Header

Looking foolish does the spirit good. The need not to look foolish is one of youth's many burdens; as we get older we are exempted from more and more, and float upward in our heedlessness, singing Gratia Dei sum quod sum. - Johm Updike


Thanks be to God that I am what I am

Thursday, June 21, 2012

On A Side Note...More About Me


I read a lot of blogs.  I love hearing about what other people have to say on a wide variety of subjects.  It renews my sense of hope for the future to read about people promoting change in small, sane, steps.  I do admit that I stick to reading blogs written by people who share my views.  This morning I read  http://leftcoastvoices.wordpress.com/2012/06/21/its-ok-to-be-food-secure-roger-ingalls/#comment-1533.  I suggest you do the same.  It. Is. Brilliant.  Below is the comment I wrote for Left Coast Voices.  I cut myself off because I felt that I was writing too much on someone else's blog.  At the end, I have added the rest of what I wanted to say.


(Beginning of Comment)


What Cuba has done is incredible.  I would love to see something similar happen in the United States, especially in places like East St. Louis or Detroit or a small town like Cairo, IL.  All places deeply effected by urban blight.  In the U.S., we have CSAs (Community Supported Agriculture) but, I think to implement what Cuba has done, we would need to have American farmers move away from the idea of 'profit only' farming.


Here's what I mean; several members of my extended family are farmers with contracts to supply corn, soybeans, pork and beef to industrial food processing companies.  Their attitude is that they produce a product and sell it to those companies for income.  They have no contact with the people they feed and feel very little connection to the land they farm.  It's a job to them, nothing more, and they feel just as trapped as the person shuffling paper in a office, somewhere.    Most of them don't even bother to garden for their own household, even though they have more than enough space and experience to do so.  They are completely mentally invested in the idea that to make growing crops worthwhile, someone must be handing out a check for the effort.


Yet, CSAs are profitable.  I have volunteered on and used several to supply my household needs over the years.  A conversation with one about money was an eye-opening experience.  The woman earned a profit(!) that is 3 time the average income in America and only worked six to seven months a year.  She spent her free time and extra money indulging her love for traveling all over the world.  Not a bad way to live.  The downside of the CSA system, as it is, is its dependence on volunteer labor.  There is a legal loophole that allows CSAs to not hire workers (and pay for labor), instead they use volunteers.  Every CSA I have seen takes advantage of that loophole so while the owner/operators often makes a very comfortable profit, they are not required to share that profit with the people working for them.  Most of the labor is done by students earning an academic credit or people interested in starting their own CSA someday.  This way of procuring labor heavily favors owner/operators.  The system grows food but, doesn't create jobs.


I am not sure what the first steps would be, for us as a nation.  I am sure that there are people working on this issue who are far more knowledgeable than I am.  I do my part as a consumer, buying local and organic whenever possible.  I live in an urban community that makes it very easy to do so.  What I would like to see happen is city/state/federal sponsored CSAs appear in urban areas with those farmers getting paid for their labor.   I would also like to see farmers across the country supplying produce to their local schools, hospitals, prisons, military bases and anywhere else where the government is feeding people on a daily basis.


Cuba is showing us a way to do both.


(On a side note, I apologize to Left Coast Voices for the length of this comment.  This is a subject near and dear to my heart and it got away from me.  Please feel free to edit this down to a more manageable length.)


(End of Comment)


You might be wondering how the hell this can possibly tie to my job as a PSO.  Here's how I do it. I have created a character named Julie/Julia (I have written about this before) who grew up on a CSA run by her family.  Therefore Julie/Julia is very knowledgeable about organic farming in the United States and can talk a caller's ear off on the subject, if that is what he wants.  If anyone is wondering, yes I am very well read on the subject and have a great deal of 'hands on' experience.  This is another way for me to promote local organic farming with a bunch of people who have never heard of the subject or have dismissed it at hippy bullshit.


Because this is not just about food or food security.  This is about national security.  As a nation, we are too dependent on foreign products, especially foreign oil.  Our current system of food production is heavily dependent on petrochemicals and sees no reason to change because we, as Americans, are unaware of that dependence.  So they go trudging along; raking up huge profits (partially through taxpayer subsidies), bankrupting actual American farmers with a system of indentured servitude that is appalling, and feeding us crap that is not only nutritionally suspect, it is actually making us sick.  Industrialized food productions costs us more than most of us have ever imagined at every level and we just keep paying and paying and paying.  At the national level, we dance around the subject, never able to confront it head on because the agribusiness lobbyists group are well funded and very aggressive.


This is where the American people have to step in.  We, as a nation, have to promote local organic farming in our communities because our politicians cannot do it for us.  They need to see our desire for change before they can really take on big agribusiness.  They need our support and we need to do this for our safety and our future.  Think about this; if an enemy really cut us off from our oil supply, not only would we not be able to drive, we wouldn't be able to eat.  An enemy could, literally, starve the United States into submission by cutting off the flow of foreign oil.


Talk about a reason for change.



Saturday, June 16, 2012

What Fun It's Carnival Again

Roughly two weeks ago, I had an unpleasant experience in the Twitterverse and blogged about it here.  If you are interested, please read the post titled Not All Masks Are For Carnival.  Now, the person who angered me has felt the need to respond with a post on their blog and comments on mine.  Mark also felt that it was appropriate to include a link to their site in his comments without asking me first.  I removed it not because I felt Mark does not have the right to respond but, because I feel that inserting a link without my permission was, in a word, rude.  The author seems to be very hung up on the subject of who is right.  Really,  how very White Male System.  Just what I wanted on my blog about my experiences.

If you are unfamiliar with the phrase, I urge you to read the book Women's Reality by Anne Wilson Schaef.  The author explains the mentality of White Male System thinking far more eloquently than I could.  The book is an excellent starting point for anyone interested in feminism and I have, over the course of my life, passed out more copies than I care to remember.  Surprised that a woman who does what I do for a living is a feminist?  It is a problem I wrestle with each and every time I work and part of what I am working out in my blog.  It is also the reason I am so brutal with some of the callers.  If their fantasies involve more ugly stereotypes than I can stomach at that moment, I tend to let them know it.  With both barrels.

What is boils down to is that I really don't care if Mark feels that he is right.  I feel that I am right.  In my world view, both of us have valid perceptions of the experience we shared.  I suspect that in Mark's world view, that is not possible so he has set out to prove that he is right.  Okay, go for it.  Refrain from putting links on my blog.  I did not do so to yours.  In fact, I did not make any  comments on your blog.  Nor do I plan to.  The elderly gentlemen who inquired whether I not I charged Mark for the conversation in his comment made it clear to me that I have no desire to.  I deal with enough of that attitude when I am working, thank you.  Another man passing judgement about something he knows nothing about and thinking that he is cute.  Ah, no.  There are many words for that bit of bullshit, 'cute' is not what comes to mind.  I think that the author of that comment exactly the same as the callers I speak to and I've already shared my feelings about them.

I also found another comment by Bee C rather telling about the attitudes of the people involved.  Both Mark and this person feel that a transcript of the conversation was necessary.  I admit, the first version of Not All Masks Are For Carnival contained just that.  However, after consulting with friends and sleeping on it, I decided that to do so was childish and unnecessary.  I felt then as I feel now; my perception of the experience is valid because it is mine.  As I stated in my reply to Bee C, writing an unasked for critique and posting it in a public forum does require you to read the fucking material.  In the case of a blog, at least solid sampling of the material since most people will not have the time to read the entire thing.  I am also not asking the Internet community at large to pass judgement on that experience which is why I chose not to include a transcript or list Masquerade Crew by name.  I was blogging about my experiences, not inviting debate concerning the validity of my perceptions.  The fact that Bee C chose to interpret my posting that way is ...interesting, to say the least.

I chose to write about my experiences as a PSO to help me process them and to share with others some of the amazingly stupid stereotypes I have smacked myself into because of it.  I am not just talking about the callers.  Conscientious people ask questions before passing judgement on what I do and what I write about.

And then there is the rest of the world.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

The Swiss Financier Is Back in the U.S.

(I wrote this two weeks ago and I decided not to post it because I was ready to end my relationship with the first hosting company.  I did not want to be reminded of the few good callers I would be giving up if I did.  Since then, my working relationship with the hosting company has evened out.)

He's back, the Swiss Financier is in New York tonight and feeling horny.  I am embarrassed to say that I am actually glad to talk to him.  In my defense, this week has just been bad.  I got suckered into working on my days off and taken advantage of by the Downer.  I am really mad at myself for that one.  I love to give people second chances because I remember a time (or two) in my life when I acted like a jerk and really wanted a chance to prove that jerk-hood was not my natural state.  The Downer's natural state is to be as much of an asshole as s/he can get away with without getting slapped (or possibly shot, stabbed, or set on fire).  I looked up the hosting company on a consumer report website once, and trust me when I say that there a lot of former PSOs who hate the Downer with a blinding passion.  All but, one of the complaints were about this individual.  The one exception was a man with a credit card issue.  My guess; he needed to have a serious conversation with his teenage son and how that boy spends his afternoons.  It would probably be an eye opening experience for the man.

