Tuesday, April 24, 2012
I expected to meet a lot of new people when I started posting these stories online and promoting the blog through Twitter. What I didn’t expect was to learn so much about other people’s lifestyles and sexual interests.
I’ve written a lot about fetishes and about how I really don’t care what people are into as long as it isn’t hurting anyone. But I found that the more I learned about different fetishes and lifestyles, the more I wanted to know and more questions I had.
Fortunately, there have been a number of very patient people who have taken the time to answer some of my questions via Twitter and email. I am thankful to these teachers who gave me some true insight into a different world. They’re probably tired of explaining their interests to others or perhaps gave me a little window into a part of their lives that they don’t share with most friends and family.
My burning question involved asking how people are able to live a dedicated BDSM lifestyle. This is something that I’ve wondered about ever since I saw the, “Bring out the gimp,” scene in Pulp Fiction.
I’m something of a realist when it comes to fantasies. I’m the one who’s always finding plot holes and asking questions like, “Why didn’t Cinderella’s glass slipper change back to rags like the rest of her clothes?” Additionally, as a new parent, I’ve seen just how thin patience and humor can be stretched when you’re sleep-deprived and pressed for time.
Knowing this, how the hell can a couple be dom/sub all the time?
I’m very grateful that the first response about this wasn’t, “Couples do it when they can, just like anything else asshole!” But after the first email, a lot of things started to make sense. The “real-world” has a way of limiting the amount of time anyone can spend on their passion, whatever it may be. Couples with children who are also into BDSM often save their play for evenings when they can be alone in the bedroom. If Master started trying to enforce commands that involved doing the dishes and getting lunch boxes filled, the fantasy would completely disappear rather rapidly.
Someone else said, “You’re a Star Wars enthusiast right? While I’m sure you’d like nothing more than watching the movies and reading the books during your spare time, you probably don’t get to. So what do you do? You spend time on this interest when you can!”
Another excellent point was that many people online have specific Twitter accounts or websites dedicated to their fetish interests. To an outsider such as myself, it looks like they do nothing but have crazy, wild sex all day long and that they’re a complete devotee to this kink. But the reality is that this is a “normal” everyday person who no one would ever suspect is into anything kinky, spending their free moments writing about their secret passion.
And let’s not forget that not everyone online is always telling the truth.
This was a good learning experience for me. Since I had been exposed to the sides of many peoples’ personalities that they normally hide, I assumed that these folks spent all their time kinking it up. In all honesty, these people could be my neighbors, coworkers, even close friends and I would never know.
Follow your bliss people. I just hope that after taking care of your kids and sleeping, you’re able to find enough time for both work… and play.
Sunday, April 22, 2012
All good things must come to an end and we’re getting to the part of the Jizzmopper Chronicles where I graduate from Minnesota State University, Mankato, quit the porn store and move to Phoenix. The parent company of the store didn’t have the need for a full-time marketing and communications employee (despite the fact that they were pleased with the ads I had created for the store) and I was getting sick of retail, so I quit.
The events that have taken place in this blog so far actually took place between 1998 and 2001, but are written as current because I think they’re more interesting this way. Besides, everyone loves nostalgia. Just look at Etsy.com!
Phase II of the Jizzmopper Chronicles will cover the second time I worked at a porn store. This time it was at a mini-mall, couple-friendly, suburbia-appropriate store that had fall less cum on the floor, but just as much creepiness.
I was no longer a bored college student. I was working a second job during evenings and weekends to save up money for my upcoming wedding.
In some ways, this store was even stranger than the "whack-shack." In a more comfortable setting, customers are much more likely to ask for your help. This is cool for the most-part, but they’re also much more likely to start telling you intimate details about their health and sex-life that you’d rather not know about.
One woman spent an hour on the phone telling me about how her first husband raped her, and then came into the store to tell the whole story again in person. Old men loved to tell me about their inability to achieve erection without one of our elaborate devices or expensive, placebo sex pills. Underage teenagers tried to come in the store all the time and those that were 18 often attempted to pay with a relative’s credit card. (Anyone in retail has probably noticed the disturbing trend of adult children paying with parent's credit cards. But it's one thing when this happens at the grocery store, it's quite another when it's to buy a vibrating butt-plug.)
Anyway, since things are moving forward, I wanted to invite readers to send in any more questions or comments about the Mankato store before I start posting about the new store. I can always comment on either store, but I want to make sure I collect your thoughts before you forget about any burning queries concerning video booths, jizzmopping or meth pipes.
Thanks again for taking the time to read my sick, little blog!
Friday, April 20, 2012
When I first began college, I was a theater major for my first semester. Eventually, I decided that I didn’t want to spend four years training for something that I could audition for without a degree and switched over to mass communications. But this first semester introduced me to a lot of different people, different lifestyles and taught me a lot about the world of theater.
