I was locked out of my blog for a minute last week. Panic ensued. When I got back in (phew), I went to clean out my drafts folder, where I tend to journal and save privately writings that are too rough or conflicted or whatnot to post. So, you can imagine there is some pretty heavy stuff in there from the last 4-5 years.
Take this one. It was titled “the best humiliation is true”:
Head over the bed, towel on the floor, cock down my throat.
He holds my hands down so I can’t wipe my face. I try to keep my eyes closed, but my eyelids flutter reflexively when I vomit and the acid stings my eyes.
“Don’t you want to be skinny, baby?” he cajoles.
I barely know what I’m choking on.
Here is one that makes me sad because it was so sweet:
The first time I met him, we chatted while he worked. He was standing close enough to fluster me and when he asked conversationally, “What is your experience with D/s?” I said, “It’s funny you should ask that.”
A few weeks later she showed me how he liked his submissives to kneel, and I got down on my knees in front of their chairs and turned my palms up on my thighs.
Sitting still and waiting was terrifying. While I fought the urge to flee, I reflected how much of my experience of sex is based around shame — what you want is silly, that you want it is silly, and when you’re gone, they’re going to have a laugh over it.
But they weren’t laughing.
When they found my blog, he pointed out that I never did write a followup to the Training of O. When the shoot wrapped, I remembered, I went to the bathroom to shower and saw myself in the mirror; they had forgotten to take the collar off. The collar that I had spent the week “earning”. Forgot it. Well, of course; it was a prop. I took it off and washed it and brought it back to wardrobe. I didn’t cry. This was porn, and that would be silly.
He is a sympathetic listener and as the story poured out, I found myself getting misty. I blinked hard and apologized.
“Don’t be sorry.”
There is a lot of really earnest stuff that makes me want to hug past-me, even though I still don’t have the answers.
The Boy lets me cuddle him. I can tell I’m feeling better, because I have the sense to be ashamed that I clutched his knee and wept at his feet because he was disappointed in me. I don’t think I will ever have the sense to feel that I should have felt differently. If I didn’t want this, I wouldn’t have to care.
Sometimes I wonder if he knows. And then I wonder, if he’s not satisfied, does how much I care matter?
There must be more to submission than wanting it enough, because wanting it more might kill me. It fucking slays me to know that I got down on the floor and cried because I wanted so badly to please him, and I *failed*. I can’t fucking live like this.
How can something so simple be so hard?
some vividly remembered play:
I had once said, I don’t understand how humiliation could make me cry. May I never make statements so silly again. My face was so swollen I could barely see to drive the next day.
When he was done he sent me to the shower to wash the piss out of my hair (where I fell to the bathroom floor and sobbed for a bit) and then to the living room to write him a scene report (where I cried some more).
I wrote things like: I don’t like you and I don’t want to be touched by you.
When I came into the bedroom I thought we were going to cuddle and he wanted to fuck me instead.
Do you want to have sex? he asked me.
No. I want to stop.
Is this rape, then?
If you don’t stop crying, he said, I’m never going to stop fucking you.
So I stopped crying and we went to sleep.
an empty title, with only this sentence in the body:
Peace is sleeping at the foot of their bed.
My misgivings about my current relationship go to the root of how I feel about submission. I don’t know if the way he treats me when we play, the way I need to be treated, is sustainable and healthy. We play brutally hard. How many times can a body be bruised? Is it healthy to go to the depths of emotion I do?
No matter that I have always wanted this, I’m afraid I’ll wake up one day and not be able to do it. It’s scary and hard and it hurts — it just so happens that it turns me on. No matter that he seems to crave it, I’m afraid he’ll get bored of the effort — and it is effort, despite the putative reward — to use and abuse me.
Why do you end up with these men? And I say, because I want it, I need it.
What is compelling about it? I don’t know. But I have to see how far down the rabbit hole goes.
no title but really should have been titled “stripping was an astoundingly poor lifestyle fit”
I declared that I was going back to work; not because the bruises were healed, but because I was going stir-crazy and I needed to make rent. I pulled out the Dermablend and tried to cover the worst of it.
The Boy shook his head. Baby, you look awful, he told me. There’s no way you can dance.
I argued, even though he was right. Then I cried. [editor's note: so much with the crying!] Then I told him I was going to need to borrow money to make my rent, for the first time in my life.
It took me about two and a half weeks to get back to work.
I began to go slowly mad. I escalated from scrubbing floors and re-organizing closets to reorganizing piles of lists as to how floors and closets ought to be cleaned. Meta-cleaning, if you will. I imagined that I was chased from room to room by the tinkling sound of coins draining from my bank account, like an everpresent tinnitus. I started sleeping in til 11 and staying up til 3 or 4am. I felt sad and fat and broke and immensely frustrated.
in a long post about how he locked me out barefoot and half-naked in the snow:
A lot of things seem pointlessly cruel when I try to explain them.
[anecdote from Swiss Family Robinson about taming lions, where they trap and starve them in cages until they are grateful like kittens to see their owners.]
when I was thinking of quitting my job for my D/s relationship, during a particularly low moment:
Is it ever OK to put the desire for a relationship above one’s career? Is it OK if your passion is the same one that gave you the career? Is it weak and female? Is it stupid and shortsighted?
Do you really care about being seen as weak or stupid when all of that boils down to the thing you want the most?
And one was just a quote from Secretary:
E. Edward Grey: Look, we can’t do this 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Lee: Why not?
Well, that was quite the trip down memory lane.
It’s really hard to relive how fucking intense that all was.
So, when you ask if I’m submissive in my personal life, this is kind of maybe an overview of how that is a complicated answer.
Aaaah, I’m so excited for this post.
This shoot was amazing. Basically it was everything I’ve wanted out of this business: a roomful of talented women, making magic happen.
