Back from the Bay

Sorry it’s taken me so long to update!

My trip to San Francisco was a financial success.  When it was all over and I did the math, I made $2400 in profit–that’s after I deducted hotel and travel costs.

I think that I pushed myself too hard, however.  I don’t like to do more than two or three sessions in a day, because they are often very emotionally draining, and a lot of them require a lot of preparation and clean up.  All but the easiest sessions take planning.

But I really pushed myself, especially the first day I was there: six hours of sessioning.  I staggered them with an hour in between, but it just wasn’t enough downtime–the clients were like a herd of cats, some arriving early and stressing me out with their impatient text messages, some taking twenty minutes in the shower afterward.  I was doing costume changes (and sometimes showers) in between the sessions, not to mention wiping down all the hotel room surfaces and spraying down all my gear to keep in clean, and emptying the trash and putting in new trashcan liners, because what guy wants to see piles of used latex gloves and used CBT clothesline in the trash when he meets me for the first time?  Ditto for the used bath towels!

Two of the sessions were foot sessions.  Normally I don’t like those, because my feet are ticklish and I just plain don’t like the feeling, but on that day, they were optimal!  Easy peasy!  Lot of foot worship, lots of talk about feet, and some trampling (I used the computer chair for supports as I walked up and down on them, and  then the wall), and that was that.

The others…look, there were too many to give you a blow-by-blow account.  They were all nice to me, though, except for one Portuguese guy who seemed to be having a bad day.

It was over by 7 PM.  I didn’t clean up after the last session.  I just took a long, final shower, took the extra sheets off the bed that I’d used as a barrier, and collapsed.  I did send Heinrich a text message telling him that I was okay.  That was it.

The next day I got up early and started getting ready.  I had to drive to a new hotel for a 12 noon session, but the new place wouldn’t let me do an early check-in.  I was there at 10 AM and couldn’t get into the room.  I kept the heat on the front desk, which I’m not very good at (yeah, some domme I am, right?), but it was no dice.  They claimed full occupancy because of a convention.  My client, an engineer whom I was actually very much looking forward to meeting, waited for half an hour and then walked, because he had to get back to work.  I felt awful about it!  I apologized profusely and offered him 50% off of the session fee if he rebooked–that’s the best I can do, right?

I checked in at 1:30 and did three sessions that day.  The most notable one was an Indian gent, a victim of the colonial English boarding-school system, who wanted to be caned.  I cannot begin to tell you how much money I have made over the years off of the victims of corporal punishment in British schools!

I collapsed again, then woke up and traveled to Union Square, in San Francisco.  And I did it again.  More.

My emotions were all over the map: I was very exited, even exhilarated, to be doing something that I knew that I was good at.  When the envelopes of cash started piling up in the hotel room safe, well, that felt great, too.  And it felt good to be out of town…especially when I got to beautiful downtown San Francisco, which is my favorite city on the West coast, and which I hadn’t visited in years!  The hotel rooms were beautiful and some of the sessions were a lot of fun.  I’d been a little worried that I might have lost my touch.

On the other hand: the constant stage fright that comes from meeting a client for the first time.  I’d screened all these clients, so I knew who most of them were, or at least that their references from other sex workers checked out, but they were all new to me.  Some I’d corresponded with extensively via email, and some of them I knew from a short paragraph of session requests.   But I didn’t know them, and in the back of my mind, I was always wondering if the man who walked through the door would be dangerous (on the second day, I started hiding the money in various places is the room, that if he made me open the safe and robbed me, he wouldn’t get all of it).

Then we have Heinrich, who was, shall we say, in a bad mood.   I’ll get to that later, but you don’t really need me to spell it out of you, reader.   He was saying exactly what you’d think he would be saying.

I traveled home, got some exercise, and settled down, trying to decompress.  It was a very intense three days.  My first sessions since last July (unless you count that old guy I sold my ballet flats to on Craigslist)!  But, I thought that I was fine.

Fine, really.

Nope.

Out of nowhere, I started to feel very, very weird inside.  Bad, weird feelings.  I felt scared for no appreciable reason.  Then I was beset by an intense and totally uncharacteristic feeling of paranoia.  I became worried that my mother knew exactly where I had been, that she found out on my computer, and she read my blog, and any minute she was going to call me out of my bedroom and tell me that she knew I was in San Francisco prostituting myself, and that my brother knew, and so did everyone else!

