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.

Blackness kiss

Not sure if you remember, but Walter won a kiss in the Limerick Competition. And in case you don’t know, he had big plans for that kiss. Big Plans. We went through a few of them, mostly by location, and having ruled out North Berwick, Queensferry and Portobello, we decided to go with Blackness. To Blackness. What a strange, gothic name for a location which has nothing strange or gothic in it.

Edinburgh escorts

We drove for a while. First highways, then roads, then wooded lanes. In one of them, we passed a hen party – a dozen of pheasant girls talking loudly on a stone wall covered in moss and ivy by the side of the path. With each turn the journey was getting more and more surreal.

Walter parked behind some god forsaken church in the middle of a forest, got a backpack out of the boot and we went down a steep forest path. It was dry, still and unexpectedly warm for a September afternoon. The forest was very quiet. We came across a bridge over a little stream, followed the river, passed by a little shady bog and then suddenly there it was. I knew we were going to a beach but it was still a surprise.

Blackness beach is as wild as they come. Not a single soul there if you don’t count two thousand seagulls, and we had no desire to count them. We walked along the forest line for a while until we came to a spot which was less rocky, more sunny and decorated with bunches of cheerfully bright daisies. There Walter threw a plaid over the thin grass (in the true spirit of a non-Scot in Scotland), I took off my shoes, we snuggled up and the kiss started.

Edinburgh escorts

What shall I say about the kiss? The ground was too rocky, the plaid too thin, the wind too strong, the seagulls – the seagulls were being seagulls, I can hate them for it but not blame. Even two can be bad enough, and multiplied by a thousand… Yet it was the most romantic kiss I’ve had so far. A couple of hours later the sun went down, I got cold and hungry and the kiss had to stop.

It was quite dark when we got to Queensferry. We stopped there for a dinner which, for reasons I will not disclose (in this sentence), Walter now considers unforgettable. Apparently, a certain dish they serve there gives one erection of a lifetime – yes, it lasts that long, I can attest this myself. Before that, however, Walter left the table to pay the bill and came back with a single red rose. I still don’t know where he got it, he wouldn’t say. I’ve never been there so have to ask – are men’s toilets decorated with flower arrangements? In Queensferry?

We made it to the hotel eventually. In the morning, after a very short night (I told you it was erection of a lifetime) Walter kindly took a few (more) pictures of me. This involves another man, I’m afraid. A gentleman I’d never met generously supplied me with lovely lingerie and no, he didn’t ask for the photos in return. I suggested it myself. In case you’re in doubt – no, I don’t usually send out my photos left, right and centre. I don’t need to, you can copy them from my website. If it’s not there, then it’s not for everyone. Which is why you get to see this.

 Edinburgh escorts photos

Look closely. It must have been a very good meal if you can have this in bed and still attribute your erection to food. And no, I’m not telling you what restaurant it was.

You know what? I’m glad I ran that Limerick Competition. Some wonderful things came out of it.

J or The Fortunes of Vice

In some inexplicable way our demonstration on Friday reminded me of her. She had the name of one of the infamous sisters from Marquis de Sade’s writings. I’ll call her J. Edinburgh escorts

I met J in the early summer of 200X. I had just joined a little agency run by an old gentleman. That evening I was sent to Savoy. I was told there would be 2 clients and one other lady. A man opened the door of a little suite and I joined the company in the sitting room.

My client went to sit down on a sofa, I sat next to him. The other man was sitting on a chair opposite us and she was on another chair, three quarters to him, I couldn’t see her face. She was wearing a plain black shift dress and low-heeled square-toed black shoes. Her hair was dark, very short and curly – the hair that I would have if I ever allowed myself to have it cut above my shoulders. She turned to me and stretched her hand.

‘I’m J,’ she said, and smiled.

‘I’m J,’ I replied and touched her hand.

I showed off my new shoes; I bought them the day before, they were made of fabric that was identical in colour and pattern to the bright summer dress I was wearing. My client, the host, served drinks, there were snacks, the men were talkative and funny and soon the conversation was flowing. J spoke little and always very softly; to hear her, everyone had to go silent. I thought it was a great trick.

After a while, the clients went to another room for a quick chat and we were left alone. J turned to me. Her eyes were blue. This is the closest I’ve ever been to falling in love. I looked at her.

