Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Give Me Money

Originally Posted Monday, June 2, 2014

I went to Ellen Rogers' blog site today and saw this (link) and thought, Jesus, her costs are much less than mine.  I want money, fuckers!  And I don't want a lousy dollar a week.  Cough up.  Now.  You've been getting this shit free for years.  What do you think, I'm just here to stroke my ego? 

I guess so. 

But my life would be easier if people just gave me money. 

I've shot with girls who have patrons.  One was on Sugardaddyforme.com.  She had an 80 year old in Texas who sent her money enough to pay the rent and eat, etc.  He'd fly her out once in awhile to see him.  She broke it off with him, though, when he wanted to get married.  It is a great story, but I think I have told it before.  Her mother is the one who got her on the site. 

I worked on a documentary about nude dancers many years ago when they were like rockstars.  The one thing they all had in common was "the regulars."  These are customers who come in just to see them, just to talk.  They no longer want the girls to dance for them.  They just want to hear about their lives and to give them money--a lot of it--to help them out.  The dancers are sort of like their girlfriends even though they still know them as "Cherry" or "Brandy."  All that dancing for tips is just for show.  The "regulars" are the bread and butter.

Cam girls have much the same deal.  They sit nude and chat with fellows who give them money.  Some of them send gifts.  And of course they can buy their underwear. 

I shot with a massage girl once.  She wasn't a licensed masseuse.  She gave back rubs and more.  She said it never, ever took long. 

I've shot with hookers, too.  That is a more literal deal.  Not quite, but closer to it.  What the customer buys is still a facsimile, but. . . .

You all might remember Drug Skinny.  She was an online hypnotist.  When we went to dinner, her phone would blow up with guys giving her money.  She wasn't a certified hypnotist, but she was kind of sexy. 

I guess it is possible to get people to give you money.  Some people even believe they deserve it.  I've never been able to feel that way.  So far, I've given away my pictures. They hang in some homes and even in a law office.  I've traded prints with some very good photographers.  My walls are full of their pictures.  I sold one of my prints once, but I never got the money.  I was pretty happy, though, that somebody bought it.  It felt like I got my union card. 

I think my pictures are worth something, though.  So do the people who see them.  I have heard a litany of, "You need to start selling these."  That is what my friends say, of course.  That is what the models I shoot with say, too.  That is what people who wander in from the street say.  I think it must be true.  But so far, I have found it to be hard.  I've been asked to show in galleries that failed.  Twice.  Luckily I got my prints back.  There are still a couple out there somewhere that are in limbo, I guess, but at least they weren't framed, so all I've lost is the cost of printing. 

If you don't have one of my pictures, you should have.  Many of you do.  For those of you who don't, send me your address and I will send you one for free.  It won't be one of the massive ones, and it won't be framed, and you have to promise me that you will frame it when you get it and matte it, too.  I want it to show well. 

However, if you want a pair of my underwear. . . well. . . I can give you a pretty good deal.

A Romantic Sunday Thinking of You

Originally Posted Sunday, June 1, 2014

The Pont Neuf and the Île de la Cité, 1951. A statue of the bridge’s builder, Henri IV, stands in the square at the island’s tip. Henri Cartier-Bresson

I once kissed a girl at midnight on this bridge.  I can't remember which one.  Is that terrible or what?  I think it was my ex-wife, but it might have been an ex-girlfriend.  I was there with each.  Either way, it was quite something.  I remember the feeling if not the exact details.  It is the oldest bridge in Paris, if that means anything.  It means, more than anything, that I am an incurable romantic.  Hell, it could have been you I was kissing then.  Indeed, now I am sure it was.  We were drunk.  Remember?  I do so well.  Wasn't it fun?  Let's do it again.  Maybe this summer.  

