Image by Esther Samuels-Davis
A good boy always cleans up the mess.
Produced by Thomas Curry, Phil Dmochowski, and Steven Jackson. Sound design and original score by Phil Dmochowski and Steven Jackson, with help from George Langford, who composed Mr. Mop’s Theme.TRANSCRIPT
House cleaner for hire
Speaker 1: All right then.
Mr. Mop: I was thinking more about Friday.
Speaker 1: As?
Mr. Mop: I was thinking Friday for me.
Speaker 1: That’s all right. That’s all right. All right then, love.
Mr. Mop: All right.
Speaker 1: Oh, all right then.
Mr. Mop: All right then.
Speaker 1: I’ll go and shower now.
Mr. Mop: All right then.
Speaker 1: [inaudible].
Mr. Mop: You have to let me go now because I’m really busy. I’m busy.
Speaker 1: All right. Bye, bye, bye, bye, bye-di-bye-di-bye, bye.
Mr. Mop: Oh, God. Sorry. Are you recording me, at the moment?
I may have started.
It’s all right. No, I’m fine, thanks.
You don’t smoke?
No, I’ve given up.
Oh. Oh shit. Well, don’t give up today, have one with me. Today you can-
Mike, I can’t. I’ve been off the horse for so long. But thank you.
I do appreciate it.
No, I’m a terrible person. I’m such a bad influence. I am.
So, do you use your real name for your work as well?
Yes, but… Because everybody calls me Mike, I just put Mike. None of my friends know.
Why don’t you charge more than 12 pounds an hour?
I guess I’m not a greedy person. If they want to give me 15 pounds or give me a little bit of a tip on top, that’s fine.
Don’t you think you’re worth more than 12 pounds an hour?
I’m worth a bloody fortune [inaudible]. What you laughing at me for? I’m worth a fortune. Don’t you think I’m worth a fortune? Well, I’m very good at what I do, and I am thorough. That’s probably why they pay me a bit extra. I get a tip as well, for services rendered.
Why you blushing? I’m 55, for fuck’s sake. I’m not a dolly bird of 22.
I charge what I think I’m worth.
We’re sitting in my living room. Are you recording at the moment? Right. So we’re sitting in my living room at the moment.
Do you feel quite house-proud?
House-proud. Well, Tom, to be quite honest, I always have been a little bit house-proud. I’ve always had to clean home. I’m not perfect-perfect, because a bit of dust never killed anybody, but I certainly do my housework. And to say that I’m house-proud? Probably, I am. Yeah.
Shall we have a wander around?
Yeah, but I haven’t made my bloody bed yet.
Oh, don’t worry.
No, I’ve got the duvet cover out, and that… No, I haven’t made my fucking bed.
Come on. Do I need to turn all of the lights on?
Only if you want.
All right. All right, so this is my little bathroom. It’s lilac, because I think lilac is a relaxing color. I tried to match everything up and make it as nice as nice can be.
Can you describe these bath mats to me? They’re quite cool.
I bought them at the bloody market.
Do you know what the logo is?
It’s CC, isn’t it? The designer. But they’re fake. They’re not real. They cost eight pound off the bloody market down Deptford’s. So, shall we go into the kitchen now?
Right. So here we go. This I love. This is sort of the little hub of my home. I’ve got cleaning products everywhere. By the time you’ve leaved here today you’re going to be the queen of clean. I’m telling you. All right, so I’ve got two great big bottles of herring: [Herschel 00:04:42], [Ariel 00:04:42]. So I’ve got Ariel. Washing-up liquids. I’m obsessed with it. Carpet shampoo. I don’t have carpets no more, I’ve got wooden flooring. Do you want these? Febreze. Mental about Febreze. Furniture polish. Dettol. I just love it. Dettol, again. Oh, Tom, I just love it. Elbow Grease.
What’s Elbow Grease?
Oh, it’s good for your tiles and everything. Vanish. You’ve heard of Vanish, haven’t you? You’re laughing at me. You are. Descaler. You’ve heard of that, haven’t you? Now, you might keep it…
WD-40. It’s good when your doors creak. When they go [crik 00:05:21] crik crik, just spray that on. Never had that experience? No. You ain’t fucking lived.
And the last thing, Zoflora. It’s like a disinfectant. You just put a capful in the mop bucket when you’re mopping your floors, and it smells for days. It does. I love it, absolutely love it.
Can we go and sit down?
Do you mind? Come and make yourself at home. Sit wherever you like, it doesn’t make any difference to me. Yeah.
I grew up in the Midlands, in a place called Wolverhampton. My parents died when I was quite young. My mom… I mean, they didn’t talk about it in those days. It’s not as open as today. But, sadly, she died when I was nine. And then my dad died just over 18 months later. I think he had a broken heart. Sorry.
