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Author: camerynmoore

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Slut solidarity

Next week it's back to sexy. This week, and in particular today, I'm sticking with social change, especially if you're at all involved in sexy-time work. You can consider me your political dominatrix for the day. (If you're here, you obviously want it, so sit down, shut up, and suck it, bitchez.)

It has come to my attention that a certain amount of horizontal... I won't say oppression, but hostility exists among and between some people in the adult industries. I have seen on industry boards how PSOs distance themselves from street workers; I have heard how dancers in "top-shelf" gentlemen's clubs don't see any connection between themselves and the girls dancing in your basic "trashy strip club"; I have heard burlesque dancers--not many, but a few--say they don't want to work the crowd for tips because then they'd be "just strippers".

Here's the thing, folks: If you can pick the work you do, great. If you can do your work in a comfy chair or a warm club with a bouncer watching your back, awesome.  If you're only posing a couple times a month to buy those shiny new shoes, hey, it's your dough. If you get your money from the box office or the clean checks that come twice a month from the home office, or if you have some stage kitten coming around and picking up your clothes and those sweaty ones, swell. But if your work is designed to get someone hard and/or wet, you are a sex worker. You may not believe it now, you may never believe it. That doesn't make it less objectively true. You don't have to believe in gravity to crushed to death by a falling piano.

Moving on: all the mental juggling you do to justify your game without picking up the name isn't going to protect you from the stigma that comes from working with sex. If you are open about your profession, the hate comes thick and fast. If you keep it on the DL, well, think about why you're doing that. And you can't keep it quiet forever. Eventually you'll have to tell your girlfriend or roomie or partner or best friend, or someone will find you out, and when they do, there will be some people who make assumptions about your availability outside of work, your intellect, your spirituality, your self-respect, your politics.

One way or another, we all get slapped with the broad brushstroke; the effects of that mark depends on the nature of your work. If it's legal, it's still considered skeezy and leaves you open to personal attack. If you're working in a gray area, like pro-domme work in Massachusetts or prostitution in Canada, for example, there's a fear component (no one wants to be a legal test case). If your work is outright illegal, well, whatever happens to you, the police and the legal system don't usually give two shits about you and your rights as a human being, even more so if you are poor, transgendered, and/or a person of color.

Here's my thesis. It's not original, but I'm feeling it strongly, today of all days: if you're doing work in the sex industry, the adult industry, whatever you want to call it... get your head on straight and get in fucking line. Do it. Start today. Don't diss other sex workers, or tell abusive jokes, or let your friends tell such jokes. Come out to someone in your life who didn't know what you do. Attend events around International Day to End Violence Against Sex Workers.

Busy? Okay, here's something real easy to do: get the fuck over the idea that you're better than that girl in the suburban strip joint, or that "crack whore" on the corner, or that masseuse on craigslist, just because you don't and wouldn't do that work. We're all sluts, in the minds of those who would see us disappear or die or otherwise learn our lesson and get what's coming to us. Slut solidarity is the only way out.

respect and rights for sex workers everywhere

(I'm not good at serious. I got my start writing professionally at an alternative weekly newspaper, and sometimes I still think that writing style shows through: flip and slightly detached. But I'm going to give it a try here, just for a second.)

When I tell people that I'm a phone sex operator, I get some looks, believe me. Acquaintances lift eyebrows. Friends grin big. The bouncer at the club where I was fliering, he got this speculative look in his eyes. The least response I got--and so therefore the most gratifying--was when I was applying for food stamps; the intake worker there just nodded her head, put a check mark on the form, and said, "That'd be self-employed, then."

As tired as I get of the looks and the questions, though, I have to remember: What I do is not illegal in Massachusetts, or indeed, in most of the United States. I am not going to have my door busted down for my work. (Although I did almost lose my room last summer over it...) I am not endangering my life every time I sit down in my easy chair for a cosy little 10-minute erotic chat.

This all puts me in a special category of sex worker: someone who can be really open about my work, but also has the option of not talking about it, of not thinking about it, of ignoring the other people in the allied sex trades who HAVE to go face to face with their clients, who are constantly harassed by law enforcement, who bear the brunt of the stigma (all those hooker and whore jokes still get laughs!), who are beaten and robbed and raped and murdered because our culture is so fucked-up about sex that selling it makes you a negligible, disposable quantity.

