Tuesday, June 07, 2005

Photo Blogging

We're back to my one of my favorite subjects: beautiful women.

Max, on The Dresser.
The lovely Max - we usually refer to her as "Girl Max" in conversation, so as to differentiate her from my Max, who is just as attractive, but considerably more furry.

Jane and The Boot
Awhile back, there was a period of time in which, if Jane and Max and a camera were in the same room, Jane always seemed to wind up in some very compromised position having to do with rope. Poor Jane, she hated it. Really.

Shower Nude
One of my very earliest self-portraits, from around the end of 1999.

Nude in the Doorway
Another treatment of the theme.

RedLight
I don't know why I like this odd photo of Miss Rose Algren, but for some reason, I just do. It's something about her expression.

RopeGag
Max is so mean. Of course, I was too busy taking pictures to stop him.

LongHaired Nude
I think I've sold more of this image than any other self-portrait. I'm not sure why, unless it's because it's clearly a nude and yet nothing is really showing, so to speak. A discreet nude.

Monday, June 06, 2005

It's Monday, and you know what that means. It's time for the Personal Ad of the Week! Oh, did I not mention I'm now doing a Personal Ad of the Week? Well, I am.

However, as I mentioned last week, I AM NOT looking for another partner. No, indeed. I have Max and I have Roman, and I have another small iron or two in the fire, and I am quite well taken care of, thank you.

But I know some of you are, and besides, it's fun to talk about people.

In spite of some predictions to the contrary, the cute girl from last week never did contact me, which is quite fine with me. I have no idea if she's aware that her fifteen minutes of blog fame has already come and gone. But I hope she hooked up with a hot girl who's spanking her while wearing high heels.

This week, I thought I'd talk about a guy's ad, just for some gender parity. So, I went and looked at a bunch of men's personal ads on The Stranger's personals site, and at the Bondage.com personals. (Of course, I had to disqualify a couple of cool pals of mine with Bondage.com profiles.)

Frankly, I had a tough time finding men I would consider to be even vague possibilities. Some of those ads, Jesus... Did you guys all get a memo about "Things You Must Say In Your Personal Ad"? If you did, throw it out, because there's way too much repetition out there. For example, apparently there are tons of "very oral" guys, who love to "please a woman for hours," looking to hook up in the greater Seattle area. With this kind of raw talent on the loose, it's a wonder every woman in town isn't lying around in a stupor with sticky thighs and a stupid perma-grin on her face. Since, in fact, that isn’t the case, one tends to feel a tad skeptical about all of the ad-placers really being such kings of cunnilingus. Perhaps you should thing of something more original to say, boys?

Also: I want the first time I see your dick to be when I'm ready to fuck you. (Or play with you, as the case may be.) Showing me a picture of it before I even know your name really, really, doesn't work for me. It's bad enough to see a picture of you totally naked first crack out of the box. It's ridiculously tacky to upload a picture of your naked body from belly button to upper thigh.

In that spirit, I immediately ruled out anyone with a dick picture. And I ruled out anyone who even talked about his dick in his profile. Tacky, tacky, tacky. That cut down the field of candidates considerably. I didn't find anyone that really made me say, "Oh yeah!" I think I'm a bit spoiled by my guys, and I like it that way, thankyouverymuch. But I did find some men with potential.

On Bondage.com, this guy seemed nice. I liked that although he has a number of pictures of himself, none, but none, of them are of his dick. Good choice. Plus, since Bondage.com has discussion forums, you can go read what people have said about various BDSM topics and get a sense of whether their view of kink lines up with yours. This guy's remarks make him seem like a reasonable, well-balanced guy.

On The Stranger site, I saw this guy's ad, and yes, I'll admit it – it's a fucking hot picture. Sexy, but leaving something – by which I mean, his dick – to the imagination.

And, his fantasy revolves around giving a woman a massage. Oh, we like a man who massages, yes we do. Max and Roman both give great massages, mmmmm. (Although only Roman eats chocolate-covered cherries from between my toes while giving me a foot-massage.) So, points for the hot masseur, even though he did use the phrase, "very oral".

If you see personal ads you think are really great, feel free to send me a link, and if I like them, I'll talk about them here. It's all part of my continuing quest to encourage more sexy happiness in the world.

Friday, June 03, 2005

I was reading a feminist blog yesterday, and the blogger in question had posted her opinion about prostitution. The short version is: she thinks it's bad. She thinks men who see prostitutes don't see women as human being and are using them "like toilets with pulses". She feels men think they have the right to buy sex and she thinks that's wrong.

(This is the link, if you want to go read what she said. It's long, I warn you. And even if you are opposed to her views, I would strongly advise against trying to debate with her, because I don't think that's what she's looking for.)

Naturally I myself don't agree with her, although of course she's entitled to her point of view. I did make a comment or two, but LiveJournal isn't always the best forum for such discussions, and then the author politely told me that she wasn't interested in what I had to say, so I politely left.
But I will paraphrase and expand on some of my thoughts here.

It's impossible to talk about prostitution like it's a thing, an institution. It is in a sense, but it's a really a collection of human interactions. It's like marriage that way - an institution, but one made up of many, many sets of two people. I was married once, and you know what - it wasn't a good experience for me. Does that make the entire institution of marriage bad? I don't think so.

So I don't go along with the theory that since some women are victimized by being forced to be prostitutes - and yes, this does happen, I'm not denying it – that if a woman chooses to be a prostitute, she's supporting the victimization of those other women. That doesn't follow. I also believe in a woman's right to have an abortion. There are women who are forced to have abortions. Does that mean that we should ban all abortions, everywhere, because those women's rights were violated? No. It's free choice, or the lack therof, that makes something right or wrong.

