Last year I went to Peru to drink ayahuasca for the first time. It opened my eyes up to an entirely different way of seeing the world and imbued me with a sense of spirituality I had not known before. In a business where a gal sells her love by the hour, a higher sense of purpose can be hard to find. But I found just that and so much more.
Still it wasn’t enough. After 3 months of enlightenment, peace, love and all that shit, I was reverting back to bad habits and negative ways of thinking, So this summer I decided to go back to Peru, hoping to find more answers and insights to life at the bottom of a vomit bucket.
I went with four girls this year, two fellow providers and two friends from last year’s ayahuasca retreat. Interestingly enough, of the two providers, one of them, Bellissa, was retiring from the business while the other, Scarlett Fever, was just getting her stilettos on for the first time. Me, I was floating somewhere in the middle.
No matter where we were in our career paths, I knew that ayahuasca was going to be key in preparing us for what was next. Bellissa wanted to know what was waiting for her after her retirement. Now that she had gracefully bowed out of the biz, what was she going to do next with her life? For Scarlett, who recently graduated from art school and decided to become a full-time courtesan under my tutelage, ayahuasca could help her understand how she was going to use her art and profession to become the best version of herself.
As for me, this past year pre-ayahuasca, I was working my fingers and pussy to the bone, staying up for 2 AM calls or jumping out of bed for a 5:30 AM visit. I was putting up with all kinds of shit, from golden showers to nipple torture, hustling left and right, and not entirely sure why I was doing it. Sure, I was a greedy bitch and the money was a big motivator, but I didn’t even have time to spend the money nor did I feel good about having it.
After I came back from my first retreat, I immediately made changes to my business model. I fired every client who disrespected me or left me feeling energetically drained. I stopped taking the odd-hour calls and thumbed my nose at same-day requests. I quit putting on dog-and-pony shows, stopped saying yes to everything just because, and increased my rates.
I decided I would do first what made me happy, spend time with the ones I love, then work around it. And you know what happened? I worked less, the demand swelled and my business increased. As soon as I genuinely stopped caring about the money, the love came pouring in.
I quit playing into the review game, stopped hustling and started seeing fewer new people. I was at a comfortable place in my career where I could work when I wanted, be selective of who I saw, and not put my body through a three-ring circus every time. So I shifted all that energy instead into making connections with other providers and helping other girls get their start in the business. I was all about organizing provider get-togethers and mentwhoring new girls just getting their feet wet in the business. I put so much energy into working with other women that I completely forgot about one person—that wide-eyed southern child who moved to NYC two years ago with a bag full of dildos and pocketful of dreams
That girl was me.
When I first moved to NYC in May 2014 on a psychedelic whim, I didn’t know anyone on my end of the business. Finding an apartment required pulling all the resources I had and cashing in all my favors. Not to mention one demanding as all hell tour to Chicago. Because I wasn’t Carmina Fucking Kai at the time. I was a newbie, and there were days that the phone wasn’t ringing.
In-demand or not, I was driven. I spent all that extra time burying myself in my writing, something I never had the luxury of pursuing because I was always so busy making ends meet. I set my sights high, on the many hopes and dreams I had of revolutionizing the industry. I started this blog, where I bared not just my tits and lady bits but my entire soul. I poured my heart and all my thoughts into every post, making this domain the public diary of a very kinky girl.
In the beginning, I kept up with this blog regularly, updating once a week, then every other week. But weeks turned into a month and a month turned into months. The girl who gets paid to put out wasn’t putting out where it counted, and it wasn’t for lack of material. I had so much material that I didn’t know where to start. I came up with reasons to not write: oh I’m too out there; it’s too dark; who wants to hear about my hippie dippie ayahuasca visions; why am I writing here when I should be saving this up for my book?
I made up excuses to not blog. And frankly I was getting complacent with where I was as a provider, opting for 140 character tweets that fed into my ego over 1400 word treatises on a hooker’s definition of life, which fueled my soul. I spent my time hanging out with other providers, convincing myself I was fulfilling my other dream of shaking up the industry and starting a women’s empowerment movement.
It took a lot of bitch slaps from life over the last couple of months to realize that tweeting about drinks with girlfriends was doing shit to propel us forward. While I loved meeting other girls and making connections, I was losing sight of why I wanted to meet those girls to begin with. I was becoming a bourgie bitch who couldn’t tell a twat from a tweet.
So I organized a trip to Peru to take a step back and recalibrate, and in the process help other girls find themselves as well. When I came back, I became even more despondent and disillusioned. The big enlightenments I had last year were nowhere to be found. Instead I found myself pulling away from others, becoming more reclusive and less responsive to digital forms of communication. I thought, fuck, did I drink too much ayahuasca? Or not enough??
