CAMBRIDGE, Massachusetts. Kimberly Banff is a 23 year-old who has been practicing the world’s oldest profession in the Boston area since she ran away from home at the age of 18. “Being a hooker ain’t an easy life,” she says, “but it’s all I know.”
Like any other business, Kimberly needs to maximize her revenue in order to make a profit, a fact that was brought home to her one night in the checkout line of a convenience store. “I stopped in for a snack for me and another girl that was workin’ the Combat Zone,” Boston’s informal red-light district. “I picked up a package of cookies, and you coulda knocked me over with a feather when the cashier said ‘That’ll be $17.50′,” the price of a roll of molasses cookies made by Dancing Frog, a local natural food company.
Kimberly said “No thanks” to that sale, but the premium price gave her an inspiration. “I figured, I can keep turning tricks in the Combat Zone for $20 in the back seats of SUV’s from the suburbs, or I can go green and charge more for eco-sex.”
That night Kimberly took the Red Line into Cambridge, home of Harvard, MIT and numerous “crunchy granola” types, as her current partner “Sachet” says with a laugh. “They won’t take a drink at a bubbler,” she notes, “but they’ll pay two fifty for a bottle of water.”
Together, Kimberly and Sachet conceived of a whole-earth makeover for themselves that has produced a greener business, both in terms of environmental concerns and their bottom line. “We don’t use latex condoms ’cause they’re not biodegradable,” she tells this reporter. “Just lambskins.”
A Toyota Prius gas-electric hybrid rolls by, and Kimberly goes to work. “Hey, baby–wanna give your sheepskin a workout?” The driver, a 30 year-old graduate student who already holds a bachelor’s degree in English and a master’s in Comparative Literature, knows the code and slows down to negotiate the price.
“How much for ‘around-the-world’?” he asks, referring to a level of service that, as the name implies, includes everything. “$75,” Kimberly says. “That includes natural oil lube, bamboo bed sheets . . .”
“What difference does that make?” the man asks as he tugs at his wispy beard.
“Bamboo fabric is silky, wicks moisture, has natural antimicrobial properties, and comes from a rapidly renewable resource,” Kimberly recites quickly as she casts a sidelong glance down the street to look for vice squad cops. After she sees that the coast is clear, she adds “I’m also wearing organic cotton panties” in a sultry tone.
The man’s libido is visibly aroused, and he motions for Kimberly to join him in the front seat. They drive to Kimberly’s apartment around the corner, where she leads him into a room lit only by a lava lamp whose eerie rays are refracted through crystals suspended from the ceiling.
“How about a little foreplay first?” the man asks a bit nervously as Kimberly lies down on her Japanese futon. “If you’re thinkin’ what I’m thinkin’, that’s not included in the price,” she replies, an iron businesswoman beneath the enviro-friendly hemp negligee that leaves little to the man’s imagination. “It’s another five dollars.”
The man tries to act put out, but it is clear that he’s willing to pay to get what he wants. “All right,” he says as he digs his wallet out of his pocket and thrusts a bill into her hand. “Let’s go,” he says with excitement after Kimberly stuffs the bill into a cookie jar on her night stand, and leads him into the kitchen.
Together they lift a brown paper bag out of her wastebasket and she reaches in, picks out an empty plastic container, and hands it to him. “I think you know where this goes,” she says, her eyes half closed in the smoldering heat of her passion. “Milk carton–PET 1,” he says as he tosses it into her recycling bin.
“Yes,” she moans, “Oh, yes!”