amanda36c

Book Excerpts

Excerpts
“I rushed to the phone to call Ron but the lines were closed. There was no way to call into New York. While frustrated and confused, I needed to tap into that presence of mind to understand these were dire circumstances and I was not the only one trying to reach someone in that city, which by now, the entire world had heard was under attack. I sat, glued to the television, watching as new footage came in, hoping for a glimpse of something reassuring me that he was okay. Death counts kept coming in and even the tough-as-nails news anchors and reporters, used to being on the front lines of hard stories, were clearly humbled.”
“Sex and dinner, in that order of satisfaction, made for a very interesting date. If I were counting, I’d have to say it was probably the eighth date but since the sex came first, then it was sex after seven. “
“He had a very outgoing personality, was in great shape and seemed to really enjoy living in the moment. His large sized frame and broad shoulders drew a lot of female attention. A girl can’t help but notice. His advances were subtle but easy to pick up on. He leaned in extra close beside me to explain their system and how to log in. I could feel his massive bulky, rock-hard thigh rub up against mine as he spread his legs, the way guys do, to get comfortable in his seat.”
“There was something very energetic about her presence and inviting in her stare and she looked right at each customer below, giving the occasional wink and just a little lick of the lips. The timeless flirt. Guys were howling like wolves in no time. The entire place turned their eyes to her and knowing she had all their attention, she signalled the ones in the back tables to come closer. They quickly moved to seats closer to the stage. She worked that room so good, guys were begging her to strut over their way with handfuls of bills ready to pile into the already over-stacked collection around her waist. If I was to be successful with what I was about to embark upon, this would be a good first lesson in how to hustle.”
“The seating areas were dark. Colorful red, orange and yellow lights lit the stage and I could feel the slow, loud music’s heavy beat in my chest. The manager returned a few moments later to tell me there might be a short delay due to the weather. He also assured me that, as a policy, they do not allow a woman to enter the establishment unaccompanied by a man. It’s assumed she might use the ‘surroundings’ to her advantage in getting their male patrons to buy her drinks or that she would solicit them, with her own sexual services. I assured him that was not my intention. He was called away by a bartender but I could feel his eyes all over me while I sat there. I looked around carefully, so as not to make it look like I was staking out the joint. I was just curious. I don’t exactly hang out in strip clubs so the entire scene was new to me.”
“The snow had gotten really high really fast and was blowing around like crazy. So here I was, about to walk through the doors to a strip club. By myself. A young woman, underneath a long coat, wearing black pants, a blue sweater and a hopeful smile. There to greet me was a bouncer. Before saying anything, he tilted his head to look behind me, as if to see if anyone was following. “Are you alone?” he said. I paused for a moment to think about why he would ask that and why it mattered. Came up blank. “Yes, I am. I just need to use the phone, if that’s OK”. He looked back to signal the manager over. At this moment, I was feeling pretty weird. Is it taboo now to enter an establishment, in an emergency, and ask to use the phone? The manager smiled at me and asked politely to see some ID. I was flattered. At 29, if someone is asking to see your ID, you’re doing alright.”
“Seeing their perfect two-lane structure down the hallways at the train station often had me thinking about what it must be like to live that other life, to be that regimented . It seemed almost robotic to me. Every now and then someone on the left would say hi or give the nod to someone on the right, headed in the opposite direction but they would never stop to chat. Their lives were too busy and rushed for human interaction. I’d often stop at the coffee shop to enjoy a decaf and a cigarette if a place in the limited smoking area happened to be available. I watched the working crowd go by, thinking how I was once one of them, feeling fascinated with their ability to continue on, doing the same thing every day.”