For all my whining in the previous post, I’m the happiest with my body these days that I’ve ever been. And my life! I feel like I’m finally hitting my stride. I am just overflowing with joy and good health and I’d go on but you might get a cavity listening to it all.
I think that confidence and joy comes through in these pictures.
And in person of course.
(completely unrelated teaser photo, because I can! Yeah I had a photoshoot … just you wait.)
Since getting my own apartment I had loved up a few too many bottles of wine. And cheese. And fries. And anything else I could fit in my face.
The indulgence was well deserved, but it was time to get my ass in gear. So I posted idly on Fetlife that I wanted a kinky personal trainer. Jack answered. He was the boyfriend of an acquaintance; I’d had them over for a dinner party before, but to be honest, I didn’t remember much about him.
He approached me offering a barter: personal training in exchange for my services. I was tickled. Who doesn’t want to be bossed around by a hot professional athlete? Also, the idea of bartering for my services was strangely affirming. I asked him what he was looking for.
Jack: I want to fuck you like a whore.
Me: You want to give me two references, treat me respectfully, and spank me gently?
Jack: Not exactly.
Me: Ah. Do you mean like that one weekend I worked a high volume agency in Jersey, and my pimp fucked me, and I saw eight men in a day and my phone got shut off and I slept in the dirty bed and cried myself to sleep with the cash in my pillowcase?
Jack: I’m hard right now.
Me: Jesus. All right.
We worked out maybe twice before it devolved into lunch dates and eating ice cream in bed.
Our fling was some of the first heavy play I’d had since the Doctor and while it’s not my style all the time (especially the humiliation/emotional masochism), it was something I wanted then, made sweeter by how much — and how violently — he wanted me.
He came over to my place a bit lame after a competitive event, on the pretext that I give him a massage. I’m hardly trained, but I find rolling around, nude and covered in oil, to be a pretty standard human prelude to copulation. He didn’t get hard. Not at all.
I remembered one of our conversations.
Him: How do normal people have sex? Is it … slow and undulating?
Me: It’s quite pleasant. I could demonstrate.
Him: Ugh, no. I don’t think I could get it up.
(Slow and Undulating: R&B band waiting to happen?)
He rolled over and slapped my ass so hard I jumped up in shock. He waited for me to return to arm’s length, then gave up and pulled me back down.
With an open hand, he hit me again. The pain was astounding. Heat flashed over my whole body and I broke out in a sweat. Normally I would have made a joke about how I hoped it hurt his hand. But quite frankly I was scared I was out of my league. This man channeled momentum for a living. I kept my mouth shut.
He dragged my face to his stiffening cock. “Suck,” he ordered.
I don’t know when I started crying. He made me kneel, mauled my breasts and thighs, slapped me in the face. My ears were ringing and colors flashed before my eyes.
He made me get on top to fuck although I was openly sobbing. He laid back, put his hands behind his head and made no attempt to move. “Go on, fuck,” he told me, “you’re a whore. This is your job.” [editor's note: in reality, this is soooo not my job, which I think adds a delightful humor to this and all other "dirty whore" roleplay I do] He put his hands behind his head and stared at me. ”What, is this awkward?”
I was already unhappy, and this was still distressing. ”You’re staring at me,” I objected.
“That’s what you do, right? You love being watched.”
“I fucking hate this.”
“Lie. Tell me you like it.”
“I like it,” I said obediently, choking down the tears.
He made me ask to be slapped and thank him for each one. It was like being clobbered with a brick. I could feel my face swelling up.
He threw me face-down on the bed and fucked me, pulling my hair sideways so he could see my face. One eye squidged mascara into my bedspread and the other blinked up at the ceiling like a flounder.
“Look at me,” he ordered. I could barely see. I struggled to open my eye wider, and when he spat it went straight onto my open eyeball.
I struggled to turn my face away, ashamed for him to see me cry. ”Are you trying to pull yourself together?”
He laid creepy kisses on my cheek, lingering on my neck, my face. My whole body cringed. Little-boy kisses, moist and inattentive — the sort of kiss you give when you want to seem like you care about a woman, but really you couldn’t give less of a shit how she feels. Maybe it was the mockery of comfort, but this was what broke me. Something in me welled up as he continued to fuck me. I started sobbing, for real, huge rolling sobs. Oh, I did not have it together. I could barely breathe. I gasped and sobbed until snot bubbled out of my nose.
He came on my face and wiped it in my hair.
I was so shaken I couldn’t stop crying. I went in the bathroom and washed my face but started crying again. I crawled back onto the bed and burrowed my face in his thigh. “Hey, come here,” he said and pulled me to his chest. Gentle now.
“I cried a lot,” I said to his chest, reduced to the obvious.
“Maybe you needed to get it out.”
And he touched my face and kissed me, a real kiss.
For the next week I had half a black eye and couldn’t chew on the right side, but damn, I felt GREAT.
Still working on getting to the gym though.
(A note on stories: Jack is an egotistical bastard and wanted very much to be written about. It kills me sometimes, but I only share stories that are mine to share!)
So here is something that annoys me: when people talk about their fear of new sex workers — themselves or other people — being “seduced by the money”.
I can’t exactly put my finger on why this phrase bothers me so, so much but it really does. I don’t think the people who say this are implying that sex work is easy, precisely. But they misunderstand its impact.
My friend told me her first-time story the other day, which was fairly typical: “He gave me $500 and I almost cried. I had never seen that much money before in my life.”
Do you see what makes it seductive? It’s not because it was $500. It’s because she had never seen that much money before.
