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.

On cats and dogs – part 2

While everyone knows that all men are dogs, some men are more dogs than others. This is what this post is about. Cats were mentioned in Part 1.

Mr French. He’s only an inch taller than me, with small hands, small feet and a body that you could also call smallish if it didn’t have his personality attached. Teamed with the personality, his body takes inexplicably more space than it physically needs. He looks large and heavy-boned even though it’s not the case. And you always know when he’s in the room. It’s like visiting a dog-owner’s home. You don’t need to see the dog, you just know there is one in this house.

He starts every date by marking his territory. He enters the incall flat, goes straight to the kitchen, opens the fridge to put a bottle of wine to cool, opens the cupboards looking for glasses and plates for the snacks he brought. Once the food is sorted, he goes to the bathroom to wash his hands. He then returns to the living room, walks around it, fiddles with things and eventually settles down on the sofa – now, with every corner marked, he can relax. And yes, he’s the only one I know who opens a fridge that’s not his and feels at home after that. For the majority of people it’s the other way round.

We all fall for different things. Some people are attracted by what they see, others – by what they hear. Personally, I fall for how people express themselves. For Mr French it’s smells. Throughout our very first date he went on and on about how beautifully I smell. At first I just shrugged it off, but then I realised it was very important to him – not the way a woman looks or acts but the way she smells. And it’s deeper than perfume.

For me, it was a whole new world. I was most probably zinc deficient in childhood: my sense of smell is non-existent. I need to be looking at the toast I’m burning to smell something burnt. I won’t know what a client smells like until I can taste his aftershave on my lips. Needless to say, I never know if I’m wearing too much perfume or way too much perfume. And so, smells not being a part of my reality, I found it difficult to understand what the attraction was for Mr French – I’ve no clue what I smell like! But I knew that when he helped me put on my coat, he was sniffing the back of my neck. When he helped me take off my lingerie, it also went past his nose. With time, I just accepted it. But on the second date I had to ask:

– Are you sniffing me again?

– Sniffing? I’m like a dog, aren’t I?

There you go, he said it himself. Dogs mostly sniff and lick each other. Yep, he is just like a dog.

He’s not light and leggy, made for speed like most hunting breeds. He’s a working dog, heavy and broad. He could be a Greater Swiss Mountain dog if they came in black and were fluffy. Or he could be a Newfoundland if they at least pretended to have a backbone and tried to look like they are bold and daring. Being hairy as he is (the only hairless spot is his back. His rear view is that of a satyr with a missing tail) only increases the similarity. Once I even got to see it. Here’s how it happened.

We were in a restaurant when I asked if having a bath together would be too French for him.

– No, – he said. – Sounds fun, let’s try this.

So when we got to the flat, I ran a bath and turned away to wash off my make-up (to avoid having it run down my face when we’re in the bathtub). I heard his bare feet on the bathroom tiles behind me, then the water splashing as he stepped in the tub. I dried my face, turned round and…

Sitting in the bathtub facing me was a large black woolly dog. It looked rather pathetic as wet dogs tend to do. It had sad eyes, and its muzzle seemed strangely red in the steamy air rising from the tub. The dog lifted its front paw and splashed the water discontentedly.

– It’s too hot! – whined the dog in a familiar French accent. The vision disappeared. The memory of wet Mr French, all red in the face, sitting in a tub of hot water will stay with me forever.

Unfortunately, this is the last post dedicated to Mr French. Fortunately, this means that a very good regular client position is now available. Please send your applications to jewel@scotlandmail.com

On cats and dogs – part 1

While everyone knows that all men are dogs, some men are more dogs than others. And some are less. And some men are cats.

Cats

Walter. The man is twice my height, with a largish frame, yet when he moves around the incall flat you won’t hear a sound. With his apparent physical size he takes very little space. Some people you notice when they walk into the room. Not Walter. You can put down the book you are reading and suddenly notice him sitting in the corner of your sofa with a quiet facial expression. You’ll never guess how long he’s been there for. He may have licked his paws or scratched behind his ear while you were reading but these movements wouldn’t bother even a fly.

