If you've never heard of MTV's "True Life", you might as well just kill yourself because your life has been a sick, sick joke up until now. According to imdb.com, "'True Life' follows three unique persons in their everyday situations, and documents the problems and goals they face." According to Meg McBlogger, "'True Life' is an ocular orgasm that is, and continues to be the only reason I wake up in the morning."
I love "True Life" because no matter what topic they're exploring or what year it was filmed in, it's always vaguely 2001-ish, everyone is slightly white trash and from Florida, and there's just so much...denim. And emotions. I mean, that's what I call real reality television right there. You can keep your Speidi's and your perfectly coiffed "City" cast and your what have you's. I'll take brassy highlights, a pack of Newports and an outfit from Fashion Bug any day of the week.
The only other person I've met who truly understands my obsession with "True Life" is Ex Co-Blogger Chris. When we lived together, I'd estimate a good 65% of our Saturday nights started out with turning on a "True Life" marathon as background noise when we got ready, and ended with the two of us grossly overdressed, eating DiGiorno pizzas we got at the gas station across the street and spooning on the futon in our fifth straight hour of "True Life: I Hate My Face". And you know what? Those nights were fun, drunk and inexpensive. You show me a problem with that and I will show you Gideon Yago's home phone number.
I wish I could say that I love every episode of "True Life", but it's just not so. While I love most episodes—TL: I'm a Southern Bell; TL: I I Have Embarrassing Parents (1 and 2); TL: I'm Driving While Black; TL: I'm in a Polyamorous Relationship; TL: I'm an Urban Cheerleader...I mean why even attempt to make a list? That could be a post in and of itself—there remains one episode that I can't fucking stand. One episode that not matter how many times I sit down and force myself to watch it (and Lord knows I have), I can not make it through the entire episode. So, you know what ruffles my feathers? MTV's "True Life: I Work In the Sex Industry".
TL:IWITSI follows three young people: Aaron, a straight guy who happens to be a gay pornstar; Shawntelle, a college student who has a campus radio show about her sex life; and Rebekah, the office manager of a porn production company. I don't know if MTV cast this episode on a Friday before a 3-day weekend, but all of these plot lines seem insultingly half-assed to me. I mean, Aaron's legit, I have no problem with him, but Shawntelle and Rebekah? Really, MTV? You couldn't find anyone willing to talk to you who was slightly more established in the sex industry than those two? I mean, when I think about people who work in the Sex Industry, prostitutes, doms, strippers and fetishists come to mind. Not sophomores at Cal State Long Beach who want more attention. Are you seriously trying to tell me that the same production company who found three people willing to shoot up heroin on camera couldn't find one measly grad student with a whip, a Craigslist account and an open-mind? Shit, you could have called me and I'd have given you Ex Co-Blogger Eddie's number and saved us all some time and stress.
I reiterate that I have no problem with Aaron's plot line (his uncle disowns him—compelling!) but whatever film crew followed Shawntelle around with a camera for a month straight deserves the Congressional Medal of Honor. Because we all went to college with Shawntelle. Maybe it wasn't that Shawntelle, but it was a Shawntelle. I took Gender in Society my sophomore year of college (because AU is the gayest institution of higher learning in America so it was obviously a Gen Ed,) and my Shawntelle was in that class. I forget her name, but she was the campus newspaper's sex columnist and she raised her hand at least 10 times a class to share a story from her vast library of personal sexcapades.
Our professor—who I hated: Briana Weadock—was all about sharing, so class participation was an obnoxious 15% of our final grade. (She obviously loved Shawntelle.) I, on the other hand, ended up getting an A- in the class that should have been an A, but was bumped down because I never shared. My not sharing had nothing to do with my academic competence in that class. I wrote a damn good paper applying the theory of Docile Bodies to Hedwig's on and off-stage body language in Hedwig and the Angry Inch and it was was like a bukkake film of gender studies buzzwords and meticulously spun bullshit. She loved it. But I ended up getting an A- in the class because I didn't want to share. Oh, I'm sorry; it's 8:30 in the morning. Sorry if I don't want to raise my hand and tell you about the time I french kissed my best friend at field hockey camp. Christ.