First of all, and I go into this explanation very hesitantly because what money is “a lot” is a very loaded concept — sex work probably does not pay as much as you think. A porn shoot pays between $500-700. Once I think I made $1,100 for a two guy DP bondage shoot. I used to average about a shoot a month. I averaged around $400 a night at the strip clubs and I worked three days a week, if I worked that week — and I didn’t work every week. I definitely beat up on myself about not working more, because five days is a work week, right? But if you work 12-hr shifts, three shifts is 36 hours or pretty much full time. Exhausting fucking work. When I did more than two shifts in a row, I used to tape my feet in their shoes so they would not bleed.
If you make a thousand dollars a week, every week, you’re still only making around $50,000. This is by no means money to sneeze at; it’s more than my mother ever made, and she had a Master’s degree. But consider that according to Wikipedia, in 2006 the average weekly wage in Manhattan was $1,453. A thousand dollars a week is good sex worker money. It feels rich to me and always will. But in New York City, it doesn’t even make you average. You will be able to pay your bills. You can save. You might even be able to afford health insurance next year. You will not be able to go on shopping sprees at Nordstrom’s.
Writing checks to my landlord and Time Warner certainly feels luxurious to me, but it’s not … seductive. It’s just baseline what I should be able to do with a fucking job.
A thousand a week is great money, but for most of us, it is not the sort of renumeration that would make us lose ourselves and betray our principles. You know what does that? Desperation. That’s why people do sex work when they are broke or on drugs. But people who really don’t want to do it, they make their money and they get out. They go to normal jobs and they go back to their normal lives and it’s really not a thing.
Money itself isn’t that exciting. Is it going to buy you a romantic interest or a straight job or the love of your family when they find out you were doing porn? What could it possibly buy you that would be better than what sex work costs you? It won’t buy you self-respect. It won’t erase the memory of what you did (nor does drinking or drugs, p.s., just saying). And money doesn’t just happen like a landslide. You have to get up every morning and work really diligently to make it happen, answer a lot of shitty emails and slimy phone calls and rub your face on other people’s bodies and smell the scent of them, and be kind, be kind in the face of nervousness and crass and rough treatment until you feel empty and numb. You might feel lonely and you might feel scared and some mornings, only desperation will be the reason you get out of bed.
Why would anyone ever want to feel that lonely? Well, largely, they don’t at any price. Seduction fail.
You might ask why I do it after all that. Because the difference between a person who wants to be a whore, and the one who doesn’t do it, is that one is a coward. Because it’s glorious, because it’s exciting, because it’s raw and honest and it strips me down to nothing so that I know I am powerful all over again. Because I have met the most amazing women and I don’t feel alone anymore. Because I want to provide for myself, and dreaming about my future is beautiful. Because I get to live my fantasies and everyone else’s. Because people confide in me. Because people are sexy in surprising ways. Because I’ve had some mindblowing sex with the unlikeliest people. Because it’s mad and colorful and messy and it makes me feel alive. Because I am very, very, very good at it.
But yeah, the money is not “seductive”. Jesus Christ. It isn’t different money than the stuff you get paid. So everyone chill.
(aka, some other trouble I got into at Fetfest)
I met C last year at sex camp. We did not so much as flirt. But when I want something, I can be patient; very, very patient.
On Friday I get to camp late and promptly run into C and his submissive in the “strip club”. This is good. He pulls me onto his lap. This is excellent! He’s kissing his slave. Then he kisses me. Things look wildly exciting for a second before she goes to bed. Well, fuck. They kiss goodnight with his hand on the back on my neck.
He takes me outside and off the path, but not nearly far enough for my modesty. I know people are watching as he shoves me up against a tree, but I am too embarrassed to look. Ask to come, he says. No, use my name. Too quiet. Ask me like you mean it. Then he pushes me to my knees.
I stumble back to my campsite in a sex haze, clutching my panties. Not bad for my first six hours at camp.
We have our actual date on Saturday. It’s been too long since someone tied me up with rope. It’s like the feeling I get from dancing; he’s leading me, strong and sure. And we have the kind of chemistry where every cell in my body is convinced it wants to mate with his. He fucks me tied on the pavement, by torchlight, with the cool summer air on our skin. I feel like I am flying and falling all at once.
I would like you to call me Sir when you ask to come, he says. And I do.
On Sunday I decide not to look for him. I’ve had more than my fair share of time. He is with his long-distance partner and they need their time most of all. I waited a year, after all; I am in this for the long game. I pour a cup of wine and sit myself down with friends to chat.
I’m on my second drink when he comes up the hill and I get a jolt as I recognize him. He’s alone for the first time this weekend, and he’s looking from face to face in the dark, looking for someone. And my face and chest flushes hot and my heart skips a beat as I realize — he’s looking for me.
I run after him, trying to sneak up, but he hears and turns. “I tried to sneak up on you, but it didn’t work,” I explain sheepishly.
“What are you doing?” He doesn’t know how long I’ve been following him.
“What you see,” I say, indicating our circle of camp chairs. ”I had a scene earlier, and then I came up here to have a drink, and here I am.”
He nods and then reaches out and takes me by the throat.
I don’t ask questions, I just put out my hand and let the drink fall and splash on the ground.
Have any of you read that Brothers Grimm story about the marriage and training of an unruly daughter? Her parents despair of making her behave, so when a man asks for her hand in marriage, they give her to him, but they scoff, thinking he’ll never control her.
As he takes her home, the horse gets her dress wet; so he shoots the horse. The dog displeases him. So he shoots the dog. Why this is a children’s story, I cannot see; but she gets the point.
When her family comes to visit, they are curious to see if she is well-trained. He calls her and they all hear an enormous crash as she drops the tray of food she’s holding and comes to his side at once.
As fucked up as that story is, it was what came to mind. Of course, C didn’t have to shoot my horse. He just had to call.
He backs me up and tosses me against a tree. Rope appears in his hand. He ties me to the tree by my throat. Then wraps of rope around my neck, my chest and through my mouth, holding it open. Drool runs down my chest.
He puts his hand between my legs.
