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People Cheer “Arrests” but there is a lot more to know before we know anything

HPD: 74 arrests made in Chinatown in last 6 weeks under crime prevention program

Downtown Honolulu’s Chinatown is in the midst of a much touted police “crackdown”

I have told you that downtown Honolulu has been one of Oahu’s epicenters for drugs. Years ago I walked those streets in the sincere belief that I could partake in the offtrack lifestyle and no one would be the wiser bc of my good taste in clothes. I am not bragging when I say I was the best looking homeless crack addict on the block in my youth. Please, hold your applause. I have shared with you that I enjoyed my experiences bc the drugs and the risks I took to obtain them were all consuming. Self pity was in the back burner and my orphan status did not cause me to stand out from my peers bc most were alienated from their families. None of this psychological relief would have been possible without a centralized location for all of the elements of this lifestyle. This is the reasoning of an adolescent. The community does not want to be sacrificed at the altar of my self worship. It really is for the best to get the crime off the street and force people to do what normal people do–pursue their behavioral deviations from the accepted norm behind closed doors. No one gets influenced to follow the examples of people smoking crack, ice, or heroin in public. People were once deeply disturbed by such displays, which were absolutely commonplace during 1990’s. These people can relax and focus on something other than cleaning up the streets–like promoting small business.

I understand why people Cheer Arrests, but my insider’s knowledge of “the system” causes me to worry

Yes, let us get the crime off the street. But we actually do need to consider where it goes. I have heard,”they don’t care where you go as long as you get up out of here.” People discover they need to see the follow through for the much touted arrests. According to the linked article lots of homeless have been arrested. Those are likely to be petty misdemeanor arrests meant to convey that the homeless will have a rough go of it in this hostile place. Loitering, littering, jaywalking, camping, lying on the sidewalk. When Rudolph Giuliani was mayor of NYC these nuisance crimes were aggressively pursued with the (reported) results that the little crimes were committed by big time criminals. Felons were rooted out, the community was safer. Yadda yadda yadda…

I do not know if that was true in NYC but in Honolulu nuisance crimes are committed by people who are more nuisances than criminals. They get arrested and released in the morning in a repetitious cycle that churns a lot of paperwork. It is a good thing there is a lot of paperwork to give the Honolulu Police Department work to justify all the COVID relief money they paid their members as excessive overtime. Some would call it fraud. Is this “crackdown” as nothing but a chance to say to the community:

Don’t think HPD is just lavishly spending relief money on all terrain vehicles officers ride on the sidewalk during their unjustifiable overtime. HPD is lavishly spending and making arrests that tax payers find comforting.

The author’s cynical interpretation of the big crime fighting initiative

Maybe I am wrong about the need for real change

As long as the public thinks it’s safety has improved that’s what really matters. No matter what anyone does, the interpretation of the actions is how people experience them. Did you read the linked article about how River Street is totally clear. It was home to mainly alcoholics for over 20 years. The street really looks different, that is true. Did the homeless go “away?” Yes, if “away” means a block toward Diamond Head. Now they bed down by Maunakea Marketplace, on Hotel Street. The only traffic on Hotel Street is the bus. The drivers who see River Street will be impressed by the enormous change –in that spot.

I almost forgot! I did notice a change in the homeless population due to this police initiative. There are more people wearng a jumpsuit made out of sturdy paper-like material. If a person is arrested without appropriate attire the officers in cellblock give him or her a paper suit. People with nothing stay in the paper suit days after their arrest because their belongings are often disposed of by the arresting officers. Yes, there is a new fashion by Maunakea Market. That’s what arrests profit society members who ask no questions about the criminal justice system if it does not touch them personally.

