I think, along with sex worker burnout, I'm suffering kink, poly, and femme burnout.

Or maybe it's just a generalized burnout.

I remember in one of my favourite Marilyn Monroe flicks, "Some Like it Hot", Marilyn is explaining to Jack Lemmon how easily she falls for saxophone players. She gives the cutest little pout, and says how she feels like a tube of toothpaste, all squeezed out. But knowing that, knowing that these guys will do the same thing, time and again, doesn't stop her for going for them anyway.

That's how I feel, at the moment.

I've been trying to get some playtime with G, the one person I play with who's particularly Dominant. Unfortunately, each time we try to make plans, they've had to be moved and/or cancelled, generally pretty last minute, due to his work. Often, I'm up, and excited, and packed for play when I get the text. I'm trying hard to be understanding, to practice loving kindess and compassion... but deep down, I feel unimportant, hurt, and guilty for caring so much. I mean, G and I have no real agreement. We get together sometimes, and it's fun, right? I guess I thought we clicked so well kinkwise that I considered my submissive needs taken care of... but it's an uneven situation, as I don't, I guess, offer him anything he doesn't have elsewhere. And, ultimately, I don't know what to do or think when he says how he'll make it up to me... esp as this playdate was partially making up for one Friday that also had to be cancelled last minute. Who's to say it won't happen again, and who am I to feel upset about it? I mean, everyone has to pay rent, right?


This ties totally in to my prior post about "He's Not That Into You". This is where the insecurity gets triggered. Is it just about work, or is it easy to shunt me aside? And how do I say "this hurts my feelings, and my trust", without it making our playdates into more than they are?

Relationships are shit.

I guess it especially gets under my skin after everything with Sh. I feel trapped around how to behave- on the one hand, I only have, what, 20 days left? Just under 3 weeks. I don't feel like I've got time for people who don't have time for me. But then, on the other hand, I really LIKE G and know that the temptation to sabotage is a stupid one to indulge. And, as S and E pointed out, maybe these people aren't getting too close as I am about to leave again, and so they're focusing on what will be there for them when I'm gone, the stuff that's consistant. At the moment, I'm not.

I guess it's particularly poignant as, for work, I get paid to take care of other people's needs, and to smile and charm my way through it. And with my friends, I feel, as usual, torn between emotional honesty and feeling like they're too distant to care, and I shouldn't trouble them with my bullshit. So I try to ask for things within their ability to give, and yet... there's quite a bit missing. Maybe I need a primary after all, like E said. Maybe I should be like the rest of the population- be monogamous and cheat. Hell, maybe what I really need is a sex worker.

It's not like I haven't had fun. I went to a fetish club Sat with H and had a pretty good time, even though at first I felt kind of apprehensive. And I went to a fun fair with her and a new friend, who asked to be dubbed Influenza. That was really awesome too. I am trying to get myself out of this funk- as I type I'm off to see E at the new pub, for example- but I still feel shitty. I feel like most of my time and energy is spent being the good little femme and taking care of others, or being the mature poly person and pretending that it's all cool, I can take care of myself, I don't need other people. But I kinda do. I want to get taken care of myself for a little while. I just don't have anyone to ask, so I scrape the bottom of the barrel of my psyche to try to hold onto what little I have left... and then I have another appointment, and bit my bit, it all gets taken away.

I just don't want to have to be on top of everything for a day. Or even 4 hours.


Everything I learned about femme I learned from drag queens

I reflect a lot on femme, vs femininity and in its own right. What is femme, how is femme reflected, where do I pick up my femme cues, etc.

Drag queens and trans* sex workers are my femme role models. Whether their hair is perfectly coiffed, makeup exquisite, or they look like something the alley cats dragged in after a rainy night, they are always over-the-top femme. The best thing I ever heard a drag queen say is sniff haughtily, "Pass? Honey, I STEAMROLL." They're unapologetic about their sexuality, their crudeness, or their love of glitter and glam. They will bat their eyelashes and play nice or fight dirty with equal gusto. They stomp all over grassy lawns in stiletto heels. And they don't take shit from anybody- the cops, the straights, johns, lovers, ANYBODY.

