Of Hustlers and Whores

Disclaimer: I’m well aware that it’s no longer considered okay by the better aspects of society to refer to sex workers as “hookers” and “whores,” a belief I wholly endorse. I use this word because it’s used by others in this story. I tend to adopt the language of others I’m around so we both know what is being referred to, and also, it makes for better alliteration in this headline. Ya’ll know I can’t resist good alliteration. However, please consider using the more accurate terms, “sex work” and “sex worker” in your casual conversation when speaking about this topic, as the terms “hookers” and “whores” convey negative connotations and hurtful, inaccurate stereotypes about the profession. There’s nothing negative about sex work and sex workers. It’s honest work, hard work, and honestly, it’s an industry that isn’t ruining the planet like so many industries are nowadays.

Another Disclaimer: I did not change names to protect the guilty, as I usually do. The people mentioned here definitely earned all the notoriety this tale may give them.

And now, to the story:


I should have taken it as a sign when Tanya answered her front door, took one look at me and said, “They’re gonna think we’re hookers and kick us out.”

“What?” I exclaimed, aghast. “Why would they think we’re hookers? We’re dressed just like every other Austinite female!”

That statement did not exactly make my case for me. There’s really no discernable difference between the typical Austinite female and the typical Austinite sex worker on a night out on the town, and I make no apologies for any of us. It’s hot here, ya’ll. You’re either slutty or sweaty. 

“It happened to me, once.”

“What?” I exclaimed, again.

She proceeded to tell me a story about working at a hotel and getting friendly with some of the guests there. She was asked by the manager to leave, as he assumed she was soliciting them. It was outrageous. Tanya clearly didn’t have the look of a sex worker.

But in my low-cut, bodycon minidress, perhaps I did. Tanya even accused me of wearing stripper heels, even though I swore up and down I had bought them for church. Hmm. Perhaps it’s time to rethink my fashion choices a bit, which tends to be whatever I can find at the find at the thrift store for five bucks.

It was the Wednesday before New Year’s, and Austin was strangely quiet, most locals laid up in bed with Omicron, which is the coolest-sounding infectious disease I have ever heard of, like something straight out of a dystopian, sci-fi movie. (My condolences to everyone suffering from Omicron right now. It’s probably no consolation to know that at least you’re not suffering from an illness with a stupid name.)

Despite licking every light pole in downtown Austin, Tanya and I cannot manage to contract COVID. We are former strippers. We have immune systems made of steel. Tonight, we were bored and in need of entertainment.

The night before we had spent hours dreaming up a business we’d like to launch together. We decided to head out downtown to conduct a little “market research,” which would primarily consist of hitting up dudes to ask their opinion on certain things. Yes, I’m being a little cagey about the nature of said business, but I don’t want you stealing our idea.

We hit up three hotel bars – all closed – before we found Group Therapy, the bar on the seventh floor of Hotel Zaza. Tanya immediately made a beeline for the nearest guy and began chatting him up. He was tight-lipped, giving her only the briefest of answers to her questions.

“Look,” he said, several minutes into the conversation, “First of all, I don’t care what you do for a living. You’re a human being, first and foremost, and that’s what matters –“

“Oh my god, Tanya!” I interrupted. “He thinks we’re hookers!” Damn. Tanya had not been wrong about this.

“Oh, my god,” Tanya exclaimed, laughing. “Do you really think we’re hookers?”

“Well, it’s just – those shoes,” he said, looking pointedly at my feet.

“I bought these for church!”

“Look,” said the dude, visibly relaxing and opening up a bit at the sight of our amusement in the face of his assumptions, “I am just the target of traffickers a lot.”

We thought that was terrible and told him so. We assured him we were not traffickers. He obviously believed us, cracking open a bottle of Fat Bastard cab sav and pouring us both a glass.

I sat there and double-fisted the wine and my espresso martini while Tanya wooed the gentleman. He offered to take her on a foodie tour of Seattle. Meanwhile, the bartender flirted with me, bought me another martini, gave me his number, told me he was also a deejay (isn’t everyone in Austin?) and asked if I liked hiking.

I wasn’t sure if I was interested, but damn, I’m a slut for a good hike. He showed me pictures of his dog, who was ridiculously adorable. Double damn.

Finally, it was time to call it. I couldn’t drink anymore. Tanya and I stumbled out of Group Therapy completely lit. She suggested we duck into Oil Can Harry’s for a bit of dancing.

Some super cute girl immediately hit on both of us. “You’re so pretty,” she cooed. “So are you,” I cooed back. Tanya was not interested.

“Girls give better head,” I informed her and watched with surprise as this statement did not render her immediately gay right there on the spot. I get it, though. I’m not nearly as gay as I wanna be either.

“This is not the best place to conduct market research,” Tanya observed, yelling into my ear. I could barely hear her and agreed. We needed a quieter spot.

We did not find a quieter spot. Instead, we found Speakeasy, which was popping off. Like, literally. There were balloons everywhere.

Off to the side, in the middle of the dancing, yelling party people, a young man sat slouched on a couch, an expression of abject boredom darkening his handsome face.

Tanya and I took his ennui as a personal affront – and a personal challenge. We were gonna make sure that guy had a good time. We headed over. I prayed he was prepared for the onslaught.

We bookended him, she on one side and I on the other. The dude, who introduced himself as Abel, did not alter his expression in the slightest.

Tanya gave up shortly and headed off to dance with some actually fun people. I stayed behind, amusing myself by popping balloons with my stripper heels. Eventually, Abel and I struck up a conversation. He was half Russian, which explained a lot. Not all Russians are entirely humorless, but a lot of them are, which I know from dating precisely one Russian dude named Ruslan fifteen years ago, making me an expert on Russian men.

