Interview: Stacey Swimme of St. James Infirmary

Devon Hunter: Please tell me: a) the contact info you would want used in the interview, b) a brief description of the organization’s history,  c) and how the organization fills a gap in standard attitudes towards sex workers. Stacey Swimme: I am the Development Director of St. James Infirmary. St. James Infirmary provides compassionate and non-judgmental health care and social services for all sex workers, while preventing...

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The skin game

One of the reasons I wanted to wait to respond to the question posed on March 17, 2009’s entry concerning race is because I wanted to view the situation in a club outside of the South. Before I continue, I would like to add that I welcome comments and constructive discussions here; however, if I do say something that is insensitive or irresponsible, I invite anyone to point it out. To paraphrase a concept articulated by Obama...

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Drawing the line

I went for lunch and a walk in the park today, because for the third day in a row it would be spiritually negligent to not. It is so pretty here lately – it’s hard to believe there was snow on the ground a week ago. The trees and flowers are putting out buds; the clover is bright green, with little purple pin-striped blooms; and I even saw my first massive bee of the season. The bees look so plump and lazy, the way they...

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Are you a top or a bottom?

Neither. I don’t care for the terms. If I use them at all, it’s only so that I don’t have to always explain myself. I also don’t care for masculine/feminine, active/passive, and man-in-the-relationship/woman-in-the-relationship. Although the terms are somewhat clinical, they are also accurate and devoid of implicit value judgements: I prefer the terms insertive and receptive. Top/Bottom are highly problematic...

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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...

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Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde

It occurred to me, after reflecting some about my experience, at that party from last week, that there is a Jekyll & Hyde phenomenon lurking in many club patrons, gay men in particular. It also occurred to me that there is a day & night phenomenon that I want to explore for a few moments. What follows isn’t researched or cited – it’s simply my dialogue with myself about the observations I have about the...

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What would your Mama say?!

It never ceases to amaze me how many little details I forget to blog about. I keep fretting, thinking that I’ll run out of interesting stories, but then a patron will ask me something or do something and I’ll remember there’s so much more to tell. So, people ask me fairly frequently (worded in various ways): “Does your mother know that you dance naked in bars?” Here’s the short answer: Yes....

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The balance of bisexuality

Bisexual people have to be some of the most marginalized in our culture. They’re too queer for heterosexuals to understand or empathize with, and they’re too straight for queers to trust or fully embrace. The former tend to lump any degree of bisexuality together with “gay,” and the latter tend to stigmatize them as cowards or indiscriminate sluts. However, bisexuality is a true sexuality – it is not just...

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Would you say this to anyone else?

This past weekend I was supposed to see Janet Jackson in concert; however, she was sick, so after driving to Greensboro, NC I immediately had to turn around and drive back to Charlotte. That sucked. Really bad. We’re having a gas shortage, so I’m out the gas, I’m out the concert, and I’m out the night of work. To make it worse my new roommate’s dog attacked me when I got home, and when I decided to leave...

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Don’t ask, don’t tell

My entire life there has never been any question whatsoever from anyone I’ve ever met as to my sexuality. Suddenly that has changed. In February, 2008 I was dancing at WareHouse 250 in Florence, SC and no one would talk to me, make eye contact, or approach me. When I asked then-owner Jeffrey Brown what was happening he said, “They think you’re straight, and they’re scared to touch you.” The DJ then made...

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