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Haven't been back in two years, but dammit, it's right there, not far away from Atlanta, and I have got a number of wonderful friends there, so… why not! Dates were on a month ago, but now the shows are confirmed, too: Phone Whore on November 8, slut (r)evolution on November 9 (stay tuned for ticket links). This is the location that people always laugh about, when I give them the list of my tour stops. "Alabama? REALLY?!" Yes, really! Frankly, I have gotten more flak in much larger and non-Southern stops. It's really about the community and who is willing to go to bat for me in terms of marketing and publicity, and Flying Monkey Arts hits all of those points. Yay for the freaks and future-makers making art EVERYWHERE!
I really thought most of my guys would have forgotten me, during my four months in the UK. I mean, because FOUR MONTHS IS AN ETERNITY FOR AN ERECTION. But no, I am getting requests, and sometimes from callers I just wouldn't have expected.
Like, The Handyman. I didn't have a nickname for him before, because his personality and fantasy just didn't seem strong enough to warrant one, but I am going to reward his loyalty with a nickname. And he does have a distinct narrative thread through his fantasies! Even if it's a very clichéd one…
The Handyman is always either a neighbor or a technician whom I have just called, and he's porn-helpful, in these 10-minute scenarios. Porn-helpful = he needs a really plausible excuse to be knocking on my door, right at a moment when I'm wearing a tight skirt (to show my ass when I'm leading him to whatever minor home repair needs to be handled), and high high heels with stockings (I've just come back from unspecified work or, in the case of this week, just came from the airport).
So, we have to start out with a household problem that I am not wearing the right clothes to deal with; he's right at the door and breathlessly eager to make things easy for me. He wants me to describe what I'm wearing, and then… this is where it gets silly. Because he's not just porn-helpful, the issue has to be a porn-problem, usually to do with a dildo: it fell behind my desk and knocked my internet cables loose. It's underneath the bed where he's fixing the bed frame. Things like that. What started out as a simple helpless female dilemma blooms into a sudden exposure of how ravenous my pussy is, because look at that dildo! I am the slut clown and he is the straight man.
We both understand the formula here, but I still like asking him what our scene is for the day, because a) I like that he is aware enough that calling it "a scene" doesn't put him off, and b) he honestly spends a few seconds creating the back story, and when we get to the "suddenly dildo" part, he clearly experiences a little bit of glee and creative charge, coming up with some reason for that dildo to be there.
This week's story had me calling him in because there was something wrong with my dishwasher. I had loaded it up and started it running before I went on vacation, but when I pulled it open to get the dishes out, they were still a little dirty, it was so weird, could you come over and take a look? When he rummaged in the dishwasher… oh, dear, I'm so embarrassed, here, give me that, I don't know how I could have forgotten… yup, the dildo that I was cleaning in the dishwasher had jammed up the sprayer. Oh dear. But I'm glad it's okay! I sure wanted it while I was on vacation! None of the guys I met were really well equipped. But YOU, Handyman, you always have the right tools for the job!
And then of course it's all over but the fucking (dildo demonstration, then standing while bent over the bed or doggy-style, please leave the stockings and heels on!).
I feel like the Handyman probably watches a lot of porn, but still gets drawn into the little plot that is there: "Oh wow, what's going to happen now? She doesn't have enough money to pay for the pizza!" His engagement with the non-sex action is … cute. I don't know why he needs me to help him lay it out, but I'm glad he does.
The calls that require the most acting from me are the ones in which I am supposed to be submissive, which is funny, on the surface of it, because in my real sex life I can be incredibly submissive in certain very specific ways. But a) that submission is happening with people who I know and trust, and b) most of my "dom" callers have only the dimmest, most cartoonish, broad-stroke understanding of power dynamics (see Extreme Top), so the scenes they lay out are laughable, and I have to enter into those scenes and make them work somehow.
The calls that require the second most acting from me are the ones that involve drug use. I don't have enough (read: any) personal experience with harder drugs like crack or cocaine or meth or anything like that—thank god—and the kinds of movies or TV shows that depict realistic and at-length user experiences of those drugs, those are not the sort of shows that I'm interested in watching, in fact, I run away, EEEEEEE! I'm very drug-squeamish, basically, so when someone wants me to act like I'm doing hard drugs, or make them do hard drugs, I have next to no idea what the fuck I'm talking about.
