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.