serotoned in California

I don't know if I wrote about this, but I got a tattoo before I left London. Nepetalactone, the active ingredient in catnip.

Well, tomorrow I get serotonin and ether on myself. The main one, for me, is serotonin, a chemical I have struggled with for a long, long time. My relationship with serotonin is difficult at best. In fact, I avoided MDMA for a long time because I was afraid my serotonin would be depleted to the point I would be a mess. 

I felt somewhat relieved when Bitchy Jones wrote some blog entries about her own situation that felt very much like they provide insight into where I was at-

"Because, love, love with it’s big soft duvet-like cocktail (and if you’ve you’re your back reading you’ll know that the cocktails I like are more like trifles) of (a) sex and (b) guaranteed attention is so perfect for me, so seductive, such a delightful exhilarating bear trap. I want love. I want *that* trigger for my serotonin. But it’s the most dangerous trigger of all because it is all about putting it in the hands of someone else.

I can get needy, then. But at least I know just why.

A person grows tolerant of serotonin very fast. That once delicious perfect fix just from being around the other person soon becomes a dirty aching emotional need. The button the other person (usually unwillingly or unknowingly) pushes isn’t about making the love drugged feel good anymore so much as not making them feel bad. So soon the drugs don’t work. Once the drug was for a happy buzz, but flip and its just for switching off the bleak emptiness of life without the drug."

Oh my god yes. I read this and though, "jesus, when I take MDMA I take care of myself, and don't take it again til my serotonin levels are back up naturally- why don't I do that for relationships?"

That's where I'm at, now. I'm still struggling to find that trigger in other things, though craft projects and driving has certainly helped. I've decided to avoid seeking that fix in other people, so I've been trying to avoid sexual situations- I've been clear about wanting snuggles but not so much sexyfuntimes. I think this has been helping me focus on what it is I need and what I want, but I wonder if on some level it's satisfying as punishment for what I've started to consider my "sins". 

Personally, I love intensely and easily. I imagine that's why I connect well with clients- I work with people I can find affection for, and I do. Which is why when they're jackasses it affects me more than usual, I'm sure. And I think that is scary for people. Not just in the UK, though I think it's emphasized there- one of my dear friends in California struggled a lot with the feelings of intense connection we shared, and it being challenged when I left. We still haven't really mended the rift, which saddens me. I guess I would rather feel intensely than stifle it for fear of being hurt- I've been hurt, and it's not so bad, really. 

Anyway, serotonin. When I did try MDMA, I felt that what it really did was make me more the way I was normally- empathetic, connecting with people, loving and touching and emotionally with people. But... I don't need a drug to do that. I do all that on my own. And actually, this is a pretty new thing, that level of touchy-feely-ness. I used to be pretty closed off, not into that kind of affection and such. I'm not sure what changed. Good sex? Good guy? Maybe it was just the right time, right place, right people, and I was able to blossom, but there it is. Somehow I allowed myself to be open. 

I decided I wanted a tat in California, as a way to bridge the distance. And serotonin seemed like the perfect choice- the pleasure receptor, modulating emotions- but too much and it'll kill you. To remind myself that before hedonism comes responsibility, and that pleasure is made truly pleasurable by not having it all the time. 

Ether, well, I just like its history. :)


psychology and prostitution

I've been reading this book called "Voluntary Madness" by Norah Vincent. It's a fascinating look into the mental illness industry- I say mental illness because mental health is generally pretty low on the list for these institutions. In the book, she explores her own depression along with the ways different types of institutions manage and "treat" her. I was relieved in many ways to see her come to similar conclusions to my own after having spent some time on both sides of the padded wall, as patient and as psychology student. There's nothing like validation to put a spring in your step, eh?

Anyway, Vincent makes this statement in passing that I found very interesting- now edited to quote directly from the book-

"That is why psychiatry is as bankable and recession-proof as prostitution. There's always a demand for it. I, and other people like me, will never be fine- that is, impervious."

