Challenges and Possible Solutions

Work this week has not gone well. I had three appointments, all of which were not pleasant for me. On Thursday night, I had a seven hour appointment with a very attractive and polite man. He wanted to dominate me, which was not something I would have agreed to had I booked the appointment. However, since I was there and I needed to make some money, and I got a reasonably good feeling from him, I agreed within certain limitations. The activity was 100 percent consensual, and he checked in regularly to make sure I was doing ok. That said, it was deeply unpleasant for me. It was not something I ever would have agreed to in my private life, especially with my history of being in a long-term relationship with someone who did not respect my limits in BDSM play and who was very dominant.

Seven hours of face slapping, hair pulling, whipping, spanking, being spat on and told to get into outrageously difficult positions on the floor in heels took a lot out of me. I was literally counting down the minutes until I could leave. At the crack of dawn I returned home feeling broken and exhausted.

The following night, my new friends, the Tantric massage couple, had me over for dinner. We had a lovely time, as we always do. They listened to me whine about my work and the horribly challenging seven hours the night before. The evening ended with them taking me into their massage room and giving me a wonderful four hand sensual massage. It was deeply healing for me. They explicitly stated that they wanted absolutely nothing from me, that they just wanted to serve me that night. I was deeply touched, and after they were finished, I felt better. I am still not completely my old self, but I am definitely better today.

This morning, Rania and I had a long conversation during which I told her how conflicted I’ve been about my work, and how draining it is to have sex with men who don’t see the sacred in what I do and what I have to offer. She understood and listened. I told her how relationship oriented I’ve become recently and how much it’s freaking me out.

I have realized that I do have to make some changes. Rania and Don are helping me figure out my options. Don told me that he and Rania would like me to work for them doing tantric massage, but that if they had to choose, they would rather have my friendship. I told them I wanted their friendship and I wanted to work for them. I’d be making comparable money to my cut at the agency, and I wouldn’t have to provide sexual favours beyond the scope of the Tantric sensual massage. I would have to make my home into a Tantric temple, which is doable. If I pursue this, I have the hope of work that truly would cause me to feel pride and happiness. I want to make a difference and I want to help people explore their sexuality, but I want to do it on my own terms, not according to anyone else’s whim.

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New Developments

I have taken some time off this month. It was necessary for me to avoid burnout and to make some changes to my life. I’ve been practicing yoga almost daily now, and getting back into weight training and regular meditation practice.
I am continuing on a path of inner spiritual work. I am shedding my past skin in many ways, transforming from the terrified woman with the walls up to the soft and open lover of life who allows herself to be seen. With time, these transformations are less scary to me and more exciting.
I have also connected with some amazing people lately. I connected with a lovely couple who are both Tantric massage practitioners and sacred sex workers. We have developed a friendship with the possibility of play. I am very grateful for their presence in my life and look forward to spending more time with them.
Also, I recently attended two workshops by a sexological bodyworker I know. About four years ago, I was his client. He helped me heal from some trauma in our first session, and in our second session, he gave me extreme pleasure. I was a different person then, still married, starting to recognize my erotic needs as important.
When I arrived at the workshop, he didn’t recognize me. We had a good laugh about that, and we talked about work. I told him that I am currently working in the sex industry and that I am planning to study sexological bodywork. I said, truly, that he inspired me with his work.
Now, he and his partner have expressed interest in playing with me. I am deeply honoured by their interest, and I would like to explore with them. I have given a ‘maybe’ at this point.
The thing is, I love playing sexually with different people, but since I’ve become a sex worker, this has taken a back seat to other desires. These two beautiful couples are deeply attractive to me erotically, and being with them could promise to be very transformational and exciting indeed. Still, I feel some anxiety, because I want to solidify the relationship with Josh first. We still haven’t ‘defined our relationship’ and I am finding now that I want to have that conversation more than ever.
He is away this week on business, and I think of him often, and with such an abundance of passionate love. He has had such a profound impact on me and I am overflowing with gratitude to him for his presence in my life. The fear has taken a back seat now to this wonderful feeling of gratitude and happiness. I am finding that now, more than ever, I want my own partner. I want stability along with passion. I want to do the work necessary to sustain a long-term relationship. I am abandoning those notions that I, as a sex worker, cannot have lasting love. I am still a wonderful person to be with, regardless of what I do for a living. Exclusive access to my pussy is far from the only thing of value that can be offered. How about kindness, warmth, understanding, support? I can offer everything to a partner except sexual exclusivity, which is not the most realistic thing to promise, and it is not something that Josh has indicated is of upmost importance to him anyway. I am feeling empowered to be true to my feelings and frame what I have to give in a positive, rather than considering my love to be a burden that I ought to offer to no one.

