In many truck stops, security was comically ineffective.

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Mother Jones: So this film was inspired by a truck stop prostitute you met while hitchhiking from New York to San Francisco? It was midday at a truck stop in Ohio, and I was sitting on a bench outside the travel center. We were in the middle of talking about her grandchildren when a truck driver who looked like Santa Claus walked by.

My camping bag lay on the table next to me and a cardboard sign with the word “WEST” scrawled on it. She offered to show him her breasts for $10, he took her up on it, and they walked off into the sunset.

By the end it was challenging to document rather than participate.

My experience on the project helped me recognize that I would rather be a participant. MJ: Describe the different codes or shorthand that prostitutes use when advertising themselves on CB radios. Most truck drivers refer to the sex workers as “lot lizards.” The girls prefer the term “working girls.” They call the act itself “turning a trick” or “dating.” I find the euphemisms indicative.

“Commercial Company” refers to sex workers, as in, “any commercial out there tonight? ” The sex workers play an elaborate game of tag with the security guards and police officers.

The sex workers hide in a “safe truck” when the heat turns up. In the truck, they use the CB to advertise their services and arrange to meet with other truckers on the lot. “40-60-80” is shorthand for a fairly standard rate: for oral sex, for sex, and for both. One of them had a grill, a giant, gem-encrusted belt buckle in the shape of a “G,” and a bottle of scotch in his breast pocket.We heard stories about security guards and police officers receiving “favors” in exchange for freedom, but can’t verify these.It seemed there was a bias towards targeting the sex workers as opposed to Johns.It makes sense from the truck stop’s perspective—they don’t want to alienate paying customers. AP: As one sex worker put it: “We sell our bodies, they sell their time—how different are those really?MJ: The film depicts both prostitutes and truckers as victims in this larger drama of human appetites and loneliness. ” Both truck drivers and sex workers were doing a job that wore them down emotionally, but the money was good enough to keep them working. In some cases, it seemed like truck drivers were taking advantage of sex workers, in others like sex workers were taking advantage of truck drivers, and, in a rare few, it seemed there was mutual respect. It seemed like she needed a sense of closure and empowerment.When arranging deals over the CB radio, the sex workers would ask the truck drivers, “what color is your house? ” MJ: The film briefly introduces a gay male prostitute offering “massages.” How common are male sex workers on the lot? This begs the question: Why did none of them feature prominently in the film? One of the concerns we had with our lead characters is that selecting them downplays the prevalence of pimps and trafficking in the industry.