Wednesday, April 07, 2004

Today was one of those days where I really enjoyed myself at work. Two clients, both excellent regulars. The first of them was a very sweet man, over fifty, who has an infectious laugh and blue eyes that sort of twinkle when he's having fun. He's relatively new to me – meaning, less than a year – and I'm the first pro dom he's seen. But he's taken to it like a duck to water and he's become a fan of rope bondage. That makes me happy, because I like doing it, and I don't get to so very often.

So he was laughing that unmistakable "wow, I'm really endorphin-high" laugh while I tying him up in various positions, and it made me laugh, too. I'm sure that if you asked some random person to describe what a session between a professional dominatrix and her client might be like, they most likely would not say, "Well, they'd probably laugh a lot." But it's not unusual. I like people who laugh when I'm playing with them. I especially like it when I make them sort of laugh and wince at the same time. That's a favorite of mine. (Not to sound like a commercial, but if you'd like to see a great example of a laughing-and-wincing scene, buy my video and watch the second vignette, with Rose Algren. She laughs a lot, even though I'm doing some pretty serious stuff to her. Plus she's a flaming babe.)

My second client I've known for several years, and while he's also over fifty, he's kind of a health-and-fitness nut like I am, and he's so springy and muscular I think if you dropped him off a four-story building, he'd probably bounce. And he'd smile, because he's an unsinkably cheerful guy.

He likes intense sensation (pain, for those of you not up on this lingo) and we did some play with sounds. I'll now explain what "sounds" are, but if you squick easily, you should skip this next paragraph.

A sound is a medical instrument, a long slender metal rod that's designed to be inserted into the male urethra. Click on this link if you'd like to know more. This is advanced play; please don't do this unless you've been taught by someone knowledgeable, or you could really damage someone's body.

So there I was, sliding this metal rod into his dick, thinking, "What a magical thing this is." And that’s how it seems to me when I'm playing – like it's magic. Like I'm magic. I love that I can do these intense things to people's bodies, and somehow, through some alchemical transformation, it's not a bad thing. Instead, it's wonderful. That's where the power comes from, for me. Not in making people endure something nasty – that's just bullying someone. No, the magic is doing fierce things to people and making them like it. That's the magic.

I can do that kind of magic.

Tuesday, April 06, 2004

Preamble: Okay, let's get one thing clear: this is me venting. I'm explaining this because, apparently, some of you gentlemen who are reading me are a little sensitive. I got at least half a dozen plaintive/defensive emails in the wake of my post a few days ago about another woman's undesirable client. (Not even my undesirable client – someone else's!)
Good gentlemen, I completely agree with you that most would-be clients are nice people. I have said positive things about my clients here many times. But if you're going to read me, you're also occasionally going to hear about the minority of would-be clients who are not so nice, and you will have to learn not to take everything I say here about them so very personally. After all, one of the purposes of me having a blog is so I can vent.
So we're agreed, then, yes? You're a nice guy, I like you, this is about someone else. Great. On with the rant.

Let's talk about the annoying phone call du jour.
Ring ring!
Me: Hello?
Caller: (loudly) Heeeeeeeeeeeeeey! What's hap'nin, baby?
Me: (wondering if Huggy Bear has decided he needs a spanking) Hello?
Caller: Whas'sup, mama?
Note: it's fairly clear this caller is white. And rather young.
Me: (in a frosty voice): Can I help you?
Caller: Yeah, I wanted to see, you know, whatchoo were doin'?

Now, I know what I'm doing: I'm talking to a very irritating person with poor mental organization. But I don't think he'd understand that if I told him. So I try redirecting him, on the million-to-one chance that he might somehow metamorphose into someone I'd even remotely consider seeing. Besides, if I simply hang up now, he'll just call right back, I know it.

Me: Are you calling me about my professional services?
Caller: Your services?
Me: Yes, my professional services. I'm a dominatrix.
Caller: A domi-what?
Me: (heavy sigh) How did you get this number?
Caller: Oh, um, yeah, I saw an ad, you know…(trails off)
Me: Okay, you saw an ad for me, Mistress Matisse.
Caller: Yeah! Yeah, that's right, the ad.

Some days, I think Sisyphus had it easy.

Me: Yes – that's my ad, I'm a dominatrix. Is that what you're looking for?
Caller: Uh, I don' know….what d'ya do?

My patience has reached its end.

Me: You know what - if you don't know, then it's not what you're looking for. Goodbye.

