The online diary of a gay courtesan.

Category — Career Advice

Affirmations and Esteem

Screen Shot 2015-04-04 at 4.27.50 PMSome time back I made a trip to Philly to visit my friend Dean Sage. He is a very talented and creative writer, producer, and artist. While I was visiting we did a series of photo shoots and video interviews. This video is a short explanation concerning the problems that can come from going into adult entertainment for affirmations and/or approval. I hope you will find it helpful. In a nutshell: It is a mistake, because whether or not you get the affirmation/approval you seek, it will have very little to do with you as a person. It is far better to go into adult entertainment with your sense of esteem, identity, and self already in place. It is best to find your approval inside yourself, rather than dispempowering yourself and putting yourself at the mercy of strangers, trolls, and other anonymous people. They will randomly build you up and tear you down at their whims.

April 4, 2015   No Comments

No Deposit, No Return

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WARNING: This is a rant, so if you don’t want to read something angry, just go somewhere else for now.

I’ve been escorting for six years. In all that time I’ve almost never required a deposit. I’ve relied on intuition, and I’ve been alert and vigilant. I have looked for red flags, and I listen to my instinct. In fact, I get stood up way less than most of the other escorts I’ve talked to about this. Some potential clients have complained I make it too difficult to connect with me, because I don’t include my phone number in my ads. I require people to do everything via email. It works MUCH, MUCH better (for me) that way. But tonight is the last straw… I have had ENOUGH of my time being wasted.

Today my best friend’s mother died quickly and unexpectedly after getting suddenly ill last night. Last night I could’ve gone to be with Becky to comfort her. I could’ve been there when Mama Bear slipped away this morning. But I stayed here. I’m here at home. For no reason. Why? Why did I stay here?? Because I had to disrupt my work so much the last couple weeks (because of my Gramma’s illness) that I needed the damn money! That’s why!! We planned this evening length appointment LONG in advance!

To make this even worse, I was in Spain when Becky’s father passed away five months ago. I was… wherever the hell I was, I can’t remember now… when our mutual friend Shane died six weeks after that. Now I’m missing the death of someone I love for the opportunity to entertain someone I’ve never even met. I’m sitting here blogging about something I should have taken care of a long fucking time ago. This is my fault.

I have wanted to be trusting and patient with everyone, but that has repeatedly gotten me into situations exactly like this (most recently in Dallas, several weeks ago in January). I’m trying to be empathetic, flexible, and kind, and THIS is what happens? I would ask for comfort or advice on the escort forum, but I know I’d get other escorts and clients I’ve never met saying crap to me like, “Well, you should have blah blah blah,” like I’m some naïve neonate who’s stupid enough to bottom bareback for $20 in Palm Springs. I FUCKING KNOW I SHOULD HAVE BEEN CHARGING A GODDAMNED DEPOSIT!  The entire point is that I didn’t want people to feel like I don’t trust them!

Well, this is the final straw. I’m here in Charlotte for NO REASON. And I’m pissed. I should have been in Greenville last night. I should have cancelled this appointment. But it was made months ago, we spoke repeatedly during that time, the client texted me 90 minutes prior to starting to reconfirm AGAIN, and there were ZERO red flags. If I’d cancelled for this crisis, I could have simply returned the deposit. But HE has stood me up, and now I have no recourse.

Starting now, first time and new clients have to send me a 20% deposit before I will confirm their appointments. I’ve already updated my ads. People I have gotten to know will be exempt.

NOTE: Don’t even fucking think about posting anything resembling “I told you so” in the comments on this thread. I will delete it if you do. Fair warning.

February 23, 2015   2 Comments

My detailed regimen

Screen Shot 2014-12-09 at 12.39.50 AMSo, if you have a body type similar to mine and want results similar to mine, here are some general guidelines for exercise, nutrition, and rest that might help you achieve that end. The link is always visible, though in fine print, at the bottom of every page on this blog (see the link entitled “Fitness & Diet“). From time to time I update this fitness info, in case it is helpful to anyone. Please note that I am still eating on an Intermittent Fasting schedule. As I have said repeatedly, diet is 75% of success in fitness, and you need to eat clean and in proper amounts. You can find out your daily caloric needs with this calorie calculator. As a rule, since I need 2500 calories to maintain my weight, I consume 2000 calories on rest/HIIT days, and 3000 calories on Strength days. This ends up averaging out to 2500 calories per day, but it lets me play some advanced games with metabolism and fat storage/usage.

