It has been four years since I became a full-time sexuality professional… a whore. Wow what an incredible journey it has been! I have grown so much as a person and as a professional to become the Goddess of Conscious Kink and the Erotic Arts I am today. I have worked under many names and in many different roles and learned a wide variety of erotic arts from feathers to whips… following the erotic cookie crumbs on a journey of sweat, flesh, cum and self discovery.
This morning I let my mind drift back in time to a pivotal moment a couple of years before I decided to enter the adult industry. I now see that it was my initiation into whoredom. The memory touched me so much I wept. I want to share it with you. I want to honor the people who may not realise they played a part in making me who I am.
I’ve always been a sexually curious adventurer. My friends would say, “Can’t you talk about anything else besides sex?” I’d be quite baffled at that. It was my passion and fascination. It was my thing. I’ve also always been drawn to look into the “whys” and “hows” of the human psyche. It became a natural thing for me to want to explore sexuality with awareness. However it has been a long journey and I started with practically no knowledge and a deep, destructive sense of shame due to my strict upbringing.
My adventures in self discovery led me to try all sorts of outrageous things… BDSM, swinging, group sex, ritual sex, exhibitionism and more. You name it, I tried it. I lost count of how many lovers of all genders I’d had well and truly before I turned professional. Through it all I remained a spiritual being who aimed to have integrity. Oh I made mistakes aplenty, but my intention was to remain in integrity for my own well-being and for that of my play partners.
One day I flicked through the Melbourne Kink Festival program and saw that there was going to be a women-only night at the local gay sauna and sex-on-site venue. I’d been there before on mixed nights and it was a beautiful set up. Gorgeous pool with Grecian pillars and palms… Large spa… Sauna… and a variety of booths upstairs for sexy play time. There was the porn room… A few group sex rooms… private booths… sex swings… glory hole boxes (where I met a man who was to become my partner for two years when he did such a good job licking my clit… but that’s another story).
The thought of this place filled with naked women exploring together certainly appealed to me. I have a wide variety of friends and connections to lots of different social scenes. That day I decided to invite a whole bunch of friends who identified as pagans to some degree or another. While I do not identify as pagan as such, there is overlap in my way of thinking and theirs and I have a great love of wild, irreverent, loving, earth-based spirituality folk. I wondered what would happen if we mixed nudity, the relaxation of skinny dipping and the freedom to be sexual with a bunch of folk who enjoy ritual, spirituality and erotic exploration.
The night started as expected. A few drinks, relaxing and gossiping in the spa… letting water relax the muscles… feeling it froth and bubble in interesting places… We swam and romped on big floaty toys in the pool, laughed and let our hair down.
In ones and twos a few folk wandered off to explore the hidden, dark crevices upstairs. I wasn’t really in that head space yet so decided to check out the sauna.
As I entered it was suddenly very dark. It took a moment for my eyes to adjust but even then all I could see was clouds of steam and hints of shadowy figures. I guess it was designed to make sex anonymous because I couldn’t see who else was in there. I was aware of several other figures, the smell of wet cedar, eucalyptus and the distinct aroma of naked female bodies.
A little more easily discernible was a flat concrete slab in the centre of the room with four columns reaching to the ceiling, one on each corner. To the eyes of pagans this looks very much like an alter. Without hesitation I plonked myself down right in the centre of it and stretched my legs luxuriously apart, resting one foot on each pillar.
I hadn’t really thought it through. I wasn’t really aiming for any sexual encounter to be honest. I just saw the “alter” and that was my natural reaction to it. I sank down, breathing in the steam and looking up at the tiny blue pin pricks of star-like lights in the ceiling above me.
There was suddenly bright light and a rush of cold air as someone else entered… then another… People were chatting in ways that seemed to me to be breaking the spell of the place. Ordinary talk had no place here, I thought. Here is a chance to let go of the normal way of thinking and sink into something else… Something primal and instinctual.
After a while the atmosphere seemed to win over and the chatter stopped. I could hear breathing and was aware of my own steamy inhales and exhales. My mind alternated between thinking in every day thoughts and drifting into the erotic dreamscape.
Then out of the silence it began. A voice began quietly chanting the names of the Goddess as she appears in different cultures across time and space.
“Isis, Astarte, Diana… Hecate,Demeter, Kali, Innana…”
This is the way of pagans. A way to enter into that different head space and draw on the archetypal woman across history.
Another voice joined hers… Then another… Soon I could hear women’s voices chanting from every corner of the room and I was in a sound bath in the center. I felt goosebumps as their words washed through me.
Gently, a hand touched my ankle, giving me the chance to pull away if I wanted to but I invited it in. Another hand gently stroked my arm… my forehead… My mind resisted letting go at first but I chose to stay with the experience and let it unfold.
More chanting and humming… more hands stroking my thighs and belly… So sensual and giving in their touch… No thoughtless grabbing to take from my flesh… No this was an honoring… Their touch energised and aroused me.
