Thursday, April 20, 2006

Of Labels, hand jobs and Myers Briggs

Some sentences continue to haunt us long after they have been said.

I can remember vividly, talking with a relative of mine about another relative who was a stripper. I have written about her before, but she is involved in this memory as well. I can remember her sister saying about her occupation, "I mean, sure, she takes her clothes off for money, but it is not like she is a hooker. I mean, she sometimes has sex for money in the parking lot, but it is not like she is a real hooker." Sorry for the repetitive nature of the sentences, but those are the words as I remember them.

Now, I know her sister was not saying that she was the English theologian, Richard Hooker (1554-1600). Hand jobs were his specialty. But, pardon my French, L'enfer, oui, elle est une prostituée. I prostitute is someone who exchanges sexual services for money. So, yes, she was a hooker. I mean, it did not say prostitute on her W-2's, but I am not sure that is the be-all-end-all of labeling her. Now, I know that you never want to say that your sister is a prostitute, but if she performs hand jobs for $20s, I am guessing the label fits.

I have read a lot about labels lately and people not wanting to be labeled.

I slept with (mumbling to protect the guilty) guys, and I will tell you now, I was a slut. I mean, I don't know the number that tips the scale from "friendly" to "slut", but if you can't count on your fingers and toes, my guess is that you may be tipped into the slut category. I know, a label. I also am an adulteress – sounds exotic to me. But like it or not, that is a label I wear – me, Hester Prynne, and a few other gals. I think our click is more than a hundred by now. Confessed adulteresses, that is.

And I am not poo-pooing myself, just pointing out that there are some labels I have earned that I desperately don't want to have.

And Joe, one of my favorite people in the world (I have him at the bottom of my list so I can quickly find his name), talked about labeling via the Myers Briggs Type Indicator test lately. This test labels or categorizes you based on your response to questions. I know that Myers Briggs does not sum up someone's thoughts, feelings, dreams and penis size. It is just part of a picture, and yes, it is not necessarily accurate.

And, dear friend ~Deb, had a blog entry about labeling yesterday.

My response follows:


Okay, ~deb, I for one would want to see you with a huge picket in your hand walking around topless and chanting "I WANT MY RIGHTS---KILL BUSH!". But I am not a big fan of Bush and I am a big fan of you.

From all that I have read, I am not sure I would label you a lesbian. I see you more as a free-thinking woman who has fallen heads over heels with M (who happens to be a woman). I just looked to see a definition of lesbian and I love the sentence: "One could argue that one is not a lesbian (as a noun) but lesbian (as an adjective). This would depend on self identification, and is different for most lesbians/lesbian women."

So, sweetie, if you label yourself as a lesbian, I will have to retract what I have said. Then, my dear, you are a lesbian.



I love the line about self labeling oneself as a lesbian. It just seems to resonate with me.

As I see it, there are many labels:

(1) Definitions. Like "prostitute" listed above. Just part of our language. One would not want the label "felon", but if you have done the time, you get the label. I don't think you can opt out of those labels.

(2) Then there are categorizations. Rather than universal, these are still man-made (or woman-made), in a sense. People with PhD and grants decide on logical or helpful ways of grouping people. But the groupings might not be right – you can drift from one label to another over time.

(3) Then there are self-labels. This is the lesbian label. Maybe slut falls in this category as well. Just because I think Shakira is hot, doesn't make me a lesbian. Who the heck doesn't think she is hot? But if I dream about her hips and other edible parts of her every day, I would be Joe. I mean, I might chose to label myself a lesbian. Either way, I get to label myself, and most of us see that as more palatable than other ways.

Crap, I broke my one page rule. I am not saying what I have written is right or wrong. Just what is bouncing around in my head. Sort of like Shakira. And she can bounce! Then again, so can ~Deb with a picket sign!

38 comments:

Shannon said...

LOL that was kinda funny...great post.

Labeling kinda sucks.. I doubt I have ever been labeled but I will take that as a good thing..after all I am more then just "One" thing anyway!!

