Saturday, April 17, 2004

Amusing Client Remarks From The Past Week…

I know, I know, other people tell cute stories about their kids - I tell cute stories about my clients. That's just how it is.

Featured Client #1 and I were sitting on the couch after the session, looking at digital pictures I'd just taken of him in some rather advanced states of stress and exposure. He studied one intently and then announced, "I think I may use this for my Christmas cards!"

Featured Client #2 is a faithful reader of my Stranger column and apparently found inspiration – or something - in this week's piece.

Ring ring!
Me: Hello?
Client: Hello, this is the Silver Stud calling….

Luckily for him I have a sense of humor.

Friday, April 16, 2004

I was going to post something last night…but a pleasant languor came over me, and writing seemed like too much exertion. I had spent several hours with one of my favorite clients, who we'll call Milo. (Not his real name.) I like playing with Milo for all the reasons that I generally like playing with anyone - he trusts me, he's open to new things, and he's got a high tolerance for pain. He's also a physically big guy, and I enjoy that about him. I'm five foot five and I weigh a hundred and twenty pounds, and there's something deeply satisfying about making someone who's at least nine inches taller and ninety pounds heavier than me roar like a lion singing an opera.

But there's more to it than that. Milo is one of a handful of clients with whom I have a certain…connection. You see, in my sessions, one of two things can happen. The way it most often goes is that I create an experience for someone that sends them on a physical, emotional and psychological journey. Picture someone para-sailing – with me driving the boat. It's both an erotic and an artistic exercise for me, and I enjoy doing it.

But sometimes it's different. I'm still creating the experience – but something happens along the way – and the wind catches me and whoosh, I'm up in the sky, too.

Last night I hooked my electrical box up to Milo's most sensitive places and stretched out on top of him like he was my own private chaise lounge. And then I turned up the dial until he bellowed.
It's such an amazingly intimate thing, to hold someone close to you while they're writhing and hissing in pain – pain that you are creating. I rubbed my cheek against his as his body shook with the stress of the electricity, and I looked in his eyes and told him how beautiful he was to me. I could have dialed down the intensity. I didn't. Each time the wave of electricity crested over him, his eyes opened wide and his muscles went hard underneath me. I put my face kiss-close to his and sucked the breath from his mouth like it was nitrous oxide.

In other conversations, Milo has told me that he admires my self-discipline. I wonder if he realizes that this is the school in which I learned it. Sadistic pleasure is an intoxicant, and I have taught myself to only take carefully calibrated sips. So before I really want to, I turn the dial back down again. But as soon as he can speak, Milo whispers, "Let's do it again, Mistress."

How could I refuse?

Thursday, April 15, 2004

The Thirty-Seconds Rule
There's an amusing scene in the 1983 movie "The Big Chill" in which actress Mary Kay Place is talking to Glenn Close about her experiences as a single woman evaluating men as potential boyfriends. She says, "It's gotten so I can tell in the first thirty seconds if there's a chance in the world."
Glenn Close reacts with mild disbelief, but I know exactly what Ms. Place's character means, because when I get a phone call from a potential client, I can tell in the first thirty seconds if there's a chance in the world.
Of course, some guys make it easy. Consider this fatuous ignoranus…

Ring Ring!
Me: Hello?
Caller: Well…good evening to you, pretty lady.

The caller is speaking in an extremely contrived "sexy" voice. It's the kind of voice you hear affected by radio DJs on "smooth jazz" stations – rather slow, and as deep and as resonant as he can possibly force it to be. Produces something of an I'm-a-totally-Caucasian-guy-trying-to-sound-like-Barry-White effect. I don't like it.
I wait to see if he's going to say something else. He doesn't. We're 5 seconds into the conversation, and he's off to a bad start. But I try again.

Me: Good evening – can I help you?
Caller: No, you can't. (meaningful pause) Because I want to be the one who helps you.

Now, what the hell am I supposed to say to that? He wants to help me? What is this, State Farm's sexy new telemarketing campaign?

Me: Okaaay…So, are you calling about my ad?
Caller: I'm calling because I think you're a beautiful woman, and I want to make something magic happen with you.

Great. It's not State Farm - it's David Copperfield! It's now been ten seconds, and I'm not liking this guy any more than I did five seconds ago. I still don't even know if he's actually a prospective client, or an obscene phone caller who likes to do a little foreplay. So I try the direct approach.

Me: I'm afraid I don't understand: are you calling me because you'd like to see me professionally?
Caller: What I'd like is to get together with you in front of my fireplace, put on some music, open up a bottle of wine, and just talk for a while. I think you and I should (meaningful pause) get to know each other. And then, I'd like to just (meaningful pause) see what happens.

