Reader Mailbag: Genius Wants to Know, “WHY THE BUS, HOT SHIT ‘DOMME'”?

Ah yes, a snarky anonymous (of course) email, from the reader mailbag.  It’s about a paragraph long, but I’ll quote the most relevant sentence, which nicely summarizes my correspondent’s opinion (or whatever it is…mostly insult and invective):

“If you’re a hot shit ‘beautiful’ domme making more money out there in San Francisco than you did in New York, why are you taking the bus to travel there, and constantly bitching about it?”

I should not even be responding to this…but here you go, anonymous reader.  Take pride in this moment: you get some free attention from a woman men find desirable and talented enough to spend $300/hour to spend time with her.  And I have never ONCE described myself as “beautiful” on this blog or in my ad copy, even though my clients, and the multitudinous boyfriends I’ve had over the years, seem to think I am.  My pictures speak for themselves; they are almost entirely un-photoshopped.  I am grateful that I am conventionally attractive, because it’s opened doors for me, but my only vanity is intellectual.

I take the bus because it costs between $12-$30/ticket and if I drive, gas is at least $65 round trip (I’ve paid $80) and valet/parking garage is $35-$90 night in Union Square (don’t forget to tip the valet attendant–that’s another $3-$5).  Do the math, if you can generate enough energy from rubbing your one and a half brain cells together.  The bus has wifi and power outlets, which work about half the time, and I can snooze and be fresh for work by the time I get to the hotel.  I have to get up at 4:30 AM.

My car is not a fucking Bugatti.  It’s a Toyota Camry and it runs like a top (Japanese engineering, man, can’t beat it for poor-man’s cars) and I maintain it, but it’s also old and if it dies going over the mountains, I’m waiting for AAA tow service and paying hundreds and hundreds of $ at the nearest mechanic and losing an entire day of work and possibly staying overnight, at personal expense, at whatever motel is nearby.

Finally, only true American aristocracy (which I’m sure you’re not) or rich people from super-status-conscious backwards countries like Saudi Arabia consider taking the bus, train, bicycle, moped, or any form of non-private-car embarrassing or something to be ashamed of.  Plenty of millionaires in New York and Washington DC take the subway.  Many of my wealthiest clients–and the Surgeon–had MetroCards.

….and even saying that sounds like Respectability Politics, which I regret, and which is worthy of self-examination.

There’s nothing wrong with riding the bus, and you sound like an idiot for trying to shame me for it.



(9) Working at Arkham Asylum

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

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

       All of these things happened in dungeons during my tenure:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Reader Mailbag: “How Did You Get Started in the Biz?”

              Am still too apprehensive to post the rest of the New York trip.  I think it might look weird to outsiders.  

        In the meantime, here’s an installment of Reader Mailbag!   

   “Why did you decide to start working in the Biz?  How did you get started?”
                                                    –Random Internet Stranger

      Translation: “What’s a nice girl like you doing in a place like this?”

      Well, I decided to do it for the same reason practically everyone else goes to work: I needed the money. 

      I needed it badly.

      And I was desperate.

       My story is not unique.  I have seen many women–many women–come into the Biz scared to death, on food stamps, living in temporary housing, or with a looming appointment in Housing Court, or because they were illegal or quasi-legal immigrants without the ID to get hired in industries in which they were experienced.  Some had criminal records which made it hard to find a “normal” job.  

      In my case, I’d just left my psycho Ex, John, and moved into an apartment where my name wasn’t on any of the bills, so that he wouldn’t be able to find me.  The cost of the move (first and last months’ rent, plus hiring movers) and the lawyer’s fees involved for taking him to court for stalking and harassment left me with about $300 in the bank. 

       It was also May.  I was employed by my University as a research assistant, but the contract for my job ended with the Spring semester.  I typically relied on my savings and freelance work to get me through the summer until school/work started again, but in between class and work, final exams, court, and the stress of avoiding John, I hadn’t been able to secure summer employment.

       I was in trouble, and I was vulnerable.  The only people I knew in the Tri-State area were associated with my school.  My family was thousands of miles away and didn’t have the means to help me even if I asked them to (which I hadn’t).  In fact, I had yet to terminate my relationship with my degenerate father, who was still calling me for money.