As someone trying to sail the murky waters of sex work while also studying psychology and anthropology to better understand the clients I get, their biases and cultures and classes and contexts, I think this parallel is fascinating and true. As long as people have curiosity about their sexuality, there will be a demand for sex work, and I'd go so far as to suggest there will be a demand regardless of the culture's attitude around shame for your desires. And as long as people feel like they need to ask someone else to validate their feelings, to check their perceptions, someone who isn't close to them, there will be a demand for psychology or something similar. Even in cultures that don't have psychology per se, there is spirituality to fill the gap- someone who would be schizophrenic here is seen as gifted elsewhere, and given a different place in society accordingly.

Considering there's a fair demand for CMTs in the erotic massage world, I'm surprised there isn't more demand for psychologists in the BDSM or escort fields. I mean, sexuality is definitely something scary and dark and deep and, well, crazy, often, based on little fantasies or experiences in childhood that can affect your whole life.

I'm amazed and amused when people tell me that sexuality is too much of a focus in my life, because I think it's a focus in everyone's life- whether you're celibate or slutty, whether you're gay or straight, bi or queer or other, whether you're kinky or vanilla, interested in having kids or not, you have a relationship to sexuality. It defines you, whether you admit it or not, to a certain extent, because it's a driving urge. Even if your relationship to it is to consciously NOT pay attention to it, you're still aware of that relationship. It might shame you, or interest you, titillate or scare, but it's there. It can't not be.

Even outside of you, other people make judgments on you, give and take away rights based on who you have sex with, where, and when- even who you flirt with, who turns your head, who you struggle to attract or push away, will affect how the people around you behave towards you. Sexuality and psychology are entwined, are entangled. Maybe that's part of why I approach sex work differently than my peers on Adult Work or other such sites- I am not just the hooker, the Domme bitch, but the therapist, as much touching the mind and emotions as the body.


Sex Work vs Sex Play

I've been thinking a lot about sex as work vs sex as play.

I'd like to say it's an easy equation- when I'm having fun sex at home, the sex I have for work is more enjoyable, and I bring that energy back to my lovers, who send me back to work with a spring in my step that only copius, well-enjoyed orgasms can provide.

But that's not always the case. Sometimes the fact I'm having fun sex with my lovers makes me feel more resentful of the sex I do for work, because the clients I meet don't mesh with me as well as the people I play with (well, duh, you might say, but the resentment remains). It can be hard for me to answer my work phone when in bed with someone I love- often I dismiss the calls with a roll of the eyes and the "ignore" button. Sometimes it's the fact that I'm not doing any sex as play that leaves me open to other people's whims and fantasies at work- I'm more curious because, on some level, my libido is humming and work is as much of a crap shoot as a blind date, so why not?

Other times, when sex at home isn't as fun anymore, when we've hit a rut and seem to be doing it out of duty more than desire, a well-placed client session can energize me and send me bouncing home to show TB what I just did, or calling E to bubble over with excitement about what that one looked like. It can jump start my sex drive. Having a client where sex wasn't, initially, on the agenda, but I feel so wet for them that I ask them if it'd be ok to do anyway? It's a boost for me, hopefully for them as well.

There are times when clients make requests and I smile and say sure while internally I'm groaning and sighing and saying "oh, go on then". This is often the case with a domination type session where being jerked off or given a blow job is not enough, they want the full thing, and I just can't be bothered to lie back and think of England, America, or anywhere else. Ultimately, however fun it can be, it IS work.

But sex work will never just be work as long as I make more doing it than I make doing any other work, or as long as it's taboo enough I can't tell people I do it for fear of being judged. And as long as my clients are judged, I'm judged. Just a fact of the situation.

I don't mind having casual sex. I see evey encounter as a one night stand, pretty much, and enjoy myself accordingly. Sometimes it's fun, sometimes it's dull, often it's about me getting paid to take time away from lovers who share my kinks instead of guys who want me to personify their fantasy. That's a whole other blog entry, on that special form of forced feminization- the feminization I have to be, or pretend to be, to be marketable.

Sometimes the sex is both work and play. But I can also see a clear difference. With lovers, they aren't customers I have to please, they're lovers who care about me. It's easier to say no, in some ways. It's also easier to disassociate, so it can be less committal. But I prefer to find a space where work and play intersect.

When I can.

If I can.


hit and run

When I wrote my blog on "What IS Safe, Anyway", I hadn't been actually assaulted in my off/on 5 years of various types of hands on sex work.

Well, a couple of nights ago, I was.

