Friday, March 14, 2008

A few final remarks...I'm amused, in a rather cynical way, how much more outraged people who aren't sex workers have been over the Eliot Spitzer issue than those of us who are. I'm hearing a lot about the hypocrisy!

Yeah, that's true. But that's the way the game is played, you know? I don't expect any different from a politician and an officer of the court.

I simply hope that giving that NYT interview nets the girl involved, "Kristen", the recording contract she's so clearly after.

I was masochistic enough to read the threads about this on a few feminist blogs, and good lord, I had to close the window and go do some deep breathing. Such a maddening combination of prostitutes are dirty whores whose lives should be made as unpleasant as possible AND/OR prostitutes are deluded victims who need to be protected from themselves whether they like it or not. The truly talented people are the ones who can hold both positions at the same time, switching deftly from one to the other as necessary. And don't bother trying to tell them there's another option, because look, they have statistics to back this up!

Oh, statistics? Oh well, all right then, those of us who actually are sex workers will sit down and shut up and let ya'll decide what we deserve, thank you ma'am. I do not even participate in such threads. I have learned through infuriating experience that this is not a discussion based in reason, it's based on ideology, and you will never argue an ideologue out of their position.

However, a pal sent me this little round-up of all the logical fallacies being bandied about. It was quite refreshing. (You'll have to click through a Salon ad, but it's worth it.)

EDIT: I see that the author of the article I linked to has linked back to me, how nice. Thank you, Glenn Greenwald.

I respect that he also linked to another piece with a different point of view than mine, that's what he should do. However, I am highly skeptical of this “Ruth Henderson” person. A lot of what she says about the behaviors of clients rings true enough, although it's nothing that hasn't been said before. But this part makes me shake my head.
And then one day, usually between the ages of 25 and 28, once they’d developed that knowing, experienced look that clients instinctively disliked, they found that themselves in a classic bind: they were addicted to high living but could no longer pay for it; they had no marketable skills...

She's saying that at 28, a woman is too old to be marketable as a sex worker anymore. And that's about the most ridiculous thing I've ever heard. Who the hell was she booking for, Barely Legal Lolitas? I myself am definitely over 28. And I am doing just fine, as are all the sex workers I know - and that's a lot - most of whom are also over 28. What an absurd thing to put forth...

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Schedule, Travel, and Bikinis…
Some notes about where I will be, and when, and why. (And some musings about the fashion requirements thereof….)
I’ve got some travel coming up, and I also just have some blocks of time already booked up. So if you’re wanting to see me in the next six weeks or so, here’s my schedule.
(Note: this was current when I hit “Publish”, but obviously I’ll get more booked as time goes by. Carpe diem.)
Monday March 17th: One appointment open, between 2-4 pm .
Tuesday March 18th: Time available.
Wednesday March 19th: Time available.
Thursday March 20th : Already booked
Friday March 21st: One appointment open, between 4-6 pm .
Monday March 24th and Tuesday March 25th : Already booked
Wednesday March 26th: One appointment open, later afternoon.
Thursday March 27th – Monday March 31st: Out of town for Kinkfest.
I’m back and available as of Tuesday April 1st.
After Kinkfest, I’m in town and have plenty of time available until April 23rd. I’ll be out of town from April 23rd to the 28th.
I’m going on a family vacation in Florida. Yes, really! And Monk is going with me, though, so that will be fun. (Wait until my mother gets a load of his tattoo, that’s going to be an interesting conversation.)
Mainly we’re just going to relax on the beach, but it turns out that Monk has never been to a theme park! Which just boggles my mind, since I’ve been to lots. So I think we’ll do a day at Disneyworld, just because it’s a cultural experience everyone should have.
I find it rather amusing that I have tons of stuff to wear for the upcoming BDSM conference, but I have nothing to wear in Florida! This is going to stun you – not - but there actually isn’t a ton of hot-weather clothing available in Seattle right now. I need some shorts and some beach sandals, and another pair of sunglasses, all of which are do-able here. But I also need a couple of bathing suits, and that’s going to be tricky. You see, my mother will be slightly-but-noticeably disapproving if I am sashaying around in a tiny thong bikini. I try to be sensitive to her views, however there is no way I’m buying one of those one-piece skirted jobs. That’s just too conservative for me. I’m going to try to split the difference and get a two-piece with a not-too-much-cleavage top and the boy-shorts type bottom. I might be able to get away with this one, it's sharp-looking, and it is a one-piece, so... Wish me luck, ladies, we all know how exasperating shopping for a bathing suit is, it’s even worse than buying blue jeans.
While I am on the subject of this trip, let me just insert two thank-you’s here. One is to Monk’s wife Tambo, who is the coolest thing in the world for being so completely fine with Monk going out of town with me. And the other shout-out is to the guy who scored me a pair of first-class airline tickets to Orlando. Flying coach down to Florida would be a level of hell that I do not wish to endure. You rock, my friend.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