No. No, not at all.
My grandparents sort of looked after me for a while. I think they found it a little bit difficult, so then I had to be brought to social services care till I was 16. Then, at 16, you had to leave. They found me the job in the hotel, the hotel that made me. I start at the bottom, washing up in the kitchen. My first day at work, this great big chef, great big fuck guy, went to me, “You’re my new kitchen [porcher], aren’t you?” He dragged me, by my collar, to this great big sink, and I looked down and the bloody saucepans… You ain’t seen saucepans like it. The sinks were bigger than me. You could put me in there and give me a bath. I thought, “Fucking hell.”
And it’s piled high with saucepans. And he said to me, “Wash all the shit out of that saucepans, and be very quick about it.”
I thought, “Shit, where do I start? Where do I start?”
Polishing silver, you did it with a cloth. Liquid polish? No. I had to do it piece by piece with an actual… They called them silver cloths, and they’re blue. And I stand there all afternoon polishing knives, forks, spoons. I stayed there five years, and I got trained through every department. I really made it. I really made it. I did. And I’m so proud of myself. Yeah, because I did. I did.
I got involved with a guy who was a bit older than me, when I was 18, and we were together for four years. We’d go out and he’d say, “When you’re out with me, you’re out with me, you don’t speak to anybody,” so people used to think that I was a snob. He was extremely controlling. I mean, I was so young at the time. And, although I’d had sexual encounters prior to that, he was like the first person in my life, and I just couldn’t see how manipulating and controlling he was. I think I was just a bit too young to understand. He broke my nose.
Yeah, I’ve still the scar. Yeah. He punched me in the face one night for having a dance with one of our best friends.
There was nothing to it. He just got me in the car and was mouthing off at me, screaming and shouting, “Why did you go and dance with Peter? But, and I didn’t give you permission to go and dance with him.” And the next thing I knew my face was just covered in blood, because it happened so quick. He just went smack, right to my face.
Yeah, it was… Honestly, when I look back now, would I ever allow that to happen to me again? Are you joking? I’d be out that door so quick the feet wouldn’t touch the ground.
The day that I left, I rang him at work and I said, “I’m at Wolverhampton train station, and I’m leaving. I’m leaving.” Didn’t tell him where I was going.
He said, “No you’re not. No you’re not.”
I said, “I am. I am.” I said, “I planned it.” I said, “And you’ll never ever see me again.” I said, “You’re done. You’re gone out of my life. You’re done.”
Good riddance. And so that wasn’t a very nice period in my life.
But there you go. God.
Yes, a fresh… Yes, fresh start. You’re absolutely right.
So I know we talked about the hotel work you did when you were younger, but could you talk to me a bit about the cleaning you do now?
I was struggling a bit. So I sat here and I thought, “Mike, how you going to earn some money?” I thought, “Oh, people always need a cleaner.”
I was going through various Web sites and then came across Craigslist, and I was just nosing through it, and then I saw households, and I saw things like: Gay Naked Cleaner. I thought, “Oh, I could do that.”
I put on: Naked Cleaner Available for Gay/Bi/Straight Guys, Covering Zones 1 to 3. Have Hotel Background. Hourly Rate: 12 Pound Per Hour. Something like that. I’m not modest. I can strip off and what have you. I don’t bloody care. Mr. Sheen in one hand, duster in the other. Polishing and dusting. Mopping the floor and wiggling my bum. It’s just like doing me own cleaning at home. Not that I do my own cleaning at home naked. But that’s how I sort of got into it, really.
The first one, I can’t remember. It was just after Christmas, in between Christmas and New Year. I went round. Gorgeous guy. Really, really nice guy. Beautiful, beautiful little flat, all the Christmas things up and everything. He asked me about being naked, and, of course, I’ve never done it before so I was a bit nervous and that. And he was so nice and respectful. I remember he did say to me, “Do you mind if I strip off as well?”
I said, “No, of course not. You’re a bit of all right, of course you can bloody strip off. Show me the goods. Show me your Christmas ball balls.” I don’t think I did very much polishing or dusting. No, I didn’t, actually. No. Because I remember we were too busy in bed noshing on his cock. Yeah. Sorry.
So, yes, that was a bit of a Christmas bonus, actually.
Do they ever request photos in advance at all?
Yeah. I get that a lot, actually. And I always refuse, because I fell for that right at the beginning. And they’d say things like, “Oh, send me a face pic.” Well, why would I want to send you a face pic? I’m not asking you to fucking marry me. I’m going to clean your house. Why would you… It doesn’t matter. It doesn’t matter what I look like. “Oh, send me a pic of your cock.” Well, you’ll see it anyway. I’ll say, “Well, if you want it, you fucking come and get it. You want it, come and get it.”
