Musings on Openness, Risk, and Whole-heartedness

I’ve been on a conscious path of self-improvement lately. Now, with the new options that I have as a whore, I have more money and time for such things. First, I threw myself into activism, wanting to create positive change in the world. Now, I have been scaling that back just a little. I’ve started seeing a therapist to help me deal with the emotional residue from my marriage, the things I didn’t have the time or resources to deal with three years ago. I’ve gone back to practicing yoga regularly, and I am in the process of reorganizing my home to be more of a temple, with the help of my friend Ra, who has been an amazing support to me over the last six months.

The last few weeks have been difficult, but also full of wonderful surprises. I am doing my best to focus on the positives and see the lessons I can learn.

I recently started a romantic relationship with a woman from the community I have admired from afar for a long time. We dated very briefly, and I loved every moment I spent with her. She decided to end the romantic relationship a couple weeks ago, because she wanted to focus on a former lover she still has feelings for. I understand where she is coming from, but of course it hurt. Mere hours after she broke things off with me, I had a big falling out with a very close friend when I read something he said to me as judgmental and mildly whorephobic. I know he isn’t whorephobic, but I had just had someone break up with me hours before, so I was in an emotional state. Losing him as a friend so suddenly was heartbreaking, even moreso than losing the romantic and sexual connection I had with this wonderful woman. With her, at least I know I still have her friendship.

All of this has me thinking about life, love, relationships with others and with myself. I don’t know exactly what went wrong with my friend, but I have been soul-searching. I know there have been times that I have been insensitive, self-absorbed, unreliable. I also think that I’m pretty awesome in other ways. Bottom line, we can’t read another person’s mind. I haven’t contacted him since because I don’t want to force myself where I am not wanted. I would, of course, welcome a dialogue, but I will not push for one.

Josh and I still have a strong connection, and we see each other regularly. I still feel paralyzed when it comes to expressing my true feelings for him. I know that I have to get over it and just talk to him, and I have started in little ways to open up, but it’s hard. I am wondering why this is so hard for me. I am working on a practice of meditation where I focus on love without grasping, without expectations. When we try to control another person, we stifle them and the relationship suffers. Love at its best is unconditional. I am working towards being able to love without expecting anything in return, without grasping for guarantees of devotion, safeguards against hurt. Those safeguards are illusions anyway. Hurt is inevitable, and it isn’t the end of the world. I have been hurt before, and I have grown from it and created some art in the process. We break and mend many times in our lives. I need to be ok with breaking open, with my heart being free to love without fear, despite all that there is to fear. Stakes are high in love because there is so much to gain.

This weekend, my cat went missing. She is an indoor cat, and somehow she managed to sneak outside. I was distraught, missing her terribly and worrying. I looked for her, before texting Ra and Josh about the situation. Ra came over immediately, and went looking for her while I curled up in a ball in my bed and cried, praying for her safe return. Extreme? Perhaps, but I love my cat and I have a somewhat irrational fear of bad things happening to her. When I was a teenager just getting off the street, I lived in a house with a lot of cats. My roommates psychotic boyfriend poisoned them on Christmas Eve and they died in my arms. Before that, my first cat got sick after having her kittens when I was eight. She died in my bedroom, and I was afraid of her sickness and went to sleep with my parents, leaving her to die alone. I have always felt guilty about that. So yeah, I was beside myself crying.

When Josh got my text, he was over to help me look for her within twenty minutes. We walked through my neighborhood calling her and trying to lure her out with food. No luck. We sat in my backyard for a while, and he hugged me and reassured me, encouraged me to not beat myself up for her disappearance. He took me back to his place and fed me dinner. After dark, we went back to my place and started looking for my cat again. We interacted with six different neighborhood cats (and fed them treats) before finally finding her. She had been in my neighbor’s backyard hiding. She was damp (my neighbor is an eccentric woman who zealously waters her garden) but unharmed. I have such gratitude for the people in my life who are here for me when things go wrong.

Before we found my cat, I told Josh that the past few weeks had been really difficult, what with my friend’s departure and all. “If you want to go away, please wait a week or two” I said. “Don’t do it now, I don’t think I can handle it.”

