inkwell.vue.123 : Tracy Quan: Diary of a Manhattan Call Girl
permalink #126 of 183: Sarah D (jonl) Thu 4 Oct 01 13:29
    
Email from Sarah D:

Tracy,

I much enjoyed the serial in Salon and I look forward to reading the
novel.

I'm a dancer/stripper and was interested to see mention of a sex work
hierarchy. It's true that some dancers look down on prostitutes. The
reasoning seems to be, "They have to give it up, and I don't." I think
it's a ridiculous distinction. Sex workers (all women for that matter)
would be healthier to understand that in being sexual, we're not giving up
anything except our time.

Tracy, did you find that many of your customers were as interested in a
sympathetic and undemanding female presence as in sex per se? And if so,
how did you deal with it? Many of my customers--especially the
regulars--are lonely men. It's tough at times, because my instinct is to
be empathetic. But engaging deep loneliness, guy after guy and night after
night, entails too much wear on the psyche.

Regarding the Nevada brothels, my husband and I have visited a couple of
them outside Carson City. They do have the appearance of prisons: spotlit
at night, single electric-buzzer gates through the high chain link fences,
barbed wire, etc. It's off-putting at first. However, I have never gotten
any sense that the women were being coerced or held against their will.
The security arrangements seem to be for privacy more than anything else.

One of the women did tell me that until about ten years ago, the situation
was more restrictive. Women in the houses worked shifts of three weeks in
residence and one week off, and were discouraged from mingling with the
townies; most simply stayed in the house while working and lived elsewhere
the rest of the time. However (she said) the situation today is more
relaxed, and girls often accompany customers into Reno, Carson, and Lake
Tahoe--always on the clock though!
  
inkwell.vue.123 : Tracy Quan: Diary of a Manhattan Call Girl
permalink #127 of 183: Tracy Quan (tracyquan) Thu 4 Oct 01 21:57
    
Yes, it's true that sometimes people look at the design of a brothel
and assume the worst, because they don't realize how consensual the
arrangement is to start with. 

I don't really think of my former clients as lonely. They struck me as
guys who were very good at getting their needs met -- men have better
emotional skills than they're "supposed" to have, in my view. They're
just more discreet about it. I did feel that my clients were looking
for friendly conversation *and* sex. The thing is, men who go to
prostitutes are probably quite sure that they want to pay for sex. I
sense that men who pay to see or meet dancers aren't so clear about
what they want. Or perhaps some of these men are looking for company
rather than sex? 

Now that may be one area where hookers have trouble relating to
dancers: There is a sense that dancers are not clear about what they're
offering... that's one of the stereotypes about dancers and actually,
the hooker doesn't look down on the *dancer.* She may think less of a
client for being too generous in a situation where he's not getting a
certain kind of respect. But these rivalries in the sex industry are a
sign that people take pride in what they do. You have a certain way of
doing things and it gets reinforced when you see other people doing it
*their* way, not your way...

In reality, many strippers become call girls or dabble at hooking on
the side. So these distinctions are not always deep ones.
  
inkwell.vue.123 : Tracy Quan: Diary of a Manhattan Call Girl
permalink #128 of 183: Tracy Quan (tracyquan) Fri 5 Oct 01 08:42
    
Everyone here is cordially invited! 

Tracy Quan & friends bring "Diary of a Manhattan Call Girl" to life!

Tuesday October 16, 2001
7:00 - 8:30 pm

Bluestockings
172 Allen Street (between Rivington & Stanton)
NY, NY 10002
Subway: F train to 2nd Ave.  or J train to Delancey/Essex St.

For more information (212) 777-6028 
http://www.bluestockings.com/

Tracy Quan and members of PONY (Prostitutes of New York) will read
scenes from Quan's novel "Diary of a Manhattan Call Girl" (Crown) --
loosely based on Quan's adventures as both call girl and PONY activist.

Donor alert: A percentage of each "Diary" sale will be donated to
FROSTD (From Our Streets With  Dignity), an outreach project for
homeless and transitional sex workers.
  
inkwell.vue.123 : Tracy Quan: Diary of a Manhattan Call Girl
permalink #129 of 183: Linda Castellani (castle) Fri 5 Oct 01 17:28
    

I wish I could be there!

Tracy, I just want to thank you and jef for a very informative and
interesting discussion.  Don't let me stop you, if you'd like to continue,
we'd love to have you.

