February in London, Part 1

February seems to have brought out the creme de la scum that was dormant throughout the winter. I had people calling to ask how much I charge, people showing up without bothering to ask how much I charge, and – the highlight! – a young man who, when I eventually pointed out that he still hadn’t given me the money, said that it was because I hadn’t yet undressed to show him what he was paying for. I took sadistic pleasure in showing the door to him free of charge.

But somehow all this was insignificant in view of my coming date with The Old Nutter. The Master Plan involved a dinner date on Sunday night and a gallery visit on Monday morning which is tantalising as it is, but the whole affair was spiced by the presence of another woman! And before you drool all over your keyboard – it’s not what you think! The woman wasn’t there to take part, she was there to take photos. Again, stop drooling, it’s not what you think.

You most probably forgot by now but this lady, Dana, was mentioned here before. Dana is a photographer who finished a project on victims of sex trafficking a few years ago (here is the project and you can listen to her interview explaining the stories behind the images and her work) which helped her see the difference between women who are forced and women who choose prostitution as work. So now she is working on a project about women who chose sex trade, our work and our selves.

We’ve been in touch all this time but somehow things just didn’t work to our advantage until now. The date with The Old Nutter was booked well in advance and Dana happened to be free on that day which was more than we’d had before but why not take it further? I texted The Old Nutter saying that I had a very indecent proposal and it would be great if he could call to discuss it. He duly did and, to my great surprise, he easily agreed to take part in the project. Just like that. I still can’t believe that.

Dana arrived 3 hours before the start of my date. The idea is to present the public with images of a woman who is cheerfully getting ready to sell herself. Don’t know about Dana, for me it was exciting.

Getting ready for a date is that part of my work that not all clients are aware of. Some men assume that we wake up all made up and dressed up, and spend the day playing with our mobiles in expectation of their call. Thankfully, my clients know better. But even those who get in touch days and weeks in advance still don’t know what getting ready to see them is about. There is this popular belief that the process of dressing up for a booking is this magical transformation from an ordinary woman into a working one. Now you’re yourself, and the next moment you put on your working clothes and suddenly you’re this embodiment of sexuality. Well, I don’t know. I can understand why some women would choose to feel this way. It probably helps to keep your work life separate from your private life through different sets of clothes and an established routine for a metamorphosis there and back again. Personally, I find this too complicated. Besides, I don’t feel to be a different person when I’m with a client. The clothes I wear for work are the same clothes I wear for myself. My wardrobe is limited even from a man’s point of view: just as with clients, I’d rather have a few quality pieces than a lot of stuff but nothing to wear. So getting ready for work is simply a very long and boring process of scrubbing up, at the end of which my eyelashes are slightly longer and my legs are slightly smoother than they would be otherwise.

This is why I was so excited to have Dana there. First time in my career I had someone to help me choose what shirt to wear with this skirt and what lingerie would look better under it. She took a few pictures of me in the shower, shaving my legs and scrubbing my back. Then in front of a mirror, with powder puffs and mascara. Then by the wardrobe, getting dressed. All this time we were chatting, her asking questions about my work and me explaining things and rolling eyes here and there.

– You look almost like an executive.

– What do you mean – “almost”?

– You need one of those briefcases.

– I see (slowly, mentally noting to self to buy one).

 

– I look at you and I can understand, but then I think of the women I see in the streets in Kings Cross and they look so different… and I wonder…

– If I were to stand in Kings Cross dressed like this, how much business do you think I would get?

– I see (slowly).

Eventually I am ready and we set off to The Old Nutter’s hotel. Continued in Part 2.

Sex Work: Myths and Reality, Part 8

Myth: sex workers whose ads appear classy are better than sex workers whose ads don’t.

Reality: “Classy” refers to advertising while “better” refers to the experience you are looking for. You don’t compare season with fashion. This is the explanation I promised earlier. The reason for it is I don’t like being stereotyped. But I don’t like being singled out while other sex workers are stereotyped either.

Let’s start with “classy”. Each sex worker’s advertising style depends on many factors: sexual persona advertised, location, accessible pool of clients, accessible means of advertising, preferred ways of working, available start-up capital, planned length of working, preferred depth of involvement, desired level of anonymity, urgency of the need to profit, and basic understanding of term “advertising campaign”. I’ll explain.

