Her father never called her by name. She was his Sweetheart or his Princess or his Pumpkin, but never Delphine. That was made her middle name after a bitter row with her mother and, even though Delphine was his choice, he never said it. He loved her and she went everywhere with him -- even to the fights at the Garden. He'd dress her up in her nicest outfits and they sat in the front row, and she'd come home stained with sweat and blood. It didn't matter to him how angry that made her mother -- it was one of the few things he didn't bend on. He died when Delphine was maybe seven, and when it happened his Sweetheart's life all but stopped. Her aunt accused her more then once of being a cold and heartless child because she didn't cry for him, and for a long time she believed the aunt was right.
He was calm and gentle. Her mother was high strung and delicate. She had always been so, and when Delphine's father died, she crumbled. He was fifteen years older than she was and his purpose had always been to take care of her and to make her life easier. After he was gone, she was too. The police would find her in her best clothes, wandering the streets and listening to his voice calling her. She was institutionalized over and again. It was the Fifties and shock treatment was the vogue, as was submersion in ice water and other so called behavior modification techniques. She'd seem better for awhile, but always ended up going back.
It fell to Delphine's brother to look after her. He had enough difficulty looking after himself, let alone his little sister, and she pretty much grew up wild. When her mother was home, they'd fight tooth and nail to win control over the other. Mother wanted her to be a good Catholic girl who crossed her legs just so and never thought about boys, but Delphine wanted to be left alone and for her mother to go away again. They never looked for a peace between them -- and certainly not after her mother started seducing her boyfriends.
Delphine told me: I left college after a fight with the dean over my openly dating a black boy. I didn't care. I was smart and quick and I could keep things organized. I took a job that taught me how to manage a legitimate spa and Swedish massage business for a blond goddess I'll call Gigi. She was six feet two of North European magnificence -- a crown of golden hair over creamy skin and perpetually glittery blue eyes and soft, always moist lips. Gigi looked like those soft focus Hollywood star photographs from the thirties, only she moved and spoke, went barefoot and wore lime green mini skirts. She had long legs, perfect hips, and breasts that had no care about gravity. We were a sight to see -- the dark Sicilian girl from short and dark Sicilian parents, and Gigi who walked on clouds and shone like the sun. She took me to dinner at a fancy French restaurant one evening. I knew something was going to happen when our food was prepared table-side and different wines started to appear. She glowed and shimmered, a Nordic angel doting on the dark haired hippy chick. She purred and laughed and whispered, and later that night she took my clothes and then she took me. I was happy to be in her arms and in her bed.
Of course after that she had little use for me sexually, but I became even more her confidante and protector. She made bad marriages and had difficult boyfriends. I'd drive her to their houses, and then away from their wives or to the hospital after the men beat her. Even so, it was a good life for a time -- Gigi the owner of the spa, me running it and being her puppy. I learned massage and I learned men and things had a comfortable rhythm. Until the day she told me she'd sold it all. Without warning, without consultation, without a word. The new owners immediately turned the spa into a brothel and brought in their own girls. They offered, but I wasn't having any of it. I had no desire to either be a prostitute or part of a sex business, so I left.
I learned early on to look at things from different angles, to work out consequences, to plan a safe course for myself. I never got into situations in which I didn't already know how to keep control, no matter what happened. Though it wasn't the business I built, I knew how to run it, so eventually I went back to the spa. While I was away, I had given the issues a lot of thought and come to realized that not only was I missing what had literally been my home, but that deep down I was curious to see what being a working girl was like. I found I missed a certain basic intimacy that comes from physical contact with strangers. And anyway, I love sex -- be it lust or rebellion or spur of the moment, or love and admiration or the most intimate surrender, it's something I'm very, very good at.
My first was a businessman who talked about his work and his disappointment with his wife while I massaged the tension out of his muscles. He talked until I told him not to. I found his rhythm right away, and finished him by hand. I remember he had perfect teeth, and he gave me a big tip.
I love men -- I really do. I love their games and their macho-ness, the lost little boy sense so many of them have, their vision of themselves as white knights. I feel bad for them, too. Men are designed to be protectors and providers and warriors and sex obsessives spreading their genes everywhere they can to keep the strain strong and various and healthy. But they're almost all without a place, now. Their lives are bound by mortgages and houses and work that ignores their physical nature. My clients are white collar -- lawyers, businessmen, doctors -- and they've got these jobs and careers that give them only a shadow of what they need. They fight in court or close big deals or fix broken bodies, but so what? And they know it, too, either consciously or deep inside -- so what? Where's the satisfaction in doing the same thing over and over and over?
The men who come to see me are almost all married and dying from it. They were all crazy in love once, fucking morning, noon and night, and starting their careers and picking their battles and establishing their positions in whatever power structure they chose. They made money, got power, got recognition -- they were men and could point directly at the things that made them so. But how long does that last? How long does love last, or how long before money isn't enough, power over others isn't enough? How long before everything -- everything -- becomes the same old thing, the usual thing, the completely predictable thing? What happens to their primal nature? What happens when the warrior has no battles save within his own house? Has no way to spread his genetic wealth? When everything he's established tells him he's done, used up, and there's nothing more?