‘I love your hair,’ I said and my throat went dry.

‘I love your shoes,’ she replied. And smiled.

The men came back and she left with her client. I ended up staying with mine for the whole night and didn’t get to see J for almost 2 weeks.

Next time it was a little hotel in Park Lane. I had met that client before, when he went on and on about how he would like to see me with a woman. This time I expected to hear it again because this talk seemed to be his favourite fantasy, but it turned out he decided to put his money where his mouth was (erm, yes, both puns). I walked into the room and J was sitting there on the bed, in her black shift dress and square-toed shoes. A couple of months later the old man who ran the agency would tell me that J asked him for that. Her lips and skin were soft and cool. She did everything slowly and quietly, concentrating fully on what she was doing.

She was kneeling between my legs as I stretched out on the bed. With her finger she traced the outline of my thigh. Then she squeezed it.

‘This is amazing. You’re thin and at the same time so fleshy. So succulent.’

Charles, the client, first got bored, then jealous. Men with this fantasy sometime don’t realise that watching 2 women together means you’re left on your own. He asked J to leave and I stayed for another half an hour. When I walked out of the hotel, J was waiting outside in a cab. I came up and opened the cab door.

J shared a squat in Baker Street with half a dozen other people. When she wasn’t working, she was up all night smoking hash and drawing horoscope charts for political events or daydreaming of the Vestals dancing around the sacred fire. Hedonism wasn’t her hobby, it was her way of living. She liked that I was so determined, she said I added structure to her life. She brought chaos into mine. Her company was a pleasure but I could never know when I would have it again. Eventually I left the agency and soon after that I moved to Newcastle. J was unwilling to keep in touch. Or incapable of it.

When I moved to Edinburgh, I came across her photos on a website of a little parlour in south west London. The rota said she was there every Saturday. A year later her photos were removed.

Last summer, walking along Princes Street, Violet and I passed a girl dressed up as air hostess giving out leaflets. She was about my height, slim, with blue eyes and fair skin. I came up and asked for a leaflet.

‘What do you need it for?’ asked Violet when I caught up with her.

‘I don’t need it. The girl was pretty.’

Violet laughed.

February in London, Part 2

Continued from Part 1.

The Old Nutter opens the door and I sneak in with Dana in tow. He plants a kiss on my cheek and steps back a little, opening his arms:

‘I made an effort this time,’ he smiles.

I laugh. It’s a reference to our second date and I’m pleased he remembers what I taught him. And, just as that time, he looks very presentable indeed. I do have a thing for a well-dressed man.

I introduce him to Dana and disappear in the bathroom for a few minutes while they are chatting. I told him what taking part in the project involves (nothing except being photographed. In a way that doesn’t show his face) and he agreed, but I still expected him to be apprehensive. He wasn’t. He looked as relaxed as I’ve ever seen him in my presence.

I return to the room to find him talking to Dana pleasantly, something about the political situation in Romania. It’s unclear if the Nutter is gone all professional because of anxiety or because the concept of small talk is beyond him. Either way, if it’s not about me then I’m not interested, so I tell them we are ready to start and Dana moves to the corner of the room where she found a good spot to take pictures from. She sits down on a chair by the window, opposite a mirror on the wall. I sit down on the bed next to the Nutter. Dana watches us in the mirror.

This is probably the hardest beginning to a date that I’ve ever had. With the camera winking at me, I find myself unable to do any of the things I usually would when meeting a client I’ve seen a couple of times before. Talking about the weather is just too silly but bringing up a personal subject is impossible because we’re not alone. I’ve always known I take responsive clients very close to heart but I never realised just how close. It feels like something between us will evaporate if shared with an outsider. So for a few minutes we just sit on the bed, him waiting for me to take the lead (as always) and me not knowing what to do (as never). But it can’t go on like this for hours so I ask him for a glass of water hoping to get a minute to collect myself.