A single mother of 2 with a University degree in marketing, based in North Shields and looking to make some money fast to take kids on holiday will, after 90 seconds of hard thinking, put up an acceptably pornographic profile with a few close ups from a mobile phone camera on a tacky and therefore popular adult work site. In case you don’t see the point, I’ll explain further. She has young children so the time she has available for work is limited. She can’t take work home so the only other option is visiting clients at their place (which isn’t what most clients want). Plus she’s based in North Shields, poor thing. All these factors limit her client pool massively. To pay for the holiday she needs money now rather than gradually, so she isn’t interested in building up a reputation and clientele which means that her advertising should be aimed at pretty much anything that has a couple of tenners and a stiffy. Yes, she has education and probably standards that could help her create a lovely profile of a well-presented lady charging over £50 for her company but this profile won’t meet her needs: it demands investment of time and money which she doesn’t have and will yield no immediate profit. Not in North Shields. Besides, it may expose her as one of those few educated people in the area.

Escorts in Edinburgh

Other than my opinion of North Shields, this example shows that our ads reflect the clients’ expectations rather than our own tastes and standards. For example, women working in the street don’t look “classy” not because of their lack of taste but because looking tacky in the current British street work culture is the only way to let clients know we mean business. The same online. Believe it or not, it’s not ourselves we’re advertising, it’s a certain persona, an image that we think would appeal to the type of client that we want to reach. If you don’t like someone’s ad, there’s a good chance that this ad isn’t aimed at you.

Now, “better”. Leaving out people who pose as sex workers to rob clients and sex workers who rip clients off by not providing adequate level of service intentionally, a better sex worker for a client is the one who meets the client’s needs and appeals to the client’s taste. How this sex worker advertises is irrelevant as long as the client and sex worker find each other.

And here is another myth busted: all hookers aren’t the same. Yes, we all do the same job, but the trick here is that we’re all different people and we offer different experiences, that’s why we’re all in business. So if you met a sex worker and were not happy with what you got, there may be a number of reasons for it. Yes, it’s possible that the one you chose was genuinely not interested in providing you with what you wanted but (another revolutionary thought!) we get more out of clients who are happy and come back than out of clients who don’t want to see us again. So the logical conclusion here is that the sex worker you chose would have been happy to give you what you wanted, they just didn’t know what it was. Maybe you yourself don’t know what you want – this isn’t rare. A lot of people only know what they don’t want. Or, knowing what you want, you failed to explain it to the sex worker. Or didn’t even bother to explain, assuming that the sex worker is a mind reader and should figure it out. There is also a chance that this sex worker couldn’t give you the experience you were looking for because it wasn’t what this sex worker offers, but you hadn’t asked in advance.

Summary: a 5 minute search and an appointment with half an hour notice will get you a quick shag. If you are looking for something slightly different from this, you’ll need to do a proper search, compare the available options, get in touch explaining what you are looking for, see what you get in response and then play your part during the date. In other words, the more effort you put into the date, the more likely you are to end up with the right sex worker (whose ads may or may not be classy) and enjoy the experience.

An endeering client

He wasn’t the first client of the year but I can’t wait to tell you!

I meet him at Waverley. He looks exactly the way he described himself: tall, thin and barely legal to have sex with. Let’s call him B – later you’ll see why. He doesn’t know Edinburgh that well so I offered to pick him up from the station and walk him to the hotel room I’d booked for the date.

B got in touch over a month before. First he said he was a virgin – would I see him? Why wouldn’t I? But then he admitted he was 18 and suddenly I had doubts. I’ve seen a few virgins before, as you know, but none of them was that young. The issue I have here is the reason. A virgin of 25 (or 35, or 45) contacting you is – no, not the norm – but you understand why they want your help. Someone who’s 18 and in a hurry to lose virginity makes me wonder. Is it because all his mates have mated numerous girls at school and he feels left out, or because he thinks still being a virgin at 18 is embarrassing? None of these reasons sound right to me. I’ll be the last person to persuade you to keep your virginity for that mythical “right one”, but I also disagree with getting rid of it at your earliest convenience.

