Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Ask Jizz Volume 1

Hi everyone,

Just because I want to assure everyone that I am, in fact, a real person, and because I like answering questions, I'm opening up the first segment of Ask Jizz.

Simply send your question about the porn industry, porn shops, sex or me to jizz_mopperhhh@hotmail.com or leave them in the comments section.

Also, try to make it possible for me to give an amusing answer.

Thanks for reading!

Bill. An introduction.

As a personal rule, I try to assume the best of all people. This usually causes me a lot more pain than just assuming everyone is a self-centered idiot, but I’m not ready to become a complete curmudgeon. Particularly, if someone appears to be especially unintelligent, I try to save judgment for after I’ve made an attempt to get to know the individual.

This was the case with Bill, the 400 pound, former overnight clerk that had just been “promoted” to working the evening shift. My very first shift at the store had been with Bill and the manager warned me that he was pretty stupid and to not take anything he says very seriously. But I feel like I have to be the guy who gets along with everyone, so I spent most of this shift, and every following interaction, trying to strike up a conversation and at least become friendly with him.

I failed.

For starters, Bill just isn’t ignorant, he’s completely stupid. Worse yet, he’s one of those stupid people who are under the impression that they’re one of the few really intelligent people on the face of the earth and that everyone else is a complete moron.

 He constantly criticizes other employees and Kevin, the store manager, but kisses the ground that the owner and regional managers walk on. As far as I can tell, he’s not doing this to get anyone fired or to become manager himself, he just believes that everyone but him is a thief, trying to steal the store blind.

Furthermore, he’s completely impossible person to engage in a conversation with. During one of his lengthy criticisms of Kevin, he talked about how, “Shit like this never would have happened when I worked at Taco John’s.” I attempted to engage him by talking about working at Wendy’s in high school and he started making fun of me, saying, “You have to be pretty desperate to work at a shithole like Wendy’s.” This got me wondering about the hierarchy of fast-food shitholes and that Wendy’s couldn’t possibly fall below Taco John’s, but I didn’t think Bill would have anything to add to this debate.

Another time, Bill started talking about his trip to Hawaii with his family the year before and how complicated it was to organize the work schedule with him off overnights for two weeks. He spoke rather highly of the vacation, but every time he talked about food, it involved the family stopping at McDonalds or Denny’s. “You won’t believe how expensive a Big Mac is there,” he said. When I asked if he had tried any of the local food, he just laughed and said, “That fish shit is bullshit.” Yes, that’s a direct quote. He also talked about an amazing adult bookstore warehouse he visited on the island of Maui. Yes, he was on vacation from working in a porn store, in the tropics and went shopping in another porn store WITH HIS FAMILY!

All of a sudden, I started a conjectural biography for Bill. Clearly, a guy his size must have been made fun of growing up. But instead of using this experience to develop a clever wit and biting sense of humor, he learned to parrot back the things that kids said to him in junior-high school. I made the leap that a family who visits Hawaii and shops at a porn store there isn’t very smart as a whole, so his mindset was probably encouraged most of his life. His older brothers and mother must have been nice to him growing up because he talks about them as the smartest, most successful people on the planet.

One evening, Bill opened up to me about his stepdad. “The guy was an asshole,” basically summarizes everything he said during that 15 minute monologue (for lack of a better descriptive work) and he has no contact with his biological farther. Because of his experience with his, possibly abusive, stepfather, Bill doesn’t drink and derides everyone (except his brother, who only drinks the most expensive scotch) who does. He feels that drinking is stupid and a complete waste of time. It also killed his stepdad, who asphyxiated on his own vomit after a night of heavy drinking. “I never got that,” he explained. “If you started choking, why wouldn’t you just wake up and turn your head?”

 Clearly, Bill wasn’t a drinker.

As obnoxious as this guy is, he’s also fascinating. I feel like I could fill a book with nothing but my experiences and quotes from him.

The best experience yet came about when I tried to talk to him about heavy metal. His pickup truck had an Obituary sticker on the back, so I figured this was an easy way to get him to start talking. The results would have been hilarious if they weren’t true. He didn’t seem to understand what I was talking about when I brought up the band name, so I finally explained that I knew he liked metal because of the sticker on the back of his truck. “Oh, that,” he said. “Yeah, I thought it meant… you know… that car they use to move dead people?”

“A hearse?” I suggested.

“Yeah… that.”


