Some of the things that enhance my life

I really don’t understand the appeal of cooking. Eating, however… Eating is a totally different business. If you want me as your girlfriend, all you need to do is promise to cook for me or take me out for meals till death do us part. Or till I grow up and learn to cook for myself, whichever happens first. Don’t give me that look! Which part of my pretty-for-pay site made me appear picky when it comes to men? Anyway, there’s a specific cookbook that I need (don’t ask. Seriously, just don’t ask) so I’m now visiting all the second-hand book shops* in Edinburgh. Today I went to my favourite one, and asked the shop assistant to direct me to the cookery section. A few turns and narrow passages later he left me in front of 4 shelves overloaded with books. For a gastrosexual like me, this is what purgatory looks like. But years of sex work do teach you to find pleasure in the least likely places.

An hour later, as I passed the shop assistant on my way out, he asked if I found what I was looking for.
– No, but I organised your cookery section. You now have wine and other drink books on the top shelf, the second one is for regional cuisine, the third one for all other cookbooks, and the last one is for baking, desserts and books that are about food but contain no recipes. And the two stacks of books on the floor are those that belong to other sections, mostly golf and architecture – one has to wonder… But they are for you to sort out!Edinburgh escorts
– Um… Thanks…

I walked out of the shop with a satisfying feeling of time well spent. CDO can be time consuming, but it gives you an eye for detail and brings the beauty of order to your life.

______________________

* I love books. Not as much as I love eating, but they are still dear to me. Unlike food though, I prefer my books pre-used: trees were killed to make them. I also try not to own books; a good book is a feeling, not an object, and you can’t own a feeling. A bad book – why would you want to own that? So once I’m done with a book, more often than not it goes back into circulation. Yet I have a shelf of books I received from my clients. These are memories more than they are feelings, and some memories are worth keeping.

Heavy petting in Glasgow

On the morning of my birthday I wake up in Glasgow. Not the place where I would usually want to spend such a day, but this time it’s worth it. I don’t remember the morning. Most probably it passed by in the shadow of the great expectations I had for the evening.

I meet Walter at 5pm in Buchanan Street, outside House of Fraser. We are going shopping! At least he thinks we are.

Shopping was his idea. The e-mail detailing the Master Plan for the day mentioned shoes, handbags, shoes, clothes, shoes, jewellery, shoes, books, shoes, and oh, did he forget shoes? And while he was being very generous, it can be difficult for a man to guess a woman’s needs, so I had to hint that a pair of shoes would be really nice.

This isn’t the first time I go shopping with Walter. We also went shopping for lingerie once, but this doesn’t count because it was a new experience for both of us. Shoe shopping, on the other hand, is quite ordinary. I don’t know how he usually does it, here’s how I do it. I need a pair of winter boots. I go online. Find the website of the shop I have in mind. Look at all the boots they have. Do they have something in black, with a round toe, 3 inch heel, leather, below ankle and with a concealed zip? No? Next website then! So when we meet and walk into a shop, all I need is to find the shoes I chose the night before and try them on. Walter, do you like them? Great, we’re done then! Now let’s go do something fun! If it’s not clear, shopping is an action, not a pastime. I think Walter was disappointed.

We have a drink at the bar of my hotel. I puzzle the bartender with my request for a non-alcoholic cocktail (come on, I’m allowed to let my hair down on my birthday! It can’t be sparkling water every day of the year)  – they don’t have these on the menu.

‘Would you like Safe Sex on the Beach?’

‘Oh yes, I’m all for safe sex!’

Walter chuckles quietly.

And then, with pleasantries out of the way, it’s time to do what we’ve been looking forward to for a while. Walter pays quickly, we make for the lifts, I pinch his bum impatiently as we wait, doors open, we rush in, kiss passionately until the doors open again and we are in the swimming pool. It’s an ordinary hotel swimming pool: small, simple, mostly empty. When I come out of the change room, Walter is already there. The first thing he says is that my swim suit is classy. Not the sort of word you usually apply to a swim suit, and not the sort of word I’ve heard from Walter before, so I take it as a compliment. He gives my swimming attire another good look and points at the sign with the pool rules:

No running

No diving

No pushing

No screaming

No smoking

No heavy petting

Walter is a very law abiding citizen. During our multiple adventures I couldn’t make him climb a fence with me, and he wouldn’t stay in an empty ladies bathroom to wait for me. So I’m glad I made him break at least this one rule. Oh alright, so he didn’t need to be forced into it, but he still wouldn’t have engaged in this prohibited activity without me: heavy petting on your own is called something else. I am also glad I got to see him swim. It was almost as good as watching him drive. Most people do different things in the same manner. Walter has a separate personality for a lot of activities. Driving Walter (especially in his road-rage mode) never fails to amuse me, same as disgusted Walter; swimming Walter is a joy to watch, loving Walter is a pleasure to do, and filming Walter is someone I haven’t figured out yet. And now you probably wonder which one of us in on medication.