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.

Inner Conflicts

I am not always crazy about the work that I do. I mean, it gives me a chance to help people work through their sexual issues, which is great fun. I get to have all kinds of fun, new, interesting sexual experiences. That is awesome. I am independent, financially and sexually, which is amazing. Since I got into this industry, I’ve been able to do a lot of charitable work in the community, because of having more time and more money. When I was waiting tables six days a week working double shifts, I would not have had the energy. I’ve taken art classes. All in all, it’s been positive.

My conflicts come from how my work is viewed from the outside. I worry about things that seem unfair. I know I have sex for money, but the sex I have with my lovers remain deeply meaningful, perhaps even more so than before. When I am with Josh, I feel at excess of gratitude at being able to feel so much pleasure, and to connect with this wonderful person.

When it comes down to it, fast sex, like what I have at work, is easy for me. There is very little emotional risk. I am able to be giving and nurturing while being protected by a facade of glitzy outfits, bubbly persona, and even a fake name. With them, I don’t have to talk about my history, how I used to struggle with depression, how I became involved in abusive relationships, the times I used to self-mutilate, how I exhibited signs of PTSD while I was married because of the dynamics of our relationship. Being able to give to others, to see them in their flawed, human state with their pain and dysfunction, and still care for them and wish them well, does not mean that one is comfortable being viewed in that light by another. I know I am not.

After the Cabaret, when I cried in front of Josh for the first time, I was mortified. I felt like I had violated some sort of code, and made myself utterly undesirable. Of course, it didn’t seem to change anything on his end, and on mine, it made me realize how deeply I want a close, loving romantic relationship. When I am honest with myself, I know that I have always wanted that. Josh met my deep need for kindness and gentleness, as well as my need for genuine passion.

He is aware of my work, but sometimes I wonder if he is in some denial about it. Or if the work will be an impediment to my finding a serious relationship. I didn’t think I wanted one, but now, with Josh, I find that I do. Very deeply. An unconventional serious relationship where I can keep doing this work until I can transition into a different career, something more along the lines of Sexological Bodyworker or Sex Therapist. A serious relationship where he can have other lovers on the side and I can too, but we remain committed emotionally to each other. We are both holding each other at arm’s length, both shy after having been burned in past relationships. I wonder lately how much I mean to him. Does he love me, or am I just his hot sex girl that he will drop the moment he finds a more ‘serious’ partner? I sense that there is something real between us, but it is hard for me to believe that.

I know that there are sex workers out there who have successful relationships. Kitty Stryker, Souixie Q, Annie Sprinkle, Carol Queen. I know that the insights I have from being a sex worker have made me a more desirable partner in many ways. I understand the hidden vulnerabilities of men in a way that other women don’t, because men tell a sex worker things that they are unlikely to share with a lover. I know a lot about sex, which is awesome. Still, I keep wondering what makes me so special as to be worth the stigma of partnering with a whore, not to mention the potential legal issues. I get so angry that my profession is not considered just a job, like any other. Like massage therapy, or talk therapy.

At the bottom of all of this is my intense fear of being hurt, of truly committing to another person and opening up the door to all sorts of potential pain. Still, I want to be open to love, so I will continue on the path and try to keep an open mind and heart as things progress.