I don't think anyone has a "right" to buy sex. So, if there was no one who was willing to sell it, well, would-be customers would just be out of luck. But there are women who are willing to sell it, and I do think women should have the right to sell sexual access to their bodies. It's a question of ownership. Do I own this body I'm in or not? I think I do. And I think that as the owner and operator, I should the right to do with as I see fit. This dovetails with my beliefs about abortion rights – it's my body, it's my choice. As one of my favorite authors Pat Califia once said, "What I choose to do with my freedom may appall you, but it is none of your business."

I chose sex work because I've always felt strongly connected to my own sexuality and I know that I have a gift for understanding and nurturing other people's as well. I think the US is a very sex-negative society. I don't like that. As long as people are taught to hate and fear their own sexuality, they will hate and fear the people who stir those feelings in them. Part of what I try to teach people is some greater acceptance of their own sexuality, and I think I've had good success with that. I think I'm lucky to be self-employed in a career where I can do something I'm good at, something I think is worthwhile, and be paid well for it. I have total control over how and when and where I work, and I like that.

The downside is that most people don't understand and don't approve, and the legal issues. That, to me, is the part of being a sex worker that's most apt to be damaging: the pressure, the name-calling, the marginalization and isolation she may encounter. If she internalizes those beliefs - and for many women it's hard not to - she will start to hate herself, and with self-hatred comes a host of other self-destructive behaviors. But I think it's not the sex with men that's damaging these women, it's being told they're bad, dirty sluts. And I think it's unfortunate when the people calling them that think of themselves as feminists. That's not any brand of feminism I want to be a part of.

Thursday, June 02, 2005

In a shocking reversal of usual order of things, I'm putting up a link post today, instead Friday as I usually do. I'm just so full of surprises, aren't I?

I doubt the new column is up yet, although you can check. But the annoying thing is that with The Stranger site redesign, there no longer seems to be a way to link to the current issue. Each column is apparently assigned it's own unique URL, which makes all the links like the one on my sidebar there useless, since it will always take you to same damn column, even when it's a year old. I've written the webmaster about this and gotten no reply. Sigh. I'll let them iron out what are surely some other, major bugs with the new site, and then ask again. Until then, to read the newest column, go to www.TheStranger.com, and then click on "Columns" on the menu on the left, and then click on "Control Tower".

Stolen from a meme: the last four websites I visited...

Pronation Explained: No, not a nation of pro dommes. God, that's a scary thought. I'm merely shopping for new running shoes.

And then, the polar opposite of running shoes: Punitive Shoes. You can't say there's no truth in advertising. (And no, dear boy, I do not want any of these shoes. Are you mad?)

A very interesting editorial from the LA Times about the stem-cell research debate. At least, I thought it was interesting, since I support stem-cell research.

And then, some humor: I cried with laughter the first time I read this, and I still go there when I feel cranky, because it always makes me giggle. Weight Watchers recipe cards from 1974.

More substantial thoughts tomorrow...

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

What I'm reading lately…

Sex with Kings : 500 Years of Adultery, Power, Rivalry, and Revenge by Eleanor Herman. "Kings had flings and extramarital relationships through much of European history, and in her first book, Herman offers, with relish and dry wit, a delightful overview of their sexual escapades... History made as buoyant as fiction."

That's about the sexiest thing I've read lately, because I'm exploring a new literary tangent. I recently finished a book called The Burma Road : The Epic Story of the China-Burma-India Theater in World War II. Now, I generally prefer the 1600s-1900s for my pop-history reading. But this book awoke in me a curiosity about both WW1&2, neither of which I know much about. So I went over to Half-Price Books – a very, very dangerous place for me to go - and perused the Military History shelves. I bought:

The First World War: A Complete History by Martin Gilbert. "Profusely illustrated and containing 50 maps, it is both entertaining and endlessly informative in aiding the reader in understanding the specifics of how this first great tragedy of our century occurred."

The First World War by John Keegan. "In a riveting narrative that puts diaries, letters and action reports to good use, British military historian Keegan delivers a stunningly vivid history of the Great War."

Myths and Legends of the First World War by James Hayward. "While incorporating details of wartime life, this book gives a refreshingly different perspective by looking at the rich crop of legends that sprang from the battlefields. Many of these myths still persist in the public consciousness even today."

I figured I'd start with WW1 and move onto WW2 later. Then I wandered into the "Espionage" section and my interest was caught by:

The Code Book: The Science of Secrecy from Ancient Egypt to Quantum Cryptography by Simon Singh. "The author explores the impact of cryptography, the creation and cracking of coded messages, on history and society. "

Code Breaking: A History and Explanation by Rudolph Kippenhahn. "Astrophysicist Kippenhahn attempts to introduce the general reader to the history of cryptology… more a collection of anecdotes and explanations than a standard history book, but interesting and hugely informative reading."

Secret Messages: Concealment Codes And Other Types Of Ingenious Communication by William S. Butler, L. Douglas Keeney. "Authors Butler and Keeney breezily survey the history of codes, ciphers and other forms of covert communication from smoke signals and Morse code to fraternity ties, gang colors and carefully stitched quilts, to name just a few."

And then I made myself leave, because I don't need to be bringing any more books into my house until I first take some out. It's getting a little scary in my office. The walls are covered, floor to ceiling, with shelves, and the shelves are all full. There's a sort of a path from the door to my desk, and a few little empty spots on the floor here and there. But mostly, there are stacks and stacks of books. When my cat knocks one of them over, it's like dominos - a whole line of them goes down. It's definitely time for a bibliographic purge around here.

Of course, that means going back to Half-Price Books, what a pity. But when I sell, I do try to leave there with fewer books than I came in with. Hey, it's progress.