Yesterday, a former theater classmate came into the store and bought some gay videos. He acted like he didn’t know me, which kind of bothered me since we had performed a scene together for our Friday morning acting class. (It was a theatrical reworking of the scene in Pulp Fiction where Vincent accidentally blows Marvin’s head off in their car. And it was awesome!) After he left, and I thought more about the situation and suddenly realized how uncomfortable it must have been for him.
Buying anything at the porn store completely exposes a large portion of yourself that most people would rather stay hidden. Now, I’ve written a lot about messing with people who were uncomfortable in the store, but this is only because they’re acting uncomfortable about something I feel they should be relaxed with.
When a customer buys something like gay pornography, they’re essentially coming out to a stranger. Who knows if they’re still in the closet or if they’re terrified of recognizing the person behind the counter. Mankato is a small town and even in the college community, word travels fast.
This gave me a new appreciation for people who buy certain items at the store. I’ve always shown customers buying gay porn the utmost respect. I figure they put up with enough shit in their lives without me being a smart ass. This respect has been expanded to people who buy bondage gear and lingerie. The purchase could be for a side of their personality that only a select few (or no one) know about.
The same church that drove through our parking lot while preaching threw a megaphone has also been spotted camping out in the parking lot across the street with binoculars, checking out who was coming into the store and writing down license plate numbers. I’d never be involved with a church that performed such a blatant invasion of privacy, but this act is despicable no matter how you look at it. Don’t they have anything better to do with their time than obsessing over what helps people achieve an orgasm?
I know Jesus doesn’t mention homosexuality, bondage, cross-dressing or huffing video head cleaner in the gospels, but I like to believe he’d be cool with it as long as it was consensual. I also like to imagine St. Peter at the gates of heaven stopping the people from Westboro Baptist Church (the God Hates Fags people) and saying, “Haven’t you guys read the new testament?” Before pulling the switch that sends them down to an eternity more fitting of their behavior.
My hat is off to all of you who buy anything from porn stores that you want to keep private. Yes, the internet has made ordering a lot of these items anonymously a lot easier, but I would make sure you give your postal carrier a decent tip over the holidays.
Thursday, April 19, 2012
A discussion with my Mass Communications Law professor got me thinking deeply about my personal beliefs and values.
We were studying landmark cases that involved journalism, communication and freedom of speech. Her main point about a particular case is that sometimes things aren’t seen as obscene and made illegal until they’ve been brought in front of a court of law. This also works in the opposite direction. Sometimes laws are unconstitutional and things are banned, but they need to be challenged all the way to the Supreme Court of the United States for the law to be thrown out.
One section of the class was focused on pornography and obscenity. Usually, these cases involved artwork or literature, but as we moved closer to the present day, they started to involve pornography. Books and pieces of art could be around for years before someone decided to challenge them as obscene. Magazines and movies could float around in the underground for quite a long time before someone gets arrested and charged with anything.
Technically speaking, for something to be declared as art, it needs to serve some productive purpose for society, and this can be a very tricky thing to prove. Additionally, as social norms evolve, something that is commonplace today could be seen as completely obscene in the past.
Her statement that caught my attention was, “Are there things being sold at the porn store on the edge of town that are obscene? Of course there are, they just haven’t been challenged in court yet.”
She knows I work at the store and will sometimes toss in references just to get my attention. This didn’t bother me, but her statement made me realize that I don’t think anything that isn’t hurting someone is obscene.
I’ve made peace with the fact that if I had been born in most other historical eras, I would most certainly be put to death. Lucky as I am to be living in our modern, open-minded era, I can honestly say that the only thing that offends me is when other people are offended.
I don’t think that ANYTHING is above criticism or satire. This goes for everything from government and public figures to religions and so-called profits. Obviously, you don’t want to be an asshole, but to be offended at a legitimate questioning of something you believe in shows insecurity. We still live in a world where people are threatened with death after offending someone’s religion, so there must be a lot of insecure people out there.
My feelings are similar towards porn. Yes there are valid arguments against exposing children to pornography and there are dangers of becoming obsessed with it because the lines of reality can start to blur, but we don’t ban alcohol simply because there are alcoholics.
Yesterday’s post about strange fetishes discussed how strange some peoples’ sex lives can be, but no one is forcing anyone to watch their personal life or their choice in porn. If gay porn grosses you out, don’t watch it. If gang-bangs creep you out, don’t participate in them and certainly don’t watch porn that features this sexual act. If you feel scat-play is disgusting, send the link to 2-Girls-One-Cup to your buddies, but don’t actually go to the website yourself.
I’m a little jaded and certainly desensitized, but the idea of calling something obscene and attempting to ban it seems pointless. Any media will be judged by the eye of the beholder and there is always going to be someone who hates everything. Leaving the decision up to politicians and judges does not strike me as a good idea. (Any decision they make will be the one that they think will look best to their constituents, not based on how they actually feel. Besides, they’ll be able to buy all the sick shit they want through the black-market anyway.)
