Pimps are the masterminds behind sex trafficking; manipulating and hurting others to get money. Not cool.
We see them in the music videos, watch them in movies and TV shows, and hear about them roaming around bad parts of town. Their lifestyle is sensationalized, their line of “work” is romanticized, and very little is based off reality.
Pimps are just like other sexual predators in the sense that they take advantage of those who are vulnerable, lack power, or are overly trusting. Unlike other sexual predators, however, they do not do it for their own sexual gratification. Instead they use the victim to gain money, power, and status for themselves.
These predators are successful at what they do because they are master manipulators. They brag that P.I.M.P. stands for: Power In Manipulating People. It is a craft they study and master, an area of pride for them. It is this characteristic that makes them so dangerous.
You see: pimps are posers.
They always lie about who they are to you. These are some of the most common ways they pose:
Posing as a professional
Known to pose as businessmen, pimps manipulate our natural desires for wealth, popularity, and ambition by pretending to be someone who has a lot of money, prestige, and knows a lot of rich people. Whether posing as a modeling agent, club promoter, or rapper, pimps offer once-in-a-lifetime opportunities that will bring about a luxurious lifestyle, or accomplish your dreams. When approached with new opportunities, it is always important to research the business person and the company.
Posing as a boyfriend/girlfriend
Pimps will romantically pursue a potential victim to gain trust and emotional vulnerability. This gives the pimp more to use against the victim later on because his/her desire for love and affection is being manipulated. Sometimes a pimp will only date a victim for a couple days or weeks before exploiting him/her; however, it is common to hear of pimps courting a victim for up to a year before introducing any type of exploitive situation! Dating victims until they fall in love, the pimp is able to manipulate them even easier.
Posing as a friend
By pretending to be a friend with your best interest in mind and always knowing how to help you out, pimps easily gain a victim’s trust. Many times they force their current victims to pose as a friend for the same purposes.
Victims of sex trafficking are exploited, abused, and oftentimes required to recruit more victims. It is not unheard of for a pimp to allow a victim to have normal experiences (i.e. live at home, go to school, etc.) so there will be more opportunities to recruit. Pimps use blackmail, threats, and violence to make victims comply.
We all crave attention, just in different ways. Some of us want to be center stage, all lights on us. Others want significance with just one other person; someone who will cherish us, romance us, love us without condition, accept us for exactly who we are without judgement. And who doesn’t need a friend?
We all have these fundamental desires for attention, affection, and acceptance. When these desires overpower making wise decisions, we are extremely vulnerable to predators.
Pimps are posers because they know this. How cowardly! They are fakers and liars. They hide behind half-truths, manipulation, and bribery. They prey on us because they know how to take advantage of our weaknesses.
What you can do
We can protect each other from these predators. If we just know what to look out for, we can keep ourselves and our friends safe, and potentially put these cowards behind bars! Download the Red Flags of a pimp/victim, and then save the National Human Trafficking Hotline Number in your phone (888-3737-888). Tell others what you know so they can keep a look out too.