Abel explained that his Mom was Russian and his dad was Afghani. While I tried to process what sort of fucked up situation would create that sort of pairing, he told me that his Mom died when he was nine. I immediately decided this guy was gonna smile before the end of the night. This decision made me feel like the biggest manic pixie dream girl ever, but hey, I can step into that role when the mood strikes if I want to. 

It didn’t take long. I’m charming when it benefits me. He had dimples. It was adorable.

“I wanna introduce you to my boss,” Abel told me, waving someone over. Two seconds later, we were joined on the couch by a striking man with shoulder length, bleached blond hair, black wireframe glasses and a jacket dripping with sequins every color of the rainbow.

“I would kill for this man!” Abel exclaimed, clapping the older gentleman on the shoulder with obvious pride. I was shocked to realize I recognized him. 

One super random night several years ago, my friend Scott had invited me out to party with his band on Dirty 6. I hate Dirty 6 with the passion of a thousand suns, but I had absolutely nothing better to do, so I went. (I hate being bored even more than I hate Dirty 6, apparently.) To my surprise, Scott’s girlfriend was there too. I was worried it would be awkward, but that woman was so nice to me. I suspected later I was being unicorn hunted that night. I’m not opposed to being a unicorn, but I had just met these people.

Anyway, Scott got a call that his band was being signed to a record label that night and was being summoned to sign a contract. He and the girlfriend invited me to join them, and since I’m always down for an adventure, I agreed. We headed to a condo building right off Rainey, and that’s where I met Sonny Lane Wilson, arguably one of the most colorful characters in the entire Austin area.

In a small condo stuffed with too much stuff, Sonny regaled us with stories about being interviewed for a podcast regarding a book he had written called “People’s Anonymous: Twelve Steps to Heal Your Life,” about recovering from alcoholism. The man was hilarious, his booming laughter and strong presence commanding the attention of everyone in the room.

And now, here he was again, at Speakeasy, inviting Tanya and I to afterparty at his condo with him, Abel and Sonny’s extremely friendly girlfriend, Tatiana.

“Do you wanna go?” Tanya asked me, her expression doubtful. “Trust me,” I assured her. “This man is fascinating. It’s not going to be boring.”

A short drive later found us in the same small, overstuffed condo I recognized from my journey here two years ago. Sonny had added some new art. A neon sign blinking “Live Nudes,” was prominently displayed on one wall behind a stripper pole, next to another sign that read, “Please Do Not Feed the Whores Drugs.”

Sonny and Tatiana handed us glasses of chardonnay. Abel was nowhere in sight. Tanya texted him. “Where are you?”

“I was tired,” he responded. “I just went home.” 

Tanya and I looked at each other, puzzled. At the bar, Abel had seemed so enthusiastic to afterparty with us. He had made certain, several times, that I knew exactly how to get to Sonny’s condo.

On a balcony on the 20th floor, crammed with, yet again, too much stuff, Sonny told us how he had met Abel. “He worked the front desk downstairs for a year, and I just watched him,” Sonny reminisced. “He was smart and polite and grounded, and after a year, I hired him to manage several of my businesses.” Sonny informed us that he ran eight businesses, dipping his fingers into film and music, construction and roofing. Prior to that, he had worked as an escort and a stripper for Le Bare in Dallas.

He showed us photos of his younger self with striking blue eyes, extremely puffy, long blond hair, skimpy clothing and oiled muscles. Tanya and I made all the appropriate noises necessary to convey our approval and admiration, which was genuine.

After awhile, Sonny grew restless. “Alright,” he said, “I’m gonna head back to the bedroom with Tatiana now. If you ladies would like to join us, you’d be more than welcome.”

I will be real honest here: I had expected a good story to come out of this visit. What I had not expected was an invitation to a foursome.

Welcome to Austin, ya’ll. I receive these sorts of invitations with hilarious regularity. Austin may have a horrendously bad dating scene, but it’s horny as hell.

I glanced over at Tanya. Her mouth hung open a little bit, and it was clear from her expression that she had not expected this either.

Sonny went on to explain that he was polyamorous and that we were beautiful ladies, and therefore, there was no reason we shouldn’t all have a good time together.

We told Sonny and Tatiana that we’d consider it. “In the meantime, we’ll sit here and not steal anything,” I assured her. Tanya and I sat stiffly on the couch until they disappeared into the bedroom. As soon as the door shut behind them, we collapsed, heads in our laps, shoulders shaking in silent laughter.

And that’s when it simultaneously dawned on both us that Abel had completely hustled us to fuck his boss.

Tatiana unexpectedly re-entered the living room to put on a Spotify playlist for us, and Tanya and I immediately straightened and replaced our laughter with poker faces and gracious smiles. The minute she left, we dissolved into laughter again. 

We laughed all the way out of Sonny’s condo. We passed the girl at the front desk, still in hysterics. She threw us a concerned glance. We laughed in the car all the way back to Tanya’s house. I laughed all the way home from there.

I apparently DO need to rethink my fashion choices.

Am I gonna do that, though?

Nah, probably not. The stories are just too good. Henceforth, I shall call this dress my Lucky Story Dress. It always wrings some kind of interesting response from my viewers.

The next morning, Tanya texted Abel, demanding answers. Abel vehemently denied hustling us to fuck his boss. Tanya did not believe him.

Finally, Abel wrote, “I’m gonna leave you with this. You were not played. That man is quite capable of getting what he wants. I was just tired last night. Ya’ll can join us for a New Year’s Eve party in an art house. There’s gonna be hundreds of people, and this is an actual party, not an orgy. Plus, I’ll be there to entertain you guys. Have a good day.”

