Greetings from Frankfurt, Germany where I’m staying with Unexpected Valentine, who you may also remember from the South America trip. As he flies around the world for four days as a professional pilot, I have some downtime in his flat to collect my thoughts, indulge in solitude and write. I just arrived here from London yesterday. Before writing about, and still processing, my current Europe trip, please allow me to give you some back-story of this Bizarre Love Triangle. Appropriately, this post will come in three volumes. The members of this Bizarre Love Triangle include myself, a man I refer to as Swiss Beloved, and the legendary man himself, Ray Davies of The Kinks. I always swore I would tell this story only after Ray had died, but after seeing him only days ago, and I was more-or-less dismissed, that has changed, so here I go for the first time public with this true story. Not out of revenge or ill will. I still love and admire Ray, but I feel my story – my truth – is just as important as his. Even though he’s a hero, there’s no reason we all can’t be the heros of our own story, no matter how sordid our stories are – there are lessons to be learned from them. Only by telling our stories can we truly heal, and I feel there is much healing to be done. Volume 3 of this true story, which is still currently in process, will wrap it all up nicely with closure and healing on all counts. In the meantime bear with the gory (or juicy depending on your view) details.
In the year 2003, when I was still a stripper in Tucson, Arizona (USA) I was newly divorced from my second marriage, college-educated, owned my own house, independent, and was financially abundant. As a stripper I was an independent contractor, therefore my own boss and because I had a solid, professional work-ethic, I was allowed to set my own schedule at the club = freedom. I was 34-years old, and I had recently been “konverted” into Kinkdom – for those of you who aren’t fans of the band The Kinks it’s too much to go into. Just recognize that the main singer/song-writer/producer of the legendary British band, The Kinks, is Ray Davies. Actually Ray is so counter-culture The Kinks were banned from performing in the United States for almost five years during the pivotal British Invasion period (1965 – 1969) – that’s why he is very much underappreciated in the States, because back then if you didn’t tour the States, it meant you didn’t sell records in the “American” market that all U.K. bands needed to dominate for commercial success.
Ray has admitted publicly that he is bi-polar, and here for the first time – if you haven’t guessed it by now – I am admitting it too. For anyone who has ever felt to be an introvert, a misfit, an oddball of society, his songs are like a nurturing home, a therapy session in each song, and with a music catalog that spans 50-years, that’s a lot of therapy – often delving into dark subjects such as phobias; neuroses; suicide; biting satirical social commentary; a disdain for the mediocre, predictability, corporate-slave culture, and fast-food mentality, all with a keen, dry sense of humor – ultimately with an uplifting, optimistic, life affirming message – all delivered with a charismatic personality, in the musical form of a catchy pop-tune that’ll keep you humming all day (and all of the night). For anyone suffering from depression or bi-polar disorder it often feels like his songs are a direct message of understanding and hope – a true life-line. To sum it up he’s a proper genius, and with any true genius there is always a touch of real madness. One might even speculate that there’s some narcissistic personality disorder there, yet again, with genius, they kind of go hand-in-hand.
Who doesn’t want to be close to genius? If you had the chance to sit down with Shakespeare or Van Gogh, wouldn’t you, no matter the cost? In 2003, I came home from a long night of dancing/working – had brought in a sizeable amount of income that night, was researching Ray’s concert dates online, and impulsively purchased a single concert ticket and the accompanying airline flights and hotel bookings to go with it, for a trip to London to see him perform at the posh, prestigious Royal Festival Hall. I went with the intent of not only meeting him but having sex with him. Long story short – I succeeded at both (details to come further down in this post). Actually I had met him briefly in L.A. previously, in 2001, when I snuck backstage after a concert of his, but just got in a brief hello, as I was with my younger sister and she was impatient to get back to her home in Santa Barbara. It wasn’t until I went, alone, all the way to London, Ray’s home-town that I had the mission to fuck him. Yes, I use the term fuck, because basically that’s what Rock Stars do – they fuck like pros!