So we had a lengthy email conversation. B didn’t have a reason as such, but he wanted to meet a girl and being shy as he was, he thought he’d feel much more confident with women if he knew what he’s supposed to do. This seemed good enough for me: I would never accept “want sex” as a reason but confidence issues you meet often enough in clients (and usually get great results with) to know it’s a valid reason to see a sex worker.

First of all, I check his ID: make fun of his photo and look at the ceiling trying to add 18 to 1994. Yep, he really is 18. Then we sit down on the bed and I teach him to kiss – doesn’t take long. In just a few minutes he’s kissing me like there’s no tomorrow, but it’s still a while before he feels brave enough to put his hand on my waist. I take it as a sign that he’s feeling more relaxed and less scared so ready for more. I pull his t-shirt off.

B hasn’t yet shaved but the fluff on his upper lip says this time is not far off now. No chest hair either and all his body is smooth and soft, long and slender. He reminds me of Bambi. His view of himself is obviously that of a typical Independent escorts in Edinburghpubescent teenager: tall, skinny, with awkwardly long extremities, shy and gawky. In reality, at 6’4″ he’s very well-proportioned and slim. He’s clearly a late developer, but you can tell that in a year or so he’ll fill out and become a very attractive young man. And in ten – twenty years he’ll be missing the times when his waist was so slim. But right now he’s just a very touching boy.

We do all the usual stuff: I show him how female body looks and works, we try different positions so he could find what works better for him, a few dos and don’ts, but throughout the date it’s clear that the thing he loves most is kissing. When I first entered prostitution, I was very puzzled by this: it is general knowledge that kissing is for women while men prefer more exciting things, so why do all clients want to kiss? Ah, the beauty of stereotypes! Men love to kiss just like women if not more.

I walk him back to Princes Street. Yes, usually it’s the client who sees me off and hails a cab for me, but B is just too sweet to let him wander around an unknown city at night. On the corner, he bends down a foot and we kiss for a few minutes until eventually I tear him off my face, pinch his bum one last time and push him in the direction of Waverley. Later in an e-mail I send him the link to the condoms of his size with a few more tips on things we didn’t cover in person. I’d rather he learnt from me than from his mistakes.

The thank you e-mail arrives the following day. He’s sorry he wasn’t showing just how much he enjoyed himself, but he did and he’s very grateful. Pity his job isn’t too well-paid or he’d see me every month if I let him. This is sweet, but if you recall, a long time ago I outlined 5 groups that clients can be divided in and he’s that rare example of someone who I think should find a girl and settle down. This isn’t to say that sex work is bad and we aren’t as deserving as civilian women, this is just because I’d very much like to see him happy. Or, which you will find easier to believe, I’d rather he gave the civilian women a chance and through this found the true appreciation for my work when he’s forty and ready to re-discover the wonderful world of prostitution.

And something else on the subject. Maybe it’s my age, but recently I’ve been curious about what happened to those men who brought their virginity to me. Have they been able to apply their newly-acquired skills? Have they found them useful? Do they feel that the lessons paid off? One of the downsides of my position: I don’t get to find out what happens to people once they leave.

Farewell, 2012

I thought I owe discontented readers a brief summary on the year that passed and updates since then.

First of all, if you’ve seen me in the past half a year, you most probably noticed it, but it has only recently become official: the Cup finals saw Jewel beaten by Hormones. The latter now take the cup to Premier League with 34D (on average. If you remember how brassieres work, 32DD=34D=36C) where Jewel only boasted 34C previously. So if you’re stuck with a present for Women’s Day, here’s a fresh idea. Thong size hasn’t changed and remains 10-12 or M.

My website has been updated to reflect the change in my fees, my age and size and my availability. Yes, incalls in Edinburgh (for those I haven’t met before) are only available with a day’s notice (but preferably a week) and £50 deposit to secure a hotel room where I could receive you. Bear in mind that it won’t be Ritz because I don’t work just for the pleasure of paying for hotels. To the people I’ve had the joy of meeting this doesn’t apply: I will always be happy to make an exception.