Thanks so much for being with us.
  
inkwell.vue.123 : Tracy Quan: Diary of a Manhattan Call Girl
permalink #130 of 183: Jef Poskanzer (jef) Sat 6 Oct 01 12:12
    
So Tracy, what's next?  Are you working on another book?
  
inkwell.vue.123 : Tracy Quan: Diary of a Manhattan Call Girl
permalink #131 of 183: Tracy Quan (tracyquan) Sun 7 Oct 01 19:07
    
I have indeed but can't give it the obsessive attention it will
eventually deserve since a lot of my energy goes into promoting Nancy
Chan's diary. I'm currently planning some additional readings and
events... and will be doing some more TV this month (air dates TBA.)

Then again, Recent Events have got me thinking  about certain elements
of the novel I want to write! 

By the way, there will soon be a piece in January magazine

http://www.januarymagazine.com/

Will keep you posted.
 
  
inkwell.vue.123 : Tracy Quan: Diary of a Manhattan Call Girl
permalink #132 of 183: Mike Godwin (mnemonic) Mon 8 Oct 01 07:23
    

Tracy, will there be a Nancy Chan movie or TV series? If some producer
wanted to develop such a project, who would he or she contact?
  
inkwell.vue.123 : Tracy Quan: Diary of a Manhattan Call Girl
permalink #133 of 183: Daniel del Solar (dsolar) Thu 11 Oct 01 00:10
    
that makes at least two
expressions of interest

yeah, just who would we contact?
  
inkwell.vue.123 : Tracy Quan: Diary of a Manhattan Call Girl
permalink #134 of 183: Tracy Quan (tracyquan) Fri 12 Oct 01 15:06
    
Peter Benedek deals with all things movie-related and TV-related.
Email me <quan@salon.com> for more details... 
  
inkwell.vue.123 : Tracy Quan: Diary of a Manhattan Call Girl
permalink #135 of 183: Peering Into The Eternal (correspond) Mon 5 Nov 01 17:17
    
Tracy,

I have really enjoyed this topic. Thanks for sharing your writing.

I honestly admit that I have become curious as to what you look like.
As one of my friends has pointed out to me at various strip clubs that
we have been to that the women who aren't as pretty usually end up with
more money than the really beautiful ones...so this has made me
curious as to whether you are one of the really beautiful ones or one
of those who just knows how to market your time.

I think it has a lot more to do with their approachability and ease
they have with men.

Any comments on this phenomenon and do you consider yourself to be
beautiful by Playboy standards?

My guess is that you are really great to be with and that you probably
consider yourself to be above average, but not really vain enough for
Playboy.
  
inkwell.vue.123 : Tracy Quan: Diary of a Manhattan Call Girl
permalink #136 of 183: Jef Poskanzer (jef) Tue 20 Nov 01 20:03
    
Tracy asked me to post this response to <correspond>'s, because she has
either forgotten her password or her inkwell account has expired.  Anyway:.


- - - - - - - - - - - - - - Tracy writes: - - - - - - - - - - - - - -


I have also observed that some of the most successful women in my business 
aren't the most gorgeous -- because attractive girls often think they can 
coast on their looks. In fact, there are a surprising number of attractive 
girls who complain about the sex trade because they went into it with 
entirely the wrong attitude. A beautiful girl can do very well if she is 
kind to men, courteous and respectful of the *other* hookers, and willing 
to do her share of the work. If she expects to get away with a lot less, 
she will not have a very good time.  If she tries to get away with a LITTLE 
less, she will generally do okay.

In the sex business, as one very average-pretty girl said to me, 
"everybody's always telling you that you're beautiful."  It's one of the 
perks of the trade -- the average girls appreciate it right away but the 
very pretty girls take it for granted. Of course, being told you're 
gorgeous all day long can actually make you prettier because you start to 
smile more and generally comport yourself as a looker.

As for my own appearance, it's hardly a mystery! At  www.tracyquan.net, 
there are links galore. You can try guessing how I feel about my looks!  In 
fact I think that could be a rather neat parlor game: Conjecturing about 
how pretty or handsome a given person feels. Or trying to figure out 
whether that person's assessment would match your own. It is often best to 
keep the facts to ourselves but still fun to imagine how other people think 
and feel.
  
inkwell.vue.123 : Tracy Quan: Diary of a Manhattan Call Girl
permalink #137 of 183: Joseph Dowdy (correspond) Wed 21 Nov 01 12:43
    
I'd say that my guess probably wasn't far off on my first post.