It's interesting to me that the first thing I want to do is reassure people I'm not badly hurt, that I'm ok, that I'm angry and poorer for it but I'll be fine.

Because I'm not fine. I'm not ok. I'm functional, certainly, and I'm living my life as normal, but I'm pissed off, and feel violated, and a bit... stained.

Long story short: he paid upfront, we did the session, he smacked me in the face (not hard enough to bruise, just hard enough to shock me), took the money (which I hadn't put into my purse as I don't like anyone knowing where that is when I work) and left.

I was shocked. I'm furious at myself for freezing instead of tackling him, though TB says I did the right thing and it could've escalated. E, being E, offered to have him killed. I'm also a bit angry with myself (and it's hard to admit here, even now) that my first reaction was racism, to say to myself "you should've known, he was a young black guy", despite knowing that assholes come in every color and description.

It's situations like this that make it very hard to practice loving kindness and compassion for the next person. I mean, Asshole Anthony seemed nervous, but I work a lot with geeky men, they're all nervous at first! I got paid upfront. I guess I am pretty trusting, and I doubt I will be again- this is where the sexual being professional is awkward for me, because I've treated it as personal first, professional second, and I'll be more careful next time. But even if he hadn't taken the money back, he still would've hit me, I imagine.

What really gets me is the exceptions I made. I was trying to be flexible, and again, I doubt I will be again. He was late, to start, and couldn't find the road, so I came out to direct him. He walked past me and I called his mobile- I wonder now if he was trying to decide if he was going to do it or not. Once I got him in there, I gave him an erotic massage after doing my brothel check. He wanted to give me oral, so I let him- his lips open and closed and smacked like a dying fish, not erotic at all. It was, to date, the worst mouth I've had on my pussy, and I'm including the one that bit my clit too hard. And the sex! His cock was too big for me, though I grinned and bore it anyway, and after a minute of furious pounding he was spent. I tried to reassure him about it, as he seemed unhappy and uncomfortable. I told him "it's ok, there's way more to sex than sex". We put our clothes on. And then, BAM.

Never mind the fact that losing the money was irritating. It was, but I'm more angry about having to sit through mediocre sex for free. And more than anything, I'm mad that I extended kindness and got back bullshit.

I'll be posting this on the name and shame sites, so it'll be a little harder for him to do this again. And I had another session yesterday that went ok, though I found myself looking at the clock more often. Maybe it's just as well I'm about to leave the UK for a while, and take a sabbatical on sex work. What clients enjoy about me is that I'm open, and compassionate, and at the moment, that's stretched a little thin.


" Once you've come out as a pagan bisexual married leather dyke..."

"...everything else in life is that much easier"

The above is from the Calligraphic Button Catalogue, which always has lovely badges that say anything I want to but with more wit and fewer words.

I find that I tend to attract people who are on a Quest. A Quest for identity, a Quest for self, and what that self wants, who they are, what they need to thrive. Oftentimes, this Quest (I capitalize it because it's important) is spurred along by my own knowledge of myself- in fact, I've had "wow, the way you know yourself so well is amazing" said to me both by sweeties and clients alike.

This is, in a way, linked to the previous entry on emotional boundaries. I'm generally startled by people telling me how well I know myself, because to me, I try to straddle as many identities as possible. I wouldn't say it's impossible to label me, as I don't think it's ever impossible to label where you're at *right now* if you know what you feel *right now*. My tastes vary all the time, depending on where I'm living, where I'm at in my cycle, who I'm dating at the moment, the weather, and pretty much any other variable. While I'm pretty noncommittal to any specific labels (Domme, Goth, female, gamer), I'm very comfortable with the umbrella terms you could use to describe how I live my life and with whom.

Even then, they shift and change- I currently use nonmonogamous to describe myself, as while I can and do love multiple people, I think nonmonogamy covers more of my relationship style- I don't feel comfortable using bisexual as I believe in more than two genders OR sexes- I'm definitely kinky, though where I fall on the scale at any given time is anyone's guess, including my own. Identity is a slippery fish- I'm just usually content to let is swim free rather than trying to grab a hold on it. Maybe they're attracted to the fact I'm able to let it go, anymore, with ease- I can enjoy good old fashioned missionary sex without worrying I'm going vanilla, or date men without wondering if I'm still queer.

