Please Don’t Mistake Fetish Art for Sex Work
The trials and tribulations of a female fetish artist include men who believe that the subject of fetish art gives them the right to penetrate my inbox with their overexcited (and quite often weird looking) penises.
It Happened Again
I recently closed commissions. The official reason for this was my move towards Imaginative Realism and away from fetish art, and that is true. But one of the other reasons for it was that I was being inundated with inappropriate messages from men treating me like I was a professional dirty talker, a dumping ground for pictures of their genitalia or, worse, wanting to hook up. Most of the time, those people are easy to weed out from actual client leads, but sometimes they’re harder to spot.
This happens because, as well as mystical semi-nude women, I also create fetish art. I’m not ashamed of it and I’m not surprised by the reaction from people. People get weird around sex – they get outraged, they get turned on, they get outraged that they’ve been turned on, they lose all sense of general human decency. But, if I’m being honest, I am sick of the fallout. I mean I am full on reaching stranger dick fatigue. Both literal and proverbial stranger D. And by “stranger” I’m talking about anyone who isn’t my partner who I have no intention of leaving for some creep on the internet. And before anyone accuses me of it, it’s not sexist to say it’s always men – I have never ever had a woman send me an unsolicited picture of her vagina and try to get me to sext with her. Ever. The women who want to date me or like my art are very respectful and they accept no for an answer and we generally have a nice chat.
The stuff that people think is acceptable to send me is eye watering. Believe me, I’ve had it all. And sometimes on LinkedIn, of all places!
What Happened Again?
Recently, a guy approached me on Facebook and, off the back of seeing Know Your Place, asked to commission me. I’m going to call him Jay, because that is his name and I’m pissed off. I’m not taking commissions, as I’ve mentioned, but he seemed really legitimate and I was intrigued. So I delved a little deeper and he said he wanted me to do some drawings from photographs his girlfriend, Sophie, had taken of the two of them together. I like working with couples – working with couples is a really lovely experience. They tend to start out a bit shy and we build up a relationship where they trust me with their most intimate pictures and they trust me to create what they want. I mean, it costs more – I can’t market intimate pictures of people’s lovemaking, so for me it’s a one off win. But it’s usually a joyous experience all round.
I asked Jay to send the pictures through so I could quote. And by jove were they beautiful shots. Really beautiful. Too beautiful. I did some more digging, but he seemed genuine. Something was nagging at me, though. The woman looked a bit familiar, but then all white people look the same…
… just kidding. Everyone looks so vastly different to me because I’m scrutinising every detail of them to recreate them in art, but in the throws of passion and with… certain organs in mouths, it’s hard to tell exactly what someone looks like. She was beautiful in any event. And the guy was very well endowed. Again, you’d think this would be a red flag, but I’ve been very lucky personally on the cock lottery for the most part, so I didn’t think about it. He also led with talking about money and budget – that’s a good sign. One of the ways I weed out time wasters is to start talking money and they soon show their true colours.
So I said I’d take the commission. Christmas is approaching faster than you think, I have a couple of weddings coming up and the thought of a guaranteed cash spike would be nice. Jay was surprised by how reasonable my quote was and asked if I could do him three colour pieces too. I’m seeing £s I won’t lie and before anyone tells me I should just be doing art for the love of it and associating art with money is wrong, hear this: Artists provide a service of their precious time, materials, overheads and high-quality unique final products. And we need to eat too. We’re not aetherial beings who float through life in billowing gowns issuing airy fairy nonsense about the beauty of nature. If you cut us, do we not bleed?
But I digress. I agreed to also do some paintings. Jay sent through the additional photos. They weren’t as well shot, they were a lot more explicit and he said Sophie didn’t like those photos. I suggested he talked to her, because I was uncomfortable creating something she didn’t like. The warning bells had started in my head. This was off the back of a commission that I started working on, only to be told that the person in the photo didn’t know that my client had this picture of her and he didn’t want her to recognise herself so could I change the way she looked (if I’d known, I wouldn’t have taken the commission in the first place, but I’d already spent a couple of days on it and, you know… £££).
Jay said it was probably bad of him to get me to paint those, but they made him horny. I skirted around that and said he needed to check with his girlfriend. In fact, where was Sophie? Or, Soph, as he called her. When I work with couples, I speak to couples, not one half. Unless it’s for a gift, but he’d already told me it was Sophie who wanted the pieces creating. He said she was asleep and with it being about 2am on a Sunday night / Monday morning, I figured that was reasonable. He made another comment about having to “sort it out” when he’s hard and I cracked a joke about wanking at work (because I do have to not come across as a stuck up bitch when I’m being commissioned to do a piece of erotica) and brought the conversation back to art before going to bed myself.
I didn’t hear from Jay until the following Thursday, but I’m mad busy, so I hadn’t had time to chase – I figured Sophie had put her foot down. But he confirmed the pictures and I asked him for an email address so I could send a contract and invoice through. At which point, he said he only had an email address for work and didn’t want to use it. That’s when I knew for sure he was just a time waster. I said I couldn’t send legal documents through to him via facebook messenger and, since I hadn’t heard from Sophie, I’d need a note of consent from her, so I’d need her email address too.
Reverse Image Search!
It’s a thing! How did I not know this?! My partner suggested running the images through google image search. Oh, dear reader. The photos were of pornstar, Kristall Rush. She’s known for her ability to fellate like no other. I’m usually quite au fait with pornstars, but if she’s crossed my path at any point, I didn’t notice her. She’s not my type, to be honest – bit too preened for my taste. Anyhow, I hadn’t recognised her. Naturally, I blocked Jay after telling him he’d wasted my time.
The thing is, I’m not angry that someone sent me pornography – it happens constantly. And the fact that he had to make up a girlfriend is so utterly laughable – what a sad little individual. I’m angry about the hour and a half I wasted on this jerk. Time is money to me. I work very long hours and there’s still so much to do, so when someone thinks it’s acceptable or funny to waste my time, I get frustrated.
Don’t Do It!
When I come across a timewaster these days, I just block them immediately – I can usually spot them a mile off.
- Men who send me hardcore pornographic videos (I can, and do, find my own porn, thanks)
- Men who tell me my work makes them horny (I don’t give a fuck what you do in your own time)
- Men who won’t discuss money off the bat (I provide a service and you have to pay for it)
- Men who ask me personal questions (none of your business)
- Men who ask me what I do for a living (at least skim my profile if you’re going to be a creeper)
- Men who send me pictures of their penises (what am I supposed to do with that? I don’t have a 3D printer!)
- Men who ask me if I’m married (irrelevant)
- Men who tell me I’m hot (I don’t care what you think of me)
- Anyone who messages asking if I’m an artist (I mean… how much more obvious can it be?)
- Anyone who thinks I should be working for free (I work – you pay! Just like any other job)
- Anyone who says I’m too expensive (mate, you have no idea how affordable my prices are)
And just to clarify:-
- I don’t want to date you
- I don’t want to make small talk with you
- I don’t want to make dirty talk with you
- I have no interest in your sex life
- My fetish art does not give you the right to treat me like garbage
- I’m not a sex worker
This is my business and I don’t have time for your bullshit
Now I’m armed with Google image search and anger, I’m far less likely to talk to anyone who DMs me with anything that isn’t: “I want to buy XX painting”. And if I ever do reopen commissions, I’ll be charging a £25 retainer just to discuss what clients want me to do.
I am not a sex worker. And I am not amused.