My Protection, Her Self-Defense  

Posted by H in ,

Sarah just wrote an interesting post [Don't Feel Sorry for Us Please] about how she thinks that escorts are not anyone's to rescue.

Her blog is probably one of the blogs I follow the most. She writes regularly, has an interesting point of view, and doesn't really try to romance everything sh writes. It is spontaneous.

However, something often bugs me a little with her blog and the trail of comments she leaves online. Sarah apparently enjoys her job a lot. And I think this is very good for her, and actually a very good thing that she manages to like it. And getting paid for something you enjoy is something I consider everyone should strive for, if you don't want to get yourself worn out.

But she has sometimes some of these vindictive attempts at justifying her doing, which look a lot like they are part of a campaign to both have the world come around and get her idea that escorts *all* enjoy what they do, and maybe to persuade herself that things are OK. I am not in her head anyway, and I won't go any further in any sort of analysis. I consider she probably has done that herself a long time ago, and she probably really mean and live by what she writes.

But that's only *her* way of life and perception of life, and I think it is always a bit strange that she seems to consider all escorts to be exactly like she is. Probably I am not reading her blog well, and one has to just consider that her posts and comments apply to escorts working in the same conditions as her, and that when she writes something on the behalf of other sex-workers, the "we", and "girls" in her mind do not reflect the whole population of this business.

Still, she sometimes surprises me. Though I understand her point of views, they happen to not reflect at all the reality of the sex-workers I know and they describe to me.

Of course with the internet, not being at all the open-space of free speech and personal expression that we imagine it is, it is always hard to make a distinction between what is real and what is not. After having been reading a lot of blogs, articles and forums, and having been talking on IRC channel extensively on the subject, I have no doubt that what some of the sex-workers write online doesn't at all reflect their reality.

But it is completely understandable, especially for the ones using the internet as a medium to advertize their services. You cannot expect from an escort to say on her blog all the horrible things that get her depressed, if that blog is linked to her commercial website.

So the trend is pretty easy to recognize. The completely anonymous blogs have more value to me. Of course, most of them *are* technically anonymous, as you don't know the real persons acting behind them. But you can associate a lot of them to an image, a person embodied behind the keyboard.

When a blog or any other online communication medium is relatively detached from any connection to tangible persons, I happen to have much more trust in its views. Because they are not limited by the fear of losing clients and hurting other people's feelings, and neither are they driven by the need to appeal to the audience (or at least not commercially).

On the other hand, blogs that are linked to a commercial counterpart, or that can be associated with one in any way, always tend to be more ... epic. The stories are more enticing, the comments are more oriented.

Where the blogs of the previous kind reflect anger, hate and tears (but also passion, love and laughters) the ones of the second are less personal (of course) and will either be limited to general or merchandised views on the business, or stories in regards to their activity. But without any other real content, coming from the heart.

It is also easy to notice the difference between a blog written by a sex-worker working within the protection of an agency, or by a loner or freelancer. As I said above, the freelancer needs to promote an image. The one working for an agency can be detached from the job, as the agency provides anonymity.

Of course, and to avoid doing the same mistakes than the ones I blamed Sarah for, I have to say this probably isn't either an accurate depiction of the whole escort-blogosphere. Cases vary, people are different. It depends on their character, their experience (the protection of the anonymity might be learnt the hard way), their working environment. An escort working for an agency might also have direct contacts with regular clients, for instance. Thus, it becomes personal. But if it does, then this client is not "only" a client anymore and is entitled to see part of her more personal thoughts, and she might allow him to do so if he reads her blog.

Anyway, back to Sarah's post.

She acknowledges that some have an easy getaway with life and don't have to struggle as much as some others. I felt a touch of bitterness in that part. It's true, some people are born lucky, rich, and with the assurance of being taken care of for the rest of their existence. It's life.

She also says some girls will get sucked into this business, and thus acknowledges a certain destructive aspect of this industry. Therefore she acknowledges some girls *might* need, if not saving, at least some help. Actually I don't think most of them need it either. It is like other things in life: the majority of people get by just fine. I don't look at escorting any other way. There's nothing particularly *special* about escorting and its actors. That's also a really common trait of escorts' blogs. Either they consider their job with a complete lack of praise, thinking it is "just" sex-services, or they put themselves on a pedestal and think there is something so miraculous and exceptional in the nature of their job, on an emotional and mental level. I think it's neither. It's in-between. It's grey, like most things are.

Some drug addicts don't need saving and will be fine on their own. By getting out of it, maybe. But they might also keep smiking their brains out and still be fine.
It is the same when you are in a difficult financial situation.

You don't need saving, and you shouldn't rely on anyone else to save you. Ever. Whatever you problem is.

But there is no point in rejecting help and sympathy. Except if you just want to build a concrete shell around you. Which is OK (I do that), but you should be aware that, if it comes to the worst, and the shell starts to crack, it will take you down.

