As a freelance nude model, the two questions I get asked most are: “Isn’t it dangerous to go out to the desert with all these strange men?” and “Do you have any modeling horror stories?”
Sorry to disappoint you bloodthirsty fuckers, but the answer to both is…not really.
I have been doing a ton of photo shoots lately, with people from all over the world. Mostly, these have been full-day bookings – I offer a $500 deal where, over the course of an 8-hour day, I take you around the desert to shoot at red sandstone rocks, a dry lake bed, rustic abandoned buildings, Joshua trees and lonely desert roads. I’ll even drive, if you want me to. And because the weather here in the desert is perfect right now for outdoor shooting, I have been booked solid!
come fly with me!
I usually meet the photographer in the morning — at his hotel, or at a pre-arranged meeting spot convenient to both of us — and either I get into his car, or he gets into mine, and we head off out of town to the first stop on my itinerary.
As mentioned, many consider this super sketchy…but I don’t just shoot with anybody; I have a pretty decent vetting process. In addition, I have a businesslike demeanor, concrete balls…and a hidden weapon And anyway, realistically the photographer has just as much reason for concern as I do — for all he knows I could be a psycho killer, or even just an unscrupulous con artist who will drive him out to the desert, steal his cash and expensive gear, and leave him for dead.
Thankfully, I’m an honest person and a legitimate model – which I think most photographers can tell from my site and my Model Mayhem bio. And so far, I have never had one single bad experience with a photographer — other than being stood up a few times (YOU know who I’m talking to, jerks).
When I admit to a lack of modeling “horror stories,” people almost seem disappointed — apparently, the general perception of the amateur modeling biz is that it’s nothing but pervs, rapists, and murderers…or a thinly-veiled front for prostitution. Well, again — sorry to burst your bubble, but this really isn’t the case. Most of my clientele are professional types from other fields who simply enjoy indulging their artistic side as a avocation. They just want to take beautiful photographs; that’s all!
In any event, those kinds of shenanigans are very rare, and most of the photographers who hire me are super cool and very professional about their work; usually the worst that happens is a little initial awkwardness when we first get into the car together and drive off. But I can talk to just about anyone, so usually after about 15 minutes we are chattering away like old friends. I have met some really interesting people this way — I’ve spent hours driving around the desert with doctors, lawyers, mining engineers, software programmers and all manner of other professionals….and only a few pervs It’s actually very interesting, and I’ve learned a lot.
Of course, sometimes there’s a language barrier; the other week I shot with a super nice Japanese man who spoke somewhat limited English, but we were able to communicate just fine, and ended up having a great shoot…especially at the end, when he broke out a traditional Japanese yukata for me to pose sluttily in, along with a weird Japanese fox mask and a towel from some Japanese girlie metal band called BABYMETAL. Whatever you say, boss!
In the desert
Then another day, I shot with a South African couple who was traveling around the U.S. in a giant motorhome, photographing landscapes for five weeks. They, too, hired me for a full day desert tour…and they were absolutely enchanted with the locations I took them to. I love watching the expressions on peoples’ faces when I show them my beautiful locations — I really do love the desert, and I enjoy sharing it with others. I love showing tourists that there’s more to Vegas than just slot machines and shitty shows!
Anyway, that shoot was particularly interesting because both of them shot me — and they had two cameras apiece! So I ended up posing for literally thousands of photos that day; their style was to just let me do my thing while they blasted away.
Just do your thing!
As a model, the first few minutes of any photo shoot are always interesting in that you have to sort of suss out the photographer’s shooting style — are they the type who likes to carefully compose each shot, with attention to light, shadow and geometry? Or, as is the case with many beginners, do they just get nervous and start blasting away, giving little or no direction? (I prefer the first style, as “just doing my thing” non-stop for 8 hours is pretty exhausting.)
Also, you have to figure out your posing — are they the artsy type, preferring anonymous bodyscapes, downcast eyes and wistful expressions? Or do they prefer more glamour-type cheesecake, with direct eye contact and toothy smiles? (The former is more in line with my personal aesthetic, but I enjoy shooting both.) I usually figure all that out as I go along, and do my best to cater to the photographer’s preferences….which generally ends up being a mix of styles, so I never get bored.
Photo by J. Patton
Speaking of getting bored, you might wonder if I ever tire of going out to the same locations over and over again — I mean, last week I shot out at my red sandstone location four times in one week (and on two occasions was there for the full day, without hitting any other locations)! But the answer to this is no — because every photographer has a different eye, and each shoot turns out different from the last in one way or another.
In fact, one of my recent shoots was really different from the others in that is was pissing rain the entire time — and I don’t mean drizzling, I mean dumping. I messaged the photographer the day before, noting that thunderstorms were in the forecast, and offering him the option to reschedule or just shoot in his room, instead. But this crazy motherfucker was Ukrainian, and scoffed at my wussy Western ways — what’s a little desert thunderstorm?! Clouds just mean beautiful, diffused light!
So I sacked the fuck up, threw on a rain poncho, and headed out to the desert anyway…and along the way, the weather got even worse. At one point, I had my windshield wipers on overdrive, and I could still barely see 10 feet in front of the truck. Yikes!!! To make matters worse, the temperature had also dipped freakishly into the 60s — a full 30 degrees cooler than at my shoots earlier and later in the week. BRRRRRRRRR!!
But I had to give that crazy motherfucker props — even as thunder and lightning split the desert sky and rain literally poured all around us, he crouched in a red sandstone cave directly across from where I was huddled miserably/seductively in another red sandstone cave, and proceeded with the shoot. Every once in awhile the rain would let up ever so slightly, and we’d make a mad dash for another couple of caves — and so it went, from cave to cave and then from location to location. We couldn’t even shoot at the dry lake bed, because it had officially become a lake — I mean, this was a heavy-ass rainstorm, setting a new rainfall record and causing all kinds of damage. There was even half-dollar sized hail coming down near one of the locations we shot at; fortunately, this kind gentleman took pity on me after awhile and we headed back to town. (He really was a super nice, cool guy…I don’t mean to make him sound like a monster or anything.)
I’ve spent a LOT of time here lately!
Anyway, that freak storm passed, and the rest of my shoots proceeded without incident. The worst thing that happened was that I cut my hand pretty badly on a splinter at the abandoned building location, and my ass got a little scratched up from all the climbing/scooting around on sandstone (I spent a total of 18 hours over 4 days shooting at the red rocks site, a personal record)! But I consider myself lucky……because things almost took a much worse turn.
You know how earlier in this blog I was bragging about how I’ve never had a bad experience with a photographer? Well, I should stop that kind of talk right this minute, so that I don’t jinx myself like I did on Wednesday.
The previous titleholder for Scariest Thing I’ve Seen At a Shoot
I was hiking along at the red rocks site in my bare feet or my flip flops — I don’t remember which — talking to the photographer about how I’ve been lucky in all my dozens and dozens of desert shoots, and had never once seen a rattlesnake, scorpion or black widow. (The worst I’d seen was a ginormous hairy tarantula that lumbered into the shot once — which was creepy, but harmless.) Anyway, no sooner had the boast left my lips than what should I spy slithering into a pile of rocks just ahead of me but a snake!!!!! YIKES!!!!!
Neither the photographer nor I thought it was a rattler — it was a sort of mottled brown and on the small side, just chilling there peeking out at us non-aggressively. So like an idiot, I started talking baby talk to it (“Awwwwww…..who’s a cute little snakey-
My new m.o.
wake?”) and tossed a pebble at it to get it to move. And when it turned tail to skedaddle, sure enough there was a rattle on its tail!!!!!!!! Y I K E S ! ! ! ! ! ! Did I mention I was wearing flip flops?! From now on I’m wearing BOOTS in all my nude photo shoots!!!!!
Anyway, despite the close calls with flash floods, lightning strikes, rattlesnakes and Hantavirus-covered splinters, I survived all my photo shoots this month — and indeed survived another year of living fabulously, as my birthday came and went while I was on yet another photo shoot, out in Death Valley with the guy with whom I’ve been working on that ass-trophotography series.
photo by CJ Photography
This was something like our 7th shoot, and each time our work gets better — I mean, check this shit out!! It has to be one of the most beautiful photos ever taken of me…I <3 it. Bathed in the glow of the Milky Way…ahhhhh.
The best part about shooting with that guy is, he always gets a room in Shoshone or Tecopa (little desert towns on the outskirts of Death Valley), and we hang out boozing and smoking weed all day in the pool or the hot springs, until nightfall, when we head out to a lonely spot in the desert nearby to shoot. He always has super-trippy music playing, like William Orbit, and truly exceptional wine and cheese for craft services. Now, that’s class!!
This time, we celebrated a little bit extra because it wasn’t just my birthday — it was his, too!! So on the morning after our shoot, we both ate some mushrooms and spent the day lazing about on the porch of our room at the Shoshone Inn, watching the Mojave desert tortoises crawl around as the sun slanted lower and lower. Finally, around sunset, we headed over to Tecopa to get something to eat at the new Death Valley Internet Cafe (I’m sorry to report that my beloved Pastel’s Bistro is no longer in business…but the good news is, a really cool artist couple is taking over, and it will eventually reopen under another name, but with a similar vibe).
Meanwhile, there’s this new Internet Cafe — which is amazing!! It’s run by another couple of Vegas refugees who enjoy cooking up fresh, healthy, delicious foodie-food-type meals with innovative ingredients and plenty of style. The cafe itself is full of funky locally-produced art, and they even host live music on a little stage in the dining room.
The windows in this place glowed cheerily in the dusk as we rolled in from Shoshone, and the beauty of everything on the drive over just made me bawl my eyes out — I think I was still worn out from Burning Man, plus it being my birthday made me melancholy, I guess, because the gorgeous pinks and purples of the desert sunset were all too beautiful, just like in the song “Itchycoo Park,” and I just wept from the overwhelming magnificence of life! There is so much I look forward to seeing and doing in life — I never want it to end. There are so many adventures to be had!
Anyway, the best part about all this is that to pay for these adventures, I get to roam around the desert with interesting strangers…which in itself is something of an adventure! So, my life is something like an self-fulfilling prophecy, or positive feedback loop…or maybe I’m just a hamster running on a wheel in a cage made of my own shortsightedness.
In any event, one thing’s for sure — even when I’m not running around the desert with strange men, making my monthly nut is always an adventure. The variety of gigs available to a gal here in Vegas is endless — just looking back over the past few weeks, I worked as a marijuana showgirl at the grand opening of a medical marijuana growers’ supply store, as a product demonstrator at the bicycle industry trade show, and as a hot dog server at the convenience store owners’ convention.
This last one in particular was a hoot — it was the proverbial sausagefest! Something like 30,000 convenience-store owners converged on Vegas to stuff themselves on free samples of pretzels, jerky, beer, nuts, donuts, Hostess cakes, Tastykakes, Little Debbie cakes, Oreo churros (!!!), soda, taquitos, pizza, sliders, nachos and of course delicious gourmet Chicago-style sausages and hot dogs. There was a huge contingent from Brazil this year — apparently, the C-store business is booming in Brazil. But there were people from all over the world at this show, and it was really interesting.
One of the funniest things about working these shows is the other models you end up working with. As a general rule, the lower-brow the show, the more scantily clad babes you see on the tradeshow floor; the convenience store expo is chock-a-block with hired T & A. Fortunately, the client I was working for was super nice and fairly low-key, only needing four babes to serve their sausages — no skimpy outfits required, just wholesome attitudes and friendly smiles. I mean, we were serving freaking hot dogs! But you’d never know it from the attitude of some of these girls.
I don’t take myself too serious
This one chick in particular was a real piece of work; I’ve worked with her before, and while cute as a button and twice as pert, she’s secretly a huge stoner, so we sort of bonded over that. She’s trying to break into professional spokesmodeling/TV hostessing, so I told her she should become the face of the legal marijuana industry, which as we all know is booming/soon to be booming. But when I suggested it, she was all “I don’t know…I wouldn’t want to jeopardize my title.” Title?! Turns out she was Miss [insert hillbilly state here] USA several years back…and apparently that honor is such a career-booster that she can’t risk being associated with marijuana. Meanwhile, the bitch is slinging wieners at a fuckin’ Kwikie Mart expo. SMH!!!!!
Then there was this little ninny I worked with at the bike show. She had just turned 18, and this was her first tradeshow ever; to her credit, she was very attentive and pretty damn sharp, and picked up the sales pitch and everything really fast, so she was great to work with. But in our downtime, we started chatting about modeling. She does some Model Mayhem shoots, but she won’t do any nudes with strangers — “I’m goingto be famous,” she explained, totally serious.
For that same reason, she refused to sell her underwear to some guy who had offered to buy them off her; she didn’t want that kind of scandal coming back on her future Academy-Award-winning career. Then in the next breath told me how sheactually did shoot some nudes last month for submission to Playboy, and was waiting to find out if she made the cut….and then when she found out I’d done extra work for those porn movies, she was all over my nuts for the casting lady’s info. When the tradeshow ended, she was giddy with joy because the casting lady had texted her back saying she could definitely use her in some scenes……so, you tell ME how this story’s gonna end!
I’m a realist
Meanwhile, there’s realistic bitches like me — short on self-importance, but long on my savings account, my IRA and my home equity. A dollar’s a dollar, and fuck you if you don’t like the way I earned it! The way I look at it is, the more uppity bitches there are in this world, the less competition I have for the really interesting gigs. Like these freaky fucking vore videos I shot the other week.
If you don’t already know, “vore” is a genre of fetish involving devouring/being devoured; in the past, I’ve done videos where I ate little tiny men, chewing them up slowly, swallowing them, and then digesting them with my sexy little stomach acid. But this particular vore site was different; La Vore Girl features giant monsters eating sexy women!
The guy who runs the site is a really nice, down-to-earth Everyman who stumbled on this bizarre way of making money by chance; he made a few “monsters” out of upholstery foam, set up a studio in his dad’s basement, and now he’s on his way to fame and fortune — someone’s even making this awesome documentary about him:
Anyway, he hired me one night to come over, strip naked and get eaten by a couple of his monsters. How could I say no to that?!?! The setup was a classroom; in one video, I brought my pet monster to Show & Tell, and showed the class how I like my monster to eat me. In the other, I was a bratty schoolgirl who was trying to convince my monster teacher to change my “F” in Algebra to an “A:” “Isn’t there anything I can do to convince you, Mr. Cy-Eye?!?!?!?”
Being eaten by a monster
Unfortunately for me, I had to stretch my comfort levels a little and pretend the monster was actually having sex with me; I guess I’m not as free-spirited as I claim to be, as that kind of content kind of skeeves me out a little. But it was all very tongue-in-cheek (GET IT?); as Mr. Cy-Eye is giving it to me on his desk, I look back into the camera and deadpan: “This betterget me an A!”
Besides all of that, the shoot was fascinating for another reason; the filming took place in this bizarre sort of kooky, sprawling compound just northeast of downtown Vegas owned by
none other than the king of ballbusting, Mr. Bryan Balldacious…a man who makes his living having his testicles abused by sexy models. To that end, his home studio is filled with all kinds of crazy furniture with holes cut into it for his nutsack to dangle thru; the chicks then box it like a punching bag, or otherwise attempt to destroy it, and he sells the videos on his website, BallbustinFootlovin.fetlovin.com. Say what?!! I’ve never worked for him myself because his stuff is very adult; the chicks usually end up blowing him. But as seen earlier in this blog entry, I have done some softer-core ballbusting videos in my day…and I have to say, I find them mildly therapeutic 😀
Weird shit in the dark pic by CJ Photo
Anyway, when that crazy shoot was over I packed my bag and got the fuck out of there. As I was climbing into my truck in the front driveway, four Mexican cowboys came cantering down the street on horseback, drinking beer and chattering in Spanish in the dusky twilight. Considering all I’d just seen, I was sure they were the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse…but in reality, I was just in one of those weird, funky old neighborhoods in Vegas that are still zoned for horses, even though development has crept up around them on all sides. (Get it…..neighborhoods?!) And that, my friends, is one of the reasons I still love Vegas…even after all these years.
So to thank Vegas for all it has done for me, I decided to do one last gig…pro bono. You know, just to give a little something back to the community that has given me so very much!
This was the weekend of the annual Life Is Beautiful festival; one of those annoying music festivals featuring multiple bands, overpriced drinks, food trucks and hordes of chicks wandering around in high-waisted acid-wash shorts. Shudder! Worse, they hold this festival in downtown Vegas, not far from my house…but they fence it off from the rest of the neighborhood, in order to keep out all the poor people who live down there, and sort of pretend they don’t exist. Because Life is Beautiful…not Difficult/Scary/Sad, you fool.
But this year it was actually pretty cool; they had turned this shitty old no-tell motel down there into an art space called the Art Motel, with each room being curated by a different artist or art crew. I was invited to participate as part of the Intimately Female group exhibit in one of the rooms; the director was this super-progressive gallery owner here in town who dug my Electric Vagina shtick, and she gave me a free festival wristband in exchange for performing at the Art Motel.
OMG, legitimacy at last! I’m not even gonna pretend to be blasé about it; I’d never been presented as an “artist” before, and it was super exciting to be taken somewhat seriously. I dithered for weeks over how I was going to perform; I couldn’t really bring my blender and make Vagina Coladas, since I’m pretty sure that would have been a) a violation of the health code and b) a conflict of interest with the overpriced booze vendors onsite.
In the end, it didn’t matter; show management booted us out of our original room and into this tiny little broom closet under the stairs, almost completely hidden by a giant 3-D painting, and there was no room for me to perform anyway — so I became a mobile exhibit, free to roam the festival grounds in my costume and fuck with/ pose for photos with/ educate people about the Powers of the Feminine. It was awesome!!
Viva La Vagina!
Because they had moved the festival up to September (it’s usually in October), the weather was super fucking sweltering hot, especially because of all the asphalt, and I couldn’t wear my gold spandex bodysuit; at the last minute, I came up with a sort of Electric Showgirl costume to wear instead, that actually kind of tied in perfectly with my whole shtick about how Vegas commodifies women’s bodies — which, incidentally, I’m fine with…so long as I can go topless in public if I want to!!! It’s a two-way street, motherfuckers.
So for three days, my life went like this: I packed my Electric Showgirl costume into a messenger bag and rode my bike down to Fremont Street (parking was impossible during the festival, and it’s only a 10-minute sweltering bike ride from my house). I changed into my costume in the El Cortez bathroom (there was no bathroom or air conditioning at the Art Motel), and then spent the rest of the night hanging out at the Art Motel or just wandering around the festival grounds talking to people.
Most of the time, it was pretty straightforward: I had on a showgirl headdress, and people wanted a photo with me just because it was Vegas. But then when they noticed my outlet, that’s when the conversation got interesting! I had a dramatic little spiel I would go into, about The Power Of The Feminine:
“For centuries, THE VAGINA has been IDOLIZED… FETISHIZED… DEMONIZED… and MONETIZED. But its power has never been fully UTILIZED… until now.
Presenting the solution to the global energy crisis –THE VAGINA! The ONLY truly renewably resource we have on this planet.”
Then I would hold aloft my power drill, with a little pink flag that read “VIVA LA VAGINA” waving from the end of my 11″ concrete drill bit…to mostly polite applause. It was great! I even actually made a positive impact on a few young chicks, by impressing upon them how much power they really do have — and I’m not talking about pussy power in the traditional sense, where some asshole buys you a car or some Louboutins or whatever in exchange for sex. I’m talking about real power!
Because it’s like this: let’s face it, men rule the world. Something like 85% of all the heads of State, Congress, Senators, whatever around the world are men — and many/most men spend their entire lives completely bewitched by/ chasing pussy (I should know; I spend my entire working life lazily milking this weakness). Careers have been ruined, families have been destroyed, fortunes have been pissed away because of this fascination.
Meanwhile, we as women own one hundred percent of the commodity men want — ONE HUNDRED PERCENT — but somehow, we’re still second class citizens who can’t even walk down the street without a fuckin’ shirt on — or vote/take birth control/drive a car/etc in many parts of the world. How the fuck are we letting this happen? WAKE UP, GIRLS!
I mean, Aristophanes addressed this theme in Lysistrata 2,426 years ago…and yet here we are, still bumbling along like idiots in stupid showgirl costumes, getting eaten by foam monsters, tripping over rattlesnakes and basically doing whatever we can to avoid facing the real issues. Sometimes, I’m really ashamed of myself. *Sigh!*
Aaaaanyway, astonishingly I managed to effectively communicate all of this to many girls and women over the course of this festival; but lest you think it was all hardcore feminist Sturm und Drang, rest assured — there was plenty of hijinks, too. I watched a few bands play, had a few drinks, met tons of interesting people in the Vegas arts community (yes, there is one)…and smoked plenty of weed.
One night, I got baked off a friendly passing stranger’s joint, and then met up with a food critic friend who tipped me off to some free tacos being passed out in one of the VIP areas; I was all about some free food, since by that time I had already blown my personal food budget on a $12 Jack & Coke (remember, I wasn’t getting paid for this, so I had to keep a strict rein on my spending).
Doing a podcast with a Creationist magician, his nude-snake-handler girlfriend and assorted other local kooks
So I followed my friend into the VIP enclave, where all the bougie motherfuckers were swanning around sipping cocktails safely apart from the great unwashed masses, and stood in the darkness off to the side watching this semi-well-known chef demonstrate how to make pig cheek meat tacos. It was surreal! Remember, I was high as a kite, standing there in the night gaping at a brightly lit stage where a man in chef’s whites held aloft a glistening golden-brown bisected pig’s head, while a crowd of bougie white and Asian fanboys stared slavering in awe. “I’m here to tell you,” the chef intoned matter-of-factly, “there is no better meat than the meat on this pig’s face.”
He then proceeded to take the sous-vided fatty pig cheek meat and make tacos dressed with mayonnaise — three of the foods I despise most in this world: pork, fat and mayo. Shudder! But, alas…I was so high, so hungry, and so budget-minded that I ate no less than four of those fuckers. Sometimes, I really am ashamed of myself.
I know…I just said that two paragraphs ago. Don’t think I’ve forgotten; I’m just reminding myself to be a better person. Because when all is said and done, that’s all I really have.
Vanitas vanitatum omnia vanitas by CJ Photo
Beauty fades, asses sag, and there comes a day when no one wants to pay you to run around the desert naked. Eventually, not even a monster made of upholstery foam wants anything to do with you — fuck; sooner or later, they won’t even let you hand out hot dogs.
So, I’m working on cultivating my inner beauty. Because I’m here to tell you….
There is no better meat than the meat between this idiot’s ears.
As the #1 Google result for “Las Vegas nude model,” I do a TON of outdoor photo shoots in the desert around Vegas. I have a few locations that I use for this — dry lake bed, abandoned buildings, fabulous red sandstone formations — but I am always on the lookout for new spots to shoot at. And the other day, I found a humdinger: the ancient bristlecone pine forest up in the Spring Mountains, just northwest of town.
