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The ghosts in the room.

Grief is something I quite frequently come across in my work amongst the myriad of clients I see. For some it is a past grief, others an incredibly painful recent grief. For others it’s the sharing of a slow death of their loved one due to terminal disease.

The needs and expectations of these clients are incredibly intimate, filled with guilt and requiring a large degree of my compassion and empathy. The wine infused “quick fuck” or porn star style sex isn’t what they need.

They need my ears more than they need my arse, they need my gentleness rather than they need my passion, and they need my empathy more than they need my technical skill.

I often get the sense that there is a “Ghost in the Room”. It is often a subterranean psychological presence for both of us in the booking – Deeply ingrained memories of the touch and caress of the departed or departing loved ones echo in the way we interact with each other.

I watch him awkwardly undress. At twenty-eight the fitness of youth has half turned to softness across the arms and chest. Beautiful eyes are paired with hesitant hands that shake as he removes his various articles of clothing. Half masked by the stench of bars and scotch, he mumbled an apology.

“I’m sorry, I haven’t done this in a while. Let alone with a hook-I mean prostitute. Sorry.”

“It’s all good. Would you like a hand?

As I walk over to him I see the tremor rise as his dutch courage starts to fall away. Joking with him as I remove a belt, fumble with a button, dis-engage a sock and carefully place a shoe under a chair. A jolt runs through me as I fell him slowly place a hand on my arse.

“You’re so soft.” I smile.
“It would be a bit awkward if my arse was calloused and hairy, no?”
He laughs and relaxes whilst his hand carefully starts moving across the curves of my body.
“Can I touch them?”

His eyes linger on my breasts and his palm hesitates. I nod. Sliding underneath the lingerie layers of lace and gauze he cups the underside of my breast, measuring their weight. Fingers flick across nipples.

I love watching their breathing intensify, the chest expand, pupils dilate. My hand rises to his jaw and caresses it, tracing along half grown stubble, my half parted lips circling around his ears and down his neck.

“Can I kiss you?”
“Of course you can.” He tasted half boozed tinged with the hint of cigarettes. His tongue started on my lips circulating before he bit my lip. I could taste his need in the back of my throat and my back arched as his dug his fingers in so hard I gasped.

There is an incredible sensuality that is created in those that have been deprived for so long. In his speech, movements and intentions there is an echo of the love that was there before. Your body listens, knows, responds, senses, acknowledges and understands that this is a dual layered encounter. Ultimately there is us and also her providing the bed on which we have to make a step forward.

The soup of emotion in which we swim is viscous with fear, guilt, loneliness, need and insecurity. Within him is the desire not to disrespect a living or dying partner. It’s an incredibly intimate sexual experience with a stranger.

To treat you as a service provider as any less than his wife, girlfriend or love that has passed only ultimately disrespects what went before you. To have anything less than that connection seems like a betrayal. Yet you cannot be another. You must begin to assert yourself and pick apart the threads.

We left the room and he asked if I could spend the night at his house. The silence in the taxi was followed with stumbling apologies over mess and pouring of bourbon in his townhouse. Leading me outside we began to laughing and joking as we occupied his courtyard, drink in hand, world contemplating.

“Would you like to come upstairs?” Barefooted I skipped up the stairs, pausing on the landing. I gazed the assorted instruments stranded near mixing equipment.
“You play guitar?”
“Not for a while.” He took my hand.
“Bedroom’s to the right.” The half-darkness concealed the dishevelled sheets and half empty glasses of bourbon scattered across the bedside tables.
“Sorry for the mess again.”
“All good – my room isn’t much better to be honest.”
“Lights on or off?”
“Honestly? Maybe off. I spend so much time having sex in broad daylight or high light, it almost feels naughty to have sex in the dark.”
“The idiosyncrasies of your job perhaps?”
“Perhaps.”
“Can I get you anything?” He hesitated.
“Come here.”
“Wait – you like showers?”
“I love showers. I could spend half my life with water cascading down my back. Only thing that makes me feel quiet I guess.”
“You are a fucking hundred million miles an hour you know that?”
“I know, but I feel calm inside If that makes any difference?”
“Eye of the storm? Sort of makes sense to us poor dumb bastards that get caught in the rain around you.” He was good at making me smile.
“Wait here.”

Spread-eagled amongst the sheets I contemplated the ceiling. What an unusual job I’d chosen for myself. Wanting, desiring to be so intimate with strangers on such a regular basis. Nothing else was as exciting, so exposing, so forming, so constantly life changing as this.

“Ready?” He came back in the room and stood in the doorway naked.
“You coming?” I slowly disentangled myself from the sheets.
“Give a girl a second.”
“Come on. I need to tell you something.” I followed him into the bathroom.

It was alit with hundreds of tea candles. Across the basin, the bath, around the shower screens.

“You like?”
“Yeah, it’s beautiful. Thankyou.” He smiled.
“Come here bubble butt.”

We entered the shower cubicle. His palms pushed against my belly forcing my back against the shower screen. I shuddered as the cold of the glass pressed against my arse. My nipples hardened.

“Hey, step back OK?” His palms guided me slowly to a corner, his left hand pulling back to play with the water temperature.
“I don’t want you to burn yourself.”

I am in an industry in which I am an object. I’m a fuckable hole and something to be degraded, debated and bantered about amongst men. Yet these constant, continuous moments of consideration, care and respect between two adults is the reality in which I inhibit. Perhaps it is not men that is the problem, but the forced behaviour in groups of men which is the problem we all debate.

The water cascaded down upon us as we enacted yet another slow, sensual, timeless exploratory consideration of each other’s bodies in the warmth of the illuminated bathroom.

My hands toyed with the shower caddy as I fingered some body shop products, strawberry shower gel and a female razor. Contemplated playing with him, hands slick with products.

