The online diary of a gay courtesan.

Touch it

There are thousands of types of touch. But, for me, they break down into three overarching categories: Subtractive, Neutral, and Additive. If you are going to be an entertainer, you have to be okay with being touched. It’s simply part of the job (unless you’re in one of those bizarre U.S. states where the dancer performs in the middle of a cage/stage with an enclosement of chicken wire that stands as a barracade five feet between the dancer and the patons – in those places the tips are passed through the spaces of the chicken wire, and the dancer can’t collect them until the patron steps back away from the barrier). However, it’s wise to understand that you’re going to need to find balance in being touched. The highest priority: Make sure that your personal boundaries and the laws for your area are both being respected. It’s important to note that your perception of the same touch will be different from moment to moment, depending on a host of circumstances.

Subtractive Touch

When you are touched in such a manner that it costs you more than the tip you are gaining, you are losing something within yourself. You will know Subtractive Touch almost immediately. It makes you feel uncomfortable, ashamed, distressed, or humiliated. Perhaps it causes you pain as well. Possibly worse: It makes you feel absolutely “nothing” (but not in a neutral manner). When all is said and done, Subtractive Touch makes you feel less than. I would guess that approximately 10 percent of the touching I experience in an average night is Subtractive. Some nights are better, others are worse. Generally, these touches get temporarily balanced out by the preponderance of Neutral Touch and the covalent Additive Touch. Real problems can come up pretty fast on the nights when this isn’t the case.

Neutral Touch

In a rough estimate, I would say 80 percent of the touches in an evening are Neutral: They do not please or offend me. They require only as much time and attention as the value of the tip they entail. And they are completed without any regret or celebration. They simply are what they are: A transaction. Here are your onion rings, that will be $1.79. The problem with Neutral Touch is that it is repetitive. It is connected to the largest part of your earnings, which is good, but it is also numbing, which is bad.

It is important to find ways to rejeuvenate your senses throughout your shift, so that you do not become zombie-like. Once at Swinging Richards a patron had his hand cupping my testicles for a good 60 seconds or more while we were talking about politics before I realized it was happening: “Your hand is on my balls.” “Yep.” “How long has it been there?” “Oh, nearing a minute, I suppose.” “Wow… You are going to tip me eventually, right?” (One of the stupidest dollars I ever earned. LOL… click dont-touch-those for a funny wav file: NOT SAFE FOR WORK) That’s a good example of what not to allow Neutral Touch to become. In most all instances, however, Neutral Touch is polite, discreet, respectful, and superficially flattering. It can teeter over into Negative if not properly managed.

Additive Touch

This is absolutely essential. You really must experience enough Additive Touch to completely balance the Subtractive and to enliven the Neutral. As with Subtractive, about 10 percent of the touch I experience in a shift makes me feel attractive, strong, genuinely appreciated, and complemented beyond simple flattery. It is important to note, however, that if you do not get enough restoration while at work, you really must find a means to get it from some other source.

I will admit it candidly: My feelings get hurt very easily. I am not thick-skinned. I need more than 10 percent Additive Touch to renew me. I also workout 2-4 times each week for 45-75 minutes/session. I don’t exercise alot, but I exercise intensely. These two issues together mean that I can reasonably “justify” a particular “splurge” that I am nearly absolutely committed to: I get a 60/120-minute massage once a week from my friend Ron, who has one of the most gifted healing touches I’ve ever experienced.

There are other types of Additive Touch. If you have a lover or someone whom you trust, let that person put hands on you in a non-sexual but intimate manner. Perhaps they will let you lay back, and will simply stroke your face with the backs of their fingers while you listen to soft music? Or maybe they put one hand over your heart and another over your navel with essential oils? It is important to allow yourself to experience this type of healing, so that your body/mind/heart/soul does not connect all physical contact to something sexual (which is completely inaccurate/inapproptiate in most instances outside of your shift).

Additive Touch puts gas in your tank, so to speak. It airs out your house. Think of whatever Additive Touch you get beyond work as a vitamin that nourishes you. If the hundreds or thousands of touches you experience in a week/weekend are the repetitions and sets you do at the gym, then the massage/friendly hand holding/hugs from Mom that you take in during the off hours is the supplement that feeds your system.

A final suggestion, for your Additive Touch therapy: When you do have sex, try to make it as organic (but safe), passionate, and emotionally invested (even if only temporarily) as possible. You don’t want to hurt someone else in the process of healing yourself, so if necessary make it clear that although the sex you are about to have may rupture the time-space continuum, it isn’t anything that it isn’t. You don’t want to lead someone down the wrong path if you aren’t feeling residually more than you are momentarily, but you also do not want your entire sexuality to devolve into a series of automatic, mechical actions. Live succulently!

7 comments

1 Jonathan { 02.06.09 at 11:58 am }

Not that it ever crossed my mind as a career choice, but I don’t think I missed my calling by not taking up exotic dancing. I am a rare creature in that for most of my life I did not like being touched (I still remember the uncomfortable feeling of sitting in one of my parent’s lap). It took me years to fulfill my partner’s need for cuddling.

Thank you Devon for the interesting breakdown you provided for touch. I never have seen it explained that way before. I assume that each bar has its’ own policy for touching the dancers, or can the dancer himself set his own boundaries?

2 Jennifer { 02.06.09 at 12:04 pm }
3 Jennifer { 02.06.09 at 12:06 pm }

Oops. I never did learn much html.

Anyway, what I said was:

*mind-boggling that anyone gets to touch your balls, in ANY venue!*

4 devon { 02.06.09 at 3:19 pm }

well, technically it’s not supposed to happen. actually, what am i saying… no one has ever touched my balls. ever. uhn-uh. LOL

5 William { 02.19.12 at 5:54 am }

If a customer/patron in a naked-dancer venue asked permission to touch your balls, would you permit it? 🙂

6 Jennifer { 02.06.09 at 3:35 pm }

Of course not! lol

Is there a comprehensive list of statutes that says what state or county allows what sort of touching?

7 Devon { 02.06.09 at 3:53 pm }

i have never looked it up. i would need to research that.

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