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Posts Tagged ‘bisexuality’

When you’ve been a sex worker for as long as I have, you begin to notice that the stigma against us isn’t just limited to cops, anti-sex fundamentalists, politicians, Puritans, busybodies and the Great Unwashed who swallow every lie they’re spoon-fed by all of those other groups; it extends to many, many people who should know better.  The ACLU, which in former times even stood up for the rights of despised groups like Nazis and the KKK, largely remains silent on the topic of sex work; oh, they’ll throw us a bone now and again, like a low-effort editorial, an amicus brief in a case somebody else is struggling to pay for, or the signing of a group letter in opposition to an insanely anti-whore law which just happens to create fallout that will hurt good people and not just dirty whores.  But most of the time, despite decriminalization being part of the group’s official platform since 1975, when an ACLU member opens her mouth on the subject in public it’s to vomit out prohibitionist shit like “people don’t choose to become prostitutes” that they need to have their faces forcibly rubbed in until they learn better.  The rest of the time, they’re too busy with Very Important Issues like the “right” of wealthy white queers to force bigots to bake $500 cakes for their displays of conspicuous consumption, or the “right” of women to beat, rob & murder people with impunity by putting on a magic costume.  But when it comes to the actual civil rights of people to have consensual sex and do the work of their choice without interference from armed thugs trying to stalk, entrap, rob, rape, brutalize and cage them, and otherwise destroy their lives?  Crickets.

And then there’s Gay, Inc, my term for the coalition of powerful organizations that have been instrumental in winning rights for queer people.  One would think, given that a very large fraction of sex workers are GLBT in one way or another; that more than 10% of transwomen admit to having done sex work (the real number is probably much higher); that in the early days of gay rights transactional sex was not only accepted, but celebrated; that before the ’90s many closeted gay men’s only sexual outlet was with sex workers; that even a very large fraction of female sex workers are lesbian or bisexual; and that the fucking riots which started the whole fucking gay rights movement in the first goddamned place were started by black trans sex workers, that Gay, Inc would be not only duty-bound but enthusiastic to support sex worker rights.  And one would be wrong; with the exception of a short-lived, chauvinistic and breathtakingly ignorant explosion of anger after the Rentboy raid, picket-fence gay boys and buttoned-up-to-the-neck lesbians have devoted all their energy and money to causes most gender and sexual minorities don’t give a flying fuck about, such as government-issued fucking licenses; the “right” to be a pig, screw or grunt; corporate sponsorship of “Pride parades” that cost enough to feed a small impoverished nation for a month; or the “right” to force bigots to bake the aforementioned overpriced cakes (one wonders what kind of unexamined privilege is necessary to trust eating food prepared by someone who hates you and is only complying at virtual gunpoint).  Oh, and let’s not forget the “right” to send the pigs after streetwalkers who dare to enter their gentrified neighborhoods; you know, the same pigs that used to raid their fucking nightclubs, back when they used to go to nightclubs to pick up guys (including, oh yeah, rentboys & hustlers).  The “leaders” of Gay Inc even openly compare sex workers to “killers or psychopaths”, and participate in the demonization of our clients.

And then there are “feminists”, whose idea of supporting women’s rights is infantilizing us, getting us evicted from our homes and killing us by slow starvation, when they’re not openly advocating for us to be murdered.  And I don’t just mean the mainstream ones, who have always been religious fundamentalists since the beginning; I mean whitebread feminists like Jill Filipovic with no real agenda intellectually more complex than the average Sex and the City episode.

To be sure, there are yellow, lily-livered followers in all of these groups who absolutely know that it’s wrong to persecute people for consensual sex; some of them were even given a little bit of the courage they otherwise totally lack by the announcement of Amnesty International’s backing of decriminalization.  But until the majority of the members of these groups grow a spine and start standing up for what they absolutely know in their hearts to be right, their deafening silence is just as damaging to us as are the cops and the laws which enable their depredations.

