Last year, I relaunched Bornwhore with a piece about stigma, sex work and dating called Lip Service. I wrote about a few ex’es who’d behaved less than gentlemanly when I came out to them as a ho. Turns out one of them had written about me too–something I didn’t know. It paints a picture of me from years ago, living a life that I don’t recognize anymore (I smoked and stayed out past midnight?) and herewith, in the spirit of transformation, is his take on our relationship and his whorephobia.
Stiletto by Skyler
We’re sitting side by side on the concrete steps outside Allan Gardens the night she tells me she’s a sex worker. I react like any fool who hasn’t the slightest idea how to treat a sex worker with a feminist analysis: I ask her if she’s been tested. Even in the dark I can make out her expression, chin jutted out, jaw tight, eyes unabashedly locking with my own. “Have you been tested?” she challenges me. I stutter. I mutter. I try to form sentences but all the inadequate words that fall from my lips do not suffice to form some sort of apology and I finally settle for an uncomfortable silence. Stiletto launches into a seemingly well-rehearsed speech on the ignorance of people who think that sluts who earn a living from sex are more susceptible to sexually transmitted infection than recreational sluts such as myself. I recognize the ignorance of my question, but still don’t know what to say so I silently swear to myself that I’ll make it up to her somehow. She begins to tell me about a recent lover who dumped her because she does sex work. She tells me the person who broke up with her was politically supportive of sex workers’ rights, but her politics didn’t extend as far as the bedroom. Now I know exactly how I’ll make it up to her, I think to myself. I’ll be the most supportive lover she ever had. I’ll be her safe call, her confidente, her knight in shining armour. I’ll wax her bikini line, give her a pedicure, have dinner waiting on the table when she returns from work… We walk along the pathway in the dark and I continue to listen carefully to Stiletto’s every word. I hold my breath, wondering if I’ve blown it with her.
Before I know it Stiletto’s leading me through the streets and alleys of Cabbagetown, bound for the place she calls home. I guess I didn’t blow it after all. This woman sure does have patience with me. First I ignore her all evening when she attempts to flirt with me at the gay bar in Ottawa’s Byward Market a few weeks ago. Then I insult her profession. I can’t believe she’s still talking to me, let alone taking me home with her. We pass a group of men and Stiletto confidently strides up to them in her mini-skirt, says, “Hey boys, how ’bout a cigarette?” They all rush to grab a cigarette and the one of the guys lights one up for her. She struts away and I am like an admiring child, staring in awe at her performance and quickening my pace to keep up with her, taking two quicks steps for every step her long legs take. I’ve never seen anyone look or act so tough in a mini-skirt before.
The first thing I notice on the way up the stairs into Stiletto’s attic apartment is her marvelous display of high heel footwear. The open and closed toes of about 40 pairs of heels stretch from the foot of the stairs to the top: reds, blacks, whites, sparkling silver, glittery gold. With varying thickness of heel, they claim the stairway in their leather, suede and velvet splendour. I haven’t been with a femme since my coming out days six years ago and that was just a one-night stand. I’m a bit taken aback, unsure what to make of all the heels, but I’m on the heels of the woman who wears them, eagerly chasing her up the stairs and watching her throw off her sexy blue leather jacket. We surface into her apartment and it’s nothing like I expected. My impression of Stiletto thus far is that she is some sort of exciting and also terrifying professional dominatrix. I guess I was expecting some sort of dark dungeon, with lots of shackles and chains. But Stiletto’s place is the opposite. It’s a warm and inviting bachelor, with dim lighting, including an orange paper lamp hanging in the window, a kitchen with bar stools at the counter, a small couch and an enormous book collection. A comfy-looking bed appears to have nestled itself into the corner of the room, under a comfortably-sloping ceiling. Next to the bed is a nightstand with a lamp and a small pile of books, Stiletto’s current reads. Suddenly, I begin to see this larger-than-life personality with her show of bravado and her commanding sexual presence, as a regular person with average needs like eating and sleeping and I ache to hold her. My strong urge to care for her will take the form of doing her dishes the following morning, but first she will care for me.
“What would you like to drink?” she says, listing off the alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages available. The variety of choices impresses me. I’m not used to such service, given that I’m currently homeless. At my friend Prof’s house, I feel more like an unwanted intruder than an invited guest, where I am glared down by her room mate and grilled about my search for employment. I smile at the treatment I am receiving here and contemplate which beverage I would like. However, decision-making is not my strong suit and I think the domme in Stiletto will appreciate this next gesture, so I tell her, “I’ll have an alcoholic beverage of your choosing.” She turns to me and grins. “Good answer,” she says, and pours me a glass of scotch.
Stiletto isn’t the type to beat around the bush when it comes to sex. She invites me onto her bed just like that and says, “Want to make out?” I wonder what life would be like if everyone was more like Stiletto. No more mind games. No more secret crushes. I’d probably be having a lot more sex. Stiletto is not only forward when it comes to sex. She’s organized. Just as the making out starts getting really hot, Stiletto stops and restrains herself from biting into my neck by biting into a pillow, which I can’t be nearly as enjoyable, but is a hell of an exercise in self-control. She sits up and pulls out a list of BDSM activities and tells me that we can’t do anything more until I go through them and check off which activities I’m into. I look through it, but my flushed cheeks reveal I’m not used to communicating my sexual preferences so openly, so after struggling with it for a few minutes, I cast it aside. Stiletto pats me on the head and says it’s okay. I can bring it back to her and we can play next time. But I’m impatient. I don’t want to wait until next time. Recalling the pillow-biting incident, I silently plot to cast a spell over Stiletto with my submissive powers. With a little submissive coaxing, I’ll bet I could get her to sink those teeth into my delicious neck. So, we make out some more, and I groan and moan and turn my neck towards her mouth and soon I have exactly what I want. By the middle of the night I have somehow coerced my way across Stiletto’s lap, my shorts down around my ankles while she tests out a few of her favourite whips on my ass. She asks me to rate each blow with a number between 1-10 to indicate how much pain I’m feeling, but Stiletto is cautious and I don’t call out anything higher than a six. In between spankings and make-out sessions, I am doing a lot peeing. I pad over to the washroom and shake out an orgasmic piss on the toilet while I lustfully gaze at the picture of the leatherdaddy on the wall. He is standing at a bar with a giant bulge in his pants, about to come onto a younger guy. Everytime I use the washroom I can’t stop staring at that picture. It makes my pee come out in spurts, like morse code, my cunt muscles throbbing with pleasure.