Bristlecone pines are the longest-lived life forms on Earth — over 5,000 years old in at least one case — and over the millennia the winds have blasted them into gnarled, twisted shapes. The dead ones are the most visually striking, as they have lost all their bark and have these beautiful, whorled striations on their trunks and branches. The trunks are almost the same color as my skin in some cases – although they photograph most dramatically in black-and-white.
photo by Randy Fosth/ Shutterbug Studio
These amazing ancients are found only in Nevada, Utah and eastern California (other less long-lived species are found in Colorado, New Mexico and Arizona) and I first discovered them several years ago, while hiking to the Raintree. The Raintree is this massive bristlecone pine in the Spring Mountains up near Fletcher Peak that is said to be 3,000 years old — making it (allegedly) the oldest living thing in Nevada…now that Joan Rivers is gone (ZING).
Anyway, the Raintree hike is one of my favorites in the Vegas area — after going about a mile and a half through a Ponderosa pine forest, you reach this amazing barren plateau overlooking all of the Las Vegas Valley and the surrounding desert; you can even see the Strip in the distance! It’s a huge flat area, and someone even built a little shanty out of fallen branches at the base of one of the bigger bristlecones. It would be an amazing place to camp out and have a drum circle or something like that!
photo by Randy Fosth/ Shutterbug Studio
But what’s really striking about this plateau are all the gnarly, dead bristlecones up there. Because it’s a windblasted ridge, they have taken on some really cool, twisted shapes…and I always thought they would make for some amazing art nudes. IF I could ever convince a photographer to hike up there.
Alas, however, I probably won’t be bringing (m)any photographers to this location. Although the trailhead is less than an hour from the Vegas Strip…the hike to the plateau itself is about 1.4 miles uphill with 1,000 feet of elevation gain, starting at 8,439 feet and ending up at 9,331 feet. And that’s just to the plateau — if you want to go all the way to the Raintree, it’s another 1.3 miles and 700 feet of elevation gain. The trail itself is technically fairly easy (I do it in flip-flops)…but it’s relentlessly uphill. You’ll have glutes of steel by the time you’re finished — did I mention I can crack a walnut in my ass?!
photo by Randy Fosth/ Shutterbug Studio
Anyway, most of the photographers who hire me aren’t up to the challenge…but I did convince my friend Randy Fosth a/k/a Shutterbug Studio to come with me the other day. And though he almost died doing it, we got all the fantastic photos you see in this blog…so I guess it was worth it!
Anyway, if you’re an adventurous sort, in moderately decent shape, and want to hire me for a shoot up here, I’ll be glad to
photo by Randy Fosth/ Shutterbug Studio
take you up on it. All you need is water and a camera — I’ll take care of the rest! As an added bonus, because the elevation is so high, you can shoot here even on the hottest day of summer — it might be 100 degrees down in Vegas, but up here it’s generally at least 20 degrees cooler.
But even if your physical limitations won’t allow for this hike, don’t worry: all my other locations are very easy to drive to, with minimal walking/hiking We can still take beautiful photos…I got your back!
*Hike information taken from Jim Boone’s fantastic site birdandhike.com. Directions to trailhead can be found there as well…or see my video below:
There I was, hunkered miserably in my flimsy pop-up camper as 50mph winds battered the canvas and rattled the chassis, insidious puffs of alkali dust sneaking in through every little crack and cranny, coating my dishes, wigs and even eyelashes in a fine white film of existential angst. I was tired, hungover, sleep deprived and pissed the fuck off — WHERE THE FUCK were all the perfect sunny days, languorous golden hours and pink-and-purple sunsets I’d been led to believe were my birthright? How the fuck was I supposed to cavort whimsically about the temple in my feather headdress and furry platform boots?! I WANT MY MONEY BACK!!!
Let this dust-caked Fleshlight speak for itself…
That’s right, friends, it was Burning Man…and this year, Burning Man was a bitch!!!
I’ve been lucky; in the 7 years I’ve been going to Burning Man, the weather has been pretty good, and I assumed all that talk about day-long dust storms and whiteouts was just hippie hyperbole. Every year, I dutifully tied and re-barred everything down…but secretly wondered why the hell I was bothering, when the most catastrophic thing I’d ever experienced was a ruffled wig.
Well, now I know.
Before my camp was destroyed
And it wasn’t just the weather that got me down — this year, every little thing seemed to conspire against my enjoyment of the Greatest Party on Planet Earth™: wind, weather, Eurotrash, mechanical troubles…and a general sort of malaise that had me wandering around the playa asking myself: “Is that all there is to Burning Man?
“Is that all there is?”
Let’s break out the booze and have a ball!
Well, if that’s all there is….then might as well keep dancing.
I’m no weak-willed pansy; every time the playa knocked me down, I got back up again. When relentless blasting winds destroyed our camp, my sister and I swept away the sand dunes and built it back. When my usual mushroom truffles made me sick, I took whole dried stems and caps, instead. And when whiteout conditions blasted dust into every crevice and orifice…I threw on a niqab and my strap-on, and went to town. This is the party of the year — let’s break out the booze and have a ball!
most practical gift ever
What’s a niqab, you ask? Well, it’s one of those creepy fucking black veils worn by women in some Islamic countries, where every part of the face and head are covered except for a narrow slit for the eyes. It covers everything down to about mid-chest, and is often worn over another full-length creepy black garment so that the entire body is covered…but I skipped the body part and simply accessorized it with a black rubber strap-on, a pair of Frankenstein boots and a clown nose. A fan had given it to me early in the week…and whatever your personal beliefs about the misogynistic heritage of these garments, I’m here to tell you — they are great for Burning Man!
And not just for dust protection, either — wearing the niqab prompted many interesting discussions, of a deeper nature than the usual conversations I have at Burning Man (which tend to be drug-addled ruminations on matters of little consequence, like “Have you seen that amazing light installation in Deep Playa? It blinks in time to the rhythm of your farts!”).
The niqab provoked far more in-depth discussions on gender and religion, with people I met from all over the Middle East — including several oddly aroused Israelis (Israelis are thicker than dust at the Burn; they love EDM and psychotropic drugs, and are used to the harsh conditions of the desert). Although there was a tense moment when we visited my sister’s ex-husband and his all-Israeli camp, and I accidentally left my backpack behind when we rode off 😮 Other than that, though, people responded very well to the ensemble.
In fact, some responded uncomfortably well; one of my all-time greatest Burning Man experiences EVER came about as I was wandering the playa in that getup.
Battered to the point of exhaustion by the wind and dust, one afternoon my sister and I retreated to the protected confines of Center Camp (Center Camp is this giant circus tent in the middle of Burning Man, sort of a central gathering place full of art and sleeping hippies). We found a quiet corner with a few cushions to lay back on, and sat down to enjoy some good-old-fashioned people watching…which is excellent at Center Camp.
Everyone wanted to play with my dick
After awhile, a pudgy, bearded Deadhead came shuffling along, and asked if he could sit beside me. Noticing my strap-on, he also asked if he could play with my dick. Of course, I said yes to both.
By now, having men fiddle with my fake penis had actually become fairly commonplace; because it was on a cute girl, the ersatz phallus was apparently a safe way for guys to indulge their latent bicuriosity, without fear of judgment….and just about every guy I encountered wanted to touch it. But this Deadhead took it to a whole new level!! After manually futzing with it for a few minutes, he mentioned that he could put a condom over it and actually suck it, if that was cool. Cool?! How much cooler can ya get???!!
suck my dick, hippie!
So, as I lay there in my hungover stupor, not moving at all and looking for all intents and purposes as if I were unconscious…this hippie slipped a condom over my fake black penis and proceeded to go to town fellating me. FOR OVER AN HOUR!
And I’m not talking about a half-assed job, either — he really worked it, with astonishing gusto. I don’t know his personal story, or what what going on in that hairy head of his…but that motherfucker did not give a fuck. He sucked and slurped and deep-throated me, literally for over an hour, in broad daylight, and in view of many cameras. And I loved it!!
45 min later, still going at it!
The best part was, I had on my big black stunner shades, so I could observe the reactions of people walking past without their being the wiser. You know these Burning Man types — blasé as fuck, like, “Is that all there is?” Well, guess what? Apparently, the sight of an unconscious woman in a niqab having her dick sucked by a bearded hippie with a hairy belly poking out of a tie-died Grateful Dead t-shirt is enough to make even Peggy Lee put down her gin-and-Valium and take note. For extra impact, I made sure my hairy armpits were on display (I have taken to not shaving unless I have a photo shoot…so by the time this went down, they were pretty furry).
This man gave zero fucks. Kudos to you, sir!!!!
After about an hour, the hippie’s jaw got tired, so we invited him to join us over at the nearby Hair of the Dog bar for a drink. He agreed, and we all went off to get our bikes…but when my sister and I arrived at HOTD, the hippie was nowhere to be found. Like all truly surreal visions, he had disappeared into the mists of the playa, never to be seen or heard from again. If anyone recognizes him from these photos, by all means please tell him I’m looking for him. His stamina was amazing!!
that niqab came in handy during dust storms
So anyway, that niqab was one thing that saved my Burn from being a total writeoff. Another lifesaver were these little powder-filled baggies I had ordered from Amazon.com called TravelJohns — basically, you pee into them, and the powder turns your urine into an odorless semisolid gel, which you can then throw away in the trash. They’re made for coal miners and lady truck drivers, but I’m here to tell you that they are INVALUABLE at Burning Man. You’ll never have to leave your cozy trailer in the middle of the night to pee again! (And that was an especially big deal this year, when a freak cold front blew in and brought temperatures down to freezing on at least one night. Yikes!!)
Boo Ya! photo by DPH LLC
But the niqab wasn’t the only amazing playa gift I got this year — this was actually an exceptional year for me in terms of playa gifts. I amassed a collection of scarves, necklaces, weed and mushrooms that astonished even me, but the most exceptional of the lot was this package that arrived for me via USPS — that’s right; they deliver on the playa via a P.O. box in nearby Gerlach, to which a fan had shipped me a care package full of all kinds of useful things ranging from trail mix and vitamins to Sno Balls, a fabulous purple dashiki and a $1,000,000 Zimbabwean dollar bill. You know…all the things you never knew you needed at Burning Man. A volunteer member of the Black Rock City postal service delivered it right to my camp, too. AMAZING!
But each time I decided to just keep dancing, break out the booze and have a ball…the playa would test me again. Like with poor Dr. Who.
my brother, the UC Davis-educated engineer, made this bong out of a rubber ducky!
Now, you may remember that Dr. Who is this wonderful, kindhearted kindred spirit I met at last year’s Burn, when both my sister and I became very close friends with him. We stayed in touch all year long (I even visited him at his beautiful home in Hawaii, and he came to see us at our mom’s house in the forest of Northern California), and we had all three been looking forward to spending some quality time together in his ginormous, luxurious RV. He had stuffed the RV with gourmet foods and liquors, and had even spent a good deal of time pimping out the ceiling with tassels and fringe.
Fun times at Dr. Who’s camp
Well…apparently he should have spent more time pimping out the engine, too, because the RV broke down en route to the Burn, and poor Dr. Who, who had looked forward to this all year long, ended up missing the first few days of Burning Man — and spent the next few sleeping at his camp in a rental car, with all his gourmet foods and costumes rotting in the trunk, until he was finally able to return to Reno and pick up his repaired rig halfway through the event. D’oh!!!!!
BARF! photo by Soul Thief Vision
But that Dr. Who has an indomitable spirit, and despite all his setbacks he was hellbent and determined to have fun. And if Dr. Who was able to have fun despite all HIS problems, then certainly I could! To that end, on Monday night I shoved a fistful of mushrooms in my face, and set off for a night of hijinks. But wouldn’t you know it; the playa still had it in for me…I had eaten one of my usual chocolate-mushroom truffles, which have never before given me problems, but this time made me super nauseous…so much so that I had to bail out and to go to bed early I HATE MISSING A NIGHT OF BURNING MAN!
Worse, because the shrooms were still zinging around in my system, I spent a very restless, shitty night tossing and turning in my bed. I knew my sister was OK out there — she’s a super sharp chick, and in good company with Dr. Who — but for some reason I still had this weird dream where I was in an old-timey steampunk-type two-seater rocket ship, bound for the moon…but she wouldn’t get on board. In my dream, it was the saddest thing — I waved good-bye to her as I blasted off into space, knowing I’d never see her again WTF?!? Damn shrooms!
Anyway, after tossing and turning all fuckin’ night, I finally gave up at 7:30am (!!!)…an hour at which I rarely see the playa. I felt like I’d been hit by a giant fur-covered schoolbus, but there was nothing for it but to sack up and soldier on, and try to salvage the day. I threw on my stunner shades, purple dashiki and a pink Afro wig, and shuffled down the street for a cup of coffee at Dr. Who’s camp, where they serve coffee brewed from his plantation in Kona…trying to drown out the ennuyée voice of Peggy Lee echoing once again in my head.
Let’s keep dancing!
But you know me — let’s keep dancing!While slouched on a sofa nursing my life-saving brew, a photographer friend who was camped next door came over and invited me to join this photo shoot he was about to embark on with another model (he’s one of those insane early-riser types you see out on by the temple at daybreak, photographing Goddesses frolicking about in feathered headdresses, etc). Now needless to say, I was NOT in photo-shoot-ready condition — remember, I was wearing a fucking purple dashiki and a pink Afro wig! But despite my miserable hangover and sleepless night, I decided “Fuckit! Let’s break out the booze and have a ball!!!“
a more fabulous wig and outfit pic by MG Imagery
I dashed back to my camp to don a more fabulous wig and outfit, and we all three rode out to the playa in the beautiful morning sunlight, to commence shooting a series of irreverent artsy nudes among the fantastic art pieces out there. There was some really cool art this year, and three of us had a grand old time.
But, just as I was starting claw my way back to the aforementioned boozy ball…wouldn’t you know it, my resolve
blasted away by another fuckin’ dust storm
was tested again; yet another miserable whiteout dust storm came blasting through the playa, and before you know it we were lost in an endless, choking cloud of alkali dust, cutting short the shoot and destroying my wig and very nearly my willpower in the process. I got on my bike and pedaled furiously through the howling, blasting grit, completely clueless as to where I was headed in the dusty void. Somehow, I eventually managed to navigate my way back to camp, where I tore off my filthy wig and collapsed in a heap of frustration. Damn you, playa!!!
this weather SUCKS!
By this time I was tired, hungover, my camp was in ruins again and I was very seriously considering approaching one of the many law enforcement agents at the event and offering up my entire shroom collection in exchange for being carted off to a nice, air-conditioned jail with hot meals and no fucking wind; as an added bonus, they could seize all my property and save me the hassle of trying to pack up the fucking mess it had become — I had serious doubts that my poor long-suffering pop-up camper would survive the blasting 50mph winds, and I had the sinking feeling I’d be unable to crank it closed at the end of the week. GOOD RIDDANCE!!!
my outfits were skimpy and not suited to cold weather
Seriously, this weather was the pits. I was being mildly facetious when I said I’d never experienced less-than-perfect weather at Burning Man in the past; I did suffer a nasty gash in my leg during a violent storm in 2013, and had been caught in a few whiteouts over the years. But never anything as relentless as this. Not only was it windy and dusty as fuck, but as previously mentioned it was also cold as fuck — dipping into the 30s on several nights. As luck would have it, this was the year I had decided to “pack light,” and not be a sparkle pony with 1,000 coats and costumes — so I had stupidly neglected to bring a big warm fur coat. D’oh!!!
I had to ruin the effect of my silver spacesuit with Dr. Who’s blue fur coat
Thankfully, once Dr. Who was able to retrieve his RV from the repair shop in Reno, his exuberant relief was infectious. Now I had not only a safe refuge from the miserable weather, but the chance to borrow one of his furry jackets, as well. So around mid-week, things turned around dramatically — to the point where I was finally able to dance, break out the booze….and have a legit fucking ball!!! It’s hard to be truly miserable at Burning Man…if you are, you have serious problems!
Now, you’re probably wondering why, if we spent so much time hanging out with Dr. Who anyway, my sister and I hadn’t just camped with him. We’re weird like that –Dr. Who stays with a big group, with organized meals and showers and camp dues and other commie bullshit, but my sister and I like our privacy, and prefer to have our own setup off on the fringes, where we can set up a little sanctuary of our own, and be our own bosses. I guess you could say we’re control freaks! We usually just invite a few friends to stay with us, and sort of cobble together our own freaky little camp…like we did last year, with the Goddess Collective and all the other sparkle ponies.
Goofing around with my friend MG Imagery
Well, alas….this year our own camp kind of sucked ass. We had cool people, but the infrastructure wasn’t there; because not one of our campmates had an RV to act as a windblock, our setup was repeatedly destroyed by the wind. Worse, none of our immediate neighbors had RVs either — we somehow ended up in a section of Black Rock City that was full of nothing but Millennial Eurotrash in tents and Jucy vans, who only returned to camp to sleep, eat and leave their garbage all over the playa. Apparently they hadn’t read up on the “Leave No Trace” thing; the porta potties in our part of town were reprehensible (even by Burning Man standards) — despite all the signs and exhortations that “If it didn’t come from your body, don’t put it in the potty,” they were sickeningly full of old champagne bottles, tampon applicators and beer cans. Our neighborhood was like the Black Rock Youth Hostel…lame.
During a rare sunny moment, I ran into this friend from Vegas
And the only major camp in our area that wasn’t run by Eurotrash idiots was even worse — they had a 500,000-watt sound system blasting horrible music at random hours of the morning, waking me up at 5:30am with the theme song from “Cheers,” followed by a rousing program of Rage Against The Machine. I fully expect to suffer 24/7 loud music up at Burning Man, so I always sleep in earplugs…but earplugs can only drown out so much, ya know? It’s fairly easy to ignore the monotonous thump of EDM…but the theme song from Cheers gets your mental gears going, trying to remember dumb shit like the name of Ted Danson’s character (Sam Malone). And don’t even talk to me about Rage Against The Machine — that band sucks ass any time of day!!
Huddled around a burn barrel at Dr. Who’s camp with a lady sexologist, my sis and a new friend
So understandably, as mentioned my sis and I spent almost the entire week hanging out at Dr. Who’s camp, and will probably stay there next year, commie infrastructure be damned: he camps with an AMAZINGLY zany collection of kooks, freaks and pornographers, mostly from L.A., and they were among the most diverse, amazing group of people I have ever met at Burning Man: porn actors, actresses, production crewmembers, hippies, Republicans, at least one virulent Obama-bashing Libertarian, art car builders, doctors, lawyers and a fantastic bevy of boozy, busted sparkle ponies shoving their tits into the faces of one and all. Say what you will about people in the industry; these were some of the most genuine, creative, wonderful people I’ve ever spent time with. I loved those crazy fuckers!!
Caught in a blasting whiteout on the Mugwump
In addition to providing a comfortable bar and lounge area to chill in, they also had several art cars to ride around on — the elegantly-designed/inelegantly-named Penetrator, a Day-Glo Frankenvehicle called the Mugwump, the sleek LED-covered Mirage and even a fur-covered rabbit-shaped Studebaker one of the camp members had built for a client who turned it down last minute — so we were never without a fun way to see the playa. Oh, except for the fact that the fucking dust storms often ENGULFED the playa to the point where you couldn’t see a fucking thing, anyway!!! We went out one afternoon on the Mugwump and ended up stranded in Deep Playa, unable to find our way back due to a FREEZING COLD, BLASTING whiteout dust storm that obliterated everything and left me hunkered down behind my niqab and a bunch of fuzzy pillows. D’OH!!!
on the Mugwump, Penetrator in the background
But, somehow…dust storms notwithstanding, thanks to the astonishingly hardcore ebullience of this dedicated band of ragtag partiers, it became easier and easier to just keep dancing — those motherfuckers know how to break out the booze and have a ball!! My sincere, heartfelt thanks to the crew of Sunset Lounge, for helping me see the folly of my wussy ennui 😀 You guys are awesome!!!
my barrister merkin
Besides their positive effect on my attitude, there were other reasons I should have camped with them — mainly because I was involved in several events they were hosting, and I wasted a lot of time running back and forth from my camp to theirs. One afternoon I was scheduled to adjudicate Playa Divorces — temporary, 24-hour divorces meant to give romantic partners a break from each other on Burn Night, and the opportunity to go fuck around, I guess. To that end, one of the campmembers had gotten me a judge’s robe and barrister’s wig, and I even made a little barrister’s merkin to match (astonishingly, when I Googled “barrister merkin” while I was prepping for this, I was unable to find a single website using that word combo. I guess I win the Internet!).
co-hosting PornStar Dating Game at Sunset Lounge photo by Soul Thief Vision
Then another night I co-hosted the Pornstar Dating Game — a version of the old 70s TV show “The Dating Game,” but with real-life porn actors choosing dates from among the audience members! Now that was a shit-show; my co-host wore a powder-blue tux and quizzed the gentlemen, while I needled the ladies in a psychedelic-print 1967 Jantzen swimsuit and beehive wig. GOOD TIMES! The porn actors and actresses all chose dates, took them out on the playa for an evening of fun…and I’m pleased to report that most resulted in the proverbial happy endings. Yee-haw!!
blending up Vagina Coladas at Sunset Lounge
But the main performance I had to take part in was all my own; just like at our Vegas regional burn last May, I had brought all the trappings to make my world-famous Vagina Coladas. In case you’ve forgotten or haven’t heard, Vagina Coladas are delicious, frosty piña coladas made with kegel power, using a blender I plug into my Electric Vagina. I dump in all the ingredients, then bear down and squeeeeeeeeze…with much theatrical screaming for extra flavor. Guaranteed to quench the thirst of even the hottest, dustiest playa denizens!
Vagina Coladas for al!
I blended up Vagina Coladas on two occasions at the Sunset Lounge, and then another day I took my shtick across town to the Hair of the Dog camp, where my friend Fritz had even arranged to book me a slot on their stage, with music and everything. To the pounding strains of Iggy Pop’s anthem “Pussy Power,” I blended up pitcher after pitcher of delicious Vagina Coladas, making many new friends in the process. It was amazing! I really liked that camp (Hair of the Dog) — not only are they the oldest continuously-operating bar on the playa, they’re also just a really fucking cool group of people. I spent many afternoons hanging out at that bar, and had many truly stimulating conversations.
Blending Vagina Coladas at Hair of the Dog
Now speaking of my friend Fritz, he also had an RV and was more than willing to offer me shelter during the frequent dust storms. He also cooked a couple of amazing dinners for my sister and I — that guy likes to cook, and does it exceptionally well! One night he made mushroom risotto, and another night some amazing pasta fagioli — in addition to all the hot meals I got from Dr. Who and his camp as well, I actually ate better this year than I had ever done at Burning Man…weather be damned! Thank you, Fritz <3
So, after all of the wind, dust, Eurotrash and angst…against all odds, it actually turned out to be one of my better Burns, after all. SHOCKER! Apparently, I’m not ready to throw in the towel quite yet — in the words of the immortal Miss Peggy Lee, “Oh, no…not me. I’m in no hurry for that final disappointment!”
beat-up and exhausted, looking like Carol Channing
But either way, by the end of the week we were EXHAUSTED and drained — moreso than usual, and I was really looking forward to our planned group decompression at nearby Sierra Hot Springs, nestled in the pine forests near Truckee. Last year, my sister and I spent a few magical days there with Dr. Who, and we were all three looking forward to a repeat; plus we’d be joined by several of the pornographers and kooks this year, so it was shaping up to be a great coda to an often-miserable week. One guy in particular was joining us; we’ll call him Johnny Cum — the exceptionally entertaining star of 1800 adult movies, an irascible, fiery Jersey goombah with chiseled muscles and a penchant for telling filthy stories. I was really looking forward to sitting around in a hot spring with a cocktail, listening to him ramble!