Changes

I have become one of five organizers for a local movement/protest march against victim blaming and slut shaming. I am reluctant to write too many identifying details until I have passed the hurdle of becoming completely out about my work, so forgive my vagueness in this post.

I decided to take on a fundraiser event for the march and related events, because we have no money. I have never organized an event like this before, so the last few weeks have been stressful to say the least! It was a smashing success, though. Not as lucrative as I would have liked, but very inspiring how the community came together and made this magical night happen.

I met some amazing people, including the fabulous drag queen who hosted the event. This person is an inspiring performer and a powerful activist in the LGBT community. Over the week leading up to the event, we got to know each other very well, and have developed a connection of mutual respect. I owe the success of the event largely to them.

I also performed at the event. I did drag, and burlesque, for the first time in two years. Josh agreed to be my burlesque co-star. My number involves a reenactment of the Pygmalian myth with the genders reversed, and he agreed to be my statue. Yay!

I took him on a little shopping trip to a sex shop on Davie Street, one that specialized in mens fetish wear. He seemed to enjoy the day, and we found him a beautiful leather jockstrap that showcases his generous endowment, and I found a pair of leather gauntlets for my drag persona. Afterwards, we went out for beer and wings. With him, things feel so good and right. We flow together, we get each other’s jokes, and we can talk about deep topics. The sex has always been deeply passionate, but now, it seems to have gone to the next level, passion mixed with tenderness.

Pierre had, before that, offered to donate a course to the fundraiser, which was very generous. He had also told me I should consider coming clean about my relationship with him to Josh. As I sat at the bar with Josh, looking at him and being amazed that I could have found someone so beautiful inside and out, I realized that I didn’t have it in me to tell him. I don’t feel as close to Pierre. We don’t flow the same way. I realized that I felt too much pressure with two regular lovers, plus being a sex worker and an activist and an artist. I felt torn in too many directions, and I wasn’t sure I wanted to continue my relationship with Pierre. Despite the positives in our relationship, it felt like time to step back.

Later, I emailed Pierre and asked him to be incognito at the benefit. I told him I didn’t want our relationship to be public knowledge. He told me that he would respect my wishes, which he did. The event was an amazing experience for me. I loved performing, and seeing all those people come out in support of the cause. And to know that this event would not have happened except for my hard work and resources.

Still, there was stress in the evening as I watched Pierre drink tequila, sitting with Josh. I hoped they were doing ok, that everything would not come crashing down. Nothing happened, but by the end of the evening, I knew I couldn’t date both of them any longer. I had to choose. And my heart wanted Josh. Pierre got up at one point to talk about his class, and he said some things that were insensitive to the transgender population, which was a big part of the crowd, not to mention a big part of my community. I was embarrassed, but what could I do after he had donated so generously? So I smiled graciously and thanked him. I was quite relieved when he left.

That night, I slept over at Josh’s place. It was lovely and comforting and exciting to be with him. The next night, we decided to stay in and watch a movie and order pizza and drink beer. It was the perfect post-fundraiser activity. After that, he offered me a pot cookie. Usually pot cookies make me horny, but that night, it was different. Pot cookies apparently do not agree with me when mixed with beer and post-event exhaustion. We went to bed and started kissing and making out. I was sore and chafed from the six hour session earlier that day, and feeling vulnerable after the emotionally charged night before. We agreed to hold off on sex because clearly I needed time to recover. Suddenly, I was overwhelmed by feelings of panic and intense fear. I realized again how much I am falling for Josh and how much I don’t want to lose him. I tried to stop the tears, but pretty soon, I was crying. Josh was amazing. He held me and comforted me. I realized that with him, I am getting the gentleness I have always wanted, but didn’t have a lot of in my relationships with men in the past. Particularly my ex-husband, who would often yell at me when I expressed uncomfortable emotions. He asked me what was wrong, and I told him it wasn’t something I was ready to talk about. I apologized for being a fucking mess and him having to see me like that, but he just kept holding me and telling me that it was ok, that there was nothing to be embarrassed about.