The “Dirty Old Man of the Year” award goes to Donny for our 2nd date. In his very late 70s, Donny is my oldest client at the moment. So on that second date I arrived thinking that I know what to expect. However, as he helped me take off my coat and I took a seat, Donny proceeded to walking around the room, looking madly at the walls and muttering under his breath:

– Suck it! Yes, that’s what I need! Suck it…

Now, if you’ve never met a lady of ill repute personally, it’s generally accepted to assume that we are different from an average woman out there and therefore have tastes that differ. The truth is, all women are different and I can only speak for myself. So here’s the short list of things that I have been told and found a turn on:

  • Meeting you has been the highlight of my time in Edinburgh (the Old Nutter)
  • Faberge eggs are expensive […] for they are exceptional, exquisite, special and of great value. I feel this [about] you (John)
  • I play accordion (as I said, all women are different and some may seem downright weird but you wouldn’t be surprised if you knew my tastes in music) (Alex)
  • I wasn’t actually looking for sex when I came across your website but I was so intrigued and impressed that I decided to try (Donald the Third – yep, I’ve now met 3 Donalds!)

As you can see, “Suck it!” is not in the list. And it doesn’t go well with Donny’s very old school charm. So I was understandably confused but decided to give him the benefit of doubt and asked if he’s the genuine dirty old man or he’s just having a bad day. Turns out he was looking for a socket to plug in his little music playing device.

The last client of the year, on 29 Dec was G, previously known as S the Old Nutter so I suggest he remains the Old Nutter for ease of referral and fun, not because it becomes him. I’ve seen him twice before, in September 2011 and then 12 months later in September 2012. This third date on the 29th was not only out of schedule (I thought September was his sexy month), it also seemed to be the turning point when from a service provider I turned into a person he could talk to. It’s not like he hadn’t talked to me before, it’s that some people take time to open up and tell you things they never thought they would. The lawyer from the North of Scotland whom I see slightly more regularly than once a year (who, incidentally, is the author of one of the hot pick-up lines above) is a very good example. Each date starts with a chat in a bar where he tells me about his practice (and I try to avoid telling him about mine) and we discuss amusing court cases but it’s only the last 2 dates that he started talking to me in bed, too. Men can be so touching! And it’s not what they say, it’s how they say it. Anyway, now that the Old Nutter left Edinburgh, I thought I wouldn’t see him again, but guess what? Just wait till February updates! (now online as Part 1 and Part 2.)

Also, March tours and offers are on.

Only once a year

On this day I wake up late, shower, have breakfast, leave the dirty dishes in the sink and pull a little suitcase from under my bed. Open it, put a few things inside and set off. As always, I stop on the corner to buy the Big Issue. The seller is a chatty man so up until now I didn’t realise he doesn’t recognise me. He looks at my suitcase and asks if I’m in Edinburgh for a holiday. I don’t have to explain anything to him, but suddenly I find myself telling him that it’s my birthday and I booked myself into a hotel because the last thing I want to do on this beautiful day is washing up like any other day of the year. He gives me change and my magazine but doesn’t wish me a happy birthday. Oh well.

At the Scotsman, the porter takes my suitcase and leads me to the reception. The lady there offers me a seat and checks my reservation.

– We’ll upgrade your room, if it’s ok with you.

Why should I mind?

– Is it because of my birthday? – I ask.

– Oh, is it your birthday?

– Yes, – I point at the check-in form I’ve just filled in.

She doesn’t wish me a happy birthday either. What is wrong with these people? The porter appears again and takes me to my room. In the lift, he explains the layout of the hotel and in the room he shows me around. I feel like I’m hitting 10, not 31. He leaves eventually. I take my swimsuit out of my suitcase and go downstairs to the gym.