Addiction and Prostitution in Hawaii

Sex workers know not to expect commitment but still…

Regular Customers

Repeat customers. People who come back again and again. I have no formal business training but I imagine they are the life blood of many businesses. This is certainly the case in sex work. It is better to have people you know with whom you have developed trust than to meet strangers who could be any kind of crazy. If you have regulars you can feel closer to normal, and I have heard people kind of in denial, who said, “I have friends who help me out. They are just friends. I would never do that. What you do.” Maybe my life would be easier if I did not insist upon being rigorously honest with myself. I knew what they did, what I did, was considered prostitution. But after awhile was it really? Over the years, yes, these relationships can last for years, interactions are not strictly transactional. Ok, there are no sexual favors without payment. However, women call their regulars, who have become friends, for help. I have seen men who started off as basic tricks show up at prison to visit. I have seen them bring diapers for a baby that is not their baby but belongs to the provider’s boyfriend. The boyfriend was never around when these drop offs happened. He was either away for the moment doing whatever or away for awhile doing time. One rule that holds firm is that the only people who meet the client/friend are other working girls who might be present when he drops off some item. He does not meet other men in her life and he does not introduce her to the people in his official life. But the working girls see everything.

One of the upsides of being someone who has seen it all is that people feel a combination of feelings–safe, bc you understand, superior, bc who are you to judge them? In my humble opinion, professional people spend a considerable amount of time making sure they appear to be what people think they are. Their identities are wrapped up in other people’s opinion. I think a lot of white collar embezzlement and thefts from businesses happens bc people are trying to maintain a”lifestyle” which is visible to all. That lifestyle does not include knowing people like us, from the back streets of downtown Honolulu. Little does the public know that these professional men, wearing their dress aloha shirts and shoes (not slippers like the street guts downtown) are “regulars.” They have clandestine relationships with women they met when they were cruising Kukui Street looking for a woman to pay for sex. Well, to amend that, they were not just looking but had found one or more women they favored.

You know not to get attached but what we know and what we do…

Every woman on the street had one or more regulars. It was pretty common for these guys to get pulled in to the scene and only reluctantly go to work. A guy could easily be a regular for more than one woman. There were a handful of guys who had dated several women for years. They did not always want sex. These guys were into the gossip. They wanted to know the news in the women’s lives. The women want to keep their regulars and not just from a financial standpoint. Women get attached. They do not expect him to leave his wife or only date her but they start to expect to see him every week, or month, whatever the usual interval. They know the should not count on money from him but it is hard not to. Some basic math shows you how valuable it is to receive money from which the government has not taken its entitlement. You figure out how much you would have to make at a regular job just to end up with $500 in your hand at the end of the month. You would have to make $750 from which the government would take its third. If you could have three or four regulars who pay you as little as a hundred whenever they see you each week, you would be making more money than any job you could get in Honolulu’s job pool.

But the deeper Truth is you do something most people do not do but you have emotions and concerns typical of everyone. You want to be able to remain indifferent about his absence or presence but that is impossible. When the person does not contact you on the timeline you have come to expect, you worry. How in the world would you find out if anything had happened to him. You are not listed as one of his emergency contacts. Even if you know where he works after years of conversation, it is not like you can call there. Who would you claim to be? One thing about the men who call themselves “hobbyists” is that they can keep their secrets. Absolutely no one in their public life will ever hear them say anything that would raise a smidgen of suspicion. It is rather extraordinary that such a large part of their lives can be kept secret. However, I have seen that men can make the most out of tacking an hour onto the workday schedule they give their wives. Certainly you cannot check with his wife.

You know better than to check with him. He already has obligations he must fulfill and you are a break from everything he has to do. If he starts to feel like he has to see you, you have worked against what he is looking for by seeing you. No strings attached is kind of a myth . You worry about each other and want to see each other but when he needs to be free of ties that bind you have to let him.

Is everything a double standard with men and women? So it seems. In an upcoming post I will talk about how he wants to be the only man. He would never, absolutely never, accept his wife having a man on the side. And he would rather believe he is the only man in his hooker’s life. That’s what you present to him, that he is your one and only while you never call to ask where he is.


Addiction and Prostitution in Hawaii

How did it feel to stand on the street waiting for a date?