As he gets up, I pinch his bum and, without turning to me, he tells me to stop objectifying him. I giggle. He pours me a glass of sparkling water, I quickly finish it and… pull off his pullover. The sooner I do what Dana expects to see, the sooner she’ll leave. This isn’t fair to her: she is looking for the authentic experience and she most certainly doesn’t want to be a burden, but I brought her all the way here and I don’t want to kick her out with nothing. It isn’t fair to the Nutter either: he is looking for the authentic me and he most certainly deserves neither empty conversation nor a hooker show. But he can wait a few minutes while I sit in his lap, kissing him and unbuttoning his shirt. I make sure I hear a few more camera clicks from Dana before I tell her that now would be a good time for her to go.

She quickly shows us the images on her camera so the Nutter can make sure his face isn’t there. One of them she points out as a particularly good one.

‘Mmm, I look good!’ I think, looking at it.

‘I didn’t realise I am that bald,’ says the Nutter with a sigh.

Dana leaves and at last I can be myself. We fool around a little and then I remove the rest of his clothes. Now it feels natural and effortless. With Dana watching a prostitute at work this same action was an act of prostitution. On our own, it’s just a man and a woman doing what men and women do. For me, the difference is almost palpable. For the camera – I don’t know. In her project Dana wanted to show women who happen to be sex workers. Maybe she got exactly what she wanted after all: on my own, getting ready, I happen to be a sex worker. With a client, I clearly am a woman. It’s rather sad that it took me years and help of another woman to find out how I really see my work.

Some time later we get dressed and go to a restaurant close by for a late dinner.

‘Did you really feel objectified when I pinched your bum?’ I ask as we walk and the wet snow gets into my boots.

‘Are you kidding? I’ve never been so flattered.’

The morning in the gallery will be in Part 3.

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.

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.

Professional identity crisis or how to piss off a woman

First of all, 2 posts out of sequence: here and here. And now to the point.

Last week I saw a client who I meant to write about. He had a hand fetish (which I found very touching) and a bunch of other weird likes, so the date was fun and went quite well.

Tonight he calls me again and we have a lovely chat with a laugh as he invites me to come over. I have a shower, shave, do deodorants-body lotions-perfumes, put on my make up, straighten my hair, get dressed, pack the bag, choose the shoes, call the cab and go all the way across Edinburgh. I’m saying all this partly to remind men that it takes time and effort to get ready to see them, that if they want a woman “right now”, they’ll have to take the one who’s already standing outside their hotel/ home, but also to explain why I get so pissed off later.

I arrive to his home and knock on the door. He opens it just a little, eyes me up and down through the crack and smiles. 2-3 seconds that would be acceptable for this pass very quickly and turn into half a minute. Eventually he opens the door, I step inside and, still keeping the door open, he says: “Here’s your money, I’d like to pay straight away”. On the table right by the door lies a wad of notes.

If his neighbours were in, they definitely heard it. I wonder if he did it for me, for himself or for the neighbours. I ignore the money and point at the door, meaning both the eye-up and the fact that he makes our relationship public: “What was that for?”

“Oh, just to throw you off”, he smiles. Well, he succeeded. I decide to ignore it because it’s impossible to tell if he’s drunk or just trying to be funny.

– You smell really nice, – he goes on.

– I do, – I agree. – Unlike some people here.

He’s wearing the clothes I saw him in last week. If he had a shower today, that was over 12 hours ago as it’s already quite late. I understand that not everyone has my standards and I don’t want to seem harsh, so I smile and tickle his side to make my remark seem friendlier. He closes the door, turns and goes down the corridor. I’m not sure if I’m supposed to wait or follow him, so I choose to wait: it’s not my home and I don’t want to walk around in case I end up in places not meant for strangers. I pick up the money, count it, put it in my handbag. Wait. He doesn’t come back so eventually I go down the dark corridor after him and find him in a sitting room on the sofa in front of TV. I sit down next to him.

He points at the TV and tells me it’s the last day of the Olympics. I express genuine surprise, he laughs. Long pause, while he looks at the TV and I look at him. He asks if I’d like a drink.

-Yes, a glass of sparkling water would be nice, just as I said on the phone.

– I couldn’t be bothered, you’ll have to take something else.

I look hard at him although I don’t mind it this much if I’m honest; I understand that he doesn’t HAVE TO bother. Anyhow, we’ve already wasted a lot of time and he doesn’t seem to be in a hurry to start the booking. He keeps on smiling but does not act welcoming at all.