We then have a lovely dinner at a place called Kama Sutra, and spend some time practicing – not at the place. We practice some more in the morning, and then he has to go. Glasgow immediately loses whatever appeal it had the day before. A wonderful birthday nevertheless.

Sticky (and icky) business

There’s this restaurant on the corner from my home, where Walter and I often end up when he comes to pick me up or drop me off. It’s a cosy, very intimate place with great food. The waiters haven’t changed in the few years that we’ve visited it. The manager (who, I believe, is also the owner) is a short plump man in his forties, with dark curly hair, a moustache and an accent, always in a fluffy cardigan.

I remember the first time I was there without Walter. I was welcomed, given a table, and asked where my partner was.

“Whooahhhhe’s away on business!”

So after that I would only go there on my own as an exception to the rule. When together with Walter, the manager just lets us be.

On one of those exceptional days I spent a delightful afternoon in bed with Nicole, with Prince somewhere in the background, hovering above us like the Ghost of Hamlet’s father now and again. As is his habit, there were chocolates, presents and flowers. In the evening, on my way home, I was tired, hungry, and laden with beautifully wrapped boxes. The idea of cooking was a turn off and I asked the cabbie to drop me at the restaurant.

It’s a small place so it was only when I walked in that I noticed something was wrong. It was empty except for an elderly couple at a table in the corner and the manager standing by them. I clearly interrupted their conversation. The manager welcomed me heartily and explained that X-factor and football nights were always quiet. He offered me a table next to the couple. Leaving at this point would be plain rude (Of course it’s the football night, what was I thinking about! Bye!) Asking for another table would be even ruder.

I arranged the presents and the flowers on the adjacent chairs and hid my face in the menu. Didn’t help.

“So what are the presents about?”

“Oh, these are all… you know… birthday presents.”

“Your birthday! Isn’t it brilliant! Happy birthday! Give me a second, we’ll get a cake for you! Anna! Where do we keep cake candles?”

“Don’t worry about it, please! PLEASE! You know I don’t do gluten anyway!”

“Ah, true! Pity! But wait, where’s your partner? You had a birthday party and he wasn’t there with you? Don’t tell me he is away on business on such a day!”

The elderly couple were looking at me expectantly.

“Er… He’s… Ok, here’s what… happened. My birthday was some time ago… and erm… the party tonight was… at work (looking down at my own business outfit – on Prince’s request). Yes, in the office. They… (turning to the elderly couple) they threw a party for me tonight because I was away on my actual birthday. With my partner… of course.”

“Aw, he organised a little trip for you?”

Sometimes people want a story. Sometimes people think they are being friendly, when in reality they are being bored with what’s going on around. Sometimes you happen to be the only prey available to them. And most of the time – in my experience – the least painful way of getting them off your back is to give them what they want. Even when I’m not paid for it.

We have twins, Nicky and Vicky. They started school this year and we’ve never had so much headache before. Yes, they are identical. Vicky is quite a tomboy, but it’s Nicky who is the real pain in the patella. Yes, you are right, he spoils them rotten, it’s all his fault. Anyway, for my birthday… No, Vicky is half an hour older. So on my birthday my partner took me away for a few days, so we could have some time to ourselves. Oh, grandparents love them, they would have the kids every weekend if I allowed!

And so on.

Needless to say, Walter laughed. Needless to say, he immediately called our children Icky and Sticky. Needless to say, now and again he still asks how they are doing at school. Needless to say, we will never go to this restaurant again. Ever.

I hate friendly people.