“You know what I like,” he says, low in my ear. And I do.
“Please, Sir, may I come?”
And I do.
After he comes, he picks me up by the scruff of my neck from the filthy ground and leads me to the outdoor shower. ”Take off your clothes,” he says. He turns on the cold shower: “Get in.”
When I’m clean, wet and shivering, he takes off his shirt and offers it to me so I can dry myself. I swear in that moment my heart turns over. There should be a rule against making me feel this way. Maybe I only have the capacity for this once a year.
(aka, some trouble I got into at Fetfest)
I really, really hate Paul’s strap.
This particular strap is my nemesis. (You can see some of its work in the “women are not sandwiches” post.) It creates bruising so profound you can’t see it on the surface. After a beating with it your ass is literally hard to the touch. The bruises come up yellow and green, like a car crash or mold or maybe necrotizing flesh, and swim down your thighs with gravity. (Yeah, I’m being melodramatic. You would be too if I hit you with it.) In my head I call it the “prison strap”, although I have no idea what a prison strap actually is.
Paul is excited about playing on a piece of equipment that looks like a gurney on wheels. He asks me what my safeword is. We’ve never had this conversation and I realize that he thinks I’m going to need it. My skin is covered with sweat and I’m trembling with nerves.
He straps me to the gurney and picks up the prison strap. As he lays in I swear, I howl, I scream. This is not going to be pretty.
Paul really gets into it with the strap. He hits me with the sort of force that makes me think, men your size should not be allowed to do this to women my size. The hurt and the disbelief combine to be a shock that is larger than the sum of its parts. In short order I’ve crawled out of my straps and am surfing the gurney like a cat in a wet bathtub. Here, the qualities of the magic gurney become clear: he can spin me around faster than I can move myself out of the way.
I squirm; he grabs me by the hair and slams me down. I move; he takes one ankle in his enormous hand and twists it so I fall flat. I begin to think I might die. In a profoundly stupid move, I jump up and scramble off the gurney thing and try to hide behind it.
“No, stop, please don’t hit me. I can’t take any more.”
“Are you asking, or telling me?”
I think he’s worried I forgot my safeword. ”More like begging,” I manage to say.
“Good,” he says. But Paul is out for the night. He’s got that cold look in his eyes and he says, “Too bad I’m not feeling very merciful.”
He stares at me cowering for a moment. “Get back up.”
So I get back up, shaking from head to toe.
He canes me and maybe it’s because he’s fucking British and they cane “English style”, but each stroke is like the end of the world. He’s thrashing my thighs and it’s wild and brutal. He waits for me to stop writhing between strokes. Only not anywhere near as long as I’d like. I’ve been trying to cry for twenty minutes with no success. Finally the dam bursts, the flood of tears and it’s like a rush of honey sweet warmth and wetness and release and I’m sobbing, racking snotty sobs where my whole body heaves.
He comes up to pull my hair and I crawl into his chest. Not because I think we’re done but just because I’m not thinking straight. And astonishingly, he lets me.
He kisses my sweaty, swollen, tear-streaked face and says: “You have never looked more beautiful.” He even sounds like he means it.
Every nerve of me is still knotted with terror. ”Are we done?” I choke out.
It must have been only a second, but it felt like years. Maybe he is making up his mind. Maybe he’s wondering if I would keep going if he asked. Maybe he’s just enjoying my fear.
“Yes,” he says gently, “we’re done.”
Normally I’d feel bad about pushing, but I don’t … much. I slide off the gurney and he tries to catch me, thinking I’m falling. I slither to the ground and curl up around his tree trunk calf and cry and cry. It is everywhere I want to be.
I love my job and the people I meet through it, and it gets better every damn day. But it’s very private. Too much of that makes a girl feel isolated.
That’s why I enjoy going to community events. There are scads: Fetfest, Dark Odyssey (Summer Camp, Fusion and Winter Fire), Floating World, TESFest, Black Rose … and that’s just in the Northeast. I have been to all of these at least once. They’re ranked approximately in order of how I would recommend them, with a tie for Fetfest and DO events.
Sometimes people who have kink in their lives all the time resent the influx at these events of “weekend warriors”. I love it. There’s no such thing as too much enthusiasm for me. I am plenty of snarky and jaded for all of us!
All these people happy and open and unafraid, tying each other up in the woods, fucking in the field. It’s like they’re not even ashamed. Because they’re not. By the end of a camp event I’m covered in mud and bugspray and ashes and I’ve remembered that it’s OK to talk about this, that it’s loving and connecting and joyous, not always something to be done behind closed doors, where it will never be accepted by the real world.
I like to think it’s like recharging myself, so I can take the glow back home with me.
I’ve been full of love and revelations since getting back from Fetfest a few weeks ago. I’ll try to post up some of the writing I’ve been doing…
Today I fell down the Internet rabbit hole looking at classic damsel in distress bondage photos. Cotton rope, wraps on wraps, tighter than tight. Does anyone do that style anymore? All I see in the rope community is shibari (Japanese style bondage done with natural fiber rope).
Yes, there’s a rope bondage community, and it has infinitely nesting subcultures.
One of my first forays into bondage modeling was shooting for a mom-and-pop DiD site for a little over a year. They were the cutest thing. He used to tie up his wife and take pictures, and one day a buddy found their photos and suggested they start a business. He would shoot, sometimes getting so excited when the gettin’ was good that his hands would start shaking. She always made up a little tray of snacks and drinks. It was so Donna Reed, it just about slayed me.
The model photo of me is not flattering, so I’m not going to link it here. But whoever finds it will uncover some seriously vintage Calico bondage.
No one’s tied me up quite like that since except Lew Rubens (formerly of waterbondage.com), who is a gentleman and also a go-to guy if you want to be tied up so tight your eyeballs start to protrude. What? Sometimes a lady has needs.
