Celia Capace - Header - name

Still In The Beginning

When I received the call that someone else had gotten the position I was truly relieved.  I seriously didn't want it after collapsing in a heap on the couch after my last shift. I literally hadn't moved for three days, except for bathroom breaks, and I knew my body wouldn't survive long in the job. I knew from previous experience living with Crohn's there was no point working hard for a living if it killed me.

Instead, I received a different offer from my caller. Thirty hours a week and it would be day shift. I'm surprised to find myself pondering this offer, not thinking of the rigours of the position.  My thoughts go straight to the reality that less hours would provide opportunity for me to recover and still do the tourist thing. It's not like I’d signed a contract and if I couldn't cope I could leave.

Day and night shift in a brothel can be as different as night is to day. Clients of the night shifts, especially on weekends, tended to be a different clientele to day shift, with alcohol and other drugs a huge factor in their behaviour.  Normally, booking times weren't limited with party time mentality kicking in. Understandable, but not always an attractive look or easy to deal with as a bystander.

Day shift were mostly guys popping in due to having some spare time during their usual daily routine. We were a place to escape for some quick, fun relief.  Business wasn't as busy as nights shifts though. Most hadn't imbibed a drug (I include alcohol in the term drug). Anyone who doesn't believe alcohol is a drug is delusional as I found it a close second to methylamphetamine (crystal meth) when it came to dealing with individuals.

I've experienced that some drunks love to argue and I learnt quickly there was no point trying to reason with them. They don't want that as there was no fun in that for them. They wanted combat and when I refused to join them in a fight a few would get angrier.  If they hit this level it was their loss as there was no way I was going to allow someone in that condition alone in a room with a sex worker. They just didn't get past me to meet anyone. Security then took over.

I get that drugs and lust are a powerful combination. It's a beneficial factor in the brothel business. Boy's nights out are common in the brothel world and we have no problem with that. We are happy to be your ‘fun house’, although that doesn't mean do as you please.  For some reason, there's always one loud, rude, drunk, horny and stupid reveller within groups. You don't respect the sex worker, your choice, but our choice is to refuse entry.

Whenever I was confronted with this scenario I'd not acknowledge the drunk. I would explain to all and sundry that they were welcome, and what was available after explaining, for the safety of our workers, why their mouthy friend was restricted from our establishment. Once they took care of that problem, all good, otherwise no go for anyone.  Usually the inebriated would be shouted down or told to piss off. If they did calm down, and I trusted them, I'd offer a second chance. I've seriously never regretted it and a few even apologised at the end of their stay. Maybe it was release of their lust that did it. Others remained dicks, but were no longer threatening or verbally abusive, not to my face anyway.  If a drunk continued with abusive ranting, he was taken care of. After all, the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few… or the one dick. Pun intended.

If guys thought to waste our time with derogatory abuse after a drunken, now broke, night out they were soon outnumbered and out shouted. When outnumbered and abused the pack mentality retreats, tails hanging low between their legs.  Conversation in a brothel is normally subdued. The decor and ambience calls for it and raised voices was a red flag that was instantly reacted to, to our advantage. We may be low-life whores to you yet you came to us, you're here, knowing you must pay to spend time with that whore. Whores that, by your obvious behaviour, now can't afford. By your own standards, that makes you lower.

From the start, day shift was a whole different experience. Helen, the day shift receptionist, was a pleasure to work with and who was the only one to explain what my new position entailed. There were less ladies to deal with and far fewer drunks too.  My 30 hour week consisted of three 10 hour shifts in a row, from Tuesday through to Thursday. This also worked for my Crohn's. Pulling three shifts in a row wasn't easy but it did leave four days to recover. I’d even get in some sightseeing. I had a 10am start, meaning I had more time in the mornings for my Crohn’s to settle and I didn't have to deal with peak hour traffic. Mornings and my Crohn's don’t mix well, stress and Crohn's, not compatible either. All in all I found I was enjoying myself, which was the original idea in the first place.

The only real drama that came my way there happened early on. My second week in I was stocking the upstairs storage cupboard during a period of lull at the bar.  Suddenly, I heard commotion coming from the corridor and am surprised by how loud it had become. My inspection reveals in the hallway a naked man rolled into a tight ball and a tiny woman kicking the living daylights out of him. I mean, she was tiny even in the eight inch high ‘come-fuck-me’ heels, her only attire, she was consecutively booting him with.

'Great! What do I do now?', I think to myself.  I run to the nearby intercom phone and buzz reception.

“Helen, I need help. Upstairs corridor. Now!” I utter, slamming the receiver back down.  

I had no time to explain as I figured she'd see for herself when she got here. It would take her only a minute to get to me but I didn't believe I had that long. I should say, HE didn't.  The girl wasn't relenting, jumping on him and literally digging her heels in. He wasn't going to last another ten seconds. From her cursing I'd derived that he'd removed the condom during sex without her consent or knowledge.  I knew I could just grab her and pick her up off him, she was that small. Her state of nakedness was my obstacle. How does one bodily pick up a naked person, especially a woman? Where does one put their hands? I had little time to think, just to act.

Don't get me wrong, I wasn't taking sides. My first thought was the job at hand; to separate.  I step behind the lady so she's unaware and as I get in close I shut my eyes and envelope her in my arms, grabbing what I can.  I get a good grip and lift. She is now kicking in mid air while in my arms. First crisis averted!

Thankfully, Helen arrives quickly.  I'm still trying, with all my might, to hold onto the struggling girl, for she was committed to her kill.  I yell for Helen to get him away, as far as possible, and to deal with him as I tried to placate the wild woman of the bordello.  No explanation was necessary, her unabated cursing telling her story. He never uttered a word the whole time. Not even as Helen led him away from us.

Long story short I was sorry, truly sorry, there was nothing more I could do as her manager other than offer an ear and a shoulder to cry on.  As I was assigned to tending the bar this was the only other perk I could offer, and she took advantage of it for the day. She couldn't press charges without her profession being disclosed and she didn't want the repercussions which would come from such a course of action.  Sometimes being a victim is reinforced by stigma associated with the sex industry.