Not wanting to be a downer, I kept up appearances. And at first my provider cheerleader mentality was enough to convince me that everything was A-okay. I organized a road trip through California with some good friends—Keiki, Kaliyah and Scarlett, regularly met up with providers in New York and along my travels, and hosted get-togethers at my place in the city.
Still I felt a little empty and initially didn’t understand why. I started paying more attention to my feelings and how interactions with other people affected me. It suddenly dawned on me that for some time now, I was burying myself in work and social engagements to avoid dealing with my own thoughts and emotions. I was so hell-bent on insuring the happiness of others that I was neglecting myself.
I was becoming the ultimate people pleaser. In spite of my “I don’t take shit from anybody” mentality, I was putting up with quite a bit of shit and not even realizing it. Somewhere along the way, I became so caught up on loving others that I forgot how to love myself. It dawned on me that I simply did not have enough love for myself. Last year’s ayahuasca taught me to have more respect for myself, which led me on a firing spree and made me more selective of who I saw for work. But in the love department, I wasn’t getting any from myself.
I gave it all to those I was close to and then was hurt or miffed when it wasn’t reciprocated in kind. At first I blamed others for my hurt feelings, instead of taking responsibility for putting myself in a position to be upset in the first place. No one was asking me to bare my soul or share my world with others. I did it all myself in an effort to seek the love, affection, and attention that I wasn’t giving myself.
This blog was never intended to be a big deal and it certainly wasn’t a marketing scheme as someone recently posited. It was first and foremost an exercise in expressing myself and secondly a way to connect with like-minded individuals. Once I made the connections, the objective of self-expression suddenly seemed less pressing.
In my mind, it seemed like, “Well now that I’ve connected with the people I want to, I can just tell them all my thoughts in person and not spend all this effort on keeping up with the blog.” The problem was that I still had so many thoughts I wasn’t sharing with anyone. When I’d find myself stuck in my head, I would sip (okay shoot!) scotch, get on a plane, or distract myself with the whims and woes of others, instead of confronting my own reality. It was easier to do that than write about what was on my mind.
Thus I got myself into this big mental mess, shutting up instead of speaking out. It carried over into some of my relationships, in which I found ghosting to be the path of least resistance. If I wasn’t sure how I felt about being with someone, I shut down communication rather than express my complicated feelings. Having talked to my peers and patrons, it seems to be a common practice when lines get blurred.
My non-communication also took its toll on my blog. A few not-so-good things happened to me this year, and when I couldn’t figure out to put a positive spin on it (at the moment), I decided it wasn’t worth posting. I have several half-written blog entries that I didn’t publish because they were too dark, and who wants to read about an unhappy hooker?
The reality of life is that the world isn’t all peace, love and light. Sometimes it can be quite dark, but it’s the dark that makes you better understand and appreciate the light. This year’s ayahuasca put me in touch with some of the darkness of the world and within myself, which I needed to address—not sweep under the rug or numb with a whippet.
Now having written all this, and probably bored you all to tears, I feel in a much better place. The other day my friend and I went to see Billy Joel at Madison Square Garden. When my man played “Vienna,” I teared up thinking of the New Orleans girl who, two years ago, sat on the windowsill of her brand-new Manhattan apartment every night staring out into the East River listening to that song, dreaming of all the ways she was going to change the world.
At what point did that courtesan with a conscience forget about that book she was going to write, the porn company she was going to start, or the sexual revolution she was going to pioneer? Well she didn’t forget; she just got a little distracted. And now it’s time to get back on track.
Recently, I tweeted “No longer seeking out new TER reviews. Rate hike soon! No new friends w/o A+ recommendationsz (sic, eek!) Last chance to get on my VIP list ;).” Well it’s true. I’m in the process of trimming my friendship tree while cultivating the branches that are strongest. Rate hike doesn’t apply if you got in on the ground floor, but if you’re looking for condo space higher up, there’ll be a premium I’m afraid ;). It’s time to bring back that dreamer of a harlot who believed she could do big things with a flick of her pen and a wave of her Hitachi.
There will be fewer tours and less non-work trips. This blog will get the attention it desperately deserves in the form of a makeover, a transition into a WOmanual on how to properly court a courtesan. The next series of blog posts will be titled “Coquetiquette.” We’ll go through the handbook from pre-screening to post-sesh follow-up, including how to properly introduce yourself, making the most of your time together, respecting boundaries, getting good references, and all that jazz. Now that I’m KonMari-ing the shit out of my Black Book, there will be no holds, hoes, or holes barred.
All the while I’ll be dreaming, writing and creating, because that’s what I came here to do! Of course I’ll continue to love, and maybe even learn how to self-love along the way. Like Manhattan construction and this blog, it’s always going to be a work in progress. Thanks for making it this far :).