Time to get to work, hippies!
But before I could leave the playa, I had to help break down the Soul Train. For the past few years, I have been assured a Burning Man ticket and an early arrival pass (thus missing all the traffic) by virtue of my helping out with the assembly of this art car built by a friend of mine here in Vegas — a giant, lumbering replica of the old cartoon train at the beginning of the Soul Train TV show. It’s a monstrous project that takes about two days to complete, both before and after the event…but I don’t mind helping out, usually.
This year, however, my friend who owns it had accidentally booked a gig in Indiana on Burn Night (he’s a professional puppeteer, who performs at halftime shows and stuff like that), so he had to fly out of Reno for work, and miss the whole culminating weekend. In his defense, Burning Man fell much later than usual this year — it’s always the week before Labor Day, but this year Labor Day fell later in September than usual, and it threw him off, so he’d accepted the gig, thinking Burning Man would be well over by then.
Anyway, to make up for his missing the Man Burn and the Temple Burn, he planned to throw a party on the Monday night after the Burn, and not pack up til Tuesday —by which time I’d hoped to be long gone on my way to the hot springs with my merry band of freaks. Instead, I had to stay on the playa and help out. D’oh!!! Oh, well — at least the weather had finally settled down and turned nice. (After the event was over — IT FIGURES!!)
So, my sister and I packed together our own disastrous mess (my camper barely creaking shut), then helped my friend pack up the Soul Train as quickly as possible…and then finally escaped to the loving, wind-and-dust-free embrace of Sierra Hot Springs. Only to my dismay, it wasn’t so much an embrace as barely-tolerating arms-length highway robbery — the smug fuckers gladly took our $30/night per person, but let us know in passive-aggressively veiled terms that Burners were not really welcome there, and that we’d have to leave by Friday. Well, fuck you, too, ya sanctimonious hippies!
That hot springs has problems, let me tell you. Their facilities aren’t equipped to handle hordes of dusty hippies; they only have two hot showers, and their tolerance for people who enjoy talking and drinking alcohol is basically zero. Yet their greed compels them to welcome all Burners anyway, take their money, and then bitch about them passive-aggressively, as seen in this note posted prominently on the office door.
The staff was so rude to us, in fact, that my normally law-abiding sis and I actually did something utterly loathsome: we skipped out on paying the last night’s fee. We had already paid a total of $120 for two nights in our little camper; we didn’t feel like giving them any more, especially when they were such assholes. Because of this, we are both now officially banned
banned for life
from ever returning. I think the ban might also have something to do with the rowdiness of the rest of our crew; despite the “no alcohol” policy at Sierra, the picnic table at our camp was openly covered in booze bottles and beer cans, and we were all up late into the night, every night, talking and laughing and probably ruining the peace and quiet for all the other soul-searching campers. Apparently, Sierra Hot Springs does not subscribe to the Peggy Lee School of Dealing With Life’s Challenges…no dancing, breaking out the booze, nor having a ball allowed. It’s all about pious introspection, apparently. Oops :/
Before they could run us off, we packed up our shit and got the hell out of there…the pornographers back to L.A., Dr. Who back to Hawaii, and the others back to their respective towns and countries. Except for me; I couldn’t go home and start the arduous clean-up process yet…I had one more party to arrange: my mom’s birthday! As completely exhausted and worn-out as I was, I could not miss it; it was a milestone birthday, and I’d have felt really shitty. So I mustered my remaining strength and got to work one last time.
Dr Who and a friend trying to fix my busted camper
First, I had to figure out where to stash my trailer. My mom lives on a really narrow gravel road in the forest, with extremely limited parking; there’s nowhere to park it up there, and besides…I didn’t feel like hauling it all that extra way, since when I’m towing it I can only drive 55mph, and it would take forever!!! So I found a place on the CA/NV state line that only charged me $20 to park it for a few days, and left it there; I’d pick it up on my way back. It meant adding a few hours to my trip home, but I really had no choice. Half of me just wanted to list the fucking thing for FREE on Craigslist and be done with it; as I feared, it’s jammed shut and won’t crank open anymore…the gears are clogged with playa dust. But I figured I should wait until I wasn’t so tired to make that decision, and try to fix it first — it might still have some life in it yet.
So, I dropped off my camper and joined my sister in the forests of western Sonoma County, to plan this surprise party. We had less than two days to get it all together — the party was Sunday evening, and we didn’t get there til Friday evening. But somehow, we pulled off our plan….and it was F A N T A S T I C ! ! ! Finally, after a long week of battling shitty luck…things went our way!
Our execution went off exactly as planned: in the afternoon, my sister dropped me off on a sort of island in the Russian River about 5 minutes downstream from my mom’s house, and I spent the afternoon setting up a magical medieval-style party pavilion, using all the dust-caked flowers and tapestries and cushions and whatnot from our ill-fated Burning Man camp. When the stage was set, around sunset, my brother put on a formal suit and drove my unsuspecting mother down to this little beach by her house, where my sisters greeted her with a crown of flowers and an old-fashioned lantern, and helped her into a two-person kayak that they’d festooned with more flowers and frippery.
Then, as my brother slowly paddled the kayak downriver through the gloaming dusk, my sisters hauled ass in their car back over to the island, where we were all dressed in fabulous colorful robes, Christmas lights and paper lanterns hung to help guide my brother onto our little beach. We had old-timey Renaissance music playing and a veritable feast laid out in the pavilion, with a throne for my mom and everything. And boy howdy, did she love it!! My brother beached the kayak by this little red carpet we’d laid out, and we helped her disembark, then led her to her throne for the feast.
It was so amazing, I can’t believe how well it turned out. A million different things could have gone wrong, but not one thing did — I guess we’d used up all our bad luck at Burning Man, praise Jebus! But the best part was yet to come — after we’d eaten, we had rigged it up so that her birthday cake came floating down the river on a little raft covered in flowers, candles shining in the darkness. I hate to use this word, but it really was MAGICAL! We reeled in the cake, pigged the fuck out, and then my sisters escorted my mom back home while the rest of us packed up the mess. We finally all straggled home around 11pm, and collapsed into bed from sheer exhaustion — but it was a happy sort of exhaustion
Wearing a scarf for a shirt…note armpits
And then, the next morning, FINALLY I could start limping home to clean up. By now, everything I owned was destroyed and/or filthy; I didn’t even have one single clean shirt left to wear, and had to drive all the way back to Reno and then on to Vegas with just a scarf wrapped creatively around my torso (another amazing playa gift I’d gotten). It took me two days, but I finally made it. WHEW!
So anyway, here I sit, bone-weary, with a dusty spirit and a busted camper, reflecting on my Burning Man adventure with a rueful sense of wonder: wind storms and whiteouts, sleep deprivation and existential angst, dusty crevices and severely chafed inner thighs…is that really all there is to Burning Man?
Is that all there is?
If that’s all there is…..
Oddly enough…I already find myself looking forward to next year’s Burn Whatever doesn’t kill you makes you stronger, right? And the weather can’t possibly be that bad two years in a row….right?!?! Either way, hopefully the weather this year scares off some of the half-assers and Eurotrash next year, and we’ll have a crew of people who understand what the fuck Leave No Trace really means.
We’ll break out the booze, and have a ball…if that’s all there is.
Holy cow, Burning Man is right around the corner! It never fails — every year it sneaks up on me, and I end up scrambling to get my costumes and stuff ready last-minute. But this year is even worse than usual!
Ironically, I figured I’d have plenty of time this year, since my planned trip to Sturgis got cancelled thanks to my bitch-ass ex-girlfriend bailing on me (I still haven’t heard a word from her — it’s like she flipped a switch and totally froze me out of her life). But before I had the chance to sit around and cry about Sturgis and/or start preparing for Burning Man….wouldn’t you know it, my friend Dr. Kildare made me an offer I couldn’t refuse: come camping with him in Colorado for a week! He even offered to pay my airfare; how could I turn that down?
Is this backpack big enough to hold all the weed I plan to buy???
Besides, I’d never been to Colorado and have always wanted to check it out — especially now that marijuana is legal there So I put my Burning Man prep aside, threw all my camping gear in my roommate’s ginormous old Army duffel, and headed for the airport. I’d have plenty of time to get ready for the Burn after I got home, I told myself.
Dr. Kildare met me at the Denver airport, and we headed back down south to this weird high-desert valley he’s enamored of down near the New Mexico border. But first things first — along the way, we had to stop at a dispensary to buy some legal weed!!! We ended up going to The Spot 420 in Pueblo, which turned out to be a fantastic place; management was super friendly, and hooked us up with all kinds of free swag including koozies, shirts, hats and sunglasses. Dr. Kildare went buck wild and bought $170 worth of cookies, hash oil and Purple Passion grape-flavored THC concentrate…but all I really needed was less than one gram of Indica, so I could take a few hits off my pipe at bedtime every night, to help me sleep. I’m a lightweight!
TheSpot420 in Pueblo is legit as fuck and will take care of all your medical and recreational needs!
But since we had all that other stuff aaaaaanyway….I went ahead and indulged, enjoying a fabulous sun-and-marijuana-soaked week of hiking, camping, hot springing and Rocky-Mountain-Oyster-eating. Dr. Kildare is like me, always on the go — so we would never really indulge until 6pm or so, after we’d done everything we wanted to do all day. No wake & bake for us; I like to save my high as a reward for a hard day’s fun, and he’s the same way.
Anyway, the first spot we camped was down at the Great Sand Dunes National Monument near Alamosa. Holy cow was that place beautiful!! It’s basically this
the dunes at sunset
GINORMOUS dune field at the foot of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains — I think the highest dune is around 800 feet tall, and people come down there from all over the world to go “sandboarding” (snowboarding on sand, LOL). These dunes are also closed to OHV traffic, so there are no bothersome rednecks razzing around belching gas and noise pollution and throwing beer bottles on the ground. It’s a very peaceful place, and beautiful in an otherworldly way — this huge, vast dune field surrounded by forests and meadows, with a creek that runs right through the sand!!
I’ve never seen anything like it. The first night, Dr. K and I got baked and walked down to the creek from the campground, and it was pitch dark. Dr. K is anti-headlamp, so we walked by the light of the stars, along this little path through the meadow to the creek, which runs along the base of the dunefield. Since it was too dark to see much, all my other senses were heightened, and the feeling of the cool water running through the wet sand was really out of this world! The trickling of the creek was the only sound, and all you could really make out was the occasional glint of starlight on the water — and the occasional flash of a headlamp waaaaaaay out on the dunes, where the truly hardcore had gotten backcountry permits to camp out.
the vastness of this dunefield cannot be overstated!
Being baked certainly added to the experience, and Dr. K got all fired up with the idea that we, too should camp out on the dunes the following night. Now, I can think of nothing more otherworldly and amazing than camping out at the top of an 800-foot sand dune, surrounded by miles of sand hills and sand valleys — how freaking awesome and Bedouin would that be, to have a little campfire and a glass of wine under all those stars, surrounded by all that sand?! But the idea of schlepping my gear, plus water, wood and wine, alllllll the way up an 800-foot dune sounded like the opposite of awesome!
The next morning we hiked to the top of the dunes in the daylight, and it was such an ass-kicking workout that Dr. K abandoned the idea of camping up there anyway, and we just enjoyed a day of hiking, instead. In the afternoon we drove to the nearest liquor store to get some champagne — I figured that Purple Passion grape-flavored THC concentrate would taste amazing mixed with some good old-fashioned champers. But it’s not like there’s a BevMo or a WalMart or anything way the fuck out there in the ultra-desolate San Luis Valley! Finding a bottle of champagne seemed like a pretty tall order.
But astonishingly, in the tiny, dusty little town of Blanca we found this Ukrainian woman running a sort of convenience store/liquor shop out of an old adobe building in the middle of nowhere. It was like something out of a Wim Wenders movie — how did she wind up there? But she did happen to have a bottle of Russian champagne in the walk-in cooler –Sovetskoye Shampanskoye, this old-time Soviet-era sparkling wine from Belarus. “We drink on New Years when I was little girl,” she waxed nostalgic, vouching for its indisputable high quality. SOLD! I never thought I’d try Russian champagne for the first time in the Colorado desert….but guess what? It was pretty damn good!
After a few days at the dunes, we headed up north to this amazing nudist hot springs resort called Valley View, nestled in the wooded foothills overlooking the San Luis Valley.
One of the hot pools at Valley View
Valley View is your typical nudist hot spring resort — New Agey, full of hippies, with communal kitchens and a music room and stuff like that…but unlike other resorts I’ve been to (Harbin) it’s much less sanctimonious and pretentious. They let you use your phone (there is decent WiFi and cell service), plus it has a more laid-back, slightly busted-up vibe which I totally dug. There are a few cabins and dorm room beds you can rent, plus plenty of RV and tent camping in the forest — so Dr. K and I set up camp, mixed up some Shampanskoye and Purple Passion, and hit the soaking pools.
Wandering the grounds at Valley View
There are several different soaking pools at Valley View, all fairly rustic, with sandy or gravel bottoms, surrounded by the most beautiful wildflowers and trees. Most of the pools up on the hillside are kinda lukewarm or tepid, but there are two nice hot ones in a grove of apple trees, plus there’s even a full-size swimming pool and a sauna with a cold-plunge pool inside the sauna! The bathrooms and showers are plentiful and pretty clean, and overall I have to give this facility an A+. GREAT place!
The music room at Valley View
Once the Purple Passion kicked in, we wandered around in the dark (remember, Dr. K is headlamp-averse) exploring the grounds. First, we came upon an awesome, enormous open-air wooden pavilion structure strung with colored lights, a communal kitchen on one side and a bonfire in the center, with s’mores accoutrements laid out for all to enjoy. HELLO!!! I spent a few hours beasting on s’mores and drawing all over the walls with chalk, which was provided for just
Why it’s called Valley View
that purpose, before following the sound of piano music wafting through the dark forest to another building, where a music room had been set up with drums, xylophones, guitars and all manner of other wacky instruments including a hammered dulcimer! Oh my gawd, I’m telling you this was the best place to be high this side of Burning Man. I will definitely be back to Valley View!!!
Aside from just hanging out soaking and relaxing, Dr. K and I also took a trip down into the valley to explore some of the little towns in the area. That really is a unique corner of the country — I mean, when I think of Colorado I think of the Rockies and whatnot, but the San Luis Valley is a really bizarre, windswept, funky little oasis full of some of the best weirdos you’ll ever meet! We checked out an old movie theater in Saguache, a New Age ice cream parlor in Crestone, and this UFO viewing center in the middle of the valley near Moffat, where for $2 you can climb up on a two-story platform and look for mysterious lights, which are said to appear often in that area (the lady working there told us alllllllll about it). Overall, a great and ultra-funky place!
After a few more days camping in the area, it was time to head back north to Denver so I could fly home to Vegas — I had a trade show gig booked the day I got back, so I couldn’t dilly-dally around. We had one last meal of Rocky Mountain Oysters (aka deep-fried bull testicles, which I found to be okay, but probably wouldn’t eat again), and then Dr. K got us a room for the night so I could get cleaned up and trade-show ready — I literally was going straight to work from the airport when I landed in Vegas the next day.
Rocky Mountain pits
This meant I finally had to shave my armpits, which had gotten SUPER hairy over the 7 weeks I let them grow out this summer. The last time I had shaved was back in June, before that romance novel cover audition — since then, I hadn’t had any gigs requiring me to shave, so I just let the hair grow as a sort of science experiment as I went about my summer fun. WOW!!! I had no idea my armpit hair could get that thick — it was nuts. Thankfully, Dr. K was cool enough to film this video of me shaving them…if you’re interested in seeing for yourself:
Anyway, I flew back to Vegas the next day, grabbed my ginormous duffel from baggage claim, ran to my car and drove straight to the convention center for my trade show gig. But ALAS, in the meantime the guy who hired me had had second thoughts…doubting my ability to get there in time from the airport, he had already hired another girl to replace me. D’OH!!!! I’m telling you, people — I am a woman of my word!! If I say I’m going to be somewhere at a certain time — BY GOLLY, I’LL BE THERE!!! I’m no amateur; I’m Wonderhussy, goddammit! The guy was cool though, and paid me a consolation fee…but it still kinda sucked.
I’m the first result when you Google “Las Vegas Nude Model”
I didn’t let it bother me for long, though — as mentioned, I had a TON of prep work to do for Burning Man, and this would only give me more time to get ready. So, did I buckle down and git ‘er done? What do YOU think? Listen, when you’re the #1 Google result for “Las Vegas Nude Model” (!!!), last-minute gigs tend to pop up like mushrooms in the night…and it’s hard to turn down money, especially with all the cancellations I had this summer.
First I did a shoot in a beautiful suite at the Aria, with floor-to-ceiling windows looking out over the most amazing monsoonal desert thunderstorm. (That room was a photographer’s paradise — if you can afford one of the Sky Suites, they make for great photo shoots.) Then I had a couple shoots with local photographers…and then, I got a call to make a surprise appearance in my showgirl costume, at some ancient goombah’s 80th birthday party over at this awesome old-school Italian restaurant on the east side of town.
The old school
Now, I’ve never been a fan of the whole “Everything was better when the mob ran Vegas” mentality (which is the grousy refrain of many old-timers in town, who insist that times were better when a bunch of two-bit thugs ran the show)…but there is definitely something to be said for that old-Vegas lifestyle — you know, martinis and Sinatra and showgirls and all that. Thugs or no, there was a fabulously bizarre sense of elegance back in those days that is fading from memory as all these old fuckers die off; this birthday party was a prime example.
It was in honor of some politically-connected attorney, and all his old-time Vegas cronies were there to celebrate, swilling martinis and feasting on osso bucco and whatnot, just like the good old days. The band played “Happy Birthday” as I carried in a cake, dragged the birthday boy to his feet and shook my feathers like a bedazzled rooster in heat as they segued into “Copacabana.” Then ancient funnyman Marty Allen grabbed the cake and for a minute looked like he would topple over face-first into it, but everyone gathered round and we all posed for a photo, instead. GOOD TIMES!
Viva Las Vegas!
Being in a hurry as always, I kissed everyone goodbye, grabbed my cash and was out the door and on my way home in my busted-up pickup truck before you could say Bugsy Siegel. But on the way home, with Andy Williams crooning “Moon River” on the radio, I grew somewhat melancholy. Like I said, that whole way of life is on the way out, and the new Vegas is all about douchey mega-nightclubs and plastic-titted Raver Barbies, neither of which hold any interest for me whatsoever. What are these jackass millennials going to do for their 80th birthdays — hire some fat-assed Nicki Minaj impersonator to come twerk to a Calvin Harris cover DJ?? SHUDDER! When I got home, I poured myself a drink and raised a toast to the old-timers: Las Vegas est mort! Viva Las Vegas!
Anyway, I wasn’t melancholy for very long — I had just settled in to do some serious Burning Man prep…when my photographer friend from the Bay Area invited me out to Death Valley for another photo shoot. Death Valley in August? How could I say no to that?!!
Actually, it sounds worse than it was. We got a room at the motel in Shoshone — this funky little outpost on the eastern edge of Death Valley, near Tecopa — and there was air conditioning and a pool and everything, so the days were pretty comfortable. This particular photographer likes to drink really good wine paired with exceptionally fabulous cheese, so things were pretty cushy up until we actually began shooting — and even then it wasn’t bad, because our shoots are always at night.
Fabulous photo by C.J.
Why, you ask? Well, I can finally tell you — it’s because he shoots these amazing long exposures of the Milky Way and stuff, so we can’t even start shooting until it’s late enough at night for the heavens to be in alignment. I mean, look at this fantastic photo!!! I just love the insignificance of my naked ass against all that infinite wonder; it’s one of my favorite photos taken of me, ever! Also during our shoots, we hang out enjoying the warm desert night air, listening to far-out electronic music and sipping cocktails in the darkness. Kind of like Burning Man, now that I think about it! Why do I even bother to go to Burning Man, when most of my life is spent doing the same shit, anyway?! (No need to answer that!)
photo by C.J.
Aaanyway, this photographer also wanted to try some stuff along the lines of those old Renaissance paintings on the theme of “vanitas;” as in, the meaninglessness of earthly life and the transient nature of all earthly goods and pursuits. This is a theme I’ve thought about a LOT my entire life, so the concept was right up my alley. I loaded up any relevant props I could find around the house, including my magnificently gaudy throne, and trucked them all out to the middle of the desert so we could set this shit up one night. FAR OUT! It was definitely different from most of the shoots I do.
photo by C.J.
And, since I had hauled my throne all the friggin’ way out there anyway…I had an idea for another photo, which the photographer kindly indulged at sunset one evening. This is one of my all-time favorite photos ever; you might have noticed I even changed the header of this blog! I had the idea that it would look really surreal/bizarre to be wearing a crown and sitting on a throne in the middle of nowhere, sort of like the old Maxell tape ads…but after seeing the results, I realize it looks more like an homage to the Anton Corbijn video for Depeche Mode’s “Enjoy the Silence.” Either way….I dig it!
Anyway, after getting back from Death Valley I still had one more weekend to hunker down and prepare for Burning Man. I was trying to make a second electric vagina codpiece — one that lights up for nighttime use — and in addition to that, I had to shop for food and booze, plus pack up all my costumes and camp gear. In sum, I had a shit ton to do…but guess what? I ended up going out of town AGAIN! But this time I had an exceptionally good reason.
photo by Michael Maze
Now as you probably know, I’m a huge supporter of equal topless rights; if a man is allowed to sunbathe topless on a beach, then a woman should have the same privilege, no? Sadly, however, our society is so fucked up that you can post all manner of violent nonsense on your Facebook page…but if you show one female nipple, your account gets suspended. How does that make sense?! It all stems from some ancient superstitious nonsense about the first woman on Earth having eaten a magic apple proffered by a talking snake; I don’t get it either, but believe it or not it still informs our culture thousands of years later, even today when it is generally recognized in the U.S. that men and women are equals. Sheesh!!
I KNOW it’s an AR-15…
Well, every year on the Sunday closest to Women’s Equality Day (August 26th; the day women in the U.S. were granted the right to vote), this group called GoTopless.org holds protest rallies in cities across the world. I’ve never been able to attend one of them, however, because I’m usually at Burning Man in late August, so I miss all the fun. Well, this year, because Labor Day falls so late in September, Burning Man doesn’t start until August 30th….which means I was finally able to march in a topless rights parade! It’s something I’ve wanted to do for years, so of course I put my Burning Man prep plans on hold for a few more days.
photo by Randy Fosth/Shutterbug Studio
Now here in Vegas, there is virtually no topless rights movement; this town makes a big chunk of its revenue off women’s tits, so showing them for free does not go down well. You gotta PAY to see nipples in Vegas; tits are a commodity here! Luckily, however, there’s a huge topless rights movement down the road in L.A., and they have a big parade on Venice Beach every year…so I signed up to join the fun and headed out there Friday afternoon. The actual rally wasn’t until Sunday, but I figured I’d make a weekend of it; Friday there was a pre-party at some kooky warehouse in Culver City, and then Saturday I planned to head down to San Diego and finally check out Black’s Beach, a well-known nudist spot I’ve been dying to visit.
