First Professional Tantra Session

Yesterday, I had my first Tantric massage client. The session was absolutely beautiful.

I had put myself on the schedule, expecting that I wouldn’t get any work on my very first day. I had spent the weekend with Josh and had not finished setting up my place. I had my laundry done, but I hadn’t finished cleaning.

Ra came over unexpectedly because he and his partner had had an argument. We were drinking tea and sharing a joint when I got the text: Can you see a client tonight for two hours?

“Oh shit!” I said, looking around at my messy apartment.

‘Sure,’ I texted back. ‘What time?’

‘8.’

It was just before 7.

Ra and I looked at each other. “Can we have this place client-ready in an hour?” I asked.

“Yes!” Ra and I instantly jumped into action. I scrubbed the toilet. Ra did the dishes. Soon, the massage table was out, covered with linens. The salt lamp and candles were lit. The place looked radiant.

I brewed some tea and jumped in the shower. Ra went down the street to a coffee shop. I changed into a simple green dress and colourful shawl. I took a few deep breaths. My stomach flipped. This was a completely new to me, and I would have to have something more than empty flirtations and posturing to offer the man who was on his way over.

He knocked. I took a deep breath and answered the door. My breath caught in my throat. He was an absolutely beautiful man, tall, with deep blue eyes and light brown hair. His eyes lit up when he saw me. I hugged him and invited him in, took his jacket (very sexy, form-fitting leather) and offered him tea. We each took our cups of peppermint tea and took a seat on the bench.

“I apologize for the small space,” I said, acknowledging the absence of a coffee table.

“No, it’s lovely here,” he said.

We chatted a little. I asked him about his experience with tantra and if he had had any sessions like this before. He was quite experienced, and had seen other practitioners for a variety of sessions. He asked me how long I have been doing this work.

“I’m new to the Temple,” I said. “But I have been studying and practicing this work in a different form for a little over a year. I’m giddy and nervous tonight because this is new to me.” My new thing is to be vulnerable and authentic whenever possible.

I told him my ideas for the session, stressing that it was free-flowing and depended on the energy between the two of us.

We undressed. I draped my shawl strategically over my body. He kept his underwear on at first. We got up on the massage table and sat in almost-yab yum. I reminded him (though I doubt he needed reminding) to eye gaze left eye to left eye and we started to breathe together. I was touched by how receptive and open he was during the meditations. He held my gaze gently, but steadily. We did alternate breathing, followed by more breathing together. By the end of the meditation, I felt grounded and at-ease. Of course, I still had flutters in my belly from being so close to such a gorgeous man, but I felt focused and happy. I placed one hand over his heart and took his hand and placed it over my heart. We stayed like that for a few breaths. Then I let my hands trace his hair and trail down his body, down his arms and over his fingers. He shyly reciprocated. I smiled and sighed softly to show my approval. I liked his touch.

I directed him off the table and to sit at the bench. I got down in front of him and ritually washed his feet with my homemade sugar and coconut oil scrub. The bowl was a bit too small, but I did my best and he seemed happy. Then I asked him to take off his underwear and lie on the table. He lay face down on the table. First, I covered his beautiful body with my orange Egyptian cotton sheet. I felt grounded and full of purpose. First, I traced a Reiki symbol into both of my finger tips and did the chakra balancing exercise that Rania taught me. I know that a lot of people scoff at the laying on of hands as a healing art, but I have always felt powerful things whenever I’ve been involved in such things. When the energy work part was done,  I uncovered his body slowly, teasing him with a feather followed by a cashmere hat that feels so soft. I remembered Rania and Don running something similar down my back and how wonderful it felt.

At one point, I looked up and noticed that he had left the donation too close to one of my candles and one of the twenty dollar bills was starting to catch fire. I quietly went over, moved the bills out of harm’s way and put out the fire before returning to the table. I was pretty pleased with how I handled that curve ball.

I went and grabbed my heated coconut oil off the oil warmer (you know you’ve arrived when you have an oil warmer), and returned to the table. I oiled up my hands and began the massage. Slowly, I ran my hands along his back, guiding him into deeper relaxation. It thrilled me how easily he relaxed into receiving. When I moved my hands down his arms, he clasped my hands in his, and I clasped back, enjoying the intimacy of that moment. I massaged his whole body, from his feet to his head, before inviting him to turn over.

I placed a pillow behind his head and one under his knees. Making eye contact, I poured oil through my fingers onto his chest and spread it all over him with playful, varied strokes. First, I focused on his chest and legs, avoiding his semi hard cock. Then I moved my hand over his cock, rubbing his shaft with the heel of my hand until it grew. Then, I moved my hands up his body, spreading the sexual energy away from his genitals to his heart. I held his heart with one hand, his cock with the other. Our breath synchronized, we were completely present with each other.