I fucking love that.

In a world where being feminine is supposedly about seeming sweet and passive while being secretively manipulative, drag queens and trans* sex workers buck the trend. They pick and choose what they like about femininity and discard what they have no use for. They're loud, and brash, and they'll call you on your shit.

I think I end up empathizing with trans* people because, as a fat girl, I had my own body dysmorphia. I felt, and still feel, like I have this wistful longing to have the style of a skinnier girl. I used to cut my breasts and thighs, which seemed too large, too meaty to be sexy. I fluctuated between starving myself and binging. I felt like I was born into the wrong body, that I would be happy with myself had I only been a little less curvy and a lot less fat. My inner picture of myself was vastly different from the reality, and looking into the mirror tended towards being an unpleasant shock. The trans* people I've known felt much the same.

Now, I know drag queens aren't generally trans*. It's about costume, about a show. For me, that's what femme is like- this performance I put on. My style tends to be a little bit overboard- my makeup too obvious (I don't even know how to do natural looking makeup), my patterns loud and often clashing, my cleavage proudly on display. While with drag queens and most trans* sex workers, their otherness is part of the appeal, generally as a fat woman, your fat is something to feel ashamed of, to apologize for, not something to flaunt. Being a fat femme, you have to mimic that unapologetic attitude, demand respect, not put up with other people's shit. You have to take that otherness and make it into a feature.

E (who, btw, is mostly out of the doghouse) was the first person I met randomly who immediately recognized my nature and responded to it. For the first time I felt like someone saw me as I wanted to be seen- as a queer femme, not just a female.

At some point, I'm going to write about forced feminization as it pertains to my work, and myself in the workplace. And also, I want to reflect on the experience of femme sexual agency and queer femme sex workers. Yay!


Punters: Call to Arms

One of the questions I get asked a lot is how I think punters can help working girls. In the light of an incredibly misquoted article around sex work's value, and the increasingly alarming laws being considered about the criminalization of clients, I figured now was probably a good time to offer up some suggestions.

-The number one thing, and the most difficult for most people, is speak out. Every time I get asked what sort of men my clients are, there's an assumption, perpetuated by the media, that clients are physically undesireable perverts who, if they weren't seeing sex workers, would be off raping women. This really isn't true in my experience.

Speaking out, anonymously or not, is a way of standing up to be counted, and saying, "hey, guess what, this is the face of punters". I know my clients are generally fantastic men that I enjoy spending time with. At worst, some of them are a bit boring. If every man who bought or considered buying sex work said so, the government would really have to take notice, and the anti-prostitution feminists would be speechless (granted, only for a second). Write a letter to your MP. Write into the paper. Write a blog!

-Donate. There are multiple organizations that would use your support- if you're worried about trafficking, donate to the Poppy Project (which I have some issues with but is, in general, a great idea). If you care about sexual freedom in general, letting consenting adults do what they want behind closed doors (like kink), etc, then the Spanner Trust is a good bet. The International Union of Sex Workers can always use a boost, which leads to my next suggestion:

-Support the Union, or at least educate yourself about it. Some girls don't like it, others are proud members, you'd have to read up to decide for yourself whether you support them or not. You can join as an ally. You can just donate some money. Or, like I said, you can just educate yourself about them, what they offer, how they work, and what they do.

Respect the rates- if we want to change the rules for you, we'll let you know.

Respect "no"- if we don't want to, don't push us... and be glad that we like you enough to give you the intimate knowledge of what we do enjoy, instead of just putting up with it!

Respect that our pleasure is our own. We don't owe it to you- we only agreed to help you meet your pleasures. If we decide to tell you what makes us cum, or what we like, be glad, but don't expect it. For some of us, those sorts of intimacies are left to our lovers.

Respect our time. We know shit happens, but don't make an appointment and break it last minute without expecting us to be suspicious you're a timewaster. It's a professional meeting, ultimately, and we're likely moving around our personal time to accommodate you.