I have discovered that people get more attractive and attracted when
there is TOTAL freedom in talking with someone or listening to someone
without any judgment or thinking about what is being said. It's a space
of intimacy that is absolutely amazing, and it actually makes someone
more attractive.

I'd bet that you are EXCELLENT at getting intimate with people because
it makes them want to have sex with you.

Of course, you are a very attractive woman and, if you add that
ability to be intimate, it would make you very beautiful. You probably
have that "something about her" quality that you can turn on and off
like a light. Marilyn Monroe talked about her ability to do that in an
interview that I read.

What are your thoughts on this?
  
inkwell.vue.123 : Tracy Quan: Diary of a Manhattan Call Girl
permalink #138 of 183: Joseph Dowdy (correspond) Fri 23 Nov 01 11:26
    
By the way, I did find "a" picture of you that I am sure is you. I saw
pictures here and there, but wasn't sure it was you...mostly body
shots like legs and such. Also, it was impossible to find those
interviews on U8 and other places. I went to the website and was lost
quickly. Got any direct links to those interviews?
  
inkwell.vue.123 : Tracy Quan: Diary of a Manhattan Call Girl
permalink #139 of 183: Doug Hess (dougrhess) Sun 25 Nov 01 06:30
    
A friend of a friend recently turned to prostituting himself (to other
men). Around the same time, he started selling drugs and quit his very
lucrative day job. I'm certain he is not making more money doing this
and I also know that he was seeing a shrink for depression before this.
I think he lost his insurance, so I doubt he is seeing the shrink now.
Anyway, I raise this to wonder how many people in this trade are doing
it because of psychological or personal troubles. In the case of the
guy I know, it is a quick way to make money and he is depressed enough
that he doesn't view detached sex as a loss of intimacy. Indeed, the
idea of being an outlaw is a thrill that I think he needs. Thoughts? Is
this common?
  
inkwell.vue.123 : Tracy Quan: Diary of a Manhattan Call Girl
permalink #140 of 183: Tracy Quan (tracyquan) Mon 3 Dec 01 17:20
    
Ha! Much as I'm enjoying this cat-n-mouse with <correspond> regarding
my image, it's not intentional. Pictures abound -- in print, online
--and I'm not hiding behind any cryptic body shots. The Toronto Sun
piece on my Book Tour link features a nice portrait if you take the
time to actually read the article! And no, for heaven's sake, that
goofy picture of anonymous high heeled legs is a file photo. There's no
way I would ever be photographed holding a cigarette! 

My website is in better shape now and so I suggest another perusal.
Plus, there are updates about my current readings and interviews. 

Off the page, in real life, I've always been super-vain and into
pampering myself. So, one thing I'm loving about the book launch is the
chance to meet so many photographers and have my picture taken. My
favorite, so far, is the picture in the Toronto Sun but I also liked my
New York Post portraits! I was famous within the hookers movement for
being the most under-photographed activist with the most hang-ups about
her privacy... and many of my activist colleagues were amazed that I
could get publicity at all without putting my image out there. It
forced me to focus quite intensely on what I was saying -- but now I
really enjoy working with my image, too. As a consequence of having a
book in circulation, I have come to appreciate the power of the
published human image. I believe that one picture can sell a thousand
books. Or something like that.
  
inkwell.vue.123 : Tracy Quan: Diary of a Manhattan Call Girl
permalink #141 of 183: Tracy Quan (tracyquan) Mon 3 Dec 01 17:38
    
<dougrhess> writes about "how many people in this trade are doing
it because of psychological or personal troubles." 

"Gah!" as Bridget Jones would say. Depressed hookers! It's certainly a
style. AND there is a mini-genre to go with it, like shoes to match
the handbag: writings by or about depressed and depressing hookers --
Evelyn Lau and Mary Gaitskill come to mind. I have occasionally known
some depressive personalities who entered the sex biz, but I thank my
lucky stars I met very few, as I for one cannot tolerate depression for
long in others. 

As for your friend, it may be that he was FIRED from his job and is
depressed about that (a normal reaction) and trying to make ends meet
by turning tricks (a logical move, for sure.) If this is the case he is
to be congratulated for keeping busy. 