I’ll post the question to you; Is there anything you consider obscene?
Post below, tweet to @jizzchronicles or email to jizz_mopperhhh at hotmail.com
Tuesday, April 17, 2012
If you’re familiar with this blog, you know I try really hard not to judge people. Sure I’ll laugh at you and write up lengthy posts about your bizarre behavior, but if what you’re doing isn’t hurting anyone else, I say go for it.
Thanks to the porn store, and also the internet, I’ve learned about some really crazy fetishes. I’m really open-minded about sex and am open to trying just about anything once, but I can honestly say there’s not one particular act or focus that only turns me on. Lots of things turn me on, but I don’t need to be tied up and called a sissy in order to get an erection.
I don’t expect everyone with particular fetishes is absolutely obsessed with it and can only perform when they experience this particular thing, but there are people who are into things that even I think are kind of odd.
#1. Snowballing – This isn’t really that strange and I can’t say I’m completely opposed to it. The problem is that when you’re in the throws of passion, a lot of things sound really hot at the time. I can’t count the number of times I’ve collapsed after ejaculating, so glad that I didn’t act on my impulse to finish by throwing my robe on like a cape and screaming, “Hong-Kong-Phooey,” before emptying into my wife. (She will be mortified when she reads this section.)
I feel that snowballing would be a similar situation. While receiving a deep, erotic blow job, it might sound like a good idea to share your semen during a long, post-ejaculation kiss with your lover. But as soon as you cum, I’ll bet this incredibly hot idea no longer seems as erotic and you’re in for a big surprise.
#2 Space Docking – I have no idea if people actually do this, but the amount of content on the internet dedicated to this topic suggests it at least turns certain people on. Briefly, space docking is when someone shits into another woman’s vagina. (There are a billion other variations and arguments about what “true” space docking is, but I’ll leave that for you to Google yourself.)
I’m not into watersports or scat play, nor have I spoken to anyone who is, but space docking takes this to a completely new level. I find myself wondering what horrific childhood experience would cause someone to find feces being expelled from a vagina attractive. Then there are the hygienic aspects of this act. (Can you even douche out poop?)
#3 Cock Stuffing – I’m not sure why anyone would have the urge to put anything up inside their penis, but there are devices dedicated to this practice. Personally, I’d be worried about losing the foreign object up inside my bladder and an embarrassing trip to the urologist. Not to mention the possibility of infection and severe damage to your urethral tract.
There are a million other things out there that people are into and it’s impossible to even begin to delve into them. So I’ll leave you with these questions:
- Are you into anything you consider weird?
- Why do you think you like it?
- What’s the strangest sexual act you’ve ever participated in?
I’ll leave you to decide whether to post, email or tweet me your answers.
Friday, April 13, 2012
One of the great things about being a porn store clerk is that you always have a little something over your customers. As confident as they are about buying porn or sexual products, there’s at least a tiny bit of them that’s embarrassed about the purchase. Because of this, customers are less-likely to complain than in other retail industries and you can fuck with those who are really uncomfortable about being in the store.
Since this is a porn store, and we expect people to purchase sexual related products, embarrassing customers isn’t quite as easy as if I worked at a novelty store like Spencer’s Gifts (where they sell a small number of sex items and a whole shitload of other useless crap.) While I was in high school, a friend of mine worked at the local Spencer’s inside a mall. He worked there for three years and only had one person come up to the counter with a vibrator. The poor woman was beet red as she tried to discreetly set a vibrator and small bottle of lube onto the counter. Ever the salesman, he smiled and said loudly, “Would you like batteries for your purchase?” This caused the mortified woman to run out of the store and he was forced to put the dusty vibrator box back on the shelf.
More often than not, I was able to mess with stoned customers rather than ones worried about buying pornography. Screwing around with someone stoned out of their gourd would always put me in a good mood and I had several favorite methods I liked to use:
- Loud-Quiet-Loud – In this case, I would ring up the customer, start saying the price in a loud, clear voice, only to mumble the amount of change necessary for the purchase. For this trick to work, you need to prepare by turning the price display of the cash register away from the customer, though some are so dazzled by the well-lit fluorescence of the store, they couldn’t read the numbers anyway.
- Bo-Waterpipe – Most customers coming into the store know what they can (and can’t) say that won’t get them kicked out of the store. Technically, we sell Water-Cooled Tobacco Pipes, not bongs. Inevitably, a customer would forget and ask to see one of the, “Bo..waterpipes,” on the top shelf. When this happened, I would give them a severe look and ask in my most serious tone, “What’s a bo-waterpipe?”