For those who you liked the "that's not my dog" expression, here's some more of my personal lexicon of slang, specifically phrases to do with break-ups…

“It’s in the room…” a phrase coined by Miss K and I when I was getting divorced some years back. It refers to the idea that once your relationship begins to seriously falter, the possibility that you two might break up becomes like this unacknowledged third entity that lives in the house with you. Like a ghost that hovers over you while you lie in bed with your backs to each other, or blows a cold breeze around you as you eat a tense dinner, but which you both pretend you don’t see or feel. If someone says, “Do you think Chris and Pat are going to break up?” And I reply, “Yeah, I think it’s in the room,” then I mean, “Unless some fast and dramatic steps are taken, the relationship is going to end.”

“Propping up the corpse…” This is the next phase, which happens after the, “it’s in the room” stage. The relationship is now past saving, and the ghost in the house has turned into a smelly rotting mess that no one really believes will ever live again, but which the couple is not quite prepared to bury. Propping up the corpse refers specifically to the too-little, too-late efforts someone might make to save what's already dead. “Chris and Pat are going to therapy, but after everything that’s happened, they’re just propping up the corpse.”

(Yes, I know that corpses usually then become ghosts, and not vice versa. These are just expressions, people.)

What made me think of these expressions is a letter I got from a reader asking for my advice…

“My girlfriend and I decided to open our relationship, a decision into which we put a lot of thought and effort....There seemed to be no real downside to it, especially given the fact that I knew my own mind pretty well, and even though I'd never been in an open relationship, I was sure that our understanding of how it would work would be OK for me. She actually HAD been, previously, and thus I was sure no problems would arise from her quarter.”

When she found a prospective 'secondary' boyfriend, I was sort of happy for her. He seemed a bit bent on the idea of making her 'his' from what she told me of him, but she didn't see that in him, so I was OK with it. She wanted to go visit him for the weekend, all the way across the state....Prior to this, she'd said "I'll feel bad if you don't get laid while I'm there. You should fuck [my friend]!" Over the course of the weekend, speaking to her on the phone (twice!), I said that I was going to attempt that, to which her response was, "Have fun!"

At this point, I have no doubt that you can forsee something horrible occurring.

Indeed, I had sex with her friend, simply for lack of anything better to do… Nothing emotional, just something to do while we were waiting to watch a movie that was taking a long time downloading....

Upon arriving home, she got upset about this. She's completely alienated her former friend, and by her own admission subconsciously/accidentally sabotaged our relationship, potentially fatally. She says that she wants to get past it, but now she's unilaterally changed the rules that we established to govern the 'openness' of our relationship to suit her new desire to interact with this fellow whenever possible - to the complete detriment of our own currently faltering one....

I'm at a loss for what to do. We have plenty of polyamorous friends, and I've suggested that she speak to ANY of them for advice on the current dilemma, rather than talking to him about it. She acknowledges that it's a good idea, then completely fails to do it....

