On Being Assertive

So, my current professional and personal life goal is to learn to be more assertive in my flirtations, my rebuttal of others' sexual attentions, and in the bedroom.

As a domme, it's professionally essential that I find a way to be comfortable with topping these men who come in and want to pay me hundreds of dollars to do so. They want me to call them sluts and worms and dogs and whatever, they want me to step on them or beat them and humiliate the shit out of them. There's a very large part of me that goes "Eek! But that's mean!"

I'm starting, though, to embrace it. I can see the change in the rest of my life, too. I went out clubbing the other weekend at Webster Hall. I had no idea where I was going - I was just along for the ride - but apparently this is a too-well-known and therefore sketchy place to go dance. LOTS of men who will throw themselves at you. And they did.

But I told them to fuck off! Well, not all of them. I was a little kinder to a few, but I routinely and calmly rejected them if I didn't want to dance with them. I just danced with my roommate, and when I did finally find someone attractive, I made out with him. And then left. It was altogether awesome because I felt fully in control of the situation.

My goal for the next while is to strike up one conversation each day with someone I don't know who looks interesting or attractive. If I go on any dates, I want to be the one to initiate physical contact, even if that just means holding hands. If I see an interesting profile on OKCupid, I will in fact message the person. These sound like little things, but they're challenging to me and I intend to conquer them. A few baby steps, and I'll be there. Whee!

Inconsiderate Lovers

There are so very many people who are bad in bed. Specifically, there seem to be hordes of inconsiderate men floating around waiting to spring their time-wasting self-centeredness on me at any unsuspecting second!

That's not to say that all men are bad in bed, of course. I've been with men who were wonderful lovers and women who were only so-so. There are lots of factors to a sexual experience, and plenty of them have nothing to do with skill and everything to do with connection. That said, there's a base level of consideration that makes for a decent lover. When I say someone's bad, I mean that they're selfish, not that they lack tongue agility or erectile prowess or some such nonsense.

For all I know, straight women could be on average just as bad as straight men in this regard. I can't be sure, as they won't sleep with me. Same goes for gay men. I have been with more inconsiderate men than inconsiderate women, but I've also just been with more men than women. Maybe it has nothing to do with demographics.

All that said, it's just sad. I'm almost content with very mediocre sex; I know how bad it could be, so if they even try to give me any kind of pleasure, I'm halfway to satisfied.

Now, generally speaking, I can just take care of myself when I'm having sex with someone who doesn't know what they're doing. That's actually totally fine. If they're trying and I like them enough to invest the time, I can teach them what I like. In the meantime I can take care of myself, and that's sexy in and of itself. I love to masturbate with assistance.

There's no hope, though, with the ones who don't even try, who don't care a whit about my pleasure. Kind of like the guy I slept with last week.

This man was attractive. I thought he was gay, actually, when we first met, which made him even moreso to me. I like people who push the queer/gender envelopes. However, his idea of foreplay was to masturbate a little and then try to put it in me. In other words, none.

As an independent woman who knows how to take care of her own pleasure, I could have done something about this. I could have initiated the sex sooner. Instead of sitting there not wanting to watch the same episode of Real World Road Rules twice in a row because he was too stoned to notice, I could have climbed into his lap and gotten things started.

Instead of waiting until I was too tired to care enough, waiting until I was half asleep in the middle of the night and woke up to his cock in the air as he stroked it, I could have taken matters into my own hands.

Instead, I had the second worst sex in my life (ask me about the worst sometime). He tried to go for it without a condom, which I had none of, and once I got one and put it on him, he went limp immediately. And then to sleep. Not once did he try to touch any part of my body other than my vagina, with his penis. Gross.

Perhaps if I'd started things earlier, I might've been able to steer him into, you know, doing anything at all to my clitoris or nipples. I could've asked him to turn me on in any way other than masturbating in my general direction. I like a show as much as the next girl, but not enough for me to be ready to fuck.

Anyway, I'm going to make it a project for myself to be a more aggressive flirt and lover. I want to initiate things more, drop this femme bullshit where I try to attract people but make them take the final step. I'm going to set concrete goals, hold myself accountable, make this a real thing I'm working on. I'll let you know how it goes.