The chanting began to naturally build in volume as the women let go of their inhibitions and just went with it. Naked, free, letting their self expression pour out their throats and through their hands. Someone began rubbing my feet and other hands massaged my breasts, tickling my nipples… I felt arms slip around me, holding me so I could let go… and the large, soft breasts of a woman I recognised rested against the top of my head… As the others chanted, this remarkable woman, this self-identified red witch, began to whisper in my ear. Her breath was warm against my lobes…
She played with words pictures and poetry to create impressions… snippets of things long ago… of myth… of legend… of temples to the Goddess where sacred prostitutes were once honored… of times when Goddesses were revered… she whispered of incense… flesh… spirit… of embodied, empowered women… menstrual blood… lovers entwined… erotic pleasure… dance… the visceral and the ethereal… Cunt… Whore… Slut… Spirit… Heart… as words of empowerment not degradation…
All the while the hands all around me, too many to count, stroked me all over… Yes they had reached my pussy now. I was aroused but did not want to cum. It was not the kind of arousal one gets from sexual fantasy. It was not even genital focused, although there were pleasurable sensations there don’t get me wrong! This was more like an erotically fuelled, full body, heart and soul experience. It was awakening all aspects of me with little erotic, electric impulses. I felt like the bars of a radiator newly turned on, blossoming fiery red heat.
I have no idea how long I lay there and received this spontaneous blessing from my sisters. It was both a lifetime and but a moment. We all sensed something significant was happening but I didn’t bother my intellectual mind by trying to work it out. I just let go… sunk down… opened up… became the moment…
I became aware my mind was thinking all sorts of strange things because it was overloaded… Where I was, wasn’t mind-territory and my mind couldn’t make sense of it. It started bubbling up all sorts of silly things. I giggled… then laughed… a great big release inside me… Stopped thinking and just experienced.
At some point the moment ended. Without anyone leading, the hands began to slip away and the voices began to lower and eventually silence. I lay there a little longer not knowing what to make of it. I suddenly felt a little awkward to be honest and didn’t know what to do next.
I don’t remember how I left that situation. I do remember wandering into a dark room upstairs not long afterwards and having a steamy encounter on a sex swing with a woman I didn’t know. Off I went on my adventures of sexual self discovery again, this time with my body fully blessed, supported and honored… Connected to sexual women since the beginning of time… Connected to the dance of life everywhere.
Looking back now I see that as my initiation. At least, one of my initiations into the work I currently offer the world.
Even though I rarely offer vaginal penetrative sex anymore in my professional services, I still love the word whore. To me it draws on all the domintrices and professional kinksters of all stripes as well as sex workers, erotic body workers, tantrikas, temple dancers, strippers, courtesans, street walkers, spankees, surrogates and all the other sexuality professionals through time. These women, transfolks and men are my whore ancestors. Like others call on their blood-line ancestors in times of celebration or hardship, I draw on my whore family.
The beautiful spontaneous moment that happened in the sauna has left its mark deep in my flesh… in my cells… in my atoms… Although my current professional offerings centre mostly around BDSM, and other forms of kink play as well as conscious sexuality and erotic bodywork, I have worked as a private escort, brothel worker and much more in the past. I have experienced first hand what it is like to be reviled… cast out… called the scum of the earth, treated as though I am no longer human and even driven out of town because of my occupation. Mostly by people who are not clients but who are being self righteously whorephobic and consider me a threat just for existing.
Sex workers are my friends and number highly in the ranks of my chosen family. We are a tight knit group because the every-day prejudice we endure forges battle bonds that run deep.
We give so much. We are counsellors, pleasure bringers, sex educators, compassionate, affectionate company, slutty playmates that give permission to be fully sexual in a world where there is still shame around such things.
Like all professions, there are a wide variety of people in the adult industry, with a wide variety of mind sets and skill sets. Some suited to the work and others not so much. What we all have in common is prejudice and persecution world-wide. Even where sex work is legal we can still be driven out of our homes, lose our kids, lose our day jobs, be socially ostracised, become unemployable… Those in places where it is not legal suffer being forced underground where they are more vulnerable to violence and afraid to seek police help in case they are jailed themselves…. For, you know, performing mutually consensual acts with other adults…
I don’t need to go into it too much. You know just how socially unacceptable it still is to be a sex worker. Just take a moment to imagine telling your friends, family, current work place etc that you are a sex worker… Feel for a moment what that would be like…
To stand up and be who I am despite all that takes a lot. To forge my own unique style of kink and sexuality services is a tricky job. It’s also a deeply rewarding personal calling that has enriched me in more ways than I can count.
The world does not often honor people like me… but these women did. They honored me deeply. They may never know how important it is for people like me who follow their natural calling into whoredom to be so deeply honored. I just want to thank them. I still do not know exactly who they all were but I thank them from the bottom of my heart and from deep inside my cunt.
Artemisia de Vine is currently writing a book about her adventures called “Lessons from a Whore” and another on “Conscious Kink“. If you would like to keep track of her writing, join her mailing list or subscribe to her blog on her Conscious Kink website or her more sensual site for those interested in the Conscious Erotic Arts.
All material in this blog is copyright. Picture is of Artemisia by Shane Light from Liquid Light Studios.