“Would you join me on the table?” He asked, sitting up. I climbed onto the table and we entered a full yab yum this time, his cock pressed against my belly, only the thin fabric of my thong between us. We breathed together and he ran his hands down my body, gently, respectfully, giving me pleasure. He took my head in his hands and kissed me, gently, tentatively, as though making sure that it was ok before going further. I kissed back.

“May I touch you there?” He asked, gesturing towards my pussy.

“Yes,” I said. “Just through my underwear.” I loved being able to set boundaries. There was a naked man on my massage table, and I was not expected to fuck him! How positively delicious and liberating!

He touched me very consciously, and made me feel wonderful. I responded to the touch, wanting more, wanting to remove the barrier and let him have at me. “May I push these aside?” He asked.

“I’ll take them off,” I said.

When they were gone, he lowered me onto the table. I had a moment of wondering if I would fall. “I’ve got you,” he said. “There’s plenty of room.”

He ran his fingers over me, touching my pussy gently and pleasingly. I let go into the pleasure, running my hands over my body.

“Do you have any condoms?” He asked.

“I don’t normally go there during these sessions,” I said.

“Oh, ok,” he said, looking a little embarrassed for having asked.

I looked into his lovely eyes and realized that, in that moment, I wanted him to fuck me. I wanted to share that experience with him. It would not feel like I was betraying myself if I let myself go there. Far from it.

“I’m tempted to make an exception for you,” I said. “If I do, you won’t tell, will you?” The last thing I needed was for it to get around that I was just another ‘full service provider’ after all I went through to break away from mainstream escorting.

“I won’t tell,” He said.

I got up and grabbed a couple of condoms and a packet of lube. He got up and washed the oil off of his cock, which impressed me greatly. He came back to the table and we sat, facing each other, touching and kissing. I rubbed some lube on his cock and put the condom on him. Holding my head in his hands, he lowered me to the table and slowly entered me. I responded enthusiastically – he felt wonderful. He kept looking into my eyes and I looked into his. My hands trailed down his back and up again. His eyes widened as he came, and I held him, sighing as I felt him reach his climax. He held me for a moment before going to the bathroom to clean up and dispose of the condom. I lay back on the table, completely at ease, comfortable being naked, happy to have shared a moment with someone who respected me and honoured what I had to offer.

He came back to me and enveloped me in a hug. I wrapped my arms around him, kissing his chest. “Thank you for making an exception for me,” he said. “It was my pleasure,” I replied, and meant it.

We held each other for a while before he moved away and started getting dressed. I helped him find his clothes. We hugged once more and then he was off into the night.

I texted Don and Rania to let them know the session was a success. ‘Everything went well. He was very sweet, and gorgeous!’

Ra came back and we high-fived and celebrated my first Tantric Temple client. We walked down the street and had tapas and a bottle of wine to celebrate new and exciting developments.

We came home and hung out a while before going to bed. We shared my double bed, and soon Ra was sound asleep. I traced my clit in the dark, feeling the swelling of sexual energy ebb and flow through my body. Eventually I went into the other room and lay down on the massage table, covering myself with a sheet. I touched myself all over until I was in a frenzy. Slowly, meditatively, I penetrated myself with my dildo, switching my finger for a vibrator. I fucked myself, first slow, then fast, fast fast. Soon, I was having a full-body orgasm followed by laughter and smiles. “I love my life” I said to myself.

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Internalized Whorephobia

I have very understanding friends. Ra and his partner have spent a lot of time with me over the last few months (Ra’s time with me goes much farther back, because Anton is a relatively recent addition to the group), and they have listened to my outpourings of angst over my feelings for Josh and my feelings of fear and crippling insecurity.

Ra pointed something out last week that I found very interesting. I was telling him how insecure I feel about Josh, how when I imagine myself telling him how much I love him, this little voice in the back of my head stops me. “Why would someone as wonderful as Josh, why would ANYONE want to be with a hooker?” I struggle with this voice. I imagine myself being seen by others as dirty, diseased, sleazy, lacking self-respect and morality. When I was done going through this list with Ra, he said: “It sounds like you have internalized whorephobia. I understand, I had internalized homophobia for years.”

That stopped me in my tracks. Could I, such a strong woman with healthy self-esteem, one who defends sex worker’s rights and comes out swinging in defense of my fellow whores at the agency when they tell me that their romantic partners don’t treat them with respect because of their profession, have internalized these damaging messages about women in my profession? Even with knowing the good I have done for others since becoming a whore, not to mention how I have grown spiritually since entering the trade, I am at times incapacitated by shame around my choices and innate nature.

