Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Whores and I

I have never paid for sex. God knows there’ve been stretches, such as after the crumbling of my first marriage, when I thought that, at 40, I’d lost my looks and would never find another gal to love me. It certainly isn’t that I didn’t consider paying for it, but that I figured I’d wind up feeling a chump, as I had on those few occasions when I’d ventured into strip clubs, or whatever they were actually called. The girls there were invariably slightly misshapen, several had bad skin, and all of them leered accusingly, as though to say, “I hate you, and I hate what I have to do here to feed the child I had at 15, and I’m really a lesbian anyway, and you should be ashamed of yourself.”

When I was a teenager, my dad had offered to introduce me to sex by taking me to a prostitute. I found the prospect terrifying. I had every reason to believe that he would embarrass me terribly, flirting up a storm with her before finally leaving us two lovebirds alone together.

My zookeeper girlfriend Nancy took me to the Mitchell Bros.’ famous San Francisco porn emporium for my 43rd birthday. (It had turned out that I’d only just begun to lose my looks!) She was the only woman patron there, and we got lots of daggers stared at our throats. As we sat down to watch a succession of surgically enhanced young women behave lasciviously on stage, another girl came by offering lap dances. The guy beside me asked for one as Guns N’ Roses’ "One In a Million," in which Mr. Axl Rose condemns “niggers” and “faggots,” began to play. I’d read about the song while researching my ill-fated David Geffen biography, but never actually heard it. I was surprised by what a blatant ripoff of a Stones song (“Sympathy for the Devil,” if memory serves, but it might not) it was, and said something to Nancy along the lines of, “What a piece of shit!” Whereupon the girl on the lap of the guy beside me launched into a passionate defense of the group even as her customer began to moan pre-orgasmically beneath her. I don’t think I’ve ever debated the merits of a particular artist or group of artists in more unusual circumstances.

I have never paid a prostitute for sex, but I briefly dated one, during the days when I would go to the Starwood, the West Hollywood nightclub popular with those who found the atmosphere at the Whisky a Go Go too rarefied, drink black coffee for alertness and vodka for courage, and swagger through the place letting promiscuous young women observe how much like a rock star I looked. When one on whom I lowered the boom late one weeknight confided that she was a call girl, she immediately became very much more attractive; I found exciting the idea of getting free what others had to pay $250 for. But I soon discovered that her company made me feel more, rather than less, lonely, and broke her heart. Of gold. Actually, I think she found me weird, as did so many of the maidens I met at the Starwood. I used big words they didn’t know and hadn’t much interest in cocaine.

In 2001, I wrote a song for the Mistress Chloe album Like a Moth to Its Flame called "The Prostitutes of London," which I later dusted off and rammed manfully into the repertoires of two of the sketch comedy revues I directed while living in the named city. There isn’t a single mention of prostitutes, though, on my forthcoming Sorry We’re Open album.

[From the blog For All in Tents and Porpoises. Enjoy the archive and subscribe at]

No comments:

Post a Comment