I smother a snort of laughter, because I have an instant mental image of this guy lying hog-tied on the floor in front of a fireplace while I sit on the couch and drink wine with my feet propped up on his butt. I'd lean over and say to him, "See what happened?"
But as charming a fantasy as that is, I really don't want to do what it would take to make it come true. It's now been twenty seconds, and I'm quite sure this guy is not client material - at least not for me. It's time to wind this up, so I give him a gentle little tap with Mistress Matisse's clue stick.

Me: You know what, I think you've called the wrong woman. My name is Mistress Matisse, and I'm a dominatrix. It sounds like what you're looking for is an escort.
Caller: No, I'm looking for a lady to connect with, and I think you're the one. You're not afraid to try something a little different, are you?

'Afraid'? 'Afraid'? Oh – now he's done it. Now he's crossed a line, and now I know, for sure, that he is a complete asshole, and unworthy to be the recipient of my good manners. I really do not like it when people try to manipulate me so blatantly. Of course, I don't like when people try to manipulate me subtly, either - but at least it's not such an egregious fucking insult to my intelligence. It's time to mess with this guy's head a little, and his use of the word "afraid" has given me an idea.

Me: (in a sexy voice) Well, now that you mention it…
Caller: Yes, pretty lady?
Me: (still in the sexy voice) Can I tell you a secret?
Caller: Oh, yes - you can tell me all your secrets.
Me: I am afraid. (speaking louder and faster) Terribly, terribly afraid. You see, I have a bad case of agoraphobia. I'm afraid to leave my house. I haven't been outside for weeks. It's very sad, and I'm actually very depressed about it. Deeply, intensely depressed. Maybe if I could just talk to you for a while about it, I'd feel better. You see, I think it all started early in my childhood – (he attempts to break in, but I don't stop talking) – when my parents made me take ballet lessons instead of tap, but my brother, he got to take tap, and I just felt so –

Click. He's gone.
I laugh.

Wednesday, April 14, 2004

Okay, you all have to go look at this truly fabulous picture taken by Seattle photographer Kevin Hundsnurscher It's called Checking The Results. Kevin - who shoots film, god bless him – says, "This is what happens when you shoot digital all the time."
I cracked up laughing when I saw this. I think I may have to buy a print.

I had a delightful date with my ultra-fabulous secondary partner, Mike, last night. I swear, Mike has reaffirmed my faith in the idea that polyamory can be a happy, drama-free arrangement. It's been nearly a year that we've been getting together and it's always just as much fun as the first time. In fact, it's better - I love it when that happens.
The thing that continues to impress me about Mike is that he's fine with the fact I disappear and reappear at random intervals. I never get angsty emails about why I haven't called, there are no jealous scenes at parties, no moody posturing about my primary relationship with Max. He's always happy to see me when I'm with him, but there is no pressure on me whatsoever. We hang out, we have great sex, and then he feeds me rich, decadent pastries while we sit in his hot tub in the back yard. What a wonderful man.

Want to know a secret about Mike? Okay, brace yourself: he's not into BDSM.
Stunning, isn't it? Mistress Matisse has a vanilla lover. Only – it's not quite that simple. You see, aside from my well-publicized BDSM tastes, I have certain…fetishes. Now, some of you may think that "fetish" is just another word for BDSM-type stuff. Not necessarily. This is the actual definition of the word "fetish":

What is a Fetish? "In anthropology, a fetish is an object to which powers are attributed that go beyond its natural ones; when the term is extended to sexuality, it indicates an object not naturally connected with sexual reproduction that nonetheless causes sexual arousal for some people….Note that originally 'fetish' was used of the object itself: a particular artifact would be a fetish. But in its sexual use it usually means the propensity to be aroused by a certain object, as in 'Joe has a fetish for white cotton underwear', and the object is called 'the fetish object'. 'Fetishism' is the propensity to be aroused by a fetish object. "
~From: The Deviant's Dictionary

Anyway, it just so happens that Mike appeals to a very specific fetish of mine. So sex with him feels kinky to me, even though there are no restraints and floggers in the mix.

What’s the fetish? Oh, wouldn't you like to know. I could tell you. But if I do, then I'll get emails from a bunch of strange guys saying, "Hey, I can do that, too – can I fuck you?" And the answer is no, so let's just skip that whole exchange.