At the doors, a young woman greets me. She gives me a couple of towels and takes me to the change rooms, squeaky clean and shiny. It’s empty except for a young woman in a blue cleaner’s uniform crouching on the floor in the corner, rubbing a tile with a little brush. I ask her which door leads to the swimming pool and she gets up promptly to help me. She’s my age, tall and slender, with long fair hair pinned away from her face. With a helpful smile, she leaves her brush on the floor and walks me across the change room to the right door. Tells me to mind the wet steps and turn left at the bottom of the stairs. Her English is rather accented but clear and correct. As I go down the steps, it’s hard not to turn round and tell her she’s in the wrong business. She’s young, beautiful and very pleasant. She could easily be making a day what she at the moment makes in a week. And she wouldn’t have to polish acres of tiles with a toothbrush. And as I look at the cobalt monoxide of water before me, still and clear against the porcelain white of the pool tiles, it feels that this day is not just my birthday, it’s the celebration of how far I’ve come. If 7 years ago I hadn’t made the choice that changed my life, I could have been this woman. I’d never have checked into a nice hotel for my birthday. I’d have been scrubbing the floor in the toilets of this hotel. Even on my birthday. I’d have had rough weathered hands with broken nails, a room in a house full of strangers and not much to look forward to. If you don’t know the really demeaning things in life, especially for immigrants, you may notice no difference between this bleak prospect and my current position, but if you’ve seen both, you’ll know that it’s not just about the money as it may seem. It’s about the feeling of self-worth. I’m the only one in the swimming pool. I dive in and swim myself tired.

In the early evening the Mariner arrives. We have dinner at a small place in Royal Mile and return to the room. He opens the bar and suddenly sees the “Intimacy Pack”. I found it when back from the pool. According to the back of the box, inside were 2 condoms, a lubricant sachet and an “intimate wipe for sensitive skin”. I rolled my eyes. Even if pleasure isn’t your business, just think: 2 condoms and one wipe? And then, what size are the condoms? Are they non-spermicidally lubricated? Are they latex? When do they expire? But where I went all business-like and rolled eyes, the Mariner looked at the pack and gave a silly giggle like a schoolgirl who found condoms in her friend’s make-up case. He has this charmingly childish and britishly repressed attitude to sex: what if people find out? I tried to explain that if you look out of the window, most people over 16 (and some people below 16) have sex. That’s what people do. It’s normal. And everyone knows that everyone has sex. But life-long worries aren’t thrown out overnight. Nevertheless, regardless of the fact that the hotel staff may find out (Horror! Why do you think they leave you a bible in each room?) we go and do what everyone over 16 does.

The following morning I wake up super early – around 9. I get up and the Mariner, disturbed by the noise I make, plants a kiss on my forehead, whispers a happy birthday and goes back to sleep. I go downstairs to the swimming pool; again I am the only one there and it feels like I own it.

The actual day Rhoda Grant made me cry

Continued from The Introduction. And a bit of pre-history in this out-of-sequence post.

Yes, I know it took me a while to publish the end of this story but as I said at the very beginning, it’s an unusual entry, it concerns profound personal experiences and it’s bound to make some people feel uncomfortable. And one of them is me. In case you’re in doubt – no, it isn’t easy to write about this. And your reproaching mails really didn’t help. I won’t point the finger, John, Mike, Graham et alii, but some people could do with a snip of patience. Oh, and in case you’re John or Graham and you have to ask yourself what you did wrong this time, then it wasn’t you.

Anyway, as you remember, it was all leading up to the day when Rhoda Grant allegedly made me cry. Something that started 5 years ago and culminated on the 14th of December, the deadline for Ms Grant’s “consultation” on criminalisation of clients in Scotland.

In my mind, my response to the consultation was finished after I read the document a few times. But putting it together on paper was much harder. This is of course because I’m the world’s sexiest procrastinator (I’ve tried arguing with some clients that I’m the world’s biggest procrastinator but they were very persuasive so I was moved down to the sexiest position) but also, once you put it on paper, it stops existing just in your mind and starts existing in the real world, and the real world where my clients are criminalised is a scary place. So I put it off until the last day.

On 14 December I came to the church cafe, opened my laptop and suddenly found myself in the world full of people doing the same: through Scot-PEP‘s mailing system and Twitter came a stream of messages from people – sex workers, clients, academics and just people with common sense – sharing their submissions, asking for a quick advice or looking for someone to quickly proof read their response before they send it off. My own didn’t take long to write and, while polishing it, I was at the same time reading others’ replies and emailing back and forth.

People at the tables next to mine came and went, my hot chocolate turned cold and so did my untouched breakfast and I was still glued to the screen. As the afternoon wore off, my phone started ringing: my colleagues from outside Scotland who just realised it was the deadline and still wanted to contribute.