I could ignore all that, but I choose not to. I'm choosing to use my privilege and throw down on the side of other sex workers everywhere. Join me on Thursday, December 17, to remember International Day to End Violence Against Sex Workers. If you're in Boston, I'll be at the SWOP-Boston memorial service that night. If you're not here, go to the SWOP-USA site to see if there are any events near you. If there's nothing nearby, read Annie Sprinkle's list of 10 things that you can do to participate.

Only rights can prevent wrongs.

Basic Office Fuck (part 2)

Here's the next little chunklet from the 10-minute , "hot and sexy" call that I will be calling Basic Office Fuck (or BOF) from here on out. Have fun with the gaps (that's what she said); I left 'em unedited, so you can really let your mind loose on what might be within. Next week on the phlog: checking in from backstage at the Naked Comedy show, and notes from the kitchen of a PSO!

(Edit: I'm removing phlog entries that have to do with my side of calls, until I have a chance to talk with my company and find out policy.)

The phone-sex casting call you’ll never see

Supporting actors, extras, and tech crew needed for no-taboo phone sex fantasies. On call around the clock, must be available at moment's notice for random sexual acts and fetish work. You will be taking artistic direction from both the director and the male lead; in cases of conflict, male lead's decision is considered final. Currently accepting applications for the following...

  • Big Black Studs. Pitchers only, able to keep it up for women and men with rapid recovery time. Successful applicants will have double-digit equipment. You will be provided with your own fluffers and clean-up crew, whether you want it or not.
  • Hot Wives. Convincingly insatiable, anal experience required, indiscreet to outright flaunting. Must supply own wardrobe of barely street-legal club wear. Bonus if you have or are willing to get a tattoo of a spade on your upper thigh.
  • Horny Mothers-in-law. Ages 50 to 65, most body types acceptable, but you will get more work if you have the body of a 30-year-old and the vocabulary of a sailor. Some mother-daughter incest required.
  • Bi-curious Best Friend. Pitchers only, any race, ages 30 to 45, well hung (8 inches or over), open WRT porn and beer preferences. Candidates with prep school and/or Boy Scout background encouraged to apply.
  • Kinky Bi Babes. Ages 21 to 23, size 0-4, mid-length to long hair only (any color). Acrobatic or contortionist experience recommended, proven multi-orgasmic capacity, shaved pussy preferred. No speaking required.

Tech crew positions include

  • Wardrobe/makeup specialists with open mind for MTF transformations.
  • Animal wranglers (experience with horses, ponies, dogs)
  • Riggers for rope suspension work, some CBT and chandelier-swinging.
  • Lighting tech to maintain rosy glow for incest scenes.

No testing, no protection, no health insurance, just the satisfaction of joining an imaginary team dedicated to providing the best fucked-up fantasies in the biz.

Phlogging (the soundtrack of my life)

First zap from my new phlog (phone log, cute, huh?). Here's where I'm gonna be taking short audio samples from my life--conversations, cooking tips, notes from the road, snippets of my side of phone calls--and giving them to you in a slowly building symphony of sound.

Originally I was planning on starting this in the summer of 2010, when I hit the road for the Phone Whore tour. No time for blogging, or probably even conscious thought, but at least I could make some on-the-road recorded reports and get those up here quickly, right? And then I thought, why wait until then? A lot of my real-time work and life doesn't get covered in this blog, because to transcribe it would just take too much time and you might not believe it anyway. This stuff is too impressionistic for the radio show, too. So I give to you...

my phlog. Click on the link and take a listen.

(Edit: I'm removing phlog entries that have to do with my side of calls, until I have a chance to talk with my company and find out policy.)

I’m a mad-scientist-mind reader

Something I've been saying now for weeks and weeks--both here on the blog and out in barrooms full of slightly drunk strangers--is that good phone sex takes skill. I mean, it takes skillS, as in high levels of ability and strong inclination measured along multiple axes. There's the verbal aspect, the knowledge base, the outgoing personality, and there's the mad-fucking-psychic-mind-reader element, also known as empathy.

Here's the thing, though: Normal people use empathy in its original sense (being able to feel what another person is feeling) to help them have pity on or comfort others. PSOs use empathy as a launch point for our carefully twisted psycho-libidinal probes. I guess the end result is still giving comfort, but damn, sometimes I feel like an emotional mad scientist when I'm working at getting at the goods.