Side note: in the process of finding the above site, I ran across Into the Attic, a small Seattle outfit who I had totally forgotten I worked for! Guys, that was some fucking intense shit. They were skeptical about working with me because they “don’t do pros”. Hmm, maybe because pros won’t let you do that stuff? I stumbled out of there with ligature marks on my neck, bruises on my ass, burst capillaries all over my face and no idea which way was up. Whoa.
Here I am writing an essay.
I miss that top. It was angora blend and someone put it through the dryer.
Here I am being forced to read my essay. The worst.
Here I am regretting some important life decisions.
Here I am regretting … all of them really.
Also, I feel I should mention, cinching a belt around someone’s neck until they turn purple and pass out is perhaps not the safest of all the safe things that one could do. Even if you don’t kill them, you will definitely give them some nasty petichae. Please don’t sue me.
Here I am sweating, or crying, or both? And drooling lime popsicle, which in retrospect, could have been so much worse.
Look at what they wrote for my model bio:
Calico wrote to us a few weeks back asking about coming in to see us. Well, of course. Ridiculously beautiful. Not at all pretentious. I’d seen her before, obviously. When she showed up she was everything and more that I had seen of her previously. Smart, gracious, reserved yet personable, a lover of bondage and willing to go through pretty much anything we wanted to throw at her –including me asking her to write an essay on why she feels she is “great” and then reading it to us whilst in bondage while at the same time having the holy shit shocked out of her.
D’awwwwwwwww. Flattery gets you everywhere (and also, the memory of pain fades). I feel a trip to Seattle coming on…
I am sad, though, that I will not be working with House of Gord while I am there. Its creator Jeff Gord passed away this week. If you’ve ever seen any of the “ultrabondage” that came out of House of Gord I don’t have to explain to you his unparalleled engineering genius and vision.
Shooting for Gord was one of my bucket list goals and I never did … mostly for fear of not being tough enough. Now I’ll never know. His site is still up with a decade-plus of archives. If you’ve never seen it, no better time to take a look through it and understand why his passing is such a loss. Porn can be meaningful, and it isn’t forever.
… when I’m playing at being a puppy, and my date takes me by the scruff of the neck to the bathroom to do something mean, and his enormous dog (that he has locked in the bathroom while we have sex because it’s a one-room studio) bounds out SO EXCITED to see me and maybe play now? and I realize the two of us are holding matching chew toys in our mouths.
“It’s like getting a half-eaten sandwich.”
-a client to my pro-sub friend, of hiring a pro-sub with bruises.
Bruises are what happens when two people with mutual desires enjoy each other. My friend was being hired specifically because she loved to submit, to be hit, perchance to be bruised. That desire is not a thing you can buy.
Related: this is going to be an awkward week for me, but I really don’t have any fucks to give. Thankfully, I don’t think I need to.
(The weird gadget you see is a vintage hem marker, not a rare type of enema equipment. Mine is broken, but they are readily available on eBay.)
Related: I am not a fucking sandwich. If you think women are like sandwiches, we have bigger problems.
Years ago I enjoyed dating on OKCupid, because their personality matching system was uncannily good. I met the Artist on there. And the Lawyer, come to think of it. But I think those days are over. Mostly because OKC’s personality matching system is good enough, and my Internet exposure is good enough, that it’s no longer a true first date. Trust, I ain’t famous — but among young New Yorkers who are into kinky sex and open relationships on OKCupid, there is a significant chance you have seen me on Tumblr.
Usually that’s just awkward, but the last time I logged in, I got straight-up nastiness. My exchange with a stranger went from a series of overtures, to pissed, to insulting, to vaguely threatening. I didn’t know him … but he knew me. And he was not pleased to have been first ignored, then told not to contact me.
Stalking is an old idea, and sadly, having stalkers is old news for me, but … it’s still upsetting and scary. Your stalker has all your information (power) and you have none of his. That power is what he leverages. Stalking is a way of punishing women for being sexual (being naked on the Internet) and not delivering on what men feel they are owed in return. And the threat of stalking and what stalkers could do, much like the threat of rape, is used to control women’s sexual behavior.
I was upset at myself for being upset (”that’s what they want!”), and at having engaged in the first place (”you did this to yourself”) which reached levels of ridiculousness so excessive, I actually saw a little sense.
First, that it got to me because it’s been YEARS since I’ve dealt with more than a snide comment.
Second: He assumed I heard nastiness all the time. Of course. Rapists assume that everyone rapes, too. I am here to tell you: I get kindness all the time. Understanding, acceptance and respect. ALL THE TIME.
I don’t just mean my personal life, either. Basic human kindness says you’d put someone in a cab to the hospital if they got sick in your company. Many of my clients would insist on coming to the ER, holding my hand, and telling my mom the adorable story of how I met their sister in a knitting circle. You can’t kill the goodness in people; you can only pretend it doesn’t exist.
I’ve tried to believe that my sexuality is perverse and that I’m deformed, but honestly, I’m as normal as the day is long. I don’t even get that worked up about it anymore. I excel at only a few things, and neuroses are one of them, but STILL.
It’s so obvious to me that kinky sex is like any other sort of sex, that clients are like any other sort of men, and that working girls are like other girls. (Also, polyamory is boring.) If you think otherwise, I mean, you just don’t get it. I don’t know how to explain it, but that doesn’t mean you’re right.
Every damn day, I wake up and despite the astonishing hatred of a small (but outspoken!) number of folks, I’m still a person. I call my family, I pay my bills, I drink too much, I eat fried things dipped in mayo. It’s my superpower: I am just not that fucking special.
Ugly is not an insult to me, you see. It’s true. I can tell you all the ways. To call a woman ugly is to add your amateur voice to a well-published, peer-reviewed discussion. I know I have a funny nose and short legs and small tits. I know every hair, zit, dimple and stretch mark by name, and I have learned how to be ashamed of them all. (Also, why not to — but that is another discussion.)
