Sunday, September 16, 2012

Is This What I Expected?

Is this industry what I expected? When I began my blog back in 2007 it was to answer the many questions hobbyists had about the industry from an SP’s perspective. Having been in the industry off and on for 6 or 7 years now, I have answered any and all questions as openly and honestly as I can. I believe that keeping the line of communication open between the SP’s and the hobbyists can only create a more fulfilling experience for everyone.  Recently I was asked if this industry has been what I expected it to be. It has taken me some time to look back to when I first considered escorting and remember the place I was in back then and compare it to where I am now and see if my perspective has changed through the experiences I have had.

 To answer that question with a simple yes or no would not adequately convey my thoughts on the matter so I felt it a great blog post to explain in detail my response. I realize too that as I experience more as Belle, my perspective has changed some too so answering this question today and answering it five years ago would likely produce different explanations but I do believe that in the end, the answers would be relatively the same.

 When I first posted on GTERB I was simply a single woman with a yearning for some zest in my simple subdued life. While I loved the domesticated lifestyle, I often fantasized about stepping outside of that role but never felt safe doing so. I’ve explained in more detail in earlier posts about taking those first few steps. So I will touch on that aspect first.

 Belle has, without a doubt, allowed me to be this fun, carefree woman living an otherwise conservative lifestyle. I have learned to be comfortable in my not-so-perfect body. I have learned to love my small breasts and other imperfections that I have always been almost ashamed of. What I did not expect was to gain this new found self confidence through Belle. In a world that I envisioned being all about physical attraction I feared rejection because I felt I did not fit the norm for the industry.  But I went for it anyways. I have learned that men do appreciate a confident woman as much as they appreciate a physically flawless one. Men do appreciate a woman that can have a stimulating conversation and find that just as sexy as a woman wearing stilettos. Basically, I have learned that men are not as shallow as I had expected them to be and I have learned that sexy has many different meanings. So no, this industry is not what I expected.

 Safety was never a concern for me. I did my research before Belle. I asked the questions I needed to ask of the agency before I signed on. There are safety calls made in and out of the meetings, drivers who come knocking if you do not make contact, girls who make one another aware of bad clients, rules about drug use and intoxication and the right to refusal if a client is threatening/unclean or simply makes a lady uncomfortable. I learned that we as SP’s have the right to say no and that at any time we can walk away. We have control over our bodies and our time and what we choose to do with both. So yes, this industry is what I had expected.

 I knew going into this that there may be a day and time when my two worlds would collide. While I knew I would do all that I could to protect my personal life from being invaded by society’s perception of what I do as Belle, it may all come to a head one day, and it has. I have had to defend Belle to coworkers and personal friends but I am not ashamed. I have not tried to justify but only to ask they respect my decision to do as I do. I don’t need their approval. I don’t expect them to understand. I just ask that they accept that this is my choice. So yes, this industry is what I expected.

 I am a strong person and consider myself to be well in control of my emotions. I made a pact with myself in the beginning that I would keep emotion out of Belle’s world and for several years I did. I do not let my guard down easy but over time I found myself building foundations for true friendships. I found myself opening up and allowing others in and sharing my personal life with a few that I have met as Belle. And then my writing soon followed, recognizing that it is okay to show emotion. Emotion keeps me human, keeps my spirit flowing. While I still tend to be guarded at times, I have found myself to laugh, to cry, to show fear, to be intimidated and to be humbled. I have entrusted those emotions to people I have met in Belle’s world and have felt safe doing so. So no, this industry is not what I expected.

 While I started my blog out of a passion for expressing myself through the written word, I have discovered my dream to be a professional writer. It has been the support, the compliments and connections I have made through my blog that inspired me to pursue this dream. I applied for and accepted an editorial writing job with the local newspaper last year and wrote several columns for them. Sadly it was only a one year position but the response I received from those articles as well as the response from my blog has left me with a determination to publish the book I have written and see where my writing will take me. I always imagined Belle as an escape from the real world, never as the driving force behind going after my dream in the real world so no, this industry is not what I expected.