“I’m not going anywhere,” he said. I breathed a sigh of relief and hugged him for a long time. Bob Marley once said that everyone ends up hurting you, you just have to find the ones worth suffering for. If anyone is worth suffering for, it is definitely Josh.


Whorephobia in the LGBT Community

I experienced my first brush with direct whorephobia this week, not from a gang of angry men or law enforcement, but from someone within the LGBT community, someone I used to socialize with. Daria is a transwoman in the community. She has a psychology degree and transitioned in her late sixties. She lives with her partner, Ramona, in a lovely apartment known in the community as the Tranny Palace. I have attended a few parties at the Tranny Palace in the past. It was always a good time.

 Ramona and I have been talking lately. We both wanted to pursue a closer friendship. She shared some very personal things with me, which I was honoured to hear. Ramona recently underwent sex reassignment surgery, and this weekend, they were throwing a party to celebrate. Ramona insisted that I attend, which I agreed to do. 

 However, a day before, I received an email from Daria informing me that I am no longer welcome in their home. She accused me of attempting to sabotage their relationship, and said that a woman in my profession would bring negativity to an otherwise lovely gathering. Strange, since I seem to recall a proud ‘sex tourist’ bragging at previous parties about going to Thailand and ‘fucking tons of shemales’, but I digress. 

 So apparently, according to Daria, it’s ok to be a man paying for sex, but not to be a woman selling it. This weekend, I felt very much like an outsider with my face pressed against the glass, excluded from the festivities. It is deeply sad that someone who knew me socially can’t see past the whore stigma to the complex person underneath. 

 Now, this is hardly a shock. Daria has been very judgmental towards me on several occasions. Once, over drinks at a pub on Davie Street, she said: “I have a vagina now. My vagina is way nicer than your vagina, because my vagina is brand new and yours is very used.” Clearly this giantess of a woman has some deep-seated issues with women. Gender policing, slut-shaming, whorephobia, she has all of these in spades. 

 It is discouraging to keep doing this work when the dominant culture is intent on vilifying and dehumanizing you. It is extra disheartening when these sentiments come from ‘your people’ in the LGBT community, people who suffer from stigma and marginalization themselves. People who ought to know better. 

 When I chose to be out about my work, I knew that I would encounter some negativity, but honestly, I was blindsided by this. Even knowing how judgmental Daria can be, I don’t understand how she can take it to such extremes. 

 Still, overwhelmingly, the reactions I have had from the people I have told have been positive. Being out is tough, but it does show you who your real friends are. So, despite a discouraging week of setbacks, this whore is here to stay. 

Celebrating One Year in the ‘Life’

One year ago today I began my life as a full-time whore. This has me thinking a great deal about the perceptions of sex work vs my experience of it, and how my life has changed since getting into this business.
I have met some wonderful people, had great experiences, lots of threesomes, lots of girl action, which I had a hard time finding before I became a courtesan. I have more time and money now, which are hot commodities for someone who is used to working long hours for low wages. I have gotten involved in some fabulous volunteer work, which kind of makes me the stereotypical ‘tart with a heart’, but whatever. Sometimes stereotypes have a grain of truth to them.
I remember one year ago today getting the call from the agency where I now work. I had applied online. I was still living in my crap apartment over the Greek restaurant. I had just walked out of my job at another Greek restaurant after telling off my tyrant of a boss. I was at home, in my ugliest lounge clothes, basically feeling sorry for myself and worrying about money. The agency called me and asked if I could come by for an interview and if I was willing to start that night. I sprang into action, shower, shave legs (a great feat in the Turkish Prison Shower), got on the bus and went to the office.
I had two clients that night: a traveling businessman with a micro penis and a young man with Yakuza tattoos and a coke habit. Both were respectful and nice. I went home with enough money to cover my rent. After that, I decided to give it three months. If I liked it, I would continue. If not, I would find another way to make money.
I have no regrets about getting into this work. It is a calling for me. It has been difficult at times, but more often, it’s been fantastic. The people in my life have been overwhelmingly supportive of my new vocation. Some have not, but everyone in my close circle has been great. Surprisingly, it has not prevented me from getting dates in my personal life. It has made me more picky about who I date and a little less likely to tolerate bad behaviour.