Like most women, I know that pretty is what men think of us, and pretty is always for other girls. We would never think we were pretty. Unless you tell us so. It’s rude to argue with men. Don’t you agree?
So haters are a little bit funny. (Especially since sex workers are usually accused of low self-esteem.) No one can possibly hate me as much as men like you have taught me that I ought to hate myself.
But hating myself gets exhausting. I mean, I have to ACTIVELY hate myself, or I lapse back into just having a body/life/whatever that’s probably fine. Which I do, because I’m human, and it is.
Not to mention the people in my life who fuck me, love me, work with me, befriend me and employ me. I simply can’t wallow in low self-esteem. I mean, I sure try, but … I have work to do and life to live. Life doesn’t wait for me to entertain the opinion of anonymous creeps on the Internet.
I have gotten so nonconfrontational in my old age. I am still happy to have conversations about morality in sex work, or whether BDSM is unfeminist, or body image or whatnot, but it goes like so: Oh, no big deal, bodies are gross and people are silly. Would you pass the butter?
You can’t be a really awful person when you excel at mediocrity. Guilt is so egotistical if you think about it. You’re SO BAD. You’re the WORST. A TERRIBLE HUMAN BEING.
When I started this blog, my tagline was going to be: an ordinary girl, doing extraordinary things. Like most things I did *mumble* years ago, it’s embarrassing. I don’t think the things I do are extraordinary. Unless the very ordinary-ness of them is what’s extraordinary.
An ex-boyfriend used to quip I had lived to this age because I was too cute to kill. I would add: and just pretty enough to scorn.
Some hell of a superpower, but we work with what we have.
Escorting was the final frontier in sex work for me. I’ve hesitated for a long time to talk about it. Lots of porn girls do it, but few (even the ones who do) admit to it. Side note: Guys, please don’t construe this as a suggestion that all porn girls escort. They don’t. If they do, they’ll put it out there, and if you see it, feel free to pursue it, but don’t tell girls that Calico told you they’re all whores. OK? ’Cause they’re not. OK.
The real trouble wasn’t sex (remember, in porn I’d been having sex with strangers for money since 2005), it was screening clients and answering my phone. One of my charming eccentricities is that I’m shy; like, really shy. Incapacitatingly shy. I know, I’ve done all this fearless shit, right? And that’s true. I am totally functional right up to the point where I’m totally not. One of the few ways I still exhibit it is a crippling fear of phone and email. So I never thought I could escort until I found an experienced phone-girl-for-hire. She sounded perfect; I met her other clients; we drew up an agreement for her weekly rate and just like that, we went into business.
Things didn’t go as planned. She was used to managing tantric body rub girls who charged $300/hr and cleared $3000/week. At $600/hr, she swore, I’d make $6000 a week… Easy! Instead, on my best weeks I made a quarter of that. Usually I’d do one hour in a whole week, half of which was her fee. Even when I didn’t book work for a week or three, of course, I still had to pay her. And that happened more often than not.
We parted ways amicably, if befuddled. At least I was.
It was several months later and several drinks into the night when I met a girl at my house party who told me she was a pro-sub. ”Oh, yeah?” I said, also several drinks in. ”What else do you do? Because that’s not really a job.” ”Well,” she said, “it’s full service.” ”Really?!” I said. I’d love to remember that I offered her another drink, but I think I was so engrossed I got us locked on the roof. That’s me. Always smooth.
So that was how I met Kat, and started working with her in September, and in a fairly direct relationship, that’s how I went back to college. If I graduate, that girl deserves a ticket in the bleachers.
Kat works for me on a percentage, rather than a flat fee. If I don’t book, she doesn’t get paid, which is great for me on the inevitable weeks when I don’t get work! She doesn’t like to publically discuss the percentage we split, but I will say it’s fair. It’s much better than 50%, which is the NYC agency standard. I will also say I would pay her more in a heartbeat. Not everyone feels this way about taking a cut, but not everyone is desperately phobic about phones.
Now that I’m in school, I describe it like having my own dating service. Because I have a specific, fetish-focused ad, I’ll only meet people who are interested in the same sort of [redacted] I am. Everyone has references, so we know they aren’t serial killers. And best of all, I don’t even have to do the setup myself. While I’m struggling through calculus or physics, dates appear magically on my calendar. But only as many as I want, and only when I want them! It really doesn’t get better than that.
I’m having the best sex of my life and I just have to show up. Do you begin to understand why I would pay her more?
This job is not for everybody, but I love it. I just hope to God I don’t give Kat a breakdown before my senior year.
[Pushing through more drafts. Yay, drafts! Boo, caption formatting that I wanted to be italic, but I am working on sorting it out.]
Let’s write about some cheerful things. I’ve been nostalgic lately, in the loveliest way!
Remember the first time you did something kinky? I do. I found a munch in Boston. I didn’t go the first time — I walked around a bunch of times, lost my nerve, and went home. The next month I came back and I met some kids from the local college. One was … let’s call him Joffrey. (No relation to the character from GoT.)
He was tall with long hair, a bony sort of face, and piercing blue eyes. He wore a Utilikilt that was always slightly rumpled. He was brilliant and probably insane, but in a riveting way. Like a nerdy Loki.
Now that I think about it, there is a really uncanny resemblance. I can’t think about it too much or I might have to go touch myself in the bathroom.
Thanks to the magic of Gmail, I was able to go all the way back to 2005 (!) and find Joffrey’s first email:
I particularly enjoyed meeting you yesterday not because you are smart, hot, and crazy-like, but because you are doing your own damn thing and looking sharp doing it.
If you are amenable, I would like to eat your soul. Are you doing anything this Saturday?
