Stop and smell the roses – we only get one life

Tasmania is beautiful. If you have never been there, I highly recommend it. I was lucky enough to stay on the east coast, near Feycinet National Park (pronounced frey-sin-ay) for three nights recently. It is a truly magnificent area with rugged mountains, beautiful beaches (with rather cold water this time of year!), fabulous fresh produce, beautiful wildlife, and much to see and do.

I will share below, some photos that I took, but I also want to talk about how it made me feel. Sometimes trips away can be exhausting, but I truly found this place to be a pleasure to visit and for reasons that I can’t explain, it was a relaxing and refreshing experience. No hustle and bustle perhaps. Fresh air and good food. Exercise, but no grind and stress. I came home feeling truly invigorated by the experience and curious to see more of Tasmania one day.

The lesson that it taught me is that the world is a remarkable place. Worthy of exploration. Worthy of protection. And as people we often forget this. We are wrapped up in lives that don’t afford us the time, energy, or money to really appreciate the beauty  and fun of the world.

The same can be said for sex and our sexuality. Like quiet enjoyment of nature, being able to enjoy sex means that we need to be able to put aside the worries of the day and of life and truly be in the moment. Not an easy thing to do in a busy world where everything else takes priority in our lives – and society is so often busy sending us mixed messages about sex and what part it should play in our lives.

I hope that you enjoy the photos below.

John.

Wineglass Bay

Wineglass Bay

The Hazards

The Hazards

Coles Bay

Coles Bay

Swanwick Bay pelicans

Swanwick Bay pelicans

Tasmanian devil

Tasmanian devil

Wineglass Bay from Cape Tourville

Wineglass Bay from Cape Tourville

Wineglass Bay from Cape Tourville

Wineglass Bay from Cape Tourville

The Nuggets

The Nuggets

The Tasman Sea under leaden sky

The Tasman Sea under leaden sky

A Pacific Gull (Larus pacificus) over Carp Bay

A Pacific Gull (Larus pacificus) over Carp Bay

All good things must come to an end, but this is hardly a disappointing place to fly home to!

Sydney Harbour

Sydney Harbour

Nearly midnight…

It’s nearly midnight – Saturday 1/10/2016 – and I am done with work for the night, listening to Imagine Dragons (possibly too loud), and my brain is fizzing with thoughts – about my industry, about people, about life, and the world.

All I know is that tomorrow is a new day and it will be FUN – even if daylight saving is going to steal an hour from me!

In the mean time, I thought I would share some photos from my travels.

elevator garden garden-2 park rooster waterfall beach beach-2 beach-3 bike

I do love an omelette

There are few things I enjoy more for breakfast than a good omelette – with buttered toast and a cup of tea.  This is how I make mine…

  1. Slice mushrooms and saute in a pan with butter, then put asside
  2. beat two eggsmushroom
  3. Finely chop a rasher of bacon and a quarter of a capsicum, then fry with butter, put aside with the mushroombacon
  4. Pour the beaten egg into a well greased small frying pan and cook on medium heategg
  5. When the egg is approximately half cooked spread the mushroom, capsicum, and bacon on top
  6. Grate on tasty cheese for extra flavour!
  7. Season with pepper (no need for salt, the bacon and cheese should provide plenty)combined
  8. When the egg is almost fully cooked, use a spatula to gently fold the omelette in half.  Press down gently along the sides to help seal it together
  9. Cook for a few more minutes to finish the egg and re-warm the fillingfold
  10. Serve with buttered toast and some baby spinach leaves for garnish!finished

Enjoy!

John.

Canberra in July

2016-07-21 21.12.45Two weeks ago I was in Melbourne. This week I’m in Canberra for a couple of day!

2016-07-22 10.16.28 20160722_110630I haven’t been so lucky with the weather – it’s pretty wet and blowy down here today – but it just makes it a nice day to sit in a cafe, drink tea, and write. Something of a luxury really.

The aesthetic of cities changes with the season. Having lived in Canberra a couple of times, the thing I remember most about winter is the stark beauty of the European trees, stripped of their leaves by the cold…

Walking to the cafe this morning I saw a bus with a bike rack on the front (and two bikes attached). I have never seen this before and it struck me as a very clever idea! Especially in a city like Canberra where public transport and you intended destination may not line up well. Being able to take your bike “on” the bus seems like a splendid idea.

A black truffle

It’s truffle season here in Canberra – and while I am not traditionally a fan of truffle oil – I have been sampling some fresh truffle and found it quite delightful. If you love truffles then Canberra is a great place to be in July, not just to eat truffles, but I am told that there are people who will take you out truffle hunting in a Truffière (the French name for a truffle orchard).

Since truffles grow underground on the roots of trees (often oaks), the hunt is conducted by truffle hounds (yes dogs! What can’t they do I ask you?) – or some people I have heard off use pigs (who love truffles too). The dogs can smell the truffle from above ground and lead the hunters right too them. It’s a rather quaint kind of industry, but given the price that black truffles fetch in restaurants (up to AUD$3000 per kilogram), it also a very serious business.

So, if you were thinking of a trip away somewhere for a weekend and are happy in a cool climate then I think that a truffle tour in Canberra would be a lot of – tasty – fun.

John.