“I must admit, I noticed you have unusual beauty products for a male.”
“It’s hers.”
“Who is she?”
“Katie, I loved her.” He crumpled a little.
“She, is, an ex?
“She died. Some cunt of a fucking doctor gave her the wrong fucking drugs and they reacted. One minute we were in love – twenty four hours later she was dead.”
“How long ago?”
“Almost eighteen months. I haven’t been with anyone since.”
“Do you miss her?”
“So fucking much it hurts.” His back slid against the tiled wall until he was squatting in the shower. I followed him with the line of my body. Back braced I spread my legs. Identical twins physically, I laid my hand on his thigh.
“Come here.” His body found its’ way between my legs. Back against breasts, head against shoulder, both dripping wet.

“I know some pussies wrote some lyrics about crying in the rain, but I’m glad you can’t see it.”
“Doesn’t mean I can’t feel it.” I pulled the wet strands of hair across his forehead. I feel so much like my mother in these situations. Touch. Caress. Console.
“Are those products still hers?”
“Yeah, I can’t get rid of them. I don’t know how to begin without her. I can’t talk about her to others because they tell me to let go. I can’t fuck anyone else because they aren’t her. Thank you – for giving me a genuine depth to something I don’t still understand.”
“I bet she was beautiful.”
“So incredibly beautiful.”

I sat like a mother for a few hours, as the raining of the shower turned into a hybrid mix of his tears and my empathy, and I just listened. I talk so much it is almost cathartic to often share so much pain with a stranger, for once I can be silent and truly learn. As a woman, it is in these moments I feel truly in tune with the generational compassion that flows with the women in my family.

He’s not the only one. There’s a multitude of clients I’ve crossed paths with in my lifetime with similar stories. Some are fucking away the grief of love from divorce or a break up. Others are supporting a partner through a terminal disease.

They are often the most guilt ridden – health issues have removed the possibility of intimacy in a relationship full of love. From a psychological perspective these males have become the bearers of responsibility both financially, mentally and emotionally within the family unit whilst other pillars are crumbling. Momentary respite is paramount and healing.

There’s an infinite shades of grey in my work. I am often left with more questions than I am answers. But within the façade of my work – these private moments are what I truly love and gain the most worth from my work.

For all the ghosts in the room that have watched me, I hope I gave no disrespect.

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How to spice up your love life with sex industry secrets

“There’s nothing wrong with wanting to be better in bed. Spicing up your sex life doesn’t have to involve re-creating a scene from 50 Shades of Grey — in fact, good sex is a bit like eating. Everyone does it, it can be either exciting or pedestrian and to have a great meal you’re going to need to learn how to cook (or find yourself a chef).

If you want to learn how to cook it’s time you met Grace Bellavue, an Australian escort passionate about her industry. She’s here to teach you how to find out what your guy wants (and how to give it to him).”

Media, Sex Education

How to spice up your love life with sex industry secrets

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Memoirs

Sex work and love.

The two have a complicated relationship in this industry. On a working front – I sell sex. I often sell the illusion of love embedded within a suspended window of time. I can sell intimacy, I can sell my body, I can banter my mind but I cannot sell my soul or emotions.

Ironically in my three iterations or journeys at varying points of my life through this industry I have learnt only the third time around the more I remove my emotions from my work – the more this industry drains and depletes me.

Objectification, guises, fantasies, lies, transactions, illusions pervade every facet of this work. For some it a magical coat they can enshroud themselves as a form of protection against the stigma, the clientele, the work, the privacy intrusion, the acts and the intensity of a job that pits you against the forefront of humanity in an incredibly physical way.

For some it also a barrier that allows them a relationship outside of the industry. Where our society traditionally views your body as the primary exclusive gift to another in a relationship the very act of devaluing it in a sale to anyone who may desire it within a community is a travesty of what constitutes a relationship.

For the partner on the other side, it can be a harrowing personal journey. Very few entering into a relationship with a sex worker have any understanding of how the industry operates nor how a human can safely, humanely and healthily engage in a large amount of sexual transactions with another without tarnishing nor compromising the sanctity of the romantic bond between two people.

The industry changes you. It evolves you, grows you, challenges and enlightens you. The fact you have travelled this journey frequently means that your respective partner has not travelled this same path. They cannot understand how your work ultimately is work. It is perhaps even harder to understand when your work perhaps transcends being just work and becomes a passion, a cause and a genuine source of pleasure and enjoyment.

They try. I remember when I first began, and my first true love whilst still working in the industry.

“Do you want a lift to work?” He’d never offered before. Kicking around in the lounge room he restlessly played with a childs football throwing it repetitively up in the air. Throw, catch. Throw, catch.
“You sure?” He shrugged.
“Yeah I guess. It will save you a taxi. It’s not like I don’t know where you are going.” I looked at him quizzically.
“What? It’s not like I don’t know where you work, what you do. It’s cool. I’ll drive you. I don’t have to do anything else except sit here and play Playstation anyway.”
“Thanks, I’ll grab my stuff.” He watched me intently as I ran quickly between rooms, gathering a bag, dresses, heels, lube, toys, work paraphernalia.
“What are you wearing tonight?” I hesitated.
“Why?” The ball thumped hard against one fist.
“A dress, some heels.” The ball thumped harder against the other fist.
“What dress?” I rummaged through the bag, pulling out a dress.
“This white one.”
“I thought you weren’t going to wear that to work?”
“Yeah, but it’s too short to go out in, figured I’d just wear it to work.”
“But I picked that with you. I like that dress.”
“I know, but I don’t want to waste it, I’d look like a slut wearing it out to town.”
“But that…fuck it.” The ball slammed against the wall.
“I guess if I like you in it, they will too. Wear it. Who cares?” He stood up, walked to the dining table and grabbed his car keys.
“Lets go. You’re running late.”

