Friday, June 13, 2008

It's new-column week, so without further ado: here's the new column....

Also, a thank you to sex writer Audacia Ray, for giving me and Monk some hot link-lovin' on the Village Voice's Naked City site.


Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Well, I have not had time to play with the Twitter widget for my sidebar, although I need to. Minx, and several other clever people, found it for me and kindly sent me the link, so if you want it too, here it is.

Although… I’m liking displaying more than one update at a time. The little box won’t do that, so that may be an issue.

However, I have something new: I have created a Flickr photo feed. Let me tell you what that’s going to feature: completely random images, all taken with the camera on my Blackberry. Some of them may be sexy, many of them won’t be, and they’ll all be low-res unedited images that I’m just snapping off as I go through my day and emailing straight to the web.

They will not be serious porn because, of course, Flickr won’t let you do that. But as I said, some of them may be sexy or kinky or have some nudity. So if you have strict rules about that where you work, well – I warned you.

So, carefully curated art shots? No. Little snippets of my world? Yes. Enjoy.

Monday, June 09, 2008

I was in a little boutique the other day, flipping through the racks, when the Seattle fire department dropped in for a surprise inspection. Just routine, making sure everything was up to code, which it seemed to be. I remembered Monk telling me they’d come by his shop lately, too. I imagine they do this for every place that’s registered as a business. Seems like a good idea from a fire-safety point of view. But it causes a bit of consternation when your place of business is, say, a massage parlor. (No, firemen don’t bust people, but still, it’s seriously awkward. Definition of a tizzy: what happens when any guy with a badge shows up at a sex business. Trust me on this. )

So that’s the downside to operating out of a commercial space – you need a really good front. And I thought, hey, what if you did a sex work business fronted by a men’s boutique?

That might work, actually. You’d need a space that was designed to have someone live over the shop, as it were. Or that was somehow configured with a not-too-big storefront and another space behind/above/adjoining it.

The shop itself would have to be one of those tiny tucked-away stores that only has about a dozen articles of clothing, very chic and minimalist, and all so artfully arranged that you know they must be terribly, terribly expensive. Very Prada, you know? And the ladies that worked there would also know how to successfully intimidate the random passer-by right out of the store. (Unless he really wanted to buy something, in which case, why not?)

But if you were not just a random passer-by, if you were one of the invited customers who had an appointment with a personal shopper… Well then, you’d be ushered back to the “private fitting suite,” where your style consultant would show you exactly what she thought would suit you best. They’d have to lock the street door, of course – put out the little clock that says, “Back At”.

Naturally you’d do your marketing online, and very carefully. The point here is not to attract off-the-street trade, no no. The point is to have a location where both clients and the various ladies could come and go (pardon the expression), and attract no undue attention. It’s pretty easy for one woman to work out of her home. But in my professional opinion, if there’s more than one person, the level of traffic gets a little too noticeable, and people start wondering just what exactly those girls are doing in there? That’s what one wants to avoid.

The clever thing to do, marketing-wise, would be to get a wholesale lot of some simple (but high-quality) men’s furnishings. Underwear is an obvious choice, but socks or undershirts would work too. Maybe handkerchiefs, although men don’t carry those so much anymore. And gift each client with one upon his departure. To the casual observer, the illusion of conventional business is complete, and plus, your client has a little spiff to remember you by.

But – you would not want to put the name or address of the store on the bag or any (faux) receipts. You don’t want curious third-parties dropping by.

And you’d have to resist the urge to let people use credit cards to pay for their “style consultations”. That’s called money laundering, and it’s a Federal crime. You don’t want to mess with Federal stuff.

This hasn’t been done much, that I know of. I suppose the initial outlay would be not-cheap, although it can’t be much more expensive than equipping a dungeon, or a sensual-touch establishment. Obviously, it would be better if the ladies involved all had a genuine interest in fashion merchandising. They might even build up some real business selling clothes to the guys.

Yes, this is the kind of thing I muse about as I walk around in the world. What can I say? I’m an entreprenatrix at heart.