Being Invested

When I moved to New York City, I imagined I would work as a canvasser for a little while as I searched for and found another job. I didn't think I wanted to do it in the winter; I didn't want it to be my actual job here. It was a great situation because I could transfer from San Francisco without having an income-less period, but I didn't want it for more than that.

Then, of course, I arrived here and things changed.

For my first week or two of canvassing in New York, my average raised was terrible, I was completely exhausted every day after work, and I had no energy to even look for other jobs. I dreaded dragging myself out of bed every morning to trudge in. Things were going in a bad direction.

Of course, being the savvy individual that I am, I realized that this was no way to go about my life. In San Francisco, I really enjoyed canvassing. I did quite well at it. I liked my coworkers a lot. The nature of the beast had not actually changed, so I knew that the job itself was not in fact my problem. It was, of course, all about my attitude.

As soon as I made the decision to actually invest in my job, to treat it as what it is - the main portion of my life and what I spend my time on - things got so much better.

We had a meeting that week, the day I made this decision in fact, about the national plan of our company. I'm a field manager of the canvass, basically the bottom rung of the leadership of the company, but my boss made an effort to clue us into the vision of what we're doing and what it means for our activism and politics in general in this country.

It's pretty awesome to be a part of something that's empowering much larger numbers of citizens to actually get involved in what's happening in the government. I like canvassing for political groups because the way I see it, it's the only thing combating the fact that money talks and corporations by far have the most of that to throw around. Sure, a twenty dollar donation to a PAC isn't that powerful, but if we can get thousands of people to make those then we suddenly have some leverage.

The right tends to be so well organized through their churches. It's been a consistent problem of progressive politics that we're so concerned with being revolutionary that we can't organize behind a single goal. Canvassing may have a hope to bring us together in large enough numbers to start fighting effectively against the f*ing Christian Coalition. That is pretty neat.

Bearing that in mind as I work has not only improved my morale by leaps and bounds, but it also makes me a better worker. I personally raised around $2300 this week, which is pretty fucking cool. It just goes to show that how happy I am really has the most to do with how much I'm committed to what I do.

When I pour all my personal energy into a goal, it doesn't feel bad when I have less of it at the end of the day. It feels like I'm connected to something, like that expenditure was a gift. That's what I want to feel in all the work I do, forever. It's good to be figuring out how to do that.

Sex Worker Personae - A Submissive Mistress?

I've spent a few shifts now at the dungeon, and helped in a few sessions. I'm not yet sure how I feel about the whole business, but I do know what a few of my challenges will be.

The most difficult thing for me, particularly in sessions with other mistresses, is to stay out of sub space. The whole setting of the place is meant to send a submissive person into a state of mind that's aroused and obedient. I'm surrounded by "instruments of punishment" and women in skimpy fetish clothing. When I go into a session to train, I'm standing next to a woman in a dominant role, one who calls herself mistress and who has control over at least one other person in the room.

My first instinct, of course, is to be full of "Yes, Mistress" and attempts to please. Trying to work as a professional dominant has made it only more clear to me how much of a little sub I am. It comes so naturally to me, the obedience and reveling in the sensations, whereas I definitely feel awkward trying to dominate or humiliate the clients.

I understand now why people have sex work personae. As a stripper, I never really needed to be anybody but myself. I'm already all these things that men want in a dancer: extremely sexual but reserved with it, bisexual, available, articulate, eager to please. Genteel but dirty. It bugs me a little that these character traits that I happen to have are also the ones that men fetishize, but there you have it.

As a domme, though, I know I'm going to need to find/build a persona for myself. I'll need to find a way to act that's comfortable, but different from the way I usually am. I know there are people who do that for stripping, who act out a role when they hustle and lap dance, and now I'll get to experience that in a different industry. It should be interesting to see how it turns out, what roles I end up playing. I'll certainly fill you in as I find them.

Something New

I mentioned earlier that I was going in for an interview at a dungeon. That was, of course, a teasing hint since I haven't blogged about it since.

Well, I went in for my interview just over a week ago. I sat in a little room with simple but decadent furniture for about two hours waiting for the owner to see me. I ended up choosing a different, better dungeon, but the time before that first interview stands out in my memory.

