The business of resuming my life in New York was closely linked with resuming my relationship with TES. It was now a club not only for masochists but also for sadists. I was determined to explore my bi side. There were so many really cute women around. One I met while standing outside waiting to get in for a meeting was really fat but beautiful at the same time. Another cute girl, this one slender and blonde, was with a charismatic black man who ran the meeting. Jack and Goldie were an idea, well known in the community and amongst the lookiloos who liked to voyeurize with the help of the press. As a masochist, I wanted to see Goldie as a bitch-goddess. But she was a bottom like me. It didn’t take long to establish contact with them. He wanted to connect with me alone before bringing her into the picture.
As the author of Masochist Lib and co-founder of TES, I was something of a celebrity. But I still had some performance anxiety. I saw some porno movies to prepare for what might have turned out to be some very demanding encounters. But Jack, being a great top, knew how to bring out the best in me while putting me at my ease. Not that he didn’t expect more than I thought I could give. The bottom line is that I always found I could give what he demanded. Always!
But Goldie turned out to be jealous and snarky. I tried to win her over and finally ended by beating her up. As a gesture of victory, I put my naked foot in her cunt. Once the air had been cleared, we managed to get along OK. It was kind of like me learning to get along with my sister. We just accepted each other as permanent presences.
Jack and I were together for two years, the longest relationship I had as yet maintained. He dismissed me with the hurtful words that I was a “taker” instead of a “giver.” My heart was truly broken. I went through a period of grief. Funny. I never grieved for my parents when they died but I grieved for my dead relationship. I tried to hate him but that hurt more than anything. A woman who called herself Samantha (based on Sam: Smart-Assed “M”) and I made friends and she helped me fill in the empty space left by Jack. We had fun to the extent that was possible. But I finally realized I needed to move away in order to heal.
I made plans to share the expenses of driving across America and down into Mexico. I planned to spend $1,000 traveling to and through Mexico and another $1,000 getting settled in Los Angeles. We got as far south as Guatemala. I made my way north by myself. I found a place in Venice. Everyone in the building seemed to be an alcoholic except for one couple and one girl who seemed crazy. I bought my first car, a very battered Ford Galaxie convertible. It lasted for a while and then seemed to be about to die so I sold it. I even made a $25 profit on it. My next car was a VW bug. I gave a car painting party in which I invited my friends to cover the car with whatever graffiti they choose. I had fun and ended up with a colorful car.
I got a job as a professional submissive in a place called House of Dominance. I got a permanent and felt properly re-invented. I started a new branch of TES over there but I don’t think it took off too well. Another club, The Society of Janus, served as the BDSM group in L.A.
I saw a movie on television called Katherine: Portrait of a Revolutionary which was really the story of Diana Oughton and the Weather Underground. I was fascinated with the selfless dedication manifested by the people in the story. I wanted to be like them but I didn’t know if I had it in me. Never-the-less, I got involved in activism and actually hooked up with a group called The Prairie Fire Organizing Committee, an above-ground branch of the WUO. I was deeply involved.
A falling-out with my boss got me out of the professional submissive business and back into office work. It would have been fine except that I came down with pneumonia, smashed my car and saw my life fall apart. It was, without a doubt, the darkest time in my life up until then. I recovered and then heard about colonic irrigation, described as a super enema. It was supposed to really clean out your body. That sounded like just the thing. I never wanted to go through what I had suffered, ever again. At the same time, someone handed me a paperback book called Become Younger by Norman Walker. The thesis of this book was that cooked food is poison and only raw food is healthy. Walker’s regime is vegetarian but not completely vegan. Raw eggs and cream were alright. Milk was “mucus forming.” Walker prescribed colonics to his patients. The two things equaled maximum purification. I embraced both. After my first colonic, I had such a feeling of well-being, every cell in my body seemed to be singing. I decided anything that could make me feel that good had to be the way I wanted to go. I was never going to be so much at the mercy of sickness and other circumstances. I felt like I was crawling out of the grave into the sun.
The girl who introduced me to this new way of life cheated on it a great deal. It was old hat to her. I was super-strict. As a result, I lost a lot of weight while she gained. One day, we were sitting under the boardwalk at Venice Beach when we noticed my pants fit her better and her pants fit me so we traded. That is the thinnest I had ever been. Completely flat stomach, I weighed 100 pounds. My temperament also got a transfusion. I woke up every morning, chipper as a bird. But, unlike a bird, I still had to earn a living. I was on Unemployment but that didn’t pay for much so I got another job as a professional submissive, this time in a place called The Chateau, the name a reference to Story of O. So, here I was, a walking anomaly. I was politically a radical activist, eating like an absolute purist and making my living in vice.