Before my trip to London I put it out there into the Kinkdom online kommunity that I would appreciate any help getting backstage, that it’s my first time visiting London, that I’d be alone, and any help would be kindly appreciated. Swiss Beloved answered my inquiry, met me at my hotel, and gave me a lovely tour of all the famous Kinks related sights of North London, where Ray still lives to this day, not far from the place of his birth. After our day together touring North London, yes, I invited Swiss Beloved back to my hotel where we had amazing sex. Actually surprisingly I gave him anal sex on that first day I met him (not a usual thing for me)!
As promised, Swiss Beloved helped get me to get backstage after the 2003 concert, as he’s been following The Kinks/Ray for 40+ years and has ins in the kommunity. I went, up, alone, to a super posh after-party at Royal Festival Hall. I was dressed for the occasion in a classy, little black dress and heels. All kinds of celebrities were there, I was introduced to Ray’s daughter that he had with singer/song-writer Chrissie Hynde, and many people were vying for his attention. I’m an introvert and it was too much of a “scene” for me. I managed to get Ray alone for a brief moment, gave him the address of my hotel in Central London, and asked him to meet me there after the party. I left the posh party, said goodbye to Swiss Beloved who was waiting with the mass of groupies in the car-park, and as he put me into a black cab, he told me he loved me (after having just met the day before), kissed me (knowing full well what I had intended for the rest of the night), and I went on to wait in my hotel for Ray and Ray showed up an hour later, with his bodyguard/right-hand-man in tow.
Ray considered my humble hotel room to be too tiny so he immediately had his man get us a large suite (which I could no way afford in Central London). Ray is also a film-maker and had a professional camera. He filmed me masturbating. We had typical rock-star sex in the hotel suite. I allowed him to do things to me that I had not let anyone do to me before (consensually), which actually was quite liberating. It helped me to get over some past sexual trauma, to be so liberated and open to him, and not in the least bit scared. I handed over my trust and body to him. I was in his hands. One thing I will never forget him saying to me as he stroked my back, as I stood in my lingerie getting my stuff ready, pre-sex (condoms, lube, etc.) was, “I can tell you’re used to being touched”, as apparently when he stroked my back I had no reaction. My body had become so conditioned to being touched in my job, that even my hero’s touch wasn’t noticed until he pointed it out, which in a way is a bit sad.
After our tryst, his bodyguard who was waiting in the lobby, drove him home and that was that. As you can imagine I was on a huge manic ride to have accomplished my mission of flying to London, meeting Ray, getting backstage and participating in Rock Star Sex that, yes lives up to everything you can imagine it to be. Suffering from depression my whole life, I’m much more comfortable in a depressive state. I was raised to never feel I was really worthy of happiness, so when it comes, I had a way of self-sabotaging (another thing Ray mentions in The Kinks song “Destroyer” for instance). My manic states have led me on wild, crazy, mind-blowing adventures such as this, but there was always a crash afterwards. Remember, this was back in my stripper/sex-worker days, when I was leading an already very toxic, addictive, yet highly lucrative, glamorous lifestyle. Now that I’m a yoga-teacher/studio-owner (and relatively broke financially, living on a small, remote island in a “third world” country), and have survived a near-death experience I’m much more stabilized with clean, healthy living, and a humbleness and gratitude for life that can only really come from having staring death in the face and survived. For sure, now I practice what I preach when it comes to yoga, which I’ve been practicing actually for over 30 years. I’ve also been vegetarian for over 30 years, but since my near-death I switched to vegan, am alcohol-free, sugar-free, gluten-free, coffee-free, processed-foods-free, and practice yoga at least 8-times a week, all which have helped to balance out my mood disorder. I will also say that thankfully, I’m on a mild anti-depressant, prescribed by a Psychiatrist, which has literally been a life-saver for me. Now, when I teach 10 classes of yoga per week out of my Bocas Yoga Studio it is from the utmost place of sincerity. I only share this story from 11 years ago brazenly because I hope it can inspire others that there is hope if you’re in a dark place.
