The Adler Christmas Dinner: What a Shitshow

Ugh.  Where to begin…?

I got through Christmas okay, but things got ugly over dinner…

We’re sitting there eating the ham and scalloped potatoes, and the male dickheads in my family decided to get into a heated “debate” (re: fight) about gun control.

Why…?  Why at dinner…?  Why do some people not understand that the best thing to do at holiday functions is be polite, on your best behavior, and avoid any potentially incendiary topics of conversation? 

So the rest of us–myself, my mother, the non-dickhead male friend of my mother’s, and my brother’s spouse–had to endure this bullshit.

You can’t dissuade these men with feminine appeals to mind their manners at the dinner table: one’s an ex-cop and the other one, my brother, kills animals as frequently as possible, which says it all. They don’t scream or yell (nobody in my family raises their voice much–stoical Teutonic upbringing, I guess), but they are dominant and feel entitled (re: inconsiderate) in the household.

So they hijacked the entire dinner.

We have my brother, whom I love fiercely but who has become a Republican gun nut.  I honestly don’t know how it happened.  Our family isn’t “liberal” by New York or San Francisco standards, but we’re old-school Roosevelt Democrats.  Very pro-Labor, progressive tax and redistribution, and basically against military intervention (even though every man has served in the military).  I’m much further to the Left, it’s true, but my political preferences have zero chance for realization, so they are not a source of discord except within my mind.

I don’t understand what happened to my brother.  He started hunting and then got sucked into the MINORITY/subculture within that (most hunters are not dingbats).  It’s the only thing I can think of.

Now he gets his news from conservative talk radio and he has at least 12 guns.  He is also mad at black people, despite not knowing any in private or professional life.  If he interacts with a single African-American on a daily basis, I’d be surprised.  I sure don’t, when I live here.  Even when I was teaching at the local university, I didn’t.

What did black people ever do to you, brother…?

Then we have my ex-cop uncle.  He is highly opinionated…and he knows EXACTLY what gun violence means, having dealt with its repercussions for many years.  He’s getting old and still made out of metal.  Still looks like a Marine.  When he wasn’t a cop, he was working, physically, all his life.  His hands are like sheet rock and his body is an engine.  He’s fearless and a sexist.  He’s very macho (but he votes Democrat and actually likes Bernie).

The topic of recent mass shootings came up, and my uncle opined that the general public does not need access to all these fucking guns.

My brother was, insecurely, incensed by this, and spoke up.

Then we were off the the races.

Soon, nobody was eating anything.  The food was getting cold.

I had to learn more about my brother’s irrational and paranoid ideas than I would have liked.  I love him.  What accounts for this needless, toxic masculinity…?  He kills hundreds of animals a year, including things like badgers (in snare traps) that are outside of town and don’t hurt anyone.

Is he trying to compensate for not having a father….?

Because, believe me, things could have been worse: he could have had mine.


But of all Sadness this was Sad–

But of all sadness this was sad –
A woman’s arms tried to shield
The head of a sleeping man
From the jaws of the final beast.

