Since this serial memoir has moved up to more contemporary anecdotes, I’ve had a few comments. Some kind of rotten, some kind of touching.
A common question has been a variation of a classic: How’d a nice girl like you…?
So here goes.
There was sort of a trajectory from pole-dancing in college and modeling sportswear, to modeling swimwear and lingerie (not always easy to tell the difference), to strip clubs and “lingerie clubs”, to escort. And I don’t know that I stepped over that line much different from any other given girl. Though I have to say I called my own shots, didn’t get dragged into anything by some love object swine or pimp daddy or dope habit.
I wouldn’t say it’s a fine line, but I would say there’s a spectrum involved, not a plunge from The Light into Dark Side. (Ever notice there’s a Dark Side of the Force, but the other side doesn’t have a name? Think about it.)
The line between showing off your naked body and letting somebody have it is a pretty definite one. Though there’d be “inbetweens” there. Where does a lap dance fit it? How about the “she can touch you, but you can’t touch her” kind of place? But basically it comes back to something I was obsessing earlier on: looking vs. touching.
Now let’s take a situation like a lingerie club. It’s not like all those guys are paying the freight and jacked-up drink prices because they’re wild to pick up some frillies for the Little Woman. I’d be walking around tables at a smoker wearing a g-string, fishnet held up by a garterbelt, bra with nipple portholes, shoes so sexy I could barely keep from falling right on my face. And guess what? I’d get guys touching me. Duh. You want to get militant about that? It’s like a kid watching wedding cakes wheeling by for a couple of hours. Is he going to dab a finger in the icing, or is he a hopeless weenie?
Even the first time a guy cupped my ass, I took it in stride. In fact, I slowed my stride down a little. What the hell, the guy was paying my tuition. No skin off my ass, so to speak. I got used to it. And know what? It wasn’t so bad. I didn’t run into guys being mean or grubby or anything. I mostly felt like they were petting a nice big dog. Ever see a dog mind a little stroking? We have much to learn from our furry friends. Hey, I was making over three thousand dollars a week at one point, just wagging my tail. And I was so fetching.
But I was saying that the contact was fine with me. Would I walk around having guys caress me for free? Maybe. If it was handled in a sensitive, socially redeeming context.
Seriously, though, the guys you actually choose to fuck, for whatever reasons we choose to, handle you a lot worse. I got the feeling half the guys in one of those undies clubs would have just as happily patted my head and pinched my cheek. They would also have happily tossed my heels up and done the SWAT battering ram, of course, but they didn’t. That’s why they call them “Gentlemen’s clubs”.
So once upon a time this guy caught my ear, not too bad looking a guy, at that. Had a nice air about him. Easy manner, lazy smile, nice upscale clothes, expensive Scotch, Jaguar keychain, no wedding ring. And an interesting line of conversation. About geography, essentially. He was thinking that having me sit on his knee in my bustier and see-through bootie shorts was really pleasant for him, but might be even more pleasant in his hotel. I’d worked up the perfect cool-out line for that. I’d smile really nicely, lean over, put my hand on his shoulder, and say, “No problem. One thousand dollars. Up front.” That generally cooled their jets. It wasn’t like I was rejecting them. If they weren’t there, it was their own inadequacy. Flat fee and all they had to do was get it up. Then I’d give them the simper with extra sauce and give them to understand I was totally sorry they didn’t have the cash on them right then and just couldn’t wait until they came back with it.
This particular guy smiled and moved his hand up from my ass to my waist, which for some reason felt sexier to me. And said, “I’ve only got five hundred. Can I just do it half-assed?”
I knew he was serious immediately. And two things came into focus. The first one was just a four letter word. “Rent.” That was what I was paying for my share of the apartment inVeniceback then. You could probably rent a wet spot on a basement floor for that now. See, it’s not just money when it’s like that. It’s Rent. Shelter. A basic human need. Some people even say a human right. So…
The other thing wasn’t really conscious. How much really is? I consider myself a pretty calculating, level-headed girl. I wouldn’t take umbrage at the phrase, “cold-blooded bitch.” And I do over half of my emotional/sexual/social behavior for reasons I’m lucky to even understand later.
But I can see now that it had a lot to do with a major patch of really rotten boyfriends. Did I mention I was living inVenice, going to UCLA, and hanging around modeling and film scenes? So it was kind of like, the last half dozen guys I humped treated me like shit and didn’t even give me anything useful or pay my rent for me. In a totally unrelated aside, you might like my book “Considerations Before Shooting Your Boyfriend Right In The Nuts,” available on Kindle, SmashWords Kobo, iStuff, and my online store. But anyway, this guy wasn’t much shabbier than the guys I’d been giving it up for, older but not in a “high mileage” way, more like “broken in”, “vintage”, “marinated” kind of vibe.
But I turned him down flat and called the bouncer to come over and gnaw off his fingers.
This guy was a vital ingredient in my edging over from decent-paying prick-teasing to “the life”. And in case you’re wondering, he paid me the five hundred, got invited to spend the night, was a lot of fun, and not quite as great a lay as I’d kind of been expecting. Not that I’m complaining. Looking back on it, I should have paid him. I did make him a really tasty omelet with black olives, chipotle sauce, and straw mushrooms. Nude, too. Might have been the first time I ever cooked in the nude: I was always afraid I might get burned or something. Have my pubis flare up like Auntie Ida’s apron did that time. It was twenty-four hours filled with firsts, I’ll tell you. Not that I’ll tell you about any of the other debuts.
I got some repeat business there, actually. Gave him a bit of a discount, although I was getting a lot more later on, so he ended up paying as much or more. Which I took as a compliment and testimonial. I even did him free a couple of times, but that was because he took me on this luxury weekend to Catalina on a gorgeous old yacht and the kindest little inn I ever saw. And I would get a chance to meet some film people who wanted him to finance their next project. Which gives you a clue. A lot fewer guys can finance a feature film than can finance a couple of hours in the sack with a soiled belle. Turned out, though, the film makers looked like they’d be a lot more familiar with taped-over windows in a flat in the Valley than a soundstage at Miramax. I got so many cards from them I could have done sleazeball tarot readings.
Do I feel like a whore? Think of myself that way? Well, technically. Maybe even legally, but that’s gotten a lot fuzzier. Don’t believe me, walk around LA and get any tabloid that costs more than two dollars and open it up and see what you see. TheLas Vegasyellow pages sort of falls open to ads for girls dealing in happy endings. But I guess I wouldn’t label myself that way. Maybe “ho lite”. “Escort” works for me. Pay me and I escort you to a magic land of beauty and glamour and unearthly delights. Bush guide. Test pilot in the cockpit of joy.
But seriously, I don’t think of myself like that, or particularly give a damn one way or the other. A failing of personal character, probably. I’ve had other girls tell me that it damages you to do it for money. (Far as I can tell it’s a lot more damaging doing it for love and passion.) This one gal I knew was older than me, first person ever started talking to me about The Program, getting past drinking. She’s started out as a little teen-aged runaway bag whore. She kind of went fulltime pro when she got off coke and meth, but ended up turning that around, too, became a counselor. She told me, “every time you make it with a stranger like that, you’re knocking a little chip off your soul.”
Maybe so, but I’ve never noticed it. Maybe a little lately. Maybe something, anyway. I just don’t see myself as being some dirty whore. Lots of girls felt like that before they ever figure out being one if real life. They were born hos, or got taught it early. I’ll never be a counselor, but my impression is, if you’ve got a self-image like that, you’re fairly well unreclaimable. So it’s good I’ll never be a counselor, I suppose.