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Archive for July 17th, 2011

I’m jist a girl who cain’t say no,
I’m in a turrible fix
I always say “come on, let’s go!”
Jist when I orta say nix.
  –  Oscar Hammerstein II

Like Ado Annie from Oklahoma! I have trouble saying “no.”  Of course, she was singing specifically about male advances, while I’m not; it’s true that as a lass I was, well, highly amenable to suggestions of that sort, but that isn’t really what this column is about.  Whether due to nature or upbringing I’ve always been a “pleaser”; since a very young age I’ve always derived greater satisfaction from making other people happy than from concentrating on my own desires.  By my early twenties I had developed the ability to refuse people I disliked or whom I recognized as trying to take advantage of me, but I never really tried very hard to build up a resistance to people I liked or requests which appeal to my morals, sensibilities or vanity.  Yes, it has been suggested to me many times that I really should learn to worry more about my own needs than those of others, but as the song goes, “How can I be what I ain’t?”  It seems more important to me to be comfortable in one’s own skin than to conform to the notions promoted by what Philippa used to call the “Enlightenment Police”, so I’ll go on jumping up to wait on family or guests in my house, doing favors for people and sharing my time and/or money as seems right to me.

Durga would find my job a piece of cake, but she’s a goddess and all.

One of the things which “seems right” to me is sex work activism; people often ask how I manage to continue churning out columns every single day, considering that some of them take hours to write, and even the ones which flow quickly often require considerable research (including finding proper pictures and epigrams).  And then there’s the correspondence; in addition to moderating and replying to on-site comments I answer every single email I get (at length if necessary), and though some of my answers do double-duty as Q&A column entries others do not.  I also take the time to scan a number of websites for items I can write about, to comment on other blogs or news stories, and to call important or interesting items to the attention of those in my network so they can reply to them or write about them as well.  In addition to those daily activities, I am sometimes asked to give interviews like this one from last Thursday with blogger Nicci6; or to write guest columns, such as the prostitution essay I did for SWAAY and the guest blogging I’ve been doing for the libertarian blog Nobody’s Business, which the more observant among you may have noticed was added to “Friends of Whores” a few weeks ago.

Why do I invest 8-12 hours a day at all this?  Because I think it’s important.  Maybe it’s because the nuns managed to convince me that I have an obligation to use my gifts for a greater good,  or perhaps it’s just my nature.  But whatever the reason, I do derive a sense of satisfaction and rightness from my work, a feeling that it’s my small contribution to making the world a better place than it was before I started (I like to think so, anyway).  And besides, as my regular readers know my husband travels on business a great deal; my work gives me a worthwhile and productive way to spend my time while he’s gone.  That’s not to say I neglect it while he’s home; I get as far ahead as possible while he’s on the road, and do as much work as I can while he’s sleeping (I need about two hours less than he does), checking his own correspondence, reading his magazines and such.  So while I don’t fall behind exactly, I do tend to take longer to get to “extras”; if you ever have cause to wonder why it took me longer than usual to answer an email or moderate a comment, it’s probably because most of my time and energy is going to my husband rather than the blog that week.

But lest any of you take today’s column as some sort of veiled plea for fewer comments, letters, requests or anything else, please put that notion out of your mind; for all the hard work and demands on my time, I feel happier and more satisfied than I have since I retired, and my husband has often remarked on the difference.  I call your attention to the latter part of the song which forms today’s epigram:

Other girls are coy and hard to catch
But other girls aint havin’ any fun
Every time I lose a wrestling match
I have a funny feeling that I won.

One Year Ago Today:  The second part of my column on couple calls.  Enjoy.

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