A Shameful Memory

I’m going to write about something that I did wrongly years ago. I’m sure that it will sound like a minor thing, but I have never forgotten it, and every time I think of it, I’m ashamed of what I did.

I can confidently say that I would not do it today.

I was in my early 20s, and flying into the airport in Oakland. The airline had open seating.  I was late, and running to the gate with my luggage and gear bag.

I boarded the plane and saw an empty seat right in the front, where I like to sit, next to a young man who had to be a teenager or about my age…

…who had a malformed face.

Something was very wrong with his nose. It was very enlarged, red, and bulbous, and the skin was red and bumpy. He also had a cleft palate.

Otherwise, and I remember him clearly, he was well built and well dressed.  White guy in jeans and a button-down striped shirt, brown hair.

We made eye contact.  He saw me looking at the seat.  It was one of two seats left on the airplane.

I recoiled–mentally, but not visibly, I hope.  But, my choice said it all: I ran to the back of the airplane and took the last seat. By the toilet.

I have never forgiven myself for that. This poor guy has been rejected by girls, and probably by society at large, his whole life, and he sees a pretty girl get on the airplane, and she would rather take the last seat by the smelly crapper than sit by him?

He was the only one who sat alone on that flight. I imagine he’s sat alone his whole life. I cannot imagine why he hadn’t had a Recon-Plastics surgeon even partially fix his face. Then again, maybe they had, and it used to be worse. Or maybe he came from some awful country in Europe like Maldova.  Not that our health care system, especially before Obamacare, was stellar.

I would not do the same thing today. I do believe it is instinctual to recoil from deformity, because our brains are hard-wired to be pattern-seekers, and when we see something that is not typical, it shocks us.

Mature, humane people know how to process it and treat the other person with common respect.  Also, how to not be a “savior” and presume they can’t do things by themselves, especially making a big show of it in public. Infantalizing them.

One thing sex work has taught me is how to empathize with people. I’ve had clients in wheelchairs, clients on crutches, amputees, deaf clients, clients on SSI who saved up to see me.  Clients in wheelchairs. Clients who were mentally disabled.

Much worse: clients who were psychopaths.

I cannot forget how I rejected that man in the airplane. I know readers will think this blog post is trivial, but, to me, it’s not.

Men and Their Weird Penis Obsession (My Personal Experience)

I thought long and hard before blogging about him.  I’ve been considering it for years, in fact. It’s a very private matter, and I don’t know if it’s appropriate to write about it online.

But, it’s been years, and there is no way he is reading this blog. Time has moved on.  Also, the story is very funny.

Allow me to preface this: I have never met a man who was not obsessed with his penis. Every man I’ve ever been with has been preoccupied with his cock. At work, I have been paid to humiliate men over their penises (or, alternately, to praise them).  I have been paid to watch men masturbate…FOR AN HOUR.

I myself, in contrast, do not think about my vagina unless I am using it in sex or masturbation or it has a yeast infection or UTI. Contemplation of it takes up very little thought in my brain.

That said, let me tell you the story of a boyfriend who was COMPLETELY NEUROTIC about his junk.

He was (is) otherwise a highly intelligent, accomplished man in a rarefied field. I wish I could tell you how we met, but that would be TMI. Cute–slightly overweight, but cute. Also, only three years older than myself.  I am almost never attracted to men in my age range.

I was still in grad school, and very impressed with how he did his job.

I asked him out via email.  The rest is history.  I can seduce any man who isn’t committed to his significant other. It’s part of my job. Also, men are easy.

He was also a very kind man. He never said a cross word to me, except to express anger at my being late a few times and worry about the fact I could imbibe a swimming pool of cocktails and still function, walking around.

I could have married this man, but we didn’t quite “click.”  Still, I cared about him very much.  He was also newly divorced–only one year out–and he was still in  a lot of pain.

