(3) Tools for Beauty Maintenance

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     Note: I have to blog every day, so I’m open to suggestions.  Have a question, or something you’d like me to write about?  By all means, leave a comment or shoot me an email at piecesofmargo@gmail.com.  You can comment anonymously if you like.  I respond to everything that isn’t transparently abusive.    

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 When you work in the sex industry, every shift is Date Night, meaning that you have to prepare as if you’re getting ready for a hot date with someone you really want to impress.   It’s a chore, but it must be done.  It’s professionalism.  You get paid, in part, to look good.   Most of the clients are middle-aged, middle-class white guys.   They have very narrow and predictable opinions about what constitutes feminine beauty and glamour.  

          The good news is that beauty can be faked with an exaggerated performance of femininity, which means that any woman can do it.   

          The bad news is…well, it’s expensive, tedious, time-consuming, and debasing.  But whatevs.  I’ll save the politics for another day.  

           Here are some indispensable tools to achieve and maintain compliance with heteronormative beauty standards in the commercial dungeon environment (and anywhere else):


Cool and Dry, like Donald Rumsfeld testifying at a 9-11 Congressional Hearing



             Certain Dri.    I don’t know what’s in this shit and I don’t want to know.  It burns like acid and it probably causes birth defects.  It is, however, effective: if you wear it, you will not sweat under your arms (I’ve considered trying it other places, but I’m too afraid).  I do not exaggerate.  Public speaking?  NYC Subways in July?  Cross-dressing client cokehead who keeps asking you to crank up the heat because he’s cold in his satin panties?  Certain Dri has you covered.   Highly recommended.  Get the roll-on, not the stick.  Added bonus: no white deodorant streaks on your good black domme clothes. 

You’ll thank me later.


      Tend Skin    If you shave or wax your crotch (I was going to say ‘bikini area,’ but, really, why be coy?), you need Tend Skin.  This miracle product eliminates bumps, ingrown hairs, and irritation from razor burn.  It really works, and it’s the only thing I’ve ever tried that does.  You don’t need me to tell you how painful and ugly a crotch with ingrown public hairs can be!  It’s hideous and even wearing underwear hurts!  One time, I thought I must have caught genital warts (and I was in a monogamous relationship at the time, too–oh wow), but it was just a stupid hair.  Anyway, I’ve been using this for a few years now, and I haven’t had a problem since.  I have no idea why more people don’t know about it.  They market it to the African-American community, which is how I discovered it.

     

   

        Seche Vite Dry Fast Top Coat.   Unless it’s a special occasion, I refuse to pay a pro to do my nails.  I have to fix chipped polish almost every day.  Seche Vite takes most of the pain out of this considerable inconvenience. It’s expensive, but worth it.  It cures to a hard, high-gloss shine in a minute.  I will never wait for my nails to dry again.  I recommend buying this in the tiny bottles, so that you can finish the product before it becomes thick and difficult to apply. 

Meet your new best friend.


        The Ped Egg   Your feet are worth a lot of money in this business.  You will lose sessions if your feet are not in perfect shape.  Not only will you lose sessions, but the angry Russian manager will scream at you and call you a disgrace as a mistress.  I’m serious.  Get yourself a Ped Egg and make friends with it, because you’re going to be spending a lot of quality time together…especially in the summertime, when you run around New York in flip-flops and sandals.  Use it over a trash can so you don’t get gross dead skin flakes all over.  When you’re done Ped-Egging, slather your feet in vasaline before bed and sleep in a pair of old socks.  



         All-Metal Razor w/Mach 3 Blades   Do yourself a favor and stop shaving with cheap pink plastic disposable razors.   If you have to shave most of your body hair every day for the rest of your life, you might as well get serious about it.  Men have the best shaving gear.  Appropriate it.  An all-metal razor is an investment, but it saves money in the long run.  The shave is excellent and the weight of the tool lends a gravitas to the activity, turning it from a chore into self-care.  



Maybelline NY Eye Stiletto Liquid Eyeliner.   This is the best liquid eyeliner you can get at the drug store.  It works perfectly and lasts until you wash it off.  Application is as easy as it’s ever going to get with liquid eyeliner.  Everyone I know who tries it keeps using it.  


Alpha Hydrox Skin Lightener w/Hydroquinone   I was on hormonal birth control for ten years, and it gave me mild melasma.   I am fucking furious that doctors don’t tell women that this is a side effect when they prescribe the medication (“Melasma is a very common and well-known side affect!  I see it all the time!” said the dermatologist who diagnosed me.  “I mean, it’s textbook!“).   Hydroquinone and Retin-A cured it in about nine months.  It takes a long time to see results, because the skin has to go through a few cycles, but it works.  Now I use it on my hands, underneath sunscreen, every day.   You are wearing sunscreen every day, aren’t you? 



        Berkshire Stockings and Thigh-Highs.    Under no circumstances are you to wear cheap Leg Avenue shit from the local Adult DVD porn store!  You know exactly what I’m talking about!  Leg Avenue is terrible!  I have no idea how they cornered the sex worker market!  Berkshire is the best hosiery on the market at that price point.  It looks much more expensive than it is, actually, and the material has a nice slippery feel.  Good color selection.  It costs less to buy it online, but if you need to get it in a hurry, the hosiery/intimates store in Penn Station, Elegance, has a deep stock in all colors.  


        Crest Whitestrips.  Because you’re not a real American unless your teeth are as white as the inside of a refrigerator.  The strips work.  

