national geographic: sex for sale

Some of you are aware that I appeared on a National Geographic documentary that first aired in February. Now the rest of you are aware. Once again, my brush with mainstream media is generally negative. Eventually I’ll learn.

natgeo 2009

NatGeo spoke to me in April 2009 about appearing on their Taboo series. One of their episodes was going to cover sex work. Though I spoke for 90 minutes on the phone with Kate Witchard and emailed with her, they decided not to use me. This was right before I was beginning my travels and I pitched the idea to her, but she told me National Geographic wasn’t interested in following a working escort around the world.

Utter waste of time. I don’t take kindly to having my brain picked for free. (Shortly after, someone whom I suspect was producing the Belle de Jour series wanted to do that too so I quoted a price and never heard back.)

natgeo 2012

Last summer I was approached by NatGeo again. I was not interested. Daniele Anastasion, the producer, assured me this was a stand-alone documentary focusing on the US and the legal issues surrounding prostitution. After back and forth emails, I agreed to a 5 minute phone call that turned into 45. It seemed okay and I agreed to it. Of course they weren’t going to pay me a dime. (It’s a documentary! They wouldn’t do something so icky as pay for interviews!) No makeup provided either. But it seemed like it would be intelligent. It’s National Geographic, after all.

We settled on a shooting date. They weren’t thrilled about having to come to Dallas but since they weren’t paying me to show up anywhere else, Dallas was it. They wanted to shoot an interview — which was the point. They also wanted to shoot “B-roll,” which is silent footage that shows up in the background with interviewed voiceovers. This is where it started getting to be a bit much.

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time-wasting activities

The inspiration for this post is at the bottom.

In a roundabout way, I found out that this post over at Tits and Sass had mortally offended a client. No need to be offended, one can’t spend large amounts of close, personal time with another person without indulging in some (or all) of these activities. These things are what normal people normally do in relationships — only they aren’t compressed into a day or weekend or whatever.

It did get me thinking of more time-wasting activities for escorts who need a little mental/emotional alone-time during extended bookings (men: think of it as care and feeding for her soul, not as time away from you). So here are my suggestions.

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on twitter

For what it’s worth, I’ve finally broken down and joined Twitter. Yet another login/password to remember and another online service to pay attention to. Though it’ll be handy when I’m traveling and can just phone it in. Literally!

http://twitter.com/amanda_brooks

processing pain, karmic debt and coming out

Yeah, it’s been a while. I’m still getting caught up with emails and life.

Obviously, my life has been in upheaval for the past couple months. I’ve been barely holding myself together since October and moving at the end of April pretty much capped it.

The relationship is over. That pain has been dealt with. The pain I’m still dealing with is what happened to me and how/why I let it happen. Though I can’t really speak publicly about it, I’ve been threatened with various actions if I reveal too much. This blog has been censored since Day 1 and is still being censored. It’s a concern, but not a vital one for me to address at this moment.

Which leads to my karmic debt. So many people, including a lot I’ve never met, have offered support and help in various ways. And it has helped. There is no magic wand to make things better, but being alone makes things much worse.

You’ve let me know I am not alone.

There isn’t enough I can possibly do to repay the kindness shown or the tolerance for my recent flakiness.

The more unfortunate side effect is that my personal energy is at an ebb and I have little energy to give to those who also need it. Several other friends have had crises too. But then, that’s what a support network is for. My small sisterhood of sex workers have been wonderful. There is so much love the outside world never sees and completely fails to understand.

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media and a sex worker

There’s been a small blitz of media attention directed at me (I haven’t been updating stuff, though, I’m behind). And it’s not at all when I expected or asked for it. My relationship is over so I moved to regroup and finish Book #2. I figured on a fairly quiet existence for the next couple months. Instead, all of this hits the fan the very day that I moved (right after I unplugged my computer, apparently).

What’s amusing is a lot of people think I just published the book to capitalize on the Spitzer thing. They don’t do enough fact-checking to discover its public-release date was mid-October 2006. Less amusing is how they mangle my bio or misquote something they read about me on the Internet, written by someone else.

Last night on XBN, I discussed this with Jill (rambled, actually). These are some residual thoughts on my brief experiences with the media as a self-identified sex worker.

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