a prostitute, and that was always going to be my pathetic get-out clause. It was safe after all. If I really wanted her, I could buy her out - straight away give her the life she is saving up for. And many of the girls are looking for that. But to me that would be like upgrading a phone from pay-as-you-go to contract. Not to mention I'd probably not have the guts to come out on such a decision.

She happens to live in the building opposite, some floors below, so we could see each other from our balconies - it was sort of romantic at first, a little wave and a smile, a phone call with 3-D video. But it also meant we could spy on each other.

She didn't bring guests home, but the restaurant below was a common meeting place for girls working in the area. I could see her and she could see me, and my guests. So the spanner was in the works pretty quickly. Game over.


  1. What was the name of the apartment complex you stayed in? I'm planning a trip to Cartagena and this sounds like the perfect location.

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