Monday, May 07, 2007

The English Courtesan on Blogging

Join the English Courtesan Olivia on her journey from novice Yorkshire temptress, social escort & former mistress to professional courtesan & international travel companion...

What is the first weblog you came across?

Don’t I get to start with an Oscar acceptance preamble about what an
honour it is to be interviewed by Dark and Lovely Nia and how I’d like to
thank Nia and my laptop? If I go into detail about the ‘how’ of thanking Nia the
editor might censor me but I’ll risk a saucy wink at her across cyberspace,
and concentrate on thanking the laptop with one of these instead.

My first blog find was Belle de Jour but like Beau my efforts to seduce her have gone unrewarded to date. So I might just have to settle for a little commiseration with Beau. Ahem. As it were. :-)

Why did you start blogging?

Becoming an escort seemed like such a big life change that I wanted to
chronicle the journey in some way I suppose. As for why I became an
escort, that’s a long story but you can read it here.

Which blogs do you read?

Due to time constraints, I tend to catch up on reading every few weeks
and I always start with my favourites which are Nia (you look so
lovely when you blush!), Gillette (ditto!) and Beau. Whilst I enjoy reading about people’s sexploits, I like thoughtful blogs and non-sex blogs too. I try to read all the blogs on my links list though, so that’s a mixture of escort, client and unrelated non-sex blogs.

What appeals to you about the blogs you read?

I think there are two things that all of these blogs have, and that’s thoughtfulness and honesty. By thoughtfulness, I suppose I mean not just the act of thinking, but the fact that they are open-minded, non-judgemental and able to consider issues other than their own personal ones. Even if I don’t always agree with their opinions, I like the fact that these writers say what they think.

Whose writing do you particularly admire?

In the blogosphere, I admire all of those mentioned above. In books, my
desert island authors would include Evelyn Waugh, Ted Hughes,
Silas Hocking and T. S. Eliot. In journalism, I like Michael Winner and A. A. Gill (who do restaurants in the Sunday Times), Prufrock (random bits of salacious business gossip, also in the Sunday Times) and the ‘Houses with a…’ column in the Saturday Guardian (which does des res properties with things like turrets, libraries, moorings and other useful appendages). Then there’s a graffiti writer who paints words like ‘bum’ on bridges over the M1 motorway which I find peculiarly amusing. My enduring respect also goes to the ad agency that came up with the strapline ‘if it’s not Birds, you’re a custard short of a pudding!’.

In your reading do you seek out different points of view?

Not consciously – I like reading what I like reading, and whether they
share my point of view is less important to me than things like writing
style, honesty, depth and humour. I do like different perspectives though,
like Tom Paine on polyamory and Winheld’s World on life with Duchenne’s muscular Dystrophy, as they make me think.

How do you choose items to link?

I’m partial to girls with big boobies and boys with middle-aged spread. I’m not sure I answered the right question there though.

What is your policy on comments?

I love ‘em! Except if they’re spam in which case I dob them in to their ISP or their Mum.

Do you ever receive abusive comments , how do you handle it ?

I don’t tend to get abusive comments but I do get abusive emails. I usually handle them by hitting the delete button but I’ve kept a few choice ones for their hilarity value. I reserve the right to publish them on my blog one day… :-)

Where do you find interesting links?

Down the back of the sofa with my beribboned undergarments.

Do you ever write to provoke a reaction, how do you do that ?

‘Moi?’. Smiles innocently… I don’t set out to provoke a reaction but I seem to elicit some strong responses nonetheless.

How much traffic do you get?

Ooooh, I love it when you talk techie to me Nia! That’s a trade secret but as it’s you…shhhh...come closer Lovely Nia so that I can whisper in your boobies, sorry, ears…I get 300 to 500 unique visitors a day.

What is your rank on technorati?

270,289 and my Google page rank is 4! I know you didn’t ask for page rank but I’m rather proud of that so I thought I’d slip it in while you weren’t looking. :-)

Has your writing changed since you started blogging?

I think I’ve got more confident in terms of writing about what I want, rather than what I think people want to read. When I started out, I was really trying to answer the questions of an imaginary audience, but now I write for me as much as for anyone else. I’m not sure whether that’s a good thing, but it makes the act of writing it much more enjoyable.

How many hours do you spend online a day?

I’m usually online all day, to such an extent that my wireless router blows itself up on a regular basis. I’m slightly embarrassed to admit that a wi-fi hotspot is a pre-requisite for a holiday destination too, though I’m hoping I’ll grow out of that.

How much time do you spend on your site a day?

It probably averages out at around two hours a week.

How many blogs do you read?

I tend to read all those on my links list, so that’s about 20. Apart from my favourites above, I don’t have time to read them daily, or even weekly, but I try to catch up every few weeks.

How do you find new blogs?

They often find me by commenting on my posts, but I follow links on blogs I like too.

How much reader email do you get?

I usually get between twenty and fifty emails a week. I’m slow to reply because of the sheer volume but I do try to reply in time.

What do you think makes a successful blog?

More pictures of your fabulous boobies would definitely help with the
search engines. :-)

What is your advice for a new blogger?

