As we happily looked at these pictures with Goat immediately after shooting them, it occurred to me:
You know who will really love these pictures? My mom. My mom will love these pictures.
Goat laughed with raised eyebrows, disbelieving. Your mom?!?
Yes. My mom who sent me an email insistently permitting me to get all the sleep I want after reading things like this and this here in my blog. My mom, who at seventy is more than fifteen years older than Goat (who spent many years as a kinky San Franciscan), managed to both shock and delight him just by knowing about my work as a pornographer and sex worker, and by not only accepting it, but actively supporting it and APPRECIATING it.
For some reason (probably because it was just a test shot) this picture didn’t make it into the gallery for members.
Although my mom always preferred a Douglas Fir to a Noble Fir for Christmas, those are wooden and yarn ornaments she picked out and I grew up with on our tree. The colors, the real and recognizable guy, the happiness, the upskirt-y flirtatiousness, the old-fashioned warmth, the exuberant joy articulated in my limbs and eyebrows and arches of my feet, the legs I know she considers an asset to be proud of . . . my nostalgia and appreciation and preference for and unashamed knowledge of how to do a lot of these things was inherited from and shaped by my mom. And my job capitalizing on them? There aren’t a lot of people lucky enough to have a mom who not only tolerates that, but is proud of it. She is exceptional, and because of the security (and other privileges, I realize) that has always provided me, I get to be exceptional too.
2004, in my mom’s shirt, in my mom’s house, bathed in the same southern light I grew up in . . . when it wasn’t raining.
Delia and I spent Christmas alone and working (and fucking, trying to get pregnant) a little bit rather than spending time with my family (including my mom). I know it bugged my sister and my mom, but they do what they can to tolerate my dis-ease with being around people and high-pressure social situations and being on the road in thick scary drunken holiday traffic. Even though we weren’t with them, I was very aware this holiday season of how extraordinarily fortunate I am to know I am loved and supported by my family without reservation.
I have always known my whole entire life that I was/am loved by my parents (AND my mom’s parents/my grandparents). I was always fed, clothed and cared for, and I’m pretty sure that in the first eighteen years of my life not a single day went by that I was with family that I didn’t hear “I love you” from at least one person: my mom, my dad, my stepdad, my sister, my grandma, my grandpa (and on top of that I had a few close friends & their moms who loved me and told me so, and I got to tell them, too). My mom and dad and the rest of them love(d) me unconditionally, and I have known that absolutely from the beginning of my life, and know it EVEN MORE today. A big part of 2014 for me was reflecting on how much and well and exceptionally luckily I’ve been loved in my life compared to other people who deserve(d) it just as much or more, and who I am and/or should/want to be as a result of it, and the extent to which one can be addicted to love and possibly build up an entitled tolerance to it.
2003, wearing a red top with little white hearts my mom sewed to wear as a gift to my dad before I was born, that she specifically crafted decades ago to show JUST THE RIGHT TEASING AMOUNT OF HER BUTT CHEEKS.
My mom’s support and pride in me (and other people she loves) has always been defiantly counter-culture in a lot of important ways. My mom who is one of those not-a-feminists (and hates the word) and has fond memories of the fifties and would sometimes, I hate to say it, demand that I “PUT SOME GODDAMNED MAKEUP ON BEFORE YOU LEAVE THIS HOUSE” when I was in junior high, is in other ways exceedingly rebellious.
Knowing how anxious and concerned my mom is, it’s a powerful testament to her love for me/us that she is able to restrain and suppress the anxious thoughts and questions she no doubt has when she looks at my blog (understanding it’s one of the few yet best ways to know what’s going on with me since I hate talking on the phone and spend so little time with her or anybody besides Delia), and probably fears for my life (I know she worries about what risks we might be taking with sex and sex work, and has to consciously tamp a lot of that anxiety down) and mental health. I’m sure she’s questioning the wisdom of our trying to get pregnant, and has done a superb job of not once bugging me to ask about it (and didn’t even spill the beans to my sister), managing to create and respect complicated, sticky, inherently-imperfect boundaries between us and around my own privacy that the majority of regular people wouldn’t understand and couldn’t navigate (she’s never, for example, tried to turn my blog into a dialogue between us, and has only left a comment ONCE that I can remember, offering condolences on a relationship that ended), and she has never made me feel guilty for reflecting on and posting things here that might make her feel like less-than an awesome maternal shero. But she IS an awesome maternal shero in so many many ways, and there are hundreds of thousands of sex workers and just regular civilian folks who I’ll bet would give anything to know they could tell their mom anything and still be unwaveringly loved and have her be proud the way I can.
