Sanggar Swara

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Program Kami

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Pengurus

MISTRESS ON STAGE – Asya
May 31, 2021

1

Aku anak bungsu dari sepuluh bersaudara. Ayahku sudah menghadap Sang Pencipta ketika aku berusia dua belas tahun. Semua saudaraku sudah berkeluarga dan mesti membiayai keluarganya masing-masing. Karena itulah aku yang berperan sebagai tulang punggung untuk ibu, kakak perempuanku yang orangtua tunggal, dan kakak laki-lakiku yang depresi ditinggal anak-istrinya, serta dua keponakanku.

Dulu aku mengais rezeki di sebuah tempat hiburan malam, dari Rabu sampai Sabtu. Standby tiap jam enam sore untuk latihan koreografi sampai jam sembilan, dilanjutkan dengan gladi resik hingga semua sudah hafal dengan blocking dan gerakan masing-masing. 

Setelah itu aku mulai bersiap-siap—berdandan dan memakai kostum, sambil bersenda gurau dengan para penari pengiringku di ruang rias belakang panggung. Aku menikmati sapuan foundation yang memuluskan wajahku, membubuhkan shading yang membuat hidung dan tulang pipiku terlihat lebih menonjol, memoles eyeshadow sehingga mataku semakin hidup, dan memakai gincu agar bibir seksiku makin merona. Kukenakan stoking warna kulit di bawah kostum putih berpotongan swimsuit dengan frills yang berkilau-kilau di bagian pinggul, dada, dan pundak. Rambutku keriting panjang terurai. Kujepit mikrofon di telinga, melengkung sampai ke bibir. 

Jam sepuluh klub dibuka. Musik jedag-jedug riuh terdengar, kadang diselingi musik R&B dan hip-hop. Suara-suara pengunjung mulai berseliweran di balik kerasnya musik—mereka kedengaran asyik berkumpul bersama teman sambil menikmati minuman.

Lima menit sebelum tengah malam—showtime—kami berdoa bersama demi kelancaran pertunjukan.

Musik pembuka dimainkan, sorak-sorai penonton terdengar sangat keras. Panggung seolah memanggilku. Aku naik ke atasnya, memasang pose pembuka dengan tangan berkacak pinggang. Tirai pun dibuka. Aku berdiri bangga di tengah panggung bermandi lampu sorot gemerlap. Penonton yang padat semakin ramai berseru-seru. Aku mulai menyanyi dan menari.

Menari adalah jiwaku. Aku telah menari seumur hidupku—bahkan pernah memenangkan kompetisi tari tingkat nasional dan diberangkatkan mewakili Indonesia ke Jepang. Aku merasa setiap panggung tempatku tampil adalah milikku—tapi panggung di sini lebih daripada itu, dia sudah menjadi rumah kedua bagiku. Hampir tujuh tahun aku berkarier di klub ini. Bukan cuma sebagai penari, juga sebagai koreografer dan show director. Aku terus menari. Tepuk tangan penonton memantul-mantul di seluruh ruangan.

Suatu malam, supervisor-ku mengambil alih tugas untuk menyutradarai show. Keesokan harinya dia menegurku, katanya show kemarin malam sangat hancur dan jelek, dan dia menyalahkanku. Dengan sedikit emosi aku menanggapi bahwa dialah yang menyutradarai show semalam. Minggu berikutnya, aku tak kunjung mendapatkan kabar tentang jadwal show. Setelah kuselidiki, ternyata sudah ada orang baru yang mengisi tempatku! Begitu saja aku dibuang, seolah tujuh tahun dedikasiku di tempat itu tidak ada artinya sama sekali!

Sejak saat itu, aku kehilangan pekerjaanku.

2

Aku mencoba menggeluti pekerjaan lain, tapi amat sulit bagi seorang transpuan untuk mendapatkan pekerjaan yang baik. Akhirnya, aku memutuskan untuk menjadi seorang pekerja seks.

Setelah beberapa bulan menjadi pekerja seks seperti pada umumnya, kesusahan tak kunjung pergi dari hidupku. Aku tak banyak memperoleh pelanggan, karena mungkin fisikku dinilai tidak menarik.