This is the saddest incident from my childhood.  I will tell you now.
My father, a gambling addict, had lost everything, and been evicted from his last apartment.  He was living in a camper-van, and unemployed, and had been unemployed for several years.  I was 16 years old, working at Long John Silver’s fast-food restaurant, and giving him all of my wages.  I made $5.15 an hour, and I couldn’t work more than 20 hours a week because of child labor laws…but I worked all weekend, every weekend, and I gave him everything.  He wanted me to steal from my job, but I wouldn’t do that.  He wanted me to steal from my mother’s jewelry box, but I wouldn’t do that either.
(as an aside, you don’t know what a huge douche global capitalism is until you’ve worked all day, on your feet, dealing with assholes, and your healthy, fit teenaged body aches at night, for FORTY FUCKING DOLLARS.  Fast food was the hardest job in my life.)
One day he came to me in his camper-van.  He was wearing his best suit, a khaki suit, with a blue-striped tie.  And he said, “I have something to show you.”
He took me by the hand into his camper-van.
There were two suicide notes hanging above the little kitchen unit: one addressed to me, and one addressed to my mother.
And then he showed me how he intended to kill himself: with gas, maybe helium, but I guess it could have been propane, I don’t remember.  He’d rigged a tube up from it, and put it through a heavy-duty plastic bag, and formed a noose around the bag, so that it was like a mask.
(he was, at one point, a respiratory therapist in the ICU ward.  So he knew how these things work)
I felt like I was seeing all of this in slow-motion.  I felt the oddest sensation of horror and numbness.  I felt like I couldn’t feel my face.  I swear to you: it was the most awful moment of my life.  And I’ve had plenty.
Because I LOVED HIM.  I loved him beyond morality.  I don’t love him anymore–now I feel nothing but contempt and disgust, but at the time I LOVED HIM.   And I felt responsible for him and obligated for taking care of him.
Then he left, and I sat there for a few minutes, feeling so weird inside.  I was so scared for him!  I was like, my daddy is GOING TO DIE?
I walked into my mother’s house.  My little brother wasn’t home yet (he was at soccer practice).  I remember that there was a Persian rug in the living room with a circular pattern in the center.
I collapsed in the middle of the rug, and curled up into a ball, and I shriek.
Nothing like that has ever happened in my life.  I cried when the Surgeon damaged me emotionally a few times, and I cried my ass off for a month when the Mathematician betrayed me, but, I am telling you, this was the most gut-wrenching fear/terror/grief of my life.  IT HURT IT HURT SO BADLY.
My mother came into the room and she lifted up my face, and she was FURIOUS, and she looked at my face, and she slapped me upside the head…hard.
“Get yourself together!” she hissed.
(Keep in mind, I was never a little drama queen.  It’s not like I made histrionics on a regular basis.  I was always extremely quiet and calm, even as a baby–both of my parents would tell you that even as a baby, I never cried.)
I shut up immediately, and then I went to go barf in the bathroom, because I could not cope with the anxiety.
Then I gave her my father’s “suicide notes.”  She took them and I have no idea what she did with them.   We never discussed them.  I could not bring myself to read either one.
Now, as an ADULT, this is what I feel: Mom should have been GAME OVER, PSYCHO!  RESTRAINING ORDER!  Any family court judge in the country would have given her (and me) a restraining order.  My father was completely out of control and this was transparently psychologically abusive.
My mother sent me back to him.  Why,  cannot say, except that in some intrinsic way she hates my guts.
A month later, he committed himself to the State Mental Health Hospital.  There was nowhere else for him to go.
And I visited him there.

(2) Clients and Lying

        When I started working in the Biz, I took it as a given that clients would lie to me.  I expected that they would lie to me for the same reason I lied to them: to protect themselves, to keep a barrier between what we did together and their regular lives.  I expected them to lie about identifying information: where they worked, what town they lived in, and whether they were married or in relationship.  

        I was surprised to learn that some of them would lie about other things, trivial things, inconsequential things.  I found the lies amusing, then baffling.

         I had several sessions with a young African-American client who told me that he worked in a parking garage.  He told the mistress he saw months later, after me, that he worked for Google. Another mistress told me that he worked in administration at Hunter College.  Why?

        They lie about mistresses they’ve sessioned with in the past.  They lie about their BDSM experience, minimizing or exaggerating it.  They lie about needing their glasses to see clearly.  They lie about how much they’ve had to drink.  I had one tell me that he was fighting his ex-wife for custody of his young children, and then, later that summer, tell me that he was childless.  

         They would lie to me about the origins of their fetishes, as they understood them.  I heard fantasies of incest and criminal child-abuse rings that struck me as too fantastical and lurid to be true (and others, sadly, that I could only hope were untrue).  I heard all manner of stories about imaginary dominas, girlfriends, co-workers–at least those lies made sense, as they followed an erotic fantasy.  

        Some lies were the same lies that men commonly tell women in order to impress them: lies about military service or serving in combat, lies about cars (one guy claimed that he had a Jaguar, but did not know its country of manufacture) or jobs in high-status employment, like the entertainment industry.  A guy who owned a pest-control/extermination business told me that he was a career police officer. 

        The lies seldom offended me, even when I believed them, and later found out I was wrong, as with Mr. Parking Garage-Google-Hunter College.  I wasn’t offended.  I was merely confused: why would he tell me that…? 

       I can’t begin to answer that, but I can tell you what I would tell the new girls in the Studio: you have no idea who the guy sitting across from you in the consultation room really is, and, more often than not, the fact that he is even there means that he probably isn’t the most, ahh, forthcoming person in the world.  They have all sorts of reasons for being there, and those reasons are not always the reasons they readily admit to.  

How to Clean a Bathtub

      Things in this household run on time.  If my mother was a man and went into the Army, I would have been the daughter of a drill sergeant.  

       Like her predecessor, Henri Fayol, she believes there is one best way of doing things.  Cleaning the bathtub, for instance.

       The bathtubs and sinks in the house have to be replaced about every seven years.  

        Because of the way they are cleaned.

        This is the way that it goes:

        After you bathe, you dry yourself off in the shower so that you don’t track water everywhere.

          Then you take the squeegee thing and squeegee the moisture off of the inside of the shower doors and the tiles.  Moisture creates mildew.

