My First SA Date: Pretty Damn Awful

Well, I met my first potential tuition-funding guy this afternoon. It was not the worst date I’ve ever had, but that bar is set so abysmally low that I can’t say clearing it is an achievement or even complimentary.

I met him on, so my expectations were not particularly high to begin with. What I was expecting was an average-looking middle-aged guy in his 50s, probably cheating on his wife, whom I would not be attracted to but would not find offensive, either.  Ideally, I’d like him a little bit and think Yes! He seems cool and has a good attitude, and I could totally spend a few hours a week with him and not dread it.  But really, I would be content with someone I could tolerate.  With standards that minimal (realistic, I told myself, realistic), I thought I wouldn’t be disappointed.  I mean, as a guy, how do you fuck that up?  Bathe, be friendly and polite, diplomatically but clearly state your expectations, listen to her questions and preferences, and schedule a session, or “intimacy,” as its referred to on that embarrassing website.

Well, this guy fucked it up.

We met at a Starbuck’s, and I ended up being glad that we did.  I wanted a place where I could GTFO if necessary and not be trapped with a jerk over dinner, hating life and pondering the decisions that have led me to this cruel fate.

“No-obligation coffee date,” I wrote, in an email explicitly stating that didn’t plan on having sex the first time I met him. “Just to assess mutual compatibility and get to know each other a little bit.”

He showed up on time, and I was pleased he was not physically repulsive.  A six-footer in a polo shirt and pants (thank God no shorts) with most of his hair, including the bit that came out the opening of his shirt.  He’d said that his ethnicity was Persian/Greek, which had made me side-eye his profile a little–I’m not a fan of macho cultures, and Iran, well, do I have to enumerate things that suck about Iran?–but I figured, what the hell, it’s unfair to judge a person by their nationality.

He didn’t order anything and sat down at my table. We shook hands.  I gave him a fake name.  He said his name was “Ryan.”  That’s probably fake, too.

“So, why are you on SA?” he asked him.

I thought it was pretty obvious what I was doing on SA, since I said so in my ad and emails to him, but spelled it out: “I’m going back to school in the Fall and I need to make money for that.  I’m currently completely single and I don’t have kids, so I can do whatever I want, and I decided to try this and see if it works out for me.”

“What are you expecting financially?”

Ah, reader, that’s the question, isn’t it?  I’ve asked myself a million times what it ought to be.  I spent some time cruising the local sex worker ad malls to gauge the local market and asking myself how much I could reasonably expect from a delusional psuedo-client who wanted the facsimile of a vanilla relationship without paying escort prices.  Then I asked myself what I could charge and still keep my self-respect.

I gave him a number that was more than a prodomme session and less than what I could charge as an escort in San Francisco, the nearest big market.  Frankly, I think the man (or men) who eventually get it will be getting a hell of a deal. I bring a lot to the table

He winced and then said that he could do it.

I did not like that wince.  I do not like it at all.  Rude!  The only acceptable reactions are to grin like you just uncovered your lucky numbers in a scratch-off lotto ticket or to respectfully decline with dignity.  Don’t wince like you just got a massive unfair parking ticket. 

“So, what kind of sex do you like?” he asked me.

I met this guy five minutes ago.

I think a civilian woman would have picked up her handbag and walked out.  It was enough to make me remember the girl I once was, a million years and another lifetime ago, before I became totally accustomed to interviewing men and being questioned about sexual matters in the consultation rooms of dungeons.

I sighed.  Yup, it felt like I was back in a consult room at a dungeon, maybe dealing with some rando dungeon barnacle who was asking me what wanted to do, what turned me on, except that this man was not a sub, and I could not say “Sensory Deprivation and caning,” which is what I always told to time-wasters who offended me.

“I like a lot of things,” I said, but not with you, I thought.

“Do you have toys?”

If you only knew, I thought, picturing the big green suitcase that holds all my gear.  Probably not any toys you’d like, though.

“Do you like other girls?”

Oh jesus CHRIST, I thought to myself.  I put my tablet into my handbag and sat up straight, away from him.  I crossed my legs.  Any idiot could have read my body language.

“I don’t have sex with women,” I said.

“No threesomes with another girl?  You never tried it?  Not even once?” He had a big smile on his face, as if I’d said something preposterous, like I don’t eat fruit.

“No.  I’m not sexually attracted to women.”

This is true: I’m a Kinsey 0, a pure heterosexual.  But I have had MFF threesomes, of a sort: I’ve had sexual experiences with my ex, the Surgeon, and another woman…but I didn’t have sex with her.  Just a little eye-candy touching above the waist, no making out, all very superficial. I did it for him, and I was happy to do it–we had fun–but there was no way I was going to share this with my Starbucks date.  No way on God’s green earth.

“That’s too bad. It’s something I really like to see, two women, you know, really going at it.

I swear to God, he was polite in his emails.