It’s in the detail

I met HB in September. It was a curious date but you’ll hear more later. It was obvious that he looked forward to it. He dressed up (because my blog says I like a well-dressed man), he invested heavily in chocolate (because my blog mentions chocolate and so do I), and he clearly spent some time reading my blog – the telltale signs of a detail fetishist. I’ve already described a few of these here, I just didn’t describe them in detail. Now is a good time.

Body

This type of detail fetish is quite common is certain circles. The Nutter. Being a researcher, he had an eye for detail. And this eye was always open. Everything he saw was filed away neatly between his braincells, evidence was presented, conclusions were drawn, summary was printed in triplicate for each relevant department and the research abstracts were made available to me on request. He gave me the most intimate present I have ever received. A shirt. How is a shirt intimate? It was a shirt in my size, of my favourite shirt brand, with my favourite type of cuff, in a colour I often choose myself. None of these parameters were ever discussed. Moreover, when I asked “But why a shirt?” he said something that never occurred even to me. Because I’m a shirt-wearer. When I thought I was dressed, he thought of the patterns that made this type of behaviour different from that of specimens of corresponding gender, age and occupation. I freaked out, went and bought 2 sweaters. Half a year after we’d parted ways I had to admit that he was right. I’m a shirt-wearer.

Soul

Walter has a heart for detail. He may be unable to recall what I wore for our last date, but he always knows how I’m going to react to something before I decide if I even want to react. Walter made it clear from the start that much as he enjoys the carnal part of our relationship, its less physical aspect is at least equally important to him; but it was our (almost) totally social date that made me see the bigger picture. During lunch we talked about the potential sequel to my video. A few days before that a client had shown me a video of a London lady which I, of course, shared with Walter. Unfortunately, the video isn’t there anymore, but it was a minute long shot of a provocatively dressed woman, tracing the outline of her hips, showing some skin above the stocking and then playing with her cleavage. The film was really well made, sufficiently tasteful, revealing and yet preserving the lady’s anonymity. I liked it, but I simply could not imagine having one of these myself. The inner resistance to it was puzzling to me until Walter shrugged and simply said, ‘This isn’t you. The London woman is playing with the viewer, showing off her assets. You don’t do this. You express your sexuality naturally: the way you move, the way you smile… To show how sexy you are, a film needs to show you doing everyday things.’

Ah, to have spent years selling your sexuality and have a man tell you how you best express it…

Mind

This last variation of detail fetish is most probably a by-product of a long unhappy relationship, although I can personally attest that certain occupations can also influence its development. It doesn’t come naturally to HB, it stems from his desire to please – a natural desire, but because his natural abilities to fulfil it have never been appreciated and therefore cultivated, he developed a mind for detail. Once an object is chosen, he takes it upon himself to read every scrap of information that can be found. Every e-mail. Every tweet. Every blog entry. Even I haven’t read them all. He’s done it twice. What he can’t find information about, he asks. And he listens. I commented on a beautiful fan in a shop window and I received it a few days later. I mentioned that I particularly like a specific gluten-free snack, and now I’m given it every time I see him (yes, I always think of Pavlov’s dog, too). The most memorable experience HB provided me with was finding lambs for me after I said I’d always wanted to see lambs up close – you’ll have to wait for the details, I’m afraid. Of course I’m pleased, but I’m also touched. I’ve been blessed with wonderful people for clients and the fact that some of them go out of their way to please me is nothing short of miraculous. I must have done something seriously good in my past lives.

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Dauphins, divine heroes and decorations

There aren’t enough letters in the English alphabet. Well, enough for the language but not for me. It’s not that I ran out of letters to mark clients by (which, in turn, is not because I have had fewer clients than there are letters in the English alphabet), the problem here is that there aren’t many male names that would start with Z or X or Q. On the other hand, the amount of Daniels, Deans, Donalds, Darrens, Dominics, Douglases… Don’t even start me on Davids and dicks. So this one will be called Prince, and not just because of his princely name. His features, his figure, his bearing, his manners, his voice, his words – everything about him exudes composed and dignified refinement. Not the affected sort, but the one that shows breeding and innate elegance. Composed and dignified refinement comes off him in generous waves and engulfs you until you feel you’re soaking it in through your pores. Yet he’s so light-hearted, easy and romantic that, regardless of his age and royal mien, king is not his title. If there were a stereotype of a retired dauphin, this man would be its embodiment.