      With unemployment looming, I applied to various jobs, most of them of the “fast cash” variety: restaurant industry, tutoring, pay-per-word writing gigs.  I prepared myself to sell my jewelry. 

        And then I saw an ad in the back of The New York Press, a doomed little alternative-weekly mag.  It was sandwiched between ads for Asian massage places, gay hookup chat lines, head shops, and the like (you know, the ads everyone reads furtively on the subway).  

         “Attractive women wanted for house of domination in Manhattan.  Fetish, fantasy, and roleplay only.  No sex.  Experience preferred but not necessary.”

          I thought about it.  I cut the ad out and put it into my purse.  And after a few days…I called. 

         “Have you ever worked in this industry before?” asked the receptionist.

         “No, but I’ve done BDSM for years in my private life.  I know what it is.  I have gear.”

           She asked me to describe myself.  I started stammering my professional qualifications.  My credentials.  Ha!  Ha! 

           She started laughing and then cut me off: “No, what do you look like?” 

          Tall, slender, blue eyes, reddish-blonde hair.  Good face.  Good skin.   No tattoos. 

          She scheduled me for an interview with the boss the next day at 4 PM.

           (Note: sad but true: in every dungeon I’ve ever worked, white girls get preferential treatment in hiring.  Management wants to keep a few women of color on staff in order to have dommes for every fantasy…but just a few.  I’ve seen gorgeous, friendly black women come in for interviews and not get hired because the dungeon already had “enough black mistresses.”  It sucks.  The sex industry is really, really racist.)

         I rode the PATH train to Harold Square.  I wore a conservative black sleeveless sheath dress, stockings, and low heels.  Normally I’d wear office clothes to a job interview, but what do you wear to interview at a dungeon?  Leather pants?

          The dungeon was very close to the Empire State Building.  I walked by the door twice, looking for it.  There was no sign, of course.  Just a glass door with number decals.

            I pushed the button and announced myself, and then she buzzed me up.

         I took the elevator up, and when the door opened, I stood in front of a huge metal door with DANGER stenciled on it, and a big BEWARE OF DOG sign.  The door had a tiny window.  The glass was foggy and had chicken wire through it.

        The door swung open and I was greeted by the receptionist who’d spoken to me on the telephone.  I can’t remember her name now, but I remember her face and her voice.  African-American, mid-30s, pretty, with short hair.  She was very energetic and she was funny.  Later, I learned that she’d been working the phones at massage parlors and escort agencies for years, and also as a phone sex operator when phone sex lines were popular. 

         She asked me if I needed to use the bathroom.  Then she put me in a room to wait for the manager.

          It was a little room with a purple vinyl loveseat and mirrors all over two of the walls.  The lighting was dim.  There was a dresser with an ashtray and candles.  A fake silk plant in the corner.  And on the wall: a rack with paddles and cuffs and floggers.

        I could hear female voices and the sound of high heels on the wooden floors.  

         And then: the unmistakable sound of someone getting a spanking.

          Was I nervous? Yes.  A little bit.

          The manager came in.  He was wearing jeans and a button-down denim shirt.  He had long-ish, wavy sandy-brown hair and glasses.  Let’s call him…Paul.

          We made small talk, and then he explained what the dungeon was, what the work consisted of (more or less).  He told me that he was running a legal establishment and he didn’t want any problems with the cops.  He spoke easily and took notes on a yellow legal pad.  He looked at me over the top of his glasses.

            “Did you ever teach?” I asked him.

            Academics.  I always know when I’m speaking to one.  Yeah, Paul was an ex-academic.  Smart guy.  I liked Paul.  He was always straight with us, always fair, usually friendly.  

          The interview was pretty mundane.  It lasted maybe 20 minutes.  I don’t see any reason to reproduce it here.  

          One thing that he did tell me, though, which is relevant:

          “This job will change you, and it will change your sexuality.  You say you’ve done this at home.  This is not like what you do at home.  Sex does not look like what you think it does.  This job will change you.  I tell everyone that.   I’m honest.  I can meet the eyes of every girl I’ve hired in this place if I run into her on the street, because I’m honest.”

             I had no fucking idea what he was talking about then…but now, I understand.  

             He hired me on the spot and told me to come back the next day.  I would be trained by sitting in on sessions and watching the experienced dommes work.  There was no hourly wage, no benefits.  The mistresses were paid in cash at the end of the shift. 

