The Seville Series: Verbal Sexual Harassment

Mara and Ben were two bartenders at Seville while I worked there. Both of them verbally harassed me.

Below is a photo of Ben:


Ben has been working at Seville for a long time. He is friends with the original owner, Dino Perlman, who sold the club to RCI a couple of years ago. Ben spent much of his work shift staring at the women on stage, rating their physical attractiveness and making misogynistic remarks about the ones he doesn't like, usually regarding his disdain for body fat. Ben also openly discussed which of the dancers he would “fuck.”

Sometimes when dancers were seated at the bar while Ben was working, he would playfully untie their outfits. Usually they giggled when he did this, but I suspect they were just tolerating his bullshit in order to keep their jobs. He's not attractive or likable, so I can't imagine most women would enjoy his playful assaults. While I was polite and occasionally tipped him, it didn't take Ben very long to decide that he didn't like me. Ben would loudly state, while talking to other people, that he thought I was snobby. He probably thought this, because I was at Seville to work and did not tolerate his disgusting workplace behavior by placating it with giggles and flirtations.

While Ben was a bartender who got paid an hourly wage to work and also earned tips, he had grown accustomed to seeing women's time and energy being taken advantage of for free, from men who expected it. Many dancers at Seville are between the ages of 18-22 and have never danced before, and who were unaware of their labor rights. As such, many don't use their time wisely when hustling, nor have many yet learned to be assertive with customers who wanted their time for free. Many dancers at Seville would sit with customers for free, or endure their degrading behaviors without asking for financial compensation. I didn't do that, because I have learned to conserve my time and hustle rapidly. Ben didn't like that about me very much, so many of his misogynistic remarks were directed at me. He once referred to me as “an animal" for the speed at which I go about my business.

Donald Trump was running for president during the time that I worked at Seville, and there were times when Ben would profile people based on their looks, to determine whether or not he thought they were Trump supporters. The problem with Ben is that he is not very smart or talented with determining what a person thinks about. He once saw a petit man with a sweater wrapped around his shoulders, and thought the man was a Trump supporter based on this, before listening to the man speak and realizing he was a tourist from Europe. Ben apologized to the man for assuming he was an American who would vote for Trump.

After a while, Ben made an interesting judgment about me. He thought that I was a cop, and began spreading rumors that I was undercover. Ben didn't know this, but I have audio recordings that I took of him when he didn't think I was around, of him telling other dancers about his theory.

Mara was one of the bartenders who Ben often worked and chatted with. She hides her face from the internet, so I cannot post a photo of her. For a visual reference, her face strongly resembles Howard Stern's.



Her handlebar for various internet accounts is “juuiceb0x,” and on the internet she pretends to be an open-minded feminist who is opposed to violence against sex workers.

While I worked at Seville, Mara was often a person who Ben discussed women with in degrading ways, while they were bar tending together. While bartender Mara occasionally danced at Seville for a hobby, she probably couldn't make enough money doing it full time like the other dancers were able to, due to her nontraditional physical appearance and cruel behavior toward others. It always confused me that a woman who looks like Mara felt comfortable criticizing dancers based on their appearances, but that is what she did openly and frequently.

The few times that she was preparing herself in the dressing room to dance, she would intentionally get physically close to me, as though she wanted to fight. I avoided her as much as possible. Once while I was by the sink, she came very close to me and whispered something about how unattractive my dancing looked. Seville doesn't have a pole to dance on like most strip clubs do, so I was bit confused on what to do when first starting at Seville.

Some of the Seville staff noticed the large number of single-song lap dances that I was selling, and began to openly dissect how I did it. Interestingly, Mara began to copy what I did during nights that she was dancing. For example, she and the other staff would examine the specific manner in which I touched customer's necks while speaking to them before selling a song. Mara would then try to do this, usually unsuccessfully, during nights that she danced. It was creepy that she began copying me, especially because she continued to discuss me negatively while she was bar tending. I often wondered why an adult woman was engaging in this kind of behavior, especially one pretending to be a liberal feminist in online sex worker communities. I wasn't the only person who had problems with Mara, and she often discussed how management was on the brink of firing her. They never did though. After all, it wasn't Mara standing up for the rights of sex workers and threatening the way Seville ran their business.

One night close to my termination, I told manager William Borea about Ben and Mara's harassment of dancers on stage and harassment of me. Borea suggested that if I tip them, they would be nicer to me. I informed him that I frequently tipped them. He said he would talk to them. In a subsequent shift, I overheard Ben telling another bartender that he and Mara were not allowed to look at me any more. Ben stated that he did not care if he couldn't look at me, because I “ain't hot.” While I think Ben is gross and am not bothered that he doesn't think I am “hot,” having to listen to another comment about my appearance from him was still sexual harassment, even when it was negative. The goal in telling on him was to prevent him from commenting at all. I was terminated from Seville shortly after.

Mara and Ben's behavior is mostly tolerated in the state of Minnesota, and not high enough on the threshold of sexual harassment to have justice in the legal system or anywhere.