On our first date he impressed me with a line of presents. The biggest surprise was not in the presents but in how they were presented. The flowers, the box, the envelope were all done in the same colour scheme and were accompanied with a hard copy of a poem dedicated to me. I love clients with good taste. I always take them as a compliment.

The second date we started at the National Gallery. It was enjoyable because we soon agreed that most classical figure painting can be divided into 2 categories: religious motifs and wanking material. Sometimes these categories overlap.

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Look at this painting. What purpose does it serve? It’s clearly not there to remind you of the pain Jesus went through to save the human kind. So it’s for decoration purposes only. And since throughout most of history women were decorative objects rather than agents, what image is better placed to be decorative than that of a woman? However, if all you really wanted was to decorate a wall, does the woman have to be naked? Probably not.

And in case it’s not obvious, these aren’t just objective images of nude women. They didn’t have Playboy in those days, they had something better: a bunch of tireless blokes who instead of photoshop used their imagination to create something iconic yet ubersexy. Because from an aesthetic point of view that booty ain’t no accident. And if you still feel it doesn’t inspire any wanking in you, consider this. From the Middle Ages till fin de siècle (and even nowadays in case or Ireland) most married men of middle class never saw a naked woman live. Everything to do with procreation happened in the dark, under the sheets, and a good wife would still have at least 6 items of clothing on. If I were one of those men and I got to put this on one of my walls, I’d wank like there’s no tomorrow. Because what we miss in porn nowadays is its user’s imagination.

Edinburgh escortsLook at this beauty. You can choose to be her lover, or one of the young voyeurs, or join them for a threesome, or you could prefer to go for the bloke. And whatever point of view you take, from there on your imagination will provide you with everything you need, including the finer details of your imaginary lover’s body that are not visible on the painting. In case you’re interested, this is Heracles and Omphale, or just another proof that even mythology in art was a cover up for high quality porn. I mean, think of everything Heracles is famous for. Of course, mostly it’s his farming labours (Cretan bull, mares of Thrace, Erymanthian boar, the Hesperides’ apples, Geryon’s cattle, Augean stables) but he also had a brief career as a sperm donor for the 50 children he fathered with 50 sisters. And of all these deeds you choose to paint the moment when he makes out with his wife?

And the apotheosis of wanking material: all sorts of genders in all sorts of races and all sorts of sizes. By a Scottish painter. You can tells Scots have little to do on those long winter nights.

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You can also tell the second date was quite successful after we left the Gallery.

A man, a woman and a suitcase

My cab stopped in the hotel’s driveway and a porter ran up to open the door. He grabbed my suitcase by the handle, pulled it and lifted his eyes at me.

‘Yes, I know. Sorry.’

He tried harder, managed to pull it out of the cab and then heave it up the steps to the front door. There I took over. On days like this you want to shake the hand of the bloke who invented the wheel. And also that of the genius who suggested to attach it to a suitcase.

The Nutter meets me inside. We kiss and he takes the handle of my suitcase as we make for the lifts. And stops.

‘Exactly how many thongs have you packed?’

‘Six. No, wait, I’m wearing one, so it’s only five inside.’

His eyebrow is still raised as he pulls my suitcase into his hotel room and positions it on the floor. I open it straightaway: I can tell he can’t wait to see my thongs. What he sees is rows and rows of carefully packed books*.

‘Well that explains some things but raises another question. I didn’t realise you’d been to the Army.’

‘I hadn’t. It was the Navy.’

He looks at me.

‘Oh alright! It was prison!’

Now he smiles.

‘I’ve a CDO,’ I confess.

‘Ah. That explains pretty much everything.’

We need to be in the National Theatre for 7.30 so I rush to the bathroom. Out of the shower, I put on some make up, arrange my hair, get dressed and we’re out. All in all, it took me about 40 minutes to get ready. As the cab drives off, the Nutter turns to me.

‘All this time I looked at you getting ready and thought “Why won’t she just get a move on!” Why do women go through all these needless things when they get ready?’

‘Exactly what would you rather I skipped? The shower? The make up? Getting dressed? Brushing my hair? Kissing you between all of these?’

‘Well, when you put it this way, I’m not sure.’

We get to the theatre just on time. It’s The Captain of Kopenick with Anthony Sher. I think both of us enjoy it, even if for different reasons. The Nutter holds my hand throughout the show and lifts it to his lips now and again.

