Tuesday, October 30, 2007

American Gigolo

With the 2008 presidential campaign in full swing and fires having destroyed half of southern California, it’s high time for the Constitutional amendment that will allow for Arnold Schwarzenegger to leave the charred ruins of Hollywood and run for Terminator In Chief. Why?

America is a land of movers and shakers – of hustlers – so who better to represent us in the Oval Office than a former male hustler? Now I’m not saying Arnie prostituted his Adonis form in the biblical sense, just that he posed for homoerotic photos in the gay magazine “After Dark” – not to mention the nude shots he did for Robert Mapplethorpe and for much wealthier gay men – and until recently never worked a nine-to-five job. This savvy exhibitionist was as fully aware as Marilyn Monroe that he represented a sexual ideal to a certain segment of the population, and that millionaire patrons would pay just to see him flex. Gods and goddesses don’t have to sleep with mere mortals.

But then one doesn’t have to have sex to work in the sex industry either (BDSM, stripping, Internet porn, etc.) – and posing erotically for a sugar daddy is most certainly part of that industry! If you think the governor of California wasn’t gay-for-pay then you probably believe those girls advertising on Craig’s List actually “escort.” Arnold is Anna Nicole Smith without the issues (yes, the late Anna Nicole was another underappreciated hustler. For a fat, bottle blonde stripper to land a billionaire husband takes a hell of a lot of entrepreneurial skill. Could you imagine the Goldwater Girl Hillary being able to pull that one off?)

But of course there’s more to this piece of Austrian beefcake than just sex. There’s drugs, too! In the classic bodybuilding documentary “Pumping Iron,” the would-be Governator inhales – gleefully playing to the camera – while wearing an “Arnold es numero uno” T-shirt. Later the onetime Mr. Olympia would publicly defend his use of steroids during his competitive bodybuilding years.

In other words, Arnold Schwarzenegger is a wonderfully shameless hussy who doesn’t take himself too seriously. He takes things outside himself seriously – issues that matter like wildfires and war, immigration and education policy. Because he cannot be shamed he cannot be scandalized. The man simply refuses to let others define him. Eat your heart out, Britney & Bush. You can’t get more proudly U.S. than this. Living la vida loca. Living the American dream.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Hey, Big Spender!

Intellectually, I know sex work is supposed to either bother me as an exploitation of the body, or empower me through the post-feminist reclaiming of sexuality, “We’re here! We’re strippers! We’re unionized!” (in the Bay area at least). Emotionally, however, I feel nothing. I’m completely indifferent. The only reason I’d never be a prostitute is due to my fear of being both locked up and locked inside rooms with paying strangers. The sex itself wouldn’t faze me a bit. Most likely this attitude is a result of my being transgender, having to go beyond the physical, to rise above the concept of “body as you” else spend my life being miserable. As a result, the disconnection between soul and physical form is always there. Not only is this something I’ve learned to live with, but one of its byproducts is I couldn’t care less when I find myself being ogled topless in a sub session. If anything, I find the irony humorous. The client isn’t looking at “me,” but simply seeing another piece of clothing, the flesh that covers my soul. (Of course, the flip side of this is that I have no patience for work that exploits my mind. Boring office jobs get under my skin and I feel used wasting my thinking, pretending to be the unquestioning drone that I’m not.)

After months wondering if I’d be able to make any money in the female hustling scene, I finally grabbed the pole by the horns and got a job at Bare Elegance, a strip club on 50th Street. Bare Elegance is a bit like the Gaiety in the sense that each dancer performs two numbers, the first clothed and the second topless – and alcohol isn’t served. Once you’ve put your top back on you’re free to ask clients if they’d like a private show (twenty minutes long, they’re done in the buff behind a curtain). I actually had fun dancing after I’d popped out to go to Pandora’s to retrieve a Cranes cd from my locker. Wearing an emerald corset, black leather mini and black heels, I realized I was in the same outfit I’d used at Porsche’s dungeon in Arizona. Even topless I felt like a dominatrix, commanding the space around me like I always did when I danced. Like I’d been doing on dance floors for twenty years. I could feel the energy in the room change, hear the rounds of applause, and feel the eyes of the otherwise attention-deficit-disordered strippers. I was the only one dancing for myself.