Monday, January 30, 2012

Booth Cleaning 101

(Friday, June 12, 1998)

I’ve been working overnights a few weeks now and I want to attempt to capture what it’s like to clean the video booths in the dark, dank back of the store. I’ll admit that being a Jizzmopper is pretty gross, but I also mean it when I tell people it’s nowhere near as bad as it sounds. I’ve worked a lot of menial jobs in my time and I’ve dealt with a lot worse (i.e. shit and vomit) cleaning a Wendy’s bathroom than I’ve had to clean up in the jerk-off booths.

 Preparation is the key. The first thing I do at the clock nears 3 a.m. is put on the thick rubber gloves that almost reach my armpits. I do this before I pull out the mop bucket, get the ammonia ready or touch ANYTHING that involves cleaning at the store. HIV may not be able to survive outside of the body, but my internet search concerning blood borne pathogens that can survive on a smooth, dry surface was all the encouragement I needed to be careful.

Once I’ve put on my Jizz-Mat suite (a little porn store humor for you), it’s just simply a matter of filling up the mop bucket with water and ammonia, then grabbing the ammonia spray bottle and scrub brush.

Some nights, usually weeknights, there’s hardly anything to clean up. Other nights, usually during the weekend, I amazed at the locations customers are able to spray their semen. Sure, anyone can wipe their cum as high as they can reach, but I’ve seen legitimate cum shots that were so high on the wall I needed to grab our store step ladder to reach them. This got me thinking that perhaps these video booths are a necessary customer service. If men come in so clogged up that when they finally ejaculate is shoots nine feet into the air, the world really, really needs a place like this. These poor guys are probably lucky their prostates didn’t explode while they drove over a speed bump.

Perhaps cum shot distance is some sort of desired honor in the dark, underworld of sex that people practice and strive for. If this is the case, I don’t want to know.

Cleaning semen off a black wall is a little more complicated than just wiping it down with ammonia. The first step is spraying as much of the bottle you can onto the sullied wall without getting light-headed off the fumes. Next, it’s important to utilize the scrub brush effectively to make sure that all of the solidified ejaculate has been torn from the wall as the longer it sits, the more securely it attaches itself. The last, and probably most important, step is to return to the walls you’ve cleaned, apply more ammonia and then wipe the area clean with a paper towel. If you don’t do this, the scrubbed area leaves a clearly visible white “cum ring” that is really difficult to clean off after it sits for more than a day. As funny as it sounds, no employee wants to get yelled at by the owner because the video booths are filthy. (He’s 75, looks 55, has a beard down to his waist and carries a concealed handgun.)

Mopping the floors is exactly the same as mopping any other floor, other than the fact that you know exactly what’s causing the discoloration of the white tile. I’ve found myself taking special care not to let the mop or water drip onto my shoes or clothes, but despite all of my efforts, I haven’t been able to see any swarms of sperm swimming laps in the mop bucket.

So far, the worst thing I’ve seen in the video booths has been cum shots directly onto the video screen, which seems to be a goal for many customers (the TV itself is locked into a protected case with a clear plastic piece over the screen.) One night, a hetero couple went into the booth together later in the evening (this is actually allowed, but more on booth activity later) and when I went in to clean the booth after they left, I found the letters “L U V” written in semen on the wall. It didn’t irritate me because the incident didn’t require any more cleaning than a normal shot on the wall, but it did make me wonder what kind of woman would find that stimulating, let alone want to touch the walls of the video booth.

So that’s the dirty truth that most people are probably wondering about. To be honest, it’s really not that bad. I used to work at a Super America and cleaning their bathrooms was a million times worse than wiping cum off walls. And after hearing horror stories from friends who work in food service or custodial services for the university, anything I’ve seen pales in comparison. Cleaning the booths is better mainly because it doesn’t smell (usually), it’s something I’ve had to do in my own life (see: adolescence) and most importantly, it’s not shit!

Yes, I’m a Jizzmopper like they talked about in Clerks. But I’m also a well-paid retail clerk that doesn’t have to deal with irate customers (they’re kicked out), returns (they’re also refused and asked to leave) or selling food (to be fair, we do sell some candy, but I don’t have to clean a grill!) Of all the non-skilled jobs I’ve had so far in my young life, this is the best.

If you think it’s gross, go work at the bank.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

A booth in which to masturbate

(Friday, June 12, 1998)

One of the strangest things about adult bookstores, particularly ones on the edges of towns, is the concept of a video booth. Here, individuals can enter a semi-private stall to watch dirty movies for $.25 a minute while jerking off.

 Even as a clerk at a porn store who understands how much money these booths bring in, this concept seems strange to me. Don’t get me wrong. When I was a teenager, I masturbated all the time and having a socially acceptable place to do it in public would have seemed like heaven when I was 14. By the time I was 18, I’d learned to use more restraint and the idea of watching dirty movies alongside 8 other guys with nothing but black-painted particleboard between us seems… yucky.

