Postcard from the Rub n’ Tug

I tried working a “5 star” massage parlour tonight and here is my little postcard from the evening–the good, the bad and the ugly. The best parts were getting to work with a new friend. I’ve never gotten to work with a friend so it’s been my first opportunity to gossip and debrief in a really safe space. So. Fun. We got to talk about our night and eat snax and change and compare ipod playlists.”Girls rooms” in sex work establishments usually range from boring to snake pits so working with a friend is super dreamy.

Second, of course, was my client. What a sweetheart. It was surprisingly intimate, this whole massage/body slide thing and he was the kind of guy who basically sits on his hands for fear of overstepping the boundaries. He was so bloody happy he raved about me to management. Gotta love that. What a fun booking! Weirdly, that’s my second client in a week celebrating a birthday (his 25th) who had his service paid for by his brother.

The Bad: um, no money! I saw one client! It was officially the least amount of money i have *ever* made as a ho. The woman who trained me–herself a seasoned pro–got no bookings at all. Apparently it was an unusually slow night so as fun as it was, I probably won’t return. I’ll just keep sussing out the right venue for me. B. however did quite nicely so that’s fucking great.

The Ugly. “We don’t hire the fat and ugly here!” says the receptionist emphatically as she folds towels in our dressing room. I look at the mirror near us and can feel a motherfucking eating disorder gnawing at the door. Ah fuck, fatness, femininity, race and class. Here’s the brief equation: “Classiness” is established through various mechanisms–the aesthetics of the establishment, it’s advertising, rates and its employees. As the “house girls” we represent the class identity of the business and to represent “high class”, women must fit into a narrow(er) range of acceptable forms of femininity. From my (lifelong) observations, class is established via: size (skinny), race (white or light skinned), and normative femininity (no or few tattoos, piercings, glasses, nothing that suggests masculinity), “evening wear” as opposed to lingerie.

Anytime I’ve worked somewhere that identifies itself as 5 or 6 “star” (wotever, we all do the same thing!), there is a total absence of bigger women and women of colour and conversely, more working-class establishments are much more multi-racial and have a variety of body sizes. The higher class places fuck with my head and my internalized class stuff so I am learning to stay away from them.

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