“Hey, I’m just fucking with you, man,” Tanya responded. “You should laugh a little, because I definitely am >laugh face emoji, laugh face emoji<.”

“I’m still a virgin,” Abel wrote back, leaving us both puzzled by this comment and doubtful of its truthiness, since he followed it up with a purple devil emoji.

“We gotta work on this honesty thing,” Tanya responded dryly.

I texted Sonny. “We had to dip out last night because Tanya had to work this morning,” I told him, “but we appreciated your hospitality. You’re quite the character, and I’d love to hear your whole story sometime.”

I sincerely hope he responds, because I am a total story whore, and I suspect Mr. Sonny Lane Wilson has an excellent one in store, should he care to share.

Sonny Lane, hit me up!

I’m Back, but I’m Not Happy About It

Trigger Warnings: Blood, gore, non-consensual acts, possible violence

As much as I want to leave the strip club industry, the strip club industry will not leave me.

As the world slowly drifts back to normal, its siren song sings to me. A recent Monday evening found me chatting online with the gorgeous Genevieve, she of the heart of gold, now a badass boss babe at The Landing Strip, which is now the home of not one, but two deejay friends. 

And the following Tuesday found me back at an actual club, cozied up with JRob in the deejay booth, shooting whiskey and gossiping just like old times, except unlike old times, we were not at Rick’s, but Foxy’s.

He was trying to convince to come work there. I was reluctant, to say the least. From my days of leaving Rick’s to go party at Foxy’s, I knew this was the place where Austinities go for fierce Black babes and the best pole dancing in town. It’s not where you go to find skinny ass white bitches who can’t even pull off a push-up. Heck, you can visit my apartment for free if that’s what you’re looking for, but no one’s exactly storming down my door like it’s the Capitol building.

(If I just gave you your next sexy role playing scenario, you’re welcome! “Honey, can we pretend I’m the gates of the Capitol, and you’re the QAnon Shaman?” Sooooo hot.) 

Anyway . . .

I reluctantly decided to give it a shot, and JRob and I agreed we’d meet up there on Sunday.

On Sunday, however, I played at the lake all day and was wildly unprepared to hit up the club that evening. I went anyway, wildly unprepared.

The security guard at the front demanded to search my bag and found a pair of scissors.

“Ma’am, I’m gonna have to ask you to leave these in your car.”

I anxiously twisted my hands together. “But, um, I need them.”

“What for?”

“To, um, cut the string off the tampon.”

I have never seen a Black man blush in my entire life until that moment, but I did not care. Periods are a thing. Tampons are a thing. Cutting the strings off your tampon when you dance at an all-nude club is a thing. 

There was only one slight problem, courtesy of my reckless unpreparedness: I had the scissors, but no tampon. 

I crossed my fingers and figured the house mom would have some I could buy.

Except there was no house mom on a Sunday night.

So there I was, in an all-nude club, my furry taco just dripping sauce without a napkin in sight.

“It’s fine,” I told myself. “Your thongs are red. The stains won’t even show up.”

Except it turns out that blood stains on red spandex are black. BLACK! What kind of psycho science is that? If you ever decide to be a serial killer, folks, definitely skip the red spandex when you’re doing the deed!

Of course, my first client tried to dip his chip in my chunky salsa, and by chip, I mean his finger.

I just grinned and, for once, let him slip it in for a second, because it’s fun to be evil as frequently as you can get away with it, particularly when you are the one personally delivering the karma. With your vagina. Please let me assure you that there are fewer feelings more delicious than serving up karma with an uncooked furburger, extra ketchup. I guarandamntee you he’ll never fuck with another stripper like that again. 

Before you let that paragraph give you the warm fuzzies, because that’s not what not this blog is for, you should know that the client is currently a high school English teacher in San Antonio. Ya’ll just sit with that one for a minute, okay?

The future of our nation is being gently shaped by a man who unwittingly and non-consensually fingered a menstruating stripper over the weekend. The future is so fucked.

I write this blog so I don’t have to carry these burdens alone.The shit in my head is also yours now; you’re welcome!

My night was saved, however, by a man who paid me just to sit and talk. Whew! 

On his lap. Not whew!

My expenses for the night included a house fee, a promotion fee, a stage fee, a weekend fee, the manager’s tip-out, the deejay’s tip-out and a hefty dry cleaning bill. I barely broke even.

I’m just kidding. He won’t know about that stain until he goes home to jack off.

Yes, I’m back, but I’m not happy about it.

One Heckuva Job, Part 2

The first rule of The Dollhouse is we don’t talk about what happens at The Dollhouse.

Let me back up.

A few months ago, a friend of mine, one I hadn’t seen or talked to in several years, messaged me to tell me I should come work with her at this place called The Dollhouse.

I kind of, sort of knew about this place. For some reason, I thought of it as a place where guys went for illicit hand jobs, although I really couldn’t tell you why I thought that.

There was only one place to find out for sure: my friends would know.

“It’s definitely a rub-n-tug kind of place,” one of my friends confirmed. “My dancer was great! Got me off in half an hour.”

I checked with another friend, one who grew up here in Austin. “Isn’t that a jack shack?” she asked.

Welp, that was it. I was absolutely not gonna start giving out hand jobs as a side hustle.

I’m not against that kind of sex work; I’m just too demisexual to pursue it as a career choice.

And that was that.

For a few weeks.

Until Rajit, my most lucrative cuddling client, abruptly informed me that he was moving back to India.

As I’m sure is true for many people, courtesy of a global pandemic, my financial wellbeing had been obliterated. Rajit’s patronage had kept me barely squeaking by. How the fuck was I gonna replace that income? Return to Palazio?