            That’s enough for now. 



      Sex work is not easy money.  It is instant money.

Reader Mailbag: “Pro Dominas are Not Sex Workers.”

     From a comment left on my previous blog post:
 Pro Dominas are not sex workers. The term Sex workers comes from prostitution. Now, it’s completely different to call yourself that only if… You actually slept with your clients. Please don’t confuse people with what’s really true for professional Doms, it’s enough to have to fight stereotypes without people confusing them with other people’s sexual appetites. Love the blog though. Keep up the good work and stay in good health. 

You stated your difference of opinion with kindness and respect, which I appreciate, so I’m not going to get bent out of shape, but…we’re going to have to agree to disagree about this.

       A prostitute and activist, Carol Leigh, did coin the term “sex worker,” so, yes, it “comes from prostitution.”  Currently it is used to describe those in all areas of the sex industry: web cam girls, phone sex operators, strippers, escorts, and, yes, prodommes.  “Sex worker” is used in academic publications and by legislatures and it’s in the dictionaries and it’s legit as can be.  I think it’s a fine phrase myself.  It’s very clear, accurate, and non-judgmental. 

        If you don’t think that prodommes are in the sex industry, well, I can’t help you.  For what it’s worth, I denied that I was in the sex industry for the first year I was prodomming, too–I didn’t want to have anything to do with the stigma.  Bottom line is that I have seen way too many naked male bodies and male orgasms to delude myself.   These dudes are not coming to us for therapy.  Prodomming can involve craft, and it can be therapeutic, but, I dunno, I’ve seen shrinks for years and I never took off my pants before I lay down on the couch and my analyst wasn’t taking notes with latex gloves on and a bottle of bleach solution in the dresser.   I won’t belabor the point because I’ve written about it on this blog before, but prodomming is part of the sex industry.  

         I have no interest in “fighting stereotypes.”  A lot of the public still thinks vibrators and spanking are kinky and threatening.  They are never going to accept most BDSM as being “normal” and I’m fine with that because technically they are right.  This shit isn’t normal.  It’s not wrong or bad, but it’s not normal.  

        I did not sleep with my clients and I never touched a penis unless I was torturing it or tying it up.  Not so much as a hand job, although frankly I would have preferred to jerk some of them off than endure a lot of the body worship, which was often unpleasant for me.  Even still: boners and orgasms were involved at least 70% of the time.  

         In what other industry are boners and orgasms involved…?  I cautiously presume massage therapists and nurses/lpn’s might see a few involuntary erections or even orgasms because of all the physical contact their work requires…but that’s about it.  

        I do not believe in whorearchy and I do not think that fetish work/prodomming is substantially different, much less superior, to escorting/prostitution.  A difference of degree, but not in kind.  As far as I’m concerned, our political struggles and work experiences are the same, except that they have it even harder because they’re fully criminalized and at higher risk for arrest.  The cops don’t distinguish much between prodommes and escorts.  Neither does the public, your priest, or, quite probably, your client.  

         Maggie McNeill, author of The Honest Courtesan, has written extensively about whorearchy (and all aspects of sex work), and I recommend her essays to anyone who would like to know more about the issue.  I’ve never linked to her blog over there on the sidebar because I ultimately will not endorse her politics, but she is a very talented writer and all of her sex work stuff is top-notch.  I wish my blog was as clean and well-organized as hers.  She’s a librarian, and it shows. 

         Thank you for reading and thank you for your kind words about my blog!  I am glad that you enjoy it and I welcome any future correspondence. 

          P.S.  Actually, I did sleep with one of my clients when he was still a client: the Surgeon…but we had a relationship, so I tell myself that it didn’t count.
       Mr. Wolf eventually got blowjobs.  So did Fortinbras.  It was my idea in both circumstances because I trusted them and was crazy attracted to them.  No regrets (if anything, now that I’m celibate and lonely and stuck in the sticks, I regret not fucking them when I had the chance).  I miss those guys.  My favorite clients.  So much fun.  

Reader Mailbag: “How Old Were You When You Knew…?”

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“How old were you when you when you knew you were a ‘sadomasochist’ (to use your very old-fashioned term)?  I can trace a lot of my kinks back to childhood and a lot of kinksters I’ve talked to remember acting it out in games.”
                                                     –Random Internet Stranger

         The word is old-fashioned but accurate, at least for me. 