              Then you take the soap out of the dish and put it back in its cardboard container, to be placed outside of the shower beside the towel rack.  If the soap is left in water, it will leave gummy soap deposits in the soap dish.

          Get the special soap rag.  Clean the soap dish with the rag.  Rag goes back under the sink.

          Fetch the bleach.  Spray down the inside of the bathtub with bleach solution.  Let it sit for a minute.  

          (Be sure to crack the window first, too.  The fumes get a little intense.) 

          Turn on the hot water and scrub the bathtub with the brush.  Then rinse all the bleach out.

           Return bleach and brush under the sink.

           Check.  Make sure there is no hair in bathtub.

           Put toiletries back in place.  Put the cap back on the safety razor.  

           Wipe the chrome with a soft cloth so that it is shiny and there are no water spots.  Put the cloth away.

             Hang up the bath mat.  Must be hung lengthwise and it must be perfectly even.

             Hang up bath towel.  Ditto.

             Now you can leave the bathroom.  Leave the door open so that the mirror unfogs and you can use it to apply your makeup or put in your contact lenses or whatever.  You can’t use a towel to wipe off the fog because it leaves streaks. 

              This is done every time you take a shower.  You have to ration your time correctly, because it must be done, even if you’re in a hurry to leave the house.

              The good news is, once you get the system down, you can execute this chore in about five minutes.  

              The bad news is: it’s….well, do I really need to tell you why it’s bad…?

           I one bad memory about this from my childhood.   I think I was about eleven, and my brother was eight (he remembers this one too, by the way).

            Bathtime was after dinner, before bed.  Sometimes he’d go first, sometimes I would.  Anyway, we took our baths and went to our rooms and everything was normal until I heard Mom shouting at us to come to the bathroom.

            Someone had left a wet towel on the floor, and she wanted to know who had left it.

          She was pissed.  I remember her standing there and pointing at it, like a cop pointing at a murder weapon and telling the accused that he might as well confess. 

          Well, I wasn’t taking the blame for that one.  Nope.  No siree.

         My brother denied it also. 

          Mom told us that we could just wait there in the bathroom until someone took the blame and then hung up the towel. 

          Oh boy.  

           We both settled down to wait.  She went to take her bath and get ready for bed.  

          My brother and I bickered back and forth a little over whose fault it was.  I continued to insist it was not mine, but here it is, The Awful Truth: I was lying.  I was the one who left the towel.  I’d just forgotten it…but I sure as hell wasn’t going to admit it.  Not when I’d get into trouble.

          This is also The Awful Truth: I was older and stronger, and I knew he’d break first. 

         And he did.  It probably took an hour and a half, judging from the sounds on the television. 

          He started crying and said that he did it, and then Mom let him hang up the towel and go to bed. 

          Many years later, I was drinking at my brother’s house, and I told him that I knew he wasn’t the one who left the towel.

          “Oh, I know,” he said.  “Believe me, I know.”

          I apologized.  He accepted. 

         I told my shrink about that one.  She thought that my mother overreacted.  It was just a towel, she said.

        The bathtubs are replaced because all that bleach destroys the enamel.   Privately, I think this is sort of funny.  We had to destroy the bathtub in order to clean it! 

The End: Part IV

        I moved home.   It had to be done.  There was nowhere else I could go–I didn’t have the financial reserves to support myself for long without doing sex work.  

        I also did it because I knew that the proximity of my family and the people from my old life would force me to be accountable, or at least instill enough fear of getting caught in me to make me behave.  I mean, what am I going to do, sneak out of my mother’s house on the pretext of visiting a friend, go do a professional BDSM session in a hotel room, and then come back with my leather clothes and stuff in a duffel bag?  Answer client emails at the breakfast table?  Come on!

          At least, that’s what I thought.  

          I’m going on three weeks of being an unemployed loser.  This morning I applied for a job teaching the ACT and SAT to High School Seniors.  Then I applied for a job as a “Feline Attendant” at the local SPCA.  I am not too proud to clean litter boxes.  Once you’ve hung a guy upside down from the ceiling and penetrated his urethra with an electrified sound, changing litter and feeding kitties their de-worming medication is positively pedestrian. 

            My mother wants me to go see a career counselor who knows much more about the local economy than I do these days.  I’ll do it if she wants me to because it is very important to keep peace in the household, but my problem with that is that I am not looking for a “career” in this town.  I do not want to live here for more than a few months.   I can look for a career later.  I have to get out of education anyway.   Right now, I just need a stupid JOB that will keep me busy during the day and allow me to sock away a little cash.  

          Emphasis on “a little.”