“I wore a satiny black and white zebra patterned teddy with black fishnet stockings, a fan favourite. It wasn’t until I called the long-distance number to report the errors I had with signing in, that I found out about the site-wide issues and not until I pressed for more information. “Are the servers being rebooted right now?” I asked, “Will it be long before they’re back up and running?”. The technician’s reply was short, “No ma’am, no problems here.”. I started to describe the errors in detail and he interrupted with another short response, “We’re working on it, miss Amanda”. There was a short pause, followed by dead silence for about three seconds, and then, in a lower voice, he asked “Did you clear your cookies, Amanda?”. He followed this with his personal assurance that things would work “splendidly again” once I did that. I did and they didn’t. “
“The first message read: “Hi Amanda. My name is Jason. Check out my profile and if you think we have something in common send me a reply.”. The pictures and descriptions all pointed to a guy who loved the gym. All the time. In fact, if you went to that gym and saw a bed in the back, you’d be sure it was his. He practically lived there. It came as no newsflash that he also worked there. I was expecting a little diversity with his hobbies, interests but was not entirely shocked to read about how he loves to spend his spare time “working out intensely”. His other interests included “spin class”, “sushi” and “woman that like to work out”. Did he mean “women that like to work out”, as in plural? Or “a woman that likes to work out”, as in one woman? Regardless, if those two things were the biggies on his list, we had nothing in common.”
“To have to explain or defend oneself is never enjoyable and having to endure the long stares and judgemental glares often only makes the situation more uncomfortable. It was that very mindset I took with me to the dating scene, but quickly wondered if it would yield me any better results than had I gone with the simpler, more honest approach; to blurt out the truth about my job, in black and white, in the description box that was typically reserved for accomplishments and other bragging rights.”
“My worry was that since I was pretty sure they were monitoring me closely, the site would take notice of my absence and assume I was moonlighting over at a competitor’s platform. On second thought, it couldn’t hurt to let them think that. If I acted like I didn’t care about the job, they wouldn’t have anything to hold over me or dangle in front of me. There were times I’d state something in the forums, only to later find a slowdown in traffic to my chatroom. I brushed it off as coincidence at first but it soon became a pattern, and it was pretty obvious this was deliberate.”
“Nothing could have prepared me for the session ahead. It was raw, unpleasant, impersonal and above all; exhausting! What started slow and typical had progressed rapidly into rounds of thrashing and hard pumping complete with loud screams of pleasure (or so it was portrayed). By the time all three long sessions were over, I was left feeling as banged up as the football after a Superbowl win. My beverage of choice was not coffee this time, it was plain, filtered, thirst-quenching water. “
“Sandwiched between those manly messages was an email with the subject header “Account Suspension”. This came as no shock to me. My immediate thoughts went to what I had written in the forums. For a moment, I felt like a child that had just gotten caught with her hand in the cookie jar. Before opening the email, I recalled the exact words I had chosen, which were pretty harsh but nonetheless, standing firm in my belief of what was going on. There was no other way to justify the hold on our revenues.”
“I read over the details for what seemed like hours until finally mustering up the strength to confront them. With the exception of about a handful of anonymous posts from chathosts terrified to drop their handles for fear of repercussion, the forums remained silent on the topic. Other little insignificant threads started popping up and gaining ground, overshadowing the most pressing issue; our revenues. From rattled mind to words entered on a keyboard, came my uncensored point of view on this revenue hold situation. My displeasure with it, at the forefront of the accusations. Was it crazy to think they would use our money to invest? Then I must be insane to outright accuse them. I further stated that the reasons they gave were nothing short of excuses. How well would it go over with us if they were to say “we want to invest and we want to use YOUR money to do so.”? Anger and frustration flowed through my veins as my typed words appeared on the screen. I could sense a feeling of relief the closer I got to my closing statements. Without hesitation and not even looking back to edit, I hit enter. If life had taught me anything, it’s that there is a reason we were given instincts; they’re our go-to when nothing else can be trusted.”
“My mood shifted from shopping glory to frail confusion. I badly needed someone in the company to break this down for me. First, a break to clear my head. There was not only frustration building but I could feel myself starting to question, distrust them.
I had never before felt less in control than the moment it dawned on me I had relied too heavily on the site. Some small part of me remained hopeful this wasn’t just some attempt to test backlash from little bits of revenue being played with here and there. Perhaps a test of the waters to see what they can and can’t get away with when it comes to our money.
