Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Feel like shopping? I have some eBay auctions up, and I’ll be adding some shoes and boots to them later today…. Check it out.

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Bad Example

So, a few weeks ago I was shopping at QFC on Broadway and I had a curious experience…

I had been working out at the Gold’s upstairs, and while I do shower and change afterwards, it was my opinion that I still looked a bit... like I’d just been to the gym. But no matter, right? I’m just picking up a few things at the store.

I was standing in the produce department, studying the cut pineapple and wondering whether I’d rather have Muscat grapes, when I became aware of someone standing close behind me, rather closer than I like strangers to stand. I didn’t turn around, you understand - my perception was based only on sound, and the vibration of another human being that one can feel on one’s body. I presumed it was someone who was, like myself, wanting some fruit, so without looking back, I shifted slightly to one side to allow them access to the display.

The presence shifted with me. O-kay…

A voice behind me spoke. “Would you like to go out with me?”

Now, like everyone else, I have gotten used to fact that people now have all manner of conversations on their phones in public places, and now that half of them have earpieces, you can sometimes hardly tell that they’re actually on a phone unless you look closely. It’s occasionally confusing, trying to tell the Bluetooth users from the crazy people muttering to themselves, but one tries. So for a moment I assumed that I was overhearing someone’s phone conversation. Then I looked around.

There was a man standing close behind me, staring at me with an intense, unsmiling expression. He was…sort of average looking. I mean, he was neither very tall nor very short, neither fat nor thin, and neither notably handsome nor strikingly ugly. He was maybe in his thirties, although he might have been a haggard twenty-something or a young forty. He was dressed in what I think of as standard Capitol Hill drag: loose-fitting pants, baggy t-shirt, and a hoody, accessorized with earphones trailing from his ears, down his neck and snaking away to an unseen device in some pocket.

(As an aside, I dislike it with people with earphones actually in their ears talk to me. If you have the damn things in your ears, I assume that sound is coming out of them and that you can’t hear me. I think you should take them out when you interact with people.)

He was a little scruffy-looking, and my mind danced momentarily with the idea that this was a street person employing some flirtatious brand of panhandling. There was something about the fixed stare…. But at second glance – no, probably not. Just a trifle unkept, probably on purpose.

Okay, did this guy seriously just walk up to my back and ask me if I wanted to go out? No way.

And then I thought: Oh, wait – I get it! This guy is a reader, he’s recognized me, and he’s kidding me. This was mere days after I’d posted about the What Not To Say affair, so I could see why he’d think it would be funny to tease me. And I go to this grocery store all the time, people have done the “hey-aren’t-you?” thing to me there before. (Which is fine.)

So I raised an eyebrow at him and smiled slightly, saying nothing and waiting for him to break into a smile and acknowledge the joke.

He didn’t. He just stared at me. No smile.

After a few seconds, my assurance that he was joking faltered. I think I said something like, “You’re kidding me, right?”

He replied, “You’re very beautiful.”

Ah. Okay. This is for real. I took a step back. “No. No thank you.” And then I walked away and hid in another part of the store for a little while until I could go back and get my fruit. And mused on exactly what this man had done wrong, and what he had done right.

He did, at least, have the grace to not follow me when I walked away. And while a guy giving me a fixed-unsmiling-stare always makes me think less of brooding indie-rock types and more of serial killers, I wasn’t scared by him. (Although I was mildly annoyed about feeling compelled to linger in the frozen foods, when that wasn’t what I was shopping for.) So that part was not terrible.

And I have to admit, it always catches me wrong-footed when I think I look not-my-best and some guy hits on me. I suppose when I’m all dressed up, I expect to attract a bit more attention. But if I’m just running errands in jeans and t-shirt, I walk around absorbed in my own thoughts, assuming I’m invisible. However, I am assured that I am not. Huh.

But still and all - that was one of the most doomed-to-failure-pickup attempts I have ever been subject to. I mean, I have said before that asking to be granted erotic access to a woman’s body before she’s decided that she’s attracted to you is poor strategy. Let me just expand on that idea and say that you should make a woman aware of your existence as a unique human being before you actually ask her out. Is that really such a radical idea?

I was telling Monk this story and he shook his head. “You’re in the produce department and the guy couldn’t come up with an opening line? Oh man, that’s too easy. Hey, do these tomatoes look ripe to you? Or Wow, weren’t the bananas thirty cents cheaper last week? That’s how you start out.”

Yeah, I mean - say something. Clue me in to what's going on, before you start asking pointed questions. Not that I’d have accepted a date with this man no matter how smoothly he’d engaged me over the strawberries. But I would have at least smiled and declined a bit more sweetly.

Saturday, May 03, 2008

Weekend Fashion Blogging

In the wake of some bad customer service, Intermix has offered me a very hefty discount on my next purchase. So what can I do but buy something? (I've had several good experiences with them, so I feel confident it was an isolated incident.)

What do you think? This, in the bright blue? Or is it too turquoise-y?

I like this shade of blue better. But I have other dresses in this cut, and I'm wanting something one-shouldered for summer. Decisions, decisions... And yes, I'm still on the blue thing. I'm liking bright rich yellow and deep emerald green these days, too, though.

What I also really like is this top and pants from Versace. Unfortunately Neiman's customer service is always excellent, so I can't really justify the price. Love the sleek techno look of it, though.

Also: I got a really, really nice gift yesterday. I'm not saying what it is, because the giver and I agreed I wouldn't, it's too unique. But wow, it's awesome. Thank you!

Thursday, May 01, 2008

Want an an example of a professional challenge I faced recently? Okay, here’s a story for you….

