Last week my cousin was found dead in the bathroom. Her mother was the first to see hera bloody mess with at least one gun shot to the head. Im pretty sure Cousin was twenty years old. After 911 arrived, they roped off the area and kicked Mom out of what used to be her house and is now a police site. Nobody knows a whole lot, except they did find Cousins boyfriend up in the mountains, barely surviving what looks to be a botched suicide attempt.
This isnt even the first time a member of my family may, or may not, have been killed by someone who loved them. The last cousin got thrown out of a fast moving car. Smart guy husband staged the incident as an accident, but after further investigation, police realized it was a deliberate homicide. What a fucking mess. Outside of getting a whupping when I was little, domestic violence is totally foreign to me. My mom always told me that if a boyfriend ever hit me, leave the bastard and never look back. I didnt know what she was talking about. In my cocks eye I couldnt see myself ever hooking up with someone who thought it was okay to slap a girl around. But who really knows? Lots of creeps slide under the radar; maybe I just got lucky.
When I tell people Im a dancer and a sex worker, they invariably ask me about the customers. Were they sleazy? Slimy? Scary? Wasnt I afraid one of them would hack me up in fifty pieces and throw me in a casserole? Uh...no. For the most part, customers who participate in the sex trade are alright guys. I dont care so much about what customers do when Im not around. I mean, coming from a workplace point of view, all I ask is that said consumer is polite, pays cash, and leaves when the party is over. Anonymous relations are a risk, but after hearing some true blood n bruise stories, it seems women are more in danger the minute we start dating someone rather than taking our clothes off for money in front of strangers.
I just got back from a four-week working vacation in England and Scotland. I know my mom was worried for my safety, but it wasnt so much cause I traveled alone. What were the men like? Did any of them give you a hard time? Nah, not in the strip clubs. There was that one dickhead who tried to grab my boob at a disco, but thats another story.
Teresa Dulce is executive director for Danzine, a Portland based non-profit organization created by and for sex workers. Danzine runs two HIV/STD prevention programs: peer education outreach in the dressing rooms (DanceReach), and an anonymous and confidential needle exchange site on SE 82/Powell on Friday evenings from 7:30 to 9 (StreetReach). We publish danzine quarterly, available for purchase at Reading Frenzy, Powells Books, Its My Pleasure and Tower Records and Magazines. Danzine is always looking for volunteers and donations. Danzine (503) 234-9615