Wednesday, January 24, 2007

On Being Priveleged

Peggy McIntosh, a white woman who works in womens studies was thinking about how men don't acknowledge their priveleged status, which got her to start thinking about her own as a white person. The result is The White Privelege Checklist. Then Amp, a guy put together a Male Privelege Checklist. Three more I like are The Non-Trans Privelege Checklist, The Christian Privelege Checklist, and a group of str8 students contributed to the Daily Effects of Straight Privelege. It's nice to see people raising awareness about these issues, not as a matter of survival for themselves and their own communities, but out of some sense of honesty about privelege as an unearned reward.

I'd really like to see a non-sex worker do a non-sex worker privelege checklist - you know, 'I can tell others what I do for a living without either them thinking that they can make inappropriate sexual advances towards me, or that I have a history involving drug addiction, child abuse and domestic violence' or 'I can work from home as a self employed person without local councils sending in private investigators to check out my services, or without anyone thinking it will send the housing prices plummeting or contaminate their kids'. Any non-whores out there want to give it a try?

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Online Adventures

This picture here from the Gender PAC website. They come from the Gap. Arrggghhhh!!!!
Also, this is serious, and kinda painful to read, but it's from the website Emi Koyama, "the activist/author/academic working on intersex, sex workers' rights, (queer) domestic violence, genderqueer, anti-racism, and other issues".
On a non-gender activism note, I was strolling around the net randomly, and found these gorgeous pictures. Sometimes even when there is so many horrible things in the world to be angry about - intersex babies still being mutilated, war in Iraq, the binary gender system, the existence of John Howard, something randomly beautiful makes my heart sing and makes everything groovy... at least for a while.

Must clean or the spiders will be wearing my clothes next

After taking it a bit easier for a few weeks, less trashiness at the Sly Fox, more relaxed forms of socialising - Wizard of Oz watching with Madam Phantasm, lunches and coffees with Zoo, walks in the park with a charming gentlebutch and New Years Eve picnicking with whore activists - the last week and a bit has been full on - adventures at Gurlesque (in which Wife was amazing - all exuburance, sexy bondage and a very lucky bottle) and Veronica from the US reminded me that good spoken word is hotter than nudity, any day of the week. Back to the Sly for rather disappointing show with Sex and Glita away (hooray for the fabric twirling boy though), and dinners out all the time, Spurs For Jesus for Zoo's natal anniversary and dinner for mine, I'm a leetle puffed out and need a good lie down.

The aim of taking space is to ease back into my own body - to recover from the energy I put out in frantic social spaces. And I need to recover sufficiently to feel up to engaging with the housework, right now.

My space is in absolute choas. I keep finding diamantes imbedded in my carpet - I don't know where they've come from. Everything is covered in a thick film of my (head) hair and cat fur. There has been a silver false eyelash caught in a spiders web half way up my kitchen wall for at least a month. I guess I should be pleased that at least my chaos is undeniably femme chaos. However, I think June Cleaver would be horrified, all the same.

I do have this grand plan of wearing a french maid uniform in the hopes that this will inspire me to clean (will turning it into a fetish activity be enough motivation)? Or possibly erecting an altar to Hestia (Vesta in the Roman tradition) a goddess after June Cleaver's own heart she rules over the hearth and home, never leaving or involving herself with outside concerns (will turning cleaning into religious practice provide the imputus).?

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Constant Craving

Hmmm... there has been times over the last month when I've considered that trying to do celebacy and quitting smoking at the same time is a bit much of an ask of my poor little old will power. Maybe I'll take up biting my nails (celebacy has meant that I'm allowing them to grow past fisting length).

I have a feeling that I have some unexplored stuff that needs to be finished from my last Saturn return (which is supposed to occur between 28 and 30 - so not too far out) so until those issues appear to be adequately dealt with, I'm happy to go for the safe option of having a shag-free time. In the mean time, I continue to have strange run-ins with exs (ex bonks and ex partners) which at least demonstrates that I've moved on, somewhat. I don't know why all this feels so significant, I just seem to be convinced that all the ghosts haunting me are echos of a past I will be soon closing the door on, and moving into the next phase of my life. It's an exciting thought, and it will be even nicer to be moving into that phase without smoking.

