The Poetry Challenge

I recently started a poetry challenge with @CatEleven the Feminist Poet. The way this works is that we take in turns to pick a subject agree a deadline and then swap our draft poems and provide each other with critical feedback.  We’ve done two so far, ‘Wardrobe’ and ‘Doctor’,

I say challenge but I don’t see this as a competition. It’s not about which of us writes the ‘better’ poem. It is firstly a means of giving each other the discipline to write – if you’ve made a commitment to someone you need to do it, and secondly a way of giving each other support and encouragement. I have found the ‘challenge’ hugely rewarding.

My wardrobe poem is not quite ready yet but you can read Cat’s here

Here is my doctor poem:

DOCTOR

Your hands, Doctor,

healing hands that reassure

even with a cold touch, hands

that move my lips apart with latex

softness, a guerrilla in the jungle

parting leaves to spot the enemy.

Your hands, Doctor,

heavy hands that I remember as

your face remains veiled in smoke,

the hands that gave  me polio vaccine

like a secular Eucharist,  a pink blob on

a sugar lump placed gently on my tongue.

Your hands Doctor,

loving hands of my Doctor,

innocent of medicine but expert now in

my mature topography, hands that

probe my depths so that together

we may scale the heights.

Meeting the Girl

My first ever client left, shutting the hotel bedroom door quietly behind him. I was now a whore, a proper whore! I held the sheaf of banknotes in my hand, smelt it, fanned myself with it, enjoying the soft breeze it made on a sultry summer evening. I wrote WHORE in lipstick on the dressing table mirror and took up position before it so that the word appeared to be on my forehead. I took a selfie with my phone. It had to be. It was. I WAS a whore.

I had never intended to have sex for money, it just sort of happened that way. I was a writer of smut who started blogging and was dragged into the various debates on sex workers’ rights. I started blogging on the issues and began to hear, not least from friends, the question:

‘What do you know about it?’

What did I know? Mainly what my online friends told me, that’s what. But, in reality, I knew nothing. I was accused of glamourising the exploitation of women, told I was on an ego trip at the expense of the vulnerable. Finally someone I had thought of as a friend fixed me with a look of almost hatred and hissed,

‘How would you like a stranger’s prick up you?’

Well, I had now had one and, if the Earth didn’t exactly move for me, it hadn’t been unpleasant either and I didn’t feel violated as apparently I should. More to the point I had £200 I could find a good use for.

My twitter friends had been generous with advice and help, particularly a woman called Delilah who was particularly prominent in defence of sex workers. I quickly set up an internet profile booked a hotel room and soon had three clients. The first had gone. The second was due in just over half an hour. I showered, redid my make-up and was ready when there was a knock on the door.

I opened it and was amazed to see a woman in a black coat and boots walk in. She let it drop to the floor and I beheld a stunning brunette of I guess 35 in a leopard print negligee.

‘I’m Delilah’ she said. ‘I’ve been dying to meet you. I thought you could maybe use a bit of mentoring.’ She smiled.

I stood there speechless. For six months I had chatted with Delilah every day, safe behind the cloak of anonymity. We had talked about sex until I positively salivated at the idea of sex with her even though I had never thought of myself as bi. She had given me advice about doing it for money, she had been my best friend even though we had never met and I had never imagined that we ever would. Now she stood in front of me. I stood speechless for a few moments then blurted out

‘But I was expecting Derek..’

‘My husband made the call. I wasn’t sure how you would react.’

She smiled again and said

‘You have to be prepared the initiative you know. Lots of clients are vert nerbou. Like me for example.’

She laughed a loud throaty laugh and waited as I continued to stand there looking gormless. Then I went up to her and grabbed her, pulling her close and pushing my tongue deep into her mouth. She made no attempt to resist as I gripped the back of her head and forced my tongue in deeper and deeper.

‘I’ve been in love with your mind for ages,’ I said, ‘Now let me love your body.’

She let the negligee float gently to the floor and stood there, and all I could see were the gleaming boots and the shaven cunt which I fell to my knees to smell and lick. She was clean, smelt of bath oils and lavender, but a powerful note of arousal was coming through, a wondrous meshing of aromas like that of the fine wines I treated myself to at Christmas. My Christmas had come early, a feast of sex with a woman I had never before met, but worshipped and adored.

We rolled onto the bed and I began to kiss her breast, taking the nipples between my lips to squeeze just as she began to moan. My hand moved quickly down to explore the cunt that was open wide enough for me to get three, then four, fingers in. She was wet, wetter than I had ever known a woman before, a fountain spilling arousal into a lake of desire.

