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T he words of poet Dorothy Parker who, in The Veteran, tries to tease out the age-old question: What makes people do the things they do? The men who go out at night in search of sex for sale are no different. They're all propelled onto the streets by some innate desire.
But what happens to those who don't feel anything anymore? The women who find themselves numb?
It's midnight on Dublin's Baggot Street and a young woman steps out of the shadows. Low-cut top, tight jeans and rolls of jet black hair pulled tight, she carries with her a story. Like every girl who walk these streets.
Somewhere across town her young son sleeps soundly in his bed. In a sweet slumber that shields him from the darkness of his mother's whereabouts.
He doesn't see the driver come to a stop as his eyes peel down his mother's legs. I look at her face and she nods as he goes to retrieve his car. Her polite smile hides her reation. They'll make small talk on the way to her 'safe place' - the alley where she returns each night.
Earlier leeson year she woke one morning and came down the stairs to find her long-term partner - the father of her child - dead on the couch. Enter address This field is required Up. She didn't cry at that moment either. Touching dublin pale-blue lips and cupping his grey street, she lay down beside him for hours before calling for an ambulance. I needed to stay with him for a while longer.
I ask her about the theory that the prostitutes who fall into prostitution are often victims of sexual abuse as children. The finding was put forward by Harold Greenwald, the late psychotherapist who carried out one of the most famous and extensive studies into the psychology of prostitutes.
That never happened to me," she says nonchalantly. And I turned 14 when I first had sex, but that was with my boyfriend.
Midnight on baggot street: every girl in the sex trade has a story but men never ask
Some don't want sex - they just want me to talk. Others will beat you if they come too soon or try to rape you if they don't want to pay money up front. They vaguely know one another.
But she speaks to them enough to keep one of their main rules: always use a condom. They leave us be. They take our names and write down what we are wearing each night to keep an eye on us if anything happens.
The gritty glamour and agony of ireland's first leeson street lady
Meanwhile, two and a half years have passed since the government promised to review the laws on prostitution. Now all we are told is that the Minister for Justice Frances Fitzgerald "may" propose laws targeting the buyers of sex.
It has led her to become stuck in the world of prostitution with no feeling - no reason to motivate her - to get out of the trade.
Midnight on Baggot Street: Every girl in the sex trade has a story but men never ask. Facebook Twitter Whatsapp. Facebook Twitter.
Love, loneliness, lust, hunger, hurt, comfort? A myriad of emotions drive every human behaviour that we find most difficult to understand. She'll service three men tonight.
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