-Offer to pay transit costs, or to provide any special toys or costumes. If you want us to spit champagne in your mouth, bring it with you!

And the number ONE thing you can do...

-Be upfront about what you want.

It's ok if you're not sure what gets you off. But please, let us know what fantasies you have, what you're tried and liked, what you've tried and didn't like!

So, punters- sally forth and make me proud! For Kitty and Cuntry! ;)


"he's not that into you"

This is the title of a self-help book I'm sure you're all familiar with that apparently came about after another fucked up episode of Sex in the City. It's a phrase meant to stick in our heads and make us question every time someone cancels on us, or postpones, or even doesn't call/text as often/quickly as we think they should. I've found myself looking at an empty inbox and thinking, "hmm... is he really not that into me? If he was, wouldn't he make more of an effort?" Like most self-help books, it's a cute little phrase that completely oversimplifies relationships and communication and leads us to over-react in situations where we're likely better served just fucking asking... but it's also, like most such things, based in a bit of truth as well.

When I was considering this blog, I decided to read up a bit on this book as it was a while since I skimmed it(I actually preferred their one "It's called a break-up because it's broken", which as mantras go, is not such a bad one to tell yourself). I ended up reading the review of it on the F-Word, a great blog that my girlthing C referred me to a while back. Some of my personal highlights of the review, which is by Holly Combe:

"Make a woman feel like a super-duper prize and she’ll easily forget her own agency."

Now, I definitely suffer from this. If someone pampers me and compliments me, I'll tend to put up with a lot of bullshit in the hopes it'll happen again. I'd love to say I'm above such flattery, but I'm not. So, point.

"Remember, ladies, it’s all about You, You, You... You’re too busy fast-tracking your way to a commitment and if he can’t get with the programme, you’re moving on!"

I'm also realizing that this fucking book- which I haven't even read in full, mind!- has led me to be suspicious all the time. Does this serve me? Well, to be honest, sometimes, yeah, probably. I expect better communication now. But I also wonder if I'm so tired of feeling like a chump at the hands of people like Sh that I now run the risk of painting other people with the same brush as a form of defensive strategizing. Holly? Thanks for pointing out that decent men do, sometimes, have other things crop up, and it doesn't mean they're dicks.

"...what he’s (the author, Greg Behrendt) really drumming in here is the crux of the books message to women: if you pursue him, he won’t be that into you. You’ll put him off."

Now. Within reason, actually, this is a good strategy. Sorry, Holly, but it's true. You have to play this game a bit carefully, mind, but you can't just be available all the time, and calling/texting/emailing/stalking them in between. That ends up being desperate, creepy, and desperately creepy. It's just as simplistic to say that pursuing a guy will put him off- not per se, but know the difference between pursuit and overwhelming neediness. That's what I'm learning at the moment.

However, that said, if you don't do some pursuing yourself, you'll end up just accepting whatever advances you get- and you might miss out on some amazing people that way. S, G, H, Mo, another boy who I haven't nicknamed for this blog yet- I wouldn't have met them if it wasn't for me messaging them and asking for a meetup, or suggesting we hang out a bit at some event we were both at, or proposing a date. So apparently doing some pursuing yourself is a positive strategy, which Holly does point out with the next statement:

"Two things the book constantly overlooks are that the thrill of the chase is not exclusive to men and the pleasure of being an object of desire is not exclusive to women."


So, then, after perusing the blog, I checked out the Amazon reviews- in spite of some scathing ones that pointed out the logical fallacies put across as Ultimate! Truth! it still manages to get 4 stars. As per usual, the simple answer gets the worm.

One review I particularly appreciated, though, along with the ones from men calling bullshit, was one from this woman:

"I am a woman who tends to be more forward and goes after what she wants. I WILL call a guy and I WILL tell him that I am into him if I am. I have been made to feel by stupid pop psych books that I am "clingy and desperate" if I call a guy who, for all outward appearances, may be reticent. But how can we know if he is "into us" or not unless we ASK outright??"

