Tough Times

Photo by Roger Bultot

“How’s it going, Joni?” Radica asked me as we stood outside of the antique shop.

I look at her.  How would she react if I were to tell her that in exchange for free rent I’m having sex with my landlord?  I’ve no choice.  I’m a single mother.  I can’t lose my apartment.  So, it’s either I put out or my daughter and I become homeless.

“Things are tough,” I admit. 

“Yes, they are.  Are you working?”

“Yes, but I’m struggling to pay the rent.”

“I need a secretary and my sister’s looking to rent out her basement.  Interested?”


100 Words

This story is fiction but it’s based on true stories. Just recently, I watched a program about women having sex with their landlords in exchange for free rent. The reporter went undercover and pretended that she was looking to rent a place. You can check out the video here. Some of the ads for tenants are very blatant. My story is based on this single mother’s heartbreaking story. I hope that the law steps in and these landlords are charged. They are criminals and should be treated as such.

This post is for the Friday’s Fictioneers hosted by  Rochelle Wisoff-Fields.  You can find this week’s prompt here. To read other stories or to participate, click here

28 thoughts on “Tough Times

  1. If the conditions are stated up front, I don’t think it should be illegal. If a person goes into a situation like this when the conditions are stated up front, it’s on them. That said, patriarchy and paternalism and laws and ordinances that enable men to own so much of the property around that there is an affordable housing shortage is the root of this evil. Just like the laws that make human trafficking (sex and labor) possible. Exploiting the vulnerable is ugly any which way you look at it.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think it should be outlawed even though the conditions are stated up front because as you said, it’s exploitation of the vulnerable. The victim feels like they have no choice. It’s much like when children are molested. They don’t tell of the abuse because the molester threatens them.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I understand where you’re coming from on this, and like I said, I think it’s morally and ethically reprehensible to exploit the vulnerable. Comparing an adult that knowingly trades sex for lodging to a child being molested isn’t equitable to me. An adult has choices, even if it means they live in a cardboard box in hobo town. I think a lot of the homeless do make that choice to live in the streets instead of becoming exploited sexual objects. I also think a lot of kids end up homeless because they are fleeing abusive/exploitive situations. Patriarchy and paternalism are what got us into this mess. Depending on the very system that has created it to save us from it is a short-sighted and inadequate answer until we get equitable numbers of females in every lego block of the institutions of power.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Adele,
    Well that was certainly timely and so well written! It’s hard to think of economic blight forcing people into such monstrous situations, more common than we care to know. This is a far cry from opportunistic gold-diggers of both sexes.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Dora, Thank you so much. I was just waiting for the opportunity to write about it and Friday Fictioneers was the perfect platform. It is really sad that people feel that they have no other choice. And this is more common than we think.


      Liked by 1 person

  3. This is exactly why Charles Bukowski only wrote about having landladies. He would never have tolerated the typical slum lord. 🙂 Nicely done. I sort of went, “whew” at the end. YES!!!

    Liked by 1 person

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