He started to reminisce about threesomes he’d had.

“Where do you find the women?  Do you hire escorts?”  It was an honest question, as it seemed to be the only logical explanation.

“No! You can find women, pick them up in a bar or restaurant, bring them back to your hotel! Especially young women.  They just want to have the experience!  Try something new!  Maybe you see them again for a little while, maybe it’s just a one-time experience.”

I sat there, trying honestly to imagine what type of woman this man could pick up who would be willing to go back to his room and have a threesome with him.  I was having a hard time imagining it.  I sure as hell never would have gone home with him, not even when I used to drink in bars and was smashed half the time.  He wasn’t ugly, really–I mean, I guess you wouldn’t have to put a bag over his head–but he wasn’t good-looking either, and he didn’t have a great figure or sparkling conversation to compensate for it.  He definitely wasn’t a charmer.  Quite the opposite, in fact.  So how did it happen?  How did he pick up women?  I was mystified.  I am still mystified. Does anyone have any ideas?  Maybe he was offering them unlimited drinks and cocaine?

“Well, that’s okay, if you don’t like other women. I can do that with other girls. You don’t expect me to be monogamous, right?”

“I absolutely don’t.”

“Just as long as you love sex!” he said.

I had already made up my mind that I was never, ever going to sleep with this asshole.  The only thing that could have made that possible for me was twice the money I was asking for and three martinis and a taxi to jump in the minute it was over, and since none of that was happening, I was gone.

“Can you get together next week when I come back here?” he asked.

“Sure!  Just send me a text!”  I said, and hustled out the door.  I know, I know, I should have told him off, but really, what would that do?  Do you really think that telling him he was an offensive swine who gave me immediate sandy vagina would have been a transformative experience for this guy?

Well, he’s blocked on everything now.  The entire date took about 18 minutes.  I checked my watch repeatedly.

I am not giving up.  I’m telling myself that I got a bad apple.  These guys are like clients, I’m telling myself: the shitty ones are so bad that they destroy your will to live, but most of them are perfectly okay and some are even wonderful.  So I’ll try again.  The tuition isn’t going to pay itself!


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.

Interview to be my boyfriend

I am doing an interview for you, a new potential boyfriend.  Please answer honestly (ha!) and completely:

Do you hate your mother, or just have a very weird relationship with her?

Are you a genius and at the height of your profession?

Do complete strangers call you “a total fucking asshole?”

Do you experience road rage?

Are you capable of breaking into your ex-girlfriend’s apartment when she leaves you? Does home invasion give you a boner?

Are you a sadist? Does saying things like “You’re my property!” turn you on?

Have you published in peer-reviewed journals?

Do you hire sex workers, and then blame the sex worker for doing that work?  Are you a massive hypocrite?

Do you fantasize about murdering your colleagues because you’re so damn competitive?  Do you actively try to hurt their careers?

Are you jealous of my parrot, Abe?

Are you capable of borrowing a cockatoo, or, alternately, abandoning your Amazon parrot at the dog pound when you got tired of him?

Are you emotionally unavailable?


Will I eventually have to get a restraining order?

Do you have a personality disorder?

Will you go through my purse, my phone, and my drawers?

Are you a notorious womanizer?

Are you a millionaire who is absurdly cheap?  Will I have to grovel to you to help me out with rent once in my life when I’ve fallen on hard times, after we’ve been together for years?

Do you tip 10%?

Are you ostensibly a Democrat, and then give money to Republican candidates “because taxes?”

Do you have strong opinions about black Americans, even though you have none in your social orbit and practically never speak to one?

Do you own Gucci loafers?

Are you old enough to be my father?

Extra credit if you are Jewish.  Sephardic guys to the front of the line.  Extra extra points if you fetishize me because of how white I look, but would never marry me in a million years.

Clients Who Stalk (II): This One Sends Spies

So, yes, let me tell you about my new stalking client…

Since I started working again in San Francisco, I’ve written at length about the ways in which the clients are different from my clients in New York.  The most prominent distinctions are their professions and racial demographics: in New York, my clients were mostly gentile white men and Jews…lots of MBAs, lawyers, and financial services creatures (most of my regulars, though, were PhDs or some sort of egghead, because they gravitate towards me).  In San Francisco, I get gentile white guys and a lot of Asians and Asian-Americans, including Indians.  On the whole, I think they’re a little younger than my New York clients (ugh…young clients…the older ones are usually better, IME).  A lot of them work in tech or computers.  What’s worse: a financial services creature or a Silicon Valley tech bro who feels conflicted about women because he spent his adolescence and 20s locked in a computer lab…? (To be fair, I spent mine in libraries, but it’s not comparable because I was also always getting laid.)

I hate to make generalizations because I don’t want to be racist or to stereotype people, but, on the whole, my experience with East Asian clients has been very positive (Indians, alas, are another story).  They tend to be good clients because they have no concept of “sin” and, historically, sex work has been regarded as a perfectly legitimate, if personally undesirable, profession for a woman in their cultures.

