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Some of My Best Moves Can Hurt You: Elle’s Martial Arts Training

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Would you know how to get out of this? Pictured: Elle and instructor Justin Norton

Foster Fitness is a humble little gym on SE Foster in Portland, OR. The atmosphere is chipper, the air perpetually sticky, and sometimes the young children of Troy, the owner, are toddling around. Foster offers a variety of martial arts classes: Jujitsu, Judo, Krav Maga, Karate, and my choice; Arnis (pronounced: Ar-niece). I like this place, but despite the dozen nearby adult businesses and dance clubs, I am the only female who trains there.

In only three years stripping, I’ve worked with hundreds of women. Recent statistics tell us that by the age of 18, one in four females and one in six males will have been sexually assaulted. And victimization statistics indicate that some individuals tend to be at a higher likelihood for victimization, meaning that they will experience assault more than once in their lifetime.

Why, then, am I the only woman in my class?

Being Nice to the Professionally Naughty: Holiday Gifts for Sex Workers

from glukkake’s etsy shop

Having trouble stuffing the sexiest stockings on your Christmas list? We’re here to help by sharing with you items both useful and fanciful on our collective wishlists.

Vagina Dentata Glow-in-the-Dark Underwear: I’d be so thrilled to see someone wear these at the club. How many customers would even notice? These would be perfect to wear while dancing to Lady Gaga’s “Teeth.—Bubbles

James Deen: for a few hours, no cameras allowed. — Charlotte

Spa Services: Even if your favorite sex worker is not a girly girl who keeps regular professional hair/nail appointments, there isn’t anyone among us who wouldn’t like a good massage. Gift certificates to a quality spa are a no-lose gift idea.—Bubbles

Stripper Music Monday: 2001 And A Dying Format

Someone hit my car in a parking lot (he left a note), so it’s been in the shop for a week. The dealer’s loaner is lacking, stereo-wise; there’s no SiriusXM and not even an AUX input plug. After three whole days of thinking “broadcast radio is not cutting it,” I realized that even without being able to plug in my iPhone, there was a way to listen to music in this car. On CD. That means that somehow the old, hard-copy method of listening to music in cars did not register for a full 72 hours.

Strip club music plays from a computer now, unless you’re in a little bar with a jukebox or a stereo with an iPod jack (hello, Portland). If the club allows dancers any control over the music, the DJ will either download requests or rip them from iPods/phones/flash drives. So it’s rare now to see a dancer bring CDs to work. Until relatively recently the ones with a particular interest in what they danced to while on stage would regularly haul their CD cases up to the DJ booth every shift, though.

Smell Ya Later: Pheromone Perfume in the Strip Club

When it comes to perfume at the strip club, most strippers usually fall into one of two camps. There’s the Calgon body spray I’m-not-even-going-to-try types, and then there are those who swear by their Pink Sugar/Kim Kardashian/Viva La Juicy I-can’t-believe-she-stole-my-signature-scent-even-though-it’s-readily-available-at-Nordstrom variety. Really, an exotic dancer’s fragrance need only be subtle enough not to give her customers away as soon as they step through their front doors.

Or could a perfume be subtle enough to prey upon a man’s animal instincts and rake in a ton of cash as a result? Pheromone lotions, perfumes, and massage oil are readily available now; even Paris Hilton’s signature scent boasts a special secret pheromone ingredient. What if we can spend less time chatting up customers and let them follow their noses to the champagne room instead? Is this pseudoscience or a viable way to start earning more? Kat and Catherine decided to leave off the cucumber melon for a few weeks in order to test this craze out. You really couldn’t ask for a better environment to experiment on unsuspecting male subjects than the strip club.

Same Bat Time: The Regulars Round Table, Part One

adifferentWhat do most sex workers, from cam girls to escorts, have in common? Their regulars! Whether they’re consistently annoying, consistently charming, or consistently forgettable, they’re certainly an enduring feature of our lives. So we got a stripper, a pro domme, and two escorts into an endless e-mail chain together to see what they came up with on the topic. The round table that follows is an edited version of that conversation. (Read the second part of this round table here.)

Who was your most memorable regular?