But alas, I never got behind that moneymaking curtain since my first night there was very slow. So slow that at one point one of the many tough Latinas used the giant wall mirror in order to blow-dry her hair – two seats away from a Spanish-speaking immigrant nursing his drink. The whirr threatening to drown out the awful house music. (Yes, I’m serious.) Later she text messaged discreetly while working the pole. And this was before the black cocktail waitress yelled, “Delivery! Whose delivery is this?” when a bag of takeout arrived, prompting the only other white chick besides me to step down from the stage smack in the middle of her show to pay the waiting deliveryman. Of course, this was also the same girl who marched right up to the immigrant after her number to snap, “Tip me!” then made the rounds to the few other customers present (seated around what resembled a raised platform with two poles in someone’s suburban, basement recreation room), demanding monetary compensation in no uncertain terms.

I guess the moral of the story is, if you overhear a guy at the door balking at a ten-dollar admission – “Uh, how about if I give you five and some coke?” – you’re probably not in the land of the big spenders.

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Arizona Trippin'

I spent the second week of September in Arizona. Talk about bizarre! I stayed with my friend Dwayne, his wife and two kids in Mesa, a suburb of Phoenix, and pulled a few shifts at Porsche Lynn’s Den of Indomitus. Not only was Porsche’s place a five-star dungeon (spacious and immaculate – you could eat off those floors!) and dom-centric with a “house wardrobe” and computerized files on all the clients, but the majority of the mistresses were genuinely sweet and helpful (probably due to Porsche’s zero tolerance policy on drugs and alcohol). The first full day I was there I scored a two-hour session with “John.” Porsche was showing me how to retrieve the client’s file, basically synopses of his session written by other mistresses who had seen him before, when she “googled” up a “John” that appeared to be the guy who had booked with me. The first words I read were:


You’ve got to be kidding me! I thought. Then I read on. “Light, sensual session, leg and ass worship” until at the end again – twice more – “This guy is fucking hot!”

Of course I didn’t dare get my hopes up, figuring “fucking hot” couldn’t mean much in “fucking Arizona.” So when the client arrived I casually put on a corset, leather skirt and heels and went to meet with him. I opened the door to the purple-walled “immersion room” and, lo and behold, the slave seated comfortably before me looked like he could have been a fucking Gaiety dancer – tall, buff and dark with the innocent face of an A&F model. Hell! In all my years as a mistress, not once had I been that lucky. (And he was sweet and respectful to boot – a true submissive. The only thing better would have been if he were a master!) Needless to say, with a strapping hunk’s lips running the length of my calves and thighs, I had never been that horny in a session in my life. Though I’d never liked wielding a strap-on something in my head – and loins – suddenly screamed, “No one is leaving this room until someone gets fucked – and since I’m working it’ll have to be you!” Thus I spent the good part of two hours getting my cock sucked and fucking the boy toy in the ass. Ahh. I felt like the finest rough trade. Afterwards I asked how he enjoyed the session. “That was phenomenal!” John(athan) declared. So I gave the hottie my number, told him if he brought along a similarly gorgeous buff friend next time I’d play for free, then sent him merrily on his way to face a different kind of desert heat.

