Starry Skies, Chapter 3: Dinner With Harry

While all this was going on, I continued to exchange messages with Harry, who little realised that while I was conscientiously and respectfully staying out of his room, I was attending church in the room of his Russian competitor and business rival, and being educated in the life and psychology of the camwhore. Consequently, I was not very surprised when he expressed an interest in having dinner with me, with a view to dating each other, yet found himself too terrified to talk to me beforehand by picking up the phone. 

Despite my new knowledge, it nonetheless struck me as slightly remarkable when he confessed, a couple of hours before our date, that he was very afraid to see me in case there was a repulsive and horrifying discrepancy between his ‘carefully curated photos’, as he put it, and his real, three-dimensional self. I was kind and gentle. I explained to him that I was talking to him despite his good looks and not because of them. I explained that he was holding my attention because of his obvious intelligence, academic ability, courtesy and self-effacing manner. He was very touched by this and said “thank you for your kind words”. I did not mention that the reason I was not attaching a lot of value to his physical appearance was because I had been blinded by his Russian counterpart, and everything that was not this holy Russian saint was cut from the same, everyday cloth.

Thus reassured, the shy, retiring little British porn star came out to meet me at a very nice Swiss restaurant in Soho. I was already seated when he arrived, five minutes late and full of apologies. He was a polite, sensitive little sweetheart, just as he was in his text messages. I quickly complimented him on his appearance, told him “you are much more attractive in real life than in your photos”, which was true, and he visibly heaved a sigh of relief. This, from a boy who has been taking his clothes off, for hundreds of gay men, almost daily, for two or three years.

We ate dinner and talked. We talked about my work and about his, using coded language so as not to upset the other diners. He was clever, sweet, funny, engaging. At one point he broke eye contact and turned his face away, looking at the ground. “You saw my photos”, he said, small pink roses of shame blooming in his cheeks. I did see his photos, because he gave me the link to his Tumblr, and what’s more, I Google Image searched him. Doing this caused me to see certain things that I wish I could unsee, because no nice, precious, valuable young boy or girl should be on the internet doing the things I saw in those pictures. His poor mother would have died. I don’t think he can have Google Image searched himself, otherwise those pink roses of shame would have been scarlet.

Anyway, despite all this anxiety and blushing, he managed to have a lovely time in my company, as one would hope. He very much enjoyed himself and we struck up quite a rapport. By the end of the evening he was almost jubilant and we had made plans to go to the opera and even go on holiday together in due course. We kissed at the tube station – as a 24-year-old sex worker who sells himself to his most loyal fans in a range of ways that I am not going to ask about, he proved quite capable of being kissed – and it seemed that a Dating Relationship had been formed. And so it came to pass that I found myself on my favourite dating app, suspending my account. In that small window of time, in a space of perhaps two minutes, between coming online and disappearing from public view, I received a message. A message from a French man who was about to say shocking things to me, henceforth known as Maxime.

**To Be Continued**

Starry Skies, Chapter 2: Fyodor

It is hard for me to express in words the breathtaking, supernatural beauty of Fyodor. As I beheld his impossibly flawless body, golden hair that flowed like honey and innocent, unspoiled face, a face sculpted by God himself, a face that could make a garden of spring flowers look cynical and haggard, time stopped. He was by far the most beautiful human I have ever seen, in all my life. He was naked, sitting on a white kitchen chair, in an empty, white kitchen. He was singing quietly to himself, reading incoming messages from his live audience and saying “thank you”, rather solemnly when he received a tip. I wept. His beauty was painful to observe, it actually burned my eyes, like looking into the sun. Sitting at my desk in London, I put my head in my hands and sobbed for a long time. It was the nearest thing I have ever had to a religious experience.

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When I eventually recovered my sight and the ability to read and think, I was able to see from the comments of his audience that quite a large number of gay men were having a religious experience along with me. Considering it is a brothel, I had expected the remarks of the audience to be crude or even abusive (and I later discovered that this is what happens in the rooms of many other performers). In this room, however, we were having church. The men said “you are an angel” and “we are in awe of you” and “we all love you” and threw money at him. Fyodor said “thank you”, in a Russian accent, and when the tips had reached certain, pre-set levels, he did sexual things. Things that I strongly wanted him not to do, because of his innocent face, his gentleness, his fragility. It was too awful, watching him perform these sexual acts. I wanted to pay him enough to stop working, at least for that day, wrap him in a blanket, make him hot chocolate, ask him what he thought he was doing with his career.

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I sent a love letter to his email address, telling him everything, especially the part about the blanket, and I sent him an Amazon gift card because I couldn’t not send him a gift after the sight of him made me cry. He replied with an absolutely charming and impeccably graceful thank-you letter and we struck up a correspondence that continues to this day. He has a degree in sociology but there are not many jobs for sociologists in Russia, so he is a whore instead.

