Archive for the 'sexwork' Category

30
Jan
18

Barney LOVE , Free LOVE, Free Sex..YES, and!

shiva-shakti-gold-front-green-ss-ss4I was recently featured in a VICE mag piece about the ex Barney dinosaur who is now a Tantrika…https://www.vice.com/en_us/article/…ns-a-tantric-sex-business?utm_source=vicefbus 

As a PS comment to this article published, the things that I mainly have a problem with is not that Barney has sex with clients, but that he does it without a condom and claims that it is for authentic Tantric energy purposes,which is not true. Also, even though I say that having sex with clients is an anomaly, it DOES happen for me in sessions where I feel totally connected with the God in front of me and we are exchanging genuine loving bliss, so intercourse, or anything often happens (within my own personal boundaries, which raw sex isn’t).   I didn’t read that Joyner made a distinction between the AGAPE LOVE energy exchanged when playing Barney with children and the EROS LOVE energy when in Tantra sessions, and because he never mentioned it, either it was edited out or it wasn’t an emphasis for him.  And if it wasn’t an emphasis then this would be suspect for me because we need to make a distinction between eros/physical adult energy with lovers and children.  I work with children as an English teacher teaching phonics and I work with the inner children of adults as a Tantra teacher, the energy changes once I put my hands on my clients body.  

I spent 7 years as an escort before I moved into Tantra. The difference for me in the organic versus the transactional is that escorts often do things because “it is part of the job” or “it is expected” or “for good reviews” NOT because they feel totally in love with you or flowing in union. This is not to say that escorts don’t have fun or love the sex for sex not just for money, but since I’ve done both, I can definitely speak on the fact that it is different. I do believe that David Joyner (former Barney) is both enjoying the sex and being spiritual with his clients, and I ALSO like to have these 2 things in my sessions.

I wrote the above in a Tokyo hobbyist board and quickly an escort got her g string up her neck and wrote this:

Don’t know much about Tantra, so I won’t be comparing the two, but I honestly believe that an escort’s feelings toward her work is usually more of a personal issue and has nothing to do with her clients most of time. If you’re an escort and you always have to force yourself to have sex with your clients, then there’s a high chance that you’re doing survival sex work and should try to solve the issue as soon as possible.

I’ve met and talked to escorts who’ve taken a break or have left the industry, and they never complained about the sex factor. It was either because of stigma, being outed by “friends” or family, a new job/career, or an insecure partner.

On the contrary, one of the biggest complaints I hear from escorts is that their vanilla partners (dates, friends with benefits, boyfriends, husbands) don’t treat them like their clients do, don’t eat them out like their clients do, or don’t fuck them like their clients do.. and I know that they don’t say it to look good in front of men because they are private SW-only accounts.

This last paragraph I just had to highlight because in all my years of activism and organizing sex workers from all over the world, I had never ever heard anything even close to what this woman just wrote!  But I just responded that it definitely depends on the provider.  “Here’s a good litmus test,”I told her,”Would you have sex with your clients for free? Most of the sex workers I know would never do such a thing, and a good amount of them don’t even have sex for free EVER.”  But it could just be me, and it could just be that I know a whole other universe of sex workers.  There are many universes after all!  Her paragraph seemed so out of the ball park from most of the guys that I have met as an escort and continue to meet as a Tantrika.  They come to us for guidance, not the other way around.  But again, I was on a Tokyo hobbyist board, one that I try to advertise on occasionally but never get any business on.  I don’t do well with this sector of men, and I didn’t even when I was an escort.  The escort accused me of whorearchy (whore hierarchy) and the men on the thread didn’t seem to understand organic sex versus transactional sex.  They couldn’t get their heads around this idea because a hobbyist is someone who has seen hundreds of prostitutes and had brag worthy sex with them FOR MONEY.  The idea of doing it any other way probably seems stupid, silly and a waste of time.  

Organic means that it grows naturally…like a flower in a garden. Transactional means I am paid to have sex. While I do not mean to offend any escorts by my words, I do know that most of the sex workers that I ever knew and do know would not have sex with their clients for free. I charge 50,000 yen for 2 hours of Tantra instruction which includes intimacy and body work and other spiritual/sexual practices. If I am feeling moved by the client in my body, mind and spirit then I will often go with the flow of my desire which varies from client to client. I am not paid for sex, I am paid to facilitate Tantra sessions which include bathing rituals, prostate/sacred spot massage, coaching on orgasm control, body rubs and coaching on how to have a fulfilling sex life. If we are flowing in a great session, I will have intercourse with you. I will kiss you. I will fall in love with you (within the container of the session). You will feel this love deeply and genuinely. Whatever sex acts that occur above and beyond the initial session are free, mutually beneficial. This feels better to most of my clients. I have no guarantees of DFK, BBJ or any menu items, it is strictly MMV and totally genuine, more like dating sex (no menu, no guarantees, no reviews). I know, it is the opposite of how hobbyists think in general but I’m able to get clients doing my Tantra coaching on a busy phone sex website next to providers doing all the nasty taboo things in their ads that I don’t do and I do what I do as I am doing now. With love, with trust and feeling of safety many things in sex and life are possible.  I always feel incredibly vulnerable posting my real thoughts in front of sex workers these days, since leaving sex work activism and the 5 years I’ve been a goddess, I’ve been through some interactions that have made me feel less than safe amongst current sex workers that I don’t know well.  But I know humans are humans beyond all of our identities and this is what Tantra has taught me…to dare to be authentically compassionate…to dare to drop the walls that seperate us….to dare to love….love oneself enough to be honest and work in a job where you set boundaries that can change over time.  You CAN be the sexual being who is paid or not that YOU are comfortable being without compromising.  There are men and women out there who are awaiting your touch and companionship and whatever else you offer.