In Women of the Light, a book of essays edited by Kenneth Ray Stubbs, Carol Queen writes a brilliant essay about her time as a call girl and how sex work is directly connected to worship of the goddess and a celebration of life. She says that we whores are doing the Goddess’s work in a culture that would brand it the devil’s work. This can take a toll on us.

Somehow, I can claim the right to respect and happiness for any other whore, but I can’t quite claim that for myself. I think of Josh and his life up until his marriage ended. He had a conventional, ‘respectable’ marriage and raised children with a very traditional, conservative woman. A part of me wishes that I could offer him that same respectability, but that is the one thing I do not have to give. I am a sexual outlaw, a deviant, a whore. This causes me both pride and happiness and intense shame and fear. It is hard to go about your life when so many people seem to hate you.

I can imagine taking on stigma and being an outlaw next to someone I love. I have done this in my relationships with my trans lovers, walking next to them and offering support, standing up to transphobic bigots on the street, taking the rage some cis men threw at me for choosing a trans woman as a lover instead of a man… but I cannot seem to imagine anyone being willing to be by my side fighting the whore stigma with/for me. It makes me wonder why.

Ra went on to tell me how much my friendship means to him. “When you met me,” he said “I was at one of the lowest points in my life. I was in an abusive relationship and I was suffering from PTSD and getting off meth. And you were always absolutely wonderful to me. If anyone deserves to be happy, it’s you.”

I started to make an inventory of the things I do have to offer. Love, devotion, financial security, generous spirit, sex skills, listening skills, emotional support, backrubs and foot rubs, interesting conversation, great food, companionship, honesty and loyalty. What is off the table for me: sexual exclusivity, conventionality, ‘respectability’.

When I visit Josh and we watch movies together, which we do sometimes, I am struck by the degree of whorephobia in the media. I feel afraid and I don’t talk too much about my work. I’ve told him what I do, and we’ve talked a bit, but he still talks about ‘hookers’ like they are other people and not the woman he holds in his arms at night. I am afraid that if he saw me as a ‘hooker’ rather than whatever version of sex therapist/worker that he currently sees, he will stop touching me so tenderly and holding me and caring for me. It’s fucked up. It shows how deeply I have absorbed those attitudes that women who are sexual with a wide variety of people are ‘used up’ and ‘not worth caring about’. It’s such a basic attack on a woman’s being. Sexuality is such a basic part of who we are, and, to me, such a powerful part that it cannot be suppressed without severe damage to the psyche. So the choice remains: damage yourself by suppressing that which is natural and innate, be a good girl according to patriarchy and shut up, or be an outlaw and be vilified and subject anyone you are in a relationship with to potential stigma and discrimination. It’s a complicated mess. I long for a time when people like me are held in high esteem as teachers and shamans rather than vilified as dirty, worthless whores.

Just When I Thought I Was Out, They Pulled Me Back In!

Last night, I had an eight hour session with a client, and it was an amazing experience. He was a man close to my age, attractive, into similar music/subcultures as myself, and very kind. We drank a couple bottles of wine over the course of the evening and discussed philosophy, human rights, queer theory, feminism, gender relations and literature. I found myself being myself with him, rather than the modified version of myself that I sometimes project to my clients.
He was very shy when it came to the sex part of the night, but I helped him come out of his shell pretty quickly. He had beautiful long hair and dark eyes, and his back was scarred from his forays into the world of hook suspension, something I had at once time considered doing myself.
Sexually, he was very sensuous and considerate. I asked him to let his hair down and run it over every inch of my body, which he happily did. I enjoyed all of what we did after that. I didn’t want to leave. I felt a conflict in a sense, because I know that, if we didn’t have the client/provider relationship, he would be someone I would be friends with, and possibly I would have been his lover under different conditions. Of course, with Josh in the picture, that would have been unlikely, so I am going to be content with the relationship within the context that exists.
He wants to hire me this Friday for another eight hour session, which I am happy about. Today, one of the booking girls told me (off the record) that I am excellent at what I do and that I am one of the best girls they have. It felt good to hear that, and it also makes it harder to think of leaving. I am going to think of it as a process. I can do the agency for a time while I work out how to be a fabulous tantric practitioner and whatever else I want to be. It might even work if I stayed on with the agency on a very part-time basis and catered to a few regular, trusted clients. No more coke dicks for me!

Burnout, Work Realities and New Opportunities

It is becoming more apparent every day that I am burned out. I am a mess. I worked again last Thursday, and most of my appointments were pleasant. I had a few polite, respectful clients who appreciated my skills. I started to remember what I enjoy about my job. Then I dealt with yet another rude client who wanted to trample my boundaries because ‘hey girl, you’re making good money. You should be down with an unlubed finger in your ass at 7 am.’ I am so sick of catering to the desires of others. I am so sick of being expected to perform like a porn star. I have so much knowledge and experience around sexuality, but how am I supposed to apply it when it is treated as something of little value? So many men don’t understand true ecstasy. They do not want to take their time in a sexual encounter. They expect that our bodies work like the depictions of women’s bodies in porn. And hey, even porn star’s bodies don’t work that way, but we don’t see the prep time off-camera. We just see the hard cock sliding into the tight yet pliable asshole.