Some people play with things when they are bored/ curious/ alone. They’ll take the figurines from the mantelpiece, fiddle with them and put them back, or leaf through a magazine. Not Walter.  He won’t touch a thing unless he totally has to or is told to do so – and he doesn’t appreciate commands (unless we’re in the bedroom) so there’s no “fetch” or “sit”. He’ll sit down when he feels like it, not when you tell him to.

In the bedroom, as I said, it’s different – there he loses his independence. He’ll curl up next to me (or around me, considering his size) on the bed and we start playing. In complete silence. When dogs play, they bark, they woof, they pant, they run around madly. When cats play, they sit, motionless and silent, their eyes tracing the movements of the “mouse” dangling on a string. That’s Walter. He’ll purr from time to time. That’s it. And when he’s feeling particularly playful, he’ll roll over onto his back and let me scratch his stomach.

All these little things are not visible straight away when people first meet, but you notice more of them with each date. At some point I started thinking of him as catman, which had consequences.

We’re in the shower cabin, he covers me in soap and suddenly sees deep scratches across my stomach. My reply to his inevitable question:

-I had a fight with one of your relatives.

You know how you sometimes say things without thinking? Not one of those moments. I WAS thinking. And I said exactly what I was thinking. As always (like that time when a client told me he was 44 and I went “Really? But you look 50!” Not my brightest hour). It’s just that sometimes the way our brains arrive to this or that conclusion isn’t necessarily obvious to others. So there I am, standing in the shower cabin, naked, wet and slippery with soap, feeling apoplectically stupid. Walter looks at me quietly and replies in an even voice:

– It must have been my father-in-law. His walking stick isn’t always for walking.

– A cat! It was a cat! I wanted to play but the little bastard wasn’t in the mood!

And, frantically trying to change the subject of his feline relatives which he was previously unaware of, I start babbling:

– By the way, have you heard this joke about the in-laws?

– (raised eyebrow) Is there just the one?

I tell him the first in-laws joke that comes to mind and then end up explaining the catman phenomenon and my fight with one of his relatives – not a nice scene. Not only did he refuse to play with me, he then went and ate my earphones. Not chewed off. ATE it. The evil whiskered monster chewed off one of the earpieces and then ate it – there was lots of chewed wire bits left but the earpiece was never found. And while I was raging around my friend’s flat looking under furniture and turning over the cushions with screams along the lines of “where are you, little bugger! I’ll find you and stuff the second piece down your throat!” (and yes, you’re right, it wasn’t exactly “bugger” that I was shouting), my friend was running after me pleading to let the “bugger” be because she spent 80 quid the previous week to have his balls ripped out. And yes, you’re right again, I offered my services free of charge.

This story lasted us long enough to finish the shower and get comfortable in the bedroom. And then it was silence as always. And only later, when Walter was getting dressed, I wondered aloud about what happens when the eaten earpiece has finished its journey.

– Will there be a bit of wire sticking out? If I pull this wire, do you think the earpiece will come out?

– Animal lover, are you? No wonder he scratched you.

Speaking of which, Walter scratches me too, if you remember. Oh, and his toe nails are definitely there to help him climb trees. I can’t see any other reason why he hasn’t chopped them off an inch ago.

Dogs are discussed in Part 2.

My blind date

Thanks to the law and the stigma sex work is not the least stressful one – but you already know this, I’m sure. However, thanks to the law and the stigma, it can be just as hard for a client as it is for an average sex worker. And for some clients it takes balls – many more balls than nature intended – to visit a lady. For example, the client that this post is dedicated to (yes, I know that realistically speaking all posts here are dedicated to me, but I’m sure you can forgive my occasional flaws here and there. Besides, self-adoration is not a flaw, it’s a lifestyle).

Anyway, for blind people it’s hard. Yes, the client in question is blind. I’m not saying it’s easy for someone who has fewer legs than balls, but these men can at least see where they are going (or where their wheelchair is pushed). A blind client can’t. And yes, I know that it’s not only the lady of fixed-rate virtue that they can’t see, it’s everything, everything you can think of – they can’t see it. And they get by so what’s this post about?