         I knew that my sexuality was weird years before I became sexually self-actualized and many years before I learned that BDSM was a thing with a name that people did.  I knew that I was weird because I didn’t have the fascination with normal sexy crap that most people think is arousing.  I wasn’t interested in nudity, I didn’t compare myself to the grown women in Playboy like most of the girl I knew, and the sexy scene in the mystery and thriller-suspense books I was sneaking out of the library didn’t do much for me.  Nor do I recall being attracted to any of my male peers.  I didn’t fantasize about sex much at all.

         What I did fantasize about was violence and interactions with imaginary men who were some sort of awful deplorable authority figures.  The fantasies were seldom sexually explicit, but they were very exciting to me and they are not radically dissimilar to the fantasies I have today.  I’m just more experienced and desensitized now, and I no longer have the embarrassment for my needs that I once felt.  I guess most girls were paging through romance novels trying to get to the sexy parts, but I was sneaking out detective/police novels because they were invariably full of violence and men acting like dickheads.  The interesting thing is that I’m a fairly sensitive person and I find violence politically repulsive and I am not exactly a big fan of the patriarchy.  But nobody can help who or what they are sexually attracted to.  I do believe that.

            I spent most of my childhood being afraid of my exploitive and very controlling father, who is (was?) a strange and awful person.  I can think of a few good things about him, but not many.  He’d do some really weird things that I still do not understand, and I also think that he came close to killing me a few times.  I also got a Teutonic cultural heritage and years of formal Catholic education.  Roman Catholicism is the perfect religion for any proud, upstanding sadomasochist.  The history is full of the most appalling, violent shit you can imagine and the art is both sensual and gruesome.  

Bernini The Ecstasy of St. Teresa c. 1652

Execution victim hanging on the wall.

      Then you get a mindfuck when the clergy turns around and tells you that it’s really all about love.  What it’s really about, of course, is power and politics, which, as fortune would have it, became the focus of much of my academic attention. 

       I moved out when I was 19 and secured my first Top within months.  I was doing eroticized violence before I had intercourse, which really says something.  

        I lucked out: he was good.  I met him on the internet, of course, the same way I meet most of these guys.  Yahoo! personals, back when it was still popular and free.  His name was Gregg.  He was married, late 30s, and he had a job coordinating the sale of parts for corporate jet airplanes.  I thought he was very handsome, in an austere, hard sort of way.  He looked a lot like Lance Armstrong.  He was very friendly, except when he wasn’t, and he always respected my boundaries and didn’t try to have sex with me.  I never saw the man naked.  Now that I have over a decade of experience with scores of various male sadists, I can tell you that Gregg was worth his weight in gold.  

          He had a good deal with me.  He’s swing by my apartment once a week (his sports car looked very weird parked in front of my dilapidated building) for a progress report and a beating.  I’d get the hand if I was doing well and the belt if I wasn’t.  His aim was true and he knew what he was doing.   

          (And, in case you’re wondering, his wife knew what he was doing with me.  I met her several times and even ate dinner with them.  She was a knockout and I actually found her a little attractive, which almost never happens to me with women.  I’m pretty sure that she had some sort of open relationship agreement with Gregg, but I never asked because it didn’t seem like it was my business.)  

          I saw Gregg for about six months.  Then he received a promotion and moved to San Diego.   I got a boyfriend and we lost touch, though I did keep sending him Christmas cards for a few years.

          Good memories, though.  My grades were excellent that year, too. 

Reader Mailbag: Creepiest Client?

       “So….who’s the creepiest client you’ve ever met?  What’s the weirdest thing you’ve ever been asked to do?”
                           —Voyeuristic Vanilla Creep Gawking at My Blog

        Your question suggests that you may lack a little worldly perspective and empathy, Sir.  It is completely normal to be fascinated by people and sexual practices you find “weird,” but it’s not very nice to objectify anyone to their face like that.  I write this blog mostly as a therapeutic exercise and a vehicle for self-expression.  I find it flattering if any reader finds the content herein entertaining or titillating (though God knows, in my mind, the number of truly “sexy” posts is less than 5%), but I’m not here to be your dancing little hoe-monkey.  If you want wank-fodder on demand, go to a real sex blog or literotica.  Or pay me. 

