An Education

        Torture is all hierarchy intensified, magnified, brought back to its archetypal and most brutal level, the archaic pairing of master and slave.  Anachronistic, oversimplified, all gradation, nuance, and shade proscribed.  It is to create categories essentially artificial and fraudulent; ahistorical in this time, even if created through the medium of technology, bureaucracy, up-to-the-minute gadgetry.  Not only atavistic and throwback but the product of costumerie.  Cheap dramatization, sordid enaction, posturing; the torturer permitted to release and enact the most ephemeral fantasy, to do the unthinkable.  Things imagined, dreamed of, joked about, acts that exist only in language or fantasy.  All that does not, must not, cannot take place.  The putative world, the shadow place, acts merely contemplated, notions so insubstantial as to be dismissed, pictures that float through the mind, glimpses of rage or evil only guessed at, intuited; the spectral and illusionary.  
    
       Grounded only in the scream of his victim, for whom it is all real.  Only this reaction could convince the one who commits the cruelty that it is actual, does not exist merely in the realm of the anticipated, but is in fact material, is taking place.  And as that unheard-of permission is granted by the state–enjoined in fact, indoctrinated, commissioned–the sensibility of the torturer is unleashed.  Whatever it be, whether subtle or simple viciousness.  Refined, educated, sensual, ascetic, angry, satisfied.  Or gross, ignorant, repressed, vulgar, gleeful or furious.  Nourished by the culture which sends him forth, primed on violence, steeped in hatreds, spurred on by extra pay, further privilege and prerequisites, additional indoctrination, specialized training.  
                                             —from The Politics of Cruelty 
                                                Kate Millett 

      I have read books about the history of torture in jurisprudence, but I have not studied it–torture–otherwise.   I suppose this is an unforgivable oversight, given my vested interest in the subject matter.  Heinrich was taken aback, and promptly set about patching this embarrassing hole in my education.  He has about a hundred and sixty books on the subject, plus a metal file cabinet of journal articles and documents from the academic literature and organizations like Amnesty International and The Red Cross.  

         “Ever had a client ask you what’s up with all the morbid subject matter?”  I asked.  

         “Well, there is a reason I do not store them at eye level, ja?”

(12) Evicted

      Heinrich told me that this place needed a makeover.  I spent a few days looking for inspiration in well-formatted Blogspot blogs and poking around on WordPress, wondering what I was going to do, when Blogger sent me an email notifying me that Blogger TOS have changed.  Starting March 23, Blogger will no longer host blogs with “Adult Content.”  Or, as the Blogger statement posted in the user help forums says: “Porn Is Going Away.”  (note the interesting choice of words there.  It’s not “We’re effectively shutting down porn blogs,” but “Porn is going away,” as if the porn grew wings and decided to fly away all of its own accord, and Blogger has nothing to do with it.)  

        I try to keep my blog rated R.  To my mind, it’s not even a sex blog, much less a porn blog.  I’ve posted two graphic sexual descriptions in three years.  I think that anyone who gets aroused by most of my scene descriptions probably needs to get their head examined.  

        Nevertheless, it is “Adult Content,” and Blogger doesn’t want it anymore.  

       I have to move the shop.  

       I’ll keep blogging here until the new site is live.  I want to get it set up nice before I invite company over, so I hired a professional to help me transfer the blog and set it up.  Otherwise, with my website-building skillz, the new place will be the WordPress equivalent of a cardboard box with duct tape all over it.  

(11) Suspension

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         Suspension is a BDSM activity that I expected to love, but didn’t. 

         I thought it would be fun.  I knew it would be challenging…but in a fun way.   It certainly photographs well–I think images of suspended models look amazing.  Suspension seemed like it would be a mind-trip, one of those things that would get you in touch with your body right away, while you went on an interesting tour of painful sensations that changed on a minute-to-minute basis.  I knew that I liked rope bondage fine, and I always felt comfortable with tight, restricting clothing, like corsets.  I was convinced that suspension and I would be made for each other!   Awwww, a perv and her jute rope, happy together at last!  How romantic! 

