Angels we have heard on high,
Tell us to go out and BUY. – Tom Lehrer, “A Christmas Carol“
Though I should be used to it by now, the ridiculously-early Christmas displays still come as a shock to me. The first one this year was at our local farm supply store, which was actually putting out Christmas merchandise (sans decoration) fully two weeks before Halloween. Because this particular establishment has no Halloween merchandise, I was irresistibly reminded of my own statement from last year’s “The Most Wonderful Time of the Year”: “were it not for Halloween’s growing popularity as an adult drinking holiday [Christmas displays] might have broken into October by now.” But all the non-farm-supply-venues didn’t wait much longer; the City of Seattle was putting up its decorations the Monday after I arrived, and I saw more than a few fully-decked houses from the train coming back into Chicago on the 21st. And who could forget this cheery holiday scene from Ferguson, Missouri this past Monday, courtesy of Reuters?
Actually, that’s an apt (if grim) metaphor for what Yuletide in the United States has become: a superficial show of holiday cheer and “goodwill to Man” draped over the ugliness of a fully-realized fascist state. Because my Outlook email filters don’t work on webmail, I was forced to hand-delete countless pieces of “Black Friday” spam while I was traveling, and some of them actually did what I’ve been grimly joking for years they soon would do: refer to Thanksgiving Day as “Black Friday Eve”. Words fail me.
Needless to say, I won’t be leaving my property today except perhaps to go to the mailbox. Instead, I plan to find and decorate a tree, work on my blog, enjoy leftovers from yesterday and perhaps call a few of my friends. Though I do indeed buy presents for those I love, that can wait for another day when the lemmings aren’t swarming quite so thickly (and dangerously). And you can bet I’ll do as much of it online as possible, so as to avoid as much of the fake festivity of the stores as I possibly can.
Posted in Holidays, Philosophy, Tyranny | Tagged advertising, fascism, holidays, internet | 7 Comments »
As those of you who follow me regularly know, I have a lot to be thankful for this year. That isn’t to say the year’s been uniformly wonderful, but I don’t think it has to be to inspire us to give thanks for the things that are. And I have many of them, both professionally and personally; with a little luck, a great deal of hard work and the grace of the gods, next year will be even better. Happy Thanksgiving and Blessed Be, dear readers, and thank you for all your support; I wouldn’t have had any of this without you.
Posted in Holidays | Tagged holidays | 9 Comments »
I’ve been seeing a well-reviewed independent for the past three months, but on our sixth visit she was very chatty and started drinking. Six hours into our three-hour appointment she offered an overnight at no extra charge, but wanted to eat at a nearby bar; there she drank even more and ended up very drunk. When we returned to her incall she tried to go through the motions, but she was so far gone I decided it was better not to do anything with her. Over the next couple of hours she texted her boyfriend “I love you…” in my sight, played music on her phone, repeatedly fell out of bed and did other crazy things while still trying to engage me in activity. Finally she fell asleep, and I left; I later sent her an email detailing all the drunken behavior and assuring her I hadn’t done anything inappropriate. She responded that nothing like this had ever happened before; she’s embarrassed and won’t see me again. I knew describing all the drunken behavior could upset her, but felt I should tell her because I was the only witness and for an escort, getting drunk with a client is unwise and dangerous. I think she’s had other substance abuse problems in the past, because though her body looks young for her age her face looks much older. Do you think I acted correctly?
I think you acted in the best way possible given the circumstances. Life might be easier if everyone closely minded his or her role in a relationship and never stepped outside of its bounds, but because we’re human such professionalism is rare and can tend to feel a bit odd and off-putting. And that’s only considering “ordinary” Western-style business relationships; in Asian cultures, for example, one is expected to socialize with one’s co-workers, and even in the West some business relationships seem to invite line-blurring by their resemblance to intimate ones (doctor-patient, teacher-student and sex worker-client are a few examples). Usually it’s the client who gets confused about the boundaries of his relationship with a sex worker; since he’s paying for an illusion it isn’t too surprising that he sometimes loses himself in that illusion and mistakes the performance for sincere romance, sexual attraction or friendship. It’s very important for whores to maintain boundaries, so we usually get quite good at it; there are some circumstances, however, in which that ability is eroded, and biochemical impairment is probably the most dangerous one. I am firmly of the opinion that a professional should absolutely never indulge in alcohol or any other drug while on the job, but I’m a bit square in that respect; most escorts can handle a glass of wine or two without impairing their judgment. Your lady, however, is clearly not among them; anyone who can’t understand that it’s inappropriate to get drunk while at work (compare a doctor drinking at the hospital, a teacher drinking at school or a driver drinking in his truck) definitely has a drinking problem.
