My last post was on radical self-love, and it was an important statement. The following post is not so glowing, so if you’re not in the mood for a rant, you may hit the delete button now, and we’ll be good.
I am conflicted about posting this, but life is an experiment, so here goes.
The past months I’ve been going through extreme work burn-out.
It’s not the perversity of sex-work that runs rough shod over the psyche, it’s the banality of it.
Banal. In the extreme. Nails on chalkboard banality. The same questions, the same narratives, the same notes, the reaching for an experience that there can only be one outcome for, while expecting an epiphany.
Getting to “Oh God,” through a single, redundant channel.
I’ve often likened sex work to fundamentalism in these entries: they are two sides of the same coin. A flattening of experience, a single note played over and over and over and over. The yearning never satisfied, because the notes played are the wrong ones, and the song of life never emerges.
In the case of religion, it’s the note of obedience, a big bad God and the Incarnate Son and a bunch of politicized beliefs granted cultural authority; in the case of sexuality, its the drone of plastic T & A narratives full of repressed personal longings and histories.
The first speaks to a lack of spiritual intimacy; the latter to a lack of personal intimacy, and I’m not talking about simply “not getting any,” I’m talking about a lack of intimacy with one’s Self that would open up one’s spiritual, emotional life, one’s relationship to the other in dynamic ways.
It’s no wonder that in a culture being pulled by fundamentalism’s political patriarchy and reductionist narratives about God, guns, and girls, we’ve got the worst case of porn addiction and sexual exploitation narratives on the planet.
It’s all more complicated than this, but I’ll leave it to the scholars to pull out lint from their navels during “conferences,” where they bandy in polysyllables about the horrors of it all.
(Thankfully, there’s Martha Nussbaum actually gets it right, and writes in comprehensible prose and not in self-congratulatory post-modern difficulties, or in those strident diatribes characterizing the anti-porn rhetoric.)
So here’s the rant, well, the continuation of it:
The majority of so-called feminists in my feed simply don’t get it. I am tired of celebrity memes about “Feminism” on social media by women who have never done care-taking work, which is what most women’s work is. Babysitting, housecleaning. live in nannies, sex work.
Sex work is the invisible servant class of the patriarchy, and the fucking issue isn’t morality, it’s the money and the power, the ability to self-define when one wants to be mobile in a so-called culture of freedom.
Bullshit. The number of women who have engaged in sex work is astronomical, but these narratives remain hidden under our crinoline skirts of respectability (Toni Morrison, Nobel lecture), and most women bury their stories under these skirts.
“Coming out” isn’t only about gay men (who seem in my mind to control this narrative in its public forms, because they are men), it’s about the social control of women, and the economics of that.
Sex workers cannot put their work experience on a job application, resumé, let alone a CV.
The burnout of this work is extraordinary, and it’s social limitations unnecessary and burdensome. One reason I am ranting here is that I let loose on two clients and a friend this past week. The first was unprofessional, and probably not in my economic best interest. The second unnecessarily burdened a friendship built on tenderness and safety. Not me at my best, despite his generosity.
And here’s the other rant, which I’d love to direct to a handful of clients, but most clients can’t handle the truth, for they are buying a fantasy, and completely invested in that fantasy:
No, I am not your girlfriend.
No, I am not going to pleasure myself, for your benefit, and I am not “denying” you anything, and you need to get a grip.
No, your fantasies are not my fantasies, no matter how much you want it to be good for me too. This is a job, I am a service provider.
No, I don’t want half-a-dozen emails from you during the week while you’re sitting at the office in your office job and fantasizing about our last conversation, while the women in your office are probably picking up the details.
No, you do not pay me enough.
No, you are not as clever as you think, because if you had a whit of self-determination, you’d know that any and all service workers deserve to be tipped. Because there is no rule-book, you don’t have the foggiest idea that I am responsible for my taxes, including self-employment tax, business expenses, and the like, and any extra money is always appreciated. But since you are doing this on the sly, you are always bartering for the cheapest way to get your rocks off.
No, I am not sitting here waiting for you to call, fantasizing about you.
No, I do not reduce you to a one dimensional creature as you do me, which is the only reason I can make this thing work on a human level, despite you and your psycho-sexual myopia.
Yes, I am grateful that I’ve been privileged to get a great education because of my work.
Yes, I am grateful that you trust me with your needs.
Yes, I am grateful that I have a job where I may work in my home.
Yes, I am grateful that you bring the best you can, with where you are at, in a world riddled with false narratives that we are all working through.
Yes, I will always be the best I can be for your needs, no matter how banal, because I will be the best I can be for myself.
Yes, I love myself, deeply.
Yes, I wish you could do the same, and wake the fuck up from your delusions.
End of rant. I don’t pretend there is logical cohesion to this, and I am certain most of this is politically inappropriate. What I’ve discovered, however, is that many of my visceral responses are often tethered to realities that have yet to be unpacked by those in the mainstream.
Therefore, I’m simply call this a self-indulgent rant.