?????????????
The Wages of Sin

(Because, you know I told them all lies about where I was going and what I was doing!  I said that I was going to tutor the GRE at UC Davis and to visit an old friend from my undergrad days who moved out to Sacramento!)

And then I thought: Oh my God, what am I doing?  Heinrich says I’m lost and out of control and he’s right and nobody will ever love me!

I didn’t freak out–it wasn’t quite as bad as the panic attacks I had from time to time when I was in the pressure-cooker of my Ph.D. program–but I felt very bad, friends.  Very bad and weird inside.

In another time, I would have drank.  I didn’t do that, I’m happy to say.  Instead I just sat with it and waited it out.  The bad feelings are terrible sometimes, but if you wait long enough, they eventually go away.

….and so they did.  I had a very rough night, but when I woke up in the morning, I felt much better.   Not 100%, but much better.

I deposited all my money in the bank and bought my mother some nice presents for Mother’s Day.  I got her one of those clear plastic bird feeders that attach to the window with suction cups, because she likes to watch the birds in the yard:

birdfeeder2
Momma’s new bird feeder

I also bought her one of those expandable garden hoses that you see advertised on TV all the time.  I have no idea if it’s a good product or not.  She says she wanted it.  And I got her flowers and a gift certificate to the local movie theater.

After I did that, I started to make a few phone calls, because I knew that I needed some help.  I don’t want another bad-feelings paranoia attack like I had when I came home.  That way lies relapse.  I cannot start drinking again.  I feel like I’ve finally turned a corner on my sobriety, after years of trying, and I cannot make that vulnerable.

I needed to find a new shrink, because, right now, the only people on earth who knew that I was doing sessions in San Francisco are a few internet friends…and you, the readers of this blog.

And I needed to find a new shrink before I went back to the Bay Area to work.

Next, on Pieces of Margo:  I doctor-shop for a sex worker-friendly therapist in my stupid little town!


2 thoughts on “Back from the Bay”

  1. “In another time, I would have drank. I didn’t do that, I’m happy to say. Instead I just sat with it and waited it out.”
    Wow, good for you! This takes a lot of strength, determination, and courage.

    Is there any way your readers could support you in sobriety while you are putting professional supports in place?
    And finding a competent counsellor who can be sex work friendly IS hard. I hope to build a tele-practice one day that is friendly to multiple people who experience stigmatization and marginalization, but realistically, this is at least 5 years in the future. I need more than just graduate first – it is very important to practice for a while under supervision to make sure you know what you are doing to a sufficient degree in at least several major directions, and the internships that one does while getting a degree do not provide enough experience…

    It also sucks that Heinrich is responding in this way and doesn’t seem to get something as basic as economic pressure…

    1. Thanks for the kind & supportive comment.

      My analyst in NYC wanted me to stop doing sex work, but she wanted me to quit it because she believed that it was holding me back and preventing me from realizing my potential in other areas of my life. She did not find it inherently wrong or judge me for doing it, however, which is an important distinction.

      I’ve already met with one old Jungian guy (a rarity in this town, believe me) who seems both committed to his craft and caring, which is all I’m hoping to get out of a short-term therapist, and other lady who IMO is a useless fruitbat. Interestingly, she charged twice as much as the old Jungian. I could not believe this chick! She wanted to put me on antidepressants and told me to stop eating gluten (huh?)! She has a MA in psychology, she’s not even a psychiatric nurse, WTF is she recommending drugs for? She also talked about that woo quantum bullshit from “The Secret.” If I knew she believed in that, I never would have booked an appointment in the first place. She really out to say something about that on her website. Oh, and she told me that I’d be great working in PR (huh?). I was so incensed that when I left her building, I threw my water bottle on her lawn, which is the first time I have ever intentionally littered in my life! Some people must like her, though, because she had a gorgeous office and a nice painted sign and an expensive-looking hairdo. WHAT A QUACK!

      Your tele-practice sounds like a good idea. Marginalized people really need mental health services. I know for a fact that it’s a big issue in the sex worker community, I’ve heard it over and over again. There is a huge rush to pathologize women (and men, I guess) who do this work, and sometimes they say the unkindest things, which is really a shock when you’re going to someone for help…and giving them money to help you, to boot!

      Ok, enough for now. I am going to San Francisco tonight, and I have a lot to do to get ready!

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