Someone asked me recently, "Are there any lessons you've learned from doing sex work that are applicable to the rest of your life?" And I thought: Not one, but a hundred. A few educational incidents...
The Skeevy Boss Shakedown: My first stripper job was at a club called The Tanga. It was a dive—scarred linoleum floors, perpetually backed-up toilets, and rat droppings in the corners. The manager was creepy, an enormous, intimidating biker dude with a heavy black beard and bristling eyebrows. The guy looked like his mother had gotten jiggy with Jo-Jo the Dog-Faced Boy. But the money was decent and the stage fees seemed reasonable—at first.
The Wolfman would sit on a stool behind the bar and collect our stage fees as we left for the night, and about once a week, he'd take the cash I offered him and then say, "You were late. That's a 40-dollar fine."
I was naive. "Late? I wasn't late. I'm always here on time."
"Last week, you were late," he'd grunt, his tattooed, nicotine-stained hand held out, "40 dollars."
I protested the first few times. Then I complained to another girl, who rolled her eyes impatiently. "Duh, that money's for him, he's keeping it. He does it to everybody. Just give it to him; he'll take even more if you bitch about it." Lesson learned: Not all costs of doing business are disclosed up front.
The Non-Compos-Mentis Coworker: I worked at a strip-mall "lingerie-modeling" establishment with a woman who insisted on being addressed as "Baby Rainbow." Baby Rainbow's level of mental functioning seemed slightly below that of your average Border collie. I once found her in the staffroom trying to start the microwave with the TV remote. She'd often put a customer into a room, tell him she'd be right back to do the show, and then wander away and forget about him.
Baby Rainbow's intellectual challenges were partially self-inflicted, however, as she dropped acid before every shift. One night she was so high that, wearing only a bra and G-string, she climbed into the brightly-lit front window display and began humping the headless, lingerie-clad mannequins. I could understand why she felt a special connection with them, but one of our neighbors disapproved of her girl-on-girl-dummy sex show and called the cops. Since I had the wit to get myself fully dressed, when the sheriff's car pulled into the parking lot I grabbed my bag and scatted out the back door, leaving Baby Rainbow to her fate. Lesson learned: When dealing with crazy people, know when to cut your losses and hit the road.
Bunny Boiler or Buffalo Bill? Once when I was an escort, I got sent to see a guy whose house was way out in the sticks. I mean rural—nothing but cow pastures. The client was okay, but he seemed slightly edgy, and when I questioned him, he explained that his jealous ex-girlfriend had been doing drive-bys past his place. He was hoping she didn't see my car and come over to cause a scene.
Oh, great, thanks a lot, buddy, I thought. I left the gig without incident, but I'd not driven far when I realized I had a flat tire. I stopped, got out of the car and saw that I was wrong: both rear tires were as floppy as empty whoopee cushions. This was before cell phones, and I thought: Shit! I'm stuck in the middle of nowhere with two slashed tires, it's dark, and there's a pissy ex-girlfriend roaming the neighborhood with something sharp. This isn't good.
Then I had an equally unpleasant thought: Unless the client made up that story and did it himself, trying to prevent you from leaving. Either way, I wasn't about to hike back to his house.
I was pretty tense, but it turned out okay. I hitched a ride to a pay phone with a guy—who fortunately wasn't a serial killer—and called the motor club to tow my car. Lesson learned: Never get caught out of your comfort zone without a backup plan.
FRIDAY 6/23–SATURDAY 6/24SEX-POSITIVE THEATER: BARELY LEGAL, A LOVE STORY
This play by Mok Moser "explores the lives of cowboys in free fall, mythic Native-American creatures on motorcycles, lesbian civil servants, and interspecies romance." Spitfire, 2219 Fourth Ave, 441-7966, 7:30 pm, $10–$16, 21+
SATURDAY 6/24UNDERWEAR PARTY AT THE EAGLE
Celebrate Pride by dancing and drinking in your skivvies! A clothes check will be provided. Seattle Eagle, 314 E Pike St, 9 pm–4 am, 21+.SEX TIPS FROM A BISEXUAL WOMAN
Jennifer, a bisexual woman, shares ideas and tricks to please both men and women. Clitoral/vaginal/G-spot orgasms, anal play, sex toys, giving great head, strap-on sex, and more. Wet Spot, 1602 15th Ave W, building E, 270-9746, membership not required, 3:30-–5:30 pm, $20.
SUNDAY 6/25RAIN CITY JACKS PRIDE PARTY
Drop by and shoot a load at this special Pride Sunday event—the Seattle Center is not far from the play space of this drug-free jack-off party. Private location, www.raincityjacks.org , 3–7 pm (doors close at 5 pm), price based on membership level.PRETTY LITTLE PRINCESS PAGEANT
Warp your child's mind and sexuality simultaneously at the Pretty Little Princess Pageant, described in press materials as "a magical pageant where dreams come true" and "everyone is a winner!" (It's true—entry fees guarantee every last whored-out little girl her own fucking crown.) Extra kinky twist: The exact whereabouts of the pageant are known only to participants, but "the pageant is usually held in the grand ballroom of a major hotel." Best bet for gawkers: head downtown at 10 am and follow the smell of Aqua Net and diaper powder. "The grand ballroom of a major hotel," exact time and price unknown. Kinky!