During this time (probably as a distraction from cravings) I've been thinking a lot about withdrawl from sex, nicotine, and lurve. They are very similar feelings. The low dopamine levels experienced when removing either of these elements can leave one feeling empty and needy and looking for an encounter with the appropriate substance in order to take the edge off and to feel all contented and at peace. Breaking that cycle can take quite a while - and much self disapline (something I never enjoy exerting). However, I'd rather spend the time learning to do without the substance than be fucking, in a relationship or smoking to prop up my dopamine levels. Dopamine levels can also be enhanced by long walks, bouncing, laughing, watching great performance, costumes, spending time with those who add to my thinking, hanging out with animals of the non human variety and watching Sesame Street. It can be easier to avoid unwise sex, unwise relationships (and always unwise) smoking if I remeber that what I am experiencing is simply my neurochemistry being out of whack, knowing I can do other things to stimulate a healthier high.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

I don't want to be the filler if the void is solely yours
I don't want to be your glass of single malt whiskey
Hidden in the bottom drawer
I don't want to be a bandage if the wound is not mine
Lend me some fresh air
I don't want to be adored for what I merely represent to you
I don't want to be your babysitter
You're a very big boy now
I don't want to be your mother
I didn't carry you in my womb for nine months
Show me the back door
- Alanis Morissette ‘Not the Doctor’

I’ve finally succumbed to blogging song lyrics. It had to happen – and Alanis, too! I must confess a fondness for her self-help lyrical journeys and passion for squeezing big words and concepts uncomfortably into the song lyric formula. All I can say is that I hope always to remember that I never want to be a care-taker ever, ever again (unless I do actually push out a baby).

Here are two other things I never want to forget again:
The subtle joys of listening to the small internal voice of sanity.
That big, dramatic production number that is chaotic girlie emotions is such an overwhelming thing to deal with. It’s so easy to let that take over. The small voice of sanity speaks the whole time, and you hear what it’s saying, but it gets drowned out but these loud, messy emotions. You know the voice is only speaking truth, and healthiness, and dignity. But the emotions promise Wagnerian spectacles – and somehow at the time that’s more compelling.
At a certain point, necessity meant paying closer attention to the voice of reason. And I actually did what it said to. And I felt better. And slowly, it got louder, and started to drown out the dramatics. And my life got less tempestuous, and I felt a lot better for it. Does this mean I’m finally growing up?
That good people who like you for who (and what) you are, care about your wellbeing and treat you well are the only people worth sharing time with.
No matter how seductive, exciting, delicious and breathtaking (sometimes that’s fear and not swoony chemistry) someone is, if they don’t act like they give a shit about what is actually good and healthy for you, run like the wind.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Debby Alert

Debby Doesn't Do It For Free at Gurlesque. This Sunday at Gurlesque, Debby Jelly Belly will be performing Olympic Whore. Also performing is Wife.
Debby Diamante Dildo Harness (um, that would be me) will be doing Unrepentant - with assistance from Disorganised Debby and Decriminalise Debby - at the February Gurlesque show.

Sunday, January 07, 2007

(Slighty grumpy) random thoughts on friendships and community*

Negotiating friendships in a new town has certainly been a rollercoaster. I've tried to keep open and allow myself to refrain from making snap judgements. Being really out about my sex work has almost always made new friendships challenging - many people have assumed I'm sexually available to them even when I'm being clear that isn't the case. I've never understood why people believe that someone who charges will be 'easier' than someone who always has sex for free. the fact that I'm comfortable with discussing sex in an explicit way can create further complications. It's sometimes assumed to be a come on, when for me I'm talking about the nitty gritty (and for a long-term sex worker totally unerotic) aspects of occupational health and saftey issues.
The idea that I'm often hypersexualised because of the whole whore thing by others is still funny for me. In my head I'm still the nerdy brunette who reads too much and is obsessed with politics rather than sex.

