Friday, August 18, 2006

The new column - fans of the phone calls, take note.

Meanwhile, everyone around here is gearing up for the Abbey party this weekend, which should be tremendous. The outfit Monk is wearing - well, he's just going to put the rest of us fetish-fashion queens in the shade, that's all. I'll be there early to help greet guests, and keep things going smoothly, and Max will be there rigging in a prominent position. The worst part of the evening will be trying to stay away from the desserts Matt is providing. It's going to be fabulous.

Speaking of fashion, I need an opinion from the girls who dig purses. I myself hate them. But I need a bag to carry my stuff around in, obviously. So I'm thinking about buying a black nylon Kate Spade bag, just because it's so perfectly basic that I'll never have to think about it. So what do you think: this one - a little more hip in terms of style, but perhaps a bit bigger than I really need. Or this one: smaller and trimmer, but is it too suburban?

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Books On The Bedside Table

Tesla: Man Out of Time, by Margaret Cheney.
I’m about halfway into this and it’s interesting. I’m liking the personal feeling of it as much I like learning more about Tesla and his huge contributions to science. A lot of period flavor, too.

I, Fatty: A Novel by Jerry Stahl.
Xavier loaned me this, and I read it in one night – it’s not a long novel, and it flows quickly. It's both
compelling and sad. It’s a faux-memoir, but Stahl creates such an authentic voice for Fatty Arbuckle that it’s easy to forget, for pages at a time, that it’s not a true autobiography of the rise and fall of the 1920's actor.

A Simple Plan By Scott Smith
One of those best-sellers I haven’t gotten around to reading, although I like suspense novels. I’m told it’s pretty intense, so I’m saving it for when I have a free evening to burn all the way through it.

Dangerous Relationships: How to Identify and Respond to the Seven Warning Signs of a Troubled Relationship by Noelle Nelson
No, this is not a sign of trouble in any of my relationships. I’m scheduled to be part of a panel next month at the Wet Spot about how to meet people safely, and I thought I’d do some reading to help clarify my ideas about how to pick up on danger signals early in interactions with people. I've sort of pre-skimmed through it and I would say while Ms. Nelson may not be presenting any new information to me personally, she organizes the material well. And we'll see what a more careful perusal yields.

Indecent Secrets: The Infamous Murri Murder Affair by Christina Vella
Read it already - it's an account a famous 1902 murder trial in Italy. I liked the story, although the writing wasn’t all that good, in my opinion. But it does demonstrate that a murder trial where the accused become celebrities is not unique to modern America.

The Royal Physician's Visit: A Novel by Per Olov Enquist
Another best-selling, award-winning book I didn’t read when it first came out. Having read it now, I’m mildly puzzled by the rave reviews. It’s good, but the text was originally written in Swedish, and then translated to English, and it shows. So, sure, an enjoyable-enough book. But calling this prose “elegant”? Um, okay. If you say so.

Between Silk and Cyanide: A Codemaker's War, 1941-1945 by Leo Marks
I’m about a hundred pages into this one, and it’s very good so far. Marks writes in a droll, offhand tone of voice that I particularly associate with a Brit talking about issues of life and death, and so far his gift for vivid characterization – both of himself, as a smart-aleck twenty-year-old, and of others - has me deeply engrossed.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Ask The Right Question

I got two emails today asking me for advice on personal questions. One I fired off an answer to right away. The other – well, maybe ya’ll can answer it, because I lack the time. I’ll show you what I mean. (Note: both letters were edited slightly for length and/or identifying details.)

Over the past months I've become a fan of yours, enjoying your "Control Tower" as I do. And your latest prompts a question, and though I don't know if you
respond to such individual inquiries, surely it can't hurt to ask.
On the matter of how to deal with a sex-worker, I don't want to offend anyone, and I much appreciate your advice….So my question is: would it be unreasonably risky
to ask of a lady advertising a "flat rate, incall," exactly how much of her TIME
I could expect to enjoy, for that figure?
It's been (many) years since I've visited such a professional, and the memory is pleasant, but I expect after this lapse of time, I probably need to be "schooled."

This is an example of a very good can-I-ask-you-a-question? letter. Why do I like it? For one thing, this writer lets me know he knows something about who I am, which is nice. I get tons of emails from people who don’t seem to know who anything about who they are talking to.

He also acknowledges that he’s asking me to spend my very precious personal time answering his question, which is nice.

But, by far the most important thing he did right is : he frames a very specific question that I can easily respond to. (The answer, in this case, is that it’s perfectly appropriate and reasonable to ask a sex worker how much time you get for how much money. After all, that's what we’re selling - our time.)

It took me no time at all to dash off exactly that reply to this gentleman. He got the info he wanted, and I was pleased to help out a reader. Everybody wins.

Contrast this with another letter.

My lady and I enjoy a bit of kink and have been interested in expanding on what
we know (and that isn't much). We both love it but it's getting a little
blah...We would like to know more about rope work and spanking/ using paddles,
crops, etc. Thank you for taking the time to read this.

Now, understand – I don’t think this writer is a bad person, not at all. And it’s not all wrong - he does politely acknowledge me having taken the time to read his letter. Points for that.

But the trouble is, this man does not frame a specific question - at least, not one that I can easily see. He and his partner want to learn more about bondage and impact play. Well, that’s certainly a desire I support. But what exactly are they asking me? Do they want me to recommend a book to them, or videos they might watch? Are they looking for kink events to attend? But I can't help with that unless I know where they live, and he doesn't say. I don't think he's asking me about a couples session, but I suppose that might be it, too. I just don't know.

I do like to be helpful to people if I can. But the truth is, if answering your (I think) non-business-related email is going to take me longer than two minutes, your odds of getting a response are slim. I just don’t have time.

So perhaps you, my kinky readers, will help this second writer. What are your responses to his question?

Meanwhile, I have a column to write and boys to torment. Bye!

Monday, August 14, 2006

I had a lovely week last week, which included time with several guys I’ve known for years and really feel connected to when I see them. That’s always a good thing.

Interestingly, there was also a session with a man who’s fairly new to me, in which I several times wondered, “Is this whole thing working for him?” It’s rare for me to be unsure about a scene when I’m doing it. At the risk of sounding all woo-woo, I can almost always find someone’s energy, connect with it, and make the scene come together. But this man is very quiet, very still, and he goes very much inward with his energy when we play. I know there’s something intense happening in his head - but it’s hard to feel him. I had to just trust that if he needed something to be different, he would say so.

Afterwards as he went to leave, he turned to me at the door and said, “Thank you, that was wonderful. It’s really nice when you have a fantasy and the reality turns out to be even better than you’d hoped for.” That’s a great thing to hear, and it was especially so given that I’d been unsure.

Other highlights were: a Leo birthday party, during which I placed a six-inch spring clamp on the head of a friend's dick. And then I gave him a brief lap-dance. Also, Jae came over for dinner Sunday and helped Max and I eat the rest of that crab. I'm certain she saved me from another round of seafood-intoxication.

Note to clients: Usually late July and August is a slow time of year, but this summer has been insanely busy, and I’ve had to decline a number of guys I would otherwise have enjoyed seeing. However, I still have a fair amount of time left this week, so if you’ve been wanting to get time with me, carpe diem.