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From this correspondence, and from watching him at work over the next several days, I learned many surprising things. One might have thought that anyone who broadcasts themselves doing sexual things for money must be quite brazen and, indeed, if one were to observe these boys and girls abusing themselves in a well-practised and professional way, that view would be confirmed. The willingness of the Russian boy to do crude things, along with his spectacular beauty and the undisguised religious worship offered by his audience made me think that he must be a very secure, confident individual despite his unexpectedly demure manner. Apparently not so. One night, he explained that he suffers from social anxiety. I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. When has an amateur entertainer been so cherished and adored? He performs for 1,000 people a day and their love for him is unanimous. But apparently internet life is different from real life. Safe in some obscure corner of Russia, he believes, with some justification, that he will never meet any of the people who watch him do terrible things. In real life, he is afraid of people. He is afraid to talk on the phone and to meet new people. You see, if anyone on the internet is mean to you, you can block them or switch your camera off. In real life, you can’t switch people off and social interactions are out of your control. In this way, the new technology and industry of cam-whoring has created a new generation of little porn stars who will happily defile themselves on camera for hundreds or even thousands of people but who are intimidated by real life and afraid to pick up the phone. This simply could not have happened before the digital age. It was very interesting to me and it turned out to be useful preparation for establishing a relationship with Harry, to whom we shall now return.

**To Be Continued**

Starry Skies: A Serial Novella

Hello, dear readers

My life is so full of romance lately that it is impossible to contain it in one post. I started to hand-write a version for later publication when I boarded my plane in Gran Canaria. When it landed in London, 4.5 hours later, I was still scribbling. 

For this reason, I offer you Starry Skies, a serial novella. Let us begin at once with Chapter 1, and you will see how dramatic everything is and what a large cast of characters it involves.

To begin this story, we must travel back in time to about 3 or even 4 weeks ago.

CHAPTER 1: HARRY

I received a message on my favourite dating app from a very polite and intelligent-sounding British boy with a degree in maths and a blurry photo. Let’s call him Harry, because he is quite posh. Usually I simply block-and-delete anyone with unclear photos because they are invariably hiding something, but in this case I indulged him because of the maths degree and because, at 24, he seemed too young to be married, which is usually what the hiding is about. I asked him to explain himself and he revealed that he is a full-time camwhore, he tries to keep it somewhat secret and this is why his face did not appear clearly on the dating website, because it appears very clearly indeed on some other, less salubrious, websites, along with the entire rest of his body.

I wasn’t sure what a camwhore was, and perhaps you, gentle reader, may be unsure as well, so I shall explain. A camwhore, or cam model, as they like to be called, rents a space on a commercial website owned by a third party. It is exactly equivalent to renting a room in a brothel, except it is digital so they can work from home. In this virtual room, they strip naked in front of a camera and broadcast themselves doing unspeakable things for a live audience. The audience is mostly male, as you can imagine. These men text comments and requests to the model and pay tips, which are real money, using a payment system that is set up by the website operator. The most successful cam boys and girls do it as a full time job and can make a wage that significantly exceeds what they could have earned pouring coffee in Starbucks. There is more I could say about this vile business, but that will do. I hope I haven’t upset you too much.

So, Harry revealed this intriguing and disturbing news, and said that I could look at his Tumblr, which I accepted because I wanted to see his face. He gave me the link. I went to the Tumblr where I was able to see his face (nice, intelligent, like his messages) and also viewed the rest of his body, in a state of arousal, which was considerably more than I asked for or was expecting. On the Tumblr was a link to his room at the brothel. I did not go there, due to already having seen too much. It was quite enough, I already felt like I’d sexually assaulted him by looking at his Tumblr, I certainly had no desire to see him giving a live performance. However, I now had a great deal of curiosity about the brothel itself, so while I was waiting for Harry to be finished with some important Maths and become available to meet me, I went to visit another room, randomly selected, where another boy was hard at work, debasing himself, and this is where I met Fyodor, Harry’s Russian counterpart and direct competitor.

**To Be Continued**

Gran Canaria, London, Paris

I am sorry to keep you waiting for news. There is very much news to share with you. 

I was in Spain:


Then I was in London:


Then Paris:


I am there now, in a tiny French apartment. I will tell you all the news but you will have to be patient and I will tell you in little pieces because I am busy making the news as we speak. I may be drinking coffee and talking to you right now but I will have to stop in a minute and tidy up because a French boy is coming over to make love to me.

Saraghina, la rumba!

It’s Friday evening at 7pm, and I have actually finished work, for a change. I am doing no work this weekend. The next several days are going to feature cute boys, arts & culture and exotic locations. Stay tuned for more news.

I would like to celebrate this situation with a clip from Fellini’s 1963 film 8 1/2.  There are many things one could say about this important film but I will be concise. One of the most memorable figures in the film is La Saraghina, a woman who lives in a hut on the beach. In exchange for a coin, she dances. She is – well, I will let you decide.

Saraghina, la rumba! La rumba!

The Magic Flute

OMG. That was possibly the best thing I have EVER seen.

OK, so I am an opera aficionado now. I have been to many official, impressive and very expensive venues such as the English National Opera and the Royal Opera House to see world-class performances. Everything has been magnificent. The singing, the orchestras, the set design, everything. It’s all been the very pinnacle of refined culture.

