My favorite aunt almost died a few weeks ago due to a burst colon, and it got me thinking about my own colon health. It was my birthday week and I’ve been eating so many fried things and drinking too much and eating birthday cake off of girls’ titties. As a result, my body just feels NUTS. I could use a little digestive fresh start, so I decided to schedule a colonic.
I googled “colonics,” and didn’t read much about any of the places, just picked one that wasn’t too far from my house. I showed up a few minutes early and was greeted by an extremely friendly bulldagger, which I’ve always taken to be a good sign. She gave me an intake form to fill out. Under “occupation,” I just put “dancer.” Such a handy euphemism when you don’t feel the need to LIE, but would rather not write “stripper.” I finished the rest of the form, gave the clipboard back to the friendly dyke, and sat back down in the waiting room.
A few minutes later I was greeted by a different butch dyke, who led me back to the irrigation room. She went over my intake form. “What kind of dancer are you?”
She lowered her artsy eyeglasses and peered over them at me in a meaningful way, like someone on TV who has realized that their terrible suspicions have been proven true. After several seconds of silence, she announced, “Well. You’re not going to pay for your colonic today.”
I didn’t know what to say. I felt confused about what she was even SAYING. Did she think I didn’t have money? I blurted, “Huh? I have money. I can pay upfront if you want.”
“I’m not going to take your money,” she said.
“Oh, um…” I stammered, disoriented. It occurred to me that she was waiting for me to leave? I gathered my purse and stood up. “Do you want me to leave?”
She did not want me to leave. She said I should stay and have a free colonic. I felt like I was being punk’d. She told me she used to work with women in the sex industry, and that she didn’t want to perpetuate the violence and oppression against us, that not taking our money was her way of not participating in that economy. “It’s just something [girlfriend's name] and I decided all those years ago when we started the clinic.”
I couldn’t decide whether I should leave or not. I felt totally weirded out, but also like I should feel grateful for a free colonic. Often when I get overwhelmed like this, I become very sleepy and my impulses to fight or flee become dopey and hard to tell apart, and then I just end up sleepwalking through whatever the situation is and waiting for it to be over. Which is what happened.
She showed me the contraption I’d be sitting on, and gave me some lube and a butt nozzle. I put on a robe and got situated. When I walked in, I had felt ready to let loose. But after realizing I’d entered a sort of second-wave feminist lion’s den, I felt oddly nervous and I couldn’t let go of anything. I just had a lot of water swish around inside of me and then come out still looking like water. I felt very uncomfortable.
The woman made a few more comments, saying that I was probably having trouble submitting to the colonic because my job is so stressful. I told her, “Stripping’s not that stressful. I just show up. I used to do a lot sketchier sex work. THAT was stressful.” It’s weird when you want to defend yourself but only end up saying something that makes the person feel all the surer of your pitiful position. What I meant was stripping’s so much less stressful than going out on an outcall, or hoping someone’s not a killer or a cop. That stripping’s easy in comparison and I feel lucky to have found my niche in the sex industry.
She said, “Don’t worry. You won’t always be this constipated. I was a victim of prostitution myself and I suffered terribly. But now I poop all the time.”
The woman seemed truly kind-hearted, and I could see where she was coming from, kind of, and I LOVE when one human person gives a no-strings-attached free gift to another human person. But I dunno, I just felt too uncomfortable to enjoy it. I mean, here you are with a tube up my ass, I just don’t want any subtle proselytizing. It was actually pretty exhausting and awful, and when it was over I wasted no time at all putting my clothes on and getting the hell out of there, and then I went to my car and cried. I do store a lot of my stress and unresolved emotions in my digestive system and I’d hoped to leave some of that behind, but alas: no go.