I tell you what. Think of the first time you ever visited a sex worker. Say, you found this lady online. You scrutinised her website, looked (and then looked again) at her photos, compared her to other ladies in the area, agonised a little, called her, arranged to meet and set off. While she most probably sounded lovely on the phone, I’m sure that the first time you were on your way to see her, you were thinking all of those horrible things that TV, newspapers and punter forums make you believe:

  • The photos are not hers
  • The photos are hers but they were taken 20 years ago
  • It wasn’t her you spoke to. The woman you’ll meet won’t speak a word of English
  • On top of not speaking English, she will be trafficked and forced
  • Or worse, she won’t be forced, she’ll be a junkie trying to make enough dosh for the next dose before the withdrawal symptoms kick in
  • There will be a sleazy pimp – cum – drug-dealer there who will take your money and then wait by the bedroom door
  • There will be recording equipment in the bedroom so later the sleazy man can blackmail you
  • You will be lucky to be given a bedroom there. Chances are, the bedroom will have been taken by someone who came earlier and you’ll have to do with the toilet/kitchen
  • It will all take place in a dirty sh!thole
  • You won’t get any sex at all. You’ll just be robbed and beaten up by the sleazy pimp/ jealous boyfriend/ police.

And millions other ridiculous thoughts that your brain-washed imagination can come up with* when you’re going to a place you’ve never been before to meet someone you’ve never met before for an activity you’ve never engaged in before. It’s scary, and first-time clients who have ever watched TV have all the rights to be nervous.

However, when you come to her door, you see that it’s an ordinary house in an ordinary neighbourhood, everything looks clean and decent – the opposite of the den of sin on the outskirts of Gomorrah that you’ve pictured. You come inside a clean little living room with pink curtains and meet a lovely smiling lady whose photos you’ve seen on the site. There may be a quiet maid there for the lady’s safety but there are no pimps, no drugs, no jealous boyfriends in the vicinity, no visible recording equipment and no apparent danger to your health or life. Do you feel better? You sure do. The lady is very inviting and once in the bedroom, you forget about your silly worries.

And now imagine that with all these worries in your mind you get to the place and you can’t see all the reassuring details I’ve just described. Not because they are not there but because you can’t see them. There is no way for you to make sure that you’re alone with the lady, that there’s no recording equipment in the bedroom, that there’s no threat to your life, health or wallet. Worse still, imagine that something there really isn’t to your liking or you simply changed your mind. If you’re disabled, you can’t even leave quickly on your own. Once you’re there, you have to trust that the lady will take care of you. Can you imagine it now how hard it is for disabled people to summon up the courage to meet sex workers? And how much easier it could be if they didn’t have to hide this visit from their carers or family? If a carer helped a disabled client to get to the place instead of the client having to take a train and then a cab and then trust that the lady will pick him up and help him get inside? Or if parents of the disabled client agreed for the session to take place in their home instead of forcing the client to travel god knows where in secret to have a go at something other people take for granted, the parents included?

I once saw a nurse getting ready to help a paralysed person have a shower. She put on rubber gloves and went to help the patient change. Can you imagine a life where people put on rubber gloves before touching you somewhere other than your hand?

* These are first-time client fears only (the recording equipment being the most common and the most fetching one) and in no way do they represent the real state of affairs. We only record and watch the first dozen clients, after that it gets kinda boring.

Old “friend” – Part 1

This week brought back two old “friends”. Let’s start with the first one, Colin, whom I’ve seen a few times. In fact, quite a few times. But not in the settings that you as a reader are used to imagine.

Up until 2 years ago I visited Edinburgh from time to time – for the Fringe and, of course, while looking for a place to live when I decided to move to Edinburgh. During these trips I advertised in Daily Sport – the fastest (even if not the easiest) way to generate a few clients a day to cover the expenses of your trip, festival tickets and the real estate agent’s fee.

