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xmag.com : July 2001 : Darklady

IÕve been reading your column since it began and now I eagerly anticipate catching the new one with the arrival of each new issue. I do have a question, though. How did you get into the field you are in at the moment? What I mean is; what events led to your choice of professions? ÑLoyally Yours, Mariner

One of these days IÕm going to bring her in here and have her watch what you do to me! Now, hurry up. You donÕt know what itÕs like to have 200 pounds on top of you. ÑMy motherÕs voice

I was 13 and tucked into my twin bed in the room my mother and I shared. That night she had been convinced to make a rare conjugal visit to my fatherÕs bedchamber. According to my father, this sort of complaining and resisting was all part of Mama DarkladyÕs way of getting excited. Respectable Catholic women, I came to understand, do not willingly enjoy sex. This was the sexual environment in which I grew. I learned about love and sex from books, movies, plays, history, and rare glimpses at pornography. Neither subject could safely be discussed at home. Pleasure was forbidden. Sensuality was evil. Physical contact was associated with pain. We did not hug. We did not kiss. We did not say, ÒI love you.Ó In college I studied history and anthropology, earning degrees in each subject. I joined a national honor society. I was urged to write more academically. I declined. No academics were likely to endorse the subjects that fascinated me, nor was academia likely to nurture my study. Sex, religion, conflict, art. I yearned to explore the forbidden. To speak and inquire freely.

ÒIÕve had people ask why I donÕt write about something more lucrative or respectable.Ó

To ask ÒwhyÓ and ÒhowÓ with impunity. IÕd been kept in the dark too long. I wanted to know, to understand. To study humanity without the anonymously antiseptic smell of the laboratory or the deliciously musty scent of a library. Like a field ethnographer to my own people, I sought to hear the moans and screams, to smell the sweat, blood, and cum, to learn from the inside, to experience and not simply observe. I did not want to hoard my knowledge or gain it merely to earn tenure. I wanted to share it with the people who, like my parents, live in the world at-large and find it confusing and sometimes frightening. My desire was to provide complex information in a form that doesnÕt require an advanced degree in order to comprehend. Ultimately, while the professorial were free to engage in intellectual circle-jerks, I wanted in on the real thing. During my first adventure in matrimony, I was presented with a copy of a local adult tabloid and encouraged to contact the publisher to see if he would accept some much-needed proofreading. In short time this evolved into writing articles, reviewing videosÑand my first column. Not too long afterwards, I was invited to become the editor of Exotic magazineÑand the world of sex hasnÕt been the same since. Today IÕm the content editor for www.adultbuzz.com, write a monthly BDSM column for Good Vibrations (www.goodvibes.com), review adult books, toys, magazines, and videos for AVN (www.avn.com), Taboo, and Leg World magazines, promote and book other sex educators and writers, am developing my own writing and sex-education workshops, participate in the local and national BDSM and poly communities, and basically keep myself in trouble whenever possible. All in the name of science, of course. After all, good Catholic women do not willingly enjoy sex. IÕve had people ask why I donÕt write about something more lucrative or respectable. I consider sexuality to be a perfectly valid subject for study as well as a personal obsession. It is also a topic that has endured centuries of suppression and oppression, two things that really piss me off and get me going. I was silenced as a child but I will speak out as an adult.

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