We sat at traffic, music loud in the speakers. He tapped incessantly at the steering wheel.
“I told you we should have left earlier, you’re going to be late. Traffic is shit.” The 6pm start was painful – peak hour traffic entering into the city only endlessly strung out the terse atmosphere in the car.
“Told you we should have left earlier.”
“No you didn’t.”
“I did.” His hand clenched around the steering wheel.
“You said I’m running late, not that we should have left earlier.”
“Well you fucked around getting your whore gear ready.” The palm of his hand massaged the horn.
“Hey, easy. You OK? I appreciate you driving me to work but not if you’re going to turn into an aggressive asshole getting me there. I need chill out time before work. Not personal bullshit.”
“What, you need to chill the fuck out before you fuck a bunch of guys? My apologies. I’ll shut the fuck up.”
“This was a bad idea.” He picked aggressively at the registration sticker. Lights changed, we moved forward into the main road that led to work.
“You’re just up here yeah?” I nodded.
“How’d you know?”
“I drove past about twenty times when you first told me. I went in. I watched them all come in and introduce themselves to me. I watched their arses, their smiles, and their suggestive tones. I watched them come onto me and I imagined you doing that. To every fucking Tom, Dick & Harry that came in. Don’t you know how we see you? How we talk about you?”
I sat silently.  We pulled into the car park.
“I’ve got to go to work babe.”
“Bet you all fucking call them babe.”
“Oh for fucks sake – How often do I have to just tell you it’s fucking work?”
His fist slammed against the window. I stared at the corrugated iron fence in front of me.
“I love you Mick, I’ve got to go.”
“Love me enough to fuck other guys?”
“You know it’s not like that.” His fists clenched around the steering wheel.
“Please don’t go.”
“I have to. It’s Saturday. We are busy. I’m on roster.”
“I mean seriously, please don’t go. We can find another way, go back to hospitality, do your web stuff.”
“It’s not like that Mick, you know that.” His voice lowered, became childish.
“Please don’t go.” I braced myself to cut the chords of his emotions.
“I can’t. This is my work. Life is not like Pretty Woman. You know that.”
He began to cry. I’d fallen for the bad boy first up. I was still only eighteen, headstrong, incredibly sexual and determined to lead my own life. I still am. He at 33 had lived a harder life longer than I’d been alive. I was his idealism; my naivety was not a weakness, but a strength.
“Love you, have a good night. I’ll see you when I get home yeah?”
“Yeah.”
“I thought I’d never love a whore again.” He sat quietly tears drying on his face. He was too proud to acknowledge them to wipe them away.
“It’s not the whores you love, but the beautiful complexity of the women that become whores.”
“Perhaps. Just go. I want to go home. Have fun at work.”
“Can’t wait to see you again when I finish.” I meant it.
“Just get the fuck out of the car.”
I left and went to work.

I remember my next boyfriend.

I fumbled for my keys, the long archaic iron key that unlocked the renovated church I lived in. A myriad of coloured lights streamed through the stained glass windows onto the lounge room illuminating the assorted mixture of fabrics, furniture and neglected dust. It was nine am in the morning.

My face as always felt slick with make-up. The constant layers you applied hurriedly between clients began to glue together with spit and lube and sweat. After two or three clients you’d furiously try and strip it all from your skin. There was no time to continuously reapply your face, re-dry your hair, stare for hours in the mirror trying to recognize your own sleep deprived, sex sated eyes.

I still felt dirty despite the ten showers I’d had that night. My clothes stuck to me, I smelt like the brothel. My eyes dragged against my cheekbones in weariness. Internally I still felt lubed, my muscles sore, aching whilst strange bruises were already erupting on my legs, my arse, my neck from half wearily stumbling into furniture, chairs, walls, people.

Your mind after a shift is exhausted. There is only one focus and it’s back to a bed in which you’ve reveled in all night. Talking, interacting, giving, taking. The pure human energy you give and receive often shifts you into two states – cataonic from weariness, or manic from excitement.

I took the carved wooden stairs to my room. He was waiting. Once again somehow fate had intervened and he sat upright in my bed, light streaming through my floor to ceiling hand plated windows.

The grey across his temples matched the dullness the night had turned his ice blue eyes.

“Hey.” I dropped my bag at the door.
“You still awake?” He fumbled in the bed.
“I couldn’t sleep.” I slowly started ripping off my clothes. I was tired of undressing seductively, I just wanted to be naked, and myself, in my bed, with him. He continued to stare at the strange half balcony that was a side-effect of the architectural transformation of my house from a church into two freestanding townhouses. Long and lean I stretched out my body alongside his, flinging a leg over, arm across his chest. We’d only know each other ten days.
“How many man did you fuck tonight?” My hand stopped circling his nipples.
“A few.”
“I know that, how many is a few?” My leg pulled back to my space.
“What does it matter?” I looked at him properly for the first time. His eyes were bloodshot, tired, tear crusted.
“It matters to me. I tried to sleep. I couldn’t. I just couldn’t stop imagining you fucking them, the way you fucked them, what you said, the way you bent your body, how hard they fucked you. If they disrespected you, if they didn’t care, and even if they did care, how they tried to get a part of you that was…”
“Was what?”
“Mine.”
“I’m “yours” now?” He shifted uncomfortably in the bed.
“I can’t do this Grace.”
“Can’t do what?”
“This. You working. Stop.”
“It’s not that easy James. I have no savings, you know I literally live night to night.”
“I’ll support you.”
“I couldn’t handle that.”
“Fuck why not? Wives do. Women do. Why the fuck do you want to fuck multitudes when you can be supported by someone that loves you?”
“Do you love me?”
“I’m a private school, catholic boy whose socialite mother would die if she knew I’d fallen in love with a hooker. But I love you. What do you want? My money?”
“I don’t want your money, that’s why I want to keep working.”
“I can’t handle you working.”
“I can’t handle being supported by you. I want my own money, my own independence.”
“Well earn that like every other fucking woman doing a normal job.”
“I don’t want a normal job.”
“Why?”
“I love this job.”
“Everyone else in the fucking world hates their job, who gives a shit, just do it.”
“Why do I have to hate my job just for love?”
“Stop Grace. Do you love me?”
“Yes.”
“Then leave.”
I left.