My feelings surprised even me

I know that the way I felt is not what people would expect. I would imagine that people would feel humiliated and ashamed, even to be seen by strangers. That’s what I would think but it was not this way for me. When I came to Hawaii after I graduated from college and got addicted to cocaine in New York, I did not know anyone. The newness of the place was what excited me. I had grown up with people who had adopted me but always indicated that they made a mistake. I was either ignored, or denied opportunities to leave the house for simple social events. Not that I was invited anywhere because I really did not have any friends until junior year of high school. Many summers and weekend nights I would sit alone in my room, without options, never having any new experiences. To be out at night, with no place I had to be, no one knowing where I was, no one to answer to, and no one looking to hold me back–it was everything I dreamed of and so very different from my previous life. When I was growing up I was perfectly responsible. I planned for the long term so I could escape that house to go to college. Everything mattered. I did not cut class, skip homework, ditch school. I never did anything one might expect of an adolescent because I was so laser focussed on my escape. I did not know that once I made that escape I would have a giant void in my life because there was no terribly important mission to accomplish. I had mental space to contemplate my social status, or lack thereof. When I saw that I was alone in college, and similarly friendless in my teaching job I felt ashamed that people would see that I had no family, nowhere to go on holidays, and they would look down at me. I was no longer stuck in a room. I went out and did things but I did them alone and sometimes people noticed. Then I came to Hawaii and discovered a subculture where people cared only for themselves. They were not looking at me and what I had or did not have unless it benefitted them. They conformed to the basic animal nature that I imagined existed within all people who really are out for themselves. Addicts do not sugar coat that reality. I could fit in and be welcome in the apartments of other users if I had drugs. And when I was out on the street I felt like I was on a grand adventure. An hour after I walked to the corner of A’ala Street and Kukui Street I could be on my way to the North Shore with a guy, or I could be in one of the empty offices downtown where daytime workers would never guess what goes on at night. Anything could happen. There was an endless parade of strangers and I never failed in my mission to have someone pick me up, that was how steady the traffic of men looking for street sex workers was in the late 1990’s. Instead of never meeting anyone or not being able to hold the interest of people I did meet, I met knew people every day and some of them came back and looked for me again. No one had ever, in my short life, ever, looked for me, sought me out. I felt special and important. In my young adulthood I did not know that men are not in the least bit picky when it comes to anonymous encounters and I was under the impression that I must be beautiful and desirable to always be desired. I did not know that the simple fact that I was available and willing was good enough for anyone. Finally, I did not know anyone and I was never an expert at relating to the people I did know. I had no worries about being seen by someone in a passing car since the majority of people looking at me were people who were probably looking for me or someone like me. It might be terrible to say it, but I enjoyed that life. Of course being in a place without gangs or gun violence probably was a big contributing factor. Nevertheless, I was happy, and I never thought beyond the next fix.

In a way it is strange to think of someone with my background being in that position but that is just looking at it from an education point of view. People of privilege end up doing what I did or doing it differently because they have money. In terms of past emotional issues, I had a lot in common with the people I met in addiction–everyone had their deep issues.

Addiction and Prostitution in Hawaii

Sex workers have difficulty when they hate their work and when they enjoy it

Dear reader, you know from my previous posts that unlikely, deep relationships can form between sex workers and tricks.

By deep I mean the contact between the pro and the client goes beyond a simple transaction of this for that, totally temporary, devoid of emotion. There could be more time spent, emotion involved, a degree of friendship, some commitment and reliability and now and then, a significant other relationship.