 As the overnight clerk, one of my main responsibilities is to clean the video booths once a shift. It sounds grosser than it is. I have thick, rubber gloves that go up to my armpits and spray the walls liberally with ammonia before scrubbing them down. Other than that, it’s just mopping the floor that happened to be covered in cum. But still, this is the only real work the job requires me to do and this particular part is over in less than a half-hour. When I talk to friends who spend long hours in hot kitchens, waiting tables or working on assembly lines, even with the jizz mopping, this job seems pretty sweet.

 (Editor’s note: To this day, the smell of ammonia brings me back to sitting in a fluorescent dump in the middle of the night, waiting for 6 a.m. to roll around.)

 As you might expect (or maybe not, I expect most people’s minds don’t work this way), one of the biggest problems of having video booths is that some men will use the location to attempt to have sex with other random men. This is Mankato, which doesn’t have a gay bar or any other gay locale other than the college SAGE organization for gay and transgender students and their supporters. Unfortunately, because of the lack of a better option, some people use the video booths for random ‘romantic’ interludes. I’m responsible for paying attention to the security camera screen that broadcasts what was going on in the hallway of the video booth room. Some of the regular “patrons” discovered that there was a video camera in the hallway and in an attempt cheat the system, try to sneak to the booths next to them by sliding on the semen-covered floor.

Because of this, I have to constantly be listening for the sound of clothing sliding across linoleum, louder than normal grunts or the clang of a belt buckle hitting the floor. I’ll admit it. When I first started, it was a rush to run in with a huge mag-lite and catch a guy on all fours trying to jerk off the guy in the booth next to him. Patrons caught in this position seem to fly straight up into the air when the light hits them, despite being on all fours, like a cat being tossed into a boiling hot bathtub. I’ve also seen guys damn-near knock themselves out when they realized they were busted, stood up quickly and ran face-first into solid plywood.

 Very funny, but also pretty sad. I try really hard to think that the guys I catch aren’t sexual deviants, that they’re just lonely and this is the only way they feel they can act on their sexuality. But deep in my heart I know that the Gay 90s is only a 90-minute drive away and that if they really wanted a meaningful relationship, they wouldn’t be searching for it the back of a store that sells 10 different styles of nipple rings. 

A friend joked about how funny it would be if I went to check on the booths, only to have a 350-pound gorilla of a man come out and beat the crap out of me. I fail to see the humor in this, but it did make me pay closer attention to who was going in and out of the booths.

Knowing this insider information, you may ask why a business owner would put up with this kind of activity at their store. It’s a simple matter of money. On a slow week, the booths bring in $1,000 a week.

This means that the whole video booth computer system paid for itself in less than a year! (Yes, the whole thing is run by a computer hooked into the VCRs.) Additionally, the movies played on the 30 available channels are movies that come directly from the store’s stock, so there’s no need to buy movies extra moves for the booths. The manager just needs to look at the weekly view report, find which movies were most popular and stock up the rest of the channels with similar movies.

I was honestly surprised to learn how many “genres” of porn exist. For the booths, channels one through ten are 6-hour heterosexual scene compilation tapes. These are great because they take longer to play through, there’s less rewind and replay cycles, and the VCRs don’t need to be restarted as often as the ones playing shorter tapes. Channels 11 through 15 are always lesbian videos and always the least popular channels. The store manager is able to choose what to play on channels 16 through 19, which means they were usually the strangest fetish tapes he could find in the store’s selection of videos. While we originally put them on as a joke, the report showed that videos like Ragtime (women having sex during their monthly period), the World of Denni-O (videos of extremely large dildo penetration) and any number of bondage videos were very popular and making us the most money after the gay videos. Finally, channels 20 through 30 are gay and also always the most popular (the look I received from Bill when I asked why more channels weren’t gay discouraged me asking this question again.)

 This does bring up the point of copyright control. Most adult movies have the standard FBI warning we’ve all seen that explains this video is for personal use only and that you cannot charge people to watch it. Charging people $.25 a minute to watch porn in a video booth is in direct violation of this law, but I have yet to hear of an adult video company cracking down on adult bookstores for engaging in this practice. Maybe the video companies don’t care about this copyright violation, I expect they know it’s happening all over the place, but I don’t expect them to make an effort to enforce their rights anytime soon. What a great business to get into when you can (albeit illegally) make money from someone else’s “hard” work?

 I can’t imagine what kind of cash a larger store like Sexworld in Minneapolis brings in with their video booths. Then again, I expect downtown Minneapolis’ warehouse district provides a lot more colorful clientele than the porn store on the edge of a college town.

