Its a Living

You think your jobs tough? Try being the Ty-D-Bowl Man for Huntington Beach

I note that it's a bit clinical—no natural coming together in a leafy park—and the vet admits that it is. But the options are limited. If you're in some distant land and want the semen of some rare dog, then FedEx, the Internet and modern medicine make it possible to breed across boundaries. It's like an AT&T long-distance commercial for dogs: technology brings them together.

"It's not very interesting," she says. "But it's work."

HOTEL MAID

NAME WITHHELD, IRVINE



What's it like being a hotel maid?

Oh, the guests are very nice. Sometimes I get tips. And my boss is very generous with, you know, my schedule. I have kids, so . . .

Are the guests always very nice?

I shouldn't say, because, you know . . .

So they're not always very nice?

No, not always. Of course not.

What are they like when they're not nice? What do they do?

They make like a lot of demands—ask me to do things I'm not supposed to do.

Like what?

Hang up their clothes. Clean their clothes. Pack their clothes. A lot of that.

What's the worst thing you've been asked to do?

I can't say. One man went to the bathroom in his bed.

He urinated in his bed?

No, he didn't urinate.

[. . .]

I had to clean that up.



PHONE SEX OPERATOR

CASSANDRA, CITY WITHHELD

How do you get into the business?

I did it on a dare. I needed some fast money, and I didn't want to be a stripper. People told me I had such a great voice that I should do phone sex. So I called and arranged an interview, but they'll pretty much hire anyone. The people who stick with it are the ones who get repeat callers.

What's the secret to getting repeat callers?

I think having a good voice is important, but if you don't listen to the client, you're not going to do very well. You need to listen to what they're asking for and create an awesome fantasy. It's all about creating fantasies. I've been everything: a dominatrix for people who want to be controlled, told what to do; those are usually very well-off, rich people who have a lot of power and just want the release of having someone tell them what to do. I did dual calls with another woman so callers could fantasize about two women together. But you have to set limits. I wasn't willing to do calls that involved children or animals. If a client called for that, I'd refer them to someone else.

Can you make pretty good money?

I started when I was in college and did it strictly as a part-time thing. I averaged between $1,000 to $2,000 per month, but there were big swings. When it's tax season, you get fewer calls. When it gets hot, you get less calls. When it gets cold, the calls increase. Guys, for some reason, like to masturbate more when it's cold.

A lot of us have images of phone sex operators from movies and that Aerosmith video—you know, they're actually fat, old, or folding their laundry while they're talking to some guy.

I was a college student when I started, but I was the exception. I'd say that 90 percent of the women were older women who didn't have skills to get a normal job. There were some college students, some young, single mothers. But a lot of the women were in their 40s or older. We had one woman who was in her 80s. I can tell you this: it definitely isn't Girl 6[a Spike Lee film about a phone-sex operator]. I didn't work in some big office. I worked out of my home at my leisure. I told people, "This is a job, not an adventure." And I meant it because most clients' ultimate goal is to meet you. You're this unattainable goal they have created in their minds, and they want you. Clients have sent me all kinds of things to try and convince me to meet them.

What kinds of things?

Flowers, teddy bears, candy, but mostly porno tapes. Yeah, I guess they think I'm going to say, "Porn, ooohh! I want you." The creepy thing is some of them send videotapes of themselves on the phone with me. And when I watched those, I found out that the stuff that I thought was just fantasy roleplaying, they were actually doing. One time, as a dominatrix, I told this guy to shove eight toothbrushes up his ass. I didn't think he was actually doing it. Then I got the video. I told another guy to stick Twinkies up his ass, and I got a videotape. This one guy was describing having sex with fruit when he was on the phone. I thought he was joking. Then, in the mail, here comes the video.

Were you ever tempted to meet someone?
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