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!