I have no recollection of what damn thing I was doing at the time. Likely, baking cakes and nude modeling. I had just dropped out of college in a depressive blaze of glory. All I owned was a self-esteem problem and a pair of New Rocks.
That is the kind of boot that wears you. Which they did me until I wised up and sold them on eBay.
I visited him in Boston and we went to a midnight showing of Rocky Horror, that cultural institution for many people of non-normative sexuality. It may have been 2005, but it made an impression on sheltered me. I know, Rocky Horror was the ’70s — but to me the ’70s were news! A girl pretended to sodomize me, I was forced to do publically humiliating things, and strangers touched me with their pelvii. I was overwhelmed and roundly embarrassed.
The T was closed when we emerged and the weather cold and misty. We made out on the street before he suggested we walk home from Harvard to Central. My Docs gave me terrible blisters, but I didn’t say a word.
I remember that he tied my wrists with a white rope from a basket he pulled from under his bed. He knotted the long end and closed it overtop of his bedroom door. Then he took off his wide, double-grommeted belt and spanked me with it. I’d had sex before, sure, but wanting something so badly felt alarming, like I couldn’t breathe or that my heart might stop.
He kept touching my tied hands with his warm hands as my fingers went purple and then cold. ”I should untie you,” he told me, and did.
It was the first time anyone had really hit me. And I imprinted like a duckling: deep and unconditional.
I ran to see the markings in the bathroom mirror. There were white raised circles left by the oversized grommets, surrounded by speckled red and purple bruising. It was violent and beautiful.
I walked around my bakery blushing, wet, and unable to think straight for days. When I wrote to thank him, I told him I looked like an Appaloosa pony.
Years later, leaving a Brooklyn rave in the pouring rain, I gave a ride to a couple I’d just met. The boy turned out to be half of the Seattle company who’d made that belt! He told me they never expected people to hit each other with it.
I ask you, readers: what else are you supposed to do with a three-inch-wide belt from a site named “Vegan Erotica”? The only thing with large enough belt loops is … a Utilikilt.
Jeoffrey moved to San Francisco (and I think dated a string of tiny Asian women, though don’t quote me) and we grew apart a bit. Which was probably healthy for me. But I have such fond memories — both of exploring kink with him, and of friendship and kindness. It is hard to date young people, let alone to do it with respect and good humor, when you are dating all the equally young and confused people into whom they are rapidly changing. And it’s hard to acknowledge that formal schooling and social attitudes about sex are broken, while still calling your young person on their silliness.
I found this in one of his first emails, and it made me misty.
Don’t worry too much about college. [...]
The important things are getting in with the best group of people you can, believing in yourself, and not letting other people set the rules of the game.
Often what works best is disarming audacity. Somehow we seem to have shit for role models, so you just have to make it up as you go.
It’s still nice to hear today what I needed to hear at 20. Thanks, sweetheart. You still have my soul, if there’s anything left of it to eat!
[I'm bumping off a series of old drafts. This was written some time in December or January, not sure.]
Shit has been rough since I broke up with the Doctor, not gonna lie.
Everything in my life is going right, but it’s been hard to let old dreams go, even though I am celebrating the new opportunities. I threw out 70% of the things I owned and cried incessantly (including in my sleep). I got sick, and then couldn’t get better. (I’m still getting sick all the time. I haven’t had a real home since Hurricane Sandy. But carrying a toothbrush and spare panties at all times is not what I would call hardship?)
Sometimes there is no way around experiencing grief. At the risk of tautologizing, you are going to feel your feelings whether you like it or not.
I’m grateful for the last three years. It taught me that I could experience submission and that someone could offer me a collar. It taught me that a partner could accept me doing sex work. That I was the sort of woman someone might marry (although thankfully we didn’t, or I’d be learning I’m the sort of woman one divorces!). That I could experience the full depth and depravity of my kinks without abuse and within a loving, intimate relationship.
In some ways the amicable splits are the hardest. But of course the hardest split (like the coldest winter) is always the one you’re going through.
There have been uplifting things already, like realizing that I can buy sweatpants AND granny panties AND WEAR THEM BOTH TOGETHER. I can stay in on Saturday nights and sew things. I can take myself on a window-shopping date to IKEA twice in one week!
There are also sad things. Did you know that things labeled “frozen dinner” are sometimes only 300 calories? Either I am a ginormous porkface or this is a cruel, cruel lie. And apartment shopping — because even at the end of a successful urban apartment search, you have the place you can afford.
My sister came over to the new digs to see how I was doing. I showed her a scarf I sewed. “It’s nice,” she said, “in a Raggedy Ann kind of way.” And then: “You are this close to opening your own Etsy store.”
I ask you, who doesn’t want to look like Raggedy Ann?
The original spunky redhead.
I’ll be back being fabulous soon. In the meantime, here is a Scott Church photo of me looking fabulous.
On a completely different note: hit me up if you’re a girl (in the NYC area) who has considered pro-subbing and you want to talk about it. I might have an opportunity for you.
I have a branding problem: clients don’t like my blog. Well, half do, and half find it uncomfortably personal, even alarming. When I bring this up, folks’ immediate reaction is to bash the clients who don’t like my blog, like these gents don’t understand that my lived experience is nuanced, or something. But I’ve met them and they’re not freaked out by me — it’s only the blog. If they are having trouble contextualizing my talk about Rape or Issues, it might be how I’m coming across.
This is extreme, but here is an actual email I received, just to show you what I mean:
I found some of your videos online, then started reading your blog and saw how it seems that you struggle to make ends meet and that you’ve been raped and seems like sex has been ruined for you. So I wanted to ask you about what it’s like being in the porn business, I guess I always justified looking at porn because I thought the actresses got paid tons of money. I really want to quit looking at porn because it is ruining my relationship with my girlfriend and she doesn’t even know I look at it. I Thought maybe hearing the truth behind porn would be enough to get me to quit. IIt’s 4am and I really don’t know why I’m writing you but your response would be greatly appreciated. thanks.