- No – Some of the regular customers were really bad at asserting themselves and seemed to be in a constant state of massive paranoia whenever they came into the store. When these customers would ask to see something, I’d simply tell them, “No.” An awkward silence would follow until they decided I was joking, give me a slight smile and I’d glower back at them. (I only kept this up long enough once for the customer to actually leave the store without buying anything.)
- Good Cop – Despite the fact that it's complete bullshit, there are number of people who believe an undercover cop must tell you that he or she is with the police if you ask. (If this were true, so many classic movies would have been over within the first 10 minutes.) Whenever these misguided souls would ask me this question, I’d always assure them I was a cop and that I liked porn, so this was a great undercover gig for me. (This did cause one of the regular meth-pipe customers to turn and walk straight out of the store, never to be seen again.)
I wasn't much more delicate when dealing with an embarrassed porn customer. If it was a single guy buying a magazine or video, anything was fair game, but I always tried to put couples and female customers at ease.
My general line when a sweaty, insecure male customer brought a movie up to the counter was an incredibly loud, “Oh Shit! This one is fucking awesome!” I’d turn around, find the tape on the wall of thousands of filed VHS tapes and then slide it into our store TV/VCR player so I could show him my favorite parts. I would wait for at least three, “That’s okay,” pleads before I took the tape out and sold it to him.
When the embarrassed customer was dressed like a jock, I’d grab the tape and as I was loading it into the case, just about to ring it into the register, I’d say, “You know this has gay sex in it.” Then I’d watch the guy’s eyes widen until they were about at his eyebrows and say, “Nah, just kidding,” and ring him up really fast.
*Note, I never fucked with customers buying gay porn, even if they were embarrassed about it. I always figured they received enough harassment in their everyday lives without me messing with them.
One thing I couldn’t stand customers buying way Playboy magazine. While it’s not bad reading material (despite the classic joke), it’s completely useless as porn. In each issue, there are only three, heavily airbrushed, pictorials of women who look like they came straight out of the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition. I know some guys actually like this type of porn, but they should really pick up a Hustler or a Gallery to get the most out of their money.
If a shy customer came up with a Playboy, I’d hold it up in front of my eyes and say, “Nooooooooo, you don’t want this.” Then I’d come around the counter and walk him back to the magazine shelves to give him my, loud and obnoxious, expert opinion. During this consultation, I’d ask all sorts of embarrassing questions about what parts of a woman he most admired. Then I’d tell him all about the magazine’s that I liked to masturbate to (usually picking the most unusual and fetish-based magazine I could find.)
Nine times out of ten, after my giant display of assistance, they’d end up buying the Playboy anyway.
Let’s be honest, working retail kind of sucks. You need to do a little something to make the hours go by. I’d like to say I’m sorry for messing with these customers, but I’m not.
Wednesday, April 11, 2012
Today's question comes via a friend on Facebook:
What bugged you most when you worked at the porn store?
With so many annoyances to choose from (shoplifters, prank calls, people trying to screw each other in the video booths), it may surprise you that the thing that bothered me the most was when people tried to bring their children into the store.
This happened all the time and some parents got really angry when I wouldn’t allow their kids into the store. To be fair, some did ask if it was okay as they walked into the store, but some people were halfway to the double-headed dildos before I was able to stop their group and escort them out of the store. It’s one thing to not know kids weren’t allowed (if you're a moron), but it’s another to get offended and mad because I won’t let your six-year-old hang out in a store that sells ball gags.
The customers that really got to me were the ones coming in with their kids to buy drug paraphernalia. I’m not particularly judgmental about casual drug use, but I don’t think you should be relaxing with a joint while your kid is sitting in the back seat. I found myself legitimately concerned for the safety of the kids whose fathers felt the need to stop into the store and pick up a onie on their way back from daycare.
These customers are the ones who would get the most offended when I asked them to leave. They’d say things like, “Can’t I just buy some papers,” or, “He’s so young, he can’t understand anything anyway.” In certain cases, they’d bring their kids back out to the car to wait while their parent came back inside to buy a bong.
I want to make sure everyone understands this, so I’ll say it again. SOME PARENTS WOULD LEAVE THEIR KIDS ALONE IN AN UNLOCKED CAR PARKED IN A PORN STORE PARKING LOT SO THEY COULD BUY A NEW PIPE!
Even all these years later, just thinking about this pisses me off. I wouldn’t sell to the parents when they came back in, which usually just pissed them off more. But fuck it. If they can’t take care of a child properly, how the hell are they supposed to appropriately operate fire and a pipe?
My behavior was completely supported by the owner. He was okay with selling smoking supplies, but considered smoking anything to be disgusting and a sign of weakness.
Bringing kids into the store was not quite as common when I worked at the couples-friendly mini-mall store, but it still happened. Usually the parent would suddenly realize they just brought their child into a porn store and apologized while leaving (why they didn’t expect this when they saw the lingerie-clad, large-chested mannequin in the window is beyond me.) One customer even tried sending his kid in with dvd rental returns, which resulted in him losing his rental privileges.