The next evening, I went to Pierre’s house and ended our romantic relationship. It was pretty low-key, although he did say a lot of other transphobic stuff, which upset me, but I was too tired to challenge. I hate that I didn’t challenge it, but I didn’t. I felt deflated, scared, tired, angry. I went home and spent the night in blissful solitude with my broody thoughts.

I have been questioning how capable I am at polyamory at this time in my life. I know I naturally flow that way, and it can take many forms, but having more than one partner that I see on a regular basis seemed exceptionally fragmenting and disorienting. Especially when my job involves sexual interactions with a variety of people. I think that I am naturally inclined to polyamory, but that I lack the time and the will to commit to a primary-type relationship with more than one person at a time. Satellite romances, on the other hand, are just fine in my book! And these things can change with time.

Meeting Chris

Six months ago, I was out the door and off to meet my friends Alec and Drew, for a fundraiser night for the transgender-friendly food bank. Drew helped to start this food bank earlier in the year after a close friend of his, a member of the trans community, took her own life. The food bank was named in her honour. Drew had told me about the times Saja had been turned away from community food banks and soup kitchens because of her ambiguous gender presentation. He had wanted to found a food bank that did not have a religious agenda, and that would help people of all genders and sexual orientations.

I enjoyed my time volunteering at the food bank. It gave me a chance to check out some of the other sexy volunteers. I had my eye on a gorgeous trans man named Nat for a while. He looked delectable in his leather chaps and fitted shirt. His tanned skin and hazel eyes and toned arms were a very welcome distraction from sorting through produce.

During this time, I met Chris. Chris was genderfluid (male bodied) and had lovely long hair. She would come in for food, and I would always give her as many veggies as I could. We didn’t talk much in the food bank line, but later on she sent me a friend request on Facebook. I accepted.

The food bank fundraiser was held in an Italian restaurant downtown. Drew, Alec and I found a table and opened our menus. Chris walked in soon after, and I could not help but notice her. She was decked out en femme in a long flowing skirt, and her long reddish brown hair flowed past her shoulders. Her eyes were beautiful blue. She sat at our table and we all ordered drinks.

Money was tight for me since I had walked out of my last waitressing job. It was Drew who suggested I go into escorting. “You already like sex,” he said. “And you’d make more money with less grief.” I had tried escorting briefly the year before, but had given it up for that elusive promise of a loving, committed relationship. Now, as I contemplated a return to the business, that I had actually, for the most part, enjoyed, I gave up on the idea of finding that loving partner.

That night, at the fundraiser, I was not feeling sorry for myself. I was excited about my new job and (hopefully) financial independence. I was in one of those predatory moods, the kind where all the attractive people around me become this delicious feast for the eyes, and I think about biting everyone.

At one point in the conversation, Chris mentioned that she was thinking of shaving her head. “I’m balding anyway, why not embrace it?”

“Well,” I said. “If you shave your head, be sure to ask someone to lick your scalp, because that feels really good.” I had a shaved head as a teenager. I know these things.

Her eyes widened. “Did I hear you right?”

“Yes, yes you did,” I said.

“Jade has some exciting new career aspirations,” Drew said to Chris. “But I don’t know how comfortable she will be discussing them tonight.”

The night went on, and our food and drinks arrived. I had a small veggie pizza and some red wine. It was ok to splurge, after all. Soon, I would be working, and making much better money than I made slaving away in the Greek restaurant.

I excused myself and went to the ladies room. When I came back, Chris complimented me on my dress. I was wearing a short, tight black knit with a small, silver chain belt and hoop earrings. I felt super sexy.

“So, Jade, what is it that you do?” Asked Chris.

I decided to start small. “Well, I have worked in harm reduction and sexual health education for quite a few years,” I said. “And I really would like to continue that work, only I would like to work with people around their sexuality, and teach about pleasure as well as how to prevent the spread of STIs. I would like to go to school eventually and study Sexology, and maybe Sexological Bodywork. There is this great school in San Francisco where my heroes Annie Sprinkle, Betty Dodson and Joseph Kramer all studied.”

