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Why Seek The World?

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This world of palaces, thrones, and crowns.

This world of societies that resent humanity,

This world of those hungry for [material] wealth,

What is this world to me, even if I can have it?

 

Each body is injured, each soul is thirsty,

With confused eyes and hearts full of sorrow,

Is this the world or the dominion of senselessness?

What is this world, even if I get it?

 

In this world where a person’s being is only a toy,

It is an establishment that worships death

Where it costs less to die than to breathe,

What is this world to me, even if I can have it?

 

Here youth wanders in hopelessness,

Young bodies are decorated and sold in the market,

Where love is treated as a product to trade,

What is this world, even if I get it?

 

This world, where human life is nothing,

Where loyalty is nothing, where friendship is nothing,

Where love has no meaning at all,

What is this world, even if I get it?

 

Burn this world, set it on fire!

Move this world away from me!

The world is yours, you take care of it.

What is this world to me, even if I can have it?

____

Yeh Duniya Agar Mil bhi Jaaye to Kya Hain? (Pyaasa, 1957)

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Subhanallah, what a beautiful, yet tragic Urdu poem from the 1957 classic Pyaasa. It is worthy to share this ghazal in time where ‘success’ is equated to fulfilling or striving for worldly pleasures. But what happens when one attains all the so-called worldly ‘pleasures’? You gained the world, but at what cost? Does the heart feel full? How many lives were slaughtered or degraded in the process of obtaining “success” and “happiness”?

I’ve met many great souls who are tormented, silently. They were, at some point during their lives, duped into believing that they weren’t ‘successful’ enough because they weren’t attaining enough worldly ‘pleasures.’ Or, perhaps, like myself, they obtained the so-called ‘good life’ and realized it meant nothing. My desire to ‘gain the world’ has lessened. It is my hope that myself and others can gain the strength to resist the deceptively-charming-in-your-face forces that are rampant in society. Life has so much beauty to offer that isn’t always visible to the human eye. After all, what significance is the world in a superficial sense? What significance is a body with no spiritual depth? It is only the soul that is immortal.

I actually feel great sadness when I realize many people are still chasing the worldly ‘pleasures’ to the extent that they become apathetic and soulless. People are seduced by this false notion that ‘gaining the world’ makes a worthy life. Such a predisposition suggests that a life without glamour, superficial beauty, money and power is unworthy. Again, does money, prestige and power make the heart feel full? Or does one even have a heart once they’ve slowly bartered off their soul for their ego?  The world (duniya) is only temporary —  Life becomes meaningful when one focuses on enriching their soul, not their ego. 

Duniya

 

 

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Prostitution: Elitism & Why I Despise the “Man in a Business Suit.”

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Like many young minds, I once believed the stereotypes that were socialized into my little mind from a young age. Back then, I had no idea that the debauched images, ideas and discourses from the mass media would vastly influence me to have a narrow outlook on life. When I started prostitution, I had a naive sense that wealthy-looking men were the ideal clients. It was not only clients, but I had a naive admiration of the ‘prestigious’ and ‘elite.’ Only later, I realized that the most ‘prestigious’ people are actually quite poor, poor in they have not acquired any compassion or true beauty (ihsan). Very quickly I learned that wealth does not necessarily imply a persons inner qualities. True wealth and beauty are not material or physical, true wealth is in the heart. With clients, I realized the loveliest men are those whom are humble, easy-going and unscathed by the poison of Western-Liberal values. My ex and the Sheik, among others, are the best examples of such men.

Years ago, fresh to the sex industry, I remember an older prostitute who put us younger escorts into perspective. While all of us were chatting together, a newbie escort announced, “I only want to see clients with business suits!” Shortly after, a well-dress client entered, wearing a business suit and carrying a polished leather briefcase. The older prostitute joked, “Don’t get too excited girls. He might be jobless, going for an interview.” In other words, the older prostitute was trying to say that a ‘business suit’ doesn’t really mean anything — it doesn’t mean he will be a worthy client. She was right. A lovely, generous, warm-hearted client can exist in any form, any ethnicity, and any social class — and more importantly, in any type of clothing.