Shakira is HOT.. call be a lesbian if you will, but she is. And so is ~Deb.. they both have looks and something special about them.

Have a great Thursday Leesa =)

Leesa said...

shannon: I know what you mean about Shakira. And I had a girl crush on ~deb as well. I know labeling sucks; I was just trying to offer a different viewpoint.

Grant said...

With Memoirs of a Geisha in theatres, a lot of people have argued that a geisha is technically not a prostitute. Roger Ebert countered by saying "If your job description is 'technically not a prostitute,' then you're a prostitute."

I read an interview with a porn star once wherein she defended her career choice by saying "At least it's not as bad as stripping." I never understood that line of logic.

The bit about being a felon reminded me of Hunter S. Thomson. "I'm a reasonable man. A multiple felon, perhaps, but I'm certainly not dangerous."

Prata said...

As much as people say labels suck, whether we want to admit it or not all people provide labels for others. The human brains works in that manner. Whether your label is a generic, "unsavory" or "not good" it is what humans do. We are social animals and even "lesser" animals provide labels for themselves within groups. That is why there is a heirarchy of feeding in pack animals and dominant animals within groups of like creatures.

Labeling goes along with judgement in the fact that without it, people would not be able to make decisions about how they function with other humans.

All things humans do are humane. Whether or not some of the things humans do are socially acceptable is another thing all together. Walk down the street though and be mindful of what you think when you look at different people and that feeling you get? This feeling can be formed into a word which you will find in the human readable dictionary. There is your label. And you (meaning all people) do this everyday. It's not inherently bad. It's how people's brains work.

Prata said...

Oh, andRoger Ebert can blow one, as geisha are not prostitutes.

kathi said...

When I first read this, I thought it said hand jobs for $205...and I'm thinking, dang...that's like at least $1,200 an hour, I am so in the wrong business! Then, re-reading, I'm seeing it's only $20...nah...not so much worth the carpel tunnel that would come with the job.
Oh, right...labels. I'm trying to think of what labels I'd not fit into, that would be easier. :)

~Deb said...

*GASP!!!!!*

I can't believe you just labeled me as a...as a...as a.....LESBIAN!!!!!!!!

Get it right! I am a woman who loves another woman.

Ah hell. I'm a fricken lesbian.



*sigh*

~Deb said...

Do I at least get a hand job after this?

JD said...

^^ getting in line behind Deb for a handjob.

hello blogoholics. my name is JD, and i'm a blogoholic. i'm also a slut, adulterer, lesbian trapped in a man's body. (how's that for labels?) i got tons more, but i'll spare you.

Leesa, as profound and inciteful as your other posts are usually sexy and funny. you really need to think about a career as a writer. i'd rather read your stuff than most professional tripe.

i am humbled by your Skillz!!! ;)

Stacy The Peanut Queen said...

Labels, schmables....you think I could start charging The Peanut King twenty bucks for hand jobs? I'll put it in our vacation fund, I swear I will....then maybe towards the end of the year, we'll have enough money for a nice little vacation! ;)

Can anyone out there say that they don't feel they have a label or have been labeled by someone? I know I can't. And it all depends on who's doing the labeling...to some, I'd be a freak...to others, a prude. (HA! Who'm I trying to kid! Me??? A prude??? Riiiight!)

But anyway, I see what you're saying...:)

Christian said...

The concept of labeling is a convenient method for ordering the world. We are taught the names of things as children. Tree, Horse, Sky and later in childhood the labeling expands to Banker, Teacher and Prostitute. So much of what is given to us we accept at face value. The world is ordered, packaged and labeled for us before we have chance to develop our own critical thinking skills.
So, we are left to re-order the world if we wish, once we attain those skills. It’s a process that the Mexican Toltec philosophers like Ruiz would describe as ‘breaking agreements’ given to us in childhood by well-intentioned adults.
For example; A banker provides a service to a client that is viewed as beneficial to both parties, bank and bank client.
A prostitute giving a hand job in the parking lot is also providing a service desired by the client while attaining a ‘good’ that supports her life.
We distinguish the difference only because we were given the Banker label as positive and the Prostitute label as negative when we were children. We swallowed it whole and never discerned if in reality they might be more similar than different.
This is the danger of labeling. Sometimes we have to re-order our thinking, do we not?
This a thoughtful and perceptive post. Thanks for taking the time to openthe subject up.
And…I typed it with both hands this time!