There is one thing I’ve noticed about SOME of them, though, that I’ve never seen before with any other clientele (which brings me to my stalker):

They treat seeing sex workers as a male-bonding sport.

Other clients don’t tell ANYONE in their lives that they come to see me.  They don’t talk about it with their guy friends.  Part of that is the stigma surrounding BDSM, especially for submissive men, but it’s also simply not part of the American culture to talk about seeing sex workers (with the possible exception of going to strip clubs with your friends, as a group) to your friends or colleagues. I could envision a bunch of 20-year-old servicemen in San Diego getting drunk and deciding to go to a brothel in Tijuana as a sort of adventure field-trip…but mostly, men are secretive and solitary when it comes to hiring sex workers.

Some Asians don’t see it that way.  As I’ve said, they have zero shame about it, and they also think it’s all in good fun (which is true, or, at least, it should be), and it is also a macho/masculine thing to do.

As I said in my last post, I did sensual massage for two tours in San Francisco.  I decided that it wasn’t a good fit for me, so I stopped.  In that time, about half of my clients were Asian or Indian, and a LOT of them immediately started referring their buddies to me.  I’d get emails: “Hi Margo, this is X, my friend Mr. I-Heart-Massage-On-My-Lunchbreak loved you and said I have to see you for myself.  May I book?”

My new stalker is an early-40s wealthy Korean businessman I met doing sensual massage. He LOOOOOOVED me (they kinda fetishize my height and coloring, which is odd to me) and immediately started sending his friends.  He’d book me for a session every day I worked in SF. I started to be weirded out when he’d show up with two friends, and the other two would wait in the car or go get a drink or a bite to eat until it was “their turn.”

On one hand, the business was good, right…?  And they all were happy to screen.

On the other hand…there was something offensive to me in the way these guys were passing me around like a jar of cookies.

My soon-to-be-stalker started to ask me if I’d do outcalls to visit him in Palo Alto.  At first, he just asked me, which is fine, but then he tried to talk me into it.

Then he started asking me for pictures, and if he could record me (NOPE sorry).

Then he asked me if I was willing to see him and his friends at the same time. (Same time for what?  I only have two hands!  I can only give one person a backrub at once!)

Then his buddies would come it, and try to convince me of the same things.  Like I said, these clients are not subs and they come into the session with a totally different mindset.

The stress reached critical mass and I blacklisted my soon-to-be stalker (not to his face) and stopped doing sensual massage.  Nope, not for me.  My ads under that stage name disappeared from the internet.  I’d only done it for 6 shifts in all.

Well, Stalker McStalkerpants did not do the sensible thing and move on to the next appealing woman on Eros.  Oh NOOOOOOOO.

Somehow, he tracked me down under my prodomme name, and started emailing me through that ad.  I don’t know how he could do that (especially since I never show my face in my ads, distorted my body statistics slightly, and wore completely different outfits, and my ad copy was different).

Actually, I do know how he could do that: obsessively checking and comparing all the ads on the sex worker ad malls and emailing the women he thought might be ME.

It probably didn’t take him as much time as my New York City stalkers, because the market in San Francisco is considerably smaller.

I ignored him completely.

He starts trying to book a massage through my Google Voice.  BLOCK.

Then, it gets weirder…

I started to get booking requests from totally new clients, asking for leg-worship sessions or tease-and-denial.  We do the usual email exchange and set something up.  They come in, and all they want is a massage (which they didn’t say in their email).

Well, now I’m on the spot.  It wasn’t what I expected, but I’m already dressed and the session is booked, he’s paying me…so, I did it.  This has happened with three different new clients, and they were all middle-aged Korean guys.  After the second one, I started to feel concerned.  Spidy sense started going off.

They’d book a second session for the following week, and, sure enough, they’d ask, towards the end of the session, “Hey, why won’t you see Stalking Client?  He really likes you!  He recommended you!  He wants to see you again.”

Now, reader, please imagine this from my perspective: I’m standing by the bed, trying to get the tension out of this new guy’s calves or shoulders, la-dee-dah, I’m thinking everything is fine…

…when suddenly he lets me know that he is essentially a fucking spy sent by my stalker to convince me into seeing his stalking friend again.

Yeah, very very uncomfortable.

And now I have another problem: if I admit to being the sensual massage provider, stalker will know for a fact that, well, it’s me.  If I say “I have no idea what you’re talking about,” I still have deniability.  But if I deny it, I can’t be honest and say, “Your friend was a boundaries-violator who made me uncomfortable.”

But, why would I say that anyway…?  Stalker doesn’t give a shit about my comfort, or else he wouldn’t be a stalker.

So, I get the spy out of the room and then immediately blacklist him, too.

