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The Money Question
There were a million questions I never got to in our hour with Tamika Bradley, a former prostitute, and a male stripper whose stage name is Knox, during last week's show on sex workers. Here's one I still really wanted to know: "You both say money was the motivation for you to start this work. What did you spend the money on?"
After a few rounds of phone tag, here are their answers.
Knox kind of laughed when I asked him. He said he made "stupid" choices at first.
"Typical stripper choices. I spent $4000 going to see my ex-girlfriend in Germany. Then I saved again, about $6000. I spent all that recently moving to Portland. Buying furniture, also nice clothes, taking my girlfriend out to nice dinners. I didn't save as much as I could have."
He's still working as a stripper, now saving for a house and to open his own business.
Tamika said she spent it on whatever she wanted.
"I blew it off on various things," she said. "Clothes, shoes, houses, cars." The houses were rentals. She says she always got kicked out when landlords found out she was selling drugs. She says drugs ate into her earnings periodically, sometimes significantly.
"When I was doing the escort service, I had some clients I did drugs with. I'd get paid extra for using with them. It was cocaine. So some money went to that."
Tamika is no longer earning money as an escort or prostitute. She has a few more weeks with a residential rehab program that covers her housing and most expenses.