If you don’t know what Daily Sport was 3 years ago (it’s changed now, I hear, but not necessarily for the better) – it’s a highly unpleasant newspaper with about 400-500 ads for “services” all over the UK. An ad consists of a lady’s name, her location and her phone number – nothing else. This ad cost £30 a day (and this is when pimping is illegal in the UK). As you can guess, this newspaper does not provide you with upscale clientele. The average client it gives you is looking for a quick fix at 60 quid for 30 minutes. So this was what I offered.

If right now you’re thinking “why should I be paying her £200 for what other people get for £60!” – think again. Having been “on the game” for 6 years now, I worked in all possible modes and at all possible rates and believe me – there is a difference. Different rates provide you with different experiences. None of them is better or worse, it all depends on what you are looking for. From the point of view of a sex worker, what client are you more likely to give more attention to? The one who pays £60 or the one who pays £200? That’s right. One of them you will want to come back for more. The other one is easily expendable. One pays enough to make sure he’s the only one for the day. The other one has to queue. Here is how an ordinary £60 booking goes:

4pm. Will never skip lunch because of work again (promised religiously to self every day)! I really need to have something to eat when this one is gone. If he leaves by 4.15, I’ll have just enough time for a quick shower and a super quick snack before the next one at 4.30. Hope the next one is a little late – an apple is not going to be enough for me right now. I should have bought some chocolate last night. I wonder if this new bar I saw is as good as it looks! Jesus, will he finish at all today?! I should probably suggest changing the position. Sh!t, what did he say his name was?

– Honey, would you like to go on top now?

4.15 (smoothing out the bed sheets while the client is getting dressed) Was it Monday or Tuesday I changed the sheets last? Ah, who cares, it looks ok, I’ll give it another day.

4.20 (closing the door) Sod the shower, I MUST have something to eat NOW!

And pretty much any post on this blog tells you how an average £200+ date goes so I won’t repeat that but I’ll say this again – neither way is better or worse. It’s up to each sex worker what they feel comfortable providing (not everyone wants/ has the ability to connect with the client and not all sex workers want a long-term relationship with clients as it can be very demanding and difficult emotionally) and it’s up to each client what they want to pay for (good sex is different things to different people).

And now back to Colin. Daily Sport was how I saw him first and after several bookings I even started recognising him. Mentally I referred to him as “hairy bloke no 2” (mind you, it was 3 years ago and he has moved down to no 4 since. The first position is still occupied by the Geordie, the second place now belongs to the Italian virgin and the third is reserved for Mr French – not that there is a competition of any sorts going on) and had a lot of fun taunting him with it.

With Daily Sport days long gone as I settled in one place, you can imagine my surprise when the person who showed up at the time and location agreed for a date turned out to be my hairy bloke number 2! It is not too hard to find me if you want it – I’ve always worked with the same name and phone number, whatever city, rate or affiliation; but it’s the first time when someone I saw for £60 decided that the “new and improved” deal is worth it. Personally, I totally think it is, but of course I’m curious as to what made him think this way.

– Dunno. You were so sensual and intimidating. Remember the last time when…

Colin goes on to describe what I did last time I saw him and I nod like I remember. What I’m really thinking about is “intimidating”. It’s not the first time I’m told I am and for the life of me I don’t know what they mean or how I manage to give this impression. You’d think that people will want to avoid things that intimidate them but men keep coming back: I guess there’s intimidating and intimidating. So I take Colin to the bedroom and intimidate the hell out of him.

Part 2 to follow.

Chaleur de ma vie

And so, the day has arrived. This time Mr French wanted to go to the cinema. On the way there, we talk about the beauty of polyandry. Oh all right! I talk of the beauty of polyandry and Mr French cringes slightly. He does try to mention the beauty of polygyny but has to keep it to himself eventually.

As with anything else, what we watch is up to me. I choose “The Artist” and get ready for the reaction along the lines of “Woman, are you making me read again?!” (last time you heard about Mr French, I made him watch a 6-hour-long play with supertitles) but instead he seems to be quite pleased. I don’t think I’ll ever have my revenge with this one, he’s pleased no matter what I do.