23
Jan
18

Being Grace Fully

I have been Grace at 22 years old.  I think it was exactly 22 years old when my sexual assault avoidance came crashing down with yet another gross violation of my verbal and non verbal cues.  My whole life changed at 22, and I started to go to trauma therapy for all that happened before this time at 22 and I would continue to progress through 15 more years of more sexual violence and deal with it other ways that you may or may not agree with it.  Nothing is black and white.  And sometimes it isn’t enthusiastic yes or hell no.  Eventually for most people who have experienced sexual violence it does get there, but it takes a few worst nights of your life before that can happen.  Sometimes we do drugs during or after, violence, payback, slutty behavior, denial, acting out, prostitution or long careers of sex work and activism as a result.  And it can ALL BE CONFUSING to us and our perpetrators and the ears of society.  Nothing in a book or workshop can help you when your body and mind decides to do something to survive.   I took years of Krav Maga self defense and I was still sexually violated by one of my instructors in class. Healing ends when life ends is what one of my mentors taught me, I know well that age makes us better at it.  Grace had the worst date of her life, I’ve had dates exactly like that at 22 AND I’ve even had dates with 22 year olds at my age now who pouted and whined because they didn’t get to orgasm and continued to persist even after my verbal and non verbal cues were communicated.  But I didn’t do anything with him at 41 like I might have at 22. It took decades of trauma and healing to become this clear and this strong through “learning the hard way.” 

What I did learn over time, in my getting better at dealing with being assaulted was how to soothe myself through my wounds, how to take better self care, how to recognize trauma symptoms and not avoid them, how to not seek violent or monetary payback or sexual cumback, and mostly how to speak out better than the last time, each time I got better. 

That krav maga instructor knows he violated me, because I filed charges with the school (not the police, fuck the police) and all his managers were called into a meeting with me and he was forced to face and apologize to me.  I didn’t want to ruin his career but I did stop taking his classes, and I learned to take back power a different way, I continued training in the same school for 2 more years never seeing him again.  And still I’m not naming him on social media here because I didn’t and still don’t think it is necessary and it bars him from actual remediation of his behavior, which might happen to Ansari.   This has clearly happened as a backlash to Grace for  “(paraphrased) trying to ruin Ansari’s career and her voice may become weaker and not stronger as a result, but I doubt it.  Life begins not ends at 22.  Hell, it doesn’t even end at 40 like I previously thought.  

IMG_20180123_140229_791

The tattoo of the magic wand with barbed wire is about the beginning of my sexual trauma awakening, painful and full of drama as being 22 is.  The magic wand symbolizes my inner light and magic and the barbed wire symbolizes the protection of its beauty and shine.  Barbed Wire also because at this time around 1999, Pamela Anderson’s Barb Wire was the hot movie and she the stripper protagonist was my role model who kicked ass and shot weapons in a PVC catsuit and seemingly never gave in to the desires of any of the men in the film.  Later on the arm I tattooed the goddess Kwan Yin, and the character for Agape LOVE, all of this is related to my hero’s journey and the pain that I have endured to get to peace that I feel now.

Mr. Ansari, in a statement responding to the account, said that “by all indications” the encounter was “completely consensual.”  

When I read this, I’m not triggered, I understand.  But I have decades of incidents over both of these people possibly because of I worked as a sex worker for 15 years.  I almost don’t want to use that as a qualifier because half of the sexual violence I experienced happened outside of sex work environments, but 15 years of sex work was the way that I learned how to come to grips with the world I lived in and the bed I made for myself (radical responsibility not blame).  I started to take radical responsibility for some of the situations I put myself in.  I had to because although I tried to make death and addiction an option, the Universe just wouldn’t let me go out so easy.  My first date rape at age 17 and almost all of the violations after that, I’d bet 5 million dollars that all of these men thought what we did was TOTALLY consensual.  The drunken 17 year I was did not consent to being led to a darkened empty beach in Hawaii and laid down on the sand, but my reaction at that time was to hop on top of the dick that non consensually penetrated me and try to take back the power that was just taken from me by maybe trying to “get an orgasm” because at least I would have gotten something, anything.   So, I know too well why Grace might have sucked his dick even if she felt violated, however, I wasn’t there so maybe she didn’t do what I did, we are all projecting into both of these or any of the characters.   But, if it was then this is a behavior I know well.   It grew to be the way that I would deal with healing from sexual violence for 15 years, like an addict chasing their first high, those of us (men, women and in between) that chase power (payback, fame, money) in the world realize that it is a slippery snake if not an illusive and deceptive one that is not even real.  It makes consent look unclear because of the illusion of seduction or enjoyment that you created out of desperation, immaturity, ignorance or insecurity.  