SO, getting back to the moral of the story, I go to use the bathroom early in the relationship, and found Enzyte laying out on top of the toilet tank.

Okay, weird.

My primary concern was that a man with a huge brain who had a top-flight education could believe Enzyte could make his dick larger. If big-dick pills actually worked, every man would be huge. Every rational person knows it’s snake oil, just like big breast cream in the past.

Here’s the thing: there was nothing wrong with this man’s penis.  There was nothing for him to be insecure about. It was bigger than average–not enormous, but bigger than average–and it always worked right. Not that I discriminate against men with ED. I’ve dated them, happily.

Then, a few months into our 6-month romance, he starts to ask me about whether I’ve had lovers with bigger penises, and if I liked the sexual experience better.

“Your dick is bigger than average. If it was larger, it would make me sore,” I said.

“But how many have been larger?”

I became exasperated. “I am not going to catalog all of the penises I have seen. Yours is great. What’s the problem?”

He asked this over and over again.

A month later: “I became paranoid my wife was watching porn, and saw bigger cocks than mine.”

I wanted to bury my head under the pillow.

“If she’s watching porn, all she wants to do is get off in three minutes and turn it off. She’s not comparing your penis. She’s not even thinking of that! Jeez!”

She would not have married you if she found you inadequate!

THEN–here’s the kicker–I was sleeping over at his apartment and he had to wake up early to go to work.  I kept sleeping under the covers.

A few hours later I received a phone call. He asked me to get something important for his work out of a gray bag in the closet, and bring it to him, a few blocks away where he worked.

I obliged, of course. Always happy to help.

I opened his closet, and there were three grey bags.

I swear to God, I was not snooping.

I pulled out the first grey bag and opened …

…a penis pump.  I recognized it because I saw it in this movie:

I am not making fun of him. I never do that, unless a person is a complete asshole. I just didn’t understand.

I put the penis pump back in the bag.  I never said a word. I rummaged in the others until I found the tool he was looking for.

I was still dating the Surgeon, which ultimately caused the demise of the relationship.

My First Teaching Experience

I have the writing bug again, and insomnia.

This post is going to be boring, but the tale must be told.

Let me tell you about the first time I taught. I’ll never forget it.

I was 24 years old, and teaching American History and Culture. I had a scholarship–I’ve always been a scholarship kid–and teaching was my obligation, and my aspiration. My dream job has always been to be a teacher.

I was dirt poor and living in a very tiny studio in a house the neighbors called “The Crack Shack” because it was so run down. I did not have a suit or a blouse and skirt to teach in. I could not afford to buy luxuries. My stipend (which I was very grateful for) was $900 a month.

I had a very conservative black cocktail dress. It came up to my throat and went down to my knees. It was the best I could do.

It was sleeveless, and form-fitting. I was also wearing short heels and a pearl necklace my mother gave me. My hair was in a French Twist.

I cannot tell you how many hours I spent obsessing over the syllabus and my lecture.

When I came into the classroom I had a complete panic attack. Speaking in front of an audience? I thought I was confident, but what the hell?

(I can do it now, no problem, but it was a shocker to me then!)

I started to write my name on the board. Administration had assigned me an old-fashioned classroom with a green board and chalk. No smart classroom for me! Not even a piece of WWII technology like the overhead projector!

This is the funny part: I started trembling. It was precisely how one of my professors said when I consulted her about teaching: once the adrenaline hits your system, you’re done. Nothing you can do but wait it out.

,My handwriting was shaky, bended, and started to shrink. “Instructor Margo Adler” reduced to tiny letters.

I saw two football players giving me the old up-and-down as I stood there, writing. God, I can’t completely blame them because men can’t help themselves, but I felt very exposed and they turned out to be awful students anyway.

It did not help that this was the worst group of students I’ve ever had. I’m not blaming them, but I’m serious. There was one guy in there who happily talked about the material, because he actually read it. The rest were mute.

