Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Grounding Exercise

Sometimes I forget I have interests beyond sex-work and that I am indeed a dynamic human being that doesn't have to be serious all the time. This is my 5 year old selves's grounding exercise. Apologies for sharing with you.

My name is *Sandy*. I have a pet tortoise names Tuga, enough dresses to clothe a drag football team, and brown eyes. My favorite foods are lasagna and pickles. And if I'm in a Thai restaurant I only order one thing: pad see ew with tofu.

I can't go anywhere near a pole - vertical water pipe, overhang support - without forgetting where I am, clinging to it, and dancing like I'm at work. Inappropriate, I know.

My partner is a math major and I can never decipher the complicated squiggles on his white board. Regardless of my lack of understanding I like to show off his work to anyone that comes to my apartment. Visitors have learned to tolerate this proud partner tendency.

I like to make crap out of other crap and I have more DIY craft sites saved in my bookmarks than anything else. Gluten-free baking sites are a close second.

These boob cakes were not gluten-free:

But these cupcakes were:

When I am not working I am reading: when my partner leaves my side to go to the bathroom, during movie previews, and sometimes even while walking. Its a terrible habit I've had since the tender age of 4.

I've come to grips with the fact that playing dress-up is not something I do just to make money or an indulgence for important holidays like Halloween and Rosh Hashanah, but is truly a way of life. (Enter cheese-ball claims about how looking good makes me feel good etc etc.) Coordinating a hiking costume or "studying at the cafe" outfit, complete with sweater-vest and red think-rimmed non-prescription glasses, has become my reality.

When I was a child I collected rocks, Barbies, and stamps. As an adult I've moved onto scary-looking antique medical supplies, vintage hats, and sex-toys. Tom-Ay-toe - Tom-ahh-toe.

I used to have favorite colors, but I've learned over the years its rude to be discriminatory.

Thursday, September 22, 2011


Some may call me a sexual health hypochondriac. Others may label me paranoid as every single bump in the night leads to me frantically calling the nurse's hotline in the morning and running to my local gyno office. I, however, think of it as necessary maintenance for my lifestyles as both a proud slut and sex-worker. My doctors, products of a private health care system, don't quite know what to do with an anomaly such as me.

Some of the time I get helpful, genuine responses from nurses and physicians. Most of the time my candidness about my sexual status is responded to with facts and care dished with a side of awkwardness (apparently they don't prepare interns to actually hear the truth about their patients in med school.) Every now and then I confront a medical professional who goes above and beyond their duty to answer medical questions and to treat ailments, choosing to (obviously) let their personal opinions creep into my health care.

The last chapter in this saga was just last week (this may very well be tmi. By all means skip ahead if you'd like to not hear about the health of my cooch.) when I called the Kaiser Permanente advice nurse to ask about a prescription for a normal bacterial or yeast infection, things most women regardless of profession and relationship status get all the time. At first she was friendly and patient then (thinking, like always, it is best to divulge as much information about myself so I can get the best health care I can) I told her my sexual history (including the fact that I use condoms and gloves regularly) and got erratic, unsettling behavior. She swore I had herpes and probably some other STIs too and that I was jeopardizing the health of my future babies by my actions, making me an appointment for my gyno the next morning.

(Let me pause here: this is ANOTHER big thing that is crappy about dealing with health care providers. They assume since I have a uterus I want and will have children. Big news for you KP: I don't want any, nor do I plan on having any so you can please take your patriarchal head out of my ovaries.)

I went to my appointment a nervous wreck, knowing that I had been treated poorly, but actually convinced that I needed to seek medical attention. My doctor took a quick look between my legs and said no one in their right mind would have diagnosed me as having herpes or any other STI, though she did a full screening just to pacify my still worried and confused expressions. Owning my original concerns to regular female biochemistry (what I had thought in the first place!) she inferred again that had the advice nurse actually listened to me the night before the appointment and my night of worrying about my life choices would have been avoided entirely.

In the past I have swept such negative interactions under the rug, whining and woe-ing to friends and co-workers about the BS sex-workers and sluts have to go through dealing with doctors and nurses while never actually doing anything about it. I'm tired of whining to the choir and listening to others preach about how they've had terrible experiences with their doctors and their nurses too. This time I'm going to do more than whine -- I'm going to encourage others to whine too. AND to whine loudly.

Do you have stories to share? Please do!

Do you have resources for others to submit grievances and feedback to health care providers? Please share!

Sunday, September 18, 2011

What You Need to Know About Auditions

Weeks leading to an audition I receive a mountain of applications, emails and phone from prospect auditionees. Monthly this tends to be around 30 people. About 10 (give or take a few) actually show up for the audition. To keep the scheduling balance (to not take away shifts from tenured dancers, but have enough as back up) we hire about 3-4 of these auditionees, keeping in mind that some may change their minds about sex-work or will quit for some other reason, max out on points, or will have to be fired for being crazy/solicitation etc etc. Fortunately, we have been able to keep the vast majority of the newly hired babes the last few rounds and will be accepting some as co-op members in the very near future, which is, of course, one of the best parts of working at the Lusty Lady.

Ladies we decide to hire are judged upon the following things:

-appearance (are they/will they femme up? do they have a look our patrons will like? are they energetic and flirty? etc *Note this does NOT mean weight/height/ethnicity/sexual-orientation/experience-level specifications. We have dancers of all makes and models.)

-performance (do they dance well/can they learn quickly to dance better? are they having a positive experience? are they afraid to approach the windows? etc)

-availability (do they have an availability that match our needs as a business? are they auditioning for props in a women's studies class (ie only want 1 shift a week)? If not available Fri/Sat night and on-call forget it)

-interview (are they easy to get along with? are they interested in the co-op/union? are they easy to communicate with?)

As everyone can imagine making decisions about auditions is not easy and as a madam team we cannot and we do not let our personal feelings about an individual or a group of people get ahead of what we feel is right for our business. Whether the auditionee is a friend/relative/partner of one of us or of a co-op member we judge everyone equally.

If you are interested in auditioning at the Lusty Lady here are some tips:

-Study for your test! Your most important resource is the live show, both Private Pleasures and the main stage, and talking with the girls (please understand you are taking their time and focus so please tip accordingly.) Supplementary study material can include porn, our documentary Live Nude Girls Unite, and Lusty Lady events outside of our Kearny address.

-Practice! Put on your tallest heels, strip down to your birthday suit and dance like you've got a room full of happy customers watching.

-Have fun playing dress-up! Remember you want to bring a make-up and hairspray enhanced fierce and sexy you to the audition. The stage lights tend to wash us out so don't be afraid to go a little heavier with the make-up and to try new things like false eyelashes and glitter.

-Put on a good face! Confidence is everything. Though you may be having the time of your life on stage, if we can't read sexy confidence on your face most likely our patrons can't either and that just doesn't work. No one is comfortable watching an angry/upset/on-the-verge-of-a-nervous-breakdown stripper.

-Bring us some OOOMFFF in your interview! MAKE us remember you. We will ask you general and logistical questions, but feel free to push it further. Have you been carrying around your copy of the Lusty Lady zine, reading like the Bible? Tell us! If you're obsessed with us, we will be obsessed with you.

If you've auditioned before and you didn't get a call back and you can't find a reason in the above passage feel free to ask for feedback and audition again. I, like many of our most established dancers at the Lusty, did not get hired at my first audition (believe me, I can tell you everything this hot little mess did wrong.)