Like any successful sex worker, I have a lot of good regular clients. But I also have some regulars on the weird-phone-message roster. For example:

BEEP! I'm a bad bad boy, don't you wanna spank me? Ha ha ha ha haaaa! END OF MESSAGE.

This guy's been calling me off and on for years. I call him the Riddler, because of that wild, slightly hysterical laugh of his. It's always the same message and the messages always come in the middle of the night. It's harmless enough, if weird. I have a picture of someone on a boring night-shift job, sitting around somewhere with the paper and his cell phone, amusing himself with his witty riposte.

BEEP! [yelling] Mistress Mah-teeese! Mistress Mah-teeeese! Owwwoooo! Owwwoooo! Awoof, awoof, awoof! Owwwoooo! END OF MESSAGE.

This is the Howler. He's pretty new to me as regular weird callers go, and all I can really infer about him is that he must have spent a lot of time around dogs, because he gives a remarkably good imitation of one. Sometimes he doesn't say my name at all, just barks and howls. And he does seem to run in phases—sometimes I'll get two or three messages from him in a week, and then nothing for a while. I wonder if he's affected by the moon.

Then there are the messages that, while they actually come from different people, are so strikingly similar in content that they may as well be the same person. Theme regulars, we'll call them.

BEEP! Oooh, uh, you sexy dominant bitch, I wanna fuck your—MESSAGE DELETED.

If one accepts as true that obscene phone calls are really about power trips rather than lust, then one has to wonder about the man who chooses a professional dominatrix to be the recipient of his heavy-breathing monologues. I should say "men," though, not "man" because I get several of these a week. I just hope these guys don't think they're shocking me—frankly, they've become like mere white noise on my voice mail, especially when they all say more or less the same thing.

BEEP! Hello, Mistress Matisse, my name is Barbara, and I'd like to tell you about our exciting new adult advertising website, www.OverpricedSexAds.net. Text advertising rates start at only 50 dollars a month prepaid if you sign a five-year contract and—MESSAGE DELETED.

Obscene phone calls are a given in any branch of the sex industry, but frankly, I'd rather have them than the telemarketers. I also get people who want me to peddle their crappy sexually oriented products to my guys. Penis-enlargement pyramid schemes? No thanks. It's odd how things change; when I got started in the industry, sex workers were the Untouchable caste. No one would knowingly do business with us. Now, everybody wants my credit-card number.

BEEP! Uh, yeah, I met this girl once named Mistress X, and now she doesn't have an ad anymore, but I'd really like to talk to her, and I was wondering if you knew where she was? END OF MESSAGE.

I get this all the time. I used to think, "What am I, the damn missing persons bureau?" But I came to realize it was simply a testament to the fact that I've been around for a while and a lot of people know me, or at least say that they know me. But I usually don't know where the lady in question is, and even if I did, I wouldn't give out her information.

BEEP! Hello? Hello? Spanking? Spanking, yes? Trample, spanking? END OF MESSAGE.

This is a typical message from a non-English speaker, who just repeats key words over and over, hoping that will convey enough information. Overlay this with any foreign accent you can think of, because I've heard them all at one time or another. Asian and Hispanic are the most common, but I get this from Europeans as well. However, I won't see someone who doesn't speak English fluently, because what I do absolutely requires crystal-clear communication. God forbid I do a session with someone who's mixed up the English words for "harder" and "softer." n

matisse@thestranger.com

Kink Calendar

FRIDAY 8/5

BLACK FRIDAY AT THE EAGLE
It's leather night, with a $50 prize for the hottest hunk in cowhide. Seattle Eagle, 314 E Pike St, 621-7591, 9 pm–close, no cover for full leather, $3 for partial leather, $5 otherwise.

WOMEN-ONLY NIGHT AT THE WET SPOT
Socialize, flirt, and do BDSM with the girls. All orientations welcome. Wet Spot, 270-9746, women-only@wetspot.org, 9 pm–noon, $15, members only, female ID required.

AMATEUR STRIP NIGHT AT REDMOND RANCH
Single men must RSVP to get on the waiting list at this swing club, but couples and single women can just show up. 425-868-8169 or www.redmond-ranch.com, doors at 7 pm, new people must arrive by 8 pm, $45 for couples/$25 for single women.

SUNDAY 8/7

BI-CURIOUS? FOR GIRLS WHO WANT TO DATE GIRLS
Jennifer of Libido Events gives tips on finding the right woman—and what to do next. Wet Spot, 270-9746 or wetspot.org, $15, 1–2:30 pm, membership not required, female ID required.

ROPE-BONDAGE BIOMECHANICS
Japanese rope-bondage expert Mark Yu does demonstrations and leads hands-on exercises to sharpen your understanding of the anatomy and biomechanics of bodies in rigorous bondage, allowing you to solve problems before they happen. Green Room Studio, 321 Third Ave South, 2:30–5 pm, $30 at the door, Max@Bondagelessons.com.

MONDAY 8/8

GETTYSBURG EXHIBIT
Come experience this visual tour of the kinkiest military action in U.S. history—the hot American-on-American action of the Civil War, commemorated here with "the world's largest model diorama on public display in 54mm scale of Pickett's Charge at Gettysburg." Shaw Room at Seattle Center, 305 Harrison St, 684-7200, 9 am–9 pm, free.