 I could go on and on about ways in which this business has changed me, my life, my perspective. There is no answer to this question though as it is like many things in life. We choose a path and we know not where it leads. The expectation is that in the end, when all is said and done and we have reached the final steps we are happy. That’s all we are looking for in life. No matter what decision we have in front of us, no matter the factors that present themselves while making that decision, the ultimate goal is to have it lead us to happiness. And I am happy. So yes, this industry is what I expected.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Lesson from a Street Girl

Have you ever found yourself in the oddest of relationships with someone? Maybe you were the cool kid in school and befriended the nerd or you are the suit and tie banker and your buddy is still wearing his mullet and leather tasselled jacket from the 80’s. Or you being the street smart wise ass married the book smart research assistant. I’ve spent many enjoyable hours just walking around town people watching and have seen many odd couples and wondered just how they came to be. The lady, all of 90 lb soaking wet being held up by the 300lb man; the 7ft man awkwardly bent down to make out with his 5ft nothing sweetheart. There has to be a connection, something they share that the rest of us don’t see that brings these odd relationships together. But as odd as they seem, these types of relationships are common. It is not unusual to see opposites attract one another.

 I walk home from my “outside of Belle” job most every night. My path takes me along the same strip that the ladies of the night walk. I see the same few girls most every night. It was my custom to cross the street opposite to where they stood. I never really put any thought into why I did this, it was just an automatic reaction to do so.

One night, after many weeks of this routine one girl hollered across to me asking for a smoke. She began to cross the street approaching where I stood as I fumbled through my purse for my pack. I was nervous. I couldn’t explain why, but I was. I gave her a smoke, she thanked me and I continued my walk home all the while questioning why I felt so intimidated. I am, after all, one of them. There are names/titles/terms given to different forms of the business but call it what you will, we all share the same occupation. And yet I fear “them”. It bothered me every time after that night that I would continue to cross the street so I finally stopped doing it.

I can’t state enough how strongly I stand by what I do as Belle, no matter what society says about me and what I do. I am not ashamed.  And here I am giving in to something I have spent years fighting against. I am fearing something I am a part of. And why? Because society has told me to? I am one of them as they are one of me. And so every night I pass this same girl I stop. I give her a smoke and we chat. We get hollered at, she turns and smiles and waits to see if they stop. Sometimes they are crude and I wonder how she puts up with that. If it were me, I would walk out of the room. This street is her room, where else is she to go?

Some days as I approach her she smiles, she seems okay. Those days I am happy for her. Other days she staggers and once we are face to face I see emptiness in her eyes and I hurt for her. I shouldn’t because I know how I feel when people say they hurt for me. I can’t speak for her, I can’t say she wants my pity but I feel for her just the same. While I may feel happiness or pity, I don’t feel the fear of her anymore and I am glad for that. I see the strength she has to endure the street life, it’s not for the weak and helps me appreciate even more the atmosphere in which I am able to do as I do.

And so it is now that we have this odd relationship. For those that know me not as Belle, they may pass us on the street corner and wonder just how our two worlds collide. How we can be so clearly opposite yet befriend one another. But the truth is, what’s on the outside... what we let others see has nothing to do with who we are. What’s inside, the her and the I, aren’t as opposite as we seem.  I am one of them as they are one of me.
When I people watch now, I don't focus so much on how odd relationships come to be but try to see just how much they are the same. Quite often I notice how they seem to take interest in the same types of novels in the bookstore, how they exit the theatre sharing the same excitement for the thriller they just saw or just they way they touch eachother while they talk..things that clearly make them more alike than one without insight would see.
Life is about learning. Not just from books or Google or Discover magazine but from people you don't even know; people that you pass by every day. The bus stop, the coffee shop and yes, even from the girls that walk the street at night.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Super Power not so Super

Coming back to the business after a nearly three year hiatus has been slightly overwhelming. Some may say it’s like riding a bike, hop on and ride away and from the outside looking in it may just seem that simple but for me, not so much. Sure, the inner workings have not changed. But coming back I have had to face what I left behind and that for me is not easy.

