"Brothel?" he'd presumably say, "I had no idea. For you see, these women all signed contracts saying they were massage artists. All this sex-having must have been spontaneous!"
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"Maybe if you weren't so uptight, you'd enjoy some totally-out-of-nowhere sex!"
It didn't take me long to realize that this massage parlor was clearly a brothel. I was there only a few hours before they asked me to be night manager, which is generally not a great sign of a legitimate business. The fact that our job description was "make men feel special" was another. There was also something suspicious about the fact that our spa was located in an industrial district of town, surrounded by warehouses. I agreed to work there anyway because I was desperate. My boyfriend, who had been very abusive emotionally, had just tried to kill me, and I lost my job like two days after leaving him. I didn't apply for the position thinking I'd work at a brothel, but once I found out, I didn't care. I myself was not touching anyone, and I didn't particularly care what other people got up to in the privacy of their own rooms. I could string two words together and handle myself in an emergency, and that's what they needed.
I was surprised by how absolutely mundane it could be. One girl was in college to be a pharmacist. Another had three kids and no child support and was desperate for money. It was the same list of coworkers you'd expect with any other entry-level position (pun intended as hard as it can be). In some ways it was like you'd expect -- girls walking around naked, painting each other's nails -- but the rest of it was run as a normal business. It wasn't even open late; we closed at 11 p.m. That was because the kind of people you probably assume frequent brothels are the kind that tend to stay out late at night. We didn't want them. Can you blame us?
"We've got church in the morning!"