The Swiss Financier definitively made my evening a hell of a lot better.  First of all, talking to him raised my average out of the muck.  More importantly, he's fun to talk to and was glad to find me again.  It's nice to talk to a caller who is overjoyed to talk to me and doesn't want to plunge into his fantasy right away, unlike the Acolyte and Pantyman.  We talked about art, he had recently purchased a cityscape from a modern impressionist I actually know.  Not personally but, I have seen a show of the man's work and it is breathtaking.  The Swiss Financier tried to explain to me how art collecting is a little bit by gambling but, he was a little bit drunk and kept switching to German.  I teased him about it and he told me about the cocktail party he had been forced to attend with graphic descriptions of the other guests.  I laughed until I turned blue.

We talked about cuckoldry and his wife's latest boyfriend.  Young, handsome, dumb as a box of rocks, and thinks he's going to talk the wife into leaving her husband to support him and his band.  The wife is already getting bored with that one and thinking about a lengthy business trip to let him down easy.  The Swiss Financier thinks she should just tell pretty boy that it's not going to happen. I understand how disappearing for a bit is a hell of a lot easier and leaves the door open for an occasional hook up later.  He conceded my point while we switched to talking about alcohol.  American beer is disgusting, in his opinion.  I grew up in the Midwest where drinking cheap beer and 'shooting the gravels' is a weekend event so I knew that.  He tried to talk about wine with me and teased me, relentlessly, when I admitted that I have no palate for wine.  The Swiss Financier is convinced that if I tried enough good wine, I would develop a taste for it.  He's probably right and I told him about my experiences with cheese tasting.  I have hated cheese for years until I went to a cheese tasting sponsored  by the local Whole Foods Grocery.  I stumbled into it while shopping, actually, and got coaxed into trying several by enthusiastic cheese lovers who had taken over the event from the staff.

The Swiss Financier is convinced that I would make the perfect mistress for a wealthy man with cosmopolitan taste.  He advises me to sign up on one or more of those Meet The Sugar Daddy Of Your Dreams sites and stop wasting my time and talent.  He assures me that he will miss talking to me when I do but, tells me that I deserve better than the penny ante shit I am doing on the phone sex line.  I sigh as I listen to him imagine the wonderful life I could enjoy as a pampered mistress kept by a generous man.  We are drifting into his cuckoldry fantasy and I let him.  It is far easier than letting him pursue the idea of me being a kept woman and expecting feedback from.  I am honestly not sure that the Swiss Financier is thinking of himself as the Sugar Daddy in question though I suspect that he is.  This has happened to me before.  The caller starts giving me, as my character, advice and gets distracted as he warms to the idea.

The first time was with Mr. Gross and Boring, who really wanted me to switch to another phone sex service that allows video to be exchanged between members.  Since I won't advertise the hosting services I actually use, I am sure as hell not going to give the name of the one he suggested. Gross and Boring is obsessed with whether or not phone sex is real and I have taken a number of pot shots at his belief system over the months I have known him.  If he is not going to acknowledge that even the women he can see don't have any personal interest in his sorry ass fantasy, he's not going to listen to me.  This "do what I think you should because it would be good for me," crap is actually very common.  It used to bother me because it is a variation of a Contact Me fantasy but. the trainers have told me that it is very common and actually a sign of a talented PSO.  The more a caller falls for you and wants to meet, the more he has bought into your persona.

The Swiss Financier is an astute man and senses my emotional withdrawal from the conversation almost immediately  He asks me what is wrong.  I laugh and explain that I don't think I would be a very good mistress because I like running my own life too much.  Instead of arguing with me, as most callers would, he chuckles and agrees.  He calls me something in German Fraulein that I can't spell and explains that it means strong-willed.  He tells me to seek a career that puts me in contact with wealthy men who would appreciate my temperament.

"And what do you have in mind?" I purr and he proceeds to tell me.

Yeah, there is a reason I like this man.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Speaking Of Masks

Well, that night was an interesting evening.  One caller I spoke to had an original idea about how phone sex works.  To be fair, it was more of an variation on the same tired bullshit I hear every time I work.  This particular caller just managed to take it one step further than I had ever heard before.  I was signed into the second hosting company I work for and not having a great evening.  On the first hosting company lines, the late night callers tend to be pretty mellow.  They have long, elaborate fantasies they are inclined to actually listen to.  Many of them just want to talk.  The exact opposite is true at the second company.  Late night callers on that line tend to be more impatient, more aggressive, more inclined to interrupt to speed the fantasy along to where they want to be as quickly as possible.  I started out strong that evening but, the last three calls tanked my average.

The first bad call was from a perv claiming to be a college student.  He wanted to call to move faster under the argument that he had already wasted several minutes with another PSO, talking about horses.  For the record, saying this is not a good way to get an experienced PSO to like you.  Don't tell me that you just tanked another's PSO's average because you were too impatient to tell her what you wanted and then moved on to me.  If you are so naive that you do not understand that phone sex is not a dating service and the women who work the lines are there for the money (and willing to work with you to give you the fantasy you want as long as you give them the time they need), perhaps you shouldn't be calling.

One of the other bad callers is the type I hate the most because he was fucking with me and we both know there very little I could do about it.  He was experienced enough to know that if he doesn't play fair long enough for me to get a decent call out of him, I will find a way to ditch him the next time he calls.  These types of callers are most common on the TVTS lines and are usually straight men pretending to be transsexual.  They are looking for a transsexual PSO who is living her life in a way that mirrors their fantasies about transsexual women.  I've talked before about this fetish.  It is still a subject I am struggling to understand.

The caller who managed to annoy me the most was a young man also calling for a transsexual.  He knew that I was pretending to be one and spoke about that subterfuge with the usual amount of contempt callers have when the illusion is pierced.  As if they are somehow being cheated by the experience even though he had enjoyed the fantasy up until that point.  He was the one who chose to confront the issue while asking me a question.  I did not bring it up first, as I have done with annoying callers in the past.  Here's were things really got weird.  He accused me of faking 'it' and, before I could say anything else, told me how he thought I was faking it.

This rather amazingly stupid young man thought that the only way I could possibly sound as sexy as I do is because...wait, this is the best part...I must be having sex with someone while I am speaking to him.  He believed that I am gay and having sex with my girlfriend while speaking to him so I could make myself sound the way I naturally sound.  Even writing that statement makes me pause with wonderment at how modern civilization shields the obtuse from certain death.  Are you kidding me?  You really think that I am actually having sex with another person while speaking to you?  Holy. Shit.  How dumb do they get?

Let me make this perfectly clear, again, I do not masturbate while I am working.  I don't have to be stimulating myself to sound the way I chose to.  Nor is it a job requirement for the hosting company.  Really, how the hell would they enforce that one if it was a rule?  I work from home, in another state from both hosting companies and the staffing company.  Anyway, I thank my lucky stars it is not a requirement, because the vast majority of callers bore me silly and a small percentage of them make me want to become a very specialized serial killer.  In other words, if I were in the mood, those idiots would kill it as soon as they started speaking.  The very few I actually enjoy speaking to are no more exciting than the random stranger you meet in public and engage in some unfocused flirting with before moving on with your day.  Ever try having sex when you are bored with your partner? Or angry?  I can't do either and never have.  I just don't understand the appeal of what people call 'angry sex'.  Ever try to have sex with someone you think is disgusting and doesn't deserve to breath the same air you do?  I shudder to think of it and there are a number of callers I put in that category.

The excitement for me comes from the storytelling.  Phone sex is like a verbal Improv theater in Hell.  I have one shot to grab my audience and if I fail, my ability to survive is at risk.  Remember, I am not talking to pervs because I get off on the experience.  I am talking to pervs for a living and because there is no trust fund waiting for me someday.  Until the economy picks up, this is pretty much it  for the job market where I live.  For the time being my job is to craft an erotic story, on the spot, tailored for the caller's fantasy and to pretend to enthusiastically participate no matter how I feel about his fantasy's content.  And I manage to do it, successfully, mind you, multiple times a day.

How's that for faking it?

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Shut Up And Let Me Tell You A Story

I know I have been singing the praises of the new hosing company I work for.  I am not planning to stop anytime in the near future.  There are a few worms in the apples, though.  There is a guy who is a Dom into tickling and prefers that the women he tickles have really big, sweaty feet.  I have already spoken to him twice and, as far as I am concerned, I am done.  I suspect that like a few other callers from the first hosting company, his fantasy doesn't change or evolve in any way.  Something that I find excruciatingly boring.  In fact, that is the really unfortunate truth about a lot of regular callers.  Their fantasies are always exactly the same.  These men have literally conditioned themselves through regular masturbation to only get turned on by a handful of often repeated phrases and don't really or can't enjoy onanism without hearing those words.  Isn't that a frightening concept?

There are a couple of other repeat callers on the new hosting company's line who are already wearing my patience thin.  One is called the Make-up Man.  Ultimately, what he wants is to fall asleep to the sound of a woman speaking to him.  The details he wants for his fantasy are very limited in range, so is his feedback but, that doesn't mean I get to be lazy about it.  Just sound effects will not work with this caller.  I made that mistake once and he hung up on me.  I discovered that the key with him is to slow the fuck down and describe my character's appearance and actions in irksome detail.  Most other callers would be telling me to hurry up or just hang up at me at the speed he likes.  I think that he is a very lonely man and misses the sound of a woman's voice late at night.