In the end, if I read Sarah's post with a different perspective, she starts by speaking on behalf of all the girls, and the more the post goes on, the more it appears she's only speaking for herself.

And the more I read it, the more I think that yes, she doesn't need saving and it doing everything good. She seems to be a great mother and she did what she wanted to do and had to do.

But then, how come so many posts are filled with negative remarks ? How come she needs to claim she doesn't need saving and then complains in other parts of her blog about all the little things that bug her ?

I don't know who Sarah is actually targeting in this post. At the beginning I thought it to be men in general. In the end it seems it's only client who take an interest in her and pity her. If it's the second, I'd agree 100% with her. If it's the first, probably not that much.

I don't see here any macho/feminist debate. This doesn't come from a vision that men are supposed to be there to be saviors in women's lives. I don't live by tis idea. I just happen to be with someone I love, and I *want* to help her, without her needing it or asking for it. Yes, G. was just fine before me. But she's feeling better now with me. And maybe it will break, and then she'll find something even better. Or it'll work and then it would appear the support was appreciated.

I support financially. She makes way more than I do in a short period, but she cannot do it too often. And she wants to stop. There is something to plan for the future, and that's where I might help, especially considering I will be making a lot more soon.

I support emotionally. I don't necessarily want to interfere with her management of her sex-job. But I am here when (and not "if") it is necessary. In various ways. It can either be by listening to her and letting her unload all the crap had to go through. But it can also be by doing the complete opposite, and giving her, for the time she spends at home, a completely different vision of the world she lives in. By not talking at all about something bad, sometime you still manage to make it all good.

I support her in all the ways I can. But I am not saving her. She does that just great. But there's nothing wrong with making it easier. And though I am really careful to not have her rely on me too much (I'd be glad to, but if we were to part way, I want her to be - almost completely - back to her old self), I offer my help, directly or indirectly, every single time I get the occasion.

She has built herself the type of "shell" I was referring to before. She has a really violent way of protecting herself actually, and of severing connections with people who have failed her. That's one way of protecting yourself. It allowed her to go through a lot. But always alone. Yes it's a good thing she got out of them alone. It's a sad thing that she's got no one to turn to. Not any real friends she can rely on, being 100% sure of how far they'll go for her.

Personally, I can count my "real" friends on one of my hands. By real friend, I mean one where I can be completely certain (or as close as it ever can be) of what they'll do for me if I ever need it. It's a good thing to know you have this, that you have backup.

Some of her friends *need* the rescue team. Yes, it happens. Some really need it. Back to our drug addict example: some will just go down in a spiral leading them straight to disaster and self-destruction.
Some of her friends are in this case. One of her colleagues is a 17 year old, she's completely lost, has been on the job for 6 months, and is starting to go down. She needs saving right now. And we try to help.
Another one, who is a freelance, just got a share of bad reviews, and had demeanors with law enforcement agencies. Her family is tearing apart, and she feels like she doesn't know what to do anymore. I am sure she'll be OK, eventually. Though why go though everything alone and make the effort last longer ?

To pretend "girls" in general don't need saving is like thinking all cops are violent evil, or all christians are pro-life, or all politicians are liars, or all artists are flaky, or all skinheads are vandals.

My Song of The Day - Love is Noise  

Posted by H in ,

I felt like posting something lighter today...

Recently, the publicly acclaimed rock band The Verve made an interesting come-back with their new album "Forth".

"Love Is Noise", one of the singles, caught my attention: I think the lyrics are quite interesting, in that they depict pain and forgiveness, and emphasize the value of doubt and perspective.

Will those feet in modern times
Walk on soles that are made in China?
Feel the bright prosaic malls
In the corridors that go on and on and on

Are we blind - can we see?
We are one - incomplete
Are we blind - In the shade
Waiting for lightning - to be saved
Cause love is noise and love is pain
Love is these blues that I’m singing again
Love is noise and love is pain
Love is these blues that I’m singing again, again, again

Will those feet in modern times
Understand this world’s affliction
Recognise the righteous anger
Understand this world’s addiction

I was blind - couldn’t see
What was here in me
I was blind - insecure
I felt like the road was way too long, yeah
Cause love is noise and love is pain
Love is these blues that I’m feeling again
Love is noise and love is pain
Love is these blues that I’m feeling again
Love is noise, love is pain
Love is these blues that I’m singing again
Love is noise, love is pain
Love is these blues that I’m singing again, again, again, again, again, again

Cause love is noise, love is pain
Love is these blues that I’m feeling again
Love is noise, love is pain
Love is these blues that I’m feeling again
Love is noise, love is pain
Love is these blues that I’m feeling again
Love is noise, love is pain
Love is these blues that I’m feeling again
Come on, come on, ah come on, ah come on
Now come on, now come on, now come on
Now come on

Will those feet in modern times
Walk on soles made in China?
Will those feet in modern times
See the bright prosaic malls?
Will those feet in modern times
Forgive me all my sins
Love is noise
Come on

I might be doing similar posts in the future. I am a somewhat musical person and I usually associate my moods and emotions to musical patterns. I might tag my future posts with music. Or maybe not, that might be too much o a privacy concern, actually. For this one time, oh what the heck... That was on the moment.