I have told Mike about this little fetish of mine, because I felt like I should. I was a bit worried, when I first talked about it, that he might feel I didn't like him for his own sake. I do - he's handsome and smart and sexy, and he talks as fast as I do, which always makes me feel bonded with someone immediately. He makes me laugh. He has cool tattoos. I like his hands. I like the way he dresses. And I like the way he fucks me.

"But I hope you don't feel like I'm just using you, sexually," I said, as I was sitting on his lap in the hot tub. He smiled at me for a few minutes, and then he allowed as how he did not find that thought to be troubling him overmuch.

He's been dating some other women casually, but he doesn't have a primary partner. That does make it easy for him and me to spend time together – but I find it rather surprising, since I think he's quite attractive. True, he seems pretty involved with his work these days, and he's also a part-time dad – that kinda slows down your social life. I told him last night that I should set him up on some dates with polyamorous women, so that even if he started a primary relationship with one of them I could still borrow him. I must admit, given that I was completely unsuccessful at finding a girlfriend for my brother, I'm not terribly optimistic about my chances here. But hey – if you're a pretty, poly, smart, articulate woman who'd like to share a lover with me, drop me a note and I'll tell you a little more about him.

Tuesday, April 13, 2004

A friend of mine recently asked me for some advice about a problematic client. (Yes, I actually get asked for sex-work advice quite a lot, so get used to reading that lead-in.)

"So what's the trouble?" I asked.
"Well, he wants me to do an outcall, for starters."
"But you have a place - I thought you didn't want to do outcall."
"I don't."
"Then tell him no. What's his problem coming to you? It's a nice apartment."
"I don't know - and he wants an appointment at midnight, and I don't want to be seeing anyone that late, and he wants me to do anal and I don't want to, and a bunch of stuff like that."
"So basically you're telling me he wants you to do the exact opposite of what you want to do."
"It seems like it."
I threw up my hands. "Then he needs to see somebody else. I mean, clearly you aren't a good match for him."
She shrugged uncertainly. "I told him that, but he told me he doesn't want to see anyone else and that if I'm going to make it in this business I need to learn to adapt to the needs of my customer."
"Adapt to the needs of your customer? What the fuck does he think you are you, a car manufacturer or something? Bullshit. Run your business the way you want to."

I haven't gotten any further reports on this particular situation, but I do bump into this kind of thing myself. I have a way of working - a system, if you will. When I talk about "my system" I don't mean what I will or won't do in my sessions. I mean my system of what days and times I schedule appointments, how I like to arrange the initial session, getting confirmations, giving directions to my place - details like that. If someone wants to see me, they're pretty much going to have to fit themselves into my system. Some people don't want to - to which I say: that's just fine. I wish you the best of luck elsewhere.

You see, everyone has a certain amount of emotional energy to give to what's important to them. For me, a chunk of that energy is labeled, "For My Clients". I have a crystal-clear understanding of the capacity of that section of myself. I know precisely how many clients I can see in any given week and still have an appropriate level of emotional energy for them all. I've calibrated this all quite carefully to ensure that I don't get burned-out. Since my system suits me so well, planning all the details of when/where/how really requires very little of that energy from me.

Unless...I start trying to incorporate one person's passel of "special-request" details into my work-week. That throws the whole balance out of whack. Doing that draws from the energy that I would normally devote to other clients. The result is either: I'm too drained to see my usual number of people, which means I don't make my preferred income. Or, I see the same number of clients - often because they're already booked - but I'm tired and I don't enjoy myself. That's not fair to the clients who make it easy for me.

Now, understand, I don't mean things like, "Would you wear black fishnet stockings?" That kind of request is easy. And I don't mean asking me for this activity versus that in a session.

No, I mean stuff like "I want a session at midnight" (Equally unlikely variation: "at nine am".) Or, "I want you to come to our house and be a surprise for my girlfriend." (Even if I wanted to do it, this is a very bad idea.) "I want to meet you in a bar with you dressed up all sexy and have you pretend to pick me up."

There is nothing wrong with these desires (except for that "surprising the girlfriend" one), but I don't want to deal with such requests, they're too much hassle. There a lots of boys who are both fun to play with and who fit smoothly into my system, and that's who I like to see. After all, I'm a dominatrix - having things my way is one of the perks of this profession.

Monday, April 12, 2004

I find this sort of fascinating, but also rather creepy, especially if I'm all alone in my office with the lights off...It's the costume, the weirdly domestic/suburban setting, and the uneasy idea (even though I know it's not true) that the chicken can see me, too.
The Subservient Chicken.

