• Welcome To My Secrets
    • Welcome To My Secrets

      This blog is an invitation to peek into my process of writing a memoir about a secret. The act of writing this book is a story in itself, a story whose purpose is connection, healing, and a new way of being – for me and, I hope, for some who read it. In recounting what, for me, is an old story, the process becomes the creation of a new story.

      The book deals broadly with identity and civilization, with secrets and soul, storytelling and eros. More explicitly the memoir is an exploration of having been a prostitute thirty years ago, and how that fact – both as a secret and otherwise – fits into my life to this day, as well as how prostitution fits into the story of civilization.

      I call, throughout, for a new, third way of looking at prostitution – a perspective that’s ‘neither this nor that’ .

      The usual dichotomy of modern-day prostitution is ‘Happy Hooker’ vs. ‘Prostituted Victim’. I see it as ‘both/and’. Both views have their truths, and there’s more to it than either side presents – neither perspective is adequate on it’s own. This dichotomy is easy to get stuck in, but it obscures bigger underlying issues about power, the body, connection and misogyny. I think it’s just another ‘divide and conquer’ trap we allow ourselves to fall into.

      I understand the anger, contempt and rage on either side of the question (I share all that, from every angle), but we do ourselves and each other a disservice by making it so black and white.

      If you are looking for simple conclusions, if you have one of the above perspectives and can only listen to those who think just like you do, this blog isn’t for you. I spent 30 years not telling my own story because I couldn’t come down on either side of that fence. Now I’m going to ask you to climb up here and dance in the ambiguity with me.

      This is a story of authenticity, of transgression, of causes, of healing; a story of disclosure and the impact of secrets; and a story of purpose (of telos) and the sacred feminine.

      The book addresses many aspects of our culture: poverty (false scarcity), power, gender, and more. It addresses them from a perspective that’s usually excluded from the conversation.

      The ‘blog’ is me sharing that process. The ‘book excerpts’ are draft pieces from the book, in no particular order. The ‘Lunch Series” is about a weird little ex-whore/current-john interlude I had recently that examines how I still hook myself into old self-undermining patterns, and fail to create the reality I want to be part of.

      I’d love to read your comments!

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The Lunch Series

I had lunch with a new acquaintance one day recently, and it got a little weird.

It would be a typical story of an awkward interaction between a man and a woman, where somehow the messages got a little confused. Except in this instance, both parties are committed to their marriages, well-educated, successful corporate professionals. They are both steeped in the theories and practices of leadership, organizational change, and group dynamics. They’re also both well versed in various eastern spiritual perspectives and practices. Both are generally self-aware, emotionally astute, spiritual, responsible and mature individuals.

You’d think they could have a normal civil lunch with little story value.

The twist is: she is an ex-prostitute who, after keeping that fact a secret for 20 years, has recently committed to a greater degree of authenticity and leadership integrity, and has begun ‘coming out’. She’s doing this both in recognition that her secret warps the way she ‘shows up’ and wants to un-warp her presence as much as possible. She’s also discovering that her coming out necessitates a practice of surfacing people’s assumptions about prostitution, secrets, and gender politics (that she would be me). And he has a slight pornography addiction, some marital sexual dissatisfaction, and has recently experienced a major spiritual upheaval in the form of a broken-open heart.

They’re both trying to ‘be present’ in new, more vulnerable ways that are a little beyond their abilities. It could get messy, and it does. And it’s not a mess that’s easily cleaned up, in spite of their best intentions.

Women will appreciate the nuanced dissection (and sometimes, evisceration) of gender dynamics they experience every day, dynamics that become far more repressive than we’re always willing to admit.

Courageous men, looking to be more responsible for their own unconscious and unintended repressive impact on women, will appreciate a peek at the normally-hidden impact of their subtle interpersonal behaviors with women.

This story originated in a series of blog posts, but if you’re coming into it in the middle of postings, here it is, in sequence:

Part A – What actually took place?

  1)  It’s Just Lunch – The Set-Up

  2)  It’s Just Lunch – Background

  3)  It’s Just Lunch – Just the Facts, Ma’am

  4)  It’s Just Lunch – What Was She Thinking!?! 

  5)  It’s Just Lunch – Holding Hands

  6) It’s Just Lunch – Metanarrative

  7) It’s Just Lunch – Goo Detection

  8) It’s Just Lunch – Terminology

Part B – An email exchange begins

  9) It’s Just Lunch –  More Goo

10) It’s Just Lunch – Goo Analysis

11) It’s Just Lunch – Slow Down There Big Fella!

12) It’s Just Lunch – Polite but Firm

Part C – Trying to understand what happened

13) It’s Just Lunch – A Novel Exploration

14) It’s Just Lunch – A Perversion of Prostitution

Part D – Further email exchanges

15) It’s Just Lunch – A Rational Defense

16) It’s Just Lunch – Boy-Noise

17) It’s Just Lunch – Blame the Victim Tactics

18) It’s Just Lunch – Flat Apology

19) It’s Just Lunch – The Chthonios

20) It’s Just Lunch – Another Apology

Part E – Beyond emails and anger

21) It’s Just Lunch – Touching His Heart

22) It’s Just Lunch – What Had I Wanted?

23) It’s Just Lunch – Mea Culpa

24) It’s Just Lunch – Completion

Part F – Outcomes

25) It’s Just Lunch – Epilogue 1 – From ‘Art’ into Life

26) It’s Just Lunch – Epilogue 2 – His Response

27) It’s Just Lunch – Epilogue 3 – Initial Reaction

Part G – In Retrospect

28) It’s Just Lunch – Afterthoughts

29) It’s Just Lunch – Beginning of an Emergence

It’s close to done. . .

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2 Responses to The Lunch Series

  1. I just sat here and read this whole series. I find it to be a fascinating testament to the wealth of wisdom available in ordinary experiences and exchanges if we’re willing to look for it. I can tell you found lots and I certainly grabbed a few bits myself. Awesome. Thank you.

    • Thank you, Lenny! I’m liking your blog too!  I’m glad you found me. Keep up your willingness to look for that wisdom. Your search is (imho) right on track re: what’s necessary from civilized people going forward. 

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"For a woman to explore and express the fullness of her sexuality, her emotional and intellectual capacities, would entail who knows what risks and who knows what truly revolutionary alteration of the social conditions that demean and constrain her."

-Louise J. Kaplan - Female Perversions