          I learned very quickly that I couldn’t hang (pun most certainly intended).  Whatever it takes to make a bona fide rope slut, I don’t have it.  

          I was expecting it to hurt.  A lot.  I was also expecting the pain to change, from one sensation to another, according to the pressure on the rope and how I directed my concentration.  I expected my mind to have more control over it.  I expected it to be, I don’t know, interesting.   Why not?  A good beating can be very interesting.  You can learn a lot about yourself, or someone else, over the course of a beating.   Why should suspension be any different?

         Well, it is.  At least it is for me.

         The minute your body weight is supported exclusively by the rope, the countdown starts.  Time is running out.  To the point where the pain is going to become absolutely unbearable.  Breathing in the rope harness feels difficult and there is the illusion of suffocation.  The heartbeat hurts and you can feel the throb in your extremities.  Every place the rope bites in hurts and burns, and it’s impossible to shift and get comfortable.  I’ve found that I can last longer if I imagine that my body is a bean bag and I collapse into the rope without clenching up or resisting, but in the end, it becomes unbearable. Suspension is an endurance test designed by a sadist.   I’ve read online that shibari was developed as a method of torture.  I have no idea if that’s historically accurate, but I certainly believe it’s possible.  Tie someone in the right position and leave them for a few hours, and they’d do or say whatever you wanted.  You wouldn’t have to cut them or smash up their bodies or any of the other messy alternatives.  

            The only thing that can distract from the pain of suspension is different pain.  Pain is the only thing.  Pleasure is out of the question; some people claim to be able to have orgasms in suspension, but I sure as hell can’t.  Nor can I have a thoughtful dialogue.  Getting single-tailed, or a cattle prod on the soles of my feet, well, that takes my mind off the pressure in my chest for a minute (but only for a minute).  

           Heinrich has an O-ring in his ceiling.  A thing he’s been known to do is tie my chest in a harness, and then tie and lift a leg behind me, much like this (there’s always an additional support above the knee of the tied leg, too):

Thank GOD you have a leg to stand on, huh?!


          The weight is now partially supported by balancing on the ball of the foot.  The only thing that is keeping all that rope from biting in and becoming excruciating, unbearable, is the foot you are using for support.

          It gets better!  Instead of balancing on the floor, like this young lady in the picture, you are standing on a very unstable 3-legged stool.  

         How long can you perch there….?  And what will you endure to hang on…?  To keep that stool under your foot…?

         The answer is: a lot, because almost anything is better than dangling in space by your chest.  

         It gets positively ridiculous, especially in retrospect, because there’s no way to “win.”  You’re just playing little games and enduring different sorts of pain in order to avoid falling off the stool.  Not falling off the stool becomes the sole focus of your life’s ambition.  Things in the world become very simple.  In fact, the world ceases to exist beyond the room.  Sometimes he likes to talk, but pain and endorphins clog your brain, and you can’t follow very well.  Sometimes he has to repeat himself, and that doesn’t work out too well for you either.  

          In the end, you always fall.   The ending was never in doubt.

                                *                                *                          * 

Here are some cool images I found while searching for the one I used in the blog post.   Enjoy em while you can; Blogger is making all its bloggers (including ME!) take down all “adult content” March 23.  I’d call them assholes, but it’s a free platform, and they can do whatever they want.  

     This would be a great image if it wasn’t for the douche on his computer!  I’ve seen wooden frames like that set up in people’s houses and garages.


         This one’s been blogged to hell and back, but it’s never been posted on my blog before.  Great model, great rigging, great photograph.  Very interesting.  I’ve never seen anything like it. 



Photographer: Heiner Weichert
Modell: Mode-Yo

(10) Restraint and Sensory Deprivation: Why?

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      I’m legitimately sick today for some reason, so I cancelled two appointments and Heinrich gave me the night off. 

      I’d like to post this, though.  It’s something that I’ve been thinking about for a long time. 

       Sensory deprivation and restraint (bondage) really calms some people down.  Why do you think that is?

