Best Way to Meet Sex Workers (for Free) (2010)

Red Umbrella Diaries

When blogger Audacia Ray got her start in sex work, she learned that she had to find her niche. After a few tries, it turned out that her most special ability was pretending to be asleep—after all, there's a fetish out there for everyone. Ray's story about being fake-smothered with chloroform for a "sleepy" porn is one of the hilarious tales relayed at the storytelling party she founded, the Red Umbrella Diaries. On the first Thursday of each month, Ray lines up a slew of sex workers who have put a literary spin on the oldest profession. At the last reading we went to, we heard from Michael Pollack, the infamous owner of New York porn theaters in the '70s; Lauren Wissot, the author of Under My Master's Wings, a memoir about her time as a personal slave to a gay-for-pay porn star; Veronica Vera, the founder of Miss Vera's Finishing School for Boys Who Want to Be Girls; former stripper Chelsea G. Summers; and pro-dom Widow Centauri. It's not exactly a turn-on, listening to Wissot explain how her master ordered her to pretend to be a stripper for his girlfriend, or Vera describing the odd habits of viewers at her peep show, but it's certainly captivating. When Centauri reads, "I like to pee on boys. I like to get paid to pee on boys," you know this isn't your run-of-the-mill lit party.


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