By Any Other Name

My sincerest apologies to those of you who have been surprised by my new assistant Rose. I’ve been terribly, delightfully busy for the last few weeks and she and I have been coordinating and learning and running around trying to help you and me and her all fit together well. I’ll tell the whole story soon but the long and short of it is that I got busy, not only busy but I developed an aversion to answering emails, particularly from new people. Screening was like pulling teeth in some cases and even minor lapses in communication caused me to respond with sharp words, or at least thoughts. It got to the point that a dozen little irritations colored every experience. I was so sensitized to petty things that I sometimes didn’t notice my own mistakes. I’m not normally easily irritable in general, so what happened?

What happened was my own thoughts; I spent too much time dwelling on negative interactions. Partly because there were enough new inquiries that weren’t consistent or complete and still needed attention but mostly because I had spent too much time reading ABOUT things that annoy people. Three threads in particular confirmed my decision to avoid the discussion threads on TNA.

The first, titled ‘what keeps a provider OFF your to do list?’, invited negative feedback by its very syntax. It was specifically asking for people to list negative behaviors. The sister thread, ‘what keeps a hobbyist OFF your to do list?’ was similarly worded to invite descriptions of bad behavior. When it occurred to me how inherently negative they were, I started my own, titled ‘What gets someone ON your to do list?’ I was proud of the first round of replies, people responding with appreciation for and positive comments on great treatment they had received in the past that made them want to see a provider or a client. And yet even that had a short life. One of my beloved clients responded, complementing me on the question and my general behavior, and was immediately passive-aggressively insulted by one of my friends. That was my last straw. I had been debating to myself a severe restriction of my TNA consumption and this was simply the nail in the coffin. I check up every once in a while to see what’s being said but in general I’ve shifted my attention elsewhere. While the first two threads are regularly bumped to the top of the discussion page, the third, doomed question fell farther and farther behind, buried under graphic images, rants, and petty bickering.

After limiting my TNA intake and giving Rose the responsibility for scheduling, my feelings of appreciation and positivity have gone through the roof. I am excited as fuck for my sessions and the quality has been steadily improving. There are several other contributors to my emotional success and sustainability but at the moment, Rose’s prompt, professional assistance, clear communication, and enterprising initiative is number one. Limiting my TNA exposure helped, but Rose’s aid over the last few weeks has been that last leg supporting my positivity. Numina Faye was with me as Rose began to tackle my inbox and I watched my notifications slowly dwindle. She watching with envy as the constant, low level stress of unread emails slipped away and I could focus on our time together (naked. In the hot tub).

I mentioned legs and support and such things and I wanted to give a shout out to some of my other supportive sisters. Numina and I spent a few days in Portland and in every work related conversation we both shared such pleasure and appreciation for our work that, though I was socially worn out by the time I got home (I know, socially worn out? ME? Haha), It was a happy glow kind of worn out. Sofina and I had dinner last week and again, work related conversation was overwhelmingly appreciative of our support systems, our beloved clients, and the astonishing realization that we might be in the minority in our attitudes. Adelle is consistently grounded, having trod this trail before me and made many of the same discoveries. I walk away from our every interaction feeling reassured, determined, satisfied, heartened, and loved. Danielle is a constant reminder of how lucky we are to share an industry that is constantly new, full of the most incredible people, always prodding us to grow in ourselves, and always a source of unrestrained enthusiasm. Savanna Sly*, lioness among lambs, exposes herself to social and political danger on my behalf and yours, bestowing and commanding respect wherever she goes, teaching the infant activist in me and sharing my respect for and appreciation of our beloved clients. Claire, so new to this world but already so perceptive, learning and growing and filling my incall with the most amazing positive vibes. Me, lucky to have so many colleagues who share my outlook, who lift me and support me as I lift and support them in turn.

*Savanna, for those who don’t know, is the SWOP-USA president and one of my most respected colleagues and activists. Others may make more noise, others may be more specialized, but Savanna is a connector, able to build bridges, listen and truly hear, and help shape national energy in the coming movement towards decriminalization. If you, beloved client, want us both to meet safe from legal or social punishment, please book an appointment with her (she does ProDomme and FBSM work) or if you can’t, donate to her living expenses/SWOP-Seattle/SWOP-USA. She’s only a visitor to Seattle but I can put you in contact if you wish.