The History of Sex: Prague -- Hail, the Emperor of Perversion! -- (Chapter X, Part 23)

To keep a safe distance, one of John's ideas is to set himself up as a 'broker'—the respectable term for pimp, I believe—catering to men who will pay big money to bone a bona fide porn star.

Again, this seems ingenious, offering women extra revenue in these hard times.

Not so long ago, he tells me, a woman could make €20,000 for one porn-movie shoot; now it's just five to seven hundred, simply because so many women are willing to have sex on film.

'It's getting nasty now because there's no money.'

John says this in a hole-in-the-wall, pole-in-the-floor kind of place just off Wenceslaus Square where the manageress and most of the girls know him.

The strippers are lounging around, taking turns on the little dance square, even though we're the only men here.

'It's Christmas,' the manageress shrugs.

'Enjoy your own fairy tale!'

John leans back in the red-upholstered booth, spreading his arms to enjoy the view, the good fortune of his first-world provenance making him a virtual aristocrat.

The woman on the pole—or is it a stick?—jiggles her breasts at him—hail, the Emperor of Perversion! 

He waggles his eyebrows in return.

'The Czech girls typically move very well. They really feel the rhythm.'

'Your clients must think you've got the best job in the world,' I observe.

'That's right,' he grins. 'Want to be in porn movies? I've done that. Want to pimp girls? I've done that. I'm the candyman! The doctor! The love broker!'

Or, you may think, a forty-year-old loser leeching off the less fortunate—a 'social parasite' if ever there was one.

But in the capitalist Czech Republic, this American newcomer is classed as an 'entrepreneur,' a glamorous term imported from the West to cover any legion of sins.

In person, though, the overriding impression you get is that deep down he's a gentle soul who somehow got twisted along the way.

Whether it was his divorce from an American after a decade ('she turned real arrogant') or all that internet porn or his celluloid stint as a flesh-and-blood dildo, he comes across as profoundly damaged, as much a slave as the master of his urges.

Having gone through fifty girls when he came here, he's tried to stop mixing business with pleasure because of his addictive personality.

'I'm too soft-hearted,' he reckons. 'I fall in love with all the girls. Whenever I'm around them, it's intoxicating—like a drug. They're too pretty for me.'

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