These things are inevitable: death, taxes, and prostitutes coming to town for the Super Bowl.
For a large number of escorts willing to travel, this week represents the annual call to cash, the ritualistic midwinter trip to whatever American city upon which the National Football League has so graciously bestowed its end-of-season coronation.
Politicians and media types may debate exactly what kind of stimulus
the Super Bowl (and now, the Pro Bowl) actually gives the local
economy, but there's no debating the huge impact such events have on the economy of sex.
Ask Disco Rick, the "talent manager" (read: stripper wrangler) at King of Diamonds strip club, who says, "This week is going to be the biggest in strip club history in South Florida." His club will have more than 500 women working this week.
Local police forces have announced that they will be especially diligent this week, with active stings targeting both prostitutes and potential patrons. Still, as many as 100,000 prostitutes -- male and female -- will descend upon South Florida in hopes of cashing in with football fans before the Super Bowl, according to the Prostitute Diversion Initiative.
In the prostitution industry, the escorts who travel to major events are known as "circuit girls."
I spoke with two women who drove more than 20 hours to get here from Chicago. This is the first Super Bowl week for either woman, but Keisha and Amanda (both use fake names for work) say they have friends in Illinois who have made this trip before.
"A girl we know came here three years ago [for Super Bowl XLI] and walked away with 35 large," Keisha says.
Both women are dancers but took two weeks off to come to Fort Lauderdale to see if they couldn't get their share of the excess cash flowing into the Sunshine State. And the trip was well-planned. They purchased temporary local cell phones and placed ads ahead of time on escort websites and Craigslist. They booked rooms at a motel not far from Commercial Boulevard and I-95. Amanda says they even sat down and tried to calculate which days were likely to be busiest, so they could be cost-efficient.
"We wanted to spend as little as possible," she told me. "We're all about the profits. Expense line, zero."
While many prostitutes are brought on such trips by pimps or "managers," Keisha says they planned the entire trip themselves, starting in November. She says she thinks of it as a business trip, like she's a traveling salesman. She says she considers what she does "providing a service."
"Men away from their wives and kids and lives back home need company," she says. "They're willing to look up local company."
The idea originated, they explain, when a friend from Chicago told them about her trip to the last Super Bowl in Miami. "Some guy called her and basically fell in love with her," Keisha says. He took her out to eat every night. He took her to clubs, to the beach, to Super Bowl parties. He sent text messages from his seat, the story goes. "She said she's never made more money in her life. He was crying when she left, and she was basically crying too because it was hard to leave the easy money."
They say this trip will be a disappointment if they make less than $15,000 each.
I asked if they planned on seeing any of the tourist attractions across South Florida or if they were going to get some time at the beach. Amanda said she probably won't.
"Hopefully I'll be too busy."