I wore something similar to this onstage for my act
I even signed up to perform my Electric Vagina act at the Friday night party, so I got in for free. The only problem was….I didn’t really have an act, per se; I just make vagina coladas in a blender plugged into my crotch. And with everything else going on, it’s not like I had time to work up an act…but guess what? I did anyway! I choreographed a brief performance to Iggy Pop’s iconic “Pussy Power,” involving my baby stroller, blender and some new props I thought up, threw it all in my truck, and hit the road, arriving at the warehouse in Culver City around 6pm. Whew!
photo by Fame in a Can
Let me tell you, that party was far fucking out!!! The warehouse was this artsy, funky party space used for local Burning Man events, and they had a stage set up and a bar and everything. The party was being hosted by the GoTopless.org group, who also happen to be Raëlians — members of a French sex cult who believe mankind is descended from a master race of aliens (they were in the news back in 2002 when they claimed to have cloned the first human; you might have heard of them then). So the crowd at this party was about 40% Burning Man artist-types, 40% Raëlians, and 20% single men who were just there to perv on the topless chicks. In other words…..best party everrrrr!
My costume at the Go Topless party Photo by Randy Fosth/Shutterbug Studio
After a viewing of the topless rights movie “Free the Nipple” (which was actually super lame; a bunch of cute young white girls, plus one token black chick and one token fat chick, running around scowling earnestly with their titties bouncing…like a topless version of SpiceWorld), the party got started. Since I was getting up early to go to San Diego in the morning, I asked to be one of the first performers, and it went over OK. Unfortunately the DJ was unable to play my song, so I had to perform to some random electronic music, and there was no lighting or anything…but still, for my performance art debut I’d say it went over well. I met a lot of interesting people from the L.A. Burning Man art scene, and ran into a few people I already knew…so I was glad I went.
Anyway, as mentioned I didn’t stay at the party too late because I was meeting a friend at Black’s Beach in the morning –but thanks to traffic and my sleep deficiency, it was more like afternoon by the time I got down there. But OMG, what a fantastic place!! There were hundreds of naked people hanging out in the sun, playing volleyball and frisbee and just relaxing and enjoying being naked — no swingers or perviness, just naturism. Everyone was SUPER friendly, and I really enjoyed the crowd — I will definitely be back there again. The only downside to Black’s is, there’s nowhere free/cheap to camp out nearby (it’s in La Jolla)…but thankfully I was with my friend that I met up with at Deep Creek earlier this summer, and he let me stay at his place up in Newport Beach. So after spending all day in the sun, we went back to his place and crashed out, so that I could get up in the morning and go to the rally in Venice.
Incidentally, the whole time I was in So Cal people kept asking me if I come out there often — and the answer is no! Despite the miserable traffic, heavy smog, parking nightmares and proliferation of douchebags, I do like it there a lot — there’s so much to do! But I don’t think I’d ever move there. Say what you will about Vegas, it’s much easier to be free here. I’m not tied to a $3,000-a-month rental, and I can be out in the middle of the desert in no time. Wide open spaces = F R E E D O M ! ! ! The desert is much more my scene.
photo by RingoShotYou
Anyway, the next morning my friend made me an awesome big-ass breakfast, and I was on my way to Venice. It was pretty hot that day, so I didn’t wear much — some Wonder Woman boots, star-spangled panties and my Electric Vagina codpiece…with a power drill plugged in, with a 9″ concrete drill bit with an American flag waving from the end. On my nipples, I had flesh-colored pasties on which I’d written “FREE ME” in pink crayon…and on my head, my trusty WONDER HUSSY trucker cap and a ponytail. Low profile, ya know?
The parade started at the north end of Venice Beach, and when I got there, it was a real shit show — in addition to the usual crew of freaks and weirdos, there were dozens of topless women and hundreds of ogling men milling about, plus a few cool guys wearing pasties and bikini tops in solidarity. A religious group had wheeled out a giant wooden Bible and an angry hatemonger was ranting and raving over a megaphone about how we were all going to hell, but this awesome chick with a Rod Stewart mullet and a boombox was blasting “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun” to drown him out as we all cackled maniacally and danced, waving our asses and titties in his face. It was a blast!!!!!
Once the parade started, we marched down the boardwalk, now numbering in the hundreds, with more and more people joining our ranks along the way. A giant-bare-titted woman on stilts led the way, followed by three sexy Asian Raëlian chicks in UFO mini dresses carrying giant titty umbrellas, and this buff young kid on shrooms who’d been coerced into putting on a sailor costume and pushing this topless mermaid in a wheelbarrow. Meanwhile, the brains of the operation — these three feminist activist types with fake nipples stuck all over their bodies — shouted rallying cries into a megaphone to get the crowd fired up. Like I said….what a shit show!
I marched along with my power drill whirring frantically, spinning the American flag in the face of oppression. When asked, I explained that it was a symbol of empowering the feminine — women don’t realize how much power we hold; if we would only learn to harness the power of the puss, we could rule the world! I tell you I must have posed for 300 photos and done 20 or 30 interviews; it was fantastic! I never wanted it to end!!
photo by Brian Feinzimer for LA Weekly
Alas, however, I knew I was facing a 5-hour drive home…plus I still had to get ready for Burning Man! I followed the parade all the way to the end, and hung out and danced for a while, having SO MUCH FUN that I literally had to tear myself away — I would have loved nothing more than to join the afterparty at a local bar, and get shitfaced while dancing late into the evening. But…duty calls.
shrooming kid pushing a mermaid
So I walked allllll the way back to my truck, and even then I couldn’t break away — a bunch of cholo bikers from the Vagos bike club were hanging out nearby and wanted me to pose for photos with their bikes, haha. Just like the bad old days with that fat dumbass Blondie! I obliged them, then finally stripped out of my swamp-assy Wonder Woman panties, changed into something more comfortable, and got the fuck out there — hauling ass for the desert.
And that, my friends, is the story of how I now find myself in the unenviable position of having less than 24 hours before I’m supposed to leave for Burning Man….and WAY too much prep work still to be accomplished!! Shit, I’ve already spent far too long writing about all this; time to shut the fuck up and finally get to work.
Because of all the weird fetish modeling I’ve done, people are always asking me “what’s your fetish?”
Well, I hate to disappoint you all, but my fetish is not for being spanked or dressing up like a schoolgirl or any of the other stuff I get paid to pretend to like — when it comes to sex, I’m fairly vanilla, and prefer a traditional male partner with a giant wallet… and chronic erectile dysfunction
But I do have a fetish — and it’s for summer. If I could make my own perfume, it would totally be something like this cheesy quote from Peter Pan:
“The smell of someone who has ridden the back of the wind…the smell of a hundred fun summers, with sleeping in trees and adventures with Indians and Pirates…The world was ours.”
I love that smell!!!
Summer isn’t just my favorite season — it’s my obsession! From the day Daylight Savings ends until the day it’s finally warm enough to wear flip-flops again, I am a disconsolate mess; not only do I despise wearing socks and shoes and sweaters, and those hideously short days…it’s the withering away of all that’s green and lush and full of life that really sends my soul into a death spiral. I’m a melancholy person by nature, and fall/winter are too gloomy for my fragile psyche. That’s part of the reason I moved here to the desert — the weather stays warm longer, and because of the sparse vegetation, you don’t notice the annual cycle of death as much.
Anyway, I always do my best to squeeze every last drop of nectar from summer, and this year was no exception. I busted my ass hustling all throughout May and June, so that I had enough cash stockpiled to allow me some time off — a reader of this blog had invited me to come check out some hot springs up in Idaho, so I planned a road trip with my sister around that. This reader also happens to be a photographer, and offered to hire me for a shoot while up there, so I could make some gas money along the way. Sweet!!! I packed my bags, left my dog and house in the care of my roommate, and set sail from the desert for the forests of the northwest.
But the problem with a fetish is…real life can never live up to your fantasy. Real life is flaky photographers and spiritual malaise and toothaches and broken beer bottles hidden in sand dunes and hot coals left burning on the edge of hot spring pools by careless hippies — real boner-killer shit! But it’s also all just First World Problems-type shit….so one has to soldier on, if one is hell-bent on milking every bit of enjoyment from the fleeting beauty of summer, as I am.
My summer 2015 started in the redwood forests of Northern California, where I spent the 4th of July kayaking on a beautiful, misty lagoon near Bodega Bay with most of my immediate family (one of my sisters was in Germany). My other sister (the one I travel with) had just gotten back from her own cross-country road trip the day before, so that evening she treated us to a 4+ hour slideshow of her adventures — which were amazing!! She basically drove to Florida and back, sleeping in her 4-Runner at rest areas and Wal Marts along the way, with only a Leatherman tool and two brass balls for protection. Some of the shit she saw and the people she met were incredible — I told her she should start her own blog
Anyway, because we set off on the road again just a couple days later, she was pretty wore out, and I kinda felt bad dragging her around Oregon and Idaho — at times she seemed pretty road-tripped out. To make matters worse, we had to take her car, since she sleeps in it. But she said she wanted to go, and we ended up having a pretty good time despite her exhaustion — the alternative for her would have been to sit around thinking about how she really has to go back to work this fall; as you may recall, she’s been on a spirit quest since quitting her loathsome corporate job in Feb. 2014, and has set a deadline for herself to get shit figured out.
camping on the beach at Sinkyone
So we headed up north, and our first stop was the incredibly beautiful, remote Sinkyone Wilderness, part of northern California’s Lost Coast. They call it the “lost” coast because no highways were ever built into its rugged reaches, and all the little towns and communities out there are fog-bound and super isolated. It’s AMAZING, and the Sinkyone Wilderness is this giant state park right in the middle of it.
Into the wild….
We camped at Usal Beach campground in the southern part of the preserve, and I’m here to tell you — that is one of the remotest places I’ve ever camped! No running water, and just a few rickety wooden outhouses scattered among the moss-draped, fog-shrouded redwoods…and to get there, a six-mile dirt road that is probably impassable in bad weather. My sister’s 4-Runner made it without a problem, and in fact it looked to me like pretty much any car could have made it at that time of year…but if you go after a rain, be warned!
guy sleeping on the beach
Anyway, we had stocked up on supplies in Fort Bragg (the nearest town of any size), and we drove right through the forest down to the beach — one of those iconic, rugged northern California beaches that are always shrouded in mist and fog. It was gorgeous! The official campsites are all tucked back in the woods (a few have views of the beach), but I wanted to be right on the sand, so that when I opened my tent in the morning I would see nothing but the sea. It’s the one thing I miss most of all, living in Vegas. I’m not really sure you are technically permitted to camp where we did, but we used an existing fire ring and cleaned up a bunch of trash, leaving the place better than we found it….so, no harm no foul. And besides, this other kooky redneck drove up in the night and slept on an air mattress on his flatbed truck, right at the high-tide mark. When he woke up, he literally just sat up in bed, sparked a bowl, and sat there getting high and watching the waves. Noted for future reference!!!
Meanwhile, on her cross-country road trip my sister had stopped by to visit my stepmother in Tennessee…and come to find out, she’d sprinkled my dad’s ashes somewhere at Sinkyone! So my dad’s ghost might have even been out there, frolicking with the whales in the mist. Apparently, that was one of his favorite places…and in fact I remember him telling me about it waaaay back in the
day, when I was like, “WHAT?! No running water?!?! How can you camp there?!?!?!” (Say what you will; Burning Man really toughened me up in that respect.) Anyway, I paid tribute to my dad’s memory in my own special way: my stripping off all my clothes and running into the chilly surf naked. HI DAD! 😀
From Sinkyone, we continued on north into Oregon. We didn’t really have a strict itinerary on this trip; we had to be at certain places on certain days for my photo shoots, but other than that, we were pretty flexible. My sis has this awesome app where you can find cheap/free campsites, so we basically just made it up as we went along — we knew we wanted to hit the Oregon Country Fair outside Eugene sometime over the weekend, so we just kind of puttered along the coast, through the redwood forests of Sasquatch country, stopping wherever looked good.
Alas, however, Oregon is a really fuckin’ rainy state, even in July…so it kinda put a damper on things for a few days. We ended up camping in a drizzly rainforest one night, swarmed with mosquitoes, sitting around a piddly campfire reading this amazing porn/romance e-book about a guy who has sex with a shapeshifting gay bear. I’m not kidding!!! Apparently, this genre is extremely popular in some quarters, and people are making a ton of money writing this crap — which gave us an idea. My sis and I are ever on the lookout for ways to make money from the road; maybe writing weird niche romance porn might be our thing…if we could only come up with a unique angle that hasn’t already been done.
Calling all sasquatches!
Hmmm…..looking around the gloomy, rainy forest, it hit us: SASQUATCH PORN! We started to formulate a plot based on a beautiful forest ranger’s daughter who falls in love with a sasquatch. But before getting too deep, I did some market research…and discovered to my dismay that Internet Rule 34 holds true — there’s already a WHOLE INDUSTRY devoted to bigfoot/sasquatch porn!!!! LMFAO/EWWWW!!!! The next morning at a seaside internet cafe I downloaded this gem called “Cum For Bigfoot,” by Ms. Virginia Wade, and we spent the next couple of nights reading that out loud around the fire. Goooooooooood times!
But I mean, seriously…..if Sasquatch is real, then he’s totally asleep on the job; you’ve already been subjected to several photos of me wandering around naked in the woods, and I’m here to tell you I was never so much as molested once! Even when I went down to the creek one morning, naked and alone, to take a bath…there was no Bigfoot in sight :-/
Boozing at the dunes RESPONSIBLY — in a reusable, non-glass container!!!
Anyhoo, it was raining all over fuckin’ Oregon, so we headed back out toward the coast to try and escape the damp out at the sand dunes near Coos Bay. I had always wanted to check them out, for some reason…but I am disappointed to report that they are nothing more than a playground for gas-guzzlin’, toy-haulin’, beer-drinkin’, ATV-riding rednecks — not a very peaceful place to camp. But at least it wasn’t raining! First we tried one of the tent campgrounds, but it was in a marshy area totally infested with mosquitoes…so we were forced to head out to this RV “campground” on the beach, which was basically just a big parking lot for rednecks to pull their toyhaulers into. We checked the reservation board and found an empty site, and I was just setting up my little tent on the tiny patch of grass allotted us…..when out of nowhere this redneck matron came barreling over: “My family has this whole area reserved! My son was camped here, but he had to leave early…so if you want to stay there, you can just pay me the $20 and I’ll vouch for ya…but you have to leave by noon, because our other son’s coming in.”
trying to find peace on a beach full of whining ATVs
Are you serious?! I don’t know why we didn’t just pick up and move across the parking lot; instead, my sis forked over $20 into the matron’s greedy claw, and she toddled off crowing about how “I sold Joe’s spot! Heh heh!” Fuck you, ya greedy bitch! Even worse, when we were woken by the incessant whine of ATV motors the next morning….the whole family was gone!!! “Other son” coming in, my ass. And then, even worse, when I went for a barefoot run on the beach, I cut my toe on a broken beer bottle some redneck asshole had left hidden in the sand. Fuckin’ rednecks! I have zero patience for anyone who feels the need to prove their worth by being a noisy gas-guzzler — whether it’s a jet ski, an ATV, a dirt bike, a monster truck or a power boat…they’re rednecks, one and all, and I truly pity them. If I never see another dickhead in a Fox Racing flat-brim again for the rest of my life, I’ll be happy!!!!!! UGH!!!!
Anyway, as rednecked-out as I was, it was a good thing we were hitting the Oregon Country Fair later that day — it’s the polar opposite of the redneck scene, all dirty hippies and New Agers and granola moms. Whew! We cruised over to the fairgrounds, changed into our hippie clothes, mixed up some rum & Cokes and went in to be with our people. Ahhhhhh!
If you’ve never been, the Oregon Country Fair is basically a mix of Burning Man and the Renaissance Faire — a bunch of kooky white people running around in whimsical fairy costumes in the middle of a forest, banging drums and smoking weed and selling their overpriced arts & crafts to the unsuspecting suburban looky-Lous who come in droves to check it out. In fact, if you’ve ever wanted to go to Burning Man but are too big a pussy to handle the desert and the logistics, the OR Country Fair is a great alternative — no playa dust, plenty of running water, and day use only — so you can come in, have your experience, and then be back in a comfy motel bed in Eugene by sundown. Check it out!
Bandaged toe from stepping on a broken beer bottle
I myself had a pretty good time, eating Himalayan food, pissing in a “Her-inal” (a urinal for women, where you squat over a trough, lift your skirts and cheerfully let loose while chatting with the woman next to you) and dancing with dreadlocked, body-odorous strangers at some kind of ecstatic movement jamboree under a canopy. Then I stumbled on a drum circle, and it was one of the most epic drum circles I’ve ever been to in my life!! A group of whackos was banging away in a grove of trees with a mad crowd of sweaty freaks jerking arrhythmically all around them, shaking tambourines and wailing to the heavens, everyone high as a kite and no one feeling any pain. Before long my headdress had come unraveled and my caftan was making me unbearably sweaty, so I checked with a friendly passer-by and learned that toplessness was OK — so I stowed my caftan and made a sort of sarong out of one of my headscarves, and kept on dancing like a beast!!! Bandaged toe and all!!
me and my neighbors from Vegas
Then, out of nowhere, who should show up but my neighbors from back in Vegas! This awesome hippie-type couple lives on the next street over from me and are good friends of mine, and I had forgotten that they were traveling for the summer as well, in their conversion van. At any rate, they were definitely feeling no pain and offered to let me in on their fun…but I declined in a rare moment of responsibility and just kept on dancing. I was thinking about the single more epic drum circle I’ve ever been to, at Burning Man 2011, and how there was this impish little man dancing there that I used to see at all the drum circles at Burning Man……..and then, wouldn’t you know, I ran into him, too!!!!! His Burner name is Ra, and in my mind I had built him up to be almost a magical elf spirit of the drum circle…but of course upon talking to him, he was nothing of the sort; his real name is Steve, and he couldn’t hear anything I was saying because his hearing aid was malfunctioning. D’oh!!!
Anyway, unlike Burning Man, the Fair closes at dusk…and besides, I was tapped out money-wise and we had to find a camp spot for that night, so we headed out. Fortunately, by now we were in fertile hot spring country — there are a shit ton of hot springs in southeastern Oregon and Idaho, which was one of the main reasons for our trip…so we headed out to find a campsite near one of them. We headed for McCredie springs, in the forest beside a beautiful creek, and camped at a Forest Service campground nearby for around $8 (we tried to find free BLM campsites whenever possible, but it was getting dark)…and then in the morning, headed for the springs.
McCredie Hot Springs
As far as hot springs go, these were OK — they have potential for being amazing, but a flood a couple winters back messed them up pretty badly, so the pools were a little muddy and very rustic. Apparently there used to be a hot springs resort at the site, and you can still see the concrete foundations here and there…it would just take a little work to make this place really bad-ass.
But regardless of the water quality, one of my FAVORITE (if not my #1 favorite) thing about hot springs is the people you meet at them. McCredie was excellent on that front — we met this adorable little herbalist guy from Eugene who was on a monthlong Thoreau-esque retreat, camping in the woods behind the springs somewhere on a beaver dam, and before long we were all fast friends. He was telling us about this weird plant he’d found growing in the woods, called Indian Pipe or ghost plant/corpse plant, due to its creepy pure-white stem and leaves and everything — apparently it’s very rare, and only grows in gloomy rainforest groves, but he had found a bunch and had been chewing it for its medicinal purposes…one of which was to relieve toothaches.
the herbalist explains what to do
“Toothache?!? I’ve had a toothache for two weeks!” I exclaimed. And it was true; around the 3rd of July, the roof of my mouth had started hurting really bad, though I wasn’t sure it was a toothache — I take very good care of my teeth, brushing and flossing religiously, since I don’t have dental insurance. But now it had been nine days, and I was starting to freak out — I was supposed to go directly to the Sturgis biker rally in South Dakota immediately after this trip; I had no time to go to the dentist!
Well, upon hearing of my tooth distress, my new friend jumped up right away and offered to run back to his camp and get me some Indian pipe from his personal stash — because he liked me, he said. It was a 20-minute run both ways, but he didn’t mind at all — and sure enough, about 40 minutes later he came huffing back with a baggie of mysterious white fungusy-looking things, and told me to chew one up, then swish the saliva around in my mouth as long as I could before swallowing.
Chewing corpse plant
Now, you might say it’s foolish to take a strange plant from a strange man in the forest and then eat it (especially one called corpse plant)….but hell, what could I do?? I wanted my toothache to go away, and this little herbalist had appeared from the woods like a magical sprite in a Brothers Grimm tale — he had to know what he was talking about! So, I did as he instructed — and boy, was it nasty! He gave me the whole baggie to take with me, and told me to chew and swish every morning for 21 days, and my toothache would go away.
Well, guess what? I had noticed that the herbalist’s teeth were kinda black and funky-looking, but I guess I just ascribed it to poor dental hygiene. So the next morning, after waking up and dutifully chewing and swishing another plant, and drinking a cup or two of black coffee….I looked in the mirror, and saw that my tongue had turned black!!!! And my gums and teeth had a greyish cast to them, too! YIKES!!! I tried to scrub it off with toothbrushing, Listerine swishing and tongue scraping….but it was no use; the black was really on there. On the plus side however, for the first time in almost two weeks my mouth pain was gone!!! So what do ya know….I think the little guy’s herbal advice actually worked!!
Since my tooth pain was gone, I bailed on the rest of my 21-day regimen, and gave the plants back to the Earth. And eventually the blackness went away — but the tooth pain never came back Thank you, forest sprite!! I guess there *IS* magic in the woods!!!
Cougar Reservoir, near the hot springs
Anyway, while all this black-tongue stuff was going on, we had moved on to check out legendary Terwilliger (also known as Cougar) Hot Springs. These springs had been recommended to me by various soakers at various hot springs over the years as being one of the best there are, so I knew I wanted to check them out — even though they were said to be really crowded because all those dirty hippies from the Oregon Country Fair like to go there. Alas, camping is not permitted at the actual springs…but we found a really nice campground a few miles down the road, and headed over in the morning for a nice, long soak.
You have been warned!!
The only bummer about Cougar/Terwilliger springs is, some bullshit concessionaire somehow got the go-ahead to “manage” them, and they charge you $6 for day use — and they close at sunset. WTF!!!! I’m used to my beautiful wild desert springs, and I chafed at the idea of paying some asswipe for the privilege of soaking. But, they do clean them out once a week, and they also maintain a couple of vault toilets onsite…so I guess it’s worth it. Plus, nudity is fully allowed/to be expected (in fact, you can even hike in naked, once you’re out of sight of the road), so you never have to worry about putting on a swimsuit (unless you want to). That right there is worth $6, in my book!
Cougar/Terwilliger is basically a series of beautiful pools ranging from super-hot to warm, sort of stair-stepping their way down a shady ravine through which a creek flows. The pools are hand-made from very rustic stone, with sandy bottoms and good flow, so the water feels very clean. A beautiful forest surrounds them, and makes for a wonderful place to laze about for a day or two — we got there around noon, and stayed til 6 or so…but I can definitely see staying longer than that. (The pools were full of naked people, so I couldn’t take any photos of them, alas.)