I've realized, though, that I've tended to struggle to have compassion around people who are really genuinely confused about where they stand. For me, it's never been a question. I'm kinky. I'm not monogamous. I'm queer. I've generally had a good idea about these things, and what they've all meant has changed through the years, but they've always remained present.

But what happens if you don't have a identity that's outside of the "norm"? I mean, most of the people around me are some minority or another, and have at least one term they can point to and say "yeah, that sort of describes me" without too much waffling. But what about the people who don't?

I guess on some level I was thinking about how, even as a woman, you have to think a lot about identity because people will expect you to have something to say about feminism. Are you the sort of woman who's political, or not? Stay at home mum, working mum, or non-breeder? Are you butch, or tomboyish, or feminine, or femme? I think women think about this stuff a bit more because we're judged just as much on presentation as we are on what we think and say, and therefore identity is a lifestyle choice in a lot of ways.

Guys aren't really expected to pay a lot of attention to what they wear. There are certainly ways in which an identity can be formed- I mean, most secondary schools/high schools have cliques that'll sort you, at least for a while, into a prep, a jock, a geek, a drama student, a nerd, a burnout, etc, and boys can dress the part the way girls can. But looking at my yearbook, the girls are easier to peg as to where they fit in- they pick a label and really get gung ho about it. There are guys, generally straight, white, middle class guys, who drifted from group to group, not really fitting into any of them but also not distinctively banned. Blank slates, they sort of became anything to anyone, like a social chameleon.

I wonder if that happens a lot to the clients I see. They tend towards being blank slates, looking eagerly to me to write on them, to uncover who and what they are, what they like, what they want. I can only hold a mirror up to them and hope they see something there, or let them sample a range and hope they can use it as a jumping off point.

I know for my partners- TB definitely, the girlfriend and E as well (I'm not sure where T stands in all this though I imagine he's got a closet full of identities, like I do), they're looking to either define or redefine themselves. I, who pick up and discard identities like I do panties, wonder what it must be like to not know how to begin to describe yourself, or what it must be like to try to move from one box to another. I just grab a few accessories, make up a name for the new me, and go with it til I get bored or til it no longer feels like it suits me. I guess I can do that because I have umbrella terms to work under. It doesn't feel like I'm super aware of myself, but maybe that's what superwareness is... knowing, more often, what you're not, versus what you are at any given time...?


emotional fences

There's a big difference between London and San Francisco when it comes to emotional boundaries.

In London, it's a joke, but only half of one, when people discuss the British "stiff upper lip". You are encouraged to keep your eyes down and your mouth shut when it comes to the emotional side of things- it's ok to have feelings, as long as you keep them to yourself. This is particularly true if you're male, though it's not exclusive to them. There is a sense that when catastrophe hits, the thing to do is to plod on, telling yourself that you're all right and therefore there's nothing really to make a fuss over, right?

However, if you're drinking, and/or doing drugs (like MDMA, or maybe shrooms), these emotional boundaries widen somewhat. Suddenly the British outpour with emotion, both socially positive and negative- what was a minor irritant becomes a blazing battle, or a feeling of love for a friend becomes a heavy petting session in the corner of a club. Given such strict boundaries for not expressing emotion, the ability to blame a substance for letting your guard down becomes one of the very few semi-acceptable ways to vent, and sobriety brings with it dread that you may have, in fact, told someone something you really feel. This is usually followed up with laughing it off, and partaking in other substances to forget about the fact you exposed yourself. Telling someone how you feel seems somewhat akin to flashing them- something to be ultimately ashamed of.

In San Francisco, in contrast, there is a lot of encouragement to emotionally overflow. "I" statements are common, as is the phrase "I feel" to discuss almost anything from interpersonal relations to the grocery list. Everyone feels, all the time, and are often inclined to share with anyone around to listen- I often joke about sitting on the bus and having someone pour out their life story, but in reality, that happens all the time. That's why I wear giant headphones- not to immerse myself in my tunes, per se, but rather to establish a clear visual boundary to strangers who may otherwise decide I look like someone they could really open up to. I haven't really seen the same level of alcohol use, or even social drug use other than weed, though I'll keep an eye open now and see if that affects how raw people are- in general, though, I'd say it tends to just make already pretty open people sloppy about what they share and to whom.