In June 2014 I found that I was burnt out from free weights. At that time I was bored of it, and I felt like I was developing tendonitis from the constantly increasing weights (you have to always go one step further when you are trying to build mass – that can mean adding weight/resistance, slowing down, adding reps/sets, perfecting some nuance of technique, resting for shorter amounts of time between sets, etc… but whichever of those nuances adjust, you have to go further than you did in the previous workout). I bought Convict Conditioning, a regimen for calisthenics (body weight exercises), after being dazzled by the guys at BarStarzz, and I have been doing it religiously for six months now. I definitely feel reconnected to my body, and I have enjoyed doing what I refer to as “living movement” as opposed to the “dead movement” of lifting heavy objects and putting them back down; however, I have been doing this on my own, and perhaps without guidance I have done something wrong. Whatever the case, I have not gotten the results I wanted. I removed High Intensity Interval Training from my regimen, and eliminated nearly all of the free weights (barbells and dumbbells) in order to give nearly all my exercise energy over to Convict Conditioning. Perhaps I wasn’t doing something properly, but although I have definitely progressed through many of the levels of Convict Conditioning and gotten stronger and more stable/flexible, I have lost mass and definition. Yet I do enjoy the calisthenics, and I do feel they are tremendously beneficial for integrated, functional movement training; range of motion; and connection to the body itself.

I do not want to abandon the calisthenics, because it is far too valuable. I did, however, find a format that I am going to revise that allows me to have it all! With this structure, I will be able to keep the calisthenics of the Convict Conditioning system of progressions that I have enjoyed so much; I will be able to add free weights back into the mix; and I will also have space in my week for HIIT again. It is important to remember that you should NOT do strength training and HIIT on the same day (your body cannot recover adequately from the combined effort, and you risk injuries or catabolism [the process of breaking muscle down for energy]). While doing Convict Conditioning exclusively, I wanted to do a 5- or 6-day body split, so I couldn’t do HIIT at all. Now, I think I have found a way to include all this yummy variety!

Screen Shot 2014-12-09 at 12.18.39 AMI have devised a rotating monthly cycle that inverts focus back and forth between mass/strength gains and cardio-vascular/endurance gain. It is important to create change in your regimen, so as to avoid burnout, repetitive use injuries, and stagnation. Both schedules include two days of rest per week. I have selected Thursday and Sunday, because those are the days I tend to travel to and from the places I visit when I am seeing clients. Schedule A focuses on strength, so three of the five days are given to that and only two to HIIT. Schedule B is the inverse: It has three days per week for cardio, and the other two are for strength. During Schedule A you should allow 45 minutes to do the strength workouts, and 30-40 minutes during Schedule B.  During Schedule A you will need about 45 minutes for HIIT, but during Schedule B you may need as much as an hour.
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The format I took from Body Building calls for two warm-up sets for each body part that is going to be trained. I have decided to give those two warm-up sets over to calisthenics, instead of using very light weights. In the charts provided, you will see “Step X” repeatedly. The Convict Conditioning system provides 10 steps for progressing through Push Ups (chest), Pull Ups (upper back), Squats (legs), Bridges (lower back), Handstand Push Ups (shoulders), and Leg Raises (core). These make up “The Big Six.” Each step uses the body to make the progressions more and more difficult. Warming up with and progressing through these calisthenics steps will allow me to remain connected to a form of exercise I enjoy and value very much, while also preparing my body to move weights more safely and efficiently. I cannot suggest strongly enough that you include calisthenics in some form in your regimen (dance, yoga, martial arts, Convict Conditioning, etc.).

