The Urban Institute’s recent eight city sex study was long on information and data on larger cities like Atlanta and Washington, D.C. but short on the specifics here in Kansas City.
Comes now-former KC madam Ginger Madison to critique the study and fill in a few of the blanks.
“Where did they find that pimps make five grand a week here?” Madison asks. “Because that’s totally what I made.”
Madison and her partner/ex confined their business mostly to KC and St. Louis.
“Every other city we tried to get started in, we’d get like one appointment and the girl would flake out,” says the 31 year-old Madison. “The girl would flake out and we’d never hear her again and we’d never get the money.
At this stage of the game, Madison is what you would call retired.
“I was 24 years-old when I started,” she says. “And I did two years (in prison) and am still on probation.”
Part of Madison’s woes came as a result of her unusual penchant for record keeping.
“In general, pimps don’t keep real records,” she says. “But I graduated as a math major, so I kept track of everything – I kept records of everything. And that’s what the FBI said, ‘You made this so easy for us.’ ”
As for the Urban Institute’s chart showing KC prostitutes at the bottom of the pay scale, “I think it depends on the girls,” Madison says. “We were charging $300 an hour and that’s pretty much standard in any big city from what we experienced. I was shocked when they said $17.
“Our girls were more classy and we set our rates really high because we wanted to attract a higher clientele – people that had something to lose. Because they’d be more careful, more respectful, more considerate of the girls and of their time with the girl.”
Unlike the stereotypical pimps in the study who kept all of the money, “We always got $100 per appointment and the girl got $200,” Madison says. “We always made sure the girl got most of the money because she was the one doing all the work.”
The women Madison and her BF selected were “already out there anyway,” she says. “But they were not doing it safely or smart. We found girls who worked at strip clubs or ones who were already advertising online and maybe under selling themselves.”
The reason Madsion’s biz was so small was “we only had 3 or 4 girls working for us,” she says. “Those pimps making the big money in the other cities probably have 10 to 15 girls working all day.”
Which brings us to the no young black guy boyfriends portion of the study.
“We had that rule too, but no black guys period,” Madison says.
“Because they’re more ambitious sexually in the bedroom,” she says. “They want to do more things and they tend to last longer. It’s more like they’re putting on a show. They want to prove themselves. Like they have this mentality that they want to wear the girl out. They want to try more positions and last as long as possible and the girls don’t want that. They want to come in, talk to the guy for 30 or 40 minutes, then have sex for 5 or 10 minutes and be done.
“On average, the sexual interaction in an appointment lasted only 5 or 10 minutes. The rest of it was talking, foreplay and cleanup.”
“A lot of men are looking for that,” Madison says. “They call it the ‘girlfriend experience.’ Will she kiss me, they ask. Because most girls won’t. And when we had girls that were willing to do that, that’s how we advertised them – as a girlfriend experience. And we could charge higher for that, an extra $50 to $100.”
Madison’s world of trafficking in sex in Kansas City was a world apart from the one described in the study, she says.
“It’s a totally different market than the girls in this study,” she says. “And that’s one thing we watched out for; if we noticed a girl had a drug habit, we wouldn’t keep em.”
As for the marketing of sex and those infamous Pitch ads, “We were getting out of the business right around the time Craig’s List started charging,” Madison says. “Their erotic section used to be free and they started charging so they could get people’s credit card information, so they could hold people more accountable. That’s what I think. Or maybe they just wanted the money like Backpage which was charing like $5 an ad online or $15 to print it.”
“Business expenses were mostly the advertising, the phone bills and some traveling,” Madison says. “Like sometimes when we’d go to St. Louis we would provide the hotel rooms so the girls wouldn’t have to bear the expense. It depended on the girls. Some of them wanted to do it out of their house and some of them obviously couldn’t because they were married and their husbands didn’t know or they had kids.
“They mostly did it for the money. There was one girl whose husband controlled all the money and she had to ask if she needed gas, wanted to get her nails done or to go to the grocery store.”
One part of the study said there was very little planning done.
“Oh, that’s a lie,” Madison says. “There has to be a lot of planning. Those who don’t do a lot of that are going to get shut down.”
“A lot of time the women recruit the pimps,” Madison says. “That’s what happened to us. Most people say all women are the victims and the men are the perpetrators, but that’s not always the case.”
Madison also thinks the Urban Institute study was skewed.
“I think that forced prostitution is a lower cost, that’s where you pay only $25 or $50 or whatever,” she says. “And by relying on imprisoned pimps that’s going to make the study a little jaded. That makes it a skewed study. Because they only interviewed the ones who got caught.”
Ditto for the rate differential.
“To be honest, our rates were kind of high for Kansas City,” Madison says. “That’s why we did more business in St. Louis. because clients were willing to pay. And our business model was more about the experience instead of just coming in and having sex.
“Overall the thing about studies is they are all so broad. They gather all this data and then they just generalize.”
“It’s interesting numbers wise, but since I’ve been in the industry, it makes me skeptical of their sources. It’s like if you were writing about nightlife in Kansas City and you only interviewed people in the Power & Light District. You’re going to get skewed results.”
Eventually Madison later began going on “dates” herself.
“I started out answering the phones,” she says. “Then when I saw the type of interaction men were looking for – and that most girls couldn’t deliver it – I stepped in. Plus we needed the money – it was about the money, because my partner had a gambling problem.”
So what are men looking for?
“Attitude,” Madison says. “For the girls to act like they wanted to be there. To act like they were enjoying it rather than just making it feel like a business transaction. Some people just don’t know how to be intimate. They make it too mechanical.”
The No. 1 romantic request in KC?
“Kansas City’s boring,” Madison says. “Most of the guys just wanted oral sex and missionary. And a big request was them wanting to do oral sex on the girl.
“But St. Louis really broke the boundaries of fetishes. They wanted strap-ons; they wanted foot fetish sessions, golden showers – they wanted to be peed upon. I used that to get out my aggression that way. Looking back on it, I was subconsciously very angry and feeling degraded for what I was doing. Because I never intended to be involved in that way. My ex urged me to do it. So those strap on sessions were an outlet for projected anger.”
There you have it.