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Sunday, June 14, 2015

The Forgotten “Bottom Bitch”

This is a harsh term but one has to realize how the world of the street pimp operates. I should know as I was trained by a family of generational pimps when I was indoctrinated into the sex industry. It was a time when racism was extremely dominant within Los Angeles county. These men were African American and they wanted to elevate their operation to a whole new “level” they explained to me. To do so would require things like leasing homes in the valley, Beverly Hills, Venice, etc. To open merchant accounts to take credit cards which took practically an act of congress to get approved to do back in the late 1970's unlike today. Renting an office on Wilshire Boulevard was also something that would not have happened if an African American male showed up to meet with the agent. Not back then anyway. Remember this was long before hip-hop or rap or men like Russell Simmons were considered men of Fortune 500 companies. .

They needed a Caucasian with an “honest face” who knew who to talk. Knew the game. Knew the con and how to “think on their feet” when answering questions. Something that a girl who had been lured into prostitution, and was taking drugs daily, just wasn't able to pull off for men like this with big plans. However, my father had trained me in how to be a con artist starting clear back to when I was eight years old. That's when he started teaching me how to play pool so he could hustle the guys at work out of their money. By 12 years old he had me dressing up as my own mother and pulling off full blown cons.

When my father left – I thought I'd be able to just “move on” to a “normal life”. I enrolled in college and went out to get myself a waitress job. That's when I walked into the nightclub these men had set up in Tarzana, California which they were using to launder their money. But it was becoming harder and harder to explain why so many drinks were being served in such a tiny club to explain the high numbers. As it was they were ordering booze by the truckload they'd just give away to try and make the inventory they purchased match the number of drinks they were supposedly selling at the club each night. Something else had to be done as the business grew – and the government started demanding more “proof” about where cash was coming from.

They told me they needed someone to help with the “management” level of their operation. I'd grown up watching Mae West movies. It was a time when madams were viewed very differently than they are today. Dolly Parton even played one in the “Best Little Whorehouse in Texas" film which was even a Broadway musical at one pint in time. So culturely it was a different time entirely than today. These men were offering to put me into a whole other world full of celebrities, fancy cars, big houses, and a life they wrote movies about.

In my training, they explained to me that their job was about making money understanding the human mind rather than of through hard labor. That I had to understand that if all they did was go around terrorizing women that wouldn't last. The women would just get up and leave. That pimping was an art form almost of knowing not just how to manipulate people but also in understanding group dynamics.

Because most pimps don't have just one woman. That's not a pimp. That's an abusive relationship. To be a pimp required at least four to five women at any time in order for the dynamic to work. Of which the very foundation of the pimp rested on what they called the “bottom bitch”.

Most pimps start out at about 12-13 years of age. That's when most of them start feeling interested in “the game”. Whether they're brought up and trained to be a pimp by their own fathers, or uncles, or whether they go out into the streets seeking out an older pimp to mentor them – almost all that I've evern know tell me they've become interested at about that age. I think that's when most of them also start experiencing an attraction to women. For these men it's not just about sorting out their own sexuality but also about figuring out what type of relationship they want with women in general.

This is when they start looking for their “bottom bitch”. What this means is usually she's the first one they start out with. This woman is usually an older woman who actually is looking for a younger man she can train up in his future career. Other times she's just about the same age as him and they start out like any young couple starting out together. I've seen a variety of circumstances about this first woman they get – but it's always someone who decides to make a “team” effort to build their family empire. She is with him for the “long haul”. In her mind anyway.

Because of his youth, she feels protective of him. This is why she's the one who goes out recruiting for him. Usually because she can get into places he can't. Once around all these women - she then starts out talking constantly about how “great her man is” while out at the clubs, parties, gyms, shopping with the girls, even in jail. Wherever she can put herself around women who are also in a crisis, or a vulnerable situation where they are looking for a man to take care of them that they can “respect”. Because there's two types of men who spend money on a woman in this culture – there's the “john” who is viewed as a weak man. Then there's the pimp who is viewed as a “real man”. While a “john” is someone who can be ordered around and controlled – the pimp is viewed as someone who does the string pulling in this world. While by default is going to attract women looking to be dominated.

She goes out to find the other women for them as a team so that they can start generating more money and to build their future “empire” together. Her story she tells herself is that if she helps him get enough of these women out making money “for them” then one day they'll be able to retire together off in the islands somewhere (or whatever their fantasy story is for their end goal). She doesn't view these women as competition to her because after all she's the “bottom bitch”. She's the one he really loves and these women are just means to an end for them she tells herself.

The “bottom bitch” therefore feels that their relationship is like a marriage. The women she goes out to recruit are like children – with them as the symbolic “parents”. What she's looking for is either a very young woman who has never lived on her own, another prostitute looking for a replacement “family”, or someone who she considers her mental inferior that will just go out working as a prostitute, do what she's told, and bring back the money to “daddy” like a “good girl”. Therefore, she's also looking for someone that she can control.