Well, not totally mute: one gave me a really shitty evaluation at the end of the semester: “Miss Margo is a very poor communicator,” among other poor observations.  She was pissed that I gave her a B-, and I was being generous.  She deserved a C.  “I need to get into law school and this doesn’t look good on my transcript!” Yeah, sorry, your analysis of The Yellow Wallpaper was wrong. In order to be a lawyer, you have to write well.

And I know it’s not just me, because my next class loved my ass (I had two classes, back to back). I stabilized in the Teacher’s Lounge and got some advice from the professors.

What they said boiled down to: “Wait until you stop trembling. They’re not going to bite you. You know what you’re talking about.  You’re the one in charge!”

I went in there with an attitude: These kids are not going to intimidate me!

You have to go in with an aura of loving authority.

This relates to my prodomme work.

Give them credit for participation in class discussion. Discern the shy ones who know the readings from the ones who don’t talk because they didn’t study. Any effort should be rewarded. Not saying someone who doesn’t comprehend the material should get at A, but if they work, they deserve credit.

Slackers can forget it. I have failed several plagiarizers. I go absolutely batshit over plagiarizers. Paraphrase is a fine art. You can’t just steal someone else’s work.

Half the teenage scholars I flunked would have gotten a pass if they just put quotation marks around what they stole.  That and a citation, and you’re golden.  I have written hundreds of essays, and when I was lazy and under a deadline, I would jack a whole paragraph just to take up page space. Very poor scholarship, but at least it was honest and true.

That is my first teaching experience.


About Hobbyists

Let’s talk about “Hobbyists.”

Hobbyists, for those who don’t know, are men who frequent sex workers and then review and gossip about them online.

They usually hang out on a website called The Erotic Review, but there are other sites–I think one is called ECCIE.

Unfortunately, I have reviews of The Erotic Review. The reviews are all positive, except for one guy who was pissed that I fired him (I’ll get to that in a moment).

The bad news is that the reviews make the Hobbyists know about me and make a booking.

I have NEVER met a Hobbyist who was not a douchebag. Sad, but true. Every one has bargained with me, tried to get free time, tried to get me to dine for free with them at mediocre restaurants, bragged about their reviews (a veiled threat that they would post a bad review about me), etc…

The worst of the lot was a man in NYC whom I saw when I was working as a proSub.  He is one of the reasons I do not work as a proSub today (that, and the Collector would kill me).

I was brand new to working as an independent, meaning working outside of a dungeon, which is why I put up with him for five sessions. Today, I would fire him after one.

First, he complained that I asked for the money up front.  I absolutely deplore having to ask for the money.  An honest client leaves it on a counter without saying a word the minute he walks in, or you visit him.

“It ruins the romance!” he said.  Yes, this is so romantic.  Did I mention he was fat, old, bald, and plain?

Second session: brags that he’s written “almost 100 reviews” on The Erotic Review, and wants to write one about me. Is angry when I tell him I have a no-review policy.

Third session: wants me to dine with him for free at a cheap Korean BBQ place. I really needed the money from the session, so I agreed, and endured two hours of dinner. At least, to his credit, he bought me two cocktails.

(I will eat with a client for free if they are an established regular who supports me.  I will eat a burger with a guy who helps pay my rent. I will also eat for free with a client who wants to take me to a super fine-dining restaurant like Per Se.  Today, I will NOT eat for free with an internet rando who wants to get a pizza. Or cheap Korean BBQ.  Sorry, not sorry, my social date rates apply!  $100 for dinner!)

Later that night, while I was nude except for a thong and tied to the coffee table, he said, “This no-penetration thing isn’t going to work for me.”

I said in my ads–I was very explicit–“No sex. Fetish, fantasy, roleplay only.  I do not get fully nude.”  I posted these ads in BDSM and FETISH categories of the sex worker ad malls, NOT the escorting sections. I was very clear.  

“Uhh…I said no sex,” I said, trying not to freak out, in my tied up vulnerable state.

