No Contact, Asshole!


The summer of 1990 was a bad one. It should have been a good one but it was a bad one. I’ve pulled a lot of stunts in my day, mostly of the sick sexual variety, but that summer I reached a new low. Or a new high. It was so low it was high, if you know what I mean.

I was twenty-six and a single parent. My son was four. He smelled good all the time, the way little kids do.

So my son was real cute. Red hair, blue eyes, ivory skin. Full of love. I had him for the whole summer.

We stayed with my parents in New Jersey. I needed their help with looking after my son for such a long stretch. Because I was a writer and made my living driving a taxi I could just take off, so I did—all of July and August.

About two mornings each week, I’d go to the library to try to write from nine to twelve, and my mother would look after my son. I felt guilty about those three hours, but I needed to work a little.

Around week five, I started to come unhinged. I had no social life, I was playing with my son twelve hours a day in the humid Jersey weather, and on the two mornings I went to the library my writing was lousy. Also, my father was still working back then, so he was tormented and insane and we weren’t getting along. So, like I said, I was coming unhinged, which means I had to do something, take action. And taking action usually means hurting myself.

So one day my son was taking a nap and I was looking at the local free throwaway newspaper and I spotted a curious ad in the classifieds: a dominatrix with a transsexual assistant was offering $100 one-hour sessions. What the hell was this doing in a throwaway newspaper in suburban New Jersey?

Naturally, I called the number

A youngish sounding woman answered the phone. “What do you want?” she said.

“I’m calling about your ad,” I said in a whispery voice.

“Yeah, so? You want a session, faggot?”

She was already in character. “Yes,” I said.

“When do you want to see me, faggot?”

I told her what time I could get together and the girl laid down the law. She’d meet me the next day at 11 a.m. at T.G.I. Friday’s, just off the local highway. I was to stand at the bar and have a pack of unopened Marlboro cigarettes in my hand. If she didn’t like the looks of me, she’d turn right around. If I passed inspection, she’d come over to me and ask for a cigarette. I wasn’t to give her one, but follow her out to her car, where she’d blindfold me and drive me to her house. It was all very noir, metaphorically and otherwise.

“Do I have to be blindfolded?” I asked.

“You think I’m going to let a freak like you know where I live?” She was very mean on the phone, but I figured she was just being professional. A professional dominatrix, that is. They’re supposed to be mean.

The next day I was at the T.G.I. Friday’s by ten-fifty with a pack of Marlboros. My mother thought I was at the library. I should have been with my son. I’m a terrible person.

The place had just opened when I got there. I ordered a coffee. At eleven she walked in—very short, maybe five-one, brunette, pretty, early twenties, jeans and a halter top, sunglasses. We played the cigarette game, then out to her car. My heart was explosive. She didn’t have a blindfold but sunglasses that were taped over.

“I don’t want a cop stopping me because he sees that I have a faggot like you blindfolded,” she explained. If I was lucky, she’d kill me fast and dump my body in the Meadowlands. My poor parents; my poor son.

I kept trying to peer out the bottom of the sunglasses to see where I was being taken to be murdered. Despite my nervousness, I asked her lots of questions. She was pretty forthcoming. I’ve always been good with the Q&A.

She was Italian-Catholic. Ever since she was a teenager she had gotten off on dominating men, especially since all men were assholes. Her high school boyfriend was her transsexual assistant; she had been feminizing him for a few years, feeding him hormone pills, making him dress like a girl, and, though he resisted at first, he was now happy with his transformation. Eventually, they’d have his penis cut off and they’d be lesbian lovers.

The whole thing was so sick it was thrilling. She and this guy were actually living out a dream that millions—well, maybe thousands—of perverts wanted. And I had found her in a throwaway newspaper!

She told me that when she and her boy/girlfriend had enough money saved they were going to move to New York and open a first-class dungeon. Then from the dungeon they’d get enough money for his sex-change operation.

I got all this in a twenty-minute car ride, which I think involved her driving around in circles, in case I was peering out the bottom of the glasses. I felt like James Bond being kidnapped.

We pulled into a driveway; she took me by the hand and led me into a house, which I could perceive from the bottom of my glasses. Then we went down some stairs and she removed my glasses. We were in a carpeted basement room which was just about empty—there was a radio, a futon mattress, and a big box with S&M paraphernalia. A pole ran from the floor to the ceiling and all the walls were mirrored. I gave her the hundred bucks. Then she slapped me and led me to the pole. She took some rope from her S&M box and she tied my wrists behind my back and around the pole. She slapped me again and then left me alone in the room. It was nearly eleven-thirty. I told my mother I’d meet her at twelve-thirty at the lake where we took my son swimming. I was going to be late!