I spent a fair bit of time growing up in hospital wards, learning an awful lot about my emotions and how to articulate them. Even so, for the first few months working retail I often struggled to not spend part of the time in tears- I was so used to my heart being on my sleeve, anything different seemed false. I still feel that way, sometimes.

One of the things I struggle with, both in relationships and at work (and, I suppose, in life in general) is how do you live in the moment, really being present with how you feel, without a) drowning in your own emotional wreckage and b) scaring off everyone around you.

Almost everyone I've ever met is a master at avoidance. Sitting with your feelings of depression, fear, and hurt is terrifying- in some ways, almost as much so as feelings of joy or contentment. Isn;t it interesting how we're always so scared the "good" feelings will go away (as they do) but also terrified the "bad" feelings never will (they, also, always do)? It's tempting to analyze *why* you feel the way you do, instead of feeling it, accepting it, and allowing yourself to move beyond it. I work hard to give myself space to feel what I feel, and I try to let go of it when its time is through- however, how do you tell the difference between letting it go healthily and stifling it?

I've been thinking about this particularly as it pertains to sex work. When I worked retail, it became easy to feel anything and put it aside, because it was not personal work. No one was asking me how I felt, I had no emotional investment, I didn't even really need to be mentally present. But with sex work, part of what I feel I offer is myself, and if I need to check out in order to do it I wonder if I should be doing it at all.

However, this leads to a potentially poor work ethic, where I'll cancel sessions because I feel depressed or because I feel uncomfortable. Is that good? Is it preferable to only work when my emotional status is positive, or is it encouraging me to be lazy when I could just suck it up more often? Is it a bit of both, which is the most likely? How do I decide how much I need a mental health day? Is this something that is fixed, not by in the moment crash courses in well-being, but by constant upkeep?

I've gone into sessions where I started feeling unenthused but ended feeling sparkly and new. I know I get a lot of energy from this work- actually one of the things I'm hoping to learn in California is how to gather energy from other sources than other people. Because it's a dependency, this sex energy, and it feels amazing but it can also drain me. The fact I could change my outlook on doing sessions within an hour makes me think I should push myself into it more often. But then I worry that I'm avoiding my feelings somehow, that I'm putting them aside as so many people who work in offices and at desks do. When do you make time for your feelings?

A lot of this particularly comes up because I don't take medication. I was prescribed Lithium back in the day, when bipolar was the diagnosis of the moment and everyone had it, but I stopped when I turned 18 and haven't touched psychiatric meds since. Sometimes, though, I look at my occasional energy bursts and crying jags and wonder- what is in the realm of normal emotional boundaries, and what is crazy? Is it when it affects your day to day life? Does the fact I don't work indicate I have emotional issues? Or am I more emotionally stable because I chose a job where I have the freedom to take time off to take care of my mental state as much as my physical one?

Sex work is empathetic work. When I'm on top of my game my clients leave me practically whistling. We build up energy together that leaves us both, perhaps, a bit dizzy. But when I'm down, or if a client is down, I feel it keenly, it radiates out, and try as I might to turn the session around it's not always possible. And I wonder then- is it better to fake it til you make it, or will that end with me resenting the work, and resenting the men who don't notice or care that I'm bored stiff? Is it my job as a service provider to not only make sure my body is healthy, but my mind? Or is that seperate from the realm of the workplace? Does it matter what sort of work?

Pondering, pondering..


bear with me

I know I haven't been blogging as frequently as I used to- what with being sick, and the holidays, and moving back to California for a while, it's been hard to find space to write and things to write about. However, I'm likely to whip out a few entries between tonight and tomorrow, as I've come across a few things I want to blog while they're on my mind. So, gentle and not-so-gentle readers alike, bear with me as I write furiously to make up for my silence!


love dries up even faster than sperm

"Have you ever been in love? Horrible, isn't it? It makes you so vulnerable. It opens your chest and it opens your heart and it means someone can get inside you and mess you up. You build up all these defenses. You build up this whole armor, for years, so nothing can hurt you, then one stupid person, no different from any other stupid person, wanders into your stupid life. You give them a piece of you. They don't ask for it. They do something dumb one day like kiss you, or smile at you, and then your life isn't your own anymore. Love takes hostages. It gets inside you. It eats you out and leaves you crying in the darkness, so a simple phrase like 'Maybe we should just be friends' or 'How very perceptive' turns into a glass splinter working its way into your heart. It hurts. Not just in the imagination. Not just in the mind. It's a soul-hurt, a body-hurt, a real gets-inside-you-and-rips-you-apart pain. Nothing should be able to do that. Especially not love. I hate love."