JD said...

i've been fucked by plenty of bankers and other professionals that hurt my wallet way more than any prostitute. word Christian. :)

Pittchick said...

I think the slut label bothers me the most. There's always a double standard when it comes to men and women and their sexual escapades. I would never consider myself a slut. Sure, I had a good time in college, but I knew what I was doing and I never felt taken advantage of. If two people want to have a good time together and don't expect anything to come of it, where's the harm?
Now, I do think there's a difference between being a slut and just being promiscuous. I think it has to do with attitudes and actions and self-respect. There's a definite difference.
Prostitute is more of a job description than label, I think.

Mike said...

It's human nature to label people unfortunately. And we all wear different labels to different people.

Leesa said...

grant: love your contributions.

prata: well-said. I think I will delete your comment and edit my post to include it. I want to take credit for it because I agree with it. Not the geisha post, but the other post. I really don't know what a geisha is.

~deb: got your Saran wrap handy? I'll give you full-service.

jd: you flatter me, but there are at least 4, possibly 5 people who occasionally comment on my site who are much more skilled writers than I am.

christian: I should copy what I wrote to prata above. I shall delete your comment and claim your words. All except the "Banker label as positive." I have several friends who have had nightmares with bankers. Personally, I would love a 10 am to 3 pm job where you get to denigh loans and make 100K. Until you get caught in some kind of scandal - that usually does not involve scantily dressed coeds or gambling rings. And that was before I read jd's last post.

jd: you stole my thunder (see above).

dna princess: I agree with you. I never felt like a slut in college, but when I was screwing around on hubbie, I was a slut. And it was not just the numbers that changed the label. It was the situation - should have been more committed in my relationship. That's what in my mind labeled me as a slut.

mike: my label for you is "Subway hater." Probably not accurate, but that is a label. Plus, "lucky SOB that married ~deb."

Leesa said...

stacey: oh, sweets, I missed you completely. Goodness, you mention hand job and I am off to the races. Actually, I would rather give a BJ - but I would charge more than $20. Unless that labels me a hooker.

kathi: similarly, hand job just threw me for a loop. You, sweets, have a good attitude about labels.

I cannot believe I missed two posters when answering. I normally don't get this many responses. Yeah, I will blame it on the commenters number of responses.

TrappedInColorado said...

Is a handjob considered sex? Damn! I'll have to bump up my count of women I have had sex with then. Ok. Where is the end of the line for the handjob? (he asks while he logs on to find the next flight to Savannah)

My theory of the number of men a woman has to sleep with to be labelled a slut is... 1 million dollars, er, I mean men.

JD said...

ok, geez, i guess i'll take a blowjob then. ;) just the thought, wow that's hot Leesa. and yes, i'd pay way more than $20. ;) great minds think alike, that's why we all came up with almost identical comments. synchronicity! it's not just a Police CD.

Prata said...

Leesa! Have at it lass!
There's handjobs goin' around? Sweet!

~Deb said...

I'm first prata---get out of my way....

Slides the Seran Wrap on myself...


Ooookie dokie! I'm ready!

Leesa said...

trapped: crap, I think I will have to re-think this offer.

jd: ditto

prata: ditto

~deb: be right there, hun. Just have to position the video camera and make sure I have a new tape in it.

TrappedInColorado said...

Rethink? As in the thought of giving me a handjob repells you? :) Kidding ofcourse. Besides, all I will need for the next 5 years is a copy of that video you will be making with Deb.... money is no object.

Peace

Party Girl said...

I don't like the word, slut because it is used in such a demeaning way. A man is a stud, but I'm a slut? I don't think so.