The conversation about sexual violence, rape, assault and ALL the words in between definitely needs to include abuse of power, social justice, dating protocol, conversations and nuances, it needs to include sex work, drugs, spiritual abuse and BDSM ethics, ALL THE 50 SHADES OF GRAY need to come out of the closet and not be judged.  (to be con’t)

 

23
Nov
17

#Metoo and three and four…reprogramming the Matrix you are running in

17880652_10210868124692387_453721393325343523_oI mark the end of my time as an escort at 4.5 years ago now.  When I recap the story that I speak to audiences it goes like this “I was chasing a drug addict client down the street with a stun gun the week I met Destin Gerek, the life coach who got me into Tantra.”  The longer version of that story which I spare the public is that this same fucker once pushed me against the wall and pulled a box cutter on me and whipped his dick out and tried to masturbate on or for me just weeks before me chasing him down the street.   He had been calling my work phone for fake appointments stalking me with a phone number blocker so that each time I blocked him he could call with a different number to repeat his behavior, which happened at least twice before the stun gun chasing incident.  This last incident of running down the street after him, i was taking matters into my own hands because I knew that was the only justice i might be able to get, and I was determined to try to end the madness “by any means necessary,” which was the whore revolutionary mantra inspired by Malcolm X and other revolutionaries.  And yes, I did actually boldly go to the police, to the exact same station that I spent the one night in jail for prostitution to report this man, but it didn’t go well, because all I remember is storming out and jumping in my car to try to find this man by cruising the street clandestinely on in the vicinity the attack just occurred.   I had been seriously training in Krav Maga for over 4 years at that time to help disperse misogynistic energy and protect me from the cycle of violence that I was in.  I had earned a confidence in my physical ability to hold my own.  How did I begin taking Krav Maga for the first time?  A poorly screened client and I had an altercation at my house where I was massaging him, I sprayed him with pepper spray and he didn’t falter, he backed slowly down the stairs (which I should have kicked him down as I have a neck breaking staircase, but as I said I’m not naturally a violent person and I was too scared and traumatized to do much more than I did). He slashed the tires of my car in front of my house to let me know that he had returned once, but thankfully that was the end of me and him.  This was probably more than 7 years ago now, but just recalling it still brings chills to type.  And taking Krav Maga surely helped put me on a strong kick ass warrior path until one of my favorite instructors tried to pull my pants down suddenly during a fight drill in class (i did file admin charges on him with the school’s high ups, hold an admin meeting with all of us after that incident and I did NOT quit the school or training, i just never took his class again).  So while all of the things that have happened to me while I was a sex worker are bad and difficult to recall, there were things that happened to me that could have happened to anyone, and are in fact all part of the same disease that our society is fighting off collectively in the light right now.  I have never been a violent person.  But some things, especially if repeated can bring out the MONSTER in me, or anyone for that matter.  These things that channel the Aileen Wuornos spirit to gnarl its Kali Ma destructive force at all of the collective perpetration of all goddesses in the world.  You want to be the next person to violate me, you need to know that I will reflect your bullshit back at you in SOME FORM and not wait ten years to do so to speak my truth.  

It took its toll on me as a warrior in the battle, as a victim, as a survivor, as a student who looked up to her favorite instructor, as a 15 year old office worker, as a 17 year old, a 19 year old and more, yes me too, yes me three and four and more. There are so many incidents of sexual assault and violence in my life that I don’t even count individual incidents or people because it doesn’t serve me or anyone to do that, it is all one long continuum that did not stop until I made a radical spiritual evolution and jumped out of the matrix that I was in and received a new program from the Universe.  Very much like Neo, as he comes into consciousness and gains more martial arts skills but still his enemy Agent Smith multiplies and becomes stronger and seemingly invincible, I felt like I had no choices so I dove deeper into the depths of fire because I was so sick of living in this pattern of repetition that I felt I had no control over (even attempted seemingly suicidal decisions, put myself in death’s way, tried to become a drug addict myself but it didn’t take to me) before emerging into peace. AAEAAQAAAAAAAATFAAAAJGI4YzVlZmUzLWZkZmEtNGZlNS04NzZlLTFkNDUzYTE5NjZkYg

Realizing my power was not about making my physical body stronger or my warrior aura more protected or indifferent, that was me as Neo, trying all the ways I could muster to impossibly to bend the spoon.  ‘Do not try and bend the spoon, that’s impossible. Instead, only try to realize the truth…there is no spoon. Then you’ll see that it is not the spoon that bends, it is only yourself.’

 

12
Nov
17

The R word, The N Word and the V word: Verbal Ammunition hurts people, people don’t hurt people! Hurt People Hurt People!

1916533_1222046804541_5954264_n

…The thing that has stood out to me most, the thing that I was also guilty of was that self determined sex workers HATE being called victims, unless it is them doing the victim name calling on their own situations.  It is really hard to think straight when you are recovering from trauma.  In fact, I know that PTSD is rearing its ugly head out of my wounds when my memory freezes in the same way my body does.  My sense of direction is worse than usual (which is normally not the best) and sometimes I find it hard to find the words and names of familiar places, I find it hard to find my keys or even the keyhole which the key fits in the door of my apartment.  This usually goes on for a few days after the incident and I thank my body for being the harbinger of consciousness around sexual violence in my life again and again so that my brain catches up to what my body knows as the truth.  