I moved my four fingers in and out, slowly at first but then with increasing vigour, as she began to moan. I played with the other nipple, twisted it to hurt her, to give her the searing pain that magnifies the pleasure. I buried my face in the soft heaving mounds of delight. She was soft, pliant and beautiful. I wanted to say something silly and totally unsuitable but before I could I felt a finger home on in my clit. No fumbling, no inept searching, suddenly she was there and began to rub me, slowly, taking the pace out of the encounter, easing the frenzy.

‘Let’s take our time’ said Delilah. ‘I’m booked in, we’ve got all night.’

‘God I’ve wanted this so much. I’ve been sort of in love with you. It’s silly isn’t it?’

‘Why? What’s not to love about me?’

She smiled and increased the tempo of her rubbing.

As I began to moan she asked,

‘How was it the first time for money?’

‘So so. The man was quite pleasant, on the small side, uncircumcised, but well, it’s not the size of the wand is it? It was Ok. I didn’t come but that’s not the point is it?’

‘Client number two will make you come.’

She rolled over, rummaged in her bag and took out a harness and dildo.

‘Ever seen one of these?’

‘I’ve heard about them but..’

Delilah put the harness on and strapped on the long fat dildo.

‘And now you filthy little slut I’m going to give you the best fuck of your life.’

She came towards me, kneeled over me and looked suddenly serious.

‘You’re a dirty little slut, playing the whore. Who do you think you are?’

I froze. This wasn’t part of the scenario I had had in mind.

‘Answer me!’ she demanded and slapped me across the face.

‘I’m a whore, a filthy dirty whore’ I said slowly thinking that this was what she wanted to hear.

Then she spat in my face and as I tried to wipe it off she grabbed my wrists and held them down and came down on me, sliding the dildo in. She smiled,

‘I can dominate too, some of the men love that.’

I smiled back and she said

‘Open your mouth.’

As I held my mouth wide open I saw a thin string of spittle form in her lips which hung and stretched, finally broke and dropped into my mouth.

‘Swallow’ she ordered.

She began to pump, slowly at first. She made me hook my knees over her shoulders and I felt the dildo go entirely in, a deep deep penetration. She pumped faster and I began to work against her and she used her strength to subdue me and conquer me. I began to see bright colours exploding over her shoulder, the tattoo on her left shoulder fractured into kaleidoscopes of colour. She pumped and pumped. I came with a scream and she carried on, forcing me down, breaking me with her animal need to make me submit. Everything became a whirl of her wild long hair, her tattoos, the hot slightly stale breath, all of which expressed her animality. For all my silly talk this wasn’t love, this was lust, sex for the sake of sex and fuck the moralists and their beauty of sex. Sex isn’t beautiful this way, it’s raw and ugly, it smells, it hurts and I know now I can never get enough of it. She was thrusting away like someone demented, I pushed back against her, pushed back hard and my cunt was now so wide open and so wet that the dildo started to slide out. The sheet was soaked. She grabbed my wrists again with sudden violence and pushed me down with a look of a woman about to explode with hatred of me who was trying to deny her conquest. She wanted to hurt me even as I came and orgasms ripped through my body, orgasm after orgasm as she pumped and pumped, seemingly inexhaustible. I had had enough. I begged her to stop. I cried big tears. She slapped my face and said coldly,

‘Shut up whore. You’re only here to be fucked.’

I was at breaking point and Delilah must have sensed that because she withdrew and we lay together panting on the soaked bed.

‘I knew you were filthy as soon as we started tweeting. And you’ve not disappointed.’

She smiled and ran her fingers through my hair before reaching for her phone to tweet,

‘Tweetup in Birmingham with Elizabeth. She is nicer than even I imagined’

Delilah carefully removed the condom from the dildo and wiped it with a tissue. She leaned over came down and kissed me. I said nothing. I thought I was sexually experienced but this had blown me away. This, surely, was part of my whoring education. Learning from a Mistress of her craft.

‘There’s one thing you forgot to do’ she said. ‘Always take the money at the start and count it.’

‘Well ‘I said ‘that will be two hundred pounds.’

‘I haven’t actually got any money with me but I am booked into the hotel for tonight, Room 314.’

She flashed the key card at me.

‘I’ve got a couple of bottles of wine in, we’ve got all night. This was just a taster. An amuse-bouche as the French say. The banquet begins as soon as your last client leaves. This is a night you will never forget.’

Ironing Out the Creases

I have a dark secret. I hate ironing, hate it with a passion, although I always loved the smell of it, the feel of hot, freshly ironed, clothes. I suppose it’s a fond memory of childhood,of  watching my mother lift the items, one by one, out of the red plastic laundry basket and placing the freshly ironed items on a table. In due course I was taught the secrets of successful ironing and I iron well. The problem is I just hate it.

