"If you don't have a licence to massage, how 'bout you just jerk me off instead?"
I stare, hoping to find an I'm-just-kidding look on his face, but it's nowhere to be found. And so it begins: my life as a rub-and-tug receptionist.
Before I continue, here's what this same man said to the woman who did end up meeting him in a room: "I don't want to cum when you're jerking me off because that's something I do with my wife. So could you give me a blow job without a condom instead and let me cum on your face?"
Well, as a matter of fact, no.
Prior to my controversial career move, I'd been unemployed for three months. Needless to say, after living on 50-cent cans of soup and getting rejected from telemarketing jobs, I felt slightly desperate. Then my roommate (who was also unemployed) came across an ad, "Receptionist wanted for massage parlour." We both knew what that meant. While he had a good laugh, I sprinted upstairs to make the call. I couldn't dial fast enough.
The owner's a man, which makes me uncomfortable. But when I meet him, he seems decent enough (for a rub-and-tug owner). Not only does he tell me this will be the easiest job I've ever had, but I can start immediately. Good enough for me.
The first thing I learn during orientation is that not long ago this was an Asian massage parlour, which meant two things: full service and cheap rates. According to the other workers, I can expect lots of men who'll walk in with hard-ons all the way up to the ceiling and walk out with their heads bowed low when they hear words "Canadian" and "European."
The second thing I am told is - yikes - there's no security, which means I have to be the security. It's a frightening thought. I mean, what can a girl who's 2 inches' shy of being a midget do when confronted by a man who's just been refused a $5 blow job?
What about the owner? Isn't it his responsibility to ensure our safety? No. He only comes in once or twice a week to collect the money from the safe. Other than that, he stays at his other location, where undercover cops sometimes show up.
Until that moment I hadn't realized he had another location, but I'm glad I don't have to work there. Still, the reality that my place of work is an illegal operation makes me bite my nails and scrutinize every man in a suit who walks in.
Thankfully, my co-workers keep my mind occupied. We talk about their lives and how they ended up here. Soon they have me feeling like a protective mom - or, I can't help thinking, a madam.
One of the three rooms is next to the office, and the walls are paper thin. I can hear all the spanking, slurping, grunting, squealing; they aren't just rubbing and tugging in there.
When it comes to what goes on in the other two rooms, the women tell me everything.
I soon begin to recognize the clients based on what they ask for: the guy with the camera who doesn't care who he sees as long as she photographs his erect penis; the guy who brings along his bite plate and wants the girl with the highest heels to stomp on his balls; the guy who always wants to "put it in just a little bit."
He's always refused. There may be a lot of deviance going on in those rooms, but sex isn't part of it.
My co-workers constantly remind me that you have to be a freak to do what they do. So why don't I do it?
I always laugh it off, but I can't help wondering myself. It's tempting when I see how much money they make on a daily basis.
But the temptation ends when one woman says to me, "Every time I step into a room, a piece of me crumbles." No amount of money in the world is worth that.
Do any of the others feel that way? I don't know.
In the end, I discover that the owner expects all the receptionists to become masseuses. When he finally realizes that this receptionist isn't going to, he fires me. Decent, my ass!
One good thing came of it, though: I've saved enough to move up to $1 cans of soup.