coun·ter·cul·ture /ˈkoun(t)ərˌkəlCHər, per Oxford is “a way of life and set of attitudes opposed to or at variance with the prevailing social norm: ‘the idealists of the 60s counterculture’ [example].”

I was surprised that this example came up in my first search for the simplest meaning of the word. I never thought of the 60s, in which I was totally immersed, was contrary to social norms … but of course! “We can’t read the label from inside the wine bottle,” so says a friend of mine. I was so ‘in it,’ it ‘looked like’ normal to me.

I remember the exasperation of my parents when I came home from San Francisco State my freshman year, 1964, throwing around the ‘f-bomb’ at the dinner table. For us, on campus, that word was like ‘the’ and ‘and.’ Really. We threw it around like a frisbee. It connected us on campus, and it became a harbor for all things folk-rock and psychedelic. My days were filled with acting and philosophy classes, including managing the first ‘experimental college.’ I loved it. We all did. Incredibly special times.

It was a counterculture and not dangerous in general. Oh, there were those who drew the short straw their ‘first time’ having sex, as an example, and came down with a venereal disease … all of which were treated effectively. Very few were strung-out on drugs … there was pot and LSD and that was about it.

In 1967, already resistant penicillin treatment for those with gonorrhea was replaced with Spectinomycin.[1]  While emotionally devastating absolutely … if treated, physical health would return. I had a friend who in her freshman year, had sex and got this disease.

Countercultures run in tandem with ‘normal’ life … operating concurrently and just under the surface of normal life. Those living there are aware of above ground and the norms (likely how they were raised). Those above ground don’t always know … and some countercultures … they will never know and may prefer to Not know.

Beware as you read … while I’m glad I found out … you cannot forget what I will share with you.

Twenty years ago, I became a dog with a bone with one particular counterculture and went undercover. That dog will ‘not’ give up that bone …not until he/she or it is satisfied with the results. That was me. My own life was deeply affected by this counterculture … that may be why I ‘had to know.’

What enrages me about this counterculture is this:

Countless women are already dead and buried, or dying, due to a life-threatening disease, of which they had no clue!  Mothers, wives, daughters, and yes, some men too, however, of course. How many? We cannot know. Because they didn’t … and don’t know still.

“The world’s oldest Profession” has been around since ca. 2400 BCE the beginning of time![2]

How has it emerged over four thousand years and why does it matter?

The Counterculture I am speaking of is Prostitution.

Well, you remember HIV AIDS … now manageable but not before massive devastations.

In 1992, HIV was the leading cause of death among men ages 25–44 in the United States.[3]

I refer to the issues as regards women, however, please know there are male prostitutes serving women as well. Women are the largest segment dead or dying from this disease.

Oh yes, we have meds … yet in this Counterculture, transparency is unavailable to those participating.

Every day as you drive through any small town … including your own, your local hotel’s house prostitutes servicing businesspeople close by, over their lunch break.

Twenty years ago, I discovered as a sleuth, where with a couple of emails and a phone call, a man can leave for lunch, head to the nearest motel with cash, knock on the door, put the money on the table, and have sex with a prostitute.

Clean up a bit and head back to the office. This happens all over our country.

You may wonder about the police. They know about it absolutely and are part of the problem from what I learned. They (even one is not okay) keep quiet as some also partake in those services.

How do these businessmen find out who is in town, which hotel, when, and what services they provide? has it all … and looks much cleaner today than twenty years ago. I wonder HOW it is still in business!

Kayla (real name Karen) just turned forty, who I met as a sleuth, confided all the ins and outs of prostitution, was killed at 4 am one morning with a hobbyist (one of this counterculture’s terms for ‘john’), drunk on the road.

She explained everything to me. All of it. The terminology and their tricks for never not being able to work. Read between the lines here. She made $70,000 a year and never paid taxes.

Like any counterculture, there are processes and procedures to adapt to the norms. In the counterculture of prostitution, telling the truth is the last thing to expect. What other counterculture is filled with people who do not tell the truth?

My heart breaks as I think of the women who have died or are dying from HIV AIDS because their spouse spends his lunch hour and family money on a ‘quick fix,’ all in under one hour. “Wham, bam, thank you, ma’am.”

You have a website to know when and which prostitutes are in your town, references for the best, pricing, and their own terminology for what this woman ‘will do’ to and for you. They have code words like Russian, Greek, French, and more. They call prostitutes ‘providers’ and those who indulge ‘hobbyists.’

The husband does not come home after work that night saying “darling, I’ve slept with a hooker at lunch today; please get yourself tested.” So, she doesn’t know and if sick, will never know.

He on the other hand is becoming addicted to the freedom and excitement of having sex every week or more and is living two lives. These are most often men in long-term marriages.

When I went on Plenty of Fish as part of my detective work, I posted an ad, and failed to say, “married men need not reply.” Big mistake. In seven days, I had eighty-one responses. They all promised to ‘rock my world.’

The common comments were “I love my wife; she’s my best friend. The pzazz has gone out of our lives.”

I went back to each of them and suggested that they go back to Why they fell in love and married this woman. Only a few wrote back, insisting they ‘they’ were the ones to rock my world.

Now you know. It goes on Now, Today, in your Town, with a stop at one website, a quick withdrawal at the ATM, any motel near the office, and back to work in an hour.

We don’t want to know these things. We marry and promise to be true yet breaking the agreement between spouse and God is the worst and happens all the time.

Take care of yourselves ladies.

[1] Jose PP, Vivekanandan V, Sobhanakumari K. Gonorrhea: Historical outlook. J Skin Sex Transm Dis 2020;2(2):110-4.




Leslie Flowers
Leslie Flowers
Leslie Flowers, a trailblazer for women in business and emerging enterprises, is an industry-recognized authority on results and achievement and teaching business principles, universal law, and mindset over 17,000 hours over fifteen years. Leslie developed her Flagship Leadership Mastermind in 2013, the 8 Essentials of Performance and Achievement, for which she developed an agile framework to aid her clients in being in full control of their lives and have influence over conditions and circumstances. Certified coach and consultant (LSC), speaker (CS), and author of seven books, Leslie’s greatest joys in business include mentoring women to “ask for what they deserve … and be paid,” and creating leadership development mastermind training and teams to emerging enterprises.

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  1. Hi Leslie,

    your post made my heart cry. One of my most bright university students died excatly because of what I you described in your post.

    Earn money and pay no taxes is a crime. Taking peoples’ lives by infecting the innocent partner is a bigger crime. And yet the criminal gets away with his/her crime.

    You opened up a can that many of us would not do or dare to do.
    Should there be a policy for regular medical check ups as a way to uncover crimes. My suggestion is that all married people should be tested. Maybe the fear of being found may at least lessen such heartbreaking death cases.

    • It’s an unpleasant subject I know and it is so sad. There is a policy or certainly opportunity to be tested if you are in that profession. We can hope, yet, someone’s life being on the line based on the ‘hope’ that someone tested gives little relief. Particularly in the case of your student, Ali. I like the idea of married people being tested! Thank you for being open to this discussion my friend. I’ve never written about this (other than journaling) … and thank you for commenting.