I was just thinking that this blog may need a man, a male presence, or a male subject. Some people had already pointed it out to me and yes I agreed time to look for a male. I had already met Gerrie Lim a couple of times and knew that he had written several ground-breaking books about the porn and sex industries in LA and Singapore. Lim was born in Singapore but lived in Los Angeles for many years, where he wrote columns and articles about pornography, sex work, music & celebrity branding. He recently had moved to Hong Kong and we were introduced to each other by ex-TimeOut-journo Bourree Lam, who probably figured we were two curious spirits in the porn zone. Yes it can be lonely in that zone. I bought and read Lim’s books Invisible Trade: High Class Sex for Sale in Singapore (Monsoon Books, 2004) and In Lust we Trust: Adventures in Adult Cinema (Monsoon Books, 2006) and was very impressed. I recommend them highly as they are very pleasant and unusual at the same time. I am actually amazed by the amount of genuine and sex-positive information and compelling stories he has been able to pull from these different women. I personally prefer the book about escorts in Singapore because I could relate better to the stories about non-celebrities and their hidden affairs, maybe because this book is more critical of the Confucian orthodoxies that at times make me miserable in Hong Kong. Both books did an amazing job representing the everyday lives and aspirations of women involved in sex industries. Then recently he published Absolute Mayhem: Confessions of an Aussie Porn Star, (Random House, 2009) which is a memoir about his friend Monica Mayhem written in the first-person from her point of view.
I met with Lim a few weeks ago in an almost deserted pizza place in Times Square. We had a big booth all to ourselves and talked for several hours. He showed me a column that he had written for the magazine Penthouse Variations and a photography album of himself with different famous porn stars: including Asia Carrera, Monica Mayhem, and Nina Hartley. After 30 minutes or so into the conversation, I asked Gerrie why he spent so much time interviewing and adoring with sex workers. He told me that there were two answers to this question. The first asnswer was that the female voice is obviously underrepresented in most literature about sex workers. The second answer was that he thought he himself had been a famous Venetian courtesan in one of his previous lives. He also told me that he believed that I had a strong male presence and that this was maybe one of the reasons for us getting along. At that moment it was hard to steer the interview. My gender morphing ghost had been quiet for quite a while but they then felt like coming out of the box. I was affected by his declaration right there and understood that he had really captured the intimate lives of his sex workers, maybe like nobody had done it before. We talked on and on and were indeed morphing while exploring this new ground between us.
He wrote me a few days ago and asked me to read an article by the famous sex blogger Violet Blue about women and pornography. I wrote back that I don’t believe in pornography for women but I like the concept of cross-voyeurism. I like to morph into different genders and viewing positions while peeking into the habits and tastes of others–other genders, other orientations, other fads. I belong to the Internet and like to eavesdrop on people and then depart. I like to enter domains that would be traditionally closed to me. He answered that he is likes that too and would like to talk more about the concept of cross-voyeurism. He then asked me how I would try that explain that concept in a “strictly Chinese” context.
Well, let’s see where we would go next with that, Gerrie Lim, my lewd sister, my demon brother!