Sex Sells Ch. 01

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Denise stared at the job listing.

Something about it caught her eye. The name of the company, of course. “Fantasy Enterprises” — what the heck was that all about? “Salary and commission” and “elite clientele”. That could mean good money. To Denise, this listing looked a hell of a lot better than the average sales job at the Galleria. At least there was “opportunity for advancement.” She clicked on “Apply Now” and started entering her contact info.

Denise needed a job. Desperately. She’d been working her way through school at the University of Texas, Dallas. She had one more year to go before she got her degree in Innovation and Entrepreneurship. She had a great paying job until about a week ago when her jerk of a manager starting putting the moves on her. She confronted him and they had a parting of the ways. Now her tuition was coming due in less than a month.

She needed to get hired somewhere and fast.

The next day, she got an email from Fantasy Enterprises. She was told to show up at Norma’s on Davis on Saturday at 9am. Odd time and place for a job interview, she thought. Norma’s was an old-style diner with country breakfasts and comfort food. If nothing else, maybe she’d get a decent meal out of it.

Saturday morning, Denise stood in front of her mirror and finished putting on her makeup. She was wearing a skirt and a crisp cotton blouse that showed off her figure. She was supposed to meet a Jerod Montgomery — probably the hiring manager or maybe the HR person — she figured a little sex appeal wouldn’t hurt. Denise was an unusually attractive young woman — tall, blonde, with long legs and a killer body. Her face was model pretty with discerning blue eyes that didn’t miss a lot. She didn’t like being thought of as just a pretty face, but she also knew she should leverage the assets she’s got.

When she got to the diner, it was five minutes to nine. Better early than late. Stepping, she looked around for a man sitting alone. In the back, a man in a tan suit signaled to her. As she approached the booth where he was sitting, he stood to greet her. He was African-American, tall and in good shape, with a full head of salt and pepper hair. She figured he was in his 40’s or 50’s. She found him very good looking — a Silver Fox.

“Denise?” he asked in a low voice.

“Yes,” she answered, “you must be Jerod.”

“Have a seat,” he said amiably. “Have you had breakfast?”

“Actually no, I haven’t,” she replied.

“Then I recommend the pancakes. Or the biscuits and gravy.”

He signaled for the waitress.

Denise watched Jerod closely. He was cool, confident, but not in an arrogant way. He was more of the debonair type.

“Coffee?” he asked with a smile.

“Sure,” she said.

Once the waitress had set them up with coffee and place settings, Denise cut to the chase.

“So, I have to tell you,” Denise said, “this is a first for me. A job interview over breakfast?”

Jerod put down his coffee cup.

“Let me explain. I take my business meetings at restaurants because Fantasy Enterprises doesn’t have an office. I run the business out of my home and in the field. To reduce overhead.”

“And the rest of the team?” she asked. “Do they work at home too?”

“There’s no team. There’s just me. I’m the owner and sole proprietor.”

“OK,” she said. “And what exactly is the product?”

“We’ll get into all of that,” he said as the waitress appeared to take their orders.

Over breakfast, he spent time explaining his background and asking her questions about hers. His manner was so easy going and casual, it didn’t feel like a job interview at all. More like a conversation you’d have with someone over a meal.

Denise learned he had retired from an R&D role at a high-tech company in Richardson. He had cashed out enough stock to start his own business selling household wares to Dallas suburbanites. He was using hi-tech tools to facilitate sales though he didn’t go into details.

Jerod learned she was working her way through college towards a BA in business. He had a way of asking questions, directly and without judgment, that just made her open up. He gathered she’d had a pretty hard scrabble life, growing up with her single Mom who was no longer in her life. She had never known her Dad. When he inquired about why she left her last employer, she put down her fork.

“To be honest with you, I had a run-in with my boss,” she said matter-of-factly.

“What happened?” Jerod asked.

She took a deep breath.

“He wanted to get in my pants. When I told him I wasn’t interested, he started giving me all the worst assignments. I told him to go to hell and he fired me.”

Jerod nodded.

“Thank you for being honest,” he said. “If you were to work with me, I’d never put you in that position.”

Denise gave a small nod and went back to eating.

“And what exactly was your role at the Gentleman’s Club?” Jerod asked.

She stopped chewing.

“How did you know where I worked?” she asked.

Jerod put his napkin down and bahis firmaları leaned back.