~ Rose Walker ("The Kindly Ones")

My girlfriend left this morning, back to Canada. We kept saying how we may never see each other again but I think that's unlikely unless we decide not to keep up with each other online... still, it's hard. I already miss her, even though near the end we were spending less time together. I had less and less energy to offer her as I began to freak out more and more about leaving myself. She was sarcastic, snarky, and sometimes difficult, and I really love her, because of all that. She was a great partner in crime.

It's hard to let go.

Things with TB have been really rocky. We've spent a little too much time together over the holidays, and we've been communicating a lot, but not well. Cali-speak and Brit-speak are two completely different languages and we've both been feeling frustrated and hurt by the misunderstandings. Add to that being really sick for the past week, the stress of holidays and my birthday, me leaving, and (I'm just now realizing) PMS, and you have a powder keg.

I'm finding more and more that I know what I want and the people around me don't always, and therefore it's easy to get what I want potentially at their expense. They're attracted to me because I'm a strong woman, but I think it can be too easy for them to cave in to my terms until they realize they don't want whatever it was I came up with. And as it's EASIER to ask forgiveness than permission, I carry on when I should be checking in. Being strong is a double edged sword and I'm never entirely sure if I'm being strong or being overbearing.

I'm hoping we can fix it. I think he wants to, and I think I want to, though I do have an immature temptation to scream "this is too hard" and hide in my room under my duvet til it's time to leave. I would regret that. But on a deep level I feel like sabotaging it because I'm scared. I'm scared of what things will look like when I leave. I'm scared that my work will always stand between us on some level. I'm scared of abandonment, though I'm not scared of being alone per se. And I'm absolutely terrified of leaving and going back to California. I'm going to try NOT to sabotage it, because I'm logical on some level and know that would be childish and stupid, but there's that undercurrent.

Add to that trying to "chin up" and work during this emotional turmoil and I feel really tempted to be numbed. I'm trying to remember how in retail I had to suck up my emotions to present positivity, and I need to do that now. It's like an armor I need to protect myself.

One thing TB said that I think is true for my work and personal life is I need to stop getting most of my energy off of people and social situations. I'm not grounded unless the people around me are grounded and they rarely are. I've always had a weird resistance to meditation but I need some way of drawing energy from elsewhere, and replenishing my energy from the earth or some other stable source. In a way, it's good I'm going back to California where people speak in those terms and I can likely find what I seek.

It's all a mess. I'm hoping that at 25 I've gotten somewhere further in the past year. When things are going smoothly I can look back and say definitely... but sometimes, I just feel like a lost little girl.

I think this quote from Eternal Sunshine says it best, as it has for a while-

"Too many guys think I'm a concept, or I complete them, or I'm gonna make them alive. But I'm just a fucked-up girl who's lookin' for my own peace of mind; don't assign me yours."



re: that client

Well, to clarify, he was a douche. I should've known. When I told him that I didn't know what sortof precautions another girl might have he said "I'm born and bred here, I don't give a fuck what you want or need" to which I said "well, never mind then- I'll blacklist you, toodles"

Any decent guy will understand that their fantasy comes second to our safety. ::shrug::


what IS safe anyway

Miss Calico has posted something about the risk factor of sex work. She says, "But I have always felt vulnerable to violence and rape, whether or not I chose to charge money or be sexual. If sex work is a place of additional danger, I believe we live in a world that is ready to learn new attitudes — and oh, I want to dictate those!"

This is very true.

This is very difficult especially when you are role playing the part of a "girlfriend". Let me give you an example.

