A good story…should make you think about things and feel things and maybe even teach you something in addition to merely entertaining you.
- “A Whore By Any Other Name…”
In order to give one last formal retrospective on my columns from three years ago, and to keep my weekly “From the Archives” feature from getting too unwieldy, I’m introducing this new monthly feature. When I first started the blog in July of 2010 I had no idea how successful it would be, nor how long I could keep the one-per-day rate going; in fact, by December of that year I was really unsure that I’d be able to make it to the one year goal I had set myself for daily posting. But then I figured out a number of ways to make the job easier (most especially the scheduling feature), and now here I am going strong at three years. And that’s not the only thing which took some getting used to; though I had written a number of academic papers, informal essays, letters to the editor and such over the past several decades, I had no idea exactly which tone I should strike for this blog. It took me a few months to get it right, and in looking back at my early posts I find many of them rather clumsy, stilted and affected; they seem unable to decide whether they’re academic or informal, and I seem to have been going out of my way to rattle people’s cages in some of them. Another thing you may notice is that my early columns were all rather long; my initial length was 1500-2000 words, but few of these are much shorter than 2000 and three of them were multi-part. Even the shortest, “What’s In a Name?” (on stage names and the reclamation of the word “whore”) is almost a hundred words longer than my longest non-TW3 columns these days.
Many of my early columns cover very basic concepts, misconceptions, etc; “Streetwalkers” and “Pimps” are self-explanatory, “Wanna Date?” examines the lack of clear distinction between paid and purely-social dating, “Couples” looks at couple calls and “Madonna and Whore” studies the titular fallacy through the lens of the Girl Friend Experience (GFE). Another of the basic fallacies appears in “The Myth of the Wanton”, the reason escorts lie about our age and weight is the subject of “The Numbers Game”, and “Rough Trade” is the first discussion of rape in sex work (and includes descriptions of my own experiences). Nor was that the only “first” that month: “Do You Party?” (clients who use cocaine) was my first “pet peeve” column, “The Trick” my first fictional interlude, “Just Drawn That Way” my first exploration of male-female differences, “Mary Magdalene” my first special-occasion column, “Playing the Part” the first written in direct response to a reader question and “Phryne” my very first harlotography. Rounding out the batch are “Modern Marriage” (which postulates that modern marriage bears more resemblance to traditional love affairs than to traditional marriage), and “Genesis of a Harlot” (a three-part account of my road to whoredom).
So that’s how these columns are going to look; after the first year they may change somewhat, or I may even decide to do something different. But as I think most of y’all have probably learned by now, when I do change things I try to make the new features at least as interesting as those they replace.