Big Brothel Is Watching

The first time I called a brothel, I was refused. I had gotten the phone number in a normal way—from a classified ad in a sex magazine. I had chosen a house occupied mostly by dominant women. But among the warrior princesses, the ad promised, there was one who would submit to me.

"If I go with the timid one, what will I get?" I asked.

"You can spank with a Ping-Pong paddle or with your bare hand," the phone sex worker said pleasantly.

"Can I bring my own equipment?" I asked.

"What kind of equipment?" she said.

"The snake, the cat and the dogging bat. You know, for horses who are dogging it."

"You're joking," she said, and hung up.

I called back. "I'm serious, " I said.

She hung up again, this time without comment.

The treatment traumatized me. I didn't call another bordello for years.

What got me back into the old professional swing was a writer friend who was also a madame. Once, when I dropped by her dungeon, she introduced me to one of her staffers.

"This is Trembling Susan," she said. "Susan lets men tie her up and verbally abuse her. She charges two hundred fifty and hour, not including the house fee."

I was conflicted. Should I pay the money and speak my mind to a captive audience? Or should I pull the shade on the house of the rising sun? Should I default on my debts so I could cash in on a little discipline? Or should I keep my whiskers away from the cathouse?

A few days later, I let my fingers do the walking. When Trembling Susan answered the phone, she sounded shaky. "I was robbed," she said, "by a dishonest trick Nazi. My daughter is hungry. The bottoming business is slow. Most Fridays at the dungeon all we do is watch The X Files and eat Chinese takeout. Would you like a discount session?"

I felt sorry. I also felt crazy. "Can I take pictures?" I asked.

"Polaroids," she said.

I reached for my overnight bag.

[Thaddeus Rutkowski/story] [Steven Hartman/collage]
© copyright Thin Ice Press 2007
© copyright Thaddeus Rutkowski 1997, 2007
© copyright Steven Hartman 1997, 2007