And then there is the Twerp.  A caller who says he is 18 but, I suspect he is lying and is slightly older. Most very young callers are easily overwhelmed, verbally, and can be lead through just about any fantasy a PSO chooses.  I tend to stay really Vanilla with these callers because they tend to prefer really Vanilla fantasies.  There have been notable exceptions.  I spoke with a very young caller who is well on his way to becoming a sadistic Dom.  I had a great time talking to this kid because he is into the same goth shit I still love. It was very obvious that he was a kid.  I controlled the fantasy completely and when he tried to direct it toward subjects I find distasteful, like incest, I shut him down.  Hard.  I explained that it was the power dynamic of incest he enjoyed and if he was really looking for the cute, little psychotic partner of his dreams, he's going to have to set that taboo aside.  I described incest as constant, sexual bullying where the victim is not safe in her own home.  Remember, this kid thinks that we are the same age so I have to explain the whole concept in a way that he can understand.  I ask him if what I just described is an experience he would enjoy and he admits he would not.  I go onto explain that most of the girls I know who are into goth have had to endure this kind of bullying and it is not going to be part of a sexual fantasy that turns them on.  I know I oversimplified this one, just bear with me.  I asked him how much porn he consumes and, bloody hell, it is an epic amount.  Several hours a night and he admits that he prefers written sadomasochism and taboo over visual images.  I suspected that from talking to him.  I didn't advise him to lay off the porn.  If I had, he most likely would have hung up on me.  Porn, and phone sex are the only outlets this kid had for a phenomenal amount of rage.  More on him some other time.

Let's talk about the Twerp.  Not as young as says he is but, still very young.  I am guessing very early twenties and lacking basic socialization skills.  I think this kid is very smart and used to talking circles around his peers.  He just hasn't come to the realization that there are people smarter than he is who share his interests and have been playing with those concepts longer than he has been alive.  I suspect he also is a closeted gay submissive.  That doesn't mean he is gay.  It means his sexual fantasies revolve around the concept of being forced to suck cock.  He just doesn't want to admit that.  Instead, he sets up a scenario for one of the dumbest sexual fantasies I have ever heard and then won't stop interrupting me to try to lead me to what he really wants to hear me talk about but, is too shy to admit.

What is the fantasy?  A group of teenage girls hire a professional Domme to teach a group of teenage boys a lesson.  It seems those boys have been assholes to the girls for several months, talking endlessly about how much they enjoy watching women fuck each other and harassing the girls to 'put on a show for them'.  Already, I have outdone the Twerp in description with two bloody sentences.  The girls tell the boys to meet them at the requisite spooky, haunted mansion where the Domme is waiting.  Shades of Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Scoobie Doo are now leaking into his fantasy and I have to bite my lip to keep from laughing at him.  The Domme overpowers the boys by methods unknown and now he asks me what I would do if I were that Domme.  I start talking and he interrupts.  He doesn't like any story build up so I can't explain how I would keep them physically isolated from each other, naked, in darkened cells, listening to what they think is people being tortured but, is really just a recording being played to confuse and frighten them.  No, the Twerp likes to jump forward.  But, what would I do to them, he asks over and over again as he tries to hurry me along before finally getting so frustrated he hangs up.

I have said it before and I'll say it again.  I hate fantasies that don't make sense.  I am not just talking about sexual fantasies, either.  I am a voracious reader and if an author constructs a fantasy world with an unworkable culture at the heart of it, that's it.  I'm done.  I set the book aside and find something else to read.  That's why I love writers with a solid back round in history and think most fantasy published today is garbage.  There are a couple of really bad books I hang onto because of Sheri S. Tepper, an author I have a love/hate relationship with.  One of the finest fantasy novels I have read, right up there with Barbara Hambly's Dragonsbane, was written by Tepper.  Another one of her novels I consider one of the worst books ever published.  She comes up with fascinating concepts but, often sets them in unworkable societies.  The small collection of awful books I hang onto are the same. That was this kid is offering me, an unworkable scenario that he is too impatient to let me flesh out into a workable one because he really only wants to hear about boys being forced to suck each other's cocks.

Sigh, a potentially great fantasy and an asshole caller with no respect for the art of storytelling.

Saturday, June 2, 2012

What A Strange (Twitter)verse It Is

Most people realize that I have a tendency to be on Twitter while I am working.  The people I regularly communicate with understand that when I say "I am on a call", it means I cannot pay attention to what is going on in the Twitterverse because I am concentrating on talking to a perv. You know, my job.  The thing I do even though I don't like it because I need money to survive.  My friends understand and grant me the courtesy of patience. @Hallpass69 seemed to have felt otherwise.  He called me an egg.  Which is true, I have no picture in the Twitterverse so I am represented by an egg.  There are safety reasons for this @Hallpass69 may have been unaware of and care less about if he was aware.  He got offended by something I said, informed me that he was going to risk the loss of his 6K followers to destroy me and then blocked and unfollowed me when I let him know I was on a call and would have to speak with him later.

Thank god.  I admit that I joined Twitter to follow a few celebrities and learn more about the indie publishing market.  I didn't expect to enjoy it but, I do.  Al Franken, a man I hugely respect and admire, follows me.  I know it is his staff but, I am still tickled pink by that one.  I have had an enormous amount of fun flirting and exchanging snarky comments with a number of different people. Some I will mention in a moment.  Some, out of respect for their privacy, I will not.  I don't entirely understand Twitter culture but, I already have a few rules.  If you follow me, I will follow you but, only if you have something in your bio.  Blank bios are a little creepy, even to a woman who has to hide her identity for her safety.  To date, I have only blocked one person because, well I am not exactly sure what she was trying to accomplish but, she sent me several direct messages warning me 'people were talking bad about you' but offered no further information.  Unfortunately, she chose to do this on one of the days I was not logged into Twitter.  Hmm ...that's strange, was my first response when I saw her messages.  Goodbye and blocked was the second.  I didn't even block the idiot who suggested I would get more 'business' if I post pictures of myself.  He only follows porn actresses and porn sites. Guess he didn't read my blog, either.  By the way, I have not blocked and unfollowed that woman I was bitching about in my last entry, either.  I just have no intentions of ever communicating with her directly, again.  I still enjoy her links and, bloody hell, there have been a lot of them, lately.

Why am I glad @Hallpass69 is gone?  Unlike the majority of his followers, I didn't solicit him for a follow.  He just appeared one day and I followed him back to be polite.  So, he has known I am an egg for quite awhile now.  I also never asked him to help me gain more followers, which seems to be the vast majority of what he does on Twitter; collect followers and help others do the same.  He's not a writer, a politician, or pundit; his jokes are no where near as funny as @treywafer or @DanKCharnley.  He not a celebrity I am curious about or enjoy ogling. I had been thinking about dropping him for days.  I just didn't feel like being rude.  Luckily, he did it for me.

See, the other thing that I noticed about @Hallpass69 is that he is one arrogant motherfucker.  It seems that only certain people are allowed to actually to communicate with him.  All others, primarily, all females  are allowed to flirt with him and sing his praises, only.  They are not allowed to snark.  Sexism? On Twitter?  Say it ain't so, Joe!  I believe he felt I snarked out of turn to him and his equally unwelcome buddy, @BlackGodSon, and the two decided they needed to put me in my place.  When I failed to respond immediately with the appropriate words of contrition because I was WORKING, I got dropped.  Can you hear my heart shattering into a million little pieces? Hmm, neither can I.

Gentlemen, I don't put up with that shit with the callers who are paying for it.  Thank you for taking yourselves out of my Twitterverse for me.

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Not All Masks Are For Carnival

***Since the vast majority of my new visitors are not bothering to read anything on my blog other than this one post, I have decided that the best way to get you to read my response is to do this.

Oh, by the way, your actions are proving my point.  In fact, your actions are carving my point into granite.***


Roughly two weeks ago, I had an unpleasant experience in the Twitterverse and blogged about it here.  If you are interested, please read the post titled Not All Masks Are For Carnival.  Now, the person who angered me has felt the need to respond with a post on their blog and comments on mine.  Mark also felt that it was appropriate to include a link to their site in his comments without asking me first.  I removed it not because I felt Mark does not have the right to respond but, because I feel that inserting a link without my permission was, in a word, rude.  The author seems to be very hung up on the subject of who is right.  Really,  how very White Male System.  Just what I wanted on my blog about my experiences.

If you are unfamiliar with the phrase, I urge you to read the book Women's Reality by Anne Wilson Schaef.  The author explains the mentality of White Male System thinking far more eloquently than I could.  The book is an excellent starting point for anyone interested in feminism and I have, over the course of my life, passed out more copies than I care to remember.  Surprised that a woman who does what I do for a living is a feminist?  It is a problem I wrestle with each and every time I work and part of what I am working out in my blog.  It is also the reason I am so brutal with some of the callers.  If their fantasies involve more ugly stereotypes than I can stomach at that moment, I tend to let them know it.  With both barrels.

What is boils down to is that I really don't care if Mark feels that he is right.  I feel that am right.  In my world view, both of us have valid perceptions of the experience we shared.  I suspect that in Mark's world view, that is not possible so he has set out to prove that he is right.  Okay, go for it.  Refrain from putting links on my blog.  I did not do so to yours.  In fact, I did not make any  comments on your blog.  Nor do I plan to.  The elderly gentlemen who inquired whether I not I charged Mark for the conversation in his comment made it clear to me that I have no desire to.  I deal with enough of that attitude when I am working, thank you.  Another man passing judgement about something he knows nothing about and thinking that he is cute.  Ah, no.  There are many words for that bit of bullshit, 'cute' is not what comes to mind.  I think that the author of that comment exactly the same as the callers I speak to and I've already shared my feelings about them.