          But, I’m answering the question anyway, because it’s actually a GOOD question.

         The Attorney takes the cake because he is the best, most technically proficient sadist I have ever met, and he is also total sociopath.  You’d have to meet him to understand.  Actually, you’d have to session with him to understand, because he presents as normal and apparently functions just fine in everyday life–marriage (though I do wonder about that), education, career.  Read my last big post on him (“Ladies, Avoid This Man”) and keep an eye out for the bastinado box.  And his little jaunt to Little Rock.  My initial attraction to him is something I’m still untangling in therapy, because he’s terrified every other pro-sub I know who has met him, and I was ready to dump the Surgeon for him.

          The mental case (who, incidentally, works as a mental health care professional) who wants you to wear the shoes off his dead mother’s feet is #2.

          The freak (but UNDERSTANDABLE freak) who pretends to be the little sister that he and his dad molested in the basement is #3.  

          Suburban South Jersey Dad who gave me his daughter’s Confirmation dress to wear and took me on a little-girl father/daughter field day before beating the shit out of me in his study (see “The White Dress”) is #4.  I still can’t finish that story.  I was fresh off the fuckin boat when I met that guy, too.  

         That brings us to #5, whom I’ve never written about on this blog.  A new weirdo for the edification of my readers.  And you know I respect most of my clients, and do not like to call them weirdos, but this one really is a weirdo. 

            He is more than weird.  He is on the spectrum of being a serial killer.

          He calls himself a “hair fetishist,” but he’s much more than that.  I don’t think the label fits.  

           He hires three women at once: a blonde, a brunette, and a redhead.  He positions the women in chairs, sitting down, as if they were sitting in chairs in a barber’s shop.  They are instructed not to move or speak in any way.

            Then he takes a huge bottle of cheap hair gel and pours it onto their hair and styles it into a very high ponytail.  

             Then he attaches cheap plastic barettes, like the type of barettes you can buy at the grocery store for little girls–the colorful kind with bows on them.

              THEN he applies makeup.  Ugly, cheap makeup with loud colors–like blue eyeshadow and hot pink blush and crap with glitter in it.

             Finally, he takes out a bunch of really cheap, garish plastic jewelry that looks like it came from the $.99 Store, such as dangly earrings with pink disco balls on the ends, or necklaces made up of plastic blocks.  The jewelry looks like parrot playtoys. 

           That’s it.  That’s the session.  In case you were wondering, I REFUSE to do it.  Not enough money on earth. 

            That level of obsession and objectification is one step away from murdering a girl and cutting her head off so that he can take it home with him and do it FOR REAL.  He gives of creepy-creepy-creepy vibes, too.  He does not pass for normal. 

            In my overall experience in this industry, what do the creepiest of the creeps–meaning, the most transparently sick-and-pushy-about-it–tend to have in common…?  I’d say: an obsession with their unresolved incest trauma histories, an inability to see women as human (should’ve been a huge red flag for the Surgeon, but, what can I say), and the sort of mental illness that turns hostile and outwards, whereas most perfectly decent mentally ill people focus on themselves and hurt the others around them only incidentally. 

Reader Mailbag: What Happens to Old Masochists?

     First: yesterday was lucrative and fun, but also a total marathon.  I had THREE SESSIONS in a row!  Two of them were sub sessions and I went to the second one still red with the whip marks from the first.  I made $800 just in time to pay my rent, which was nice.

      Blog post about picking up sailors is forthcoming.  I thought I scored with an officer, but I was wrong.  His rank was “Master Chief,” and with a job title like that, I assumed he was practically an admiral!  I just looked it up on the internet, though, and it seems that he is an enlisted man.  

       My friend and I met him at The Campbell Apartment at Grand Central.  We went there on the assumption that the sailors would congregate near major public transportation hubs after a long day of sight-seeing.   

      In the meantime, here’s a question from the mailbag!

Hi Miss Margo,
I’m probably old enough to your father and never practiced BDSM. One thing I’ve noticed as I get older is that old pains resurface. For example, broken bones hurt even though they have been healed for years. Have you ever asked any old masochists if they ever suffer for the “pleasure” of their youth? 

       Well, this question is sort of weird, but you seem sincere, so I’ll do my best.

