It's interesting for me to read the business section of the newspaper when there are stories about professional mischief. Recently, I read about Marilee Jones, the former dean of admissions at MIT. It seems Ms. Jones claimed to have a college degree that she had not actually earned. The discovery of this caused a fuss and she resigned.
This never happens in the sex industry. For example, part of my sex-work history is as a stripper. I went to Alaska to dance one summer because the word was you could make insane cash there. When I presented myself at the state's most famous strip club, The Great Alaskan Bush Company, they didn't ask me if I had a degree in dance. "Take off your jacket and turn all the way around, slowly," said the manager. I complied. "Okay, come back tonight at eight with your stuff, make sure you have your ID, and be ready to stay till closing." I worked there for about two months. The money was better than in the lower 48, although not as good as I'd been led to believe. Isn't that always the way?
The one place where you do see some résumé padding is professional domination. It's pretty easy to find a website that reads something like, "Mistress Hypothetica has over 20 years experience as a lifestyle dominatrix..." and then further down the page, "...at 28, Mistress Hypothetica stands at the top of the fetish scene...."
Wait, wait, wait. Twenty-eight years old? Twenty years of BDSM experience? No. Anything sexually positive you did before age 16—at the very earliest—was dumb luck, so enjoy the memory, but don't try to get professional credit for it. I spanked the boy next door with a piece of Hot Wheels track when I was 10, but I don't pretend it was a carefully considered expression of my true sadistic nature. I was just a mean little girl, that's all.
The alternative explanation is that Mistress Hypothetica actually does have 20 years of kink experience, which means that 28 represents the age at which she stopped updating that bit of text on her website. That's a different brand of professional fibbing.
But in most cases, whatever story you choose to spin is okay, as long as you can make it work. You see, that story about the Bush Company? That's a lie. I never danced there because the house fees were too high. That little anecdote actually happened at Anchorage's much-less-famous strip club, the Crazy Horse. But when I arrived here in Seattle and told various customers at Rick's I'd been dancing in Alaska, they often assumed I meant the Bush Company, and I didn't bother to correct them because it didn't matter. I could have told Frank Colacurcio I'd been a dancer on Mars and he wouldn't have cared, because in sex work, it's all about results. So if you bought a lap dance from me back in 1995 because I told you I danced at the Bush Company, sorry, I'm not giving you your money back.
FRIDAY 6/1COLUMBIA CITY CABARET
This week's show features Indigo Blue, comic magician Scotty Walsh, and The Lucky Devil Girly Show, all hosted by Tamara the Trapeze Lady. Columbia City Theater, 4916 Rainier Ave S, 605-9920, www.trapezelady.com, 8 pm, $20, 21+.WOMEN-ONLY NIGHT AT THE WET SPOT
Socialize, flirt, and do BDSM with the girls. All orientations welcome! Wet Spot, 1602 15th Ave W, Building E, 270-9746, firstname.lastname@example.org, 9 pm—3 am, $15, members only, female ID required.
SATURDAY 6/2DRAGONS, TROLLS, AND BUBBLES
To celebrate the reopening of their drawbridge, the citizens of Fremont will endure bouncy blow-up toys, a Chinese dragon, Mayor Greg Nickels, and other forms of sexual torture. Fremont Bridge, Fremont, www.fremontseattle.com, 1—4 pm.ROMP NAKED
An alternative, nude gathering for men to honor male erotic energy through music and dance. Romp Naked is a sexy party, but not a sex party, and it's an alcohol- and drug-free event. Previous parties have had between 100—150 men. For RSVP (required), tickets, and location, see www.rompnaked.org.CASCADE HANDBALL FELLOWSHIP PLAY PARTY
A handball/play party for gay and bi men, 21 and over, all levels of experience welcome. Please BYOB (no glass containers) and your own lube. RSVP to email@example.com, private location on the Eastside, 6 pm until whenever (doors close at 3 am, party is over by 8 am), $20/$15 for Cascade Handball Fellowship members, 21+.
SUNDAY 6/3ROPE BONDAGE FOR BEGINNERS
My partner Max teaches rope bondage classes every month in conjunction with Wet Spot's "Bondage Is the Point" party. This month: Fundamentals of Rope Bondage. Wet Spot, 1602 15th Ave W, Building E, 270-9746, www.bondagelessons.com, 2:30-5:30 pm, $30/$35, nonmembers welcome at workshop, members only at party that follows.