As mentioned in previous posts, some of the most generous clients I have had are those who do not actively showcase their wealth. As well, even regular working or middle-class men can also be generous and lovely. I was once naive enough to believe that a man dressed sharply in a posh business suit was the ideal client. But now, after all these years, I find the business suit quite unappealing. It’s not the actual clothes I despise, but I despise the VALUES associated with the business suit. The ‘business suit’ is symbolic of modern capitalism; It’s the image of condoning unequal profit, greed, competition, exploitation, egotism, ignoring the metaphysical — and even worse, this mentality and it’s associated values are PRAISED and embraced in the West, and increasingly being praised in non-Western societies. Sadly, so many people are seduced by these material values, which they consider important and worthy. This reminds me of a quote from the book, “Tuesday’s With Morrie,” below:

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It’s also very sad to see so-called Muslims exhibit and condone these traits of business ‘professional’ ethics, which is completely the antithesis of Islam:

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Now, of course, not all men who wear suits are the heartless, soulless persons with no values that I am depicting. And equally, not all businesses have inhumane objectives. Of course not. The business suit has become a norm, and indeed some whom wear it do not subscribe to the values it currently symbolizes. Some have to wear this business attire out of conformity, or expectation, but it does not define who they are. Here lies the importance of not judging on first appearances. We all wear facades and labels, but the trueness of individual is much deeper.

I, too, portray myself in ways that can be misleading. I advertise myself under all the terms of “elite,” “high-class,” “upscale,” “exclusive.” These terms could easily signify that I’m arrogant, pretentious, shallow, etc. These terms have very vague meanings, yet I only use them to market myself accordingly to the norms of escorting world. Sadly, the terms ‘elite’ and ‘high-class’ are the accepted descriptors for prostitutes who are allegedly physically beautiful, clean, well-mannered and can provide good service. If I don’t use these words, then clients might assume I’m the opposite of those qualities. It’s ironic. Subscribing to the term ‘elite’ does not make me a better lover, nor does it make me better person. In essence, good companionship and good sex HAS no class, no discriminant.

Like many odd reasons, our society embraces this notion of being “exclusive” — excluding others, and being only available to eligible persons. This makes me feel sad. I wish I didn’t have to use these arrogant terms for myself when advertising. However, although I would love to be more inclusive with whom I see,  I have to be exclusive when advertising. The unfortunate reality is that there are many “bad” seeds of clientele that exist in the escorting world. If I am too inclusive, then I make myself vulnerable to danger, undesirables, the heartless, etc. I do not like to give the impression that I’m “exclusive” in an arrogant way. I’m only “exclusive” to protect myself from the ills of the sex industry. In essence, I welcome decent, kind, warm-hearted men from ALL social statures so long they can pay for my services. I see that many “high-class” escorts misuse their imagined status — they develop an ego. Some escorts mistakenly assume that being ‘elite’ makes them better, and also believe that ‘elite’ men implies better clients. I made this mistake too, but very quickly realized I was wrong in my assumption. Judging clients on their heart and intentions is much more wise than judging on their level of material prestige. But one only learns with experience…

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An Ending

Beautiful Poetic Lyrics

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Update

Hi All,

Sorry I haven’t posted in a long time! I will be writing again very soon. I also apologize for my delay in answering comments and emails. I will be in touch soon.

Sincerely,
Exotic Escort Diary

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Update

Some of you may have noticed that I have made my blog private for the past few months.  Of course, I am deeply private about my lifestyle. I have decided to be public again, but unfortunately I have removed many old posts that are too personal.

My reasonings are that I have changed my life a bit. Alhamdulillah I had a great holiday from my classes, and met many interesting people.

The counsellor I saw told me: I am filled with holes….and I need to fill this ’emptiness’ with something that is wholesome, something that I own. Shallow relations and material things do not fill my emptiness.

Again, my blog is about my life. I do not want to glamorize prostitution or escorting, because there the glamor is a facade. I got into it without realizing that there are serious implications (being a sex worker in a hostile society is not easy).  What I can say is that I have no regrets, and am thankful for the blessings I have received.