I'll tell you what happens. Some of them drink, some find religion, some start wars, some preach genocide. A few decide to save the whales or pick up trash along the highway. And many come to me. I give them attention, I listen and we talk. Most of my clients are interesting and cultured, and they happily let me take control of them for an hour or two. I let them be the hungry male again, the leader and warrior, and make them the absolute center. I touch them and caress them and make them feel stronger then they have in a long time. I let them know they are still men.
As part of all this I wanted to know what testosterone was like, so I took it for a while. It's a difficult companion. The physical effects were immediate. I put on eight pounds of mass, my abilities in the weight room were off the charts, and so was my sex drive. I couldn't keep my hands off myself, even though my orgasms no longer satisfied me the way they used to. Even in the midst of climax, I was already thinking about what came next. Testosterone demands your attention, gives you a sense of need that must be satisfied without telling you what the need is. It's like stepping on an accelerator at the same time you close your eyes -- you'll go forward, but toward what you won't know until you arrive.
I wasn't able to find a balance with it. It was either on or off. When it was on, I was male. I had the push of brute strength, I had a powerful sense of focus, and there wasn't anything that could prevent me from reaching my goals. I felt stripped down to the essentials, had little concern for the consequences of what I wanted to do, and there was little room for wavering or multidimensional thought. It felt truly dangerous because all it kept saying was, 'Stop fucking around, and get this done now!'
I tried it because I wanted some sense of what it is like to be male. What I found out is that it's very different from what I know. My female hormones allow me to be caring and to stay in one place long enough to learn something, and to not feel a sort of wanderlust that would prevent the impulse for nesting. I came away from it wondering how it's possible for men to function in the social structure that owns them. So much of what they have to do, day in and day out, is in direct contradiction with what their bodies and minds are demanding of them.
I think a lot of girls try out this life because they are fascinated with what society tells them is illicit and immoral. Most all of them come from seriously dysfunctional families and broken homes. The closer they get to trying out the trade, the more interesting and alluring it seems. There's a sense of the mysterious and of sisterhood that draws them -- they see a kind of family thing going on. It's not that way at all, but it's what they need to see, so they do. And there's the flattery of being sexually attractive that builds all kinds of illusions, and then there's the money. With so much money coming in right now, there's no need to think about tomorrow -- and very few of them do.
I chose this path for myself, and I've never regretted it. I've been doing this for a long time. Long enough to mentor some of the girls. Most of them come into this business knowing nothing, and that makes them terribly vulnerable. While a sort of innocence can be charming, it won't last. I've learned to be quite direct with them about simple things like hygiene, and how to keep a condom hidden in your cheek while you're talking with a client, and how to unroll it on him at just the right moment without using your hands and breaking the mood. Few of the girls talk about what actually happens behind closed doors, but I will. I guess I'm old school because I think part of what I do should be more personal than just sex. I try to make the girls understand how important it is to not get involved with a client, but also to know how much the client needs from them. I tell them to not get involved with pimps because they'll end up broken, broke and discarded the minute their attention strays from him. Yes, the pimp's girls are pampered and always kept beautiful and dressed in diamonds and furs, but nothing their work earns belongs to anyone but the man who runs them. I want the girls to absolutely understand the difference between sex and the business of sex.
I tell them to not go into business with men even as partners because men are territorial, possessive, prone to testosterone-fueled stupidity, nonobjective and without finesse. I tell them that if they need to work with a man, before they start or agree to anything they must look at the situation, figure out where the various paths that come to them will lead and what the consequences might be with the choices they are tempted to make. I tell them that if they do try this life, they must first set a goal they want to achieve through it. They always have to be prepared for anything that might happen and, most importantly, they must always have an escape plan. I tell them to talk to the men they are dealing with and to learn from what they hear. And from what they don't hear. I tell them to listen to the ache and frustration, to see what happens when you subject yourself to so many outside restrictions and obligations. I tell them to ask themselves where's the happiness and where's the pleasure? And I tell them to not be afraid to say, 'I need more.' To say, 'We'll settle the business first and then we'll do what we'll do. If you want this and this from me, then I want this and this from you. If anything changes, then everything changes. When that's out of the way, we'll do what we'll do.'
I guess I want them to see life as I do. I've seen so many girls ruined by their own simple mistakes that it breaks my heart. I've lost good friends and seen good people come to terrible ends. In this business a girl has to see her life as a test of what she can do, what she is willing to do, and how she will live with the consequences. To succeed as a working girl you need to know what your convictions are and that you can live by them. If you can, you are invincible -- no matter what happens, no matter who does what, you will always have yourself.