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Diary #368

Last week was a mad scramble of all-over-the-place for me!  After a lovely but busy weekend with Lorelei, my week was spent trying to get as much ahead on the blog as possible (and succeeding through this coming Saturday, hurrah!); packing; preparing for the trip in other ways (such as making sure I had enough drugs and alerting my credit card provider to the fact that I might do that thing which 21st-century banks seem to find “suspicious”, traveling); selling a rental house I owned in Oklahoma; switching various accounts from my old Oklahoma address to my new Washington one; giving two interviews; and doing that thing which pays for it all, i.e. spending a lot of time on my knees and back.  Lorelei & I flew out late Saturday night on a redeye, arriving early Sunday morning in Philadelphia and spending the day in a hotel with Ghost Rider before heading out to the airport.  The flights were as good as I dared hope (which is to say: thank Aphrodite for Valium, Zofran and booze) and we arrived at Shannon airport early yesterday morning, just in time for breakfast (we decided to fly in there and out at Dublin rather than vice-versa).  Today, and every day this week, I’ll surrender myself to the desires of Lorelei & Ghost Rider regarding where we go and what we do; I don’t want to make any decision more important than “What do I want to eat from this menu?”  And on Friday, keep a look out for a bunch of pictures!

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Diary #367

Late Saturday night, Lorelei Rivers and I will be getting on a redeye flight to the East Coast, where we’ll meet up with the gentleman I call Ghost Rider; on Sunday evening we’ll get on another plane together, and disembark the next morning in Dublin.  Yes, a generous client is taking my girlfriend and me on a week-long vacation to Ireland; that is seriously living the hooker dream, my friends!  Oh, wait; clearly I’m suffering from false consciousness, because we all know that the lives of prostituted women are unending cascades of suffering and degradation.  What I really mean is that an evil, exploitative “john” is going to “traffic” two helpless, innocent “victims” across international borders to satisfy his carnal lusts 50 times a day each.  No doubt we’ll be forced to use drugs to survive the violation; oh, woe is us!  Actually, in all seriousness I will need to use drugs to survive the flights, but those drugs will be my good old Valium and Zofran combo, plus as much booze as the air hostess will give me.  So much has changed in the last year and a half; at that time I couldn’t have even hoped for a trip like this.  But now my vertigo is more manageable (though that still requires a lot of planning), I have my passport again, and a generous gentleman is subsidizing my flying!  And that means this is really a kind of dress rehearsal; in the future, I’ll be able to travel to any place a client needs me to go, provided he’s willing to book me for enough time to justify the travel (at least 24 hours to the UK, Ireland or Western Europe and 2 days for anyplace farther than that).  Take a look at your budget, international fans!  And in the meantime, keep your eyes peeled for photo hijinks with Lorelei & me in the Emerald Isle!

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You can…Google me naked and get a lot of applicable results, which is not something most people can say.  –  “Sixth Anniversary

Seven years, and I don’t even have the fabled itch yet!  Doing a blog in my own peculiar way, with its rigid scheduling and content requirements, really is something like a marriage; but like a good marriage, it’s a labor of love.  And it is a good marriage; I take care of The Honest Courtesan, feeding her and grooming her and getting her lovely ornaments to adorn her, and I make sure she gets plenty of attention from readers (over 2500 posts, nearly 100 pages and over 48,000 comment; nearly 2000 subscribers and almost 14,000 Twitter followers; and nearly 6 million page views from all over the world).  In return, she has made me a minor celebrity, extremely well-known in the demimonde and libertarian circles, and even occasionally recognized in public; she helps me to get work and has made my writing much more than the exercise in vanity it was seven years ago.  I have published two books (with more to come), have written many articles and been interviewed too many times to count, and I’m even widely considered a sex symbol now, which is still very difficult for my chubby, homely 13-year-old self to believe.  There will be a documentary about me released sometime next year, and at the end of this week I’ll be visiting Europe for the first time (something which would’ve been basically impossible two years ago).  And all because just over seven years ago, I enjoyed an online friend’s blog post about Wonder Woman and asked how I could set up a blog myself.  In some ways, seven years ago seems like yesterday, and in some ways it feels like forever; there’s no guarantee I’ll still be around in another seven years, because there are no guarantees in life.  But as of right now, I  plan to keep this blog/creatrix relationship going for as long as my brain and fingers allow me to do so.

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Though I no longer use different stage names (in fact, virtually nobody except the government uses my legal name any more), I still have different email addresses and different websites for my activism and my sex work.  This blog and this email address are for my blogging and activism, while my escort site (Google my name & “Seattle escort” to find it) and this email address are for hiring my professional services as an escort.  And if you approach me through Twitter I’ll probably point you to whichever of those seems more appropriate.