Sometimes whilst a romantic notion, leaving does not always mean the past is forgotten.

I cowered against the wall. My eyes stared at the navy blue patterned carpet of the hotel room. I cringed as I heard the shatter of the glass just millimeters from my head. Glass rained down upon me in a thousand shards, digging into my skin, decorating my hair, the larger fragments awkwardly posing at my side.

“You. Fucking. Whore.” I curled back inside myself as I had learnt to do. Strong in self, strong in mind, strong in belief, block the outside world.
“Mick, please stop.”
“Shut the fuck up you fucking whore.” I tuned out. Knees to chest, arms around legs, head lowered. Sit. Ignore.
“You fucked him didn’t you?”
“I didn’t fuck anyone Mick.” I kept my voice lowered, even. He’d finish soon. The outbursts only got louder, more insistent. Jumping states away from our influences only meant I had to learn to take eighteen years of violence, drug abuse, lost years, frustration. Coming clean meant righting your mind again. No-one ever told me it meant watching someone you loved come undone without support whilst having no life experience to empathise. All I could do was crawl into my corner of the wall and hope that he loved me too much to directly hit me.
“You’re a fucking whore. I saw the way you looked at him.”
“Who?”
“That guy.”
“What guy?”
“The one at the bar.”
“What fucking guy?” Another glass his the wall behind me. Tiny rivulets of blood were starting to trail down my arms and legs from the shards that had embedded in my skin.
“THAT FUCKING GUY.” Patience. Wait. Sit. Eventually he’d calm down.

Finally the last glass hit the wall across from him narrowly missing the TV in the hotel room. He leant back against the wall, legs outstretched on the bed.

“Fuck, what have I done. I’m sorry. It’s just hard. I don’t know anyone and I’m on twelve hour shifts, seven days a week, two weeks on, two weeks off. The thought of you alone and bored and here in this resort. It drives me insane.”
“I’m sorry.” I picked the largest shard out of my arm, fascinated at how the blood ran thicker, stronger.
“Don’t be sorry. You created this. You got me here. You used your contacts to get me my tickets, a good, high paying job. We’re safe. I’m clean. I’m just angry and confused and alone and my only escape is you. I love you.” The balls of his thumbs trailed across my teenage eyelids, covering, stroking, comforting.
“I’m frightened of you. Frightened you’ll leave, frightened you fuck them. Frightened you’re teasing me after eighteen years of opportunities, rehab and escape.”
“I promise I won’t leave.”

I eventually left, a year later, wanting more, worth more. Thankfully I was tired of self destructing with another. Five years on, I never thought I’d leave love for work.

He fingered the long fragile stem of the Reidel.
“So you’re leaving?”
“What do you mean?”
“Are. You. Breaking. Up. With. Me.” I thought such phrases were left in high school.
“I don’t know.”
“Grace you either do or you don’t. Stop fucking playing. Stop getting drunk and telling me you want something and changing your mind when you’re sober. Make a fucking decision. What do you want?”
“I think I want to work again.”
“Basically you want to fuck a football team every night instead of be with me?”
“It’s not like that. “
“It is. Either you want to be with me or you want to work and go on this idealistic little fucking path you’ve got set in your head. What do you want?”
“It’s not that easy Matt.”
“Yes it is. What do you want? Make a decision.”
“I want to work again, I want my freedom, I miss it, I can’t help it.”
“You know I cannot stay with you if you work? I refuse to deal with it.”
“I know.”
“Then that’s it?”
“I..” I couldn’t say it. I couldn’t explain how important my independence, freedom meant to me. He never understood from the beginning, I doubt he’d ever understand now.
“I want to go.”
“Have your freedom. It’s over Grace. You’ve made your decision. I hope you’ll end up happy. Fuck.” He pushed his body away from the table to stand up.
“This is it. I’m not going through this mind change bullshit with you again. Are you certain?”
“Yeah. I’m sorry.”
“I’m going.” My heart broke. It’s always harder leaving a relationship when there’s nothing wrong with it at all.

So here it is, seven months on and I’ve got everything I imagined. Thousands of men behind me, a few I loved, many I hold in deep affection.

There are women that lie eternally to avoid the above situations. I could. I could keep this a secret, live a secret life and watch my bank balance grow & fatten. Many women do.

Ultimately people stare at me and wonder if this is worth the potential sacrifice of love either now or in the future.

I’m free, to earn my own money on my own terms, my own way, with my own body with whomever I dictate.

I’m free to create artistically without boundaries or financial restrictions, free to write, free to express any part of myself in what ever language I choose.

I’m free to travel, to dictate my hours, my lifestyle, my pleasure.

Freedom always has a cost, perhaps I’m still idealistic. I still believe my freedom and love can be satisfied by one. Only time will tell.

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Activism, Memoirs

Whore, slut, hooker, sex worker – The fight for recognition, rights and language

(This was also republished on Mama Mia)

At the end of the day, language becomes our identity.

I remember the first time the language surrounding this broke my heart.

“Where is all this money coming from Grace? You’re only seventeen, you can’t be earning this from the bakery. What are you doing? I don’t believe you’re selling drugs, but it’s the only thing I can think of. You are saying you’re going to parties you aren’t attending, you’re not our daughter anymore, you’ve turned into something else.”

My mother paced the kitchen as I sat at the table playing with the runner, twisting its tassels between my fingers.

“No I’m not selling drugs mum, I’m a prostitute. I fuck men for a living.”

My mother visibly retched as my father leant against the back wall for support. I’ve never seen him grow so old in a moment since.

“Oh god, I’m going to vomit.” She steadied herself on the doorframe, half running to the toilet. My father began to cry. I’d never seen my father cry before.

