Monday, March 14, 2011

Boooo ooooring

Too many MFA applications, too much solitary time, perpetual grey, not enough living.

Leads to theoretical, dry, boring and dogmatic posts. Very dogmatic. Reading these posts from the third-party perspective, would fear the author might any day
a)tie stones to the skirt of one of her new dresses and drown herself in the spree
b)go kill bill and start castrating men while inside of her
c)shave her head, make moccasins, and join a Catherine-Mackinnon-esque commune somewhere a few hundred miles outside tuscon.

I apologize.

 The next batch will be titillating. Visual. And devoid of commentary.

Female Consumption

What is female consumption? I've been milling the question over, sort of inspired by a book an anthro-student-friend recommended sort of inspired by a rampant shopping spree.

Fuck mother fuck those god-damn designer-sale websites.

I swear,,,, it's like they restage black friday daily on the internet. Replacing 80% off walmart-brand electronics with 80% off bridge-wear. Replacing middle-america housewives with the average young and bored manhattan working woman on their lunch-breaks. Seriously, it's quite easy to blow $1,200 when you have only 10 minutes to decide if you want to buy a $2000 dress for $350, and you only have 10 minutes or Debby the PR lady in San Fran will snag the only size 8 left.

I'm expecting two boxes to arrive tomorrow morning. A pink silk one-shoulder dress and a grey-blue, embroidered tunic.

I'm excited.

I'm excited to try them on.

I'm excited about trying them on and looking at myself in a mirror. I'm excited to be taken out to dinner while wearing them and feel a man's eyes wash over my body.
*       *      *

What am I buying when I buy these dresses? I'm buying an image of myself, I guess. It's not about the object. It's about the physical transformation of myself through an object.

Women buy make up. And hair products. Beauty services. Jewlery. Clothing.

They buy drinks at upscale bars. They buy dinners. Essentially, they purchase an image, they veil themselves in it, and they purchase the opportunity to be seen as that image.

This extends to divorced, celibate women without sex drives, to married women with children as well...

So - they aren't doing this so much to attract attention. To attract a specific goal. Rather, they are paying to partake in a visual fantasy.

Funnily enough, men will pay for that very same fantasy. Just spoke with an 1500, 3 hour minimum escort. When I asked her what distinguishes someone at her level from a lower level, she laughed: "conversation skills. Being well-kept. And clothing. I mean, if someone is paying that much, you can't show up in something from Banana Republic or Gap. Or with chipped nails. They're expecting pucci, or dior."


"Yes. They actually, believe it or not, some guys will actually ask what you're wearing. They're quite knowledgable." [No wonder I make 300 euros/hour]

If women spend surplus money on embodying a specific fantasy; and they enjoy that fantasy through the eyes of another: even if that enjoyment comes through looking in a mirror, in a window pane, through imagining onesself as the magazine clipping she is trying to emulate, can anything but escort work fully complete that fantasy?

Can anything other than escort work fill the void of the fantasy, imaginary observer with an equally distant and unattached observer?

I think that escort work can be erotic for the escort - if only auto-erotic.

Auto-erotic in that the financial nature of the transaction, and the one-sided nature of it, makes the experience entirely centered around the female body, it's up-keep, and it's adornment; and ultimately, it can be the perfect and most honest way for a woman to consumate that fantasy, by mentally, at least, enjoying her own body alongside her client.

A Job or Not Quite A Job

Some people are wives and mothers and doctors/journalists/ceos. Some people are girlfriends and doctors/journalists/ceos.

I like babies. A lot. Way too much. And it's super-easy to see myself - a nice, fairly well-off guy comes along, a year of dating, some "ah, I don't know what I want to do with my life" instability, and bam, I end up a housewife/mother.

The nice thing about being an escort is that that ain't gonna happen. What would my mother say if I became just an escort? What would my father say? What would anyone say? Becoming just a housewife is acceptable, becoming just an escort is not. Loosing yourself completely into an alternate-universe-relationship with a boyfriend is acceptable. Loosing yourself into being a sex worker is not. Whining and moping and bitching and gossiping about casual sex and having that be the key-point of conversations with friends is acceptable. Having it be about being an escort is not.

And honestly, now I know all about so many different things. And honestly, where else can I get paid for getting investment advice from someone who makes a million a year at a bank?

I think that's why I'm really super-wary of going professional, you know? I even - I went on a shopping spree over the past few weeks: 1200 dollars in clothes; really cute, versatile clothes because I'm sick of everything I bought, and because what flatters my body now is really different from before plastic surgery. But that 1200 made me sort of (completely) sick...I don't know - it sort of felt like I was investing a hell of a lot of money into being a pretty object. So - long story short, set up a brokerage account and am depositing all but 200 dollars into that. And hopefully I'll not end up, like so many other masters and post-liberal-arts masters students, stuck in a dead-end job.