Rebeckah infuriates me on so many levels that I have to break it down into numerical points to keep my thoughts straight. This is what the True Life: I Work in the Sex Industry synopsis has to say about Rebekah:
Rebekah loves her job for a company that produces amateur-style X-rated videos. Unfortunately, she fears that guys don't think of her as relationship material because of her career. Tired of being alone, Rebekah sets out to find a man who will love her for who she is. She tries Speed Dating, but all the guys there have the typical response of assuming she's only interested in sex and nothing more. Next, Rebekah attends a porn convention for work and hopes she might find a boyfriend in the industry. Unfortunately, the only cute guys are the gay porn stars. She is able to find a cute new girl to star in her company's movies, which leads to getting her own office. But even with all her success, Rebekah wishes she had someone to share her joy with.
1.) You are on office manager. If "working in the sex industry" is wreaking so much havoc on your personal life, maybe you should stop defining your job as "in the sex industry". Perhaps instead tell a gentleman friend that you're an "office assistant" or an "administrator". Because you "are". The "Did you know I work in the Sex Industry??" card might be more of a third date kind of thing.
2.) You don't even technically work in the sex industry! When I worked for Soap Opera Digest and people asked me what I did, I didn't tell them that I was "in soaps" or "in the entertainment industry." Why? Because they would obviously assume that I was an actress and then we'd have to have an uncomfortable conversation about how I wasn't an actress, I was just a low-level layout artist at the nation's foremost soap opera publication. And that's embarrassing. So instead I'd say, "Oh, I'm a graphic designer." "Oh really, where?" "Ack. It's kind of embarrassing, but Soap Opera Digest." "Ha ha, really? That's so kitschy." "I know, right?" "Yes. We should have sex." "Agreed. "
See? See how that went? And when you're taking pick-up advice from Meg McBlogger, you know you're in trouble.
3.) Do you know what reader @cortmccoy tweeted me today? This image:
A lot of IT departments block this blog because of its "Adult Content." If the blog is written by me and about my life, that means that I am the creator and source of the offensive Adult Content in question. I don't work supporting the Adult Content, I am the Adult Content. Thus I conclude that this means I am more qualified to tell people that I work in the sex industry than you are. (And not that I write a blog about fart jokes and emotions.) Just. Say. Office. Administrator.
4.) The speed-dating scene is so infuriating, I want to stab myself in the eye with freshly sharpened pencils every time I try to watch it. This is an actual conversation that transpires between her and one of her dates:
Date: So what do you do?
Rebekah: I work in porn.
Date: Oh! So you're like...a porn star?
Rebekah: No I'm an office assistant. I don't like, fuck on camera for money or anything.
Date: Oh. [And I swear to god he says this] Normally when I meet people for the first time I try to, like, make a good first impression.
Sir, I have no desire to live in the greater Los Angeles area, but I will absolutely date you for more than 10 minutes.
5.) When speed-dating fails, Rebekah decides to throw a party in her apartment and asks her friends to bring single guys to set her up with. Unfortunately, her friends (who all look like they've been dipped by the heels into a Hot Topic...) don't know any single guys, so she ends up getting wasted, locking herself in the bathroom with two guys (who judging by their awkward body language are only casual acquaintances,) cries and refers to herself as "totally doable." I mean, this episode would have made way more sense if it was called, True Life: I'm That Girl.
6.) I hate to be cruel, but don't you think part of the reason why guys don't think you're good relationship material isn't because you "work in the sex industry," but because you look like this:
I know I'm single, but it's my understanding that guys don't want to wake up in the morning and roll over to see a candy-coated rave explosion on the pillow next to them. Unless I've been doing it wrong, which is highly possible.
I'm going to tell you a story. When I was in college, I decided that I wanted to have pink streaks in my hair. I went to the salon where my mom goes in Bethesda and asked them to do it, but they judged the shit out of me instead and refused. Dedicated to the cause, I found a sprite gay man in the city who'd do it for me and once a month for the next six months, we'd get high and experiment with my hair color until one day he disappeared and moved to Barcelona. Now, this story not only accounts for why I had pink streaks in my hair for about a month or so in college, it also explains why I look like a raging meth addict in my passport picture with a glassy eyes and cheap platinum blonde hair.
My point is: look at your life. Look at your choices. Ask yourself if any of it sounds slightly out of place.
Now, I'll be filling merchandise orders at 2 o'clock in the morning for my Adult Content-based blog before I go to my minimum wage retail job in the morning, should you need me.