“Circus,” I told myself sternly, “If you can give out free hand jobs to sketch-ass deejays, you can give them out for money.”

I think that says a lot about how I felt about Palazio.

It was with great reluctance and a heavy heart that I yanked my long-neglected hoe clothes out of retirement and drove up north.

(Ha, ha. I’m kidding. I will never retire from hoeing. I’ll be hoeing well into my 80s, I’m sure. Y’all better be ready with your turbo-charged wheelchairs. You ain’t never seen what these dentures can do to you! Chomp, chomp, mothafuckas!)

Anyways . . .

The Dollhouse is an unassuming free-standing brick building on the side of Research Boulevard, but when I stepped inside, I stepped inside a dark, lightly scented, lushly pampered world.

A pair of wide, blue eyes greeted my entrance from behind a reception desk. Small and blonde, she looked barely legal. I could have been her mom.

“I’m here about a job,” I said.

She handed me a lime green sheet of paper that I filled out in five minutes. “Are you interested in starting tonight?”

I was caught off guard by how easy that had been. “Um, I was just, uh, hoping I could maybe, you know, uh, find out more about this first?” I said, hella articulately.

“Of course. I’m happy to show you around.” She led me behind a sequined curtain, through a lounge and into a brightly lit locker room. It was well stocked with drinks and snacks. The whole place was very, very clean.

“Everyone who works here has worked here for years,” she said. “I worked here for five years myself, and now I’m the owner.”

She was.

The owner.

Wow, okay.

It was beginning to dawn on me that this could be a pretty dope position.

Another woman clacked in wearing stripper heels. She stopped and stared when she saw me. “OMG, you’re so beautiful. Are you gonna work here with us? Say yes! Say yes!”

A female-owned adult entertainment business where my co-workers aren’t bitchy? Yes, please! Sign me up!

After Covid hit and I traded my weekends dancing in a dark, toxic stew of bitchy dancers and entitled men for hitting up the Greenbelt in the sunshine with my girl squad, I never thought I’d strap on the stripper heels ever again.

I am addicted, however, to that dopamine slap I receive whenever someone drops a stack of cash in my palm.

I remember myself as a nerdy kid with coke-bottle glasses, neurotically scribbling in my diary, obsessing over my bowel movements and bowed legs, hoping I wouldn’t get a parrot’s beak for a nose like my dad. (Spoiler alert: I did.) I never thought I’d start a stripping career at 37 and still be going strong fresh into my 40s, but here we are, and I’m grateful. I’ll probably doing this until I achieve financial stability or break a hip, whichever comes first.

Over the next few days, I found out a few things. The previous owner used to run an escort service here, hence its somewhat dubious reputation. I also learned that we don’t give out hand jobs, and you cannot imagine the relief I felt upon learning that.

Instead, there are three private rooms in the back, and well, although everything we do is legal, we are discouraged from discussing what happens in those rooms. Since I like the owner and care about the success of her business, I definitely won’t.

As much as I’m a story whore, not all stories are mine to tell.

So, what to do with this blog?

There’s a lot of sitting around here. Hours tick by while waiting for clients to come in. I need to put that time to use, so I’ve decided it’s time to put down on paper some stories that have been rattling around inside my brain for awhile.

I think I’ll do it here.

You can critique my work and feed me plot advice and tell me which characters are cool and which are duds. And keep me honest. Be like, “Where’s the Chapter Two you promised us, you lying-ass bitch?”

Because really, after all, I’m not in the business of sex. I’m in the business of stories. And boy, do I have a story for you.

One Heckuva Job, Part 1

I have a really funny story about a hand job.

Liquid Nitrogen at Freezerburn 2018 was the place to be. Inside a large, non-descript, white tent, the dance floor surged with sequins and sweat as worshippers offered their sacrifices to the twin gods of bass and beat. The periphery swirled with orbs of light as beaming poi spinners slung them in circles around their glistening bodies, over their heads and under their legs in a constant flow of motion. It was a cacophony of chaos, the place to see and be seen in your finest costumery before melting into the music of the night.

After nearly an hour of raging hard, I needed a break and headed to the sidelines for water. That’s when a sketch-ass deejay sidled up to me.

Ha, look at me calling him a “sketch-ass deejay” as if there’s any other kind.

“Hey!” he said, skipping the requisite pleasantries, considering we’d been flirting back and forth for weeks prior to this burn. “Wanna see my van?”

Hurricane Harvey had brought him to Austin the previous summer. That year, Create Culture at Empire Control Room every Wednesday night was the best burner event in town. I noticed him at the edge of the crowd, hands casually in his pockets, his blue eyes glinting and long, black hair catching the light. Emboldened by being both drunk and high, I walked over to say hello, which is a polite way of saying I planned to hit on him hard. Five minutes later, we were making out against a wall in the back alley. The man is very good at getting straight to the point.

At closing time, we came up for air, and he asked if I wanted to see his van. He was clearly very proud of his van. I reluctantly declined, having to work the next day.

Fast forward six months and that night, under the white tent at Liquid Nitrogen, I had burned long enough to know that if another burner invites you back to their private camping spot, that is polite burnerspeak for “Wanna fuck?” I knew, and I didn’t care. I was genuinely curious about this van.

It was, dear friends and frenemies, a very nice van. He gave me a leisurely tour. I did not leave that van cleaner than I found it.

Afterwards, the long journey back to my camp at the edge of the Playa was a dark, cold one. We were, after all, camping in the middle of January. When I arrived, however, I was warmed to the core. My camp, The Sparkeasy, was an oasis of light and laughter on the edge of the forest, just before the Playa faded into The Badlands.

