I remember that it all started so simply - a change in income,
new job pressures that went with it, a wife with a similar
commitment to her work, loneliness - and, of course, temptation.
That was seven years ago.
My first involvement with the hobby was a street pick-up.
I was driving up Church street in Toronto about 11:00 p.m.
one night and saw a stunning blonde (artificially endowed,
as I later found out). This girl was right out of a rock video
and was sporting the complete streetwalker look, including
PVC boots. I must have circled the block 10 times, trying
to decide what to do. Finally, I stopped and talked to her
at my window. She wanted $100 "minimum". I was too na�ve to
know that this amount and the girls at this location were
at the high end of the market, or that the "minimum" approach
was a way to stack on extra charges once you were already
committed to the deed. She got in my car and we went to a
hotel on Sherbourne which rented at $50 per hour. I was extremely
nervous, especially about parking the car at this place. I
was worried someone would steal the car while I was inside.
The girl actually took some pity on me, making sure I gave
a fake name to the front desk and didn't give them any credit
cards. She walked me through getting undressed and gave me
a covered BJ. It was a very brief encounter, I would say that
less than 10 minutes after we entered the room we were leaving
again. I drove her back to the stroll. I felt immediately
guilty and somehow cheated.
However, life continued on as it had. If anything, my career
resulted in increased pressure, later and longer working hours,
and isolation. Therefore I decided that maybe I had tried
the right idea, but had just chosen the wrong girl. I began
to cruise regularly in the "high rent" district. I picked
up several other girls. They were all similarly expensive
and similarly vaguely unsatisfying.
For 3-4 years I gave up on street cruising. Instead, I turned
to the strip clubs. This was the golden era of lap dancing.
Cheaters, Fantasia, and HOL II were wild places where just
about anything went on in the clubs (at one time or another).
Even the Brass Rail was a worthwhile spot, as they didn't
charge any VIP cover like Fantasia. However, I also found
that it was too easy to spend $150 + and leave the club without
"satisfaction". I became more selective, only getting dances
from girls who marketed themselves very aggressively. This
led to better results and even resulted in a couple of full
service sessions in nearby parking lots. Amazingly, because
those times seem so good in comparison to today, I bored of
it. The same girls were always at the same clubs. After a
few months, there was no more variety (and I'm saying this
despite the fact that on some nights Fantasia had as many
as 40 girls on shift at once, announcing them in three lines
on their stage). I gradually explored nearly all of the GTA
clubs, but found that Fantasia was by far the "action" spot.
About this time, and quite by accident, I discovered MP's.
When I was first married, my wife used to give great backrubs.
I can honestly say, she was better at this than any other
form of intimacy and it was one of the reasons I fell for
her. However, over time, she rarely offered this anymore.
That development, job stress, some back problems, and encouragement
by a work colleague who regularly went to a therapist for
acupuncture and massage led me to the door of my first MP.
My first visit came when I had a particularly bad workday.
I went over lunch. Believe it or not, I did not know at that
time that there were massage therapists and there were massage
parlours, and that it made all the difference in the world.
My first massage went by the book. It was a one hour Shiatsu
massage and the attendant (Chinese, in a nursing uniform)
seemed to use some sort of "technique" (although I wouldn't
know a real shiatsu massage from witch doctoring). Better
yet, I enjoyed it and found that it relaxed me. There was
no "release" or even a suggestion of it in that session.
I decided to revisit the same place. This time I got a different
attendant. Again, the same nursing uniform and massage technique.
However, this time when she asked me to turn over, it was
clear she was trying to arouse me. Ultimately, she removed
my underwear and performed a "release". My eyes were now open.
No wonder there were so many spas and salons! This seemed
an incredible bargain for the money! My search for the ultimate
massage parlour began.
I discovered the Sun listings first, later Now, then Eye.
Initially, I thought the differences might lie only in the
attractiveness of the attendants and their "techniques". Of
course, what I found was that some places offered "extras"
ranging from "topless-no touching" to "full-service" (and
everything in between). The fascination (and disappointment
at times) was never knowing what you would get - all for between
$35-130! This seemed to be the answer.