Being found attractive and getting taken to really nice restaurants and hotels - not such a shock-excitement any more. Getting intimate access to the world's best and brightest and most experienced and respected, while obtaining financial freedom? And getting enough whatever to not be a push-over/take shit from stupid boys? Pretty priceless.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Interesting: Women in MBA Schools...

From a friend

"E. Thought you'd find this interesting. Just attended a presentation on women attending an Ivy League MBA class: the findings were that women-minority students were highly conscious of their gender, while the male majority and male teacher was not conscious of either their gender or the gendered experience of the females in the class room. Women are fucking insane."

I did find it interesting.

What interested me, then, is that at least in this case, females are responsible for their own dis-empowerment: discrimination, harassment just isn't there: it's not the 1960s News Room or Wallstreet bidding floor.

But the basic idea is that in order to advance as citizens and professionals, in order to gain status and independence, women had to emasculate themselves and take on male tastes.

I am sexually equal became I, like men, can enjoy casual sex. I, like men, I can play sports.

The interesting thing is that in doing this, women lost a lot of the power they traditionally had: power over relationships, the idea that men should financially and emotionally support women; the sense of guilt men traditionally had, for example, over sleeping with a girl and then not talking to her, or, if a girl got pregnant, the implication of not getting married - all of this has disappeared.

Casual sex, it turns out, produces a lot of single mothers, abortions, and difficulty finding someone to settle down and marry. And women enter the work place, but still more often than men switch to part-time work or house-wife themselves entirely when they have children.

I think the feminist movement forgot a few things: women are most fertile in their 20s, and fertility rates begin to drop dramatically at 28. Women are physically transformed by producing children. Women age differently than men. Heterosexual women still want relationships with men.

So - listening to the presentation, I was inclined to think that womens' consciousness of their gender: dressing up for class, acting flirtatiously, performing femininity, is a strange way of reasserting traditional aspects of female power.

To conclude: is true gender equality ever possible? Highly doubtful.

Debtors and Creditors in Romantic and Sexual Relationships

Gift Giving. Social Theory - one very useful thing that comes out of two years of communal common core reading.

A friend at one of America's other universities that forces social theory down the throats of undergraduates just sent me this, and we both thought it would be worth sharing here...

In City of Capital's first Chapter, Carruthers explores financial exchange (the loan-debt relationship) as a way of solidifying relationships between states and between debtors and creditors, and how being in debt places debtors in a position of power. 