I also found another comment by Bee C rather telling about the attitudes of the people involved.  Both Mark and this person feel that a transcript of the conversation was necessary.  I admit, the first version of Not All Masks Are For Carnival contained just that.  However, after consulting with friends and sleeping on it, I decided that to do so was childish and unnecessary.  I felt then as I feel now; my perception of the experience is valid because it is mine.  As I stated in my reply to Bee C, writing an unasked for critique and posting it in a public forum does require you to read the fucking material.  In the case of a blog, at least solid sampling of the material since most people will not have the time to read the entire thing.  I am also not asking the Internet community at large to pass judgement on that experience which is why I chose not to include a transcript or list Masquerade Crew by name.  I was blogging about my experiences, not inviting debate concerning the validity of my perceptions.  The fact that Bee C chose to interpret my posting that way is ...interesting, to say the least.

I chose to write about my experiences as a PSO to help me process them and to share with others some of the amazingly stupid stereotypes I have smacked myself into because of it.  I am not just talking about the callers.  Conscientious people ask questions before passing judgement on what I do and what I write about.

And then there is the rest of the world.


***And here is the original post***


Something very unsettling happened to me the other day.  I am on Twitter (@Wickedjulia if you would care to say hello) and I have noticed that the vast majority of what goes on at that site is Shameless Self Promotion.  Celebrities promote the movies and television shows they are involved in,  authors promote their books and other writing projects, politicians abound, and everyone seems to promote their favorite charities and causes.  For an information junkie like me, it is Sin City.  I joined Twitter after reading an article on indie publishing that encourages writers to promote their own works and, bloody hell, that article was right.  So I started taking baby steps in promoting my blog.

Nothing big, mind you.  I have been simply tweeting to my followers that there is a new entry (when there is one) and asking them to read it.  No phony reviews, no teaser sentences, just 'read my blog'.  One of the things that I find both amusing and annoying is how many people promote their own work with a "I'll follow you if you follow me" strategy.  At a certain level, it makes sense and is fair when they actually follow through on that.  Most do, temporarily; they follow for a bit and then disappear, so while one is essentially promoting the other by reading and possibly retweeting to their own followers any witticisms they find amusing, the other is doing nothing.  Which seems to be the culture of Twitter.

I decided to be a little more aggressive with my own Shameless Self Promotion.  After all, I have just as much right as anyone else, to try to showcase my writing.  And I want feedback, goddammit.  I want constructive criticism, o' friends of mine who read my blog and have nothing put in a comment but, will discuss the subject in person.  You know who you are.  No brownies for you until I get more comments.  (Like I'm actually going to follow through on that but, hey, it sounds like a credible threat.)  So when one of the 'people' I follow tweeted a promise to 'read yours if you read mine', I, jokingly, responded that I had been reading theirs and asked them if they had taken a look at mine.  I wasn't really expecting a response through Twitter.

Less than two minutes later, I got a fucking critique I didn't ask for through a social media forum.  The woman assumed that my lack of graphics was a conscious choice (it's not) and proclaimed the subject matter to not be her cup of tea.  At the end of that two sentence critique, she added that she would retweet my blog to her followers.   At this point, I am in shock, as I often am when someone I do not know is unconscionably rude to me.  Giving an unasked for criticism of my blog on Twitter struck me as more than a little trashy and, by the amount of time that had passed, I knew damn well that she had not read anything.  Wait, it gets better.  A second later, a mass tweet appears with my description of my blog pasted in it and an invitation to her followers to read if they are into that sort of thing.  Have you ever heard the phrase 'damning with faint praise'?

I sat there for a moment, rendered utterly speechless by the crude and blatant dismissal I have just received before I take several deep breaths and draft a civil response.  I state that I find her attitude unfortunate (while thinking it is revoltingly classist  and narrow-minded) and add that I enjoy reading about the lives of other people a great deal.  She lets me know that she doesn't enjoy reading things with an overtly erotic theme.  My thought in response is; Lady, have you actually read some of the romance stories you peddle on your site?  I have used a few of them as inspiration for work for the purpose of talking to pervs.

However, I am still struggling with desire to be polite so I advise her to read the first entry where I, rather tongue-in-cheek, explain the purpose of my blog without any explicit sexual descriptions.  I do not point out that the last two entries also lack anything sexually explicit.  She would know that if she had actually bothered to read instead of just glance around when she went to my site.  Which she, oh so obviously, didn't out of the assumption that I write porn and her eyeballs would melt if she were exposed to that subject matter.  My very first entry makes it quite clear that I am not advertising my services as a PSO, I am talking about my experiences in an industry that cloaks itself in fantasy to promote its services.  There are fake blogs out there, written to advertise the services of independent PSOs and, they are porn.  I refer to them as fucktress sites because the first one I saw started with the sentence "I am a 52 year old professional fucktress and I love..." and we can stop there.  You get the idea.

The truth is, I don't like the overtly explicit stuff either.  I have to listen to callers fabricate their fascinating, (and plagiarized) sexual histories in that language when I am working and after that, I am done.  I am a good enough PSO to not have to talk about my characters with that kind of language and most callers actually enjoy innuendo over Extreme Slut Mode.  In fact, I was speaking with one of the trainers last night about a schedule adjustment and she brought up the frustration she feels when new PSOs engage in that behavior.  The problem with that technique is that not only does it guarantee short calls for the PSO using it, Extreme Slut Mode  also conditions the callers to expect that sort of over the top, graphic porn storytelling right at the beginning of a call.  If the callers run into a PSO who takes the time to tailor a fantasy just for them or entertains them by showing her knowledge in another subject they are passionate about, pervs conditioned by PSOs who use Extreme Slut Mode get frustrated and verbally abusive.  They have been trained to expect to 'get happy' (as one friend describes it) within a couple of minutes by neophyte PSOs and they like it because it saves them money.  Whining about the cost of phone sex is a really common way for pervs to encourage a PSO to 'get to the good part' faster.  Another one is telling the PSO that they just got cut off from the other PSO they had been talking to and she's not available and he's so close and could the PSO he is now speaking to just help him out....Yeah, I fell for that one.  Once. At the beginning, when I was still thinking about being a PSO as similar to customer service.  I learned very quickly that it is not.

See what I did there?  I described a facet of the industry while discussing another subject to, hopefully, illustrate my point.  I admit I do that a lot.  The woman I have been tweeting with informs me that she has read my first entry (liar) and basically demands that I point her to the one non-existent post that discusses the industry without anything that might scorch her delicate soul.  I try to explain that the industry doesn't work that way, its not like anyone emailed me a manual titled How We Lie To Callers 101.  I had to figure this out on my own, for the most part, and am talking about it here.  And how frustrating it is, and silly, and stupid....  Alas, Twitter is not conducive to lengthy explanations and she loses patience or decides that she has proven her point about the content of my blog and stops communicating with me.

The last thing I sent her was a direct message because, unlike some, I feel that it is inappropriate to point out a person's less than stellar behavior in public.  I tell her that I found her snap judgement of me disappointing and hurtful.  I do not mention, in this last tweet, how insulted I am.  I assume (and perhaps I shouldn't) that she is smart enough to get that.  I have been in a position when I was required to pass judgement on another's artistic output.  I was a sculptor before an injury forced me to relegate my passion to a hobby.  I once took a class taught by a famous bronze sculptor who insisted that I help with project reviews because I was the only other working artist in a room full of students.  I remember the painful diplomacy I used when dealing with those young artists.  I had no desire to insult them or the subject they were trying to communicate through their work.  I wanted to provide those artists with an honest critique that would help them develop their skills.  At the same time, I wanted to let the 'easy A' students know that I was on to their tricks and they were no longer in high school.  Art, in any media, is bloody hard work and no one has a right to dismiss that effort without even looking at it.

In other words, Madam, not only have you failed as a promoter of art in the form of writing, you have failed as a human being.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Questions? Comments?

I was chatting with a friend a few days ago, catching up with her because she had been M.I.A for a few days.  She is an artist and craftsperson: when she is getting ready for a show I don't expect to hear from her.  We also read each others blogs and she is one of three people who have left comments on mine.  Much love to Kai for that alone.  Invariably, we got to the subject of my job and once again, I had someone apologizing to me for asking questions about the Mechanics of Phone Sex.  She is far from the first person to feel that she has to apologize for being curious.  Once again, I assured someone that I really don't mind answering questions about my experiences as a PSO or explaining what little I know about how the industry works.  In fact, my attitude is the exact opposite.

For fucks sake, ask questions.  If you're curious, if you are thinking about becoming a PSO, if you are a caller and want to know something about the people who entertain you, ask fucking questions.  If I have the answer and I feel that it is appropriate to give it to you, I will.  To clarify, if you ask for private information (like how to contact me for a one on one) I am going to tell you to fuck off.  If you ask for something I am uncomfortable relaying such as the details of a particular caller's fantasy, I will say 'no'.  If you just want to know about how the whole mess works, I'll give you the best answer I can.  Why? Because I feel that, having crossed this particular threshold, I owe to other women to share the information I have gathered.