“”Dear Amanda, I dropped by your chat room today but didn’t want to bother you as you were busy with customers. I would have preferred an official introduction but that just didn’t seem possible at the time. I produce adult films and currently have a spot available that I think might fit you well. You definitely have the look we’re seeking. I would like to invite you to audition. There are a few roles to choose from and the pay would be extremely generous. Please let me know if you are interested. This would involve some travel but no permanent relocation. Accommodations would be provided and paid for. The only thing you would need to bring is yourself and some normal clothing. We will supply the work threads. 🙂 Please contact us at your earliest convenience. – Sincerely, Jason”.
This might have been the chance of a lifetime for some, dependent on aspirations and goals but it didn’t have that same appeal to me. If health concerns weren’t reason enough to steer clear, my moral boundaries were. I replied with a short polite decline and thanked him for considering me, though something in the back of my mind wondered if this was some sort of test. He did not leave a last name or company name and no contact information whatsoever except Jason, followed by a long sequence of numbers at a Hotmail address. Anyone with the business savvy of a flea should rule this out as being a serious professional business proposition. If not, they truly deserve what they get. Admittedly, I was pretty wet behind the ears when it came to business deals in the porn world. Despite my disinterest, I still had questions but chose to lay them to rest. None of it seemed right to me in the first place and what would I gain but lies in response? I didn’t see the point. While letting things go and walking away was not in my nature, neither was wasting ridiculous amounts of time. It only took a couple of hours before a response showed up in my inbox and it was anything but pleasant. He wrote: “Well Amanda, all I can tell you is you are missing out on a life-changing opportunity here. Your loss though. If you think you can make more money sitting on cam every night, then go for it. I have 2 girls that signed up just this month and they have already earned $20,000. for a few nude scenes and a movie shoot. I sincerely hope you don’t let your bitchy attitude hinder your success.
If it wasn’t crystal clear before, nothing could have solidified it more than that last sentence. A true masterpiece in the psychology of the web’s slimiest porn pimps. There was nothing to be admired by his approach and certainly nothing appealing about his follow-up last-ditch sales pitch. It might have served him better to hire someone to do the recruiting for him. This obviously was not his forte. “
“I found myself particularily amused with a thread discussing money and comparing this to a ‘real job’. One harsh truth, according to our rapidly flourishing industry is that sex is one of the only trades that provide good paying jobs for under-educated women. From my vantage point, it was a big farm with the girls playing ‘follow the leader’, like sheep. They would follow trends set by those who pose as their successful counterparts. Best described as a ‘wolf in sheep’s clothing’ I was soon to learn. Yet to enter a room to witness evidence that any such level of success can be achieved, I became skeptical and started to question everything that didn’t seem right. The more I read in those forums, the more questions surfaced in my mind. Could this be a mistake, moving forward? “
“My next set of emails from Shauna came with a couple of attachments in the form of pictures. The first was of a slightly heavy-set bearded guy holding up what looked like a cardboard sign with the site’s name on it, its logo and some familiar little graphics with the same color scheme they used on the site. My first thought was “so this is what the boss looks like.”. Not that I’d lost any sleep over wondering what he looked like, but I was just as curious as anyone would be.
The next picture was of the same man sitting in a chair with his eyes fixed on a computer screen and his mouth a perfect circle open. Probably the way he’d look after just having bitten a chunk off a banana. “
“There were good days and there were bad days but then there were Michael days, which, if you were lucky, happened on a day that the block button actually worked. No such fortune was in the cards for me.
For some reason, despite the ban, he was able to return to my chat room. “Hi Amanda. It’s me, Michael. I have come in peace.”. Imagining a little green man standing there with a white flag made me chuckle but I didn’t want him to think I was happy to see him, so I ignored him for a few minutes, hoping he would think I was laughing at something someone else wrote in the chat. “Amanda, did you see my text? Are you mad at me and not talking to me now?”. I stared at the camera, with a bit of an arched eyebrow and blank stare, as if to say “you’re kidding, right?”. “
“I finally found the microphone that was compatible with my system. It rocked to offer sound to my customers and they were all blown away.