In short, she acted in a way that was stupid, unprofessional and (as you pointed out) dangerous, and that isn’t your fault. Could you have recognized that something was wrong after her she had her third (or fourth, or seventh) drink and let three hours lapse into six? Sure. Should your alarm bells have sounded when she offered an overnight freebie? Absolutely. But as I said above, keeping control of the situation isn’t actually your job, it’s hers; it is, in fact, part of what you’re paying her for. You shouldn’t have to check up on the side effects of a medicine your doctor prescribes, or make sure that your lawyer stays awake in court; it is their responsibility to exercise due diligence, and that is no less true of a paid companion. I think you were wise not to have sex with her; after all, if your cab driver were drunk you’d be wise to ask him to pull over so you could get out. Furthermore, telling her what she did was the right thing to do; I think it’s safe to say she’s in denial and that this isn’t actually the first time something like this has happened (which is why she won’t see you again). There’s nothing else you can do; she’s an adult and has the right to mess up her own business and life if she chooses. It doesn’t mean you have to like it, or that you shouldn’t feel sorry for her, but in telling her what she did and ensuring that no harm came to her while you were present, you have done all that is required of you as a moral person and all that you can do as a stranger. If she asked you for help the situation might be different, but she hasn’t so it isn’t. And if she contacts you later and offers to make up for the session you didn’t get, I think it would be best for you to politely decline.
(Have a question of your own? Please consult this page to see if I’ve answered it in a previous column, and if not just click here to ask me via email.)
Posted in Call types, Q & A | Tagged Bad Girls, drugs, ethics, psychology | Leave a Comment »
I actually wrote last week’s diary entry a few hours before going over to Mistress Matisse‘s house to prepare dinner, because I was pretty sure I would not get back early enough to write it after. And was I ever right; Matisse, Jae, Savannah and I had a lovely evening I’ll always remember. To an outside observer it probably wouldn’t have looked all that exciting (except for the nudity, cuddling and horseplay), but when sex worker friends get together there’s a kind of camaraderie that I’ve not generally felt among groups of other adult women; it’s a sense of shared experience, of being denizens of a secret world unknown to the general population. Perhaps we cleave to each other more tightly because the “good” women of the world reject us; perhaps it’s an outgrowth of the necessity for us to watch each other’s backs. And perhaps it’s also due to our comfort with displays of affection and intimacy that others would find shameful. In any case, it was one of those magical nights when everything works out wonderfully, and I hope my next visit is just as grand!
On Tuesday I had lunch with FurryGirl, then in the evening Savannah and I were on a panel discussion with another advocate and three prohibitionists. If I must say so myself, we wiped the floor with them; our statistics and logical points were answered with collectivism, social engineering, attacks on “patriarchy” and “capitalism” and one panelist repeatedly quoting her grandmother as an authority on Amerind culture. They seemed to lose most of the audience by about halfway through the event.
I was not at all happy to leave the next morning, but at least my return journey to Chicago was not marred by motion sickness; I accomplished this by taking pseudoephedrine all day and diphenhydramine all night, thought the combination did leave me a bit fuzzy-headed the next day. At dinner on the second night I was seated next to comics legend Mike Grell, and he and I talked about both his work and mine; I also gave him the very last copy of my book from the stock I took on the tour. In Chicago*, I had breakfast with Cathryn Berarovitch before boarding my train to Kansas City, on which I discussed sex worker rights for several hours with the young man sitting next to me. Unfortunately, the last part of the trip left me dizzy, shaky and just short of sick, and I had trouble sleeping in the hotel afterward; I think I may have taken just a bit too much antihistamine medication on the journey.
