This year my health was basically static. I am in bad health, but not, as of today, in any immediate danger. I can do little and not get out much, but it is comfortable for me at times to be at my computer, so I have been writing to many people using social media, writing blogs and doing some clerical work for a local business. The highlight of the year was publication of Dominatrix on Trial, my memoirs, in the summer. It is selling around the world and on bookstore shelves. I think it is going to continue to be well received.
I have noticed that over the years more and more people I meet here in Toronto are not celebrating Christmas. When I grew up in small town Ontario, and later Toronto, I rarely met anyone who did not celebrate Christmas. Now I would say at least one third don’t. In my own time there has come to be a huge increase in the diversity of the people in Toronto. Part of that diversity is people who are born Christians and do not celebrate Christmas, or those who dread it as a stressful time of year. It reminds me that society should not impose its values on people. I, of all people, should not need to be reminded.
On this message for Christmas Day I want to wish people of all faiths the very best of the season. In my early life this was a special time of year for many reasons. It brought some happiness to my otherwise sad life at that time. May you receive the best gifts of all: good family, good friends, good health and good prospects in your work. These are things worth seeking as well as wishing for. That being said, helping others may be the most important and rewarding of all things.
Someone who had read my book Dominatrix on Trial asked me an interesting question. He wanted to know whether, when I was in business, we were open on Christmas. Let me expand a bit on that and say that on most statutory holidays I just operated my dungeons like any other day. I needed the revenue, and clients often had more time those days. However on Christmas Eve, Christmas and Boxing Day I would be closed so as to spend time with family and friends and allow my staff to do the same. It was also a welcome break.
In my last blog I told you about how some doms who worked for me for a short time and then left the business felt about that experience looking back. I have also spoken to some professional dominatrices who have been at it for many years. Believe it or not, some of them have done nothing else since being teenagers. Most of them would not have made another career choice. When they expressed regrets it was about specific decisions made while working within the field, such as which facility they set up, who they hired and that sort of thing.
Some more comments about the doms who worked for me. Here I am going to speak about the ones I have spoken to who did it for a while in the past and moved on. I asked them if they regretted the experience. None of them did, and they were fully in agreement with my comments in Dominatrix on Trial, my memoirs. Next time I’ll tell you what the doms still in practice told me.
I have a few more things to say about the doms who worked for me. Some of them have read my book and gotten back to me. Those who did think they were reasonably portrayed in the book. They also said they were happy I told the public about the grunt side of the dominatrix trade, meaning the paperwork, phone calls, cleaning and all that sort of thing. A couple of them told me that they had no idea until they read the book how horrible my earlier life was or what I have been through with all my legal battles or how many others were involved in these battles.
Some people were curious about whether I am in touch with the various doms who worked for me. Of course my answer is sometimes. I hear from a few of the gals from time to time. I don’t see any of them regularly, though. Where I live is not quite convenient to downtown Toronto. Also, they all know that it is hard for me to make dates and keep them, simply because I may not be well enough to do so that day. Also, most of my communication nowadays is with people involved with or following the decision striking down Canada’s prostitution laws.
Let me share some more thoughts about the pictures in the book. I had no photographs of the “Bondage Bungalow” which was the subject of the big trial in the 1990’s. It just never occurred to me or anyone else to take any. I learned and took many of my second house operated from 1999 to 2002, and I can assure you that it is fundamentally representative of what the first house was like inside. However, I am going to be posting, on my Facebook pages, some of the photographs taken by York Regional Police, inside the Thornhill Bondage Bungalow before they stripped it bare. You can see few of those items in the pictures in the book. This is because as I got most of the stuff lost in the raid on the first house back while I was operating the second house.
Some readers of the book have asked about the pictures in the book. One of the things they wanted to know was why the faces of some of the people in the pictures were obscured. Basically it was because you must have a person’s permission before you publish their image. This is something that must be done by a lawyer, and the editor’s advised me that it would not hurt the quality of the book if I protected privacy. I also wanted to reproduce newspaper headlines and photos in the book, but it involved so much extra work and expense that it was clear that I should use what was mine to use.