Reporter pays $2,000 to bail on hooker assignmentRadar magazine has discovered hipsters in the sex trade. But make no mistake: These aren't San Francisco's Web-powered indie sex entrepreneurs. These women may wear little black leggings and sport Tina Fey glasses, but like most New Yorkers, they're employees at heart. Unlike their San Francisco counterparts, they largely rely on madams who handle both scheduling and billing. Radar assigned writer Jessica Pilot to commit an entitled act of stunt journalism: While ostensibly on the magazine's dime, she would turn a trick herself, and write it up first-person. She went it at like a novelist-wannabe temp showing up for a stint as a file clerk.
I head for the elevator. On the ride up I open my handbag for the hundredth time to make sure I've got everything: mace, condoms (I bought more), and lip gloss. I get out on the 11th floor, find the room, and knock, my heart beating furiously. A pudgy man with dark hair opens the door wearing a loose hotel bathrobe. "Violetta!" he says, extending his short, bushy arms and putting a hand on each side of my face. He looks at me for a moment, then gives me a kiss on both cheeks. "Come in, bella!" I see that the covers are pulled back on the bed. A bottle of expensive champagne is nestled on the pillows. The man looks at me expectantly. I think about Kelly and try to imagine myself possessing her nerve and bravery. But it's not there. "I have to go," I tell him.
Pilot thinks this is the perfect have-it-both-ways ending for her story: she gets to be the good girl who didn't cross the reporter/hooker divide. But it's not that simple. Soon enough her madam summoned her, demanding that she pay for the appointment she bailed early on and the client lost for good as a result. Now the reporter who thought she'd make a splash by becoming a "real" escort finds herself in line at her local Chase branch, blushing with embarrassment as she asks for $1,100 in twenty-dollar bills. Just like a john. The madam was right: It's not a job for just anyone. (Photo by Jessica Craig-Martin/Radar)