        I’ve seen in a million times, with clients and with boyfriends.  The first thing that I do when I have a client who is highly strung and too nervous to express himself coherently is slap a blindfold on him (usually I don’t use blindfolds at work unless it’s a specific request, because the guys want to look at the eye candy).  It works.  If he can’t see me, it takes all the pressure off (of both parties, I might add).  They can talk and concentrate again.

         Same thing goes for bondage.  There are large numbers of people who enjoy bondage, and it’s the only kinky thing they’re interested in. The people who like mummification or full-body restraint are fanatical about it.  They use it to relax, or to get into a special frame of mind.  I’ve met people who came to the Studio just to hang out in their special little body cocoons (one was a successful musician who’d use the sensory deprivation to get creative.  He’d ask the mistress to help him snort his cocaine as he lay in his sack).  Then there are the rope and shibari people who invest considerable effort in studying it, practicing it, and experiencing it.  

        Some people find it very sexually uninhibiting, also.  That goes both ways–the people who experience this from being tied up, and the people who experience it from tying someone up.  I can’t speak about the women, because I have no experience there, but the men who fetishize tying women up are a special breed.  They change as they do it; derive intense satisfaction from it.  The Mathematician was one such man, and that is how we met.  

        Now, what I’m wondering is: is there a name, a scientific name, for the phenomenon of finding sensory deprivation/bondage soothing or arousing?  Have researchers studied this?  Is there a physiological explanation for why it feels good to some people?

         Because it’s not just kinky people doing this to get their rocks off.  Veterinarians put some animals into “squeeze boxes” to calm them down for examination.  Temple Gradin, the well-known autistic animal scientist, constructed a “hug machine” to relieve anxiety.  

         Look at this: Body Pod Sensory Sock, on Amazon:   


          Parents rave about this thing in the reviews.  I have no idea if it’s quack woo therapy.  I think it could be legit.  This is fundamentally the same thing as a fullbody bag at the Studio, yes?  Why do the kids find the experience of being in the sensory sock soothing?

         (I’m intensely curious about these things and would like to buy one for myself to experiment with, even though I don’t consider myself to be a true bondage enthusiast.   But until I’m living alone again, it would be impossible to explain.  But look at all the bright pretty colors you can get it in!  Maybe I should ask for it for my birthday.  Doesn’t it LOOK LIKE FUN?  Don’t lie!)

         And look at this thing: Thundershirt Dog Anxiety Solution

Therapudic bondage for dogs?

          This is a snug, weighted coat.  Why does this calm some dogs down when they’re frightened?  It has to be the same reason the animals calm down in the squeeze machine, right?

           Does anyone have any ideas about this?  Is there a bondage aficionado among by 8 readers willing to offer an opinion?

          The blog post lacks a coherent hypothesis because I don’t have one.  

          Here are some owls, just because:



(9) Working at Arkham Asylum

      It’s Saturday night, so I’m going to take the easy way out and answer a request from the mailbag:


“I love stories about the wackiness of your co-workers. Mental illness, workplace dysfunction, drug abuse, stupidity! I love it all. I guess when I did a lot of scenes at dungeons, I didn’t want to admit how little I knew about these women. Even when I became someone’s regular, it was only four hours a month together in a highly controlled setting. In my mind they had perfect lives — creative outside work (music or art), great sex, incredible parties. It was part of my fantasy. “
  
      My nicknames for the Studio were “Arkham Asylum” and “Bellvue.”  The organizational culture of the Studio was highly dysfunctional (not all dungeons are like that–the other two I worked at were friendlier and pleasant).  The dommes were a constantly-revolving cast of colorful characters, the likes of which I have never met anywhere else.  The personalities were all over the map, but what we all had in common is a non-conformist mindset and a willingness to take risks.  The Studio was a rogues’ gallery of misfits, adventurers, free spirits, and grifters, but I never met a single fucking sheep there.  

       All of these things happened in dungeons during my tenure:

      A domme was using coke with a client at 2 AM.   She got angry and smashed his Rolex watch.  There was a huge blowup about it with the manager, but eventually, the client went home and ate the loss.  I mean, what was he going to do?  Call the police and admit to using coke in a dungeon in the middle of the night?  By the way, the domme was not fired.