I’m a very open-minded person, but I also feel that we should try to allow children to have the longest childhood possible. Kids grow up so fast these days anyway; I don’t think it’s appropriate to confuse them more by adding pornography into the mix. (I do, however, feel that it’s every parent’s responsibility to teach their children about sex before they learn about it from school or their friends.)
My takeaway is this; if you’re going to buy porn, sex devises, lingerie or pipes, do it without your child.
Tuesday, April 10, 2012
*Editor’s note, the action in this entry is taking place in 1999.
For reasons that should be fairly obvious, we do not accept returns at the porn store. We will exchange defective tapes that are returned, with a receipt, within a week from the original purchase date. (We’re required to test any returned tapes and if the defective tape works in our shitty TV/VCR combo machine, there’s no exchange.) Otherwise, we don’t allow customers to return anything. We test all the devices that vibrate before they leave the store and, in addition to the large signs posted all around the store, explain to every customer that the store offers no returns.
But this doesn’t stop people from trying.
I can’t tell you how many times someone has come in with a defective vibrator and set the package, pubes and all, on the glass counter. In one case, a customer tried to return an anal vibrator that I’m fairly sure still had blood and shit on it. (Thankfully, everything was still in a plastic bag and after he left it on the counter, vowing to never shop here again, I was able to just toss the whole disgusting sack into the garbage.)
Attempted returns are particularly amusing when they involve one of our smoking accessories. Glass, metal and plastic pipes still reeking of pot have been set under my nose by irritated (and stoned) customers who felt the product had failed in some way or another.
These customers are easy to get out of the store. All I need to do is say, “That burned residue looks suspicious. By law, I need to hand this over to the Mankato police department with the customer’s name, telephone number and address.” I don’t have to give the police anything, but it’s hilarious to see their eyes stretch open wide and grab their defective pipe as they mumble, “nevermind,” while bolting out of the store.
One customer almost bled to death when he tried to return a glass “incense” (aka meth) pipe that he had purchased from store less than an hour previously. He didn’t want a bag when he bought the fragile pipe and was now holding the shattered remains of glass in his bare hands. He got mad when I told him we didn’t take returns and I suddenly noticed he was bleeding as he squeezed his broken glass-filled fists in anger. Thankfully, he didn’t bleed on the floor or get any blood on the door, but as I watched him walk away from the store, I saw his grey hooded sweatshirt sleeves darken with what I assume was his blood.
One, deeply embarrassed customer tried to exchange a bi-sexual video because he didn’t realize it included men having sex with men. I found this hard to believe as the bi videos are kept on the same shelves as our man-on-man videos in a completely different area as the straight videos. My suspicions became stronger when I saw that the cover of the video in question featured two men French-kissing while a busty actress attempted to finger their assholes. I pointed this out to the customer, he stuttered something I couldn’t understand and slunk out after I said, “Sorry, no returns.”
I don’t like getting ripped off any more than anyone else, but when you’re purchasing novelties at an adult bookstore, there has to be a certain amount of “oh well” when the product breaks. Every store I’ve ever been to has a strict “No Return” policy and when an establishment is selling products that either cover or go into your genitals, this seems fair. Unfortunately, not everyone appears to have this commerce common sense.
Some people are downright stupid.
I had a ragged looking woman try to turn in a winning lottery ticket during one of my overnight shifts. When I told her we didn’t sell, nor reward lottery tickets, she objected by stating she had bought the ticket here just last week. She mumbled irritated phrases to herself as she left the store without her ticket. When I examined her "winning" ticket, I discovered it was really a Super America gas station receipt.
Once I got to know the products better, I became better at suggesting what vibrators lasted and the ones customers were more-likely to enjoy. Most of the time, this involves spending a lot more money. Some customers are cheap and end up buying a $20 piece of shit that looks like it was put together by a blind monkey. In several instances, I’ve had customers come back into the store to buy my higher-priced suggestion after they went home with the cheaper alternative and learned it only vibrated for 2 minutes before exploding.
My advice for customers: Do your research online. Find out what’s available, what people are saying and then match your needs with the right product. Paying $150 for a quality vibrator that will last for years is a hell of a lot better than losing a piece of plastic up your wife’s vagina because you bought the cheaper version made by a company in Thailand.
Also, if you ask the clerk for help, take their suggestions to heart. We deal with these products all the time and can usually give some great insight if you’re comfortable with opening up to us a little bit. We’re going to make fun of you regardless, so you may as well let us help you find the right product.
And if you do buy something that’s been shoved inside you that breaks. Write a letter to the manufacturer with the product’s UPC or serial number. (DO NOT SEND THEM YOUR USED VIBRATOR!) You’re much more likely to get a new vibrator and letter of apology from California Exotics than you are from Jimbo, the overnight-stoner-burnout-clerk.