It’s a dry frosty night as we leave the theatre. The cloudless sky is full of stars. We walk across Waterloo Bridge, stop for a late dinner at a small restaurant and get back to the hotel.

In the morning, the Nutter stays in bed and watches me rushing around the room packing. His present of the date is, ironically, a book. A large and heavy book. The first edition of The Making of Classical Edinburgh. He knows how to please me but not my suitcase. Eventually we agree that I’ll leave a few books with him and he’ll pass them to me the next time I see him. I quite enjoy loading him with a Mosby’s Dictionary and a couple of textbooks on anatomy and pathology of a similar size. Now there’s enough room for his present and I don’t even need to jump on my suitcase.

He looks very comfortable and relaxed in bed, even though his eyes keenly follow my erratic movements around the room. I’m packed and getting dressed when suddenly he asks if he can see me off to the station. Why ever not? As the bathroom door closes behind him, I shout ‘And get a move on, will you! My train’s in 40 minutes!’

This is the first time I see him out of the shower. Independent Edinburgh escortsWhat a transformation! His wet hair brushed back looks much darker than ordinarily and gives him a sudden sharp look; his features so clearly defined, he resembles young Clint Eastwood with the square jaw, prominent cheek bones and piercing blue eyes on a face that now appears much thinner. But his long white fluffy hair dries within minutes and soon Clint is gone, replaced by the soft face with a timid smile that I know so well.

The Nutter pulls my suitcase out of the front door and the porter runs up to him.

‘Let me help you, sir.’

‘No, thank you, I’ll cope.’

‘But this is what I’m here for, sir!’

The Nutter looks at him and smiles a little.

‘Oh no, young man, this is what I am here for. Why don’t you get us a cab.’

Unusually for Kings Cross, the gates for platforms are open and the Nutter takes me all the way to my carriage. He shoves my suitcase under the baggage rack and kisses me good-bye. My thoughts still revolve around saloons and cowboys when I arrive in Edinburgh.

* I don’t usually travel with a suitcase full of books. This case is too surreal to try to provide a believable explanation.

A damsel in distress

If you remember, in Part 3 of my London visit I went to Praed Street clinic. That was a Monday. Friday of the same week, sleeping sweetly in my Edinburgh bed, I am woken up at dawn by a phone call.

– Jane?

– Merrr?

– Jane, this is Andrea from St Mary’s hospital.

– Wherrr?

– I’m calling about the results of your latest test.

– Oh?

– Please don’t worry, but…

(Funny how you always get a panic attack when they tell you not to worry. Suddenly I am wide awake)

– … one of your test results is inconclusive.

She goes into long explanations of why this could have happened and what it might mean, but, being in panic, I only get this much: an inconclusive test result means that I either have it or not. They test each swab twice. My first test for throat gonorrhoea was positive but the confirmative test of the same swab was negative. I need to take this test again.

I hang up and lie for a while looking at the ceiling. It feels surreal. Everyone knows that condoms don’t provide a 100% protection from anything, so this one time in 7 years is, I suppose, good enough. Hold on, it’s not like I have it for certain! Besides, if this really is the case, how did I manage to get it in the throat but nowhere else? How long will the treatment take? And then I’ll have to take another test, and wait for its results, hopefully negative then, so how long will I have to be off altogether? Hold on, it’s not like I have it for certain! I don’t have to be off. It’s only my throat that’s off limits. Gonorrhoea sits deep in the throat so I’m unlikely to pass it to anyone unless they lick my tonsils and I am yet to get a client with such a fetish. The rest of my body is disease-free although of course this isn’t how clients will feel about it. It’s getting in touch with clients I saw recently that I need to be worried about. Hold on, it’s not like I have it for certain!

And so, after a miserable week-end, on Monday morning I go to Edinburgh GUM clinic. I hate this place. The walk-in clinic is open 8.30 – 10am. If you show up at 9.15, you are told that the clinic is already full and you’ll have to come back tomorrow. Unless you’re a hooker with gonorrhoea, in which case they’ll kindly squeeze you in as an extra patient. EXTRA patient! In a walk-in clinic!

I get to see a nurse. I tell her why I’m there. She goes. I wait. A doctor comes. I tell him why I’m there. He takes a throat swab and goes. I wait. Second nurse comes, with a Petri dish for another swab. This one is for cultures, so they could determine what antibiotics will work better. Then I wait again. Third nurse comes, with a syringe and a pack of pills. She tells me what the treatment involves; details aside, it’s a heavy-duty course of antibiotics. She rips the syringe open and starts filling it.