Paris was magic that trip.  I am looking right now at the silk sunflowers we bought in the little shop in Montmartre.  I think it was that trip.  It might have been another.  They are all conflated for me now.  We stayed in the Hotel d'Estrangers on the left bank near the Seine.  No, no, that was another trip.  We stayed across from Hemingway's home with Hadley that backed up to the Rue de Notre Dame.  Is that right?  My paper on Tender Is the Night was well-recieved.  You taught me to shop in the houses of haute couture without embarrassment.  Wasn't that you?  We walked, it seemed, forever.  I ran in the mornings in the Luxembourg Gardens.  We watched them sail boats in the fountain.  When we got home, we bought those dark green cafe tables and chairs that were there.  Remember?  Life was grand.  

Here are my first pictures with the Fuji Instax camera.  The pictures are tiny, maybe an inch and a half by an inch.  A lamp shade in the house.  My birdbath.  My possessed by demons cat.  I think I love the camera for now.  When I realize how much I am spending on teeny-tiny little pictures, I may change my mind.  But I have grand ideas of what I want to do with them.  Still, just as they are, they make a sweet picture of the life we want to believe we are living.  I will take this camera to Europe with me.  I will reduce the grand palaces to 1.5"x 1".  I think you should get one, too.  There is even a printer that works with an app from your phone, so you can print them out for a thousand times the cost of using an inkjet or laser printer.  Get it.  You will feel wealthy.  Until you go broke.  

It is Sunday which means two or three or four things.  Brunch.  I will be going back to the Arthritic Cafe where I had my most recent "incident."  I think it should be O.K. but I may be in a mood.  A lovely young woman, a model I have worked with several times, will be joining us today, so there is at least that.  We won't look like two old queens eating at the bar.  We'll look more like two old guys with a hooker.  It also means cooking dinner for mother. . . I think.  She has been on a tour.  She carries a cheap cell phone, a burner, that she turns on only to make a call.  I can never call her back because she turns it off right away.  All I have had for the last ten days are voicemail messages.  She is coming home today and should be here by ten.  A.M. or P.M.?  She didn't say.  And, of course, there is the gym.  I think I like my new routine.  I go spinning every other day.  I went three days last week.  My legs are perpetually sore.  I think I push too hard, but it is all impressionistic and I have no idea what the instructors are saying when they call out numbers and hold up fingers. 

"Give a big turn to the right a full crank.  We'll be in three for two, then back off and we're back in one.  This song is six and a half minutes, so. . . . "

I know the words.  They are in English.  I just don't have a fucking clue what they mean in context.  The ellipses is what scares me most.  

Oh, and some guys came to the last spinning class.  They weren't wearing tights.  I may have to rethink that.  

Monday, September 22, 2014

A Tale Untold

Originally Posted Saturday, May 31, 2014

I was in the middle of a long entry this morning when Q called.  We talked for too long and now I haven't time to finish the entry.  Too bad.  I may never get back to it, and it was a good one.  I may be banned from the Arthritic Cafe after what happened last night, and I wanted to tell my tale.  But I am going to spinning class now.  That's right.  I can't run and I must lose weight, so its spinning for me.  What I wanted to figure out in the half-finished article, though, was why me?  Why am I always the one to get into arguments that escalate.  I'm sweet.  I'm smart.  It should never happen. 

But it does.  All the effing time. 

I swore I would never do it again.  I'm too old.  I'm too worn out.  But there is something not wired right in me, I know.  It is genetic.  I know that, too. 

However, that is a tale for another time, now.  So let me just report to you that I bought a Fuji Instax camera and film yesterday.  This one.  It was expensive and takes teeny-tiny little pictures on expensive instant film.  But it is hip and cool, and maybe I'll become so now that I have one.  We'll see.  You get one, too.  We'll share little bitty pictures.  I hope to do something creative with them. 

O.K.  I have to go put on my little skinny tights now.  That's what all the girls wear.  I don't want to stand out.

Today's Top Stories

Originally Posted Friday, May 30, 2014

I'm not saying, I'm just reporting:

A German study suggests that watching porn may be linked to reduced activity in certain areas of the brain
 A new study finds that men who watch a lot of pornography tend to have less gray matter volume as well as less activity in the region of the brain linked to rewards. . . . However, it did not determine whether watching porn leads to the decreased volume and activity, or if people born with certain brain characteristics watch more porn.

