I Sold My Used Panties for Heroin
All photos courtesy of the author. These are some of the images she would send to her potential customers.
I started using heroin when I was 16 years old. I had played with every other drug at my disposal, but noticed an affinity for opiates in tenth grade when a friend suffering from cancer gave me some morphine. Within one year, I was shooting up in the parking lot while other kids were decorating the gym for pep rallies. My addiction continued for nearly ten years because, simply put, heroin made me feel fucking great.
Heroin addicts are constantly in need of money, and I was no different. I had heard people talking about the dirty panty market in Japan, and wondered if a similar demand existed in my northern Virginia suburb. After a quick Google search I found that this market was indeed real and thriving in Old Dominion. The need for money overcame any inhibitions I might have had, and I started responding to ads on Craigslist almost immediately.
My first customer offered me $100 for a pair of my panties. Not sure if you’re plugged into the going rate for old underwear, but that is on the high end of the spectrum. During our first meeting, which took place in a parking lot, he hopped in my car and handed me the cash. I removed my lacy black panties and let him slap my ass a few times. He didn’t even take the panties with him, as he was afraid his wife would find them. I drove away and laughed hysterically. I was $100 richer, and was about to get high. I had opened up the floodgates to a whole new world of possibilities. I didn’t feel exploited; I felt like the greatest hustler on Earth.
I sold a lot of dirty panties from fall 2010 until spring 2011, with the peak of my business occurring around Christmas. I had three steady customers, who my boyfriend at the time dubbed the “Perverts.” I assigned them numbers. “Pervert One” had helped to set my prices, and I kept them high. I consistently sold my panties from anywhere between $80 and $200 (!!!), depending on how much I could squeeze out of the particular customer. I used the fact that I was intelligent and exotic to my advantage. I convinced them they should pay me more because I wasn’t just some cheap corner trick. As soon as each transaction was finished I would floor it to my dealer’s house.
The customers had their own preferences. One wanted cotton thongs and kisses. Another wanted me to touch myself while pretending I was his wife’s 17-year-old sister. Yet another wanted to masturbate in front of me, and when I let him I blanked out and went to my “happy place.” Their one shared desire was for me to cum in the panties at some point during the day. Unfortunately for them, hardcore heroin addicts have a hard time climaxing, so I rarely bothered. All of these additional services found their way to the customer’s bill, of course.
Sooner or later almost all of these men would offer to pay me for sex. I promised them “next time” every time. My boyfriend usually waited for me somewhere else in the parking garage or in a nearby business. He never asked for specifics and I didn’t offer—we were both just relieved to have cash. I felt a bizarre sense of pride knowing I was taking care of us by keeping us from going into withdrawal. He once told me that knowing other men were getting off on me turned him on. I couldn’t blame him. At the time my sexual fantasies mostly consisted of the idea of someone stuffing money in my mouth. Not like I could cum anyway.
I considered my activities to be those of a feminist hustler. I was in charge and didn’t feel I was being exploited. On the contrary, I was exploiting perverts with nothing better to do than cough up cash for a young woman’s dirty laundry. These men had the telltale signs of sex addiction. They all had a pale pallor and bags under their eyes from masturbating all night. I didn’t care what they did or who they were, as long as I got paid. I assume that lack of personal interest was mutual, as they never noticed my track marks and generally ignored my obvious desperation.
Eventually that desperation forced me to think bigger. One of the perverts particularly disgusted me, and I formulated a plan to rob him. I would agree to perform a sex act for several hundred dollars, then meet him in a parking lot. My plan was to jump in the car, get the money, then have my boyfriend knock on the window dressed like a security guard. While the pervert freaked out about getting busted, I would bail. Simple as that. Lots of cash, no work, and he would get off with a "warning." Win-win, I thought. When I briefly discussed my idea with a good friend, however, he looked at me, dumbfounded, and said "There's evil, and then there's fucking evil. Don't be fucking evil." At that moment it became clear to me what all the "free" money was doing to my thought process. I was done dealing with perverts. It was time to go back to good old fashioned, honest drug dealing.
It is hard to pinpoint exactly how much dope I earned hustling underwear. The panties cost as little as $2 per pair, so my profit margin was astronomical. Some days I made enough to buy an eight ball or quarter ounce. Other days I could only afford a few meager bags. On an average day one pair of panties could earn me several bags, a pack of cigarettes, and gas in the tank. Anything I earned was split 50-50 with my boyfriend.
All of the money I made went straight into my arm. Bills went unpaid, people unfed, my credit was ruined, my family lost, but desperate veins required desperate measures. I’m not proud of what I did, but I am not ashamed, either. I hurt no one, and took care of my needs in the most entrepreneurial of ways. That’s all anyone can ask of a junkie.
Editor's note: The author's name has been changed in the interest of anonymity.
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