Saturday, March 20, 2004

A small rant about fetishwear shopping online…

So, a very sweet client generously gave me a substantial gift certificate to Demask, which is a fetish store in NY. I'm sure it's a very cool place to shop in person, but since I'm not there, I'm trying to shop on their website, and Jesus, it's a nightmare. The whole thing is hard to navigate, they won't let you open links in new windows, the pictures are very small and unhelpful, and they don't have pictures at all for a lot of their merchandise.

And this is high-end stuff, too – I really expect better in this price range. Hey, you want me to spend five or six hundred dollars on a single piece of clothing, then I want to see big photos, from all angles. God, places like Zappos and Bluefly have way better navigation and photos than this. It's sort of amazing that it's so badly done.

On the plus side, they were very nice about the fact that this GC is over a year old and I have lost any paperwork I ever had for it. I'm remembering now why I never used it - it's because the website was so impossible to deal with. (The paper catalogue is equally unhelpful.) But they had the paperwork on file and were very polite about agreeing to still honor it. So: Demask customer relations, thumbs up, Demask website design, thumbs down.

I am not a person who tends to rank things hierarchically…Either I like something (or someone) or I don't, I don't put them into lists based on how much or how little…
That being said – I had a client today who is definitely on my "like" list. He's just a great guy – smart, funny, and fun to play with, both because of how he responds to me and because he's always willing to try new things. He and I were trying to decide how long we've been seeing each other and we figured that it's since the middle of 1999, so we've really gotten to know each other, which I value. It was a nice way to end my week.

Speaking of getting to know people…Last night Jae and I went to a somewhat unusual social event. There's a group of people who get together periodically to sing karaoke and socialize in different bars. The unusual part is that these folks are all sex industry workers and, shall we say, the men who admire them. Nothing sexy actually happens at the bar – it's just a social mixer, as it were.
I don't usually attend stuff like this, because for one thing, I'm just too damn busy. And besides, I put myself out in the world a fair amount. I usually feel not-so-interested in attending yet another event where I have to be "on", if you know what I mean. I mean, they're all nice people, I'm just not so into hanging out in a bar and I am definitely not going to be singing!
But I've heard good things about this group, and one does feel a certain obligation to show the flag occasionally. So I called Jae and said, "We're going - I'll pick you up."
Well, the smoke about killed me, my throat was sore this morning when I woke up. But other than that it was fine. I saw some people I knew, met some new folks, all quite pleasant. Several of the women were extremely sweet to me, and told me how much they liked the column, which is always nice to hear. But after about an hour I could feel my throat getting raspy and I thought, "I have to get out of here." So we split.
But I was thinking about it afterwards. It's really kind of a trip, because when I first started in the industry, you would never have found something like that. I mean, the idea of socializing with (past or potential) clients in a group situation like that, not for money, but just because they're nice guys (and also because it's good long-term marketing) was completely unheard of. Of course, this is all simply a statement of my personal experience. But my experience is pretty wide.
That's all really changed, and it's been interesting watching the evolution. The internet, and email, has made it possible to organize social outings like this without much difficulty, which is cool. The sex industry is extremely flexible and it adapts quickly to new cultural forces. That's one of the things about it that makes it an interesting place to work.

Thursday, March 18, 2004

Speaking of weird phone calls…my column this week got rather brutally edited down. Wah. I hate it when that happens. However, I'm thinking it was for length, rather than as a statement of my editor's poor opinion of my literary efforts. All the line breaks I specified take up a lot of room.
But for my devoted readers, I will post the entire version, uncut, here….Read and (hopefully) enjoy.

Someone just called me on the biz line, whistled "Deck The Halls" - you know, "with boughs of holly", the Xmas song - and then hung up.

He did have some trouble with the higher notes on the "fa-la-la-la-la" bit. That part needs polishing.

Weird-o-rama. I couldn't make this shit up if I tried.

I'm feeling a little frustrated right now, because I wish there were two of me. One of me to attend to my regular daily life, and one of me who'd get to play with all the tempting boys and girls who are throwing themself in my path lately. (These would be personal partners, not clients.)

There's the sweetest little dark-haired girl (Okay, she's thirty, but she has a very girlish air about her...) that I've played with twice, and I'd like to do it again, but Jesus, I have no time. To be fair to myself, she's pretty busy too. But there are just so many scrumptious people that I don't dare let myself get involved with, because I really don't want to hurt their feelings when I don't have time to see them on any kind of regular basis.

I know, I know - it's a nice problem to have, isn't it? Too many cute potential partners and not enough time for them all. Sucks to be me, I know. And it isn't as if my daily life is boring drudgery, either - quite the opposite! I love what I do for a living, I'm getting some nice attention to my column, and my other writing is going very well.

But I do get frustrated sometimes, because I can remember a time in my life - oh, ten years ago - when I had oodles of time for different partners. Of course, I don't want to give up all the things I'm doing now that are taking up all that previously-free time. Greedy, aren't I? It's part of my charm.
I tell myself that life goes in cycles and I'm just in a very busy career/creative cycle right now, and in time the wheel will spin and I'll have more space in my life for secondary/play partners.

