I had been making a living on my back for about four months when I decided to move out of the three bedroom apartment I shared with five friends. I had moved out of my mother’s house the day before my eighteenth birthday, but failed to think through the inevitable difficulties that would arise from cramming so many people into a relatively small space. What had started out as an idyllic non-stop slumber party had devolved into an overcrowded dump with a revolving lineup of dirty travelers carpeting the floor. My home was not a place I could decompress after a tiring call, and that was not a good thing.
As luck would have it, Natasha, one of my roommates’ friends was looking for a new roommate of her own. At eighteen I did not yet feel ready to live alone with only my pet rabbit for company, so I invited her over to share a box of wine with me and figure out if we would be compatible as more than casual acquaintances. We were! Perhaps it was the box of wine, or perhaps we did have some genuine affinity, but we were pretty sure we were BFFs for life by the time we passed out on my kitchen floor.
Natasha not only knew of my career, she was also very enthusiastic about it… which made her an especially attractive candidate for roommate-hood. At first, I just figured she was glad to live with someone who could always pay the rent on time. Unfortunately I had no idea how enthusiastically Natasha would really accept my job.
Within a month, she had decided that she too wanted to join me in the world’s oldest profession.
It may sound harsh, but Natasha wasn’t pretty, presenting me with with a quandary. As a friend, I couldn’t tell her that she wasn’t physically suited to the sex industry… yet, at the same time, it would be cruel of me to be too encouraging. I’d only watch her crumble under the occasionally harsh criticism that men on Craigslist level at women who are not up to their specifications.
For a month, I managed to put Natasha off the idea of becoming a sex worker with noncommittal responses to her questions and mildly embroidered horror stories of needy, unpleasant, or simply annoying clients. I made a show of bemoaning every job I booked, and ostentatiously popped handfuls of ibuprofen when I came home to cure my over-emphasized and often fictional stress headaches.
Unfortunately even my best efforts did very little. If anything, Natasha became gradually more set on joining the ranks of whores.
…Fortunately, I had a last-ditch plan to fix this problem. I would bring Natasha along on a call and show her what she was getting herself into.
I had recently read Rent Girl by Michelle Tea. It is a wonderful book that everyone should read, whether or not they need to gently deter their less conventionally attractive friends from becoming sex workers. Towards the end of the book, Michelle and her girlfriend come up with a not-so-brilliant get rich quick scheme: since men love lesbian porn, they’ll really love a live action demonstration! Who better to provide this demonstration than Michelle and her girlfriend?
Their plan fails. It turns out that most men (and, I would imagine people in general) are quite uncomfortable watching a couple have sex right in front of them. Even though Natasha had also read Rent Girl I was certain that I could convince her that we could succeed where Michelle failed, and that our two-girl show would be a success. If we managed to actually book an appointment, I hoped that it would be enough of a disaster to put Natasha off the whole idea of entering the sex industry.
Despite the fact that this venture was doomed from the get-go, Natasha didn’t seem to see it that way. We recruited her boyfriend to take some softcore cuddling pictures of us in underwear, and I drafted our advertisement. I was pretty sure that the aesthetic differences between the two of us would be enough to nip the whole undertaking in the bud.
To my great surprise, we got our first response the next day and managed to pin down an appointment for that evening.
After packing up condoms, a vibrator, and a strap-on dildo, Natasha and I set off for our first appointment. On the way, I gave her a quick primer on sex work:
1) Fake orgasms are, for lack of a better term, prettier than real orgasms. Fake it at all costs.
2) The job is about performance, the show is more important than the experience and the show must go on.
3) Be clear about boundaries, do not be afraid to tell the client if he steps out of line.
I’m pretty sure I was as nervous as she was, if not more so. While I’d slept with plenty of women in my spare time, I had never done a two-girl show before and the fact that I wasn’t even somewhat attracted to Natasha made the prospect all the more daunting. There were a lot of things that could go wrong and I was… worried.