This is a continuation of my diner-time with Jeremy Thursday. What I’ve reassembled here, I admit, is a bit of a jumble. Some things are out of order, but I can’t seem to fix it. My sorries. It is what it is…
After a while, we order pie. The diner has a carousel display of fresh-baked pies at the front, and it’s been our custom to order a wedge after a couple hours of chatting. I don’t eat desserts as a rule, and I haven’t been around Amanda of late, who adores chocolate, so I feel in general I’m on the calorie-deficit side of things, enough to “keep my figure,” as they used to say. (I sound like a sixties housewife. These days, I kind of am.) In any case, this is the train of rationalization that justifies in my mind this gorgeous piece of key-lime pie.
Again, Jeremy and I have other conversation, on other topics. These posts are not as linear as I report them to be. We circle and twist around the orbits of a number of subjects. In this case, it swings back to a question about social benefit and value.
“It seems you and I both agree,” Jeremy says, “as to the value of sex work in a society. I wonder if you feel the same way about your lifestyle submission and slavery.”
“Yes, I do, but of course a lot of D/s is still private, between dom and sub couples, and that’s fine, but it means it’s simply not really public or social. Most doms and subs probably don’t think much about that. When you’re chained to a wet bar, you don’t necessarily have a vision of social betterment.”
Jeremy laughs. “Probably not… but it seems your Amanda thinks that way. That there’s an ultimate purpose in the world for your lifestyle.”
“She does. She wants it all to be public. Keeping a slave as a kind of marital status.”
“Wet bar situations aside, do you see a benefit — that you provide a benefit to others you are, ah… with?”
I nod. He continues to have an impression I am generally shared with multiple people, and there needs to be some parsing of that. I am shared visually with multiple people, yes, but I am not yet given to strangers for sex. But I decide now to let that go and just roll with his questions.
“I think so, yes,” I say. “Although that may be just more about my own need for purpose. I like to think I am improving another person’s life in a submissive way. Though I sometimes feel I justify my scandal by presuming that I am a benefit to others.”
“I think,” Jeremy replies, “the others who have you don’t have any question about your benefits.”
I get a phone call. It’s Lucille, asking about a medication for mother. I leave our booth, taking the call into the diner’s entryway, but as soon as I get there, I’ve settled it with Lucille and head back.
“I’ve been fascinated,” Jeremy is saying, “by your interest in the roles of the courtesan in history.”
I’m pleased he remembers that from my blog. I talk a bit about that with him, but won’t belabor it in this post — I’ve covered that ground before.
But I tell him I believe that courtesans were used for daily remedies of social needs. They were used in a variety of roles that helped people get through the challenges of life each day. Likewise, today people in life have tensions, frustrations, needs — of all kinds, but including sexual — that often are pent up until they burst out in unhealthy, even violent ways. “These days, I think it’s all the more needed — a condition of modern and technological life,” I say. “I believe sex workers and social submissives like me provide in various ways a relief, release, of those knots in people’s lives.”
“Sexually, you mean.”
“Well, I think we tend to boil it down to sex, but it involves more than that — conversation, companionship, counseling, even massage, and then sometimes simply a playground for someone to play in for a few hours. I think this is what this could be. Should be.”
We went on a short tangent about the role of “relationship” in all this. This is something that fascinates him in his sex-worker interviews.
“Both sex worker and client seem to tacitly agree that as they have sex together, it doesn’t quote-unquote ‘mean anything.’ This, of course, provides the client a bit of cover for the other relationships he’s in — marriage, girlfriend, whatever. And the sex worker is distanced from any real attachment to the client. The sex is reduced to a function.”
Jeremy pauses there, and I wonder if he has a question in it for me. “Just how you think about that… and if you and Amanda deal with any of that in your lifestyle.”
“A lot to unpack,” I say.
“Well, I don’t need an answer. It’s just something I’m thinking about.”
I offer this: “I can’t help but think that we lose a piece of ourselves if we live life as if it doesn’t mean anything.”
“Well, I understand that sex work is a business, and a working girl has to protect her heart. So, I can’t judge that. But for me, I can’t survive if my encounters aren’t relational. They have to mean something to me.”
“But that goes against the lifestyle you’re in. Being used functionally, being objectified. Potentially being shared with strangers.”
