Yesterday I did about 7 or 8 line ups and still not picked! I would come through to the bar to see if I could talk to the couple of guys that were in the bar, but the other girls would tell me that the guys in there were local firefighters and didn’t have money to spend. They usually come in and try to sleep with the bartenders (who aren’t that hot) for free. What a great hustle that is. I guess it does start to get to you any time you aren’t making money in any sex work situation, when people around you are making money and you aren’t. It also starts to get to you when you can’t even get laid in a whorehouse! So I stayed in my room and got more creative work done. It costs $35 for room and board here (3 non vegetarian meals included).
This house has been full of non stop emotional turmoil since I stepped into it. One of the girls is a street survivor with four kids. The only other way that she has worked before this was with a pimp that she had for 17 years. She just got a phlebotomy degree and I told her it would be great if she started her own business going around to all the brothels in Nevada and doing those damn mandatory tests that they need to get done monthly. I really want her to become an activist and am going to try to recruit her to do some work i harm reduction at the Sex Workers networking event that we are having in Miami. I see her light and hope that she follows me out of this place…
Another one of the girls, who I found out is going to start singing in a show in Vegas 6 nights a week lost her mother TODAY. She was crying too. Yesterday I, too was barely holding it together because I also just broke up with my boyfriend of a year and the lockdown and constant supervision doesn’t allow me to medicate my depression with marijuana like I am used to doing at home. Smoking helps me not get to susceptible to the harsh edge of life’s ups and downs. I can handle life sober, and am doing so here, as well as playing the guitar about an hour every day which is great because I had gone at least 4-6 months without touching it once. I didn’t think that it was too unbearable…until today.
New rules and regulations and a house meeting which lasted almost 2 hours. S was chastising the captive audience of 10 working girls and 2 staff like we were in 6th grade detention. It went on for almost 2 hours without any dialogue or debate. On and on she went about how ungrateful some girls were for complaining about the food, or the lack of customers or the lack of money that we made. On and on she went about how some of our rooms smelled like trucker asshole and how we never took out our garbages. She made comments about how if we were on the streets we would probably get arrested 7 or 8 times and we would probably get HIV. The fear factor was definitely a huge part of this lecture. Instilling the fear that there was no way that we could ever find any better working conditions than where we were right now, and if we dared to complain about it, we could pack our bags and try to find better. On and on she went about how drinking and smoking pot made us fat and lazy. On and on she went about how people need to keep their mouths shut about other people in the house. On and on and on… How we wanted to be in our rooms all the time and use this like a hotel. She had said that only one other house had more customers than this one, that was the Asian brothel, and all the girls there were from overseas and had to pay huge debt bonds. It was the most blatant example of how pimps and madams become trapped in that power position where they feel that talking down to, criticizing or literally beating up their workers is the only way that they are capable of listening. I’ve yelled at my students like that a few times, but only for 15 minutes max. This was why this house will never grow and the girls who live here will continue to behave in the same way and the lectures like this will repeat endlessly. Growth, dialogue, social justice and mutual respect are non existent. She used to be in the military, she used to be a cop and now she was a madam. Go figure. Her background is totally evident and well suited for the brothel model of management.
So new rules required us to stay in the lounge or bar during the hours of 11am-6pm. From 6pm-3am Thursday-Saturday we had to be in the bar, Sunday-Wednesday in the bar until 1am. This was incredibly painful for me, except that I had my guitar and could ease my mind on practicing my chords endlessly instead of do nothing, since I don’t smoke cigarettes or like to hang out in bars drinking. I DESPISE 2nd hand cigarette smoke actually, and being in Nevada where there is alcohol served 24/7 and smoking allowed in bars and casinos statewide, I would just have to power through it.
The neighboring brothels manager came over and tried to get into it with S about our girls being on their CB radio time. That was a totally immature scene where she kicked the other woman out even though our girls were in the wrong for being on their radio time. I’m learning that arguing with her is a waste of time, even if she is wrong. Everything is always your fault or your lack of following directions or trying hard enough. She waits for you to get riled up and start raising your voice and uses that as an excuse for why she doesn’t need to listen to you anymore.
I just got a fine for “dirty hustling” a customer, which means simply allowing him to touch you in the bar or during negotiations in your room. The bartender accused me of allowing the customer to touch my pussy, which is complete bullshit because I just got my period today and hiding the big red tide is the whole point of prostitution on your period. In the bar I put my leg between his legs, and apparently that is not ok either. Coming from a stripper background and being that the bar part of this hustle reminds me so much of stripping, it’s hard to imagine that you have to keep your hands and their hands away from you. I wore my “whore” bling necklace to line up and they told me to take it off. Apparently, even in brothels the word whore is not ok.
3 wasted redneck brothers came in and harassed/entertained us while we doing our mandatory bar time. I got one of them for a quickie and another trucker with tattoos like me and got the small hot tub room which was great so I made a little bit of money today finally. No impressive amounts of money yet.
I learned more brothel wisdom about kitchen sponges and make up sponges as tampons you can use and have sex with. On my first day of my period I bleed through most heavy tampons pretty quickly so make up sponges weren’t really cutting it. A taught me how to put the dental floss around the make up sponges to make a make shift tampon. Aunt D was tutoring me on cutting the green part of the kitchen sponge, but thankfully one of the girls that I gave the dental dam to returned the favor by giving me Instead cups which last all day, you can fuck in them and its been tested to be used in the vagina, unlike the first two. When I escort, I cut the string on a tampon and just do hand jobs and blow jobs instead of full sex but I knew that in the brothel I wouldn’t be able to get away with that. Today was full of bullshit. I am dreading the reprimand conversation that S is going to have with me tomorrow where I will have to fight for my right to keep my 50% of the money I earned. My patience is being tested further and I feel like my brain has been sucked back into the brothel cavity where it had been succeeding in resisting. Now it is feeling more like a mix of jail and boot camp. One of my only friends in the house, the only other woman of color, is leaving tomorrow.