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Yesterday was Seattle’s observance of Pride, the annual celebration of the Stonewall riots of June 28th, 1969, in which queer people said “no more” to police violence against them.  But though the riots were started by black trans sex workers & drag sex workers, one wouldn’t know it from the modern celebrations which commemorate their struggle.  In nearly every US city, the celebrations are run and dominated by white, vanilla cisgender people who not only have never done sex work, but in many cases actively work to throw sex workers under the bus.  They seem to care so little for the “T” in “LGBT” that in many cases trans people have established separate (though chronologically adjacent) celebrations, and are so embarrassingly tone-deaf to the continuing struggle of black people that they eagerly invite cops and politicians to participate in the Pride events which purport to honor queer people’s struggle against the very institutions those “authorities” represent.  I might feel differently if those institutions had grown, and become less violent and more accepting of individual rights, but that is nothing like the case; politicians still scheme to marginalize trans people; to shore up a system that exposes black people to brutality, slavery and even murder at the hands of the police; and to persecute sexual freedom by infantilizing sex workers and demonizing our clients, friends and families.  Police inflict violence on black people, rape sex workers and hound our clients, and display a shocking lack of concern for violence against trans people (these effects are multiplied exponentially in the case of black, trans sex workers); and yet, picket-fence queers and Gay, Inc not only think it’s perfectly OK to invite those same pigs to participate in Pride parades, but also in many cases castigate queer people like myself who have the nerve to say out loud that this isn’t acceptable.

Well, here’s my message for Big Gay:  Fuck You.  Fuck your respectability politics and your abandonment of “We’re here, we’re queer, get used to it!” in favor of  “We’re just like you straight folks, right down to getting married, living in the suburbs & sucking the dick of power.”  Fuck your abandonment of queer people who are kinky, nonwhite, non-monogamous, gender-nonconforming, promiscuous, sex working or otherwise uninterested in being nonthreatening to straight vanilla people.  Fuck your completely ignoring the government jihad against sex workers until Rentboy was caught up on it.  Fuck your desire to join the military in order to expand American hegemony over the rest of the world.  Fuck your licking the arseholes of huge fascist corporations who betray every principle the LGBT movement used to stand for because they pay for your fancy Pride parades with money that would’ve been better spent helping queer & trans youth driven out of their homes and into survival sex work; and fuck your eager rimming of politicians who absolve those young people’s families of blame by pretending the reason they’re doing the work is because they were forced into it by imaginary “pimps”.  Fuck your whole picket-fence, big table, might-as-well-be-straight-except-for-where-you-stick-your-dick mentality.  Until you’re ready to stand up for the people who launched the movement which gave you the rights you’re celebrating this week, you’re no better that the representatives of the fascist police state you’ve happily climbed into bed with.  And that is nothing to be proud of.

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Regular readers know that I’m not usually one for giving testimonials, and never unless I actually try and like a product.  And that doesn’t happen all that often for the simple reason that I’m rather set in my ways, so it isn’t often I actually try a new product to discover whether I like it or not.  But when the product A) was developed by a very dear friend; B) is derived from cannabis; and C) is intended to intensify orgasms…well, obviously I was much more motivated than usual to try it.  The product, as most of you can probably guess, is Mistress Matisse’s new Velvet Swing, a cannabis-infused lube which enhanced orgasm in 80% of the women who tried it during the testing phase; I bought some at the official product launch three weeks ago, but it took until last week to try it because I really wanted to give it a fair test.

Many of you may recall that I don’t orgasm easily or often; I have a recessed clitoris (which makes external stimulation generally ineffective), plus most people aren’t willing or able to give me the kind of stimulation I need for long enough and hard enough to actually get me where I need to go.  And to make things worse, it’s extremely difficult to get my overactive brain to relax enough for me to actually achieve the proper headspace unless one or more of my kinks are engaged intensely enough to nullify my high distractibility.  So needless to say, I wasn’t sanguine about the possibility of any lube, cannabis-infused or otherwise, doing much for me; I’m used to being a statistical outlier in anything to do with sex, so I figured it was very likely I’d be in that 20% the product didn’t do much for.  On the other hand, cannabis tends to have very strong effects on me; 20 or 25 mg of edible and I’m good for the whole evening, and my trips are very intense and border on the psychedelic, including full audiovisual effects (visions and hallucinations).  So if any sexual product could enhance my orgasms, a cannabis-based product would probably have the best chance.  Given all those facts, I figured it was best I try the product with someone I’ve been with often, and whose primary interaction with me is vanilla instead of kink (so that I’d be able focus on what was happening in my genital region rather than on my endorphin high).  On the 31st I spent the night with one of my favorite regulars, and I knew he wouldn’t mind (because SCIENCE!)