...She's acknowledged that her current feelings are due to infatuation, but that she's also willing to entertain thoughts of ending our relationship if she feels that she's being forced to choose. I told her in reply to that that she needs to learn to control her emotions - that infatuation is like a drug, and if it becomes that unhealthy, she needs to cut it off and maybe try again when she can handle it. She nodded, but I really think the point went in one ear and out the other….”

My answer: it’s in the room with you two, and I hate to say it, but I think you are very close to propping up the corpse.

You both made some rookie errors here - she’s dating someone not supportive of her existing relationship, and changing the rules to get her New Person Fix.

And you slept with someone because you had nothing better to do? Good lord. I would not repeat that explanation if I were you, because it does not reflect well on you as a gentleman. Nor does it make you sound very thoughtful or examined about what exactly you're doing here. “I have a slow internet connection, so let’s fuck," does not equal polyamory, in my book.

But none of this would be unrecoverable if you both wanted to fix it. However, one person cannot save a relationship, and it sounds like she’s about halfway out the door. My guess is she just wants you to say, “Pick him or me”, to which she’ll promptly say, “Okay, him.” It’s an exit strategy I have seen before.

So if she remains unwilling to do any work to salvage this, then you can either feed her the parting line she obviously wants, or you can just leave yourself. I suppose she might come after you if you leave first, although I wouldn’t count on it.

That downside you two didn’t foresee? This would be it. Lots of monogamous relationships end in breakups, too, so it isn’t like polyamory was necessarily the cause. In this case it looks more like the method. It reminds me of the grim phrase “suicide by cop”. I wonder what would the phrase be in this case… (relationship) “murder by poly” ?

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Here's a photo of me from karaoke Saturday night, looking slightly sweaty and bedraggled and singing about how my champagne brings all the boys to the yard. Or something. Note the dollar bill that Monk stuffed into my jeans.
I just regret that I didn't notice that they had AC/DC's tender, sensitive ballad "Big Balls", because I definitely would have done that one instead.

On more serious topics - lord, I bet I got a dozen emails pointing me to the Eliot Spitzer story. Very interesting. I have just written a column about some aspects of the situation, so I can't say too much about it. But yeah, I imagine this is being rather stressful for him. Sources say he'll resign, but personally, I hope he doesn't.

If I sound like I have some sympathy for him - well, I do. He got hoist on his own law-and-order petard here, and he definitely should have to cop to that. (No pun intended.)

And on a purely practical note: really, Mr. Spitzer, what were you thinking crossing state lines in a matter like this, when you know that means the Feds can get involved? If you'd kept it within NY borders, you'd have had a chance of hushing it up.

So yeah, he did something dumb, and he's a bit of a hypocrite on the issue. Hey, he's a politician. Hypocrisy comes with the territory. I admit, I don't know everything there is to know about his career up until now, but at this point, I am not prepared to burn him down.

Sex is a matter that makes fools and hypocrites of a lot of us. The only way stuff like this will ever stop being an issue is if people refuse to back down from it. You damn their eyes and stay, Eliot. But keep your petard in your pants for a while.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Wow, that karaoke party? That was a bit surreal. A whole bunch of us were stuffed into this not-very-large room, it was very warm, and as the evening went on, and - at least on my end of the couch - more champagne was consumed, we were all laughing and singing with increasing enthusiasm and volume. Some of us were moved to get up and dance a bit, so with the noise and the heat and the music, it was rather like being in a twenty-by-twenty foot nightclub. Highly amusing.

(Did I sing? Well, you could call it that. Am I going say anything else about that? Hell, no. I think we all agreed that karaoke rooms were like Vegas - what happens there, stays there.)

So I'm recovering from that new cultural experience. Meanwhile, listen to a new podcast. Monk and I talk a little bit about the upcoming leather conference, Kinkfest, and then read a letter from a polyamorous reader who asks about poly rules. (The referenced column is here.)


Also, a note to my clients: This Wednesday is completely free for me. If you've been trying to get time with me, shoot me an email before someone else snags it.