Nancy Chan: Diary of a Manhattan call girl

About the story and list of characters.

Published July 12, 1999 4:00PM (EDT)

- - - - - - - - - - - -

T H E__S T O R Y

This is the diary of Nancy Chan, turn-of-the-century call girl, who lives on
the Upper East Side of Manhattan. Although in her 30s, Nancy is at the
peak of her career -- a better 25-year-old today than she was at 25. When Nancy
began hooking, madams had answering services -- staffed by people -- and voice mail was non-existent. Most of Nancy's regulars don't realize
how long she
has been working -- and she frequently gets away with telling new
clients that she started "this year." Her boyfriend has no idea
what she does for a living.

Nancy has access to the safest and smartest ways of working -- her
good looks got her in the door, but she has maintained her
sterling contacts through diligence and common sense. Very early in
her career, Nancy experienced the riskier side of the sex business.
But if Nancy has any regrets, she's more likely to regret the free
sex she had when she could have been working: She sometimes has to
choose between making love and making money. On good
days, she gets to do both.

She doesn't tell her clients much about her past and
sometimes feels sorry for the working girls who are mired in the
world of adult magazine ads, strange phone calls and $99.99 hand
jobs. Nancy "works from her book" (trade lingo for a private client
list or Rolodex) and occasionally swaps customers with other
private call girls. In Nancy's circle, a Book goes for $3,000 to
$7,000. Individual johns are traded like baseball cards and each
girl has her own book -- names, prices and practices carefully
coded -- which she jealously protects. (It took Nancy about 10
years to build up her book.) Lesser call girls (who sometimes
advertise in the back pages of New York magazine) are politely
avoided unless they are willing to be saved from their "tacky"
circumstances. Those who make the transition -- like Nancy, who
used to work for an escort agency -- are often the most fanatical
about preserving these distinctions.

While not excessively bookish, Nancy can be a high-culture
snob. But she can also get distracted on her way to a lecture at the
Frick by a Prada handbag sale. Like most call girls, she is deeply
bourgeois -- but she gamely ventures downtown into Manhattan's
bohemia at least twice a year to see if performance art still gives
her a headache.

- - - - - - - - - - - -

M A I N__C H A R A C T E R S

Nancy's best friends, Jasmine and Allison, don't like each other.

Jasmine, businesslike and blunt, is Nancy's hardheaded colleague.
A former drug dealer who has always been good at saving money and
minimizing life's illusions, Jasmine runs a tight ship. She is one
of the best contacts a call girl can have -- and Nancy has often
benefited from Jasmine's advice. But her best friend's
tough-as-nails viewpoint can also be exasperating. Nancy and
Jasmine enjoy lunching together, trading customers and shopping
for lingerie.

Allison, though confused and guilty about having sex for money, is
naturally gifted -- new customers, calling for the first time, are
enchanted by her soft voice. Unlike Nancy, Allison has always
worked privately and has had it relatively easy, yet she yearns to
leave the oldest profession -- or at least claims she does. Allison
experiments with religion and dunks herself in the pool of every
trend that comes along. Her messy emotional life creates
unsettling waves for her clients and her friends in the Business --
including Nancy.

Matt, Nancy's boyfriend, is an up-and-coming MBA in his 30s putting in late hours on Wall Street. Accustomed to straightforward, aggressive women -- such as his high-powered boss or his older sister -- he has no idea what sort of double life Nancy is leading. Nancy sometimes yearns for stability and thinks about taking Matt home to meet her mom.

Milt, Nancy's favorite customer, is well-established in the world of finance. His business deals are frequently discussed in the Wall Street Journal. Middle-aged and married (for the third time), he craves sexual variety and emotional stability. As lewd as he is sentimental, he's not her easiest client -- but she has a soft spot for him.

More characters to come as the plot thickens ...

- - - - - - - - - - - -

C O M P L E T E__L I S T__O F__C H A P T E R S

Episode 1 Secret books and other tricks of the trade

Episode 2 The Just-in-Time Orgasm

Episode 3 The rules

Episode 4 Busty for an Oriental

Episode 5 Executive quickie

Episode 6 The education of a prostitute

Episode 7 New business?

Episode 8 Allison's addiction

Episode 9 Black market, black book

Episode 10 Thighs wide shut

Episode 11 Out, damned cuff link!

Episode 12 Veiled threats

Episode 13 Crossed love lines

Episode 14 Lesbian blind date

Episode 15 Through the hooking glass

Episode 16 Hurried Harry, Melancholy Matt

Episode 17 Natural selection

Episode 18 Missing women, mysterious men

Episode 19 Swooning over the messenger

Episode 20 He knows me, he knows me not

Episode 21 Unweaving April's web

Episode 22 Johns and lovers

Episode 23 Girl trouble

Episode 24 Great Expectations

Episode 25 Swollen with bliss

Episode 26 Amateur by the hour

Episode 27 Special delivery

Episode 28 For love and for money

Episode 29 Enigmatic revelations

Episode 30 Love vs. commerce

Episode 31 To work and to love

Episode 32 The Hookergram

Episode 33 Colliding worlds

Episode 34 Loose lips

Episode 35 Big issues

Episode 36 The pleasure principle

Episode 37 Totems and taboos

Episode 38 Caught between Milt's lips and a hard Matt

Episode 39 Saved by the Silence

Episode 40 Betrayal, his and hers

Episode 41 I fought the law

Episode 42 Occupational hazard

Episode 43 Out of order

Episode 44 The other cheek

Episode 45 Media circus

Episode 46 Location, location, location

Episode 47 Fates collide

Episode 48 Convention detention

Episode 49 Small world after all

Episode 50 Family matters

Episode 51 Resistance is futile

Episode 52 Sacrificial boyfriend

Episode 53 Last chance

By Tracy Quan

Related Topics ------------------------------------------

Love And Sex Sex