Dalam kesulitan itu, aku berpikir bagaimana caranya menjadi pekerja seks yang banyak peminatnya, tapi hanya sedikit kompetitornya. Aku mulai mencari bermacam referensi, termasuk dengan menonton berbagai genre film porno, bertanya kepada teman-teman sesama pekerja seks tentang layanan apa yang sebenarnya banyak diminati oleh pelanggan, tapi hanya sedikit penyedia jasanya. Tidak butuh waktu lama bagiku untuk menemukan jawabannya: aku memutuskan menjadi mistress dalam fantasi BDSM.

Aku mulai dengan membaca berbagai artikel tentang BDSM, mempelajari istilah-istilah seperti scene, humiliation, CBT, tickling, whipping, spanking, golden shower, dan mempelajari cara-cara pengeksekusiannya. Kemudian aku teringat dengan salah satu teman transpuan yang tinggal di Bali. Dia juga berprofesi sebagai pekerja seks dalam kategori pemuasan fantasi BDSM. Dia memberitahuku berbagai strategi untuk mencari pelanggan, serta menghibahkan beberapa alat yang dapat kugunakan, seperti borgol, cambuk, mouth gag, spanker, dan masih banyak lagi. Aku pun berlatih menggunakan alat-alat itu.

Setelah setahun berlalu, namaku cukup dikenal di kalangan lelaki yang mempunyai fantasi dirinya menjadi budak seks. Semua sesi terasa berkesan buatku. Ada kesenangan tersendiri ketika pelanggan mengatakan mereka sangat puas dengan layananku dan memuji kemampuanku menggunakan alat-alat BDSM. Salah satu alat yang paling kusuka adalah nipple clamp—benda itu kecil tapi memberikan sensasi rasa sakit yang luar biasa secara bertahap. Setelah puting dijepit, awalnya memang tidak terasa sakit, tapi lama-kelamaan rasa sakit muncul perlahan-lahan hingga akhirnya pelanggan merintih-rintih kesakitan.

Sepanjang hampir empat tahun karierku sebagai mistress, aku telah menemui banyak macam pelanggan, mulai dari pemula yang mencoba-coba diikat sambil dicambuk atau ditampar, yang ekstrem dan ingin aku membuang air kencing di badannya, sampai penggila BDSM yang mengatakan aku terbaik dalam memuaskannya di ranjang. Latar belakang dan pekerjaan mereka pun sangat beragam—mulai dari orang lokal sampai orang asing, orang biasa sampai orang penting. Mereka semua rela mengeluarkan kocek berapa pun demi menghamba di bawah kaki Mistress Asya.

3

Menjadi mistress bukan berarti aku tidak membutuhkan cinta. Suatu malam ponselku berdering dengan sebuah pesan dari seorang laki-laki yang menanyakan tarif serta jenis layanan yang kusediakan. Fotonya tampak sama sekali tak menarik bagiku. Setelah berdiskusi dan menyepakati harga, laki-laki itu memberikan uang muka dan aku pergi menemuinya. Setelah layanan selesai kuberikan, kami mengobrol. Ia memberitahuku bahwa ia seorang pengacara muda.

Keesokan harinya dan hari-hari setelahnya, ia terus-menerus menghubungiku. Kami mengobrol tidak lagi hanya soal seks, tetapi juga cerita hidup masing-masing. Biasanya dengan pelanggan-pelangganku yang lain, setelah pelayanan selesai kami akan hilang kontak. Tetapi tidak demikian dengan pengacara muda itu.

Lambat laun hubunganku dengan si pengacara muda itu makin dekat dan makin erat. Akhirnya kami memutuskan untuk memulai hubungan yang lebih daripada sekadar pelanggan dan penyedia jasa. Dia tidak pernah keberatan dengan profesiku sebagai pekerja seks. Namun, dalam diriku mulai timbul kejenuhan. Tiap malam sebelum aku memejamkan mata, selalu terbersit pikiran untuk menyudahi bekerja sebagai mistress. Disaksikan dinding kamar tempat tinggalku, bibir ini selalu mengucap janji-janji untuk berhenti. Namun, keadaan tidak mendukung keinginanku saat itu. Permasalahan ekonomi keluarga terus saja membayangiku.