“How about a dildo or butt plug?”

Oh my God, I thought.

“NO!  Don’t make me scream!”

He backed off.

I cannot believe I went back to that guy.  $350, I needed it.

Next session, incredibly, I allowed him to blindfold me.  Then I got freaked out and asked him to take the blindfold off when I felt something silky and warm on my cheek.

He took it off and, what do you know, there is his penis in my face, begging for a blowjob.

Henceforth, with my dungeon friends (better believe I was telling them all about him) he was known as “Mr. Wang-on-the-face.”

“I said no sex!”

“A blowjob isn’t sex!” he reasoned. Like he was Bill Clinton or something.

Everyone knows the vast majority of fetish workers don’t offer sex. Maybe a few give handjobs.  You can find fetish-friendly escorts, but that’s another category of sex work.

“Don’t touch me with that!”

He zipped it up.

The final, last time, I just couldn’t take it, and I was mildly drunk when I got there. I endured another mediocre dinner for free, and, of course, had to make conversation and flirt.  I got to the room and unpacked some of my session gear.  Then I panicked and made an excuse to run to the bathroom.

There, I took out an airplane-sized bottle of flavored vodka from my handbag and sucked it down.

I started to undress, and then changed my mind.

I bolted from the bathroom, picked up my gear bag, and ran out.  The only thing I said was, “I’m sorry. I can’t do this.  I can’t trust you.”

The next day I realized I’d left approximately $300 worth of fetish gear in his hotel room.

I emailed him to ask for it back.  He said he’d return it if I came to his hotel room so that “we could talk about what happened.”

I politely asked if he would just put it into a box or a bag and leave it at the front desk for Margo to collect.

I did not want to talk to him ever again (I did not say that).

He said no, he would return it if he could see me.

Thanks for not returning MY STUFF that I PURCHASED that is important for MY BUSINESS to me, asshole!

I abandoned my property rather than see him again.

Then, of course, the review, which said, to paraphrase: “Beautiful but very unprofessional.  She left the session without an explanation.  Buyer beware.”

Oh, did I mention I hadn’t been paid?  It’s not like I ran out with his money! 

Buyer beware?  What am I, a faulty coffee maker? Nobody BUYS me. They buy my service and expertise.

Yeah, Mr. Wang-in-the-face, enjoy my $80 vibrator, leather cuffs, bondage rope, and metal-handled turquoise suede flogger that matched my corset, which I can’t replace.

Sadly, this man is typical of guys hanging out of Hobbyists.  Many sex workers concur.  I’ve never had one treat me well.


Swimsuit Humiliation

Finally!  A post about my job.

I have a guy who has a fantasy about something that happened to him, and he wants a re-enactment.

Specifically: I needed to wear a one-piece swimming suit and a swim mask for my hair…

…and then pants him (take down his swim shorts) in front of all the other girls.

He says this happened to him at a pool/birthday party when he was an adolescent. I think he’s telling the truth.  He could be making it up, which is also okay, but I don’t think that is the case.  In my considerable experience, men have experiences in their childhood and youth and become fixated on them.  Like myself, they become imprinted.

The girl who pants him was, so he said, an older girl next door who was sometimes a babysitter, and he had a huge crush on her.

Where the hell am I going to get a swimsuit this time of year? I wondered.

There was no way I was going to spend $120 to meet this guy’s swimsuit fantasy.

I found one at Marshalls in Union Square for $19.99. I had to go to a sports shop for the swim cap.

I’m putting it on in the hotel room and I feel like the biggest dork in the world. But, what can you do? I’ve dressed like Batgirl and a nurse and schoolgirl a million times. Part of the job.

He came in and immediately started trembling. Middle-aged white guy, totally passive, seemed normal. No alarm bells went off.

He went to the bathroom to change into swim shorts.  Gotta hand it to him: he folded all his clothes and piled them up. When they just strip and drop them on the floor, I throw a fit and correct them: “Pick them up and fold them! What am I, your mother?!”