The notion that good things could be had for a bargain inspired
me to re-examine the possibilities on the street. I decided
to try some "low rent" girls and found that, not only were
they inexpensive, they would do the deed in your car, saving
the cost of a room. Some of them were even as attractive as
the high rent girls! In 1997-1998 it was not uncommon to see
25-30 girls a night on the "lower track". Some of these girls
were crack ho's, some were rip-off artists, some were pimp
victims, but some were also nice girls who happened to be
single moms or had some other reason to need the quick cash.
While hit and miss, and while I was ripped off a few times,
cruising seemed like fun and was certainly a good bargain.
I never tried escorts. I called a couple of times. Their
rates were always $100 more than the street price. I was not
comfortable with the "driver" situation, having been robbed
on the street. Whenever I talked to the girls they didn't
seem like they were a class above the street girls. I always
believed (and still believe) in safe sex and it didn't seem
that the escorts would be any safer in that respect. I didn't
like the "sight unseen" aspect of requesting an escort. I
didn't want to rent a room for a whole night or even by the
hour with prospect that the girl would be very late or wouldn't
show at all. For all these reasons, I have never seen an escort
and will never likely see one.
So far, all I've said is that I traveled down a certain road.
The point of telling you all of this is to say that today
everything has changed.
First, the strip clubs. In the last two years there have
been numerous busts and other changes which have taken any
remaining fun out of these establishments. Fantasia closed.
The Town of Richmond Hill is determined that the club will
never reopen, or at least not as it was. Major busts at Extravaganza,
Club Pro, Cannonball, Millionaire (twice), Locomotion, Features
and I'm sure many others has dampened the action in the better
clubs. Local bylaws curtailing the contact during lap dancing
already did that in most of the others. Of course, the end
of high contact lap dancing didn't bring the end of $20 table
dancing or VIP entrance fees of up to $30 (Fri/Sat night at
the Pro). In the heady days of Fantasia, it was only a $40
cover to go upstairs (the most expensive lounge). Strip Clubs
have gone from, at best, a wild time and a bargain and, at
worst, inexpensive fun, to the worst bargain imaginable and
no fun at all. As a result, I've given up on them.
MP's have not escaped scrutiny or change. Some of the better
ones have been busted, albeit these busts have had more to
do with immigration and licensing than what's been going on
inside them. Prices have crept up at the bottom end and shot
up at top, now ranging between $40 - 200. I have found an
increasing proportion of unattractive attendants in the business.
More significantly, my experiences have led me to some unpleasant
conclusions. One, if the girl is Canadian or European the
massage will be poor and the girl will have no regard for
how pleasant you find the experience to be. Two, if the girl
is Oriental the massage will be good but: a) there is a good
chance she is doing the job under some coercive arrangement
(bordering on slavery), and b) there is a better chance that
the establishment would be raided. In short, to get any joy
from an MP you have to risk being a "found-in" and live with
the notion that you may be helping to line the pocket of some
white slaver. These realizations have turned me off returning
to an MP.
What about the street? Well, developments there have been
much the same. Police crackdowns, sentences that include curfews,
neighbourhood watch programs, and the threat of publishing
the names of John School attendees have drastically reduced
the number of girls and cruisers on the street. These days,
there is likely to be less than 5-7 girls out in a given evening
on the lower track. Worse still, given the conditions, the
girls that are more likely to be out are the crack ho's and
rip-off artists (neither of which a sane person will pick
Counting myself as sane, I have no intention of risking disease,
robbery, or violence in pursuit of the hobby. I also cannot
see the sanity in cruising for hours, looking for that single
girl who doesn't inspire fear or disgust, and then battling
another dozen cruisers to pick her up while dodging undercover
and patrol police. In summary, now is a good time to retire
from the street cruise in this city.
In my opinion, the entire scene couldn't be
more abysmal. I have taken this to be a sign that it is simply
time to hang up the blades and retire. Oh, there were good
times, even some brushes with the wild side, but these opportunities
are all now long gone. I will continue to follow the message
boards with interest, but I see no serious prospect of changes
for the better. Maybe the Committee can arrange for me to
sit in a rocking chair at their meetings, rocking quietly
while attendees beckon "Tell us about the good old days, Gramps!"
Good luck to all of you and good hunting.
Written By Julie Fantiny