What I mean by the first statement is that once we are clear that sex work in and of itself is not a victimizing situation then we can explore the further depths of the trauma that occurs when one is doing work that is criminalized, stigmatized and often residing at many of the darker alleys of the sexual activities of the majority of men and women who participate in it.  Once you are not using the rescuing paradigm then we can talk about the lack of rights that people in the sex industry are afforded in both the legal and illegal sectors.  But it gets more complicated than that IF YOU ALLOW YOURSELF (and are ready) TO GO THERE.  It is easier to go with simple sound bites and hashtags and mantras such as “It’s not your fault” “theft of services equals rape” “guns don’t kill people, people kill people” and my personal non favorite “MEN ARE TRASH” and so on that on the surface seem to be the solution, but the solution has a long trajectory.  The sex worker movement, like any other oppressed identity movement also has its own sound bites which I knew very well having been in the forefront of it on a global level for multiple years.  Soundbites and PR crafted responses are designed to take the emotion out of the incident,  but as Uma Thurman expressed so eloquently regarding the recent Harvey Weinstein allegations,”I don’t have a tidy soundbite for you…because… when I have spoken out of anger, I usually regret the way I express myself, so I’ve been waiting to feel less angry, and when I am ready, I will say what I have to say.”  

The whore revolutionary (the old me) often and fearless spoke out of anger and rage against the machine and rage against my perpetrators that I knew that I probably wouldn’t press charges against because there was no institutionalized structure in place to support such allegations.  We can witness how hard it is for established wealthy celebrity females to go up against a more established male counterpart in an industry as mainstream and accepted as Hollywood.  I used this blog as my bullhorn and way to heal and process out loud during and immediately after I’d faced sexual violence.  The more years that were removed from traumatic incidents and the way that I did my work allowed me to see that in sex work, when there is violence or non consensual sexual activity (such as stealthing removal of a condom or theft of services) it is always violence but whether or not it is RAPE is something I often did not take the time to ask myself.  And when my body is screaming the answer, when I am dropping my change clumsily on the floor at the cashier counter, I KNOW THE FUCKING ANSWER! Or…I know one answer, the one answer that helps me feel safe and soothed in my times of seemingly death defying moments of anxiety and anguish.

When the brain is settled, one’s decision to use the word RAPE has the same verbal ammunition potential as using the word N**GER in many situations so we must assess its use carefully.  I started to use the word sexual violence instead.  “I have experienced a continuum of sexual violence both in, out and before sex work.”  (my sound bite which has been consciously crafted to deliberately not sound like “I was raped continuously when I was doing prostitution.’ for various reasons mostly political but also encompassing my desire to NOT CHOOSE personally disempowering language.  And the DIFFERENT choices that I have made since then are what I want my current writings to focus on.  Does our verbal ammunition do more damage than was done in the original incident in question?  Are we or can we even be conscious of the effects our words have?  I thought calling any theft of service a RAPE was my path to empowerment, but personally it was my path to insanity and an endless cycle of violence mostly to myself; and unsurprisingly because Aileen Wuornos was indeed the mother of prostitute insanity and violence who died without ever getting any of her needs met.  

02
Nov
16

To Whore or Not to Whore Part 2

Survival sex work doesn’t take thought in the same way that blocking a punch coming at your face is an instinctual move for most. Taking the time to assess whether you can meet your basic needs in other ways is comparable to the thought process of assessing why you even had to block a punch to the face in the first place.  This is the art part of martial arts. It is different from “self defense.” I was indeed a front line soldier for many years, so self defense was necessary but “it (to be in the war, to fight, to survive, to struggle)”, I learned, like everything was ALSO a choice. 

If you are doing survival sex work you are not in control of the working conditions or clients and it is often an act of desperation not empowerment.  The funny thing is when I called myself a “whore revolutionary,” I also referred to my work as a matter of survival NOT choice.  I empowered myself in my survival versus my choice, I likened myself to a suicide bomber in an occupation I inherited.  It was a slippery slope, and I predictably slipped to surrender to the greater elements constantly wearing me down, including mainly my own thinking around these issues, which I was not ready to admit until I was ready to submit.


Sex work is ONLY empowering when you WANT TO DO IT and you get to do it HOW and WHEN YOU WANT to do it.  


When I am working online looking for jobs and opportunities in Japan that I can do without a visa, I look for hours on craigslist.  Just like any metropolitan city craigslist there are ads for adult video models and escorts and various other things in the sex industry.  I shoot off emails with sexy photos to see what kind of entity i’m working with, whether or not they will actually respond and if they can tempt me further.  Every month living in Japan and paying rent is a challenge for me. I don’t go out and party much because of my limited income, i don’t get to go to a lot of basic social things in the center of the city like a Japanese or boxing class because traveling there requires $10 on the train and usually whatever cost of the event and a meal or two.  I imagine myself living under a bridge with the other homeless in Japan or trying to live in a shelter of some kind with all my huge piles of luggage and my guitar.  I wrack my brain trying to market all the different skills i have in the different sections of jobs offered. I am a freelance writer, i can teach English, i can teach Tantra to groups and individuals, i can do things in food service, I am great with children…Is it really time to pull out the goddess standards and make my money by any means necessary? I meditate on it.