The free weight exercises in this regimen are performed as “drop sets.” Drop sets are what you get when you combine pyramid structures (gradually adding more reps/weight with each set) and reverse pyramid structures (gradually subtracting reps/weight with each set). So then, as the weight gets lighter, the number of reps goes up. You will do four drop sets for each exercise. In this way, for example, if you choose to do dumbbell chest presses you will do four sets with about 30-60 seconds of rest between each set (you will use that time to adjust the weight and get situated to start again): Set 1, 70% of max weight, 6-8 reps; Set 2, 60% max weight, 9-10 reps; Set 3, 50% max weight, 11-12 reps; and Set 4, 40% max weight, 13-15 reps. Don’t let this fool you… By the time you get to Set 4 for the exercise you should be STRUGGLING (but maintaing proper form/technique) to get to the end. Some regimens call for reverse/negative reps (focusing on spending more time on the part of the rep that lengthens the muscles in question, or returns toward the “beginning” of the range of motion), and others call for slower tempos (e.g. 2 seconds up, 2 seconds hold at peak of exertion, 2 seconds down = 6 seconds/rep = 2/2/2 tempo). You can definitely add in that type of stylized training to increase the challenge or to include variety in your progression. I suggest starting with a 2/0/2 tempo (4 seconds/rep), performing the concentric/shortening/flexion for two seconds, and the essentric/lengthening/extension for two seconds as well. Keep the motion smooth, controlled, and constant. Rest about 30-60 seconds between each set in the drop set. You can rest up to two minutes while changing to the next exercise, which is itself going to be performed as a drop set.

Selecting exercises can be confusing, but it is also fun. This is where you get to tailor your efforts to meet your goals. If you decide to follow along with Convict Conditioning, then your calisthenics progressions will automatically include complex/compound movements (exercises that involve multiple muscle groups simultaneously… e.g. pushups work the entire body at once, but especially the chest, triceps, and core), which is vital in terms of maintaining functionality and integrated movement. Try to be sure you include these compound movements, whatever regimen you decide to follow. In these charts I have selected, as much as possible, free weight exercises that are also compound movements. You will see “or variant” frequently, because there are so many different exercises to choose from, and you should remember to keep adding variety. For instance, “Shoulders (Press, or variant)” means that you should select an exercise that moves in the range of motion as a shoulder press; however, you might choose one that is more or less advanced to suit your needs. But if you are going to follow my regimen, do be mindful that I have chosen range of motion carefully. If you are already doing push ups for your warm-up for chest, note that chest flies (or variant) are included so that not all the chest exercises press in the same direction (which is what happens when you compare push-ups to dumbbell presses – that is the same direction and range of motion). Do keep the “(or variant)” in mind, so that you do not overemphasis one range/direction of movement and neglect others.

The charts call for you to know your “Maximum Weight,” so that you can calculate percentages of that. I suggest that as you are going to flip-flop from HIIT back to Strength that you check in with yourself once every couple months to reassess your ability. Your max weight is the weight at which you can perform only ONE repetition WITH PROPER FORM. Do NOT hem and haw with a heavier weight and do a grotesque rep with no control and call that your max weight. That is bullshit, and you will get hurt. Your max weight is nothing to be ashamed of, and if you are keeping a journal, it will be a milepost that lets you gague your progress. I STRONGLY SUGGEST YOUR KEEP A PROGRESS JOURNAL. Let’s say that the first time you start the Strength Schedule that your max for dumbbell chest press is a single rep with a pair of #30 weights. You will then know that for dumbbell chest press drop sets, that (for you) Set 1, #22.5/#20, 6-8 reps; Set 2 #17.5/#15, 9-10 reps; Set 3, #15, 11-12 reps; and Set 4, #12.5/#10, 13-15 reps. Not all places offer dumbbells in 2.5-pound increments, so you will have to figure out when to smudge up or down in your drop sets; however, it is better to smudge down and keep perfect form, rather than smudge up and train like a stupid ass. Getting hurt will cause you to have to take time off to heal, and during that “lamecation” you will lose your gains.

