Once AroundCategory: General   Nov 23rd 2016  03:58PM   0

When I was 18, thirty odd years ago, I worked at one of the first Gentlemen's Clubs in Texas (Sugar's, in Austin). Our DJ's ex-wife was a retired stripper who one night stopped by the club for a visit. He put her on stage for old time's sake...to show off, I think, rightly assuming her moves would impress us. 

His ex was a beautiful woman and graceful dancer, gliding across the hardwood in a way that was demure and fluid. As she took her final spins around the fat, load-bearing pole, her faraway gaze made her seem simultaneously at home and out of place. She knew her way around a stage but had clearly moved on from our world. She enjoyed revisiting, it seemed to me, even if she thought herself above removing her clothes. I remember thinking—new as I was, with just a few months under my belt and loving every minute of it—that someday I wanted to be in that place. To have embraced and mastered the work fully, to know I'd accomplished, enjoyed, and imparted something through it...and then, simply moved on. 

This morning I received an email from an escort ad site congratulating me on my new profile. I'd created no such thing and they knew it. This happens all the time. The site's admin had appropriated images and content from my existing ads, then built me a new profile on their site without my permission. Their site design was lovely and tasteful with only upscale women on its pages, yet still, I logged onto the unauthorized profile, hesitated for a long moment, then deleted it.

I'm not taking down my own website or my profiles on Slixa and Eros, but neither am I expanding my marketing at this time. If anything, I'm doing the opposite. I feel an encroaching sense of moving on and there is a strong bittersweet-ness to it. I have so loved my time in the demimonde and so much of who I am is because of it. Yet I don't feel as if I'm meant to stay much longer or that I'm blossoming anymore within it.

The new business I started this year has really taken off. And I am definitely growing as a person through the work with much to achieve and accomplish there. I could conceivably do it for the rest of my life, which certainly cannot be said of professional companionship. I'd told myself a few years back I would retire from this job by age 50. That vow leaves me 11 months to wrap it up.

My book will be released around that same time, though I'll probably never make a living as a writer (or have better odds at a sustainable income through it than my odds of winning the lottery). I now think being a professional companion in my 50s, if done authentically and from the heart, would carry not only no shame at all, but have a certain regal beauty to it.

That said, nothing within or outside of me leads me to believe this is my fate. 

There are many ways to do this general type of work. The arena of sexual healing is a vast landscape. There are those who do it from a chair in a therapist's office, others from a dungeon filled with bondage equipment. I've found many ways over thirty years and discover more everyday. I have mentors and guides, and a new network of professional contacts, many with master's and Ph.D's. (as I hope to, as well, someday). Last month I spoke in front of a class of grad students. When I was done they took my every last business card.

All I know right now is that I'm moving forward at quite a clip. I've been in more uncomfortable growth situations lately than I care to admit, finding my footing with this new business and my place in it. Were it not for the clients I've met and relationships we've had over the past six and a half years, I'd've not made such rapid success of this new venture. I will never be able to express my full gratitude or the depth and complexity of experiences, but someday I'll write a book about the most poignant stories, and have already gotten permission from those gents. 

What I'm rambling on about here are musings, really...just thinking out loud, I guess. A sort of "the end is nigh" but in a good way, I'd say. Or maybe I'm wrong and it's not. Maybe I'll be missed. Maybe no one will read this. Regardless, I'll say goodbye here, when it's time.

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