Tuesday, June 8, 2010

who knew sex could be so boring? 2

I rush for a stool at the bar inside and gawk. Not at the performer on the dilapidated, box-like stage. I’ve seen more angel winged men in gold thongs gyrating to the sounds of Donna Summer than you might think.  But the place is so packed, sweaty, and dark, women are stripping off their dresses and standing around in bras and underpants. Panting. For a drink, I assume. Not sure if they’re sex workers. Or just hot.  The man in the gold thong is replaced by the frenzied antics of an Asian woman in a g string with tasseled tits who slithers across the floor with a python around her neck. This  isn’t exactly new, either. You’d be amazed at how many women walk around New York City with pythons around their necks.

When the MC/producer inches her way towards the spotlight and takes a bow, the house erupts in shouts and applause as she introduces the first performer. A lap dancer named Busty Kitten who proceeds to read a poem. (There will be way too many poems in the hour ahead) It begins with a free verse synopsis of a typical night in the VIP room with too many overweight men and ends with her reenactment of  attempts to seduce a girl crush. I’m not particularly moved but the audience claps, enthusiastically. Next up in the cabaret is a male escort. A bearded, thirty’ish guy in a white linen suit. His poem/narrative is about borrowing his mother’s car at the family yard sale to drive to his first “appointment.” The “john” is a married man with a Porsche and two children. I don’t seem to be laughing nearly as hard as everyone else. (And neither are the two gay friends who’ve joined me.) Next up is Lydia Love. A delicate, pale skinned red head with demure little glasses who sits down and reads… Yes, you guessed it. Another fucking poem. This one is called The Priestess Who Gives In To The Goddess.  There seems to be a lot of “thrusting” going on during the stanzas. When Lydia stands up, off comes the dress, and we see small breasts and a tiny penis. Transexual? Hermaphrodite? I’m not quite sure. Unfortunately, the wildly interpretative dance  offers little by way of explanation. There is a lot more physical thrusting as well as suggestions of flight. Lydia seems so bereft, so vulnerable, she succeeds only in making me want to cry. And I decide it’s time to call it a night.

Now, please don’t judge me too harshly here. I didn’t go to this cabaret simply to gawk at sex workers. (The cabaret, by the way, is part of a celebration of LGBTQ month. That’s l for lesbian, g for gay, b for bi, t for transexual, and q for queer or questioning.) I went because it’s always a courageous thing for human beings to do. To stand up, metaphorically or literally naked in a spotlight, and talk about their lives. Lives that, in this case, are obviously wildly different than mine. But perhaps, or so I’d hoped, also similar. Similar in terms of the tragedy,humor, desperation, dreams, and disappointment that drive us all to extremes.  I went because this is what New York City is all about. This place, as Martin Amis says, “where all life has slipped its leash.”  But maybe as a married, 57 year old mother of two, I just didn’t belong there. Maybe I was trespassing. Or maybe a sex worker’s life isn’t a cabaret, after all.

Posted by Brenda in 20:39:36
Comments

4 Responses to “who knew sex could be so boring? 2”

  1. Ken says:

    I think it’s number three: Not a cabaret. When sex is “work” it’s just a job.

    I agree it takes a certain kind of courage to bare your life. Much less so to merely bare your body. The peril that sex workers, to use the new politically correct phrase, put themselves in daily is much more gutsy. I guess you don’t dwell on it, if you’re in that line of work.

  2. Brenda says:

    My daughter, who knows everything (hehe) had never even heard the term ‘sex worker.’ but i love her info re the “trend” among straights for hairy legs.

  3. leigh says:

    I think sex worker is the cohort of sex positive young feminist who just may fuck for a living. I agree though, about the tedium. I wrote about that a few years ago when they gathered all of the young sex writer/editors together and had this awful photo of them, and then a very dull interview. Not at all sexy. It had the feel of factory work. Too much obligation, not a lot of joy and play. Maybe I am just old, and as you say, it is not okay to comment. Your recounting of it is funny, and sad.

  4. Ken says:

    When sex is a job, is it really even sex? I mean for the sex worker. It’s really got to be mostly a go through the motions thing for the benefit of the john, uh I mean the customer.

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