A highly successful manager, and alpha male, he always dominated and led his men. He could walk into a pub and have a bar surrounding him in a few minutes, engaging, talking. People were attracted to my father like moths to a flame. There was something strong, good and fiercely independent about him that women flirted with and men followed.

“You’re my daughter Grace. How, fuck.
How can you let them do that do you? What did I do wrong?
Oh god. Why? Why the fuck are you doing this?
Oh shit, I need to sit down. How can you be a whore?
Don’t you know how they see you?
How they talk, oh god, I feel sick.
Please tell me I’m dreaming, for the love of god please tell me I’m dreaming.”

“I’m sorry daddy.” I could hear my mother retching in the ensuite up the hallway, her convulsions only broken by her sobs.

“Oh Grace, god, I love you so much, why? Why are you doing this?”

“I just wrote a story about it, and I wanted to see what it was like. It just seemed, I dunno, exciting.”

“Fuck Grace.”
Tears continued to roll down the face of the only man I’d ever loved at that stage.

It broke my heart.

“How? How the fuck are you doing this? How can they let you do this? You’re fucking seventeen for gods sake, you’re not a fucking whore.” I had never heard him swear so much in my company.

“I just rang them up, had an interview. They didn’t ask for ID.”

“Oh god. Is this some sick nightmare? How long have you been working?”

“A few months.”

“Oh fuck. You know you’ve broken your mothers heart? What did we do wrong Grace? We gave you everything, love, a home, values, a good upbringing, fuck I even worked my ass off to give you a good school. You are so intelligent, what, are you going to throw all these scholarships, all these programs, all this time, all these people who just think you can be everything you can be, and you want to be a fucking whore?”

“Dad, it’s not like that.” My mother emerged from the bathroom, bloodshot eyes and as old as my father. For the first time I was no longer their daughter, but a very alien stranger.

Finally my mother spoke.

“Please leave Grace, you need to move out if you are going to keep doing this. This is not what we brought you up to be. We love you, but cannot have you under our roof any longer if this is to continue. “ I looked at my father.

“Please leave, for we do not know what you have become.”

I left.

I am a sex worker, whore, prostitute, harlot, hooker, professional slut, fetishist, dominatrix at times, submissive often and just a normal fucking human being most of the time.

I’m also lucky that since that anecdote I live openly and honestly and lovingly with my family. Finally after six years of back and forth, they have finally understood and accepted the industry how I see and feel it. It’s not an easy road, and many sex workers never attempt nor realise it.

The language surrounding sex workers often becomes markers of our self worth in a world in which well, the rest of the universe associates with a social stigma only attributed to terrorists, pedophiles, illegal immigrants and murderers.

Use the aforementioned language and the world of richness we foster becomes reduced to something cheap.  We don’t fight, kill, or provide services to those that impede on our safety, values and mental and psychical boundaries. We give pleasure for a living.

No element of the sex industry deserves that language (although granted I will own, accept and play on it for humour).  But where does it originate from?

The greatest discrimination I see which causes the most angst and upset amongst sex worker friends is the fact that we are still socially stigmatised as though we are drug dealers, drug addicts and hopeless human beings without independent thought, activity and independence.

The truth is far from the stereotype – I am none of these, although granted in my short life I may have indulged in a few. Attempting to condemn us all in a narrow minded container is like getting a rainbow and describing it as one colour – you hopelessly become stagnant in a description which cannot encapsulate the beauty of what exists.

I’ll give you my explanation that I use when conversing with people I barely know about the sex industry.

The “sex industry” as it exists in most people’s minds is what I call a “socio-economic” facet of the industry.

Adjective: Relating to or concerned with the interaction of social and economic factors.

What I mean by this is that the sex workers people envision have entered for reasons related to poverty, drugs, force, violence, mental illness and social circumstance.

As such this media perpetuated ideology permeates the policymaking, social consciousness and inter-personal relationships that affect all sex workers, whether this is the case or not.

Think about the laws that are enforced and created in the states and countries you live in. They are there to protect – and those forced into sex work in it’s myriad of forms via these channels probably aren’t there because they chose it without extenuating circumstances. They don’t feel the joy I do, nor do they have the pleasure and happiness I receive from my profession.

They are there and waiting to bail. When their financial circumstances improve, their drug addiction is beaten, their mental and physical manipulators are removed, or the pathway out of a never-ending cycle that social class enslaves on them is removed – they are out of this industry faster than superman on a rescue mission.

But does social stigma and legislation aimed at protecting these people, which also restricts, criminalises and isolates those doing it out of choice, independence and love, really help them?

Not really. Mental health funding does. As does community engagement and involvement. Targeted, driven and harm minimisation policies remove more drug users from streets than criminalisation. Domestic shelters, work placement and access to employment, counseling assists more women and men than the laws targeted at protecting them.

The point of this blog, the point of my honesty and the countless work of sex workers all over the world fighting this same point are to raise awareness that there are two types of prostitution. Your language falsely pigeonholes both in a box in which both don’t belong.

Firstly, the previously discussed “socioeconomic” sex work, and the work done by the majority which is a conscious, positive choice we make intelligently whilst removing all socioeconomic factors. What people don’t realise is that this is actually the majority of the industry.

There is an amazing depth to what I do, and I will fight tooth and nail, even at the sacrifice of my personal identity to dispel these stereotypes.

In the interim I am still running an uphill battle. Why? Because this social stigma silences a majority of the beautiful voices I hear in regards to the sex industry. I am fortunate that I can maintain a constant personality and “soul voice” between my friends and family, and I am incredibly blessed for it.

Next time sex work comes up in discussion, use myself, use us all as an example of what does exist, what truly should be battled. Take a check of your language, if you object to the objectification and don’t know what this work entails, curtail your viewpoint.

If you are fighting sex trafficking, the apparent drug affected streetwalkers or those driven by mental illness, histories of abuse and needless self-respect then please challenge your state and countries policies regarding mental health, housing, drugs and community support.