My ingenious campmates had crafted a large, white dome out of nothing but PVC pipes and a large, white tarp. Tall pillars of dancing LED lights formed an outdoor hallway beckoning visitors inside.

Inside, the place was popping. At a well-stocked bar at the center, one of my besties poured strong drinks for eager guests. Around the bar, wooden couches were piled high with swarms of friends, old and new, chatting and catching up. Everyone looked up when I arrived and greeted my entrance with enthusiasm. I was happy, I was loved. I was home.

My friend, Pooh-Bear, clad in a furry onesie, bounced over. His twinkling blue eyes smiled at me underneath a hoodie with teddy-bear ears. He looked cute AF. “Circus!” he exclaimed, “So good to see you! High five!” On instinct, I reached up to meet his waiting palm.

Now, most people do not think much about the logistics of a high five. It’s a slap and release, much like bouncing a ball. Pooh-Bear and I slapped palms.

Our palms, quite unexpectedly, did not release. His eyes clouding with confusion, his hand still in mid-air, Pooh-Bear tried unsuccessfully to pull away. Our hands were stuck together.

I immediately knew why, and the awful realization must have shown up on my face. I watched as it dawned on Pooh-Bear as well, his expression slowly changing from confusion to outright horror.

I had walked into my camp with the dried jizz of a sketch-ass deejay all over my hands and slapped it straight into Pooh-Bear’s.

I’m not really sure how to properly express my mortification in that moment. I remember laughing hysterically, but there was some true hysteria in that laugh, full of shame and regret. My friendship with Pooh-Bear has never quite been the same since.

I am truly sorry about that, Pooh-Bear, but also, I still laugh about it so hard sometimes. The look in your eyes at that moment will likely stay with me until I die. I hope you will forgive me for that, even though I will probably tell my grandkids about it one day.

There is, however, a precise reason why I chose to tell you this story today, and that reason will be forthcoming. Stay tuned for Part 2.


Note: I sent this post to said sketch-ass deejay prior to publishing, and he LOL’d. With his band and his production company, he’s making waves in Houston, and I’m proud of him. He informed me that he was at Empire that night because his band was playing there. I had no idea I had been hitting on one of the boys in the band. Boy, you really cannot throw a rock in Austin without fucking a musician 😀

Tales from da Cult: Mortal Kombat and Mazzio’s Pizza

DISCLAIMER: After I mentioned in a number of Tales from da Club that I had been raised in a cult, a bunch of you (actually two people) reached out to ask me to write more stories about it. I declined in large part because I didn’t feel like I really had any stories to tell, but my Halloween costume choice this year caused me to remember that I do.

I’m dressing up as a Mortal Kombat character for Halloween this year. Seeing as how I’m planning to pair it with my signature red ponytails and my brand new Demonia platform boots, it made me realize that for Halloween this year, I’m really going as Girl Who Obviously Hasn’t Played Mortal Kombat Since She Was a Teenager in the ’90s And It Shows.

It’s true; I remember almost nothing about the game. I don’t even know the name of the character whose costume I bought off Amazon thinking it might make a great pandemic stripper outfit since it came with a face mask. (It doesn’t, by the way, make a great pandemic stripper outfit. It’s a one-piece, meaning you are either wearing a costume that is very hot and a pain in the neck to remove, or you are naked.)

The only thing I remember about Mortal Kombat is that there was that one fighter whose arm got absurdly long when he punched the other fighters. I always chose that guy as my character since the only thing I had to do to win was keep hitting that punch button, and none of the other fighters could get close enough to me to land any blows. I sucked so hard at that game – well, any video game in general, really – that I could not win if I played with any other fighter.

Remembering Mortal Kombat made me remember Mazzio’s Pizza, which is the restaurant/child casino where I played it. I can still remember the smell of their pizza. The deep dish featured literal puddles of grease atop an inch of cheese, and gawd, it was so good. I’m pretty sure that pizza was responsible for half the acne I had as a teenager, which was a lot.

Every Sunday night after Sunday night service (which followed, of course, Sunday morning service and a huge nap), all the Apostolic Pentecostals in a 15-mile radius would descend on Mazzio’s Pizza for two of our favorite things: food and fellowship.

The Apostolic Pentecostals differentiated ourselves from ye olde regular Pentecostals with a number of things: The denial of the Trinity in favor of a belief in the “Oneness” of God; baptism in the “name of Jesus,” as opposed to the words used by the hellbound Trinitarians, “in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit”; speaking in tongues as evidence of salvation; and a very strict holiness standard which basically meant men had to shave and women had to follow a shit ton of rules that mostly regulated the way we looked.

And then, within this tiny splinter of Christianity, the Apostolic Pentecostals splintered even further. Most of the churches (there were 22 in that 15-mile radius) belonged to the United Pentecostal Church. My particular church, on the other hand, broke off from the UPC in the 70s because they began allowing liberal things like divorce, women wearing their hair down, women wearing splits in their skirts, and men AND women wearing sleeves above their elbows.

Such things were shockingly evil to our pastor at the time, The Reverend Murray E. Burr, so we became independent, right alongside the churches who did not allow the celebration of Christmas, even though WE never went THAT far. Those people – good people, but a little TOO conservative, you know? There was such a thing as BALANCE, we said to justify our celebration, as gleefully hedonistic and commercialized as the rest of America, just with more Jesus and less Santa.

We Pentecostal teenagers growing up in the 90s did not remember those days of scandal and turmoil and church splits back in the 70s, so those of us in the proudly independent Faith Tabernacle happily rubbed shoulders with our more liberal counterparts, inwardly envious of all the girls who were allowed to wear their hair down while outwardly looking down our noses at them for it.