When I started looking into becoming a PSO, the one thing that drove me up the wall was the profound lack of credible, first hand information available.  Multiple Google searches finally led me to the staffing company I now use but, I filled out 'applications' online for six or seven different companies who never bothered to call me back.  One of the thing that I hate about PSO recruiting is that staffing companies want women to fill out applications without providing a great deal of their company contact information.  They do this to avoid being harassed by pervert callers trying to score freebie phone sex.  One trainer who used to do staffing told me a hilarious story about having a perv call into the staffing line and immediately launch into his fantasy over and over again.  Attempts to explain to him that he was calling the office and there were no PSOs there to handle his call failed miserably.  He would just talk over her, telling her about his huge, hard cock and ordering her to suck it while smacking his lips and moaning loudly.  She tried having his number blocked and he called from a different number, bitching at her for blocking him and going right back to the same, dumbass routine.  Then she got a police whistle and started blasting his eardrums every time he called.  It took nearly two months of constant auditory assault to finally get rid of him and he called multiple times a day.

Even before I found the staffing company, I would try to read articles about phone sex on question and answer sites despite the fact I was pretty sure that answers offered were utter bullshit.  Turns out I was right about that one.  My favorite was a woman who had been turned down by a staffing company because she didn't have a landline and wanted to know if that was true of all phone sex companies.  The person who answered her question admitted right from the beginning that she was not a PSO, had never been a PSO, and didn't know any PSOs but, still felt she was qualified to answer.  Her response was that "Of course, you can use a cell phone.  They shouldn't have a problem with cell phones.  No one uses landlines anymore.  They shouldn't expect you to have one."  Great, a brilliant (and totally wrong) answer from a cell phone snob.

The real answer is more complicated than that. Officially, yes, a PSO must use a landline.  Cellphones are not secure enough.  It is possible for people to listen in on cell conversations pretty easily and one of the things offered to callers is anonymity.  Callers can use cell phones and I really wish they wouldn't.  PSOs must use landlines with unlimited long distance service.  They don't like PSOs using VOIP lines either, though, most of us do.  We just didn't admit to that fact on the application.  The problem is software compatibility.  Most of the really cheap VOIP services out there, like Magic Jack, are just not compatible with the software used by the hosting service to track a PSO's time.  And the whole point of talking to pervs is getting paid for it.  Why would any woman listen to their dumbass, bullshit fantasies if they weren't getting paid?

The truth is that the staffing companies will allow a PSO to use a cellphone if she lives in a major, urban center with fantastic coverage, has a really good quality phone in good working order, and understands that she cannot go out while she is working.  That movie where Anne Hathaway plays a PSO who routes calls to the office line where she is temping and takes calls while standing outside of a restaurant is total bullshit.  The hosting companies do monitor all calls for new operators and almost all calls for experienced operators.  Some just monitor everything.  I work for two different hosting companies and they have the exact same rules for a PSO's work environment.  You have to be completely alone; no boyfriend or husband listening in on your calls, absolutely no kids hanging around, no dogs barking.  I have gotten in trouble with the first hosting company for the monitor hearing back round noise on my calls and assuming that I was not alone.  Once, when I was sitting next to an open window and my neighbors were talking loudly.  I got up and moved when I heard it but, the monitor didn't know that.  The other time when the supervisor heard me talking to one of my dogs between calls and assumed that I was talking to a small child.  Since she was a puppy at the time, I can understand why the Downer thought I was speaking to a child.  The fact that s/he recorded the call and played it back for the staffing company as proof that I was breaking the rules in an attempt to get me thrown off the lines without ever asking me what was going on is just further proof that s/he is a dick.  Luckily, the staffing company knows I have dogs because I talk about them when we speak and told the Downer to chill the fuck out.  That's when the hosting company came up with the 'no barking dogs' rule.  Fuckwits.  The few time a caller has heard my dogs barks, they have laughed about it and started telling me about their own dogs.  It is a great conversation starter.

Another rule that blows the minds of the curious.  No computer use.  The staffing and hosting companies are right to ask this but, there is no goddamned way they can enforce it.  The reason it is a good idea for a PSO to stay the fuck off her computer while she is working?  The caller can tell when you are distracted.  No, really.  Everyone I tell this to doesn't believe me.  They understand what I am talking about but, assure me that they are completely capable of answering their emails, playing a game, and bullshitting on Facebook with friends while talking to someone on the phone.  What are you, a mutant? No?  Then, listen to me.   The concept of multitasking is a corporate myth perpetuated to make us do the work of four people while collecting a paycheck for one.  The human brain simply does not work that way.  What it does do is shift from one task to another over and over again at an incredible rate of speed.  The problem is that while concentrating on one task, like making an incredibly witty comment about friend's new haircut, a PSO is not actively paying attention the other things she is doing while she is entertaining her buddies instead of concentrating on the caller. And most of the pervs can tell when a PSO is not paying attention to them.  That is not what they are paying for so they hang up and tank her call time average.

Does that mean I stay off my computer when I am working?  Hell no!  There can be a hell of a lot of wait time between calls and I get bored easily.  I am also not putting up with this bullshit to act like I am still working at the same fucked up answering service I worked at years ago where, yes, management really did expect operators to sit in their cubicles staring at their screens while waiting for the next call and not speaking to each other unless it was work related.  I broke those rules every day without a qualm.  There is no way I am imposing draconian restrictions on myself now, no matter how much the hosting company tries to enforce it.  And they do try.  I can't say I feel really sorry for the PSOs who have gotten caught.  They were the ones dumb enough to leave the sound on.  However, when I get a call, I am not looking at my computer.  I deliberately turn my back to it or turn off the screen so I can concentrate on the caller and I had to learn to do this the hard way.

One night, I got a caller with the absolute worst coprophilia fantasy I have ever heard, even worse that the Acolyte's.  If you don't know what coprophilia is, look it up.  It is one of two fetishes that will actually make me vomit, so I ain't talking about it unless I'm getting paid.  Of course, this perv also happened to be a Sneaky Bastard so he didn't warn me ahead of time so I could ditch him.  So, he starts talking about a subject that is literally making me gag and I am wondering how the hell I am going to get through the call without vomiting.  Luckily, he's a Talker.  I don't have to actively participate in his fantasy, I just have to make the right noises in measured intervals to convince him that I am paying attention.  I get a bright idea, switch on my computer and start playing a fairly intensive game while listening to him.  It works, my brain stops trying to conjure up images to match his words so I stop gagging and I can follow what he is saying enough to moan and groan and beg him to use me any way he wants so I can prove my devotion to him.  Yes, that was the gist of his fantasy.  I get a really long call out of the Sneaky Bastard and a revelation.  I can entertain myself on the computer while working! Yah!  Ticker tape parade for me!

Wrong.  I start goofing around on the computer while I am working, all the time, and my call time average starts to slip.  The Downer is griping at me, I know I am not making enough money and I start to get really unhappy.  Time to rethink this.  I can use this trick with a Talker or a caller I know really well but, I have to stop splitting my attention on every call.  It is not working.  Talking to a caller requires active listening and I cannot do it while on the computer but, there is no way I am giving up being on the computer while I am working.  So I started turning my back to the screen while talking to the pervs.  It worked.  I still have the computer and I can pull my average up to make more money.  Problem solved and I still get to play.

The thing is I am different from other PSOs in this regard.  My mother was married to a man who taught speech and communication skills at the college level while I was pretty young.  He decided to prove a point to a class full of particularly dense freshmen by trying to teach the same active listening skills he was teaching them to his nine year-old step daughter.  I aced the final exam which involved listening to a recording of a technical lecture given by another professor with a thick Indian accent while answering questions about the lecture on a score sheet.  Most of those college students didn't even get a passing grade from that exam.  He proved his point and I acquired a skill that has served me very well my entire life.

Most PSOs have no idea what active listening is when they start and they have to learn it quickly to be successful.  Most people have no idea what actively listening is.  If you don't know, look it up and learn it.  It will give your communication skills an edge few people actually possess anymore.

And it's a fun trick at parties.


Sunday, May 27, 2012

TVTS


Let me tell you a little about the second hosting company I am now using.  One of the many things that I like about them is that PSOs have set characters that they play with callers instead of the free for all set up at the first hosting company.  Currently, I have three characters, with another in the works.  I am not going to give out the names of the characters here.  The names are selected by me from a list the hosting company makes available in an attempt to prevent duplicate names from appearing in their directory.  I have a general character who is definitely a geek girl, a Domme, and a TVTS character.  For those of you who do not know, TVTS stands for transvestite/transgender.  In other words, chicks with dicks.

Bloody hell, do I have a problem with that one.  First of all, I have very mixed feelings about how I feel about transgender people, especially transgender women.  More on that later.  Right now, I need to vent and that is the purpose of this blog.  I fucking hate transgender callers.  Now, I will explain that by 'transgender callers', I mean men wanting to have a fantasy about being with a transgender woman, not people who are actually transgender.  Having explained that, allow me to repeat that in a way that expresses my true feeling.  I FUCKING HATE TRANSGENDER CALLERS.  As a rule, they are the absolute worst asshats I deal with while I am working.  They are the most high maintenance (like the Acolyte), the most disgusting (also like the Acolyte), and pickiest pack of assholes on the lines.  The tend to equate the concept of being with transgender women as a licence to exercise the kinkiest, vilest, most violent fantasies they have and have the PSO pretending to be a transgender woman embrace their fantasies wholeheartedly and with an enormous amount of enthusiasm.  Try being creative and enthusiastic while trying not to vomit.  Come on, I fucking dare you.

