In one sense, I’m an old pro of a ho, as I’ve been escorting for a decade. But in another, I’m actually an innocent, because besides a few shoots for various feminist porn venues in my early twenties, escorting’s the only kind of sex work I’ve ever done. So, now, at the ripe old age of 31—which is an eternity in whore years—I’ve accumulated quite the sex work bucket list. Here are some of the highlights.
1) Hire another sex worker as a client.
I’ve always been curious about what this work looks like from the other side. And I envy my clients even as I pamper them: What would it be like to be the sole focus of sexual attention in a coupling, to be the ultimate pillow queen and not have to feel guilty for it because you’ve paid for the right? I bet I’d be the worst client ever, though—unable to maintain the illusion necessary to enjoy myself because I’m too aware of the emotional labor necessary to create it, no doubt trying to be too chummy with my escort on the basis of our shared experience when all he/she wants is to finish the hour and be done with me. Or, based on that understanding, I’d be so overly, nervously apologetic that my escort would pray to God for me to shut up. Still, even knowing all the ways I could royally fuck up the experience doesn’t detract from the potency of the fantasy. I’d love the ability to say, “Let’s do something else, I’m bored of this now” in the middle of a sex act and have that be my natural right.
I’ve yet to fulfill this fantasy because it always seems like a waste to spend hundreds of dollars on sex when they could be spent on drugs. Also, who would I even hire? The movement makes it feel like I know every sex worker out there. It’d be incestuous as all hell.
2) Attempt street work.
This one shames me a bit to admit because it sounds so much like a desire to go slumming. But I only have the highest, awestruck respect for my street working friends, and what I really want from this is to prove to myself that I’m capable of doing the most primal, back-to-the-basics form of sex work. I also want the reassuring knowledge that if I’m stripped to zero resources, I can make money just by sauntering into a ho stroll. And the idea of doing sex work in jeans and a tank top is so tantalizing to me I might start drooling. My prospects are dim, though. I’m reminded of the one time I tried to work sans ad in Las Vegas, approaching a man at the slot machines. He politely declined, gesturing at his wife who was about ten feet away. You could tell he was embarrassed for me.
3) Do an overnight.
I’m a solidly middle-class escort in a solidly middle-class market in the boonies, where there isn’t enough demand for a high-class/courtesan market to exist. Most of my clients would never think of splurging for an overnight. I’m mostly glad of this—I can be the Whore Madonna of my clients’ dreams for an hour or two, but I don’t think I could put up with the majority of them for twelve while remaining perfectly nurturing and simultaneously sexy. Even my favorite regulars have never gotten anything beyond a few hours at the incall followed by dinner. And I’ve heard and read such gruesome horror stories about overnight appointments—Jeanette Angell’s account of being kept awake all night by a stingy client determined to get all the, ahem, bang for his buck who then also expected her to empty his kitty litter box in the morning comes to mind. Yet my coworker B does regular overnights with some of her longtime clients. They take her to local strip clubs and give her money to tip the dancers, spend most of their time in the bedroom sleeping, then take her to Denny’s for breakfast when she wakes up. Honestly, that kind of sounds like fun. She has this amazing ability to turn half-hour clients into regular overnighters. Surely I could do the same? At root, this is another one of those Just To See If I Can impulses. Also, I want to stuff a client’s money into a Mardi Gras girl’s garters.
4) Make porn that doesn’t embarrass me the way the porn I made in my early twenties does.
When I was young I had quite the artiste‘s pretensions. I was going to make porn as political art, exploding the stigma around a diagnosis of mental illness by confronting the viewer with a mad woman’s sexuality. This mostly involved masturbating furiously and smearing lipstick on my thighs to simulate menstrual blood while a long suffering Barbara DeGenevieve looked on. A couple of friends and I were even pretentious enough to film a scene where we were punished by an angry schoolmistress for not finishing our Roland Barthes reading assignment. And I still feel like I owe Courtney Trouble an apology for the sheer awfulness of the porn a friend and I did for nofauxx.com in 2002.
Anyway, I also want my naked body to be immortalized now that I’m not slowly dying of iron starvation as I was in my vegan early twenties. Back then, I was also still wedded to the idea that miserable=profound, as evidenced by the expression on my face in most of my solo shoots. “God’s got your dog! Your puppy dog, he’s going to kill it!” exclaimed Jason Ragosta, when forced to shoot yet more footage of me naked and frowning.
The list kind of blurs together after that with the enthusiasm of my ideas. I’ve got various half formed visions: Apprenticing as a domme. Sex working abroad from Thailand to New Zealand like a modern day Dolores French. Doing a double call with a guy coworker to see if het sex simulated for a client’s benefit is any different from dyke sex under those circumstances (Why would it be? Yet, I still wonder). Stripping in some dream universe where I wouldn’t immediately fall ass over lucite as soon as I attempted a floor show. Some of my ideas are implausible, designed to console myself about the fact that though I have long term experience, I found my small comfort zone early on in sex work and have stuck to it. I’m not the adventuress I sometimes imagine myself to be. Still, there are other items on my bucket list that I can imagine myself checking off blithely tomorrow. I’ve checked off plenty over the years, from women clients to watersports. What it all boils down to is something that I revel in, something that keeps me from burnout in the long haul: my continuing fascination with the industry and the people in it.