“Now it’s my turn to be honest with you,” he said. “I did a background check on you. Nothing extensive, just an online search of some easily accessed databases. You were valedictorian in high school. You got accepted to UT on a need-based scholarship. You made the Dean’s List your first two years but then took time off as a Junior.”

“I needed to make money to pay my tuition,” she said.

“And tend to your mother’s opiate addiction.”

“That too,” she answered.

“What exactly was your position at the Gentleman’s Club.”

Denise took a deep breath and glanced around the diner.

“I was a featured dancer.”

“Meaning?”

“I stripped,” she said. “I took off my clothes and men gave me money. Good money, in fact. The best money I’ve ever made in my life. Then my boss said that in order to keep my job, I had to give him regular blow jobs.”

She took the napkin off her lap and laid it on the table.

“So, now you know all about me. If you want to end the interview now, I understand.”

She stood and prepared to leave.

“Sit down,” he said, softly.

She sat back down, a look of defiance clouding her face.

“I don’t care that you were a stripper,” he said in a low voice. “If anything, it may make you more qualified for this job. What I do care about is you told me the truth. And that’s something pretty rare these days.”

He pushed his plate towards the center of the table.

“I think it’s time I gave you some details about the job.”

Jerod proceeded to give Denise a complete description of the job. As sales associate, she’d be responsible for ordering and stocking merchandise, finding prospective clients, and booking the appointments. During sales calls, she’d accompany Jerod to the client’s homes and assist him in making the sale. In addition to her salary, she would receive 20% of the tips they received. Over time, as she learned the ropes, she would lead sales calls herself. That’s when her share of tips would increase to 40%.

“What’s the salary?” she asked.

“The salary’s nominal. Slightly more than minimum wage. The significant money is in the tips.”

“How significant is significant?” she asked.

“Let’s put it this way,” said Jerod. “It’ll definitely exceed what you were making at the Gentlemen’s Club.”

“I was making $1000 a week,” she said.

“Like I said,” he smiled, “it’ll definitely exceed what you were making at the Gentlemen’s Club.”

Denise leaned back in her seat. Jerod gave her a steely look.

“Denise, before I go on, I need to know if you accept the job offer as I’ve described it to you. I know this is unusual, but everything you learn from this point on must be kept completely confidential. I need to know if you’re in or out. If you’re out, we can say goodbye — no hard feelings. If you’re in, we can continue.”

Denise looked him straight in the eye.

“I’m in.”

Jerod leaned in, lowering his voice.

“OK,” he said, taking a deep breath before he continued.

“Fantasy Enterprises operates on two levels. On the official level, we’re a franchise operation selling home furnishings in the greater Dallas area. I’m the owner/operator of that franchise and I pay all appropriate taxes on the goods I sell. On the official level, I’ll employ you and pay Social Security, FICA, medical benefits, and a small but credible salary. Yes, I’ve officially offered you the job–congratulations. On an unofficial level, we’re strictly a cash business that collects gratuities from our clients which generates revenues roughly ten times that of our official business. Our cash business is dependent on one thing and one thing only — the complete and total satisfaction of our customers. We don’t advertise, we don’t offer promotions, we don’t show up on Google. Our growth is fueled by referrals and repeat business, and for that to work, we have to keep the customers satisfied.”

“Sounds like what I used to do for tips at the Club,” said Denise with a smile.

“It’s not that different,” said Jerod. “And how you go from making good money to insanely good money is the same.”

“Keep the customer satisfied?” Denise guessed.

“Exactly.”

“So where is all this cash business coming from?” Denise asked.

“That’s a good question. Our target customers are primarily women living in select Dallas suburbs. University Park, Highland Park, North Dallas, Bluffview. We target the wealthiest districts because we get the biggest return there. Time is money and every sale in a lower tier market is an opportunity cost. We’re just leaving money on the table.”

“How much money are we talking about?” Denise asked.

“Last year, I netted in excess of $300,000.”

“Net?” Denise asked in too loud a voice.

Jerod put his finger to his lips.

“By my estimates, we can do much better than that.”

“How?” Denise asked.

Jerod leaned forward. He was getting into this.

