For a hack like me who makes a living doing odd gigs, December can be a pretty slow month.
It’s too cold to run around naked in the desert with photographers, too cold to hang out on the Strip posing for photos in a skimpy costume, and there aren’t many conventions going on this time of year, either. So I have to get creative – even more creative than usual!
The trouble is, despite apparent evidence to the contrary, I won’t do just anything for a buck. I have these troublesome things called “standards,” and while my personal standards are lower than most, believe it or not I have still turned down a gig or two in my day. Although the gig has to be pretty damn creepy to weird me out!
One time, this guy hired me to write reviews of all the local strip clubs for this website he’d started that was like the XXX version of Yelp! – but the catch was, I had to go into each club wearing these glasses that had a hidden camera in them, so that the site users could see for themselves what type of cooze was on display.
While it sounded fun in a Cold-War-kinda way, I was unsure of the legality of the whole thing, and chickened out for fear I’d be discovered and beaten up by a burly bouncer.
Another time, some poor freak emailed me asking how much I would charge to come over to his room at the Orleans and go over his entire body with a vacuum cleaner hose. This was back when I first started doing fetish modeling, so I was too weirded out to take him up on it, although in retrospect, I definitely should have.
Who else was gonna vacuum this poor sap’s balls? It would have been an act of charity.
Then another time, I almost got hired as a live sex demonstrator at a private couples’ intimacy workshop. All I’d have to do was have sex on a platform in a room full of people, employing various positions and techniques. Gee, I don’t know why I backed out on that one!
I couldn’t always afford such high standards, though. Back in the depths of the recession, when my ex-boyfriend left me holding the bag on an underwater ARM loan, I was pretty desperate to make some cash. That’s why I started nude and fetish modeling in the first place: I had to feed the beast at Chase every month!
Most of the fetish gigs I took were innocuous enough – stuff like eating pie and spitting in wineglasses and whatnot - except for this one creepy motherfucker who hired me for his “damsel in distress” website. If you’ve never heard of it, “damsel in distress” is a sub-genre of bondage fetish featuring amateur-style photos and videos of fully-clothed women hogtied and gagged – schoolgirls, Hooters girls, etc…all with “fake-terrified” expressions.
I’ve gotten into deep shit by disparaging this “art form” in the past, so let’s just say that while it’s a perfectly healthy and normal fantasy, it’s a little too rapey for my taste. I didn’t realize all this when I took the gig. “Damsel in distress” sounded cute and fun, like those old-time silent melodramas where the mustachioed villain ties the heroine to some train tracks.
The reality, however, was a different story. Instead of train tracks, I was tied up in a dingy room at Palace Station by a balding, sweatpants-clad perv who resembled Mr. Belding from Saved By the Bell. He tied me up so hard it really hurt, gagged me, and then told me to squirm around and make noise while he filmed the ordeal for his website.
I started to cry halfway through the ordeal, but I had to make that fucking mortgage payment, so I sacked up and finished the shoot, and sent the cash to Jamie Dimon, who I’m sure pissed it away on Beluga caviar and strippers anyway. Or for all I know, pissed it away on creepy downloads of hogtied, weeping broke chicks squirming around on the floor at Palace Station!
Anyway, the guy who runs that website still hits me up all the time, offering me more and more money to shoot with him again, but I always turn him down. Since I already lost my house, I’m not that desperate anymore!
But, here I am – shiftless and unemployed, facing another hard-candy Christmas. I couldn’t get a gig at the rodeo, and I still haven’t been booked for anything on New Year’s Eve. But despite the fact that I voted for Obama – TWICE - I’m not one to sit around bitching and asking for a handout.
I am, however, gonna have to lower my standards.
I’m still not desperate enough for damsel-in-distress, but I did just book the next-worst thing: a foot fetish shoot. Now, normally I don’t mind foot fetish stuff at all. I’ll gladly let any takers slobber on my toes for a buck or two. The problem is, these foot websites also need chicks to do the slobbering once in a while…and this particular site would only hire me if I agreed to be the “worshipper” instead of the worshippee.
That’s right; I have to get down on my hands and knees and suck some other chick’s toes – with gusto!
So if you’re wondering why my Christmas gifts are so shitty this year, now you know. You’d better appreciate that dollar-store tchotchke…look what I had to do to pay for it!
SARAH JANE WOODALL is a one-woman culture festival. Read more at her blog, wonderhussy.com