One of my first Tantra clients in Tokyo paid my regular rate for a non intercourse, energy based session. I thought he would be a repeat client, we seemed to hit it off well. I kept in contact with him for a couple months while I travelled and upon returning back to Tokyo I asked him if he wanted another Tantra session. It seemed he wanted more than I was willing to offer as thegoddess.  He wanted an escort. After a long annoying conversation, he ended it with, “Give me a call if you ever decide you want to escort again. Ganbatte (good luck).”  Normally I would have instantly deleted his contact, but i kept it like it was an EMERGENCY CONTACT because I knew that maybe that day in Japan would come and I might have to call him up and give him the date I wasn’t willing to give that day. I had already been to his upscale high rise apartment and knew some of his story, so, it would be a safe person to escort with if that day ever did need to come.  

I had started a crowd fundraiser to pay rent but also entitled a VIBE RAISER so that I could RAISE THE VIBRATION of my potential, of my possibilities, to remind me of the work I was brought to do in Japan.  I sent off a quick message to him and he was less than friendly in his response. I reminded him of his escorting proposal some months ago. I was cold and detached and removed from my body. Totally opposite of thegoddess in the VIBERAISER video singing and asking a crowd of followers to help support her mission.


“Is that offer still on the table?” I messaged.

We proceeded to engage in a long detailed negotiation about what I would and wouldn’t do for how much.  These kinds of conversations I hadn’t had in years as a goddess but that I was relegating myself to for SURVIVAL. I was swallowing my pride and willing myself to take it because it wasn’t going to be so bad and all these other reasons.  He seemed surprised that I even had a right to any boundaries or respect, though I had taught him how to honor me as a goddess before, he seemed to forget it all. He even asked “So why have you decided to call me now?” These types of emotionally triggering questions, that in my past I would answer with frank fearlessness. But I knew better than to bite the hand before it fed me.  “So, you need support?” he asked. “I need a client.” I answered stoicly, trying hard to bite my tongue and stay in the safety zone. “Isn’t that the same thing?” “NO.” I said without elaboration.  My coldness of heart made even me shudder.  I knew it would be the same when I saw him, which would make me likely a terrible lover when and if the time came. i resented him so much and his line of questioning, his arrogance, his lack of Godliness. i resented that I was even asking, that I had to constrict my soul so much to have a basic negotiation conversation. I hadn’t felt like that in years.  I went lap swimming to change my energy and do some moving meditation. i asked the Universe,”Is this REALLY what I am supposed to be doing here? Is this the answer you are giving me now?” Swimming. Swimming. Meditating. Moving.

The next day said client texted after all of what I felt to be painful negotiation that my rate for escorting (seen as more than the session completed before for the same price) was too much. Ended with another Good Luck to you.

I rejoiced. DELETED his messages and number and proceeded to remove that plan from my consciousness. it was a valiant effort.  I was not sure HOW a solution would replace this, but I was 1000% sure that HE was not offering any part of it.

I did another VIBERAISER/FUNDRAISER video without alluding to any of that interaction. I was ready to trust in new solutions instead of relegate to ones that I had known before.

Later that evening, a friend who had actually “broken up” with me randomly messages thru Facebook. “Hey, Im starring in a music video tonite in Shibuya. We need an Asian woman to wear a G string and play a prostitute in a hotel room with a Yakuza gangster. It pays $275 (my fundraiser goal was $500) if you can get down here in a couple hours.”

YES. YES. YES. YES. Y.  E.  S!!!!!!

VIBERAISER SUCCESS. Intentions heard thru the world in loud, magnificent volumes.

YOU ARE NO LONGER MEANT TO BE A WHORE.

 But all your experiences in life will put you in the greatest position to capitalize where others dare not enter, because they could not even imagine where you’ve been.

THIS WAS the Real WHORE REVOLUTIONARY not ANY of that shit I was doing before.  I never again have to question if that day will come in Japan, because it already did and thegoddess levitated above it all. 

22
Aug
16

I was actually a FREE INDEPENDENT URBAN OIRAN not an urban geisha!!


For the years from the time that I started this blog, I branded myself for many years as the “Urban Geisha,” an “Educated Whore Revolutionary.”  I knew even then, that I was nothing near a “real geisha” but I was fascinated with the idea that part of the geishas art, aside from enticing men was to learn instruments, dances and traditional arts, including the art of conversation.  I prided myself at being the Urban artist of conversation because in honest reflection, I was never really that great at sexual acts during my escort years. Unless of course, I was attracted to the client or sometimes a client would surprise me with his abilities which didn’t match my usual “type.” This is what I liked about prostitution. It allowed me to experience people I wouldn’t usually allow in and, they had a 50/50 chance of doing me right despite the attraction factor.  The majority of time, I was really being the “2pac of prostitution (activist/musician)” character and many of my clients were urban homies, non violent criminals, drug users and other exiles of society, like I was. We would do a bunch of lines until the sunrise and I would entertain them with my art of conversation while making money. Sex was maybe 25% of the SEX work that I did.  Drug users were my favorites because of the fact that sex wasn’t so much a big part of it but keeping their lonely heart company while playing a facade was. And this was my definition of urban geisha. The other part that made me adopt the geisha moniker was because I was of Japanese heritage and I had the PASS TO CLAIM rights to my ancestry in America that the political activist community fights so hard to own and protect according to whichever heritage you can say you are part of. I HAD THIS PASS AND KIMONO CLAD KATIE PERRY DIDN’T as far as I was concerned.  But, I was no different than any other displaced descendant of a home country than the Black African American who tries to remember Africa by wearing an emblem around his neck and changing his name to something more African. The reasons we do this in racist America are evident but often our efforts fall short of accuracy.   I actually wasn’t any different than a disrespectfully appropriating Katy Perry who was just taking something she thought was exotic (and geisha are indeed RARE and Mysterious, even to Japanese today) and beautiful and creating a show around it for your pop culture entertainment and for you to be attracted to.  But when white American people do it on stage though…!!