When he came out, I draped my arms around him and asked, “Are you enjoying yourself?”

He nodded.

I pulled his swim pants down and started cackling. The laughter was not fake. Far be it from me to judge a fantasy–God knows I’ve had many darker ones that this–but the situation was pretty weird. I’m wearing a swim cap in a Hilton hotel room.

He flushed bright red and immediately came on the carpet.  He voluntarily cleaned that up with a washcloth. The man was polite.

Overall, it was a great session.


This will be a short blog post, and scattered.

Underneath the art collection, the gorgeous condo filled with books and flowers, the Savile Row suits, the fact that he can be the most attentive and intellectual and polite gentleman in public…

…he is, at heart, feral. The Surgeon was the same way.  This one expresses it differently.

I never thought I would meet a man more extreme than myself (the Attorney proved me wrong, but he was an exception.) The Collector is. My part in this weird relationship is that I enable him to go crazy and indulge in whatever crazy fantasies come up in his mind. I make all of the sadists worse, because I’m fearless and have very few limits. I admit this.

Another thing he does is push and push my boundaries and limits. When I Top as a prodomme, I push just enough to make it exciting–nobody wants a boring session, unless they are a novice and scared to death. I don’t push hard enough to make them safe out.

The Collector pushes until I’m about to call it off, which really says something, and then he senses it and reels me back in by being gentle and letting me off the hook.  What I feel instead of anger is gratitude.

My last therapist, who thought my sadomasochism was pathological, actually had a point when he said, “You only cut off one of my hands! Thank you for not cutting off the other one!”

I care about my beauty, meaning my figure and my face. That’s how I make my living, at least partially. Otherwise, my physical integrity means nothing to me and never has.  Time will take its toll soon–I’m not a spring chicken anymore.  I still look conventionally “good” and can rock a bikini.

Dangled from an O ring in the ceiling? Perched on a 3″x 6″ whilst getting the single-tail (which, incidentally, I taught him how to use)? All of the games?  The Collector, unlike the Surgeon, is creative. He always has something new to use on me.

This shit with his boys…?!  He actually told Elder One–in English, in front of me–“My girlfriend is more beautiful than yours.”

I wanted to die. Why is he competing with his son?

I’m sorry to lay this on my 8 readers, but I can’t talk to anyone else.

Thanks for reading this bummer of an essay.


I guess it was bound to happen eventually, but that doesn’t make it any easier:

The Elder One confronted me about my BDSM relationship with Dad, the Collector.

The Collector and I have been going through a rough patch. I left early and came back to my apartment to work in San Francisco. My regulars all wanted to see me again.

The Collector threw a fit and threatened to buy the house I live in.

“Please don’t make me buy real estate in that town, of all places,” he said on the phone.

“Why the hell would you buy this house? To evict me from my apartment?”  I couldn’t believe it!

“So that I have a legal right to be there.”

I hung up on him.

Well, sure enough, the guy flew across the country and dropped by my apartment unannounced.

And get this: he let himself in. Unbeknownst to me, he’d taken my keys out of my purse and made copies of all of them (except the car key. What would he do with a 20-year-old Toyota Camry?).

Here I am, sitting at the computer in underpants and a camisole, watching Game of Thrones re-runs, and a guy lets himself in without knocking and runs up the stairs.

The last time a man let himself into my home was the Surgeon, paying his final house call, and we all know how that worked out.

I freaked out.  I had to freak out!  What would you do, if you were a woman?  Besides being hostage in a Bosnian rape camp or living in Afghanistan, I think home invasion is every woman’s worst nightmare. A guy breaks into your house, and the best thing that’s going to happen to you is being raped.

Well, I freaked out and pulled my gun on him.  Yeah, I’m not proud of it, but can you blame me?  Legally, I could have killed him and gotten away with it. He’s not on the lease! I have every right to kill a home invader!

