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Friday, August 25, 2023

The Perils Of Pauline - The Tale Of A Call Girl Who Serviced The President

Pauline Archer had met Genevieve Marsden, Washington’s most famous madam by accident, walking their dogs in DuPont Circle – two Pomeranians, an unusual enough breed to invite comment – and the two women sat on a park bench talking dogs and the weather.

Pauline had just arrived in Washington from Sioux City and quickly found a place to rent– an apartment-share on Florida Avenue in an old building slated for demolition but still livable and affordable.  She liked her roommates, both of whom, like her, had come to town from the Midwest hoping for an internship in a non-profit; or, if they were lucky, a Congressional internship.   

It was not to be, and both were ready to return home; but Pauline, new to Washington and confident of her talents, was optimistic.  What she had was beauty and sexual allure; and although she had no intention of using either in her search for recognition and professional success, she held them in reserve.

She didn’t have to wear calico and braids to interest men – there was a natural sweetness and innocence about her.   She saw the way men looked at her.  Trained as they had been in keeping a respectful distance; but as much as they tried to maintain civility, she felt their eyes wander. They all wanted her, and the jobs they offered were incidental.

She had been a precociously sexual eleven-year old, still a child but very much aware of her influence on men.  She had been warned by her mother to be careful – Pauline had no idea what men wanted or how much – but along with her natural beauty she had a precocious sense of her own femininity – a sexual allure that attracted, but also defended.  Men's desire, she understood at a remarkably early age, meant exposure – guards let down, reserve banked, and reason deferred.

She could be coquettishly sweet but coyly demure – a budding, seductive child and a strong, confident woman.  She understood men – all men – and realized how they could be taken, used, and discarded.  Yes, there were dangers for a young woman in such games of sexual intrigue and emotional play; but there was much to gain.

She went to Washington with all this in reserve.  She was determined to make it on ability – acquired talents not natural, God-given ones.  She would use her education, preparation, and considerable intellect to make her way.

Pauline like other precociously and deeply sexual women knew that all this was not necessary. Intelligence was simply the acceptable front adopted when confronting men of power, a feinting, distracting avant-foray while preparing the field for sexual conquest.

Savvy women for millennia have known and understood their power – a limitless, seductive force more strategic than any of men’s more blunt and guileless maneuvers. Feminine wiles, so disparaged in a feminist age, have simply changed finery. Women no longer play flatteringly on men’s egos but like Eve, simply tempt them.  They are canny seductresses who understand how male weakness, shame, and guilt are indispensable features of sexual desire.  They need no feminine artifice to seduce a man.

Genevieve Marsden was no stranger to any of this.  She had made sexual promise the bait for male weakness.  Prostitution was a sophisticated profession which dealt in male desire, its stock in trade never in a down turn, never a bear market. Prostitution has never known recession.

Prostitution like any other enterprise has a low end, and the senoritas of Adams Morgan made plenty from Salvadoran leaf-blowers, house painters, and construction workers; but Genevieve worked the high end.  She combined marketing, recruitment, service, pricing, and product guarantees to rise to and remain at the top of the line.

So when Pauline Archer sat down beside her at the DuPont Circle dog park, Genevieve saw value and opportunity.  She had met young women like her before, sweet young women for whom sexual afterthought and regret never occurred; for whom sexual pleasure, sexual activity, the act of sex itself – were here only interests.  Puritanical concerns were for other people.

“Let’s have tea”, said Genevieve.

Now, most people would wonder why a young, attractive, intelligent woman like Pauline would be interested in a professional career as a call girl; but she would not be the first.  There was Catherine Deneuve’s Belle de Jour or Jane Fonda’s Brie Daniels – fictional women who expressed, in Deneuve’s case, an exaggerated female submission; and in Fonda’s a sense of professionalism and canny understanding of sexuality; or women like Mata Hari who used sexual mystery and intrigue as tools of the trade, women adept at extracting information, using men as sources, assets in The Great Game; or Emma Bovary, ambitious and calculating in her use of men for personal gain.

Pauline was unique because she was a bit of all of them – seductress, temptress, canny extractor, and most of all Freudian.  In her charge there was no man whose whose obsessions went unsatisfied. In Pauline Genevieve sensed the treasure trove she had discovered but had no idea of what it contained. Only after Pauline’s remarkably short apprenticeship did she realize the sexual genius she had recruited.

The contract between them was mutually acceptable. Genevieve burnished her already premier reputation and Pauline finally experienced the full expression of her complex sexuality.

As her reputation grew, her clients became more and more A-list, well-known political figures from Congressional aides to Senators.  Only one place remained the last redoubt of sexual propriety, caution, and rectitude – the White House.  Now, this political magisterium was not the impenetrable place it might have seemed to the outsider.  No less than John Kennedy and Lyndon Johnson had used it as a staging ground for their sexual adventures; and every American president before and after had had their dalliances either in the presidential suit, the Oval Office or aboard Air Force One.  

The current resident was happily married, or so his press releases said; but so were the other men who sat in his chair.  Only Jimmy Carter was actually happy with the wife to whom he had been married for decades – or so it was alleged – so Genevieve’s suggestion that Pauline raise her sights to 1700 Pennsylvania Avenue was not that far-fetched.  However, opportunities were far fewer than ever before.  

This president, an old man with failing powers, could not be left alone to work a crowd or even be civil in company, so official dinners, informal teas and lunches had been eliminated from the official agenda; but there were openings, cracks in the White House social perimeter through which Pauline could enter the sanctum sanctorum, catch the President in an off moment away from his handlers, and introduce herself.  After all, if Monica Lewinsky had been that successful with Bill Clinton, then solving the current president could not be that difficult.

Unless presidential dalliances are discovered and outed, there is no way of knowing what happens between the silk sheets of the highest office in the land; and so it was with Pauline and the president; and despite the persistent jokes about the old man’s incapacities, he was certainly capable of at least being pleasured; and Pauline, at the very top of her game, had brought off every client who had come calling.

But what next after she had serviced the Chief Executive? There were no greener pastures than 1700.  Back to Sioux Falls?  Genevieve saw her off at Union Station on her way to New York and assumed that Wall Street was her destination.  Investment bankers were famously generous and unconcerned about secrecy.  A penthouse in Soho or Park Avenue was not out of the question.  But after Amtrak 356 pulled out, Pauline was never heard of again.  No one in the business doubted her success, but no one, especially in this age of social mediation ever really disappears.  Yet she had; and more power to her, said the hookers of K Street. 

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