Monday, May 21, 2007

Theory (On Whoring, Privacy and Choice)

Part One is here.

A Gentle Reader, Anonymous Girl on the Verge, continues:

These privacy concerns [about sending out possibly identifying pictures] are all that keep me from following a comparable course as yours.

As a writer and artist (struggling, of course), I anticipate receiving some publicity at some point, hopefully some success. I intend to be very selective, taking the 'courtesan' route from the start. And although I would have no shame about any whoring or other sex work I do in the interim, I'd nevertheless prefer to keep those activities separate from my public work -- at least until I'm ready to connect the dots myself, which in fact I look forward to doing, but
on my terms.

Damn straight.

As far as starting with the courtesan route, The Accidental Hooker has a lovely post on “Prostitution: The New Temp Job” on the difference between aspirational marketing and reality, and of course Gillette as referenced in Part One.

As far as doing this at all, well...I cannot advise. But I can offer both my response, and Jenna Jameson’s.

Jenna, on becoming a porn star: Porn is not a career, or even an option, for most women. But if you are seriously interested, consider what you will be doing with the rest of your life, because even if you become a nun afterwards, you will always be known as having done porn.

When you come out, on your own terms or otherwise, some of your friends will be upset that you did this, and some of them will be pissed you didn’t trust them enough to tell them about it at the time. I’m walking a fine line with Power Girl right now where I don’t know how much is right to tell her for her own peace of mind – she’s great at keeping secrets, I trust her judgment and value her input in this as in other things, but how much does one really want to know about one’s good friend’s sex life? Am I doing enough for her in return? How fair is it to put her in the position of Secret-Keeper? (We all know what happened to Peter Pettigrew)


Walking through the airport on the way back from seeing Be-My-Real-Friend, I’m craving something. Walk and look. Starbucks? Juice? A book? No, what I really want is to be writing. For the first time in my life I’m experiencing drive and compulsion to write every day. My days write themselves in my head in realtime, I’m one of those awful people at Disney, video camera strapped to face, I’ll watch my vacation at home later.

In the long run, this blog will be a book. Daily readers are the kick in the ass I need to write every day instead of when it’s convenient and inspired (almost never). Gentle Readers who ask if I’m OK when I haven’t posted – you help me be the writer I need to be.

But there’s a catch. If the blog becomes a book, a good book, sells lots of copies in the airport, someone will out me. It is, in this day and age, almost unavoidable. I don’t know enough about internet anonymity, and honestly, part of me must be willing to stand up and own what I write, or I’d have done more research. Fear for me is not fear of being outed, it’s fear of being insignificant. Unknown. If the book isn’t successful enough and good enough for someone to want to out me (and get paid a great deal for the information), then I will have failed.

And when I’m outed, when the book is huge and I’m on Oprah or probably someone more open-minded’s chat show, I will have made a choice.

I have based a lot of my life on not choosing.

Husband and Lover. And more.
Wife and worker.
Home and travel.
Writer and other job and other job and yes, one more job, to the point where I wonder, if I cut out the rest and focused on one, would I go up like a rocket, energy condensed?

In high school, my [one subject] teacher told me, you’re wasting yourself, you should go into [my field]. Another told me I was wasting myself if I didn’t major in English and become a writer. My graduate mentor told me eventually I’d have to focus on one aspect of my field. My writing mentor tells me I should write more, perhaps only. So far, I haven’t made a choice.

What happens if I’m Mandy the Whore instead of Me? If all I can get is another book deal instead of my life?

Right now, I am shrapnel. Will I be a missile? Or just explode at launch?


Good luck, Anonymous Girl. Let us know how it goes. And you’ll forgive me if I hope you don’t become competition.


The English Courtesan said...

What a wise and interesting post Mandy - this is all so true on so many levels. I loved the Accidental Hooker's post and thanks for pointing that out as there's a distinct line in this profession between those who get out and do and those who ponder and posture I think.

Anonymity is a concern for most of us I think and you're right to give this one some thought as I find it stops me panicking if I go through the 'what if...?' scenarios. It's not so bad when I look at it that way - friends might be shocked and I might lose the odd day-job client but at the end of the day noone can sack me (I work for myself) and friends that are real friends will forgive any perceived transgressions I hope...

Livvy xxx

Tom Paine said...

I am less-concerned with anonymity than I am with being hurt by people I meet in this world. I already have some scuff marks on my knees, and don't intend to allow that to happen if I can avoid it. The anonymity thing works two ways here, with people hiding behind their false avatars and deceptive appearances to deceive and deflect.

I wish you success with making this blog into a book. Several agents I've spoken with about mine have said the market for blog books has passed, and that it's not enough to be a good blog or have hits, but you must offer something unique or be able to demonstrate 10,000 hits a day. That having been said, you're a gifted writer with a wild child persona that seduces on-line and evidently off-line. Not having met you, I can't attest to the latter, but your steady stream of clients seems to be a clear endorsement.

Anonymous said...

"If the book isn’t successful enough and good enough for someone to want to out me (and get paid a great deal for the information), then I will have failed."

as i would never forgive myself if i allowed you to feel that you failed, i humbly offer myself up as your judas. we shall split the 30 pieces of silver between us, and spa treatments and frilly underthings shall be had by all. *toothy grin*


A. Reader, Esq. said...

Don't forget the hours upon hours of psychoanalysis and the little chi chi dog and big sunglasses and big hat.

And the walk. Must have the walk.

I suppose there will be scandals too. Exposed in the National Informer no less.

And jetting off to places like Belize to get away from it all.

Oh. Wait. Maybe I've said too much already.

A. Reader, Esq.

Z said...

"No, what I really want is to be writing."

Always, always, have paper and pen handy. I borrow pens if I have to, and write on the backs of reciepts and the inside of cigarette packs; with my finger on train windows or in the sand if necessary.

Gillette said...

Great post, Mandy...hope that many read and think before starting. It's not always an easy life to live with and people can forget the downsides when caught up in the fantasy side of it. I've found it to be a satisfying route, but it's not without its sacrifices and I personally wonder what it does to us on lots of levels. These days I ponder what it does to us in terms of "regular" relationships.