“That’s really great. I’m interested in the same sort of things. I’m a counsellor, and a trained social worker, and I have a lot of experience in the LGBT community, helping people with their sexual issues. I’m going to school in Kamloops soon, getting my Master’s of Education.”

We talked a while longer about school and sex-positivity and sexual healing. After a while, I decided to tell her the whole truth.

“I am going to be funding my education by escorting. I have decided that I can do it in a way that is respectful to myself and my clients, and I think I have a knack for it.”

“Wow, good for you,” she said. “I had sex for money once, and it was a pretty good experience. You have a safety plan and everything?”

I nodded. “Yes, and I have a martial arts background.”

“You seem like a really strong person. I think you’ll do well.”

I smiled. “Thanks. I guess it’ll make it harder for me to date. I mean, I have a few casual fuck buddies right now, and I don’t know if I should tell them or not.”

“I’d be fine with it,” Chris said. “But I would prefer to know about it. But I’m into open relationships anyway, so it’s not a big stretch for me.”

I smiled. “Good to know.”

It was really nice to talk to someone as warm, open and on my wavelength as Chris. The conversation turned to sexual orientation.

“I used to call myself bisexual,” I said. “But I don’t think that really describes me, because bi implies only two genders, and I have dated trans people before, so I think pansexual is a better term for me.”

“Yes, I think that’s the best way to describe my orientation too. I mean, I am more often attracted to feminine characteristics, but I am attracted to men sometimes.”

“One combination I really like are people with male bodies who dress in women’s clothes. I don’t know why, but that combination is really sexy to me.”

Chris smiled.

“And I’m serious about getting someone to lick your head,” I continued. “I had a shaved head as a teenager, and when my boyfriend licked my head, it was such a wonderful experience.”

“Well, all I need is to find someone who is willing to lick my head.”

“I’ll do it,” I said.

Chris laughed a bit, a cute, nervous laugh. “You will, huh?”

“Sure, why not?”

A little later in the night, she asked me another question. “So, Jade, you said you are attracted to people with male bodies who wear women’s clothes? What do you think of me?”

“I think you’re cute.”

“Oh? Well, I think you’re really cute too.”

At that point, looking into those deep blue eyes, the only thing that made sense was to grab her and give her a kiss. It was a fantastic first kiss, the kind where the room melts away and all that exists in the whole world is you, the other person, and the warming embers in your body.

We separated awkwardly, glancing at Alec, who had been sitting across from us at the table the whole time. “Sorry,” we mumbled.

He shrugged. “No worries.”

Drew came back to the table. “I knew you two would get along,” he said. “Are you two going home together?”

“Well, we haven’t discussed it,” I said.

“It’s up to you,” said Chris. “But I’m game if you are.”

I ran through the checklist for spontaneously bringing someone home. My house was a mess. I have many skills, and housekeeping is one that does not come naturally. I had changed my sheets recently. This person was sexy, kind, and intriguing.

“I’d love it if you came over, but I warn you, I wasn’t expecting company and my place is a mess. If that’s ok with you, then great!”

“That’s ok,” she said.

The four of us left the restaurant and made our way to the bus. Drew, Alec and I are all East Vancouver queers. At the time, I was still living above the Greek restaurant I used to work at, before I entered into a disasterous romance with my much older widower boss, but that’s a story for another post. Drew and Alec lived across the alley from me, which was very convenient for socializing.

We found seats at the back of the bus. I held Chris’ hand. We got off the bus and said our goodnights. Then, I led Chris into my ghetto apartment.