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Conflicting Roles: Prostitute and Student

I am seeing a counselor now. We’ve had about three sessions so far. She is very understanding, and it feels relieving to talk to someone about virtually all aspects of my life. I trust her. I feel I can trust anyone who is educated about social issues, because rather than judge they look at people from a macro social perspective. In the past, I was almost tempted to tell one of my professors that I was a prostitute, because I knew she would not judge me (however, I did not tell her).

My counsellor told me that a lot of my issues are stemming from being unable to identify myself. She said there were three me’s: (the escort, the REAL me and lastly, the “me” when I’m with friends and family who aren’t aware of my profession). She said she completely understands why I often feel, well, LOST. Essentially, I am a sexy escort at night (behind closed doors, of course) and in the daytime I am an ‘innocent’ University student. But who’s the real me? That is a question I don’t know how to answer.

I am not sure what I seek from her counselling services. Her advice was interesting, but there was no solution. There isn’t one.  For one, I am in no position to leave the industry anytime soon. Although the job can be stressful at times, at other times it can be great. Lately I’ve really enjoyed working and seeing clients. I got over my burn-out and feel totally rejuvenated. My hormones are off the chains, and I find myself being extremely aroused these days. Unfortunately for me, my favorite clients are leaving next month for Ramadan (the Saudis). Two clients of mine have been driving me wild in comparison to the Sheik. I have now realized that it’s possible for a man to get better with his sexual skills and evolve. One of my younger Saudi clients/friend, Khalid, has began to impress me a lot….and consequently, I crave him more than I did before. But again, what is a life to be only wanted for sexual pleasure?

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Talk vs. Action & Saudi Men

Saudi Arabia is supposedly the country that practices true Islam. (The concept of a ‘true’ religion is problematic itself, as the very idea of ‘true’ is subjective to interpretation). Yet many tribal Saudis accept the claim that they are practicing the ‘true’ Islam. So why is it that a large number of Saudi students (men) contradict the norms of Saudi society when they come to the West? Is it that repression creates desire? Or is it because Western influences tempt Saudis to do what is considered haram?

There seems to be a double standard for Saudi men. They can sleep with as many woman as they want. Some even drink alcohol and get high with drugs abroad. In their debauched mentality, they feel such sins will be forgiven by Allah when they repent. Life will be perfect once they return to their homeland, right? Whenever I come across a Saudi with that mentality (sin now and repent later), I’m tempted to slap some sense into him. Then I realize there’s no point, because those Saudis (not all) will never doubt their indoctrination. Inevitably, they will marry a virginal wife, and they’ll give up casual sex or drinking……..but how long will such modesty last? Does one blame a hypocritical Saudi society? Or does one blame Western Neo-Liberal influence that has permeated almost all global societies?

Recently I met a young woman who told me that she frequents with Saudis. She seems to have a very negative view about them. She said very bluntly, “Saudi men only want to fuck you.” Of course, it’s a poor form of reasoning to label an entire peoples based on set stereotypes. While I agreed with her to an extent,  I also know that a minority of Saudi students are not this stereotype. I wanted so badly to tell her about my experiences with Saudis (clients) because she had no idea that Saudi men pay for sex. I wanted to tell her how Saudi men not only want sex but they also want affection. Again, my experiences may be biased. The Saudis I’ve become close too always say how sex is not the most important thing between us. They enjoy my company, and especially my affection. Often, I feel I am acting as their Mother/Wife. I empathize with them. Saudi students studying abroad are alone often. They have plenty of male friends and can easily have sex, but many want more than that.