Eventually, the inevitable happened – my laptop battery went flat. I closed my laptop and just sat there quietly, thinking of everything that was going on right now in other places. I started crying. A very bizarre thing. I didn’t want to cry. There was no apparent reason for it. Yet my body clearly wanted this release and no amount of mental command to shut up and cut it out seemed to work. I got up, quickly put on my coat, grabbed my handbag and laptop and ran out of the cafe, thanking myself for having paid the bill at the start. Outside it was a very rainy night so there I could cry all I wanted.

I was crying because I was happy. Yes, my previous few posts concentrated heavily on isolation that people in sex trade have to go through, but even though with years I learnt to see this isolation, I never felt lonely. I’m one of those lucky people who are genuinely happy with their own company. Not to mention that I’ve been blessed with wonderful clients whose company means a lot to me. And in friends I value quality, not quantity, so the couple of friends I made in the industry when I started can last me a lifetime. However, never having felt isolated, I suddenly felt being a small part of a large group of people with the same aim – something I’ve never felt before and something that made me cry with happiness. It was a very powerful feeling that surrounded me for a few days and then gradually wilted, but the knowledge that sex workers are not alone is here to stay.

And so, I would very much like to thank Rhoda Grant. This doesn’t mean that I changed my opinion of her. She is still either malicious and stupid* or ignorant and stupid*, but through her stupidity she managed to unite so many people around the world, clients and sex workers alike. She helped me feel a part of a very sexy and non-judgemental family. This most certainly isn’t what she was hoping for, but as I said –

*Stupid: regardless of the reasons behind her crusade, her consultation is just that. Even I, a hooker, could have come up with a better put document on criminalisation of clients, one that wouldn’t make me look like I’m blindly biased and wouldn’t make people feel like I’m trying to make up their mind for them (which often works the other way round with people who have a mind). And I would have been far more artful and far less obvious in cherry-picking and misquoting research, but this, among other reasons, is clearly because I bothered to read the research.

Introduction to the day when Rhoda Grant made me cry

This is an unusual entry for this blog and it concerns profound personal experiences. It is also very long and comes in parts. If any of these facts make you feel uncomfortable – tough luck.

From the title you can assume (and rightly so) that this entry touches on political issues going on in Scotland at the moment. Namely, the proposed criminalisation of clients. However, unless it’s the first time you come across my blog, you know that I don’t do politics. Not unless politics give me the hotel room number and the name they checked in under and have some cash ready – under these circumstances I do pretty much anything that breathes. Yet, I’ll stay true to my decision: this blog is a story of my life and experiences as a prostitute, this is not a political blog.

If you’re a survivor of a root canal treatment, you’ll know that the roots of your teeth are much longer than the size of your scull realistically allows for. This is just to explain that I really don’t know when the multiple events leading to what I got to experience thanks to Rhoda Grant had been formed. There was no point in my life where I suddenly stopped and thought: “This is a beginning of something BIG”. We’re talking years here, but the first noticeable indication for me was 4 months ago, when, in view of the then coming consultation, Scot-PEP got in touch with me and invited to join their campaign group. I came. Not because I am politically active and can’t wait to kick some parliament ass but because it gave me a chance to meet people who know what I do for a living and think it’s normal. Not because I could talk about my job with them but because I didn’t have to hide it from them. I don’t feel the need to talk about my work: there isn’t much to talk about. What I really need is to be able to be myself, and with years it gets harder and harder with people who don’t know about my occupation. The real me is the prostitute on this blog: the irritatingly bossy and annoyingly opinionated self-indulgent control freak prone to sarcasm and self-adoration. In short, totally lovable. The socially and politically correct woman devoid of charm and personality that calls her school friends each year on their birthday is just someone with my face and voice.

Through Scot-PEP I met a handful of other women working in Scotland. And (we’re gradually getting closer to the point of the story) one of them sent me this twitter message a few days ago. The conversation says it all, but you still don’t know what it’s all about, do you? The e-mail:

I was having a chat with [a client], about advertising and the different methods & styles etc, and he was like, “Jewel gave a me proper scold for criticising how some girls advertise”, i.e he was saying you were classy and by implication some women weren’t, and you apparently scolded him by text in defence of other women! And then we both talked for like ten minutes about how great it is that you did that, and how awesome that makes you. True story!