But if he's inherently depressed, I don't think he will do very well
as a sexual entertainer. Most johns prefer a cheerful manner and a
happy smile -- some of the traditional terms for "prostitute" (daughter
of joy, for example) reflect that. And johns can generally pick up on
a sad mood, especially if they know the prostitute in question. I will
add, though, that some johns are depressive personalities themselves
and I think they are often attracted to the depressed hookers. There is
a shoe for every foot -- getting back to the accessories analogy.
  
inkwell.vue.123 : Tracy Quan: Diary of a Manhattan Call Girl
permalink #142 of 183: Joseph Dowdy (correspond) Mon 3 Dec 01 17:58
    
Shoe for every foot...that line can be read several ways!

---

Since you started out so young, are you of the opinion that it would
be beneficial to change the laws in the US regarding sex with minors?
Do you think that there are enough girls out there that are mature
enough to handle relationships with older men if that is what they
desire? Even though there may not be an accurate way to measure
someone's emotional maturity, how young is too young in your opinion?
  
inkwell.vue.123 : Tracy Quan: Diary of a Manhattan Call Girl
permalink #143 of 183: Linda Castellani (castle) Mon 3 Dec 01 19:27
    

I just want to say that I really appreciate your dropping in to respond to 
these questions, Tracy.
  
inkwell.vue.123 : Tracy Quan: Diary of a Manhattan Call Girl
permalink #144 of 183: Tracy Quan (tracyquan) Mon 3 Dec 01 21:23
    
HI Linda, it is my pleasure, of course, to drop in and I enjoy it.

"How young is too young in your opinion?"

Though I am opinionated, it has never been my way to offer numeric
opinions. Ideas about age (or numbers in general) have a tendency to
change over time. Today, in the affluent USA, we think of a 17 year old
as a protected child. At other times, and even now in other places, a
13 year old could be cannon fodder. I have no set opinion about when or
whether other people are ready to have sex and I happen to believe
that some people in their thirties and forties are too immature to
handle the rights and privilegs which, legally speaking, are theirs.
For example, how many unplanned pregnancies are caused by adults who
are waaaaay past their teen years? How many STDs are spread from one
adult to another? The statistics are pretty shocking.

In fact, looking back on my sexual behavior as a 14-year old, I was
far more sensible than many other women twice my age and more. But I
wouldn't say this is any guide to running the world or changing the
laws. But the most important factor is not the chronological age of a
minor (which can be fetishized endlessly) -- it's the actual conduct of
the person and the people in her life, and the consequences of the
behavior.
  
inkwell.vue.123 : Tracy Quan: Diary of a Manhattan Call Girl
permalink #145 of 183: Doug Hess (dougrhess) Thu 6 Dec 01 10:23
    
Hi again. Actaully, my friend was fired for not showing up. Depression
is not "saddness" and not something you can just detect (bad for
business). Depression, and anxiety, can push people into this trade
(where in an odd way they exploit and are exploited by other people's
intimacy issues). People often imagine that being depressed means you
have not interest in sex or sexuality. In fact, searching for sex (for
or intimacy through sex) as the johns do, and the inability to form an
objective opinion about their need for the risks involved in
prostitution are also signs of (maybe mild) depression. People want the
thrill to feel alive.

I think your reaction to this question and the "too young for sex"
question tells something about your interpretation of sexually and
people, and your trade....it's oversimplified.  
  
inkwell.vue.123 : Tracy Quan: Diary of a Manhattan Call Girl
permalink #146 of 183: Joseph Dowdy (correspond) Thu 6 Dec 01 11:14
    
Tracy,

Thanks for keeping this conversation going. I think it's great.

I have actually been working on a non-fiction interactive story that
covers my sexploits during my time in the Marines. It's an interesting
story from a particular viewpoint that will leave people with a sense
that even real men have feelings...and even how they can be unmet and
met in different ways. It's also a great story about what's it's like
to be a Marine and the awesome privelege and the honest problem it can
be.

I find this kind of discussion useful in that I have been conflicted
about using a pen name, thought about what my family would think if
they read it and what my friends would think and how my girlfriend
would react, etc.

How did you deal with the items I mentioned in this last paragraph?
How did these influence what you wrote?
  
inkwell.vue.123 : Tracy Quan: Diary of a Manhattan Call Girl
permalink #147 of 183: Tracy Quan (tracyquan) Thu 6 Dec 01 20:30
    
>my friend was fired for not showing up. 

If this is a chronic habit, your friend has entered the wrong business
because there is no sick leave, and no holiday pay. You have to show
up!