I'm not saying every caller needs a lot of work; when they tell you to bend over and spread your ass cheeks, it doesn't take any kind of emotional sensitivity to understand what they're going for. I'm also not talking about the really obvious strategems like, "Is that porn on in the background? Whatcha watching, anything good?" or even my personal invention, "Top Three", inviting a new caller to join me in sharing the top three things we like to do or talk about sexually. (I make it sound like a game to disguise the fact that it's basically an abbreviated intake interview.)

I'm talking things like...

  • listening for voice volume to realize that they are not able to be dirty with me, and so I'm going to have to step up with the material.
  • catching the first "Yes, Ma'am" as an early warning sign that they are heading to submissive head space.
  • catching the first "Yes, Mistress" and snapping it right back in their face as "I'm not your mistress, I am 'Yes, Ma'am', and don't you forget it."
  • hearing the uncertain tremor in a caller's voice when he talks about his wife's hot best friend and realizing that he doesn't want to fantasize about doing her, he wants to be talked out of it.
  • listening to their response throughout and deciding whether they need a participatory narrator or some nice lady just telling them a bedtime story.

As I think through the twists and turns that my callers take me through, I try to pull out all the ways that I am using my feeling of what they're feeling, and I realize that it's starting to become almost instinctual, as complicated as all the instantaneous calculations that we do when catching a ball. Just like catching that ball, running a good phone sex encounter is obviously not a hardwired skill. But somehow I learned it, learned how to employ my empathy in the service of getting these guys off remotely, and DAMN, it's pretty fucking awesome.

It’s the journey, not the destination: or, Cameryn discovers the peculiar delights of orgasm denial

The longer I work in phone sex, the less often I will experience "firsts". This is a statistical certainty. The corollary for me is: the longer I work in phone sex, the more a "first" will stand out when one occurs. Like yesterday's, when I didn't let a caller come. Twice.

It was the same guy,  B., one of my regular cuckolds who, over the past 5 months, has spun a regular soap opera of a tale around his hot wife and her lesbian lover, who basically humiliated him and fucked his wife silly and then 6 weeks ago handed her over to, wait for it... Jamal. (Oh, my dear, delicious BBC, you are never far away, are you?)

The first time B called yesterday, he was filling me in on his wife's absence for the weekend, and also told me about the panties that he had purchased under my directive, a pair of satin, powder-blue French-cut bikinis that he had bought in a three-pack. He was wearing them under his trousers, at work (he's a financial advisor), and had locked the door and told his secretary to hold all calls.

I could have gotten him to come. Easy. I know my way around his buttons. Just calling him a good girl makes him hyperventilate for a few seconds. But on a whim, I told him to get down in a really humiliating pose, pull his tackle out and let it dangle, and then wiggle his ass around slowly while I told him to think about me watching him. Then I told him to stand up, pull his trousers back up, tuck his shirt in properly, and think about that moment on the floor for the rest of the day.

He called me back in the evening, upon which I accused him of trying to get me to let him come. He denied it passionately, and said he just wanted to let me know that he noticed, when he got home, that his hot wife had not taken her birth control pills with her on the weekend with her black lover. (Duh duh DUHHHHH.) He also said that he had gotten a call from her, and that they were going to be coming over in 15 minutes.

What did I do? I told him to put on the thigh-high stockings that he had purchased, also at my command, and wear those under his at-home pants. And then make sure that there was plenty of beer chilling in the fridge, because he's a good girl and I expect him to give good service. I told him to make sure and add this second call to the journal that I'm making him keep of when he gets an erection. And then I said good night.

I don't know why I did it that way. It just seemed like the right approach for him. And afterward I had to smile. Easiest money I ever made NOT getting a guy off. I wonder how long I--and he--can keep it up?

Getting the angst out of Thanksgiving

I'm not much for the winter holidays, to be honest. Since my primary partner and I shifted to a long-distance model--over three years ago, gah--the whole family/spouse/children/big dinner thing makes zero sense, so I tend to get pretty blasé, as in "blah". This year on Thanksgiving I'm holding down the phone lines for my usual shift, stepping out for dinner at a friend's house, where she is whipping up some Louisiana-style, duck-based deliciousness, and then coming back and... signing back on.