So the call I got the other day turned out to be one of the tougher calls I've gotten in a long time, because he combined both of these things and he was SO BAD AT IT. He was so ham-handed about verifying my submission—I took a chance on calling him "sir", and he ate that shit up—and ramming all kinds of things up my ass, and I had to choke on his dick (I get why this is a good fantasy noise for many guys, because seriously, MOST OF Y'ALL'S DICKS ARE JUST NOT CHOKE-WORTHY). It was going along fine, until about ten minutes into his 15-minute call, when the caller said, with what I guess he thought was a Villainous Dom growl, "I've got a vial of white powder here, do you know what it is?"
I first thought "cocaine," but then in a flash I totally second- and third-guessed myself. What if it's ecstasy, all chopped up? I saw people doing that in London; I didn't know you could powder ecstasy. What if it's some other powdery drug that's really popular right now, that I've never heard of? I mean, I haven't heard of a lot of drugs. I don't want to be uncool and guess the wrong thing! Why have I suddenly gone into high-schooler head space around this stupid caller and his stupid vial of mystery drug?
So, I said, in what I thought was a nicely quavery, submissive, naive, afraid housewife voice, "Oh, god, uh, I don't know, what is it?" Because, right? Would most 47-year-old housewives really know anything about drugs? This was not the right approach, apparently, because he hung up.
My dispatcher didn't say anything when I had to call back and let her know about the hang-up. But now I'm wondering how I can take care of this gap in my knowledge base. Using the drugs is obviously right out, and I'm kinda pushing back against the prospect of even reading up on the effect of drug use on conversation style and mannerisms. I mean, I don't get very many of those calls at all! On the other hand, I get more of them then I do snuff calls, so … And I don't want to have callers, even one person, hanging up because I'm not getting it right. That stings my professional pride.
Ugh. It's so strange. I know all this shit about sex, and nothing about drugs. My naivete is both narrow and profound. I am okay with that, but some of my callers aren't.
I've been back on call for a few days now, and am relieved that regular clients are finding me again quickly. Not all of them, I mean, I'm sure I lost more than a few to the immediate pressures of needing to wring one out. But there are a gratifying number of callers who either remember the date that I said I was coming back and are asking for me specifically, or who finally, FINALLY, hear my name in the line-up again and jump on me, metaphorically.
One of them is my surfer dude. I got him my second day back for a call that was five minutes longer than his usual. Good thing he got that extra time, because he was full of excitement about his summer happenings—"I went to seven shows in 29 days, man! It was amazing!"—and more importantly, his new girlfriend, who he met at one of the jam-band shows he loves so much. She's AWESOME, she's smart, she's so frickin' hot, "and she loves Phish too!" In short, this new girlfriend is everything good for Surfer Dude… except she doesn't know about Wendy, the hot-lesbian-bitch alter ego that he puts on to role-play with me once or twice a month.
"l still want to do Wendy every now and then," said Surfer Dude, "but I'm probably going to be calling you less." I make the supportive, believing noises, and say the congratulatory things that he clearly wants to hear, but in my head I'm going, "Fuckin' TELL HER ABOUT WENDY!" Just TELL her. Suck it up and talk about role-play, and what has she done, and what have you done, and what could you do together? She's a free-wheeling, jam-band-following type. I DON'T THINK SHE'S GOING TO FREAK OUT.
I would be happy if Surfer Dude stopped calling because he had found someone in real life who he loved and was able to play hot girl-on-girl talk fantasies with. I would be thrilled. I would be happy if some of my cocksuckers were actually out there sucking actual cock in a safe, sane, and consensual way. I would love to hear that any of my panty boys had gotten up the nerve to ask the women in their life to come shopping with them at Victoria's Secret. I wish there were a way for me to know if these steps forward happened. Seriously. I would love for my work to be obsolete for that reason.
Because while some of the stuff that comes up on my phone line is not possible, for legal, ethical, or laws-of-gravity reasons, a lot of the things we talk about are totally possible, and I just… GRRRGH…. i just want to reach through the phone and shake them and say, "Go on! Be brave! Say what you want. I do it, even though it freaks me out sometimes. You can do it too. You could have so much fun! It's worth it!" But my callers aren't paying me to be a life coach. They are paying me to help get their jizz out, in the easiest way possible, in a way that doesn't involve hard conversations or potential plate-throwing or furtive checking of underwear drawers to make sure that nothing's missing.