Back to 2003 – After Ray left my hotel, I was so manic I needed to come down. I could hardly believe what had just happened – all my dreams/fantasies had come true. As most strippers, I had a stock of Vicodin on me – that job simply can not be done without the aid of pain-killers for your knees. Dancing for a minimum of 5-hours/night in mandatory 8-inch heels really does permanent damage to knees and also hips, and narcotic pain-killers and Valium helped to ease the physical and emotional trials of that job. It was a job I thrived at for five years. Thank goodness I never had the inclination to take uppers except for caffeine pills to keep physical energy up. Whereas some of my co-workers took cocaine and/or meth-amphetamine to keep energy up to dance, I at least only stuck with No-Doze pills. With the painkillers, Valium and sleeping pills I used in an effort to calm myself down after the Ray Experience, I knocked myself out for about 30 hours! I’m fortunate I didn’t overdose.
Little did I realize that Ray had been trying to call my hotel room (he wanted more of me), yet in my stumbling around, I had knocked the hotel phone off of the hook. These were the days before smart-phones, of which I have never, even to this day, owned one. After getting a busy-signal on my hotel phone for over a day, Ray personally delivered a hand-written note to me. I found it slid under my hotel room door. It said he’d like to see me again and had his cell phone number on it. Of course, I called. He asked me out to dinner, which I accepted. We went for a nice vegetarian Italian meal. He wanted to take me out dancing to a club, but the introvert in me forbade it. I relate better to people one-on-one, in a quiet environment. I told the man who wrote the hit song “Come Dancing”, I didn’t want to go out! I told him, I’d rather we stay in my hotel room and I give him a massage, with no pressure of sex (he is 25-years older than I am and sometimes with older gentlemen that leads to performance anxiety and I didn’t want to put him in that position of pressure – I just wanted to talk with him privately). He agreed. As I gave him a massage I noticed a huge scar along his spine. I inquired about it, as I didn’t want to injure or hurt him during the massage and he told me it’s from an old football injury from when he was a kid. Of course, I should have known this, as in his book, “X-Ray: The Unauthorized Autobiography” he goes into that accident in detail, and also in the accompanying song, “X-Ray”. It was mind-blowing for me to literally have at my fingertips the stuff made of legend in book and song. There was no sex that night in my hotel and he went home after the massage.
Hours later, he called and I was summoned to his private house in North London, and you better believe I was in the next black cab up there, checking out of my Central London hotel a day early (the hotel clerk told me no refund – I was like fuck the refund, this is an emergency, I’m outta here). In his home, he made me green tea (if you’re a Kinks fan you’ll know how obsessive Ray is about his tea, referenced in the song “Have a Cuppa Tea” for starters). He played Miles Davis on the stereo (ever wonder what a musical genius listens to in the privacy of his own home??? Miles Davis). He took me into his library and gave me a copy of his favorite book, “The Ballad of Peckham Rye”, by Muriel Spark, which I have to this day. Ever wonder what a literary genius reads? Imagine being in his library. We discussed our favorite authors such as George Orwell. Prior to stripping I worked in bookstores, ultimately working in management, for ten years, and my whole life have been an avid reader, so I can discuss books eloquently. I held my own. Ray also confided in me that when he was on tour in Australia one time, he was walking down a side-walk and a man committed suicide right in front of him, jumping from a tall building, and how that effected him (which is referenced in The Kinks song “Don’t”). So, this evening was much more meaningful and intimate than the hotel sex night. That night in Ray’s house, we did and up having sex and I slept with him in his bed overnight.
The next morning I was doing my usual thing, which is walking around the house naked. This seemed to make him uncomfortable so he gave me a shirt of his from Debenhams to put on. He said he was going to pick us up some coffee in the neighborhood. I was amazed that he trusted me enough to leave me alone in his house! I respected his privacy – didn’t snoop, but I must admit, as I was getting dressed for my flight, out of Heathrow Airport, back to Tucson, I did manage to stuff the Debenhams shirt, and the boxer shorts he was wearing the night before, into my suitcase. I ended up giving Swiss Beloved the Debenhams shirt, as he probably has the largest Kinks collection in the world, and I still have the boxer shorts to this day – one of the few prized possessions that made it all the way down to Panama with me when I permanently emigrated from the United States. At the time when I told Swiss Beloved how I used my sexual prowess to get a glimpse into how our hero-genius lives, he said he probably would’ve done the same thing.