I have a client who wants to book and overnight for Sunday. He's very nervous- I get the impression he doesn't do this often, and he prefers non-pros and part timers to full time sex workers. He seems nice enough, considerate, and is ok with the safety precautions I take like safer sex and safecalls... but it's like he doesn't want to discuss it, he just wants it to happen. While me, I want to clarify EVRY SINGLE THING so there's no misunderstandings and things go smoothly. But this disrupts the fantasy that we're just friends meeting up for fun.

I'm not going to compromise on my safety. I don't give out the address of the incall, I don't turn my back on a client, I know where everything is (including and especially my phone) and there's always someone who I check in with. I think this allows me to be a good service provider because I'm able to be direct in the beginning and then just take care of myself during without drawing attention to it. However, this does mean there's a clash between the fantasy and the reality. And, if you're going to be a decent client, this is something you have to deal with. Sorry.

Calico mentions and links some ideas as to why violence against sex workers is such an issue. I can only speak for my experience- I think it's because guys figure they can get away with pushing your boundaries more when you're on your own, naked, and vulnerable, especially if they have something you want/need, i.e. money. Even more true if they think you're inexperienced, or nervous, or otherwise at a disadvantage. And they figure they won't get punished too harshly for it, which is often true.

As Calico says in her blog, Mistress Matisse once posted these statements on the subject when discussing rape alarms built into platform shoes:

"Given that more women are assaulted by husbands, boyfriends or family members than strangers on the street, ideas like this always make me scratch my head a little. It seems more appropriate to give them to women who’ve filed restraining orders against stalkers."

Well, sure, but I don't think that because one group of women gets assaulted more often than another group, that either should be more or less protected. I think that people should be able to take as many precautions as they can against being assaulted. I think a heavy keychain and self-defense classes are a good start, along with a sense of confidence, for ANY woman, regardless of her situation. But I digress.

"if someone means to hurt you, neither phone calls nor these shoes will stop them. All it does is give the police an idea where to start looking for your body, however many days later."

Ok, this is a good point- though I'll argue with wedge heels you could, probably, beat someone to death. But you don't need technology for that, true. However, if I was beaten *half* to death, I would rather someone had an idea where to start looking for me than not at all.

"The idea that all sex workers live in minute-to-minute peril is a myth propagated by a society that doesn’t want women getting any dangerous ideas about what they are allowed to do with their bodies. In the well-over-ten years I've been in the sex industry, I can count on one hand the number of times I've felt like I was in real danger from a client. And none of those times ended with an actual assault."

Ok, Mistress Matisse. That's good for you. Maybe your prices has limited who would come see you and that reduces the chances. Maybe it's because you're a pro-Domme and not an escort. Maybe it's the location. Maybe you're lucky, or maybe you know how to deal with these guys. Who knows?

I can tell you in the 5+ years I've been doing sex work, I have never been assaulted either. Instead, I've had several men push my boundaries and had to terminate the session- I've had threats on my life via text and phone calls- I've had my housemate make my life a living hell and threaten to have immigration control on my ass- I've had things happen that have been on the borderline of sexual assault and had to physically protect myself.

Minus the housemate, all of these things have happened in the States, on outcalls, where I couldn't negotiate clearly ahead of time, didn't have a safe space of my own to work out of, and couldn't speak to the police for fear of getting arrested myself. So, while I wouldn't say I live in minute-to-minute peril, I'm also aware that at ANY time, things could spiral out of control. And in that sense, yes, it's always a concern and always a consideration. I can't afford to ever be off guard. This refers back to where this blog entry started, with what Calico said. I feel the same way.

And with this client, I feel frustrated. Frustrated that he doesn't want to understand where I'm coming from, frustrated that he doesn't seem to understand that this is a job and that measures need to be taken to ensure my comfort and safety.

This is the sort of client that makes me feel, not like myself meeting a man for playtime, but like I'm supposed to be a robot chosen to fulfill a certain role in his fantasy, with no needs or concerns of my own. And I don't like that. I don't know if I can honestly say I don't like it enough to not work with him (it's an overnight, and a lot of money, though not worth a safety risk), but it's made me very aware that I prefer the guys who see this all as old hat and respect me doing what I need to do to feel safe, including talking about it ahead of time. I'll be meeting him publically before the session and we'll see how that goes before I agree to take it further.

Just a lot of pondering on safety, and how fragile that feeling of safety really is.