An apprentice Maiko giving the EVIL SIDE EYE at a performance in a Kyoto tourist show copyright MPassion 2016

Now that I’ve spent some time in Japan, in actual observance and research of the true Japan and its culture I can see that many foreigners wear kimonos and the Japanese people are renting them to them for profit, but also to SHARE their culture correctly. Most Japanese would probabaly be happy and proud that Katy Perry  were wearing kimono on a big U.S award show, except maybe for the fact that she is mixing a Chinese brocade neckline and high cut waist of a cheongsam with a Japanese kimono in her outfit. Hey, shes mixing BOTH OF MY ETHNICITIES! I should steal that dress from her! Did Katy wear white face and try to imitate a geisha, or is that what the media called it (because all kimono clad women are geisha apparently)? She was actually just a white foreigner appropriating Asian fashions and aesthetic, something that can be super controversial and oversimplified on both sides of racist America.  Tourists rent kimono 100s if not 500 times on a good busy day throughout Japan as part of their sightseeing activities. Most of the kimono clad tourists in Japan these days are not even white folks, they are Chinese from China or Taiwan, but the point being that Japanese are happy to share and teach their kimono NOT their geisha customs.  There are dressers in tourist shops who help foreigners put kimono on and they style all the accessories so the foreigner doesn’t fuck it up. It’s not a cheap Halloween costume by any means, and its usually very authentic.  It is meant to be completely respectful sharing for tourists of Japan, as well as a profitable business to be in.

GEISHA ARE NOT PROSTITUTES and this was the biggest mistake I and other foreigners (mostly men who wish they were) make. They might get together with one wealthy client who becomes her sponsor/partner but mostly they are true entertainers, who are definitely erotic objects of desire but whose austerity around sexual partners makes her that much MORE attractive to seekers.  An Urban geisha might be similar to a true burlesque entertainer who could climb a 50 foot pole and do gymnastics tricks to entertain in a g string and feather costume but who also never really had sex with those they entertain. Certainly that was NOT what I was trying to do. i was turning TRICKS. Having quick and dirty sex for profit and I saw my HUSTLING (business street and survival savvy) also as part of MY ART.  The other part of my art came into play through writing my blog, speaking my activist truth, performing songs from the Whore Revolution.  THAT WAS ALL MY GEISHA-NESS, as I saw it then.  I only recently learned about the OIRAN, the kimono white faced entertainers that resembled the geisha in many ways except they were FLASHIER and THEY HAD SEX! Now THAT was more MARIKO PASSION for certainly. To my pleasant surprise, the Oiran traditional shoes were 8” platforms that required a male assistant to walk, which I would often recruit a random “escort” to help me not eat shit in heels on concrete. I regularly performed in 6” platforms in those days and I even had some “taka geta” (tall wooden slippers) of my own that I just threw away before I came to Japan but had owned since I was in my 20s before I even knew about Oiran (unconscious cultural memory!).  In Japan, there are regular parades celebrating the Oiran Dochu and Edo period costumes without shame around the association with prostitution because many of the Oiran and Geisha at the time were sold by poverty stricken parents who had no choice for survival. The sad truth behind these parades is that they do not reference the truth of the women who lived these lives of sexual slavery, yes I really called it that.

Real Oiran of Edo…not ideal working conditions

Movie set at Toei Kyoto studio park copyright Mpassion2016

Yoshiwara Dori Pleasure District

The Oiran lived in a gated area, and they were not allowed to leave except to view cherry blossoms once a year. The photos that I’ve seen show them behind wooden bars over the windows. Many of them died of venereal diseases and were wrapped in straw and dumped in unmarked graves at the Buddhist temple Jokan Ji. Jokanji temple has the spirits of 25,000 Edo era sex workers buried there. i have plans to visit and report on it in a future blog.  The Japanese government is known for the war crime of making Korean women into sex slaves for the Japanese soldiers, but what is also not said alongside the comfort women stories is that Karayuki San were the Japanese women who were indentured sex workers that were sent to other countries to service Japanese soldiers and other races of men overseas. I believe that karayuki san were also used for a short time to serve U.S military soldiers during their occupation in government sanctioned brothels as well. Many feminists in Korea and the U.S demanded the Japanese government apologize to the Korean comfort women, which occurred just in January of this year, 2016 but really, the Japanese should have to apologize and give reparations to the Karyukisans as well, but that would probably never happen as it was hard enough to get the apology and reparations to the Korean women. The government did actually put an end to the pleasure quarters of the Edo era, probably much in the same way that the sexual woodblock Ukiyoe prints became outlawed and banned so did the Oiran houses.  The mizu shobai, or sex industry of course never died in Japan, it just changed form.
But there is ALWAYS  MUCH BEAUTY in the darkness, darkness and light, yin and yang, just like in African slavery there were rich cultural traditions that survived and remained as a result of the struggle, oppression and captivity.  If you are not allowed to leave an area and can’t choose the amount or safety of your clients or you will be punished with death or a beat down, you are or were a sexual slave.