They usually don’t become partners and that can make a woman wistful

Sometimes a woman will spend time with a trick and it won’t feel like work. Work, as in something to be endured and then shaken off. There are times when she likes him and he likes her. One of the dangers in that is she will feel very sad and wish she could have a man like him or specifically him, to herself. It is entirely possible that the only reason the man is so open with her is BC he knows the relationship is only taken in intermittent hour intervals. People find it easier tone mind and loving g when it is only.a temporary expectation. Maybe the only way to.experience some men at their best is to be in a position that renders you ineligible to form a permanent union. However, a woman cannot know this during a great hour or two. And if she enjoys him, her life might seem. particularly when her job is done. Sometimes sex workers are in a position BC suffering through your work can be painful but enjoying it hurts in a special way.

I have said that to be a sex worker a woman must become like a man and embrace sex without emotional attachment

But women can never set aside their true nature 100% of the time. Now and then she will care

A mixed blessing and curse–in one.

CaroLeena,, Harvard grad who uses book smarts and street experience to become a unique expert on Hawaii Street Life and Related Subjects
Addiction and Prostitution in Hawaii

The Experience of being arrested for Honolulu street prostitution

Follow the link for an intellectual account of an experience not normally associated with cognitive analysis. In this post you can see the benefit of an ivy league educated person experiencing something uncommon to those in that elite club. The translation of street life into academic research provides a unique account you can only get here in this corner of the internet.

Addiction and Prostitution in Hawaii

The Experience of being arrested for street prostitution

People underestimate the traumatic effect of the whole criminal justice experience. I was the target in a Honolulu street prostitution sting years ago. A sting is where cops go undercover and act as participants in a scene to draw in actual participants and get people who do not see a trap to say or do something illegal so they can be arrested. There are no entrapment laws in Hawaii that would prevent cops from creating a situation that was there at that precise place and time BC the cops brought it. The guy driving the car that had pulled over for me asked “a hundred for everything ok?” The driver had brought the car to a stop along the side of a quiet road. As soon as I said “yes” there was a tap on my passenger’s side window. A large figure clad in all black, including a black ski mask like a horror movie villain filled my view. He was very polite. “Please step out of the car ma’am. You are being arrested for solicitation.” He opened the door for me and I got out feeling like I was in a dream. The car immediately sped off. Seemingly out of nowhere there was a van and like, 17 people, all ski masked, wearing all black including boots and gloves as if they were not in Honolulu , Hawaii. I don’t remember how I ended up in the back of an empty van with two guys in disguise. Both were jovial and eager to ask me questions as if they were young and new and ready to learn, which they probably were. “So what’s it like out here, how long have you been out here, do you always jump in cars with strangers, do you know what day it is?” Each was anxious for the other guy to shut up so he could ask his question. There was nothing about a right to remain silent. They were not collecting evidence but anecdotes fir stories to tell their friends. There was no need for evidence. I was from the street I would get a public defender, I would be guilty. I see now a real attorney could have gotten the whole thing tossed on the vagueness of the question BC “everything” is not a specific sex act like the law requires, but if I could have afforded an attorney I probably would not have been out there. So I was snatched from my life by masked strangers who suddenly appeared and always had the use of force at their disposal. After being kidnapped and during transport, I was subjected to shaming and ridicule as I was held out as an object of amusement. There was no way to know how and when the ordeal would end. For me it would end 20 months later. You realize you have created your own problems just like most people with problems but as one of the lowest people in society you are ineligible for sympathy or kindness–even from yourself. It would be helpful to recognize how injurious this process is and it is worth noting that the cops choose which of the twenty or so women on the street to target. Would not be surprising if some people based upon color were chosen while others were fresh to go. Still, I was out there and arguing that others got a fresh pass dies nothing for me. That was a truly terrible time.

Addiction and Prostitution in Hawaii

Panhandlers are surprisingly organized

My word choice shows my bias

I was going to remove the word “surprisingly” but left it in to show my first, genuine opinion. I never examined my assumptions about the people I see holding signs with words like “will work for food.” When I looked at myself with as much impartiality that can be mustered by pretending I was analyzing the actions of someone else, I saw a lack of curiosity about those I mentally labelled “street people,” or “beggars,” or “homeless,” or “mentally ill.” Curiosity is natural for me, active curiosity involving questions and follow up questions. Without realizing U had been brainwashed, I had adopted society’s attitude that these people did not count. When I started spending a lot of time –as in, my life–on the streets I wanted you to know I was a person with a story that would ine day appear in this blog. Hear me! Now that I am not on the street my attitude of regarding the sign holders as “other” leaks through in my writing. I hope I can continue to spot my own bias and make changes.