My friend, YingYu, deals with transgender issues in a professional capacity and has tried to shed some light on this issue for me. Transgender people face a level of discrimination and violence that is literally unthinkable, except that it happens every day and is deliberately ignored in our culture.  They don't get the same protection  from the police that other minorities do, the same access to health care, the same employment and educational opportunities that the rest of us do.  Worst of all, in my opinion, they are viewed by most of the middle class white male population as walking fetishes.  They are seen by those men as living things who are not people, who exist only for the pleasure of the people who want to fuck them.  All of this I knew before my friend decided that I needed a crash course in transgender issues, though I did not say this to YingYu.  He's the goddamned expert I consulted and, dammit, I wanted an expert's point of view.  He asked me if I had never known any transgender people.  Yes, in fact, all women except for one.  He asked me how I met them.

Err, this is a story I don't like to relay to others.  My mother was, and I guess still is, a pretty hardcore feminist.  One year, while I was still a teenager and she and I were having serious communication issues, my mother decided that we would bond by attending a women's music festival.  It was, all in all, a disaster for our relationship.  None of the workshops addressed the problems I was having with her and I walked away from them, disheartened, not realizing that the pro-mother stance of mainstream feminism at the time, was engaging in a great deal of victim blaming when it came to the subject of mother-issues.  I was being told that my issues with my brilliant, selfish, ultimately insane mother were not because of her actions.  Oh no.  They were because I had been programmed by the patriarchy to not be able to see what a wonderful person she truly was.  I wanted her to just be a Mommy and give me everything I needed, instead.  I was the selfish one in our relationship.  I realize that this stance was not universal then and it is not universal now but, it was what I felt at the time.  While trudging across the quad, (the festival took place on a college campus) completely demoralized by my experiences with yet another workshop, a woman grabbed my arm and shoved a petition in my face.  I had walked into them middle of a political battle without even realizing it.

"Sign this," a woman screeched at me as she shoved a pen in my face.

I jerked back to avoid having my eye put out.  "What is it?" I asked as I read the top paragraph of the petition.

"The campus police won't remove them until we have a two thirds majority,"she said as she pointed to a group of miserably angry women across from us.  I couldn't put my finger on why but, that group stood out from the rest of us.  (They were much better dressed than the other women there) I read the petition while its carrier prattled on and realized what she was talking about.  They were trying to remove a small group of transgender women who had dared to believe that they had the right to attend a festival for women.  The Mommy Gestapo wanted them gone under the argument that the rules of festival stated that no men over the age of nine were admitted and they had no facilities to accommodate them.  They would refund the money they had paid to attend the festival but, the women could not stay.  I knew that even though my mother had very mixed feelings about transgender women, she would not condone this.  She also would not stand up to her fellow feminist sisters to defend their rights.  "I'm not signing this," I said as I shoved the clipboard back at her.

She goggled at me for a moment before starting her rant about how those people didn't belong at the festival.  They made women nervous and they wanted to 'dilute the issues' real women wanted to talk about.  To this day, I am not sure what exactly that meant.  My response was to grandstand; I announced that I needed to pee, grabbed the hand of the youngest transgender woman in the group and marched into the restroom.  I left the door to the stall open so the woman I kidnapped and the Mommy Gestapo could watch while I hiked up my ugly peasant skirt, dropped my panties and pissed.  I want to add one disqualifier to my courageous stand; I was high as a kite at that moment, thanks to a very cute girl who had been trying (really hard) to get permission to get under that ugly ass peasant skirt.  I had smoked her dope while still saying no without the slightest qualm.  Thank you, pot-smoking boy friend for teaching me the value of that trick.  It didn't solve anything other than to amuse the hell out of the transgender women who had followed their friend in to see what the hell I was going to do to her and piss off the petition waving Mommy Gestapo.

My mother found out about my stunt (but, not about the pot) and was advised to make sure I was instructed properly.  On what subject, I am not sure.  I pointed out that there must be something to the whole transgender thing, I mean who the hell would choose to be the member of a minority that is so divided and isn't even really acknowledged to be a real minority unless they felt they had to.  My mother agreed with me but, pointed out that some transgender women could be amazingly insensitive to the needs of real women.  It was a subject we had discussed before.  I pointed out that as a childless woman, much of what was being discussed had very little to do with my life, either.   And I didn't believe that those women were any more dangerous than some of the more predatory lesbians I had attracted.  If I had to fend off the attention of amorous lesbians without offending them, all week long in the name of sisterhood, sharing restrooms with a few transgender women was nothing.

Since then, I have known other transgender women and my feelings have remained mixed.  I want to be sympathetic and, for the most part, I am.  I hold with the belief that wanting to be a woman is not a privilege, as some feminists state, it is a horrible burden.  Being a woman right now is an incredibly hard row to hoe.  If a person feels so strongly that she has to be a part of my minority despite how hard it is, then all I can do is welcome her into our ranks and pray for the best for both of us.  At the same time, I have known transgender women who are incredibly hostile when dealing with other women and still claim male privilege when dealing with women.  I worked in an office with a transgender woman who would routinely talk over other women and make horrible, disparaging comments about us, especially our appearance.  If we returned the favor or demanded that she justify her behavior, she would blow a gasket and accuse us all of being prejudiced against her because she was transgender.  She also hated to have to listen to any woman in the office talk about her children.  If they did, she would interrupt and change the topic.  Now, part of that I can understand.  I strongly believe that every mother grossly overestimates how fascinating her children are to others but, I also didn't want to listen to her endless meandering debate about the next step in her transformation or the health risks involved.  Equally boring in my book.  I suspect that most transgender people go through a narcissistic stage where nothing seems as important to them as their own transformation.  And that process makes them very hard to deal with, for a period of time.

But, I didn't know about the fetish part of being a transgender woman or how widespread it was among men.  It just didn't occur to me.  I, rather stupidly it seems, thought that transgender women were of interest to gay men.  When I think about it, I feel as if I was being very narcissistic myself with that one.  Before working as a PSO, I never realized how many men who identify themselves as straight have fantasies about being with a man or a she-male.  And trust me, there are whole hell of a lot of middle age, middle class white males thinking about sucking dick.  I would guess that, on average, half of the calls I take are from men wanting to fantasize about being with another man or a woman with a cock.  They just want to do it with a woman present so that they don't 'feel' gay.  A few of them have admitted to me that they would be utterly terrified to act out their fantasies in real life. A few of them have proposed marriage to me when thinking that I was transgender.  Not once have I ever gotten the impression that any of these men, good or bad, see me as a person.  (The possible exception being the Acolyte who deserves an entire entry of his own.  Someday.  When I finally get over my ability to be grossed out, completely.) Which is not the experience I have had with all of the men I have talked to on other fetish lines.

Here's the thing: everyone has a type they get stupid over.  I do, my friends do, the callers I speak to do.  My type is very specific though it has actually expanded over the years.  I have a thing for stocky men of visibly Irish descent.  I could give examples but, I'm not going to.  My friends know what I am talking about.   Several of my friends have a thing for men of color and are completely baffled by my preference.  Phone sex is all about types; that's why the directories have a grocery list of different categories even though no phone sex line actually maintains pools of different PSOs.  They are lying to you, callers.  The Barely Legal Teen and the Cougar are probably the same woman.  Instead of being insulted and feel like you have been cheated, callers, you should be in awe of her talent and skills.  You should be thinking about what kind of fantasy she could spin for you if you are brave enough to let her run but, you're not.  That's why there are categories for you to choose from even though they are bullshit.

The thing is all of those categories mean the exact same thing to different callers.  Almost every caller is looking for the Extreme Slut.  He just picks a category he thinks will have the sluttiest women; Fat Chicks, Big Tits, MILF, whatever.  They aren't choosing a category based on their appreciation of a certain body type in a woman, they are choosing a category based on what they think is the most 'desperate to be fucked' kind of woman.  I guess I should be a lot more desperate and lower my standards into the basement.  Let me think about it.....No.  This woman is just fine with her standards as they are, thank you.

The think about TVTS callers that makes them different (and disgusting) is that they think the slut factor is a given.  In their minds, no transgender woman ever says no to anything.  And that is what they are looking for, a PSO who can put the X in Extreme.  Look, I know that it is really hard for the non-creative person to believe but, being creative happens to take a whole lot of time, energy and effort.  Doing so about a topic I find personally disgusting makes that effort akin to the sensation sandpaper on wet skin.  Dealing with a bunch of assholes who have decided that there type is not really a person, just a fuck toy who only exists for their pleasure, makes me want to bio-engineer a super-plague that targets self-centered, self-professed horny jerks.

Try, just for a moment, to envision the person you are fantasizing about as a person.  I am not talking about the PSO you are speaking to, I am talking about the image in your head.  Now, imagine what she would love to say about you and your disgusting bullshit to her friends.  Any sense of shame left there to burn your cheeks? God, I hope so.  Now, get this little factoid to lodge in whatever brains you have left...