My brother, however, was the first to cross the aisle and actually date one of those girls. Many folk of our more conservative ilk were deeply disturbed by this scandalous move, but my parents, strict as they were, were surprisingly welcoming of this development because grandbabies, and their utter delight that SOMEBODY THEY DIDN’T CARE WHO might actually procreate with their homely offspring.

Stephanie Gomez was her name, and I don’t remember much about our first meeting, but Stephanie does. She told me later that she was super nervous about meeting me because in her observations of me from afar at Mazzio’s, I seemed like Little Ms. Perfect and kinda stuck up.

However, I had just woken up from a huge nap shortly before being summoned to the dinner table where Stephanie nervously met the fam for the first time. I arrived in a huge, baggy t-shirt with a stain. I sat down and burped and then laughed about it. Stephanie told me that it was at that moment that she knew we were going to be Best Friends Forever, and she could finally relax.

It’s true, Steph and I are STILL friends to this day, although I use the term “friend” loosely because she recently visited her mom in Houston from where she currently lives in Bumfuck, Louisiana AND DID NOT EVEN TELL ME AND I’M STILL KINDA MAD ABOUT IT. Like, I’m literally RIGHT HERE, Stephanie, and you did not wanna hang out. RUDE.

Well, once I saw that my brother was getting away with dating a liberal, I decided to try my luck as well, shortly falling head over heels with a boy from the church in Orange who had dimples so deep you could hide things in them. He was the Assistant Choir Director who sang like an angel and loved my daughter like she was his own. He is still friends with my Mama to this day.

This did not sit well AT ALL with our pastor at that time, no longer Brother Murray E. Burr, but another faithful member of the religious cabal that I won’t name. Apparently, my brother dating a sinner was one thing. My doing it was quite another, for, if we married, I’d be forced to go over there to his church. As my pastor explained to me, as I sobbed, they were allowed to watch TV, and how was that okay for any man or woman of God?

I eventually broke up with poor Dimples, breaking both our tiny little Pentecostal hearts, but not before my pastor launched a three-month sermon entitled “The Other Pentecostals” in which he claimed that God would laugh as he threw them all into hell.

Now, at this point, Steph and I were thick as thieves, and I was hanging out with her youth group more than my own, and I was just not having that. The “Other Pentecostals,” as my pastor labeled them, were no different than my own church people, hardworking people just trying to get by like everyone else. I could not picture God laughing as he threw them in hell.

After that sermon series, Mazzio’s Pizza became extremely segregated and WAY less fun.

And that was pretty much the beginning of when I began to lose faith in that pastor and that church. Twelve years later, he resigned in disgrace after cheating on his dying wife with my cousin’s wife, and I’m mostly disappointed by what a fucking cliché that is.

Funny how a Halloween costume 20 years later can bring up all these memories, and WHY THE FUCK IS MORTAL KOMBAT STILL A THING? IT IS OLD AS DIRT, YA’LL.

World on Fire

“If I had known we’d be shooting a music video, I would have shaved my legs!”

I stood laughing in the middle of DJ Rob’s room for the first time in four months, staring at all his new toys. A Go-Pro. A drone. Professional studio lighting. A backdrop in every room of his house. Dozens of costumes draped over the back of the couch. Rob had been BUSY.

“It’s okay!” Rob beamed. “You’re gonna be AWESOME.”

Except I was NOT gonna be awesome. No, I was probably gonna hate every inch of this footage. Nothing makes me cringe more than watching myself on video. I never even linked to the band’s first music video because all my lobbying efforts to have most of the footage of myself edited out had largely proven unsuccessful.

“There you go yet again,” I grinned, “Always believing in me when I have zero faith in myself.”

Rob frowned in frustration. “And I don’t understand why you DON’T,” he shot back.

And that, ladies and gentlemen, is why DJ Rob is high on the list of my favorite humans on this planet.

It was good to see Rob again after so long, but nevertheless, this was a part of my life I hadn’t missed: putting my heart and soul on the line for public inspection. All the massive insecurity that comes with that. Rob played the song I had written, the one we recorded together, my first single, and I sheepishly confessed I hadn’t listened to it in months.

When quarantine stripped away the parties, the concerts, the endless parade of pretty distractions, I realized how empty my life actually was. It was an unsettling revelation. Some people adopted pets, some learned to grow plants, but I threw myself into the few people around me who remained. I found myself enjoying this silent new world. Finally, a world created for introverts! It felt cozy, secret, intimate. I dove in deeply.

But the sun-dappled magic of April and May gave way to all the fire and fury of June, and the sudden re-emergence to reality made me feel like a fish ripped from water and jerked without warning into the suffocating air.

All across America, black men can’t breathe. And so, black and white, every nation, tribe and tongue joined together, risking their lives to remove the boot from their backs, knowing that a boot on one of us is a boot on all of us. In every corner of our nation, ordinary people in extraordinary circumstances have taken up a battle cry against tyranny and injustice. I am a lover, not a fighter, but here, in this place and time, if we are to be lovers, we must also be fighters. There is no other way.

We are only two weeks into June, but against this backdrop, I have already learned two harsh truths: love is a gift we all squander, and people don’t listen to what you have to say more than they do when you’re walking away.

Or when you’re lighting a match and setting everything on fire. No one pays attention better than when shit gets drastic, and that is our undoing. If heartfelt whispers in the dark would not go unheeded, no one would have to shout, light a match, break a window, break a heart.

For me — and much to DJ Rob’s dismay — quarantine had not been a time of creation but one of cultivation. But the reopening is here. The re-emergence has been just as much of a shock as the sudden submergence. My fields lie empty; the harvest is gone. The world is on fire, and it is LOUD again.


