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Pretty Ginger Bardeaux: a Prostitute's Story

Updated on February 17, 2015
This is merely a symbol, but a truthful image of how prostitution can take its toll on her customers and on herself too
This is merely a symbol, but a truthful image of how prostitution can take its toll on her customers and on herself too

It might be a good idea to NOT read this while your children are present or allow them to see it on your computer. Although there are NO profanities in the text, still, there are truthful-passages about prostitution.


Writer's note: This story is fictitious. It is about a fictitious woman named, "Pretty Ginger Bardeaux," and her former life as a well-sought-after prostitute. Now she is giving her first interview to a fictitious newspaper reporter who is nameless. This is her first interview she has given since her life was saved in a rehab clinic and now she is nostalgic in thought about her days on the street. I do not mean any disrespect to any accent or racial background in this piece. I just wanted the dialogue to be as honest as I could write it. Thanks, Kenneth).

"Don't ask me why I am the way I am. Blame the cold-hearted, double-tongued image of life. That's essentially, all I know." "You gott-a cigarette on ya?"

"I know. I know. I do not look like a "lady of the night," or prostitute, if you prefer, but let me assure you and your paper that even in these rags, I am still the lady who quenched the hunger of a 100 men a night and still looked young and juicy just like a Gawguh peach. What you lookin' at? Theeze are real, I tell you. I ain't a cheap whore. By the way, who told you whur I wuz?"

This is Helen Wood, a former prostitute.
This is Helen Wood, a former prostitute.

"Ginger's" beginning

These clothes and shoes, were once what "nice" girls talked about. Not me. But when their men started coming home late, telling their "little women" pure black lies of late-night meetings and new clients stopping for drinks, they knew their men with short leashes were sneaking to my bedroom to spend a few hundred on "Pretty Ginger Bardeaux," the sizzling sexpot from New Aw'luns."

"I liked them days, sug-ah. I really did. Hmmm, just like a breeze-a blowing Honeysuckle on the Bayou." "Money wuz big, and I mean big, mistuh!" "I could strut my butt and fill my gut in any din-uh on this heah block, I tell you." "All I had tuh do wuz say, "This grub's faw 'Pretty Ginger Bardeaux, and dat's all duh waituh needs to know. Muh name! And I wuz fed better'n a baby calf in a stall down Ala-bamuh way."

Wood answering questions from reporters as she reveals details from her former life
Wood answering questions from reporters as she reveals details from her former life

Her pathway to riches began at a young age

"You wanna know what "it" wuz like . . .the furst time? Hmmm. Lemme have anothur cigarette. Thanks. Wells, I wuz about 18 and all the woman, if yew know whut I mean. I still have a dab of self-respect left in me. I wuz nervous, alright. I'd never, uhhh, been "that way" wid a man and all I knowed wuz what mama told me in her bedroom one night when she had been tastin' her gin and my face turned a blood red when she got to the nasty stuff, but she just laughed, took a swig and said, chile, after the furst time wid a man fella, you will get "the hunger" in your insides and then you will always want de company of the menfolk. i am not lying Pretty Ginger. When you learn de stuff menfolk like, some will pay you coins for your love, daughter. You bettuh take it cos' I ain't gon' be heah fur long, so make use of de gift in ye insides if ye want to eat and have a roof over ye head."

Helen Wood in her younger days and this is one of her various "looks" as a prostitute
Helen Wood in her younger days and this is one of her various "looks" as a prostitute
Another one of "Ginger's" victims
Another one of "Ginger's" victims

The prostitute's work is not easy

"He wuz a preacher-looking man. Tall with a devil eye when he seed me wearing that yellow ragged dress that struck me above my knees. Yeah, he took a liking to me and I heard my mama's words in my ear talking about 'makin' menfolk happy' 'n they'd pay ye for my love, so I did as good as a fool virgin girl could. I didn't like how he touched me, but twasnt long 'til I felt like I wuz ridin' a race hoss--up and down and up and down and den he skeered me wid his sceamin, 'Oh Lawd! I'm headed to Gloree,' I dun thought I'd kilt him den and dere, but in a few minutes, he wanted me tuh kill him ageen."

"Mama died her death when I wuz 22 and I took some money I'd made down about Gulfport and buried her in da best tomb Vicksburg had to offuh. Cost me nearly a thousand dollahs, but mama wuz a queen to Pretty Ginger Bardeaux. Mama teached me 'bout men and their lusting ways just soz I could have a name and money and someday, a man who lived right fawh muh husband."

"Can me gimme one more cigarettte? Thanks."

Just one of Pretty Ginger Bardeaux' victims, she called them
Just one of Pretty Ginger Bardeaux' victims, she called them
How the world sees a prostitute in a painting
How the world sees a prostitute in a painting | Source

"Menfolk wuzn't kustomuh's, dez wuz viktims!"

"Pure sickly viktims who came beggin' for somethin' dey didn't git at home. Yes, sir. I knew whut muh mama'd done said to me when I wuz 18--'use de gift that de Good Lawd done give yew and learn how tuh make de men happy, and Pretty Ginger Bardeaux, yew will always have uh roof ovuh your head, and food in ye belly."

"When you's a prostitute like I wuz, yew somehow's lose dat feelin' yew once had fawh other folks and dat includes menfolk too. I had dis one man customer who had a standin' time for me to see him and he was on time all of de time. He would lay hiz $500.00 down for two hours, but just to hear me talk. Dat's all. He would sit as still as a mouse and not say a word whilst I talked solid for two hours about what I did when's I went shoppin' and other girly thangs"

"Den he'd kiss my hand, smile, and leave." "I've wished I had gotten hiz name.


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