“Yeah, I know it sounds like a contradiction. And I don’t know how to answer you regarding strangers… But I guess I’m saying that even in being objectified, I have to allow myself to feel. If I tell myself this ‘doesn’t mean anything,’ I’m hardening myself to myself.”
“And it seems to me,” Jeremy adds, “that others watching you, your doms or neighbors, want to see you feeling it.”
“Yes. In all those experiences, for me there’s a relationship. In my being used, in my humiliations, there is an exchange between me and another, there is something between us. It may be just a shard of relationship, but it is something exchanged.”
“Is that still true when you are used for submissive sex?” he asks.
“Well, yes. But let me back up first. This has been a big shift for me, Jeremy, from my religious upbringing. I’ve come to believe that sex is not the most important thing, not the definition of ultimate relationship. Relationships can be sexual or not, and sex can be with multiple people not just one. Sex is not the most important thing — but neither is it nothing. Sex is never meaningless, it’s always significant and personal. Just not necessarily the ultimate measure of relationship.”
“I’m not sure I follow,” Jeremy admits, but let me rephase it this way: when you’re used for submissive sex, you don’t consider it the most ultimate or, say, exclusive commitment between two people, but you still feel it deeply. It’s meaningful to you somehow.”
“Yes,” I say. “There’s always, for me, emotional connection.” I look across at Jeremy deciding whether to say what’s in my thoughts. I go with it: “When someone is inside me, they’re inside me.”
There is another, lighter moment at some point that afternoon. I ask Jeremy about his sex-worker interviews. “Just curious, do you pay them for the time, then simply interview them? Or,” I say with a sly grin, “is there more going on?”
Jeremy feigns offense, with a smile: “I think that’s pretty personal, Shae.”
“Right. You’re asking me all these questions about my sex life, but when it gets turned on you, it suddenly gets too personal!”
He laughs. “Actually, in perfect honesty, I really am professional in the interviews. It’s always purely interview talk.”
“How do they react when you say you just want to talk — no sex?”
“Some are surprised. Others, well, I think they get that sometimes — clients who need to talk.”
“I wonder if some are disappointed. You’re a cute guy.”
“I wouldn’t know about that,” he says, and now he is the one blushing.
Jeremy circles back to a previous thread. He always circles back. He refers to when I said that sex workers and social submissives provide a service of relieving the knots in people’s lives. He asks, “Was that your original vision for yourself in slavery?”
“No, not at first. You get into this, the lifestyle, and in the beginning it’s very personal, private. I think for many female submissives lucky enough to find a responsible male dom, it’s a Christian Gray moment, and it was for me with Michael. Romantic, sort of, and that’s a long, kind of painful story, but for me intensely personal in its kink. I didn’t yet have a vision for the lifestyle, and certainly didn’t see it as a social, public thing.”
I pause for a bite of my key-lime pie. Don’t know why key-lime has become a new thing for me. It’s so good here… I continue: “But it’s been Amanda’s vision all along to make me a social submissive, which I think is similar to that of courtesan, and I have come along to adopt her same vision.”
“So you see yourself now as something of a social service.”
I blink at that, as it sounds oddly objectifying coming from Jeremy. Not that I am offended. I smile. “I think of several people who might see me that way.”
“But do you see yourself that way?”
“Yes. Not solely that, but yes, in some measure. I think social submissives, sex workers too, can be kind of the oil, so to speak, that greases the troubles of life for others. And I am used that way.”
“You mean sexually.”
“Yes, but it’s not that only. You always seem to reduce it to that!”
Jeremy shrugs. “I’m a guy.”
I smile, shake my head. “Anyway… what I provide, I think, the social service, as you put it, is an experience of a lot of things — control of someone, ease of life, erotic moments, and sometimes sex too. I don’t think of it as just about sex. I think all of it as pleasure. It’s all a facilitation of pleasure.”
“That’s your social service.”
“Well, it’s a certain kind of pleasure, for sure, not for everyone. But for dominants, people who want to control, yes.”
“And for people who want to watch you being controlled.”
“Yes. All who can get into that, the kink of it, or maybe just the novel entertainment of what I am to them… But I think I am of value to some of those people, doms for sure, because I don’t expect anything in return, there are no strings, and I am not a problem or complication. I am simply—”
“Lubrication,” Jeremy says with a grin.
I shake my head in exasperation. “If I had a pillow, I’d throw it at you.” I chuckle: “But yes, actually yes, kind of like that.”