This kind of phone call happens about three times a week, minimum. And it isn't only twenty-two-year-old boys pretending they're rappers, either. Grown-up men do this as well. I mean, hey – they called me. It wasn't like they didn't know the conversation was going to happen. (Yes, maybe they were expecting the voicemail. But I think if you're going to dial someone's phone number, you should first take a moment to prepare yourself for the fact that they might, actually, pick up the phone!)
My point is that if you were calling about an apartment for rent, or a car for sale, the conversation would go something like this:

Me: Hello?
Caller: I saw an ad saying you've got a car for sale?
Me: Yes, that’s right. It's Toyota Civic, blah blah blah.
Caller: Right – what are you asking for it?
Me: Oh, $$$...
Caller, Option A: Sounds great, when can I come by and take a look at it?
Option B: Thanks a lot, I'll have to think about it.

Now, is that so hard to do with me? Be polite but to-the-point when you call, have your questions more or less ready, and just generally regard both our time as a resource. Is that so unreasonable?

Thank you. I didn't think so.

Okay, the rant is now over…we will return to our regularly scheduled program.

Monday, April 05, 2004

There's this thing that keep happening to me where I'm talking to someone about my life – my life as a pro dom, my life as a kinky person, my life as a poly person, whatever. And they say to me, "You're so lucky."

This happens to me fairly regularly, either in-person or electronically. I know they don't mean to be rude – but it seems rude to me, and I really don't like it. I'm trying to figure out a response I can make to these folks that isn't nasty but expresses how I feel, which is something like this:

"This is not luck. I am very lucky in some ways – I'm lucky in the fact that I have two smart, healthy, pretty parents who got together and made a smart, healthy, pretty baby – me. That's sheer luck on my part, I didn't have a thing to do with it.
But luck has nothing to do with the fact that I have created the life I wanted for myself. I got it because I made a choice, I gave up the other, safer, options, and I did the work to get it. Nothing I have fell into my lap like a lottery prize. It was hard, lonely work - I hit a lot of dead ends, and I took a lot of wrong turns. Sometimes I met people who helped me, more often I had to deal with people who wanted to discourage me. But I kept trying because I refused to believe that I could not manifest what I wanted.
And I am not, by any means, finished. There is so much I want to do that I haven't achieved yet. There are ambitions that are still taking shape in me, goals I'm in progress towards, and some big, scary-looking shit I'm just flat-out not ready to tackle yet.
I know it would be easier to believe that you couldn't create your life the way I've created mine, but that's bullshit. You make a choice every single day about what kind of life you're going to have. Whatever you choose is okay – but don't tell yourself that you shouldn't bother to try to get what you want because you aren't "lucky". The fault, dear Brutus, lies not in your stars, but in yourself. Create what you want. Or else don't. But stop invalidating my power to do so by telling me "you're so lucky".

Saturday, April 03, 2004

So, the bondage workshop went very well today....

Monk was also there selling his pretty hemp rope. I like hemp, too - it's just a different type of rope. I was kind of giving him the business because he sells (and plays with) 6 millimeter rope, and I think that stuff is too skinny. I like the 8 mil, which is bigger. "But 6 mil is traditional," he says, looking at me all innocent-like. Cuz, yeah, I'm such a traditional girl, Monk.

A post I saw on another blog reminded me of a conversation I had a few weeks ago with a friend who's an escort. She's been in the game for a few years now, but I've been in it longer and she likes to get my take on certain aspects of the biz.

"There's this guy," she began. "I saw him once and he was a total jerk. Not scary, but just pushy and creepy and a weird energy. He's been trying to make another appointment, and I was just dodging his calls for a while. But he kept on calling and leaving messages, and I know you've always told me sometimes it's easier to just tell them that you don't want to see them than keep trying to avoid them forever."

I nod, because she's right. Sometimes the jerks will give up and go away, but other times you have to be straight with them. It takes a little judgment to tell the difference, though.

"So, he next time he called, I picked up and talked to him and told him that he made me uncomfortable last time I saw him and that I didn't think we were compatible and that I was sure he'd be better off seeing someone who was a better match for him."

I nod again – this is exactly what I have told her to say in these situations. There's no reason to be nasty about it – it just makes them get defensive. Much better to be calm and polite.

"Well, he wanted to know what he did wrong, and then he said he really wanted to see me again, and would I give him another chance, and" – Wait for it – "that he'd give me a thousand dollars for an hour if I'd see him again." Yep, there it is. The number-one most common response of a jerky client to being 86ed: offering more money.

Not that offering more cash is an inherently evil thing to do. Like Madonna once said, we are living in a material world. And we are definitely material girls. There are some professional conflicts that can be mitigated by money. No-showing for a scheduled appointment, for example: money fixes that. As long as the client pays for the time, I'll happily make appointments with him again. But if you dislike someone enough to actually fire them as a client, it is always, but always, a bad idea to let them bribe you into reversing that decision.