Journals are so important that I must insist again that you keep one. Devise a format that works for you, and keep it. Notate when you work out, how you feel going in, during, and after. Be specific about what you do, how many sets, how many reps, and with what resistances. Did you eat enough or too much beforehand? Was your sleep good or shit? Was work pleasant or crap? Did anything inspire you or piss you off before you started? Make a note on whether or not you feel you kept good form, tempo, and breathing during that particular session. If not, what was bothering you? The more specific you can be, the more you will be able to look back across time to learn which habits/situations propel or hinder you, and you will be able to see very specifically how you are progressing. On days when you aren’t inspired to exercise, looking at your journal can often tip you over into doing it. It is a fact that has been reported and repeated (but ultimately ignored too often) that PEOPLE WHO JOURNAL THEIR EXERCISE SESSIONS ARE FAR MORE LIKELY TO SET, MEET, SURPASS, AND MAINTAIN GOALS. Journaling is so critical to success that it really ought to be considered as important as sleeping adequately.

I hope all this helps you to either get started on, reconnect with, or create your own fitness regimen. If you have specific questions that I have not addressed, please feel free to ask them in the comments section below.  You can download a pdf of the A/B Cycle charts here: TrainingScheduleAB.

 

December 9, 2014   2 Comments

Finally!!

For quite a long time I have been agonizing about the possibility of returning to video work to show potential clients the muscle mass I’ve finally gained after all these years. I mean I was really stressing myself out about the possibility of it all turning into yet another big shit storm, if I were to be cast. I don’t remember how many times I have written about how unhappy shooting porn makes me, but tonight I finally made a decision: I’m continuing forward without considering it as an option. It’s not, practically speaking, any change at all. I haven’t been in scenes since 2012, and I have been very recalcitrant about even submitting applications. But now, after yet another round of being jerked off by wishy washy people who think they have some kind of power in my life, I have decided that I need to finally close this door. I never enjoyed doing porn, I absolutely loath interacting with the ranting trolls on the porn blogs, I am uncomfortable with the additional scrutiny that would be placed upon my appearance by said trolls, and the pay for video work is total shit. Not to mention how many of the models I can’t stand as people and who I might have had to work with… So why do it? Because I added all this lovely muscle to my frame, and I wanted to get it known quickly and efficiently. Look, you have to use the industry as much as it uses you. Remember that. Always.

I feel a real sense of relief. I suddenly had an opportunity to shoot, but (as always) the porn dicks couldn’t get their shit together enough to actually commit to the date or not. Look, that maybe-kinda-sorta unprofessional horse shit works for the drugged out twinks who still live with their mamas, but I have a life and a schedule. I need to make concrete plans, and the chaos behind the scenes in porn is just foolish. Honestly, I don’t know how any of these companies don’t fold under the weight of their own incompetence.

I have had the sense for some time that I am blacklisted anyway. So it doesn’t matter how much muscle I add. It doesn’t matter how healthy I am. It doesn’t matter how reliable I am. I will always be the “difficult” faggot who wrote “that blog article.” Why is this crap even still coming up four years later??? It doesn’t help that my work at Anteros Media from 2011 – 2012 was a scathing criticism of the industry. And it doesn’t help that I am completely transparent about what I think is wrong with porn, which is everything. So, no love lost, right? They don’t want to work me, and sure as shit haven’t wanted to work with them. My escorting practice is thriving as well as it always has, so I have been looking for a solution to a problem that doesn’t exist.

Okay. Wow. Whew! I feel better. So, I guess what I will need to do going forward is stop updating my Twitter feed (I just deleted the app from my devices), focus on getting some new stills professionally done, and consider adding videos to my RentMen ad. That will have to suffice. I could add some videos to XTube, or something similar. Anything to get my image updated. I’m so sick of my 2009 – 2012 videos defining what people think I look like. So, I will get this rebranding done on my own, more slowly and on a smaller scale. That’s fine: It also means I can do it without the rabid howler monkeys around the globe throwing their festering balls of shit at me via my Twitter account. I created that account to connect with my porn following, but there’s been no new scenes to promote in forever, so why allow that direct line into my personal life? No more crazies!! Go away! GOD!

