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You Probably Think This Post Is About You: A Guide to Unwanted Emails

Having a blog about working in the sex industry often results in all kinds of emails. There are precious nuggets from wonderful like-minded people with whom you otherwise wouldn’t have had the chance to connect, people whose comments and emails make you feel less alone in the world. There are the cool fans who anonymously buy out-of-print books and ice cream makers from your Amazon wish list. Next come well-meaning grad students, photojournalists and documentarians, and other bloggers looking for free content and traffic. There is also no shortage of helpless wannabe sex workers and men who aspire to see sex workers seeking advice because they have nowhere else to turn (can’t/won’t use Google).

And then there is a special breed of men who write fan mail to sex worker bloggers. Receiving one of these emails is like getting a compliment wrapped in an insult stuffed inside a cry for help and sprinkled with emoticons. Though their authors may think themselves unique grains of sand, the emails have such striking similarities that they can be broken into (not mutually exclusive) archetypes that any sex worker with a blog knows all too well. Men of the Internet, do you see yourself in here? If so, think before you hit send; self-deprecation and double-entendres do not a witty email make. You’re not just shouting into the darkness. You’re writing to a human being who has feelings, problems of her own, and limited free time. She also has the capability to make her blog private, so just express yourself with an ice cream maker or consider LiveJournal. (Fun game: where do you think Richard Connelly belongs?)

Research Proves Men Come to Strip Clubs to Relax

Couch Dance, Philadelphia, PA, 2001, Juliana Beasley

This is the first review on Tits and Sassof an academic research article on stripping. Before I get to the review proper, I wanted to qualify this post with some thoughts on academia’s relationship to stripping. First off, in the spirit of showing all my cards, I used to do academic social science research. Secondly, I’m often skeptical of academic research and reporting on stripping and sex work because of researchers’ personal biases cleverly hidden in dense, gigantic vocabulary words. Furthermore, researchers rarely have direct, authentic experience in sex work and they end up appropriating sex worker interviewees’ experience for their own accreditation.

Though I think there is great potential for increasing knowledge by using an anthropological lens to study any subculture, I also think that when the outsider’s perspective is privileged over the insider’s lived experience, the subject being studied takes on the quality of a lab rat: voiceless. I don’t think all researchers need to experience what they study. The outsider’s perspective can be illuminating but it requires a relationship between the researcher and the researched based on respect and mutual gain. Unfortunately, it’s very difficult to ascertain whether that was the case from only reading a study.

Ask Ms. Harm Reduction: Getting High With Clients

If your session looks like this, Ms. Harm Reduction urges you to read this month's column. (Image by Flickr user Doki hawk)
If your session looks like this, Ms. Harm Reduction urges you to read this month’s column. (Image by Flickr user Doki hawk)

Dear Ms. Harm Reduction,
I’ve been escorting and doing pro domme work for a year and a half. Sometimes I do a gram of coke with regulars, or even do drugs with new clients on occasion. I’d like to be smart about this, but I feel like I can’t ask the the sex workers I know for advice because none of them would ever take that risk in the first place. Do you have any tips on how to stay safe while partying with clients?
Wilder Than (my) Friends

Just A Regular Day in the Park…

I have a policy that fetish play is just that, play, and as such I am loathe to take it into the public eye. This policy exists for a few reasons, the most important being that I hate when people push their shit on me, so I’m not going to push mine on them. I get grossed out by overly lovey couples, religious zealots, and the lot. Walking a slave on a leash in the middle of Downtown Dallas would be right along those lines as far as I’m concerned.

Having said all that, it is pretty hilarious. I imagine that there are submissives wanking to this as I type, so many people have that “In Public” fetish. Most of them are too chickenshit to go through with it though, so I admire this guy’s bravery. He isn’t even wearing a costume!

Quote of the Week

I never allowed myself to depend on one client entirely . They had to understand that their money was not the commodity—I was the commodity, and they could only buy access to me if I was willing to grant them the transaction.

Arden Leigh about her time as a pro-domme in The New Rules of Attraction