she was actually the madam for Heidi flight. I mean, I don't think she said like, would you like to be a prostitute? I think she probably said like, would you like to make some money, go to parties. You know, she asked me a lot about my background and my upbringing and she seemed to think that she would have people who were interested in spending time with me. So I kind of didn't know what I was getting into. I don't know. Yeah, welcome to the Secret Life podcast. Tell me your secret, I'll tell you mine. Yeah, I'm excited to share that. I'm speaking at the sober voices flow event on October two Sober voices was created because you deserve to be seen because it shouldn't be this difficult to find people on this journey and because it's been way too hard in this global pandemic and we all deserve more connection. Liberation, enjoy this fall. It's an incredible four day event starting on September 30 With 76 speakers covering over 20 categories topics including mindfulness, mental health, love, friendship, intimacy, longtime sobriety 12 step recovery, sober, fun, nutrition, parenting and more.
Use my Code Secret Life 20 to get 20% off. You can find the link in the episode notes when I first started my recovery 11 years ago, I struggle through the textbook like material on the subject, I wanted to make the addiction and the recovery from an accessible and relatable to more people by telling it in an entertaining way if I can help just one person find a solution or at least realize they're not broken or alone than writing this has been worth it? You can pick up the book Secret Life of a Hollywood sex and love addict exclusively at amazon or signed copy at Secret Life novel dot com. And the best way to support our podcast is to subscribe and share. If you haven't left a review or rating on apple podcast yet, please do. It will help more people find our show and if you want to be a guest, shoot me a note at Secret Life podcast at iCloud dot com, enjoy the episode. Welcome to Secret Life podcast. I'm Brianne Davis. Can't Today I'm pulling back the curtains of all kinds of human secrets.
We'll hear about what people are hiding from themselves or others. You know those deep dark secrets you probably want to take to your grave or those lighter funnier secrets that are just playing embarrassing really. How what when, where and why of it all today? My guest is Rue Nauru. I have a question for you don't don't don't What is your secret? I suppose that my secret so scandalous for the life I live now is that when I was young, I was a sex worker, I was the paid escort for men in Hollywood. What for how long? How many years? How many months? No, no years from the time I was 19 when I first moved to Los Angeles until I was about 22, maybe 23, interesting Now what happened to make you create this secret or create the secret life? And at the time did you tell anybody what was going on?
I mean who I told was kind of contextual right? There were people who knew because they were also in the same line of work. There were friends that I kind of couldn't hide it from. You know, like my roommate of course new and uh you know, uh it was a different time. Um My family does not know and never will I have a commitment with my best friend that if I die, somebody's got to come in and get all the old journals and burn them before. So I'll do that. Do if you need extra. Thank you very great. There in the hall closet they get good to know. Um Yes, it was several years when I first moved to Los Angeles. When you ask what created it, I think opportunity. Um you know, I didn't, I didn't kind of know any better. I was young. I was ignorant. Um I didn't have a lot of skills. I was, you know, very enamored by glamour and money.
And the scene, you know, it was very like a rock and roll kind of time in L. A. And I think falling into something like that was kind of a natural progression from how I was already living my life. So someone approached me, they asked me, I mean like where did they approach you? I was eating breakfast at a place called Dukes on Sunset, which was a little cafe next to the whiskey a go go. It was 1989 and a woman named Alex, she was a madam in Beverly Hills, she was actually the madam for Heidi Fleiss, if you've heard of that whole situation came up to me and asked me some questions and blah blah blah. We started chatting and you know, I mean I I don't think she said like would you like to be a prostitute? I think she probably said like would you like to make some money, go to parties? You know, she asked me a lot about my background and my upbringing and she liked that I was smart and she seemed to think that she would have people who were interested in spending time with me, so I kind of I didn't know what I was getting into, you know what I looked like, so it certainly wasn't a modeling interview, but you're sexy, you know, you don't look like a model which not many people do, but you're sexy and you're so smart, she is so smart.