Monday, April 9, 2012
(Or another reason why you should fuck with porn store clerks.)
Move rentals at porn stores are always a pain in the ass and I often wonder why owners and managers bother to put up with the complicated process. There is no convenient computer system with membership cards and barcode scanners. In every porn store I’ve been to, they require the renter to secure the price of the rented movies on their card before charging $5+ per movie, per-night. This way, if the movie isn't returned, the store can simply run the charge on the card permanently.
It’s an obnoxious process that takes forever because you always have to explain what you’re doing to the customer, who then has to decide if they really want to hand over their credit card to be temporarily charged. We only have a handful of repeat renters, so every time someone wants to rent, I have to explain why I need to swipe their cards multiple times and reassure the customer that the charge will not appear on their monthly statement if they return the movies within a week.
Recently, the owner decided that if movies were more than five days overdue, we’d simply charge the credit card and be done with it. But we used to be required to call customers with overdue movies at least once a day until the overdue movies were returned.
I hated doing this and turned it into something of a game to amuse myself. The dumbasses that left a work number as their contact ALWAYS received several phone calls per evening until they brought back the movies. This was particularly fun working the evening shift as after 7 p.m., I was sure to get voicemail, so the clerks working would take turns calling and leaving messages in different voices. We were also particularly careful to mention the titles of each late movie multiple times during the message. (It's fun saying Cocksuckers 19 in a fake British accent.)
This resulted in multiple occasions of movies being thrown at me when customers finally came in to return their overdue rentals. During one of my nights off, a particularly irate customer bitched out the evening clerk for 20 minutes because our phone calls got him fired from his custodial position. (I’m not positive, but my guess is he was the customer who left his Christian Youth Group employer's phone number as his contact.)
I'm not heartless. I never left a message if a child answered and when it sounded like a spouse had answered, I kept the message very matter-of-fact.
The most amusing late-rental episode occurred when we realized two brothers with 10 overdue movies between the two of them were both working at the same AAMCO station down the street. I discovered that their phone went automatically to voicemail at 5 p.m. so it was easy to leave multiple messages throughout the night. I’m sure owner was amused to hear six messages a night from different clerks requesting that Danny and Donnie return Cum Sucking Sluts 15, Yum Yum We Love Cum and eight other colorful movie titles before the end of the week.
You can tell a lot about someone by the porn they rent. I’m sure bosses around Mankato loved learning that their accounting manager had five transsexual midget movies overdue.
Sure, these messages could get someone fired, but the customers really shouldn’t have listed a work phone number in their contact info for renting a porno movie. And if they don’t get fired, their boss will know what to get them for a Christmas bonus.
Thursday, April 5, 2012
I’d like to take a moment away from my stories about the creepy Mankato whack shack to talk a little about other porn stores. I’m kind of the “porn expert” within my social network, but have really only been to a handful of other stores.
From my experience, I can say that around the United States, porn stores are pretty much the same. They range from disgusting places you’d never want to visit to incredibly upscale places that have an atmosphere more appropriate for jewelry than dildos. You can usually get a feel for the store just by driving past the parking lot. If the store has windows, chances are it’s more of an upscale, couple’s store. If the parking lot is filled with rusted out, windowless vans covered with 70s fantasy murals… just keep on driving.
My international porn store experience took place while I was living in Seoul, South Korea, teaching rich kindergarteners how to speak English. (I’ll wait while you make your jokes about a Jizzmopper being allowed to teach a classroom full of children.) This time of my life was focused on drinking, hashing (see previous entry) and not much else.
Korea was interesting because, like Japan, it has huge Lolita fetish bubbling just under the surface of its society and any nudity in the media is blurred out. I thought it was hilarious that a country that had prostitution readily available wouldn’t allow adults to purchase magazines or videos of nude people without penises and vaginas pixelated out.
From what I understand, prostitution is illegal in Korea, but generally not prosecuted and is something most people just accept. There were even red-light districts with the workers displayed in glass windows for all to see. (They didn’t service any Westerners. AIDS is seen as a foreigner problem, so to protect themselves, sex workers in the red-light districts only work with fellow Koreans.)
While I was there, and several times since, the police implemented special initiatives to crackdown on the sex industry in Seoul. They accomplished this by listing a very specific time frame that they would be walking through the known sex districts and arresting anyone suspected of prostitution. Once this program was completed, things would pretty much go back to normal.
From my perspective, I saw this crackdown as something the police felt pressured into doing by conservative groups and the fact that they announced the dates they’d be enforcing this program showed they weren’t very serious about it. However, the sex industry saw this as an attack and fought back hard. Thousands of sex workers and their supporters protested at the capital and demanded this harassment end. The grounds of the capital became a sea of people as they sat in non-violent protest for weeks against what they saw was an unjust action.