Let me start by saying I don’t do things like this except with people I’ve known for many years, who have repeatedly and convincingly told me that that it would be okay. No, not even just okay – that they would love it if I created a little surprise like this for them. Really, really love it, with no qualms whatsoever. I have had guys beg me for things like this and then freak out when I made it happen, so I rarely do it any more. But this was a special circumstance.

So having established that, on with the story….

A dear man, a friend of some years standing with me, did me a favor recently. We’ll leave out the exact details, but suffice it to say that there was something I needed that would have cost me plenty, and he got it done for me. Lovely man.

Thus I was inspired to do something sweet for him, to show my appreciation. But what? I wondered. Then I recalled that this man, who I will call Bob, had expressed curiosity about pretty transsexual escorts. She-males, as they are sometimes called. I am happy to facilitate fantasies. The problem? I didn’t know any TS sex workers personally.

Sure, I could have just picked an ad out of the back of The Stranger. But you see, I am picky about who I let come to my house, and even more so about who I introduce to my friends. People become my clients partly because I have an excellent reputation. I am not about to sully that by creating a bad experience for them. And having been around the sex industry some years, I have witnessed some vivid examples of just how bad things can be. Not any encounters I ever set up, you understand, but working for other people.

So my fear was me finding a TS escort, arranging for her to come and play with me and my guy, and something goes wrong.

Like she doesn’t show up.

Or she shows up, and she is nothing like her pictures. To mean: she’s ugly as hell.

Or she shows up drunk/stoned off her ass.

Worst case: an ugly chick, with bowed legs and a five-o’clock shadow, shows up, drunk, in a car with three guys who she calls her “security”. And then she proceeds to make a huge screaming scene out in the street when I refuse to let the four of them into the house. (Because I would refuse.)

Those are just a handful of the bad possibilities, and the reason they come so quickly to mind is that I saw all of them happen when I worked for out-call escort services. I always felt bad for the guy whose house it was, but relieved that I could just get out of there quickly before the situation escalated into a Cops episode. It’s tricky enough screening clients, I don’t want to have to sweat screening other sex workers as well. Thus, I do not generally have other ladies I don’t know come play with me and my friends.

But still – it seemed as if a girl like myself should be able to use her resources and find someone nice. Thus, I asked around, I talked to people, I checked references, I studied photos, I emailed. And in the end, I settled on the girl I thought would be best and crossed my fingers. Don’t you boys think I don’t know how you feel when you’re arranging to meet a new lady. It’s nerve-wracking.

As the day approached, I talked to Jae. “I want you to be there. I’m going to be busy playing with him, I want you to let her in, show her the bathroom so she can change, bring her down when she’s ready, and just generally stick close to her. I don’t want a stranger wandering around my house unaccompanied, that makes me uncomfortable. And if anything happens that shouldn't be happening, you contain it and then come get me, fast.”

Jae replied, “Oh, hell yes I’ll be there, I want to see this, it’s going to be hot.”

“That is certainly my fondest hope.”

The appointed day came. Bob knew I had something special in mind, although he didn’t know exactly what. I had him nicely tied to my bondage chair when I heard the doorbell ring.

Okay, she's here. That's good. I hope.

Footsteps, and a murmur of voice - Jae's and another one, female. No sounds of trouble.

Minutes ticked by. The suspense was killing me. I'd told Jae to bring her down when she was ready. Had something gone wrong after all?

I secured the blindfold more snugly over Bob's eyes and said, "I think I'll go see if our guest has everything she needs. Don't go away." A muffled snort of laughter from Bob, who was quite aware he wasn't going anywhere.

I walked upstairs to find Jae sitting on my couch, in an attitude of complete attention, next to... a pretty woman. Young, taller than me, slender, with smooth skin and big doe-like eyes. Oh yes indeed, I thought, this might work out just fine.

Now I knew why Jae hadn't brought her downstairs. Blue-eyed little Jae has a weakness for dark-haired, exotic-looking women. I am well-acquainted with the expression she gets when she's flirting. She was wearing it now. I shot her a glance that clearly said, "This girl is not here for you, missy. You are neglecting your duties." Interpreting it correctly, Jae jumped to her feet. "Oh, hi, Ma'am. Are you ready for us?"

Nice try, Jae, I thought, as I introduced myself to the girl, who I will call Lisa. As Lisa stood up to greet me, I could see why Jae had been chatting her up - she was wearing only a pretty bra, panties and high heels, and she really was quite lovely.

And extremely feminine-looking: she was exquisitely coiffed and made-up, as shaved and waxed and polished as could be, all as flawlessly as a china doll. I wonder where she got that lingerie? I thought, feeling suddenly conscious that I was overdue for a manicure, and that the damp weather was making my hair frizz a bit. She's actually not the first tranny girl I've met who had amazing maquillage skills. As Jae put it later, “I'm a bio-girl, how is it that a chick with a dick can make me feel so butch, and a little scruffy?”

I put thoughts of nail polish aside and talked to Lisa. She was soft-spoken and perhaps a bit shy, but she seemed sweet and pleasant. I could see why she might feel a bit shy. True, she was a professional escort, but this was not your average client situation. I explained to her a little more about Bob, the types of things he and I did together, and what I wanted her to do. She nodded and agreed.

We went downstairs and I presented Bob to her. He was just as fascinated by her as I was. So, to my intense relief and pleasure, the three of us had a very nice time together. I wouldn’t say Lisa is the naturally-dominant type, although hey, with some time and coaching, who knows? She did watch me put needles in Bob’s nipples with cautious curiosity. And she really was quite lovely and sweet, and a charming addition to the scene in other ways.

As she left later, she said, “Call me anytime…” Who knows, perhaps our paths will cross again.