I used 10 pumps, the maximum regular dose, because I didn’t want there to be any doubt in my mind; I rubbed it onto my clitoris, between my labia and into my vagina, and then we kept ourselves occupied for 40 minutes to allow it to achieve maximum effect (as recommended).  By the 30-minute mark I experienced a distinct tingling, and when he started to touch me I found the sensation much more intense than it would normally be; he was able to give me six orgasms with manual stimulation alone, a feat which nobody (male or female) has ever achieved before.  The first orgasm was a fairly big one and the other five were just little ones, but given that external stimulation doesn’t normally result in any orgasms, big or small, that’s pretty damned impressive.  I didn’t really notice a lot of difference in the stimulation resulting from penetration, though my labia & vagina did seem “fuller”, more engorged.  As the old commercials used to say, Your Mileage May Vary; however, if you live in or can travel to Seattle (it’s not sold anywhere else yet), I’d definitely recommend trying it.  I plan to again at the next available opportunity; next time with a woman, I think!

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How can I convince my wife to see an escort with me?

The short, pithy, and not-entirely-accurate answer is, “You can’t.”  Now, hear me out; I’m not just being a killjoy.  That answer is based on some assumptions, hence the “not entirely accurate” descriptor; if any of these assumptions are incorrect, the short answer also might not be.  However, I’m willing to bet that even as it is, it’s hovering around the 75th percentile of applicability.

First of all, if your wife were the “game for anything” type, you probably wouldn’t have asked me this question; the two of you would’ve already discussed it, and even if she said “no” prior experience would almost certainly give you a hint as to how to proceed in convincing her.  I’m also going to assume that she has never expressed a strong interest in bringing another woman into bed with you; if she had, it would’ve been a simple matter for you to say, “That sounds like a great idea, but we should probably just hire a pro so as to avoid awkward situations with friends and the uncertainty & weirdness of trying to pick up a gal together at a bar or party.”  I’m even going to assume that she has not openly (or even coyly) expressed a desire to “spice up” your sex lives, because that would’ve given you an opening to suggest something.  No, I’m going to assume that you’ve had a pretty vanilla sex life so far, and that you have a fantasy of being in bed with two women that she doesn’t (to your knowledge) share.  And if that’s the case, please reread the first line of this column.

Now, there are a few caveats; you might try making a kind of vague suggestion about spicing up your sex lives, and see where that leads you.  But before you do that, I need to give you two warnings:

A) It’s not unusual for vanilla amateur women to react to such a suggestion by taking it personally and getting angry at you for insinuating that your sex life is boring; the mere suggestion may precipitate an argument in which work, children and the fact that you don’t pay much attention to her any more will almost certainly be mentioned.

B) Even if A doesn’t happen, most vanilla amateur women’s idea of “spicing things up” is a “romantic” (and much more expensive than hiring me for two hours) vacation to a quaint little bed and breakfast.  Or Hawaii.  During which you may or may not have the same kind of boring sex you’ve had for years, only in a different (and much more expensive) bed.

Do I sound a bit jaded?  You’ll have to forgive me; even before I was a professional I had a long history of being “the other woman” (for partners of both sexes) and the understanding friend who consoles people over their romantic difficulties.  And I’ve seen this script played out on a regular basis since 1983.  The sad fact of the matter is, the majority of modern American women have been thoroughly brainwashed into the belief that male sexuality is inherently pathological, and your desire for variety will be dismissed as a sign that something is wrong with you and/or that you don’t love her any more.  Please don’t take this as meaning I’m letting men off the hook; there are plenty of things men could do to improve their marriages, but that wasn’t the question which was asked.  And though men are usually more receptive to trying out their female partners’ fantasies than vice versa, that isn’t necessarily the case if said fantasy threatens his delicate ego in the same way that a man’s desire for variety can threaten a woman’s sense of security.  Furthermore, I can assure you from both personal experience and the experiences of female friends, vanilla men are every bit as likely to be squicked out by kinky fantasies they don’t share as vanilla women are.  My advice to any man who wants to be in bed with two women is, unless your wife has clearly expressed interest in such a thing, just ask an escort to arrange a duo for you; you’ll get what you want without drama, and it’ll be a lot cheaper in the long run.

