I was glad to be working alone that first night. There wasn't much privacy in the Doll House; we each get our own booth, but each booth opens to the same common space behind the main floor, and there isn't much to block the noise among the booths. That night, at least, I wasn't ready to have a more experienced girl judging my clumsy dirty talk.

Still enthused and energetic from my first show, I danced around in my tiny box, trying to catch the eye of passerby I could lure into my booth. The next man to approach me was older, with graying hair, wearing a North Face jacket. He asked me questions as if we were in a bar, seemingly oblivious to my exposed flesh and the glass wall between us. He was fascinated with the fact that I was only eighteen, and asked if this was "all that I was doing" with something like pity in his eyes. Finally, I cut to the chase and asked him if I could interest him in a show, at which point I think he told me he would be right back after browsing around the store.

He returned to tell me, "This isn't really my sort of thing," but that if I wanted somebody to show me around the city and take me out to dinner, I could give him a call. I told him that this didn't really work that way, but that should he change his mind, I had an amazing rack he could see for a mere $20. 

I was glad to be working alone that first night.

It didn't take long to realize that the guys worth my energy weren't the attractive twentysomethings but the ones in the puffy Vikings jackets and glasses from 1976. Those were the ones who would approach me, who would pick up the prison visiting-room-style phone and ask, "How much, baby? Damn, you look fine tonight."

Friday nights, I eventually learned, promised drunken frat boys, groups of uncomfortable-looking women whose sexual curiosity went as far as reading Fifty Shades of Grey in book club, and teenagers with nowhere else to go. Monday mornings were the coveted shift; they promised committed patrons actually willing to put up cash. That first Friday, I spent about five hours of my six-hour shift doing whatever I could to entice any moving body in Sex World, but the one hour my shows took up that night made the other five worth it. I made about $340 dollars, sixty percent of which I would eventually pocket (less taxes). I sauntered out the door at the end of the night with a purse full of dildos and a huge grin.


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