It actually makes me feel stupid sometimes, but I could see you know you're already so sexy, you don't wear your sex, you wear your smart, so I could see how you would be very popular in that industry because I think I was, it's a particular look, I mean I have I have red hair and I'm pretty well endowed and I'm sure, you know, there's a, what's that expression like? There's a lid for every pot, you know, I'm sure I was lots of people's lid at the time. I don't know, maybe that's a bad metaphor, but yeah, so that's, that's how it started. So how is the first time you actually doing it? Do you remember our, do you block? Have you blocked it out or? No, I'm trying to think of. That's such a good question. I'm trying to think of the first time. I'm not sure if this is accurate, but let me say this, I was already, it was 1989 1990 I was already having a lot of kind of random sex and you know, kind of stranger encounters if you will.
Um, and taking, I think a lot of risks with my health and my sexual safety and so this didn't feel that much different. You know, like meeting a guy at gays are ease or the roxy back in the day and going home with him versus meeting a guy in a hotel room that somebody had already screened for you. It didn't feel that different, right? The difference was just that there was attraction. I mean, I remember saying to a friend back then like, I'm already having sex and they're not calling me so I may as well get something out of it. You know, you think about, I could understand thinking and being a young from my background, right? Like where I was, it didn't feel like that much of a stretch or that much of a progression. I wasn't in a place where I was having like where I was in committed relationships or I really had meaningful intimacy and so you know, for this little party girl that's kind of like, I want to say dumb, I think you say I'm bright, but I don't know how bad I was at the time.
How about maybe you weren't as street smart? Are you trying to like act like you weren't like you kind of knew but you're like, oh I'm just going to play this game like this is Yeah, I think and I just don't really think I understood that it was dangerous or that it was sad, I really thought this is kind of fancy, you know, this is kind of cool, like I just bought a leather jacket and I only worked for one night. Like look at me. I mean, you know, in retrospect, I probably, I probably made less than than I do now, but you know, for very little work in my mind. Um Yeah, so what was like the average price to like What would, you know, these are good questions. Um so I'm really getting into secrets. So when I worked for her, it was between $250 and $500 an hour and she took 40% of that when you did an overnight it was $1,000 when you did an out of town. It started at 1500 plus airfare and accommodations and all of that. So you know it was kind of staggered. I didn't always work for her. So there were other encounters.
I mean there were times that like I lived with this kind of group of girls who were all in similar predicaments if you will. And I remember like every once in a while some guy knocking on the door and somebody would like yell into the apartment, hey does someone want to, you know hook up with fred, he's got $18 you know like that kind of thing. And we just be like, well we can all go to Denny when we're done. You know, take one for the team whose highness Denny's tonight. You know, I I just don't think that we, that I'll speak with that I cared very much. Yeah. I had never had a frame of reference for like, oh no sexist, really special and it's not just to be safe and trusting and loving and right. I know this one gentleman told me he's like, but aren't you supposed to like lay next to your significant other and just like connect and be bonded and I was like, no you who wants to do that. Maybe that was some people's experiences, you know, I was the girl who never had a boyfriend in high school and so so that first time I do want to hear like what if you can remember if you, you know if some of them mailed together it can happen.
So I'm not gonna remember the first time, but I'll tell you like there was this guy, I guess I can say it now because I'm not gonna out and there's this guy named Vincent and he lived somewhere in like Orange County like Alhambra or somewhere like that. I'm an L. A. Resonant and we kind of like me and my girlfriends all kind of shared a car, you know, so one of us would drive down there and then somebody else would hang out with the driver while the person, you know went in and did the deed and yeah and Vincent was in med school, he was a chinese american medical student and his parents were paying all of his tuition and you know, he just had this like extra money and he always took you out to like chili's or T. G. I Fridays and bought you a meal and you would have to go back to his house and it was like, I don't know like the kind of sex that you imagine two versions having on their wedding night right? Just like really routine like that like and really quick and not sensual and and I remember thinking like that I kind of liked it that it was just the easiest thing I had ever done, you know, it was like all I'm thinking right now, just five minutes of my life and I'm thinking is let's have a bloomin onion and go have like virgin sex afterwards, that's all I think it's awesome blossom and she's a theory toddler yeah.