Stalker has sent three guys to me (that I know of).  The last one was a retired computer executive whom I thought was pretty cool, and not a spy for Stalker, because I’d seen him 3 times and he hadn’t dropped the bomb yet, but, sure enough….as he’s getting dressed to go, he says, “My friend, the Stalker, really likes you, and will give you a $1000 tip to see him again.  More, if you do threesomes with one of his friends.”


I took a gamble and blurted: “I don’t want to ever see your friend again for any reason, and if he ever shows up at my door, I am going to call the police.”

What is up with Stalker and his friends?  How does he have this many friends willing to do his bidding and book sessions with me and try to push his creepy agenda?  And does he really think, after all of this, that I would be willing to see him EVER AGAIN?

What this also means is that Stalker is monitoring my ads and touring info online, just waiting for me to be in town so that he can have one of his jerk buddies call me.  Really healthy, normal adult behavior there, Stalker.

It’s to the point now where I am paranoid of taking clients who  have Asian names, which is completely unacceptable for my business because they’re at least 25% of my clientele.  I sit here scrutinizing the names in my message box and typing them into Google to find out what nationality they are.

I don’t want to antagonize this guy because he’s obviously entitled and pushy as hell, which is spooky, and also because he’s rich and he has a network of friends who apparently see nothing wrong with his behavior.

What I think I am going to do is have a male friend call Stalker on his cell phone and politely say “This is Margo’s friend.  Stop calling her.  She never wants to hear from you again.”  That’s it, that’s all.  I’ve had to do this before, and it ALWAYS works.  The sound of another man’s voice drags the stalker out of his little omnipotent fantasy world and back into reality.

Still…what a sick, disrespectful fuck.  Like I said in my last post: the stalkers do this because they don’t see you as fully human.

That’s the conclusion of Clients Who Stalk.  God, I hate these guys.

Some Bitch Stole My Purse


The Show Must Go On.   I’m going to San Francisco tomorrow, and I’m doing it on a shoestring.   The Greyhound bus ticket is $9 (at least they offer onboard wifi now, or so they say).   And, best of all, I found a last-minute deal on a 3.5-star hotel in Union Square for $91/night on  This is wonderful, because usually I have to pay at least $220/night to get a 4-star in that area.

The hotel looks nice enough–the Tripadvisor reviews are good.  The room’s the size of a postage stamp (“boutique” and “European” are the euphemisms used on the website), which is going to be a challenge in a session, but hell, I’ve still got lots of bondage options, and if I can do BDSM in my bedroom, I don’t see why I can’t do it in a little hotel room.  I’ll try to look extra-beautiful and give a great performance, and if the room turns the clients off and they don’t come back, well, I still got their money, and there’re always more clients in the world.

I’m also saving a lot of money on gasoline and parking garage/valet.  Cuz I don’t have a driver’s license (I’m going to the DMV today, wish me luck).

I’m going to have to get up at 4 AM tomorrow.  My biggest fear is that Greyhound will be “you get what you pay for” and will be, like, two hours late, which will cause me to miss my first booking.

I also need to drop off my pet parrot, Abe, at Birdy daycare (the boarder).

Here are pictures of Abe.  I have lots of videos, too, and I’m trying to figure out how to upload them on the blog.  Cuz that is what my 8 readers all really want to see, I’m sure: parrot videos.



He likes to look out the window


First Snow
First snow of the season


*                                     *                                *

What a disaster.

Yesterday morning I got up early and went to the gym before my alcohol rehab support group.

I’d been there about five minutes.  The place was almost empty, because it was 8 AM on a Sunday.  Went into the locker room/bathroom, took off my coat and purse.

I left both on the countertop by the sinks.  I did not see anyone else in the locker room.

I went into a stall to take a leak, and when I came out 30 seconds later, my purse was gone.

My purse that had my wallet and my sex work cell phone.

I panicked, of course, and ran out of the bathroom to see if I could find anyone carrying it out.  The gym is huge, but I didn’t see anyone.  I ran past the front desk and out to the parking lot, looking for someone getting into their car or walking away.


I dashed back inside and told the front desk that my purse had been stolen and asked them if they’d seen anyone just walk out.  They said no.

(I am willing to bet you anything that it was a staff member of some sort who stole it.)

I went back out to the parking lot and looked around, and then back to the locker room.  I looked underneath my coat.  I looked under the sink.  I looked, for no reason I can discern, in every single locker, and then I went out to the floor and approached everyone in the gym.

Then I went out to my car and sobbed.

I fucking hate thieves.  There is no reason for anyone older than, say, 14 to be stealing anything but food. Being stolen from is the worst feeling in the world, a mixture of helplessness and violation.

But let me tell you why having my purse stolen is especially bad:

First, the phone.  It’s an expensive phone that hasn’t been paid off yet.  I needed a work phone to keep things discreet and separate.  I wash the phone on a regular basis…delete phone logs, text conversations, stuff like that.  But…it has my client list in it (no last names, just first names or the affectionate or UNaffectionate monikers I think up to describe the guys), with phone numbers.