        Four assaults.  To be fair, one woman instigated three of them.  She punched one domme in the eye, followed another girl into the supply closet and throttled her there, and slapped a third.  She got the boot after the third assault, which is good, because she was traumatizing the clients.  She is still practicing. 

        One domme was in the New York Post for throwing a puppy out of the window of a guy’s apartment (the dog survived).  

        One domme I know went on a 6-hour session with a client and flipped her shit in a bathroom at The Yale Club.  She ripped the toilet lid off of the toilet, and was forcibly ejected for the premises.  The client tried to stick Studio management with the repair bill.  NOPE.  (I’m inclined to believe that the client must have done something to her, but who knows?)

           One woman married three different guys, each one in a different country, and none of them knew about each other.   Women run around and cheat, of course, but I’ve never heard of one committing bigamy (whatever the female equivalent is).  Very weird.

          One domme was a kleptomaniac who was blacklisted from every store in a 3-block radius.  

           One had a SWAT team raid her house.  We saw the television footage. 

            Some bitch stole an entire rotisserie chicken out of the fridge.  She took the whole thing.  I’d just bought it from Whole Foods because I was going to a potluck dinner after work.  It was probably still warm when she took it.  Who steals a chicken?

          Those are the incidences I can think of off the top of my head.  I wondered if it would be tacky or disloyal of me to blog about these things, but hell: it’s already public knowledge.

          I would also like to state that I was not close to any of these women.  I didn’t even know their real names until I read about them in the paper.   

(8) “Margo, Your Baby is Ugly.”

      “Margo, I think your blog needs to be updated,” Heinrich said.

      “But I’m already posting every day!

      “I mean the presentation.  The design.  Ways for your readers to interact with it.”  

        “You don’t like it?”  I felt like someone just me that my baby was unattractive.  “You said you liked my blog!”

        “Aside from the anxiety it causes me to have, and the interesting men you have met from it, I like it fine.  I think it is one of the best blogs on the internet.  The delivery should be better.  It looks amateur.  It looks like you are using MySpace or LiveJournal.”

           “But it is an amateur blog!  I write it for myself!  For free!”  

          “It is your–” he waved his hand, trying to find the word, “–vehicle for self-expression on the internet.  It ought to look as good as possible.  Why the hell did you decide to use blogger?   Why not WordPress?”

           “WordPress was too intimidating.  Blogger is like training wheels for people who are phobic of code.  It’s impossible to fuck it up.”

            “Well, there you are.  Even still, it can be improved.   It does not have to be fancy.  It is better if it looks like a serious project.  Pride in the presentation.  You work on it and show it to the public.  It is not a diary you are hiding underneath the bed.”

           “I don’t know…I think that part of the appeal of my blog is the unaffected intimacy.  I think my 8 readers appreciate that.”

          “Please!  This is like a hipster musician saying that if he uses a better guitar, he will lose his authenticity!  That the inferior quality of the recording gives to it the charm and the credibility!

           Well.  I had no idea what to say to that.   He had a point.

            “If a professional comes to your blog and is interested to read the best of the writing there, where does he see it?  If he wants to interview you, how does he contact you?  You need a contact button.  If I want to share this post, how can I share it?  Am I made to cut-and-paste it into the body of an email?  Too frustrating.  

            It needs the improved and attractive presentation with a user-friendly interface.  It should be as clear as possible.  The organization, is rational, and–” he flapped his hand, “–intuitive.  Better tags.  The tags are not so very helpful.”

           “It’s disorganized because it grew that way.  When I started it, I had no idea where it would go, or for how long.”

          “I understand.  Margo’s internet blog garden, growing wild and free with the nature!”

             He rapped his desk with his knuckles.

             “Impose the order upon it.  Make it better.  Improve it.”  

            “Jesus Christ, Heinrich!  No need to be so intense.  We’re not developing new technology for the Pentagon.”

            Is he right?  Does this place need a makeover and friendlier user interface?  Does it look worse than I think it looks?

