I recently attended a training with an organization that helps minister to women in the sex industry. Over the years I have met several women and men who were lured into the sex industry when they first moved to LA in hopes of becoming a star. The majority of porn made in this world is created right here in the Valley of LA. Before I received this training, I had personal experience of my own with being approached to work in this particular industry. I remember before I even moved to LA I was searching for jobs on Craigslist…. (I wonder how many disasters have started with searching on Craigslist?). Anyway, I remember responding to a seemingly innocent job post looking for models and actors. The response came from a man who said that they offered free housing if you “looked the part”. Mind you, I was in my early 20’s and was pretty naive in general with the ways of the world. But I sensed that something was off with this situation and thankfully I passed and transferred to a Starbucks in LA for my first job. Several years later I was sitting at a bar with a friend and this old guy kept giving me the eye. He never said a word to me but when he got up to leave he put his business card down by my drink and I remember his title was Director of Housing for the City of LA. Obviously, I didn’t look homeless in this particular moment, so why would he hand me his card? Well, I knew why. I threw away his card but I never forgot his title.
I’ve since come to realize through years in this city that one of the many ways that people get lured and trapped into the sex industry is through housing and other basic needs. In the training I recently received, they actually went into this with Maslow’s Hierarchy Of Needs and a handout written by an actual pimp. You can read it word for word below.
“To really be successful pimping you have to understand Maslow’s Hierarchy of Human Need—players call it the “Pyramid.”
See, the pyramid is a triangle; you know what a triangle is, right? To categorize human need you divide the triangle into five different parts, each of which represents a basic need that all human beings have, including prostitutes. The largest area of the pyramid, the part at the bottom, shows the most pressing of human needs: food, air and water, called “physiological needs.”
Everyone needs these things to survive and everybody that is alive is getting them. You probably won’t be able to find a prostitute that is not getting her needs met in this respect, at least not in America. However, at every other level of the pyramid, there exists an opportunity for you to be a pimp. Because the pimp assesses prostitute need and then finds a way for the prostitute to get her needs met.
At the second level of the pyramid is the need for safety and security. You might be able to find a way in here. The prostitute may not feel safe. She plays a dangerous game. She is unsafe from crazy tricks, from unscrupulous police, and from intimidators masquerading as “pimps” (not like you), who might beat her or smear her make-up. To get in at this level you will say something along the lines of, “I want to protect you,” but that is usually not enough. You need to combine this need with a need from one of the other levels of the pyramid.
At the third level of the pyramid are the human needs for Love and Belongingness, such as the love of family and friends. Usually, the prostitute is not getting these needs met. That’s why the easiest way to get started pimping is to fall in love with a woman who is turning tricks.
She probably has a need for love that is not getting met. The average guy on the street does not see her as a logical prospect for a love relationship and her family doesn’t love her—they probably sexually abused her when she was a little girl and then lied about it… Her only friends are other prostitutes, who by and large are dishonest, confused and needy themselves.
This is where a good pimp can make a living—if he’s got the right stuff to be a pimp. All of these women need love. A lot of them are good-looking, resourceful and funny. If you can find a way to “have feelings” for them you will be rewarded financially….
If you think you can do this, you are ready to become an elevated pimp…
Of course, if you have good theatrical skills and knowledge of the Pyramid, you might be able to provide an illusion of love—that is, to make her think that you love her. …
As you get near the top of the pyramid, the area of need is less, but it still exists and may provide a way for you to be a pimp. At the fourth level, right underneath the top, is the need for “Ego-self-esteem.” Everybody wants to feel good about themselves and that is a hard thing for prostitutes to do. They need to feel respected—it’s not as pressing a need as the need for food and water, warmth or love, but it is the kind of thing that can ruin a person’s life if they don’t get it. That is why so many working girls are addicted to drugs. They feel bad about themselves so they shoot heroin everyday to forget about it. A lot of them were abused as children, most of them, in fact, and they have been feeling bad for a long time. You, as a pimp, will understand the pathway that brought her to be a prostitute and you’ll show some understanding and sympathy. …
At the top of the Pyramid is the need for self-actualization—the need to “be all that you can be.” It’s hard to find a way in at this level but it is possible if you provide a dream for the future—a way out. You explain that what she is doing now represents something temporary; that you know she is better than this so she is just doing it until you “get your insurance settlement,” inherit some money or make it as a rapper or a rock star.
If you meet the prostitute’s needs at different levels of the Pyramid, simultaneously, you will make money. You’ve got to meet needs at the third and second levels while you are trying to find a way in at the fifth level. Then you will have a devoted woman pulling for you. You will call her your “baby girl” or “hope-to-die-woman.” Once you have that, you will enjoy the benefits of being an elevated pimp and know that it is time to expand your empire. Your hope-to-die-woman will help you to recruit new women. She will think she is your business partner.
To win any battle in life, it helps to know the enemy you are dealing with. I think for so much of my life I was trusting and optimistic to a fault. Yet, when it really came down to it I see that I’ve been protected. I’ve definitely had close calls and have been deceived, but I thank God that my brokenness didn’t lead me into a deadly trap. If you are currently in a situation where you feel manipulated or have lost control, there are so many organizations out there waiting to help you. The first step is always scary, but freedom is possible. For more info on the organization I trained with or to get free from the sex industry or a domineering person in general, check out Treasures.