That means that Surfer Dude's girlfriend will remain blissfully oblivious to one little corner of her boyfriend's libido, and… well, I can yell in my head as much as I want, but that is just not my problem.
I was hoping for a good call to get me started back, after four months of being away. No, let's be honest: I was, in my heart of hearts, hoping that I would make it big enough in theatre this year that I wouldn't have to get started back. But, since I have known for some weeks that I would be doing phones again this fall, I have hoped that my re-entry would not be too horrible. Not Extreme Top. Not the Strangler. Not Dead Soul. That shit you gotta work up to.
I lucked out, though. I got the Reluctant Dom.
I think I've written about him before, but I can't find any other posts about him here, so I'll be brief in the recap: the Reluctant Dom is a gentle man with a sadistic streak a mile wide, and he loathes himself for it. I remember more than one occasion, after a call in which he has just been lashing me with a belt or pulling on handfuls of my pubic hair, and during that gasping post-coital cool-down, he has said something along the lines of "I'm a bad man. I can't keep doing this. What woman would ever want this?"
Of course I tell him that there are women out there who would want that, who would gladly take all the torment he dished out, if he took care of them afterward. I tell him it's fine. I'm not sure he's listening. I don't know whether or how much of his self-loathing is essential to his turn-on. I don't think much. I think he really doesn't want to be turned on like this, and as an active kinkster, that makes me sad. So occasionally with him, I break my own rules and ofter advice or meta-scene encouragement. This is okay to want, I say.
Today I looked at the Reluctant Dom's card and realized that I hadn't talked with him in over a year. He just hasn't requested me, and he said, without prompting, that he hasn't called for at least a year. He had me up in the examining table in the doctor's office, where a mild-mannered interview about my continued lack of orgasm tumbled pretty quickly into him calling his two beautiful nurses in to beat me with a belt and suck on my tittieses and fuck me with a strap-on while I begged for more and eventually came. After he came, I asked if there was a reason he hadn't called in so long, and I could almost hear him shrugging his shoulders and blushing.
Right. Not my place to know. But I like to imagine that he wrestled with his demons, and then won and went out and found Fetlife. A year is about long enough for that journey to at least begin, even for a very reluctant dom.
So, here I am, about four weeks out into my UK tour. Four weeks since the last time I took a call. Before this summer, six weeks is the longest I've gone without being on call. Now I'm basically tripling that. It still feels strange to not have to drag my eyelids open in the morning to sign in, to not have to drop everything to pick up a call, to make lunch plans. With other people. OUTSIDE THE HOUSE.
My boss told me back in April that I could have my job back when I return, right before Labor Day. She added, "if we're still operating when you get back," which I immediately recognized as a half-joking attempt to make me feel guilty for taking the time off, and a half-serious compliment about some of my regulars maybe not wanting to stick around if I'm not there. I hate when she pulls that shit. It's flattering to be someone they've grown to rely on, but c'mon, that's basic business strategy, right? Don't put all your eggs in my basket.
In one of our earlier conversations about this hiatus, my boss said, "But what if you make it big while you're over there?" I laughed that off and told her "not likely," but in my secret performer soul, I was, like, PLEASE. Let it be so.
The prospect feels a little confusing and unmooring, I'll admit. I don't know what full-time playwright/performers do in their day-to-day lives, anymore than I knew what PSOs do with their lives before I started doing it. I suppose it's the same things I already do—writing, networking, emailing, dicking around on the Internet—minus the frequent interruptions to help the next wanker, and without this particular form of fallback income. It's not an earth-shaking transition, in other words, but change is still scary. I've been living this way for over five years. I hope that I can be honest enough with myself to not let my fears get in the way of me getting out.
I mean, because it would be amazing if I successfully transitioned all the way into theatre. PSO work was always just a job, something enabling me to stay afloat while I figured out what I wanted to do next. Now that I've figured that out—playwright/performer all the way, baby!—I've gotta be brave while I figure out how to move on that. This is the part about transitioning out of sex work that is not so easy, because it's not like I hate the work. I just know it's not the main thing that I want to do with my energy, and I'm still grappling with how to move around in the outside world without phone sex as my ballast, my constant tagline, a funny little part of my calling card.
