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Archive for sexploreum

Reclaiming home

I have a little bit of custom textile art in an embroidery hoop; it reads “HOME IS WHERE THE KEY FITS.” I commissioned the piece two or three years ago, in what I now recognize was a fit of trying to make myself feel better about my itinerant lifestyle, of ramping myself up to feel stronger and more empowered and choiceful in what felt like a forever-on-tour life.

As everyone knows, putting a belief down in a cross-stitch sampler or some other displayable textile medium doubles the Don’t-Give-A-Fuck factor, and of course putting an anti-home sentiment into a medium that implies having a home to hang it in, well, the irony was perfect and I was feeling a little militant, and so it made sense.

Since I lacked any set physical home space, then yes, home would have to be where I laid my head at night. Whilst touring, I never have the same bed for more than a week or two in a row, so I had to say it to myself in order to keep coming to terms with it. HOME IS WHERE THE KEY FITS.

I made home where I could find it. Fuck the nuclear-family, stack-of-plates, well-filled-spice-rack life. That wasn’t for people like me, I thought, and so I said “fuck you” and commissioned the piece and silently cursed my travel kitchen kit and hardened myself to never knowing how those strange pillows would work out for my neck. Who cares. I don’t need home. Hell, I don’t even want it.

Except maybe…. Just maybe I did. I was slowly realizing over the past few years, maybe home was something that I hadn’t figured out. When I finally met someone who I could actually imagine nesting with again—not just imagine it, but crave it—when I looked around at other artists and thought, wait, they have home bases, how do they do that? They are mostly independently wealthy, but hey, that’s just circumstance, I can catch up, right? These were thoughts I had.

These aren’t just random thoughts, though. Recently I have been feeling my entire inside landscape shifting around this concept of home. It feels weird, like there's a new and necessary organ growing inside me, and my body is trying to make room for it. I’m growing a second heart, and it needs room. It needs a home. It needs an actual place with this other actual specific person where I can rest at night. I can’t be blasé about it anymore. That’s just what I need.

I’ve known this, but I didn’t know it until this last weekend, when I had to unpack the storage pod that I had packed over four years ago. I sat on the floor, in my partner's house, surrounded by the flotsam of lives I thought I wanted, vestiges of homes that eventually became husks of themselves in the face of lives unshared. These were my dreams of domesticity, drifts of dishes and cookbooks and funky linens and my one piece of art, domestic goddess, she hasn’t had a wall to hang on in four years. I looked at it all, and sifted through it, and got into multiple arguments with my partner, because we're trying to disentangle and separate and he has his own hurts and grievances around that whole process, but I’m the one writing this, so I just kept on looking through and leaking tears the whole time.

In spite of that grief reflex, I knew that I didn't want the lives that went with this stuff. A lot of it was passed on, or will be donated out. I was ready to let it go. But I saved a few bits and bobs, and packed them up in boxes, and I’ve shipped them off to the UK to await my arrival, and then the domestic goddess will once again have her world.

Home is where the key fits, yes. (Otherwise it’s breaking and entering.) But that’s not enough for me anymore. Home is where the spice rack is shared. Home is where my fancy red bedspread will go, on a bed warmed by two. Yes, sometimes I'll still be on tour, but I know there will be space there for that as well. Because home is where my second heart, my creative, loving soul, will have room to thrive.

*****

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CALL OF THE DAY: it hasn’t happened yet, but it will

This call hasn’t happened yet, but it will, unless my boss was right and the company can’t survive without me for longer than 24 hours. I think she’s wrong. I have plenty of empirical evidence that the company can in fact survive without me for upwards of four and a half months.

That was last summer, of course, and who knows, maybe business really has gotten worse. Maybe the downward slide continued, the one she has been talking about for years, and maybe my two weeks away, while I recovered from putting up a new play, were the last straw.

But let’s assume for the sake of jamming this article out before I collapse back onto the bed, let’s assume that the company is still there, and at some point tomorrow, my first day back on call since April 21, I will get my Call of the Day.

It’ll be my first call of that day, my first call back, after I answer the phone and chat awkwardly with my boss, who will have been cultivating for nearly two weeks her resentment of my daring to take time off, who will make a few digs at me that she laughs off as jokes, and then rattle off the caller’s details too quickly and get frustrated at me for not being able to keep up. For a few tight-lunged seconds I will panic, like, maybe I forgot how to do this, even though, again, I’ve come back after four and a half months. I won’t forget.

It’ll be just like riding a bike, one with a kinda uncomfortable seat that veers just enough to the right that I can’t ride it with no hands, but I’ll get back on it and go, oh yeah, I remember how to do this, but why didn’t I remember how uncomfortable this seat is? Oh, well, at least it’ll get me to where I need to go.

Maybe the Call of the Day will be Bilingual Papi. That’d be nice. That’s happened sometimes. I tell him the days that I’m coming back, and sometimes he remembers. German chocolate cake in my ass crack is not a bad way to start back up again. He’s getting a little demanding lately, getting back on his anxiety kick as we approach summer touring season and my lesser availability, but that’s understandable after nearly seven years together, he gets separation anxiety, which is kinda flattering because seriously, it wouldn’t be difficult to just buy some German chocolate cake at the grocery store and cue up some online buttsex porn.