Josephine: My favorite was a squirrely little white guy named Sheldon. There are two words that describe him: horny and nerdy. Sheldon was about 5’4″, rail thin, and shamelessly sported a suede fedora (not the douchebag kind, the Indiana Jones kind). He’d breeze into the club about once every two weeks unannounced, skip buying a drink, and grab me for dances. While I danced he’d rattle off [the plot of] the latest fantasy or science fiction book he’d read. I gave him a copy of Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? for his birthday and within a few days he e-mailed a proper book report. Sheldon was some sort of layman but he always wanted to be a writer. The most endearing thing he ever was did was write a short fantasy story about me. I can’t remember what it was about except that I was a mermaid princess and he ad’hered to a go’ofy fantas’y dialect that used lots of apos’trophes and acc’ents.

Leigh Alanna: For a couple of years, I’ve had a standing weekly appointment with an older regular. And I do mean regularevery week, Sunday night, eight o’clock. Even the staff in the deli nearby know me, and have a coffee waiting for me at 7:45. Still, we’ve always sent each other a confirmation e-mail sometime in the couple of days before. One Sunday morning, instead of waking up to a friendly “Hey, same bat-time, same bat-network?”, I got an e-mail from his daughter telling me that her father had had a fall and while he was fine, he was going to be in the hospital for a couple of days and wouldn’t be able to make our appointment. I thanked her for letting me know, and sent appropriate good wishes, but entirely lacked the stones to ask her (or later, him) who she thought she was e-mailing. Did she know she was writing to her dad’s dominatrix? Or was I some bright young mentee?

Ephemeral: Probably the nightclub guy. He was in finance, mid-forties, a young face that didn’t match a rapidly aging hairline. He loved to take me out to all the “sexy spots” (his words) in the Meatpacking District and LES. We would go out “late”10 PM. Which was great because I don’t know anyone who gets there before 1 AM. He drank way too much, and hated drinking alone. He was too tall for how bad his dancing was. Afterwards, he’d take me home to fuck while 80’s rock blasted from a sound system: “ITS SUCH A RUSH, YOU KNOW?”  The moment of giving a blowjob while the Eagles played and him saying this line is the only time I’ve ever felt ashamed of myself as a sex worker. He had no idea what he was doing with his life, but the Ivy League degree, and two story Manhattan apartment would suggest that he didn’t need to stop and re-evaluate. Just keep drinking, just keep trying to dance, keep buying hot girls to dance with him. He was constantly perplexed as to why I couldn’t stay the night for the same rate, because “we’re having so much fun!” I’ll never forget anything that infuriating.

Caty: My weirdest regulars were the ones I inherited when I first started working, from the group of women who trained me–the same dysfunctional frequent callers we all saw. You know, guys like the gambling addict who was the only one we all trusted to pay with a check, a guy who had what looked like elephantitis of the balls, who’d go through every outcall in total, eerie silence.

There was the pretentious ex-military officer whose dick was literally as big as a baby’s arm holding an apple. He’d boast, “Oooh, the girls are all afraid of it at first, but then they’re bouncing up and down on it like there’s no tomorrow!” My rule with him was that as soon as I said stop, he had to pull out no matter what. One time, I told him to get off me and he just kept keening, “Oh, baby, I’m almost there, I’m so close…” So in a display of hysterical strength, I flipped him off of me and he sailed over the bed ass over teakettle, landing headfirst into a lamp. After that I had his perfect obedience.

Then there’s Rick, the most entitled, whiny Jew boy I ever did meet—and having grown up in the Russian Jewish community, I know from whiny Jew boys. There’s nothing atypical or particularly memorable about him except for the fact that he’s everything that annoys me about clients taken to the nth degree. When I first started to see him he used to complain to the other escorts about me, because I wouldn’t massage his pasty white anus—”she has a shitty attitude!” I always wanted to point out that I might have a shitty attitude, but he had a shitty ass. Nowadays whenever I see him he always goes on at length about how FAT one of our mutual escort friends has gotten and how DISGUSTING it is. I always want to turn his face to the mirror to look at his washed out, chubby, bald self head on, but so far I’ve resisted the temptation. Rick is a pharmacist, but that’s never allowed me any drug-related advantages. He’s always wondering why he can’t get a date while complaining vociferously and at misogynistic length about every woman he meets over dating sites. He’s also the one client I ever worried might DIE while in session with mehe came in to see me once right after getting stung by a bee in the parking lot of my incall, and his allergies were so severe I thought I’d have to out him in order to call an ambulance for him for a few minutes till he gathered himself enough to drive himself to the ER. Death by allergies—so stereotypically whiny Jew boy, if you’ll pardon my self-hating anti-Semitism.