If you’ve seen “The Artist”, you’ll recall the moment when George, having just been fired, runs into Peppy, whose star is rising. She has 2 men accompanying her. She stops to chat with George and gives him her number, pleading him to call. He points at her 2 companions who are waiting patiently close by. “Toys” , she explains with a smile. “She’s just like you”, – Mr French whispers in my ear. How can you not love a man who knows his place!

We get back to the flat and, erm… read poetry. In case you are smiling knowingly to yourself – yes, we really do read some poetry. The previous date Mr French complained that he hadn’t read anything in a while, so this time I have a little book by Jacques Prevert for him. I ask him to read for me: it’s so seldom that I hear his French! At first, he seems reluctant, but soon he’s leafing through the book, looking for the next poem to french out. Still, delightful as Prevert can be, we soon leave the book and go to the bedroom to make some poetry of our own.

It’s almost 10 when I get out of the shower and see Mr French getting dressed. Does he want a shower before we go? “It’s a French restaurant”, he shrugs, “there’s no need”. Sometimes I do wonder if he’s being funny or if he’s being French.

I watch him eat. He’s the only one I’ve ever seen eating snails, oysters, scallops, mussels and other creepy slippery invertebrates. Yet I enjoy the sight. I’m sure you know by now that I like men with a passion in their lives. It can be anything from collecting the models of planes to feeding penguins – I don’t care as long as it’s something he takes pleasure in. Mr French has a few hobbies that make him forget the time and, along with seeing me, eating is one of them.

Don’t confuse eating with food, they are totally different. Food is my hobby. I love food in any way, shape and form. If it’s not nailed to the wall – I’ll eat it. Eating is different. Unlike me, Mr French enjoys the process, not the object. He may not be the most elegant eater, but he’s a joy to watch because he does it with appetite – not for the food he’s eating but for the pleasure he receives from eating it.

En masse, the Brits deny themselves the pleasure of pleasure. It’s a cultural thing. They eat to quell hunger, they drink to get drunk, they wear clothes to be dressed, they work to make money, they have sex to reach orgasm. They do these things for their final purpose, not for the pleasure of doing them. Mr French is the complete opposite. He’s so French it makes me envious. But right now I’m looking at him eating – it turns me on.

– Stop staring at me.

– I can’t.

– When we get back to the flat, I’ll take you to the bedroom, undress you, put you on the bed and stare at you.

– Promise?

– Oh yeah!

– Eat faster then.

For the main course the chef made a tart for me – gluten free. It’s basically the tart’s filling on a plate without the tart itself. If anything, it’s only better for it. When the manager comes round to make sure I’m ok and sees the plate, he says the chef will be happy to see this – he likes it when plates arrive back empty (my plate couldn’t have been cleaner even if I’d licked it). Needless to say, I immediately want to thank the chef for all his effort personally, and the manager takes me to the kitchen. When I return, Mr French makes a jealous face: I left the table to speak to another man without even excusing myself, not to mention asking if he minds it. We both know he’s fine with this (does he have a choice?) but it’s still fun, so we discuss the chef over the dessert, and leave.

Back at the flat, he takes me to the bedroom, undresses me, puts me on the bed and… stares at me? Yeah, right!

Ungodly manners and church cafes

I am woken up practically right after dawn (it’s February, remember?) by the sound of a male voice swearing close by. I’ve never been married so I’m not used to this sort of wake up call. As my brain gradually gets all my senses working, I realise that in fact it’s more than one man, at least two. Now this is interesting. I don’t recall having invited a bunch of Scots to swear outside my bedroom window at this ungodly hour in this ungodly manner. I turn round, cover my head with the duvet and pray for all men to disappear off the face of the earth until I really am ready to wake up. Don’t know about the majority, but the individuals outside my window are still there 15 minutes later when I realise there’s no way I can go back to sleep with this noise. I get up. The men don’t know it yet, but they’re in trouble.