But it's damn hard to wait.

Tuesday, March 16, 2004

All right, some small measure of my faith in humanity has been restored. She (for it was a she) did, indeed, apologize promptly when I told her that Mistress Matisse = Marcella. And, at my suggestion, she wrote to my editor retracting her accusation.
This the second time this has happened, though. And wow, it's very annoying. Both these people seemed so sure that I was NOT Marcella. Now as I see it, the intelligent person's thought process should go something like this: well, gee, Marcella and Matisse are both caucasian women with brown hair and brown eyes with a similar build and facial structure and they seem to be more or less the same age. They're both in the sex industry. Hmmn, maybe, just maybe it IS possible that they are the same freakin person.
And it's not like either person wrote to me and simply asked me if I was Marcella. No, they both just assumed they were right and wrote me (and my editor at the Stranger) snarky emails accusing me of plagiarism. Jump to conclusions much, people?

Sigh. Okay, okay, I'm over it, really. Just had to rant a little more...

Geeze. Some twit just sent me an email accusing me of plagiarism. Only it's me that s/he thinks I'm plagiarizing.

You see, I've done writing and given interviews under other names - one of them being "Marcella" which is the name I used when I was a dancer. So this bird reads my column this week in The Stranger, which is about my first sugar daddy. They remember something else he/she has read. (I don't know the gender of my accuser, they didn't sign a name to the email.) They go pull my friend Erika Langley's book off the shelf and read me - as Marcella - telling the same story in only slightly different words. They decide that Marcella and Mistress Matisse can't possibly be the same person, and they send me (and my editor) an email accusing me of plagiarizing.

Good god...I mean, there are freaking pictures of me in the book! Yeah, I've changed - I'm seven years older, my hair is longer, and I'm slimmer - but my coloring and my face are the same. I'd hate to see this person trying to pick their mugger out of a police lineup...Bad visual skills.
So I wrote them back explaining their error to them, and I was more polite than I think they really deserve. We'll see if they apologize. I bet they don't...

I (mostly) ran two freakin miles at the gym last night, and now my legs are letting me know how much they really don't appreciate that. I'm groaning like an old man every time I stand up. Fuck you, Covert Bailey, you sadistic bastard.

I've never been much on cardio - I have slight exercise-induced asthma, so I've avoided it in the past, focusing instead on weight-training. But the meds I'm on now seem effective at preventing me from having a real attack, so that's cool. But what I wanna know is: how long before I get used to the running and don't hobble around the next day looking like an old Tim Conway comedy sketch?

The most frustrating kind of client is the guy who acts…sort of vaguely dissatisfied, both during the session and afterwards, but who won't tell me what it is that he really wants.

I have a couple of guys who do this, and it bugs me. Intellectually, I know they must like what I do, because they keep coming back, and when I ask them if there's anything new they'd like to try, they say no. So, okay, I'll do what we always do. But it's really difficult for me to keep my energy and my interest level up with someone who acts like he doesn't want to be there.

I'm always tempted to 86 them, but I keep thinking that maybe we'll have some kind of breakthrough. Trust takes time, and I'm willing to give someone time to get to know me over the course of several sessions, if that's what they need. But for some of these guys it's been years they've been seeing me. What's it gonna take for them to open up and tell me what they're really fantasizing about?
Or maybe they really are getting what they want, but their desires embarrass them and they can't let go of the shame. So they try to act cool and nonchalant about the whole thing, and it comes across as bored and disconnected from the scene.

On some levels, I can just shrug and say hey, it's their money, if this is okay with them, it's okay with me. But I don't get any pleasure or satisfaction from the session, and the absence of it makes me realize how much I do enjoy the sessions where someone really lets go and gives themself to me, just for that little island of time.

Monday, March 15, 2004

Okay, the column topic has been chosen. But feel free to shoot me ideas for next week. It's an ongoing challenge…

This week I've got to figure out what I'm going to do for my Kinkfest workshop. I mean, I know what I'm teaching: Female Genitorture. But I need to sit down and plan it out, because I've never taught a class on just FG, it's always been mixed in with other stuff. I'm lucky to have Jaelle stunt-bottoming for me for this. It's challenging enough to teach a good class without having to worry about whether your model is doing okay.

And I need to try and hook up with a certain pretty girl who I haven't seen in a while – so if you're reading this, Miss B, I know you're busy with school, but hey: email me back, and we'll talk about art - and other things…

It's just another very busy week in the life of the Mistress…

Sunday, March 14, 2004

So, it's Sunday afternoon, and that means one thing around here: I have to start thinking about what I'm going to write for this week's Stranger column. My deadline is Wednesday am, so I generally start drafting or at least making some notes on Sunday night. Then Monday nights I come home from the gym and sit down with a can of diet Coke and get serious about it, and on Tuesday night I do the last minute tweaks and touch-ups.

So if you're a regular reader of my column and you've got suggestions, pipe right up. I'm interested in knowing what you'd like to read about. Bear in mind that I have only a very small space, so it has to be a pretty bite-sized topic. And no, I don't wanna do two-parters. Of course, I think every one of you should email The Stranger and tell them you think I should have a longer column. That might help.