I'm going to go out on a limb and guess that the latter is the case.  Why did they only study men?  Do women watch pornography?  I have questions.  They haven't defined "porn" in the Time article (perhaps they did in the study), but I'm pretty certain I don't watch it.  If it reduces brain activity, though, I think that perhaps I should.  The activeness of my brain is a constant source of trouble for me.  If watching people screw and pulling my pud is going to reduce that. . . hell, it might be better than Xanax.  In truth, though, pornography bores me.  It is way too literal.  I'm more a figurative person.  I might, if they made it, prefer metaphorical porn.  You know, something like I do here, talking about one thing to say something about something else.  I'll tell you a secret. . . sometimes during sex, I talk.  I mean with other people, of course.  It would be crazy to talk while masturbating, no?  I'd actually never thought of doing that before, but. . . I'll report back.  What I meant to say, though, is that I have found out the not-so-secret desires of people by talking during sex.  I say "people" because saying "women" in today's climate just sounds gross.  Having sex with women is just wrong unless you are a woman, I think.  Having sex with a person is optimal.  Sorry I have to keep explaining things.  But sex is like a hypnotic, I find, and people will tell you secrets in a state of arousal that they later shocked that they said out loud.  For a long time, I wouldn't tell this to anyone for I was sure I was the only one ever to do it and it was my secret and I didn't want to give anyone else the advantage I had in making women fall madly in love with me.  Now. . . well, it seems a moot point.  

Not all sex stories are the same.  Here is one that is shocking from today's N.Y. Times: 

WITH a sensational story of surviving child sex slavery in Cambodia, Somaly Mam became a worldwide icon, the best-selling author of a memoir and the head of a foundation raising millions in the name of saving girls and women from the sex trade, victims she recounted rescuing in dramatic brothel raids. Last year, introducing the State Department’s annual “Trafficking in Persons” report, Secretary of State John Kerry called Ms. Mam “a hero every single day.”
But all this wasn’t true. A Newsweek cover story last week found inconsistencies and flat-out fraud in Ms. Mam’s story of being abducted and forced to work in a brothel as a child — instead, former neighbors said she came to their village with her parents and graduated from high school, later sitting for a teacher’s exam — and in the stories of women she said she had rescued by the thousands. Ms. Mam even said traffickers had kidnapped her teenage daughter — but the girl’s father said she ran away with her boyfriend.
As it turns out, she herself is exploiting woman and sex BIG TIME.  The article goes on to say that most human trafficking in the world has nothing to do with sex but is about labor, and that the reports of sex trafficking are wildly inflated as they tend to lump in all sex-for-pay into the figures.  Is there no end to the exploiters exploiting the exploited?  But I am a suspicious person when it comes to do-gooders, so I am not surprised at all.  I suspected Sister Theresa for a very long time.  I thought she was just doing what she felt she needed to do to get into heaven, but I was won over by her letters where she revealed the deepest doubt in the existence of God that a true acolyte could ever utter.  After that, I was her biggest fan. 

But there is good news today.  Teleportation.  I should leave this to the blog's official Science Editor and Astrologist who will surely explain it better than I, but some crazy mo fo's in the Netherlands are out to prove Einstein wrong in his doubts about some quantum mechanics. 
In a paper published on Thursday in the journal Science, physicists at the Kavli Institute of Nanoscience at the Delft University of Technology reported that they were able to reliably teleport information between two quantum bits separated by three meters, or about 10 feet.
Maybe Walter Cronkite was right about the 21st Century.  Beam me up, Scotty.   

For all of it, my life goes on much as it has before.  An uneventful weekend stretches out before me.  The Wrecking Crew will be here to clean the house in a little bit, so I must scurry around and put things where they won't get broken or misplaced.  For all the horror and grandeur, all the pleasures and unpleasantness, there is always work to be done.  I'm just not sure if I'm the man to do it.

