This month there was an article about my book, Dominatrix on Trial, in the Thornhill Post. Some of you may recall that this is the town right at the top of Toronto where my Bondage Bungalow was raided in 1994, giving rise to many of the matters dealt with in my memoirs. I hope of course that book sales result from the article, but above that I hope that my book will remind the residents of Thornhill to be vigilant in ensuring local officials are not corrupt. When you add official corruption and incompetence to bad laws which are subject to arbitrary enforcement (or non-enforcement) it is an open invitation for our society to backslide to the dictator-like conditions so common in other parts of the world.
After the raid on my bungalow it was discovered that the Chief of York Region Police was corrupt, and that many officials and police officers had acted inappropriately in my and other matters. Julian Fantino, who is now a member of parliament for a riding near Thornhill, was brought in to clean up the York Regional Police. Numerous investigations led to corrective actions. When he became Chief of Police of Toronto around the year 2000, I was back in business there. I had no police problems at all.
A few days ago we in Ontario, Canada’s largest province, went to the polls. The result has been the re-election of the Liberal government, but with a minority. Unless there are recounts or whatever, they will have 53 seats in the 107 seat legislature. Assuming no members resign, die or change parties, the 2 opposition parties can bring down the government and force another election. It also means that the government must seek support or non-opposition from members outside its own party for anything it does.
It is my hope that the new legislature will pay attention to the current debate of the Himel decision striking down Canada’s prostitution laws. As I have said before, the issue before the Court of Appeal is not prostitution. The issue is the decision. In a bigger sense though, the issue can be said to be the desire of the governments of the country and province to keep the current laws in place – regardless of one’s views on prostitution. The judge was clear, Parliament pass new laws, laws that are clear, laws that are fair, laws that will be enforced. The present laws are dramatically under-enforced and when enforced often applied in an arbitrary and select fashion.
Parliament should do something now, not just try to do nothing for as long as possible. The new provincial legislature must do the right thing too. It should withdraw support for the appeal of the Himel decision, and instead advocate, like me, that the federal government write new laws and justify them. I will have more to say about that in the future. The federal and provincial elections are over and the time to act has arrived. This should not be before the courts any longer.
Today the people of Ontario are voting in a provincial election. The Liberal Party, led by Premier Dalton McGuinty, has a majority of seats in the provincial legislature. They are neck and neck with the Conservative Party. Each is expected to get about 40% of the seats. The New Democratic Party (NDP) is projected to get about 20% of the seats. If these projections hold up, it means a minority government which in turn means the NDP will support one of the major parties in return for the government putting some of their policies in place. However, it is still possible for a majority government to be won by any of the parties.
I do not want to say which party I prefer, and I am not so sure I in fact prefer any party. I am very familiar with the issues that have been points of discussion in my legal battles. I suspect that the Conservatives will, like the federal Conservatives, refuse to even consider accepting Judge Himel’s decision or conclusions. The Liberals have already taken the course of following the federal decision to appeal. The New Democrats have been strangely silent about Judge Himel’s decision, and the decision to appeal it. It should be interesting to see if and how that changes when the election, later today, is over. At that time all levels of government will have had recent elections and I will be addressing my comments to those in power, except this time without the complication of upcoming elections.
A number of people who have read my book Dominatrix on Trial have written asking about my paintings and whether any are for sale. My paintings range from tribal fetish-like medicine man images to wilderness settings to floral arrangements. Most are in colour. I have never had them looked at by an art critic or appraiser, but am planning to do so at some time. It has been suggested to me that I have an auction. This may happen too. I have never sold any. In my modest home they cover almost all the wall space in the main rooms. Fortunately, the desire to paint more is less pronounced and I have been taking photos and arranging them on my computer with music.
I did little painting in the last couple of years because I was finishing my memoirs and we had the constitutional case. There was, and is, also the matter of those days when I am too sick to do much of anything. I can now only read at most an hour a day and writing is difficult, so I only respond to select e-mails and do a bit of bookkeeping for a nearby business, which fortunately is now routine for me. I can talk and listen without too much trouble and I am able to watch television without too much trouble. But the urge to paint, and the ability to do so comfortably, may return sometime and if it does I’m all for it.
I had 3 dungeons. The first was in Windsor, the small Canadian town near Detroit where I came from. That was in the 1980’s. The second was in Thornhill, basically a suburb of Toronto, which was famously raided in 1994. The third, from 1999 to 2002 was in downtown Toronto. The first was a house with the dungeon in the basement. The top floor was used for the escort service. It was near downtown Windsor. The second was a bungalow in a posh neighbourhood. All rooms on the ground floor and basement were put to use. The third dungeon was a four storey semi-detached house in downtown Toronto. About 8 rooms were in use by the time I closed.
Some dominatrices have cottages which are fully equipped. Some work out of apartments. Some have houses like I did. Some do outcalls or rent facilities for sessions. When I chose a location it was not based on the location itself, it was based on the availability of a place within my budget and with a landlord who was on side. If I was healthy and had unlimited funds and wanted to go back into business I am not sure where I would reopen and locate. All locations have advantages and disadvantages, as do all choices of a full facility or minimalist approach.
People who have read my book Dominatrix on Trial have written to ask me which “scenes” were my favourites. Every dominatrix enjoys some things about her job more than others. Obviously we like the pure dominatrix stuff more than the administrative aspects of the job, such as cleaning, paperwork and answering phones. In the book I was careful not to say which my favourite scenes were. However, outside the book I will give you these additional comments.
First of all, longer scenes were better. I was always frustrated, as was the client, when the hour went by so quickly. For example, a cross-dresser would take off his clothes, I would help him into restrictive female attire, and there might only be a bit more than enough time of his hour left to get him changed again. Role play can be greatly enhanced when prolonged. Secondly, I would say, honestly, that there were many role-play scenarios I enjoyed above the others, but at that I will stop. Some things are best kept secret. Sorry. It would be like a magician giving away the secrets of doing the magic tricks.
Last week the federal government introduced new laws to combat crime. I will not take the kind of partisan positions I am taking on the prostitution and related laws. If I have learned anything it is that one needs to know what one is talking about before taking a position. I spent 2 years in hearings and several days in court, not to mention living the issues for decades, before coming to my position on the prostitution laws. Those of you who have read my book Dominatrix on Trial, will know what I am talking about. While I know something about the justice system I will not take the irresponsible position of commenting conclusively about the latest law changes introduced into parliament.
For those who are not aware of these the laws are essentially being changed to mean more time in jail for violent crime and the like and take away judicial discretion in some areas. There may be some deterrent effect, maybe not, and there may be more or less justice as a result of the new laws. However what struck me was the absence of anything preventative or curative, such as more police or more rehabilitation for offenders. There was also no recognition of how much better rich people with lots of talented legal representation fare than do poor people. Is that justice? Isn’t that something the government should be worried about?