She left me tied to that pole for ten minutes. I imagined this was part of the torture, but I thought it was a rip-off, so I managed to free myself, just like James Bond. I tried the door. It was locked. I could have busted it down, but I didn’t: My James Bond-ness went only so far. Then she came into the room dressed in black bra, panties, stockings, boots—usual dominatrix garb—and slapped me for slipping my bonds. Her slaps stung but weren’t bad. Then she put the radio on, WPLJ. I had been listening to the station my whole life, but never in the basement of a dominatrix.

“What are you into?” she asked. “Want me to flog you?”

“Can I kiss your breasts?” I asked. She looked pretty in her bra.

“No contact, asshole,” she said, and then she slapped me again—contact!—and looked at me like I was crazy. But I didn’t want to be flogged. I wanted to nurse on her breasts and maybe lick her pussy. I wasn’t an S&M nut; I was just a nut. My perversion is that I try everything once, even if I’m not into it

Then her tranny boyfriend—a tall, slender brunette wearing a negligee—came in and gave me a wide-eyed north/south. I wasn’t bad-looking back then and so I think he was attracted to me.

The girl had the tranny undress me, and then they conferred in the corner while I stood there naked.

Then the tranny came over and started rubbing against me, trying to slow-dance with me to the music coming from the radio, and I didn’t mind—he was a pretty good-looking girl. And I knew what was going on: I was being tossed to the tranny-slave like a piece of meat and the girl was getting off on watching.

Then the tranny stopped dancing, got a strawberry-flavored condom from the S&M box, and knelt down in front of me to give me a blow job. He rolled the sugar-coated condom on me and before he took me in his mouth, the girl came over and slapped me violently. It hurt. The other slaps had been warm-ups. She went to do it again, but I caught her wrist this time and bent her arm behind her back. She was a little thing, even in her black boots. The tranny just stayed on his knees, wide-eyed. I held the girl’s arm behind her back, and slow-danced her from behind. My penis, in the condom, pressed against her ass. That vicious slap had done something to me, turned me into Robert Mitchum. The girl didn’t say anything; I think she was stunned. Maybe she liked having the tables turned. The tranny watched and smiled. Poor nutty slave. He was going to lose his dick someday.

Well, after that, things got a little sordid. An unlit candle—in lieu of a dildo—somehow entered the picture and the three of us rolled around on that futon. At some point the girl did flog me two or three times, but I let her—I’m not an ungenerous lover and I had to build her esteem back up after I had manhandled her.

Then it ended the way these things usually end: Somebody gets a paper towel and you wish you had never been born. The tranny said to me, “I hope you’ll see us again. You’re beautiful.”

I got dressed and the girl made me put the sunglasses back on. She drove me to the T.G.I. Friday’s in five minutes, confirming my suspicions about the circular method she had used on the way over. She dropped me off and didn’t say good-bye. It was a sunny day. One shouldn’t do such things on sunny days. I don’t know how the perverts in California live with themselves.

I got to the swimming hole fifteen minutes late. My mother assumed that I had been working well in the library.

I took my son into the water and we were quickly joined by several other four-year-olds. I was the only dad around and so I was like a pied piper for the kids. They were crawling all over me, playing and splashing. At some point, my son was really bounding on my back and it hurt and for a moment I wondered why and then I remembered. My brief flogging had bruised me.

To be able to live with myself, I had immediately, upon getting into my car at T.G.I. Friday’s, blocked from my mind the lurid scene I had just engaged in, but then with my son bouncing on my bruises I couldn’t forget what had happened and I felt wildly ashamed. In retrospect it doesn’t seem so terrible—so I cavorted with a dominatrix and a pre-op transsexual. What harm, really, was done? Isn’t it a sort of funny story all these years later? Time softens everything, I guess. But in that moment, I was disgusted that my beautiful son should come in contact with those bruises. Why am I like this? I thought. What is wrong with me? I hated myself, but I had to love him.

So I kept playing in the water. To keep going and not lose my mind, I had to pretend that I was a good person—the generous pied piper. It was the only way to cope, and it seemed to work—my son and all the other children were laughing and happy, and my mother sat in her beach chair proud of her son and her grandchild. I played with the children for hours. It was a beautiful day.


Art by Laurenn McCubbin


This is a Rumpus Reprint and originally appeared in the New York Press.

Jonathan Ames is the author of the books I Pass Like Night, The Extra Man, What's Not to Love?, My Less Than Secret Life, Wake Up, Sir!, I Love You More Than You Know, and The Alcoholic (a graphic novel illustrated by Dean Haspiel). He is the editor of Sexual Metamorphosis: An Anthology of Transsexual Memoirs. More from this author →