I get a lot of unusual communications from strangers, and few of them really unsettle me. But recently I got an e-mail from a young girl who wanted to interview me for her high-school newspaper. She wanted to ask me specific questions about what I do with my clients, and just how one might become a dominatrix.
I was quite dismayed by this idea—actually, appalled might not be too strong a word—and wrote back declining. When I mentioned to a friend how disturbing I found it that this teenager thought I would be an appropriate subject for a school project, he shrugged and said, "Well, Matisse, you're in the paper and all, and minors can read you there. This would just be kind of like Career Day with a twist."
That made me feel even worse. So let me make something clear, under-18 people: Sex work is a job, but it's not just like beinga firefighter or an airplane pilot. This is not a career that you should be considering while you're still in high school. My goal here is to be entertaining, so I tell light, amusing stories about my work, while trying not to get too preachy. But sex work is still a highly stigmatized profession; it's often extremely stressful, and being a sex worker provides people with ample opportunity to fuck themselves up really good. I've personally seen a number of people take full advantage of that opportunity. I've managed to avoid most of the pitfalls—but then, that's the reason people find me interesting. They perceive me as an exception to the cultural norm of what sex workers are often like. So enjoy the funny anecdotes, but understand that you're too young to be seriously considering making a career out of facilitating other people's sexual experiences.
I'm not saying you shouldn't want to learn about different expressions of sexuality. Education is good. But first things first: Focus on understanding your own sexual feelings and learn how to conduct your sexual relationships with honesty and integrity. Sex work, like kink and polyamory, is in the graduate school of sexuality. Get your bachelors degree before you sign up for these classes, because without the foundation, you'll flunk out.
And in your quest for knowledge, have some mercy on strange adults. I have never positioned myself as a teen-sex educator, and it flips me right out when an adolescent pops up out of nowhere and asks me questions about sex. For one thing, I'm sure I'm going to get arrested for even listening to you. I have no idea who would be considered a teen-appropriate sexual role model, but I know I'm not it. And frankly, I don't want to be. The mere idea gives me the willies. I'm not going to stop writing just because teenagers might read what I say and jump to some mistaken conclusions about it. But like booze, cigarettes, and drugs, label me an adult-appropriate pleasure. To learn about your own sexuality, I recommend going to scarleteen.com. But please, don't ask me.
RAIN CITY JACKS
MEN-ONLY NIGHT AT THE WET SPOT
A BDSM play party for gay, bi, and straight boys. Wet Spot, 1602 15th Ave W, building E, email@example.com or 270-9746, 10 pm–3 am, $15, male ID and membership required.
LITTLE RED LOUNGE
Erotic performances in a mellow, informal atmosphere, with a hot tub, hors d'oeuvres, and delicious desserts. Bring your own wine to sip and share. Little Red Studio, 1506 Franklin Ave E, 328-4758, www.littleredstudioseattle.com, 9 pm until it's over, doors close at 1 am, $20, RSVP not required.
Party at the friendly Eastside swing club. Single men must request to be added to the waiting list; couples and single women can just show up. Redmond Ranch, 425-868-8169, www.redmond-ranch.com, doors at 7 pm, new people must arrive by 8 pm, $45 for couples/$25 for single women.
HUMOR IN BDSM: LAUGHTER AND MAKING A SCENE
BDSM is often extremely serious, but presenters Pairadox and Allena discuss how to inject humor into a scene without undermining the intensity. Wet Spot, 1602 15th Ave W, building E, firstname.lastname@example.org or 270-9746, 3:30–5:30pm, $20, membership not required.
BABY LOVES DISCO
DJ Derek Mazzone hosts an all-ages disco dance party for toddlers, AKA the original wet-and-messy diaper fetishists. (To carry out the "Studio 54 for tots" vibe, all baby laxatives will be cut with cocaine.) Chop Suey, 1325 E Madison St, 324-8000. Noon. $12.
PARADISE POOL TIME
A clothing-optional "swim and be social" event at an indoor pool. The Longhouse in Redmond, email@example.com or 270-9746, noon–4 pm, $10, RSVP and Wet Spot membership required, members may bring adult guests.