Monday 9 May 2011

Sacred Whoring

What does the word 'whore' conjure up for you? Have you experienced it as a derogatory label being hurled at you as some justification for another person's anger? Have you been judged for your sexual expression, or your dress sense? I'm asking as it's a word I quite like these days, like 'cunt' and 'bitch', words I once feared, perhaps as I too was locked in what it felt to be on the receiving end of their judgment rather than their potential for liberation.

These days, I am less and less apologetic about who I am in the world and how I choose to express myself, and my activism has taken on new perspectives as a result. When I was younger, it was fair to say that I hated much of my experience of sex and my personal circumstances were very different back then. Now however, I have much more in common with many of the tantra clients I see (the age gap has narrowed!) and my awareness of just how much healing is needed around sexuality has grown enormously and it is my conclusion that "Houston...we have a problem"!!

The first thing I notice is how nervous many men are around women. Granted I'm there in a certain capacity and some nerves are to be expected, however, it's more than that and I'm suspecting that many men aren't at all sure of us women. Secondly, when new clients first arrive it's fair to say the majority seriously do not know how to touch, be touched or communicate with a woman. I don't say this to judge, more to raise awareness of how much work there is that can be done by conscious sexuality educators - healing work that can ripple out into the world which can only improve the relationship between the sexes as far as I'm concerned. How ironic then that so many anti-sexwork lobbyists assert the opposite and hold us accountable for buying into the damage that's done in the name of gender differentials; simplistic reductionist arguments that fall at the first hurdle.

One of my all time heroines, Annie Sprinkle, pictured below, has consistently worked from this premise.

Annie knows that we need more love and more sex in the world and uses her unique point of view and skill to bring this out in her own inimitable style. Her sexuality knows more variety in its expression than almost anyone I can think of and I adore her! As sex workers, Annie and another of my heroines Scarlet Harlot, inspire me to bring the same gifts through my own work, so when I meet a man who is clearly awkward and inexperienced around women, I see it as my challenge and a labor of love to reduce his anxiety and with kindness and compassion teach him about how to communicate sexually. Not all men ask or need to know but many benefit for sure.

Some clients approach making love as if fixing the broken mechanics of an industrial drill - with as much sensitivity as an ox at work and as much awareness as a bull in the proverbial china shop. It takes guts and discretion to gently coax a man into a softer way of being without at the same time making him feel emasculated; that's not the point after all. My clients get my respect from the outset and I expect the same, and that includes every part of the contact whether verbal or physical. I simply expect respect. These are not fixed states. I'm more than happy to be called a whore by a lover unless the word is being used with underlying violence of one sort or another.

Sex workers can teach men a great deal about love, pleasure and intimacy. We can earn a good living, get some kicks along the way and besides all of that, let's not forget.... 


1 comment:

  1. Just letting you know I stopped by and read.