       (I’m always amused by what vanilla people think kinky people actually DO.  They seem to think that we actually torture each other FOR REAL.)

       Nope, I’ve never asked.

        Most of what even the heaviest masochists (and I include myself in that designation) do causes only superficial tissue damage, specifically welts and bruising.  Bruises heal.   The worst beating I ever took came from the Attorney.  The marks lasted over a month, but they faded.

        I have met one old masochist whose butt was hard and rough like alligator hide.  I suppose it was just callused.  He was compulsive, though, and had been spanked/beaten several times a week for decades.  He was an unusual case.  

        Guys who are heavily into nipple play can get crusty, dry, gross nipples.  I don’t let men touch my breasts, so I don’t have to worry about that.

        The most catastrophic injury I’ve ever heard of happened during a heavy CBT and ball-busting session.  A man’s scrotum ruptured and his testicle came out.  The domme drove him to the hospital and left him at the ER.  I thought this was an urban (or dungeon) legend, but I recently talked to the domme who did it, and I think she’s telling the truth.

        In general, though, masochists don’t do anything more physically dangerous than people who play sports.  Actually, BDSM is probably safer than most sports.   Physically, at least.

       How it affects a person mentally…well, that’s another essay.  Just speaking for myself, it defines my sexuality almost completely.  It is the only sex that I fantasize about and practically the only sex that I am interested in having. 

        It is also toxic to me.  My analyst believes that I will have to give it up in order to having a loving relationship with a healthy man.  I don’t know if I want that, or even if it’s possible.  It seems like a tremendous sacrifice.  But then, I’m probably looking at it like a junkie.   

Awesome Comment from an Awesome Reader

“But I believe, firmly, that if you deny your sexuality, it makes you neurotic and unhappy and it will destroy your personal relationships.”

YES! As a someone who was shamed for how she felt about sex by church, family, a strict Asian culture upbringing, and feminism, denying my sexuality and trying to attain something “healthy” and “respectable” has only adds to feeling even more fucked up crazy and miserable. I didn’t lose my virginity until I was 30 and only had sex a few times since (my family has no idea, it would mess them up if they did), but I do like dirty, slutty, violent sex, and I’m goddamn tired of feeling guilty about it.

I’m goddamn tired of living in a world that judges people for their desires, and treating us like damaged goods or children who needs correction for how we feel. I’m also goddamn tired of people who can’t think outside their narrow-minded box. They can’t imagine enjoying being beaten or having sex for money, fine. But understand that people are different and not everyone sees or feels about sex the same way.

Seriously, that woman stranger who wrote that awful note to you is no different from the slutshaming church that told us, “sex is a sacred thing and should feel like a blessing from heaven, not some dirty slutty violent shit.” Don’t ever feel guilty about your sexuality, Margo, especially by paternalistic feminist assholes.

-A hopefully not-paternalistic feminist

     I’ve had the privilege of receiving many thoughtful comments from my readers, but I have to say that this one is one of my favorites.  It was a joy to read and I thank you for taking the time to express yourself to me. 

      I commend you for being true to yourself.  It takes a lot of courage and the capacity for critical thought to deliberately reject the programming we receive from the various authorities in life.  I went to Catholic school and my parents were very strict, so I know what that’s like (one of my personal favorites: when the nun teaching us sex ed in 8th grade argued that it was wrong to even THINK “impure” thoughts, because thinking leads to action).  

       Let me share something else with you: The ironic thing about guilt as a control mechanism is that the people who most deserve to feel guilty are oblivious to that feeling, and the (relatively) guiltless run around torturing themselves.   

      Sin is a hell of a concept, isn’t it…?

      Next: Don’t tell your parents you lost your virginity (God I hate that barbaric phrase, it needs to be retired) if it’s going to stress them out, but hell, why deprive yourself…?  There is no reason for any woman who is not bald and toothless to have a bad sex life!  I know I’m one to talk, given that my sex life has been pretty crummy the last year, but I had ten years of shagging prior.  I recommend Craigslist.  There are a zillion men on there, and a lot of them are “the last people you’d expect.”  If fantasty dirty, violent, slutty sex (and, perhaps, a get-to-know-you conversation over coffee in which you ask them to take their pic with your cell phone for security purposes) is what you want, then you can get it.  