After morning coffee, Ray called, and paid for, a private car service to take me to Heathrow Airport for my flight home. He must have the same policy that I do about having sex with “fans” – only do it when you know they’re on the next flight out of town!
I kept in touch with Swiss Beloved and for the next three years he and I would meet up two or three times a year in various cities all over the world (Rome, Barcelona, Tokyo, London, Zürich, Washington, D.C., Tucson, Las Vegas, Panama City, Panama, etc.) where we would have wild adventures. Public sex was our thing and also taking road-trips into the country-sides. I remember when Swiss Beloved and I met in the place where I grew up (the suburbs of Washington, D.C.) Swiss Beloved asked me straight out (at this point even though he knew I was a stripper and had no problem with that, there was some jealously regarding my feelings towards Ray) if Ray ever wanted to get back together with me, would I say, “yes”? I swore I would not. I was declaring my love for Swiss Beloved, never fathoming Ray would ever call me. It was almost like the Universe was testing me or something because the day after I got back from D.C., I came home from a night of work/dancing and Ray called my home land-line phone and asked me to fly to New York and spend time with him (he had an apartment on the Upper West Side of Manhattan). I had just gotten back from a trip, which involves not only expense of the trip, but expense of missed work, and most importantly setting up a reliable house/pet-sitter for my rescued cat. I wanted to keep my word to Swiss Beloved as well, so I told Ray “no”. Something I don’t think he’s accustomed to hearing. I did invite him to Tucson though, which he declined. A Rock Star summons, not the other way around.
In 2006 I had airline tickets to go visit Swiss Beloved for the fourth time in Zürich, when it was announced that Ray Davies was coming to Tucson to perform in concert during that same time. I must admit that was a deciding factor in me breaking up with Swiss Beloved. I kind of always regretted not going to see Ray in New York when he personally asked me to, so I forfeited my ticket to Zürich and stayed in Tucson in order to get a glimpse of that majestic, charismatic Ray again. Swiss Beloved and I were already having issues because I was going on yoga retreats and even talking about going to India (which I did in 2007). He was afraid I’d be brainwashed by a Guru, which I’m far too much of an individual to allow such. Swiss Beloved was also jealous that I had sex with my girlfriend Sa Ra Fa when we first met on a yoga retreat in Hawaii, where she was the raw, organic, vegan chef (the one and only time we’ve had sex). One thing I’ve been up front about since I left my second marriage is never to vow monogamy to anyone (especially in a long-distance relationship) so me having sex with a girl on a yoga retreat in Hawaii was for me no big deal, but for Swiss Beloved seemed quite a betrayal. Also he was jealous that I was traveling to a destination that did not include him, and if there’s anything that pushes me away from someone is the feeling of possessiveness or jealousy. Me turning to yoga (turning inwards) to him felt like me turning away from him. I believe one can become self-aware, self-loving and still have an open heart to others, but his mind-set seems to be all-or-nothing, as in my happiness, travels, etc. should depend solely on him, and that’s just not the yogic way, at least not for me. To this day Sa Ra Fa and I remain the best of friends. We are not lovers – but confidants and best friends. That we had that one sexual encounter means we can really relate to each other on every level even though it will probably never be repeated.
Between 2003 and 2006 Ray Davies had received the C.B.E. (Commader of the British Empire award) by the Queen of England and also suffered a near-death experience by being gunned-down in New Orleans by a mugger. I had also started the very challenging transition from retiring as stripper and becoming a yoga teacher, so there was a lot to catch up on when I met him after his concert in Tucson in 2006 and we ended up at the strip-club I worked at with his then-girlfriend and entourage. That will lead off Volume Two. Swiss Beloved and I reunited in Amsterdam in 2012, and tried again just last week in England, where we saw Ray in concert twice. Stay tuned on how that turned out in Volume 3….
P.S. – The significance of the photo featured on this post is of Waterloo Sunset, taken from Waterloo Bridge, near the famous Waterloo Station. Here is a lovely clip of Ray explaining the song a bit (I’m a shut-in too), then performing it with a choir: