Thursday, December 23, 2010

An Introduction to the Client Prostitute Dynamic

I spent eleven or so months doing escort work. For the last twenty days, I've not done escort work, and have been at my parents/grandparents/staying with overachieving, now in the workplace, so now have perspective, and I still have tried to take on the exploited/cringe-ish feel I should have having done it, and it just doesn't take. I actually really can't wait to get back to it.
I personally know about 8 or 9 girls involved in sex work. One is an independent escort. Three operate high-end agencies. Two work for high-end agencies. One works at a brothel. and one is a streetworker on a high-profile strip.

And they all strike me as strong, independent, quirky, women. Woody Allen/Joyce Carol Oates/Quinten Terrentino Femme Fatale types. They all also like sex work. Women that I admire and am even a little bit in love with. And could teach the average college girl or high-school sweet heart in mid america a big lesson.

What they all have in common is that they understand contemporary gender relations in a way that Gender Studies professors don't.

If you're curious, the line of thought that brought me into work:

1)I am horny. I want to be found pretty and petted and complemented. I am too busy with research/my unpaid-but-resume-gold-more-than-full-time-internship to go through the trouble. And I AM NOT going to sleep with a friend/hit on a friend/have a club-started-drunken-one-night-stand/resort to web-dating.

2)I like older men. I like their stories. I like their experiences. You learn a lot listening to them. And they're generally quite gentlemently and if you ignore the bellies, quite good in bed.

3)Had had a bad stint with guys (sleeping with two guys in open relationships simultaneously followed by a six-date-sex-no-call-back run, then good-guy-friend follows me around a party while getting drunker and drunker/asks me to help him bring stuff to his/walks me to mine/then vomits all over my sun room/ then begs me to sleep with him then lets me know the next morning that he actually was still involved with the sweet little ethnic thing who just wouldn't put out and wanted some but hoped we could still be friends...) and was NOT up for dating.

4)And, per 3, was a bit angry. Did not help that an anthro-linguistics class ended with Judith Butler and Cathrine Mackinnon: So this chain of thought set off:

-99% of heterosexual-oriented sexworkers are women. Meaning, we live in a society where men are willing to pay for sex, and women are not.

-Society places pressure on women to objectify themselves. de Bouviar says a womans' greatest weakness is her vanity. Whether it's societal or biological, women really enjoy looking at themselves, and having men look at them and want them, and being complemented by men. Actually, I'd say that 95% of my own non-work sexual relationships were vanity-induced.

-Which isnt a good thing, and is a bloody waste of time. 

-But a prostitute recognises that she, in part, exists in society as an object, and rather than trying to supress that feeling/urge to be objectified, cashes in on it.

-Or in other words, rather than being pissed off (as Virginia Woolf was) that she couldn't focus in the British Library's reading room like her male counterpart (refer to A Room of One's One); rather than agonizing and writing about how society is unfair, or even worse, getting involved in an unequal and abusive relationship...writing tomes and blogs on the number of hours lost from studying/writing applications while waxing and foundationing and looking at oneself in the mirror, baking cute cakes and coddling unworthy men...a female sex-worker accepts society as it is and makes lemons out of lemonade. All of these weaknesses biologically or sociologically engrained in women, which generally disadvantage women  in the standard job market, become resume-bullet-point-gold of what is a very lucrative job.

When I started, it all seemed like some sort of con artist swindle. taking...reparations for the supression of women over the ages and in particular inequalities in contemporary society... from men who control contemporary society. And the poor dears, it seemed, didn't even know it.

The "work" involves
-two hours (waxing 1x/week, nails 3x/week, shaving, touch-ups, hair, makeup, dressing, shopping for lingerie, and stay-up hose) transforming myself into society's perfect woman...right off the page of elle or harpers bazaar.
-twenty or so minutes in transit

-I get VIP access to restaurants/bars/clubs/hotel suites my (professional, corporate parents) can't afford
-as well as access to the type of men who can afford these luxuries
-40 minutes of fantastic conversation
-150 euro-1200 euro, depending on the length of time.