But wait! Asking?!? That's, like, honest communication! We can't have that! That's too much like directness! That puts all these self-harm books to shame!

Oh, oops, self-help. Sorry. Slip of the fingers. ^_^

But what she says is completely right. I end up feeling like I must sound clingy and/or desperate if I make the move around trying to make plans. And some guys might take it that way. But then, they're probably not the guys for me. I'll be much more clingy and desperate if I hang out sighing next to the telephone.

And people wonder why men go to sex workers? I mean, jesus, it seems like the media and books like this exist to further the intimacy gap between people! No wonder they come to us. It's simpler.

I wonder what Greg's wife thinks about this sort of thing? "Sorry honey, not taking out the trash cause I'm not that into you".


Eyes Wide Shut- FAIL

I turned it off after the bit that goes something like this:

Man 1- That beautiful woman? The one whose well being you cared about? I'm sorry, but she was... a HOOKER!

(camera pans to Man 2, who looks shocked, then his face falls as he realizes that he was caring about, apparently, a second class human.)

So. Sick. Of. This. Stereotype.

"Oh, she's a hooker, therefore all her feelings are faked/she got what she deserved/she cannot love, or give of herself intimately, and is therefore worthless".




Calico posted a blog a bit ago about orgasm, and how there's lots of ways to have sexual fun without orgasm being the goal, or even the point.

I have to say. For me, within a sexual encounter? I want to have an orgasm. Do I need it? No. But I do want it, and if my orgasm isn't forthcoming more often than it is, then I tend to feel a bit... unfulfilled. And more to the point, I'm horny and alert til that orgasm comes. Additionally, if kink is involved, I'm a lot more tolerant of multiple things (feet, for example, or pain... thanks, G, all I wank to now is spanking/anal smut now, sheesh) I otherwise wouldn't choose.

Now. The guy ejaculating? Not so big of a deal, though, again, if it doesn't happen more often than it does it's hard for me not to feel a little insecure about my abilities. However, if he's happy not having orgasmed, I'll generally feel ok letting it go. I do enjoy it when he tells me to tell him when to cum (and, yeah, I know, it's a smutty spelling, but "come" just doesn't look right to me) and since it's pretty easy for me after the first couple of orgasms to hold off til he tells me he's about to cum himself, I like to wait til he does. Yeah, it's corny, but I love the energy rush when we orgasm together, and, well, after a few myself I don't mind being patient.

I remember being asked why cumming was so important to me, since yeah, sex is fun whether or not you get to an orgasm. Granted, the guy who asked me that generally DID cum during our sexual encounters, so, yeah. I thought he'd understand. It may not be altogether right, but someone making sure that they listen and do the things I need to cum myself, or at least try to get me there, suggests to me that they're paying attention to my needs. I appreciate that.

Maybe it's partially cause of work, again, where I get loads of clients who want to get me off with oral stimulation (which, btw, never works, I don't care how good your tongue is) and they don't really want to hear that them sucking a strap on or whimpering in pain is more likely to make me cum than licking my pussy. One thing that separates my lovers from my clients is that my lovers genuinely want to make me happy and please me... my clients want reassurance that they can make a woman quiver with excitement. At heart, it's about them.

So yeah. I want to cum during sexual and/or kinky play, damn skippy! Anyway, who DOESN'T like sleeping in the wet spot. ;)


geeks need love and sex too

I'm watching "Eyes Wide Shut" for the first time. I have no idea if I'll finish it, as it seems long and I find Tom Cruise incredibly creepy.Not terribly impressed so far, but eh, we'll see. It seems like one of those movies you have to watch if you watch sexuality-related films. While so far it seems sorta meh, I do like Nicole Kidman naked except for glasses.


I spent the afternoon having a picnic outside with my favourite client who's also just a good friend. We had sushi and tempura, chatted a lot about all sorts of stuff, and snuggled while watching some IT Crowd. Fun times! It was really what I needed, some extended snuggling. Yay. :)

Then, I made the mistake of looking to see if the thing I was interviewed for was up. I was told, at the time, that it was going to be an interview for the Guardian (yay!) and the Sunday Star (gah), but was reassured that it wasn't a sensation piece and that they were genuinely interested in what I had to say.

