Archive for March, 2013

Stigma

March 21, 2013

I’m very engaged in the sex workers on social media scene and it’s a completely different world than my quotidian dealing with strip club employees.

Strippers, dommes, escorts and other sex workers I follow on Twitter are extremely articulate, predominantly well educated and yes, relatively “priveleged.” Most, but not all, of them, have me beat in the “mental stability”, “maximum earning potential” and “sound business sense” departments.

That is a concession I will make right now; girls who don’t struggle as much with mental health and addiction have a firmer head on their shoulders, and are generally much more successful, not to mention healthy, than myself. But I measure success in personal progress, ie “doing me” not just earnings and account statements.

Some of my peers on the Twitter/Blogosphere can come off as snobby, and there is obviously infighting. I don’t like feeling like the elephant in the sex worker room because

I’m a “statistic” being someone with trauma in my past, a mental illness and addiction. I can’t boast a long standing sobriety date and I know I shouldn’t drink. My meds could stand some tweaking; I don’t firmly subscribe to the uniquely American pill pushing culture of overdiagnosing normal emotions, but I also know that I refuse meds based on their reputation for making people fat, even if they offer increased “stability” to my current regimen.

I understand both sides of the picture; a priveleged faction of a disenfranchised labor force wants to a) prove stereotypes wrong and b ) call out even more priveleged feminist scholars for daring to insinuate sex workers have addiction and mental illness in disproportionate numbers. I prefer to be brutally honest, even though it conforms to stereotypes. I fit into certain stereotypical boxes, but as I stated before, women who are more sound of mind and addiction-free tend to thrive better in my industry.

It’s depressing to say I have a stigmatized, sometimes dangerous, job just to get by. As a former colleague said, “I don’t take my clothes off just to pay my bills.” I just bought a $900 flight to Italy when I still owe the IRS 4K for chrissake. But treating myself is validating. I will still make my IRS tab on time.

Digression aside, I spend most of what I make, both on valid things such as taxes, as well as extravagant things. I don’t blow rent money on alcohol or cocaine. All I know is, as my family’s black sheep, I don’t have to go seeking handouts. Did I stumble into sex work because I was sick of working shit jobs for belated, shit pay? Hell yeah. But I know that the industry can also be a haven for people who lack the mental stability or sobreity to cut it at “vanilla/normal” jobs.

I know well-meaning sex workers want to debunk stereotypes, but I choose instead, to applaud the industry for allowing people with problems who are disenfranchised in other ways, to earn a living. Finding a traditional job with a criminal record and other personal demons can prevent you from being a part of the work force at all. I’ve avoided criminal history, but there is a lot I’m not cut out for and I’m just happy to remain gainfully employed without having to beg, borrow, steal, be a government assistance sponge, miss bill payments, jeopardize my credit score etc…..

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Esprit de Corps Gone Wrong

March 14, 2013

I always wear a fleece that says Esprit de Corps, a team I was on, and learned from my Marine ex that it’s a morale saying for them. That’s what we called our team playing trivia night once; ah nice wholesome times.

Last Saturday, I had a beer at the Rick’s Cabaret “front bar” which is outside the actual club. I was visiting my Boston buddy who bartends there and catching up, when some dude approached me about my fleece.

“Why does your sweater say that?”

“It’s a team I was on.”

“You know what it really means?”

“Yeah, it’s a Marine thing; my ex told me.”

Fast forward a half hour and I’m verifying he has the hotel room to himself for a while and off we go.

Fun enough. Whatever. Fall asleep for a couple hours and suddenly his marine buddies are banging on the door and next thing I know, I’m naked under a sheet with five shitfaced hoorah motherfuckers talking shit. No physical aggression but it was ugly.

Mr. recipient of blow jobs who played nice until the deal was sealed, pulled the worst 180 ever in my extensive hookup history.

All of a sudden, him and the pals are telling me to hurry up and get the fuck out. I’m half drunk and half asleep; I can already tell they’re not kidding and feeling pretty dirty. I’m too out of it to think more than vaguely that this is a truly compromising situation.