More importantly (from my viewpoint) I have the numbers tagged that have been abusive, timewasters, no-call-no-shows, drunk/inebriated, blacklisted.  That way I can recognize them on sight when they reach out to me and IGNORE THEM.

I’ve also used that phone to take pictures of clients who want a photo as a souvenir, or who as for a photo of me as a souvenir.  I never let them photograph my face, and I try to delete the photos after every session…but what if I didn’t delete them all?

I take pictures of my hotel rooms, pictures of sightseeing in SF…there’re lots of videos of my pet parrot in there, because I watch the videos at night when I’m on tour and sad and lonely.   So now this THIEF has video of inside my apartment.

But wait, it gets worse.

On Friday, I did my banking and paid for all of my monthly bills at once, because that’s how I like to do it.  Then I took out some cash to pay for Abe’s boarding at birdy daycare while I’m on tour, and the month’s alcohol rehab support group.

And I also took out the money to pay for this week’s tour to San Francisco.

I do that because I keep a separate bank account, at another bank, that I use for anything Biz related–ads, hotel rooms, BDSM gear.  I take the money out of my main checking account and deposit it into that other account.  I only check that account from my home PC.  I’m very secretive about it.  Like, I don’t want to accidentally leave my online banking browser open on my tablet and have my mother see it and ask what all the hotel bookings are for.

I should have gone to the other bank to deposit it immediately, but I procrastinated and just took the money home with me.

So, in addition to getting my wallet, this thief also got all the money.

My savings is tied up in a CD.  I have $10k and I can’t touch it. I have almost nothing left in checking after paying the bills.  I’m strapped, and I need to go to work, and I have no idea how I’m going to do it.

Anyway, one I was done sobbing, I filled out a lost-item report in the gym and then went to the cell phone store and had them turn off my phone and disconnect the number.

Went to the police station and filled out a police report (I almost didn’t do that, because it means claiming the sex work phone…but it’s not illegal to have phone numbers).  I know I’ll never get anything back, but I wanted to make a paper trail.

Then I took my guns and all of my gold jewelry and started touring the pawn shops.  What depressing fucking environments.  I mean really, really depressing and sad.

Everything that I have of value is hawked.  Oddly, I feel saddest about my revolver.  I’ve had that thing for 15 years.

It’s not enough.  I have enough money to get to SF on the train (because I can’t drive there without a DRIVER’S LICENSE and the only ID I have is my passport) and a day and night in a hotel room.  I have three sessions lined up and I’m trying to get another.  If they all come through, I can extend into the next two days and meet the sessions I have scheduled for those two days.

If I get cancellations or no-call-no-shows, I am fucked.  If anything goes wrong, I am fucked.

The only reason I am not completely freaking out is that at least all my monthly bills have been paid (except for food.  Ha! Ha!).

I want to find the bitch who stole my purse and beat her head in with a rock, caveman-style.

(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.

Where I Get It From

       I took the 2-liter bottle of Diet Coke out of the fridge and poured all but the last half-inch into a glass full of ice.

        My mother came into the kitchen to observe me.  Her little dog stood at her feet.  The dog has warmed up to me a lot, but it really loves only her.  

       “Finish the soda,” Mom said.

        “The stuff at the very bottom is flat and gross, though,” I said.

         “No wasting!  Drink it all!”

         I frowned and held the bottle up it front of my face, shaking it. NO FOAM.  I said: “But I don’t want to drink it.  Look, it’s no good.”

         “Well, you can’t open a new soda until you finish this one.  I don’t like to waste.”

          “Momma!  We have six bottles of soda in the garage!  It’s only $.99!  It’s not wasting!”

           “Finish it.”

           I eyed my glass and the remainder of liquid in the bottle.

           “It’s making me feel weird that you’re watching me,” I said.  Because she was.  Watching me like a hawk.

            “I need to be sure you don’t pour it down the sink,” she said.

            I sighed and took a drink from the glass to reduce the liquid content.  Then I poured the last of the soda into the glass.

            “There.  It’s done.”

            She smiled and picked up her dog.  They went to watch TV.

Life Still Sucks

      It’s Sunday night, and life still sucks. 

      I cannot handle being unemployed another week.  I’m bored, flat broke, and I feel like a failure as an adult.  Today I returned a jar of pickles and a some paper towels to the grocery store (don’t tell mom) so that I could get enough money to buy some moisturizing lotion for my skin.  The climate is hot and dry here, which is nice, but it’s hard on my skin and I’m worried that I’m going to actually get a job interview and show up looking like a mummy.

       I found five new public service jobs in the newspaper, so that’s going to be my day tomorrow.  I also need to ride my bike down to the welfare office and check on my Medicaid application.  I feel bad about that.  I knew that moving back here was going to be a challenge, but I thought I’d find something to do for work within a month! 