(7) On Drunk Driving

     In AA and the group therapy for recovering addicts I go to once a week, I meet a lot of people with DUI/DWI (in New York, it wasn’t nearly as common because most New Yorkers don’t have cars).  Some of them have two DUIs, and now they have to breath into a breathalizer in order to start their cars once they finally get their license reinstated after a year’s suspension.  And some of these incorrigible recalcitrant assholes have three DUIs and spent nine months in jail, and now they’re either on foot or having their long-suffering relatives drive them around.  

        Yeah, I’m not there to judge the other junkies.  Yeah, I shouldn’t “take someone else’s inventory,” as they say in the rooms.  I know, I know, I know. 

       I’m going to do it anyway: If you drive drunk, you are an asshole.  And 3-time losers need to somehow be kept off the road until they sober up and keep their shit together for a long time, like 5 years.  

           Unfortunately, I can’t think of any solutions.  Incarceration is the only way the State can prevent a person who wants to drive from driving.  Unless you want to start chopping off hands or punishing their family members, which isn’t going to fly under American jurisprudence.   

           Honestly: what can be done?   The penalties for drunk driving are already severe.  The only way to make them more draconian would be increased jail time.   Jail is a very expensive way to deal with a stupid alcoholic. But what are the lives of the more than 10,000 people who die in alcohol-impaired driving crashes worth?  A trained insurance agent can quantify the value of an individual.  The suffering caused by a person’s maiming or untimely death is considerably harder to measure (although the courts try).  

         I was arrested for driving drunk.  Actually, it was Minor in Possession, because I was only 20 at the time, and my blood alcohol level was below the legal limit, but under state law, the penalties were the same.  I drove a few hours out of town to watch some illegal boxing matches, had five or six drinks, and then started to drive back.  I was pulled over in the middle of nowhere by a Highway Patrolman.  For a busted tail-light!  He arrested me and I spent the night in jail.  I wish I could post a picture of the jail and the town (if you can call it a town)–you’d die.  It was an awful experience.   When I posted bail the next day, I asked the bondsman why it was so fucking expensive, given that I had no prior offenses.  

              “The judge doesn’t think it’s a minor offense.  That’s why.  He knows that by the time a person actually gets caught driving drunk, they’ve probably done it twenty, thirty, forty times,” said the bondsman.  

             And he was right. 

             It wasn’t the first time I drove drunk.  I’d done it probably 10 or 12 times.  That’s the truth.  

             It was, however, the last time I drove drunk.  90-day suspension, jumping through hoops for the court, $500 in fines, the cost of the lawyer…getting my car out of impound…paying for the tow truck…I’d say that mistake cost me about $2500.  Plus all of the humiliation and inconvenience, of course.  

           What really convinced me to never drink and get behind the wheel, though, was the Victim Impact Awareness Panel I had to attend as part of my sentencing.  Five or six people stood in front of the room and told us what drunk drivers had cost them.   One was the mother of a teenaged boy who’d just been accepted to Notre Dame.  He was killed by a drunk driver with two prior convictions.  Another speaker was a guy who drove drunk and suffered massive brain damage from the impact when he wrapped his car around a telephone pole.  He was in a motorized wheelchair and couldn’t speak clearly.  

             I leaked tears through the whole thing, which is unusual for me, and that was it: I instituted a 1-drink policy.  I never had more than one and drove afterward.  I got a ride, or took cabs, or walked.  I was done.  It was not acceptable to me to risk bringing that pain and grief into other people’s lives. 

           Drunk driving is almost never an accident.  Habitual offenders display deep selfishness and callous disregard.  I feel very strongly about this.  

           I don’t know what else to say.  This essay is not very good.  I wrote it because I have to write and post something before midnight, and I was thinking about all the drunk drivers in AA on my way home.

(6) Murder Victim

      I’ve never told this story because I didn’t want to admit to being so reckless and unprofessional.  I did everything wrong in this session and put myself in great danger.  It was crazy, the sort of spectacularly bad judgement that, if displayed by one of my dungeon co-workers, would make me think that they were not cut out for this business and should not be allowed to do sessions in the dungeon at all. 

         I expect to receive criticism.

        It was the winter things were getting serious with the Mathematician.  Probably December 2012.   I was on call at the Studio when the Russian manager called me to tell me that I had a session.  A submissive session, meaning that I would be the submissive. 

        “Do I know him?  What does he want?”  I asked.

        “I know him.  He is good client.  Good tip,” she said.

        I refreshed my makeup and jumped in a cab.  There was no traffic.  I was there in 20 minutes. 

          “He’s waiting for you.  You can go in.”

           “Should I go talk to him?  What do I bring in?  What should I wear?”

         “You are fine as you are.  He does some bondage.  Little breath play.”  She looked at me and said, very deliberately: “I know him.  He’s fine.”

         And with that, I went in.  Sight unseen.

        I’m not going to spend the rest of the story enumerating the things I did wrong and explaining what a wise professional should have done instead.  All of that would detract from the narrative of the experience, which is what I really want to write about. 

         It was very dark in the room–he’d turned down the lights.   The client was a huge Asian man.   Huge is not an exaggeration; he was built like a Sumo wrestler.  He was wearing a dark suit (it had to have been custom made) and a bright white shirt.  He had long black hair in a braid, a short beard, and small, round glasses with gold wire frames.   I couldn’t tell his age.  40s, maybe.

         I introduced myself and asked him what he had in mind.  He told me to undress and sit on the bondage bed.  He was going to tie my legs together at the knees.

          I tried to read his energy and emotional state, but I wasn’t getting anything.  He was very calm.  He seemed sober, lucid.  He didn’t want to talk, didn’t have any questions for me.

         I stripped down to my bra and underpants and sat down on the bed.  I told him that my underwear stayed on and that there was no touching allowed between my legs. 

          He nodded.

         “Then what?  Are you going to hit me with something?”  He hadn’t brought any equipment that I could see, aside from the rope, but I had an eye on his leather belt.  

         He said that he would not hit me. 

         Then I let him kneel in front of me and tie my legs together above the knees.  I was glad that it was the knees and not the ankles, because it made my crotch less accessible.  

         What’s he going to do?  What’s he up to?  I asked myself.  I was curious.  I didn’t see where it was going, but I wasn’t scared.  I should have been scared, but I wasn’t.  

           He lifted up my ankles and put them down on the bed.  Now I was lying down, on my back. 

            Uh-oh, I thought.  The little lightbulb went off above my head.  I figured out what he was going to do: he was going to climb on top of me and try to snuggle or dry-hump my leg or something gross like that.  

           No.  Nothing so pedestrian.

            While he was standing over me, looking down into my face, he took both hands, wrapped them around my neck, and started to squeeze. 

           I didn’t freak out.  To this day, I wonder why I didn’t freak out.  I didn’t panic, didn’t try to pull his hands away.

           I didn’t resist.

            It’s a game.  It’s part of the session, I told myself.  He’ll let go in a minute.  Wait for it. 

           Famous last words, right?   Famous last words.  If I’d been capable of speaking them.  Which I wasn’t. 

            You have more than a minute before you pass out.  It’s only been a few seconds, I told myself. 

          (but then, in the back of my mind: how long can you afford to wait?)

            He let go and stood back up straight.  

            I didn’t whoop in breath or start coughing.  I didn’t try to get up.  I took deep breaths through my nose.  

           “You’re good,” he said.  Then he started strangling me again.  Longer, this time.  His hands were huge and very strong.  I could feel my heart start to pound, the way it does when you’re holding your breath under water, and my face started to feel numb. 

            What if he doesn’t let go this time?

             He will.  He knows what he’s doing.  He’ll let go.

             But what if he DOESN’T?  Are you going to just let this guy kill you?

           He’ll let go, I told myself. 

             And he did.

             This time, I did whoop in air.   It hurt my throat. 

            I still didn’t call it off.   When he did it again, I was ready.