Support for the sex industry came from all over. Amnesty International and a large number of women’s rights groups provided financial and political support. The ACLU sent a delegation and spoke in front of the capital during one of the most heavily attended rallies of the protest.
But the most unexpected (at least for me) support came from the Korean Men’s League. They appealed directly to lawmakers to stop their attack against the sex industry and revoke all anti-prostitution laws. They argued that if prostitution was illegal, many young men who were serving in the army (which is required of all male, Korean citizens) would become depressed an inefficient soldiers. I followed their efforts on the English Armed Forces Network and the Korean Men’s League appeared sway quite a few lawmakers.
Eventually, the crackdown ended (precisely on the date they had announced it would) and everything did go back to normal. The once empty red light booths were now filled with friendly faces and Korean men were no longer in danger of developing depression.
While the running club ran through the red light district quite often, I can honestly say I only went into one Korean sex shop. It was located in Itaewon, the international district of Seoul located near the army base, and was well hidden on the second floor of an alley storefront. A small group of us went in together, unsure of what we’d find, but drunkenly enthusiastic at the same time.
We were disappointed to find the small store almost empty of customers and products. There was a small rack of foreign, plastic-wrapped magazines that were priced at $50 each (my best guess is that they were Thai). There were a few, incredibly cheap-looking dildos and vibrators that ranged in price from $80 to $550. I was thrilled and ready to buy some items from the tiny bondage section, until I saw the prices. My fantasies of how to utilize the eye-less gimp mask ended when I saw they were charging $1,200 for something that would be available in the U.S. for $50. They also had some scary looking whips and paddles, and I couldn’t help but wonder who they were selling this hodgepodge of sexual items to. The store probably wasn’t legal and had disappeared the next time I walked through the area.
To put this all into perspective, the country that doesn’t allow frontal nudity is filled with arcades that feature animated nudity and sex scenes. You can easily pay for a blow job, but it’s illegal to sell or buy a pocket pussy. You can get 30 years in prison for getting caught with a joint, but alcoholism is a completely accepted social norm.
I expect all of this is less of an issue now that we have the internet to beam all manner of pornography to anyone with a high-speed router, but I still find myself thinking about the strange sexual social customs in Korea.
Even a Jizzmopper can be shocked.
Tuesday, April 3, 2012
The rise and fall of Bill Cook volume IV.
For those of you who haven’t read the other entries about this fascinating and disgusting man, here are quick links to my previous posts about Bill.
(Now that you’re caught up, here’s the end of the story.)
As I had expected, Bill didn’t take his demotion away from manager well. He was told about the new arrangement with me and another clerk as the store’s new management. They gave him the rest of the weekend off and told him to come in on Monday to hand over his keys and duties. As assistant manager, I would be instructed on any new duties or responsibilities by Bill, after things had settled down.
Unfortunately, they never did.
Bill pulled a complete 180 with his behavior at work and his opinion of the owners. Instead of being the ideal employee that just complained about his coworkers and constantly kissed the owner's ass, he was now complaining about everyone and not completing the modest duties that were his responsibility as a clerk.
When he ‘trained’ me how to order merchandise from the catalog, he essentially showed me the page numbers for all the products we carry at the store. He felt the need to explain that some prices were higher than others and that these higher priced items didn’t sell as fast. He also said that if I didn’t learn the ropes quickly, he’d be back as manager before I knew it.
After he handed over his keys and the combination to the store’s safe was changed, he spent his shifts bitching about his coworkers to customers and sitting on his butt. The few times I worked alongside Bill were spent in awkward silence as he overtly ignored my presence. Even my suggestions to order Godfather's Pizza were ignored!
I’m sure he feels betrayed. Bill was always paranoid that everyone else at the stores was gunning after his job as manager. Now that he was ousted, he probably thinks that we had been planning this coup for months and that everyone else at the store was reveling in his failure.
It’s true that all of the clerks wanted Bill removed as manager, but it wasn’t personal. At least we didn’t intend it to be. The owner wouldn’t have named another manager if Bill hadn’t been performing incredibly poorly in his position. If Bill hadn’t been such a prick to everyone, we may not have been so eager to talk to the owner about why he needed to be replaced. We were all shocked that he was named manager in the first place, so to think that there was a conspiracy to get rid of him even before he was made manager is just insane.
Eventually, Bill succumbed to what he hated the most.
He put in his two-week notice to start a new career as a truck driver and we thought we had heard the last about him. A week after he left, a nervous 19-year-old came in to the store and asked if I gave the same deals the fat guy did. When I asked what this special deal was, he explained that he picked out what he wanted in the pipe case, Bill would bring the stuff out to his car after his shift and sell everything for $100 cash. I said that the owner probably wouldn’t approve of this practice and that he would probably be calling the store now that he heard us discussing this over the security system. (The phone just happened to ring 30 seconds after I said this and I pretended like the dead line was the owner.)
