N is a bouncer at a gay club. I popped by to see how he was getting on with his cold, and hopefully to raise his stock a little. This ploy might work if we ever met in a place where straight people go.

"Darling, is it wrong to be jealous of a drag queen?" I asked, as the very image of Doris Day slid past me in a white fur capelet.

"Who's the object of your envy this time?" he asked. I nodded toward the blonde goddess. "Oh, don't be," he said. "I hear she spends three hours every day just removing hair ."

Which brings me to hair removal, a subject dear to the breast of many girls and would-be girls. Gents, consider this a public service announcement.

There is no optimal method of depilation. Razors leave terrible stubble, worse when it's winter. I have clocked the time between smooth skin and goosepimpled hell at about three minutes. Cream removers smell terrible and never quite get all the hair anyway. Those vibrating-coil epilators should be marketed to masochists only (which, dears, I am not) and waxing is usually administered by a sixteen-stone Filipino woman named Rosie. Also, it leaves the most horrible rash for the first day.

This is not a complaint - it is a statement of fact on the condition of being female. Probably something to do with the Tree of Knowledge. In return for all this suffering, we do get a few benefits. Baby-soft nether regions. Easy cleanup. Increased sensitivity. I have to stay on top of it, being blessed with a follicular thickness that is the envy of most arctic animals. My mother by contrast used to joke that she shaved her legs once a year "whether they need it or not."

In case you were wondering, my own hair removal regime involves a combination of waxing and shaving, largely because of an aversion to having things ripped out of my armpit. Crotch, though, that's no problem. Go figure.

But gentlemen, the next time you dive into your beloved's freshly shorn mott, spare a thought for the effort that went into this element of feminine grooming. And thank her with every fibre of your being. Or your tongue.
"Darling, the pictures, they are fabulous," the manager purred. I've noticed she never introduces herself on the phone but launches straight into conversation. Must be a graduate of the same charm school as my mother.

"Thank you, I was worried about not looking relaxed."

"No, they are perfect. Can you do something for me? Can you write something about yourself for the portfolio? Most of the other girls, I write something for them, but you should do this very well."

Cripes. I am a tall, luscious... ah, no. Amusant, savoir faire? Save me. Self-motivated, works well in groups... perhaps closer to the truth. Where are the CV clinics for whores?
Met the Boyfriend for lunch. Spoke to him about the agency to check if everything was okay with him. "Of course if ever you want me to stop, I will."

"You'd be surprised. I've been thinking about it and I think it's okay."

He was right - I was surprised. The Boyfriend is as straitlaced as a whalebone corset. I kissed him. We had a lovely time, though he did insist on staying to meet the photographer. He dropped me at a hotel and we waited in the lobby for three quarters of an hour. By the time she arrived it was time for him to catch a train.

A stranger photo sesh I've never had. My own lingerie were judged unsuitable - which is to say they were far too tasteful. This is how I found myself in colours I'd never wear, with makeup I'd never use, hair ten times normal size, writhing on the hotel furniture. "Keep those legs straight up in the air," she said, as my thighs shook from the exertion of holding pose after pose. "And... relax!"

We worked through a dozen standard glamour shots. "Are you getting bored yet?" she joked.


She looked hard at me. "You're bored? That's terrible."

"I was being ironic. Actually I'm not bored at all," I said, cupping my own breast for the thirtieth time.

She was sharp, she was demanding, she was disappointed when I said that was enough and changed back into my civvies. Righteous indignation is all well and good, but she had kept me waiting, then proceeded to insult my face, my tan and my body. "Was your holiday in France nice? Pity about the bikini lines. So 70s porn star." This from someone who put me in pink latex hot pants? She did like the Boyfriend, though.

"Next time we see you, I will give you the name of a salon I know, where they do miraculous facials," she said. Subtlety is not a strength in this one.
Met a client near Waterloo. I decided on top-to-toe white, mainly because I'd just bought a new lace basque, also because all my other stockings had ladders. He'd booked two hours which either means they want something odd or they want conversation.

This was the latter. We drank our way through two bottles of chilled chardonnay, discussed the Sultan of Brunei's gambling habits and listened to the latest releases from Coldplay and Dido. He had loads of fluffy towels and a giant bath for afterward, and we ate crisps and drank wine a full hour past when I was supposed to go. It's not often I feel the cab's turned up too soon. It's even rarer I give someone my direct number.

