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My Mom Worked at a Porno Store

by Rachael Dunn 6 months ago in parents

As a single mom, you did what you had to do.

My Mom Worked at a Porno Store
Photo by Dainis Graveris on Unsplash

For the majority of my childhood, my mother worked at a store downtown called Playmate Video. It sold regular videos, sure, but in their early days they also sold sex toys. And for some reason, it had a popcorn machine.

My mom never made it a secret that she worked at a porno store. At an early age, she sat me down to explain the concept of pornography to me. That men really liked it, would pay a lot of money to see naked women, and that it was all kinda stupid at the end of the day.

She also told me she didn’t make it. That’s nasty, no, she just sold it. And if I ever talked about her job to my teacher or my friends, I should just call it P.M. Video and leave it at that, okay? (I went to a Catholic K-8 school and they were extremely judgmental, but I won’t get into that here.)

Given the nature of the establishment and how awful people can be even in the most ordinary of situations, my mom had to develop a thick hide and a vicious bite. If a customer pissed her off, she would let him know with every curse word she knew and kick him out of the store. And she got away with it because her boss didn’t want to have to deal with any customer nonsense himself. She soon earned a reputation as the ‘big mean one’. It sounded derogatory, but when the other (all female) cashiers were getting hassled, they were glad to have her.

Her job paid the bills and put food on the table. And that’s all she wanted. She was a single mother and she did what she had to do. But when I got older, she had some crazy stories to tell me.

My mom told me that back when they sold dildos, the customers thought it was hilarious to ask her to provide a demonstration.

“Yeah, no problem,” she would say and take out the huge purple double-dong they had on display. “Bend over.”

They always stopped laughing after that.

She would frequently see an old couple come in and rent gay videos. The husband would say every time, “It’s not for me, honestly. She just doesn’t like watching women.” And his wife would nod in agreement. Because old couples don’t give a fuck, God bless ‘em.

A bunch of Asian businessmen on some kind of trip would come in every so often. They didn’t say much. They’d just stand around in their expensive-looking suits and wait for their boss or coworker or whatever to return with a stack of videos featuring Black women.

By the time I ever went inside, Playmate Video was just like your typical Family Video, selling non-porno movies and video games out front. Their smut was banished to a back room. You know, for the discerning customer. She worked there for fifteen years until suddenly her boss decided he didn’t like her attitude and fired her.

Mom went into landscaping soon after that, which people see as a more respectable employer, but never once was I ashamed of her for her previous job. She put up with a lot of bullshit from perverts just to take care of me. And I hope she knew how thankful I was for it.

Because of her unusual job, my mom was able to teach me to never judge a person on their outward appearance because you never know what they’re secretly into. She taught me to stand up for people because they might be too timid or embarrassed to say anything. And, most importantly, she taught me that if the situation called for it, it was okay to be mean as hell.

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Rachael Dunn

I'm the author of the Dusk Eternal trilogy, an Egyptian-inspired fantasy adventure. I'm also a freelance blogger and content writer. I love reading ancient history and playing Dungeons & Dragons.

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