This is why she tries to recruit women who want to be like her, be treated like the pimp treats her, live like she does. By talking about how well her “daddy” treats her – she does this to inspire envy, even jealously. Jealously is an important component in the 2nd woman in this power structure. So a great deal of effort is put into showing how “nice” her man treats her. She brags about him. Shows off jewelry and clothing he's bought her, places he's taken her to, things he's done for her. In other words, she talks him up in a way he never could if he did it himself.

But most important she does it to also lure the woman in close to the pimp. To indoctrinate her into the relationship she's usually invited “up to the house for a party”. A party where she's given drugs, alcohol, and of course indoctrinated into the whole “culture”. Music is playing about the “game”, posters are around, and most important are people who act like this life is something completely “normal” for them to be living. They expose her to their life to see if they can inspire this 2nd woman to want to be a part of “their” life. It's important to find someone who feels competitive because the whole point is to get a woman who will be striving always to try and replace the “bottom bitch” as far as the pimp's true affections. So he will always admit that he “loves” his “bottom bitch” because he wants the 2nd woman to be thinking of how she can make him love her more than the “bottom bitch”.

Because of her maternal role within this dynamic – she does maternal things. She does the cooking, cleaning, laundry, paying the bills, etc. She'll take care of the pimp also like a mother – setting his hair in curlers for him, trimming his nails, making sure his suits are clean when coming back from the dry cleaners, and so on. Anything to show that he loves “being taken care of”. It's also to inspire the 2nd woman to try to outdo her on these things.

All while the pimp plays an artful mental game. He'll be sexually inspired by the 2nd woman generally. However, it's his “bottom bitch” who he truly loves because he can “depend” upon her. He talks about how he'd be lost without her help – the way she makes sure the bills are paid and the house is run. All again to inspire the 2nd woman into thinking if she can take better care of him than the 1st woman – then she can then have him all to herself.

But in this dynamic it will reach a point where the 2nd woman will tell the pimp to “make a choice”. This woman will make more money than the “bottom bitch” and she'll cook more and clean more and do everything she can to prove she's better. Just when she's reached that point where she feels she can issue him an ultamatim that it's “choose one of us or I'm walking” - that's when a 3rd woman has to come onto the scene to now inspire a competition among both of these women with the 3rd player in this game. It doesn't work otherwise with just two because it will then come down to a point where they'll insist he choose over or the other will walk.

The whole point is the competition. It doesn't work with just two because that's just a war where eventually one will either win or lose. So to keep it a competition a 3rd or even 4th woman has to enter into the group dynamic. However, over five does becomes a problem. Why? Because you can't really have more women than there are nights in the week. A man has to spend a resident night with each woman as part of this relationship. Then the one who makes the most money that week gets the 6th evening as a reward. He then has to have a free evening to himself where the women then all compete to see who talks him out of being out alone on the 7th evening. So more than 5 women can become too much to handle properly. More than 5 and someone winds up not in rotation and then eventually that will just cause the whole operation to fold. The “game” only works if there's constantly vying for position going on between the women. Which is the whole point of this – to get the women competing with each other.

In order to do this however he has to be seen as the “prize”. He can't be the disaplinarian or the punisher to be avoided. That's why the “bottom bitch” is the one who issues any punishments and also maintains the control over the whole group. If a woman starts acting up – she's told what's what by the “bottom bitch”. She is mentor, mother, manager, and also disaplinarian. If any physical violence is called for – it's usually the “bottom bitch” that does it. Why? So she's the one who goes to jail – not the pimp. She's the one who collects the money also so he's not ever charged with pimping. That's why she's the one in this role – she's the one who buys the drugs, signs things that need to be signed, and does any of the illegal activities for which he'd go to jail for if anyone got caught.

Which is honestly one of the reasons why it's so hard to put a pimp behind bars. Most of the time it's their “bottom bitch” who is collecting the money, beating the women when they're out of line, purchasing the drugs, transporting the drugs in the car, and doing any of the risky or illegal behavior. This way even if someone does “snitch” on him – it's really all on her shoulders not his.

Which is also why the other women hold her blameless for her actions. They know it's not really her that wants to hurt them – she's only doing it to protect “daddy”. Any lessons taught are taught by her to protect him, or because they know she's being told to do so by him. This allows them not to hold any grudges against her either which would destroy any other relationship otherwise.

Dynamics like this are routinely used within the military. They create a bond among the men in the barracks to then unite against their common enemy – the drill sergent. The “bottom bitch” is much like the drill sargeant is in the military. It creates a “common enemy” that deflects away from the pimp any of what is really his responsibility. He's not the one beating them or threatening them – it's the “bottom bitch” that's doing it. They fail to see that he's the one behind her pulling the strings.

When looking at this group from the outside, such as if you're law enforcement, or a social worker – you can clearly see that the pimp is the one truly responsible for what's going on and that all of these women are victims in one way or another.