         I charged between $20 and $80/hour for tutoring in NYC.  The community college job paid peanuts but at least it helped me keep one foot in the regular world and filled up the gap in my resume.  Data management and law office secretarial positions here pay $10-$12/hour.  I have not worked for that little money since I was an undergraduate.  My last school worked the research assistants like beasts of burden, but at least we got free tuition out of it.  

          I am stuck here until I make the money to leave again.  

         I did this to myself on purpose.  This was my design. 

         I am already establishing a routine here.  My mother gets up at 6.  At 7, her little dog comes into my room (“my room!” At my age!) and serenades me with an awful squeak toy.  I get up, I take a shower, I drink two cans of Diet Pespi, and then I tackle the job ads.  I apply to at least two jobs a day.  I could do more, but some of them require cover letters, which means I have to do research into whatever company or industry or office I’m applying to in order to write a competitive letter.  

         I check my bank balance.  It’s looking bad.

         I go to AA.  My mother takes me, or I ride a bike.  I’ve spent enough time in the local rooms now to be able to identify which ones are the crazies and which ones have their shit more or less together.  There is a woman about my age who runs the Tuesday night meeting.  I like her.  I think I might approach her to be AA friends.  

          I apply for Medicaid.  

          I clean up after myself as much as possible.  I volunteer to do chores.  I try to be inconspicuous.  I don’t want to be an imposition.  I don’t want to wear out my welcome. 

           I’ve been out to lunch a few times with my mother and her friends, which is excruciatingly embarrassing.  They all want to know why I came back.  What I want to say is Don’t ask if you don’t want to know, but what I really say is, “I needed a break,” which is not really a lie. 

           I write when I feel up to it.  It passes the time.  

           I go to my brother’s for dinner.  His freezer is full of ducks he’s blown out of the sky.  He shows me an unusually fine specimen that he’s taking to the taxidermist.  We grill ducks. 

            My mother told my Uncle that I have a drinking problem.  This is the only thing that she has done so far that pisses me off.  My Uncle is a very judgmental man.  I do not think that he will like me so much from now on.

            I water the garden.  I collect tomatoes.  

            At night I look at the ads on Backpage and Eros.  I am older than a lot of the women, but I’m also better-looking and more sophisticated.  Their photos are all bathroom selfies with bad lighting.  I think about what my Russian manager would say about these awful photographs.  Compared to them, I would be a classy hoe.  Hell, I could be the classiest hoe in town!  

           Too dangerous.  Smaller community.  People know me here.  This was my design.  It’s why I came back.  Accountability. 

           I left New York to get away from that field of work and the entire double-life craziness.   The last six months of it was pretty unpleasant (with a few exceptions).  Why on earth would I even want to consider it now?

           It’s not easy money, but it is fast money.  

           And life is sad and boring, and I was certainly never bored when I was zipping uptown to meet a new client with my bag o’ swag on my zap.  Nope, not bored then, not even a little.  In fact, I was usually wishing I had a drink in order to curb the anxiety that this client might FINALLY be the client who was going to rape me and leave my body under the bed.  And I wasn’t bored when I walked out with $400, either.

              But…no more sessions that are so bizarre that they give me PTSD.  No babysitting cokeheads at 3 AM.   No more schoolgirl outfits.  No more masturbating wackadoodles.  I have not seen a naked stranger in three weeks.  WOW that is sort sort of record.

           I just have to wait it out.  Things will get better.  If nothing else, maybe I should go down to the local Democratic Party office and offer to volunteer until I get a job.  Anything to keep me busy.  Idle hands, and all that.

           Cause the phone isn’t ringing. 

Burning Out (Close to The End)

    Miss Margo Note:  I wrote this on the 10th, I believe, but I didn’t publish it.  I was too shy and I also felt ashamed to admit that I relapsed and had to go to the hospital.  It’s an honest blog post, though, and not a bad piece of writing, and it documents my thoughts and feelings at the time, so I think it’s worthy of publication.  I still have a lot more to write about my last days at the dungeon and what I’m doing now.  Don’t worry, this blog is not going anywhere and I have no intentions of stopping it.  I actually have plenty of other tales of Dungeon Drama and Crazy Dommes to write about, now that I’m out of there and don’t have to worry about one of the mean girls finding this blog and shanking me in the locker room. 

                                                    *                                               *                                           *

  This is the truth.

        It’s 5 AM and I’m sitting on the couch in the locker room at the Studio.  I’ve been here since 11 AM yesterday.  I am wide awake and I hate it here, but I’m afraid to go back to my apartment for some reason.  I will have to go back soon to care for my animals and do what needs to be done. 

        I did five sessions while I was here this time and made approximately $1800.  I need to count the money, but I don’t want to look at it now.  It’s in my purse in my locker.