(2) Clients and Lying

        When I started working in the Biz, I took it as a given that clients would lie to me.  I expected that they would lie to me for the same reason I lied to them: to protect themselves, to keep a barrier between what we did together and their regular lives.  I expected them to lie about identifying information: where they worked, what town they lived in, and whether they were married or in relationship.  

        I was surprised to learn that some of them would lie about other things, trivial things, inconsequential things.  I found the lies amusing, then baffling.

         I had several sessions with a young African-American client who told me that he worked in a parking garage.  He told the mistress he saw months later, after me, that he worked for Google. Another mistress told me that he worked in administration at Hunter College.  Why?

        They lie about mistresses they’ve sessioned with in the past.  They lie about their BDSM experience, minimizing or exaggerating it.  They lie about needing their glasses to see clearly.  They lie about how much they’ve had to drink.  I had one tell me that he was fighting his ex-wife for custody of his young children, and then, later that summer, tell me that he was childless.  

         They would lie to me about the origins of their fetishes, as they understood them.  I heard fantasies of incest and criminal child-abuse rings that struck me as too fantastical and lurid to be true (and others, sadly, that I could only hope were untrue).  I heard all manner of stories about imaginary dominas, girlfriends, co-workers–at least those lies made sense, as they followed an erotic fantasy.  

        Some lies were the same lies that men commonly tell women in order to impress them: lies about military service or serving in combat, lies about cars (one guy claimed that he had a Jaguar, but did not know its country of manufacture) or jobs in high-status employment, like the entertainment industry.  A guy who owned a pest-control/extermination business told me that he was a career police officer. 

        The lies seldom offended me, even when I believed them, and later found out I was wrong, as with Mr. Parking Garage-Google-Hunter College.  I wasn’t offended.  I was merely confused: why would he tell me that…? 

       I can’t begin to answer that, but I can tell you what I would tell the new girls in the Studio: you have no idea who the guy sitting across from you in the consultation room really is, and, more often than not, the fact that he is even there means that he probably isn’t the most, ahh, forthcoming person in the world.  They have all sorts of reasons for being there, and those reasons are not always the reasons they readily admit to.  

(1) 30 Blog Posts in 30 Days

     ….everything was going so well.  

      I being a little tornado of industry: 40 hours a week editing emails and working my spreadsheet magic at the Office Monkey job, teaching my teenaged scholars two nights a week, and doing 10 hours of miscellaneous work for a local attorney whose regular paralegal is out on maternity leave.  My decision to quit academia inspired me to teach the fuck out of the material: I got two new positive reviews on ratemyprofessors.com.  Group therapy for recovering addicts twice a week, AA two mornings more, almost daily discussions with people (including, to my happiness, my old professors, who have not branded me a traitor for jumping ship) about changing careers…I got the car…yeah, things were going okay.

        Then the Italian office supply company was purchased by some assholes who restructured HR.  

       I was laid off with 48 hours’ notice.  Then they changed their minds and asked me back for a day.

       Then….gone.

       I know it was a temporary job, and nothing that I wanted to keep anyway, but…a week’s notice would have been nice.   I feel bad for complaining, though, because three other people got sacked along with me, and they are older than I am with families to support.

       I didn’t take it very well.   I started acting out almost immediately.  

       The first thing I did was check into a hotel for 3 days.  The good news is that it hardly cost me anything, because all of that professional and recreational whoring around in New York earned me about 13 billion Expedia points.  

        “I’m thinking about going back to sex work,” I told my counselor.  “Just for a little while.  Until I find something else.”

         “You know, one of my co-workers was an escort.  She got arrested and the board suspended her license.  She had to petition to get it back and attend all these hearings and stuff.  It took almost two years.  I can give you her card if you want to talk to her about it.  I think you just need to take it easy, apply to two jobs a day, watch a lot of Netflix, and not make any big decisions right now.  And get out of that hotel room.  It’s not a safe place for you.”

           “I’ll go to San Francisco.  I have a car now.  It’ll be safer there.  Nobody knows me!”

             Later that evening:

             “You vant to do VAT?!”   Heinrich groaned into the webcam, holding one hand over his eye, like he had a terrible headache.  “Margo, you vill NOT run away to San Francisco and become a prostitute!”

               “Hey!  Not full-service!  Fetish work!  I do fetish work!  There’s a market in the Bay Area!  I’ve lost 15 lbs!  I look great!  I could go on the weekends and be back in class on Tuesdays!”

              “Vat about your Plan?”

             “I can’t have a Plan if I’m unemployed!”

             “You are not unemployed!  You lost a job from an employment agency, vat, 3 days ago?”

              I went to the gym, lifted weights until muscle failure, and then went back to sleep at my mother’s house.  

              Then next morning, since I still had the room till noon, I went back to the hotel and sent Heinrich an email.  It was a personal email, so I won’t reproduce it here, but the crux of it was:  Take the keys, I’m drunk. 

               (Note: not actually drunk.  I’m still totally dry and taking my Antabuse medicine every morning.)

                He texted me a response almost immediately, before he went home to write an email:  Yes, of course.  I thought you would never ask. 

               (Another note: the man’s been batting 1000 since the Holidays, and I’m paranoid enough to wonder about it.) 

              He put me on a schedule.  Blogging is part of it, so here it is: 30 blog posts in 30 days.  

              We’ll see how it goes.