– Hold on, have you already received my test results? Even the cultures?

– No, of course not, they’ll be ready next week.

– So why do you think I need the treatment?

– Well, er, because… You know, to save time.

– Would you take this amount of medication for no reason?

– Er…

– When I have the test results, I’ll take it. Or not.

I leave. I feel sicker than ever. A whole week to wait for the results.

Incidentally, that was the week when Walter could visit Edinburgh. And I couldn’t see him! Well, I could, but without kissing this is a waste of my time and his money and kissing he wasn’t comfortable with in my ambiguous condition. He comes anyway – to show his support in more than just e-mail.

We start with a lunch. We’ve a lot to talk about, mostly his plans for my next video. Then Walter wants to go to the cinema. I don’t. Guess who wins! It’s not that I dislike cinema. It’s that I love Walter. And in the cinema we’ll be watching a film, not spending time together. So instead we have a hot chocolate and do what we always wanted to do but were afraid of: shopping for lingerie. In a little boutique in West End I introduce us as Mary and Alfred Hotchpotch (his nome-de-videocamera), he sits down on the sofa with a cup of tea and I disappear in the change rooms. Some time later he joins me there.

Out of the boutique, I take him for a walk in Dean village, we have another hot chocolate and then go home where I change into my new lingerie, he wipes his saliva with his sleeve and we go out for dinner. A beautiful day and we didn’t even kiss! Oh alright, we did. More than once. Mostly in the change room. And also after dinner when it was time for him to go to the railway station. A beautiful day nevertheless.

The following morning I get another call. All results are negative. The crappiest week of my working life over nothing. Well, I have some lingerie to show for it. Quite literally! Walter took a couple of pictures!

Seduction, Act 2

Continued from Act 1.

I meet Walter in an Indian restaurant across the road from the theatre. At the table, we discuss the pleasures of oral sex. If right now you suddenly have doubts about having recently decided to get in touch with me to take me out for a meal, you are wrong but I understand. My aloo sag arrives and I try to tempt Walter with a little piece of it. He doesn’t like sharing food but he doesn’t like saying no to me either so the lesser of evils is chosen and I generously cover a little piece of potato with the spicy sauce and send it down his oesophagus. He says it tastes great. As I continue my lecture on cunnilingus, I have to use the stuff on the table (plates and utensils) to explain what the internal part of clitoris looks like. This draws Walter’s attention to my plate and he sees

– Cauliflower! This is cauliflower!

– Yes, it is, why?

– How can you eat it, it’s disgusting!

– You had a bit of it off my fork 5 minutes ago and you said you liked it. You did, didn’t you?

– It was cauliflower?! (some shock, doubt and mental turmoil) Yes, I did.

– Would you like some more?

– HELL NO!

– But you liked it the first time. Why say no to a bit of something you liked? Please?

So I generously cover another bit of potato with the spicy sauce and he swallows it.

– So? Is this cauliflower disgusting?

– No, but it doesn’t mean I’ll ever eat it again!

Just as any other reader, this is the first time Walter reads about my dirty tasty lies. Oh well. He wasn’t going to eat cauliflower anyway, whether I tell him the truth or not.

At 7.30 we make our way to the Playhouse and for the second time in a span of a week I enjoy “The Phantom of the Opera”. Walter, believe it or not, enjoys it, too! I wasn’t sure about it really until during the break when he turned to me excitedly and said: “Incredible! Did you see how they use the light!” Men will be men, I suppose, until they invest into becoming a woman. I have to admit, however, that everything about this new production (including the use of light) was quite impressive indeed.

It’s about 10pm when he sex trafficks me in his car to his hotel where he exercises even more violence against women by presenting me with a very thick envelope. I run the bath and we fool around a little, running around the room until he catches me, throws me on the bed and rips my lingerie off. This is the most playful I’ve seen him in years and if I’m honest, it was very endearing. The bathtub is now full and we dive in.