Suatu waktu aku memberanikan diri mengungkapkan keinginanku itu kepada si pengacara muda.

Baby, I want to stop being an escort! Karena aku seperti tidak punya harga diri di hadapan orang-orang!” kataku dengan sedih. Hatiku terasa tidak keruan.

“Wow!” katanya. “That’s good! Aku akan dukung semua keputusanmu. Dan kalau itu memang lebih baik untukmu, lakukanlah!” Dia memeluk dan menenangkanku.

Aku terkejut dengan responsnya, tersentuh dengan dukungan penuh yang dia berikan. 

“Setelah itu kamu mau kerja apa?” tanyanya lagi.

Aku segera menjawab, aku hanya ingin kembali ke rumah keduaku, yaitu panggung. Aku ingin menjadi seorang penari lagi.

4

Keinginan dan doa akhirnya berbuah jalan bagiku. Suatu hari aku terkejut karena seorang temanku yang bekerja di klub malam tempatku dulu menelepon. Ia memberitahuku bahwa aku diminta kembali tampil di atas panggung. Katanya, terlihat perbedaan ketika aku ada dan tidak ada di tempat itu. Show tidak lagi sebagus dulu, penonton juga tidak seramai dulu lagi.

Tanpa berpikir panjang, aku langsung mengiyakan. 

Akhir pekan berikutnya aku sudah kembali pulang ke rumah keduaku. Dengan perasaan girang bercampur gugup, aku berdiri lagi di atas panggung. Musik pembuka digemakan, sorak-sorai terdengar sangat lantang. Panggung seolah memelukku. Aku memasang pose dengan tangan terangkat tinggi, memakai kostum ketat warna hitam mengilat, stoking fishnet, dan aksen bling-bling yang juga hitam. Tirai pun dibuka. Aku berdiri bangga di tengah panggung bermandi kemilau lampu sorot. Aku menari dan menyanyi, dan memukulkan cambukku ke udara. Tepuk tangan penonton membahana di seluruh ruangan.

Kini di atas panggung aku tidak hanya menjadi seorang penampil, tapi juga seorang yang berkuasa atas panggung itu. Berkat pengalamanku sebagai mistress, aku dapat memadukan gerakan-gerakan, kostum, dan properti BDSM untuk koreografi tariku. Tiap show-ku pun menjadi semakin seru dan lain dari yang lain. Bukan hanya itu—menjadi mistress juga mengajariku bahwa aku sanggup bangkit dari keterpurukan, menemukan celah untuk usaha, dan membangun usahaku hingga sukses. Aku jadi bisa menghadapi dunia secara dewasa, aku pun sudah ditempa menjadi lebih tangguh—tidak akan lagi aku diam dan membiarkan diriku disalahkan lalu dibuang dengan tidak adil. Sekarang aku yakin, apa pun yang awalnya terasa tidak mungkin dapat kuubah menjadi mungkin.

Now I am Mistress on Stage.

© Asya



MISTRESS ON STAGE

Asya Azia

English translation by Jessica Jemalem Ginting

1

I am the youngest of ten siblings in my family. My father met our Creator when I was twelve years old. The rest of my siblings had already started families of their own, whom they had to provide for. That was why I became the backbone for my mother and my remaining siblings—my single-parent sister, my brother who suffered from depression after his wife and kids had left him, as well as my niece and nephew.

I used to earn money at a nightlife spot from Wednesdays to Saturdays. I was on standby at six  every night to practice the choreography until nine, which was followed by a final runthrough until everyone had memorized their blocking and individual moves.

After that I would get ready—applying my makeup and putting on my costume while joking around with the other dancers in the dressing room backstage. I enjoyed brushing on the foundation that evened out my complexion, applying contours and shading that made my nose and cheekbones pop, sweeping on eyeshadow to add a lively spark to my eyes, and putting on lipstick to make my sexy lips even redder. I’d pull my nude pantyhose on underneath my white swimsuit-like costume, its frills sparkling around my hips, chest, and shoulders. My long, curly hair would hang loose. I’d clip the microphone onto my ear, the mouthpiece curving down toward my lips.