Her Friend's Rape (2), My Fears and Disgusts  

Posted by H in , ,

This long post is partly on the matters of rape and sexual violence in general, and on sexual violence in the escort business.

As I wrote earlier, one of G.'s friend got raped a few days ago.

It is sad that I had planned to take G. on a vacation almost at the same time, as she probably needed support, but she (G.'s friend) is currently being followed by a psychiatrist and went on to live with her parents for a while.

We got some news from her, and she seems to be doing fine. That's about it for the "good" news. She's OK, and though she still is depressed she apparently has a good time with her family and friends.

The ugly side of the story is that she is scared of going out, and that it will probably take her a lot of strength and time to recover completely mentally and emotionally. How long will it take until she feels comfortable enough again to go out in a bar like she did that night ?

And what will happen, when she finally hooks up again with someone ? Whether it's just for a passionate one night stand or while she's on the quest to find Mr Right ? How will she react the first time he touches her ? The first time he asks her for something she doesn't want to do ? How bad will it be it Mr Right reveals himself to be Mr Bad or even Mr Evil ?

Right now, though she's overwhelmed with the love and support of relatives, she's just a shell of a girl. A girl in her early twenties, who tries to cope with what happened, and struggles to make a reality check. Who believes she's also responsible for this mess.

She feels responsible for being raped. That's a common reaction, probably because that is such a shocking and unbelievable experience that you are brought to think that you surely must have messed up something for this to happen in the first place.

She did nothing. OK, I'd give you this, she's not the stereotypical innocent girl. She might be in her early 20s, she's already dated quite a few guys (and girls), has had a few ONS and some serious relationships going on.

She's no stranger in the emotional wasteland.

Also, she can be really kinky when she goes out partying and she surely comes out aggressively to lots of guys. Still, that is just fun. Of course I see this from the other side of the mirror, and having had girls doing this to me, boy, do I hated it... I am sure some people like it, it's just fun and part of the game. That's a seduction dance. Follow me and I'll run away, run away and I'll follow you.

But if you're not the party boy kind... well yeah let me tell you that's just annoying and even a bit cruel. But what in Hell gives someone the right to do this ? I mean, to go on and rape her, force her into something she doesn't want to ? Especially when things were going well and he could just have gone home or somewhere with her, and they could have just done that in a non-destructing manner.

That's probably what was going to happen. And if it hadn't, they would have kept in touch. The usual thing. Here's my number, give me a call, hey wanna go out sometimes ? That sort of scenario.

In the end, it still leads to bed.

They could have hooked up for a night, or longer. Have sex, and take parts. Why would that guy flip and suddenly turn like this ?

I can hear various people talking to their screen while they read this post.

Some will say she's probably partly responsible for being too open and suggestive. That's a load of crap. Yes it opens the door to naughty thoughts, yet everybody should (and has to) be able to control these. Without entering into any philosophical debate on the supremacy of Man over animals or anything of the sort (which I don't necessarily agree with in the first place), it appears dead clear and simple to me that nobody should ever force anyone into anything.

I also hear the ones cursing the great evil of the drugs (alcohol, cocaine, shit, you name it). I'd support the stream of thought saying they can lead to negative behavior. But only if you weren't educated in the first place to deal with them. In the end, the alcohol cannot be held responsible for the guy who drinks it, nor can the joint be held accountable for the guy who bought and smoked it. This is just backwards.

This guy just went astrange with society for a few minutes and decided "to Hell with the f*cking rules! I wanna f*ck this hottie right here and right now. And I want her to hate it and be the only one to enjoy. For once I want to be the only one to take benefit from one of these everyday-life's mini-trades".

I have no patience with rapists. I wouldn't crack their skulls open either, as it goes against too many of my beliefs, but rape is an act that often inspired me a really profound disgust. I am a really forgiving person, and I can understand lots of things.

I'll be able to rationalize the rapist's way of thought and errors. I won't be able to counter-balance anything else with does with his wrong-doing when he rapes someone.

I can debate the value of dropping a nuclear warhead on Hiroshima. I can understand Churchill's horrible and inhumane decision to have Dresden bombed and destroyed in the middle of WWII even when everybody knew there were no enemy troops in this marvellous city. I can see the end and the means, and though I condemn these acts, I can still admire other things the perpetrators have done. I can find a balance, an equilibrium between a Good and an Evil. Nothing is utterly black or white, and I can just consider one deed without holding the grudge for another.