So when she asked me, "What should I do? It would be nice to have a thousand dollars, but…" I shook my head. "Nope. Don't do it. Let me tell you why: you've told this guy "no" about something. If he convinces you to change your mind by promising you more money, what you've taught him is that your "no" doesn't really mean "no". That's a real bad precedent to set with a client."

"And," I went on, "I would be very surprised if you ever got that thousand dollars. Because now that you've taught this guy he can move you around, he's gonna start jacking that figure down. It's a thousand now, but if you say yes, he'll call you an hour before the appointment and say, 'oh, I can only get eight hundred from the cash machine, can he write you a check for the rest?' And then when you get there, it'll be 'whoops, I thought I had eight hundred, looks like I've only got five, and you are gonna stay two hours for that much, right?' I mean, he's not an idiot, he knows the market rate in Seattle and he knows there are other women around. Once he's got you there with him, why should he pay more? He's gambling that once you're actually there, you'll take the money and stay rather than walk out empty-handed."

"Shit," she said. "You're probably right."

"The only way I'd do it is this: number one, make him Paypal you half the money before you ever leave the house. Number two, do it as an outcall - he stays in a hotel, right? Have your boyfriend go with you up to the room, but stay outside in the hall. Go in and collect the other half of the money and discreetly give it to your boyfriend. Remember that there's probably a security camera in the hallway, so don't flash the cash, just give him a hug and slip it in his pocket. Then stay and see the client and have your boyfriend ring the room when it's time to go. And be nice, you know, be good to the guy. This isn't about ripping him off. I mean, you know you don't like him, but if you decide to do it, do it right."

She nodded slowly. "That sounds like a good plan."

"Well, it is, but I really doubt it'll happen, because I doubt he'll agree to the terms. I mean, looking at it from his point of view, even if he's sincere in his offer, he's taking a risk. If he gives you the half up front, how does he know you'll show up at all?"

"I would," she said. "Because taking his money like that and not showing up would be stealing. But I can see how he wouldn't know that I don't steal from people."

"Yeah, I agree – it's very bad karma. But my theory is that he isn't sincere and he doesn't actually intend to pay you any extra money at all, and that's the real reason why paying you five hundred beforehand isn't gonna fly with him." I shrugged. "I could be wrong. But I've just seen this too many times, and it always plays out the same. Test the theory if you want. Just be prepared to walk out if he welshes on the deal. Because if you let him talk you into seeing him again for less than what you agreed to, you're going to be so mad at him, it'll be an awful session, and you'll feel shitty about yourself afterwards because you compromised your own boundaries for nothing."

So – she made him the offer I told her, and he said he'd call her back. Thus far, he hasn't called. Score one for honesty and good boundaries.

Postscript: This guy didn't seem like a violence risk, but this conversation did remind me of my favorite reading suggestion for working girls: Gavin De Becker's The Gift of Fear : Survival Signals That Protect Us from Violence "In this extraordinary groundbreaking book, the nation's leading expert on predicting violent behavior unlocks the puzzle of human violence and shows that, like every creature on earth, we have within us the ability to predict the harm others might do us and get out of its way. Contrary to popular myth, human violence almost always has a discernible motive and is preceded by clear warning signs. Through dozens of compelling examples from his own career, Gavin de Becker teaches us how to read the signs, using our most basic but often most discounted survival skill - our intuition.

It's a fabulous book - fascinating to read and extremely helpful in learning to tell who the bad people are...

Friday, April 02, 2004

I'm sort of brother is leaving Seattle to move back to Florida on Monday. He's been here about a year and a half and it's been nice having him around. Before that, I don't think we'd lived in the same city since I graduated from high school.
He moved here after living in LA and getting burned out working in the TV industry down there, and I thought Seattle would be a great antidote to LA - such a different energy here.
He gave it the college try, but...things just didn't jell for him here. The type of work he does (and the stuff he'd like to do) isn't so sought-after here. So he decided to go where the ducks are, rather than trying to create something from scratch. I can understand that. He's going back to Orlando, where he's got connections.
I will say that it'll be nice to have him be living nearer our parents - cuz, you know, they get older and stuff. It's not an issue now, but in ten years, well...
We'll be hanging out a bit this weekend - and then on Monday he drives away and I'll once again be the only only member of my family on the west coast.

Thursday, April 01, 2004

I'll do a real entry later, but for the moment, a brief commercial sweetie is teaching Japanese-style rope-bondage suspension classes this weekend at The Wet Spot. (That means, you tie people up and hang them up in the air. Big fun.)
You need not be a Wet Spot member to attend the class. For more info, check out his website...