Abe was chirping and playing with his bell toys on top of the cage and he froze. Birds are sensitive. They feel the emotion in the room. When the Surgeon made his house call, all the birds froze and huddled together, and they didn’t play or vocalize for days afterward.

In the end, I couldn’t do it.  I like to think I’m tough, but I just couldn’t do it.

“Is this it? Are you going to take my life, Margo?”  I had a gun pointed at his head.  It’s only a .32, but it would do the job.  He averted his face, but otherwise he was completely unruffled.

I’m not going to lie: it was completely surreal. I carry a knife and I have a concealed carry permit.  In sessions at work, I have a sun gun that looks exactly like a cell phone.  I’ve never pulled a weapon on anyone in my life, though there’s a handful of bad apple “clients” who would have deserved it.  I’m a prodomme, but I’m not really a violent person.

I lowered the gun and went to lay it down on the coffee table.

“Do I need to unload this? Are you going to take it away from me and shoot me?”

“Of course not. I love you.  I just want to talk,” he said.

Yeah, I just want to talk is exactly what the Surgeon said when he banged my door down. If you just want to talk, you don’t have to say it.

“How did you get in here? I locked the door.”

“I made copies of your keys.”  He said it like it was the most normal thing in the world.

I started crying.  I am not a crier–I cry maybe 10X/year–but this was just too much stress.

He picked me up and carried me to the bedroom.

“I don’t want to have sex,” I said.  Believe me, I was not in a sexy mood.

“Let’s just lie down.”

I am pleased to report that I did not have sex with him after that egregious boundaries violation. He went to a hotel that night. But, yes, we talked.

A few days later, the Elder One gives me a ring on Skype.

“I hear you pulled a gun on Father! I would have paid money to see that! You should have shot the bastard! Shoot him next time!  I’ll take care of you out of my inheritance!”  He was overjoyed.

“I’m not going to kill your dad,” I said.

“Dump his selfish, abusive ass!  What a loser!”

“Your father is not a loser by any objective standard. He wins at everything he does.”

“Well, he lost my mother, he lost his last wife, he’s losing you, and he’s going to lose me once I finish Law School. That is a loser to me.”

Readers, this is where the shit hit the fan:

This boy actually said, “I know that he hits you, and I don’t like it.  I see the bruises because he makes you wear skimpy clothes.”

I just sat there.  I was completely pole-axed.

What I eventually spit out was, “You don’t need to worry about that. Everything that happens between your father and me is consensual.”

“I am not a coward who hits women! How can it be consensual? How can you consent to being abused?”

What am I going to do, readers? I don’t want to give this kid a “birds and the bees” lecture about sadomasochism. My sex life is none of his business and I don’t want to gross him out! At the same time, how can I set his mind at rest?

He went on.  I really wanted to hang up the Skype and claim the internet went down, but that would be disrespectful. The young man had something to say. Maybe it’s my professional educator, but if they’re speaking from the heart, young people deserve a voice, and the Collector says constantly that we are a family. I can never be his Mom, but I can be his friend.

“I hate talking about this. It is awkward. I have heard people having sex. A lot of sex happens at (my boarding school). The noises that I hear coming from his bedroom do not sound like sex.”

What can I say? He’s not WRONG. If I wasn’t into BDSM, I’d think there was something abusive going on, too.  It still made me feel like a freak, and I was humiliated that I’d made that much noise. The boys stay in bedrooms in a separate hallway, and when they visit I try to keep the vocalizations to squeaks.

“Your father and I are sexually compatible. I’m not abused. You don’t have to worry about that,” is all I could think of to say.

“Everyone is bribed or abused.  Call me any time.  I have classes, but I will call you back.”

“Well, thank you. You know I am happy to proofread any of your papers.”  It was an idiotic statement, given that he has the best education money can buy and he’s completely fluent in English, but I wanted to offer something.