What has allowed me to create such a fun, successful persona as Belle is my ability to detach myself. I make it sound like that is some sort of super power I posess, but in reality it has bitten me in the ass more times that I can count. I can walk away. I walk away when I’m hurt. I walk away when I fear rejection and I walk away when I am afraid of something. Now most people when they walk away they take some time to cool down, rationalize the situation then turn around and face it with a clearer understanding. Me...I just keep on walking. Yes, my super power allows me to emotionally remove myself from all that I walk away from.

I left Belle to start a new life, a life I had often wondered if I was capable of living. I did not look back, not once. When I met him, I shut my Belle life down. From that day I never checked my email, visited my website, browsed the boards or had any contact in any way whatsoever with Belle’s world. I simply walked away from it all. I felt it only fair to give this man all of me.

Coming back I have had to face conversations left unfinished, feeling that were hurt, questions people had regarding their own doing in my decision to walk away; friendships that I turned my back on and the aftermath of doing so. And more so this past few weeks than ever I have realized that while I have tooted my own horn for being so good at keeping emotion out of all of this, the reality is that I am human, Belle is a part of me and I hurt for walking away without explanation to those close to me that deserved that much. I don’t regret my time away but I do regret the way in which I left.

It is with mutual understanding for those that participate in this hobby that there is no room for love, jealousy or commitment. That is the beauty of what we all do here. But there is room for caring for those we build friendships with. I only wish I had allowed myself that knowledge three years ago.

Perhaps it was my need for separation to survive in this world but whatever the reason I now realize that I left behind a wonderful circle of friendship and support, people who were truly caring of not Belle, but me.; a humbling yet defining realization in my journey.

Wednesday, September 05, 2012

The Belle Trilogy

I’ve become one of them and I give you permission to laugh as you roll your eyes, not that you need my permission to do so. Yes, I have become the escort that will retire numerous times in her escorting career, each time insisting it is her last. I used to laugh myself as I saw these girls come and go, although unlike the others my stats have remained true and my age has aged with me. I have never tried to deceive anyone into thinking I am something I am not so at best I can say for myself that I have remained true to me. While Belle may have come and gone over the years; my values, my service and my belief in what I do have never wavered. That being said, welcome my friends to the “Belle Trilogy”.

A synopsis of my life the past three years:

Girl meets boy. Girl and boy have sex. And again. And again. Boy seems different than other boys and girl is interested. Boy and girl date. Girl moves boy et al in with her.  Boy and girl fall in love and plan for future. Boy and girl start a small business. Girl loves boy and gives up all in her life for boy. Boy wants more. Girl has nothing left to give boy. Girl misses her friends/long walks by herself/writing but she loves boy so. Boy mistakes love for control. Girl wants boy’s love and trust, boy wants more control. Girl and Boy break up. Girl cries. And cries some more. And cries some more. Girl gets up, wipes her tears and puts life back together. Boy stops calling. Girl misses best friend. Girl misses sex.  Girl calls up Belle. Belle is more than happy to give girl what she has been missing. And now girl is happy.

And there you have it. In my life I have learned to never regret the choices I have made. Oh, I have made many bad ones but I have learned from them and they have helped to define who I am today. I do not regret falling in love. While the broken heart had been almost unbearable, I needed to know that I can still feel, that I can still allow myself to love.  But I also learned that as much as I wanted it to be, I did all that I could to be sure it wasn’t. I sabotaged the relationship every chance I got. No matter how good, I could find the bad. Looking back I can see that it is just not my time, I am not ready.

 As for Belle, I have such big plans for her. There are a few ideas I have and I can’t wait to post about them. I won’t give away too much but I will say that I hope a little contest I held a few years back will jog a memory in some of you. More of that to come...

And lastly, before I lay my head down for the night I want to thank all of you who continued to write, continued to ask about and who continued to remember me after all of these years. There is nothing more rewarding in my experiences as Belle than to know I have touched some of your hearts as you have mine. I have missed all of you just the same.


Xo Belle