Though it wasn’t nearly as bad as either flying or the bus ride from Hell, I have come to the conclusion that it’s just not a good idea for me to ride any common carrier. Driving, on the other hand, works well for me; in addition to avoiding motion sickness it also gives me much greater flexibility. So I’m planning to buy a dependable late-model used car that gets excellent gas mileage, to use strictly for touring; my preliminary research indicates I should be able to get what I want for approximately $3000. I’ve already got about a third of that from funds left over from my tour and accumulated from book sales, subscriptions and the like, but if you’d like to help out with this project just PayPal me whatever amount you like and make sure you put a note that it’s to go toward the car fund.
*And speaking of Chicago, here’s the article student organizer Clairemarie LoCicero wrote about the talk I gave at Loyola on the way out to Seattle.
Posted in Diary, Perception, Philosophy | Tagged activism, comics, Illinois, Washington (state) | 6 Comments »
My gifts and abilities are mine to be used as pleases me; they are not for others to command or control, and only I determine which of them I’m willing to trade on, and when and how they will be employed.
– “The Logical Song“
As the end of 2011 approached, my procedures slowly began to shift toward those I have used for two years now. The number of miscellaneous news items had grown so large it had become impractical to hold them for only one feature per month; since “November Updates” appeared in three parts and was supplemented by “Further Developments“, I could easily have organized them into four weekly columns instead and started to do so only three months later. In “October Q&A” I had also announced that I would answer questions more regularly than once per month, but somehow that took another year to happen. In a bigger sense, though, the pattern had already been established; the essays from this period read very much like those I write today in style, length, tone, etc.
One of the things I had learned was that the hardest part of doing a daily blog is figuring out something new to write about every day; it’s why the blog has become so much more structured as time has gone on. As of the day I write this I could already tell you what type of column (though obviously not the subject) will appear on more than half of the days in the first seven months of 2015, and though that wasn’t nearly so true three years ago I was clearly headed that way. Besides the miscellanea, fictional interlude (“Bad News”) and harlotography (“Veronica Franco“) columns, this month featured special essays for the Day of the Dead (“Saint Death“), Guy Fawkes’ Day (“Revolution“), the USMC “birthday” (“Semper Fidelis“), Armistice Day (“Collaboration Horizontale“), “Thanksgiving” and the beginning of the Yuletide season (“Toys for Tots“). However, the “One Year Ago Today” feature didn’t produce many sequels this time around; only “Gorged With Meaning“, “It’s That Time Again” and “The Law of Averages” fit into that category, and all of them would have to have been written anyway. That last is an extended debunking of the “average debut at 13″ myth; many more “child prostitute” lies are refuted in “Water Seeks Its Own Level“.
The observant will recognize an unusually-large number of the titles from this month; many of them persist as subheadings in TW3 columns, some very commonly. “Forward and Backward“, “See No Evil“, “Schadenfreude” and “Follow Your Bliss” appear quite frequently, and “Across the Pond” did until a year ago. And though “Umpteen Thousand People Can’t Be Wrong” and “Divided We Fall” aren’t nearly as ubiquitous, both have been used in the past few months.
There are always a few columns which defy easy categorization in these retrospectives; this time there are seven. “TANSTAAFL” looks at an example of the adage, “if it seems to good to be true, it probably is”; “Maier’s Law” does the same for “if the facts do not conform to the theory, they must be disposed of.” “If I Can’t Sell It…” is another collection of whore songs, and “The Logical Song” a look at how the titular hit described my own experiences. “Eglimaphilia” discusses sex work clients who fetishize the illegality of prostitution, while “Big Sister” discusses Swedish model vigilantes in Iceland. And “Don’t Confuse Us With Facts” examines the bizarre belief that people can somehow be magically “harmed” by electronically-generated pictures that they didn’t even know existed.
Posted in Miscellaneous | Tagged blogging | 7 Comments »