That last backlash a couple weeks ago about the surprise vagina really was the beginning of the end, in terms of my being willing to interact with large audiences of people. I was being accused of being a proponent of ex-gay conversion therapy. People were saying I was allied with the Texas Republican Caucus. Many of these fucking pricks even accused me of being the cause of bullying and gay suicide. WHATEVER! I had to take stock and consider whether or not everything was working as I’d intended. But then when I had dates to shoot new material and it fell apart, because I’m too much like the type of models this company already casts??? HAHAHAHAHAHAHA Especially when most of their models look and act like hungry children with cliché tattoos and dirty mops for haircuts? I think not. Bye Felicia. Bye bitch. Put your crack pipe down, and have a donut on your way out. Oh, and if you are here expecting me to approve your hateful comment, you can take your First Amendment rights and shove them up your ass. This is *my* blog, and I want only happy shit here. Understood? Good.

So, anyone looking for career advice about going into porn: Don’t.

That’s my advice.

July 14, 2014   4 Comments

Risk & Reward

(Note: Do not play the bets listed in Spinning the Wheel – they are far, far, far too complex to manage in real life [though they worked beautifully on the iPad app], and the outside bets weigh down your wins [though they also mitigate your losses]. Keep it simple!!)

I used to say that I don’t gamble, because I never win. That isn’t true at all. Without meaning to be arrogant, I have won the genetic lottery: I’m a healthy, attractive, intelligent, white man. The privilege society affords me for all these traits I had nothing to do with is palpable. The only parts of the equation I lost out on were being straight, Christian, and wealthy (but in all fairness, those “losses” are mitigated by the fact that I won the lottery that allowed me to be middle class born in a place and time when sexuality and religion matter less, and where there are many opportunities to advance and/or make money on one’s own). So, all in all, it isn’t true that I never win, because (as I just demonstrated) I win quite frequently (and often at a large enough scale that it offsets multiple “losses”).

What is the point I am making? That everything in life is a gamble. My friend Ron is trying to become a professional gambler, and he wants to become proficient at Roulette; however, his losses keep overwhelming his wins for the simple fact that he won’t take big enough risks to counterbalance his losses. He is more afraid of multiple medium sized risks than he is motivated by a few large payouts. And yet he took a risk getting married (he’s gay), he took a risk going into insurance sales (but that paid off, and he was one of the best salesmen in the country for his company), he took a risk getting divorced (he has been out for ~20 years now), he took a risk leaving insurance to do massage (though he is a genius therapist with a naturally healing touch), and he takes a risk every time he books a client (they could, conceivably, ALL cancel and/or flake – my experience in late December 2013 – mid January 2014 proves that out). The same is true for me: I took a risk majoring in dance (but I was still chosen in 1998 AND 1999 to attend UCLA – I was one of 10 selected from a pool of 300 applicants for 1998, but I turned them down; however, in 1999 I decided to try again, I was one out of six chosen from a pool of 500 applicants, and that was based on the previous year’s audition – I am the only person that I know of in the history of the UCLA dance program to get accepted twice for one application); I took a risk being an educator (knowing that I dislike children in general, yet still excelled at it); I took a risk on clubs, porn, and escorting…

And all of it has paid off.

To say I don’t gamble, because I don’t win is preposterous. I win with such alacrity that I have always taken it for granted. How foolish of me. At any rate, I have picked up on Ron’s interest in roulette. I love games. I am not a genius at it, but I enjoy chess and other games of strategy. I also have learned a new appreciation for games of chance. The skill in these games is made from the stuff of your personality. Some people are risk averse, and these conservative people are necessary for balance (but left to their own devices nothing would ever grow or change); however, some people are risk resilient, and these liberal people are necessary for dynamism (but left to their own devices nothing would ever stabilize or establish). Chaos and Order, yes? If you are going to gamble, be honest about the type of personality you have, and then try to mitigate your risks (you can’t ever abolish them… such is the nature of life). The only way to avoid all risk is to avoid all activity (risk = life?).