The springs didn’t seem too crowded that day (it was a Monday), so I guess most of the Country Fair hippies had already gone home — but there were still plenty of interesting people to talk to. A Deadhead Burner named Eric Goldberg tipped me off to an abandoned blueberry bog in Washington state, and then gave me a few buds from his personal grow as a parting gift, and told me to look him up on Facebook — but alas, when I tried to do so, there were only around 5,000 Eric Goldbergs, so I struck out.
Soaking in the sun at Terwilliger
Another stoner kid was smoking dabs in the pool, and gave me a hit — I’d never smoked a dab (basically a dab of cannabis wax that you heat until it starts smoking, then inhale the smoke), and one tiny puff of that got me high as a kite pretty much all day long. I’m a lightweight, I tell you — I normally just take 3 or 4 hits of dried-up ditchweed every night before bed, to help me sleep. I can’t handle this hardcore shit! Worse, the kid was using a hookah charcoal to heat up the dabs, which he left smoldering there on the side of the pool…and in my baked state I forgot it was there, and when I went to lay down for a nap I accidentally burned the shit out of my Achilles tendon. OUCH!!! The perils of hot springs!
OMG this waterfall!!!
Then there was this other stoner kid, but this guy had a real medical reason for smoking — he suffered chronic pain and severe PTSD from being a victim of a school shooting several years ago! Some disgruntled bozo had stormed into his high school and shot him and a bunch of others, and he barely survived. He was really cool, though, and even took us on this little hike down the creek to a secret, hidden waterfall in the forest that was one of the most amazingly beautiful things I’ve ever seen — I mean, it was UNREAL! Like being in Hawaii or something — absolutely amazing. My poor, long-suffering sis was pressed into photographer duty yet again — all the nudies you see here in this post were taken by her. She’s pretty good, eh???
But the MOST interesting person we met at Cougar/Terwilliger was this artist guy who had been living in his Honda Civic (!!!) in Bolinas, ever since being priced out of San Francisco ten years ago. He was a super legit guy, very intelligent and nice to talk to, and the fact that he lived in Bolinas was icing on the cake; Bolinas is this weird, reclusive little hippie town on the coast north of San Fran that I’ve been DYING to check out, but never seem to get to on my travels :-/ This guy was also cool because he has a niece who’s a traveling nude model, so he understood exactly what it is that I do, and didn’t judge me or assume I’m a hooker or whatever. In fact, it turned out that the niece and I are Facebook friends — what a small world!
When camping, you have to take showers when you can!
But the BEST thing about this guy was that he knew all about those secret tidal hot springs in Marin County, down by Stinson Beach — the ones you can only soak in when the moon and the tide are just right. Ever since hearing about these mysterious springs last summer, I’ve been dying to go to them — so we all made plans (the guy, his niece, my sis and I) to try and meet up at the end of the month for a soak, before I went back to Vegas. (Alas, it did end up working out, to my immense disappointment….but hey; if you’re reading this and you live in the area and you want to check them out sometime, I’ll be back up there in November/December! Let’s go!)
the desert beckons…
After leaving Cougar/Terwilliger, my sis and I headed east toward Idaho — I had photo shoots lined up, so we were more or less on a timetable by this point. Besides, we wanted to stop in Bend, at this amazing burrito place called Parilla Grill that makes the most astonishingly delicious, foodie burritos you’ve ever tasted — but after beasting, we continued on. At least eastern Oregon is basically high desert, so we figured we’d be safe from the fucking rain that had been bedeviling us the entire trip — but, wouldn’t you know, it even rained on us as we entered the desert!!!!
You girls be careful!!!!
On the way across eastern Oregon we stopped at a couple hot springs, just to check them out — first we hit this place near Juntura, where the springs are on an island in the middle of a fairly deep, swift-flowing river. On the way in, some old kook warned us he’d seen a rattlesnake on the riverbank…so my sis sat this one out, and I carefully waded across to the springs by myself. It was actually a really nice place to camp — a great, hot, sandy-bottomed pool, with plenty of flat area nearby for tents and stuff — but it would have been tough to ford all our gear across the river, so we left.
Snively hot springs
Next we stopped at a little spot on the Owyhee River called Snively hot springs, right on the Oregon/Idaho border. It was a pretty nice little spring, right on the edge of the river, and one of those deals where super-hot spring water flows in and mixes with the river water in a little sectioned-off pool someone built on the riverbank. You just move around until you find a spot that suits you — but to really enjoy this soak, you’d want to bring one of those low-rise beach chairs with you, so you could just sit wherever. REI makes really sweet collapsible low-rise camp chairs that would be perfect, so I need to get one stat!!
Morning on the Payette River
Anyway, technically you can camp near Snively hot springs….but there was a family hanging out with kids, so we couldn’t go nude or anything, and thus decided to move on into Idaho. Which is an absolute BONANZA of hot springs — I mean, I’ve never seen anything like it in my life!!!! Prior to this trip, I always thought of Idaho as strictly the domain of Mormons and white supremacists — but I’m here to tell you, I have RARELY seen such astonishing natural beauty, and I have NEVER seen better hot springs! If you’re a hot spring buff…..I recommend you visit Idaho, ASAP!
One of the pools at Hot Springs Campground
The first place we camped was along the Payette River, in the Sawtooth National Forest. There are close to a billion breathtakingly beautiful hot springs right along the banks of this river, and in fact there’s even a Forest Service campground called Hot Springs Campground that is right across the street from a little all-natural 24-hour soaking pool. Highly recommended! We set up camp, ate dinner, and then took our drinks down for a late-nite soak — it was fantastic! And most astonishingly, we were the only two people there; as with most of the amazingly beautiful sites we visited in Idaho, there was little tourist traffic, even in summer. Weird!
Overview of Kirkham — hard to show all the magical little pools and waterfalls
The most beautiful hot spring we visited on the Payette was this place called Kirkham, right off the highway adjacent to a campground of the same name. This place actually was kinda crowded, with a bunch of families and stuff hanging out (so you couldn’t go nude)…but it was so amazingly beautiful and accessible that it didn’t bother me — I would go back again in a hot minute.
in a sauna cave at Kirkham hot springs
Now, Kirkham was also the same springs that the reader of this blog had invited me to come visit — if you remember from the beginning of this post, the whole reason I came up to Idaho in the first place was to stay at his cabin there and do a photo shoot. Well, guess what — despite emailing back and forth several times in the months leading up to my trip, once I actually got to the area, I never heard
the crystal-clear, turquoise blue waters of the Payette at Kirkham
from the guy again! It was the weirdest thing — I emailed him a few days before the shoot, and he never responded. I even hung around the area for a few days, hoping he had just forgotten to check his email……but no dice; he totally stood me up. I have half a mind to put him on blast here, but I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt; maybe something terrible happened to him, and he’s laid up in a hospital somewhere, unable to text or email.
there are TONS of perfect little soaking pools at Kirkham
Either way, it was a pretty big blow — not only was I supposed to shoot with him, but he also had a photographer friend in Boise who was supposedly going to hire me as well, which would have helped pay for gas and stuff on the trip. Well, I never did hear from either of them. And even WORSE, I also had a shoot lined up in Boise for this beautiful giantess’s fetish site, AmazonAmanda.com… and her funding ended up falling thru as well!!!!! So basically, what was to have been over $1000 worth of bookings fell thru At least Amazon Amanda was cool about it, and still hired me for a quick one-hour consolation shoot, out of her own pocket (more on that later).
hot waterfall meets cold river water at Kirkham
Well…..that’s the risk you run, being a freelance model; sometimes you get flaked on. But when you’re traveling like that, it’s even worse. I don’t know how these girls who travel full-time do it! Thankfully, I had already busted my hump back in Vegas, and had enough cash set aside to cover me…so I just went about my business, enjoying the beautiful hot springs.
Morning soak in the Payette
Anyway, after hanging around the Payette River area a few days waiting to hear from the flake photographer, my sis and I headed up farther north, where apparently all the really good hot springs are. When I was at Deep Creek hot spring in southern California earlier this summer, an old-timer there was telling me about the three most beautiful hot springs in the world: Deep Creek, another one he couldn’t remember, and then this place called Gold Bug, up near Salmon, ID. Since we had some extra time because my shoots all flaked, we decided to head up and check it out.
Oh….my….Gawd!!!!!! That place was, without question, the most beautiful hot spring I’ve ever been to in my life!!!!! I hesitate to gush too much about it, for fear of incurring the wrath of the the locals and regulars who want to keep out the riff-raff….but I can’t help it, I was raised to share, so share I must. Besides, this place is remote enough that not just any half-asser can reach it; not only is it waaaay up north, but you also have to hike up a steep, two-mile trail to reach the springs. It’s not for the faint of heart.
My sis and I camped out the night before on the banks of the Salmon River, at some little BLM fishing camp — now that we were off the beaten path, there were more free options for camping. Most of the time, we were the only two people around; occasionally there would be a fisherman or two nearby, but no one ever bothered us other than to give us free firewood. They probably all thought we were lesbians, and thus not worth fucking with. Who knows?!
waterfalls feeding the pools
Anyway, it was a great campsite and in the morning, we packed up and headed up to Gold Bug for a relaxing day of soaking nude in nature. Ahhhhhhhh!!!!! It was F A N T A S T I C ! ! ! First off, Gold Bug was every bit as beautiful as I’d been told — a series of natural stone pools of varying temperatures, with cascading hot and cold waterfalls, perfect for a hydro-massage or for just laying around boozing and relaxing, with the most incredible view looking straight down a majestic canyon. I mean, it was like something out of a movie — unreal!!
There are, in fact, a few little camp areas up there too — but you’d have to pack all your gear up that steep-ass two mile trail, so you’d have to be pretty hardcore to do it. I’d say it’s about the same difficulty as the hike to Bowen Ranch from Deep Creek; if you’ve ever done that, you know what I mean.
an easy part of the trail up to Gold Bug
Apparently, people even camp up there in the winter time — there’s a spot where hot air vents up from the underground hot water source, through this little cave under a tree, and some people will open their tent onto this vent to get warm…even though the cave is a popular hangout for snakes!!! Yikes, no thanks — although it would be awesome to soak up there in the snow, with mist rising from the water. I’m not sure I’m that hardcore yet, though :-/
Anyway, we found out all this insider info from this super-hot local fireman who was hanging out up there. He was cool, but at first I thought he was pretty square — he made some disparaging remarks about “dope” smoking, and he kinda had that clean-cut Mormon look to him. But after a few hours, he finally removed his swim trunks and I noticed he didn’t have any tan lines….so he must at least be a habital nudist. Either way, he was cool as fuck — and he took a liking to my sis and I, and even took us on a TOP SECRET excursion to THE. MOST. BEAUTIFUL. PLACE. I’VE. EVER. SEEN!!!!!!!
my sis and the fireman
I promised him I would not reveal the location, so I didn’t even take any photos….but OMG. It was indescribably beautiful — a sort of grotto in a moss-covered cave with a waterfall coming down through a natural skylight; just amazing. I wish I would have taken some nudies in there, but I didn’t want to piss our guide off — even though, once he saw me posing for nudes back at the regular pools, he seemed to think it would be OK. But anyway, I guess it’s cool to have some secrets
I’m telling you, I could have stayed at those hot springs forever…but eventually we had to hike out, as we still had to find a campsite for that evening. The wonderful thing about Idaho is, in the summer it doesn’t get dark til around 10pm, so we always had plenty of time to make camp. The fireman ended up hiking out with us; my sis later said she caught a slight hookup vibe from him, and to be honest I did notice he had a semi at one point…but he never made a move or anything, so we all just parted as friends. That’s naturism for ya!
camping at the Magic Reservoir, in the middle of nowhere
From Gold Bug, we headed back down south toward Boise — we wanted to hit the big rodeo in town that weekend, plus I was supposed to meet Amazon Amanda for the one-hour consolation shoot. But on the way back to the city, we stopped for a couple nights to camp at ultra-remote BLM fishing reservoirs (for free!!!) and to hike around Craters of the Moon National Monument.
a trail at Craters of the Moon
Holy cow, was that place ever weird! Craters is basically miles and miles of lava fields; a totally lunar landscape of black and gray and brown and red, with caves you can explore and all kinds of bizarre, otherworldly formations. After the classic, lush beauty of Gold Bug it was somewhat jarring…but still cool in its way. We hiked every single one of the trails there and even went down into most of the caves — over 10 miles, and I did it all in flip flops. I was trying to burn a few calories off all the camping food I was eating — for most of this trip, my sis and I ate Frito Pie for dinner, which is not very healthy (it’s just chili and cheese over Fritos…but we added some canned veggies to try and make it more nutritious). To be honest, I got kind of obsessed with Frito Pie — my sis discovered it while road-tripping thru the South, and we literally ate it almost every single night, just putting the cans directly into the campfire to heat up before layering it all in our bowls. OMG, just writing about it makes me want more!!!
Anyway, once we got back in to Boise we finally checked into a motel and got cleaned up, mixed some rum & Cokes and headed over to the Ford Arena for the Snake River Stampede…a/k/a the RODEO! Let me tell you, there is nothing as amazing as a red state rodeo on a Saturday night — lassos a-flyin’, Stars & Stripes a-wavin’, and beautiful big-haired rodeo queens everywhere you look. They even did a special Salute to the Troops, with flashing lights and horseback badassery and an announcer intoning ominously about what ISIS would do if they had their way — “they’d take your Freedom in a New York minute!” It was amazing!!!!
Me and Amazon Amanda
As expected, we were pretty hungover the next day…but I had to sack up and get ready for my consolation shoot with Amazon Amanda, at the Holiday Inn over by the Boise airport. Now, who is Amazon Amanda, you ask? Well, she’s a BBW giantess — 6’3″ and around 350 pounds, and she runs a fetish website catering to guys with smother fetishes. One of our mutual fans contacted me about setting up a shoot with her here in Vegas last month, but he never came thru with her cash, so we had to postpone — but when we realized we were both going to be in Boise in July, we arranged to do the shoot there. Unfortunately, as previously mentioned the fan backed out AGAIN…but I’m glad I at least got to meet her, as she is one seriously bad-ass person!
I’ll never run for office now!
First of all, imagine you are 6 feet tall as a freshman in high school — and a BBW, too! But instead of sitting around feeling sorry for herself, Amanda took charge of her destiny and instead of trying to deny what she was, she found a way to embrace it…and monetize it. Mad props to you, lady!! Now she travels the world doing private domination/smothering sessions, and maintaining her pay website…which is what she hired me for. We did a few clips of her squashing me and whatnot, which will soon be available for purchase at AmazonAmanda.com, if you’re interested.
hairy pits after about 3 weeks of growth
Now, one interesting thing about my shoot with Amanda was that I hadn’t had a shoot or a gig since that romance novel audition I did in late June…so, as is my wont, I hadn’t been shaving my armpits or anything for about three weeks. I had taken to posting hairy pit pics on Instagram, and had amassed quite a fan base in the meantime — so I was kinda loath to shave my pits unless I really had to; come to find out, some guys are REALLY into hairy armpits!
So when I got to the Holiday Inn, I told Amanda what was going on and offered to shave if she wanted — but to my delight,
5 weeks of growth by Shutterbug Studio
she was THRILLED that my pits were hairy; apparently, she gets lots of requests for hairy armpitted models, and in fact also gets requests to grow her own pits out (which she says she’s unable to). So I was able to keep my armpit hair, and she even advised me never to shave again; she seems to think I would make way more money as a niche fetish model than doing what I currently do. HMMMMMM! Food for thought. As it stands today, I haven’t shaved in about 5 weeks…and my pits are really hairy, but I’m going to have to shave them soon because I have a couple of paid gigs coming up, where pit hair won’t fly But I’m enjoying them in the meantime…I just love shocking people in public when I lift my arms, hahahahahahahha!
Anyway, another interesting thing about my shoot with Amanda was that her photographer had flaked (hmm, a pattern)…so my sis had to step in as videographer/photographer! It was her first (and probably only) paid gig as a pornographess, and I hope it didn’t scar her too badly :-/ Either way, our visit with Amanda paid for her oil change, our motel room and a few nights of Frito Pie as well
After shooting with Amanda, we decided to spend one more day up on the beautiful Payette River before leaving Idaho and heading down toward Lake Tahoe, where my grandma was having a birthday party the following Saturday. We found a free campsite on some BLM land along the river near a shooting range — the sound of gunfire was kinda unnerving, but other than that it was an OK spot. There were also a few rednecks camped out there panning for gold in the river; they kept coming around sniffing for companionship and/or puss, but I guess they also thought we were lesbians because they all left us alone in the end.
Hanging out at Skinny Dipper hot springs
For our last Idaho hot spring, we headed up to Skinny Dipper for a relaxing day of soaking and reading in the shade. Skinny Dipper is apparently a very popular party spot, so much so that the BLM is closing it down at the end of the year because of all the litter and pollution — personally, I found it very clean at the time of my visit, so I have a feeling there’s a lot of hyperbole going around, but whatever.
Anyway, when we first got there, a group of dorky gamer-type kids were hanging out, and we all started chatting. I asked how they knew each other, and they kind of hemmed and hawed, “Uh, from work….?” But as the conversation wore on and they became more comfortable, it turned out they were all kinksters from some local Boise BDSM group, LOL!! I can’t imagine being a kinkster in a city like Boise — it’s such a nice, wholesome family-type town! But apparently, according to these kids, there was a little scene going on there, and they had their parties and their fun. Awwww! I told them about Amazon Amanda, so they knew I was cool about such things…I guess.
Beautiful Skinny Dipper hot springs…no trash in sight
After the kinkster kids left it was just my sis and I for most of the day. Another couple came by a while later, and you could tell they were kinda frisky from being naked outdoors with strangers, but they were cool and they left after less than an hour. So my sis and I mostly had the place to ourselves, boozing and napping and reading all day long, and it was all very relaxing….until…
Late in the afternoon, this family hiked up — mom, dad, grown son and daughter (son was 24, daughter around 22). The mom and daughter came and sat in the middle pool with my sis and I (which was really the only soakable pool at the time of our visit; the lower pool was much too hot, and the upper pool was full of algae), and we chatted for a while. They seemed nice enough, but didn’t take off their swimsuits or anything (my sis and I were naked all day).
Finally, the daughter worked up the nerve to ask us, “You can say no, but would you mind putting on your bikinis for a while so that my dad and brother can come soak? I’m sorry; we’re from Pennsylvania…” As if that’s any reason to be a prude!!!
To be polite, we both acquiesced…but a friend later said we should have handed them our bikini tops to use as blindfolds, so that they didn’t have to see our scandalous, flame-belching demon twats!!! And, seriously…..this is a hot spring called SKINNY DIPPER, with signs along the trail going in saying “WARNING: YOU MAY ENCOUNTER BARES!” I mean….WTF were you people expecting?!?!?
Sadly, the law was on their side; even at a hot spring where nudity is the custom (like at Terwilliger/Cougar), if the spring is on US Forest Service or BLM land, even if there are 100 people hanging out naked, if one person comes along and asks that everyone put on swimsuits, by law everyone must comply. How fucking puritanical is this shit?! It’s just bodies, people!!!!! Get your heads out of your asses! If people were used to seeing it all the time, it wouldn’t be such a big deal…..ya know?!?
Contrary to popular belief…I do know when to say when
Anyway, the family left after awhile (and left an empty plastic water bottle behind, which my sinful sis and I packed out for them)…but the vibe was kinda ruined, so we pretty much got the fuck out of Idaho after that. Our plan was to head back down through eastern Oregon and camp at another desert hot spring before crossing down into Nevada…but as we were heading south on U.S.93, we saw massive thunderheads rolling in from where else but miserable, rain-sodden Oregon. I swear, even the desert part of that soggy-ass state is wet as fuck — curses!!!
this is Winnemucca!!!
I’m OK camping in rain, but a thunderstorm on a big open prairie like that freaks me out — so we changed course and headed toward the glamorous metropolis of Winnemucca, Nevada, thinking to get a motel room for the night. It was raining all over that part of the country — Nevada too :-/ But we couldn’t find a room for less than $50, and we both absolutely refused to pay more than that — for the caliber of motels available in that dogforsaken burg, $40 is more than enough. To charge more than that is robbery, pure and simple, and we refused to take part in it. Does anyone reading this know why a motel would rather have a room sit empty than to rent it at a cheaper price? We tried Priceline and Orbitz and everything! Do they get some kind of write-off for empty rooms that makes it cost-effective to keep them empty?!? Inquiring minds want to know!
the beautiful aspen grove
Rather than shell out $50+ for a shitty room, we found a free BLM campsite south of town, along this little creek in a beautiful aspen grove — perfect!! The rain let up long enough for us to set up camp and enjoy a fire, and then we spent a cozy night, protected somewhat from the rain by the canopy of trees overhead. (All this time I was camping in a $20 kids’ tent from Wal-Mart, that’s not technically waterproof…but my sis had an old rain fly I borrowed, and I was cool. But I do need to get a better tent!)
In the morning, it stayed dry long enough to pack up camp and even to do this mini-workout I came up with that I called the Prison Workout — basically, just using a picnic table bench to do pushups, dips, crunches and Bulgarian squats. Gotta stay fit, even while on vacation!!! We did this workout a few times on our trip, with me playing whatever gangster rap I had on my cellphone for a soundtrack — I mean, we must have really looked like two lesbians!!!!! No wonder no one fucked with us the entire trip, no matter how much we ran around naked, smoking weed and cursing!!!!
at the Thunder Mountain Monument
By now it was pissing rain again. I know there’s supposedly a horrible drought going on in the West, but I mean, come on!! It seems like everywhere I’ve gone this year, I’ve been dodging bullshit rain. Sheeshhh!!!!! We whiled away a few hours in Winnemucca, checking out this bizarre abandoned casino they turned into a visitors’ center/Buckaroo Museum, and then headed west on I-80 to see if the rain would stop. It did not. So we made a soggy detour to this weird Native American monument at the side of the road in the middle of nowhere — a sort of arts & crafts compound made from baling wire and baby dolls, with a few old bottles thrown in for good measure. I’m still not sure WTF it exactly was, but it was interesting.
More Thunder Mountain
From there, we continued west, deciding to make up our minds in Fernley: if it was still raining, we’d head into Reno a day early and get a cheap motel room (where you can at least get a room for $30). If the rain had cleared, we’d head up north to the Black Rock Desert, where Burning Man will be held in a month or so. We thought it would be cool to see the playa in the off-season, with no one else around…plus, there are some hot springs up there that are closed during Burning Man, that I’ve always wanted to check out.
Well, when we got to Fernley it was still sort of raining, but looked like it was clearing up…so we took a chance. We headed up north to the tiny town of Gerlach, noteworthy for being the last town you pass thru on the way to Burning Man. There’s not much there, but there is this little cafe called Bruno’s Country Club that I’ve also always wanted to check out…but every time I’ve passed it I’ve been towing 50,000 pounds of crap, so I never took the time to stop.