April in Melbourne – part one

I have just flown back to Sydney, having been in Melbourne for only two days – it felt like a lot longer though thanks to interesting people, a vibrant city, and catching up with family and friends.
I tweeted a lot of the trip because I was excited to be back in Melbourne and feeling a connection with it.  So I thought I would share those tweets…

I flew out of Sydney eventually, but only after Jetstar cancelled my flight and moved me to a qantas flight instead.  More aggravation than I needed and it left me lucky that my Monday afternoon booking had cancelled! Continue reading

Times change – women seeing sex workers has becomes much more common

February and March are typically quiet months for me. Christmas is done and everyone is back at work, summer is ending, and it’s all a bit glum perhaps, so few women contact me.

This year however, it’s been busier in February and March so far than it was even before Christmas. Something that is quite unprecedented for me!

What I do know though about this industry is that it is constantly changing. In all of the years that I have worked as a male escort no two years have been the same. Early on, many of my clients were women who had divorced a year or two earlier and were looking for an experience to let them build their confidence in themselves to start dating again. Later, it was predominantly women still married, who wanted to fill a gap in their lives, while maintaining their relationships. Then for a while there were many women looking for a more therapeutic service and the opportunity to learn in a safe environment and increase their skills and knowledge.

The list goes on, as the years go by society changes little by little, knowledge of, and interest in the services of male escorts changes and the job that we do and the service that we can provide becomes better known and more widely accepted.

As a result different groups of women seem to come forward at different times, making my job ever changing and forever interesting.

What is most notable though is that over the years more women each year seem to be ready to seek out the services of sex workers like myself. It seems to me that slowly the imbalance in our society – and the myth that paying for sex is only for men – is being addressed.

More and more women are realising that they can choose the sex they want, when they want it, and even to pay for it is ok and in can be a powerful way to find pleasure, address fears, take control, or just have fun.

John.

Pain and pleasure

Contrary to what the title might suggest, this isn’t a post about BDSM or Fifty Shades of Grey.

It’s about life and how we exist in the world as human beings, as social creatures. And how we experience a world where all too often the things that really matter are lost to the things that are expected of us.

I had an experience recently that was the catalyst for me writing this post. I have lived with “a bad back” since I was 15 years old and it’s been a problem that has gradually gotten worse over that time. Recently my GP recommended that I have a CT scan guided injection of cortisone in my lower back to help reduce inflammation and make me more mobile. I had never had such a thing and in spite of my innate mistrust of needles, I went to the radiology clinic and had the injection.

It was – to say the least – a profoundly traumatic experience. Very painful, downright scary really, but worst of all, it was an experience that was disconnected from the rest of humanity – and this compounded the unpleasantness significantly. The staff who performed the procedure were competent and perfectly nice, but the experience was exceptionally isolating physically and mentally. Laying on the bed of a CT scanner, unable to see anything, and not being told much of what was going on was hard. The accumulated effects of isolation and the very real pain of my back, the needle and the injection actually brought me to tears toward the end of the procedure.

The radiographer, seeing this (I assume), put her hand on my arm to comfort me. Until that point I didn’t really appreciate just how alone I felt. The simple action of a comforting hand on my arm was almost overwhelming. A visceral flood of emotion that nearly carried me away.

I believe that in that brief period I had an experience that is similar to that of many of the women who come to me. Deprived of touch, of human compassion, and living with emotional and sometimes physical isolation, it can be a profoundly moving experience to have someone do something as simple a be nice to you. It’s little wonder that like me, some people end up in tears when they come to see me – which is always, to my mind a sign of progress and a good thing, even if they may feel embarrassed.

Perhaps the first thing to note is that it is very, very difficult to understand another person’s pain, be it physical, or emotional. If you haven’t been there – and recently – you can only guess. We have evolved the ability to forget just how bad pain can be for good reason – remembering all of our pain vividly would be crippling.

But empathy combined with the shadow of our own experiences is a powerful social took. It allows us to value someone else’s suffering even if we can’t quantify it exactly ourselves. Unfortunately not everyone empathises well – witness much of modern politics.

Being on the receiving end of a lack of empathy, from wider society, friends and family, or a partner can be profoundly isolating and damaging. I see it too often in my work, but I do like the fact that I am in a position to give women a non-judgmental environment where they can be themselves without fear and start to take back their lives.

I’m likely to need more cortisone injections in the future, and I am most definitely profoundly grateful for what modern medicine can do for us. But I think that a little more attention paid to the human aspect of the treatment would have given a better result. Likewise, I would like to see our society spend less effort and time on the material and invest more of itself in the social and the compassionate.

John.

Shaving soap

Anyone who knows me, knows that I don’t have much in the way of whiskers, in fact I couldn’t grow a beard to save myself.  However, what I do have still needs regular shaving, and along with few whiskers I also have quite soft and sensitive skin.

As a result, shaving (with anything other than the sharpest razor) is likely to result in not the closest shave, and plenty of razor burn.  My face is smarting a little just at the thought.

Commercial shaving foams are an effective solution, preventing the burn and giving a closer shave, but I have never really liked the idea of buying pressure packed foam just to shave a bit of stubble.  It seems wasteful, and I have no idea what they put in the stuff.

However my soap making friend Chelsea (of Cherry Blossom Soap Company), recently gave me a sample of her new hand made shaving soap.  I was skeptical, but decided to give it a go.

The results: I am really quite surprised and delighted with this soap.  It gives a soft, slippery lather that allows the razor to really glide over the skin.  I get a very close shave, and almost no razor burn.  In a word, I am impressed well beyond my expectations.

And I am sure that it would be just as good for shaving legs and bikini-lines as it is for my chin!

You can buy Chelsea’s shaving bar here:

http://cherryblossomsoap.com.au/2015/06/shaving-soap/

It gets my stamp of approval.