           That was the session: I was playing chicken with this man.  I was playing chicken with a complete stranger in a dungeon.  I was playing chicken with my life. 

             I saw spots.  I saw stars.  The blood rushing in my ears.

            I could really die here.  By accident, even, I thought. 

            He let go.

            I knew it, I thought.  I wonder if I was smiling.  He took a step back from the table and I rolled over onto my side, coughing.  My throat hurt, my windpipe hurt. 

            What does this person want?  I wondered.  What’s the point?  Does he want me to freak or cry?  Does he want me to have fun?  Or is his enjoyment not contingent on my reaction at all?

            He’d finally relaxed a little bit.  He had a small smile on his face.  

              He pulled a chair away from the wall and gestured for me to sit.

            I finally spoke: “I can’t do an hour of this.  It’s too much.”

           “Just a little more.  This is the last part,” he said, softly.

           “Let me finish getting my breath.”

           He waited.  Still calm.  

           I hopped off the bed and walked awkwardly over to the wooden chair.  I could only take tiny steps because of the way my legs were tied. 

           I had a seat.  Now I was looking at myself in the huge black mirror. 

            He tied my wrists to the spokes on the back.  I let him do it.  I knew he was going to.

            I was telling myself that it was just a game and he’d done this a million times before and I wasn’t in any real danger.  After all, if he wanted to kill me, I’d be dead by now.  

        Why did I tell myself that?   Was it some bullshit coping mechanism my brain was coming up with, a line of bullshit to deal with the real danger of the situation?  Why was I composed under all that pressure, that situation?  It was like when I took that beating from the Attorney, the worst beating of my life, when I safed out: I didn’t freak, I didn’t cry.  

          Is there something wrong with how I’m made up, that I wasn’t more scared than I was?  

          Is there something wrong with how I’m made up, that put me in that situation to begin with?

          Why did I sit in that chair?

           One more round.  Let’s cruise, big fella.

          I knew it was coming, and took a big breath of air before he cut it off, like I was a swimmer making a dive. 

           Down we went.

           You have about ninety seconds before you black out.  Less if you’re exerting yourself.  

           Ninety seconds is a long time to look at yourself in the mirror and think about what a stupid way to die this would be.  I mean, shit.  He could put my body under the bondage bed and walk out the dungeon door and be halfway to the airport before anyone even notices that I haven’t left the room yet.  I pictured the other girls in the locker room down the hall.  They’d give me a Darwin Award for this one, for sure. 

           What does he want?  I thought.

           He wants a dead girl.  

           I relaxed into it, still telling myself that everything was going to be fine.  My head was pounding.   The pressure behind my eyeballs.  

            He let go.

            That was it.  We were done.  The tension in the room evaporated.  The spell was broken.  His energy changed entirely.

             I collapsed back in the chair, staring up at the ceiling, wheezing.  He pulled out another chair and had a seat.  Then he pulled a handsome gold cigarette case out of his pocket.  He opened it and offered me one.

             “No, thanks,” I said.  

              “That was good.  You’re very good,” he said.  Whatever the fuck that meant.  

               Now he could talk.  I don’t remember most of what he said, but he did mention coming from Hong Kong.  Something about Obama.  Yup, just the usual post-session chit-chat.  

               He gave me $600, asked to use the restroom, and left.

               The rope was good rope.  We cleaned it with bleach and then added it to the collection.

               “Session okay, Margo?” the manager asked me.  “Did he take care of you?”

              What was I going to say?  That she should have fucking told me that the guy was going to choke me out?  Did she know that he was going to do that?  Did she tell me that he was a “good client” so that I wouldn’t panic?  Because I might be a masochist and a little batshit crazy, but if she told me on the telephone that a client wanted to choke me out,  I would not have hopped in a cab. 

            I went home.  

            I only told one other person.  I didn’t know how to tell anyone.  How do you explain that a client choked you, and you let it happen?  That I did a sub session without explicit negotiation?  What do you say?  How can I explain what happened in that room?  Was it really all that bad?  He left me safe and sound, didn’t he?  Not even a bruise. 

