I started my second shift that Saturday catering to a Sex World regular. One of the other girls briefed me as soon as he came in, and he came into my booth the same way he always came into hers; his balls deep purple, wrapped tightly in a ratty shoelace. The script that night set the template for every one of his visits.

"Are you going to cut off my balls tonight, Mistress Lola?" he asked. Sometimes I'd let him off, telling him that this was his last chance, and only obedience would spare him the life of a eunuch. Other nights, I'd tell him that this was it; this was his last night with his balls, but that I'd allow him to please himself one last time. I'd tell him to to pinch his nipples and slap his balls, and eventually, I'd allow him to come. He'd thank me repeatedly and come all over the glass. Then he'd unwrap his balls, grin, and tell me to take care and have a great day.

The booth is about creating a reality better than the one either of us is going home to.

Late that Saturday, a very large, very old man approached my booth and closed the doors behind him. He introduced himself, and asked me a lot of questions about where I was from, what brought me to the Cities, and whether or not I had a lot of boyfriends. I told him that I had a few boyfriends, that I didn't like to be tied down.

The sincerity and weariness of his response gave me pause: "A pretty girl like you must. I don't have anyone. I just have you right now." He told he lived alone, that he was bipolar, and that he'd recently had prostate surgery, showing me the diaper he had to wear as a result. He called me "sweet" and "beautiful," instead of the usual "fine," "hot," or "dirty." His loneliness and transparent need helped me realize that the men who came into my booth weren't always looking to get off. Many times, they were just looking for someone to distract them. They didn't need a quick orgasm, they needed a break from their life; from women crossing the street to avoid them, from one-bedroom apartments and dinners alone.

My booth was a place of fantasy, of escape. Men didn't have to be loners to come to me — no one type of man came into the Doll House. I got married men, wedding band glinting as they begged me to let them come. Closing in on the end that first weekend at Sex World, I learned that the booth is about creating a reality better than the one either of us is going home to. In there, I'm Lola, and Lola is in control of everything. She doesn't worry about homework, or relationships, or bills, or how fucking cold Minneapolis is this time of year. I ask them, "What can I do for you tonight, baby?" but they never know what Lola does for me.


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