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Archive for the ‘Q & A’ Category

Made To Be Broken

My dominatrix is bright, a great listener, and knows her trade well; I’ve been seeing her for several years.  A couple of months ago, in chit-chat after the scene was done, I asked her about her school and made an offhand remark about how she seemed to like unstructured events.  She was offended, said I didn’t know her well enough, and left without a word of goodbye.  Later she texted me saying I was intrusive and needy, and that it wasn’t her job to give me attention.  Now she is ignoring me.  What did I do wrong?

Different people have different boundaries, and sex workers are no exception.  We’re a lot better at policing our boundaries than most people, but we all have different ways of doing that.  Some of us, especially those relatively new to the profession, have extremely firm and rigid boundaries and strict rules about how we maintain them (which often includes rules about the consequences of boundary violation, up to and including “firing” a client who transgresses them).  Over the years, many (perhaps most) of us get more flexible about our rules; we develop a better sense of which boundaries are serious deal-breakers and which we’re willing to negotiate for the right client under the right circumstances, subject to intuition.  For example, when I first started I absolutely never gave out my personal phone number or legal name; now there are clients who know both.  There were also things at first that I’d never do for anyone, but now don’t mind if I know the gent well enough.  It’s not that I’ve become jaded or don’t care about my boundaries any more; far from it.  It’s just that I’ve internalized my needs well enough, and have such a finely-honed sense of how I feel about a situation from moment to moment, that I don’t always need the rigid rules as I did 17 years ago.  However, not everyone is like me; some ladies maintain strict rules for their entire career, and it’s their right to do so.  Nobody can determine what works for any individual but that individual herself.

It’s pretty clear that your lady is one whose boundaries are both firm and non-negotiable, and you broke one of them.  That isn’t a criticism of you; it may be that if I were in your place I’d have unknowingly done the same thing.  And it’s equally clear that your offense, however unintended, was serious enough in her mind that she is willing to forgo the income to maintain her principles and/or avoid the possibility you may do it again.  My advice is that you move on and find another domme; it may be that she is being manipulative and will contact you when she decides you’ve been punished enough (or when she wants your money enough).  And when and if that happens, you get to decide whether that kind of treatment is forgivable or whether it violated one of your boundaries, and whether you should go back to seeing her or tell her where she can stick her moodiness.

(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.)

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I’m a member of a site from which people can purchase videos and pictures of women, and after a friendly messaging conversation I asked her for a series of pics.  We agreed on a price for a set number of pics and general outline of them; in the detailed description I provided with the money, I asked for her to smile because I loathe the frowny model face and the “open mouth, vacant stare” model face that seems fashionable in glamour photography.  She replied telling me that asking for a woman to smile is sexist.  Now, I get that if I was passing her on the street it might be sexist, but on a site that exists explicitly for the sale of sexually titillating content, this seems ridiculous.  Am I wrong? 

She’s full of shit and has been reading too much feminism.  This isn’t the street, and you’re not demanding uncompensated emotional labor from a stranger; you are a client ordering a custom product from a vendor, and that vendor specifically asked you to describe the product you want.  So when you do so, she tells you you’re “sexist”?  Is it “sexist” for a client who’s a lingerie fan to request I wear stockings to a date he’s paying me for, or for a diner to tell his waitress how he wants his steak cooked?  The very idea is idiotic.  My advice is that you tell her that her pointing out your sexism has caused you to rethink the situation, realizing that for a man to buy sexy pictures from a woman is not only “sexist” but also “objectification”, and you don’t want to participate in that.  Then cancel the deal with this airhead who doesn’t understand that sex work is work, and find an actual professional who understands professional behavior and will respond to a polite and reasonable request that’s outside her boundaries with a polite “sorry, I don’t do that” rather than with a hypocritical and absurd attack on your character.  The online sex market is full of unprofessional ninnies who make it harder for the pros, and you’re not doing anybody any favors by rewarding that kind of unprofessionalism with your money.

(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.)

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I’m over 70 and no longer able to get an erection even with the meds available.  I’m in good shape, not bad looking and can afford it, but am reluctant to engage a girl.  What do you think?