I owned shoes like these in my 20s!! Quickie Insta Oiran Portrait at Toiei Kyoto Park 2016

I did an Oiran portrait at a Kyoto amusement park and I was excited and am excited still about looking into getting involved in participating in the parades in April 2017 but in reading more about the truth of the lives of the women and girls I wanted to ALSO be sure not to gloss over the facts, the way the Japanese government and many people who are fans of Oiran Dochu do so often. Having lived the beautiful struggle of a FREE and INDEPENDENT URBAN OIRAN for years, you can see just by scrolling through my escort entries that my life was no parade, but it wasnt slavery, and I suffered and struggled through some of it but there was much JOY, TRIUMPHS, LESSONS AND PLEASURE TOO. Music, art, activism and community WERE the things that I loved in sex work, FUCK THE SEX.  Perhaps this was also the attitude of the Oiran and they poured their PASSION and life force into their arts in spite of it all.

What used to be the Yoshiwara Dori of the Edo Era is now Soaplands (kinda like massage parlors but soapier and mostly only for Japanese clients not foreigners). the women are free sex workers NOT and I say this too, NOT SEX SLAVES. They freely come and go to work, have families, test themselves and have safe sex so they don’t have the same UNHAPPY ENDING as the OIRAN of Edo did.

08
Jul
16

EVAPORATE like clouds over Mt.Fuji

wp-image-2119771984jpg.jpg
Rising up from za water eburi 15 minetsu!

 My family reunion has completed to my relief and I am now able to eat healthy vegetarian foods and travel Japan on my own agenda once again. My mom who seems to live to antagonize me is off on her own to visit her hometown where she has promised to get her family record showing my Japanese lineage which is required to apply for a Nikkei Heritage visa.  This is an amazing program that allows people of up to 3rd generation Japanese ancestry to stay and work in Japan with the same rights as any other Japanese citizen. An employment sponsor is not even needed to apply for this visa in contrast to other Japanese visas and if I had my own family they also would be able to move here for up to 3 years!  While the Nikkei Heritage Visa program is packaged to look like a way for people to regain knowledge of their culture and language, the true intention of the Japanese government in creating the program was to get cheaper labor from Peru and Brazil where there are many 2nd and 3rd generation Japanese children of immigrants.

The existence of this is yet another miracle that has landed in my path for me after arriving in Japan (this info discovered via meeting the right local people who have been super helpful and encouraging).  

20160707_162954.jpg
one of these girls is not a legal Japanese citizen….YET

I had planned to try to work illegally as a tourist as people often have to do to stay in the U.S. and other countries but it didn’t take much applying to some jobs and reading some wanted ads that i saw that I was up against a big obstacle not having the correct visa to work in Japan.  I had somewhat of a lead to work as a hostess in an empty and tiny karaoke bar in Roppongi Tokyo but I knew that that was never going to support my survival as every time the owner called me in to meet or work it would have no customers and 3 bored ladies sitting at the bar. A familiar scene from my stripclub working days.  I have evolved past having to do jobs that disintegrate my brain cells staring at a wall for an employer’s sake but I knew I was an undocumented worker and wasn’t in a position to be too picky.  Reverting back to a mind numbing sex work job was not something I wanted to do ever again, illegal citizen or not.  I had successfully done two Tantra sessions with two different clients in Tokyo already so I knew that there were other better options for me.The U.S greatly prospers off of the backs of the labor of undocumented citizens so it seems to be somewhat easier to jump through loopholes and get paid in cash to make your income in the states.  Even surviving off of an illegal sole proprietorship like selling CDs or food out of a shopping cart is an option that many undocumented folks have used to not only survive but prosper in the U.S. Illegal food vending is never done in Japan. Even buskers don’t get tipped in hats but can only sell CDs instead because no one gets tipped in Japan!  In my worst fears of moving to Japan, I imagined having to beg for change using my singing bowl like a monk.  Luckily, it’s not going to come to that for me but I really had no idea how I would survive here just that I had many skills, a couple college degrees, strong will and great hope for the best. Things have indeed manifested miraculously for me since I got here so naturally I am not worried at all about whether I will successfully attain my heritage visa.  It shall be done!