I prefer, sexually experienced.

The Sarccastik Variable Why said...

there's always a stripper in every family ain't it...

JD said...

Leesa and Deb, notice how politely i'm waiting in line. i was taught manners. ;)

umm, and i want a copy of that video. whew, i'm gonna need a cold shower for sure.

okay, serious question, if a straight man has an affair with a lesbian, that's not adultery, is it? just making sure. not that it's gonna happen, but a man can dream, can't he?

sarccastik, lmao. in fact, my family doesn't have any strippers in it, and i'm kinda pissed about it. lol.

Monica said...

Leesa, I've missed you too. I come by everyonceinawhile (why isn't that one word? like -thisafternoon- ?) It's dumb, but your blog is always so chock-full of information and intrest, that I feel guilty just posting a "hi" and never take time to post properly. This is why I work better with real live friends...you could stop by for a cup of coffee (or pitcher of mojitos) and we could chat. I wish it was possible to hang out with my online friends, get to know them all in reality, instead of the foggy glittery online world.....

Anyway...
Hi!~

Leesa said...

trapped: I remember when I was on the dating scene, if I wouldn't sleep with some guy, they often said, "how about a blowjob?"

party girl: there is a difference between self-labeling one a slut and being labeled one.

sarccastik: seems that way.

jd: in my oppinion, if I had sex with a woman, it would be adultery. Many would say otherwise.

monica: yeah, you want me to come over and sand your floors! Your house is really taking shape.

Ian Lidster said...

I just love your blog, Leesa. I find the way your mind works (a bit like mine) in such a compelling, honest fashion. Good for you. Yes, I acquired a few labels in the past, and 'adulterer' definitely would have to stick to me if I chose to let it. I didn't like the judgmental biblical sound of it. I wanted and needed love, both physically and emotionally in a marriage that was devoid by that point. I adored the people I was with, had fantastic sexual encounters and I only had it thrown in my face once, when a husband threatened to kill me. That was a wide-awake moment and at that same moment I felt, yes, like an adulterer.

JD said...

lol, that's kinda the double standard though, i bet if you offered to include hubby in your tryst with another woman, he (at least a lot of guys) would go for it and not call it adultery. ;) either way, it would be hot.

Oswald Croll said...

SWEET! Another Shakira reference. Can never get too much of that..... or hand jobs. Rarely see those two subjects in the same story.... although you'd think they go perfect together.

Sex for money. How about dinner for sex..... does that also qualify? That would make me a shameless 'John". I'm OK with that.

Heather said...

Leesa,
Great post, and way too true.. personally I consider myself a SIR (Slut In Recovery). I would no longer consider myself one, but have so been there done that.

Speaking of hot women, Angelina Jolie, now she is HOT.. those lips OMG.. AND she has been involved in a lesbian relationship, but doesn't classify herself as one, she just views love as love..Now she is with Brad Pitt.. go figure.
I used to think he was hot.. not so much anymore.. wow.. I'm rambling. sorry..lol

JD said...

and i think Meyers gave Briggs handjobs. or was it the other way around? ;)

~Deb said...

Wait....which is my best side?

~Deb said...

Ah hell, don't answer that please...

~Deb said...

JD! Putchya' snake back in yer pants!

~Deb said...

You should have comment moderation on here...

GirlGoyle said...

Lables...they are everywhere. And the new fad seems to be, read your lables to know what you are buying. I'm lableable an adultress I think. Yet some others wouldn't take it so elegantly and I'd easily be tipped into the steaming cauldron of slutiness - tho I can count my lovers on one hand...over and over and over again.

Leesa said...

ian: thanks for the compliment.

jd: nah, hubbie wouldn't go for it. He is a good man.

oswald: I cannot believe how gravitating Shakira is.

heather: SIR; never heard that before. I am on board with the Brad Pitt "out of lust" phase. Now I wonder why I thought he was hot.

~deb: content moderation = too much work

girlgoyle: I love it. Counting lovers on one hand! Over and over again.