 It never ceases to amaze me what people will pay money to do.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Recap of my first week

(Friday, June 5, 1998)

Okay, I’ll admit it. In theory working overnights at a porn-store-head-shop sounded fantastic. I usually stay up late all the time anyway and it can’t be that hard to sit behind a glass counter and sell smut. But after staying up all night and sleeping during the day for a week in preparation for my first overnight shift, and after living this schedule while working, my body is telling me something is wrong.

The first rule I learned on the second day of staying up all night was to go to sleep as early as possible. Don’t stay up until 2 p.m. and attempt to sleep until 10 p.m. for your 11 p.m. shift. I don’t care how early you’ve had to wake up in the morning, attempting to convince your body that 10 p.m. is the appropriate time to begin your day is damn-near impossible. Once you make it out of your bed, which is an event in itself, you’ll quickly find that your legs don’t want to work, it’s very easy to fall back asleep in the shower and that a double cheeseburger combo meal is the absolute worst thing to eat right after waking up.

But let’s start with my first night at southern Minnesota’s finest place to buy porn, a hash pipe or jerk off to a dirty movie in your own private booth during any time of the day or night. Before starting work, I had only visited the place a handful of times. My pot smoking days were over and thanks to the recent advancement of the internet, paying for pornography seemed completely antiquated. My friends joked frequently about how working there would be the perfect college job. Working overnight would free your days for classes, there would be plenty of down-time to study and you could kick out any customer that got on your nerves. While all of this turned out to be true, the reality wasn’t nearly as exciting once the novelty wore off.

I wasn’t quite sure what to expect during my first shift training all night with a seasoned overnight clerk, so I brought a lunch, a few books and an optimistic attitude. At 10:45 p.m. I opened the store’s door and the brightness of the fluorescent lights burned into my psyche like a powerful pornographic messiah and it took a few seconds to get my bearings and finally introduce myself.

I had never wondered what Darth Vader would sound like if he were a morbidly obese male, but meeting my trainer Bill gave me a pretty good idea of what this would be like in real life. This 400+ pound idiot deserves a separate entry completely dedicated to his comical and amazing habits, but for now I’ll say that training with him was probably one of the most amusing experiences of my life.

Overall, working the overnight shift is pretty basic. The main priority is keeping an eye on the customers. Not to assist them, but to make sure they’re not stealing anything. Suffice it to say that customer service is not one of the priorities in a setting like this. Bill made it perfectly clear that you can’t trust ANYONE, and always makes special effort to keep a close eye on anyone who looks Mexican or gay.

Next in order of importance is keeping an eye on the security screen that monitors the video booth hallway. This is essential because some of the customers will try to sneak into each other’s video booths to have sex with each other. It’s also important to listen carefully, since the experienced video patrons know we have a security camera up and will slide under the booth walls, across the cum-stained floors to jerk and/or suck each other off. I’m still not sure what the appeal of this is, but it’s pretty amusing catching someone, literally, with their pants down. Bill seems to take special pride in this aspect of his job, yelling at people as he ushers them out the door and telling them they’re no longer welcome to masturbate in our private video booths.

Next on the list is making sure the videos for the video booths are up and running. There are 30 VCRs set on repeat that often overheat, turn themselves off and need to be reset. Resetting them involves taking apart the VCRs and cleaning the video head manually with a paper towel and bottle of video head cleaner. Since we’re already selling head cleaner to the video booth customers, better known as Rush inhalant, there’s always a fresh supply to use for keeping the VCRs running. After giving myself an accidental and extremely unpleasant “Rush” while cleaning one of the VCRs (more on this later), I really wonder why anyone would put themselves through this experience intentionally. Then again, I wasn’t on my hands and knees, masturbating while licking other people’s cum off the floor at the time, so maybe I missed the something about experience.

Last on the list, and only so because you can really only do it when there aren’t any customers in the store, is the once-a-shift cleaning. There are the normal retail cleaning duties, mopping the floor, cleaning the glass displays, organizing the merchandise, but with one crucial addition, the video jerk-off booths must be cleaned. I was somewhat relieved to learn that this process involves everything being sprayed liberally with ammonia and then wiped clean with disposable paper towels. As I got ready to help with the cleaning, I put on the shoulder length rubber gloves, but Bill decided that he didn’t need anything covering his hands… nor did he feel the need to wash his hands after the cleaning was finished.

As gross as the last duty sounds, the great this about this job is that the cleaning only takes about an hour of the shift and after about 2 a.m., no one comes in and I’m free to do just about anything. Bill said that reading during your shift was frowned upon, so I left my books in my bag after we were done cleaning and spent two hours trying to make small talk with this wonderfully disturbing man-child until people started coming in again around 6 a.m.