I wish I could capture the feeling of walking up to a strange building, ringing a buzzer, and being let into a new work space for the first time. The dark rooms and BDSM instruments and even the smell of the place affected me like a client: intriguing, arousing. I was wide-eyed, taking it in. I want to put that feeling into a bottle and save it for later. There's nothing quite like the sense of total newness, of having no real idea of what I'm getting myself into.

It's the same feeling I had when I went for my audition at the strip club. It's a feeling of nervousness, yes, but mostly actual excitement over the mystery of it all. I think wanting to feel that is what drives me a lot of the time. It's a unique and pleasant kind of agitation. I like to be stimulated; I get bored with the everyday. I can only have that special sensation from truly novel, vaguely dangerous situations.

It feels really good to be back to that freshness. I know that being a domme will eventually become just a job. I'll learn from it and acclimate to it and it will change me, just as stripping has. I won't be able to imagine anymore what it was like to be me before I started.

That, though, is why I write. If nowhere else, I can find that feeling again on this page, on the internet for everyone to see. That's a pretty cool thing.

A Post of Two Cities

So, there are lots of things that are different between San Francisco and New York City. There's the weather, the size, the unique NY garbage smell, and SF's general sense of carefree liberalism compared to NY's angsty liberalism. Yes, they are both major cities with a serious leftist bent, but obviously they've got drastically different cultures within that.

Canvassing in New York City is also somewhat different. It's definitely the same animal, but perhaps a slightly different breed. It's harder to get people to smile at you as they pass by without stopping. They're way more in a hurry and used to be hassled. They've got the blinders on in a way that San Franciscans never did.

One major difference between the cities, both in canvassing and just in being on the street, is that I get street harassed a lot less here than I did in the West. I'm not really sure why. It could be because San Francisco, as Aviva suggested in the comments on that first post, has a more lenient attitude in general over what's acceptable public behavior. If sexual behavior in public is easier to get away with, does that make sexual harassment easier too? I don't know, but I can see the difference.

Now, I do still get bugged. People definitely hit on me when I'm in public, but it's so much more polite. It's still annoying, but much less so when someone says "Pardon my saying this, but you're very pretty," than when they ask my friend, "Hey, is that your girlfriend? I'd put that on my tongue," or just shout "You're hot" from their seat in a door frame.

I'm still not sure how to respond to street come-ons. I'm thinking calm honesty would probably be the best policy. You know, respond like I would if I was canvassing. "Thank you. It makes me uncomfortable that you say that, but thanks. It's weird on the street." I said something to that affect to a guy who wanted my number the other day, and it worked really well. He just said "That's cool, I understand" and walked away.

Has anyone had any successful rejoinders to this kind of stuff? I'd be interested to hear what works for you.

Moving and Settling

I've been in a very strange mental state lately, one that I tend to enter during periods of intense transition or stress. Things are bumping along pretty well with the move to New York City. I've got an apartment I really like and a roommate I love and a job that's stressful but fulfilling, so on the surface level I'm doing well. My roommate's been having some health problems that have thrown a good-sized wrench in things, but overall things are alright.

I feel, though, kind of disconnected from everything. I have to keep reminding myself that this is, in fact, my life. What I've been doing is my everyday reality. This job is what I do now, at least for the time being. I live here. You know, for reals.

It's a dissociated feeling, and it makes it hard for me to think critically about things or to decide what I really want to be doing. Everything feels very temporary, and I just kind of go through the motions. It's not a terrible place, I wouldn't say I'm depressed, but I'm definitely not at full functioning.

I think it will be much better once I develop a concrete friend group beyond my roommate and her friends. I need to have people I can call to chill on a Thursday night, for my own fun and also to be less dependent on her. In a sense I need to guild up my New York family.

I think I'm starting to settle a bit more and come out of this. Thus blogging here; it's hard to do when I'm all out of it. Hopefully I'll be posting a lot more about all the interesting shit that comes up when canvassing and the weird stuff that happens in my relationships. It's all still there, I just need to write it down.
On living, loving, learning, and fucking with the materials I've got at hand.

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