Pride and Prejudice and Porn

I was an English major.  I had spent five years of my life earning a four-year degree by reading literature and attempting to craft it.  So what was I doing here in an office with posters of buxom girls in bikinis smiling coyly through faces full of makeup, and a glossy copy of Hustler facing me on the desk?

I was talking my way into an unpaid internship for a brand new magazine being launched by a company that owned a chain of “gentlemen’s clubs,” that’s what.  I reminded myself not to insult them by saying “strip clubs.”  I reminded myself that it was an important distinction and that, after all, sexuality was a natural beautiful thing that all modern post-feminism-movement women should embrace.

“Are you ok with nudity?”

I blushed.  “With umm, being around nudity or…  ?”  “Oh yes.  We want to make sure you’d be comfortable with that before going further.”

I couldn’t stop blushing and the man and woman interviewing me could see that.  I decided to own it.  Damn if I would let my fickle face lose a job opportunity for me.

“Well,” I grinned broadly.  “I blush easily but I’m ok with it.  At least I save money on makeup, right?”  They paused and looked at me.  I held my smile and told myself to exude confidence.  Don’t blink, don’t blink, don’t blink.

They smiled back.  “Good answer!”  Great, I was in.  Except I still didn’t know what I was in for.

We spoke about content and the direction they wanted the magazine to take.  I gave them every idea I could, drawing on the little knowledge I had of their world.  It wasn’t that difficult.  I wasn’t a complete innocent.

“How about an article on the customer’s experience?”  Their faces brightened.  “The excitement, the atmosphere, the umm.  Umm.”  “The fantasy?” the woman asked eagerly.  That was the perfect word and one that made me understand more about what they were selling.  It wasn’t about sex necessarily.  This was the idea I could write to.  “Yes,” I said.  “The fantasy.”

By the end of my interview I had agreed to submit a piece of erotic fiction and a feature on the club experience within 2 days.  Without meaning to, I had also secured an invitation to visit the club the next night to be given the “full experience.”

It was exciting.  It was also heartening to see how eager they were to share their world with me.  If I was going to mortgage my middle-class pretensions and enter the sex industry, at least I would be working with people who genuinely enjoyed their jobs.

The next day, I settled into a full day of writing with a full pot of coffee and my imagination.  Erotica was a new genre for me.  I reminded myself that there were no rules in writing, took a deep breath and began.

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