Operation Desert Porn

It was good old military efficiency that had Brian Sayler back home in Haverhill for a couple of weeks in April 2007. Sayler, then 30, had been working for a year and a half at Camp Anaconda in Balad, Iraq, as a small-arms repairman for the military contractor KBR. When he decided to take a similar job with another company, ITT, located just a few hundred yards away, he was told he’d have to return to the United States while the transfer was finalized. A 16,000-mile round-trip journey just to switch jobs may seem extreme, but then, rules and regulations are the backbone of the culture at Anaconda, the largest U.S. installation in Iraq.

While he waited in Haverhill as the process dragged on, Sayler heard about some fun you can’t find in Balad. His favorite porn star, Cassidey, would be performing at Club Alex’s, a strip joint in Stoughton.

After making the hourlong drive, he arrived at the dimly lit club. Inside, there was a main stage and two smaller performance areas off to the sides, and a plexiglass booth used for "shower shows." Though the place was nearly empty, a burst of excitement rippled through the room when Cassidey finally entered in a tight "naughty nurse" costume that accentuated her prominent curves.

Ascending to the stage from a back door, Cassidey began to prance about to the music and wriggle out of her nurse’s outfit, until she was wearing nothing but her white felt boots. Afterward, she took a seat at a nearby table, surrounded by autographed DVDs she had for sale.

Sayler approached and professed his admiration. "He was so nice," Cassidey recalls, "really sweet." They struck up a casual conversation, with Sayler mentioning his imminent return to the Middle East. Cassidey showed her appreciation for his service by providing him with a free lap dance. She also sent him home with an armful of complimentary DVDs to give to his fellow contractors when he made it back to Iraq. "It was the least I could do," she says. "They’re risking their asses every day. I just wanted to make it a little easier."

In some ways, it was the night of Sayler’s life. But he doesn’t think of the rendezvous at Club Alex’s that way anymore. Not since it ended up costing him his career.