If I’m honest, I told so many clients off so many times for stereotyping sex workers and making assumptions of us on the basis of our marketing campaigns (here, for example) that I can’t recall this particular client – pity! And here’s the post that explains that classy has nothing to do with better. However, the bit of this mail that made me freeze was the one where the lady said they talked about how awesome I am.

It’s not like I don’t know how awesome I am or that I’ve never been told this before. No. What I read the lady say is “you’re one good hooker!” This I’ve never had before and suddenly I felt very proud. Suddenly, I was accepted. I am now peer-approved. Civilian people out there won’t understand it. Sex workers NEVER get approved or accepted for their work. Even my clients love me because I’m a wonderful person, not because I’m a wonderful prostitute! I mean, aren’t THEY of all people supposed to objectify me? My bum!

Imagine you’re a cabinet-maker. You made a cabinet, and another cabinet-maker passing by says “Dude, this is one good cabinet! Well done!” It feels nice, doesn’t it, knowing that someone in the same profession is able to appreciate your good work. And I guess a lot of people out there experience it now and again, at least if they really are good at what they do. Us hookers never have it! Yes, we meet our peers and form little unions and sometimes even large and registered unions, and some of us will be appreciated for the activism that they do, but not for actual sex work. Even among ourselves we see the person in our colleague, not a worker. And I’m not saying it’s wrong – it’s right! – but now and again, once in a decade for me, I’d love to be told that actually, as a prostitute, I’m awesome!

We’re now much closer to my Grant episode but it’ll be coming in the following post as this one is way too long already.

Important updates

First or all, as many of you are aware, Rhoda Grant’s exercise in anal ventriloquism that was made to pass for a public consultation is just about to close. With this in mind, if you haven’t yet told her what you think – you still have a day or two, so hurry up!

Secondly, as some of you have already noticed (and some of these some noticed it even before me!), the new photos are there! As in, on my website! At last! There’s a bit of an issue with pages at the moment (as Walter said, I’m the page 3 girl at last), but I’ll sort it out as soon as I’ve time for it. This year, hopefully.

And a new link on the right – Accessible Sexuality blog dealing with sexuality of disabled people.

Updates

Yes, yes, I know everyone wants to see the new photos. Here’s the secret – so do I! But we’re almost there. Honest to god (pick one of your liking. Or two)! Here’s a little preview of what’s going to be on the site

Independent Edinburgh escorts

Also, an entry out of sequence and my December tours. I do realise that I haven’t come up with any offers for a few months now, and I am genuinely sorry, so here’s one to last up until next year.

And a summary of the last poll (just so I could clear up the page at last):

If one or more links in my blogroll showed a view of sex work that puts you off, would it

  • reflect the diversity of sex workers’ experience and ways of working – by far the winner, 9 votes
  • make you question yourself and your opinions – 3 votes
  • show Jewel in the new light – 1 vote (and now I have to guess what light that is. I should have come up with a better put phrase)
  • I don’t care for the view as long as it’s well-written – 4 votes. Aesthetes. Don’t you love them?
  • Whatever. No-one clicks these links anyway – 1 vote. Which, I think, is true for a lot of people visiting my site, but only one was honest.
  • Make SOMEONE (not me!) think that by its presence Jewel endorses this view – 2 votes. Actually 3, because it was one of the 6 “other” replies which made sense so I included it into the main options.

The remaining “other” replies are:

  • It would “broaden my horizon” by teaching me something new
  • It’s your view that matters to me, not somebody else’s, so as you say – whatever. I guess that’s the lonely honest “whatever” voter trying to explain his (her?) vote. Thank you. Sounds like a compliment.
  • Only my own stupidity will put me off meeting Jewel. There’s no arguing with that.
  • A link to DemandChange may alter my view for a pico-sec before sanity returns. Hmm, do you think I should be linking to them? After all, I link to different views on prostitution, and theirs is just another view. An uneducated one, I’ll grant that, but it’s still a view.
  • Puzzled. If with the poll, here’s the explanation: a couple of months ago I updated my Blogroll links (the ones on the right) and one of the regular readers e-mailed me saying that one of blogs that I now link to does not paint a picture of prostitution that clients I aim for would be attracted to. As far as I’m concerned, if clients I aim for are not attracted to other bloggers – good for me. But as the reader pointed out, they may assume I endorse that unpleasant view which would put people who don’t yet know me off meeting me. So I put together the poll to see what people think. And the results are… above. That’s the whole story.