The can of whipped cream that Walter hid by the bathtub was not much of a surprise: Walter and sweet edible things go hand in hand. The real surprise was the fact that it worked! Almost 3 years ago a client wanted to play with cream so I got a can. It was the first time for him (and for me) and he was very curious. We tried very hard for about 20 seconds and then silently but mutually agreed to forget about it. I never saw him again and never used cream after that. Pity, because as I now know, that first time we didn’t use it the right way. The cream isn’t for eating! I mean, you can eat (lick, slurp, etc) it, too, but it’s not its main use! And it’s far better used in the bathroom than in the bedroom where we end up when we run out of cream. It’s quite early in the morning when I finally leave Walter alone and move into my separate bed.

A few hours later we stop pretending that we’re both sleeping. I rarely sleep during overnights because of unfamiliar surroundings, don’t know what was Walter’s problem. It’s still dark so we try talking to each other across the room from our separate beds. Does anyone know why and how being in the dark makes mature adults turn to whisper even when no-one around is asleep? It feels like little girls in the dormitory at night so I give up on sleep and sneak back into his bed.

At 10 I finally switch off. I don’t notice him getting up, making tea, pottering around, packing his suitcase, opening his laptop to send me a thank you mail and getting back under the duvet with me. He wakes me up eventually and cuddles some more, until the absolutely last minute when we totally have to get up if he is to be on time for his plane.

Walter gets off at the airport and I wave my hand as the cab rides off. Within seconds, a text from him arrives: “Miss you”. I get his present – “Maskerade”, Terry Pratchett’s spoof of “The Phantom of the Opera” – out of my handbag and open the book, hoping to divert my mind from the sudden feeling of loneliness. This ride home feels much longer than the actual 20 minutes.

Farewell, September

It was a lovely enough (for Scotland) Saturday morning. Oh alright, make it early afternoon. Week-end is the time to care for work-related clothing, so I had just done the laundry: silk and lace knickers were hanging off the door knobs while the airer was full of… anyway, it was full. I just sat down to look again at the gift card I got the previous day – a voucher for a couple of hours worth of body treatments at one of the top (read “ridiculously expensive and even more appealing for that”) spas in Edinburgh – and to figure out when I can spare half a day for this trip to heaven when my personal phone started ringing.

My friend on the other line (let’s call her MSH, and yes, it does stand for something) was somewhere very noisy but she didn’t say where and I didn’t care to ask. The beginning was innocent enough, we both happened to be fine thank you, and both seemed to be enjoying the week-end so far. She then went on to ask what my plans were. My plans were to call the spa to book the treatments and then to update my blog and look into advertising for my tour, so I told her I was thinking of doing some grocery shopping and then packing my bag for the visit to Glasgow on Monday. I really don’t know why I mentioned Glasgow. It just came out of my mouth as a better alternative to selling sex in Oxford.

– Oh, – said MSH, – I didn’t realise you were going away! I’m just at Waverley and I was hoping to spend a few days with you.

I didn’t drop my mobile in surprise but I was very close to it. I looked around my flat, my mind registering all those things that my friend should not see under any circumstances. The 37 pairs of shoes by the door. The array of Thank You cards from clients on the mantelpiece. A few dozens of condoms on the sofa: they have just arrived in the mail, I needed to sort them out by size, type and material they are made of and re-stock the condom bag that I take to work. The stack of books by my bed – research on sex work that I had just received and needed to go through. The lingerie and other work clothing that I had just put to dry. And don’t even start me on the bathroom and browsing history on my laptop. And now I only had about half an hour to somehow hide it all. I also had to find a place to hide it all: these things are part of my everyday life, they aren’t meant to be hidden so it’s not like I have an extra wardrobe where they usually go.

25 minutes later, when MSH rang the bell, I was slightly out of breath but happy with the results of my clean-up. As she walked in and gave me a hug, everything seemed normal. She opened her luggage to take a few things out and thankfully she didn’t have anything that would need to go in the wardrobe: I’m sure things would come pouring out of it cartoon-style if I attempted to open it now. I made her a cup of tea and she sat down so we could discuss our plans for the week-end together. This is when it happened.

We noticed the beautiful cream and gold card on top of the papers on my desk at the same time. I mentally bit my own bum as she reached for it.

– So beautiful, what is it?

The most expensive gift MSH ever got from her husband was a blender (he can be incredibly romantic for a Brit) but from the look of the gift card even she could tell it was worth more than a tenner. She opened it.

– Oh how lovely! And it says “With thanks” here! Who is it from?