Today, I went to see Mozart’s Magic Flute, an opera I knew nothing about. I went to see it at the King’s Head Theatre, a theatre that I had never heard of.

OMG. It was AWESOME. I was BLOWN AWAY.

First, the theatre. When they say ‘theatre’, what they mean is ‘back room of a pub in Islington’.

Pub exterior. A typical London pub.

kings head ext

Inside the pub.

kings head interior

Where’s the theatre? Oh, it must be back here.

kings head entrance

It is a miniature theatre! It is amazing! It seats maybe 120 people, at full capacity. It is a real theatre, it has proper lighting and everything, but is tiny. 120 people might sound like quite a few, but let’s take into account that the Royal Opera House seats 2,500 people and that means you are going to pay £200 to sit approximately 8 miles away from the stage. At the King’s Head Theatre, you pay £30 and you have actual Mozart performed by people who are less than three feet away. It was absolutely unbelievable. It was like having a private performance. The Magic Flute was performed in the round, which is to say, in the middle of the room, with the audience no more than four rows deep around the perimeter. Here’s a cheeky photo that I took during the interval so you can see the tiny scale of the place. I’m sitting at one end of the room, facing the scenery on the back wall, and then there are more seats and audience members to the left and right. As you can see, one is basically on the stage with the performers.

magic flute stage

The Magic Flute is a fantastical tale set in “a distant land”, according to Wikipedia. The highly imaginative Charles Court Opera production that I saw today transplanted the action to a South American jungle. Mozart wrote it for a full orchestra, with the original libretto in German; today’s slightly abridged production was sung in English with the accompaniment of a single piano. Mozart intended it to be a comic opera – if you’ve ever seen any opera you’ll know that the comedy element can be a little bit elusive. There were no such problems here. The Charles Court version of The Magic Flute that I saw today was hysterical. I absolutely laughed my head off. It has hand puppets! It has singing birds and snakes! It has the most glorious, over the top costumes! It has hammy acting and joyfully camp dancing! It was by far the most fun of any opera that I’ve ever seen and indeed the best time I’ve ever had at the theatre in my adult life. I split my sides laughing. I clapped my hands over my mouth because I couldn’t bear the moments of suspense. It was a riot. I didn’t know opera could be like that.

If you are within reach of London, you really must go, I cannot say enough good things about it. I have already raved about it to a bunch of people and persuaded them to buy tickets immediately.

Links.

Charles Court Opera: The Magic Flute

A review of this same, fabulous production when it first appeared in 2016.

Go here to buy tickets: Kings Head Theatre

The show is on until 3 June.

Here is a larger, more traditional and serious production that was at the Royal Opera House in London in 2003, with a full orchestra and everything. I will go and see this type of version of The Magic Flute at some time, but nothing will ever take away from my first experience of that intimate production in that tiny little place. It was magical. Mozart would have approved.

Soap

I don’t usually blog about beauty products, but it is a category that I am involved with at work this week, which makes a nice change from last week, which was banking. I am at my desk, studying brands of shower gel, bath cream, bar soap and liquid hand wash. As anyone in an advanced state of consumerism knows, the most desirable of these is bar soap, which should ideally be hand-crafted and have visible inclusions, such as pieces of flowers.

Here are my favourites of the British brands.

Bronnley

https://www.bronnley.co.uk

These citrus soaps are shaped like fruit. The gentle, modernist designs on the outer packaging are soothing and tasteful (looks like they’ve redesigned the packaging, it used to have bright and rather overbearing photography). As for the inner packaging, each soap is lovingly wrapped in its own paper. Each soap is 100g and they retail at £3.35 individually or £9.38 for a box of three.

bron lem box 2

Gentle Cosmetics

http://www.gentlecosmetics.co.uk

These spectacular soaps are a feast for the eyes. I couldn’t stop staring. I can’t find the weight of these soaps (why not?) but they individually retail at £4.20 (flowers) and £4.95 (apricots) so I’m guessing at least 100g. These are almost too lovely to use.

Fortnum & Mason

https://www.fortnumandmason.com/

The world’s most luxurious department store, est. 1707. Fortnum & Mason does everything very elegantly; soap is no exception. Pictured: a medium-size box of bath soaps. Specially made for Fortnum’s, the soaps contain oils, herbs and spices and are decorated with dried miniature roses. Weight and packaging dimensions are not given but this box retails at £30 for ten bars. I find the packaging, with the roses and the tissue paper, almost irresistible.

fort bath box

A special mention also for this UK-based Etsy supplier. I hardly ever buy things from Etsy but these beautiful soaps slipped into my basket. The photography is stunning. This seems to be a new Etsy retailer so I’m happy to help a small business along. Cannot wait for these to arrive. Shown here: Orange & Cinnamon; Lemon Poppyseed; Strong-brewed Coffee; Turkish Mint Tea. The soaps are 113g and are priced at £4 each. Please make more flavours!

Ottoman Bliss

https://www.etsy.com/uk/shop/OttomanBliss

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