Any other beautiful house. So he was like a regular I guess if you want to say that he was somebody that I saw a number of times there were a lot of like Saudi princes and Saudi royal family and while that might sound fancy, I think there are probably 1000 people in the Saudi royal family. So there was a lot of like you're going to Beverly Hilton and you'll be at this party and then you would just kind of like sit at that party for eight hours and eat dinner and either someone would kind of pick you to spend more time with or you would get sent home and I always loved being spent home because you got food but then they also give you $100 so and paid your cab fare so they give like the driver $20 and then I get 100 and I was like that was great and then I could go out and party with my friends. Um so there was a lot of that kind of like questionable, I don't know, like a maybe like you're an actor, you know a casting call or something and if you go all the way right, It's reminding me of your like working as an extra. I think it's like an eight hour. They give you $100 and they feed you and you just sit around and sit in a chair and wait to be called.
Yeah. What do you have to act charming and you have to seem engaged? Which for me was much much harder than physical sex. I'm, you know, you're an actor, we've known each other a long time. I am not and it was far easier for me to engage with people physically than it was to try to act like I enjoyed their company or to try to keep talking to them about things and you know I have a pretty, I'm pretty well educated and was at the time I was very well traveled so I wasn't a dumb girl. But that's not, people don't want to talk to you about, you know, museums in Russia Like they, that's not what they're interested in. I'm just not great at making lame conversation and then like probably having that girl last you know that you see in the movie has that part because I have that like resting bitch face. Everybody tells me I have. So I'm like if you just didn't annoy me, I can't hide it. Like you would think I would be good at that.
But as an act like I'm just not good at that, but in doing that, like secret, what do you think that like, I was like looking at the seven deadly sins, like pride, greed, lust, gluttony, envy, anger sloth, which of those sins do you think we're connected to why you're doing it? You know, I think pride to start, I was vain and self absorbed and I think that my ego got fed, I mean I remember saying to people at the time like somebody's paying me to, you know, to to be an object and thinking that that was novel and kind of like fantastical like that, that was an accomplishment, right? Like something like being paid to be a model, but I'm being paid to be a sex work, that means I'm so attractive and sensual that I'm worth this and I, like, I really saw myself as a commodity and I took pride in that now, I think it's pathetic right for my own reasons. Um the second I would say is a sloth, I think there was a lot of laziness and you know, like a real lack of interest in figuring out what I wanted to be when I grew up or developing any skills, I was um like take the easy way out, you just wanted to get the money and run with the least amount of effort possible.
Absolutely, and then lastly I would say gluttony because I wanted to drink a lot and eat a lot and travel a lot in party a lot and do a lot of drugs and all of those things and that was, you know, like, like everything was excessive at that time. Um, and I know you love this, that and at least two things I want to say. First of all, I think it's important that those are my sins and or those are, that's my approach to the seven deadliest. I don't really like the idea of looking at my behavior as sinful. So it's like a wrestle with that because I also believe that sex work should be legal and I also want to say just a caveat for people who listened that I think that sex work is actually noble and there are a lot of sex workers who aren't Engaged in this in the same way I was as a 19 year old who has just lost and lazy, oh, I agree. I have 100% agree because I do still know people in that business and you know, I mean, we'll talk later, but I'm an academic now. And so in a lot of the work that I look at, like sex work is a legitimate way, particularly from women to make a living and to be agents over their own bodies.
And so those were mine because I was just a teenager who didn't know what else to do with herself. Yeah, no judgment. Just so anybody knows, you know, I've either done just as bad or probably our listeners have. So no judgment at all what anybody does with their life that is their choice. As long as I that they practice health and safety is what's important to me. And it sounds like you did not do not. But I mean, again, like I know this is about secrets, but sometimes I think, well, what's the difference between a girl sleeping with someone because she's getting back at somebody else or somebody has sex because they're drunk and they don't remember it. Like these were consenting adults who had a legitimate transaction. I was never harmed in the course of my work. Um don't don't get me wrong, I felt like crap a lot, you know, and I don't think I realized that until much later when I could process. But like for me, it felt very honest and very consensual and very straightforward. There was more communication, in fact, a lot of times in those encounters than I had in subsequent relationships for the next 20 years with romantic partners.