       It is my most profitable day here.  

       It is also one of my last.

       Something has changed in my mind.  I don’t know what happened, but I just can’t cope with this shit anymore.  The last session I had this morning was with a coked-out Englishman.  He was a nice, polite (one thing I have to say about the English–they are barbarians when they drink, but otherwise, they have excellent manners) fellow who wanted me to pretend to be his mother, even though he was at least 15 years older than me.  I got dressed up like Hillary Clinton.  He pretended to be about 14 years old, and a sullen, defiant brat.  I took him to see another Mistress, who played a “doctor,” to consult with her about his behavioral problems.  

        We “drugged” him and then “decided” to fix him by strapping him down to a table and giving him a sex change operation.  He would be better if he was a girl.  The client had an entire script written out.  We pretended to amputate his genitals, while he begged “Mummy” not to let it happen.

        How do you think that made me feel…?  I know it’s just pretend, but fuck, man, that is some sick shit and I didn’t feel good doing it.  I know I am responsible for the consequences because I participated of my own volition.  Nobody held a gun to my head.  I didn’t want to do it, but I did it as a favor to my friend, the “doctor,” who didn’t think any other Mistress in the Studio tonight had the talent and fortitude to do the session correctly with her.  

       That’s a compliment to my acumen, but it’s also a testament to how far I’ve fallen down the fucking rabbit hole.  “MISS MARGO CAN HANDLE THE WORST OF THE WORST!”

 I’d already had four other sessions, two of them where I was submissive.  Underneath my Hillary Clinton outfit, bruises were springing up like mushrooms after a Spring rain.   My skin hurt(s).  I didn’t have time to process the beatings in my mind.  I don’t give a fuck about physical pain and I never have, but there is something strange about being in a room with a total stranger who wants to hurt you.  I didn’t use to perceive it, but something happened, and now I’m sensitive to it. 

       I find my father wherever I go.

       I relapsed last week and went on a bender.  I hated it and I was miserable.  When I stopped, I threw up constantly and then had a seizure when I was alone in my bedroom.  It terrified me and I went to the ER.  I walked there at 5 AM.  

       I can’t finish this.  I thought that I could, but I can’t.


    She was a good student, but vulnerable, and that was the most important thing.  That was why the teacher picked her.

    Separating her from her classmates was not particularly difficult, because she’d already done that of her own accord: she did not have many close friendships, or any close friendships, as far as he could tell (and you better believe that he looked very carefully).  She spent a lot of her free time reading or drawing in a notebook with colored pencils.  Her concentration was fine during class and he seldom caught her attention wandering–she had a lot of discipline for a girl her age, actually–but in Church, she seemed to daydream a lot.  People would call her name and she wouldn’t hear them right away.

      So, it was very easy for the teacher to become her friend. Especially since he actually enjoyed her: he told himself that they had a lot in common and that he reminded him of his younger self, which might or might not have been true.  It was easy to talk with her about what she was reading in the library, or when the students sat in the Churchyard garden during lunchtime.  And it was especially easy to talk to her because it never would have occurred to her to rebuff the conversation of a teacher: if an adult authority figure wanted to talk with her, she talked, and that was all there was to it.  He’d met both of her parents–had sat down for coffee with them, even.  The mother was stern, concerned primarily with her daughter’s grades, and worked 60 hours a week.  The father was borderline rude and, curiously, jealous of any other adult’s affect on his daughter’s intellectual development. The important thing was that the daughter seemed afraid of him, which was optimal, as far as the teacher was concerned. 

      So, the teacher started talking to her outside of class.  It started with books, goings-on about town, and things that were happening on the news, but in time, as the weeks passed, the conversation shifted to other things. He talked to her as nobody had ever talked to her before: he asked her the right questions, the questions someone would ask if they really cared.  He would listen to her answers carefully, and look for insights to her character and personality.  He treated her with more respect than she had ever known.  He would bring special foods to give to her at lunch, none of which she had ever eaten before.

     In no time at all, the teacher had become very special to her.  In fact, one could say that he became one of the most important parts of her daily life. She cared about him and wanted to impress him.  She did, in fact, flourish under all of the attention, which was, after all, not dissimilar to real love.  It is probable that the teacher told himself this often as a justification for the actualization of his true desires, which were rather less altruistic. 

      Perhaps other people noticed how much time the two of them were spending together outside of class, but nobody ever said anything about it…except for one older boy, who’d displayed a romantic interest in her the previous year (and been rejected).  He cornered her after gym class one day and asked:

       “Hey.  What’s going on with you and Mr. Teacher?”

       “What do you mean?” she asked, honestly confused.