In her house, wearing my mom’s sheer aqua negligee: : my mom gives us full rein to “film” at her house (where I grew up observing her decorating unpretentiously, with great taste, and little money as I grew up), and even wear her clothes.
Many years ago my mom told me that when people in my small hometown where she still lives asked about me (like former piano students and their parents, classmates, etc.), she stopped trying to lie about what I do and felt much happier just telling them the truth. That she felt good about it and stopped worrying that it would reflect on her poorly as a parent. Which is awesome, because it should only reflect positively on her as a parent – I wouldn’t be blessed with the extraordinary freedom I enjoy doing stigmatized work that isolates so many people, or the skills, attributes, or resources to do it profitably and well, if it weren’t for my mom.
And if anybody thinks it’s weird that she comes here to my site and quietly checks out what we’re up to (but still discloses it to me so not doing it sneakily) which includes seeing my wife’s and my spunky genitals, I will tell you what she tells me when she comes over and I warn her that my sheets aren’t as clean as I’d like them to be for her, and that the brown spot on them is JUST CHOCOLATE, she hugs me and says, “YOU CAME OUT OF ME, DAUGHTER . . . there isn’t a single thing on your sheets that can bother me.”
You can support my work too by joining my wife’s site: DeliaTS.com – get instant access to my site, too, when you JOIN NOW!
Doing the same thing for a decade in your small business can be pretty fucking awesome. Addictively so; once you get used to a routine and certain tools you rely on them and only needing a certain amount of time to produce something to the point where you don’t want to change or improve (or can’t without shutting down for awhile) because THAT WILL TAKE TOO LONG. Changing, learning something new, making improvements . . . those things take time and cost money and require you to use your brain in different ways and mean you’re not doing something else (usually the things that customers recognize and value and directly result in making money).
Having efficient routines is great, and producing consistent results is nice for everybody, but not changing or learning or improving actually sucks. For many years we’ve used Photoshop, Arles gallery builder, Dreamweaver and WinZip to edit and deliver huge galleries of photos to our members, and create promotional galleries and images. But a bunch of our old machines died (if they hadn’t I would have kept making them work even though we really have needed to upgrade them) and we lost our old software or just didn’t want to install super old software on our new machines when it’s high time we started doing things differently. By using Lightroom, for example, to catalog and process our photos and galleries.
We have SHIT TONS of photos, many of them with multiple very specific elements of interest, fetish appeal, audience appropriateness, etc. It’s very difficult to organize all of those images — our ASSETS — so they’re easy to find and rebrand or use as advertisements or just re-release them as standards change to allow for bigger and better presentations.
Storing our assets, organizing them and backing them up are huge jobs, and I’ve heard that Lightroom is a great tool to work with images so they only need to be stored in one place but you can apply different edits to the same image, export them in a variety of ways, TAG them (and we have a lot of keywords that should be applied in any gallery we shoot), create collections (like all of the non-nude white panty pics that are four or five stars shot outside where I’m wearing glasses, just as an imaginary example, or all of my aereola macros or upskirts with no panties or what the fuck ever) and export them in a bunch of different ways.
It’s hilarious listening to civilian photographers referring to their catalog of 16,000 photos as though that’s a huge number. HILARIOUS!!!! And speaking of needing to tag and categorize tons of content, this blog is so very many years overdue for that kind of treatment. I wish we could hire a professional indexer. One who is finely attuned to and knowledgeable of fetish, and who is a fan.
Anyway . . . I have to take time to learn new things and develop new systems. And it drives me fucking batshit. Watching tutorials and listening to some fucking wedding photographer explain why he’s not flagging/picking a picture of the loving couple because “uhhhh . . . that’s basically just a picture of their butts . . . we don’t want that” drives me insane, but since everything is a video these days you can’t just skim the content and get the couple of gems of information you need, you have to actually watch entire painstaking processes happen in real time, narrated by someone talking SUPER SLOWLY sometimes, or saying dumb things about people’s butts (it was a really cute picture that included their cute butts!!! Why would you reject that?!?!? Which must be why I’m a romantic pornographer, because “awwwww . . . look how in love their butts are!”). And while I suffer through that and see how very little I’ve actually accomplished after hours of this shit, I start questioning whether anything I do has meaning and get super depressed and hopeless and . . . yeah. At least I’m not the one reading this boring blog entry, though. NO I AM WRITING IT. What an accomplishment. Yay.