The first customer I tried it out on had trouble hearing me. Not quite knowing what to do, I referred to what I always saw others do in this situation. I tapped the microphone head and started talking into it “testing .. 1, 2, 3,.. Now can you hear me?”. That didn’t seem to work, so I unplugged it and plugged it back in. Still nothing. I guess he had decided I was frustrated enough and confessed, “Just kidding honey. I can hear you great. I like your expressions when you get mad though.”. I wasn’t mad but I thought I might have some fun with him, so I discreetly switched the microphone’s sound off and started talking to him again, knowing that all he could see were my lips moving. It would have been better if I had been able to see his face but based on what he wrote in the text chat, my efforts paid off. “Hey I can’t hear you.”. “No really. I’m not joking this time.”. “I think your mic got unplugged.”. I even made the condescending gestures that, in no uncertain terms, told him I wasn’t buying it. I put the microphone up close to the cam to show him I was switching it back to the ‘on’ position. I let out a little giggle to let him know I was playing with him. He laughed and then took me private for a twenty minute workout. At least that’s what it felt like anyway. I broke a pretty good sweat. “
“The more I read of the replies, the more I realized that these people, regardless of which group they belonged to, all had one thing in common; a sheep mentality. I could understand the fear of being outcast but never at the expense of my own principles and better judgement. If I felt strongly enough about something, it didn’t matter if the whole world was against me. I stood up for what I believed in. I rationalized with that thought. It’s true that everybody wants to be liked but if you’re a decent person, people will eventually see that.”
“”Gentlemen, start your engines!”. That was one of my favorite taglines for the sign-in form when starting a new session. Customers receiving my live notices in their email inboxes would see this, so it was important the message be concise and clever. “Come get my sex” and “Your fantasy girl” were already taken by the beautiful but not so well-versed in English, European studio girls. I had to come up with something more North American. It didn’t bother me that customers and guests thought I was American. It was better in fact, for them to think I lived somewhere other than where I did. It helped me to establish a more solid sense of security.”
“I was overdressed for the occasion with my sweatpants and tee shirt and despite being oblivious to what my purpose for being there was, I was certain it was not to be anyone’s servant, eye candy or conquest. It’s amazing how in touch with your thoughts you are in dreams. I actually felt like a ghost, making my way down the fancy stone walkway, through the crowds of sex-hungry men and women in their eagerness to please the highest bidder. I woke to the immediate thought “Wow! What made me dream up something like this?”. “
“As I made my way through the aisles of perfumes, lipsticks, miracle creams that were all a thriving part of the multi-billion dollar cosmetics industry, it occurred to me that I was their target candidate. A woman in the age range that is old enough to be able to afford such luxuries but young enough for them to look really good on. A woman who is just naive enough to believe they work but not educated enough to scientifically dispell their myths about how it’s done. Pure genius. Christian Dior was my favorite because they knew how to rock those eye shadow color palettes. Let’s just say I didn’t go home empty-handed. Sometimes, we have to put our intelligence aside and just indulge in the moment. Otherwise known as impulse shopping, which is another thing that industry knows about us women all too well. “
“The magic phrase that made Michael decide to take the plunge and pay for the service I so often hinted existed, was “I have someone coming back in 5 minutes for a show”.”
“I wasn’t about to divulge any trade secrets picked up along my short journey so far, to the competition, so I just went with how the cam caught some good daylight one day and I chose to pounce on that opportunity to take some pics. In reality, it took weeks of struggling with poses and extensive lighting placement experimentation to get it just right.”
“In my own logic, success follows what happens once we’ve mastered the art of learning from our mistakes. Failure is what happens when we repeat them. I got to know some of the girls through the message boards and left my online footprint there for others to learn about me, as well. While there appeared to be a lot of interaction, the general attitude seemed void of team player mentality.”
“A sound resembling a cowboy’s cheer, “yeee hawww” rang through to indicate a paying customer had entered the chatroom. After sneaking in one last sip of my warm decaf, I shifted my attention to him and smiled.”
“I asked “so you never mentioned this to Alex?”. His eyes wandered over the the general direction of Alex’s desk “no but I will, I’ll have to”. Paul said quietly, “you can start as soon as tomorrow” and he pulled out a small box from under his desk, opened my tote bag and shoved it inside. It was a brand new webcam. “you call me tomorrow at 5 and I’ll walk you through the set-up”. I nodded. It was hard to contain my excitement. I might have let out a little yelp as soon as I got outside and turned the corner. This would be a game changer. “
“. I began to get the impression these guys were contracting for a bigger company that ran a site where our live streams would appear. That meant that all I needed for the set-up was basically what they had in the rooms; a computer, webcam, internet connection and of course, someone to help me with the configuration of it all. “
“I assured him that I was working as hard as I possibly could and that if he was looking for someone to up their game a new level every time they were confronted about it, then perhaps he should try to find someone who was at the bottom of theirs.”