My apartment above the Greek restaurant was big and cheap. And it was cheap for good reason. It was in a very old building. So old, in fact, that the owner was selling it to a land developer. But it was my own apartment and I was quite proud of it all the same. Even with the weird mold growing under the burners on the stove. Even with the creepy shower, which I affectionately dubbed my ‘Turkish Prison Shower.’ It was an exposed rusty pipe with no shower head (the shower head had fallen off, on me, while I was getting ready for work a few months before. It sprayed dirty, rusty water all over me in the process and gave me a bit of a bump on my head.) The base of the shower was on rotting wood. It was an icky place to get naked, although I know from experience that two people could fit in my Turkish Prison Shower, because resourceful gal that I am, I have had sex in it.

Chris was very kind about the state of the place, and didn’t judge me based on the fact that I hadn’t done dishes in a few days and that my clothes were strewn all over the place. I made a pot of tea and we sat in the kitchen and talked for a while. It turns out we had a lot more in common than the idea of sex being sacred and the fact that we were both members of the LGBT community. Chris had been involved in a Star Trek club and was a quintessential sci fi geek, like me.

Soon enough, the topic turned to sex. “I practice Tantric semen retention,” she told me. “So when we’re having sex, I will pull out for a little bit if I’m about to ejaculate, because this practice is a bit new to me.” I smiled, thinking that I really lucked out with this one. Genderfluid AND staying power. “Is there anything that you don’t want me to do?” She asked.

“No choking,” I said. “And I don’t like anything in my ass. Bad experiences.”

“Ok.”

That was the point where we started kissing again. We moved to the bedroom and I helped her out of her clothes. She was wearing a nice purple bra with black lace, which looked fabulous on her athletic, swimmer’s body. I shed my clothes in a hurry. We kissed naked, the embers under my skin warming at her touch. Her skin felt so new and yet familiar in a way that caused me to feel excited and relaxed at the same time.

She, unlike my first transsexual lover, truly enjoyed her body, which I found exciting and refreshing. She kissed down the line of my body all the way to my feet, where she spent time sucking my toes. I enjoyed, but felt a bit nervous because my feet had been encased in boots and tights all day, but I told myself that she wouldn’t be doing it if she wasn’t liking it, and that helped get me into it.

She was amazing at eating pussy, which is a valuable skill when it comes to going to bed with me. I sucked her cock, swirling my tongue around the head and down the shaft. She had a pleasant salty sweet taste, and my pussy throbbed as I watched her react to my lips around her cock.

We fucked for the next few hours in various positions, and fell asleep in each other’s arms.

The next day, I awoke with her in my arms. I kissed the top of her head. It felt really good to hold her. There was a sort of familiarity, as if I had known her longer than I had. We had breakfast together and exchanged phone numbers. I was struck by how easy it had been for me to find a like-minded lover mere moments after I had disqualified myself from finding love because of my impending life of professional sex. This was the beginning of a very special and significant relationship.

Monogamy

I, like most people in Western society, was raised with a pretty strict idea of how a proper relationship was supposed to look. My parents lived that ideal in a very intimidating way. They met when they were both nineteen, dated for three months, then got married. They are still together.

Growing up, a part of me envied them their close, loving relationship. Although they had their struggles, like any other couple, they do really love each other. On the other hand, the close connection they had at the exclusion of others filled me with dread when I imagined the same for myself. To live within a secluded circle, going to bed with one person and socializing occasionally with other couples seemed like a gilded cage. It was shiny and pretty, attractively packaged, but nonetheless a prison. I think I decided early on that I would prefer to be the mistress. Mistresses had their own separate lives and lovers, they traveled the world and had exciting stories to tell. Despite my wanderlust, the desire to love and be loved, and to have some sort of security in an uncertain world, is powerful. Looking back, I spent my late teens and early twenties chasing after that ideal, attempting to recreate that archetype of the sacred marriage, for myself. This resulted in a string of volatile monogamous relationships that, inevitably, ended. Although I learned a great deal from my period of serial monogamy, I found these relationships ultimately dysfunctional and stifling. This was not specifically a problem of monogamy, although monogamy has never felt right or natural to me. It seems so natural and easy to feel attraction to, and love for, more than one person at a time. The idea of being interested in someone else being a betrayal of a partner seemed strange, although I defended it during my time of serial monogamy. It seemed noble to sacrifice my sexual freedom for love. Of course, I would inevitably wind up resenting the sacrifice, and subsequently sabotaging the relationship so that I could go after the next fascinating person to cross my path.