– Ok, so how about you go have a shower and wash your face so we could…

– No.

– Think again.

– No, these are my terms. If you’re not happy, you can leave – you’ve got your money now.

I get up, take the money out of my handbag, keep £40 to cover the cab fare to his place and back, and put the rest on the sofa seat. Turn round and walk out.

The first 10 minutes of the way back I’m fuming: I’ve just wasted over 2 hours of my life on a jerk. Then I start feeling miserable and guilty, which is a natural reaction for a woman in a patriarchal society when she’s been treated unfairly. I do know, however, that I could have acted in a different, less reactional and more professional manner. The man is clearly unhappy about something going on in his life and he’s going the self-harm way, pushing people away. What he wanted was to spend time in front of TV, watching the closing ceremony and not feeling lonely. And I would have been really happy to help him if he didn’t act like a jerk. But I should have told him this, I’m sure he’d reconsider a shower if he saw that people care. And my trouble is that I really do care. Took me 30 years to realise it, and only thanks to Walter who’s been opening my eyes to this fact booking after booking. I’m in prostitution because I genuinely enjoy helping people. And I always thought I was in it for the money. Oh well, guess I’ll just have to live with this.

I ask the cabbie to drop me off at the city centre: I don’t want to go home with all these negative feelings inside.

London

Euston, Thursday 28th June, midday

A text from H(ugh): “Jewel, Midnight Tango on at the Playhouse on Saturday 7.30. Will you be back from London in time?”

Does he need to ask? I walk to Kings Cross to change my train ticket so I could arrive to Edinburgh earlier than planned to be in time for the show.

Kings Cross, Friday 29th June, 7pm

I’m having dinner in a gay restaurant (it’s a largish restaurant, it’s literally across the road from 2 main railway stations, it’s Friday night and there’s me, 11 other customers altogether (all male) and 4 male staff. Gay is the only explanation). My phone rings.  It’s the client I’m seeing in Edinburgh on Sunday for lunch and lust making his introductory call.

– And by the way, Jewel, it’s tomorrow you’re travelling back, isn’t it? Have you heard of the train disruptions? I don’t know the details but because of the bad weather in Scotland some trains have been cancelled.

Well, it was bound to happen. There hasn’t been good weather in Scotland since last Christmas. Still, my dinner over, I go across the road to Kings Cross station. A very disinterested young lady in the information booth tells me she hasn’t heard of any disruptions of East Coast services. She looks like a highly unreliable source of information but the only one, so I walk back to my hotel in Euston.

Euston, Saturday 30th June, 6.08am

“This is so exciting!” – a text from J, the client who’s already on the train to Euston to see me at 7am before work. I open one eye, read the text, roll the eye and text back “You can say that again!” Drop the offending beeping device on the floor by my bed, bury my face in the pillow and give myself 10 more minutes.

Do you know how long an average healthy and youngish person needs to get a good night’s sleep? Just 10 more minutes.

Euston, Saturday 30th June, 7am

J is outside my hotel with a cup of hot chocolate for me. I’m running around my room in panic, still only partially dressed, shoe in one hand, mascara in another, trail of loose powder on the carpet behind me.

Euston, Saturday 30th June, 9am

I’m drinking the cold hot chocolate from the paper cup courtesy of J when an e-mail from Walter arrives: if, as my site says, I’m going back to Edinburgh this week-end, I’d better take a plane because of the severe disruptions to East Coast services. I’m not even seeing him this week-end, yet he bothered to check things out and e-mail me!

This is the second warning, and much as I hate browsing Internet on my mobile I do that, just to see that according to East Coast website very few London trains make it past Newcastle to Edinburgh, and those that do, run up to 90 minutes late. I’ve H(ugh) waiting for me with tickets outside the Playhouse at 7. I love tango. I love my clients. I love being paid. I hate being late for dates because of East Coast. Besides, H(ugh) always insists on giving me a lift home. Here’s his chance.

“Morning, H(ugh). East Coast trains being more unreliable than always, how do you feel about picking me up in Newcastle to give me a lift home?”

“Jewel, my dear, you are one of the few friends I would do this for! When are you due to arrive in Newcastle?”