Giving Up on the Other

Originally Posted Thursday, May 29, 2014

"The facts show that 70% of the overall Google staff are men, and that 61% are white. Asians make up 30%, Hispanics 3%, and blacks 2% of the total staff. The company's tech staff is 83% male, with roughly similar ethnic breakdown. And leadership of the company is 79% male and 72% white."

Really?  Why is Google discriminating against all the nerdy brothers who are geeking out on their computers?  Same old shit.  A brother can't get a break.  And what about the nerdy, geeky sisters of the world of any color?  You know, the ones who'd rather stay home and play video games than go out on a date?  They could at least hire a cam girl or two.  I think something like 50% of China's Baidu.com is made up of Tibetans.  It may be mandated. 

I may be wrong. 

Dr. Dre (I think his is an Ed.D.) will certainly interest young black men in HTML coding.  It is the future.  Was.  It was the future.  Even Dre can't get a break, though.  The white press says that his BEATS headphones technically suck.  I say don't fuck with cool.  Who gives a shit, really.  The quality of music coming out of your iPod or iPhone or Samsung doesn't warrant a good headphone.  Just cool. And Apple knows cool.  Knew.  Knew cool. 

In the Gulf states--no, not Mississippi which is what I thought when I first read it, too--the government is getting hip.  They've taken to Facebook (sorry Q) and Twitter to get out their message.

"In Qatar, a campaign using posters and social media is encouraging expats to wear modest clothing in public, while in Kuwait, lawmakers have reportedly called for some swimwear to be outlawed.

Brochures distributed by the "Reflect Your Respect" campaign tell expats: "If you're in Qatar you're one of us. Help us preserve Qatar's culture and values, please dress modestly in public places by covering from shoulders to knees. Meanwhile, in Kuwait, officials are reportedly seeking to target bathers.

A committee dealing with "tackling bad social behavior" has approved a proposal to ban "nudity" of women at all swimming pools, public places and in hotels. . . ."

Reflect Your Respect.  Brother, it doesn't get any cooler than that.  The kids will go wild for that one.  It is right up there with Click it or Ticket.  There are morons everywhere.  Perhaps they should try some other slogans, though.  

"A pregnant woman is beaten to death by her relatives outside a court building. And for what? She eloped with the man she loved rather than marry the groom chosen by her family.

The terrible fate of Farzana Parveen, 25, is one shared by all too many women in Pakistan and elsewhere.

She was killed in the name of "honor," on the grounds her actions had brought shame on her family."

I know Pakistan is not a Gulf state.  It's more like Kentucky or Tennessee.  And elsewhere.  

It is just difficult to know where to focus one's energy in writing the wrongs of the earth.  Righting the wrongs, maybe.  I'm just writing them.  I've pretty much given up on the other.  Read that any way you want, but one way is more clever than the rest. 

The Root Cause of All Crime

Originally Posted Wednesday, May 28, 2014

There might be too much sex in America.  I don't know.  How can you tell?  I mean what scale do you use?  There is more of it for public consumption than in, let's say, Afghanistan or Egypt, but who the hell wants to live there.  Nobody is trying to immigrate ti Pakistan.  Perhaps they have too little.  But how can you tell that, either?  How much is too little?  How much is too much?  How do I know if my own sense of it is accurate?  It may be skewed by the number of women I photograph and the stories they tell me.  One woman recently told me that she and her boyfriend split after fifteen years together.  They were both in their mid-forties.  He began to want to experiment, she said.  He wanted to have sex with other couples.  So they did. 

"Does that work?" I asked.  "I mean it seems that somebody is always getting the short end of the stick.  It would be hard to find a couple that each of you were equally interested in the other person's partner, right?" 

"I did it, but sometimes I wasn't even attracted to the fellow.  I thought of it as something that my boyfriend and I did together, you know, like an adventure." 

The way she said it made it seem as if somehow this would bring them closer together.  I was pretty sure, though, that couldn't be the case.  And in this instance, it turned out, I was right. 