       “There’s nothing going on with you and Mr. Teacher?”

       “I don’t understand what you mean,” she said.

       She thought about it later that night and decided that the boy was just jealous because the teacher liked her more.

       Then the day came when the teacher asked her to stay after class.  She was confused, because he seemed tense, and she hadn’t done anything wrong that she could think of.

         He told her to go stand in the corner, and when she did, he pressed up behind her and put his hand underneath her skirt.  She could feel his erection through his pants.  She’d never seen an adult man’s penis before, but she knew what an erection was.

       She was terrified and bolted for the door.  She shouted after her, but didn’t chase her.

       She went home and didn’t tell anybody what happened.

       And just like that, everything changed.

      From then on, he ignored her completely.  All of the affection and attention he’d lavished on her previously was totally revoked. He did not make eye contact with her, he did not call on her in class, and her essays and homework assignments were returned to her with the minimum amount of grading possible. 

      She was, of course, devastated, and very confused.  She wanted him to not be angry with her anymore.  One time, she tried to return a book to him and talk about it, like they used to do, and all he said was, “I don’t have time for you right now.”  

     She thought about what happened all the time. She kept wondering if she had misinterpreted something, or if what happened hadn’t actually happened as she remembered.  And, naturally, she came to wonder if it was her fault. 

       One day, she went to his office when the others were in Church.  She heard him typing on his word processor.  He looked up when she came into the room.

       “Yes?  What do you want?”

      “I want it to be like it was before!  I’m sorry!” she said, wondering if she was going to cry.

      He leaned back in his chair and put one of his ankles up on his knee, and asked the question that sealed her fate:

     “Well, what are you going to do to make this up to me?”


      Children are shockingly easy to mind-fuck.  

      I witnessed quite a spectacle this morning when I was out and about, doing my shopping: a mother torturing her child.

      I haven’t had any experience with children since I was a child myself, so it’s difficult for me to guess the ages of the young ones, but this one looked to be about five years old.  Mom was standing at the steps to the subway station.  The boy was eight feet away.  He was frozen.  He was crying.

      Mom was telling him that it was time to get on the train and go home to receive his punishment. 

      The boy shook his head.  He was scared.  He didn’t want to go to his mother, but what could he do?  There was nowhere else to go.  He was trapped. 

       He kept say no, and that he was sorry.  There was a lot of emotion in his voice and he seemed close to panicking. It was a touching display of groveling, really.  I didn’t learn how to beg until adulthood.  It was forbidden in my parents’ households, presumably because it was too similar to complaining.  My father banished me from his sight for even crying in front of him (he did give me a pass when the cat, Tiger, died).

       Mom of the Year here looked very composed.  That’s what made such an impression on me: this wasn’t a case of a tired, harried adult losing her temper and snapping at a brat, or even swatting his ass.  A parent could have the patience of Job and still get exhausted with children’s histrionics from time to time.

       Nope.  Mom of the Year here was enjoying herself.  I saw that very clearly.  I’d recognize her expression at a thousand paces.

       I’m not in the habit of meddling with strangers–I would sit in a busy waiting room all day without once initiating conversation with the person next to me–but in this case, I felt obliged to say something.

       “It’s easy to mind-fuck children, isn’t it?  A person could do it all day.”

       Mom looked at me, brought back into reality, and the spell was broken.   She walked to her child, grabbed him by the collar, and started towing him to the stairs. Poor little guy.  He’d be better off in an orphanage.  Children are slaves in our society.  It makes me sick sometimes to think that anyone who wants to can essentially get their own little slave and do whatever they want to them.

      Occasionally, in my role as a professional sadist, I will make the object collude with me in his own oppression.  I don’t do it often because it’s psychologically dicey for me, but I have done it.  More than once. 

        I tell them, you know.  I warn them to be careful with what they choose to tell me…or any other mistress, for that matter.  I tell them that I am paying attention, studying them, listening carefully as they give me the keys to unlock them.  To dismantle them.  My father is the cruelest person I have ever met.  I reject him insofar as I am able, but that cruelty is still my birthright, and I have a talent for it.  It is one reason I do not want children.

       I got a priest this week…the fourth one of my career (that I know of, of course.  If they come in wearing street clothes and don’t mention their vocation, I’d have no idea).  Culturally, I suppose, I’m still a Roman Catholic, but in the last few years I’ve become so anti-clergy (of all religions) that I can barely sit through Mass on Christmas, and it’ll be a cold day in hell before I call one “father” again. It’s not even the stupid religion that gets on my nerves, it’s the power of the institution.  It angers a lot of them if you don’t address them by their titles, which really tells you something about how they consider themselves.