You’ll stop the cause, not the symptom. Then at least I, with the majority of other workers can continue to do our work safely, healthily and professionally by bringing pleasure to the masses without discrimination.

So what have your thoughts been on us whores, sluts, hookers, strippers, web cam sluts, panty sellers, fetish works and ultimately sex workers in all it’s forms. Have they changed? Will they ever change?

 

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Memoirs

Do you love me baby?

One of the greatest paradoxes of my work is that we provide sex, companionship and a respite from the loneliness of the barrage of daily assaults.

For most people, they are the constrictions and mundane of their relationships, for others it’s the fantasy, the erotica and the forbidden that lures them often into our paths.

For many it is just a world in which they are consumed by work, family and responsibilities. Their own persona and outer life has grown and evolved into an entity that is beyond what they envisioned themselves to be.

His breath stopped labouring, we lay, entwined. He rolled over, eyes glancing at his wallet.
“I’m not going to steal your money idiot.”
“It’s not that.”
“What is it?”
“My identity.”
“No offense sunshine, but I honestly don’t give a shit who you are or what you do. I may ask questions in that direction but it’s only conversation, you can be whomever you want.”
“I know, it’s just….”
“What?”
“What if they all found out?”
“Found out what?”
“This, me, wanting you to be a dirty little slut, the language we used, even I feel as though I’ve done something wrong, I shouldn’t be asking this of you, just, everything.”
I laughed.
“You’ve been watching a lot of porn haven’t you?” He smiled, that shy half smile some men do when it’s the first time they vocally express what they’ve been sexually feeling for the first time.
“Maybe, yeah.”
“You watch the same thing for a while, your brain is going to develop pathways that associate desire with the visual images. It may/may not be what you want, either way you’ve been programming it.”
“So I’m not a sick fuck?”
“No, you’ve just watched too much porn. You’ve re-configured your pathways along a different route. Granted you can’t call any random chick a dirty, filthy ass slut without getting slapped, at least on the first date.” His eyes crinkled at the corners and he grabbed the towel and spread it over his shoulders as it was getting cold in the room.
“What if they find out?” His hands twisted with the sheet.
“Who is ‘they?’ ”
“My work, my political background, everyone.” His hands spread, and his eyes drifted to his wallet again.
“The men would understand but vilify you in public because it’s a dog eat dog world. The women would cry feminist on the outer but wish they could be it in private. Isn’t life fucked?”
“Tell me about it. How do I go back to normal?” I laughed
“What’s normal anymore? You want a lady that’s a whore, most ladys want to be a whore. Most whore’s want to be a lady. We’re all lonely. Hunting to the pointwhere we wish someone can turn us on from a look, a touch and a word, then it’s time for re-programming my dear.”
“How do I do that?”

“I’ll teach you. Boring as fuck the first time around, but then again you’re bored of the ass fucking, throat choking, bukkake bullshit that is filling all our minds. At this rate you’ll be searching for a chick like that, and dis-regarding her because she re-enforces what you hate about your sexuality.” He rolled onto his side, and my hand rose to trace and outline the contours of his face.
“Lets start from the beginning.” I smiled.
“Thankyou Grace.” I stopped momentarily,
“What for?”
“I don’t feel as abnormal anymore.”
“Nah, you’re more normal than you realise buddy.”

It’s business, we provide a service and you provide the fee. We battle the steeliness of our life swords against each other however momentarily and depending on the situation it may be just once, or many a time.

Ultimately we end up naked, re-creating a dance that is millennia old. I’ll kick in my professional knowledge, which reduces me to hunting, understanding, and consciously constantly exploring your pleasure spots, psyche and a desire to give you joy.

It is often the moment after sex, even with clients, that I relish the most. The vulnerability and nakedness as two strange humans with temporary paths entwined begin to hesitantly trade life stories, knowledge and experience.

This moment is why I do my job with joy, gratitude and amazement.

Once the chase is gone, we are just two human beings constantly fumbling our way within the world and it is then I begin to see the heart of masculinity which touches me most – the vulnerability.

This phenomena is not consigned to gender (as I see male, female and gender ambiguous, curious and transitioning clients) but merely a universal truth I see in the wake of my work.

Call me sentimental, but it’s this glimpse of humanity, which makes me treasure my job the most.

It’s when everything comes spilling out, the sexual frustration, desire, confusion, relationship problems, stress in the job, fear of the unknown, fear of being unknown in which the human mind unveils itself it a myriad of ways.

The lust is gone, the social perverse has fallen away and the morals and ethics surrounding both our lives evaporate.

This job gives me the opportunity to experience that constantly, weekly, often daily.

Overwhelming yes. This intensity is what I crave, love and advocate in my job. Even further, my spiritual, sexual and professional interests lay with finding how I can continue to understand, accept and provide this with everyone I see regardless of age, gender and race.

So, often, I see a client look at me, and ask me “Could you love me?”

Yeah I could, but it’s my business to love. I’ve just reminded you of what it feels like. I’ll teach you the skills to love someone else, and the confidence to go forth into your life and seek that for yourself on other terms.

What we have isn’t fake, it’s just a respite, pre-cursor, taste of what you can re-create on your own without me, and with my support.

And I’ll still see clients who it’s nothing more than a great, temporary sexual experience. We both walk away with little effect to our lives and mindset and are none the worse.

This duality, is addictive.

And in my own life, I often miss the complexity and depth of a story that’s become entwined with mine to a degree and that is mine of my choosing.

We both crave our own versions of the all-exclusive story in which we both are key players.

In the interim, I’m going to keep riding this crazy world of strangers, intimacy, humanity, love and lust.

And thank the universe for it.

Grace xoxo.

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Memoirs

The difference between idealism and naivety.

(For some involved with sexual abuse in any way, or dealing with similar child issues, I do issue a potential trigger warning for this post.)