Generally, Saudis are unlike any other clients. I enjoy learning about their experiences and their lives. Most of them haven’t been exposed to the West long enough to have ‘contaminated’ superficial minds (yet many are becoming increasingly seduced by the so-called ‘charm’ of the West). However, for the most part, Saudis are not individualistic, but rather kinship oriented. Often, Western women wonder why their Saudi boyfriend cannot marry with them. Many narratives exist to discourage Saudi-Foreign marriages, and these narratives are propagated as a ‘panic’ and a ‘duty’ for Saudis to ‘maintain’ their scarce kinship values. Dominant discourses are powerful in essentially ‘brainwashing’ naive minds into believing the state agendas are moralistic. The problem with this logic is that there is no such thing as an all-encompassing “Saudi” culture.  Being ‘Saudi’ is a modern, political identity and has nothing to do with tribalism, despite laws use the vocabulary of religion and tribalism. The indigenous culture(s) of the Arabian Peninsula have long been altered by modernity and engagement with the West.  Anti-miscegenation laws in Saudi Arabia ignore a rich history of intense intercultural relations that have always occurred in the Arabian Peninsula. But with modernity and globalization, Saudi Arabian state officials have resorted to propagating ideas of ‘losing it’s culture‘ in order to maintain their hegemony. However, the real concern is NOT about a ‘culture’ facing erosion — the real concern is about the state maintaining their exploitative power and dominance. Saudi Arabia is a modern nation-state that plays the same ‘pseudo-humanity’ game as with other nation-states: nation-states use citizenship, social hierarchies, nationalism and exclusion as strategic tactics (very unIslamic) ways of maintaining power. There is NOTHING Islamic about forbidding two believers from marrying each other. 

Yet despite the adoption of modernity, marriage differs in Saudi Arabia compared to versions of modern marriage in the West. In the West, couples are typically individualistic, which means they will marry whom they choose because family input is of less importance. But for most Saudis, they are accustomed to consider their family values with all their decisions. It’s frustrating knowing there is probably no future for the Sheik and I, yet at the same time I am also empathetic to the concept of resisting Western influence (but let’s face it, the West has already bombarded Saudi society though globalization). After all, my own culture used to practice the same form of arranged marriages, and to a certain extent, some still do. Yet social conditions and circumstances have changed, which means old traditions no longer mean the same in this new context. Inevitably, conflict is bound to arise. 

Anyway, the young woman I met brought up a good point: If Saudi Arabia as a country was focused on true Islam, then why aren’t they helping those with less? Why aren’t they helping the Palestinians, or Iraqis? Why don’t they help those marginalized in their own society, such as labourers and maids from impoverished countries? Again, people have this belief that the nation-state is a vehicle of humanitarianism, but it’s not.  Saudi Arabia as a nation-state is, again, not concerned about social justice, despite giving off this impression. I don’t think the simple Islamic ideals of social justice (through just and moral behavior, zakat, sadaqah) can coexist within the modern nation-state setting, as consumer-capitalism negates the essence of Islam. After all, Prophet Mohammed (s.a.w.) was an advocate for goodness, justice and humanity, and Islam was to solve the evils that the Quraysh had commited (greed, wealth hoarding, asabiyah, etc). The sad reality is that Islam is being negated by some Saudis, yet they try to justify their behaviour with warped interpretations of Qur’an and Hadith. Just type in ‘prostitution in Syria’ on youtube and one will find Syrian dance-halls filled with Iraqi prostitutes and Saudi clients. It breaks my heart, because these women are not selling sex for the same reasons as I. The Arab prostitutes in Syria, Bahrain, or other neighboring countries are doing it because they have no other choice. Why aren’t the Saudis protecting these women instead of just using them as pieces of meat? When I think too much about how men can use women as sex-objects at their convenience, it makes me bitter………but again I no longer blame the men. Instead, I look at how debauched societal values (based on consumerism) are so powerful at influencing norms for behavior towards others — here lies the VITAL importance in gaining knowledge (‘ilm), because one should never blindly accept what is told to them, one must always question.

On the contrary, I spent this evening with the older Saudi man I mentioned previously. I’ll refer to him as Abu Saud. I hate to admit it, but I actually enjoy seeing him. We cannot have a proper conversation because of language barriers, but somehow we manage to laugh and communicate through non-verbal cues. In his limited English, he has a tendency to tell me very personal things about himself. He repeated his home address to me, and then showed me his wallet with his ID card, which means I know where he lives and his family name. It made me laugh. All I could think was, “Why are you telling me this?” I could never imagine one of my White married clients eagerly telling me where he lives or his family name.

Abu Saud is a sweet older man. I try to suppress the fact that he’s being unfaithful to his wife. I must ignore these things, but I know it will affect me when/if I’m a wife one day.

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