But with rape, I simply cannot. I cannot look at the perpetrator and tell him "I hate you for this, but I thank you for something else". I just don't want to have anything to do with that person anymore.

He ventured out of the path of society, and in such a ignominious manner, that the only reaction I can have is to ask him to still stay out of the picture.

Though I know I'd eventually find forgiveness, as I cannot close my eyes on anyone if they turn out in a good way.

But it will be hard. Hard to accept a person as part of my system, who decided to force a defenseless girl into a shameful submission to his higher physical power. Hard to accept someone who puts strength above reason, and pain above pleasure. Someone who simply has no consideration. No control.

Anyway, she'll be getting better. You can find good things in everything, and even here. She'll be stronger, and more careful. But on the other hand, if you lose your confidence and your sense of security in leaving with your fellow human beings, how sadder can it get ?

G. called her from our hotel and talked to her for 2 hours. They were both crying for a good half of the conversation.

This brought me to think, while I was trying not to eavesdrop and concentrate (apparently very poorly) on my book, in the horrible heat of the autumn night (gee, glad we didn't come here for the summer). How destroyed would G. be if this happened to her ?

Would she be more or less vulnerable because of her job ? Would it make it easier for her to get over it ? Would she be able to tell herself what happened is just an even darker and negative extension of what sometimes happens with her clients ?

Or on the other, would it just push the buttons a bit to hard, and throw her off the fence ? Would it be the last straw ?

Would she also feel responsible for it ? Would she think it is a "normal" reaction to her life, and deserved treatment for the person she is and has been ? Would that make her see her whole life in a dark light and lose respect for herself ?

As an escort, she sometimes struggles to come to terms with herself. There was a time where she told me she hated herself for what she did. And others where she seemed unbreakable and certain her situation was a normal element of life and society.

One could argue that a single doubt legitimates everything and is the proof of her wrong-doing in being an escort. I'd agree if we lived in Utopia. But we don't.

I've read online blogs of working girls. Lots of them. And I find this ambivalence, ambiguity and duality in each and every one of them.

No matter if they are the type preaching the values of their jobs and claiming all responsibility and pride in doing it or if they are the ones who send cries for help on their blogs to exteriorize their sadness in regards to their way of life. In the end, not a single one of them would tell to a new girl asking them how it is and if they could get into the business that they should join it without a mere afterthought.

Except maybe a few bitter ones who would lose control too, in a moment of despair, and decide, like our rapist above, that they want to be the only ones getting something out of the situation. Or at least the ones not losing anything. And they think "the Hell with that girl, I did it and I'm OK, so can she", and tell them it's fine and even rewarding. Financially, sexually, emotionally and socially.

Which might even be true, purely pragmatically speaking.

Then how come a vast majority of them wouldn't tell it this way ?

How come a vast majority of guys in my situation would turn their backs on them ? (not that I'm saying no escort can ever find anyone, but there's be some bug turnover).

Is this because we are trained and educated by the legacy of centuries of social memories, where women's authority was, for the bigger part, publicly undermined, and privately praised ?

Or is there a definite, valid reasoning that brings people to judge, in their wisdom, these facts and situations as "unjust" or "unethical" ?

Does that mean I am on the other side of the river, and am actually a member of the pimps and johns I dislike, by indirectly supporting their business, in that I acknowledge G.'s way of life and support her ?

Back to the topic of sexual violence. Escorts have to deal with it frequently, whether they are freelance or working for agencies. It's the same for girls working in brothels, and street-girls.

Again, the lecture of working-girls' blogs is evidently instructive, and you'll almost always come across at least on post of them giving a story of a really bad encounter with a client, who couldn't control himself and kept doing things they asked him not to do, or doing them to wrong way. Who got "carried away" and lost control. Or their temper.

Is this also the result of an education based on centuries of domination and the perverse effect of an early sexual education based on men-directed porn movies ? This is also a very debatable topic, as I know heaps of women who are definitely more aggressive and violent in bed that other men. But where does it come from ?

Let's be silly for a sec, I was already too depressing today.

Maybe, if bars and brothers and escort websites could have a sign saying "we provide professional service to educated people". Johns should get a certificate of good conduct, which can be revoked on any occurrence of wrong-doing, and for a long period. A "Fucker's License".

But that would make it all too personal and open the gate to really partial judgments, and maybe take some people out of business. It would require an ethics committee to grant the certificate and validate the john's behavior and rule the escort's judgment at the end of a session. That would be too messy and time-consuming.

Whether violence is and can be justified, I guess they don't have so much of a choice but to accept its fatality. Like accepting the likelihood of a stroke when you have a brain tumor or when you chain-smoke.

And that I have to accept it too, indirectly.

Be safe, those of you who are out there tonight.


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My Girlfriend is an Escort

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