One thing that I (and nearly nearly every sex worker I talk to) wish men understood is that we really don’t care about most of the things men think women care about, and that includes most of the things some amateur women do care about.  We really don’t care about clients’ looks, age, relative levels of physical fitness, penis size, ability to perform tricks they saw in porn movies or anything like that; what we do care about is that our clients are polite, generous, clean, respectful, prompt, appreciative, gentlemanly and realistic about their expectations.  What I mean by that last is, it’s not a problem if a gentleman is unable to get an erection, understands that, and asks for activities that don’t require one (of which there are many); the problem only arises (no pun intended) if he believes a whore can perform the sexual equivalent of a resurrection, and gets angry at her if she can’t.  In my career I’ve had plenty of men, including many younger than yourself, who were suffering from temporary or permanent erectile dysfunction, and as long as they understood and accepted that we were still able to have a good time cuddling, kissing, playing with toys, engaging in kink and other such activities that don’t involve erections.  But when such a man expected some kind of high-level sexual witchcraft beyond even my considerable skills, it rarely turned out well.  My advice to you, then, is to find a mature lady whose company you think you’ll enjoy regardless of what happens in the bedroom; go into the date knowing your limitations and clearly communicate those limitations to her; and enjoy the journey rather than being hell-bent on reaching some kind of destination to which there may no longer exist a bridge.

(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.)

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Organically Grown

I’m an aspiring writer who started up a blog under a pen name, but I’d like to have people actually read what I write and ideally get published and paid later on.  Since I’m neither writing under my own name nor telling anyone I know about my writing, this has made the latter quite difficult.  I figured the best source of wisdom on how to achieve anything with my webpage is by contacting some of my favorite writers today, including you; may I pick your brain about how to get myself attention?

I’m afraid I’m not going to be very much help, because I have absolutely no idea how to go about building a popular blog.  Yes, I know my blog is very popular (approaching six million pageviews) and I’m very glad it is, but it just sort of got there on its own.  I mean, certainly the quality of the writing helped, as did the fact that I’m willing to tackle topics most others aren’t, as did my high public profile and popular Twitter feed, as did the fact that I’m easy on the eyes.  But I didn’t actually do anything technical that was calculated to increase my visibility, and in fact I intentionally ignored a lot of the advice given me by well-meaning people (such as the suggestion I give my essays verbose, boring, overly-descriptive, “keyword”-laden titles of the sort search engines like, instead of catchy, interesting ones that I like).  I don’t know anything about SEO and have no interest in learning; I don’t study guides about how to make my site more visible to Google; and I don’t sully my site with clickbait.  And yet, my readers found me anyhow, though it took two years for me to really hit my stride.  So the only advice I’m really qualified to give you is, try to create the best blog you can, with good writing, attractive layout and eye-catching pictures, and to do it with a level of consistency bordering on the obsessive.  I have no idea whether that will work for you, but it certainly did for me.

(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.)

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I have a “good girl” job and a secret sex work career; aside from my clients, there are exactly two people on this earth who know what I do – and one of those is my therapist.  I feel zero shame about doing what I do, and have felt it as a calling from a young age; however, I’m deeply aware of the consequences of exposure.  But I’m quite clear that my silence comes at the cost of isolation, so I’d like to change that and develop a support system.

There are a lot of sex workers who don’t have a support system or peer friends they can turn to; as you point out, this work can be very isolating because the stigma makes it difficult-to-impossible to discuss with anyone who isn’t a fellow inhabitant of the demimonde.  And since we’re in the midst of a moral panic over our work, the danger isn’t just emotional but physical; sex workers can be arrested, see their businesses and careers (both sex-related and “straight”) destroyed, have their kids abducted by the State, lose friends and family or even be infantilized and forced into “treatment” or “diversion” programs which treat our choices, jobs and sexualities as pathological.  If you live in a city with a SWOP chapter, I suggest you join right away if at all possible; your privacy will be respected and you’ll meet other sex workers to talk to.  If there is no nearby sex worker group, or if you feel uncomfortable attending meetings in real life, I strongly suggest you reach out to other sex workers on social media; you’d be amazed how much it can help and how real & strong those friendships can become.  For example, Mistress Matisse & I met online more than 5 years ago and now we’re extremely close friends in real life; I’ve also met & befriended many other sex workers on social media, and have developed strong bonds even with folks I haven’t met in the flesh.  Such connections not only help to keep physically-isolated sex workers emotionally healthy, but can also help us to stay safe.  And best of all, they remind us that we’re not alone, that the anti-sex busybodies cannot control us and that we are slowly but surely moving toward a day when we don’t need to hide any more.

(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.)

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I’m trying to join a site that requires a reference; could you provide that for me?

Unless you’re someone I’ve actually met in person and know to be a sex worker, the answer is “absolutely not”.  Ditto if you’re a client I haven’t actually had a full-rate appointment with.  The reason should be obvious: the entire point of references for joining sex worker sites is to provide some measure of trust.  If I’m a trusted member of a site and I give a reference for a lady or gent I’ve met and feel reasonably good about, that says something about that person.  But if I just give references for people who haven’t actually done anything to earn that vouch, I’m deliberately cutting at the webwork of trust such sites rely upon and sabotaging the system; that’s an ethical nightmare which could allow any number of awful and even dangerous people behind the walls.