     The “sex is a sacred thing,” oh Lord, what an eyeroll.  I got that at Church, too.  From priests who were sexually inexperienced, or who were fucking their housekeepers or sex workers or each other or who knows who?  Sex is many things, but one thing it is is a simple biological function like eating.  It can be a gourmet dinner or prison food.  Wives do it like a chore all over the world.  

     I have to run now, but thanks so much for the comment!  It means a lot to me, and I’m glad you enjoy the blog. 

      This one’s for you: Barbara Song, from an English interpretation of The Threepenny Opera.  In this song, the singer, Polly, explains to her family why she eloped with Macheath, a brute.  She was courted by other suitors and she never gave em the cookie because they did nothing for her sexually and she was trying to be a “good girl.”  

     Then Macheath showed up, and she couldn’t get her panties off fast enough.

     Standing ovation, Polly.



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!

Hiring a Housekeeper and Reader Mailbag

     I’m about to start treatment at an outpatient rehab program.  If I could afford to do it I’d happily check myself into an inpatient facility for 30 or even 60 days, but that’s not in the cards.  I spent all my savings on the outpatient.  I’m not complaining–it is, after all, an investment in my life–but if I get slammed with a health crisis or major expense, I am going to be up the proverbial shit creek without a paddle.  I had to put Parrot’s necropsy hospital bills on my credit card. 

     When I got back to NYC, I hired a housekeeper for the first time.  I have a deeply ambivalent view of housekeeping, which I’ve blogged about here.  My home is never clean enough to suit me, but since I’m measuring my efforts against my mother’s, I’m just setting myself up to fail.  My mother’s house is the cleanest house I’ve ever seen.  

      Having someone clean your house for you is also admitting that you are a failure as a woman.  It is just plain disgraceful not to maintain your own household (my brother feels the same way about shoveling snow, washing his car, or doing oil changes.  Oh boy, does he have contempt for men who don’t tend their own lawns or wash their own cars!). 

      I did a two-hour shame cleaning before she arrived.  I do not want another human being to clean my hair out of the drain in the sink.  That is not a relationship I want to have with another human being (although, presumably, I’ll be doing it for a dude if I ever get married, which tells you a lot about the role of women in that patriarchal institution).  

       I assumed that the housekeeper would be Latina or Eastern European.  Where I come from, American-born whites still do most of the manual labor.   That’s almost never the case here.  

       Well, I got a nice American lady my mother’s age.  She was friendly and wanted to chat about my aquarium.  She had an aquarium, too.  

      I felt so guilty that I tipped her $100 up front and ran out to buy her bottled water and an energy drink.  Then I hid in the gym for two hours, because the thought of a grown woman cleaning my bathtub was humiliating to me. 

       I told the women at the Studio about my experience. 

      “You tipped your cleaning lady $100?  When you’re broke?   Are you crazy?” asked one.

     “I cleaned houses when I first came to New York,” said another.  “The worst were the obnoxious men who would try to hit on you and talk to you while you’re working.  Like, I’d be doing their dishes, and they’d ask me out on dates.

       Sometimes, they’d try to test me to see if I was doing a good-enough job.  It was always women who would do this, never men: They’d put some dirt or a scrap of paper underneath the middle of a big floor rug or carpet…and then check to see if it was still there when they came home.”

      I have nothing else to say.

      So, let’s answer a question from the Reader Mailbag: 

       “Here’s a question: What is your favorite place/spot/location in New York City?”
                                                                                          –Mike in Minneapolis 

               The Metropolitan Museum of Art, followed by the New York Botanical Garden and the Frick Collection. I like museums very much.

            Del Posto is probably my favorite restaurant in NYC.  I cannot afford to eat there by myself–a client takes me once or twice a year.

           If you were in the mood to talk politics with diplomats, there are several places in Turtle Bay i’d steer you toward. 

        So many others.  There are some great little fish stores in Chinatown where you can buy excellent aquarium stock, like Golden Tetras…but the stores don’t have websites.  You have to reach them through word of mouth.

        Grand Central Station. Hoboken/Lackawanna Terminal. 

       I’ve spent plenty of time in the libraries and the opera houses.

             NYC is adult Disneyland.  Everything is here, and it is the best of everything…if you can afford it. 

        Thanks for reading.  My tone should pick up soon.