A PERSON IS A PERSON IS A PERSON, no matter what gender they are.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

In Dreams

My problems with sleep are legendary among my friends.  I typically sleep in no more than 4 hour increments separated by hours of useless wakefulness.  I can't really call most of those moments being awake.  During the summer, it gets worse.  My periods of sleep are reduced to 2 hours and literally anything can wake me.  My happy, noisy, rested neighbors compete for the top of my annoyance list right along with the happy, noisy, rested birds who like to hang outside my open bedroom window and live their little bird lives at top volume.  I guess they feel the need to share.

The reason I am telling you this?  Well, something strange happened while I was trying to catnap, again.  My chronic pain suddenly ratcheted up from about a 2 (meaning I am just sort of aware of my many failing joints) to about a 6 (meaning I am crawling out of my skin with discomfort, my joins feel like their being crushed and I am ready and willing to snap anyone's head off for breathing too loudly in my general direction) without warning and catapulted my out of the light doze I was in.  While I was laying there, cursing my existence, I realized that I had been dreaming about a caller I spoke to yesterday.

That was strange.  I have never dreamed about my job as a PSO, before.  It was inevitable, I suppose.  I always end up dreaming about my jobs, whatever they happen to be, because I have a habit of obsessing about being good at my job.  When I stop obsessing about being good at my job, it is a sure sign that I am bored out of my mind and that it is time to move on before I start hating my  job.  I just wasn't expecting to dream about being a PSO because it is so different from any other job I have ever had.  If nothing else, the fact that I work at home makes the environment completely different from my other jobs.  I have also had very limited contact with the other people I work with and have never seen them face to face.  Which, in my humble opinion, beats being plunged into whatever office drama is taking place no matter how hard I try to avoid it.

In my dream, the caller was bitching me out for trashing his fantasy and refusing to play along.  Gee, what a surprise.  He explained to me, in the dream, that even though he was presenting his fantasy as an actual experience, I should have known that it was just a fantasy and played along.  To be fair to myself, I did play along until he ordered me to spank myself so he could judge how hard I could spank others.  Hmm...no.  I know the caller was hoping to run into a cute little college girl who felt like she had done something terrible and needed to be punished but, that's not going to happen with me.  I wasn't set up to Dolby the sound of someone being spanked and didn't feel like striking my own flesh to get the desired sound so this creep could get off.  Plus, I was playing that cute, little college girl as a lighthearted Domme.  She ain't gonna follow orders, bub.  She's going to laugh at you and say "No."  What the hell do you think you can do about it, caller?  Hang up on me, is what he did and I was not unhappy with the outcome.  I had taken his fantasy about as far as I was willing to and I was not in the mood to play submissive with a high maintenance caller.

His fantasy just lingered in my mind because the whole thing was so weird.  He started by telling me that he had been arrested for soliciting a prostitute and his life was being demolished because of it.  Legal fees, possible eviction for his business on a moral clause, wife left him, etc.  All of it sounded plausible but, I'm a lawyer's kid.  Some of the details he offered set off my bullshit alert but, I let it slide.  Then he starts talking about his stepdaughter.  Hear that beeping noise?  That's the bullshit meter cranking up into the red.  According to the caller, his stepdaughter is in her early 20's and in college.  He is paying her tuition as long as she maintains her grades and does a few other things he has demanded of her.  He didn't go into details.  If his story is legitimate; it might be living on campus, or being involved in certain social groups or going to counseling.  The truth is my bullshit meter was beeping so loudly that I can't think to ask.  He tells me that she hasn't been keeping up her end of the bargain and has been lying about it.  He can't stand lairs and decided that she has to be punished.  Okay, here we go.  He tells her that she has to accept a  bare bottom spanking from him or he will stop paying for her tuition and, according to him, she agrees to it.

You have got to be kidding me.  He then goes onto explain that he lives in a condo complex with a lot of single mothers and many of these women pay him to discipline their daughters.  And the daughters involve agree to it.  The caller gives me details about how he has the mothers sign a liability waiver to protect himself and all I can think is bullshit, Bullshit, BULLSHIT!  There is no way in hell I am going to believe that an entire condo complex full of women have lost their collective minds and pay this creep to spank their daughters for his own sexual gratification.  Because, despite how he is describing his behavior as clinically as possible and for the girl's own good, it is very obvious that this bastard gets off on it.  And the idea that an 18 year old girl would submit to this is laughable.  Even if a girl is into being spanked and many of them are (see the popularity of the book, 50 Shades of Gray), I sincerely doubt many of them would consent to being spanked by a 60 year old man for his own sexual pleasure and at their mother's request.  That is just fucked up.

I dance around the subject.  After several minutes of discussion, I finally find a way to ask him if he worries about any of the girls reporting him to authorities.  Not at all, he tells me and reminds me that he has all those waivers from their mothers.  Uh-huh.  All I can think of is what my reaction would have been if my parents or their partners or my extended family suggested that I be 'professionally spanked' for any of my adolescent transgressions.  (Trust me when I say, there were far too many cooks in the kitchen where my childhood is concerned.)  I would have blown a gasket.  Hell, I would have had a complete nuclear meltdown that could have been seen from space.  And I would have called the cops, child protective services and the child's rights attorney, Andrew Vachss to report the bastards before I beat feet out the door while flipping the bird over my shoulder.  My reaction would have been total devastation for all involved and I am not kidding in the slightest.

I told a friend about this and she played Devil's Advocate by pointing out that my personality guaranteed an over the top response.  She could see girls being coerced into this type of scenario quite easily.  She just had a hard time accepting that any parent would agree to it.  I can concede her point.  God knows my own parents constantly relied on others to actually do the work of raising me and because of that, I suffer from what many consider an alarming lack of family loyalty.  We both still dismiss this caller's story as fantasy bullshit.  If a girl is into being submissive and somehow, advertises the fact that she is looking for a Dom to spank her, she will be buried in offers within a day.  There are Doms all over the world languishing for a cute teenage girl to spank.  She most certainly will not have to have her mother pay for it.  In fact, it is far more common for the Dom to pay the submissive.  There are even spanking parties where men pay professional submissives who will allow men to spank them for sexual titillation.  Invitations to those parties comes with a pretty hefty price tag.  Professional submissives are very expensive.

It goes like this: among heterosexuals, there is a 70/30 split for women.  Meaning that 70% of women into BDSM want a man to dominate them.  The remaining 30% are more like me, Dommes. Only about half of those are what some people call extreme Dommes, women who do not exchange power by 'switching' or playing sub.  I guess I could be called extreme except that I am willing to have Vanilla sex with the right person.  However, I am not interested in ever being submissive.  Ever.  It turns me off, completely, and utterly enrages me to be asked after I have explained to a lover what I am.  Which is why I spun out a story to this caller describing myself as a low key Domme who dominates other women, professionally.  I guessed, correctly, that this caller had no interest in hearing about a man being dominated by a woman.  I screwed up once and mentioned that I dominated 'boys and girls at their request'.  He immediately told me that he didn't want to hear about the boys.  He wanted details and I provided them, thank you, Vagina Monologues.

That's where things broke down.  Like so many men, this caller could not reconcile the idea that there are women out there with absolutely no interest in being spanked by a man.  He believes the porn fantasy that every woman secretly wants to be dominated and just needs to meet the man of her dreams so she can submit herself to his desires and be utterly happy doing so.  Maybe such a woman exists.  I am not her.  None of my deepest, darkest, personal fantasies have ever involved being dominated by anyone and a dumbass like that caller is not the man who is going to change my mind.

Sorry.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Uses For The Dead

I will warn you right now that I am going to be discussing a subject that many people will find revolting.

I was talking to her friend about her experiences using an internet dating site.  She told me a man asked my friend to tell him what was the kinkiest thing she has ever done while she was signed in and chatting with members.  When she did not immediately launch into a raunchy story about her sexual exploits, he told her that she wasn't kinky enough for him and closed the chat window.

I laughed my ass off when she told me.  The man was behaving like a perv, a caller, trying to score some free text sex by using a dating site instead of paying for it on a phone sex line.  She assumes that she will never hear from him again.  I disagree.  I think that this bottom feeder will contact her again, hoping that he has managed to shame her into coming up with a story to impress him.

As a PSO, I hear "What is the kinkiest/dirtiest/nastiest thing you have ever done?" all the time.  How the hell would you answer that question if a complete stranger asked you?  I know that the first thing you would do is decide whether or not to answer at all.  You would judge the person asking and decide whether or not he deserved an answer.  Then you might wrack your brain for an answer that doesn't make you sound too slutty while still sounding like a lot of fun, if you like the guy.

Ladies, stop doing that.  Creeps like this are saying one thing when they ask you this question.  They are ordering you to entertain them and prove that you are worthy of their attention.  It doesn't matter if you are a PSO working the line, using a dating site, or talking to this jackass in a bar.  You are dealing with a spoiled, petulant boy demanding a story, not an adult man.

Here is my response:

"What is the kinkiest/dirtiest/nastiest thing you have ever done?" the caller asks as soon as introductions are made.

"Oh, I'm not sure I should tell you," I respond with a giggle.  "I'm really kinky and what I'm into... well, it's illegal."

"Oh, I want someone really kinky, tell me," the caller demands.

"I'm into necrophilia," I say in a breathy whisper.

"What's that?"

"I'm really into dead things so..." I say with a smile.  "Fuck off and die."

