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Sex Warrior: Prostitution, Porn and Sacred Rituals…

June 27, 2012

Gotcha! I mean, I seriously put the words “prostitution”, “porn” & “sacred” in the same title. While I knew prostitution isn’t considered a mainstream vocation; I was unprepared for the depth & breadth of prejudice against & misunderstanding of the world’s oldest profession. When I went behind the scenes to get an authentic perspective on the topic for my book, Sex warrior, I thought I already knew pretty much everything about alternative lifestyles. I couldn’t have been more wrong.

Take the prejudices for example. I figured religious and conservative groups would turn on me. THAT didn’t happen. Instead, I got banned from (SLS) an online swinger group; Not because I was soliciting professional sex (I wasn’t) but simply because I was open about the fact that I had a license to be a legal courtesan in NV. My old nudist community declined to host my book signing because some people knew I’d made adult films. Even the Film Corp. that I made the films with have a corporate policy to never depict professional sex (money exchanging hands) when filming PORN.

So much for people’s perceptions. The REAL experiences I had this past year were mind expanding and soul-nourishing. The brothel experience ended up becoming one of the most personally affirming experiences of my life. For the most part, the people who patronize a brothel are looking for something special – an intimate experience. At least that was the case for me. Often, the ritual of an “official” encounter was used to mark a milestone – letting go of virginity or graduation, for example. Men (& women) also sought the safety of the brothel to experiment with new ideas. Others booked with women to help them through transitions – a move to a new place, a divorce, and even surviving the death of a beloved. I found out very quickly that being a sex worker is not just about sex. Here’s a scene from “Sex Warrior”…

I find Alberto waiting alone in the bar. I smile broadly, “Alberto! Great to see you again!” I wrap my arms around him and give him a hug and kiss on the mouth. We each take a barstool. Facing him, I lean forward and squeeze his thigh. “So how have you been since we last met.”

His face turns melancholy. “Not good.”

I change my tone. “Want to go to my room and talk?”

He nods his yes. I lead him by the hand to my room. I put my hand over his heart. I know from previous encounters that he has a huge scar there from an old injury. “What’s the matter?”

Alberto’s eyes brim with tears. “My wife passed last month. I came here to see you and you weren’t here.” Oh, I’m so sorry!” Alberto’s been coming to me with stories of his sick wife, sick with cancer for years, sons he will have to finish raising alone. The sex between us has been to comfort & nurture rather than live out any fantasies. Mostly, he needed to be held; to feel a heartbeat pounding against his chest. He always came to me for physical consolation but, afterwards, could only talk about her and what a good person she was; how hard it was to watch her decline right before his eyes; how he had to reassure her every day that he would be okay without her. Then with tears in his eyes to me, “But I’m not okay.”

Always, after sex, he’d cry while I held him & I’d keep holding him until he could go back home. Today we’ll do the same but now it’s different. Today he will go home to an empty house. Afterwards as he’s dressing, he looks up at me and says, “Do you think I’m a good person?”

I cup his face in my hands. “Of course you are. Do you think a beautiful and good woman like your wife would have stayed with you and had your sons if you weren’t good? If you can’t trust how you feel right now, then trust her. She loved you. She entrusted her children to you. You need to honor that love by carrying it on. Right now, you need to love yourself through this just as she loved you.”

After he leaves, Renee asks, “Good party?”

“His wife just died. He was in tears most of the time.”

Stricken she says, “Oh I’m sorry that happened to you.”

“Don’t be! He needed intimacy & had nowhere else to go. He couldn’t turn to a woman in his community. That would have been an insult to his wife’s memory & an affront to his sons. Not to mention sending a wrong signal to the lady. He needed someone to hold him without adding to his burden….When our hearts cry out the universe answers. I was supposed to be here for him. He was supposed to seek me out.”

Our lives are an endless cycle of beginnings & endings. It’s in the midst of transition that the pivotal, life defining moments happen. They’re sacred rituals allowing us to know & embrace meaning.  It has been an honor for me to be a part of so many of those sacred moments this past year.

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One Comment
  1. I’ve been a resident of Nevada from the age of 15, with exception to about 10 years, since 1971. I gladly surrendered my virginity to a wonderful woman at the Mustang Ranch when I was 16. I am an honorably discharged Vietnam Veteran due to medical conditions since 1975, at the age of 19. From the age of 19 to 20, I went to the Mustang Ranch a lot and developed 6 wonderful friends who worked there. Most of the time I went was just to talk. They all had college degrees ranging from Bachelors to Masters to PhDs. They were the finest quality of women to be found anywhere. I loved their intelligence-beauty-compassion-sexuality-and depth. There was no bias to them at all. I loved the way they could spot “bullshit” at a glance!
    Then after 13 years of faithful marriage, 1978-1991, my wife left me and our 5 sons. I became a cab driver to support them all on my own. Needless to say, I frequented several of the brothels throughout Northern Nevada countless times over that 16 year period, bringing passengers to their destination. Anyone familiar knows, that cab drivers are commonly welcome to the kitchen area’s to eat and chat with the lady’s while waiting.
    I have nothing but absolute respect and admiration for the profession, knowing how well they serve the community, given all the family dysfunction and loss taking place in our society. Cab drivers get an earful. It truly is a pity that Nevada is the only state with such services to the community.
    Sonja Bandolik, you are a credit to women everywhere, to the nudist community, to sexuality, to human understanding, and to marriage. It’s a privilege to be acquainted with you.

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