Hy and I continue our monthly back and forth about blogs we’ve stumbled on that we find compelling. Last month, you may recall, my contribution was the author of “The Amsterdam Diaries” – a British patron of Amsterdam prostitutes. His blog is fascinating to me, not least because it’s so cold, so un-reflective, so foreign to me.
In every interaction I’ve ever had with a woman, paid or otherwise, I’m totally attentive to all the emotional dynamics, to what I’m feeling, to what she’s feeling, to what our respective experiences of our encounters are, to the meanings we attribute to our encounters. This, for me, is where the real action in sex is – in the connection, in the dis-connection, in the ways what we are doing affects, and reflects, who are. This is what motivates me, more than anything, in writing this blog – trying to understand how my sex, and my sexuality, affect and reflect me. (I have other more narcissistic goals, but increasingly I think my primary purpose, at least for the moment, is this one.)
The author of “The Amsterdam Diaries” would have us believe that, somehow, the women he’s having sex with exist solely for the purpose of (and maybe even only for the duration of) having sex with him. He doesn’t say this explicitly, but there is, to me, something oddly fascinating about his near-sociopathic, unemotional distance from the women engaged in this most intimate act with him. I was similarly compelled by Catherine Millet, the author of The Sexual Life of Catherine M., an emotionally distant, nearly autistic, account of the author’s astonishingly prolific sexual existence. (If you haven’t read every post on this blog, you can read what I wrote about that book, and about Jealousy, another book by Catherine Millet, here, in one of my very early posts on this blog).
N’s pick: Tits and Sass
This month, I call your attention to this blog. The blog is a group blog run by sex workers, mostly in the U.S., but internationally as well. I discovered the blog, I suspect, following a trail from Maggie McNeill’s “The Honest Courtesan,” a blog that is overwhelmingly good, and that I’ve written about many times before – and that I list in my blogroll off to the side over there —->.
Tits and Sass is widely varied – because it’s a group blog, it features all sorts of stuff, ranging from Stoya’s writing trenchantly about SNL’s poor parodies of porn stars to a “cam girl” writing about the experience of “Downsizing My Rack.” I’m finding lots to read on the blog, and lots that’s interesting.
There’s lots to choose from on the blog, but my pick for “Two More Dissolutes” this month is “Loving Don Draper: Economics and Intimacy in an Abolitionist World.” Because, you know, I love Mad Men, am fascinated with the Don Draper character, and I like sex, and have enjoyed consuming the services of sex workers, even if it was, for me, mostly in a deeply unhappy context that I did so.
Read the post. It’s a bit academic (it has ten footnotes). But it’s very thought-provoking and informative. It’s sort of the opposite of last month’s link. It delves deep, both emotionally and theoretically, into just how and why sex work can be complicated, in a way that is honest and raw, and at the same time, disciplined and thoughtful.
I wish to god there were more writing like this from johns, from the consumers of the services of sex workers. Sadly, though, the province of writing and thinking about the meaning and consequences of the commodification of sex, and the business of selling sex, is limited almost exclusively to women. (If anyone knows any interesting writing by men on the subject, please, please point me in that direction. I’m hungry for it.)
I’m always fascinated by sex workers and their experiences. Whenever I had no money, I used men and my body for nice dinners and without shame or guile. I’m pretty sure we all knew what was up — it’s the economics of dating — but I was never able to make the jump to actual sex work. I was simply too afraid of being caught by the police. (I get nervous when a mall cop passes me.)
This piece N. chose is particularly interesting to me because of its peek into the emotional management side of sex work (managing the “SOFFS”, for example). A sex worker has to shore up her arsenal of feminist logic, explain “abolitionist feminism,” I’m sure, too, be on guard on guard on guard. It sounds mostly exhausting. I wish sex work were different here, safer, regulated like all the other work we get paid to do. Maybe a little easier.
What’s the difference between emotional intimacy one that’s physically intimate? At this point, a few laws and a judgement or two.
Anyway, I admit to skimming parts of the post simply because the paragraphs were too large and I needed more time and space to process. That’s not a knock against the writer as much as it’s an admission to my own mental deficiencies. But I liked her tying in Don Draper, his personal shame and anger, into people’s projections onto sex workers (dirty whores!).
It was thought provoking and made me feel a little bit smarter. I’m not all that interested in all the politics, per se, but I am interested in the message: sex positivity, sex worker’s rights, a light shone on our own cultural shortcomings, and misogyny in general.
Plus, a anytime Don Draper is used as an example, I’m hooked. Looks like N. and I have another thing in common.
Hy’s pick: Pyx Syncopation
This month, I’d like to draw your attention to Pyx Syncopation. She’s not a complete stranger around these parts as I know many of you are her friends, but she’s kinda new to me and that’s the point of this whole thing.
Pyx is introspective about her actions, where she came from, and she leads a very sexual life (husband, boyfriend, plus dates) which she categorizes as a high priority in her life. When I read her, I find myself nodding and hmm’ing and thinking, “I’d like a drink with this woman!” I also get turned on, something which rarely happens to me from personal sex blogs. Ironic, right?
In fact, as I was researching this month’s pick, I found myself embarrassingly turned on with my baby in the other room watching Scooby Doo. If The Neighbor were here with us, I might give him a quick blowjob or have him stick it in for a quick orgasm, but when I’m on my own… well, I just feel pervy and teased.
Anyway, she did it to me, her writing. Her frank appraisal of her motivations, her frustrations, her descriptive, yet casual prose.
The piece I’m thinking of in particular was this one, Sexual Habitual II, written just three days ago. Her husband knows everything she needs and wants and does it in this vignette, wordlessly, like a symbiotic dance partner. And it turned me the fuck on.
Ooh, yeah. This is a good blog. A smart person, writing smartly, about sex and relationships and stuff. Yay! Thank you, Hy!
Like Hy, I rarely get turned on reading personal sex blogs. In fact, I rarely read personal sex blogs. They really don’t do much for me. But this is much more than just a 21st century version of an annotated notched bedpost. I like!