Oh no, I know I've talked about the dating and how non communicative the world, especially with this, you know, swipe left swipe right? So I get it, you know, but you still kept it a secret and it still was something you weren't telling the whole world and who did that harm in the process. Do you think when you think back, I mean, you can't tell the whole world, you can't you can't tell people there's a taboo around this. There still is right? And I think that the climate around sex work has changed and there are more activists who are more visible and people are writing about it academics to researching it right? Like, but that wasn't the time. Um that's not where we were. And so you know this kind of like wearing it as a badge of pride. Like no I'm a sex worker. It was like, oh no, you know, so I had a million lives around my job. I mean a million like my with my family, I was a cocktail waitress and then sometimes I'd say two friends like want an escort, but it's not like that. And then at the time I don't know if they still exist. But I also there were these places in downtown L.
A. Um they were like taxi dance places. In other words, men can come and they can check you out and they can I mean check you out like a library, like a book, check you out and penny to spend time with you. They can rent you by the hour. And I worked at a lot of those clubs which was kind of like another part of my foray into that. So so I would kind of like, oh yeah I'm going down to the club tonight to see if I can make any tips. So when you say like keeping it a secret, I had a lot of different cover stories, right? For what I did is obvious. I didn't work. I mean like only and I think that people with secrets are masters at making sure those things don't come out well, you know, at any given time they've done studies that people hold 13 secrets at one time. 13, 13. The average person has 13 secrets that they keep at one time. That's during the research I read, wow, obviously we both and we've said you're out of the business, but how do you move forward? You know, you just going to say you got married, you are in a committed relationship now you're happy.
Um how do you move forward and not keeping these things or you know things you've done in the past. It seems like you're pretty open now. I am. I mean with the exception of my mother, I think it would just crush her. I don't think it would surprise her because she was a lot about that time. But um I'm public because the group of people that I, so first of all, how do I move forward? Um It's not a secret. I don't I don't have I don't carry shame around it. Um there are kind of three different things that I look at. So the first is I am pretty vocal about it. You know, it's been a long, long time and if people want to judge me for choices I made when I was 22 years old, which is more than half my life ago, I think it says more about them than it does about me. I agree. Um Right, So I don't tell anybody. It's not like when I was dating online, like, I was like, oh yeah, I used to be a sex worker, that's your likes and dislikes. That's not a fun second date. Um but but I think that moving forward, my my secret or former secret has to be brought into the light because I I don't I don't want to feel ashamed or guilty or wrong or sinful to use that word, right?
Um The second thing that I'd say is that I have done a lot of recovery around it. So I later in life because I realized not that I needed to recover from being a sex worker, but I needed a different attachment to men and to relationships and that sex work had happened when I was so young and in such formative time that I needed to do some work around that to not, you know, to be better able to have the kind of relationship I wanted. So, between therapy and a 12 step program, I did a lot of work about intimacy and healthy sex and that kind of thing. And so that kept me from feeling ashamed I'm still in a recovery program, I'm still in therapy, um those are kind of ongoing processes for me. And then the last thing is that when I met the person that I loved, that I really wanted to be in a relationship with. Um, I chose to talk to him about that when I knew that we were moving towards the lifetime of commitment. So for me, when you say you're married now, I wanted to walk down an aisle and know that this person knows everything. So I felt so clean.
You know, like, I don't want to be sitting there on my honeymoon night, like, so there's something I need to tell you, right? Like, that would feel terrible. Yeah. And I wouldn't have been able to commit to somebody in this way. If it wasn't all out on the table. I agree. I think people hold too much in when they get married. I think they get married too quickly without revealing all these things, because that was important to me when I got married. Done. Do you want to know all this about me? And it's like, I'm not going to hold anything. So I agree. And I'm very, very happy for you and I'm so grateful for you to share your secret. I hope there's somebody out there who's kind of smiling and nodding and going, oh, you have me to thank you for asking me, and if you want to be on the show, please email me at Secret live podcast at iCloud dot com until next time. Thanks again for listening to the show. Please subscribe, rate, share or send me a note at Secret Life podcast dot com. And if you like to check out my book, head over to Secret Life novel dot com or amazon to pick up a copy for yourself or someone you love.
Thanks again. See you soon. Mm.