At ten, the club opened. You could hear the loud, thumping music, occasionally interspersed with R&B and hip-hop songs. The steady buzz of guests milling around in the background grew louder—they were having a good time gathering with their friends while enjoying drinks.

Five minutes before midnight—showtime!—we prayed for a smooth show.

The opening music began to play, and the cheers of the audience were incredibly loud. It felt as if the stage was calling to me. I took my place on top of it, striking my opening pose with my hands on my hips. The curtains parted. I stood tall, centre-stage, bathed in the gleaming spotlight. The audience grew even more excited. I began to sing and dance.

I live to dance. I have been dancing my entire life—I even won a national dance competition once and was flown to Japan to represent Indonesia. I’d always felt every stage I’ve performed on to be my own—but this stage was more than that. It had also become my second home. My career at this club had spanned almost seven years—not just as a dancer, but also as a choreographer and a show director. I kept dancing. The audience’s applause rang out across the entire room.

Then, one night, my supervisor took charge of directing the show. The next day, he tried to reprimand me, telling me that the previous night’s show was terrible and a mess, and that I was the one to blame. I got slightly emotional as I acknowledged that he was the one who had directed last night’s show. The week after, I still hadn’t received news about my show schedule. After I investigated the matter, it turned out that someone else had just taken my place! Just like that, I’d been tossed out, as if the seven years I’d dedicated to that place meant nothing!

From that moment on, I was out of a job.

2

I tried my hand at other jobs, but it is incredibly difficult for a trans woman to find a good job. After a while, I decided to become a sex worker.

After a few months as a general sex worker, I was still struggling. I wasn’t able to get a lot of clients, perhaps because my physical appearance was deemed nothing special.

During that difficult time, I thought to myself, how does one become a sex worker with a lot of clients, but with little competition? I began doing a lot of research, including watching various genres of porn films, and asking my sex-worker friends about what types of services were in demand, but had only a few providers on the market. It didn’t take long for me to find the answer: I decided to be a mistress in BDSM fantasies.

I began by reading several articles about BDSM, learning terms such as scene, humiliation, CBT, tickling, whipping, spanking, golden shower, and learning how to execute them. Later on, I recalled one of my trans woman friends who lived in Bali. She was also a sex worker who specialized in BDSM fantasies. She told me all sorts of strategies for finding clients, and she also granted me access to a few tools that I could use, such as cuffs, whips, mouth gags, spankers, and many more. I then began to practice using them.

In a year, my name had become famous among men who had fantasies of wanting to become sex slaves. Every session made a lasting impression on me. There was a type of unique joy I felt when clients told me they were satisfied by my services and praised my ability to use various BDSM tools. One of my favourites was the nipple clamp—it’s tiny but creates a wild sensation of pain, which comes in stages. When the clamp has been attached, it doesn’t hurt immediately. But eventually, the pain slowly seeps in, until the client is writhing in pain.

After four years of my career as a mistress, I met all types of clients, starting from beginners who would experiment with being bound while getting whipped or spanked, to the more extreme ones who wanted golden showers, to the BDSM enthusiasts who told me that I had satisfied them like nobody else had. The professional backgrounds of these clients were varied a lot—from locals to foreigners, regular people to the elite. They were all willing to empty their pockets of however much was needed to grovel beneath the feet of Mistress Asya.

3

Becoming a mistress didn’t mean that I didn’t need love. One night, my phone buzzed with a message from a man asking the price of a specific type of service I provided. I didn’t find him that attractive from his photos. After discussing and agreeing on a price, the man paid a deposit and I went to see him. After I had completed the service, we talked. He told me that he was a young lawyer.

The next day and the days after, he kept on contacting me. We kept talking, and not just about sex anymore, but also about our individual lives. Usually, with my other clients, after the service was completed, we would lose contact. But that wasn’t the case with this young lawyer.