(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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It’s a sad fact that more women than men support the violent policing of women’s sexualities.  Think about that:  despite all the “feminist” rhetoric supporting a woman’s supposed right to control her body and sexuality, polls consistently show that more women than men are in favor of criminalizing prostitution; that is, more women than men believe male cops should deceive, rape, rob, brutalize, humiliate, cage and ruin the lives of other women for having sex for reasons of which these women disapprove.  Presumably-sane women, many of whom would call themselves “feminists”, think it’s perfectly OK for a state mostly run by men to make laws giving other men the “right” to guess why a particular woman is having sex, raping her if the cop claims it’s to “gather evidence”, then taking her possessions, locking her in a cage and inviting news media to splash her picture all over papers, TV and the internet…because her motivation for having sex is “wrong”.  They tacitly approve of her reputation being destroyed, her children abducted from her and any hope of a straight job forever closed to her because they wouldn’t have sex for the reasons she chooses to have it.  Oh, some of them like to pretend that they don’t want this to happen, claiming that the “Swedish model” decriminalizes sex workers (an obvious absurdity given “accessory” laws, “avails” laws, “brothel-keeping” laws, etc); however, even if it really did what the propaganda says, that would still mean they supported the principle of starving other women into homelessness and financial ruin for the “crime” of wrongthink.

There are a lot of theories, guesses and opinions as to why this might be, including mate-guarding (i.e., attacking other women their husbands might choose to fuck) and the idea that whores lower the price of sex by charging a flat fee rather than forcing men to accept a possible lifelong burden in order to get it.  And while these ideas might have some merit, they don’t explain why these same women aren’t equally upset by women who essentially give sex away, nor why lesbians are well-represented in the whore-hating crowd despite their sexual disinterest in men.  Now, it’s absolutely true that behaviors deriving from evolution aren’t logical; for example, a lot of human sexual behavior is clearly designed to increase the number of offspring that individual can produce, even if the individual has absolutely no conscious interest in producing children and even if he or she is sterile.  But given the human history of promiscuity and casual prostitution (read Sex at Dawn if you haven’t already), I’m not really convinced that whore-hating has a deep evolutionary motive, at least not directly; I think it’s more likely a byproduct of a general female behavior pattern which probably does have an evolutionary origin, but which isn’t specifically aimed at whores.

I don’t think it’s too controversial to say that in general, women tend to put more emphasis on social interactions than do men.  Baby girls stare at faces for longer than baby boys do, girls tend to travel in duos or small groups, women tend to have higher “social intelligence”, we work through difficulties by interacting with each other, we bond by sharing vulnerabilities, we emphasize consensus-building, etc, etc.  The reasons for this aren’t important to consider in this limited space; what does matter is that women have a much more pronounced tendency to think of ourselves as members of a group than men do, and a much stronger tendency to feel that the actions of other women reflect upon us.  In general, guys aren’t all that likely to be concerned that some individual dude’s behavior “makes all men look bad”, while it isn’t at all hard to find some collectivist “feminist” blathering about how the mere existence of Barbie, sex workers, sexy lingerie, kink, labioplasty or some other thing “demeans all women” or even “harms all women”.  Women trapped in this belief-system seem to imagine a deep and mystical interconnectedness of all women, as though we were all “merely the three-dimensional projections of a single hydra-like gestalt entity floating in hyperspace“; they therefore imagine that “any single woman’s sexual activities performed in private magically affect all women throughout the world as though we were one huge set of Corsican sisters, and therefore all women must submit to whatever limitations are imposed on our sexuality by our rightful leaders“.  Once one accepts the absurd premise, the anti-sex “feminist” demand for suppression of sex work actually makes a twisted kind of sense; to someone trapped in this horrifying belief-system, all the women in the world are stuck in one immense elevator together and the whores are smoking, farting and pissing on the floor.