Could you tell me a little bit about the age ranges just so I have a picture of who they are?
Well, amazingly enough, they’re sort of guys around my own age, ranging from 40 to, say, 60. Some of the guys I’ve met, oh my God, I couldn’t wait to get them into bed. Absolutely. They do say, “Oh, is there extras for the sexual part?” Because I have been told that a lot of guys, especially younger guys, will have a fee, say, 15, 20 pounds. I mean, some guys charge 30, 40 pounds an hour. If it does get to the sexual part of it, guys are quite surprised because I go, “Well, no, it’s just 12 pounds an hour.”
If they’ve hired you as a cleaner, do you then have to clean up afterwards?
Well, the good boy always cleans up the mess. If they’ve shot all of themselves, because I do like my protein, so I’ll just lick it all off them. Absolutely. And I don’t waste a drop either. It’s too good to waste.
I’ve never been paid to have sex. Absolutely not. I just wouldn’t go down that road. Not for me. But if I go and do a job for somebody, like cleaning a house, then if sex is involved then I don’t feel any guilt about it, because I’ve actually earned that money via… Does it make sense?
Yeah. Mm-hmm. Yeah.
Does it sound total rubbish?
No, not at all.
Not at all.
No, probably makes me sound like a right fucking slut.
I’ve never had an STD, you know?
I never even had crabs. And that’s incredible for a gay man. Every gay man I know has had crabs. I’ve never had crabs. No, the itchy, crawly things. I haven’t. Honestly. And how I’ve got away with it I’ll never know.
My first time to any new job I’ll just do room by room. I’ll say, “Can you just come and check and make sure that everything’s all right for you?” And nine times out of ten it’s, “Oh, no, that’s absolutely fine.” And then, over a period of time, as they get to know me and I get to know them, then I don’t even realize that I’m naked or they’re naked, we’re just talking, chatting away. I’m like, “How was your week?” Or, “What you been up to?”
I mean, sometimes I do have say, “Excuse me, but we’re talking a bit too much, where I need to go and do the bathroom, really. Shouldn’t I be in there doing the bathroom?”
“Oh, yeah. Yeah.”
“Well, you are paying me to do a job.”
I think some of them, they really don’t need the cleaning done, because I’ve been to people’s houses before and I’ve walked around and I thought, “This place is fucking spotless.”
One occasion, it was really, really weird. It was a guy that I went to see in Putney. And this was naked. He was naked as well. I walked in and the place was absolutely spotless. And I did say to him, “Why’d you want a cleaner? Because this place is absolutely spotless. It’s glowing.”
And he said, “Oh, no, no.” He said, “It’s got to be cleaned. It’s got to be cleaned.” I’d start cleaning, say, in the living room, doing his bookshelves and all that sort of thing, taking all the books off and what have you. And he’d be right behind me and take all the books off and polish it again. I polished all the coffee table, and he’d polish the coffee table again. And I’d pick up his picture frames, and everything I cleaned he followed me around to clean. “Well, can you do all the windows?” So I got the window spray out, cleaned all the windows, and then he went and did that as well. That was so, so weird.
I said, “To be quite honest, I don’t know what I’m doing here?” And it sort of freaked me out a bit, so I didn’t go back.
Can I ask, when it does go well, what happens?
When it goes well? Well, Riley, his partner works in a hospital, and he goes on to Riley about doing the cleaning. Riley will ring me and he’ll go, “Mike, are you free tomorrow?” Normally, it’s normally on Sunday. You know, when you just want to relax? So I go around there, do the cleaning. He’s there on the sofa like the Queen of Sheba. Like this… So I’ve got all the cleaning stuff out, going around and doing this, that, and the other, and he absolutely loves the foreplay situation. He’ll go, “Come over here, I’ve got something for you.”
I’ll say, “Yeah, I can see you have.”
I’ll go off and I’ll do the bedroom. Then he’ll go, “Mike, Mike, come here, I need a bit of attention.” And his cock’s out.
“All right then.”
And he’ll say, “No, piss off.”
But it’s always a happy ending. I make him laugh, because I’ll say to him, “Do you know when your partner comes home, you’re going to have to say to him, ‘I’m so fucking exhausted.'”
I’ve done odd things, say. What else do you want to know?
I’m extremely broad-minded. I’d never be tied up or anything like that. It’s not in my sexual remix. Or gagged. Or nothing like that. But apart from that, I’m pretty open with them, and say, “Here I am. You fancy a 50-odd-year-old coming up your bloody self, I don’t care.” I know, I’m terrible.
