Just Another 24-Hour-a-Day Job

I know I’m going to get a lot of pushback when I admit how much I like looking at naked women

All my life I’ve worked in and around porn. First as a writer, then as an editor, and finally as a web content provider. Most people recoil in horror when I tell them what I do. This is the United States of America, after all, Puritania with a capital P. Unless you’re in the business yourself, you don’t realize that it’s still a business. You’ve got customers to satisfy, schedules to meet, bills to pay, and workers to contend with. Ah, the workers!

How did I arrive at such an enviable position? Was I born to the trade? Fact is, I was just another impecunious art student. You’ve seen the type, even if you didn’t recognize him. Slowly accreting a portfolio, slipping from one gallery and ad agency to the next, working as a waiter, a barista. I even did construction, the only ‘white’ guy on the crew. My Spanish was lousy, but I did the lousiest jobs, carried the heaviest sacks, dug the deepest trenches in the hardest dirt. The other guys saw that I was as willing to sweat as much as they were. They were, I have to say, nicer than your average ‘white’ American.

I could’ve stayed in construction. The money was okay, but my thirst for beauty kept me on the lookout for some oasis somewhere. Little did I know that I would find it in the San Fernando valley, tucked away in remote corners of North Hollywood, Tarzana and Pacoima. At first I tried my hand at layout, but soon found that I was even better at finding words to decorate the various bodies on display.

I know I’m going to get a lot of pushback when I admit how much I like looking at naked women. I’m dehumanizing them, turning them into sex objects. Luis Bunuel has a movie called That Obscure Object of Desire. I forget what it’s about, but the fact that the title stuck with me suggests something interesting or important about desire. You never know what’s going to pluck your G-string. Five days a week, sometimes seven, I pore over the latest images, looking for Miss It, the one that will cause the most Ids to beat the loudest drums. Christopher Logue, the British poet and writer, has a version of the Iliad where he calls Aphrodite ‘Miss Tops and Thongs’. Seems about right to me.

But no girl, even on her best day, is the goddess. That’s okay. The rest of us, the poor saps searching for the ultimate, will just have to keep on looking. That’s what keeps the porno business in business. Other people have their God. I have my goddesses. Demi-goddesses. (Demi Moore isn’t half bad, especially that picture of her pregnant. I just don’t want to think about how she got pregnant, her and whatshisname.)

We’re wishful beings, and our wishfulness never sleeps. Three wishes said the genie, and I’ve had my three. Most of us do. Some of us get lucky, and get a few more. But there are those times in every life, when wishes are not being granted, and comes a time when wishes may never be granted again. What to do, what to do? Me, I sit down at my trusty, rusty typewriter and begin hammering away, usually with an alcoholic beverage and a group of new playmates. Used to be I could knock out a story in the course of an afternoon. Now I take my time. I know I’m cooking when, as the old song goes (Robert Johnson’s Lemon Song), the juice runs down my leg.

The fact is (a fact which is as disturbing to me as it must be to anyone else) is that I don’t have a type. Aren’t you supposed to have ‘a type’? Art school corrupted me, teaching me to see the beauty in Botticelli, in Ingres, in Manet and Matisse, in O’Keefe and Kahlo. I guess I’m still surprised at some of the girls I drool over (and on), but I’ve gotten used to it, figuring there’s something deep inside, something hard-wired in my loopy DNA that triggers that response.

Often, when I’m between wives and girlfriends (yes, I am not monogamous; chew on that), I seek companionship in the ‘lower quarters where the ragged people go.’ (Paul Simon) And usually my companion will look nothing like the last wife or girlfriend. Blondes follow redheads, brunettes succeed blondes, pixies supplant amazons, fatties displace tri-athletes. I’m a complicated fellow, my genes are.

But, no, I lied. I do have a type, the cause of every divorce and break-up I’ve ever suffered. Pregnant girls, mothers-to-be, their bellies swollen, breasts inflated with milk-giving potential, nipples erect, aureoles dark. All that extra meat on back and buttocks and thighs. They’re pheromone factories. I can’t get near one without beginning to sweat, exuding my own kind of milk.

I suppose the happiest times in my sex life were when my wives were pregnant. Months five and six was the very best sex I’ve ever had. Ripe and horny, their genitals swollen to twice normal size, juicy as mangoes, and I was harder (and possibly bigger) than I’d ever been, the friction ecstatic, our orgasms, on a scale of one to ten, eleven and a half.

Most prostitutes — I’m sorry, sex workers — stop work when they’re obviously preggers, but I go out of my way to find the pregnant ones. I can say I’ve never been disappointed. My latest companion (she says, ‘Call me Betty’) is well into her sixth month, so we’ve been seeing one another for three months. She says this is her fifth kid, and yes, she knows who the father is, and no, he’s not around anymore. I don’t care as long as I don’t get too serious. We spend all day in bed. (Her mom looks after the other kids.) She’s not the youngest sex worker I’ve ever fucked, but then neither am I her youngest client, either. And yet the sex is the best. She likes it that I take my time, that I’m not afraid to spend time and attention satisfying her needs. It helps relieve some of the muscle and back pain, which are an unavoidable consequence of her condition.

I don’t know how long we’ll continue like this. By month eight or nine, she’s going to be too uncomfortable for anything but a hand job.

Just last night she says to me, “I don’t think we’re going to be able to keep this up.”

“How long you think we’ve got?” I asked

“Based on previous experience, I’d say a month. Maybe less. Maybe we should take a vacation. Before we say goodbye. You know, like a honeymoon in reverse.”

I could see what she was getting at. We had a good thing going, and it wasn’t going to last. I almost started to feel sad, sad for myself, sad for her. Loss is a part of her job, a prior condition. At least she’s got her kids. I just hope they’re more comfort than mine.

“Where should we go,” I say. “Vegas? Hawaii? Acapulco?” I know I sound like a piker but I have two and a half alimony payments every month, plus my kids are always hitting me up for new computers and airline tickets back to college.

“I always wanted to go to Europe,” she says. “See Paris or Rome.”

“Europe’s nice,” I say. “Lots of nice little towns. Long way to go, though, for a gal in your delicate condition. That’s a long ten hours cramped in coach.”

“You’re right,” she says. “But if we don’t go now, I might never get there.”

I see her point. How many sugar daddies in her future?

“Okay,” I say, considering the mayhem I’m about to inflict on my IRA. “You do the research and I’ll buy the tickets. But do it today.” I didn’t want to tell her that I might change my mind, the minute she takes her hand off my cock.

But I didn’t change my mind. And that’s how I got married a fourth time, this time to Elisabeta, this time in Marburg, some tiny hilltop town in Germany. Who’d have guessed?