Maybe it’ll be Extreme Top. He never remembers when I’m going to be away. He gets confused easily when it comes to my times on the lines. I think he needs to cut down on his casual drug use. Or ramp it up, so he forgets about me completely. His calls are good money, though…

More likely the Call of the Day will be with someone utterly forgettable, not a regular, someone whose card I need to dig out to remember what they like, and even then it’ll be blank, I didn’t even have enough to write down the first time they called me. It’ll be a blank Call of the Day, a cold call, when I have to start over from scratch, even though I can see from the calling history that he and I have talked a dozen times before, we won’t remember each other, though.

It’ll be a seven-minute call, or maybe 10 minutes, a phone sex 10 minutes, which means he finishes two and a half minutes early or two minutes late. He’s not in touch enough with his self-pleasure rhythms to know how long it’ll take, how to delay orgasm, or maybe he’s circumcised and has developed Death Grip to compensate, Death Grip and a sense of entitlement, make me come, bitch.

And I’ll do my best with his blank index card in front of me and his horny, aggressive awkwardness on the other end of the line, and my best will almost certainly be good enough, because I’m overqualified and he will not have very discriminating tastes.

When the call is done, I will hang up and note down the time, and then stare at my laptop screen for a few unseeing moments. I will be done with it, for the millionth time, and my heart will be so tender, for reasons that I can’t tell you or my callers about. And sitting there with my tender heart and my naked ambition and my reluctant acknowledgement of the socio-economic forces that are currently holding me in place…

I will let out a sigh and blink back the tears and get up and start another coffee. Calls of the Day, to me, have become less about excitement and more about making myself remember. There is more to my day than this.

*****

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CALL OF THE DAY: “What are you wearing?” is not an open-ended question

"What are you wearing?"

I never had much patience for that standard phone-sex question. Without warning, it is awkward as fuck to provide narrative context for wearing anything around the house other than pajamas, jean skirt and a t-shirt, or just a robe and panties, but at least the panties are clean.

“What are you wearing?” is one of the most common questions to pop up in the first 30 seconds of a call. Doesn’t mean I’ve gotten over it, though. If the caller is someone I already have a card for, then I’ll know what I should be wearing; it’ll be right there on the card. But if it’s a new guy, I have no way of knowing what he wants me to say. A generic, lowest-common-denominator sexy is ridiculous, given the time of day, you know, hey, you reached me at home and I am just lying around in my black lace negligee and stilettos. I always want to say, but that doesn’t make sense. There's a continuity editor in my head, and she gives me a fucking headache.

So, I never had much patience for that question, but after seven years I now have none. What difference does it make what I tell you I’m wearing if you think 44B is bigger titties than a 36DDD, or if you’re just going to tell me to take it off within 30 seconds? How much detail do you even want? Why on earth would I be wearing a latex catsuit and seven-inch-high heels around the house on a Tuesday afternoon waiting for you personally, Mr. Subby McSub?

This question was never easy, and now I just bite my lip in irritation as I tiptoe carefully around the potential narrative tangles and sartorial slips. Fortunately for me, there are regulars like Mr. Softcore, whose attitude is basically the phone-sex equivalent of “you look so beautiful without all of that makeup on.”

With Mr. Softcore, and Bilingual Papi and a few of my other regulars, I have let myself relax. A little. They think I’ve completely let my hair down, so to speak, and they love it. “What are you wearing?” they ask. Nothing, I say, my voice carrying the suggestion of a sly wink, or, I haven’t gotten dressed yet, what would you like me to put on? (Usually to that last one, they’ll say, “don’t bother.”) With these same people I am comfortable answering the other common question—“what are you doing?”—with very simple and true commonplaces: baking, writing, lying on the bed looking at the internet.

Mr. Softcore frequently says, as these natural-core fans do, that he loves that I am “just myself” with him. These callers want to believe that I am not myself with everyone else on the line, that I am being fake with everyone except them, that my natural nakedness and real-life activities are precious gifts. They are, actually, because these callers are the only ones I half-trust with the half-truths. For example, most of my subs have not been impressed, shall we say, when I mention my cowboy boots and not the leatherette thigh-high boots. (They should actually be a lot more scared of the cowboy boots, I think, but I digress.)

In phone sex, the PSO can “be oneself” only within certain established parameters of selfhood. My pastimes have to fit into certain categories of behaviors that match an only somewhat expanded definition of sexy and appropriate. And I can “be myself” or “be natural” because I tell these regulars—and they believe it—that I am whatever their version of naturally beautiful is. Bilingual Papi thinks I have a big round butt; of course he’s fine with me wearing some crappy old shorts or whatever. The toe-sucking mommyfucker doesn’t blink about me always wearing the same green satin pajama top and nothing else, because my toes are always painted candy-apple red.

And Mr. Softcore, well, he has waxed lyrical, on numerous occasions, about my perfect breasts and my perfect pussy. It is important to him, my natural perfection. If the clothing or the image were important, as it is to other callers, then I would have to “go to the extra effort” of dreaming up some clothes to wear.

As it is, for Mr. Softcore I only have to conjure up my “natural beauty.” It seems effortless to him, but for me, it’s just another outfit.

*****

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