The best evidence for my theory being the correct one is that, as I alluded to above, sex workers aren’t the only women policed in this fashion.  The women who demand the criminalization of commercial sex also tend to be anti-kink and bigoted toward transwomen; this cannot be explained by “mate guarding” or “sex price depression” theories, but it makes perfect sense in light of the notion that nonconforming women somehow “pollute” womanhood by our very existence.  The poison vomited out by Trans-Exclusionary “Radical” Feminists (TERFs) is especially telling (the fact that these women are in no way “radical” is a subject for another day); their screeds tend to be larded with nonsense about some imaginary monolithic “shared female experience” (as though there were such a thing) which excludes transwomen, and how that makes them not “real women” (a slur that, not coincidentally, is often hurled at sex workers as well).  Add to that the fact that TERFs are nearly always Sex Work Exclusionary “Radical” Feminists (SWERFs) as well, and I think we have a smoking gun.  But wait, there’s more:  as many bisexual women can attest, there are still quite a few lesbians out there (though, thank Aphrodite, not as many as there used to be) who insist that bi-women can’t have “real” lesbian relationships, or that we aren’t “really” queer, or whatever; when I tweeted about this last week I received no fewer than four replies to this effect from would-be Dyke Cops within two hours.  Back in my formative years in the ’80s, it was even worse; I was actually told by many older lesbians (older than me, that is; some were as young as 30-something) that “real” lesbians didn’t use dildoes on each other, that fisting was abhorrent, and that kink was basically a mortal sin (“How could you possibly want to hurt another woman?!?  What’s wrong with you?!?”)  It’s absolutely true that the latter kind of sex-act-policing has largely vanished from lesbian communities, but the fact that it ever existed speaks volumes.  There is a large and very vocal subset of women who are deeply horrified by the fact that other women are unlike them sexually, and many if not most of them are perfectly willing to use coercion – up to and including the threat of sexual violence inflicted by armed men – to punish these other women for the sin of being different.

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I’m a successful professional woman who has been married for 20 years, but over the last few years I’ve been growing more bisexual.  So I hired an escort, and later we started dating (around the end of October).  I’m not her “sugar mama”, although I do try and help her out a little bit here and there.  I suppose when a relationship starts out as escort/client, there are hurdles to overcome on both sides; being that you previously married a client, I figure you might understand what I mean.  Obviously, by hiring escorts, I was not looking for a serious relationship, and it’s been kind of intense; any advice (or words of caution) you have on this situation would be appreciated!

You’re right about the hurdles; sometimes they can be overcome, and sometimes not.  In my case, the marriage eventually broke down for reasons only tangentially related to my work, but 14 years isn’t a bad run for any marriage nowadays.  From the information you’ve given me, I don’t think your girlfriend being an escort will really matter one way or another (though it usually does with men), unless you become jealous of her clients, but since this is (I assume) your first lesbian relationship there are a couple of things you may appreciate my mentioning.  In lesbian relationships, sexual interest tends to ramp up quickly (“What does a lesbian bring along on the second date? A U-haul”) as you discovered firsthand, but often dies within a year (the dreaded “lesbian bed death”), and you’re already past four months.  Of course, this isn’t always the case, and even when it is lesbian relationships can go on for years or decades after that due to shared intimacy & deep emotional bonding; for some lesbians that’s enough.  But if you were the kind of woman who can be satisfied with a relationship devoid of lesbian sex, I don’t think you’d have been intentionally seeking out an escort in the first place (regardless of what actually happened when you met one you “clicked” with).  So while it’s true that there are special difficulties in any relationship with a sex worker, what I’d be more mindful about in your specific case is how you’ll feel when the sex dries up.

