John Metcalfe was CityLab’s Bay Area bureau chief, covering climate change and the science of cities.
Cops have vowed to keep a very close eye on the Lubbock Fantasy Maid Service, which provides topless women to dust, mop and mix drinks.
Fellas: When you picture your hottest fantasy, do you think of a topless woman coughing while sweeping dust bunnies from under the couch or sponging thick layers of yellowed lipids off your stove? If so, there's a new business in Lubbock, Texas, catering directly to your literally filthy desires.
The Lubbock Fantasy Maid Service offers a coterie of women who would just love to scrub your dirty bathtub in the buff – for a price, of course. The going rate in this north-Texas town is $100 for one unclothed maid and $150 for two, which is darn reasonable given the price of house cleaning nowadays. This Dallas-based company's jobs begin at $49.95, for example, and you can bet your 10-gallon hat those guys and girls are keeping it all on.
The woman running this more-usual-than-you-would-think service is one Melissa Borrett, a former Occupy Lubbock protester who is using naked cleaners to pay off significant medical debts. The skin-bearing business, however, has not gone unnoticed by the local constabulary. Sergeant Jonathan Stewart has gone on record to say that he believes Borrett is running a "sexually oriented business." In Lubbock, such enterprises require a yearly $650 permit fee and a $5,000 letter of credit or surety bond.
Stewart and his fellow officers say they are watching the Fantasy Maid Service closely for "any violation, which would bring a $2,000 fine," according to a fun AP report that quotes the actual ordinance at play:
Such businesses are defined as any commercial venture whose operations include "providing, featuring or offering of employees or entertainment personnel who appear in a state of nudity, seminude or simulated nudity and provide live performances or entertainment" intended to sexually stimulate or gratify customers "and which is offered as a feature of a primary business activity of the venture."
The scantily clad maids are certainly in a gray area here. Borrett has vowed to legally defend her unclad handmaidens, if necessary. Perhaps to help swing public opinion toward the idea that this is a harmless, nonsexual service, she has outfitted her website with all sorts of disclaimers. These include:
- Look all you want, but please do not touch the maids!
- If at any time the maid feels threatened, she will leave without issuing a credit or refund. DO NOT ATTEMPT TO SOLICIT A MAID FOR SEXUAL SERVICES. If the customer offers such a transaction, the maid will leave immediately without issuing a credit or refund and the customer will not receive future services.
- Security will be on or near the premises on standby to enforce rules.
Be warned that customers are not allowed to spontaneously strip while getting a cleaning. Unless they're nudists, that is, in which they can drop trou as long as their family is present. The servants, meanwhile, get to dress up as they please for the dirty work, whether that means donning a French Maid outfit or strapping on a pair of high heels that, as this Facebook commenter points out, "would help reach those high out of the way dust spots."
Borrett's business is by no means the only such service across the United States. Google these companies if you want to find their NSFW websites. In the Los Angeles area, there's A Little Bit Dirty Housekeeping – motto: "We are the next level in cleaning and entertainment" – whose maids go above and beyond the call of duty by hand-washing the woodwork and soaping down exterior windows (not sure how the neighbors react to that). Got It Maid serves southern Louisiana – "Your cleaning never looked so good" – and handles skin-chafing ordeals like move-ins and move-outs. Minnesota Topless Maids requires that all "cleaning supplies must be provided by clients." And the Bikini House Cleaners is a national enterprise that mines a vein of misogynism with this tagline: "[W]hat a great idea for those of us who always hate the fat, ugly cleaning lady coming over to our home to clean."
Jeez, these maids need to get a national union to represent them all!