Well, now I can say that I’ve tried it — and I found it grossly overrated! I think it’s one of those places people like because it reminds them of Burning Man or something — I can’t think why else you would eat there. I had the “world-famous” ravioli for $17, and it tasted really sketchy, like there was ground-up hippie in them or something. Bleccccchhhhh!!!!! Give me Frito Pie any night of the week!
the secret campsite
After paying up, we got the fuck out of that tourist trap and headed for this top-secret camp spot some friends had told me about, off Jungo Road near Trego Hot Springs. Trego Hot Springs are all right, but there’s no trees or anything to camp under, and it’s not very scenic…but this other, secret location was pretty sweet! Lots of trees, and little ponds full of frogs and tadpoles and whatnot — very peaceful. I would gladly tell you all about this place, but I have little doubt that hideous wrath would be rained upon me by a legion of outraged Burning Man habitués, and I just don’t feel like dealing with it.
I got your view of the desert right here!
In any event, I got enough wrath rained upon me in the morning, when this sanctimonious hippy harpy came out for a morning swim and asked/told my sister to move her car because it was blocking her view of the desert. Bitch, please!!!!!! It’s not YOUR view of the desert. Ugh, I hate people like that — she could see we were packing up to leave, so if it had been me, I would have just asked how much longer we were going to be. There are nice ways of saying things…ya know?
I spy a douchebag in an sparklepony-infested RV on his way to Burning Man!
Anyway, this harpy turned out to be OK once my sister moved her car — it turns out she does a sort of gong-therapy class at Burning Man, which I have actually attended before: you lay there on the ground and they bang all these gongs around you, so that the vibrations wash over you like waves. It’s really trippy! She had a mini gong with her, in fact, and invited us over to her RV to hear it. She also had some new baby kittens we wanted to check out…but the inside of her RV smelled so strongly of cat piss that we got the fuck out of there as quickly as possible. Don’t get me wrong; her rig was very clean and neat, but the kittens had to piss somewhere, so to that end she had a litter box, and it reeked. But her gongs were really cool. Incidentally, the friend I went to Deep Creek with in June gave me a cymbal, which I was thinking to make into a gong…but this woman said she’d never heard of anyone doing it. Idk, it seems pretty logical to me….anyone???
soaking at Trego Hot Springs
After the woman bathed us in gong waves, we bid her adieu and headed on up the road a bit to Trego Hot Springs. They’re nice enough; a muddy-bottomed sort of ditch with a nice temperature, right beside a railroad track. The railroad tracks got us wondering WHY, if Burning Man is so concerned with being “green,” they don’t ship all their shit up there via rail, instead of using all those carcinogen-belching trucks, vans and and rickety Diesel schoolbuses?? These days they’re trying to “reduce the carbon footprint” of Burning Man by issuing a strictly limited number of vehicle passes…but it’s all a fuckin’ farce. There is no way that event will EVER have a carbon footprint less than the size of Montana!!!
all alone on the playa where Burning Man is held
Since we were so close to the playa, we took a little walk across the tracks and down onto the actual lakebed itself, and went out onto the future site of Black Rock City. It was surreal, as the only other times I’ve been there I was surrounded by 40-, 50- or 60,000+ wailing, blathering hippies and douchebags, with pounding electronic music blocking out everything but the most inane conversations! This time, however, it was just my sister and I — party of two. On a side note, the playa seemed pretty spongy from all the rain that had just passed through (we saw thunderstorms the night before)…so I think it’s going to be a very dusty year!! Although there’s always some asshole hater who goes up early and says that, every year. Well…..congratulations to me. This year, *I* get to be that asshole!!!
After finishing our pre-Burning Man circle jerk, we finally headed down to Reno to wind up our trip with a relaxing night at the Ramada Inn, which I was able to get for a very reasonable $30 on Priceline. THAT’s what I’m talking about! We were able to shower and wash our hair and get presentable before heading to Tahoe the next day, for our grandma’s birthday party, so it was $30 well spent. I even had a little time to hang out at the pool, and read this amazing 1970s trashy novel I picked up at a little thrift store on the Idaho-Oregon border.
Reno is being overtaken by Burning Man hipsters
Now, ever since we’d first entered eastern Oregon, and on into Idaho and northern Nevada, we’d been in Basque country — for whatever reason, a shit ton of Basque people settled in the area when they fled Spain or France or wherever. We kept seeing signs for Basque this and Basque that, and we were really curious to try Basque cuisine. So, even though it was rated “$$” on Yelp (normally we only went to places rated “$” on Yelp, or just ate Frito Pie), we decided to try the Santa Fe hotel in downtown Reno. It was walking distance from the Ramada, and afterward, a photographer I was Facebook friends with had invited us out for drinks.
Well, Basque restaurants (or at least this one, anyway) are family-style — they seat you at a big table, with a bunch of other people, and you all pass plates around and eat the same prix-fixe menu (which here was $19 — not bad). As luck would have it, the hostess seated us at a table of florid-faced middle-aged horndogs who were well into their cups, and full of innuendo — I’m used to much worse, so it didn’t faze me, but my sister was really freaked out. I bantered back and forth with their dirty old man jokes all evening long as we passed around plates of Basque food, which come to find out is really weird, sort of bland, greasy meat- and carb-heavy stuff like beans, braised oxtails, porkchops, steak, spaghetti and bread. REALLY weird food, but it tasted good enough and I was starving — plus, you get to wash it down with unlimited Basque red wine, which was pretty good. Also, the head perv at our table bought us glasses of Picon Punch, a bitter sort of Basque cocktail that reminded me of my beloved Campari….so basically I would have eaten just about anything at that point.
Having coffee the next morning, along the Truckee River trail
Except Basque dick — which was what these pervs had in mind, I think. They kept inviting us back to their hotel, where their “social club” was having some sort of meeting — come to find out, they were all members of an offshoot of the Shriners called the Jesters, that were basically like the dirty little brothers of the Shriners; I Googled them after they left, and all kinds of freaky stories popped up! Anyway, that’s why they were out catting around; the main guy was Basque, and wanted to show his fellow clubmembers what his people’s cuisine was all about.
Whatever the case, they were essentially harmless…and shocker, the head guy ended up paying for our whole dinner. Score! We got the hell out of there before he could change his mind, and headed over to Midtown to meet up with this photographer who had invited us for drinks, and then sat around boozing with him and his girlfriend for a couple hours before calling it a night and dragging our exhausted asses all the way back across town to the Ramada. Note to self: it’s worth the extra $6 to get a hotel closer to downtown!!!
Anyway, the only other interesting thing that happened in Reno was the next morning, we were browsing around some souvenir shops and my sister spotted ANOTHER use of my infamous showgirl stock photo — this time, on a “Greetings From Nevada” card!!! My ass is basically being used to sell the state of Nevada — how awesome is that?! I always wanted to be the official ambASSador of Nevada, har har. I told the lady at the register it was me, but she still made me pay $3 for the card…so I could only afford to buy one Remember, I was never paid one red cent for posing for that photo! I thought I’d be smart, go home and order them online for cheaper…but I couldn’t find them anywhere!!! They were made by Leanin’ Tree, so if you happen to be out and about and see any for cheap…buy me a few, would ya?! I gave my only copy to my mom
hiking at Lake Tahoe
Well, now our trip was winding down. We headed over the pass to Lake Tahoe, where we met up with my paternal grandmother, and almost all my aunts, uncles and cousins from that side of the family as well — my grandma was so happy, it was awesome. She had rented a bunch of cabins for everyone to sleep in, so we stayed for a couple of days and had a nice, relaxing time just hanging out on the beach and hiking in the mountains. I just love it up there in the summer — SO freaking beautiful!! Every once in a while my grandma or someone would say something about Facebook, and I’d cringe — I mean, I post some truly awful stuff on there, and I forget that both my poor grandmothers are my Facebook friends, and possibly see this shit. Hopefully, they have both blocked me from their feed….I can only hope :-/
From Tahoe, we finished our trip by circling back down to where we’d started — the redwood forests around the Russian River, where my mom and sister live. My mom was feeling left out of all our fun, so we all three went camping one more night, up on the coast near Gualala — this super cool little hippie beach town with some really nice hiking trails. We gave our mom a glimpse into our camping lifestyle, even making her Frito Pie (which she was horrified by; she eats pretty healthy), and all in all it was a very nice evening, and a nice way to end the trip.
Kayaking topless on the Russian River, the day before I left
Now after all this, I was supposed to come back to Vegas for a day or two, and then leave for the big Sturgis bike rally with my friend Blondie, with whom I hustled at the rallies in Reno, and at Sturgis two years ago. Despite really trying, we hadn’t been able to find legitimate jobs out there — the manager of the Knuckle Saloon, where we worked in 2013, wouldn’t hire us back; he said he preferred to hire local girls, but I heard thru the grapevine that really, one of the bartenders hadn’t gotten along with Blondie, who can be kind of a bitch sometimes…so she probably told him not to hire us back.
In any event, job or no job we still planned to go, and just hustle for tips posing for photos, like we did in Reno. We even had a free place to stay — camping on the front lawn of one of the cooks from the Knuckle Saloon (there are so few hotel rooms up there, lots of people camp out…it’s not as weird as it sounds). The only question was figuring out how to get there — if we flew into Rapid City, we wouldn’t be able to bring much camp gear with us, and we wouldn’t have any way of getting to Sturgis, so we’d have to rent a car. It seemed smarter (and cheaper) to me to just drive there — we could rent a car, stash all our camp gear, and haul ass straight thru from Vegas. I would have even offered to drive my truck, but the brakes were fucked up and I didn’t have time to get them fixed before we left.
At Sturgis in 2013
Well, Blondie and I texted back and forth for a few weeks…and then the night before I left to come back to Vegas, she said she’d met a guy who would give her a ride out — but he was leaving at 3am that night. I told her I’d call her to discuss — I would have probably hauled ass back to Vegas in time to meet up with them and go along…but she never answered. That bitch just stone cold blew me off!!!! I texted her a few times after that, and she never answered once!
Ooooh, I’ve never been so pissed off at someone in my life — I mean, that’s cold blooded! My feelings were hurt, too — I mean, I thought we were friends, considering all the bullshit I went through with her at that ill-fated Reno rally in June and everything. But now that I think about it, I guess I always knew what she was — she was honestly pretty racy for even my comfort levels, flirting with and leading on a string of bikers whose numbers she collected, but never had any intention of seriously dating; I genuinely feel sorry for some of the saps! What it boils down to is, Blondie is a true opportunist. If you have something she wants, she’ll be your friend…otherwise, forget it.
Me and Muffin Top, in happier days
But incidentally, I do have a lot of incriminating dirt on Blondie, which if I was a woman of lesser scruples I would put on blast all over the internet. For one thing, she secretly works as a nude and fetish model, same as me….she just doesn’t want anyone to know, so she keeps it secret (incidentally, the guy she went to Sturgis with is someone she met at a foot fetish party, who regularly pays to suck her toes). The videos and photos she’s posed for are out there on various websites, and I could easily share them on social media…but I won’t, because why bother? She’s a dumbass, and I’m done with her. Realistically, I guess I’m done with hustling bikers anyway….I mean, after that disaster in Virginia City, how could I keep on without it being pathetic? The answer: I could not!
Back in the desert
So…..having been dumped by Blondie, my vacation over, my brakes all wonky and my spirits low, I headed back down to Vegas. I came home to a broken garage door and a busted modem, and when I went to get my oil changed it was almost $500 because of all the driving I’ve been doing — I needed a new battery, and all my fluids needed flushing. So I shelled out a shit-ton of money for all that, but now that I’m not working Sturgis, times are tight. I managed to book a few gigs later in the month, before Burning Man…but until then, I’m on a strict budget.
Thankfully, my friend Dr. Kildare sprang to the rescue, and invited to meet him in Colorado for a few days of camping out in the desert east of the Rockies. Apparently there are some hot springs out there, and even better than that…..there is LEGAL MARIJUANA!!!!!!! I fly out in the morning…..and I can’t wait to get baked out of my gourd.
So, my summer vacation may be mostly over….but I have a few tricks up my sleeve before the party ends: after Colorado there’s Burning Man, and then after that I was invited to take part in an all-female art show at the Life Is Beautiful festival, with my Electric Vagina. I’ll be busy enough to distract myself from my innate melancholia, and I’ll be just fiiiiiine……
A couple months ago, a quasi-photographer acquaintance invited me down to St. Kitts, all expenses paid, to keep him company while he decompressed from the shitty year he’s been having — an arrest, business upheaval, a divorce. He needed to be around someone fun, he said…so he thought of me.
Now, I’m no idiot…but I’ve been on many trips with many random dudes, and I know from experience that they’re not all trying to get in your pants — some guys sincerely just want company. But I had a feeling the recent divorce might make this particular guy a little frisky, and I’m not attracted to him that way…so I polled my 4,000 Facebook friends to see what they thought.
The consensus was pretty much DON’T GO, HE JUST WANTS PUSSY! Basically, people seemed to doubt that my company could be enjoyable enough without my also putting out…so I took their advice, and turned down the trip. But I’ve been thinking about it ever since…and actually, I have my doubts.
My ass *does* come in handy…but there’s more to me, I tells ya
As mentioned, I’ve been on many trips with many random dudes — sometimes a reader of this blog will invite me somewhere, as when I went to Saline Valley with Dr. Kildare, or to that Jimmy Buffett show with my Florida friend. Sometimes it’s people I know from real life, like when Dr. Who invited me out to his palatial estate in Hawaii, or the many trips I’ve taken with my friend J.R. I seriously doubt any of these guys thought I was exceptionally loose (or a prostitute) — I sincerely think they just enjoyed my personality and sparkling wit, and wanted to spend time with me. Shocking, I know!
Either way, believe it or not…my vagina, mouth and anus are hardly my most sought-after orifices. That honor belongs to my ear canals — a little known fact is that I am a great listener, who will give you my undivided attention with both eyes on your face and both ears and my brain actively engaged in what you are saying. I ask the occasional question here and there to get you started and let you know I’m paying attention (like when I’m playing Terry Gross, as with those bikers in Reno)…but for the most part, I’m really good at just letting others talk. And in my experience, having someone listen to you is even more valuable than having someone suck your dick. Why do you think therapists are paid as much as or more than many hookers?
From that shoot I did when I got back from Reno the other week…by Kenji K
An interesting example of this was a couple months ago, when I booked a shoot with an older photographer with whom I’d shot here and there over the past few years — a super nice man with whom I’d hit it off right from the start. He’s been having a rough time lately — his wife of 50 years just died of cancer, and his own health has been giving him problems. I’d been emailing him every now and then to check on him, but we hadn’t actually seen each other in a couple years. But now, he was finally feeling up to a shoot, so he traveled out to Vegas and booked me for a morning.
The night before, he invited me to dinner at the steakhouse at the hotel where he was staying, so of course I accepted, and met him over there around 7pm. He looked well, but was having a hard time with the relatively high altitude of Vegas, so he had to carry a portable oxygen concentrator with him and closely monitor his blood oxygen level…which you could tell really embarrassed him. Because of his breathing difficulties (he was wheezing pretty badly), he expressed doubt in his ability to go through with the shoot the following morning, and offered to just pay me a cancellation fee. Not wanting to be a downer, I offered to come by in the morning either way, ready to shoot…and if he wasn’t up to it, we could just have coffee and chat, instead.
Anyway, we enjoyed a fantastic steak dinner and a long, rambling conversation. It started out with him asking me about my latest adventures — he said he wanted to hear about everything I’d been up to lately. But after a 5-minute update, the conversation swung around to him and his life experiences…and he spent the next four hours telling me everything about his experiences growing up in upstate New York, going to college, meeting his beautiful and intelligent wife (who was one of the first female programmers for IBM), and then becoming a Navy officer and shipping out to Vietnam. It was fascinating! In the Navy, they were based on a ship in the Mekong River, where their drinking water supply was river water — filtered to an extent, but so full of Agent Orange runoff and silt that they had to mix it with Kool-Aid to even choke it down. No wonder this guy’s health was so bad!!!
Random filler shot by Tony Oz
After the war, he returned to California and bought a yacht with his beloved wife, and they spent all their free time sailing up and down the coast — they never had kids, so they had plenty of free time and money, and things were just wonderful until his wife went through menopause and lost interest in sex, at which time he found an Asian mistress who he’s supported for the last 15 years, with his wife’s implicit consent (“as long as you don’t embarrass me, or bring anything home”). Now that his wife passed away, he was free to invite his mistress out to Vegas with him, and in fact she was due to arrive by bus right after our shoot — some kind of gamblers’ express that runs from Chinatown in L.A. to Chinatown in Vegas every day, twice a day, for $35 roundtrip (I guess she doesn’t like to fly).
Anyway, I listened to his life story until late into the evening, and around 11pm I was starting to get kinda apprehensive, because if I was to be ready for a photo shoot at 9am, I needed to get home and get my beauty sleep! But I didn’t want to be rude, so it was around midnight by the time I finally got home to bed.
Earlier this week………
That would have been fine, except I was awoken around 1am with the most horrendous menstrual cramps — every once in awhile I get really bad cramps, like the ones that landed me in the emergency room in Tahoe with an ultrasound wand up my twat; the pain is ridiculous, as I imagine childbirth must feel, only instead of having a baby I just end up writhing around voiding foul substances from multiple orifices for about an hour, before the pain finally subsides and I am left sweating and exhausted, like a limp rag that has been violently wrung out. Sorry if that grosses you out, but that’s my life! (I just hope it doesn’t happen to me at Burning Man — going through all that in a Port-a-Potty would be a fucking nightmare!!!)
Anyway, by the time I finally crawled back into my bed it was around 2am, and I was completely exhausted — but I still got up at 7 and got ready for my possible photo shoot. Even though I was pretty sure the poor guy wasn’t going to be up to it (he could hardly even walk across the restaurant the night before, without running short of breath), I still brought my A-game and showed up at his room at 9am, bright and fresh and ready to shoot. Because I’m a pro!!
At the beauty tradeshow in Vegas
Of course, he ended up not feeling up to shooting, so instead I just sat in his room with him and listened to more of his stories for another 3 hours or so; now he wanted to know if I knew of any escorts who might be willing to have a three-way with his mistress and him at some point — obviously not in Vegas, since he could hardly breathe there as it was, but possibly in L.A. at some point. That’s men for ya — they can hardly fuckin’ breathe, but they’re planning ménages à trois! I guess it was a lifelong fantasy of his that he wanted to fulfill before it was too late…so I told him I would discreetly ask around. (He did not ask if I was interested; he knows me better than that.)
More from the desert with Dead Clown Studios
Anyway, at the end of it all, as his mistress’s bus was just pulling into town, he generously wrote me a check as a cancellation fee, which I stuffed into my bra and headed home before finally looking at it: $1,000!! Holy shit!!! I mean, our photo shoot was supposed to have been around 3-4 hours, for which I usually charge about $300. But we didn’t even shoot!! I just sat there listening to him for around 7 hours total…which comes out to around $142/hour. (Plus I got a free steak dinner…although I ended up puking it all up during my episode anyway )
To be fair, he may have intended to write me that check all along — whether I had sat there listening to him, or not. But I’ll bet he really enjoyed having an ear to bend — as we all do; why do you think I write this fuckin’ blog?!? The fact is, I don’t have someone in my day-to-day life who will sit there and really listen to me — people I talk to are either too busy thinking up ways to get into my pants to really pay attention to what I’m saying, or they’re too busy telling me their problems to listen to my first-world white girl nonsense. So, I let it alllllllll out online — kinda like my menstrual episodes. Basically, this blog is just one more orifice from which to void foul substances.
J.R. and I in Nashville
Anyway, over the years, no one has filled my ears more than my long-time friend J.R., mentioned above. I haven’t written about J.R. lately, so here’s a quick recap: I befriended this lonely Tennessee oilman several years ago when I worked at Caesars Palace, bonding with him over our love of music, smoking weed, and looking at old photos (mostly me looking at his old photos). When I met him, J.R. was going through a divorce, in the process of which his wealth shrunk considerably…which still bothers him more than it should, as he leads a fantastic lifestyle that many would envy. But anyway, we’ve been friends for years now, and as mentioned I’ve gone on many a trip with him — a Caribbean cruise, a few visits to his place in Florida, Nashville, NYC — and all we really do is sit around getting high and drinking wine while he tells me his life story and all his current problems. Let me tell you, I have learned a lot about the oil industry, NASCAR and smalltown Midwestern life in the 1970s!!!
Anyhow, I hadn’t seen J.R. in a while, but a few weeks ago he invited me to come out to his place in Nashville — he had tickets to the big Rolling Stones concert out there, to which he very generously invited both me and my sister. He had never met my sister before, but I had told her so much about him and vice-versa, that I was sure they would get along famously.
My sis, on her cross-country quest
So I flew out to Nashville and arranged to rendez-vous with my sister, who happened to be on a cross-country solo roadtrip at the time. As you may recall, my sis quit her highly-paid-but-loathsome corporate job over a year ago, and has been on a spirit quest ever since — for the last couple of months she’s been driving around the southern USA, sleeping in her car at rest stops and Wal-Mart parking lots, eating beans out of a can and taking in every affordable tourist attraction she can. Trust me — I am so fucking jealous of her adventures, and almost thought of joining her on the whole trip…but I felt I needed to work instead, and make some money for the summer; plus, I think it was good for her to do it on her own. Now she’s even ballsier and badder-ass than ever!!!
So my sis met up with J.R. and I in Nashville, and as expected the three of us got along like a house on fire! We got along so well, in fact, that what was supposed to have been a nice, relaxing vacation week in Tennessee turned out to be a relentless, grueling marathon of pot-smoking, boozing and non-stop honky-tonkin’ — J.R. is very health-conscious and totally fit, but holy son of a bitch can that guy drink!!! Thankfully, he also likes to sleep in late….so most of my time in Nashville was spent high, drunk or asleep — although I did manage to squeeze in a couple of 5-mile runs. Also thankfully, J.R. doesn’t really eat very much food….so at least I didn’t gain any weight while I was out there; we picked up a sack of 20 White Castle sliders one night on our way home from honky-tonkin’, and that bag o’ burgers basically fed my sister and I the entire week.
I told you I was honky-tonkin’
Anyway, we all had a great time, and even the Rolling Stones concert turned out to be amazing. I’ve never been a huge fan, but they’re legends, and not getting any younger, so I figured I’d better go see what all the fuss is about while I still could. Now I know!!! Mick Jagger in particular was such an energetic, charismatic performer that I could almost understand what all those 5,000 women he’s slept with saw in him — even though he’s 70 years old, he’s still an amazing showman! It didn’t hurt that J.R. had gotten us pretty good seats, in the 17th row, so we had a great view. The only downside was, it was hot and humid as fuck, and we hadn’t brought our vaporizer, so we were basically sober the entire show. Still, it was fantastic!