Saturday, May 12, 2012

May I Place My Hands On Your Buttocks?

Years ago, I watched a skit on Saturday Night Live, a parody of a college campus policy concerning sexual consent.  It was Mike Myers and Ellen Cleghorn as two student players stiffly acting out an intimate encounter that would be in compliance with the school's new policy.

"May I place my hands on your buttocks?" asks Mike Myers as character.

"Please, I would like you to place your hand on my buttocks," responds Ellen Cleghorn's character with a nervous giggle.

I laughed my ass off when I saw that.  I thought that the college that instituted that policy had lost their collective minds.  I thought a policy where the man literally is expected to ask at every step of seduction whether or not the woman he is with wants him to touch her in a particular way was ridiculous and unenforceable and frankly, insulting.  Now, I think that college was ahead of the times and trying to address a basic disparity in male/female sexuality that most people are still unwilling to address in their own minds.

I was talking to a caller when I remembered the skit.  He is one of the many, anonymous, white males I speak to on a regular basis.  His voice is not memorable and I suspect that he uses different names.  He's a talker, not really interested in fantasy, just wants a PSO to agree with him.  After speaking with him several times, I realized that not only is this man an incredibly selfish bastard and I pity any woman who ends up in bed with him, he's also kind of the norm.  Most of what we talk about is pretty Vanilla.  He certainly has that middle-aged white male's sense of entitlement.  He asked me what I am into, sexually.  My reply of "Domination," with a great deal of relish seemed to throw him off balance.  He asked me for details and, trust me, I gave him a few while enjoying his discomfort with the topic.  He asked if I ever got into normal sex.  "You mean Vanilla? Well, sometimes," I replied, letting the disdain drip from my voice.  "If I'm with a guy who can't handle being dominated..."

He seemed to have a real hard time with the whole concept.  I will admit that I am being a jerk to these guys when I figure out what they want from a PSO and then, perversely, refuse to give it to them.  This jackass is a Dom, he just is a very mild Dom and doesn't know it.  A lot of men fall into this category.  They assume that the woman they are with is into doing exactly what they want to do without ever asking the woman what she is into.  He kept circling around the subject of Domination, trying to find a way to make my preference something he could tolerate.  (On a side note, this conversation is why callers should never ask for a PSO to tell the truth.  They really don't want to hear it.) He asked if I was ever submissive with a man.  "Never, turns me off," I told him.  "Never submissive with a girl, either.  Not a sub, not a switch," and then, of course, I had to explain what the words meant.

I will give this caller credit, he obviously enjoyed something about talking to me because he kept bloody well trying to find some common ground.  He asked if I enjoyed oral sex.  Of course, I love to tie a man to my bed and spend hours teasing him with my hands and my mouth.  He asked if I liked having a man hold my head and ram his cock into my mouth and I laughed at him.  "Good way for a man to get bit," I said.  He decided to ignore that statement and asked if I was into anal sex.  No.  That answer surprised him.  He told me that he thought that I should be because of what I do for a living.  What the fuck?

Here's the thing; sex workers know that their clients are into anal sex so they tell them that they are too, regardless of how they actually feel about the subject.  I have talked to some sex workers about this and their response is usually "No, doesn't do a thing for me but, the freaks are into it so I pretend to be, too."  I asked my gay friends what they think about straight men into anal sex and got an earful.  In their opinion, straight men are terrible at anal sex.  One friend said "Never let a straight man fuck you in the ass, they don't know what they're doing," and all my other friends agreed with him including the one who has a thing for picking up straight guys.  He told me that he always penetrates his strait lovers first so they learn how to do it right before he allows them to penetrate him.  In fact, it's a deal breaker if they refuse, as far as he is concerned.  If they refuse, their intimate encounter and their entire relationship with my friend is over from that moment on.  He laughed at my surprise and went onto to explain that experience had taught him that most straight men who are into anal sex get off on causing their partners physical pain.  Not a lot but, the physical discomfort they are causing their lover is certainly part of their enjoyment.

The other thing that I learned that night is that gay men tend to talk about their former lovers much more honestly than straight women do.  Most of my friends were single but, not all of them, and even the 'married' ones tended to analyze their lovers' performance.  (Please don't think that I am against gay marriage.  The opposite is true and the strides this country has made in my lifetime are wonderful but, we still have a long way to go.  That conversation took place when the idea of gay marriage was a blip on the horizon.)  The best part is that they shared information; who was good, who was bad, who was dangerous.  I found out that one of my friends had a hardcore foot fetish.  Another came with a warning label that he was very well endowed and liked very rough sex.  He turned bright red blushing but, admitted it was true as his friends and former lovers teased him.  I discovered that a man I had assumed was gay was actually bi-sexual and had a crush on me but, was too shy to admit it.  More on that some other time.

Thinking back on that night, I wonder why women aren't more honest with each other about their lovers.  Certainly, we do not imagine that we are going to make a life long commitment to all of them, making such information irrelevant to our friends.  At least, that is the ideal that we hope for with our long term commitments.  My friends acknowledged that there are many men out there who believe that once a person consents to sex, that's it.  It's a done deal.  Those men seem to feel that consent is surrender and once it is given, they are allowed to do whatever they please without asking their partner's consent for anything else.  One of my friends described his first time as rape; he met a man at the club, took the person home with the intention of having a very heavy make out session with oral sex.  Instead, his lover pinned him down and sodomized him without ever asking my friend if that was what he wanted.  My friend told me that he had been too shocked to protest at the time it had happened and I believed him.  I remember the first time a boy grabbed my tits and how shocked I was and how powerless I felt.  I was forced to learn (very quickly) as a teenage girl to fend off male fondling with knees, elbows and a very loud voice.  Then and now, I am infuriated at the necessity.

As a Domme, I always have a lengthy conversation about limitations with my would be lovers before we play.  Yes, I lied to the caller and every caller who is stupid enough to ask about my personal life, I do enjoy Vanilla sex.  Not every sexual encounter needs to be about dominance.  However, I have also learned that I need to be very straightforward and fast about what I will tolerate.  Perhaps it is because of my taste in men but, it feels like I always have to make my boundaries very clear, suddenly and without warning, because my lover will decide that he wants to try something and not bother to discuss it with me first.   My most memorable misunderstanding was years ago when a lover slapped my breasts, without warning.  I discovered, later, that watching a woman's breasts bounce and redden after striking them was his thing.  It turned him on.  Surprising a woman with his actions was part of the turn on.  Being kneed in the groin by a woman with fast reflexes and powerful legs, however, was not part of his fetish.  Nor was being kicked in the sternum while being called vile names and having his clothes flung on top of his prone body.  We calmed down enough to bitch at each other, quickly enough.

"What the hell is your problem? I told you I wasn't into that shit!" he said, meaning BDSM.

"What the hell made you think I would enjoy being hit without warning, you dumb motherfucker," my question.

"It's sexy! What the hell is your problem?  Are you frigid?"

A moment of complete silence while I stare at this idiot, bemused at the depth of his arrogance and stupidity. I chuckle at myself.  Lust does blind us all, at one time or another.  A shake of my head.  "You know what?  We are done.  Get the fuck out.  You are not worth the effort."

That bothered him enough to act like a bucket of cold water.  He calmed down enough to apologize for his actions and asked me what I meant.  I calmed down and explained that slapping a woman's breasts without discussing one's taste in BDSM first was not appropriate.  I was shocked to discover that he did not consider his actions to fall under the category of BDSM.  He was shocked to discover that I did not find his actions 'sexy' and had no interest in just going along with it because it was what he wanted to do.  He stated that no other lover had ever complained about his actions before.  I didn't believe him then and told him so.  I do believe him now.

As far as I can tell, women are programmed by our culture to nurture male ego constantly and at all levels from our girlhood onward.  We would like to think that things have changed and they have, just not enough.  Most men have no idea how much they are protected from criticism by this behavior because they can dismiss the few women who do offer criticism as bitches and go back to business as usual.  In a way, my job as a PSO is to bolster male ego about their sexual performance and I do, most of the time.  However, there are more than a few callers who have gotten my evaluation on their fantasy sexual performance in the harshest, most uncensored terms possible.  Usually, I reserve my comment to a simple "No" and then explain if they ask.  Others have gotten "Wow, way to kill the mood," in response to callers demanding that I 'COME! NOW!'.  As if there is a button I can press to have an instant (and loud) orgasm.  Or "Jesus, that is so not sexy," to a few descriptions of dumbass behavior that would get them hurt in a face to face encounter.

I find the knowledge that many women, myself included, tend to coddle our lovers in real life horribly sad.  Why are we doing this?  I can understand not wanting to offer an ongoing critique of his or hers performance during an intimate encounter but, why not mention the things we didn't like afterwards?  I have no problem stopping someone from causing me pain or discomfort, it is the subtleties that cause me to stay silent.  Yet, I know that I have hurt the men I have been with by simply letting them drop from my life when they have displeased me instead of talking to them.  I just didn't consider them worth the effort to speak to.  Experience has taught me that the conversation will end in an argument with insults thrown my way nine times out of ten.  Still, shouldn't women warn each other?  Why not talk freely about our ex-lovers among ourselves; the good and the bad?

And dammit, that university was right all along.  Men should stop and ask their lovers if it is okay before they stick their fingers, tongues, cocks or opinions anywhere they might not be welcome.