However, the woman who has taken on the role of the “bottom bitch” knows she was not just some passive mindless robot. In her mind, she knew what she was doing and she was an active predator and abuser on a scale maybe even worse than the pimp. Many of these women have participated in the rape that is very common with the “breaking in” of new victims to the family because sometimes these other women aren't lured in by the promise of a good life. Sometimes the next women in this dynamic are tricked into coming back to the house where they are drugged raped, and then brainwashed into the “family dynamic”.

After the rape, the new recruit is then turned over to the “bottom bitch” to be mentored into what it is she's supposed to doing. She's then taught how to dress as a prostitute, how to find the tricks, things to say so she won't be arrested, as well as what her new world view is. This is where she's explained the “tricks of the trade” as well as what's expected of her now. Again, a conversation that the pimp doesn't have with her so that he's not the one carted off to prison.

This is one of the reasons why many a pimp doesn't get arrested. What is the victim going to say? He's not the one who brought her up to the house. He's not the one who drugged her. He's not the one taking her money. He's not even the one threatening her or her family if she doesn't cooperate. It's the “bottom bitch” who is doing everything to the victims.

Now to the outside world the “bottom bitch” appears to be a prostitute just like the other women. She's not even viewed as a “madam” because the money isn't going to her pocket but his ultimately. If she's arrested she's not viewed as a pimp or madam – but someone who was only carrying out the pimp's wishes in the eyes of the law anyway.

I'm bringing this story up now because I feel this woman is being very overlooked and misunderstood in the modern trafficking movement where many people in it don't really understand the “inner” workings if you will of this world. A lot of emphasis is put into cautionary tales about the pimp – without any warnings being issued of how the women operate on his behalf. Again, this is also so if caught he can claim he has absolutely “no idea” what's going on.  Even this clip on youtube from the film "Street Smart" cuts away before the movie shows the "bottom bitch" is the one who sets the other female in her place.  This film by the way is just about the most realistic one I've seen on this type of dynamic.  I can see why he was nominated for an Academy Award and do believe it was racism as to why he didn't win. 

This means that that young 12, 13, or 14 year old girl can be in just as much danger being invited out to a party with the “girls” as she may be if the pimp showed up directly on the doorstep by the way. All the more reason actually why with a young victim it's not the man who approaches them initially, but the woman. A woman who may be their own age even. For that matter, it might even be a young man her age that the parents are viewing as just “puppy love” with no idea how harmful this relationship really is.

I think of stories like I saw with Aubrey for example. Her interview is This was a young girl who got a boyfriend her own age when she was about 12-13 years old and so was he. They went to the same high school together. Any “normal” parent would not think the 13 year old boy showing up at the door was in reality a pimp who was being mentored by his ather, an older pimp. Nor that she was being groomed to be his “bottom bitch”.

But look at it from the older father pimp's point of view. How is he going to get close enough to a 12 year old girl to “turn her out” himself? He has three choices – he can attempt it himself which is very difficult and if discovered he's going to go to prison for a long long time. He can also try to send in another young girl her age which he might not have one under his control at that time. The third option is to use the boy to connect to her on a romantic level who is not viewed by adults as a threat because of his young age. This is how the older pimp then got Aubrey under his roof the night that he not only “turned out” Aubrey, but also showed the younger pimp how “the game is played”.

Now a “bottom bitch” when taken into the outside world is viewed really as “just another prostitute”.But when you talk to her about what the pimp did to her – it's not going to register. In her mind she did everything she did of her own free will. The same issue is going to arise with the women under her as it was the “bottom bitch” who issued any threats or did any harm to them. They are going to defend their pimp as “never lifting a finger to harm them”. When in reality he was carefully orchestrating the whole thing amonst them.

In Alcoholics Anonymous one of the purposes of their program isn't to stop the alcoholic from drinking. Anyone can stop drinking. However, for the alcoholic, there is the issue of the “dry drunk”. This is a type of thinking and behavior that alcoholics have that can be present even if alcohol isn't. Within Sex Workers Anonymous, we see the same thing only we call it “post-prostitution syndrome”. This may appear as a type of thinking and behavior common to prostitutes. However, it can also exhibit as the relationship they may have had with their pimp.

This is why as I talked about one of the first groups I worked with were women who were in the religious group “Family of God”. In this cult, the pastor taught the members “flirty fishing” where they used their sexuality to get money and new recruits for the cult. The pastor was simply a replacement for the pimp. Instead of a fedora he wore a collar. When I spoke to the women about this – the lightbulb went on and they realized while out of prostitution, they were still in the same exact dynamic. This is when they said not only did they want to leave the cult – but also realized why “working the steps” was so important of a process for them to work through. Otherwise, they'd just keep finding other relationships to be in where they were being dominated, exploited, and abused to their own detriment.

Something also to keep in mind when working with this community. Everyone is different. While there are patterns – there are still “different” patterns. Not everyone fits into the stereotypical idea of some mindless helpless robotic victim who went out on the stroll at night only to come home and turn her money back over to her pimp. But in order to find out what one needs as a solution – one also needs to understand what the past patterns are. This is accomplished through the 12 step process.

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