Episode 4: Busty for an Oriental

Over the years my looks haven't changed, but the world has.

Published July 22, 1999 4:00PM (EDT)

Saturday, July 10

Jasmine's new bra turns out to be a Victoria's Secret device with adjustable cleavage. You wear it at the modest setting with your day clothes. Then, you can alter your cleavage to varying degrees: from perky and beguiling to Way Out There. The Times gave it quite a plug -- I think I'll start subscribing again. (Jasmine has been subscribing to the New York Times under a succession of different names so she can keep getting the new subscriber rate.)

"How can you shop at Victoria's Secret?" I asked her. "Their stuff is so suburban, it's like something Amy Fisher would wear."

Jasmine gave me a withering look. "As some of us know, a fake stone can look like a Tiffany on the right girl. And there are women who always look like they bought their undies at K-Mart, even when they're dressed in a Lejaby bra." According to Jasmine, some girls can wear anything -- as long as it's black -- and still look good: "Nobody expects me to shop at Victoria's Secret, so I can get away with it." Just in case, she snips all the labels from her lesser-name bras and stores the style codes in her Palm Pilot for future use.

When I first came to New York, clients told me I was "busty for an Oriental" -- I'm a small C-cup or a large B, depending on the week of my month. When I took the pill, I was officially busty. Then, implants caught on and changed the definitions -- and I went off the pill because condoms had become de rigueur. At first, I only used 'em with clients. Then I realized what a putz I was being ...

"Oh, so that's the one you call your boyfriend?" Jasmine said to me one day. "And what is a boyfriend? A guy who doesn't pay, and doesn't wear a condom."

Having Jasmine around is really bracing sometimes -- she is the universal Conscience of Hooking. I think I'm one of the few girls who can tolerate her know-it-all attitude. But she was right about the condoms.

So: pill-free, absent of silicone or saline or whatever they put in breasts these days, I am now appreciated for having firm-but-natural breasts and haven't been pronounced "busty for an Oriental" in quite some time. Now it's "Hey, they're real!" And nobody comments on the fact that I'm Oriental because it's no longer exotic -- the city is filled with girls from Asia. In one decade, I went from being exotic to being a recognized norm. And you're not supposed to call yourself an Oriental these days -- though hookers still do.

Sometimes, I'll see another Asian female of indeterminate age on an airplane or on the street -- dressed exactly like me, in black pants and a black sweater, wearing similar hair ornaments, black ankle boots and a white American boyfriend in his 30s -- and I think, "Good grief, I'm a type." Why wouldn't I rather be exotic?

What I like about not being "busty" anymore is that small is beautifully gamine-like. I'm a much better 25-year-old today than I was at 25: better at getting what I want, less ruffled by other people's judgments and small enough to be perceived as a girl. Let others partake of silicone enhancements; I will stay on the B-list.

My great weakness, though, is a love of food. My tummy threatens to betray me. I get away with it but sometimes I think: "My body would be in better shape if I couldn't get by on my face." Jasmine works her abs and thighs to a fare-thee-well -- not an ounce of excess on that control-freak frame of hers ...

Monday, July 12th

Joe just called to set something up for tomorrow morning, with a guy called Spooky -- yes, that Spooky, founder of the record label. I'm sworn to secrecy. Joe sees me two or three times a year on his own, but frequently sends me to his pals in the music biz.

For a baby boomer in the music industry, Joe is very sensible -- he's like an accountant with a wee edge to his personality. If I met him "straight" I would probably have eyes for him. However, I note that he's married. Lately, whenever I have this thought about a john, he turns out to be married! Actually I find that reassuring: All this variety hasn't ruined my ability to detect quality. And it shows that the market in men is as efficient as the market in girls.

When Joe sees a working girl, he's all business -- no interest in fondling or kissing me, just a courteous blow job and out the door, onto his next meeting. This is the sign of a loyal, focused hubby ...


Allison called while I was busy and left the number of a phone booth. I got the message too late, though. Her business line has been disconnected. I wonder where she's living? Maybe Jasmine is right: I'd like to forget about Allie sometimes. But I can't exactly do that when I'm holding her book. What if she needs it back?

By Tracy Quan

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