Now tell me how much you like the photo. After all, this was the only thing you noticed in this post, wasn’t it?

Cambridge

Right off the train from Newcastle I found myself on a lunch date in, believe it or not, a Scottish restaurant in Cambridge. No, wait, there was something worth mentioning just before that: cows. As my cab passed the city centre on the way from Cambridge train station to the restaurant, I could see cows grazing on a little bit of green. Cambridge received city status half a century ago. Someone needs to inform the citizens.

M meets me in the restaurant. This lunch can be summed up under the title “Introduction to the city of Cambridge, its life and lifeforms” lecture which was very helpful indeed. Of Cambridge lifeforms there are three:

  • Petrol-based intelligent agents, road-rage-driven. Commonly known as drivers.
  • Biwheeled embodiments of kinetic energy and the three Fs (this, by the way, stands for “fast, furious and f@cking annoying”, not for “female, forty and fat”) – cyclists.
  • Bipedal carbon-based near-extinct minority of pedestrians, woe is them.

As for the life, the daily entertainment consists of the correspondence page of “Cambridge News” where one day a driver slags off the cyclists and the next day a cyclist slags off the drivers. The downtrodden pedestrians don’t get the chance to trample anyone. If I were to stay in Cambridge for anywhere over a week, I would start this tradition, being completely pedestrian by birth and religion. I don’t mind drivers that much as I’m already used to them: I can speak their lingo should the need arise and I know how to kick a car and keep my shoes intact. The cyclists were a novelty and in all honesty I didn’t exactly take to them: I’m not fast enough to kick a passing bicycle, and shouting my opinion after it is rather pointless. Suddenly I see what the cows are for. Sorry, make it four lifeforms of Cambridge:

  • Graminoid-fuelled ruminant quadrupeds. These are situated right at the exit of the pedestrian anger vent.

M has soft blue eyes, a way with words and a needlessly critical view of self. He is genuinely fun to talk to and I’m not only saying this because of his cute little bum. His curious take on things makes him funny in a see-the-bigger-picture way. It’s probably due to his job which some could call bureaucratic but he practices as inventive. He’s a pleasure to share a meal with. After lunch M picks up my suitcase and we make our way to my hotel where I check in, he runs a bath and we enjoy each other. Somehow afternoon just flies by. What a perfect start to my first time in Cambridge!

The following day begins with a quest: find the Wren library. It’s on the map, but its location on the map isn’t entirely relevant to its accessibility in terms of real life. It took me half a morning to find the entrance and once I did, I was supremely disappointed. Oh no, it wasn’t closed, but photography was not allowed where all I wanted was a photo of Winnie-the-Pooh’s manuscript. Damn!

To get over the disappointment, I go to the Fitzwilliam museum. For a cow-infested place Cambridge has a marvellous collection next to which the Scottish National Gallery may consider investing in comfort food.

The evening I spent with P. His introductory call quickly turned into a friendly chat. First he made himself irresistibly attractive by describing my writing style as a real turn on. Then he went on to ask if I’d had my first punt yet. I somehow tend to think of myself as a punted rather than punting type, but in Cambridge this word is still used in its weird boat-related meaning.

We didn’t get a punt as it was too late in the evening. We got something better: P took me for a walk around night-time Cambridge and then to the college where he studied. This personalised tour was studentically romantic in a hungry but intellectual sort of way. Hungry, incidentally, is the word cut out for P. As a lot of self-centred people (I speak with authority here), he is hungry for new experiences, new conquests, more admiration. He appreciates women so he learnt to attract them by making them feel good with him. He enjoys sex so he learnt to be great in bed because the better your contribution, the better the sex. What a perfect finish to my first time in Cambridge!

Men are like lifts. There is this one button, you press it – the lift comes. Women, they are like accordions. You can get a melody out of it but you have to know how to play. This may seem unrelated, but it’s a good way to explain why I now think of Cambridge as a place filled with music. I am so going back! Even if only to finish my tour of the Fitzwilliam museum. And for the cows, of course. You don’t really think I’ll forget about the cows, do you? Or the great clients.