When I was twenty two, I met my future ex-husband. We had a volatile relationship, one part passion, two parts teeth, which I convinced myself was the stuff of lasting, committed, white-picket-fence love. Except for the white picket fence part. I hate that shit. He was tall, strong and handsome. He resembled Antonio Banderas. He was also very kinky, which worked for me in the beginning. As our relationship progressed, it became clear that, although he was primarily a dom in the bedroom, I was hardly a sub. I enjoy playing with power exchange and being submissive on occasion, but I do not have the makings of a subbie princess slut. Still, I did my best to play the game. I wanted to make him happy and I wanted the relationship to work. Although we were monogamous, we flirted on the edges of non-monogamy. We, for example, were both free to pursue meaningful, non-sexual friendships with people we could be interested in. He was a fetish photographer, and I was a fetish, nude and boudoir model, so we routinely were naked around others or in the presence of naked people professionally. I also modeled for art classes. I also had a private client who would pay me to beat him and dominate him. It was not explicitly sexual – we both remained clothed during these sessions – but the sexual energy in these sessions was obvious.

Even though my relationship with my partner was clearly troubled, I started feeling the inexplicable pull towards being married. I started pushing the relationship in that direction. I wanted it to be official. I wanted proof that I was good enough, lovable enough, to be someone’s wife, someone’s chosen one. We had an unconventional wedding ceremony in a Zen garden with a Unitarian minister. I had a best man, he had a ‘second best woman’ as I affectionately called her. Because, hello! The bride is the best woman, doncha know? Even though the marriage did not last, I have very affectionate memories of my wedding day, and, of course, the wedding night. I wore a beautiful purple dress and I was the ultimate unti-bridezilla. I didn’t care about the details, as long as my friends and family were there, and there was food and wine, I was happy.

After the wedding, I fell into a deep depression. I knew I had made a mistake. We were fighting all the time, and I couldn’t imagine not fucking anyone else for the rest of my life. But I had made a commitment. I had dragged my friends and family to a ceremony. They had bought us gifts, shiny kitchenware and Egyptian cotton sheets with a high thread count. Those were the trappings of respectability. Underneath, there were some serious fault lines.

We packed up and moved to Vancouver. He found work almost instantly, while I went from job interview to job interview with little success. He suggested that I stay home, cook, clean, and write, and forget about finding a job. I know he intended this to be kindness, but it only intensified the feelings of isolation and inertia that exacerbated my depression. I was the worst housewife ever. And I was barely writing.

Eventually, I got a job waiting tables at a yacht club in Point Grey. At this time, we decided to open up our marriage. I wanted to explore tantra, and I was finding the strength within myself to say no to the BDSM activities that I did not enjoy. “Go, explore degradation play and bondage with someone else,” I told him. “I don’t want to do it anymore.”

We entered into non-monogamy as co-conspirators, but it soon became painfully clear that our attitudes and needs were not in alignment. I wanted to be polyamorous, and I wanted to be free to love other people. He was fine with me having sex with other people, but romantic love feelings were off the table. This resulted in him feeling insecure and me feeling stifled. Finally, after many explosive fights that pissed off our neighbors, I told him I wanted to end the marriage. “I can’t do this anymore. The fighting is so exhausting. Let’s stop tearing each other apart and split up while we still like each other.”

After that, I fled the suburbs and found a room in East Vancouver in a very old, decrepit house with three roommates. I took only the bare essentials, including my beautiful cat, who has been part of my life longer than any conventional romantic partner. When I left, I discarded the idea of monogamy. Although I would practice it for a few months at a time in the first year following my divorce, I no longer believed in it. And I worked towards being openly, shamelessly, honestly, and ethically, slutty.