Lilly Muse was living on Maui three years ago when she got smart and began experimenting with a variety of sex-based employment, all for which she dislikes giving equivocal explanations. She wishes it were all just legal because she’s a hopeless liar and is quite fond of her real name. She’s been writing since Microsoft rocked only one font on that blue screen and is now composing either a children’s book about a giraffe or a short story about an obsessive compulsive hand model. Right now some of her favorite things include Victoria’s Secret one size fits all thongs (no joke! Go get some now!), lightly sautéed kale, POP Pilates, and the teacher fantasy she hopes to bring into reality. When she’s not shaving her legs or changing sheets, she is fascinated by anything pertaining to sex work and voices her loud opinions on bipartisan tomfoolery and funny cat videos.
Best Sex Writing 2012: The State of Today’s Sexual Culture is the seventh installment in the series. Started in 2005, the annual compilation of journalism and personal essays on a wide range of sexuality issues are presented as a collective reflection on current sex culture. Whether opposing the various ways in which we criminalize sexuality or extolling one woman’s reawakening after a grievous dormancy, the pieces in the 2012 edition are selected for the poignant ways in which they inform, persuade, and maybe even arouse (who’s to judge?) in a time of great hostility and division. Editors Rachel Kramer Bussel and Susie Bright assert that this is “not a one-handed read” and with every opportunity, they present the book as a multi-faceted study of “the smarter side of sexuality.” This is true, of course, but while there are hundreds of other scholarly accounts of sex, what I find lovely about Best Sex Writing 2012 is that its authors not only cover a huge spectrum of sexual subjects but that they do so not as experts. Most of them are simply passionate people, each with a unique and deeply personal voice. In a sort of parallel to sexuality itself, every chapter is like switching positions, delivering a new sensation, whether it be an exciting or a painful one.
I’ve been having sex for eight years of my life and making my living at it for half that time. As a young woman realizing not only my personal sexuality but also a professional one, it is especially important to me to peel back the layers of this mysterious force that can create—and destroy—so much. Amidst stacks of sex literature, workshops, cultlike community experiments, and my own bedroom, I’ve talked, listened, touched, watched, stroked, screwed and made money in the name of self-actualization and cultural awareness. Best Sex Writing takes us not only into the bedrooms but the courtrooms, workspaces, and streets of protest where others are actualizing themselves, for better and worse, through sexuality. What stories are there to be told, and why is it important that we hear them?
a shocked musical theatre aficionado. photo by CarbonNYC on flickr
A couple of months ago I was at auditions for a musical at my community theater, and during the interminable waiting period I found myself chatting with a group of middle-aged women (why not the shy 20-year-old hottie in flannel? Sigh). Easy conversation bumped along, from “what are you singing?” to “I’m such a horrible dancer” to “yes, I am the kind of mom who plunks her kid in front of the TV so I can pee in peace.” Eventually, we were bound to land on work/money, which is a subject I stay pretty quiet about as long as I can, what with being a dirty whore and all.
The women were discussing a man, a local theater staple, who had to move out of town due to financial hardship. They agreed that times are indeed tough, especially in our city, “unless you want to do something somewhat soul-crushing,” one of them said. My ears always perk up at the term “soul-crushing,” yet without missing a beat, the rest of the group groaned aloud in agreement, as if they’d had this exact conversation the day before. “I did that for a while,” the woman continued carefully. The murky reference awarded no response from the others, so I chimed in, “what, like waitressing?” [READ MORE]
After a lifetime of never seeing Breakfast at Tiffany’s (how gauche), I recently took a lazy morning to revel in what critics have been saying for 50 years is Audrey Hepburn at her best. That may be true for the actress, but I couldn’t get past the obvious helplessness and sheer rudeness of “Holly Golightly” to see in her the lauded prototype of today’s chic, independent woman. Elegant in her timeless Givenchy and pearls, she embodies the “poor girl with a rich dream” thing with incredible facility.
Hepburn is exalted for her portrayal of Holly Golightly, a lifestyle sugarbaby whose name befits someone too afraid of commitment to furnish her Upper East Side brownstone or even to name the cat she considers more of a roommate. Holly is portrayed as a glossy, gold-digging socialite, though some claim the original character in Truman Capote’s 1958 novella is more obviously a call girl (Capote actually considered her an “American geisha”). She makes her living charming one rich dude after another, smoothly collecting her dues ($50 for the powder room) and then leaving them, drunk and horny, begging on her doorstep. She obviously works it (check out those clothes!), but it seems she does it by being an annoying and ungrateful tease. [READ MORE]
As we’ve learned from the titillating weekly edition of “Stripper Music Monday,” music plays a big part in setting a vibe which endears clients/customers to us and encourages them to open their pockets. As an escort, it’s important to me to have an ambient yet modern soundtrack to the experience at hand, and I get positive feedback on my playlist quite often, that which I play in the background during my appointments. When the music is good, the mood is more likely to be good, thereby putting clients more at ease. I also find that when a client recognizes even one song, he feels safer (though at the same time, diggin’ on music he’s never heard before can be intellectually stimulating). So recently I had a music buff client ask me to send him the contents of my playlist (cuz it’s that good), and I was inspired to share it here with you all as well, since I know I’m always on the hunt for new additions to my repertoire. [READ MORE]
The heat is rising in Arizona, and it’s got nothing to do with its scorching desert or immigration crackdowns. On Wednesday, September 7, an establishment known as the Phoenix Goddess Temple was raided with SWAT force as the culmination of a six-month investigation into the suspected operation of an illegal brothel. Approximately 20 practitioners of the sacred sexual temple arts (women and men) were arrested and jailed. Most of them have posted bail and been released, but two still remain behind bars, including temple founder and “Mother Priestess,” Tracy Elise. Her bail is set at $1 million, the same amount assigned to those suspected of armed robbery or first degree murder.
Clearly, Arizona authorities take the crime of selling sex very seriously. What makes this bust different from most other prostitution busts, however, is that the whorehouse in question is a self-proclaimed temple and indeed identifies itself as a church. According to its website (which now lies largely dormant), the church honors the feminine face of God (Goddess) by acting as a sanctuary for the integration of the spiritual and the sexual. Temple practitioners claim to use and teach deep-rooted sacred sexual practices as a conduit to spiritual and personal growth. [READ MORE]