My weekend in Los Angeles was a lot of fun; I spent as little of it sober as I could possibly manage. Then on Sunday night Matt showed me the new Star Wars movie, and on Monday we spent the day at Disneyland; here’s a selfie I took in line for “It’s a Small World” (I guess those sparkles are a sun-glare thing). And before any of y’all are tempted to knock my taste in amusement rides, I ask you to consider two things: 1) I have severe vertigo, which means Space Mountain and Star Tours are out and even Splash Mountain and the Matterhorn are on the border; 2) I am wound very tight and my life is full of things most people consider very exciting, so when I want to relax, I want to RELAX (consider that before you ever offer me cocaine). And in the ride department, that mostly means miniature railways and dark rides. Lots and lots and lots of dark rides. Haunted Mansion, Pirates of the Caribbean, even Peter Pan’s Flight. If I were a billionaire I’d build an amusement park with nothing but variations on and combinations of miniature railways, boat rides and dark rides. And a really nice carousel. And anyone who didn’t like it would be handed a pamphlet with directions to Six Flags Magic Mountain. Speaking of thrill rides, my return flight wasn’t one; it was free of turbulence and drama except for the undisciplined toddlers in the row in front of me. But I’ll take screaming kids over terrified vomiting any day of the year.
Posts Tagged ‘blogging’
In a world without scripts, stereotypes and endings neatly resolved just in time for the closing credits, [ethical] questions are a lot more complicated than in the two-dimensional, black-and-white world imagined by naïve moralists. – “It’s Complicated”
This month saw the end of one regular feature and the beginning of another; “Top 40” was my last “favorites” column, and Kelly Michaels my first regular (monthly) guest columnist. Her column appeared on Mother’s Day, and the only other holiday that month was May Day; the fictional interlude was “Fair Game” and the harlotography “Mary Ann Hall“. The weekly reprints from Cliterati were “Chauvinism“, “Somewhere in the Middle” and “It’s Complicated“, and the Q&A columns were “Preventative Measures“, “Three Questions” and “Going Abroad“. Of the remaining eleven columns, “Libertarianism Happens To People” and “Lower Education” looked at the collapse of academic freedom in American universities; “Challenge” spotlighted the legal challenge to prostitution law in California, following in the footsteps of Margo St. James (whose activism was profiled in “Coyote Beauty“); “Unintentional Hilarity” and “Dysphemisms Galore” examined the ridiculous language of anti-whore propaganda, while “Image Enhancement” looked at the persecution of whores in Nevada while “Deafening Silence” performed a similar function for China; “Leviathan” postulated that any institution so large it causes harm just by existing, is too large to be allowed to exist; “Tales from the Dark Side” explained the results of trying to sanitize sex; and “The Mills of the Gods” philosophized on the glacial pace of social change.
Would you be my mentor in sex work?
I get this question very often, and I’ve never actually answered it. Oh, I’ve answered specific questions about sex work many times, and will continue to do so; the “Mentoring” tag is full of them. But when I’m asked this question the petitioner usually wants an ongoing, potentially paid relationship, for which the answer must be “no”. Again, I’ll give specific help to other sex workers, either by email or in person, nearly every time I’m asked. But if it’s an ongoing relationship you’re looking for, that simply isn’t going to happen.
There are several reasons for this, of which three stand out; the first of these is that I simply don’t have the time. As I’ve explained on many occasions, things are so tight for me now that many columns (including this one, incidentally) are finished mere hours or even minutes before posting. There’s just no way I could make room in my schedule for another major obligation; right now any new time-commitment requires that I give up something else. In other words, I couldn’t mentor anyone if I wanted to.
The second reason is that, believe it or not, I’m not really qualified. The market has changed considerably since I learned the trade, and I really haven’t kept up; the only reason I do as well as I do is that I’m Maggie Fucking McNeill, a widely recognized sex symbol. In other words, my brand is already built, and all I have to do is maintain it. But if I had to give someone else advice on web development, tailoring one’s ads to the clientele one wishes to attract, and all that kind of thing, I’d be utterly hopeless; unless you’re willing to devote over half your waking hours to become a well-known blogger for six years while making practically no money at all, I just don’t think my experience is transferable to your situation. Sometimes this should be painfully obvious, but I guess it isn’t; the letter which inspired me to write this column was from a man who wanted me to mentor him in the nigh-impossible task of becoming a heterosexual male escort. Now, I’m often called a saint, but I can assure y’all that theurgy is not in my skill set; it would require a bona fide miracle for me to train someone in something I not only lack the biological qualifications for, but have repeatedly stated is essentially a fantasy.
The third reason is that such relationships are fraught with sexual, emotional and even legal land mines. The people who ask me this question sometimes just want regular mentoring, but sometimes what they actually want is a manager (and I don’t need to tell you what society calls those in our line of work). Ofttimes there’s more than a whiff of groupie about the person asking, and it’s pretty clear that she desires to be guided in a more, shall we say, “hands on” fashion. And though I’ve got a running joke on Twitter (with several women young enough to be my daughters) about “Miss McNeill’s School for Wayward Young Ladies”, in truth there’s absolutely no way I’d risk such an intimate relationship with a young whore any longer; not only is there too much risk of sexual and emotional injury (and not just to her), but also our culture has entered a period where such relationships are nearly always viewed as predatory and/or exploitative. In other words, injured feelings could potentially result in public accusations or even criminal charges, and I’m sure Dan Satterberg would just love to have a reasonably-credible “sex trafficking” case against me courtesy of a heartbroken girl who claimed I had manipulated and seduced her into prostitution. No, thanks. So while I’m flattered by the requests and wish I could give everyone who asks all the help she needs, the answer is, must be and will always be a resounding negative.