>Depression is not "saddness" and not something you can just detect 
>(bad for business).

That's true.... I was hoping your friend was merely sad -- and
wondering whether he was being truthful with you about the way in which
he left his job.I do think that there is awful lot of hype these days
about depression and I am not sure how it became the hot topic de jour.


To be successful at the sex biz, you really need to have a good work
ethic -- your friend sounds ill-suited. I confess that dysfunctionals
who join the profession because they're unfit for work are a special
pet peeve of mine. 

There are indeed these walking wounded types who gravitate toward the
sex industry but they scare the hell out of the functional striving
types who smell trouble when they get within the radius of the wounded.
It is a tough business and it takes a certain kind of will to succeed
in it. If you get caught up with disturbed people, you increase your
chances of having other problems. Perhaps even legal problems. Unstable
people aren't viewed as trustworthy.

You raise an interesting issue:  Everyone knows that hookers have to
worry about whacko clients -- but how many people realize that clients
should have their antenna up for whacko hookers? And hookers also worry
about meeting up with whacko colleagues. It is true that the serial
killer in a hooker-john pairing is more likely to be a john. But there
have, indeed, been cases where the roles were reversed. Not a pretty
picture.

Getting away from such excesses, I think that the walking wounded
personalities who are drawn to the trade may, in some way, be acting
out a melodramatic myth about themselves. Perhaps, for them, there is
something glamorous about despair and -- well, I often wonder whether
these folks are somehow eroticizing their despair. Or something like
that. 
  
inkwell.vue.123 : Tracy Quan: Diary of a Manhattan Call Girl
permalink #148 of 183: Tracy Quan (tracyquan) Mon 10 Dec 01 17:53
    
On a brighter note, I am hosting a Holiday Happening next week -- if
you're in New York, please come! Some facts:

Neke Carson presents... in association with Michael Wiener
"Live" from the Gershwin Living Room!

A HOLIDAY Happening for PONY 
Tues 12/18 8:00 pm
at The Living Room in the Gershwin Hotel
7 East 27th Street
NY, NY 10016 (between 5th and Madison)

Admission $5.00
Drinks on the house
XXXmas Raffle courtesy of Come Again NYC 

Do your last minute holiday shopping at the Bluestockings book table

Featuring...

Mistress of Ceremonies: Tracy Quan (reading from "Diary of a Manhattan
Call Girl")

Lily Burana       author of the bestselling memoir "Strip City"
Evert Eden        writer/performer, author of the one-man show "How to
Cook a Man"
Dana Tierney      author & columnist reads from her novel "Love Panic"
Veronica Vera     founder & author of Miss Vera's Finishing School for
Boys Who Want to Be Girls

Contact Info
Tracy Quan:       www.tracyquan.net or <quan@salon.com>
Gershwin Hotel:  (212) 545-8000 www.gershwinhotel.com

A percentage of your admission will be donated to PONY (Prostitutes of
New York) a support group for current and former sex workers
affiliated with the International Network of Sex Work Projects.
For more info about PONY, email <pony@panix.com> 
  
inkwell.vue.123 : Tracy Quan: Diary of a Manhattan Call Girl
permalink #149 of 183: Joseph Dowdy (correspond) Fri 14 Dec 01 10:48
    
Doug,

I think it's interesting that you feel Tracy's answer to the question
was oversimplified. She addressed my question in a complete manner. I
don't know if you were just expecting a longer answer or not, but I get
where she is coming from.

Maybe you have a more specific question that you'd like to ask.

Again, I appreciate the answer Tracy. Thanks.

I was wondering if you had any opinion on the differences between how
the business operates in different locations like New York, LA, Las
Vegas and other places around the world. Is one place better? What is
the worst place and why? Is there something special about New York?

Thanks.
  
inkwell.vue.123 : Tracy Quan: Diary of a Manhattan Call Girl
permalink #150 of 183: Cynthia Dyer-Bennet (cdb) Fri 21 Dec 01 13:32
    
Up there in post # <147>, Tracy, you wrote "there is no sick leave, and no
holiday pay."

I tended bar for many years. Coming up on Christmas I usually made a lot
more in tips because my regular customers would spif me extra. Do
prostitutes' customers give extra dough to their favorite girl as a kind of
extra/present deal?

And as far as working holidays, is Christmas Day or Christmas Eve a
particularly busy time for hookers?
  

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