Hmm.... I do not like this term "provider", at least not referring to me. I actually cringe at the thought that I am a service provider, and continue to move further away from this conception of my craft as I rely less on the income it generates for me.
I suppose that is the unadulterated ideal of a Mistress anyway: one who indulges in these daliances purely for her own enjoyment rather than for financial gain or the approval of men. And really, that is how it started out for me.
You see, I was a bit naive when I embarked on this career and did not know about the online review system. Seeing my work framed in this way -- lumped together with more explicit sex workers, my face and body rated on a scale of 1-10, feeling spyed upon in an imtimate situation -- it was earth-shattering at the time.
Ah well, casting away the illusions which we hold so dear is vital to one's growth, painful as it may be. It did make me face my Achilles heel, which I am sure many women share with me, namely a vulnerability to male judgment of my looks. From the time we are little girls, we are taught that our worth is inextricably connected with being pretty.
Women who do not subject themselves to the glare of criticism may never face this fact because they usually only see the positive side of it. Yet I have learned that accepting validation through rosy appraisals of my appearance only makes me open to feelings of rejection should any less-than-stellar assessment creep into my consciousness.
Now my typical response to compliments on my looks is "Beauty is in the eye of the beholder." I mean, why should I be pleased that I am judged better than other women on this superficial front? Like some tap dance for the spotlight, elbowing each other as we say to the men "No, look at me!"
Beauty is so unique. Yet by turning it into a competition we encourage homogenization and standardization to the point of boring "perfection." And anyways, I no longer accept the authority of those who seek to judge me on this surface level.