So, I was out of the office for four days, home with a complete bitch of a sinus infection. I had zero energy to do anything other than make occasional trips off of my living room couch but for the most part, I just snoozed there and watched daytime television, including the estrogen fest that is 'The Oprah Winfrey Show.' I personally am pro-Oprah all the way. She came from nothing and worked hard to become the multimedia mogul she is, and she does a ton of great work for charitable causes through the “Angel Network” she established with her millions, and she encourages women on a daily basis to have positive self-images and go after their dreams.
An episode I watched during my couch time was one where married women discussed how their marriages had changed post-children, especially on the sexual front. The guest was Ayelet Waldman, a writer with a great essay included in the anthology Because I Said So: 33 Mothers Write About Children, Sex, Men, Aging, Faith, Race and Themselves, and she made the controversial (in that crowd) statement that the grand romance in her life was between her and her husband, and that her kids were second-banana to that, and she suspected the reason a lot of married women weren't having great sex was their choice of putting the kids over their husbands.One woman, a 40-something with three kids, was particularly appalled by Waldman's choices. She said one of the most disturbing things I have heard about sexuality in quite some time. She said that some times, she just wasn’t in the mood to have sex with her husband so she would watch TV while he, in her words, “did his business” on top of her. There was some outrage from the audience but no one said what came into my congested head immediately: “That poor man.”
When I worked as a live nude girl doing peep show work, I saw guys like that woman’s husband all the time — men who were on some level neglected and disrespected by the women who claimed to love them. They’d spend piles of cash while, most of the time, lying to the women in their lives about where they really were when they were spending money on me or on some porn. I had a lot of regular customers, and I got them once I figured out that being kind and funny was the key to getting the guys to relax with me because once they unclenched their jaws and their ass cheeks, the vice grip on their wallets tended to let go about the same time. I remember seeing this grayness on their faces, and there was this unspoken hope that a woman would talk to them and maybe just one time, not tell them that the basic, usually pretty uncomplicated and vanilla sexual things that they wanted were disgusting.
More women than ever are raising their children to believe they are the absolute center of the universe. Go into any restaurant or supermarket right now and you are almost guaranteed to find someone’s kid running around and creating a mess as the mother exerts little to no effort to make the brat less of a nuisance. If mothers believe their kids are the number one thing in their lives, what the fuck are the men married to these women supposed to do to meet their needs? Enter the pornographer…
The production companies know the score in this current problem. Gonzo flows freely out of production companies with titles that aren’t necessarily supposed to sing of everlasting love (John Leslie’s Gobble the Goop springs quickly to mind), and when I look at some of the misogynistic, angry stuff that’s out there, I understand a piece of why some of these guys are angry. It’s not that they didn’t get to go to their proms; it’s that they lost the love and the fuck of their lives to a screaming kid, and they can't vocalize it without coming off as complete bastards.
A lot of those conflicted guys are walking around your store right now. Yes, more couples and women are buying porn than ever, so please continue making your stores pretty and brightly lit, but there always needs to be a place for the lone guy in your customer base. That lone male consumer is still the core of things in porn, and what he wants needs to be at the center of most stores’ (obviously not the female-oriented variety) mission statements. His needs, most likely, are already at the center of your stocking decisions.
It’s really easy to be negative toward these guys because they carry the bad shit going on in their bedroom right on into your front door. It’s harder to be caring in most cases because it means touching on their discomfort somehow, and in customer service situations, that’s never a completely happy thing for the clerk. You can’t give the men an out from their unsatisfactory marriages or sex lives but you can soften the blow by giving them hope for the future (hey, the M.I.L.T.F. trend is there for a reason, people) and by doing so, you will pad your cash flow nicely. This is the fresh issue, and taking a fresh look at your regulars might be what you need to do.