I start to find my piecews of clothing as the guys ignore me to talk Marine shit with some random corps guy they met out and about. At one point, one says, “Hurry up and fuck off before you get fucked up the ass.”

That got me alert. I stayed calm and vainly slammed the door, as if they gave a shit I wanted to helplessly display my anger.

So, the point of this is, I’m providing yet another cautinary tale via my own stupid antics. The point is also that I got lucky and it didn’t get real in there. At least not physically; verbally for sure.

I’ve never had something that bad happen to me at work in 3.5 full years in the sex industry. It’s true what people say; random hookups are no less risky than “paid” hookups. They can be far worse. Verbal assault hurts, too, but thank God I dodged the rape bullet. Assuming they actually would have done something that horrible.

Fuck the dead hooker jokes and “Daddy raped you” jabs. I’m so used to turning down propositions at work, I forgot agreeing to random hookups as a civilian actually comes with risks. Just because I’m not being lured with money doesn’t make it safe to fuck a dude I just met at a hotel room occupied by four pumped up, obnoxious marines.  I was legitimately scared for a moment there, and there’s no other time in my life I was scared of an actual rape, versus date rape gray areas.

I talked to my guy friend about the bad taste in my mouth that left, given my usually favorable opinion of military men. I had fucking gone to the World War II Museum that day, for Christ’s sake; I was feeling as patriotic and thankful toward military as ever. My friend suggested this glorified fetish of mine it’s just a phase, implying I’ll wind up with a hippie writer type. But dude, I hate hipsters.

I think I’ll lay off wearing my Esprit de Corps fleece on Bourbon for a while. I don’t even feel like reading the rest of Generation Kill until this incident is further behind me. I tend to think of guys who deployed as poor little puppies who aren’t treated right when they get home, but those guys certainly had zero humility.

Downgrade=Upgrade

March 13, 2013

I’ve worked a handful of shifts at a new club and it’s going way better than expected.

My old club, as mentioned ad nauseum before, punished me schedule-wise for alleged solicitation. They are strict and clean and I was proud to work there, even though at least one shift a week was a complete waste of time.

Consider one crappy shift or even two per week that are barely worth showing up, multiply that by on-and-off working a year at the place, and you can see I’ve wasted tons of time.

I reluctantly went to work at a clu with a trashy reputation because I know the door guy; he’d text me when I was out of town, telling me to come in, so it was the easy choice upon my return to New Orleans.

All the girls are nice, making the transition easy, four girls (and counting) I know a little or a lot from my other club (Bourbon is incestuous) and there’s no micromanagement. That means a lot, ahem, goes on there, but you can set your own boundaries. The club has 3/$100 private dances which are super easy to sell since it’s like selling a cheap-o VIP room. People actually fucking tip at the stage, unlike my last job, and they are a more enthusiastic, and EXISTENT crowd.

Best thing of all; no schedule. You just show up as you please. You pay a higher house fee if you arrive super late, but sometimes it’s better to work a shorter shift well rested than show up early to save a little. On Monday and Tuesday, you get free house fee if you’re on the floor by 9PM. All in all, not a raw deal. The house fee is super low and the DJ gets 10% of what you make. That may seem like a lot, but at least if you have a random fluke of a bad night, you can tip $1 if you made literally $10, instead of having to tip $20 no matter how little you made.

The girls there are not cream of the crop, but they’re very nice, and plenty of them are cute enough, and good enough on stage, not to mention personable, to keep customers in. It seems the door guys do a good job and that the club also has the advantage of more foot traffic, being less on the periphery of Bourbon.

So all in all, good stuff. I’ve had some pretty lucrative shifts, and the mediocre ones were still decent. I’m looking forward to paying off my taxes and being 100% free of debt soon. I’ve decided to stay in New Orleans one more month, because my cheap apartment prospect for April in Queens fell through. If things keep going the way they are, I’ll have plenty of dough to sign a lease in a nice area like Sunnyside Queens next month. This is that fun part of the year, like last Spring, where, every time I have a New York customer, I take their info and tell them to visit me at a club in their city soon.