(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’ve always been uncomfortable with pigeonholing, the notion that it’s possible to completely define people by whatever groups they might belong to.  It’s the basis of all bigotry and “us vs them” thinking, and those who forcibly include others in their groups are no better than those who exclude others because they belong to certain groups.  In other words, I’m just as offended by women who say, “you’re a woman and so you must act in this way and accept this political dogma” as I am by men who say, “you can’t do such-and-such because you’re a woman.”  Yeah, I’m a woman.  I’m also human, American, Caucasian, middle-aged, brown-haired & brown-eyed, and of fairly average height and weight.  My sexuality is responsive to both men and women, and I’m turned on by a lot of things lumped under the category “kink”; I also make a living providing sexual services, and I’m extremely good at what I do. I used to be a librarian, and I’m still a pretty good writer; I like a lot of different ethnic cuisines (especially Mexican, Italian, Indian and Thai) and dislike green, leafy vegetables and undercooked food.  I have reasonably broad tastes in music, but there are a number of genres I can’t really appreciate; in fiction (whether written or performed) I tend to prefer fantasy, horror and speculative fiction, and I also prefer shorter stories & shows to longer ones.  I enjoy animation and role-playing games (in-person, not computer-based), and I used to be considered a helluva DM.

So as you can see, there are lots of labels which could be applied to me, and lots of groups to which I might be considered to belong.  I could be called a human, American, Southerner, New Orleanian, lapsed Catholic, pagan, woman, brunette, whore, courtesan, ex-librarian, writer, speaker, anarchist, radical, queer, kinkster, polyamorist, nerd, witch, bitch, mentor, healer, activist, public intellectual and many other things; some people call me ugly terms like “pervert”, “pimp” or “criminal”, while others prefer flattering ones like “heroine”, “angel” or “goddess”.  But the one thing all these descriptors have in common, whether they’re objective or subjective, bland or emotive, insulting or adulatory, accepted by me or not, is that they do not define me.  There is not a single one of these terms which tells you all you need to know about me, not even the ones I proudly embrace (such as “whore”).  Even if you string them together (I’ve been known to refer to myself on Twitter as a “kinky bisexual whore”, and I’m generally introduced as a “sex worker, writer and activist”) it still doesn’t even come close to telling you what I’m actually like, or serving as more than an extremely general predictor of almost anything about me (other than the specific trait it denotes).  The fact that I’m from New Orleans might give you a few clues about me, but it couldn’t predict the kind of movies I like; the introduction I mentioned above lets you know I’m probably very confident, but says nothing about my dietary preferences; and the fact that I’m bisexual tells you absolutely nothing other than that I wouldn’t automatically reject cuddling up with any given person on the basis of their sex.

And yet there are people who absolutely refuse to get this.  I’ve run into folks who presume that because I’m a white Southerner I must be racist; others who imagine my dislike of greens carries some deeper meaning than that they shouldn’t offer me spinach at dinner; still others who declare that my love of sci-fi shows & fantasy games allows them to make predictions about my sex life and living arrangements; and many thousands who fantasize that my profession means I must either be a “victim” or an “exploiter”, or even both.  Then just the other day in an exchange with Matisse, I wrote that my terms for letting women snuggle up to me are generally less strict than my terms for letting men do so because “I’m bisexual (leaning lesbian at this stage of my life) & most women don’t try to fuck me without paying“; a dude replied to this with “Oh, a lesbian”, as though that entirely summed up my personality and now he understood everything he needed to know about me.  Forget the fact that “bisexual leaning lesbian for the time being” isn’t the same as “lesbian”; even if I did identify as a lesbian that still wouldn’t give you more than a small fraction of a description of my sexuality, and it wouldn’t tell you squat about any other aspect of my personality.  The fact that I enjoy kissing and petting other women no more defines my “identity” than the fact that I like spicy food or the fact that I prefer fiction of the imaginative variety; it doesn’t even tell you what I don’t like because preferences aren’t necessarily exclusive (I also like kissing men, eating vanilla ice cream and some movies with absolutely no element of the fantastic).  It’s simply not possible to understand any human being by knowing one fact about her, no matter what cops, politicians and tribalists may want you to believe; pigeonholes are fine for pigeons, but unsuited for people.

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