The same degree to which I lamented the passing of my old life is the same degree to which I no longer want it to return. Everything changed, and I mourned when it happened, but now it feels like everything is back to the same. And for that, I mourn again.

Magic is Not For Sale

The stories have stopped writing themselves the way they usually do. My best days no longer have stories. They are spent dreaming beside a river, watching as the sun like Midas turns everything around me to gold. Captivated by a spider spinning a web in the tree above me. Tasting the tangy crispiness of clover for the first time. Laughing at nothing with my lover. Kissing in underground caverns. Dancing on rocks with the river sprites who call themselves my friends. Way too many whippets and White Claw.

There is a lovely quote from Rumi that describes these days so well.

Observe the wonders as they occur around you. Don’t claim them. Feel the artistry moving through, and be silent.


My life is a lot more silent than it used to be, and I like it this way.

I don’t miss my old life, my old job. I don’t even miss the money anymore. I can no longer buy the life I have now. You can buy fantasy, but not magic. Fantasies are stories that can be told, but magic can only be felt.

Like an eighteen wheeler skidding on ice, the stories are grinding their way back to me. I can hear them coming; I can feel them coming. I have accepted that this is my fate. I don’t dread it, but I do savor the sweet smell of honeysuckle more than I used to, the sound of my mother’s voice over the phone, the nap I can take in the middle of the afternoon.

It is my hope that you, too, have managed to find at least a sliver of peace in the midst of the madness and a few good-natured travelers to help you navigate through the worst of the storms.

If, like me, your life no longer has stories, I hope you like it that way too. Perhaps the best stories are the ones we cannot tell, because you can buy fantasy, but magic is not for sale.

The House of Melancholia

Raise your hands if social distancing is turning you into a zombie.

And not the cool kind of zombie either. The kind of zombie who has a brain but lacks the circadian rhythms necessary for it to function properly. The kind of zombie who will chase you down, not for your brains, but for your hugs and snugs.

When my daughter left for college, she left behind this unsightly, cumbersome Papasan chair – you know, those big, round Asian-looking things? Rattan. Rattan is the word I’m looking for, not Asian-looking, which sounds vaguely racist. My bad.

Anyway, I wanted to get rid of it but couldn’t bring myself to do it, because even though it’s odd looking, it’s so damn comfortable, which is also a thing people say about ME sometimes. LOL. I have piled it full of pillows and blankets, and it has become my nest. It is saving my life right now. I spend most of my time there now, endlessly scrolling through my phone.

I still wanna chase you down for your snugs and hugs. I will settle for an elbow bump, however. We’re worse off for that, though. It is the only thing I can think of that’s stupider than a side hug. Unless I’m greeting Joe Biden, of course. Elbow bumps ONLY for you, pal.

Speaking of Joe Biden, did you catch my last post about being somewhat concerned by the possibility of being sexually assaulted at a nude photoshoot with a perfect stranger? We’re gonna pick up now where I left off then.

The next week, Phil messaged me at the very last minute, wondering if we could meet up a few hours later.

Not a good look, Phil, but also, I’m a little dumb, so I agreed. I had done a bit of research, so I wasn’t terribly worried about this guy. I found out he’s worked with some of you sexy mofos in the past, and that proved to be an excellent reference for him.

We met at the Wal-Mart in Manor and I followed him way out into the countryside. We drove for a Long Fucking Time, which is a legit unit of measurement in Texas.

And then, Phil abruptly pulled his car over. A vast field greeted us. On its horizon, in a messy copse of trees, slumped a grey clapboard house, reveling in its ruin.

The field, easily a hundred yards across, was full of hard clumps of dry dirt. I stood there looking at it for a bit. Then I looked down at the six inch stripper heels I was wearing. Then I looked back at the field. Then I looked back down at my stripper heels.

Phil had said nothing to me of this field.

“Wow!” Phil said by way of greeting. “You really came, uh, ready to go!”

I took one step. My ankle immediately bent into a 45 degree angle. I straightened it and tried again. Same result.

Sighing, I removed the shoes and walked barefoot across the field, an apologetic Phil trailing behind. THAT. WALK. HURT. SO. FUCKING. MUCH.

But it was worth every rock I jammed into my arches in that agonizing walk across the field. I love a good abandoned house. There’s such a wildness, such a mystery to them. Some family hand-cut every single board in the wall, hand-carved each railing on the staircase, went to bed each night underneath the sloping eaves. What happened to them?

There was nary a single piece of sheetrock or popcorn ceilings to be found. The house was made solely of hardwood, some of it weathered, some of it rotted, but most of it still strong, stalwart, a quiet testament to a long forgotten echo. They don’t make houses of this quality and with this much love anymore, but they should. Oh, they really should.

Why do the houses made of plastic and fiberglass still stand, full of laughter and energy and bustle, while this ancestral paragon of unbending oak lies empty and alone? One can breathe in a house like this in a place like this. Here, you can see the sky in places you shouldn’t, but damn, the sky was beautiful.

This house really got to me, for some reason. I related to it. So many times we go unloved when we shouldn’t be. Overlooked when we have so much to offer. Built by love and created to hold space for it, even when the heart remains empty. The steady and strong parts and the weak and crumbling parts equally beautiful, equally picturesque to the few willing to adventure forth and discover.

There was also a lot of rat poop. I’m not gonna sugarcoat how much rat poop there was, and I’m not sure how to romanticize it either. I guess . . . it’s possible to be a thing of overlooked and forgotten value and also be full of rat poop. Perhaps that’s the lesson here, if there must be a lesson here?

I’m still working on the set of photos that resulted from this shoot, which I have dubbed The House of Melancholia, but it is perhaps my most inspired one yet. Obvs, Phil did a fantastic job, each photo walking the fine line between fantasy and nightmare, madness and desire, encapsulating that split second before revelation that holds both a threat or a promise, but you don’t yet know which.