Will I miss doing phone sex, when the time comes? Some of it. Will I miss a ready excuse to talk down and dirty with other people about sex? Yeah, well, I'll just have to find some other excuses, like my plays, or Sidewalk Smut. Or getting into advice territory or podcasting or sex-ed. Will I miss being tied to the house by the range of my cordless phone? Not a bit. I'm ready to return to the work if I have to. I'm more than ready to move on if I don't.
WHEN: four hours (3:30-7:30pm), May 10, 2014. WHERE: New Road between North and Church streets, Brighton, UK. OUTPUT: Five custom pieces, including a nice, gentle reverse-cowgirl scene for a young man on his dinner break, softcore sitting-up PIV intercourse, an atmospheric stranger-in-hotel-room job, hardcore lesbo squirt action (as a gift for a long-distance lover in Australia), and a group sex encounter with hints of cuckoldry. Lots and lots of attention from passersby; I'm sure that I would be able to give out more cards if I just stood there handing them out, but I'm convinced that having them approach me is a more solid connection. I just wish it wasn't so windy and cold, gah! My favorite encounter of yesterday was when a woman approached me to ask about the service, and then when I handed her a card, she said, "Oh, that's all right, we already have tickets for your show tonight!" That group-sex scene was hers. During the course of the interview, she revealed that she had done or wanted to do a few things—group sex, ass play or pegging with her husband—that she thought he would be fine with, but was afraid to bring it up with him. So... I brought it up, in the story. When I read the finished piece to them, he blushed and she just grabbed me and hugged me. Ahhhhh. Satisfaction in a job well done.
Find out where I'm going to be next with the Smut Stand by finding me on Facebook, or visiting my Always on Tour page!
Atlanta Fringe runs in June every year, but they've got a strong commitment to Fringe-type theatre year-round, as indicated by their bringing me in for the second year in a row. I mean, you really have to commit to Fringe ethos when you produce a show called slut (r)evolution! We're still settling the dates, but it looks like Nov. 13-15, plus a matinee showing of Phone Whore on Nov. 15. Ah, matinee! I'll do animal balloons, bring the kids!
LOL NO DON'T.
I felt it two days ago.
It was with a regular I like. It usually only happens that way, with someone who I know very well and feel really comfortable with. It needs to be a fem-dom-type call, too, an interaction in which I am expected to run my mouth, in which I have to because they are in some kind of subby head space and they maybe have forgotten how to speak, and if I don't keep talking, then the line will go silent for too long.
So I am on top, I'm sitting on his face, I am at the point about four minutes into his usual seven-minute call where he will want me to orgasm loudly and wetly all over his face. It's not enough to just moan. Moaning or "oh, yeah!", that is not enough when I am trying to emphasize how little control he has over the proceedings, that I set the pace and I say what is going to happen and he better get with the program or I'm just going to run right over him.
So I tell him, open your mouth.
Open your mouth and keep swallowing, there's a river coming down on you now, there's a whole fucking sea.
I heard it, see. I rarely listen myself when I'm talking; it imposes a constraining level of self-awareness on the interaction that would be fatal in phone sex. But every so often I do hear myself, and it sounds good. It feels good, good enough that there's a little glitch in my verbal brain, just one little stutter out of the flow to put in a pin in that moment, just long enough that I will remember to come back and explore that moment, because it feels beautiful.
It felt effective, too, in the way that good words spoken out loud to the right ears can move the listener to tears or riotous standing applause or, yes, closer to an orgasm. Powerful. For this guy, I knew it would work. But also, it was beautiful.
Everything I say doing phone sex needs to be effective, obviously. I need to get the guy there. But the words don't need to be beautiful, by my subjective standards. That is gravy, and let me tell you, most days Mama does not get a lot of gravy. Most days my callers are fine with the graphic language or a mean (or loving) tone or my fair-to-middling level of inventiveness when it comes to describing acrobatic positions. Most days anything approaching lyricism would be superfluous, wasted effort.
So I never put conscious effort into making a particular passage sing. I just focus on the sex and the emotional connection, and let the language take care of itself. But sometimes poetry happens anyway, and if I'm lucky, I'll notice it. That stuff from my subconscious, sliding up to the surface and into this call about face-sitting, that is not for them. That is for me.