There’s really too much ground to cover in a single entry, so I’ll focus my writing from now on, on specific topics, subjects or events. My only hope is that the strange stuff that happens doesn’t become too commonplace that I decide not to document it.

My First Night

(Sunday, May 31, 1998)

I should be excited about tonight, my first overnight training shift at the porn store, but to be honest, I’m just tired. I stayed up all night the past few days in hopes of avoiding being exhausted for my first shift, but tonight, I just feel like the change in sleep schedule is catching up with me.

So, I’m tired, grumpy and it’s depressing. Part of me feels like I’m going to young-male Disneyland, but the rest of me has no idea what to expect and just wants to go to bed.

Ever since I got the job offer, I’ve been telling everyone about my new job. The reaction has either been one of disgust (most casual acquaintances) and jealousy (pretty much all of my friends), but only time will tell who is right.

What does one do in an adult bookstore for an eight hour shift? I guess I’m about to find out.

An Introduction

As an avid fan of the History and Discovery Channels, I’ve learned that mankind has had porn from just about the time we could write on cave walls. Drugs, or at least efforts to alter our consciousness, have been around even longer. I feel the need to point this out before the reader goes any further. It’s very easy to look at porn stores and head shops as beacons of vice that should be eradicated off the face of the earth. However, from a historical standpoint, it’s fairly obvious that any attempt at outlawing any product simply creates an underground market for it.

I’ll freely admit that sale of these items does have a tendency to attract the underbelly of society. That’s one of the reasons why these stories are so amusing. Anyone who’s been at a bar at closing time has seen this too. It just comes with the territory of mind-altering products and I’ve chosen to view these incidents as amusing, rather than shameful. If each of us takes a look at our own experiences, we’ll each find embarrassing experiences on drugs or alcohol that we’d prefer weren’t told.

This is not academically-based, non-fiction and since the action takes place in adult bookstores, it will be easy to be judgmental towards the wide variety of clientele that come through the doors. Yes, there are people who are mentally ill and addicted to sex that frequent porn stores simply looking for anything to fuck. But on the other hand, I met a lot of sincere individuals and couples that came into the store honestly looking for some tools to make their loving connections stronger and more exciting. There are two sides to every story and while the content may focus on the freaks and weirdoes (they tend to be more entertaining), know that not everyone who shops at adult bookstores is the type of person who would, given the chance, violate you with a turkey baster.

I use to feel conflicted when I worked at the adult bookstore/head shop in a small, Minnesota college town. There were lots of people coming in to buy pipes that looked like they should be spending this time getting their lives in order. And since this town didn’t have a safe and accepted gay hangout, lots of young, gay guys would troll the back video booths, looking for a “date.”

But life is about choices and the fact that Mankato didn’t have decent outlets for the young people who live there, nor a gay bar or social club to allow homosexuals to meet new people in a non-sexually deviant environment isn’t the fault of the store. We provided goods that people were looking for and this, my friends, is how America works.

It’s unfortunate that compulsive people have based their lives around drug use or random sexual encounters with strangers, but you might as well ban alcohol or casual sex based on these factors. The majority of customers weren’t coming in everyday and weren’t trying to hump each other in the back.

Sit back, relax and have some fun taking a look at the strange things that happen when you sell “tobacco” supplies and mature content.

Welcome to the Jizzmopper Chronicles Reboot

Hi everyone,

My (nick)name is Jizz and I’m a real person writing about my real experiences.
I spent my entire college career working at an adult bookstore, eventually becoming assistant manager before graduating and moving on to the professional world. I kept track of my experiences during this time in hopes that I’d be able to do something with these notes.

Ten years after these experiences, I started working at another adult bookstore to earn extra money for my upcoming wedding. The two stores were complete opposites, as you’ll quickly see by reading these posts, but both offered some very entertaining, and sometimes disturbing, experiences.

I’ve been posting to this blog for about 3 years, but I’ve not deleted all my past posts to reboot the blog, start a twitter feed and begin posting these experiences in a chronological order. Keep in mind this means that early posts will be taking place in 1998, when the internet was still fairly new and DVDs hadn’t caught on yet. So if it sounds like a 19-year-old is writing this in the late 90s, it’s because this is when the original experienced happens.

There will be a compiled book eventually that will compile all these stories and fill in the blanks in between. Stay tuned for more information on that.

Thanks for looking and feel free to send me a message at jizz_mopper at hotmail.com or follow me on twitter @jizzchronicles.