You know what's coming, yeah?

Classy journalism at its best.

Totally misquoted, quoted out of context, and totally missing the fact that I'm a geek too, hence why I attract smart, geeky clients. ::sigh:: To be expected, though. I *am* however glad to see that the way this is construed points out that the laws to criminalize clients will just make things harder for good, polite, normal people, not the sort of criminal assholes who traffick women.

It's something, I guess...


emotional broadband

Intimacy isn't difficult for me to access. I've believed it was because of my empathy, or because I'm lonely/clingy, because of my time in SF where that's more common or because of my time in the hospital where you made great friends and lost them in days. You never really knew when you'd see someone again, so why wish you had gotten to know them better when you could just invest the time? What's there to lose, really?

This probably makes me good at my job, because I can connect quickly and easily to a fair number of types of people. One of the things I hear the most often is that I make them feel comfortable in a way that other girls haven't before. I connect, not on an artificial level, not as an aritifical persona, but on a real level, as me. I'm not faking, not pretending- this is it. This is who and how I am.

But in my personal relationships- with my friends, casual play partners, lovers- this is Very Scary. Maybe it's because it's a foreign concept. Maybe it's because they've taught themselves to be shielded, learned that was how to play emotionally safe. Maybe they'd prefer that I kept this stuff to myself, was more closed off, more of a challenge. Maybe it's because I'm actually a crazy stalker girl at heart, and doing this is crazy, or unhealthy, or just Wrong on some level. I'm not sure. I'm not honestly sure if it's something I can control and fence off, or if this sort of connection is just my nature. I worry that I'll spend my life chasing an intimacy others just aren't capable of.

In general, I'd say that this openness of heart is adventageous. I like caring about people. I like being in touch with my emotions. I'm still learning how to share without spewing, for sure, but I'm happy with myself, really. It's not coming from a place of lack within myself as far as I can tell. These connections are important to me, and important for my emotional well-being. I don't know if it's something I could change, or would want to.

When I was growing up, I seriously believed I must be from another dimension or something. Sometimes I look at how people act and react and feel so distant from it I wonder if we're the same general makeup. It's like that with this emotional broadband, this fast-speed connection- it comes so easily and truly to me that I just don't get how other people struggle with it, or why. And that just adds another layer to the feeling of isolation.

I've noticed a real fear of how much I like the people I've met/played with/hang out with here in London. I'm scared of being hurt again, but also scared to not let my heart be open and have a connection, even for a little while, that's amazing. Ultimately, I find that worth it. Still, I'm running scared... and I wonder if it'll ever get better.

Is it love for the universe? Or insanity?

Who can tell?


the dirty little secret

I think everyone has one of these. That little thing we don't want anyone to see, or hear, or know about. Psychological, physical, emotional... it could be Britney Spears on a hipster's ipod, or Gor in a feminist's bookshelf. For one lover, it was the thigh highs he stuck in the corner of his sock drawer... for another, it was the chest of toys and costumes he hid under his bed, meticulous about making sure that no angle would betray the contents. A lesbian I dated was embarrassed by the gay male porn she watched. I know for me it's my smut- poorly written filth is the only thing that gets me off when I reach for the hitachi, leaving my Anais Nin, Pat Califia, and Carol Queen proudly displayed, but passed over when I want to cum.

I appreciate the world of the dirty little secret, for sure. I love it when a lover holds my chin, makes me look him in the eyes, and tell him what sort of stories I was reading the night before. I like that I have something to feel humilated around. I love making someone confess their own secrets.

But I hate- HATE- being that secret myself.

The nature of my work, and the nature of who and how I am as a person, tends to lend itself to the concept that I'm the one you call up for a booty call, not the one you introduce to your friends. I don't mind not being the person who meets your parents- you won't likely meet mine anyway- but I want to have photos of us hanging out, I want to be invited to things with you and your buddies. I want you to admit you know me, even to be proud you know me. I don't want to be in your sock drawer or under your bed.

