What the Fokkens

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A few months ago, I was visiting Erica in New York to spend some time with her before the arrival of her baby. The sole purpose of the visit was to "loll about in bed and do nothing" for the weekend. We've always been really good at doing this, and this visit was no exception. There was lots of bed lolling, bed magazine reading, bed youtube video watching and bed napping over the weekend.  One night, we decided that we wanted to watch a movie, so we got in the bed, pulled out the laptop and loaded up Netflix. We both love all things documentaries, so when the documentary Meet the Fokkens popped up in "new arrivals", we were intrigued.


Meet the Fokkens is about 69 year old identical twins in Amsterdam who have been prostitutes in the Red Light District for over 50 years. In the movie, they talk about their lives, their histories, and their present lives, in and out of the industry. How could we pass that up?

The movie took forever to load. We waited patiently. We asked Danny, Erica's boyfriend if he wanted to join us. He declined and said that he was going to walk the dog. We waited. Finally the movie loaded. We learned that it was in Dutch with subtitles. Oh that's neat. It froze up again, no! We waited. And waited. These ladies were worth it.

Finally, it started to play. Success! The Fokkens are adorable and charming.  Danny returned with the dog. We asked if he now wanted to join us, since he had only missed a little. He agreed. At this point, Erica was on the right side of the bed, (and super pregnant) and I was on the left side. I asked what they wanted to do: should I move over to the side to let Danny in the middle so they could be next to each other? Danny didn't know if he was going to commit to the whole movie, cause he had other things to do.  Did Erica want to move to the middle? She didn't want to move, cause that side of the bed was her pregnancy-pillowed side, and she also wouldn't have been able to hold the laptop in her lap. So I was the meat in the bed sandwich, with the laptop on my stomach.  I decided to start the movie over so that Danny could see what he missed (which really wasn't anything). It froze up again and started reloading. NO! More waiting, as the clock ticked on.  Finally, it came back, and we were ready to go.

I guess I didn't really know what to expect in a documentary about prostitution, but I felt like I was ready. I'm no stranger to erotic imagery, what with Fuzzy's previous job at a certain gentleman's magazine and my career in the burlesque world. And Erica and I can watch anything together no problem. The subtitles were a little blurry, so you really had to work hard to read them, and their voices and the other language was really lilting and soothing. It was an interesting juxtaposition to the subject matter--the things they were talking about were really explicit. After one graphic and unpleastant description, Danny made the ironic comment "Sexy..." and we all giggled.

Only, I realized that Erica didn't giggle. And I realized that she was breathing pretty heavily. Because of how her head was propped and my being on my back with the laptop on my stomach, when I looked at her, I couldn't tell if she was still awake and just quiet, or if she was asleep. And I didn't want to ask that super annoying question, "Are you asleep?" especially not to a super pregnant woman with inconsistent sleep patterns. So we kept watching.

As the movie went on, things got more real, and they showed one of the twins at work. Which is to say, performing sex acts to male clients with blurred faces. And I got more uncomfortable. I started getting shifty and sweaty. It became clearer that Erica was totally passed out, so essentially what was happening was that I was watching some sex at night with Erica's boyfriend in their bed. No big, just watching some porn on a computer on a Sunday night in Brooklyn with my best friend's baby daddy while she's asleep next to me. You know, just sandwiched between a couple in the bed that the baby was conceived in, watching an elderly woman be a dominatrix to a paid client in Amsterdam. As one does.

I didn't want to make a big deal out of it. If you can't watch porn with your good male friends, who can you watch it with, right? So I let a few more minutes go by, and I don't remember if it was Danny who decided to leave, or if I bit the bullet and said that I was tired and needed to go to bed, but one of those things happened. We stopped the movie with about 45 minutes left to go, and we started moving around. Erica woke up a little. I told her I was going to go to sleep, and I asked if she was interested in watching any more of it that evening. Her response was, "Well, I have been listening to it."

To the movie that was in another language.

I said my goodnights, and went to my room and read for a little while. We never finished the movie.

1 Comment

Oh, this is good material.