The Blues

March 7, 2013

I’m coming down off the high of a mega-productive and lucid, not to mention lucrative, three days. Last night was my first full shift at a club and my body wasn’t on a vampiric enough schedule to stay sharp until almost 5AM. I went to bed on 21 hours awake, and woke up earlier than I’d prefer.

Today was my first loafing day in quite a bit, so I decided to watch Restrepo, a documentary about a Platoon’s 15 month deployment in Afghanistan.

Normally, I know better than to watch or listen to anything depressing when my mood’s low. I figured I should educate myself on how things really work over in Afghanistan without contemplating the depressing deaths and real life reactions I’d see. Although the documentary has endearing, lighthearted moments, it’s not the “truth based” fare of Generation Kill with punched up jokes and no casualties. And it got to me.

Of course, I felt for the men (boys really) who lost their friends. I don’t ask my military buddies about whether they’ve lost close pals, the way you don’t ask customers at the club about their wives and kids, so it’s easy to maintain the out of sight, out of mind approach. Until you accidentally watch a documentary where you see soldiers discover the body of a man down.

I have a good deal of self shame about my inability to handle emotional triggers. Watching a damn 90 minute documentary has thrown my mood for the whole day (I popped a Klonopin to chill out) and these guys held down a grueling dragged out deployment.

There’s a great segment in the book Generation Kill where the author, a Rolling Stone reporter, talks about anxiety pill culture and the relative weakness of his civilian peers in Los Angeles:

“We stand around looking at each other through the warping, fish-eye lenses of our gas masks. I can’t conceal my feeling of triumph. Not only am I glad that I don’t seem to be showing any symptoms of exposure the gas, but I’m also not a little proud that I’ve gotten fully MOPPed up without panicking. Unlike these Marines, I haven’t spent the last few years of my life in wars or training exercises with bombs going off, jumping out of airplanes and helicopters. In my civilian world at home in Los Angeles, half the people I kinow are on antidepressants or anti-panic attack druge because they can’t handle the stress of a mean boss or a crowd at the 7-Eleven when buying a Slurpee.

that’s my world, and it wouldn’t have surprised me if, thrust into this one, in the first moments of what we all believe to b3e a real gas attack, I’dee just flipped out and started autoinjecting myself with Valium.”

(Afforementioned injectable Valium was meant to finish the job for a man wounded beyond recovery a la Morphine.)

Most of us semi-liberal urbanites can judge questionable military engagements from a chicken shit point of view. But how many of us will freely admit they are not man (or woman) enough to handle what the guys in Restrepo did?

Another quip in Generation Kill is a guy saying “we’re the ones your moms said not to hang out with in High School. Now they put us up on pedestals as heroes.”

Readers may wonder, “where are her dry humping anecdotes? I wanna know how she dealt with that guy who whipped his dick out last night.” All I can say is, I may be an emotional basket case, but I relate to other disenfranchised people as a result. I’m a closeted mental health case, sex worker and alcoholic, I mean that’s a triple whammy, man. Does it make sense to y’all why I date military guys, now? I’m drawn in a sick way to damaged goods, which is probably unhealthy and even dangerous for my well-being. But even if I’m a pussy who literally gets panic attacks over the prospect of running out of anxiety pills, I’d like to think I can be proud of my willingness to probe retired military men for their stories when, and only when, appropriate. You can’t shove your curious agenda down someone’s throat. But if you date someone, as I have, you eventually gauge how much they are willing to open up, and even vent. Military guys tend not to judge the stripping profession as harshly and if only they weren’t so in love with their guns, I’d put my money on marrying one eventually. I got tricked into seeing my Dad last weekend (something I hesitate to mention, as it’s linkable to my real life) and when I told him I’d dated a couple Marines and was back to manhunting, he said, “whoever marries you needs to be a strong man.” And I think the only hope I have is a guy who’s been through some heavy ass shit. I respect military men by default, until they lose my respect, like the guy I dumped February 15th (that has to be some kind of unofficial dumping day of women doing the dumping following Valentine’s let-downs.)

BRB

March 2, 2013

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I’ve been quite MIA but plan to change that soon.