While I don’t want to meet this guy, this is also not my desired takeaway.
I could quit blogging, but I won’t. I enjoy writing. Most importantly, blogging brings people into my life all the time. They say they wanted to meet me or were attracted to me because of my writing. That is, like, crazytalk. How do I give that up? It would be like cutting off a perfectly good tit. Blogging gives me credibility with other sex workers, it shows people that I am intelligent, and it is a damn good personals ad.
I think reestablishing a work page will help, for sure. Mine got domain snatched and now I only have a corner on my boss’s site, so when people want to know more, they inevitably come here. Not everyone needs to read my diary and it certainly isn’t the same as photos of my ass. And if I write more, the tough posts get padded with other content — sexy, silly, practical — and that ought to help too. What else can I try?
You know what’s crazy? I’ve been “in the scene” for 8 years. I really thought I would have gotten farther. Personally, not professionally, that is. This has always been about my personal growth, at the constant expense of professional everything.
I have met incredible people and had transcendent experiences that I will take to my grave.
I’m still not at peace with wanting this. It’s isolating and ugly and I still feel ashamed. Maybe I always will.
Someone asked me a few weeks ago: Why do you call yourself a whore? Why do you want to do that? It could have been the same question as all the others. Why do you do porn? Or BDSM? Or one of a million filthy fucking things?
I know I should say that it’s a statement, and it was, it is; it’s a statement that we are OK. That I am OK. As submissives, or whores, or women, or … people.
So why do I keep doing it? My reason is not “empowering” or sex-positive or whatever the fuck. It’s because I hope maybe, if I reach the bottom, I’ll realize there is nothing left to fear.
So I keep trying to reach the bottom.
I did smoke a little in the sunlight when I got up before noon, but so far, no spontaneous combustion. Oh, and I had to sign a lot of papers. I won’t be teaching latex classes (at least on my own, for free) or selling my own designs (at least, that are not made and produced through her) but I wasn’t interested in doing that anyway so it’s all good.
This means that when I learn to bone latex corsets, I won’t be able to tell you. Bummer. But I can report that everything I taught myself from the Internet is solid. That’s pretty sweet! Obviously there’s a lot more to latex clothing than sticking one piece on the other, but that will get you 90% of the way.
I’m amazed that my stripper nails seem to be holding up to the solvents. Go go OPI gel!
What would stripper boot camp be? Contract work like Guam, or those rural clubs that house their contract girls on site?) NYC isn’t, but it sure is nice to get away from it from time to time.
Working anywhere with stage tipping, no matter how constrained and pathetic, is like being handed free money. It helps with the pain of paying house fees. Counting out ones I picked up from the stage feels like magic. They’re barely money and yet after eight hours they, like, totally add up!
Another difference: I don’t mind floor work and I love poles, but I’m not used to them. Or hourly stage. I am covered in bruises and I could eat a horse.
Look ma, a bruise I didn’t get from sadomasochism!
No, I’m not working on the regular … just getting a breath of fresh air.
New York women are well-heeled. I mean literally. Not all of them, not even most of them — but an astonishing number trip around these streets in stilettos. I want to know: where do they go in these things?
I think it was in Super Size Me that I first heard the statistic that New Yorkers walk 4 to 5 miles a day. Google fails me here, but it sounds right. I’ve never lived closer than .3 miles to a subway. Often I’ll go home-subway-home twice in a day. Add to that subway-work-subway, and probably subway-dinner-firstbar-secondbar -subway, and I have a solid four miles without running an errand or taking a stroll.
I don’t realize how much I walk at this point, but I have learned to tell visitors to bring comfortable shoes and a waterbottle, because I will walk them like dogs and they will protest like … tourists.
Before I moved to New York, I didn’t understand cobblers. I owned shoes for years and they never wore out. Now that I’ve lived here for five years, I take my shoes to the cobbler like my business friends take suits to the drycleaner. I’ve had all my heels re-capped — multiple times. I’ve had my boots resoled.
Before New York I didn’t understand how a pair of shoes could break. I’ve had heels crack and straps snap. I’ve lost heel caps (which is like nothing so much as a horse throwing a shoe) and found myself limping on the metal shaft (step KLINK! step KLINK!) to the nearest shoe stand. I’ve destroyed more pairs of flip-flops, sandals and cheap flats than I can count.
We all have that friend who always wears high heels. Or at least, I think we do: now that I think about it, I have those friends I only see in high heels. What is their secret? Do they slip out of their flats a block before the restaurant? (I do.) Do they take cabs everywhere? (I don’t!) Do they have feet that magically don’t get blisters and pains, or super-expensive heels that somehow don’t hurt?
I understand wearing heels for a special occasion. Sometimes there are outfits and times that really call for it, and on those times I take a couple of Aleve and hail a cab. Martinis are my favorite drink for nights in high heels; not trying to be posh, just efficient. I reach the point of no pain after one, blissful indifference after two, and the point of graceful exit (if I’m lucky) soon after.
Right now I live .6 miles from the train. It’s become a litmus test for footwear. I have to ask myself every time I leave the house: are these two mile shoes? I’ve tried with all my most modest heels, but I have to conclude, if it has a heel, they’re not.
Usually I cope by stashing a pair of flats in my bag, but I just destroyed my last two pairs. And now it’s getting to be boot weather. This is especially vexing since I see no way to tuck over-the-knee Fryes into my purse.
My purse is falling apart too, probably from carrying around too many sex toys shoes.
This isn’t meant to be an argument for heel-wearing, which has little to recommend it except vanity. It’s just … how. How do you girls do it? Inquiring minds (and sore feet) want to know.