Kermit Kreations Photography | IG: @kermit_k.photo

I suspect we are all balancing on the edges of paradox these days. Too exhausted by loneliness to reach out for connection. Too weak from hunger to cultivate our own sustenance. Choosing to undergo physical deprivation of that which we require for mental survival, destroying the one to save the other.

In the void left when answers have vanished, art suffices.

At least, it does for me.

Murdered Like a Hot Chick in a Horror Flick

“Do you think we could be in Kyle by 6:30?” I asked my boy, Sigmond. “Also, it would probably be a good idea for you to come armed.”

I smiled a little as I wrote that sentence, knowing the thrill it would give my trigger-happy bestie, but truth be told, I was a little nervous.

A few days prior, I had received a DM from one of my Instagram followers, Mr. Krash, requesting a number of things:

a) My VenMo, so he could tip me

b) My willingness to take photos in crotchless lingerie, if he bought it and mailed it to me

c) My willingness to work with a local photographer he liked, if he agreed to pay the photographer

Mr. Krash sent me the photographer’s handle, Phil the Photographer, and I looked him up. Phil’s work was impressive, almost entirely boudoir shots of beautiful women. I clicked to follow him.

Two seconds later, Phil slid into my DMs. “Would you be willing to work together?” he asked.

JEEZUS KEY-RISTE. How on earth did Phil even have time to write that message, much less take a look at my content?

“Ha, ha!” I wrote back. “Funny you should ask that . . .”

Phil and I decided to do two shoots, one for my Instagram fan and one just for us. He asked me to meet him Wednesday evening in an abandoned house in Kyle.

“You cool with that?” he asked.

Well, let’s see . . . A perfect stranger I just met over the Internet wanted to meet me in an abandoned house at night for a nude photoshoot. That sounded like the PERFECT plot device to set me up for getting murdered like a hot chick in a horror flick.

“Into it, Phil!” I wrote back. “See you at 6:30!”

We agreed that it would be a “socially distanced” photoshoot. Keep in mind, Phil, MURDERING PEOPLE WOULD NOT BE VERY SOCIAL DISTANCEY OF YOU!

Hence my message to Sigmond. I basically just wanted to keep Phil safe.

And then we wound up canceling the shoot because it rained on Wednesday. So, you’ll just have to find out next Sunday what happens to poor Phil.

I will not leave you without a weird plot twist, however.

Mr. Krash fucked up. He didn’t VenMo me; he CashApped me instead.

On CashApp, he put his photo in his profile.

Now I’m pretty sure my generous Instagram benefactor is THE BIGGEST VILLAIN IN THIS BLOG SO FAR.

What. The. Fuck.

Just a Normal Girl . . . Creating Porn

If a job interviewer had asked me five years ago where I saw myself in five years, under no circumstances would I have ever said, “Bent over my bathroom floor getting my ass shaved on video.”

I mean, there’s a number of reasons I wouldn’t have said that to a job interviewer, but chief among them is that I never, ever would have imagined myself here five years ago.

Five years ago, I was a somewhat happily engaged woman who spent most of her time skim-coating walls, creating flower arrangements and singing really loudly like a Disney princess so I wouldn’t have to face the fact that I was about to marry a Libertarian.

On the other hand, a job interviewer might appreciate the efficiency of such a task: not only does my unfurry butt look great for future photoshoots, but I now have a great fetish video for my fans! Two birds, one stone!

It was such a mortifying video to make that I couldn’t even bring myself to watch it until the next day. I was pleasantly surprised by the result, however. It turns out that runny shaving cream is oddly arousing.

I am learning a lot from this new endeavor.

I should back up a little.

So there I was, having a great time posting artistic nudes on OnlyFans, when my fans started asking for cum facials and ass-fucking videos.

I really enjoy creating artistic nudes for my fans. It combines my three great loves of nudity, costuming and design. Cum facials and ass-fucking videos . . . don’t really do that.

But whatever my fans my want, my fans get, because that is the kind of bitch I am.


So . . . I hit my up my cute little Coronavirus crush, and he graciously agreed to help. He told me later that while shaving my butt, all he could think was, “Don’t snag the wrinkles! Don’t snag the wrinkles!”

Cute, right? Who knew creating porn would be so cute?

It turns out that creating porn is also super fun. It’s also very exhausting and very sweaty. We relaxed with pizza and anime afterwards, as well as some other stuff I can’t mention, at which point he went to send the photos to a shared Google drive and promptly uploaded them to his work account instead.

Oops. Here’s hoping you don’t have a super awkward Monday morning, Coronavirus Cuddle Buddy!

I am so much more conservative in regards to sex than I previously realized. My other friends doing OnlyFans are like, “Here’s a video of me featuring triple penetration during a Full Blood Moon ritual on the stairs of the Capitol Building! Just another typical Tuesday, haha! Enjoy!”

Meanwhile, I’m over here like, “Good morning, good sirs. If I might bother you for a moment, I’d like to tell you about a selection of videos I have that may suit your libidinous predilections. In the first video, you will see my gluteous maximus become less hirsute, and in the next . . .”

SIGH. I have a super-long way to go before I’m completely comfortable with this. Can I please just go back to making dumb jokes and stripping now?

I have a bunch of odd looking photos and videos on my hard drive now. Some of them are actually sexy. Now, to work up the courage to unleash them on the world.

There’s nary a cum facial video among them, however. Baby Girl kept swallowing too soon. Oops. There would have been a video of me squirting harder than I ever have in my life, but we forgot to turn the video recorder on. Double oops.

Perhaps we’ll try again next weekend.