You’re kidding!” exclaimed the client after I told him the name of my alma mater. I had gone to one of the most famous colleges in the world. There was no avoiding the inevitable next question: why are you doing this? No I did not begin or end my academic career with a plan to even meet an escort much less become one. But fifteen years ago the state I called home decided that possession of $10 of a certain narcotic was a felony. As a convicted felon, the best way to make a living is through self employment. The felony blocked access to every career path the prestigious name on my diploma would have virtually guaranteed. Sobriety does not negate a felony and only a few businesses open their doors to the penniless. I still want to survive even if I have had some problems. I never thought I would turn to socially stigmatized actions to get by but lo and behold, the once unimaginable is now routine. But the unexpected benefit of failure is that I received an answer to the question that failed my grudges: how could they have failed me? Today I say: I understand how a person could fall short. Escorting as a path to empathy. Who would have thought?