Different body types. I don’t judge anybody, really. I mean, as long as they’re nice and respectful to me.
There are kind of different gay… I don’t know if you’d call them tribes.
Yeah. People say daddy, chubby. Oh, yeah, the young, very younger ones: twinks. Yeah, do you know what I like? I really, really love a nice hairy guy. Hairy body does it for me. I love a bear. I love a bear. I get so erotic with them, and so horny, and sexual. It’s just the hairy chest thing. I just love it. Oh, Tom, I just love it.
I’m not in a relationship. I don’t want one. But I do have a sexual life as well, without the commitment.
So I’ve got the best of both worlds, you see. I can go and do a job and have sex, and come home, pick up the phone and say, “Fancy coming around for a bit of how’s your father tonight? You can have a cup of coffee and a drink and get your cock out.” That’s just me.
Do you take sort of special care of your physique and your body, specifically for work?
Could you imagine me in a gym with all them big butch men? You must be fucking joking. They’d laugh at me. They’d go, “Look at weedy over there.” No. No, I get enough exercise polishing and dusting, pulling the Hoover around. No, gym life is not for me.
Once a week I do treat myself to a sun bed though. With a face like this, you have to do something.
No, no, it’s true. I tell people I get up at four o’clock in the morning, slap the Polyfilla on, leave it for a couple of hours, and then I get the hammer and chisel out, knock it all off just to fill all the cracks in. I’ve got no mirrors in my house, you know?
Really. Well, see, my godmother’s the same. She doesn’t have any.
No, I have got mirrors in my house.
No, that’s a joke. Of course I’ve got mirrors. Of course I have. God. Your grandmother hasn’t got any mirrors in her house?
My godmother. Yeah.
Oh, your godmother.
Is that true?
Oh. How bizarre.
Yeah, I mean-
Oh, right, okay.
… it shows.
Oh my God, that’s weird. And you thought I was being truthful.
Do you know any other men that do it?
I do. Can I just call him M.? When M. was at work he did exactly the same thing.
Have you ever talked about it?
Oh yeah, we talk about it all the time. Yeah, absolutely. He was the one who… You see, when I put 15 pound an hour, I was telling him about it. And he said, “Mike, give you a bit of advice. Put it down to 12, because you’ll find that they’ll actually pay you a bit more. They’ll probably round it off because they can’t be bothered with fiddling about with change and what have you.” And it did work out for me.
When I get a new job in, because he’s one of my closest confidants, I do let him know where I’m going. Absolutely. And that’s as a safety thing. They don’t know. They don’t know. But M. does. And I’ll say to him, “Look, I’ve got this new job on Tuesday, I’m going to be in such and such a place, and what have you.”
And we speak several times a week, so he’ll say, “Oh, how did the job go?” And, “What did you get up to, you dirty fucking slut? Did you get his cock out?”
Does it feel submissive to be cleaning for people and having sex with them?
I don’t feel it is submissive. I just enjoy what I do. I get satisfaction out of it. I do. When I step back, after doing all the work and everything, I think to myself, “You got a nice, clean home today. Did they do it? No. I did it.”
If you said to someone, “I’m a naked cleaner,” do you think they’d have preconceptions about it?
Look, we all make judgments in our lives. Of course we do. It’s called being human. I don’t tell my friends what I do. Absolutely bloody not. Because it’s like a secret part of my life. Do I care what people think about me? I’m too fucking old to bother now. I’m too old. How old are you?
30. If anybody said to me years and years and years ago, when I was 30, like you, if somebody said to me, “Do you know what, you’re going to end up as a naked cleaner, cleaning naked in people’s houses?” I’d of gone, “You’re fucking crazy. Piss off. Leave me alone. You’re crazy.” Life changes just like that, every day. I’ve lived life. I’ve experienced life. Do I have a lovely life? Yes, I do. Am I smiling? You know that I’m smiling, don’t you, because I’m smiling at you. Do I love it? Do I enjoy it? Yeah. Do I get sex out of it? Yeah, I do. Yeah. Do I want to be a scrubber all my life? Nah. Do I want to be on my hands and knees, sweating with a bucket of water and the old broom, the hard brush and everything, scrubbing those floors like in the olden days? I don’t want to die being known as Mr. Mop. May you rest in peace, Mr. Mop. And bucket. Oh, don’t forget the bucket. Yeah. On me headstone: very good cleaner.
Nick van der Kolk, Host and Director
Thomas Curry, Producer
Phil Dmochowski, Producer
Steven Jackson, Producer
Sound design and original score by Phil Dmochowski and Steven Jackson, with help from George Langford, who composed Mr. Mop’s Theme