       He told me his secrets.  I listened carefully and absorbed it, and I told him that I was going to use it to hurt him.  He knew, and he told me anyway, because that is what he wanted.  I took it all in, examined it, and turned it over in my head, while I got in touch with my father.  

       I distilled the priest’s secrets down to a poison, because that is my father’s talent, which he passed on to me.  

      I whispered to him in the dark, and, like King Claudius, I dripped his poison back into his ear. 

       The first thing that I made him do was to look into the mirror and slap himself.

       This is my house, and there is no escape.

       Nobody here gets out alive.

Reader Mailbag: Miss Margo, Your Sexuality is Failing Feminism

      “How do you reconcile being a self-proclaimed feminist with your sexuality and letting men treat you like shit and beat you up?”
                                                        –Woman Stranger who Finds Me Offensive

       Well, jeez, lady.  You kinda hurt my feelings.  My blog makes some guys mad, for reasons which remain opaque to me, but it smarts a lot more to get it from a woman.

        The question itself isn’t half bad, though.

         The answer is: I cannot reconcile my sexuality and my politics.  It’s impossible.  The activities that excite me and most of the things I do in my professional capacity are utterly opposed to the majority of my values and belief systems.  I don’t bullshit myself: there’s a reason my domme business card says “Oppressor for Hire.”  That’s what I do: I violate peoples’ physical integrity and human rights, and I’d just as soon be beaten by a man I find attractive than have intercourse with him.

        But: it’s sex.   To quote the eminently quotable Dr. Freud, fears are wishes.  

        I am a responsible citizen who is more politically active than most.  I suppose that if my sexuality were a politics (what a weird thought experiment!) I’d be some sort of awful fucking fascist, but I don’t vote that way.  I’m mostly a polite guilty leftist and I’d fill every seat in Congress with a woman if I could.  

        But come on, dude (dudette?): I am not going to deny the way that I have orgasms in order to make them, what…?  More egalitarian…?  Sexuality approved by the Green Party and Ghandi?  Where are we going with this?  I have enough guilt in my life as it is.  I can’t even buy a fucking t-shirt without stressing about sweatshop workers and my carbon footprint.   Leave my sexytimes alone.

       I am not responsible for the oppression of women.  I live under shitty patriarchy, too.  I just happen to have eroticized my own oppression.  Yeah, it’s sick, but it is an extremely common and well-understood coping mechanism.  At least I’m having fun with it.  When life gives you lemons, and all that.  
       Finally: I can’t help who and what I’m attracted to.  That was coded into my personality before I even hit puberty.  Perhaps I have been unwise to embrace it to the extent that I have–I have perused my sexuality at the expense of my career and personal happiness.  I have indulged damn near every impulse I’ve ever had.  Maybe I’ve gone overboard.  I still regret almost none of it.

      But I believe, firmly, that if you deny your sexuality, it makes you neurotic and unhappy and it will destroy your personal relationships.  Trust me on this one.  I see it all the time.  One of the saddest parts of the job is seeing men in profound emotional pain because they feel bad about, say, wanting to wear pantyhose.   That sort of guilt is toxic to the soul.

       Oh, one other thing, lady: the other sentiments in your letter suggest that you take offense at the notion of women making a living from their sexuality, or from providing sexual services to dudes.  

       I understand.  It’s monstrously unfair that men can buy sexual attention (if they can afford it), and it’s annoying when they act entitled to it.  But entitled dude-ism did not start with me.  Entitlement is the default state of dudes.  Take it up with the P.

       I also understand that some women find sex workers threatening because sex work fucks up the female half of the “sex in exchange for relationship and material/family support” exchange. 

        I posit that as much as I politically (and even personally) dislike men sometimes, and as much as I think marriage is a loser’s bargain for women, I do not think that the vast majority of men are going to forsake relationships and family life to get laid with prostitutes and and have lapdances after work.  Most of them are ensouled.  They want love.  And someone to clean up after them. 

       And let’s be honest: 80%-90% of clients are married.  Unless he’s taking food out of your kids’ mouths to pay for it, I don’t see what the problem is.  The hooker pays her electricity bill, the wife doesn’t have to fuck him, and he doesn’t nag her about it.  There is peace in the household and you’re not fighting over sex (fighting with a man over sex is awful! Good god, I don’t miss that part of being in a relationship!)  Peace and quiet reign once more. Exactly what is the problem here?  

       Well, I don’t actually fuck the husband (unless he is a cockatoo-borrowing seducer).  I put him in pantyhose and hit him with stuff.  Why should the wife have to do that if she doesn’t want to?

        And don’t tell me that he should be able to control himself.  Yes, he should, but that’s never going to happen.  Men run around and the system is set up to abet them.  