After the show, we all went back to J.R.’s house, feasted on the last of the White Castle sliders, and passed out cold….and then the next day, I flew back to Vegas and my sis continued on her roadtrip, heading back west toward California, where we were set to rendezvous again for a 4th of July family get-together at my mom’s beautiful cabin in the redwoods — to which we invited J.R. to come visit sometime, since he has expressed interest in meeting my mom, too. He said he might come out next summer, when the NASCAR circuit comes to the Sonoma raceway — so we’ll see! I bet they would get along great — we could all get high and then sit back and listen to the two of them reminisce about the 70s
Having a bloody Mary at the Crowbar in Shoshone, near Death Valley
Anyway, back in Vegas I only had a few gigs to hustle through before I was able to leave for my own summer adventure tour — I fake-pissed on some asshole at a pool party, worked my annual gig at the beauty tradeshow, and shot some more amazing photos out at Death Valley with the guy I’ve been working on that top-secret super-amazing project with. Now that it’s summer, the desert is pleasantly balmy at night (which is when we shoot), so I don’t freeze my ass off standing around naked for long exposures like I did at our shoots earlier in the year. The only bummer this time was, another photographer I know had recently told me about being bitten by a sidewinder out there once, so I was a little freaked out about standing around barefoot in the pitch black desert — especially when the photographer I was shooting with this time casually mentioned that he had just seen a scorpion for the first time ever, while he was setting up, right there where we were shooting!!! Thanks a lot for telling me!!!! I almost shit myself later that night when I saw something ginormous creeping slowly along the desert floor — it turned out to be nothing more than a 6-inch praying mantis, but still!!!!!!!
idk, I thought I could pull it off…as in this photo by GW
After Death Valley, I only had one more gig before I could take off — there was a romance novel convention in town (!!!), and they were auditioning models to pose for the cheesy cover paintings they put on them — you know, Fabio the Pirate/Viking/Cowboy ravishing some pale-skinned wench with tumbling locks of hair? I don’t have a heaving bosom, but I do have fabulous hair and smooth, tattoo-free skin…so I figured I’d at least go in and try my luck before leaving town. The audition was at 10am on Saturday, so I figured I’d pack up my truck and just hit the convention on my way out of town; if I ended up getting cast, I’d head back to Vegas for the shoot…otherwise, I’d just continue on my way.
at the romance novel convention
Holy hell, that audition was so interesting!!!!! First of all, the guy running it is probably the most successful romance-novel-cover model of all time; Fabio was on something like 700 covers, but this guy has been on over 7,000!! Mind you, many (most) of these books are horrible, digital-only tripe that never even gets actually printed, about weird stuff like shape-shifting gay bears (I’m serious)…but still! This model guy figured out a way to make a living off this niche industry, and I’m all for it. He basically hires female models to pose with him for a series of generic, romance-novel type shots, which he then features on a sort of romance-novel stock-cover database, where authors can choose the photo that best suits their book. Fascinating!!!
Dolled up at Deep Creek
So I got all dolled up and hit the audition, took a few amazing photos of the convention itself, and then hauled ass out of town to begin my fabulous summer adventures. My first stop was Deep Creek hot springs — there’s no cell reception there, so I had to hike way up a hill Saturday evening to get a signal, so I could check my messages and find out if I’d gotten the audition, and would have to head back to Vegas before continuing on.
Drunk and naked on a mountaintop near Deep Creek
Alas, as it happened, the male model running the audition did not find my look marketable enough for his needs, and I did not get called back to town. By the time I found out, though, I was already naked, sunkissed and half drunk, standing on top of a mountain in the middle of the desert…so I wasn’t really too upset about it. And BESIDES — unbeknownst to me, my photo was already on the cover of a romance novel, all along!!!
That’s right, the stock photo strikes again — you may recall that a couple years ago, I made a showgirl costume and posed for a trade shoot with a local photographer who is known to sell his stuff to stock photo sites. Since I had spent $300 making the costume, and he wasn’t even paying me a nominal fee for the shoot, I assumed he wouldn’t take advantage of our friendship and signed a release without really reading it. But to this day, those fucking photos show up everywhere — on banners at the Vegas Convention Center, on a casino in London, on iPhone apps, TV game shows, in magazines…and now, on the cover of a horrible romance novel!!! LOL, check it out:
LMFAO!! Oh well, fuckit…at least I ended up on the cover of a romance novel, one way or the other. The only thing I’m curious about now is the other stock photo model on the cover with me — anyone recognize this guy?!? Maybe it was meant to be: “Two stock photo models end up on the cover of a horrible romance novel; love and laffs ensue!”
Horsin’ around at Deep Creek!
Anyway, as mentioned I didn’t waste much time over the whole kerfluffle — I was already ass-deep in my summer adventure tour at Deep Creek, where I had arranged to meet up with a reader of this blog for a couple days of drugs, booze and R&R. Now I know what you’re thinking — I did the same exact thing last summer, with disastrous consequences, so you’re probably thinking I’m a total idiot. But I assure you, this time it was totally awesome — I learned my lesson last year, and was careful to keep the party polite; it also helped that the guy I met up with was much classier. He brought along a horsehead mask for me pose in, and left me with a grab bag of parting gifts including a fur hat, a yard of cowhide and a cymbal. Great guy!!
Partyin’ with the kids at Deep Creek…note that I’m the only nudist :/
Aside from shooting nudies in the horsehead mask, we set up camp on the beach down by the hot springs, and spent the evening drinking wine and hanging out in the pools with a bunch of barely-legal drunken idiots — it was a weekend, and the weekend crowds out there tend to skew young and fratty…but my friend was unable to meet up on a weekday, so I had no choice. And anyway, it turned out OK — we all got drunk, smoked some weed, sang some songs and ate some cookies. Good, clean wholesome fun — until the sun came up the next morning, and I saw that the bottle of wine that had been passed around the night before was actually a mostly-empty bottle of Fireball whiskey filled with rosé! *SHUDDER!!!* Fireball is gross, but if there’s one thing I can’t stand, it’s pink fucking wine!!!
playing with my glowy balls at Deep Creek
Sitting there that morning looking around at the piles of beer cans and other gross detritus left strewn about, I was honestly feeling a little Deep-Creeked out; its natural beauty can’t be beat, and it’s still one of my favorite hot springs ever…but I was starting to feel like I’d seen enough of it for a few years, and needed to take a break. Still, I was already there, so I figured I might as well make the most of it and hang out til sundown, at which time my friend and I could hike out without sweating to death (the hike back up to the parking area is really steep and long, almost 2 miles). So I went ahead and cracked open my last rum & coke, and headed down to soak in the coolest pool, the one that’s half in the creek. It was pretty hot out, but overcast and weirdly gloomy, so the temperature in that pool was just right.
Rain falling at Deep Creek
I was just laying back on some sandbags for a a nice midmorning snooze, when — BOOM!! This huge, gnarly desert summer thunderstorm rolled in over the mountains from Lake Arrowhead — and transformed the whole experience! I’d been to and appreciated the beauty of Deep Creek in the spring, summer, fall and winter…but I’d never seen it like this. It was amazing!!!!
Soaking in the rain…
Now, they say to be safe in a thunderstorm, you’re supposed to avoid trees and water — well, down at the creek there’s really nothing but trees and water!! So I fretted over that for a little while, and then I bellyached over my soggy camping gear for awhile…and then I finally snapped out of it and realized I might as well just be in the fuckin’ moment for once and enjoy this bizarre occurrence! Hell, I might as well make like Woodstock, and wallow in the moment…like a pig in shit!! So I stashed my soggy gear under a tree, and hiked my wet, chilly ass up to one of the hotter pools, to sit out the storm in the company of the rest of the rain-drenched fools stuck down there.
OMG, it turned out to be super fun — we all sat in the steaming Anniversary pool, with rain falling all around us, and it was a weird, misty kind of magic. We passed around a bag of grapes, and drank and smoked and counted the seconds between thunder claps and lightning bolts, until finally the storm passed, leaving everything absolutely still, with sparkling drops of rain glittering on every leaf and every blade of grass. Magical, for sure!
After taking a million photos and making a video, I climbed up on a ledge to take a nap while my gear dried off, then woke up and made a cup of instant coffee with the super-hot water that shoots out of a copper pipe at the hot springs source before bidding my fond adieus to the collection of hardcore kooks who’d ridden out the storm and packing all my shit up that ass-kicker of a trail back up to the parking lot. Whew!!
After all that, I was much too exhausted to drive the rest of the 7+ hours up to my mom’s house, so I stopped for the night in Bakersfield and got a room at a cheap motel. I was kinda sour about shelling out cheese for the room, but right after I booked it, I checked my email and saw that a generous reader of this blog had just donated $100 to my tip jar — so it all worked out.
But, talk about a switcheroo — this poor guy reads all the shit I bitch about, and pays me for the privilege! Hmmm…maybe I’m going about this all wrong. Instead of honing my listening skills like a wannabe Terry Gross, I guess I should be working on my qvetching skills…so that more people will pay me for my bitchery, á la David Sedaris!! Could it be that my ears aren’t my most valuable orifices, after all? Maybe my mouth is…
This morning I found myself in the unenviable and undeniably bizarre position of squatting over my toilet with a pair of super-sharp hair scissors, snipping perilously close to the delicate flesh of my anus. Why the fuck was I trimming my ass hair, you ask??
I asked myself that same question.
photo credit: C.J.
As an art nude model, I understand and accept the responsibility I’ve assumed to maintain a neat, slim, fit, conventionally attractive appearance. I lift weights, I run, I tan, I diet, I shave, I trim, I moisturize, I hydrate, I cleanse, I floss, I file, I spend 45 minutes prior to a shoot making up my face, and I spend a great deal of time and money caring for and styling my hair.
Apparently, this isn’t enough!
It seems that these days, the definition of “conventionally attractive” has become invasive to the point where it’s no longer enough to trim your bush and shave your bikini line down to a modest landing strip. These days, apparently, photographers want you to shave everything — including your asshole!
Now, keep in mind — I market myself as an art nude model. Not an adult model, not a webcam model, not a porn actress. My bio on Model Mayhem clearly states the types of content I am comfortable with and willing to shoot:
photo credit: L. Hoth
[My] rates are for art and glamour nudes…NOT erotica. To be clinical, I will shoot anything except for masturbation, implied masturbation, spread-eagle shots and insertion of objects into my ass/twat.
Basically, you can photograph my labia majora all day long…and if you REALLY want to photograph my labia minora and other innards, be advised that my rate for clinical, up-close spread vag shots is $700/hour. So go ahead; bust out your most powerful telephoto lens, jeweler’s loupe, what-the-fuck-EVER, and blast away! I’ve been told I do have a very shapely vagina For $700 you too could have 60 wondrous minutes of staring at/photographing it, and I *WILL* donate $100 of that to Planned Parenthood.
(No photographer has ever, as of yet, taken me up on the Vagina Challenge, preferring instead to cajole and dissemble (“Don’t worry, the way your leg is angled it’s all hidden in shadow.” Yeah, right!)
a modest bush photo credit: Cam Attree
Partly to cockblock such dissemblance, my practice is to rock a modest bush — that way, even if a photographer tries to pull one over on me, at least my anus and vagina are somewhat camouflaged. And though most of the photographers I shoot with are respectful of my comfort levels, I still prefer to maintain a bush for reasons of physical comfort and personal aesthetics.
Of course I understand that aesthetics vary, and I’m sure my bush costs me shoots here and there…but guess what? If a photographer insists on it, I am totally willing to shave my pubis, groin and labia! Though I do feel naked and weird when bald, it’s not that big a deal, and I am happy to oblige.
But I draw the line at my taint!!!
Because of my limitations, I see no need to shave any further south than my labia majora. I don’t pose for spread-leg shots anyway, so why should I shave my perineum and anus? If a photographer has read my bio and is truly respecting my comfort levels, any hair that grows below my labia won’t be showing in any of the photos, anyways.
I mean, shit — I’m already naked!! Is there noinch of my body I can keep as my own — not even myasshole?!?!?!?!
photo credit: Photoman027, Diverxity.com
Apparently not. In the last couple of months I’ve had two or three photographers raise the issue of my ass hair. Having just this morning caved to pressure and trimmed it, I can tell you with 100% certainty that said hairs were only .5″ long at most. Had my posing comfort levels been honored, they shouldn’t have even been visible!! Have you seen my ass?!! 1/2 inch of anything should not protrude beyond the curve of my buttocks…unless someone was shooting me from an unflattering and unexpected angle.
In any event, I understand the evolutionary biology behind all of this: a bald pussy is a young pussy. Men want to be sure their potential mate is prepubescent and thus unlikely to have been sullied by other dicks. Some guys also profess this preference for better visibility, or for less interference during cunnilingus.
Or, apparently, anilingus.
But I’m not in the business of anilingus, cunnilingus or for that matter any-fucking-lingus — I’m just trying to be an art model!!
photo credit: Shutterbug Studio
Has society become so sexually jaded that a traditional, beautiful, tasteful art nude is no longer a turn on?
Is a subtle glimpse of bush (or shaven pubis) no longer enough?
photo credit: Taylor Maxwell
What happened to less is more?!
Does it really take a fully shaven, tweezed, plucked and bleached expanse from navel to anus to turn guys on these days?
The temperatures in Vegas are creeping into the triple digits, so that means it’s time to get the hell out of Dodge and see some more of this amazing country. It’s time to bake in the sun in the company of cantankerous old hippies at Red Rock nude beach in Marin County…to make camp stove coffee on the tailgate of my truck, overlooking the Pacific Ocean from a foggy Lost Coast bluff…to smoke weed with bearded van-dwelling strangers while soaking naked in the secluded old-growth forest hot spring pools of Oregon. In short — it’s time to live!!!
These adventures and more await me on my 2015 Summer Adventure Tour, tentatively outlined above. After wending my way up the coast through Northern California and across Oregon, I plan to explore the hot springs of southwest Idaho, earn gas money by posing for a photo shoot or two, and then make my way back down through northern Nevada to take care of unfinished business from my February trip, which was cut short due to cold weather. There are still a ton of fabulous hot springs, ghost towns and assorted other attractions up there that I need to check out!
To do all this, I need money — money to pay for trip expenses, but also to cover my nut for all that time I’ll be taking off from hustling. With that in mind, I’ve really been busting my hump lately, socking away cash like a Fundie mom stockpiling cans of powdered chipped beef for the apocalypse.
Last fall in Reno
My hump-busting was thrown for a loop, however, when my friend Blondie proposed a trip up to Reno, to hustle for tips at a biker rally like we did last October. I had about $750 worth of gigs lined up that weekend in Vegas, but Blondie wheedled/cajoled/coerced me into gambling on the uncertainty of Reno instead — though it wasn’t a sure thing, there was the distinct possibility that I would make more than $750, plus have a lot of fun in the process. Last October I made a similar gamble and it paid off handsomely — we really cleaned up at the fall Street Vibrations rally, and afterward I concluded that sometimes a bird in the hand is not worth two in the bush. So to speak.
So I decided to let ‘er ride, and once again rolled the dice on Reno. But this time…I totally crapped out!
This was the spring Street Vibrations rally — they used to only do it in the fall, but decided to try a spring rally as well, since the weather is so nice this time of year…usually. I guess Blondie heard about it from some of her biker fanboys, one or two of whom were exhorting her to come up for it, so she in turn convinced me to cancel all my Vegas gigs and go with her.
I should have known the whole trip would be a bust right from the start; as we rolled thru Goldfield, we stopped to say hi to this nutty Evangelical Christian gold miner/perv who had given my sister and me Chick tracts last February, and while bullshitting with him at his tourist trap jewelry stand, another old perv in a Lynyrd Skynyrd t-shirt showed up and started hitting on us, telling us how he’d just come from “the cathouse near Area 51.” Upon closer inspection he appeared to have a dingleberry in his mustache, so either the whores up there have exceptionally poor hygiene, or the dirty motherfucker was lying and had really been eating trucker ass at a Flying J. Either way, we took a couple more Chick tracts and got the fuck out of there.
the town was deserted
Anyway, we rolled into Reno Wednesday night to find a completely deserted, freezing-cold ghost town, with nothing but drizzling rain and a few stray methheads awaiting us on Virginia Street. Supposedly the rally went from Thursday-Sunday, but Blondie had talked me into going up a day early, on Wednesday, so that we would be relaxed, refreshed and ready to hustle once the bikers started rolling in — one of her photographer friends had gotten us a free hotel room right on Virginia Street (the main drag), so we could spend the extra day laying at the pool or something, working on our tans. HA!!!
Not only was the weather shitty and rainy, but someone had given us faulty intel — the rally didn’t even start til Friday, and attendance was expected to be a fraction of the fall numbers. I turned down $750 worth of work for this?!? I had even tried to hedge our bets by applying for a $27/hour promo modeling gig in Reno, but Blondie wouldn’t let me — she insisted we’d make more money just hustling. So now I was pretty pissed.
But since we were already there, we decided to make the most of it, and spent Thursday sleeping in and working out at the hotel gym. One of Blondie’s biker fanboys showed up that evening with a buddy in tow, and the four of us ended up spending the evening together like we were on some fucked-up super-awkward double date straight out of Grease (trust me, I’m certainly no Sandra Dee…but compared to the guy they stuck me with, I’m Pat fucking Nixon!!!!!!).
Aw gee, we’re like the Archies!
The evening dragged on from one bar to another as the one guy, we’ll call him Justin, mooned over Blondie like a lovesick puppy. Meanwhile, he had overindulged to the point of vomiting all over the bathtub the night before, so he was hungover and subdued and not the most exciting company…but still resolute in his efforts to work his way into Blondie’s pants and/or heart. Rather than just sit there and watch that shitshow, I turned my attention to the other guy, who we’ll call JJ…who was actually pretty cute, in a vo-tech-dropout kind of way.
Sometimes when I’m bored, I entertain myself by playing Terry Gross, probing the psyche and personal backstory of whatever unlucky sap happens to be with me. In this case, I had plenty to work with: “What makes your sister a whore?” “Why don’t you visit your son more often?” “Why don’t you talk to your dad?”
Poor JJ went along with it (“Well, ever since I ran his patrol car into a ditch…”), but mostly as a diversionary tactic to distract me from his own sly probing — into my pants!! I had on those cheesy stripper chaps I always wear to biker rallies, and before I knew it his callused palm had wormed its way onto the bare part of my inner thigh: “I kin feel yer puss!”
Biker double date
“I said yer pulse!”
His oddly endearing leering continued, even after I shifted my position so that he had to remove his hand, which he now measured up against mine — which was, of course, much daintier. “Is all of ya that little???!”
“Yeah…especially my tits. This is alllllll padding.” I poked my triple-padded bra for effect…but what I really should have said was, “All of me except for my pussy! That’s shit’s baggy as fuck!!!” I really enjoyed cockblocking this poor motherfucker, especially when I asked to see a picture of his son and he had to scroll through about 500 ultrasound photos ofdifferentbabies to find it on his phone. Come to find out, the disingenuous rascal actually had eight kids by two different women…non-sequentially!!!!! And he was only 29!!!
Oy, vey. I certainly didn’t travel 500 miles to be groped by leather-clad Neanderthals (well OK, I did, but only if they were putting money in my ass crack), and I wasn’t making any money sitting there with Chester the Molester. At least Blondie was able to broker a deal with the manager of the bar whereby we got free unlimited Bahama Mamas in exchange for a few of the shitty, dried-out old cigars she was trying to hawk…so at least I got a nice sugary buzz on for free. And then it turned out to be bar trivia night — with the grand prize being a $40 dinner voucher!
with Forrest, the adorably wholesome bar trivia host
“If I’m not making any money tonight, at least we have to win bar trivia!” I insisted, strong-arming the rest of my posse into joining me, ill-advisedly letting JJ pick our team name — Your Mama (um…which one?). This wholesome cruise-director-type Mormon kid named Forrest was running the trivia night, and he eyed the four of us skeptically: two idiot ho-bags with their asses hanging out and two leather-bound troglodytes halfway up their birth canals — let’s just say we weren’t likely to be mistaken for the Cal Tech physics department.
But you know what they say — you can’t judge a biker by his colors! JJ, it must be admitted, mostly sat there drinking beer and plotting new ways to grope me, but Justin turned out to be a real fount of useless information — and, come to find out, a genuinely cool, super smart, well-spoken guy! Once his hangover wore off and he was able to utter polysyllabic words, I came to really like him, and saw him in a totally new light. D’oh!!! I can be a real Judgey Jane sometimes. Even Blondie came through on a couple of the questions — it was a real team effort.
And guess what? Team Your Mama emerged victorious, beating the towering intellects of a roomful of drunken Reno tourists (there I go again) and walking away with a big, fat $40 gift certificate which we promptly took to the coffee shop for a celebratory feast. All in all, what started as a miserably awkward night turned out to be a lot of good, clean(ish) fun — pub quiz with bikers! Who knew?!
Anyhoo, the next day was Friday — time to get our hustle on. This rally might not be all we expected, but we were hell-bent and determined to squeeze every dollar we could out of the few assholes that were there!!! The weather had cleared up, and for a minute I thought things were really going to turn around — I ran five miles along the picturesque Truckee River trail in the morning, and just like last summer I was taken aback with how nice Reno is. It gets a bum rap, but I’m here to tell you that it’s a pretty cool city. There were all kinds of hipsters out and about on the trail, walking dogs and riding bikes, playing with pitbull rescues and practicing slack rope on the grass; it was a pretty cool scene. So after showering and suiting up in our chaps and whatnot, Blondie and I took our newfound optimism down to Virginia Street, to finally start raking it in.
Alas…..the best-laid plans of underdressed idiots are often fucked up, in this case by the management of the Street Vibrations rally; last time we had somehow been allowed to fly under the radar and “give away” cigars and stuff for “donations” (i.e. basically sell them without a permit or license) off this tray Blondie carried around with her…but this time, management put the kibosh on our operation right away. Oh, well — we still had our chaps, riding crops and asscracks; we’d just work the whips-for-tips angle.
one dollar at a time
But it was sloooooow going, let me tell you. Attendance was poor, the crowd was cheap, and we really had to degrade ourselves just to make a few bucks — it was straight-up pathetic. I was really questioning my life decisions, ya know? I mean, it’s one thing when generous bikers are stuffing 20s in your ass….but another when you’re having to wheedle dollars from dumbasses.
With New York
We soldiered on through the afternoon, but it got so bad that we ended up taking an extended break at the Circus Circus sports book, where we befriended an alcoholic street hustler named New York who had a bunch of drink vouchers he was more than happy to share with us. But wait, there’s more! As we sat there drowning our misery, this old perv we’d chatted with earlier came up and sat down beside us: “So…how much does company go for in Reno these days??”
OMFG, he seriously thought we were prostitutes — and to be fair, I really can’t
Gee, I don’t know WHY he thought we were prostitutes
blame him, dressed as we were. We set him straight and sat there chatting with him for quite a while — he was a nice, older professional-type from Sugarland, Texas who had been on a cross-country motorcycle ride with his buddy, until his buddy ate it on a highway near Bakersfield and ended up in the ICU with a busted spleen. The guy left him there and continued on the ride anyway, and despite being allegedly shaken to the core by the accident, had apparently recovered enough to hit on two prostitutes at the Circus Circus sports book less than 24 hours later. Men!!
Then it turned out he was also an amateur photographer and fellow Model Mayhem member! Ever hopeful of salvaging this miserable trip and making a few bucks, we told him that though he couldn’t hire us for sex, we were models and he could hire us for a photo shoot! His response slayed me: “Oh, I don’t think my wife would like that!” But…she’d be okay with you hiring prostitutes?!?!
heading up to Virginia City
After that little encounter we decided we’d better pack it in and hit the sack early, since tomorrow was Saturday — the main day of the rally and our last chance to stack any real cheese. We planned to get up early, put on saloon girl costumes and head up to Virginia City, this old-timey little tourist town in the hills where all the bikers go on Saturday afternoon. We figured we’d sell a bunch of cigars up there (since they wouldn’t let us do it in Reno), then come back down to Virginia Street in our chaps in the evening. We were hell bent and determined to make money — but at this point I needed to make around $600 to break even, so I wasn’t too optimistic.