My partner offered to have a go but, it is not gender stereotyping to say that men just can’t iron and, well, we can’t afford to burn holes in shirts at the rate of two a week. So I’ve found a lady to do my ironing for me, a middle aged woman from Eastern Europe. She seems to love ironing  and does a really good job. I think it’s money well spent.

Then last week I read this article in the Huffington Post and am worried I might be colluding in trafficking. According to author Gabriella Apicella the signs of coercion in sex workers include: they work for money and they would leave immediately if their financial circumstances allowed. Then I thought about my ironing lady. She irons for me, and others, because she needs to earn a living. She would not iron for me for free even though she happily does so for her husband and two teenage sons. I have no doubt that, if her Lottery numbers come up on Saturday, I will be looking for someone else this time next week. So, on the Apicella analysis, I am assisting in coercion and exploitation. Should I turn myself in?.

You might think I’m being facetious but I’m not. What I am doing is show that if you apply some of the abolitionist arguments about sex work to other jobs they are shown up for the nonsense they are. There is little logic in the article. There are others better placed than me to rebut it in detail so I will leave that to them. I will just add that if she really thinks that respect for women is contagious in Sweden  she hasn’t read some of the things about the treatment of rape victims that I have.

My ironing lady is coming again on Friday. I must remember to watch her closely for the tell-tale signs of trafficking.

PS Alex Bryce, the national Co-Ordinator of Ugly Mugs has written a detailed refutation of Apicella’s nonsense here.  As he mentions in the article both he and an active sex worker were at the film launch last week but not allowed to speak. In the weird world of the abolitionists sex workers who disagree with them are silenced . Then people like Apicella complain about sex workers being …..silenced!

Don’t Dare to be Different

The desire of the state to control our sexuality seems at times relentless. We have had such things as the ban on ‘extreme pornography’ in the Criminal Justice and Immigration Act 2008, the legislation under which Simon Walsh was prosecuted for possessing images of wholly legal consensual BDSM activity, we had the imprisonment of men for engaging consensual sado-masochistic activity, (the Spanner case) we have too a parliamentary working group into ‘Trafficking and Prostitution’ which takes as a given that the two are coterminous (they are not). and who would surprise precisely no-one if they came out in support of the Swedish model.

Now we have a proposal to introduce so-called Sexual Risk Orders , which will enable individuals to be labelled or stigmatised as potential sex offenders and subjected to legally binding restrictions  for example on contact with children, on internet use, even on foreign travel, the breach of which would be a criminal offence punishable by up to five years’ imprisonment. A lower standard of proof would apply to these orders than applies in criminal proceedings so, in effect, anyone could be publicly be branded a ‘pervert’ or a ‘risk to children’ on the basis of opinion and hearsay.

In these grim puritan times you don’t need a crystal ball to see which groups of people, whose sexual activity is only ever consensual, are going to fall into the net: transgender people, kinky people, gay people, sex workers of all genders and all proclivities – in effect all of those who need to keep all or part of their sexual identity secret from all but a few trusted people.

Picture the scene. Letherbridge Magistrates Court is hearing an application to have Miss A barred from contact with children.

‘Your Honour, Miss A is a young lady who earns her living as, erm a professional dominatrix. As can be seen from the photographs in Exhibit A which were published in her website and which themselves are a criminal offence under Section 63 of The Criminal Justice and Immigration Act 2008, she engages in the following utterly depraved and sickening activities. She uses a device known, I believe, as a strap on dildo, to erm how can I put this, to sodomise her clients, she erm treads on their genitals in high heeled boots, she erm uses a device to erm milk them of erm semen, she’

‘You seem to be getting rather excited as you recount these perversions Mr. Smith do you need a glass of water?’

‘No thank you your Honour. I am just in shock at the utter depravity of this seemingly pretty intelligent young woman  Finally I am told that she urinates on her clients who have to drink, yes drink the urine as it flows from her , from her ‘

‘That will be enough Mr Smith   The bench must agree that Miss A is a young lady so depraved  so corrupted  so in thrall to the power of Beelzebub that …….I still have wet dreams about my last session with her – punish me Mistress, whip me, flog me’

‘I’m sorry your Honour?’

‘I’m so sorry I don’t know what came over me. Yes I agree, she’s totally unfit to be seen with children. Two years’ SRO.’

Puritanism and hypocrisy are rarely far apart. Back in the 1950s closet gay magistrates jailed gay men for gross indecency. This is, in any event, not just about protecting children. Moral panics and hysteria invariably lead to outcomes that have nothing to do with the alleged intentions of the authors of legislation. It is about social control. If you’re different in your sexuality you should be worried about this. Very worried.

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