      I keep having to call the people in New York that I’m using for references/writing me letters of recommendation–they are mostly former professors or employers.  Let me tell you something: I’m not proud, but it still doesn’t feel too good to be asking a tenured professor at Columbia who once paid me the respect of presenting our research at a conference in Washington D.C. if he can write me a letter of recommendation for a position as a legislative secretary out here in the sticks.  

       “Of course I’ll do it.  I’ll do it this weekend.  Who do I made it out to again?  What’s the address?”

        I told him.

        “Oh, Margo….” he said.  He sounded sad.  

         I wanted to throw the phone. Instead, I said: “Times is tough, Doctor, times is tough.  Tough for everyone.  I walked dogs in New York.”

         And paddled about a million old guys just like you.  And walked on them wearing stilettos.  And let them play with my feet.  And zapped them with a canine anti-bark collar.  And—

         My mother and I had a bad day today.  I almost don’t want to write about this, because I’m really trying to respect her and her privacy.  I feel sleazy sharing our dirty laundry.  I’m happy to throw my father under the bus, because he’s an awful person that nobody should feel sorry for.  My mother, though….I mean, I’m living in her house, and I don’t want to sound ungrateful or disloyal. 

          She pulled some really weird shit today, though.  Some really weird, judgmental shit, and it’s gotten under my skin and hurt my feelings and I don’t know what to do about it.  

          She had errands to run, so I asked her if she would drop me off at a nearby AA meeting on the way.  I walk or ride my bike places as much as possible so as not to inconvenience her, but it was 100* today, and that is too hot to be out in the sun, even with sunscreen on (I wear sunscreen every day, btw.  Everyone should do it, especially women, because it keeps the skin looking young.  Even my makeup has sunscreen).

         Well, she dropped me off, and I could see her checking out a few of the guys standing outside.  They were young guys and they looked a little rough, because they do manual labor, but I’ve talked to them before a few times, and they’ve always been friendly and polite to me.  One of them waved when we pulled up.

         Mom got a little tense.  I felt it.  I also could have sworn that I felt something else: she was embarrassed to be there.  

          Yup, definitely embarrassment and disapproval.  I guess having a child who is an alcoholic isn’t quite the same as having one who wins Gold in the Olympics, but, for fuck’s sake, I never drank in her house or around her and it’s not like I sold the TV set for booze or brought a drunkard boyfriend home.  Nor is it like I’m the only junkie in the family.  At least I’m trying to do something about it. 

         So, I go to the meeting.  It was nice and cool inside and I liked the people there okay, but  had to sit out the conversation because it was about spirituality in recovery, and I know this crowd because I grew up in this culture: The minute I drop the “A” bomb (atheist), I am going to alienate or offend half the group.   Some of the more well-intensioned ones will start bringing me Chick Tracts or invitations to church picnics.  I need to stay friendly with these people.  

         Mom picked me up after the meeting.  She’d run her errands and then taken her dog on a walk at the park across the street.

         She seemed weird.  She had the weird voice, the “We need to talk about something very important” voice.  This is usually the voice she has just before she lays down some sort of reproach.

          Uh-oh, I thought. 

          She drove over to the park.

          “I want you to pay very close attention to the woman standing under the tree,” she said.

           There was a sunburned blonde woman standing under the tree.  She was talking to herself and seemed upset.  There was nobody else around.  She did not look good.  She didn’t look like one of the hardcore homeless–I didn’t see any bags of property or cans, and her clothes looked sort of clean.  But she did look mentally unwell, and her mannerisms were not normal.  She was not talking to someone on a bluetooth.  I tried to listen to what she was saying, and I couldn’t make it out, but she sounded distressed.

         I watched her for a minute, waiting for Mom to say something, because I could not, for the life of me, figure out why Mom was showing me this woman.   This isn’t NYC, but it’s not a tiny little town, either.  We have homeless and mentally ill on the street here.  It’s a part of living in any community of size. 

          “Huh,” I said.  “Well, that’s sad.  It’s too bad.”  I didn’t know what else to say.

          “If you don’t quit drinking, that’s going to be you one day!  That woman is clearly an alcoholic.  I watched her while I walked the dog.  She’s been talking to herself the entire time.  That is what will become of you.”

          Well, well, well.  Where to begin unpacking this?

         I sighed.  “Actually, Mom, I’m not a psychiatrist–and neither are you–but to me, it looks like she’s mentally ill, maybe a schizophrenic suffering from hallucinations, and I don’t see her drinking anything, and, if anything, we ought to leave or call her an ambulance instead of using her unfortunate condition as some sort of morality-play figure to teach me a lesson.”

          I don’t get it.  For the life of me, I have no idea what was going on in her head for her to do and say something like that to me.  I found it troubling and rather harsh on her part, not to mention WEIRD, and I wanted to tell her that I’d kill myself before I was reduced to homelessness and frying on the lawn in this shithole town, but that could be construed as emotionally manipulative of me, not to mention sort of unfair to that poor homeless lady.