The fact that if I'm perceived to be very sexual that somehow makes me less worthy of respect is not at all funny.
I do find it a leetle outrageous that some 'enlightened' queer women will still police or disapprove of the concensual sexual practices of people within our own communities. I get quite pissed off that as a polyamorous sex worker I'm sometimes not considered to have boundaries. I get really pissed off that a woman can repeatedly ask me for sex after I've said no - and not realise that even though she has a cunt it's still sexual harassment.
I'm disappointed that in some ways we still replicate some heterosexual norms, in that women who are sexual are perceived to be less intellegent and less valuable. Will it take a return to 1970s era feminist conciousness raising groups before we truly that liberation is in part about demonstrating our politics in how we treat one another?
I've spent some time with women who would see themselves as anti-racist, anti-sexist, anti-classist, etc - but who manage to treat the people around them in completely hideous ways. People who don't make the connections between big picture stuff, and the micro-level. Who aspouse great politics, but will happily bag someone for being fat, or not dressing stylishly, or being too vanilla, or not fitting in in other ways. Since when has being queer about fitting in? Some concerned, mumsy part of me has an image of a baby queer who has been suicidal and finally entered the community looking for safe space, only to find themselves once again on the outer. I'm not suggesting community members should fuck everyone, or befriend everyone, but humanity and niceness would be great.
I'm really interested in people who have great politics and great personal values. People who are compassionate and secure enough to not need to be funny at the expense of someone who's already standing awkwardly in the corner of the room. I have complete respect for people that demonstrate safe, sane and consensual and a real valuing of others - even if it's a one night stand, even if they or the other person is drunk, even if the other person has a 'reputation' I'm paying attention to people who want to be a part of my life to see if their behaviour matches up to what they say they believe in.
I have occassionally been appalled at witnessing some awful behaviour since I've been in Sydney, and become more watchful and disserning as a result. I'm very pleased to say I've also met some people who make me smile everytime I think of them.
* Some of the negativity in this post may be affected by lack of nicotine - I apologise - felt it was worth posting, all the same.

Monday, January 01, 2007

Requests and Resolutions

I don't really do New Years resolutions - I ask the Goddess for things I need - then instead of getting them, I am presented with challenges in those area that ultimately force me to develp greater skills and strength to tackle the identified challenges. I've always attributed an impish sense of humour to the deities, so in place of wish fulfillment, I get 'choose your area of difficulty to focus on this year'. I'm actually glad I don't get the rub the genie bottle and get three wishes. There is much more satisfaction in the opportunites for self development.

About 4 years ago I attended a Winter Solstice (Yule) event in Adelaide. Yule marks the end of the old year and onset of the new for Pagans (although we celebrate it in the middle of the calendar year in the Southern hemesphere). We wrote down wishes for the new year on paper, rolled them up and inserted them into holes pre-drilled into the Yule log, which was then put into the fire. I asked for the most relevent thing for my life at the time: an end to my clinical depression. Instead of that occuring without any work from me, pretty soon after that time I embarked on the fateful relationship; the ending of this sparked my recovery (I've posted about this ad nauseum in this blog to date).

At the beginning of 2006 I asked for two things. The first was no more needy people who were unable to demonstrate respect and support for me. So at times I had various hot prospects entering my life who were delightful and attractive, but so messy and unreliable that I had to regretfully put the breaks on. The second thing I asked for was greater assertiveness. So I was presented with a two nasty situations involving sexual harassment this year that I had to manage. Both times were so bizarre and creepy that they forced me to speak up and challenge the dynamic almost immediately.

What I really need to ask for this year is for better money management skills, and better organisational skills. The problem is that I could easily be asking for mounting debt and even more commitments as challenges for me to experiment on. So if I end the year having a nervous breakdown and facing bankrupcy, I'll only have myself to

International Whores Day

On June 2, 1975, a group of sex workers in Lyon, France, and their supporters took over a church to protest against police harassment of street workers, increasing numbers of arrests and a lack of interest shown by police in solving murders and other crimes committed against those working in the sex industry.

The protestors challenged the police to arrest anyone they could identify as a sex worker, making the point being that most sex workers are ordinary people doing a job and cannot be told apart from others. This action led to the modern-day international sex workers’ rights movement, with celebrations for International Whores’ Day taking place across the world.