Some people look at me as if I’ve somehow sold my soul into slavery. That is, one believes a soul is a finite self, available to be sold in it’s entirety, or even at the “death of a thousand paper cuts” weeded and bled from a human in the continuity and drudgery of life.

Fuck off. Your soul is your own domain. To keep, nurture or destroy at will, or in my case keep close to your heart to rediscover through the breadcrumbs left behind in singular moments.

“Grace!” I heard her call as her heels resounded on the carpet, almost solid enough to be warning marker. My neck bothered to poke my head above the congealed mess of fabric and flesh I’d created in the elongated armchair. Flicking through the endless Foxtel channels of daytime American television I grunted acknowledgement.

“There’s a guy here with some sort of weird fantasy, you do that shit right?”
My nineteen year old self nodded and extricated itself from the folds of under washed blankets, old magazines and chip crumbs.

“Yeah I guess, what does he want?”
Her long blond hair boosted with extensions flipped back as her right hand flickered over the buttons of a buzzing reception phone.

“Fuck knows, seems your type. You other girls interested?”.
Two pairs of bargaining eyes flicked onto the haphazard arrangement of women in the girls room, all barely clothed under an assortment of rugs, coats, dressing gowns and casual clothes.

“If it’s a fucking weirdo you can have him. Fuck that shit.” A bundle of flesh under a mountain of conflicting patterned blankets snorted.

“All yours baby.” A hand casually rose and flicked in the air.

“Righto, Grace he’s yours. Waiting room 2.” I groaned as I rose from the armchair, fluffing hair, wiping the beginnings of sleep from my eyes. Barefoot I shuffled across carpet scanning for matching heels, my fingers separating curls, searching for that lipstick, mirror, powder, perfume. Shaking my hair out upside down I almost knocked myself out on the dresser, hands still fumbling, brain still re-arranging.

 

I always enjoyed doing the “Weirdos” – perhaps it was my penchant for stories, the unusual, the un-definable or the pleasure of dissecting psychologically another stranger in the night. I wondered if I could fit a smoke in before the introduction.

“Grace! Hurry Up! I need waiting room 2 – Go get him Tiger.”

I hated it whenever someone called me Tiger apart from my father. That was our pet name, to hear it in this environment unsettled me. Groaning to myself, I did my internal head slap. Focus. Client. Sex. Work. Game On.

My back straightened as I re-adjusted the underwire of my bra, shifting both palms so the weight of my breasts almost fell out of the tiny dress and lingerie I’d brought at a cheap store. Fuck them, I’d learnt long ago selling my “class” in a brothel was akin to attempting to sell a luxury holiday to a guy that just wanted a overnighter in Horsham on the way to Melbourne from Adelaide. I had little time for brothel clients, you paid less, you got less of my mind, my soul, my energy, my skill.

 

Shoulders back as an ex had kindly reminded me; I walked into the intro room, spinning on a dime to lean hip bent against a doorframe. My spine instantly turned to quicksilver. It was an inherent learnt life behavior. Strong but flexible, open but in-penetrable, strength but gentleness.

“Grace?” His head raised from his palm,  nervously intent on a rather innocuous spot on the carpet.

“Sally told me you were looking for something….a little unusual?” I kicked my body weight onto my back leg, head cocked, curious.

“I’m, looking, for well, a role-play.”

“What sort of role-play?” If you let them, they’d evade the point for hours. In this job you heard everything either personally or through the grapevine; you often forgot what felt like talking about the price of milk in your case was a highly evocative situation for another.

“Can we move to a room?”

“Are you happy to see me?”

“I guess, are you good at role-plays? It’s, well, different.” I smiled.

“I guess that’s my specialty?” He nodded uncertainly, fumbling for his wallet whilst handing over a wad of fifty-dollar notes. I strolled down the walkway to the counter at reception.

“What does he want?” Her fingers counted the money, separating the cash for the house and the sub-contractor, handing me a black folder with my half.

“Fuck knows…I’ll find out soon.” The receptionists eyes glinted with the promise of a future story and I took my money to quickly deposit it in my pre-designated safe out the back. Returning I led him into my room for the night. I had a thing for Animal/African themes in brothels. The combination of oranges, gold, reds, faux fur and gigantic cheap Balinese statues always appealed to me. I fucked better in these rooms.

 

We negotiated extras.

“How about I just give you an extra $100 for the kissing and fantasy fee. You kiss right?” I nodded. Hand to wallet again, cash in hand I gestured at the towels, shower and toilet whilst stroking his arm.

“Take a shower,  I’ll see you in five and you can tell me all about it?”. He nodded. Fumbling with his socks and shoes, I left him to his own devices.

 

Sitting out the back rocking in the cheap brothel Bunning’s outdoor setting I smoked and considered what exactly he wanted. BDSM? Golden Showers? My mind momentarily flicked to the guy who wanted me to be a lion whilst he fucked me channeling his own strange religion. The quicksilver flew quick and rapid through my veins, preparing, defending, protecting. It was like getting ready before a fight, highly intensely psychological, arming your defense mechanisms against the unknown, engaging your logic to triumph against all else. I had no idea how much I’d need these protectionist behaviors.

 

Strolling back into the room, spare towels in arms I watched him silently towel dry himself in the room.

“You’re very pretty.”

“Thank you.” He stood awkwardly, towel half posed between his groin and thigh.

Sometimes being a sex worker is like being a nurse or a doctor, you see so many bodies in various states of youth and aging, health and decay that they all become one, a shell for the mind and soul inhabiting below.

 

“So, this fantasy?” He dried off the last beads of moisture, awkwardly dropping the towel on the floor. He gestured to the bed. I sat, bra strap falling off a shoulder, legs crossed.

“Tell me.”

“I want to fuck my daughter.” My hands that were in my lap escaped and spread outwardly onto the bed defensively, shoulders pushed forward.

“How old is your daughter?” I cocked my head.

“Thirteen.”

“Why?” the word sprung from my lips before I could think about them.