If you follow me on Twitter, you already know that my meds worked as they were supposed to on my flight to Los Angeles; the success was probably due in part to the fact that it was a very smooth flight, but I felt no nausea at all despite the fact that the seats on the airplane did not recline at all and I was thus forced to sit bolt-upright the whole way (which is usually a recipe for vomit). Furthermore, little bumps and shakes that would normally fill me with anxiety did nothing more than slightly unnerve me, so I’m pretty confident that the return trip won’t be too bad. Anyhow, I had a lovely and relaxing weekend with my friend; those of you who know me well understand what the presence of my fuzzy purple blanket in this picture means, and those who don’t will just have to guess or be mystified. I also got to visit with Matt, I went to Disneyland yesterday and I’m going up to Fresno for a photo shoot today. Then tomorrow I’ll be flying back to Seattle, and scrambling to catch up before Savannah Sly arrives this weekend. But for me, busy is good; it keeps my brain occupied with productive things instead of letting it wander off into negativity. And I really did have a memorable and pleasant trip, even the parts when I wasn’t naked under my purple blanket.
Some weeks are just like, “Where the hell did that go?” and some seem interminable; the worst ones are a bit of both, so that when viewed in retrospect the bad parts seem to dwarf the others, like the disproportionate features of a sensory homunculus. Last week was like that, and everything this week lies in the shadow of my much-dreaded flight to Los Angeles. Don’t get me wrong; I’m sure I’ll enjoy the trip just fine after I get there. But between this moment and Friday morning lies the awfulness of an airline flight, and long-time readers know how much I dread those. Really, the main purpose of this trip is to test out the new meds I’m hoping will enable me to fly without degenerating into a crying, puking crazy woman and being completely useless until the next day. To be perfectly honest, I will probably be so doped-up that I’ll still be useless until the next day, but uselessness due to being drugged into insensibility is vastly preferable to uselessness due to being sick, terrified and exhausted. Anyhow, we’ll see. If you live in the LA area and want to see me, this is last call; I might make an appointment after I get there if I can find the time, but I doubt that. I’m going to keep myself as busy as possible so I don’t have time to stress out about the flight back.
I am supposed to accept…that the laws of biology are suspended for human beings, or that the laws of logic and economics somehow do not hold when sex is involved, without any proof whatsoever…despite the fact that these things are roughly as credible as the claim that a group of six-headed lemurs from 61 Cygni has established a colony in downtown Hoboken. – “Not Rocket Science”
Even though there were far fewer holidays in April than in the previous months of 2013, the number of columns which fell outside of categories was still relatively small because of the regular Wednesday and Friday features. The holidays fell at the beginning and end of the month; it started with my April Fool column “Mulberry Street“, a Dr. Seuss homage (followed the next day by “The Story Behind the Story“, which gave some background detail). And it ended with “May Eve“, which on this occasion looked at scary TV episodes. This month’s fictional interlude was “Genius Loci” and its harlotography “Skittles“, and though there was no “favorites” column this time there was a song column, “I May Sell You Some of Mine“. It was in the weekly features, though, that the numbers really racked up: my Wednesday Q&A columns this time were “Natural Processes“, “Garbage In, Garbage Out“, “Dry Run” and “Vice Versa“; and my Friday Cliterati reprints were “Awakening“, “China Dolls“, “Under the Bus” and “Monsters“. And after the news and links columns, that left only eight more: “Under Every Bed” ridiculed the expansion of “sex trafficking” hysteria to small towns; “I Saw My Brain” featured a bizarre criticism of a tyrannical Florida Sheriff; “Not Rocket Science” used illustrations from Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland to explain the concept of “burden of proof”; “Theatrics” showed how real exploitation which doesn’t fit the “sex trafficking” narrative is ignored; “Credit Where Credit is Due” called attention to a rare clever article in Jezebel; “The End of the Beginning” questioned whether the “sex offender registry” witch-hunt may be slowing; “The Auctioneer Effect” explained why penalties and restrictions always ratchet up; and “They Don’t Want To Know” looked at how the media self-censor to prolong ignorance about sex.
The early part of last week was pretty quiet, as tax week often is; I probably should’ve made time to open the book-thickness sheaf of forms that my CPA sent me (apparently laboring under the misapprehension that I’m actually going to fill them out). But since taxes give me actual anxiety attacks (that audit in 2003 which I was still paying for until last year probably has something to do with it), I put it off and I’m just going to send her my bank info and answer any questions she might have. The weekend was great, though; on Saturday night I chatted on stage with Chester Brown at his book signing, and on Sunday we hung out together all afternoon. We signed 10 books together (Chester’s signature in each includes a unique custom sketch), and I’m going to be selling them as a limited edition (I’ll devote a column to the particulars this Thursday). Also, Chester agreed to do the cover art for my next short story collection, The Forms of Things Unknown; he took some reference pictures and I promised him I’d start working on the book in the next few weeks. He definitely inspired me to get off my high-priced arse and start working on it, and I think once I get this one out I should have developed a pattern that will enable me to finally finish The Essential Maggie McNeill as well, and maybe start working at last on my Big Project. That’s the theory, anyway.