If there’s one things male singers love, it’s asking fictional sex workers questions. What’s your name? Where are you going? What are you doing later tonight? Did you know you don’t have to put on the red light? Why do you do your job? Is it for money? Can I come over later? Am I different from all the other guys you know? Why are you wearing so much makeup? Why are you crying? Why aren’t you crying? Can I get a discount? Why are you walking away from me so fast?
Song: “What Do You Do For Money?”
Tell us about her, stud: “Never gonna give it for free/ Your apartment with a view on the finest avenue/ Looking at your beat on the street/ You’re always pushing, shoving/ Satisfied with nothing”
What does he want to know?: “You make me wonder/ Yes I wonder, I wonder/ Honey, what do you do for money?/ Where do you get your kicks?”
Answer: She’s a sex worker. It seemed like you understood that fairly well in the verse, but things got shaky around the chorus.
Song: “Ain’t No Rest For The Wicked”
Songwriter: Cage The Elephant
Tell us about her, stud: “She said I never seen a man who looked so all alone/ Oh, could you use a little company?/ If you pay the right price your evening will be nice/ You can go and send me on my way”
What does he want to know?: “I said you’re such a sweet young thing/ Why do you do this to yourself?”
Answer: I don’t know, but that seems like a weird first question to ask someone. If I had to guess, I would say she does it for the flexible schedule and the financial renumeration.
Song: “What Would You Do”
Songwriter: City High
Tell us about her, stud: “Saturday night I was at this real wild party/ they had the liquor overflowing the cup/ about 5 or 6 strippers trying to work for a buck/ and I took one girl outside with me/ her name was Lonni, she went to junior high with me”
What does he want to know?: “I said, Why you up in there dancing for cash?/ I guess a whole lot’s changed since I saw you last”
Answer: Most people change after junior high school; this is not unusual.
Song: “Wrong Way”
Tell us about her, stud: “The only family that she’s ever had/ Is her seven horny brothers and a drunk-ass dad/ He needed money so he put her on the street/ Everything was going fine until the day she met me”
What does he want to know?: “Happy, are you sad?/ Wanna shoot your dad?/ I’ll do anything I can/ It’s the wrong way”
Answer: I don’t know! Happiness is fairly subjective and conditional.
Song: “Family Man”
Songwriter: Hall & Oates
Tell us about her, stud: “She had a sulky smile/ She took her standard pose
As she presented herself/ She had sultry eyes/ She made it perfectly plain/ That she was his for a price”
What does he want to know?: “But he said, leave me alone/ I’m a family man/ And my bark is much worse/ Than my bite/ He said, leave me alone/ I’m a family man/ But if you push me too far I just might”
Answer: I mean, the question’s implied, but he pretty much wants to shoot for plausible ethical deniability and get her to ‘make’ him have sex with her, which she may or may not be interested in doing.
Song: “When The Sun Goes Down”
Songwriter: Arctic Monkeys
Tell us about her, stud: “I wonder what went wrong/ So that she had to roam the streets/ She don’t do major credit cards/ I doubt she does receipts/ It’s all not quite legitimate”
What does he want to know?: “I said, ‘Who’s that girl there?'”
Answer: Ask her yourself, and save the ‘what went wrong’ questions for your journal.
Mallory is an Editor of The Toast.