I used to be a sex freak. Now, I get exciting sexual offers in my private life and I only feel tired and pressured. And lonely. I don’t want sexual adventure right now. I mean, that’s not entirely true. I have a very exciting sex life with Josh, and I still love sex with him. Sex with him keeps me connected to my body, keeps me anchored, keeps me present. Still, the conflict between work and personal life is taking a serious toll on me. He is aware of my work, but I still feel uncomfortable talking about it. I can talk about the parts I like, about the people who do appreciate what I have to offer. I don’t feel comfortable telling him about the difficult seven hour session that left me feeling gross and traumatized. I don’t feel comfortable telling him how burned out I am at fast sex. He seems to understand it intuitively, and he gives me extra foreplay and sensuality when I take longer to respond… but it is taking a toll not talking about it. I’m afraid that if he knew the extent of my current distress, he will leave me. He still talks about sex workers like they are ‘other people’ not like I am among them. He never says anything derogatory, but it still leaves me feeling uneasy.

I am also at my ropes end with the agency. There are a lot of great things about the agency, and I enjoy most of the people there, but I am fed up with the boss. She seems to see us working girls as nothing more than dollar signs. She can’t force us to work, but she does this passive-aggressive manipulation thing to get her way. She has also cut corners when it comes to screening clients, and the times that I have been in unsafe situations have generally been on her watch. She also takes fifty percent of everything we make, which is pretty high considering that we are the ones out there taking the risks.

Now that I have this new opportunity to work with Rania doing tantric coaching and sensual massage (no sex beyond a happy ending), I wonder what I am doing at the agency. I would be making the same money working with her, and it would be way more my thing. I could still help people and guide them through sexual experiences without compromising myself in the process.

Of course, to do that, I would need to set up my home like a tantric temple. My apartment is not ideal for this sort of thing. I discovered mold in my closet last week. The place doesn’t have the best air, and it’s really small. I also have neighbors who keep an eye on everyone. It’s a bit like living in a small town. I like the woman who lives upstairs, and I have told her a bit about what I do, which was probably partly out of desire to get myself evicted and thus released from the obligations of my lease. I need a new apartment. I need to rethink my career. I need to make a lot of changes. Fingers crossed, I think good things lie ahead for me.

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.

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.

Conversations With my Lover on Sex Work

It is still a somewhat awkward topic at times, and I find myself not disclosing every work story when I am with Josh. I don’t want to worry him, and I don’t want to bog him down with information about all my clients and experiences. A couple weeks ago, I was visiting him, and we were having coffee on the table in the common area of his apartment building, and the conversation flowed in a way that made the topic easy to address.

He mentioned that he has an issue with people who claim to be ‘sexual healers’. This led to a discussion on how one can never be a ‘healer’ but rather a facilitator for someone to go through the healing process themselves. The person may provide something that helps the person heal, but they are not responsible for the healing.

My heart beat faster as I took a sip of my black coffee. Now was my chance to take a risk, be vulnerable, and share my personal experiences with my lover. It would either bring us closer, or he would have an issue with it and it would push us apart.

I told him the story of the young man I worked with who was terrified to have sex after his long-term girlfriend consistently belittled him in bed. I told Josh about how I held this man and comforted him before guiding him through the experience of pleasuring me, and how after the session was done, he was completely ecstatic that he was able to have pleasurable sex again.

Josh looked at me in a way that showed me that he really got it. His eyes lit up and were full of admiration. “That’s awesome,” he said, and my heart swelled with happiness. My work had not made me unloveable. Quite the opposite.

I told him another story about a man who hired me to pleasure his girlfriend. She wanted the experience, but was terrified. I gave her a full-body massage and talked her through the experience, giving her a full vulva massage and an internal massage. The session ended with her asking her boyfriend to watch me and take notes for future reference.

Josh suggested that we watch The Sessions together, the movie about the sex surrogate who works with the man who was crippled by polio and who spent most of his life in an iron lung. The next weekend, we watched the movie together and cuddled the whole time. I found it very moving, even though I would have preferred that they had given the surrogate more air time and explored her life more deeply. The poet with polio was the character who got the most air time, and he was a fascinating character, and the connection between him and the surrogate was very touching. It was also nice to see a sex worker portrayed as having a healthy marriage, even though it was not explored in great detail.

I am so blessed to have found someone like Josh. He is the man I used to imagine myself finding, and, over time, grew to believe did not exist, at least not for me. He deeply respects women and is very spiritual.