Sunday, August 9, 2009

forever now unsaid, the words that might have warmed December

To be clear, regarding yesterday's post, it's all about discretion, you see. For all my failures--and I have had them--in this arena, this much I know and know well: running a house of pleasure is no picnic, not the least of which is that running one openly means everyone knows. And those who are bitter of spirit will never let anyone else forget exactly what Mlle. Artaud is doing in that two-story brownstone with the red-shuttered windows.

So the first lesson is always, Be discreet. Remember, these are lives and reputations you are playing with. One does not patronize a courtesan who speaks of assignations willfully and flagrantly; at least, unless said gentleman feels they have no other choice.

To that end, while someone is always free to portray a slattern of no fixed abode, no fixed skill, no change of attire, and certainly no sense of discretion at all, one must also realize that even the market for those particular "ladies" is slim: after all, where are the soot-darkened bricks of Whitechapel, where are the shanties thrown up beside the docks?

First, build your dock...

Discretion is important, discretion is key. Also important is willingness. While the types of women men patronize are staggeringly varied indeed, they generally (at least to modern sensibilities) share one asset: they want to do what they're doing, or at least, they want the clinking coin they can hear jingling in the pocket. It is the rare female indeed who can build custom around unwillingness, or fighting back; though, admittedly, the prices tend to go much, much higher.

But even with these damsels, discretion must be preserved. Discretion. Willingness. Adaptability. These are not just words, they are foundations of the courtesan's art.

And this is what so bothers me about this particular school of roleplay, I think: the pretense.

To be clear, the pretense of being one thing openly, while being another thing in private, is not new in any world. Ladies of the evening frequently must conceal what they do from public view, or risk extreme public censure (and in some cases, arrest, beating, and even death). But to hide what one does, to be discreet, to conceal behind a sheer cloth of innuendo and sidewise wording, the true purpose of her endeavors...that, in itself, can be a form of art.

This is not Miss Easterman's goal. This is what is, and remains, so very frustrating--she makes no attempt to hide who she is and what she does--and what the 'maids in training' at her school do. Yet, she expects the frequent use of *doe eyes* in conversation to take away all responsibility for whatever she says after.

When the statements start out with "Maid School Training Class" and end up with "From a BDSM perspective..." there can be no doubt what is really going on, and what the true point of such "training" is.

Let me be frank: I have no objections to escorting, as a profession. I have no objections to the establishment of houses of ill repute, in or out of Caledon and the steamlands. I have no objections to BDSM; dominance; submission; and fetish in general. I don't mind these things. (Gad, you should see my latex folder, it's getting to the point I'm going to have to confine myself to five categories--costumes; bodysuits; accessories; dresses; AOs--and delete the rest!)

What I mind is being blatant about it. And yes, thank you, I can say that, because being blatant here, outside Caledon, in a blog where I not infrequently talk about the grid at large is vastly different from asking to be bound to one of the telehub's central supports in Victoria City, say, or describing how much I like to be spanked in public chat!

(...okay, I take the first one back, Miss Easterman has never asked to be tied to anything in Victoria City. That I know of. Though she has asked to be taken to the nearest gentleman's dungeon, and "punished properly" for being "bad"--and yes, she has described how much she adores spanking in ISC chat.)

There is a vast difference between hinting and stating outright. And for me, at least, if not many others, there is no difference between statements preceded or followed by *doe eyes* and STATING OUTRIGHT.

To use the nomenclature: if you're a whore, even if you despise the term, then just embrace it, and see where it takes you. If you're a maid, then GODDAMN IT ACT LIKE ONE.

Meanwhile, there are new products at Lady Disdain above Autogenic Alchemy in Caledon Penzance. Check the Autogenica blog for more details and SLUrls.


Rhianon Jameson said...

Well said, and you'll find no disagreement from me. I'll venture a guess that almost anything was available in Victorian England...for a price...and was tolerated as long as it was discreet. I'd be happier if anyone who wanted to chat about wanting to spanked did so outside of the confines of a 19th century Steampunk community.

Emilly Orr said...

I would say things were significantly looser in the colonies and allied nations...and by that I don't mean America, I mean the Dutch East Indies, India, China...places where selling a daughter of any age for a fixed amount was better than that same child starving to death, or depriving male children of food.

That being said, there were scandals--and occasional horrors--enough that have been documented, we can get a general idea, at least, of what was available to the determined soul. I doubt SL is much different, or at least the SL I joined in 2006.

By that same extension, SL as a whole is still wildly varied, with groups dedicated to discussion of anything you can imagine--and many, many things you cannot. It boggles the mind to think that there are no more appropriate group discussions than Caledon's to exercise one's fetishistic will.

On the other hand, this is a punishment fetish we're discussing. She may well know this already, and acts this way to gain public censure, severe talkings-to, even threats of being evicted from any Caledon lands she owns. This could just thrill her to the bottom of her curled toes. I confess, I don't know, and I'm not asking.