Aww. I still have this text. I’d print it out and frame it if I could. Yep, I’m that sad. I e-mail Walter to thank him for the warning and to express my surprise at how much my clients seem to care. His reply arrives almost immediately: “you’re like L’Oreal – you’re worth it”. Another aww.

Euston, Saturday 30th June, 10.30am

I meet Dana Popa in the lobby of my hotel. Dana is a photographer working on a project which I hope to be part of. The aim of the project is to show women who happen to be sex-workers. I like the way it’s put. After all, I never think of myself as a sex-worker. This word may bless me with a certain lifestyle but it does not define me. First and foremost, I am a woman. I am also a daughter, a sister, a friend, and then a prostitute. Dana tells me about her project. I tell her about my clients (because that’s the thing on my mind), how unbearably sweet they are. Typical girlie chat.

Kings Cross, Saturday, 30th June, midday

I get on the train. Luckily, it takes me all the way to Edinburgh so H(ugh) doesn’t have to go to Newcastle to pick me up. He picks me up from Waverley though.

Naked men and their atavisms

– Hi Jewel. My name’s G. I saw you last year, and I was wondering if I could see you again tomorrow.

Hmm. I’ve only ever seen 2 Gs in my time in Edinburgh and it’s neither of them: the accent doesn’t match up. But I’m human and therefore prone to forget.

I open the door and he walks in. A very attractive man in his late 50s. Clean shave, stylish haircut, sexy glasses, very well dressed in a trendy jacket and good shoes. He looks vaguely familiar, like someone I may have seen on TV or a book cover. But for all I know, I have not met him before.

I take him to the living room, offer a drink, start a little chat – all these things I usually do. Meanwhile my brain is working overtime: he found the flat so he must have been here before. He acts like he knows me so it must have been me he was here with. But who on earth is he? Maybe I’ll recognise him when he’s naked.

If you’re laughing – don’t. First of all, a lot of the time my clients are naked. This is how I’ll remember them. Secondly, I have no memory for faces. When a client leaves, I can tell you what sort of person he is and what sort of lover he is, but if you show me 10 mug shots of white middle-aged men, I won’t be able to point the one who’s just left unless facial hair is involved. And I’m not exaggerating. Last week I ran into George from Scot-PEP. He was parking his car, I was rushing by – Walter was waiting. If George hadn’t looked and smiled at me, I wouldn’t have noticed him at all: men who don’t pay don’t exist. But he did, so I looked back, acknowledged the fact that I’d met this man before (and he’d obviously met me) and proceeded to trying to picture him naked. Your mind is dirty. I have sex with naked men most days of the month. I don’t have the need to fantasise about it. I was simply trying to figure out who he was. By the time I realised I’d never seen him naked in the first place, I already turned round the corner.

So all this is running through my mind while I’m chatting with G until he mentions something about our previous date and I go:

– Oh yes, I remember you telling me this!

It’s a lie. I do remember someone telling me this, but not him. Anyway, something to work with. Any other memories linked with this? Oh yes!

– You also told me that about your parents, didn’t you?

– Hmm, looks like I did.

This has another memory attached to it and soon I recall the booking with that someone who told me all that. NO WAY!

– But your name wasn’t G! It was…

– It was S, yes, it’s my middle name.

Still, NO WAY! I remember S – the old nutter – like it was yesterday and G must be his twin from the parallel universe where men have sense of style and follow fashion. Where is his grey matted hair and thick-rimmed glasses? The bushy beard is also gone, together with his shyness and awkwardness. He looks so happy, healthy and confident! Some things stayed the same though. I make myself comfortable in his lap, kiss him, tell him how attractive he looks this time and ask if it’s because he made an extra effort for me today. He thinks for a second and

– No, not really.

If there had been a desk close by, I’d have been sure to hit my head emphatically against its surface to get my point across. In the absence of a desk, I have to roll my eyes. Seriously?! Here is the list of tips The Old Nutter inspired last time. Please read it again if you’re a man because it looks like men have short memory. And the tip that’s not included there: if your woman sees that you’ve made an effort, the right answer is “Yes, honey, I have”. Whether you actually made the effort or not and if you know at all what she’s talking about is irrelevant. Considering how many men out there struggle to make their women see how much effort they put into their relationship, you should feel lucky to have it noticed.