“I don’t know.” He sat next to me.

“There has to be a reason why.”

“She’s, I don’t know.” My left hand rose to his shoulder.

“There’s always a reason why.” He shrugged.

“I can’t get it out of my mind, it’s consuming me. I’m not a bad person. I’ve never done this before; I just I need to get this sexually out. I don’t know. I don’t even want to think about it.” The quicksilver in my arteries grew and spread and darted to the threadlike veins in my upper epidermis, strong, resilient, protect, capable.

“Well, do you want me to be your daughter?”

“Could you?” He looked at me.

“Yeah.”

“You’re like her you know.”

“What do you mean?”

“You’re not bitter like them.”

“Who’s ‘Them’?”

“Women. Older women.”

“Why are they different?”

“It’s like their souls gone. They’re bitter, angry, jealous and resentful. ‘Men are bad people’. They want money or security or children or sex and I don’t know. They scheme.”

“And she doesn’t?”

“No.”

“Do you actually want to fuck her, like, your daughter?”

“I guess not really, she’s just the most beautiful girl in my life.”
“Why?”

“You ask why a lot.”

“I like understanding why.”

“You’d have made an annoying child.”

“My mother can attest to that.” He grabbed the towel for protection. I spoke again.

“Do you actually want to fuck your daughter?”

“No.”

“Why then?”

“She’s like a butterfly.”

“What do you mean?” He hesitated.

“There’s innocence, and naivety, and I just, I want that back.”

“Do you? If most of us go back to our childhoods, we couldn’t wait to be grown ups.”

“I just.” I placed my hand on his thigh.

“Just what?”

“I don’t know.”

“Want to feel like that?”

“Yeah.”

“We all do.” I tried to sigh with all the nineteen years of wisdom I owned at that point. I failed miserably. I kept fingering, I wanted to understand.

“Is there, I don’t know. I feel uncomfortable.” I wanted to do this, I wanted to exorcise it, I wanted to protect her, his daughter, whoever she was.

“But, is it really sexually attractive she doesn’t know anything? Is naivety really that it? Once you ruin it, it’s gone. You can’t get that back, do you really want to decimate that, hurt it?” He shrugged, uncomfortable. I didn’t know what to do.

“I don’t know. I just, just want that. Like, she’s physically beautiful, and perfect, and, budding but, there’s, it.”

“Naivety?”

“No, that goodness.”

“Goodness isn’t always innocence.”

“I know, but she’s, good. Like beautiful, inside.”

“People are like that.” He laughed.

“Wait until you’re my age girl, it gets harder to believe as life goes on.”

“If it’s not naivety, then what is it? Goodness?”

“Yeah, but what is Goodness? People can be good and bad, both simultaneously.”

“Is it idealism?” He turned to me.

“The belief good exists. Goodness without reason. Belief in people. Idealism. That the world is a beautiful place.” He snorted.

“Idiots believe that shit.”

“Idiots have a shit life.” He smiled. Our conversation continued, we fucked in the role-play he’d enacted and I hoped he’d never lay a hand on his daughter. He saw me a few times after that. I hope he never did hurt her, I would and couldn’t ever know.

 

I split that night. My mind started to spread across at all nineteen years of my self and acknowledged I’d decimated my innocence and naivety willingly. My idealism though – still ran as strong as the quicksilver in my veins. It was my youth. During that conversation I saw her first, as my mother still sees her.

She’s waist high, almost four foot. The sharply cut bob bouncing around her face. The Asiatic eyes haven’t grown into her cheekbones, the finely shaped lips haven’t filled out yet. A blunt fringe belies a challenging stare.

Her hands move as quickly as her mouth, gesturing, running, restless. I see her eyes dart across anything with words, reading, comprehending, analyzing. Limbs fat with health, hair thin but thick with abundance and glossy, skin almost perfect from protective motherly layers of sunscreen, rash vests and endless vitamin D.

She scrambles up a tree, muttering to herself. Fingers challenging footholds, feet kicking bark. “Shit!” she yells at a immoveable stump looking around to see if anyone heard her. That’s still a naughty word, only for uttering against impenetrable objects.

Her body swings and I still crave that feeling of coherent strength in muscle. Clean blood, clean mind, energy limitless as she clambers to a branch and straddles it.

 

“What you up to ratbag?” She giggles, picking bits of stringy bark off a section of tree.

“Stuff.” Her mouth and hands and mind dart at the speed of light, she doesn’t realise that won’t change as she ages.

“What are you doing now?” For once, I am speechless.

“Stuff.” She squints her eyes at me.

“Sex stuff?” I laugh.

“Yeah.” I know she understands as she continues to fly and fling across the tree.
“I know about sex stuff.”

“How?”

“Read it in the dictionary.” Our minds snap together over dimensions, I’ve always had a fascination for the illicit. I watch the chubby yet strong legs lengthen and dangle lower as my memory shifts. We’re both closer to the ground.

“What happened?” She’s more direct now, her gaze a little less unwavering, she knows more.

“What do you mean?” I’m sitting beneath her on the grass, pushing away ants, plucking at grasses.

“The dreams.”

“What dreams?”

“Of Africa. Remember?” She looks at me like I’m retarded. Less monkey, more agitated sloth her body moves amongst the tree, challenging me. We’ve always entertained ourselves, child self, adult self. From running micro-businesses within a household, charging poor family members to move from one room to another, to sheets of erratic writing hidden under the bed, to complex and infinite daydreams with my favourite blanket as our Pièce de résistance in the epic theatre that was our lives.

 

He, as a client, drained my soul, in a way. I eventually stopped seeing him after multiple times because I could not bear any more guilt. I hope he never touched her, but I couldn’t not bear the brunt of it any longer. Ultimately, he forged a bond with my child self and soul that I have refused to relinquish.

I can hear her banging her fists on a desk.

“We were going to write & help people remember?”

Yeah kid, I remember.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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