I have a shower, get dressed, blow dry my hair, have breakfast and the men are still there, I can hear them. Eventually, I go to draw the curtains open. My front door opens to a metre or so of paved path that leads to the gate in the little fence. The gate is open, someone’s dirty jacket is thrown over it. My tiny front yard is a mess. There are three men there, two burly blokes and a skinny young one. It looks like Edinburgh council decided at last to deal with the crater in the pavement right outside my gate – the one that should have been dealt with when the Second World War was over. Some of the broken paving stones are already removed, their remains are thrown around nicely in my front yard. It rained the night before, the men are all covered in dirt; my paved path, the fence, the gate all have the mud smeared evenly on them. And if this is not enough, two of the men are smoking. And they don’t strike me as the sort of men who’d bring an ashtray with them.

Trying not to shout yet, I storm out of the door. Open the shed, get the broom, slam the tiny shed door so hard the flimsy shed nearly topples over, and charge the enemy. They are still clueless. One of the bigger blokes waves his hand reassuringly at me as I approach, a cigarette pressed between his fingers.

– Don’t bother cleaning up yet, we’ll be back again tomorrow to finish the work.

WHAT!

Remember my jewel knickers? I can bet them safely that this man only showers once a week. On Saturdays. Because on any other day of the week it is pointless – he’ll be going to work again the following day, no?

I get as close to him as his cigarette smoke allows me and, slowly and patiently, give him my point of view.

– Unlike you, I live here, including today. So I want YOU to clean up all this mess before you leave today. Everything, especially this sh!t.

I point at the cigarette butts on the ground and shove him the broom.

Back inside, I try to calm down but fail. I can still hear the men talking to each other, although not as loudly as before. I look out of the window. The skinny boy is crouching on the ground, picking up the cigarette butts. That’s how I like ’em – on their knees. Realising I won’t be able to get anything done if I stay at home, I throw my laptop into my handbag, put my coat on and leave. I notice that the parts of the broken paving stones are now piled up in one corner. As I pass the men on my way out, I ask the bulky one, who seems to be the leader of the pack, what time they are going to finish. He says, around 3. I reply that I’ll be back by 2.30 then.

I go to my favourite cafe. This cafe is part of a church building, which means that the prices are fair and the room is usually empty – perfect for working. I once brought K the Aussie there. He stopped just outside the front door and asked:

– You do realise it’s a church cafe, don’t you?

– Yes, so what? I don’t care what the owners believe as long as the tea they serve is hot.

– Well, don’t know about you but I probably shouldn’t be here. I’ve done some things in my life, you know… Including women…

Hmm, wonder if this is the reason the cafe is usually empty. It’s sometimes hard to say if K the Aussie is serious or not. He entered the cafe though. And nothing happened to him.

The following day the men finish early. The “leader” knocks on my door asking to fill some dirty green container with water so they could rinse the mud off the fence and the gate. They even splash the water across my paved path to clean it up, too. Is it really clean? Of course it’s not. But at least they made an effort, it’s good enough a start for them.

The Good Date

Continued from Part1 and Part2.

Mr French is running late. He was supposed to be at the flat at 1pm, but it’s a long way to Edinburgh and the traffic is not very helpful. At 1.30 he storms in, suit on a hanger in one hand, a bag in another. All this immediately goes on the floor so his hands are free for a little fumble right by the door. Eventually I tear him off my face, shove a towel in his hands and lock him in the bathroom where the shower is already running. 3 minutes later he’s out. I dry his back while he zips his bag open. Not made of carpet, it’s still Miss Poppins’ style: he takes out a pair of shoes, a pair of socks, a change of underwear and lots of grooming things. 5 more minutes and he’s ready. Another little fumble by the door until we’re at last out and in a cab. Thankfully, Lyceum theatre is close by and we’re there just on time.

As much as I am now in love with Arabic theatre, I have to mention that One Thousand and One Nights is not the sort of play you go to see with your mother. Or with your children, even if they are over 30. In fact, depending on what sort of woman you were clever/ lucky enough to marry, your wife might also be the wrong partner for this sort of entertainment (when the slaves with strap-ons appeared on the stage, the elderly lady on my right closed her eyes. When The Porter went down on the three sisters one after another, she closed them again. When he ran across the stage stark naked, I didn’t dare to look at her. Besides, The Porter was quite a sight). But the sex-worker – client relationship happened to be perfect for it and by the end of Part 1 Mr French started looking keenly at me. We go for an early dinner in a nearby restaurant and he seems to relax a little, but back at the theatre, in the bar, his hand is again firmly glued to right below the small of my back.

