The phone is the thing that’s holding me down.
I’m an asshole, he says. Don’t you love me?
On Deborah Levy
There is something to the way Levy writes that makes one believe she could hear, see, read, or experience anything and say: OK. She offers many interpretations, but few judgments and even fewer conclusions. Her loyalties are total and her betrayals are final.
Just clench that pelvic floor
She called all the local doulas and hired me because I was cheapest. I still wasn’t sure whether this was a pastime or calling or business or what, but I was leaning toward pastime/calling, as I had neither the desire nor the bandwidth to hustle in this realm. So I asked for the tiniest of honorariums.
My fellow doulas got wind of this and read me the riot act, because I was undermining the whole community. We all had to charge within the same ballpark. No one cared whether this was my calling or pastime or what; just please charge the standard goddamn rate. I apologized. I hadn’t wanted money to be a thing, but money is always a thing.
March 23, 2021
“I want to borrow your embodiment.”
Most books, he discovered, were about sex, whether or not the author knew it. The translator’s job was to uncover what the original author could not divine. I befriended the translator late in his life, approximately ten years before his death. His funeral I didn’t attend, because I took pleasure in inverting the social rules—just as I had violated the rules by befriending this august personage in the first place.
After all, no one ever mentioned the putting of a human dick into a living mollusc.
She wanted to be alive to cradle the dead.
February 8, 2021
The rumblings of revolutions begin small
In all radical labor movements, history is made when ordinary workers disrupt the system that seeks to exploit and silence them. Because of social stigma, wage theft, and sexual assault, the strip club has always been a difficult and dangerous work environment. Today, the stakes have reached a desperate tipping point, even though, technically, thanks to a recent court ruling, we have more legal rights than ever: we have the right to discuss the job while on the job, the right to organize and gather, and the right to unionize, which will give us a voice in the workplace—instead of only a body to be gazed at.
February 5, 2021
Sometimes we don’t know our limits until they have been breached
Sex work has helped me define and enforce so many new boundaries I have set up for myself: physical, sexual, emotional, and mental. I did not have these facilities when I was younger, but as I began working as a Domme, I saw that such boundaries were vital to this industry. Even in the realm of fantasy, so much of what we do feels real to our clients. Oftentimes, it feels real to us too, even when we know that it is happening in a small compartment of fantasy—even if that small compartment is on display to a consenting audience witnessing a full-on shit storm inside of adult diapers.
February 4, 2021
Developing a self-defense system for sex workers requires more than compiling a list of techniques that can be performed in close proximity, in heels, with nails, or in a car. It requires a philosophy of self-love for sex working populations that asserts our right to bodily autonomy and self-protection in a culture that treats many of us in media and in law as disposable people.
He knew the sympathy he felt was a kind of trick
As Guy walked back to the compound now, his flashlight stabbed into visibility tunnels of the night woods, tangents along his curving path. Somehow at every step it was surprising that there wasn’t anyone but him in any of the tunnels. Like everyone else, he had fantasies of his own of living for himself in the years that were remaining — of giving up law, in his case. The trouble was, the remainder might stretch for as long as a century; no one knew. And Guy had reached the age past which it is no longer in one to become a different person, not even one’s true self.
Every gay bar is an accidental comedy routine
Nobody is innocent, says the ice cube. You’re not as experienced as you think you are, says the ice cube tray. Experience isn’t everything, says the ice cube. What else is there, says the ice cube tray. Feeling, says the ice cube. I don’t understand, says the ice cube tray.