They call it work not begging

I heard people discussing a guy’s reluctance to “work” with a certain woman. They have jobs–these unlikely people? Indeed, they put in 8 hours at particular spots There has to be a definite presentation of a person who is just like you, someone you’d want to help. “You have to have no body consciousness at all. Everything you wear is long, nothing attractive. You want people to think you are just like them.

You want to look like a pilgrim without the bonnet

One of the rules of panhandling

Another rule of panhandling is you “have to sparkle with your attitude. You want people to feel like they are doing some good in helping you. They do not want to think they are giving you money for drugs.”

People are mostly giving you money for drug. No one imagines that the panhandlers make an average of $200 a day. Everyone believes no one is giving you money so everyone gives you money. You do not just wander about but go to a thoughtfully chosen spot. You present the image of propriety that got knocked of course but you could get back.

Interestingly, there is enough money collected each day that people could come together and get a place and get off the street. But the activity is so strongly associated with using drugs that it would put a person on automatic pilot so they could never do anything different by employing tactics originally part of drug seeking behavior. It is hard to believe people who look incapable of planning are really quite calculated in all they do. Do not believe what you see. Hey, if people want to give money where is the harm in it? It is better than stealing. Some would say it is better than prostitution, no matter how far out of the public eye the prostitution is. Something to think about. At least prostitution is honest.


Who pays for sex–sad sacks or sickos? Neither and both

Preconceived notions about clientele.

Categories #LinkstoMyBlog Addiction and Prostitution anthropology Comfort Zone coping skills Fear of Rejection Insecurity Rejection relationships Social Anxiety Street life

The Fear of Rejection Is a Motivating Factor for both sex worker and client. (Inspiration Post: Fear of Rejection: 3 Simple Tips to Overcome) Thus is the link to the above entitled post by a fellow wordpress blogger that inspired this author.

Sex, Drugs, Money

Men want sex and they are willing to pay women on the street a small amount of money so the women can get drugs. That’s the underlying structure if street prostitution. We know there are other forms of sex work that involve higher compensation for women and the women have to give more than a quick 10 minutes on a side street in the date’s car.. Women have to so
spend time, provide scintillating conversation and listen to the date’s stories.

Not Just Sex and Drugs

Addiction pushes people to do things that they might nit have been completely opposed ti, but never saw themselves doing. In theory a woman may believe prostitution is a personal choice but there’s no way in God’s green earth she would ever make that choice. After addiction takes hold and the brain and body shout “Need drugs, need drugs!” a woman finds herself doing what was since unimaginable. Not only is she doubt it, but it becomes routine, ho hum. She’ll see a car up over on her side if the street 10 feet in front if where she is standing on the sidewalk, and she will have the near by drug dealer on her mind. She will say to herself “I will just do this date real quick and get something frim the guy before he leaves.” She dies not lime the work nor does she anticipate the task in advance. She focusses on the reward and that s a fantasy she will happily replay in her mind after she gets out of the car, task complete. Very few things in life, while using or sober, provide the elation she feels as she race walks to the dope man, clutching three twenty dollar bills. Three hard earned twenties that will be gone in an hour. It is common for people to get addicted to the drug and addicted to the rush of anticipation. Since dugs are inexplicably bound in that streetlife ritual, one would assume if the woman had dope or got clean she would not engage in prostitution. You would be wrong.

Conversation is a Mutual Reward

People seldom act out of one simple motive. There are the obvious goals in street life.