To make matters worse, of course Saturday started with a visit from my Aunt Flo, and I felt and looked like nothing so much as a big, fat Zeppelin in a corset, fishnets and garter belt — not exactly the look I was going for, but there was nothing to do but sack the fuck up, shove in a tampon and get to work.
We drove up to Virginia City and finished getting dressed in the parking lot of some old-time church, the bells tolling ominously in the background as we laced our boots and adjusted our stockings, mocking us as we minced our way up a cobblestoned hill to the main drag. We stumbled along the old-timey wooden plank sidewalk, posing for a few photos here and there but mostly being glared at by an astonishing profusion of non-biker retiree couples and families, until finally Death came tapping on our shoulder again — this time in the form of the Sheriff of Storey County, who kindly but firmly told us we had to leave.
…and STAY out!!
That’s right — we were literally run out of town by the Sheriff, LOL. As miserable as it was, I had to laugh; I mean, what the fuck next on this trainwreck of a trip?! The Sheriff was actually pretty nice about running us off, and in fact blushed profusely while doing so, but he wouldn’t even let us stash the cigar tray in the truck and just pose for photos — which I’m pretty sure is a violation of First Amendment rights, but I didn’t know enough about busking law to really argue with him about it. I mean, I’m pretty sure the sidewalks of Virginia City are public property…but then they are those old-time board sidewalks, so maybe that doesn’t count…and also, they do have their own costumed characters walking around in old-time dress posing for photos for free, so I guess we were making them look bad.In any event, Sheriff Guthrie wouldn’t even let me take a photo of him running us out of town What an unmitigated fucking disaster this trip was turning out to be.
at Circus Circus
So we slunk out of town with our fishnets and feather boas tucked between our legs, and drove back down the mountain in the rain, figuring we might as well try our saloon-girl shtick down on Virginia Street, since we were all tarted up anyway. But it just wasn’t the same without those asscrack tip jars, and we didn’t make much.
But we did have some fun — first we met this really cool paralyzed biker who had a built a specially customized sidecar on his bike that served as a platform for his wheelchair by day, and turned into a stripper pole by night — so we had some fun posing for photos with that. Then we ran into good ol’ Justin and JJ again. Poor JJ was bent over doing something to a bike, and since I had just found out
about him having eight kids by two women, I ran up and started whaling on his ass with my riding crop, berating him semi-jokingly for being a deadbeat dad. But unbeknownst to me, his own estranged dad had actually come down to see him, and was standing nearby…so I probably totally fucked up their fragile reconciliation process. And even worse, his dad happened to be Sheriff of a neighboring county — and probably could have put in a word with Sheriff Guthrie up in Virginia City, if it hadn’t been for me and my big mouth. D’OH!! Lesson learned: sometimes it’s best to let deadbeats be deadbeats!
Speaking of JJ, I thought of him again later that evening, when Blondie and I were standing in one of the casinos taking shelter from the rain and trying to count our money…and she noticed blood all over my inner thighs, right where my chaps cut away to reveal the skin. I guess my period was so heavy it had soaked my tampon string like a paintbrush, and I was making impressionist art without even knowing it…all while standing obliviously in the middle of a crowded casino where everyone could witness the sorry-ass pathetic mess of my life!!!! I swear, every time I thought this trip couldn’t get any worse…it upped the ante.
I had no choice but to have a sense of humor about it, though — and thought that if only my Aunt Flo had shown up a couple days earlier, when JJ was groping me down there, he would have been in for a real treat!!!! But then again, this is a man who says he likes having his dick bit (?!?)…so who the hell knows; it may have just fired him up even more, and JJ Jr. IX would be nestled in my womb as we speak.
Earlier that day
Anyhoo, after that little debacle I was finally ready to throw in the towel…but we made one more round inside the El Dorado casino, where we ran into our alcoholic street pal New York, and one of his video poker buddies ended up buying up all the Night Bullet Blondie had on her tray (they said she couldn’t sell stuff at the rally, so she decided to try her luck inside the casinos, instead). See, the idea was to sell cigars to the bikers, but alas I’d been sick during last month’s tobacco convention in Vegas, and hadn’t been able to go collect free samples…so our inventory was low, and we didn’t have many actual cigars on the tray; it was mostly piled up with other crap like Swisher Sweets, Advil samples, keychains, promotional koozies and the aforementioned Night Bullet — a sort of over-the-counter, poor man’s Viagra sold in convenience stores in little yellow packets featuring a photo of a woman moaning in ecstasy under the legend “Don’t pull it…without NIGHT BULLET.” LOL!! All weekend long no one had wanted to buy the stuff, as bikers are hyper-masculine and they all claimed not to need it….but this guy at the El Dorado knew a deal when he saw it, and took all our stock for $20. Score!
Out of desperation, Blondie devised a new tactic: let guys pick any four items from the tray, plus get a spanking from me, all for a $20 donation…and at first it looked like it might actually work, until the manager of the El Dorado came over and kicked us out: “You girls better take your show somewhere else!”D’oh, busted again — at this rate, I’d be kicked out of every place in northern Nevada!!!
Actually, being reduced to hustling like this was super embarrassing for me; I’m mostly a law-abiding person, and I felt really weird and shitty pissing people off and flaunting their regulations, especially as I had turned down an honest paycheck to do it. And the fact that we had to wheedle, cajole and make up dumb stories (“Our boss is really mean, and he says we have to sell everything on this tray before we can go home”) to make a buck just really didn’t sit well with me. Hmm, I guess I have more dignity than I thought…buried in there somewhere under the cheap fake leather and bloodstains.
After being kicked out of the El Dorado, that was it — we were officially done. We took the tray of crap across the street to this little biker bar, Shooters, where the owner was actually OK with us hanging out working our shtick, and decided to just fuck it all and have a good time on our last night in Reno. We did have to get up super early the next morning, to drive back to Vegas in time for this photo shoot I had booked at 5:45pm…but, what the hell, you only live once. Might as well have some fun on this trip!!
outsourcing our job
At Shooters, we made a couple rounds before handing off our tray to this one drunken old biker who said he would go around and sell stuff for us, no problem. I gave him my hat and riding crop, and the boozy motherfucker actually went around hawking koozies and keychains!! So with our work thus subcontracted out, we were able to just relax and party, knocking back a few drinks with this adorable group of hipster bikers from Oakland who Blondie remembered from the fall rally.
OMG, these guys were so cute! After a weekend of dealing with nothing but grizzled, beer-sodden hard-assed pervs, it was fun to keep company with someone closer to my own aesthetic for a change; plus, they were cool as fuck. I guess “hipsters” isn’t the right word for them, but one of them was rocking a man-bun and a lumberjack shirt, and
another guy had long, curly Christlike locks and had been to the same John Prine concert I attended in Vegas last December. Whatever they were, they were very nice and fun to hang out with, and we stayed out way too late partying with them at the bar. I kept saying I had to go get my beauty sleep for my photo shoot the next day, and the one guy kept saying, “You’ll never remember the nights you got plenty of sleep — but you’ll always remember the nights you stayed out and partied!” NOT the thing to say to someone with FOMO (that’s Fear Of Missing Out, an actual clinical diagnosis of the digital age from which I suffer mightily).
But finally, around 2am, we bid them adieu and stumbled back to our hotel room. As a parting gift, we gave the hipster bikers those Chick tracts the Evangelical miner in Goldfield had given us, telling them to read ‘em around the campfire the next night, on their way back to Oakland, just like my sister and I had done in February — and they could then throw them into the fire, as we had done. I’m here to tell you that nothing gets a campfire crackling like some Chick tracts!
So, the next morning we dragged our asses out of bed, in a world of hurt, and lugged our bags of cigars, koozies, feathers and leathers out to the truck for the long drive back to Vegas. I’d counted my money, and that interminable, exhausting weekend had only netted me around $350 in sweaty, stinky $1s and $5s, which I had rolled up and stuffed into a sanitary napkin disposal bag in my purse. WHAT A BUST!!!!Still, as we headed south through the lonely, barren desert, we had plenty of time to talk about everything we’d been through…and we ended up laughing our asses off. It wasn’t a profitable trip…but I guess, in a really weird, fucked-up way, it was kinda fun.
Here in Nashville
Anyway, I made it back to Vegas just in time to fix my hair and makeup before hauling ass to the photo shoot, after which I came home exhausted, just wanting to sleep for around 70 hours or until I figured out what I want to do with my life, whichever came first. Unfortunately, however, another friend from LA was on her way over to stay with me the next few days while we worked the mascot expo, which was to consume the next three days of my life…plus I had three more photo shoots and a video shoot, all in that same week, so I never did get the chance to catch up on my sleep And now I’m in Nashville, visiting my good friend J.R., with whom I went out honky-tonkin’ downtown last night until 5am…so it looks like I’ll never get any rest.
To every thing, there is a season: a time to weep, a time to laugh; a time to mourn, a time to dance. A time to run around the desert with a blender plugged into your vagina mixing up frozen cocktails…and a time to finance it by standing around a convention center for four days, bored shitless, hawking cheap wedding rings to chintzy jewelers. That’s life!
heading into the dreaded jewelry show
Regarding the jewelry trade show — I worked for the same client last year, and it was such an endless, soul-crushingly dull gig that I swore I wouldn’t do it again. But, guess what?? When they called me back about a month ago, I said yes. I guess it’s like childbirth — you forget how bad the pain was after awhile, and next thing you know you’re knocked up again and picking out names.
Why is this tradeshow so odious compared to other shows? The client themselves are OK — I’ve actually become genuinely fond of the crazy Chinese motherfuckers. They’re just doing their thing, grinding out cheap men’s wedding rings in some factory in Hong Kong and selling them to browbeaten rednecks who’ve blown their whole Chick-Fil-A paycheck on their fiancee’s .025 carat diamond solitaire. But the tradeshow itself is another story!
closed for Shabbat
I don’t mind working shows so much if I can stay BUSY, but the jewelry show is a bitch because half the exhibits are closed on Saturday so that the Orthodox Jews can observe Shabbat, and that day is slow as fuck. It was especially bad this year, as my main entertainment was this amazing family of Persian Jews across the aisle — I’m telling you, these people need their own reality show; they were ten times
At the jewelry show
more interesting than those schmucks on Duck Dynasty! There was the careworn, hunched little matriarch, her two wheeling-and-dealing sons, the Latin American branch of the family and then the super-swarthy, super-hot little Israeli nephew or whatever who hit on every woman who walked by, buyer or not…myself included! Anyway, without them the day really dragged…but I wrestled every second that ticked by and finally, soaked in blood, sweat and existential self-doubt, emerged victorious from the over-air-conditioned fluorescent-lit tenth circle of hell, clutching an $800 check in my gnarled claw. FREE AT LAST…LAISSEZ LES BONS TEMPS ROULEZ!!!
high times at Forgotten City
The main bon temp was our local Burning Man regional campout, where around 800 hippies, ravers and boozers from Vegas and the surrounding area converged on a water retention basin outside Boulder City for three days of drug-fueled mayhem made possible by Wal Mart and the Halloween Superstore. All these Burning Man events pretty much boil down to the same thing: middle-aged white people in tutus and platform boots armed with spanking paddles and travel mugs full of sugary jungle juice wandering through crowds of glassy-eyed raver kids in furry animal hats jerking arrhythmically to earsplitting waves of 200bpm electronic noise wafting from 50 foot stacks of 5,000-watt speakers. Fun times!
My vagina charges cell phones
As they say, if you can’t beat ’em, aid and abet ’em…so with that in mind, I decided to step up my game this year and really make a contribution to the party. Normally I just run around in slutty outifts “adding atmosphere,” but there comes a time in a gal’s life when just being atmospheric won’t cut it anymore. So for this event, I decided to create a sort of interactive performance art piece based around the Electric Vagina codpiece I made last year for my short-lived mudwrestling career. I’m not sure why I never thought to wear my Electric Vagina to a Burning Man event before, but I’m here to tell you…it went over great!
IT CAME FROM THE ELECTRIC VAGINA
My performance was this: I dressed up in a freaky sort of space-babe ensemble and walked around the festival grounds pushing a stroller covered by a pink baby blanket, from which emerged a cord that was plugged into my Electric Vagina. To drum up ballyhoo, a couple days prior to the event I had posted a photo on Facebook and Instagram: “IT CAME FROM THE ELECTRIC VAGINA!! What lies beneath the blankie??! Is it some kind of squalling Space Brat?!?!!!”
Hell, no!! I only use my vagina for good!!! In true P.T. Barnum style, at the event I whipped the baby blanket dramatically aside to reveal it was a blender plugged into my outlet! A blender powered by Kegels, penis envy and feminist angst, with which I mixed up frothy, refreshing Vagina Coladas and Vaginaritas for everyone. COME ONE, COME ALL!!!
Speaking of feminist angst…just as with the Great Strap-On Experiment of Burning Man 2014, what started as a quasi-feminist statement of empowerment devolved almost immediately into lewd shtick: “Hey Wonderhussy, lemme get some of that pussy juice!” LOLz! Ah, Burning Man…fertile breeding ground for spiritual epiphanies and societal paradigm shifts. They say.
But either way…the fact is, after last year’s tampon string disco ball, I really do have to up the ante at Burning Man this year….so, the Electric Vagina will be coming with me, and you’ll find me serving up icy-cold Vagina Coladas near the Arctica ice stations, afternoons from 3-5. I must warn you though, it gets pretty intense when I’m grinding up the ice with those steely blades — I really put my pelvis into it, squeezing and thrusting and shrieking to the heavens like a woman in the throes of agony/ecstasy. Beware!!
Before Burning Man though, I do need to figure out a way to light up the vagina for nighttime — at the regional campout, my nighttime attire was a gold bodysuit with a ray gun plugged into the Electric Vagina. It made for a pretty bad-ass Barbarella look, especially since I had also spent 3 hours painstakingly crimping my hair ’80s-style…but it would be a reallybad-ass look if I could figure out a way to outline the outlet plate, the pin striping and the ray gun cord with some kind of LED lighting! And maybe even a strip of lights running vertically up my bodysuit from crotch to neck! If anyone knows how to do that kind of thing, hit me up…I don’t want to use EL Wire or anything amateurish; I want this to look professional!
Anyway, speaking of Burning Man…..it’ll be here before you know it, so I guess I’d better get back to work. I’m writing this from a hotel room in Reno, to which I have traveled with my friend Blondie with the aim of hustling for tips at the Street Vibrations biker rally. We did it last October and made pretty good money…so hopefully, things go well again, because I need to make some serious coin before Burning Man. All that piña colada mix and rum ain’t cheap…not to mention the mushrooms!!!
Sigh…better go get tarted up. It is once again a time to gather stones together…so that I can cast them all over the fucking place come August 😀
In the shadow of the Stratosphere, by Jim K. Decker
Everyone knows hot babes look best when juxtaposed against rusty shacks, railroad tracks and desert cracks — you learn that shit in Glamour Photography 101. And you can’t browse Vegas portfolios for two seconds without tripping over red rocks, Joshua trees and busted-up airplanes down at the fake ghost town near Nelson; I think it has something to do with the contrast between succulent flesh and a parched, withered landscape. Youth vs. decay…or something like that.
In any event, there’s one more tired and true trope that belongs in every serious fauxteur’s portfolio: graffiti. Every model worth her salt has at least one or two shots humping a cinderblock wall covered in the neon scribblings of some half-witted cholo…it’s practically a requirement to join Model Mayhem! To that end, photographers and models are always asking me where there’s good graffiti in Vegas…so, ever amenable, following are some of my favorite graffiti locations in the area.
Rock-A-Hoola waterpark, by Kelly Garn
Hands down, the best graffiti I have personally ever seen in the area was at the abandoned Rock-A-Hoola waterpark, down near Barstow. It’s a 2-hour-plus drive to get there, but what a goldmine!! Tons of colorfully painted abandoned buildings, all covered in scathing commentary and thought-provoking slogans; I like my graffiti with a message, and this place definitely satisfies, thanks to an NYC-based crew called Trust-O-Corp. Great job, guys!!!
Rock-A-Hoola waterpark, by Kelly Garni
Rock-A-Hoola waterpark, by Shutterbug-Studio
I shot at this location twice, both times in December 2013, and the results were so fan-fucking-tastic that there’s no way I can post them all here. If interested, you can see many more here, here (if you’re on Facebook), and here (if you’re a Model Mayhem member).
Unfortunately, since I shot there, investors have stepped in with plans to reopen the waterpark…and there’s heavier security on duty these days, making it impractical to sneak in for tasteful Art nudes. And anyway, another artist who goes by Aware. has since come in and covered a lot of the cool, colorful graffiti with shitty black Olde-English lettering…so the place isn’t nearly as amazing as it was before. Nothing gold can stay!
Wheel of Misfortune, by Shutterbug-Studio
Speaking of Aware., I can’t hold his crappy work at Rock-A-Hoola against him because he also created one of THE most amazing graffiti pieces I’ve ever seen, anywhere — the Wheel of Misfortune, right outside town near Lake Las Vegas. I just shot there/blogged about it the other week, so I won’t repeat myself too much…but it’s awesome. A giant, 100-foot circular cement holding tank from an abandoned magnesium mine has been repainted to look like the wheel from TV’s Wheel of Fortune game show…but instead of saying things like “LOSE A TURN” and “BANKRUPT,” the stripes all say shit like “LOSE A HOME” and “BANK-OWNED” — a reflection on our recent local housing crisis. Plus, all the dollar values are $000. Awesome!
Wheel of Misfortune, by Shutterbug-Studio
The only shitty thing about shooting here, aside from the myriad “NO TRESPASSING” signs and an abundance of possibly carcinogenic black soot all over everything, is the scale — the Wheel is so huge that it’s tough to get the full scope of it in a photo where you can still make out the model. In my experience, unless you zoom in and just capture bits and pieces, it ends up looking like an adult version of “Where’s Waldo?”
Near the Wheel of Misfortune, by Shutterbug-Studio
But if you zoom in, you can get some pretty cool shots that still convey the idea. Moreover, there are other circular basins nearby with tons of other colorful, marginally cool graffiti on the walls and stuff….so the Wheel is not your only option.
In the Arts District, by Jim K. Decker
Now, if all this carcinogenic soot and trespassing is too rich for your blood, you can always just be a puss and head down to the Arts District in downtown Las Vegas — the general area around Charleston Blvd. and Main Street has a lot of pretty cool stuff painted on the walls of the various buildings and warehouses in the area. The only bummer with shooting down there is, you’re in full sight of any Looky-Lous or homeless winos who happen by…and sometimes the pedestrian traffic down there can be pretty heavy. So if you or your model are shy, be advised! Also, for that same reason, the graffiti in the Arts District isn’t really ideal for shooting nudes…UNLESS….
Downtown Las Vegas, by Shutterbug-Studio
…your name happens to be Wonderhussy, and your m.o. is IDGAF! In that case, blast away, as I did this past February, when I went cruising around downtown Vegas in a pair of high heels and a satin robe, with which I covered my shame until the photographer was ready to go. BAM! I dropped the robe, he got the shot, I threw the robe back around me and we were in the car, on our way to the next stop, before anyone knew what hit ’em.
Downtown Las Vegas, by Shutterbug-Studio
I think it was a weekday afternoon around 4pm when we did these, and we hit about 5 or 6 different locations, both in the Arts District and then further north along Stewart Ave. in Downtown Vegas, where a bunch of super-cool murals were commissioned for the Life Is Beautiful festival last October. We got WAY too many amazing shots to post here, but if interested you can see more here (must be a Model Mayhem member to view).
If you aren’t doing nudes, I don’t think shooting at the LIB murals would be a problem…aside from the aforementioned passing winos and Looky-Lous. Just drive down Stewart Ave. between like 6th and 10th, and take your pick! There’s plenty of street parking, and a 75% likelihood that your car won’t be broken into and your gear stolen. Don’t be a wuss!
Vagina Dentata! Pic by Flash Adams, body paint by Suzanne Lugano
Finally, if you’re REALLY not a wuss, and don’t mind risking an encounter with a methed-out homeless hooker’s icepick shank…check out one of my other all-time favorite local graffiti spots, located far beneath the Vegas Strip in the network of storm drain tunnels that cris-cross the city below the surface.
These tunnels were built to channel flash flood waters into Lake Mead — many don’t realize that Vegas gets monsoonal thunderstorms in the summertime, when the sky cracks open and massive amounts of water comes pelting down on the sunbaked desert, which is unable to absorb it all quickly enough, creating hazardous flash flooding. Before the tunnels were built, parking garages on the Strip used to flood all the time, and peoples’ cars would bang into each other like floating bumper cars. It was insane!
In another, less-graffitied storm tunnel, by Iancentric (with Fearra LaCome)
Nowadays, the tunnels channel all that rainwater safely into the various area washes, where it eventually flows down into Lake Mead. But on the 360 days a year when it’s not pouring rain, these tunnels have become a permanent shelter for a vast underground population of homeless people seeking cover from the blazing desert sun. A guy I know explored the tunnels extensively, and wrote a book about his experiences interviewing all the various kooks who live down there — check it out! It’s really interesting.
As far as a photo location, these tunnels are somewhat challenging. Aside from the icepick-wielding meth-heads, it’s also SUPER dark down there, requiring lights and other expensive gear that might potentially be appropriated by said meth-heads. The tunnels can also be kinda stinky, and are said to be home to giant cockroaches, crawdads, rats and other subterranean sewer-dwellers. But if you can get past all that, they’re an awesome place to shoot, with some pretty killer graffiti!
All kinds of nasty sewer-dwellers in these tunnels! Pic by Iancentric, with Fearra LaCome
I only shot down there once, a few years ago in the dead of winter — so there were no cockroaches or crawdads, just bitter, bone-chilling cold. Even worse, we shot at night, to better avoid detection when we entered the tunnels by way of a wash near the Rio Hotel…so it was extra cold. And even worse, I couldn’t even really wear a robe or sweater or anything, because I had been bodypainted to look like a crazed post-apocalyptic sewer dweller with monsters on my nipples and teeth on my vagina (this was the only time anyone’s ever bodypainted my labia and clitoris…kudos to you, Suzanne Lugano).
More Arts District graffiti, by Shutterbug Studio
To his credit, the photographer did what he could to make the experience more pleasant for me — he brought along a wagon full of lights, a propane heater and even a boombox so we could listen to music while we shot. He also brought along a second shooter, who, along with the bodypainter, sort of stood guard to make sure no crazy people came up on us from either direction. We must have resembled some kind of far-out Dungeons & Dragons/Goonies adventure party as we set out with our wagon full of gear, the photographer leading the way with a propane lantern, taking us ever deeper into the tunnel until we reached the spot he had scouted out the day before. All in all, we probably trekked about 1/4 mile into the tunnel — where it was pitch fucking black in either direction. Not for the claustrophobic!!
Anyway, the shoot proceeded without incident, and we ended up getting a killer photo out of it, so it was definitely worthwhile. But even if we hadn’t gotten any good photos, I would still have enjoyed the shit out of it…because talk about an adventure! People don’t realize it, but I’m actually only 25% model, 75% adventuress. In my book, half the time the journey IS the destination….ya know? So if you ever want to hit up any of these (or other, as-yet-undiscovered locations)……