“You’re so lovely” he says. I yawn. He takes a swig from his glass. “You’re bloody desirable.” I smile smugly. He pulls me in closer. We kiss. The taste of his drink burns my throat.

One Thousand and One Nights is a tale in a tale. Shehrazade tells tales to her husband (don’t we all know women like this?). The characters of her stories (2nd level), brought to life right in front of us by the power of her imagination, go places, meet people, tell them their story and listen the stories of others in return (3rd level). These stories also involve people and so we go deeper and deeper. Mr French admits that he’s losing the plot. I’m surprised – after just 2 drinks? But by the middle of Part 2, when a character from a 5th level tale comes to the 3rd level tale to resuscitate The Hunchback, I have to admit that now they lost me, too.

We leave the theatre around 10. It’s a lovely evening, even if a little too fresh, and we walk in silence, his hand on my waist. I’m still dwelling on some parts of the play that impressed me most. No clue what’s on his mind. Eventually, he’s the first to speak.

– Now I know what your plan was. To show me that women are so much better than men.

This totally wasn’t my plan. I haven’t seen the play before and I didn’t know what it was about. Besides, there were some decent male characters in the play, too. Although, in all honesty, not too many of them. But would I really tell Mr French that he’s arrived to the wrong decision? I just reply that everything around is a part of a greater plan.

My own revenge plan, it seems, did not work that well. Not only did he sit through the 6 hours of the play without falling asleep, he also really enjoyed it. Oh well, there’s always the next time. Maybe I will have to tie him to a chair after all. At this point I get too cold and Mr French hails a cab.

At the flat, I make him go through the drafts of Parts 1 and 2 of the recipe first but it’s obvious that reading is not what he wants to do. I point at his chin. He opens his carpet bag, takes out his shaving things and disappears in the bathroom. He knows how to win my, erm, heart.

And so, the ultimate rule for being happy with a woman: no matter what your woman says, all you have to do is reply “Yes, dear” and then go and do as she said. It really is that simple. Happy women don’t nag, don’t look unattractive and don’t make your life miserable. You are far more likely to be happy with a happy woman than with an unhappy one.

The French Kiss

He’s French. He’s lived in Scotland for so long you’d think he’s Scottish, but some things you just can’t hide, and it’s not only the nose I’m talking about. On the phone, he says he doesn’t like to rush and a couple of hours would be ideal for him. I suggest he brings along some chocolate: kissing with a mouthful of chocolate can be an incredibly erotic experience (to quote one of my chocolate-loving clients) but it takes time, so I save it for those who like it slow.

He comes laden with chocolate but somehow slow doesn’t happen. I remember opening the door to let him in, but the next thing I know – we’re in the bedroom and his face with a mischievous sparkle in the eye disappears somewhere below my rib cage.

We’ve all heard that French men are great lovers. I’ve seen a few, and I was not impressed. That’s not to say they were useless, far from it (in fact, one of them was very adventurous), but they didn’t strike me as so far above the norm as to give life to this general statement. Well let me tell you, I now know who’s to blame for this stereotype – those few blokes who do it for the whole nation.

It turns out that he’s rather surprised, too. Later, as we’re lying on messy sheets, our clothes strewn around, and he’s cuddling me, playing affectionately with my hair, he asks if I really do this job. At first, I don’t understand the question, but as it sinks in, I’m in two minds: should I laugh or should I cry? Why is it so hard for men to believe that a woman can genuinely enjoy sex with them simply because it is her job?