Men: prostitution=Sex

Women: prostitution=drugs

Logically the two people never need to speak to each other. Politeness would not matter Neither hooker or trick would contemplate if they like the other person in the temporary contract. Yet, they do like or dislike the other person. They look forward to seeing them again or the join up grudgingly when there are no other options on the street. They both appreciate the diminished risk of rejection BC they both know their personalities are of secondary importance

Sobriety Challenge

Sobriety is all about retraining your brain. Presenting yourself as what you are not what you offer to do is one of the most frightening adjustments. People who never realized prostitution created a social safety zone are astonished to find themselves missing it when they are no longer pursuing (or being pursued by) an addiction. Recovery is difficult when a person is unaware of the many payoffs of using.

Social anxiety (or terror) for some, is so crippling people with addictions often fear that getting clean will mean a life of isolation BC who would want them if they no longer show up with goods or services?


Ironically, rich people have the same concern about people wanting to use them. Who would believe people in the highest and lowest social castes would have something so deep in common?


Is a hooker’s trick sad or sick. Probably neither




Neither! You can click on the link or cut and paste into your browser to obtain Caroleena’s 2018 take on this question. Sad or sick? Possibly. More likely horney and/or lonely. Fairly often the men and providers become friends who spend time together outside of anything transactional. Sometimes they become part of each other’s public lives–others see them together but she’s not introduced by her job title. Believe it or not, in Honolulu it’s very common to make friends by meeting up with someone first encountered online. Of course, murder is practically unheard of here beyond once a year. Same with gun violence. Strangers are not the real threat. If anyone raises his hand against a woman it’ll probably be her significant other. Now that I think about it, here, where domestic violence is normal and not all that hidden, a woman is safer around a man who does not feel he can claim her as his own, thus giving him de facto hitting privileges. Wow. My thoughts took me to new ideas. Forgive me if you feel I have gone astray.


Illegal Gambling Establishments in Honolulu Require This in 2021

IRONY   In Hawaii there are gambling Establishments behind storefronts. They are easily accessible to the public. A visitor approached the door like it is an apartment front door, rings a buzzer, and the occupants ring the person in, the same way it’s done in apartment buildings. People can tell a game room by the constant traffic of people in and out at all hours. If you want to know where a game room is, you can always go out walking during the wee hours of the day. Anyone out on foot at 3:00a.m. in urban Honolulu is probably a gambler and/or looking for drugs. I have not questioned everyone inside of a game room but as far as I know gamblers do methamphetamine or “ice.” Ice is a drug that does not produce an immediate feeling of intense pleasure. Some people smoke it and wonder why they don’t feel anything at all, only to find that they do not sleep at all that night and they feel compelled to engage in a repetitive and simple physical activity for hours (literally). They take things apart and (try to) put things together. They clean. They feed dollars into a gambling machine with graphics similar to Atari. Ice smokers are perfect clients for game room operators. You can always find someone selling ice in a game room. There are always people lurking about partly due to the local custom of handing money to whoever is nearby when someone wins and “cashes out,” but also bc people are always looking for a chance to steal from winners, other gamblers, whoever.

With all the illegal activity you would think the whole place would be lawless. Not at all. Large men, often Samoan, are employed as security to stop thefts and maintain the game room’s reputation as a safe place to hand over all your money while you wait for fortune to smile on you and your strategic button pressing (I am being sarcastic). Naturally, they do not want to “draw heat” or attract attention form outsiders. Yelling, fights, any sort of hubbub is avoided to keep the knowledgable neighbors from complaining to law enforcement. All of these efforts to maintain a peaceful public image could be expected. But you know what surprised me?

The insistence on wearing masks. Yes, we all know the need. It surprises me that people who are not exactly committed to their personal health and community welfare would maintain this standard. Maybe they are concerned about the ever present snitches telling the police about mask violations and fingering the game room as a potential source of a future outbreak hotspot.  I’m speculating about this motivation. I just find it so funny when people you’ll down their masks to smoke ice from a glass pipe and then promptly replace it. Anyone else find this amusing?