Over time, my relationship with this man grew closer and our bond grew tighter. Eventually, we decided to start a relationship that was more than just that of a client and service provider. He never had a problem with my profession as a sex worker. However, the work was beginning to feel like a drag. Every night before I closed my eyes, thoughts of ending my work as a mistress kept slipping into my mind. With the walls of my room as my witness, my lips promised countless times that I would stop. However, the current situation didn’t support my desires. The economic struggles of my family continued to cast a shadow on me.

One day, I dared to tell this young lawyer my true desires.

“Baby, I want to stop being an escort!” I told him, upset. “I don’t feel I have any self-respect in front of other people!” My heart felt out of control.

“Wow!” he said, “That’s good! I’ll support you in all of your decisions. If that’s what’s best for you, then do it!” He held me and soothed me.

I was surprised by his response, and touched by the full support he was giving me. 

“What will you do next?” he asked again.

I answered right away. All I wanted was to go back to my second home—the stage. I wanted to become a dancer again.

4

My wishes and prayers eventually succeeded in changing my path. One day, I was surprised when a friend of mine who worked at my old nightclub called me. He told me that I had been asked to return to the stage. He said there was a massive difference between when I had been there and when I had left. The show wasn’t as good as it used to be, the audience wasn’t as lively as it once was.

Without a second thought, I immediately said yes. 

The next weekend, I was back in my second home. Elated and nervous at the same time, I once again stood on stage. The opening music echoed as the cheers erupted. It was as if the stage was embracing me, welcoming me back. I posed with my arms up high, wearing my tight, black, sparkly costume, fishnet stockings, all accented with bling, also in black. Then, the curtains opened. I stood in the middle of the stage, proudly bathing in the gleam of the spotlight. I sang and danced and cracked my whip in the air. The audience’s applause boomed throughout the room.

Now, on stage, I wasn’t simply a performer. I also had power over it. Thanks to my experience as a mistress, I was able to integrate my moves, costumes and BDSM tools into my dance choreography. Every show became more exciting and unique. And not just that—being a mistress also taught me that I was capable of rising in the face of adversity, finding opportunities to hustle, and building my own successful business. I can now face the world as someone mature, with experience—no longer will I remain silent and let myself be blamed and unjustly tossed aside. Now I am certain that whatever I thought was impossible, I can make possible.

Now I am Mistress on Stage. 

© Asya

English translation © Jessica Jemalem Ginting


Asya loves to dance since she was little, and has been working as a professional dancer for a long time. Unfortunately, the dance and performance industry has not fully accepted trans women. The dance industry, specifically that for television, is still heavily rooted in the patriarchal culture. Eventually Asya became a drag queen, which is not too far off from the art of dancing. In addition, Asya is Miss Transchool 2020/2021. She enjoys being a part of organizations and public speaking. Her life principle is tabur tuai (sow and reap): what we sow, we will reap. Asya wants the public to realize that trans women are strong and make many meaningful contributions to society.

Jessica Jemalem Ginting is a poet, translator, editor, and comic writer from Jakarta, Indonesia, currently residing in London, England. Her poetry has been published in Toho Journal, Chogwa Zine, The New Verse News, Bristol Poetry Anthology, and Anak Sastra. Her newest poetry collection, Voyages, was published by Bottlecap Press in 2021. Other titles she’s worked on as an editor and writer include: the poetry and art zine, UTOPIA (2020), and the Indonesia edition of CultureSmart! (2021), by Kuperard Publishers. Her debut collection, Moon Petals, was published in 2017. Jessica is also the writer and creator of the original Indonesian superhero comic, ROSANA!

Cindy Saja is a freelance graphic designer and illustrator. Her works are mostly about social issues in Indonesian society. She has been drawing since childhood, and after completing her fine arts degree in 2011 she started working as an illustrator. She has collaborated with writers and artists such as Gouri Mirpuri, Butet Manurung, Erikar Lebang, Rene Suhardono, Rani Pramesti, and many more. Currently, Cindy is freelancing at the book publisher Kompas, and is preparing a personal project.


Story-writing mentor: Eliza Vitri Handayani

Karya ini merupakan bagian dari CERITRANS: Cerita Transpuan Lintas Batas (2021)

This work is part of CERITRANS: Trans Stories Transcending Borders (2021)

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