And the sex? About 30% of the time very good, 50% ok, but the fellow's pot-bellied/hairy/an unfortunately bad kisser/wants me to call him daddy, and 20%...unpleasant. But then, it's only 25 minutes at most...

I'm not quite the angry feminist I was six months ago...

And when I'm lonely, when my grandmother (who is as talkative and hot tempered as I am) drives me (literally) out of the house...

I do sort of fancy renting a design-hotel lodge in Napa and hiring a nice boy to watch the sun rise and set with and watch the fire and listen to me talk and call me sweetheart and stroke my hair and cuddle me and baby me until I fall asleep.

So maybe it's more of a fair deal than I thought.

A financial leveler, at any rate ;)

Monday, November 22, 2010


So - around while I was in Berlin. (tee hee) I think the moving thing started because when I moved to Berlin on a research grant after graduating from university, [October 2009] I was actually tight on money, and the cheapest most charming place I found was a temporary with a mid-month move-out date. I started doing escorting work (ie, not needing to be tight with money) mid-December-ish...but by that time, I'd agreed to rent a friends' flat for a few weeks while he was on holiday...and then by August, it made sense to rent a very nice place where I could take incalls, and then I extended my stay in Berlin three times.

And anyways, moving from sublet to sublet and neighborhood to neighborhood lets you stay within 15 km2 and still really travel, you know what I mean? Living outside the ring in the middle of a bunch of parks down the road from the best borek shop and the best asian grocery store in Berlin, not so far from Junfernheide Teich (amazing...check it out if you get a chance) is very different from having a window that looks onto Schlesisches Tor, which is very different from living in the depths of Neukoelln.

But having moved 18 times in thirteen months, I am very excited to be stationary. Right before boxing up and storing and preparing for an extended holiday, I signed a one-year lease on a spacious, refurbished one-bedroom with a view.

Too stressful. Much too stressful. From now on, I'll let p.m. jaunts out to hotel suites in the west satisfy my wanderlust.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

What happens in Berlin, stays in Berlin...

so...everyone talks about New York's streets being paved with gold, of Vegas as the city of Sin and Secret, and LA as the city of dreams...

Unless by gold you mean a derivative of the Black gold that got Jed to Bev hills, and unless you dream of smog, endless traffic and strip malls that stretch for miles, they fall short. In my opinion, though, Berlin is that magical place that actually realizes and serves up the stereotyped attributes my opinion...very very inferior metropoli.

Maybe Berlin's so great because it's cheap. Which don't have to work 60 hour weeks to have a decent flat/food/access to ammenities. IT also means commercial rent is low, which means you can open a cafe/club/indie vintage lesbian porn store on a whim and not go broke. It's also full of expats, who are notoriously not-clique-ey because...they aren't settled enough to have cliques yet. You can quickly make a group of friends, but it's a big enough city that if you realise that the techno-speed scene is no longer your thing and you would like to take up yoga and knitting, you can move on too. It's a city that doesn't punish risk-taking behavior. Or at least not so harshly. So people take risks.
And when you take risks, you transform yourself. friend of mine said that everyone comes to Berlin and undergoes drastic transformations. [he was a tall, lanky, awkward and painfully shy boy from a good southern family back then. Now he's still tall and lanky...but fabulous and flamboyant.] You can go from being... a just out of AA coke addict to a magazine editor. You can drop that corporate PR job and for 300 euro a month, you can get a fabulous little storefront and for another few thousand, dec it out with fabulous vintage 70's ddr crushed velour and wood-laminate furniture and serve fabulous milchkafee and brownies to a fabulous set of people.

Or, you can go from being a...conservative, nerdy valedictorian with a hunch and overbite at a private school founded before her country who wasn't kissed until she was a high-end escort.

Berlin. Definitely a city for transformations.