Rant aside, it’s a pleasure to see how S turned into G, even if only physically. Just makes me wonder what prompted the change.

If you would like to know how things developed with the Nutter, here’s our next date.

My only vice, or food, glorious food!

I’ll start from afar but not as far as last century, don’t worry. Around 6 years ago I met a woman who was also a beginner in sex trade. I was a poor student jumping from one temporary job to another, struggling to make enough to buy a travel card for the next day so I could attend my classes (and more often than not, ending up borrowing my bus fare from flatmates). She had just finished her education – she was homeless, jobless, with thousands of debt, and, when she joined the agency I met her through, only a hundred quid in her pocket. A couple of months later, as we were chatting, she asked me:

– So what is it for you? Now that you don’t have to worry about your bus fare for tomorrow, now that you know that each week you will have a few pounds left for yourself, what do you use this money for? What’s your vice?

For her, it was cabs. For me, it was food.

As many other things, this one was rooted in the childhood. My mother never cooked. She used to say she had better things to do than slaving away in the kitchen. She chose to do the better things and had someone else do the slaving for her. So our fridge was always full of delicious stuff that I never saw being made. Up to the age of 22 the only cooking I did was adding milk to my cereal. Sorry, cooking coloured boiled water (tea in layman’s terms) also counts. Naturally, I took it for granted.

When I was around 14, my eyes were forced open to what cooking actually meant. My maternal grandmother loved it (even I wonder whom my mother got her progressive views from) and I remember a feast she once organised for the extended family. I was called in to do my part. For three days non-stop my grandmother only left the kitchen to sleep. This was when I realised how much effort and time cooking required. I suddenly saw kitchen for what it is – a branch of Hell Ltd. Forget cooking for a party. Think of cooking for yourself. You spend at least an hour peeling, chopping, grating, frying, boiling and mixing. Another half hour will be spent washing up pots and pans and plates and spoons. Add 10 minutes for serving and cleaning the table. Then you eat everything up in 10 minutes and some time later (hold your breath!) IT ALL GOES DOWN THE LOO. To sum it up, if you still don’t see the point: 2 hours of your life, 2 hours that you will never have back to re-live in a better, more useful way, will be washed down the toilet. And you are not even paid for this time! I suppose it’s all fine if you enjoy cooking, but what if you don’t?

So when at 22 I was finally given the independence I’d been fighting for for years (not all parents are happy to see their children go) and  found myself living on my own and in London, I had to face a choice:

  • I could hire a cook,
  • I could eat out 14 times a week,
  • or I could learn to cook.

The only financially acceptable option for me was to cook. Talk of getting what you asked for. I took up cooking with the enthusiasm we all have for things we are clueless about. If anyone is interested, I could come up with “How I learnt to cook” post. You’ll pee yourself laughing at my expense. The result of my efforts was by most part still flushed down the loo, only without having passed my digestive tract as nature intended. Moreover, at that time I was so stupid and inexperienced, it didn’t even cross my mind that I could get a boyfriend and thus have someone cooking for me in exchange for sex.

So what do you think happened when I became involved in the sex industry? Yes, that’s right. At last I had a few pounds a week left for myself and I could EAT! And my 2-year-long abstinence from food helped me realise how much I loved it. I love food from the bottom of my stomach. In fact, food and I, we have a very healthy relationship – food loves me back. It satisfies me, it pleasures me, it never disagrees with me. We’re inseparable. We’ll die together on the same day.

6 years down the line, sex trade gave me many things that I’m grateful for:

  • Opportunity to be independent financially, emotionally and otherwise
  • Variety of sex that mere mortals only dream of
  • Countless ways of self-expression
  • Respect and adoration of men
  • New shoes now and then

and I could go on and on. But being able to afford to eat what, when and how I please without having to waste my life on cooking is priceless. I can afford to do my food shopping every day – not once a week or a month. How can I buy food for a month if I don’t know what I will want to eat tomorrow? I can afford to buy organic food, as fresh as you can possibly find in a city. I can afford to not own a fridge or a freezer – if it needs to be stored in a fridge, it’s not fresh. And, best of all, I can afford to eat out every time I can’t be bothered with food shopping. Life is beautiful.