“OK, this gets a little bit into the weeds. kaçak iddaa I’ve been running the numbers and I estimate that around 50-60% of our target customers aren’t available because, as a man, I can’t even get in the door. But with you setting up the appointments and accompanying me on sales calls, we should be able to increase the addressable market significantly. Plus, with a female sales rep — which you have the opportunity to grow into — we can potentially expand our market to male buyers, growing our annual revenue by at least 60%. All told, I estimate we can double our sales volume and maybe more.”

Denise liked the way he kept saying “we”.

“So, doubling our sales would give us … $600,000 net?” Denise asked.

“Approximately. Give or take.”

“So, if my contribution is going to result in $300,000 in increased revenue,” Denise said, “it seems like I should get a pretty good share of the profit.”

Jerod looked at her like a proud parent.

“And you will. I’ve worked out a profit-sharing model which will grow as your contribution grows. The more you help to build the business, the more you’ll participate in the profit.”

Denise was listening intently. Taking it all in. This guy knows his stuff, she thought.

“We have no office, no official address, no website. We work out of our homes or on the road. We only use WhatsApp and burner accounts so there’s no digital or paper trail. There’s no warehouse. All our merchandise is stored in my van or in our storage locker. That’s it.”

Denise squinted her eyes.

“Is what we’re doing legal?” she asked.

Jerod thought a moment.

“Ours sales are entirely above board. You can choose whether or not to declare your tip income.”

Denise nodded.

“So, what is the merchandise?”

“I told you,” Jerod answered. “We’re in the home furnishings business.”

“Yeah. But what are you … we … selling exactly?”

Jerod spread his arms, expansively.

“We sell satisfaction. We sell fulfillment. We sell ecstasy.”

Denise smiled.

“I know the pitch,” she said. “But what’s the product?”

Jerod smiled back.

“I think it’d be easier if I just showed you.”

Jerod paid the bill and walked Denise out to the parking lot. He led her down the street to where a non-descript van was parked.

“Never park directly in front of your destination,” he said as he unlocked the rear door of the van.

Inside, an intricate array of carefully organized boxes filled the cargo space. According to the labels on the boxes, there were pillows, wedges, ramps, wedge ramp combos, loungers, and bouncers.

“This is our merchandise. This gets us in the door.”

He opened one of the boxes and pulled out a pillow wrapped in clear plastic wrap.

“Our pillows are high density foam, vacuum compressed to reduce size for shipping. Less packaging reduces the cost.”

Denise examined the pillow and realized that Jerod had been telling her the truth. These were, in fact, home furnishings. Pillows and the like. What she couldn’t figure out was how you could make so much money selling this stuff.

Jerod told her that he had a sales call set up in Highland Park in an hour. They could resume her “orientation” later or she could accompany him on the sales call and “learn by doing.” Denise told him she wanted to accompany him on the call.

Driving through the McMansions of Highland Park, Jerod gave her some last-minute instructions.

“Just follow my lead and let me do the talking,” he explained. “That won’t always be the case, but until you learn the ropes that’s the way it has to be. Once the sale is made, you can get the merchandise from the van.”

“Got it.”

“One more thing. We won’t be using our real names. From now on, you’ll have a nom de vend, a sales name. What do you want it to be?”

“I don’t know,” she said, “how about Jennifer.”

“Something more a little more … exciting?”

“Vanessa?”

“Perfect. From now on, when you’re working, you’re Vanessa.”

“Wait,” she said. “Who are you then?”

He smiled.

“I’m Jerod,” he said.

He pulled the van to the side of the tree-lined suburban street a few mansions shy of their destination. He grabbed a black satchel from behind the driver’s seat and got out of the van.

They walked up the street and across a stone walkway over a manicured lawn to the front door. It was easily the ritziest house Denise had ever seen up close.

Jerod rang the doorbell.

The door opened and revealed a middle-aged woman with coiffured, highlighted blonde hair. She was nicely put together with a floral blouse and yoga pants.

“Good morning, Mrs. Carroll,” Jerod said charmingly. “I’m Jerod, this is Vanessa, I believe we spoke on the phone? We’re here for the furniture consultation.”

“Yes, of course,” the woman answered with a thick drawl. “Come on in.”

Denise was floored by what she saw inside the house. A huge entranceway with a giant chandelier and twin half-turn staircases under a 30-foot ceiling. The place kaçak bahis reeked of money.

“I must say your description over the phone really piqued my interest,” she said with a twang as she led them into an adjacent room.