– Erm… it’s…

– It must be from a man! Come on, tell me! I didn’t realise you were seeing someone! Why do your friends always find out last?

– You don’t… See, the thing is…

– Wait, is this what you’re going to Glasgow for? I’m sure it is, why else would you go to Glasgow but for a man!

– Yes! Yes, that’s right! I’m going to Glasgow to see the man who gave me this gift card!

Why am I telling you all this? Because people don’t always realise that living 2 lives is not easy, especially when you have to hide the one that you prefer. In a month or so I’ll have to think up a reason why things didn’t work out with “the man in Glasgow” (his accent should be reason enough, I’m thinking) and for a few months after that I’ll be subject to lengthy talks about how I’m not getting younger, how it’s impossible to find a decent man, how all men are bastards and how difficult it must be for a woman on her own.

Which leads us up nicely to this charming video:

Christian’s blog is now in my Blogroll, hope you enjoy it. Could you also please take part in the new Poll, it would take you less than a minute and would help me a lot. Other than that, there’s an entry out of sequence and please remember that I’m down south for 10 days in October.

Farewell, August

Please excuse the 2 weeks of silence. There were good political reasons for that. No, the political reasons were actually bad, but they make for a good excuse.

The poll results

The festival poll was nowhere as popular as the weather one. Oh, the britishness of it! They’d rather talk about the weather than about the things that are fun. There were 13 votes altogether, exactly half of the weather poll results.

In case you forgot (as it’s been over 2 weeks now), the question was You and the festival time in Edinburgh are like…

  • Fish and water – you may try living without it, but you’ll fail. 0 votes. Pity.
  • Fish and fins – you can live without it but who wants such a life? 3 votes. One of them mine.
  • Fish and chips – you often go together but it doesn’t make your life longer. 1 voteI guess some people are just born enthusiasm-free.
  • Fish and the shore – you know it exists but you’re not remotely interested in it. 2 votes. Spoilsports!
  • Fish and umbrella – some find it useful but not you. 0 votes. I’m glad it was 0!
  • Fish and the critical period hypothesis in linguistics – what? where? 1 vote. The Fringe HQ need to invest more in their advertising campaign.
  • Why am I always the fish? 1 vote. A fair question which I don’t have a ready answer to. It just happened this way. Could have been anything really, from prostaglandin to an ingot, a fish just has more idioms and connections already available.

And the 5 “other” replies which are the real fun (in order of appearance): 

  1. Love the atmosphere, but trying to go anywhere on foot… Tourist Rage! Funny. I thought it was driving that gave people the tourist rage during the festival, as tram works on their own are bad enough, add the increase of traffic and… I went (as I always do) everywhere (work unrelated) on foot and didn’t have any problems, only fun. I mean, isn’t it fun when out of the blue you’ve got 10 people rubbing against you at the same time? And for free!
  2. Fish and strawberry sauce. We don’t mix well. Pity to hear this but great to see that the fish caught on.
  3. A fish who loves the festival but dislikes the shoal. Beautiful. Just beautiful.
  4. No! I don’t want one of your fucking flyers – and relax… Very cathartic, thanks. How often does it happen nowadays that a SMILING person comes up to you and GIVES you something? For FREE? In Edinburgh it’s only one month a year. I find it refreshing. 
  5. Fish and the bicycle – I’m in the USA so I miss the festival. You poor fish! Now you know where to spend next August.

And other news. Jewel’s news:

  • I’ve arranged a new photoshoot in October so new photos are coming! Probably not till early November, but you can start salivating right now: I don’t charge for anticipation.
  • Another big tour, not just a night in London, details here
Blog news:
  • I’ve shuffled and updated my Blogroll a little and as a result there are now 5 categories there, feel free to explore. Oh, and Blogroll is the thing in the column on the right, where I have links to other blogs and sites which I find either useful or amusing.
  • In view of the political changes mentioned above, there is a new page coming on this blog very-very soon. The sooner the better so I’m working hard in this direction.
  • And a new blog entry (dedicated to touring) out of sequence here.
Client news:
  • Do you remember my first Belgian experience? He was back to Edinburgh for the festival this year and although I didn’t get to see him again, he gave me his ticket for the show he couldn’t attend. How sweet is that! Thank you so much!
  • The ex-old nutter texted to apologise for his behaviour. “Diffidence in the presence of a beautiful woman comes easily”, apparently.