One of the things the hooker says in the movie I watched yesterday is "I'm a REAL PERSON". I think this is probably the hardest thing for me to cope with, not just as a sex worker, but as a polyamorous queer kinkster. Because so much of my life is about sexuality, people tend to forget I'm not just a walking real doll- and I'm more sensitive than, perhaps, I should be around people's reactions and responses to me engaging in other parts of their life.

It's not just a thing with lovers, either, though it hits harder there- friends, too. I guess I hate the feeling of being hidden away. Because being the dirty little secret means shame- and I don't want someone to feel ashamed to admit they know me, or play with me, or care about me.

(cue some Smiths song)


the two way mirror of sex work

I'm watching a movie called "City Rats" and thinking about how prostitution is portrayed in the media. It's a pretty good flick- beautifully shot, and one I would watch again, actually- but it has the same idea as many of them do, that of sex worker as either tragic figure or money-grabber, as damaged, as jaded, and bored.

My impression of my work is that I am a two way mirror. Sometimes, clients want a reflection of their desires, with very little of my personality involved- like how, if there's light on the client's said of the mirror, then it works as a mirror, and they don't see me. But other times, they prefer their side a bit darker, and my side lit- and then the mirror works like a window, instead, where I get to shine.

Maybe part of my problem is that I haven't been jaded. I get pretty emotionally involved in my work, hence why I work infrequently, and work with people I enjoy seeing multiple times. I genuinely care about my clients, and they generally genuinely care about me- I don't pretend to be heterosexual, or interested in cunnilingus, when I'm not. My clients are mostly average- I've never had one that's ugly, really, just ok looking, and sometimes very hot! I don't get overly intimate, most of the time, though there is one man I see I would call a close friend as well as a client- but I do share of myself, as I'm happy to offer that.

Not everyone is, to be fair, and they don't have to be, don't get me wrong. It's just not my MO to keep those fences up. This has worked against me, for sure- my relationship with Sh may have been best left as a professional one, and I doubt I'll go so far as to take my professional life personal again. I guess, while I don't feel the need for those strict boundaries, there is often a reason why these men come to a sex worker, and not a girlfriend- the boundaries are for their sake, too, not just mine. And maybe that's what I wish you saw more in media- that it's the clients who need that space and distance, as much if not more than the sex workers.

The money affects me mainly because I can then stop for a while if I get burnt out, which really just gives me an advantage over other workers. If you get sick working in an office, you can't really take a month off, you know? You just stick through it, and get restless.

The other thing that gets me, and has before this movie, is the idea that sex workers cannot love/have intimate relationships because of their personal issues, generally implied to have been brought about by work. Let me share what has been affected by my work-

-I suspect my lovers tend to consider me the girl you have fun kinky sex with, but not someone you get emotionally attached to, because I'm a sex worker (and also polyamorous, but that's another blog).

-sometimes I get selfish about what I want sexually because my work is about focusing on other people getting off... or sometimes I don't want sex at all because I'm starved for other intimacies.

-sometimes work gets me crazy turned on and I want a lot more sex! Sometimes I want a followup session to my work sessions.

-often I want more head petting and affection. I've found myself also drawn a lot more to the submissive play I do with G- I think the catharsis is helpful, somehow.

-I end up needing to date people who are happy to hear about other relationships, otherwise, I can't bitch about work!

-I've found I enjoy keeping a few types of kinky play just between me and my lovers, not with clients, so there are some "special", "just us" stuff.

-I've more vocal in bed about what I like and don't like, and negotiate better in general- if I'm not having my needs acknowledged, I expect to at least be getting paid.

That's some of it. I'm sure there's more, maybe I'll add to it as I go along. But no, being a sex worker doesn't mean you have to be less emotionally intimate with lovers. Maybe it does if you want monogamous partnership. Not been my experience though! We're people, not exclusively fantasy objects, and as such we have our own needs and lives. Why wouldn't we just due to our jobs?