"After awhile, he wanted to bring home guys for me to be with.  He would talk about other women and say that he should meet up with them, and I was like, I thought we were doing this together, you know.  I thought we were partners." 

Why do guys always want to see their girlfriends and wives with somebody else?  They all do, even Christians.  It never turns out well.  The only way it could ever work is if you got to kill the other guy when it was over so he wasn't a concern any more, but convention keeps us from doing that.  You would have to be a foreign pasha to get away with that, but then you would have a harem and not be as concerned about such things. 

In the end, of course. . . you know how the swinger thing turned out. 

And after that, she went on Match.com. 

"I'm sure that's the best way to meet a guy," I said.  I was being ironic though I do know several couples who got together through eHarmony.  Don't think they are friends of mine.  I just know them. 

"If I were to go on a dating site," I told her, "it would be ChristianMingle.com." 

She looked at me like I was a liar. 

"No.  True dat."

Why, you may be asking yourselves?  I can't tell you.  The answer would be way too revealing.  But trust me.  I am right. 

Back to my point, though, if I really had one.  I've heard of the Jew Cruise and other Jewish dating sites, but I've not heard of IslamMingle.com.  There must be one, though, right?  And eHinduforYou.com? 

I should have done my research.  Here are the top ten Islamic dating sites.  And Match.com has the Hindu thing tied up. 

And now, I realize, I need not have bothered myself with the question.  The Hindu had the answer all along (answer). 

So yes, I guess there is too much sexual content on display in America.  You would think that our pleasure sensors would be worn away to nothing, but such is not the case.  I've never heard anybody say, "No, I've seen all the titties I ever want to see.  I'm done."  Picture a fellow at his computer after midnight who has to work early in the morning.  He knows he needs to go to bed, but he keeps saying, "Just one more. . . just one more," as he clicks away with his mouse. 

At work the next day, of course, he is useless. 

Now please don't conflate nudity and sex.  That is not my intention here at all.  This site is clearly sex-free.  This is not a place to come get titillated (even though a lot of my traffic comes from some pretty sleazy search terms). 

The whole thing is confounding me, really.  I hear stories and have the internet.  I read about this boy in California going on a killing spree because he couldn't get laid.  Now some righteous ideologues are blaming the way we portray women in our culture for the killing.  I think if that were the case, though, there wouldn't have been many women left in this country by the turn of the new century.  I know what they mean, but that can't be it.  They kill more women in conservative Islamic countries where women are locked away and never seen.  No, that can't be it at all.  The guy was subnormal.  To extrapolate from such an aberration is too obviously ideological exploitation. 

I think. 

I mean, I am in much the same boat as the subnormal. . . economically impoverished as he, unable to get women to pay attention to me. . . but killing people is not something I think would alleviate that.  Hell, I had a woman chatting me up all week about seeing me on Saturday only to flake on me.  It just made me want to be alone more, not less.  I seem to always have a good time when I'm with me.  Other people tend to take away from that most of the time.  But perhaps time and experience have jaded me. 

In conclusion. . . . I haven't any way to conclude this shambles of a personal essay.  It is just thinking out loud about a horrific event.  That kid was fucked up and somebody should have noticed.  I blame the parents.  I always blame the parents.  And doing so has taught me many good lessons. 

I'm sure Q has more to say on the matter, and as he IS a parent, I'll leave it to him.  He certainly has more insight into the matter.

Cam Star

Originally Posted Tuesday, May 27, 2014

She was standing with her back to me. 

"Let your slip fall to the floor and puddle around your feet."

"You want me to be naked?" she said in an uncertain voice.

"Of course.  That's a silly question to ask a man.  We're always going to want that."  I chuckled sweetly. 

I heard a little "oh!" come from somewhere when the slip hit the floor almost as if she had dropped and broken something delicate. 

"I thought you were O.K. shooting naked?  That's what you said." 

"It was negotiable.  I've never actually done it before." 

