i’m finally publishing something

As some of you may, or likely not, have noticed; things are changing around here and my book’s website. Thank you, SESTA/FOSTA, for that. Currently the book’s website is down while I change servers, otherwise the updated/redesigned site would be up by now. (The server change is unrelated except for the timing.)

One thing that will be very different when it goes back up is that the book’s companion blog, The Notebook, will be gone. I published there from 2006-2015. I have no idea how many people actually read it, or not. In fact, I had the impression that it was outdated and full of shit.

Not true! I’ve gathered the posts, tossed the ones that weren’t authored by me and that aren’t relevant to readers now, updated links, updated many of the postings with new information, added new material that hasn’t been published before. I’m creating an ebook out of the posts and expect it to be selling before the end of December.

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uptown thief

Finally, a book that features sex workers as main characters, not as main victims or main outcasts! The reviewers talk about the amazing revelation that sex workers are real people, thanks to this story. The author thanks $pread Magazine, the St. James Infirmary, Bay Area SWOP, and The Harm Reduction Coalition and Training Institute in her long list of acknowledgements. Uptown Thief by Aya de Leon is the first in a series featuring the sex workers introduced in this story.

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reactions v

getting paid on time

One thing sex workers have going for us is that we get paid on time. Smart ones get paid upfront (this is standard for most, but not all, of the world). While I’ve often compared mentally freelance writing work with sex work, they’re only now catching up to the pay-upon-completion model. Not the same as pay-upfront, more like pay-as-you-go but for a legal occupation, it’s a huge step forward.

make an authentic logo

Too funny! Hipster logos!

speaking of authentic

Yes, that guy I mentioned in the first section did indeed make another one of his damned “authentic” posts. I cursed at the monitor for subjecting me to it, then unsubscribed. I’ve added a couple new non-sex-work blog subscriptions and am much happier. Thank you, non-authentic bloggers, for writing more of what I like reading.

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longer tweeting II

Created Nov 15, 2010
I’m going to name my next escort persona Betsy. She’ll offer golden showers and be Betsy Wetsy.

After a long private discussion on creating a test-persona for international work, I was stumped on a name. Many suggestions were made and then I came up with this one. I thought it was funny enough to Tweet and strangely, it actually grossed some out. I’m not sure why, doesn’t everyone remember the Betsy Wetsy dolls? I never had one but the name has always stuck in my head.

I still think this is funny. Escorting doesn’t have to be all serious, all the time.

Created Oct 30, 2010
Dudes — don’t wear your “No Money No Honey” t-shirt when you’re out with your girlfriend and into heavy PDA.

In Singapore, the phrase “No Money No Honey” is synonymous with prostitution. While I feel the phrase is self-explanatory, it’s popularity seems to be mostly due to a book written by an English journalist describing the huge prostitution scene in Singapore. Yes, I saw several of these t-shirts for sale and wanted to buy one but never did. However, I think my Tweet speaks for itself (the kids mentioned in my Tweet were teens and I’m pretty sure she wasn’t a hooker and he wasn’t a client).

Created Sep 26, 2010
@EroticPreview Try London, Rio, Tokyo, Hong Kong or Singapore for serious shopping! 🙂

I was responding to another escort who wanted tips on great places to shop. This innocent Tweet sparked a semi-argument because she wouldn’t go to Asia because she was black and feared prejudice. She took offense that I wasn’t taking her ethnicity into consideration when I made my suggestions (I hadn’t realized I should).

Let me reassure everyone, especially black people, that Asians generally dislike anyone who is not from their specific country. I really don’t know that American blacks would get worse treatment than, say, Bangladeshis. Being Western gives some status, though being female lowers your status more than your race will.

Created Sep 27, 2010
In case you ever wondered: my breakfast every day http://bit.ly/b3ygwe and my favorite poster in Singapore http://bit.ly/bcfV3r

I still miss kaya toast and muddy river-water tea (one write referred to it that way and he was corrrect). My favorite place offered this breakfast for $2SGD, which is less than $2USD. A great, tasty deal no matter where in the world you are. [Since the first link no longer works, here’s photo of the kaya toast breakfast set like I had.]

Kaya toast is served with a giant pat of butter on each piece of toast. I always requested it without butter and rarely could they understand my insanity. When I ate somewhere other than my usual place (the counter ladies had become accustomed to my weirdness), I often got butter anyway, or toast with only butter, or toast with nothing. Once, I watched the counter boy remake my toast three times in an attempt to get my order correct and when he finally gave it to me, it had butter on it. He was exhausted and stressed, I smiled and said “Thank you” anyway.

Yes, they strained the tea through a long piece of pantyhose (the “sock”). It worked well and was always fun to watch. A street-level art form, I never got tired of the ritual of preparing the tea. The tea always perked me up in the mornings. My heart needed the extra push to be able to pump through the sludge of kaya blocking my ateries, I’m sure.

Oh. A word on eggs. While the Chinese have had chickens for hundreds, if not thousands, of years, they have not yet figured out how to boil an egg. The first few days in Singapore I was confused when I hungrily cracked open my breakfast eggs. Then I learned to simply ask them to “boil” for 6 or 8 minutes instead of their usual 2-4. “Boiling” means they put the eggs in a small container of very hot water, cover it with a plate and let it sit. I never got an actual boiled egg in Asia but I learned to live with the yolks just hard enough to pick out when I broke the egg. It does take some time to get used to the texture of semi-warmed whites. I’ll just leave it at that.

Created 21 Nov 11
@Ishfery Coming soon…serious work begins in Jan 2012. Finally.

That was in response to a question about Book 3. Ahem.

No, the serious work did not start January of 2012. Sorry.

seekers of knowledge

Almost every sex worker blog has some sort of post dedicated to those who come to the blogger asking for help on getting started as an escort. I got those emails as a non-blogging newbie escort years ago and rarely responded. Doing such things is a felony in the US and a huge deterrent to sisterhood with an anonymous stranger. So I wrote a couple books about escort work and put up a website showcasing those books. The question comes in several times a week now on that website, from both men and women. Sigh. (I still sometimes get that question posted to my escort email, but maybe once every couple of months.)

Back when I started, there really wasn’t information on being an Internet escort. I know, because I spent a lot of time on Google (did it exist at the end of 2001?). I wasn’t as Internet-savvy as I am now but I still understood the concept of operating a search engine. I knew how to scour Amazon (which I’d already been doing as a stripper). I spent a ton of time reading the public boards on ASPD.net, being anxious and offended in turns. I instinctively knew that taking the dubious advice of male hobbyists would not lead to satisfaction in my work (they certainly couldn’t answer my period questions!). Fortunately, I had a real-life friend and mentor. She was patient with me and very honest. I fully appreciate how much help she freely gave. Though she and I are different people and approach our work in different ways — her advice on keeping safe and being successful was spot-on.

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