It surprised me that Bill would start stealing from the store, even though he felt completely betrayed. More than anything, it was sad that he apparently tossed out all his values as soon as he got mad enough.
Several weeks after that, the store started to receive faxes from a bank Bill was trying to secure a $900,000 loan from. He was attempting to purchase a new semi truck and had said that he earned $150,000 a year as manager of the store. (In reality, he earned $22,000 at the most!) I sent these sheets on to the main office and listened to the touring manager laughing his ass off as he told the story of how Bill called the owner and asked him to lie about how much he earned at the store.
They never charged Bill with theft, even though they had his back-door transactions recorded, but the owner did threaten to charge him with everything from larceny to harassment and trespassing if Bill ever called him again.
I was reminded how similar this situation was to that of the last manager who was fired from the store and thought it was funny how life goes in circles.
I still wonder what happened to Bill, but have been unable to find any information about him online. I wouldn’t be surprised if he was dead, but every time I drive by an 18-wheeler on the freeway, I look up with the slight hope that I’ll see Bill in the driver’s seat, pissed that I must have tracked him down in his truck just to give him a hard time.
Monday, April 2, 2012
This probably doesn’t come as much of a surprise, but porn stores are a great example of the adage, “People will buy anything.” This is fine for joke and novelty purchases that customers don’t actually expect to do anything. Where it gets sad, is when (stupid) customers buy products expecting them to accomplish something specific.
The best example of this is Spanish Fly. Cantharidin, the actual chemical obtained from blister beetles and the active ingredient in Spanish Fly, is a strong blister agent and a poison. The concept behind giving a woman Spanish Fly is that the chemical will cause areas in their vagina to swell and that they’ll want to engage in sex to relieve this constant irritation. (Totally hot, right?) People have died from taking real Spanish Fly and thankfully it’s not allowed to be sold for non-medical use in the United States. (That doesn’t mean you can’t get it, but the chance of actually getting the real stuff in a $3.95 bottle of coconut flavored Spaznitch Flie at an adult bookstore is virtually non-existent.)
Knowing this, it surprises me that there are a large number of male customers who regularly purchase our novelty Spanish Fly, insisting that it works beautifully. One regular explained how he just has to add the strawberry flavored Spanish Fly to his special “leg-opener” cocktail (Bacardi 151, Malibu Rum and god knows what else) and his date is certain to put out. My thought is that drunken date rape is what’s really going on here, but he didn’t listen when I tried to explain this.
Another non-effective product we sell a lot of is Herbal V (herbal Viagra.) It’s probably unfair of me to say that this product isn’t effective. It certainly could be and the repeat sales we have of this $79.95 bottle of 30 capsules would suggest that it works. However, the ingredients listed on the back of the bottle are vague at best and I think it’s absolutely insane to take an unregulated herbal supplement.
*Author’s note: I’ll write more about this when I’m telling tales from the next, mini-mall, couple-friendly porn store, where cardiac patients were our most regular herbal-love-concoction customers.
Herbal V could be safe and effective, and these regular customers could have spoken with their doctors before trying this product, but I doubt it. I don’t trust buying condoms from this store and won’t even think about taking the pills in a bottle labeled, “May cause dizziness and increased heart rate. Contact a physician before use.” Let’s be honest, no one wants to die from taking counterfeit Viagra when you could probably get it for a $10 co-pay if you had the balls to ask your doctor for a prescription.
The final product I’d like to mention is the “Not-Yet” desensitizing cream. Unlike the first two products I’ve written about, this cream absolutely does what it says it will. From personal experience, I can attest that rubbing a quarter-sized amount on your penis testicles will cause you to go numb from your bellybutton to your knees. And while it does delay ejaculation (in theory), it also prevents you from feeling any sexual pleasure. You could be dry humping a car door for all the sensation you retain and, despite what you’ve seen in porn videos, repeatedly blindly thumping into your partner will not bring her to new levels of ecstasy.
Worse yet, if the cream hasn’t absorbed by the time you start rubbing against your partner, her genitals will also go completely numb and you’ll find your passionate evening replaced with a late night of watching reruns of Friends.
Please know; I share because I care.
The moral of this story is that no one should look to a porn store to purchase anything medically effective. These things are novelties and they help you climax, fantastic, but don’t rely on them. With current medical technology, you should be talking to your doctor about your inability to achieve erection. Your body must be a temple before it can be an amusement park and sexual side-effects are usually a sign that something else in your body is not operating efficiently.
Why people seem to be more comfortable discussing their sexual shortcomings with the slob behind the pipe-counter than with their doctor is beyond me, but it keeps happening. All I can do is be honest when they ask questions:
Customer – “Do these horny goat weed pills actually do anything?”
Me – “No.”
Customer – “I’ll take 5 packages.”
Me – *Facepalm