• Tue, Sep 4 2012

Harlotry: I Worked The Phones For A Brothel

After Larry explained that I’d be making appointments for brothel workers in Philadelphia, he asked if I wanted the job. Of course I did! Immaculately styled hair, a silk negligee, an antique couch, an Eiffel Tower phone, and the ability to talk a mile a minute like everybody in comedies from ’40s? I said, “Yes!” without even a second of hesitation and we scheduled my training for the very next evening.

It was during this first training session that I realized there had been some misrepresentation of my actual duties either in my head or from Larry’s lips. I watched Larry take a call, try to bully the potential customer into a sale, fail, and hang up. He then instructed me to do the same, only to act as if I were the girl in the advertisement. Okay, no problem. Except it was. The next time the phone rang, I answered it.

“Hello baby,” I purred, but before I could get any further I realized the gentleman on the other end of the line was breathing awfully heavily.

“Ooooooooh, baby I’m gonna come!” He gasped, and I pressed the hang-up button faster than I’d ever pressed anything. I did not need to hear some guy getting off for free to some girl’s pictures, and I really didn’t need to hear it in my first hour of work.

“What was that?” asked Larry.

“Some guy who mistook one of the advertisements for a phone sex line,” I said, “does that happen a lot?”

“All the time!” Larry cheerfully replied, “You’ll get used to it. Make your voice higher, your voice is too deep, you need to sound sexy.”

The next call went much better. I quickly discovered a creepy little-girl-lost babydoll voice hiding somewhere in my throat all along, and took to using it. The man on the other end complimented me on my voice, and I shuddered inwardly.

During my first four hours of work, I managed to make five bookings. Two of them showed up to the brothels I was working for. I could see that this would be an uphill battle.

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  • Goldie

    No comments on this one? huh. Well I’m very curious how the women you leveled with responded. Some hung up, sure. But did you ever feel like you got through to any of them? Were any of the women with cheating husbands comforted by what you said?

  • Grant

    Thank you for sharing your experiences and good job on the series. This (writing this blog) might not be the best paying gig you’ve had but hopefully the best. We might sometimes wish and hope the wrong thing turns out right based on our internal motivation and best of intentions or necessity etc, but for better or worse, the wrong thing rarely turns out right for ourselves or anyone else. Smile now, cry later. Or sounds like from your articles, cringe now, write later. Its all good. There is a reason whats wrong feels like ugh. Maybe its all leading up to the novel you’re writing. Seems like you’ve got the material and the talent. Whatever may be, I respect your intentions to resist convention and I hope all is well with you. Best wishes and God bless!