She squeezed her bare knees together underneath the small café style table. “I already told you. I don’t do that anymore. I quit.” She was in her twenties, attractive in that private college sort of way.
“You don’t quit being a whore, baby. Once a whore always a whore.”
She’d been sitting alone in Starbucks studying for her beautician’s exam over a coffee when this former john sat down across from her. It happened sometimes, the johns from before when she worked Sandy Boulevard would recognize her during daylight hours, but the norm was that after their face flashed recognition, then shame and guilt, they’d look away and pretend she was just another stranger, which she was, aside from that she’d had their penises in her mouth.
“You should leave,” she said.
“Come on, I’ve got half an hour left of my lunch break. I’m not passing this up. We could use the bathroom here. How sexy is that, getting blown in a Starbucks’ john?” He took out his wallet and checked his cash. “How’s forty bucks sound?”
Forty bucks sounded good, money always sounded good, that was part of her problem, but not good enough today. She liked the separation between church and state, and right now she was nothing more than a normal young woman who would soon have her beautician’s certificate and a job at a high-end salon in the Pearl District. She had the looks for it and the people skills, especially the last part.
“Leave now or I’ll tell the management you’re bothering me.”
“What? You want me to tell everyone you’re a whore?” His voice had risen and a middle-aged woman sitting nearby started watching them.
“You want everyone to know you put your penis in the mouths of strangers on Sandy Boulevard?” she said equally loud.
He put his wallet away. “Fucking slut. You bitches are all the same.” He got up and left, glaring at her over his shoulder as if his eyes were weapons.
The woman nearby watching raised her eyebrows at her. The young woman met her gaze, then rolled her eyes, saying, “He has Mommy issues.”
The woman smiled back. “Don’t they all.”
* * *
She hadn’t been lying when she said she’d quit. It seemed ages since she’d been on Sandy Blvd. She’d worked it long enough to know it would chew her up and spit her out dead. If one of the johns hadn’t gotten her a pimp would’ve. Girls didn’t work Sandy without a pimp and when you had a pimp all your money went to him and he’d put you on an allowance, just enough to get by. So when she started to draw their attention she moved on to the airport hotel bars and worked them for a while.
Now she didn’t need to do any of that. She had a group of regulars who called and between them and their referrals she did quite well. She provided the “girlfriend experience” and was good at it; all the benefits without the headaches. She’d listen to their problems, comfort them and screw them. The hardest part was making sure the johns didn’t get too serious and fall in love with her. When johns wanted to be her savior and take her away from “all this,” it was bad for business. She wasn’t a victim and she didn’t need nor want saving. That was just another variation on the pimp scenario. The victim was the john. He was the one paying an inordinate amount of money for a lie, and at times they needed to be reminded of this.
So when the johns started showing signs of falling in love with her, she’d introduce an evening of bondage into their girlfriend experience. It was hard for them to think of her as needing saving when they were tied spread-eagle on the bed with their balls cupped in her palm. She’d tell them to say foolish things and if they refused she’d squeeze until they did.
“No, I can’t say that,” the johns would say and struggle against their restraints, and she’d squeeze, gently at first.
Almost a whisper, she’d repeat, “Say it.”
They’d grunt as she squeezed harder.
“Men’s nuts are a design flaw. They make you so vulnerable.” She’d start to twist as she squeezed. “Say it.”
“Okay, okay, I’ll say it.” They’d swallow and say, “I love you.”
She’d relent and smile. “And I you.”
Initially she worried doing this might mean losing clients, but instead they called more often and she started charging them more for a “girlfriend ‘plus’ experience,” and there was no more talk of getting her “away from all this.” Love and pain had been paired and she controlled both. It did a number on her head when it came to her own relationships. None of her friends at beauty school knew what she did and it was hard for her to see the guys who asked her out as anything more than potential johns just wanting to get off. But then she met Samson.
Samson had been a referral from one of her regulars, but he hadn’t come to her to have a girlfriend experience, but for sex lessons. He wanted to be good, he wanted to be the best, he wanted to be a gigolo and provide the “boyfriend experience.” She agreed to take him on as a student and to teach him how to please a woman. It didn’t hurt that he was good looking, well endowed and took direction well. He was soft spoken with a calm personality that made being with him easy. A silent moment was simply that, not an awkward gap that needed to be filled with annoying chatter.
After a few weeks of instruction she realized she was having sex with a man without having to lie for the first time since she started providing the girlfriend experience and maybe even before that. No fake orgasms, no phony praise, no dirty talk that would leave her silent for hours afterward. She helped Samson with his technique and faked nothing.
She’d been telling him about orgasms and how it was important to climax together–it created the impression of equality that was key to the woman’s afterglow–and that he’d most likely have to fake it to get the timing right and it was while they were practicing Samson’s fake orgasms that she realized she’d fallen in love with a john. He was really good at faking it. Only a pro could tell his spasms were fake.
“You’re a natural at it. You must’ve faked it before.” They rarely shared information about their lives, but as he’d become more skillful they’d become more like co-workers than call girl and john and she’d forget he was paying her for lessons.
“I dated this girl a while back and toward the end she just didn’t do it for me. She was insecure about a lot of things but it was her breasts she focused on. We’d be going at it, I’d be tit fucking her, and she’d suddenly say something like, ‘Wouldn’t it be better if they were bigger?’ Her boobs were fine, but once she’d say something like that I’d have to start reassuring her about how they were perfect just as they were or she’d get weird on me, and that got old fast. One minute I’m fucking her, the next I’m her fucking therapist. I wanted to fuck, not talk, so I learned to fake it to speed things up. We didn’t last much past that but it’s what got me thinking of being a gigolo. Maybe she was angling for me to buy her a boob job.”
“You kidding? I can’t stand fake tits. Don’t even watch porn with them.”
“A lot of your middle-aged janes perceive a little sag and off to the plastic doc for implants they go. It’s something you’ll have to deal with.”
“Doesn’t matter. I’ll be faking it anyway.”
“What if you get a case of the saline blues and can’t keep it hard?”
He smirked at the improbability of that, then smiled and pinched her nipple. “Then I’ll think of you.”
The slightest smile curled her lips. “And I you.”