Sunday, April 11, 2004

Busy girl this weekend...I'll do a real post later, but now, for your entertainment, I will present something a clever acquaintance of mine wrote. I thought it was hilarious...


Poly phrase: "I don't use primary/secondary terminology, since I don't see
my relationships as hierarchical."
English translation: "You're a secondary."
Poly phrase: "For me sex is about energy, so breathing and heart connection are more important than ejaculation."
English translation: "I'm more sophisticated than the guy over there,
please sleep with me instead."
Poly phrase: "I see polyamory as being more about relationships and intimacy, while swinging is just about sex, and sex without intimacy is
just not where I'm at right now."
English translation: "I'm more sophisticated than the guy over there,
please sleep with me instead."
Poly phrase: "The most important thing to me is keeping agreements."
English translation: "If you start seeing someone else and I'd feel
unsophisticated just saying that I'm jealous, then I'll reinterpret one of
our agreements until I'm able to say you broke it."
Poly phrase: "Even secondary relationships for me aren't just about sex."
English translation: "Secondary relationships for me are just about sex."
Poly phrase: "Right now the most important things to me are building poly
family and intentional community."
English translation: "I'm getting concerned that I won't always be able to
easily find new partners, plus I'm tired of driving from place to place,
and oh yeah, I'm more sophisticated than the guy over there, so please
sleep with me instead."
Poly phrase: "In our household the most important things are open
communication and open process."
English translation: "Expect to be abused with passive-aggressive 'I'
Poly phrase: "I don't feel that we communicate on the same level, and that
you aren't supporting me emotionally."
English translation: "I'm tired of you but it would make me seem less
sophisticated and hence reduce my opportunities for further sexual
relationships in this community to actually say that so bluntly, so I'll
make this about vague failings on your part instead."
Poly phrase: "I think we should each have veto power."
English translation: "I want to reserve the right to veto each of your
partners, no matter how much they respect our existing relationships, so
that you're de facto limited to monogamy while I play the field."
Poly phrase: "I think that we should focus on each other for a while."
English translation: "I'm having more trouble finding partners than you
are, time to clip your wings!"
Poly phrase: "I want you to always feel OK telling me what's really going
on in your life, and asking for what you need in this relationship."
English translation: "Ask for what you need, and express hurt feelings, at
your peril."
Poly phrase: "I'm not angry at you, I'm angry at myself, for not having
recognized sooner that we weren't right for each other."
English translation: "I'm angry at you for not making my life perfect, but
rather than taking responsibility for setting and meeting my own goals I
find it more satisfying to shift the blame to you while superficially
appearing to do the opposite."
Poly phrase: "Out of respect for our primary bond, we normally only see
other people together."
Poly phrase: "I think we need to process the end of our relationship and
get closure."
English translation: "I'd like to kick you while you're down."
Poly phrase: "We obviously need to work on our relationship."
English translation: "We're through, I just want to vent a little more so
that I can feel a little more self-righteous once you know it's over too,
Poly phrase: "The idea of line marriage has always appealed to me."
English translation: "The idea of having sex with people younger than me
has always appealed to me."
Poly phrase: "So, which conventions do you like to attend, what kind of
books do you like to read, what are your spiritual beliefs, and what is
your ideal occupation?"
English translation: "Which science fiction conventions do you like to
attend, who is your favorite fantasy author, what form of neo-paganism do
you ascribe do, and where in the computer industry would you like to
Poly phrase: "I'm needing to do some inner work, and instead of dating
anyone would rather just work on my relationship with myself."
English translation: "I'm tired of you, but since I don't have anyone else
lined up right now I might as well get some mileage out of the personal
growth angle."
Poly phrase: "Well, I'm only theoretically poly, but I already have plenty
of firmly-held beliefs about how it could be done in real life!"
English translation: "Hi, I'm an idiot."
Poly phrase: "Swinging would be way too crass for me, I'm more about
relationships and emotional intimacy."
English translation: "I've always wanted to go to New Horizons, could
someone give me a ride there and guest me in, as long as I don't have to
ask publicly?"
Poly phrase: "All of my partners are equally important to me, and they're
all primary."
English translation: "I'd rather not explicitly spell out what the
hierarchy is, but trust me - you'll know when you run into it."
Poly phrase: "Our friendship is more important than anything else."
English translation: "Once you've told me that we're done fucking, you'll
never hear a word from me again."
Poly phrase: "I'm willing to take this slow as well."
English translation: "I intend to act like a SNAG (Sensitive New Age Guy)
and put as much pressure on you to put out as possible."

Way, way too funny...My thanks to the author, RDB, and contributor, Vamp...