So, back to Ron. He keeps changing his roulette bet around, chasing after a trend that simply doesn’t exist. There are 38 numbers, and any one of them will come up on each spin. The advantage is always to the house. The edge isn’t. The edge is different from the advantage: You might presume that betting red/black is a 50/50 gamble, and that you and the house both have a 50% advantage. But you would be wrong. The numbers 0 and 00 are green, and they don’t pay out on red/black, even/odd, high/low, etc. This is the edge: Because there are 36 red/black numbers, that portion of the board is a 50/50 gamble; however, when you add in 0/00, suddenly you have only a 47% chance of winning an “even” bet. THAT is the edge the house has built in. Ron hasn’t looked at the edges, only the advantages, and he won’t play with bets large enough to matter when his rare wins offset his common losses. I think I have found a bet that works (for me).

It works after thousands of attempts on my roulette app. It worked when I tried it in person this week. I played at a small scale, but the odds don’t change in roulette. You get back a multiple of whatever you put it, and the odds are always the same. So, here is what I have discovered (again, do not use my bets from Spinning the Wheel):

You should play with 10% of your available bank (e.g. $100). You should place 10 bets in the center of 10 numbers (you can include 0 and/or 00 if you wish, but they don’t pay out more or come up with more or less frequency). Each bet on each number should be the same amount, ergo each bet is 1% of your available bank (e.g. $100 bank = $10 total wagers per spin = $1 per number). This is the math: By placing 10 bets you have a 26% chance of winning. That’s “reliably” one win in four spins, but notice that although the house has a nearly 75% advantage, on the 25% advantage you have, there is a 1% edge in your favor. THAT is what matters: Knowing that you can win with enough consistency for it to be worth the trouble, you can play and rest at increment. Remember that a single bet pays 35-to-1 in roulette (Note: Avoid split, corner, street, and column/dozens bets… yes, they win more frequently, but they pay out less, and therefore you lose your edge). This means that every three losses are offset by a win (e.g. 3 losing bets = -$30; 1 winning bet = +$35; yield = $5). Remember also that you can expect statistically over time to win one time in four bets… This is convenient: Loss, loss, loss, win = small profit. Do not go beyond 10 bets, or you will encounter the law of diminishing returns: 11 bets is a 29% chance (note that the house has a 4% edge on your “one third” chance of winning, but you have a 4% edge on your “one fourth” chance of winning). Eleven bets no longer works: 11 bets = $11 but a win is still only $35. You do NOT have a one-in-three chance of winning, and when you do win your margin will be smaller (e.g. 3 losing bets = -$33; 1 winning bet = +$35; yield = $2). With 12 bets at a 32% chance (you still do NOT have a one-in-three chance, the house retains a 1% edge on your “third”) it’s even worse (e.g losing 3 bets = -$36; 1 win = +$35; yield = -$1). Too few bets gives you a huge margin when you win, but you will have far more losses before a win, and that means a lot of time to get to the same place as 10 bets (e.g. 5 bets takes twice as long to get to the same wins/losses as 10 bets). Beyond that, the rest is multiples.

This is what I have learned: Start with $100 that you can afford to lose. You don’t care if it goes away, but if it were to grow, that would be lovely. Play with $10 per spin, $1 per number (pick 10 numbers you like and stick to them – don’t chase the ball… sit still and let it come to you. I have chosen 5, 6, 7, 9, 11, 12, 14, 18, 28, and 29). Play this until your bank is $200 (Note: You don’t have to place a bet every time the dealer spins the wheel… Take frequent breaks. Jump in and out, rather than playing every single spin). When your bank reaches $200, play $20 per spin and $2 per number. Continue in this manner. In real life I built up to playing with a $500 bank, $50 per spin, $5 per number. At home on my iPad app, I have worked this pattern all the way up to a $100,000 bank, $10,000 per spin, and $1,000 per number. The odds don’t change, the risks don’t change, the rewards don’t change. All that changes is the scale. If you can keep that in mind (and know when to start and stop playing), then (when luck is on your side) you can win.

And that, altogether, is a very valuable life lesson.

April 26, 2014   4 Comments