        I don’t know.  Weird.  In fact, I think it was mean.  Why would she be mean?  I pick up after myself and don’t ask her for anything.  I’m not exploiting her hospitality.  I am eating her food, but I don’t eat that much.  And if she didn’t want me here, she could have told me not to come, or ask me to leave…but she’s been nagging me to move back ever since I left for New York years ago.  

        Confused.  Maybe she’ll be better tomorrow.  She can be moody.

       But I can tell you this much: from now on, I’ll bike to the AA meetings, or get a ride from someone else.  

Communique from Hicksville

     Life sucks, guys.  It sucks donkey balls.  I’ve been unemployed for almost two weeks and it’s already started to affect my self-esteem.  This is the first time since I was 16 years old that I don’t have ANY job.

      I applied for four positions today.  I have two resumes: the smart one for the office and teaching jobs, where I list all of my academic experience and time spent on data management teams; and the “I-am-not-overqualifed-and-will-not-make-trouble” resume for waitress jobs.  I haven’t worked in a restaurant since I was an undergraduate and I hated it then, but at least it’s cash money at the end of the night, and right now, it’s any port in a storm.  I actually applied for a research project today: a medical manufacturer is testing a new waterproof material for body casts and is hiring people to wear a cast on their leg for 5 days and fill out a workbook detailing their experiences with said cast.  It pays $700 and I would have to use crutches to get around.  If they call me back, you can bet your ass I’ll be blogging that one.

       At night, I check local Backpage and sex worker ad malls.  This is bad.  It is bad for me to do.  I intentionally left New York for a while and went someplace where there would be no opportunity for backsliding.  I did it on purpose because I knew that if I stayed in New York I’d be back on Eros Guide as soon as my money ran out, and I just couldn’t keep living like that anymore–not if I wanted to stay sober and change my life in a way that I could be happy in.  I had to go someplace “safe,” and protect myself from myself, and that’s what I did.

          There are no commercial dungeons here and the fetish section of Backpage has a grand total of four ads on it.  I am pretty sure that the dommes are actually fetish-friendly escorts (nothing wrong with that, of course).  They are wearing bikinis and tacky lingerie.  This is not New York-style domination.  

            The only sex work that I see in this town is working in a strip club (not going to happen) or escorting (too terrifying).  So, I’m safe.  

            Safe, stranded in hicksville, unemployed, and almost broke.  Trying to get a job as a paid guinea pig for a medical company who makes casts.  Fuck. My. Life.

             On the upside, I found an AA meeting in town where smoking is not allowed, and for this, I am grateful. 

             The final chapter of my Escape From New York is forthcoming.  It’s hard to write because it was so painful.  I still can’t believe that I did it–that I changed my life so completely, and so suddenly–but it had to be done.  For my mental health, it had to be done. 

             I talked to one of my domme friends in Brooklyn this morning.  She asked me if I was going to get back in the Biz when I returned to New York.

             The truth is, I honestly don’t know.  Several of my regular independent clients, like Fortinbras and Mr. Wolf, say that they would love to see me again when I return.  I could grandfather those guys in.  Lord knows I’ll probably need the money.   If I keep doing it, I’m going to have to radically change my business model, for my own sanity and peace of mind.  Definitely no more commercial dungeons.  

               But will I even want to work in the industry again, after a few months off?  So far, to tell you the truth, I miss a few of my favorite guys, and I definitely miss the fast money (the money is sex work is almost never easy, but it is fast, and I am going to have a very hard time getting used to money being slow again), but when I was on the airplane and thinking that I would not have to look at any more masturbating wackadoodles or boundaries-pushing assholes or clients out of their mind on coke and booze for a while, I was actually pretty relieved.  

              I dream about the Studio almost every night.  Some of the dreams are not good and all of them are weird.  I honestly think I might have some PTSD.  

               I marooned myself in Hicksville to save myself from myself, and now I’m sitting at this shitty little desk dumbing down my resume and C.V. because education is kryptonite to these anti-intellectual motherfuckers and I’m applying to jobs like “lab assistant” and “High School Substitute Teacher” and looking at Escort backpage ads asking myself “Would it really be that bad?  I have given a million free blowjobs.  If I got paid for it, what would be the harm?  Would God strike me dead with a lightening bolt or something?  Is it really any worse, or any weirder than, say, pretending to be a coked-out Englishman’s mom and bringing him to the doctor for a sex-change operation?”  Most of my property (what remains of it, anyway) and my birds are back in New York and people pray in the AA meetings here (which is their right, but boy do I miss my Atheist AA) and crosstalk is allowed and encouraged and there are lots of old geezers who have been sober for 40 years complaining about how AA has changed.  It drives me nuts when they do that.  Hey Gramps: you don’t own it.

