Why is she with a pimp?

“I put a tracker in her cell phone. I know what she’s doing all the time, where she goes, who she talks to. If she contacts a client direct, I’ll know,” the pimp said. “As soon as I take her on I throw away her old phone and give her a new one. All her old numbers are gone. She won’t have access to her former friends or family. The idea is that she makes new friends with other girls in our circle. We can monitor what she says and who she sees.” This was the conversation I had with a pimp one afternoon as he explained the process a new recruit goes through when he works with her.

And this is the conversation I had with the recruit, “I love him, Haley. He took me away from another pimp who was absolutely horrible,” the 19-year-old gushed, “He said he would have my back and show me the game. Him and his girl are so nice, I’m going to get rich.”

To understand why women seemingly give up everything they know for a pimp, you have to understand what the pimp brings to her life. 

Many young women who work with a pimp make a choice to hire/trade him for services. 

It may be protection, a home, rides to appointments, screening, advertising, and learning the ropes. She’s may be on her own and wants a safe way to make the transition into becoming a working girl. She might be a dancer, a call girl who was mistreated by a client and now scared to work alone, she may be on the streets with no where to go, or she may already be working with a pimp and she wants to try working with a new one. She may call him a manager, a booker, a business associate, her dude, or simply her friend. For some women, a pimp is someone she works with temporarily. He may not be around forever. But for the time he is in her life he is providing something.

This can be frustrating for someone who cares about the woman or women. It’s difficult when we feel someone we love is being exploited, at risk, or in a declining situation. Sometimes a pimp manages with brute force, they can be abusive, manipulative, dishonest, she may choose to be with him, or she may not. But if she’s with him and you don’t want her to be, the brutal truth is there is little recourse and only a few ways you can proceed if you want to be even remotely successful at getting her started on a new life.

How can you help if you know someone involved with a pimp?

First, realize she may not want your help.

She may be happy. She may be in love. You may think she is confused or trafficked, and she may be, but you still have to understand this is her life and if you want to succeed at helping her become more independent then you have to determine what it is she is getting from the pimp. It may be emotional security. Financial security. Protection. Food. Shelter. The basics of a relationship is that we get something for something. You may not think it’s fair or equal, but it’s happening for a reason, someone, or both, are getting something.

A simple way of looking at how needs may play out is referencing Maslow’s hierarchy, when basic needs are addressed a person moves to the next stage of personal development.

Maslow's hierarchy of needs

Our basic physiological needs are sustenance, shelter, food. Simplistically, this is the elemental basis of the transaction between a pimp and his employee. He may provide security, screening, clients, clothing, a cell phone, a place to live. If she has a child or has been down on her luck, lost her job, or out of money, this can bring great peace of mind. In more extreme situations, her basic needs aren’t met unless she brings in a certain amount of money. Food, shoes and even coming home is prohibited or removed unless she meets his requirements.

If she’s trying to get a new start from an abusive boyfriend or husband, or wants a way out of a relationship with a more demanding pimp, he can offer safety. In more extreme situations, pimps may be physically abusive and the threat to her personal safety or that of her loved ones can keep her with him.

Pimps can provide much in the way of social needs. They’re often around other pimps, at parties, clubs, they invite her into their inner circle which means achieving a certain social status. She belongs to him, she’s chosen. In more extreme situations, a pimp, and his contacts (clients, other prostitutes) can be her only contact with people.

Recognition, personal value and worth in the form of esteem are of particular importance to a pimp. Again, in many ways modern pimps are revered socially. They have flashy cars and condos, their social media accounts are popular and on point, they’re part of an elite which appeals to many. It can be exhilarating to be part of the chosen few. In more extreme situations, pimps will erode the personal worth of a woman until she questions herself. He plays women against one another, designating one of them to be in charge, as they compete for his attention and his praise.


A pimp is in it for the business.

girl counting out money

He may care about her, he may even love her, but it is business to him. It’s his goal to find out what she is missing in her life: be it security, safety, praise, love, attention, or stability, and provide that. The prostitution aspect –  marketing her, brokering her, controlling, dominating, sex, that generally comes after gaining her trust and getting her to fall for him.

If you want to get involved with a woman who is involved with a pimp, then replace what he is doing for her.

Find out exactly what he provides for her, and do it better. If you don’t know where to start, work your way through the pyramid. If he has climbed his way to the top, replacing all of these elements can seem overwhelming because it is. It will take a considerable amount of time, patience, empathy, understanding, finances, and you will likely have to go against everything your heart tells you to do because you will need to put yourself in her shoes, then put yourself in his shoes.  And then you’ll need to go at it hard, you’ll basically need to be him, but better. 

Generally, pimps and women work synergistically together. It is a business arrangement. You can wait for her to decide she is ready to move on, or you can provide a better arrangement.

You will need to keep in mind that in many ways she may feel secure in what she’s doing. She knows how to do it, how to do it well, how to make money doing it, and she’s learned his system and the whole system in general. On top of that, for her finding and keeping a job that provides the same freedom or flexibility while paying much less can be much less appealing. As long as it works for her, it works, and if you’re coming in upsetting the status quo, you need to have a solid plan.


** Respect and disclaimer **

Not all women want to be with or stay with a pimp. Some women are tragically abused and trafficked. This post doesn’t apply to everyone, or all situations. It’s just one story, one side. If you are in a bad situation, I am sorry.

If you are a victim, or have been a victim, of a pimp, I’m not discrediting what happened to you. There are so many unheard stories and unheard victims and if you need to talk, I am available to hear them all.

Additionally, if she’s underage and being abused, or if you know she’s being held against her will, this is a different story. You can involve the authorities, you can hire an undercover contractor, you can find out her real name and contact her relatives, you can make arrangements for her to fly home, give her a bus ticket, give her a tracking device like this https://www.invisawear.com or this https://getflare.com. If you have a will, you can find a way.


all lives matter






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