IMG_20160708_151012.jpg

smelled like sweat and funk in the visitation room so by day2 i came prepared

NO WEED IN JAPAN

Before leaving for Japan, friends had told me that getting weed was near impossible and that if I did eventually find it, it would be $70 per gram, over 4 times the price I pay in the U.S.  This was the source of much anxiety as I was smoking more than ever in the stressful months leading to my move to Japan. I had been a daily user of cannabis for about 20 years prior to now. I left LA and flew to Seattle where it had been recreationally legal since about 2014. I continued my habit but knew that my days of access were numbered. I had a bit of a mental breakdown and walked into a dispensary in tears and incorrigible fear of my future move only to be relieved by Mary Jane as my usual medicine when I felt this way.  I had tried to cut back to prepare my mind at this time but there was so much anxiety in coming to Japan for me that i found it so hard to be stronger than my then current dependence.  If you look back in this blog, you can see that Mary Jane has been a way for me to sooth my PTSD, depression and anxiety for years but most times admittedly its been a recreational drug not really a medicine which is often debated by pro mj advocates.  I flew to Alaska and Vancouver Canada where it was also legal. It was in Vancouver that I was held for an hour in this passage thru to Tokyo because 3 years ago in 2013, I had been caught with a small pipe driving thru the border in which the Canadian government detained me for 4 hrs, read my journal out loud to me, examined parts of my FB and this blog and searched my car and person. I was searched and held for about 3 more hours on the U.S side, my little pipe confiscated and I was again traumatized by the treatment of state authorities for doing something minor and clearly harmless to others. So I know all about the detriments of marijuana dependence and it has indeed affected my life in punitive ways. I did make it to Tokyo this time on a rescheduled flight with no charge due to their reexamination of my 2013 case in 2016 which caused me to miss my flight to Tokyo. I wasnt even planning to visit Vancouver but ironically because there were no more flights to Japan I was able to see Vancouver for the first time since I was not admitted trying to visit before. I made sure to visit a legal dispensary there and get enough edibles to knock me out on my upcoming flight.  I also snuck in a few (10?) odorless candies hidden in some real sweet smelling candies because my dependence told me despite all that I had been thru with Canadian immigration I probably wasn’t strong enough to be sober in Japan yet.  I was willing to risk it because it was such a personal amount.  Therefore, I have even identified as an addict because I have never been able to not use for longer than 2 months in 20 years and my repeated risk taking for the substance is a classic definition of an addict straight from any drug addiction pamphlet you can find.

IMG_20160708_150932

The US bombed the original castles and destroyed the Japanese economy by making the hemp crop used to make rope and parachute cords illegal and couching it into an anti drug campaign that Japanese believe is justified to this day

Today Japan has some of the strictest anti-cannabis laws in the world.  Punishment for possession is a maximum 5 years behind bars and illicit growers face 7-year sentences. Annually around 2000 people fall foul of these laws – their names splashed on the nightly news and their careers ruined forever. The same prohibition that dishes out these punishments also bans research into medical marijuana, forcing Japanese scientists overseas to conduct their studies.” 

It was actually the US that made cannabis illegal in Japan creating the Cannabis Control Act in 1948 in an attempt to further handicap the Japanese economy and military because it was in abundant use, widely grown to make sturdy rope and parchute cords for the military. I saw full of the workers who built the samurai castles in Japan and they were wearing probably hemp rope sandals and possibly using hemp rope to build the amazing castles in Japan destroyed by bombs of the US during WWII.

Our initial 20 minute visit was pretty bleak. V had been scared to think by the prosecutor that she was going to go to Japanese prison for a long long time.  It was an emotional visit so I felt an urgent need to put out a youtube video to try fo get some US politicians who would advocate for V, a CA medical marijuana patient and US citizen so she wouldn’t have to go to Japanese prison! There had to be something we could do to help, wasn’t serving 2 months punishment enough for the Japanese government, not to mention holding detainees is an expense to any government! Her friend Lady Y and I didn’t think the Japanese government would waste their money on someone who had personal cannabis not intent to sell but then I thought of Guantamo Bay and how our government has held prisoners there for almost a decade without a trial. So the worst is always possible as well as the best.

The next day she had spoken to a more upbeat prosecutor who talked about deporting her, letting her make phone calls, use her laptop and even smoke a cigarette in his car! This was a 360 change from the day before. We also drove to speak to her lawyer and he had said he thinks she will 99% be deported.

Since arriving in Japan, things have been anundant for me friendship and career wise. Ive landed some Tantra clients, made lots of friends, realized my dream of living and working in Japan, am doing better financially than I ever have in my life before because I got an overseas freelance writing gig, so somehow the need to medicate disappeared. Fears and anxiety evaporated like clouds over Mt. Fuji. I was even able to endure a family reunion without numbing myself because any of their opinions would also evaporate like clouds over Mt.Fuji and seem so minor to all the miracles Id already manifested here. I was no longer addicted and I had broken thru the fear and economic glass ceiling and opinions and judgments of my bio family that had held me down for so long in the U.S. Helping advocate for Victoria whom Id never met off of Facebook seemed like my karmic duty as a fellow sex worker and stoner. I knew that it could have easily been me in Japanese jail for something like that so any time and expense required to work on this was given easily for a fellow comrade.。。。Rising up from za water eburi 15 minetsu!




Blog Stats

  • 111,072 hits
November 2018
M T W T F S S
« Oct    
 1234
567891011
12131415161718
19202122232425
2627282930  
Follow Mariko Passion: From Whore Revolutionary to Tantra goddess: Sacred Whore Evolution on WordPress.com