Friday, March 30, 2007

high heels to pitchfork

*There are so many aspects to the events in our lives, and an infinite number of ways to portray them. This is just one of many windows to the many layers of my own complicated history.*

In the mid nineties, i found my mid-20’s self working in the sex industry of the s.f. bay area.
Actually...the last sex-job i had was in albuquerque in 99’ or 2000. That one was some modeling gig. I wish i had a print of the one photo in which my legs were in the air and i held a little american flag in front of my girl parts.
There’s a conversation piece.
I remember that before we could take that shot we had to stop so i could clean my dirt packed fingernails...
Scratch a porn model find a dirty farmer dyke underneath all that nylon and girly glitz.
Staged with my wigs and garters
my dream of green silence and clean air galvanized in the escape route.
I slid into sex work because it worked with my disability. I hadn't been able to hold a regular job for quite some time.
With sex work, I was in, i was out and with good cash in my hand. Then i could crawl off to recover and maybe have a bit of a life for a moment before i sought out another gig.. There is no way i could have...or could now... work a 9-5 everyday thing.
Best money i made in my sporadic career was 300 bucks in 45 minutes. Some rich older white dude, he ran an ad in the paper and i replied. He had a fetish and fancied himself the master of pussy licking...
oh sigh.
The scene was in the dungeon where i worked at the time and so the backdrop was all this s/m equipment like slings and crosses and a wall of implements. Its was a warehouse space in Oakland that these women rented and remodeled so they could run a work/play dungeon place.
2 moments that are still clear to me from that scene are...
1) The moment i realized i had this rich guy blindfolded and tied down to the stretching rack while his shucked pants were lying right there in front of me....i remembered his wallet being crammed with cash when he took out the 300 to pay me up front, but since prison scares me way more than poverty...i resisted and decided to focus instead on the task at hand.
2)The moment i pretended to come. Since he was still blindfolded and restrained I was able to ignore him completely and watch my self in the mirror to check my technique. I looked fabulous and sounded great.... if i do say so myself.

For tax purposes this place my employers ran was considered “theater” and thats mostly what it was.
I just became someone else.
But no matter how consensual it might seem in the right light,
unusual maybe the stuff of tall tales to folks that don’t know this kind of work
Some would say privileged
since i didn’t ever work the streets or get busted or raped.
How within that relative privilege i learned
about the bare bones of desire under the boot heel of profit.
How sex and love might cross paths but they sure as hell ain’t sewn together at the hip.
Even with all of my fierce pride i can’t ever quite wash clean of coercion the sale of my carnal talents.
Consent is hard to achieve under capitalism.
From where i’m standin’ anyway.
Can’t place the nauseous blank space that lingers with the memory of this strangers cold tongue lapping at my cunt.
My brain doesn’t know where to put that in the collage of pride and survival i’m making of my life.
Keep in mind that this wealthy old man was just the tip o’ the iceberg. I was quite the variety pack whore.
I tried but failed miserably at incall erotic massage..too much body contact, it freaked me out.
I made 100 bucks off this guy that liked to buy dirty underwear.
I pissed in some dudes mouth while he was trussed up by his balls to a bathtub faucet.
I pranced around in stillettos while some joe whimpered at licked at my shoes.
I made movies and did numerous ridiculous photo shoots.
I wrestled, whipped, scolded, jerked off, made men crawl and beg and always pay.
All kindsa men.
Old young rich working class white brown dis/abled
You name it, they pay for it.
So at the end of this elaborate scene, after my explosive finale straddling this rich dudes face, i freed him from his restraints then sat in awkward silence while he slowly dressed.
He was old enough to be my grandfather.
Before he left he kissed me politely on the cheek with his steady hand on my shoulder and for a fleeting moment i felt the edge of a deepest sadness.... a bone weary ache.
This....the state of the world and my life in it.
Years i waited for the day that i would be too “old” or sick to do that work anymore, for the option to just go the hell away.
Before i finally found home here on the mountain i stubbornly opted for homeless and putting up with crappy girlfriends, garages, mouse infested cabins, sleeping in state parks and saying constant grace to the gift that was my friends and families support.
Finally, after years of hoop jumping, i got my disability benefits and settled with this old house on this even older mountain top.I've got all the clean air and green silence i can stand, even if i sometimes go hungry.
I've come to keep company with animals more than humans.
Animals don’t have wallets... empty or crammed with cash heavy desire.
I revel in my farmer life
dirty fingernails and all.
You could say i’m ex-sex worker friend of mine jokes that SSI is the “old whore retirement fund”.
how true.
how true.


jacket said...

Thank you for sharing this part of yourself. It is very powerful. I feel a reverence for your path that is not about sympathy or fantasy, but about the strength of women to survive (and even find a little joy here and there) in a capitalist society where, as you put it, consent is a complicated matter.

Jbeeky said...

Very powerful. Thank you for sharing this part of your life. I wish I could say more but I am still digesting this read.

Rosie said...

You are a brave, brave woman, Erin.

Thanks so much for posting this. I know it was difficult on so many levels for you. But it is something that people need a greater understanding of.

I think you are magnificent.

Rosie said...

Don't hate me.

I've Tagged You for a meme.

Katie said...

this is simply fantastic. Brutal, powerful, emotional. I came across your blog on the 'blog of the day' page and I am just amazed. you are very talented.