I found out ages ago that there’s a company that throws “foot parties” in major cities – they rent a bar or something and people with foot fetishes pay pretty ladies for foot play. I had this idea of applying to be one of those ladies – if I played my cards right I could make hundreds of dollars in a single night.
I never did get around to applying, but in investigating the website I read some customer testimonials that gave me a really important epiphany. Most of the testimonials gushed about the fact that the women at the foot party were (allegedly) super into having their toes sucked on, etc., and how wonderful it was to have that fetish not only accepted but welcomed. And I know it’s stupid but until that moment it would not have occurred to me to fake enthusiasm or enjoyment.
I kind of figured I’d treat the “foot girl” thing like a customer service job: be helpful and nice and get the job done to the best of my ability, but that’s it. I assumed it’d be futile to fake enjoyment because, come on, the guys would have to know I was faking. Who the hell enjoys doing quasi-sexual stuff with unattractive strangers*? But apparently they really do believe these women are into it.
Later, when I started art modelling, I decided to be like those foot girls and act super enthusiastic about everything. Probably half the people I work with don’t give a shit whether I’m enjoying myself as long as I’m doing my job well, but hey, the enthusiasm can’t hurt.
Hilariously, I realized a few days ago that I put on a bit of a persona when I’m working, and that persona is Natalie Portman stripping in the VIP room for Clive Owen in the movie Closer. Not the undertones of manipulation and arousal; just her politeness and her cheerful willingness to follow orders. Clive asks if she’ll strip for him, and she pleasantly says “Of course!” and begins disrobing; Clive tips her and she warmly thanks him every time. I try to emulate that general vibe, plus I’ll generally make a point of telling the instructor and/or students that I’m having fun.
I have one art instructor who, the first time I worked for him, would give me advice to improve my posing – but did so in a really flinchy, tentative way. I assured him that I love getting advice because I’m always trying to improve myself, and he relaxed. He told me that some models are divas and don’t take direction well, hence his caution in trying to tell me stuff. So maybe my gung-ho attitude is an all-around good idea: it makes me more approachable. Artists would likely rather hire a model who visibly loves her job over one who’s a sullen pain in the ass, even if the sullen girl is more technically proficient.
Anyway, tonight I posed for a new (to me) art class and it went well. The organizer was kind of weird and awkward with me when I first arrived (perhaps afraid I might be one of those diva chicks?) but as time wore on he became visibly more comfortable with me – perhaps because I was channeling my inner Natalie Portman Stripper. I became more comfortable, too. I love when I get into the zone of feeling natural and at ease in my skin.
At one point I broke pose for a second to rub my nose (I try really hard to hold still, but these were extenuating circumstances – a stray Bastardcat hair had found its way to the rim of my nostril and was driving me insane with every breath). Once I’d gotten back into my pose (or thought I had), the organizer – who was sitting like two feet in front of me – whispered “your chin needs to be a bit higher” and I adjusted it and said “thanks!” and we gave each other a brief but genuine smile. Teamwork!
A bit later, I did that really strenuous half-crawling pose I mentioned in a previous post – and inadvertently placed my hands way wider than before, which put even more strain on my arms. I managed to hold out til the end, but my arms were visibly shaking. When my timer finally went off and I gratefully clambered up onto my feet again, the organizer murmured “Nice work!” and I grinned and murmured back, “that was a rough one” before taking my next pose.
The organizer and several of the artists did some truly amazing drawings of me, some of which I photographed and others of which will apparently be posted on the artists’ blogs/websites/whatever. I had a few people write their web addresses down for me so I could check the pictures out later and maybe link some of my friends to them to show off how awesome I look.
The class took place in a condo that the organizer uses as a studio, btw. He doesn’t live there full-time, but it has all the amenities of an apartment – including a murphy bed that opens up right where my posing area was. For my last two poses, the organizer thought it would be neat if I posed on this bed, so he unfolded it and I threw the sheet I always bring with me on top of it for courtesy’s sake. At which point one of the artists made some crack about wanting the sheet tucked in, and then said “…So that’s one tuck and one no-tuck” and I shrieked “Seinfeld!” because he was totally referencing an episode of that show. And we laughed over this shared pop culture reference, and the other artists laughed at my instant recognition of the “tuck/no tuck” thing, and then I got naked and everyone drew me.
It just gives me a bit of cognitive dissonance sometimes, the way I’m naked which is supposed to reduce guys to either helplessness or violence, depending who you ask, except instead we just banter like a bunch of accounts receivable clerks standing around the water cooler.
Incidentally, one of the artists present tonight was the instructor at my first-ever modelling job. He was thrilled to see me, gave me tons of compliments on my work, and says he’ll definitely give me some gigs this summer. I’m beginning to realize that he has a tendency to make sweeping declarations and then not follow through, so I’m not regarding this as a sure thing, but I hope it comes through. I need all the work I can get. I’ll send him an email tomorrow politely prompting him to book me soon before my schedule fills up.
Even if he doesn’t give me work this summer, I’m glad I ran into him. I’m a way better model now than I was when he first knew me, and I’m proud to show that off; also, I use him as a job reference and now my mad skillz will be fresh in his mind and he’ll probably say amazing gushy things to anyone who asks about me.
The organizer of tonight’s thing was quite effusive with me, too, and says he’ll recommend me to his artist friends. He really loved it that I brought props – he said nobody’s done that before.
All in all, this was a really great night. 🙂
*I’m not saying dudes with foot fetishes are unattractive. I’m saying they no doubt occupy all kinds of different demographics and therefore it’s inevitable that I’d end up playing with people I would never normally touch with a ten-foot pole. Also, my friend The Vixen is a sex worker and she genuinely does enjoy what she does – even though her clients are male and she’s a lesbian! – so apparently it happens. But I don’t think it’s super common.