I was ready for a change. I decided to move to San Francisco. I packed my VW bug with all my worldly possessions and started driving. I got as far as Bakersfield when my engine froze. I have just enough momentum to glide into a gas station from where I called AAA. They towed me to the nearest airport. I took what I could carry and gave away the rest to random strangers. In San Francisco, I got a residential room in the Tenderloin. The room had a small refrigerator and I had my juicer. I got a shit job and found an apartment in, where else, the Mission. From there, I planned to experience the rich alternative culture this city offered. I loved Castro Street with its abundance of gay men. I also found the women’s community. I joined Mothertongue Reader’s Theater, ate at Artemis Cafe, shopped at the women’s book stores that were all over. I marched in parades and even joined a coming out group. I hooked up with a woman in that group and we tried making love. It was only marginally successful. In fact, I couldn’t quite connect with these amazons.
Fortunately, I also found a women’s BDSM group called Cardea. I had several crushes but no hits. Then Samois grew out of Cardea. This was only for lesbian-feminists. Around that time, I decided I had “grown” enough to try my wings as a dominant. That’s when things began humming for me. Soon I had two slaves whom I planned to treat the way Jack had treated me. I gave them each a leather collar and ordered them to wear it whenever in my presence. They both tested me by showing up without it. I ordered them to go back home and fetch their collars. One obeyed me and the other did not. The obedient one stayed with me and, in fact, we are still together to this day. I was her Dom for quite a while but eventually returned to my roots and told her I wanted to be her sub. She had been wanting to dominate me for a while so it was a good fit.
But at the time, I was the undisputed boss over her and we were both happy with that status. The punk rock scene had been going on for a while but I had written it off until then, thinking it was just about KISS. The movie, Rock and Roll High School changed all that. I loved the music of the Ramones and they actually gave a free concert near where I was working. There was something compelling about them and the whole punk scene. I had been a beatnik and a hippie. This was different and distinct from both. While the hippie thing was a genuine counterculture, punks had no intention of creating a whole culture. They were all about the art. The hippies wanted to make their lifestyle their art and they pursued perfection in all aspects of their lives. They wanted to be ideal human beings. They wanted to be good. They cared about the ecology. They recycled. They ate organic veggies and only used certain drugs they approved of. Also, they were clean. They might have looked scruffy to the outsider but they really kept their places tidy and wholesome.
Punks rejected the perfectionism of the hippies. In fact, they mocked it. “Never trust a hippie.” While hippies were blatantly positive, punks were blatantly negative. They weren’t politically correct. They flaunted their flaws. Sid Vicious wore a button that read, “I’m a mess.” At that point in my life, I found all that greatly liberating. I ordered Victoria to get a punk haircut and we began haunting the venues. I loved the Deaf Club which was half a block from my home. The Temple Beautiful, later baptized Rat’s Palace, had once been a synagogue in the middle of the Fillmore District. And the Mabuhay, or the Mab, as we affectionately called it, was in North Beach. These places became homes away from home.
A big part of the punk scene were “fanzines,” newsletters that covered the bands and our lives. I began writing for a fanzine called Creep. I started with a philosophical look at how punk differed from hippie and went, from there, to interviewing bands. It was a great way to get to know people and to gain recognition. Soon San Francisco was too small a venue for my interests and I took a trip to New York and London. I left Victoria with a chain around her waist padlocked on. I took the key with me. Unfortunately for Victoria, she swelled up somewhat when she got PMS and she had to go to a Fire Department to have it cut off of her. “It was for a costume party,” she explained. “Sure,” they said, cynically.
In New York, I hit all the clubs I had heard of, including CBGB. In London, I stayed with a collective who put out a fanzine called Kill Your Pet Puppy. Not that they were into animal sacrifice. They were against any hint of sentimentality. They were great folks although I had trouble understanding their various British accents. The crowning achievement of my trip was to interview Crass.
Another trip I went on was to San Diego with Victoria, who had a car. We got to party with the hard-core Southern California punks. It was a magical trip as such a thing can only be magical to a true believer.
My punk experience changed radically and decisively when I got into hard drugs. I already believed in hard drugs as a dividing line from the candy-ass hippies who eschewed them. I started by snorting speed, which had always been my first love among pharmaceuticals. But it wasn’t until someone introduced me to the needle that it became a major part of my life. I took to this like a duck takes to water. It was my true element. I loved the high and I loved the lifestyle. I knew something was very different with me when I waited for Jello Biafra, a great artist of the Dead Kennedys, whom I revered, to leave the premises so my friends and I could get down to shooting speed, which Biafra didn’t approve of. I saw it as a sign that I was finally over hero-worship which was so anti-punk anyway but which lots of us were guilty of.
My experiences at gigs had changed too. It used to be all about the bands and the music. Now I walked right past the stage to the backstage area where I would socialize. I was in the scene but I wasn’t. It was really a separate scene. I liked the decadence of it all. After hours parties were the thing. Or we would all gather in my pad for all-night discussions or everything and anything. The issue of sex was also eclipsed. The drugs were everything.