Sigh.

Well, I said all that Hallmark-induced shit doesn't make sense. Didn't say I'm impervious to societal pressure about what I'm supposed to be doing this Thursday. And again for Christmas. And again on New Year's Day.

Instead of  wallowing, I'd rather take a moment and write down a few things that I'm feeling thankful for. I mean, that's part of the tradition too, right? Since I can't really say this stuff in front of my mom and dad, this is the perfect place...

  • I'm thankful that I have paying work. Seven months ago I got notice that I was being let go from my straight job, and I was in a panic. But here I am, and the power is still on and I'm on time with a payment schedule for my student loans. A lot of people aren't so lucky.
  • I'm thankful for this work that I enjoy. For reals. I get a cheesy grin on my face when the dispatcher tells me that such-and-such a regular is requesting me, and I know it's one of the ones that I can really play with.
  • I'm thankful for such an abundant source of inspiration and material for new artistic work. Phone Whore excites the crap out of me (where are my toilet slaves when I need them, ha ha), and the stand-up stuff is scary hard, but good.
  • I'm thankful for a circle of friends and chosen family who support me in this work, who don't bat an eye when I dash off to pick up the phone and who listen with every appearance of interest when I have to debrief about my latest hard-core caller.
  • I'm thankful for all of the other sex workers and allies who have labored before me, in trying to demystify, decriminalize, and even celebrate our work: SWOP, Annie Sprinkle, Scarlot Harlot at BAYSWAN, Audacia Ray, ISWFACE, Émilie at Stella, $pread (the magazine and bog), the other members of psosupport.com. You've answered my questions, pointed me to resources, and really helped me integrate sex work into my self-identity. I'm stepping out to join the fray, but believe me, I'm well aware of the work that has already been done.

That's there's my semi-regular Gratitude Report, folks. What do you got in yours?

Phone sex etiquette (part 1)

I love this tip sheet directed at clients of escorts, on how to be a good john. It's rarely going to be seen by the people who really need to see it, but I'm glad it's out there. Kinda helps remind us that we are worthy enough to keep these boundaries in mind, you know?

My phone sex tip sheet is going to be a little different on the surface--it's such a different line of work, after all--but you can see that the take-away idea is the same: I'm a skilled worker, doing my best to get you off. Respect me.

Okay, so how do you respect me? Here are some good starting points:

DON'T TRY TO GET OFF TALKING TO THE DISPATCHER. That is not in her job description. She is going to be irritated, and believe me, you want to keep her on your side.

ANSWER THE PHONE PROMPTLY. Unless your wife just walked in or you are finishing up that enema, don't make my call go to answer machine. I know you're ready. We just talked to you. Oh, and next time? Finish the enema first and then call.

DON'T CALL IN WONDERING WHERE WE ARE. I don't think this is a double standard; it's just an occasional glitch in any service industry. Occasionally calls can run over (see below), or we have to run take a leak between calls, anything can happen. Wait for a bit before you call out the SWAT team, otherwise you're just tying up your phone line and ours.

SAY WHAT YOU REALLY WANT. I think 70 percent of the time wasted in phone sex is because the caller can't just spit it out. If it's your thing to have to have the truth forced out of you, as part of a humiliation sequence, that's all right (the dispatcher already told us). Otherwise, say it. We have mad listening skills and intuition, and the tropes are pretty obvious, but we AREN'T psychic.

DON'T ASK TO MEET ME. It's never going to happen. Other girls have done it? Fine, you should ask for them next time. Oh, wait, you can't. 'CUZ THEY WERE FIRED.

DON'T PUSH TIME LIMITS. If you are using a service that sells blocks of time, we will tell you when there are 2-3 minutes left. In my experience, that is plenty of time to wring it out. And don't get pissy when we hang up at a minute over. We get in trouble for this shit, okay? And it backs things up for other callers (see above).

SAY THANK YOU AND GOODBYE. Maybe you're of the opinion that you're paying for this call, and you can be a rude bastard if you want. That's fine. I'm not talking to you. I'm talking to the guys who want to know they're getting quality attention from their PSO. Seriously, fellas. Three words make me feel more human, and that means I'm going to feel more invested in the encounter. You'll sense the difference next time, trust me.

Hey, my PSO people! Got any other tips for callers using phone sex services? Drop 'em here!

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