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[whitespace] Veronica Monet

A sex worker-turned-seminar leader talks about goddesses, sex and virgin men

By J. Douglas Allen-Taylor

There are a couple of distinct differences between the way Veronica Monet appears on her Web site and the way she presented herself during her workshop last Saturday at the VisionQuest Expo at the San Jose Convention Center.

At VisonQuest, the fortysomething Monet is dressed in a black, tailored executive suit that discreetly gives only a below-the-knee glimpse of her athletic legs, which she modestly crosses as she sits on the podium. On her Web site Monet appears in a black negligée, breasts often bare and legs spread open wide. At VisionQuest she talks mostly about sacred goddesses and relationships and going through therapy and life with her husband of six years. On her Web site any mention of her husband is conspicuously absent, and her subject matter is described like this: "Cum relax and renew yourself in a spa-like setting," she writes. "Depending upon your mood and interests, we can explore new things, or you can let me pamper you into ecstasy." On her Web site, Veronica Monet describes herself as something called a "sex worker." At VisionQuest she opts for a more succinct summation: "I'm a prostitute."

While Native American sacred drums compete for attention from an adjoining room, the small baby-boomer audience at Monet's workshop on "The Truth About Men" seems fascinated as she advises that based upon her professional experience, many men are far more interested in hugging and talking than they are in orgasmic sex, and they will pay big bucks for such contact if they don't find it in their relationships. Big enough bucks that Monet boasts of a three-day workweek and the recent purchase of a half-million-dollar home, and hints at a six-figure yearly income. "I doubled my income this year," she says. "I'm not thinking about retiring. Why should I?"

"I came to learn about me," one man tells her. A woman says she came to the workshop because "I have trouble giving up power in a relationship, and I want to see how to do it." Another woman says she came because "this seemed to be the most interesting workshop in this time slot." And another man explains with a smile that he is in attendance because "you are a prostitute; I like your credentials." That brings a laugh and a "thank you" from Monet.

VisionQuest officials do not find it unusual for Monet to appear during a two-day convention that featured astrology readings, high-tech aura photos, magic rocks and sacred beads and incense, meditation advisers, psychic analysis, hemp-cloth dispensers, "state-of-the-art computerized pictures of your nervous system," and featured speakers on topics ranging from "The Near-Death Experience" to "Developing Intuition" and "Diet for a New America."

Tim Brattan, VisionQuest's public relations and marketing director, explains that Monet fits in well with the expo's goal of providing information on a variety of issues concerning personal growth. "Yeah, she's a little more fringy," Brattan says. "But we've had speakers on alien abduction theories and UFOs, and that's kind of out there, too. Monet is a little more frank and upfront than our usual speakers on relationship issues, but I enjoyed it. I think she was a hit."

Monet's hour-long talk and question-and-answer session resonates with the audience as she speaks of her experiences with virgin men ("When a man first enters a woman's body, it's like he's seeing the face of God; he's shocked"), or of how her customers often prefer switching gender roles, but not in the kinky sense of the word ("They want to be the ones who are pursued; they want to get the chance to be vulnerable; for one hour they don't have to be in charge"), or of how women should not feel guilty about their men cheating on them ("I don't think women are responsible for men's behavior"), or of how sex ought to be fun ("I like being playful instead of seeing it as so damn serious"). She seems to lose her audience only when, perhaps forgetting her setting, she lapses into the more graphic details: "Some men think that getting aroused through their nipples means they are losing their manhood, so they'll deny that it's having any effect. And I just have to tell them, well, your dick is saying something different." Almost as if she were in a Saturday Night Live sketch, she chuckles, then catches herself when she realizes that the mostly middle-age women in the audience are not laughing, and quickly moves on.

Monet even has a word about the recent sexual travails of President Clinton, whom she missed in San Jose last weekend by only a few hours.

"I don't think it's about sex; it's about power," she says. "He wants his ego stroked, not his cock." She says she is not sure whether Clinton is a sex addict: "I've never met him personally." Monet seems to be leaving herself open to the possibility.

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From the October 1-7, 1998 issue of Metro.

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