             I told Dahlia one day.  She had a bit of a morbid side.  

           “Wow, that sounds crazy,” she said.  Her eyes lit up.  “You must have felt like a murder victim.”
          

(5) A Map of the Pain Revisited

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         I hate to have my picture taken, which strikes some people who know me as odd, since I’m actually quite photogenic.  When I was working as a prodomme I had to get my professional photos redone every year to keep them current, but otherwise I avoid having my picture taken.  I don’t like looking at myself.

        The exception are injuries photos.  From beatings.


En Route

      I’ve documented most of my more significant or interesting beatings over the years.  I know the photos by heart.  If you showed me a random photograph of bruises on my back, I’d be able to tell you where and when it happened: “Surgeon, San Diego 2012.  I was wearing my red dress.”  

         Sometimes I’d take photos of the marks as they worsened and then gradually healed, trying to capture the colors over time, from blood red to hematoma black to gray to green to yellow, and then finally to pale Margo skin.  

        I’d take photos from as many different angles as I could, usually in front of a mirror, or mirrors.  Bathroom mirrors, most often.  

         Sometimes the Surgeon would take them for me.  He was the only person I really talked to about these photos.  Well, I didn’t really talk to him about them…but I shared them with him.  He was very indulgent in this matter.  This was, in fact, one of his rare true moments of grace: he never judged my masochism, my craving for violence.  He accepted that part of me completely, and he did what he could to meet my needs.

          I’d show him pictures on my computer screen: “See that one you left last time?  See, look now!  The chain left that!”

         He’d smile and nod.  That was something else: the marks never revolted or disturbed him.  It must have been all the medical training.  He wasn’t squeamish at all.

          I remember him touching my shoulder one time: “Margo, be careful who you show these to.  I know that they make you happy, but people won’t understand.  Don’t keep them on your PC in case you have computer problems.  Promise me.”

         He was right, of course.  I’ve seen the way people react to my marks.  Even people who ought to know better, like other mistresses in the Studio.  I was photographing my ass after a heavy caning session with a visiting Englishman when I saw Maria looking at me.  Her expression was fear and revulsion.  Sometimes other people can understand how I could do it for money, or do it as a gesture of love for the man who inflicts it.  Almost nobody understands my feelings of excitement or fascination, the curiosity.  Or, strangest of all: my complete disregard for my own physical integrity.  I have fears.  Pain is not one of them. 

        I can get caught up in re-examining these old photos, studying them, reliving the experiences and what happened afterward.  Why? It never gets old.  I look at them as if there will be something new.  An answer, perhaps.  

         That’s all for tonight.  There’s nothing else.  

     


(4) Margo Receives Marching Orders

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Used to be his Avitar/profile pic on Fetlife.  He said I could post it.  And it’s gone now–you won’t find it there.

     I received some surprise packages in the mail today.   Heinrich sent them.  I could tell they were books when I picked them up, but I had no idea what they’d be.

Do you think he’s trying to tell me something?


         (He did not give me the daddy owl and owlet.  Owls were mine.  The heart-shaped box had something interesting inside of it, too, but I need to ask before sharing with the class.)

         The 30 blog posts can be about anything.  For this assignment, he doesn’t care what I write as long as I write it on time.  

         Following this, he wants me to submit two pieces of writing for (possible) publication weekly, or bi-weekly if the pieces are especially lengthy or require significant research.  One of those must be professional, i.e. for money.  

         If the attempts at publication are unsuccessful (rejected), there is no penalty.   Failure to submit work for publication will be penalized, however.*  In other words, Heinrich will give me an A for effort as long as I produce content on a regular basis and try to get it out there.  

        I wrote academic content on demand for many years.  Surely copywriting can’t be more difficult?

       Writing is my only significant talent.  I’ve never tried to do it for money.   I could at least try.   I am not going to be a professor.  I could still be a writer, though.   

        So.  Time to try.  NEW PROJECT!

       More daily blog posts first, though.  I’ve already received questions via email and comments!   Thanks!  Feel free to send more!
    
        *I have no idea what the penalty would be.  Should I ask?