Nabbed a nice cabbie for the way home. He was from Croydon, and we chattered about Orlando Bloom, new year's fireworks and Christmas parties. I told him I worked at a well-known accountancy firm. I don't think he was fooled for a second.
Do the women of the Southern Hemisphere just have better sex lives? Kylie Minogue and Elle MacPherson are currently battling for the title of my favourite knicker designer. In a fit of enthusiasm yesterday, I spent sixty pounds on underwear at Selfridge's and was not once tempted by Agent Provocateur's idea of sex on legs (their shoes being an entirely different story).
The manager decided we needed more up-to-date photos for her portfolio. We arranged a day for me to meet her photographer. More air kisses and she was away, sticking me with the bill. Luckily it appears we have similar attitudes to food, i.e. admiration from a distance, so it was hardly a burden.

Met N at the gym, who came back for supper afterward. He has a keen interest in porn and the magazine collection to prove it. He's planning a trip to Amsterdam with a friend from work.

"Why not pick up some girls for a threesome while you're there?" I asked, knowing this is his longest standing fantasy. After the grannies and horses, naturally.

I feel bad for N. All his previous girlfriends have been well up for it, but finding a third party who'll do the woman and the man and isn't getting paid is no small feat.

We discussed prostitution. He is a born socialist who thinks brothels should be legal and taxed to the hilt. Why not? Make the profession safe, clean, give the girls some personal and legal protection and a brand name to operate under. Free tanning beds and a killer wardrobe to choose from wouldn't hurt either. I feel a pang of empathy for the streetwalkers - at least someone always knows where I am, who with and when to expect me back. It's not a foolproof system, but then again you could just as easily meet a crazy man on the tube.

"If there were legal brothels, I could hire out all the girls," he mused.

"Now you're being greedy," I scolded. "If I remember correctly, once is usually enough for you."

"Ouch." But he was smiling. And when he smiles, I think how sexy I found him, how his eyes crinkle like a film star's. "Any chance you might-"

"Sorry darling, that train left the station years ago."
"So now we have to talk about services." She pronounced the word like it had twelve vowels: suuuuuuuurvices. "Have you done A-levels?"

A-levels? Well, yes, but that was years ago. Besides, I was under no impression that academic fluency was a prereq for the job. "A-levels?"

"You know," her voice dropped to a whisper, "Anal." I'm quite sure the waitress didn't need to refill my coffee right at that moment.

"Oh, right. Yes, I can do that. Provided I haven't been out for a curry the night before." We laughed.
I spent all morning getting ready to meet the manager. This involves no small amount of eyelash curling, hair straightening and wardrobe panicking. Sexy, but not slutty? You'll be wanting the dark silk top, then. Young, but serious? Well-cut coat. As much cleavage as I could muster. Boots, of course - it is autumn in London after all. My nails are an acrylic nightmare but there was simply no time.

On the way to the meeting point, I passed a poster for Intolerable Cruelty and managed to convince myself that I looked not unlike Catherine Zeta-Jones.


The meeting place was the dining room of a large central hotel. I was early. She rang and asked me to take a table near the window. Was this so she could spy on me, and run off if I didn't fit the bill? Was it an elaborate setup, some kind of sting? More likely, she was just covering her back. I ordered coffee and waited.

She arrived, as described. Long blonde hair. Horsey face. Tight black dress and killer brocade boots that matched her handbag - my chocolate Zara knee-highs were dull in comparison. "Darling, hello." Air kisses.

She had to take a few calls during lunch, where I learned she speaks fluent German and Arabic. More than a touch of the domina about her. God, the punters must love that.
Located what sounded like an excellent, small, discreet agency (word of mouth, as they say). After email contact and sending my photos, I finally arranged to meet the manager at the dining room of a central London hotel. She sounded very young and had a very strong Eastern European accent. Polish, maybe? Should I ask? Oy vey.

"How will I know you?" I asked. "What do you look like?"

"When I was younger everyone used to say I looked like Brooke Shields," she said.

"Ah, you must be very beautiful then."

"No, I am old and decrepit. Now people say I look like Daryl Hannah."