        That is one thing this job and my awful heartbreaking experience with the Mathematician has done to me: I do not think that I will ever trust a man not to run around ever again.  I think that the best I can ever hope for is emotional loyalty and a commitment to the household.  I guess there are men out there who don’t have affairs or see sex workers, but I don’t know of any.   The only guy who didn’t cheat on me (that I know of) was the awful restraining-order Ex, John.   It’s one reason I’m so unwilling to commit to sexual monogamy: I don’t think it’s possible for the vast majority of people.

        Today I get the results of my blood work and brain scan at Rehab!  Have I pickled my noodle?  We shall see!

The Most Violent

       I was at my first dungeon, about two weeks in, when I had my first professional session in which I was to play the submissive role.

       Nothing about the man alarmed me in consultation.  He was a clean-cut white guy in a very good suit.  He carried an umbrella with a fancy handle carved into the shape of a hawk’s head.  I remember enthusing over the umbrella, and he handed it to me and let me examine it up close.  He told me that he picked it up at an umbrella store on Madison Avenue.  I was unaware, at the time, that such places existed.

      He was the eldest client I’d seen thus far, two weeks out of the gate.  He was older than my parents, who bore me late in life. He had to be past sixty-five.  I thought this made him “safe.”  I mean, how often does one hear about senior citizens attacking women?

       He wanted to spank me with his bare hand.  He was experienced.  And of course, he knew that I’d keep my underwear on.

       Well, okay.

        He tipped me up front.  $50.  If I’d known what was coming, I would have charged at least an extra $200…or not done it at all.

        But I didn’t know.  I was green, green, green.

       Which, I was to learn, was typical of his MO.  He stalked the dungeons looking for new girls.  After you’ve been in this industry for a little while, you know what that means:

       Predatory scumbag looking for women without firmly established boundaries.

       Fucking management.  I can’t believe they sent me in there without warning me.  Because this guy was well-known.

       I put my money away and returned to the room, and I was startled because he’d stood up…and he was much taller than I’d guessed when he was sitting down.

        Then man was huge.  6’4″, at least.

        I’ll never forget what happened next: he approached me, as I stood there nervously in my corset, bra, and heels, and looked me right in the eye.  Smiling.  He was forcing a lot of direct eye contact.  And once you’ve been in this industry for a little while, you know what that means.

        I kept looking away, but there was nowhere else to look.  The room was full of mirrors, and I was suddenly very self-conscious.

         What the heck am I doing here in this room with this strange man, wearing these clothes..?  I asked myself.

         Ah, yes.  My first moment of clarity in the Biz.  Today, I call these moments “What am I doing with my liiiiiiiife?” moments.  
          He stared me down, got up close and personal, and then (get this)–

          He put his huge, long-fingered hands underneath my hair and cupped my skull, turning my face around towards his.

          Then I registered something else that alarmed me: his hands were hard.

          What?  What was a businessman his age doing with hard hands?  What the hell was going on here?

          Oh boy.  I had a lot to learn.  

           But that was okay…because my teacher had come to my house.

           “You are a very pretty girl,” he said.  He did not say it as a compliment.

           You know what I felt like…?  I felt like a maiden in a Grimm fairy tale about to get eaten by an ogre.

           I tried to look away because I couldn’t stand to meet his awful hungry eyes, and got another look at myself in the mirror.  Ah yes: how did I get here, and what am I doing with my life?

          He flipped me over as if I weighed no more than a bag of feathers and started to beat my ass.  No warm-up, no warning, no safe word, nothing.

         I felt like I was in the room with a dangerous animal, like a gorilla.  There was no communication or connection.  It was plainly obvious to me that he was going to do what he wanted when he wanted to do it.  And he was fucking strong.

         It occurred to me that he could kill me.  Then my mind went blank.

        I was just hanging on.  Yep.

       The good news was that it was over with fairly quickly–if it lasted ten minutes, I’d be surprised.  

        But ten minutes can be a long time.  It can be a long, long time.

        I screamed.  It’s a good thing I did, because it seemed to excite him, and that probably made it end more quickly.

       I assume he came in his pants, but I really have no idea.  I was too afraid and trying to stabilize my body to pay much attention.

       He stopped as quickly as he started and pushed me away.  I stumbled in my high heels and fell on the floor.

        He did not try to help me stand.  He adjusted his necktie and smoothed his hair, and asked to use the restroom.  I got to my feet and led him there.  My whole body was trembling.

        It was not the worst spanking I’ve ever taken–not by a longshot.  

        But it was one of the most violent. 

       What did I make from that experience…?  $140?  It happened around the start of the semester.  I probably used it to buy textbooks.