Now, I don’t mind getting inquiries about my professional services through my activism address (though I will probably switch the correspondence to the other address when I realize what you want); the activism address is a lot better known and some people who want to hire me don’t know where to find the other one, so it’s all good.  However, I find myself rather annoyed when I answer an email to my escort address and find something blog-related.  Anyone with the most rudimentary understanding of human psychology, and/or a few months of following my writing, should understand why:  when I see an email come in through that account, I naturally expect it means potential income, and that pleases me on both a practical and a sexual level (because money turns me on).  So how do you think I feel when I find no money is being offered?  Exactly.  And I don’t like feeling that way about communications from my readers, so please don’t do that.  The other day, some chowderhead made an even worse faux pas; he actually used my escort site booking form to request an (uncompensated) interview.  Given that the fraction of booking-form emails which actually turn into paid bills is quite high, I was even more annoyed at this false alert than I would’ve been from a simple email to the wrong address, and when he told me that he used the booking form on purpose because he figured it would get my attention better…well, let’s just say my response was somewhere between “cross” and “I have a good mind to tell you to fuck off”.

But even this irritation is not as powerful as the seriously-pissed-off feeling of opening my escort email to find someone trying to extract money from me by hawking some product or service.  Here’s a word of advice on that: Don’t.  As in, don’t ever do that.  If you want to interest me in your whatever-it-is, send an email offering me a free trial or sample or whatever, and if it sounds good I’ll let you send it to me (with no guarantee I’ll buy it or even like it).  But a straight-up sales pitch or begging letter with not even the pretense of a gift or offer?  Forget it.  And if you’re dumb and rude enough to do that, expect me to immediately install a new filter so future emails from you go straight to the trash.

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Back Issue: June 2014

When one argues with a “true believer”…one might as well be arguing with a dumpster.  –  “Stuffed With Rubbish

With the introduction of the Diary feature, the number of non-feature columns grew smaller still.  Take this month, for example; after holidays & observances (“A Day for Whores“, “Friday the 13th” and the Summer Solstice); the guest columnist (Christina Parreira); the harlotography (“Ninon de l’Enclos“); the fictional interlude (“Wise To Resolve“); the Q&A columns (“Short Fuse“, “Clutter“, “Stuffed With Rubbish” and “Adolescence, Ambiguity and Axes“); and the Cliterati reprints (“Not What They Expected” and “Cooties“), the only columns left are “The Roof Caves In” (on the downfall of Somaly Mam), “If Men Were Angels” (on men in positions of “authority” using that to obtain sex), “Don’t Try This At Home” (on why amateur women are threatened by whores’ great talent for sex), and “A Mound of Filth” (on the sleazy echo chamber of Arizona politics). 

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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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Diary #364

Some of you know that I’ve got practical reasons for distrusting the government as well as philosophical ones.  I hear phrases like “I’ve never seen this before” and “That’s not supposed to happen” with depressing regularity; that’s bad when the person saying it works for a corporation and the problem involves money, but it’s absolutely horrible when the person saying it works for an unaccountable, monopolistic bureaucracy whose mistakes can destroy one’s whole life (or at least make it incredibly difficult for many years).  For example, an error made by H&R Block on Matt’s 2001 income tax return (this was before we got married & I had my CPA do his taxes) triggered an ordeal which ended only last year, having outlasted the marriage by a year.  And a computer error made in Louisiana at some point during my marriage to Jack (1992-95) cascaded through the government records system, creating problems that were finally resolved when a DMV supervisor in Seattle actually made it his mission to track it down in April 2015 (partly because he’s a decent human being & partly because I cried in front of him.  A lot.)  But even though he told me there should be no problem getting a new passport now, I was still very gun-shy about applying for one; frankly, I was traumatized by the whole thing and felt as though I should just leave well enough alone.  However, a couple of weeks ago a very generous gentleman who wants to take me to Europe insisted that I apply; he offered to pay for expedited service and even enlisted Lorelei to his cause, and she cleverly researched every step I needed to take, giving me the exact locations and procedures so I’d have no excuse not to comply.  In the face of such loving pressure I could hardly resist, and two weeks ago today I steeled myself and walked into the office.  It wasn’t easy for me emotionally; I was literally texting four different people to calm my nerves during the process (Lorelei, my gentleman, Matt and my little sister), but I got it done and all that was left was to wait.  Well, on Friday I got an envelope from the State Department; what I expected to find within was a form letter and a bunch of documents telling me additional rigmarole I would need to go through, but what I found was my actual passport, the first one I’ve had in 25 years.  So all the stress paid off, and it’s good to know my 20+ year paperwork nightmare is over.  And most importantly, gents:  Europe is back on the table again, if any of you care to hire me for a long appointment.

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