Now really, this would be an unremarkable sequence if not for one thing.  The model worked five cam sites, each catering to different tastes and different crowds. 

After the shoot, she sat naked on the couch as we talked.  She was completely comfortable. 

"I'll tell you the takeaway from this shoot for me," I said. 

"What's that?"

"That a girl who is on five cam sites was shy about being naked." 

"It's different in front of someone you see looking at you," she said.  "It's totally different."

"You've never shot naked before?"


"That's just funny."

We talked about her cam sites.  She did fetish, she did erotic.  I've heard the tales from other models who do similar things.  One had a fellow who paid her to sit naked on balloons and pop them.  One girl had a guy who paid her to put on lipstick then take it off, over and over again.  There were lots of models doing foot fetishes. 

"I have customers who just want to talk," she said.  "They are lonely and I sit naked and talk to them like I'm their girlfriend." 

On one site she skyped.

"You can see them?" I asked, surprised. 


"Are they what one would expect?  Do they look like people who need to do this?"

"Some do, but there are a lot of good looking young guys who pay to chat, too."

This fascinates me, of course.  It is the theme around all that I shoot in the studio.  Lonesomeville. 

"People are lonely," I said.  "It is the universal condition.  People who are married are lonely, people with families.  I think more so all the time.  They are looking out to the world to palliate that loneliness, but the world won't do it.  Still, it is easier for them than looking inward where the loneliness lies."

I told her about the movies "Her" and "Don Jon."  "I want to do a documentary on this," I said.  "Would you talk about this on camera?"

She hesitated for a long time and didn't really answer. 

"A lot of girls get stalkers.  It is dangerous.  I had a customer who asked me how I enjoyed Bike Week.   I said, 'huh?'  And he told me he saw me.  He described what I was wearing and who I was with and even told me some of the conversation we were having.  I took my phone in to be repaired one time and the guy said he knew me.  He told me the site.  It gets so that you don't even want to go out of the house." 

"The price you pay, I guess." 

She had a degree in finance and had been a broker for a big firm putting together hotel deals.  She made a lot of money, she said, but she was working sixty and seventy hours a week.  She made more money now and didn't work nearly as much.  One site she worked was just a home cam.  People paid to watch her cook and brush her teeth.  One site was more fascinating.  It involved a technology I had never heard of.  She had a vibrator that had a USB attached.  The customer on the other end of the internet had a device he plugged into his USB port.  He could feel all the vibrations as she pleasured herself. 

"Holy smokes!  You're kidding!  I guess so, though, like computer games."

I couldn't help but wonder if they had made a penis sheath.  It would have made the OS in "Her" unbearable. 

She said she was getting another degree right now.  Psychology.  I told her aboutPorn Studies by Linda Williams, a Berkeley professor who had been teaching courses in it for years.  She began studying it because it was one of the largest industries in America and that pornography had driven much of the advancements in media.  They were a big economic factor driving VHS technology.  They had pumped money into internet development. 

I was still wondering about the penis sheath.  If there wasn't one, I wanted to make it.  Imagine the money someone will make with that!  But I despaired of being that billionaire.  I didn't have any of the necessary skills, and surely it was too late.  Another fortune gone. 

She hung around as models often do long after we finished shooting even though she said she had to go.  She had driven over an hour to get to the studio and had to drive home and get back to work.  I felt like I was stealing money from her. . . and there was some ego in that.  Eventually, though, she got up to gather her things.  I was helping her separate her clothing from mine, but I couldn't find her underwear.  I was in a bit of a panic because I didn't want her to think I was a panty-sniffing pervert.  One of her businesses was selling her underwear.  Some guys wanted them fresh, some wanted her to wear them for a couple days, and still others wanted her to exercise in them.  Then they were shoved into a ziplock bag and shipped off. 

"Here they are," she said. 

"Oh thank God.  I was worried you'd think I pinched them." 

As she walked out of the room, she threw them over her shoulder like a book bag, turned, and looking back smiled and said, "Sixty bucks!" 

What a world.