          My friend Drug Monkey says that I’m just going through a rough patch right now and things are actually looking up in my life because I made an important change, but I don’t know if I see it.  I feel lonely and discouraged.  I know I am being hard on myself because two weeks of being unemployed really isn’t a very long time.

           The music in all the stores and restaurants is Country Western and the same Classic Rawk that the Baby Boomers have been listening to for the last fifty years.  Jesus Christ, guys, could you shake it up a little?  How many times can you listen to the same fuckin songs?  Put the Pink Floyd down, man.  I’m only half your age and I’ve already overdosed on this shit.   Good lord. 

            And with that, I’m off to AA.  TWO meetings tonight, TWO.

            Things will get better.

             And I will not–WILL NOT–put an ad up on Backpage.

Shame On You, COPS

    Margo Note:  This is an old draft that I’m publishing while I try to finish more recent work.  I wrote this late last Fall.

                         *                           *                                  *     

 I was watching an episode of COPS.  I don’t watch much television, but when I feel like it and COPS is on, I almost always watch it.  I watch it for impure reasons, I admit–rank voyeurism.  I watch it for the spectacle and the drama.  I am consistently amazed at the trouble so many of the subjects manage to get themselves into, and all of the spectacularly poor examples of decision-making. One of my all-time favorite episodes involved a guy pulled over for speeding 90 MPH down the freeway in an unregistered vehicle–the tags on the plate were expired.  The cop asked for his license, and it turned out to be revoked.  When the police searched the car, they found two huge duffel bags of marijuana in the trunk.

       I almost fell out of my chair.  Because you know, if I was on parole, I’d decide to transport hay-sized bricks of pot, and I’d transport them in an unregistered auto, and I’d also drive 30 MPH over the speed limit.   MAKES SENSE.

       But I digress.

       I was watching a COPS episode.  Parrot was sitting on my lap and I was feeding her microwave popcorn.  The COPS episode was set in Kansas City.  I’ve never been to Kansas City, so I’m not sure what neighborhood it was filmed in…it looked quasi-urban; run-down small brick houses and bright green overrun lawns with lots of crabgrass.  Weeds sprang up from the cracks in the sidewalks. Strip shopping centers with gas stations, liquor stores, and payday loan centers.  I could hear the hum of insects, cicadas and locusts, in the background.  It looked hot and humid. 

     The police were doing a vice sting on street-based prostitutes.  The footage showed undercover cops driving up to the women, negotiating with them, and then inviting them to hop into their cars, where they were driven a few blocks away and arrested by the waiting police force. 

      It was really fucking depressing.  I felt ambivalent about what I was watching–I hated seeing the women get popped when they weren’t really hurting anyone.  The police, I felt, could be better used elsewhere, but they were still only doing their jobs and enforcing the law.   And I hate to see ANY sex workers get arrested merely for working or trying to work…but if I lived in that neighborhood and they were trying to work in front of my front lawn, well, that would make me uncomfortable, what with all the men coming and going.

       The women did not look good and they did not look happy.  It was 11 AM and most of them were wearing sweat pants or jeans and flip-flops or sneakers.  No makeup.  No manicure.  Hair not done.  They looked like what they were: desperate drug addicts.  

      This is The Awful Truth: in this day and age, the only sex workers who work on the street are among the most marginalized people in society.  These women had nothing.  It was terrible to see.  I cried a little bit watching it.  When the undercover cop pulled up in front of his buddies and flashed his badge, the women either swore and then endured the arrest stoically, or burst into tears.  None of them fought or became abusive.  A lot of them said that their kids were waiting for them back at the apartment or hotel room.  A few of them begged to be let go.

      A sad, sad show.  A fuckin sad show all around.

      Leave it to some douchebag cops to make it even sadder. 

      On camera, the undercover cops were smoking and talking with each other about what they were saying with the women to get them into the car.  They started talking about prices.  I guess the going rate for a blowjob was $30-$40.

       The cops decided to have a contest and see who could get the women to agree to the least amount of money possible.  It was like a joke to them.  They let the camera film everything.  They weren’t ashamed.  They were laughing. 

      One cop picked up a woman and haggled her down to $20.  It was all caught on tape, even though her face was blurred (thank GOD).  She was angry and uncomfortable and offended and didn’t want to do it, but agreed in the end because she “needed the money.”

       She didn’t fight when they put the cuffs on her, but she did turn to the cop and hiss, “You’re not a good person.”  The hatred in her voice was memorable. 

       I hated those undercover cops, too.  I wish I could ask them: what was the point of humiliating those women like that…?  Why did you have to be so needlessly cruel?  The entire situation is sad enough and you know you’re about to unload a shitstorm of legal and financial consequences on their heads.  You don’t need to fucking have fun with them at their expense on top of it all, you smug assholes.  

        I never forgot that episode, and I don’t like to watch COPS so much anymore.