A book-lined den held an ornate velvet couch and two Queen Anne gold leaf sitting chairs. The woman sat on the couch. Denise and Jerod sat in the chairs.

“Mrs. Carroll,” Jerod said smiling, “it’s clear to me you are a woman of exquisite taste and discernment.”

“Please,” she said, “call me Angie. Mrs. Carroll sounds so formal.”

“Of course, Angie,” Jerod said with an intimate tone. “As I was saying, you strike me as a woman who prides herself on getting the most pleasure out of everything you do.”

“I do believe that if something’s worth doin’, it’s worth doin’ the best you know how.”

“How right you are,” Jerod continued, “which is why I think you’re going to go wild for what I have to show you.”

“So you said on the phone,” she answered.

Denise noticed Jerod had adopted a drawl he didn’t have in the diner.

“Our furniture accessories are more than accent pieces or nice to haves,” Jerod said. “They are guaranteed to provide the utmost in physical satisfaction and comfort. Can I ask you a personal question, Angie?”

“Why, of course you can,” Angie answered flirtatiously.

“Do you subscribe to the idea that no matter how … exciting you might find something, there’s always a chance that there’s something even more exciting … more fulfilling … around the next corner?”

Angie held his gaze and then shifted in her seat.

“Well … I think … I think it’s great big world and there are lots of things out there to experience.”

“Mmmm, hmmm,” he answered. “And, may I ask, do you feel like you deserve to enjoy those peak experiences, to be more satisfied than you’ve ever been before?”

Angie sat up straight, her eyes never leaving Jerod’s.

“I do,” she said softly.

“Well that’s what I hope to do, Angie. Satisfy you. And to do that, I want to learn some things about you. May I sit there next to you on the couch?”

“Yes, of course,” she said, a bit taken aback at his forwardness.

He picked up his black satchel and sat next to her.

“Now in order to give you that peak experience, to make sure you’re completely satisfied, I want you to put this on your wrist if that’s alright with you.”

He pulled out a high-tech wristwatch-like device and attached it to her wrist.

“What is it?” she asked.

“This will give me a reading of your … physical response to the things we show you. That way, we can find just the right product so you have that peak experience.”

“Is it like a Fitbit?” she drawled.

“Not exactly,” Jerod smiled. “This is an advanced sensor-based prototype that triangulates your heart rate, blood pressure, and galvanic skin response.”

“My what?” Angie asked.

“That’s just a lot of technical talk for measuring how excited you are by what you see.”

He pulled a tablet out of his bag, tapped on the screen, and handed it to her.

“I want you to watch this short video,” Jerod said, “and then we’ll talk some more.”

He moved closer to her and gently put a pair of headphones on her head. The light from the screen illuminated her face as she watched the video.

A slickly shot series of soft-focus images dissolved, one to another, showing middle aged women, and handsome young men, in various stages of lovemaking. A low-voiced narrator intoned:

“Imagine a world where your deepest desires are met on a regular basis, where your fantasies are realized every single day.” None of the images were explicit, but they were highly suggestive. Music accentuated the feeling of heightened sexual arousal. “With our exclusive line of sex furniture, we can turn the most ordinary physical experience into a once in a lifetime moment of ultimate fulfillment.” A close up of a woman’s face giving herself over to complete ecstasy. “Our products take normal everyday sex and turn it into the deepest, most satisfying experience of your life. Are you ready for the ultimate orgasmic experience?” The sound of a woman’s orgasmic moan was barely audible as the music swelled. “The peak of pleasure can be yours — right now.”

While Angie watched the video, her eyes wide and her mouth partly open. When it ended, she gulped and her chest was heaving. Jerod reached over and gently removed the headphones.

“Now I’m going to show you a series of images of our products in use. I’m going to monitor your response so we can find the one that’s just right for you.”

He laid a 5 x 7 card on the coffee table directly in front of her. It was an image of a couple making love.

Angie stared at the image. The woman was laying on her back with a pillow under her butt. Her hips were raised, her knees flexed. The man was hovering over her, his eyes fixed on hers, propped up by his arms. Perhaps he was pinning her to the bed, perhaps not. Whatever the viewer preferred. One thing was certain — his pelvis was pressed against her pussy. With her hips raised like that, he was as in as deep as he could go. And if he was as big as Angie imagined he was, it felt amazing. The card was aptly titled Heart’s Desire.

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