Two days later I found myself out on the town with their Mistress Seven who reminded me quite a bit of Gracie. The dom was overjoyed when I announced my fetish for gay strip clubs. Turned out she used to go all the time with her gay friends – just to relax, enjoy the lap dances and eye candy, not for free sex – but then everyone stopped going so she was totally psyched to take me to Dick’s Hangout (even though she’d lost her driver’s license due to a DUI!) She said she’d convince one of her friends to pick me up from Dwayne’s house in Mesa and take us there. So when Wednesday night rolled around the car arrived like clockwork. From the passenger side Seven asked over the blaring music if I would mind if we stopped by her house beforehand so she could change from the wifebeater T-shirt and sweatpants she’d worn to work. Of course, I couldn’t have cared less since I wasn’t the one driving. In fact, I couldn’t even tell who was driving since all I could see was a poof of blonde hair at the wheel. I guessed it was a gay new wave boy until we stopped at the gas station and Seven got out. Trying to make small talk, I asked the driver if the strippers at Dick’s were hot. That’s when I realized the driver wasn’t a gay boy at all – but a worn out old woman! Seven’s mom had been enlisted to take us to the gay strip club!

By the time we reached their house and Seven had finished changing into her stiletto heels and classy black dress, applied full makeup and straightened her hair – basically did the whole “Gracie works” – it was really late so we hopped back in the car, mom revving the engine. As we sped away Seven realized she’d left the map to Dick’s on her bed (only after dumping the entire contents of her bottomless purse onto her lap). Thus we ended up driving around in circles for a good hour in the middle of an industrial warehouse zone with Seven frantically text-messaging gay boys before finally dialing her web designer (who currently was crashing at her house) for directions. After an eternity we ended up in a closed parking lot. By this time Seven’s mom was also inexplicably obsessed with finding Dick’s and refused to give up – even in a dark dangerous-looking lot. As the three of us sat there like clueless ducks pondering our next move, I saw the flashing lights of a cop car approach. Great. I’m going to be arrested for trespassing in the middle of the fucking desert, I thought, as Seven’s mom jumped out of the car to talk to him. Twenty minutes later they were still chatting with Seven pleading, “Elaine! What are you doing? Get back in the car!” That’s when I saw the second officer pull in behind the first. That officer also got out, cell glued to his ear, and joined the two for yet another twenty minutes of heated discussion. Finally, Seven’s mom returned to declare, “We’ve got to follow him.”

“Why is he making us follow him?” I asked nervously.

Whirling around to face me Elaine snapped, “ Probably because he’s sick and tired of watching us drive around in circles all night!”

I stifled a laugh. “Well, where is he taking us?”

Exasperated, the elderly blonde barked, “To the strip club!”

Seven and I both burst out in uncontrollable laughter. We had one cop car in front of us, searchlights on, looking for Dick’s, and one behind us – a police escort to a gay strip club! So now the Phoenix police were also on a mission to find Dick’s. It was like Groundhog Day at midnight, driving around hopelessly in circles for another hour, only this time with an armed force, until we stopped and the first cop got out of his car to announce, “I’m going to call headquarters. We’ve got a female officer there. She might know.”

“But it’s a gay strip club!” I called.

“Oh,” he replied surprised. “Well, whatever floats your boat,” he added then dialed headquarters and procured a couple phone numbers (unfortunately, all for Dick’s Cabaret, the other gay club – with an outrageous twenty dollar cover).

At this point all I wanted was to make it safe and sound back to my air mattress in Mesa. So I told the officer the club was most likely closed and that it was “totally O.K.” if we didn’t find it. Of course, by now Elaine was back outside chatting with the all too helpful cop yet again. Sinking further into the backseat I overheard the word “dominatrix.” “Seven, your mom just told him we’re doms,” I whispered.

“Mom, what the hell are you doing telling him we’re doms?” Seven screamed when Elaine finally returned to the driver’s seat.

“He asked who I had in the car with me and I told him a couple dominatrix girls from Den,” she growled nonchalantly.

After a small freak out Seven calmed down and apologized to me for wasting my night, even offered to pay my cover if I wanted to go to Dick’s Cabaret instead. I looked at the clock on the dashboard. It was after one in the morning (Dick’s Cabaret closed at two) so I told her not to bother. Instead her mom drove me back to Mesa, the three of us gliding along the empty interstate in exhausted silence. Stepping onto Dwayne’s driveway in a daze I thanked them both for giving me a great Arizona story, even if I didn’t get any Dick’s.