It sounds trite but I think my biggest piece of advice would be ‘be yourself’. My blog is a way to talk to clients and potential clients, but it’s the real me too and I think that keeping it real is important. I think the rest, in terms of readers and comments and traffic, follows on from that.I think my other advice would be not to trust everyone, in that there are a lot of fakes in the blogosphere, and also not to over-react to seemingly negative comments…see below…

How has blogging changed your life?

Goodness – that’s a biggie, Nia! It has definitely changed my life, but I find it hard to separate the blogging from my new life as an escort, courtesan or whatever you like to call me. The people I’ve met and the friends I’ve made through the blog are the biggest and most positive change to my life. I think a related issue is that the blog means that the loneliness of living a secret life no longer weighs so heavily on me. I can’t tell my ‘normal’ friends about what I do and nor can I ask their advice on things like rates or marketing, but I can tell the blog readers and ask their views.

What blogs do you think deserve wider recognition and why?

Three spring to mind - Lovely Victoria,Hedonistic Pleasure Seeker and Mandy (of ‘How about now?’). Lovely Victoria and Mandy are ‘gentlemen’s companions’ and Hedonistic Pleasure Seeker isn’t (although rather embarrassingly I once called her ‘a hooker with a heart’ at which point she had to explain that she wasn’t, oops!). Again, I think what I love most about these blogs is their refreshing honesty. They tell it like it is and that’s a rare and precious thing in cyberspace.

What are your hobbies?

Top of the list is doing naughty stuff with boys and girls in the bushes - it’s not just work, you know! :-) Aside from that, things I like to do include swimming, going to galleries, antique-hunting (silver and books), sniffing the rain, exploring new places, scuba-diving, restaurants (Indian, Lebanese, and Thai are all good for a veggie like me), running around barefoot on the Yorkshire moors...shall I go on or can I hear snores from the back there? Some of these are things I do with friends, like diving, but others are solitary pursuits, like going up to the moors.

How has your blog changed over the years?

I’m a new girl so there aren’t many years to go on. Ask me that one next year… :-)

Are you fairly accurate in predicting which of your items will be widely linked?

Nope – I don’t have a clue! I just write about things I think are interesting.

Do you have a background in writing?

No but I’ve always loved writing. I read a lot too and I think reading widely helps with writing.

When do you blog?

Naked and at night.

With regard to blogging what was your most memorable moment?

My most memorable moment was the return of VJ! VJ is a reader who commented on some of my earlier posts and who initially suggested my blog was some form of writing project or a joke. I reacted outrageously to that, invited my loyal readers to have a go at him, deleted one of his comments, and called him some really nasty names to boot. When I read his thoughtful comments on other blogs I suddenly realised how dreadfully I’d misjudged him so I apologised in a comment chez Gillette. To my delight he showed himself to be more of a grown-up than I am, and not only forgave me for my earlier rudeness, but also came back and now comments on my blog. That meant the world to me when he reappeared – I was genuinely so sorry and so ashamed of how I’d treated him when I started out. That’s what I meant when I said ‘don’t over-react to comments’ – debate is healthy and sometimes people are questioning or encouraging debate rather than taking a personal swipe at you.

Would you read your site?

Absolutely! What d’you mean ‘do I laugh at my own jokes too’? :-)

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Thank you for taking part.

I will only show you my boobies, if you show me yours.
Can I watch?
I truly enjoyed reading this interview! Livvy is an interesting lady.
Me, too!
Interesting folks. But the bit about reading on the motorways got me. See I know this fellow who's been doing that for years out in CA. Usefully too! Art at it's finest & informative best:

Thanks for the kind mention Olivia, Cheers & Good Luck! 'VJ'
So I might just have to settle for a little commiseration with Beau. Ahem. As it were. :-)

You can share a little commiseration with me anytime dear Livvy - "as it were"!


B xx
Why thank you Livvy! And pleased to meet your acquaintance, Nia!
Hedonistic Pleasure Seeker,

Thank you for stopping by.
How very flattered I am to be mentioned in the company of two such intelligent and lovely women!
Thank you for the kind mention! I think one of my top favorite things about blogging is that the level of articulate conversation in this community is pretty high. Nice to be able to log in each morning and have thought-provoking things to read. And Livvy, you've led me to Nia, who I'm excited to pass on to my readers!

Tom Paine,

Thank you for stopping by.


Thank you for stopping by. I am excited to pass you on to my readers too :)
That's a deal Nia - if you show me yours I'll definitely show you mine! James B, you will be invoiced for your ticket to the Boobie Show shortly. :-)

Thank you so much Greenwoman and Gillette - I am beaming at you across cyberspace! I am checking out the hilarious motorway blog as we speak VJ - I do like a well-written piece of graffiti in the right place and it does make motorway driving more entertaining.

Hedonistic, Tom and Mandy - you are so very welcome! I love your blogs and they have all the things I really appreciate - honesty and thoughtfulness and humour and so many things that are harder to put into words.

Ah young Beau - is that my invitation to debauch you? ;-)

Livvy xxx
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