"This is Amanda... she works at sex parties."
I don't think I realized what I was getting myself into when I started all of this. I've always been a supporter of alternative lifestyles, but never really took part in one, myself. At least, not by normal standards. (I'm sure my mother would beg to differ, if she had any idea.) But now I'm here, facilitating orgies.
Did they happen without me before, and will they continue when I'm done? Absolutely. However, for now at least, I happen to be placing myself in the thick of it. If a person is shy, I introduce them around. If a woman is uncomfortable, I entice her. If a party is slow and getting going, I try to get things riled up. I've held condom-covered-ass-dildos, I flirt, I pass the condoms, I set the lighting, and I pull people over to watch with me so that they feel as if they've gotten something for their dollar.
I did enter this with a loose set of boundaries, but my boss constantly tries to blur them. He tells me who to flirt with, reminds me that I can partake, shows me pictures of his wife sucking his dick ("What? We're not on that level? I thought we were.") I have generally brushed it all off. ("No, no we are not at all on that level." or "I'm just really not interested in joining in with anyone right now, but good to know.") But there was one request of his that struck me.
"Hey, if this doesn't start getting going, I'm going to need your help. If you could just loosen everyone up by stripping down a bit and showing your breasts, that'd be great."
Mere suggestion, but it felt wrong. When people ask me about the money that gets exchanged at these parties, I always explain that it's clean. Everyone pays for the hotel room and the coordination of the parties, but no one is paid for sex. Suddenly, it felt as if a little of that money was going to be going towards me degrading myself. I didn't have to do it, and didn't, but the assumption that I would if asked struck a chord.
I think that there is definitely a part of me that enjoys the "me" versus "them" mentality in this work. When asked, I stick up for these people wholeheartedly. I believe that they are consenting adults taking part in something they enjoy while fully accepting the consequences. In other words, they deserve respect. However, ask me if I participate, and I will do everything in my power to convince you that I don't.
Even with Paul Bunyan, I made a few attempts at deluding myself into believing that I could sleep with him and have it not be "participating." Perhaps if we slept together before anyone arrived, or maybe if he stayed after everyone left, and I made him scrub down in the shower and gargle with mouthwash. He could literally scrub the party away, right? Then it would just be a one-night-stand. (We won't even get started with my thoughts about one-night-stands.) Obviously, that would not truly be the case.
The reality of it all is that I am participating. I don't jump on the bed and take 3 men like Tinkerbell, but I lick whipped cream off of womens' chests. That's more than I can say for my man Edan. He pays, and doesn't touch a darn thing! I also watch. I'm not lying when I say that I don't find it arousing, but I certainly pick up pointers if I think someone does a better job than I would. I get my ass slapped, I slap asses, and I've even pinched a nipple or two.
And every time that I go to a party, I find myself more and more comfortable with what's happening. I'm still horrified by the total lack of discussion regarding STIs (It appears to be assumed that the people coming are clean, but with the regulars, there's no way they could get tested often enough.), but there's nothing inherently wrong. I've even started building friendships with party-goers, inviting them into my life outside of the parties. In other words, it's getting increasingly difficult to separate myself out as an observer.
And this is good and bad. It's good because the deeper one goes into a group, the better they can understand the emotional qualities of what they are observing. One can only truly understand motivation, role, value, and the transfer of that information when they take an active part. However, it is bad in that I did not enter this project with the hopes of becoming a sex party participant. After my most recent party (posts to come), it has become clear that I need to set up some boundaries. What am I comfortable with? What can others expect of me? How do I say no without compromising my place in the group?
That last part is the real doozy. Needing to say no is much more prevalent than I initially thought it would be. Regulars know for a fact that I'm allowed to participate, and newbies have a hard time believing me when I say I can't. I've had it suggested to me that I just take my top off. People have asked if I'd make out with them, fluff them, put on a show, and a whole host of other things. I'm there, I'm allowed, and therefore there should be no hold up.
Because really, being a sex party hostess that doesn't want to participate is... unheard of. Why would I take the job? It's not a predictable schedule, the wages depend on the turnout, and there are naked bodies all over the place. If I was strapped for cash, I'd be better off working at a restaurant. And, seeing as I am not strapped for cash, the only explanation could be that I get something out of it. Right now, the assumption is that I'm turned on, or I'm building up the courage to really go at it. Fascination with human behavior is surely reason enough for me, but I don't know if my compatriots will agree.
In other words, what I'm struggling with is the realization that I have to keep some level of participation in order to maintain my position as a trusted (and hired) hostess. It can't be black and white, me v. them. There's a dance that has to be danced, and I just have to figure out the most basic footwork to survive.I thought I had it at the first couple parties, but I'm starting to believe that it's much more involved than I could have predicted. Hopefully, this is just me being paranoid due to being in foreign territory, and Amanda will remain uncompromised.
On a completely different note, I had a funny learning: Underwear with attachable garters is hopeless if the underwear is too big.
Up next...Guest post!!!!
(Unless she takes forever... at which point I will post something in the interim.)