wo kinds of people live in shaky Chile, says my photographer Oscar. The first kind yells doomsday after each earthquake, the second shrugs and says, “Okay, another one. Time to start from scratch.”
Oscar is a shrugger.
I was thinking about his fatalism when I got an email from an escort friend who’d been working successfully in New York City until the coronavirus did its award winning global earthquake act. “It’s dead here,” she wrote. “No one wants to get close to anyone else. ”
Seems she shares the Oscar view, since her next message came from a not-shut Greek island. To start anew there.
The sex game is like the circus. Even if a clown and a tiger die on the same day, the show has to go on. The only question is how to draw an audience. With physical intimacy not in in the mood for a comeback any time soon, welcome to the brave new world of digital dates. Dates courtesy of Skype, Facetime, sexting, and, for the more enterprising, creating a visual and verbal girlfriend experience anyone can rent out a few times a day.
If you’re thinking porn, you’re wrong. Porn was dying before the virus hit, thanks to greedy web distributors (hello, Pornhub) who’d pretty much cornered the market, driving down pay.
What I am talking about are online platforms like onlyfans that encourage chatting and flirting, and allow you to send provocative videos to virtual clients, most of them lonely men cooped up in a New York penthouse or an unremarkable semi-detached house. And there are plenty of them.
Some feel like the virus has robbed them of their rites and routines, if not of choice itself. If they were masters of the universe then, or thought they were, they certainly aren’t now. Corona has canceled the idea money will buy you anything, no matter what, and that can make a lot people think about what they want out of their lives. Crisis is a mood-changer. Men get lonely very fast and need escapism as much as sex. For women, escorts included, there’s a lot of thinking done about the fact they don’t have a steady partner, let alone a family.
It’s the earthquake effect Oscar was on to in Chile before coming to join me in Seville, where we’ve banded together to create non-graphic fantasy videos in which I mostly laugh, take showers, flirt, and tease. These I send to my virtual clients, and off we go. All of it happens on my phone, and the money is surprisingly good money.
It’s amazing to me. There’s no contact in play, only arousal and online banter that helps men fill their days. You create yourself in their heads, tailoring yourself a little to suit each one. It’s a bit like what Scarlett Johansson did in the movie “Her,” where she “plays” virtual assistant and girlfriend always available to say she’s thinking about you.
If you want something to be true, and you can relax into the virtual, then it is true, and you can come to feel you can’t do without it. Incredible.
I’d been schooled in the “old way,” countless hours spent vetting would-be clients for a meeting that might or might not ever happen, let alone go well, income aside.
Now I have a host of male followers I never need to know (unless I want to, via Skype). I also have all the time in the world to work 24 hours a day, weaving a version of me and my life and my body that might play well in this new game. It’s both banal and beautiful. I tell them it’s raining outside when it is. I confide little things about myself (which they crave, since the virtual is much ado about make-believe intimacy). If they tell me they’re at home painting a room, I ask them what color. We can then exchange favorite colors. It’s perfect, and perfectly veiled: paid encounters without the flesh. And in the absence of touching, it’s your job to insinuate yourself into someone’s desiring imagination.
No, you don’t take home the 3K you would for an in-person overnight, but if you get it right, and I’m trying hard, you can make a more than decent steady income.
In six weeks of playing virtual partner I’ve earned enough to freeze my eggs, a goal I’d set for myself long ago. I couldn’t have imagined getting to this point in the middle of a pandemic that has most of the planet on hold.
Some days I send shots of me in various nightwear (Oscar picks them), or he plays director in 20-second videos. I’m sometimes nude but always in a playful way, so that you can’t quite see it “all.” I hear Oscar say, “Put your chin down… Turn slightly left… now laugh, be silly.” He doesn’t need to make me. I am.
He recently did the shower shoot as green bath oil dripped over my face. I found the whole thing hilarious, which he thought was “crazy,” as in “you crazy girl.”
But that little shower performance was quite the hit. I was paid for what seemed to me a prank. Amazing indeed.
The virtual scene has the advantage of giving women control over how they behave and how far they wish to go, and how they want to look, and charge. No more male producers taking home millions from porn stars working for peanuts.
Some girls just swish around their homes taking selfies and sexting. Others swing their boobs and hold dildos. It’s your call.
If you want an earthquake that truly transforms a landscape, this is just that kind. And I doubt the industry will ever be quite the same.
It will be a very long time before time before people decide to meet one-on-one again, let alone dive back into travel and fine dining. I’m not scared but the situation is scary.
What the last month or so has most taught me is about male loneliness, not for sex but for talk. They may want the talk to turn erotic and arousing, but it’s the words and voices they crave.
Thank you Oscar. I now look at the earthquake around and prepare myself to shrug, Okay, so now we start from scratch. And I have.