The following morning the thank you text arrives, telling me he can still feel my smell on his body. This text from a Scot would only trigger one reply: “Have you considered a shower?” But the French obviously have a way with English language, and my precise reaction is “Aww…”

Exactly a week later he’s back. This time we’re celebrating a work contract. The plan is champagne and nibbles at the flat, restaurant, and then back to the flat. He arrives with a sack of goodies like Santa. Out comes champagne for him, chocolates for me, a box with those little crunchy savoury biscuits covered with cheese and herbs. “So you like chocolate-flavoured kisses? – he asks and puts a biscuit in his mouth. – How about a cheesy kiss instead?” The first cheesy kiss is not a success because I can’t stop laughing, but we help ourselves to a few more of these and they get better*. So much better, in fact, that an hour later we’re almost late for the restaurant. I stuff my bum into my jeans as he opens the front door – the cab’s already outside. The nibbles are left unpacked. It looks like the only thing we can do together is the sort of thing that you can’t do when you’re apart. At the expense of being cheesy: it seems to be all-consuming.

We spend three hours in the restaurant. His excuse is simple: “I’m French. I love my food.” My excuse is simple – I’m watching him. The restaurant staff’s excuse is rather complicated: they are busy pretending how busy they are while not serving anyone. I want a couple of those lovely pearly shells that his food is served on**. He wraps them in a tissue for me. I put them in my handbag. Our waitress gives us a look.

Sensuality is an interesting thing. Male sensuality more so, because it is usually thought of as less overt than female. Food is a sensual pleasure – if you know what you are doing. I’m starting to think that there is a direct correlation between how a man holds a fork and how he holds a woman. Back in the flat, we start right by the door.

The thank you text the next day says that I seem to have taken it all out of him. Who’s to blame? He didn’t mind giving it at all.

*A few more bookings with him and I will develop a food fetish.

**These are now proudly displayed on my bookshelf, clean and smell-free.

Excuses, excuses…

I’m just back home after a fun morning with one of my darling farmers (yep, they keep coming!) when my phone rings again. A pleasantly-sounding man asks if I’d be free for a couple of hours in the afternoon to spend them with him. As you know by now, I’m not into 2 bookings a day, but before I know it I answer that sure, I could be there in an hour – after all, having just returned from a booking, I’m pretty much ready, only need to have a shower. This was the first sign of what was to come and I totally missed it.

We meet at the bar of his hotel. He’s easy to talk to and quick to smile. Smooth talker? No. But I feel comfortable answering the personal questions he asks even though usually I avoid them. We go up to his room. He’s just the same in bed: his presence is solid but unobtrusive, it surrounds you without taking you over.

Time to get dressed. I tickle his feet on my way to the bathroom. He asks why: after all, we’ve established 2 hours ago that he’s not ticklish. So what? I enjoy touching him, ticklish or not. He calls it “a sign of endearment”. It’s remarkable how easily clients express their endearment, but find it hard to believe I can fancy them, too. This one doesn’t seem to have this problem.

Later, when I’m in the gym, it dawns on me. I’m not one of those people who get their best ideas while in the gym, but looking at the men around me there makes me understand what it is about him that attracts me so: we share a little secret. Just like me, he knows who he is, and he is very comfortable with this knowledge. Not something I come across very often.

Late evening, I’m trying to persuade myself to update my blog when his text arrives: if I could consider sleeping next to a man with alcohol inside, he’d love to see me again. Most other ladies would probably reply that as long as that alcohol stays inside, they don’t care much for its presence. Neither do I: I know he’s not drunk. But sleeping? It means overnight.

You’ve probably noticed by now that I’ve quite a few rules on what I do and how I do it. Well, here are two more: overnights are only for clients I know well, and I do not see one and the same client twice in one day. The first rule probably needs no explanation, and for the second one the explanation is simple: it borders on obsession. Nothing is wrong with obsession (ask anyone else with CDO* and they’ll tell you an obsession has a lot of advantages to it) but in the context of my job it’s not an idea I want to entertain. But… But he’s not the sort of person to obsess. Neither am I. And I’ve already met him so I know him well enough for an overnight. Besides, by the time I get there it will already be tomorrow so technically speaking it’s not the same day.

The thought of how easy it is to find an excuse for yourself, when there’s something you want to do so much, comes when I’m already in the shower. I wash it off. Having rules is no fun if you don’t break them from time to time.

*CDO – Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder, but I always thought that for this condition the letters should go in alphabetical order.