Now, it’s absolutely true that all a cop needs to do to infiltrate an escort board is to talk somebody into seeing him, then using her as a reference to see someone else, and after he does that a few times getting them to vouch for him (maybe even writing a few reviews for good measure).  That’s morally reprehensible behavior; it’s serial consent violation for the purpose of destroying a community, ruining lives and wrecking careers, which puts it on the same moral level as rape even if the individual women who were tricked don’t realize it.  Of course, cops (being moral retards) have no aversion to rape and other vile, thoroughly loathsome violations of the most basic human decency; they are, however, subject to limitations imposed by time, money and their own stupidity, and therefore tend to prefer low-hanging fruit to that which can only be harvested via years of sleazy spying and exploitation.  With a few notable exceptions like the violation of Seattle’s The Review Board, cops prefer to capture and parade the largest number of victims possible in front of the reporters’ cameras for the least possible effort, and that means when they bother trying to infiltrate sites at all they generally do it in the quickest, easiest way possible.  And you’ve got to admit that if it worked, getting a fake vouch from a well-respected escort would be a helluva lot quicker than the months-long process of actually behaving like a decent paying customer for long enough to worm his way in.  Of course, most well-respected escorts are going to answer this question in exactly the same way as I did back in the first sentence, though without the explanation.  Don’t get me wrong; I think it’s very likely that the person who asked me this question is a real sex worker, but I don’t know that for a fact.  And the stakes are much too high for me to gamble them on a guess.

(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.)

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I’m a Christian who has only had sex with the woman I married, and we waited until our wedding night for that.  About 8 months ago my wife took the kids and moved out, then divorced me; her excuse was that she caught me looking at porn.  She bailed out of counseling, telling the counselor that it was all my fault.  At first I felt she was wrong, but then I found a couple of books on sex addiction and found myself on every page.  Now I’m attending a sex addiction program, but I’m not sure I’ll ever be clean.  Can you give me some advice?

My advice is simple, though I’m going to elaborate on it a bit:  You were correct when you thought your wife was being unreasonable, and you should work on accepting your sexuality rather than letting a bunch of profiteering prudes inflict a never-ending guilt trip on you.  As I and others have written many, many times, the entire concept of “sex addiction” is bullshit; it’s just Christian morality dressed up in psychobabble.  Sex is a natural function, not an outside chemical you’re introducing into your body; it’s no more possible to be “addicted” to sex than it is to be “addicted” to breathing, eating or pissing.  Try not taking a crap for a few days and watch how your thoughts slowly become dominated by thoughts of pooping; after a while your concentration will probably deteriorate and you won’t be able to think about much else.  Yet when your sex drives go similarly unrelieved, you actually believe people who tell you that means you’re an “addict”?  This is nonsense.  Studies show that so-called “sex addicts” don’t have sex (or think about it, or watch porn, or masturbate, or whatever) any more than other people do; they just feel more guilt and anxiety about their normal sexual impulses, and those bad feelings are directly correlated with the degree to which they carry guilt-inducing moral & religious attitudes about sex.  Those who write “sex addiction” books, teach “sex addiction” courses and give “sex addiction therapy” are charlatans, con artists who are profiting from “treating” a condition that can never be cured because it doesn’t exist in the first place.  The only way to “cure” sexual impulses is by castration (chemical or surgical), and even that’s not 100% because a lot of sex derives from regions of the brain which are going to do their thing even if your testosterone level drops to nearly zero.  And of course, all humans crave touch and intimacy no matter what their sex-hormone levels; the only way to “cure” that is to die.

In your very long letter you didn’t mention when you started looking at more porn and thinking about sex more often, but I’m willing to bet it correlates nicely with a decrease in physical intimacy with your wife.  I get letters with depressing regularity from Christian men whose Christian wives cut them off dry and then complain that said husbands pester them for sex or watch porn; this makes about as much sense as refusing to keep food in the house and then bitching because their husbands complain about being hungry or sneak out to McDonald’s.  For whatever reason, your wife wanted out of the marriage; porn provided her a convenient excuse that would satisfy her Christian family and allow her to push the blame off onto you.  The “sex addiction” industry is feeding on your guilt and will try to encourage your unhealthy sex-negativity so it can keep feeding; if you want to be cured, what you really need to do is stop believing the abusers who keep telling you that you’re sick.

(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.)

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