I promise before I shoot myself in the head, I will just take some drugs and go to sleep for awhile instead. Oh wait . . . I just had a really satisfying bowel movement, which makes me feel so much more accomplished and happier than watching tutorials and slogging very slowly through processes that will probably make ABSOLUTELY NO NOTICEABLE DIFFERENCE TO OUR MEMBERS but somehow this is what I need to do fuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuck. Too many things. TOO MANY THINGS!!!! And too few of them are actually HAVING SEX or JUST LOOKING VERY SEXY IN A WARM AND WELL-APPOINTED ROOM.
It’s times like this where I remember how awesome it was to work for somebody / not be self-employed and just be looking askance at co-workers bitching about having to take time out of regular work in order to learn to use some new software some hack made that may or may not make our jobs easier, and how fun those days would be, and how smart I would feel mastering something new and not having to pay any of the consequences of it being totally worthless or counterproductive. Working for yourself means you have to be the boss making those decisions and the manager and the trainer and the bitchy and/or stupid and/or impatient employee and the coach-y teambuilder keeping everybody positive I HATE BEING MY OWN COACHY TEAMBUILDER. Maybe I should try doing this boring multiple-personality work high.
I’ve been WAY more socially interactive over the past week+ than I usually am, including
- dinner & a threesome with Taurus and his girlfriend (which you could have watched on our lifecams as a member!)
- first (mini) shoot of/with Z, a beautiful young man (you could have watched me fuck him on our lifecams, too!)
- an all-night phone call
- more time with my wife, Delia, than I usually get these days
- dinner out and a meeting with a group of our older friends
- met & shot with Goat for the first time yesterday (the pictures make me so totally happy to be a good old-fashioned pornographer)
Actually, all of these things made me extremely happy to be a good old-fashioned photographer, hopeful and excited to redefine and refine what that means heading into 2015.
All of these things put together also made me pretty tired because I’m an introvert, so in between them I’ve been hiding and recovering a lot.
Love, genuine happiness, naughty playfulness, relating to people with awkward authenticity, and celebrating (and eroticizing) male beauty and masculine archetypes are where it’s at for me. Technical excellence is less important than accessible snatches of intimate stories and investing with vulnerability in taking time to really look at people and undress experiences with them slowly. And leave everybody — myself included — wanting more. Nothing has to be great or perfect (or even “complete”) to capture and convey what is GOOD and important and human and seldom-seen. Kink and fetish can be more unnerving and rich when integrated with some appreciation of the days of the Motion Picture Production Code. Suggestive taboo words like “Mommy” and “Daddy”, and tight black leather gloves and white panties and someone coming “too fast” are always going to be bigger turn-ons to me than bare-naked well-lit bodies performing acrobatics and sexual endurance trials.
A couple of samples of things Delia shot on her birthday trip to Vegas:
Wish I could say I shot this, but I wasn’t even there! It was Damien Cain who captured this and all of the porn she made on her trip:
One of those lovely shots you want to recreate over and over and over again.
It would be awesome if we could have him shoot us together! I hope we can budget a trip to do that early in 2015.
Of course, I think when Delia shoots with Christian it’s MUCH more valuable than shooting with me, like in the “Runner’s High” video she recently posted for members:
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I should try to shoot with Christian before he retires (and we should totally try to shoot threesome porn with him) — he talked about coming up to our area with his girlfriend, but we haven’t discussed it since then. He is such a hard worker and professional and shoots so much volume that he gets annoyed by people who seem lackadaisical about scheduling. I often appear that way, in part because I’m conflicted about being in front of the camera much at all. Not to mention totally petrified of taking more than a couple inches of his huge cock — I don’t feel like I’m built for or cut out to do mainstream hardcore porn. I do fantasize about working around that sometimes, though. 😉
Speaking of shooting, Delia is coming home tomorrow to try to shoot a solo set of me in natural light. I haven’t been in front of the camera much in a long time, so wish me luck!