Debtor Creditor Relationships also exist in romantic and sexual relationships, I think, and I'd like to explore this, and the way exchange influences 3 paradigms of romantic and sexual relationships. 
Society has traditionally considered women to be the provider of sexual services and men to be the consumer of sexual services. Whether this dynamic is based in biological differences between genders, (gendered evolutionary reproductive strategies, the cost of pregnancy and child-rearing for women, etc.) Judith Butler-style gender performativity, or to womens' traditional domestic sphere has been widely and inconclusively debated, and that I've personally spent a lot of fruitless mental time and space struggling with, but, anyways, for this post, it isn't so important. At any rate, this attitude lingers despite women's economic and professional advancement, demonstrated in "Premarital Sex in America: How Young Americans Meet, Mate and Think About Marrying," by the authors' main claim that the value of sex has dropped to an all-time low in contemporary mainstream relationships as college-educated women increasingly outnumber men and as casual, uncommitted sex becomes more available. 
Thus, we can think of sex as a good women offer and men “purchase” in a number of ways: through attention and commitment (marriage, going steady), informally (through gifts and meals purchased during a traditional courtship period) and directly (through prostitution).
  1. Through non-financial means: a man shows prolonged interest in and commitment to a woman. In a contemporary relationship, non-financial goods and sexual services are exchanged in an incremental process that leads to increasing levels of intimacy and commitment. This is what the authors of “Premarital Sex in America” have in mind. Taking traditional gender norms as a basis, both the male and female partner exchange “goods” on an encounter-to-encounter basis while subconsciously evaluating a parity of exchanges. The partner who is a “debtor” in this relationship is most likely to hold power in the relationship, and the “creditor” is more likely to be interested in prolonging and intensifying the relationship. Women who have casual sex are more likely to want a long-term relationship with their partner then men who engage in casual sex demonstrates this. Likewise, women are more likely to find marriage partners and secure committed relationships after a long, nonsexual courtship process, typfied in conservative cultures (Christian colleges, Muslim countries) where sex is generally withheld until marriage. In the former example, women desire a longer, more serious relationship because they feel the attention, commitment and interest provided were not of equal value to the “sexual services” offered. In the later example, the courtship process turns men into creditors, where attention, commitment and investment are given prior to the receipt of sexual services.
  2. Sugar-Daddy/Sugar-Baby style relationships. Referencing 1930s, Male-majority college dating culture, Kathleen Boygle writes in “Hooking Up” that “exploitation occurred when one partner was more interested in a continuing relationship that the other and thereby she or he was willing to give in to the other's demands...women might exploit men by “gold digging,” while men could exploit women for sexual favors or “thrills.”” (179) Today, this grey-zone of romantic relationships involves what Boygle would consider mutual exploitation: women exchange “sexual favors” and “thrills” for gifts and allowances. Like in mainstream relationships, the female “sugar baby” holds power if the sexual and romantic “goods” she provides are worth less than the financial goods she receives. Having examined Arrangement-dating websites and blogs interviewed 10 men and 4 women involved in these relationships, both sides attempt to become the debtor in this relationship: women often attempt to withhold sexual services and commitment until a certain number of gifts have been given or the first installment of a monthly allowance has been made; men attempt to receive intimacy (either by talking extensively about their own and their potential partner's sexual desires or kissing or fondling on the first date.) Like in normal relationships, the partner who has given more is most likely to become emotionally attached to their partner and to desire a continuous, ongoing relationship. Often, in order to meet both the Sugar Daddy and Sugar Baby's desire for reciprocity, the relationship begins with the exchange of financial services for romantic and sexual services on an encounter by encounter basis. Generally, because the language of this type of relationship refers to “generosity” and “spoiling” and “being spoiled,” the man holds the power in this relationship: rather than, like in prostitution, stating a price for specific services or chunks of time, the man will suggest a certain sexual encounter with the promise of “being generous” without explicitly stating the level of “generosity.” Thus, in a one-time encounter, services will be provided prior to payment; or, in order to procure a long-term arrangement with a monthly allowance, a potential Sugar Baby will go on multiple “dates,” physically and orally indicate attraction and sexuality, and allow for lower levels of physical contact.
  3. Explicit exchange of sexual services for money. Reviewing a British escort and escort-client website, it becomes clear that male clients of escorts are much more often interested in entering a long-term, romantic and unbounded relationship with a female escort than vice versa. Additionally clients often want to please the escort: there are a number of long topic-threads discussing how to best way to sexually pleasure escorts, escorts receive gifts, flattering hallmark cards, etc. This odd gender-norm-reversal can be explained by the power of the creditor in a debtor-creditor relationship. Clients of escorts become sexual creditors: they pay upfront; they also seek at least the illusion of mutual attraction and satisfaction. (Collins, Interaction Ritual) Further, in the act of selecting and purchasing a sexual encounter, indicate physical attraction and sexual desire for the woman. The dynamic of casual sex, discussed in “Hooking Up,” where unbounded sex implies that the woman is attracted to and values the man but not necessarily vice versa, is flipped. Thus, clients enters a commercial sex transaction desiring mutual attraction and sexual satisfaction, and, in paying upfront, is likely to receive neither. 


Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Favorite Female Lead?

So - like, about half of the time I meet a client, I have this Ahah! moment. Basically, what happens is there's a pause on either side, and I realise exactly what the guy wants, which is ultimately different from what I'm giving him, and by that point it's too late.

The problem is, when you do GFE, it sort of kills the mood to just at the beginning say "OK, so what are you looking for" and most guys don't really know how to answer the question: the general (80%) answer is "oh, you, know, just the usual...although I did get one guy who went through an inventory of my offerings as advertised on the agency site...quite funny. Um, but what I'm getting at is that the question: what do you like, is a lot more complicated when it isn't just sex.

I also, a guy I saw a half-dozen times in Berlin just sent me a film clip, and I had that ahah moment: the way the female lead interacted in that movie, in a different scene from the climactic one he had sent me, was exactly how I interacted with him. And so the basic idea of that is that I was this character for him...and this character eventually, in the film, looses her spunky naivety and innocence and leaves the country...and so I can imagine he kept on seeing me and has booked me to travel with him because I am that character in his mind.

And so...yeah, the great thing about advertising over the internet is that it's all a fantasy until the transaction begins: it's not like working on the street, or in a brothel or in a strip club, where your first encounter is an actual in-person encounter. The client builds up a fantasy, phantom character of you based on your picture, your description, and the limited email contact you have with him. And the goal is to be that phantom in real life...

So...and when I think about it, if I were to hire a male escort, looks, the actual content of the date wouldn't be important. But I love gregory peck in roman holiday...absolutely, in all moods, would love to be with that character. It's not just the physicality, the gestures, the way he talks...but something about the persona, the masculinity, the conflictedness and complexity.

So...going to weave in "love movies: what's your favorite female lead role?" into every pre-booking interaction. And then boom - 10 minutes watching you tube clips, and I'm ready to go.