“With a customer on one end and a girl performing acts of a sexual nature on the other, I couldn’t imagine where the need for a middleman came. Nothing against my friend, but the logic that even begins to explain or justify his sizeable earnings, completely escaped me. While we were all tossed scraps for our hard work and marketing skillsets, they took home the lion’s share. “
“The stress of not working for a few weeks had taken its toll on me but I was pretty confident. Knowing that I had the skillset necessary, the job itself was a given. For once in my adult life, I was the one in control. Should I decide to negotiate an hourly wage, they would have to at least consider it. After all, experienced employees in this industry were rare and I had that slight advantage.”
“My purchase of a plastic dildo and chocolate shaped dick had me feeling somewhat like a cheapskate but that didn’t bother me. The cashier still tucked them nicely into a pretty little black bag and wished me a nice day. The guard at the exit area opened the door for me as I left and I still felt somewhat important. I tossed the bag into my work bag and headed home.”
“I was glad to have a moment to recover from the shock before our meeting was set to begin. I gulped down that last sip of coffee as if it were a shot of vodka and made my way out the door and across the street. A quick glance around told me I was overdressed for the occasion. Trying to be underdressed would be the real challenge. The sun beaming through the large windows lit up that entire main floor beautifully. I could see every speck of dust on Gerant’s desk and every wrinkle on his face. “
“I didn’t hate her as a person. There were times she could be quite pleasant. It was her lack of morals and loyalty that bothered me. I know her personal life was none of my business, but in dealings with people in general, I like to know some level of trust was established. I had a really hard time not judging her based on what she’s shown me, of her character. “
“Increased gaps of silence toward the end told me I was doing well. If he was able to use the chat, there was room for improvement. This was my art and I wanted to perfect it. I even joined him for a smoke afterward. Something I considered good P.R. in the cyberworld. “
“”Amanda” he called, as I came down the hallway. “this is Bobbi. Bobbi, Amanda. You’ll be working together…” he was quick to correct himself, “I mean as co-workers, not in the same room, not together, together.” he smiled. We all smiled. The good thing was, no one felt uneasy about this. I made it perfectly clear when we spoke the other day, that solo was the only way I would do this.”
“The convenience made sense if he were to recruit more girls. He chose one of the girls that worked with us to run that studio. A rather slutty one, who, most of us suspected was already having ‘sexual relations’ with him.”
“There were a lot of better paying jobs out there that didn’t require taking one’s clothes off. I anticipated a pay raise discussion in the not too distant future but no sooner than I’d proven my worth. “
“He was a workout junkie and fitness freak. Everything was about working out and looking good. I imagined tying him up to a chair and force feeding him Lucky Charms cereal.”
“On his screen were five fully nude women in sexually empowering positions with one extremely lust-driven man and text splashed all over the page, announcing what was about to happen in the scene and asking visitors to sign up to see more. I laughed “Are they modelling lingerie online?””
“I listed the names of a few different companies where I worked as a secretary and receptionist, some of the bars I worked for as well but omitted the modelling go-sees. In the back of my mind, I knew it would serve as useless as tits on a bull.”
“One grunt before the line went dead was usually how it ended. The occasional ‘thank you’ was nice. It’s strange that customers, thriving on lust, would offer so little in the way of human interaction.”
“There was one ad, in another section, that read “Women wanted to model lingerie online. No experience necessary”. My mind wandered back to a few years prior, where I tried out for some modelling gigs but was never called back.”
“Envision a woman dressed in a mini skirt, bending over and wiping down the table that holds the coaster that your beer sits on. How glamorous.”
“I looked over at my newly purchased, second-hand Pentium 1, with its external 28.8k modem, which was pretty hi-tech at the time, and wondered if I had the right set-up to stream video. “.There’s a lot to put together.