Birthday Post

It's my birthday today, and I am now 22. Whoo!

Actually, I'm not feeling particularly excited or sad or whatever or anything about this birthday. It kind of just is. I like getting older, as I always hated the way people would ignore what I was saying because I was young, or seem generally suspicious of my intentions. I've noticed that happening less and less, and it's awesome.

Mostly, for me, this birthday means the end of my medical insurance coverage by my parents and the beginning of my "real" adult life. That's something I've been grappling with for a while now, and I'm finally starting to come to terms with it. The concept of independence is still a little freaky (I'm lucky I've had someone to depend on so that's the case), but I'm starting to pull things in order. It feels pretty good.

So happy birthday to me!

Kissing (and my first HNT!)

There is nothing I like more than kissing, whether I'm fucking, making love, or just sitting around enjoying it for itself.

I am a hugely orally fixated person. I love oral sex, giving blow jobs and going down on women. Sometimes when I masturbate, I put my fingers or a dildo in my mouth because it feels really good to me to have something there. These things are great and I wouldn't want to do without them, but my favorite thing to do with my mouth and my time is kiss.

Kissing turns me on more than any other sexy activity. I cannot have sex without kissing; I won't be into it and I'll get frustrated and annoyed. Kissing is what makes me wet, and I could do it for hours before getting to anything else.

More importantly, it's what really makes me feel close to whoever I'm with. A kiss causes an instant release of happy bonding chemicals in my brain. It's like insta-bond. Even just a quick peck from a partner as we go about our day keeps me happy and prompts small swooning. I really just like the feeling of someone else's lips on my own.

I haven't had lots of good kissing in almost two weeks. (I know, I have a low tolerance for abstinence from anything.) I want some.

Kisses in bed, anyone?

Canvassing vs. Stripping

To those of you who also work in the sex industry (and some savvy folks who don't), it may not come as a surprise that working as a canvasser is similar in many ways to working as a stripper. That might sound like a stretch, but aside from having to wear a slightly different uniform, a lot of the things I'm doing in my new job as a canvasser to overturn Prop 8 are similar to what I did as a stripper.

I spend all day being cheerful, nice, and attempting to get people to give me money. I have to walk up to strangers, charm them, and get them to like me. I need to be completely comfortable with rejection because more people will walk by me on the street or refuse to open their screen doors than will donate $70 a month. I need to convince people to part with their money in ways they weren't expecting.

One of my immediate supervisors (not the hiring boss) just remarked to me that she's noticed our company doesn't hire unattractive people. The office is pretty diverse in terms of race and sexuality, but nearly everyone is aged 18-27 and is at the very least pretty or cute. This is partly because of who they hire and partly because you have to make a certain amount to stay on staff. Prettier people make more money.

That prettiness principle demonstrates the job's similarity to stripping. It's slightly exploitative, it commodifies people's looks, and it lends itself to a particular staff demographic.

My point here is that stripping is a lot like any other service or public relations job. Yes, it commodifies and sometimes exploits people, but so does canvassing or waiting tables or selling just about anything. It's all labor, stripping just involves less clothing.

That is all.

Future Work

I wrote not long ago about living at a crossroads right now. Well, one of the major lanes of that road is work: what I'll be doing, where I'll be doing it, and how long I'll be doing it for.

I've been working as a stripper for going on two years now. I've had a lot of time to experience and think about that kind of sex work. I wrote at the very beginning of this blog about the reasons I decided to start stripping. The most lasting motivation has been the one that pushed me to understand the industry, the customers, the workers, and what it all says about gender and life. I think it's all incredibly fascinating.

Of course, stripping is hard work. I've tried never to make bones about that. It takes a lot of energy to dance but mostly to hustle, to be very nice, to be sexually available but not, to be charming and beautiful night after night.

When I would work at the club near my college, I'd be too tired to talk much after a shift. It would be like my voice was all used up. I'd be too keyed up to sleep, but too tired to speak. It was great to live in a laid back house of people where I could just sit in a room with others and watch them play video games. They gave me a comforting, calming presence without asking for anything from me in return.

Well, that kind of work isn't really something I can sustain on my own. I really need the supportive relationships, the people around me, in order to keep my energy up. I do like stripping. I like the attention and harnessing the raw sexuality and dancing and talking to people. At the peep show, I get paid to masturbate, which is basically awesome. However, I'm looking for something else now to fill my days, with maybe the occasional lucrative naked night thrown in for good measure and fun.

So I'm sending out résumés looking for work in New York City. I'm moving there at the end of August and I want a full time youth and/or LGBT or women's rights related job. I'm kind of excited at the prospect of work I could like and not have to take home for me. Something that would stimulate me intellectually and hopefully exercise my compassion without making me too much a part of any sexist institutions. You know, a "real" job. It should be fun.

Bisexuality and Dating Men

For the last couple of years, I've dated only men. I've slept with plenty of women, but all the people I've seen consistently or seriously were men. I wouldn't say that I've done this on purpose, but it's been a pretty obvious trend.

I think a lot of the reason for this is simple convenience. There are a lot more straight men scattered around in obvious places than there are queer women. They tend to approach me more often and I end up with them just as a matter of odds. In the past six months or so, I have been on more of a hetero kick, but that's not unusual. I've always gone through cycles of leaning one way or the other every once in a while. I had a lady cycle three years ago, and now I'm going the other way. Woo, fluid sexuality.

This trend of male-dating, however, puts me in a strange and slightly uncomfortable position. I'm a bisexual person who has been very involved in the queer community. In college, most of my female friends were queer. I was part of the leadership of the Gay Straight Alliance. I went to gay bars. Most of my jobs were in specifically queer-friendly or queer-oriented places. I tied a lot of my identity in with queerness.

And yet, most of my relationships were heterosexual. Straight, if you will.

Of course, the fact that my relationships are always open does allow me to sleep with women. That doesn't change the fact, though, that people assume I'm straight when I go out in public with a male sweetheart. It's sort of like the queer part of me is hidden inside myself.

I don't like feeling hidden. I end up questioning myself a lot because there is pressure from both sides to define and present myself as either queer or straight. It's not always an open or spoken pressure, although I've heard my share of "choose already" jokes and not-so-jokes. It's more often a pressure based on the fact that the queer community is so close and clearly-defined. There's a norm there, and there are great rewards of community and support for following it.

I do have a strong desire to be recognized for who I am and to fit in with a group. I'd like to be more independent, but part of my identity is based on how others see me. I suppose that's my own cross to bear, but it makes the bisexuality particularly hard when it keeps me separate from what seems to be such a fun and close-knit group. I'd like to be a part of it.

I'm not letting identity issues stop me from dating whomever I like (or love) or dressing how I want or making friends with whomever I want. It does cause me some angst, though, when I feel excluded not only from the straight world which kind of turns me off anyway, but the queer community that appeals to me.
On living, loving, learning, and fucking with the materials I've got at hand.

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