Stiletto does not let her lovers sleep over, but the apartment where I’m crashing this week is way up at the north end of the city by the 401, a lengthy commute from Stiletto’s place in Cabbagetown, especially after the subway has stopped running and I’d have to take a night bus. Stiletto eyes me warily, as though she’s afraid to feed my romantic nature with hope by allowing me to sleep over this once. She tells me to close my eyes while she changes into her pajamas. The sight of her in her matching blue pajamas, covered in monkey faces makes me want to kiss her cheeks and curl into her, but I know I have to play it cool. If she thinks I’m too into her, she may just change her mind about letting me stay over. She lends me a pair of jogging pants and a t-shirt, which I quickly change into. “Come on, let’s cuddle,” she says, surprising me. Stiletto is also very organized about bedtime affairs. She cuddles for what seems to be a precisely measured amount of time, and then tells me to move over to the other side of the bed. She puts on a sleeping mask and lies on the other side of the bed. I know I shouldn’t take advantage of her vulnerability, but I simply can’t help but peek over at her lying there, unaware that I’m watching her. I take up her need for personal space like a challenge, hugging the pillow to keep from hugging her in very much the same way she bit into the pillow to keep from biting me.
The next morning Stiletto wakes up early and makes us each a smoothie. We go onto her balcony to drink them and I put my hands up on the sun-warmed roof of the house, about the height of my chest, and use my upper body strength to propel myself up into a kneeling position above Stiletto, trying my boyish best to impress her with my roof-mounting feat. I make a big show of walking around, looking over the peak and talking about how I could almost get from the roof to the nearby tree if it was just a little closer. The femme in her seems to bring out the boy in me, or maybe the boy in me is just more noticeable in her presence, a baby blue blanket against a background of pink wallpaper, riding the gender binary like a rusty old ten-speed, familiar between my legs, its frame handed down from generation to generation, changing only the occasional gear or brake or sprocket. Being with a femme feels different from being with a boy dyke: completely different. I feel more boyish with Stiletto. I want to snap her bra-strap so she’ll chase me around with a tube of lipstick, pin me down and smear it all over my face.
But it’s only when fully clothed that I indulge in this boyish behaviour with Stiletto. When she lays me down on the bed, grabs my jaw and kisses me hard, I am a woman, and regardless of the obvious cleavage threatening to smother my face, she is a man and when she lifts back her hand and brings it down between my legs to smack my pussy, it is her penis, pounding me like some straight dude fucking “his woman.” That’s right. Stiletto is a sexist dude and I am her property. My fantasies remain the same, whether I’m fucking bois, butches, femmes or myself. I guess it’s not so far-fetched to think that a gender-deviant queer like me might fetishize the foreign and mysterious practice of heterosexuality.
Stiletto has to get ready to go to her day job in the west end. I amuse myself by writing in my journal while she gets ready for work. I am sitting on the loveseat, writing about Stiletto. My heart is overwhelmed. I feel sooo much, but it’s sooo fast. My mind tells me be cautious: be careful. My mind tells my heart to cool it.My mind rationalizes that she’s not capable of falling in love; therefore it would be unwise to fall in love with her… She comes out of the shower and leans over the back of the couch to hug my shoulders and kiss my cheek, her wet hair hanging in my face. Then she walks away and once her back is turned, she casually asks, “What are you writing about?” I look up, caught off guard. “Nothing,” I mutter, and close the book, protecting its contents, as though she’s going to grab it and read it without permission, like my ex-girlfriend Terror used to do. But Stiletto isn’t like that. She doesn’t push the issue and I breathe a sigh of relief.
The following week I meet Stiletto . I nervously wander into the shop where Stiletto works, past the watchful eyes of staff that may have been told god knows what about me. I try and push my insecurities to the back of my mind as I bolt for the stairs that lead to her office. Stiletto is sitting in front of her computer, draped in a pale purple t-shirt and a white pair of pants. Her hair is pulled back and and she’s got a fresh coat of lipstick that matches her shirt. I’m unsure whether or not I should hug her at work, but she reassuringly wraps her arms around me and gives me a lipstick kiss on the cheek. We walk down the street for some Thai takeout and head over to the track by the shop to eat our food. I am eating slowly because I’m nervous and Stiletto comments on how little I eat. I don’t mention the knots in my stomach. After we finish eating we lie down in the middle of the track and make out while a few die-hards do laps around us in the chilly fall air. I feel perfectly naughty, rolling around in the grass with this sexy femme who doesn’t seem to give a shit who’s watching. I wish this could last forever, but Stiletto needs to go buckle down and study cock and ball torture for her client that night, so she heads home, leaving me to wonder when I’ll be so lucky as to see her again.
The next time I see Stiletto she’s about to do a reading at the launch for $pread, a magazine by and for sex workers. I go over to her apartment to help her get ready. Who knew it could be so much fun picking out earings, shades of lipsticks and heels. This must be what it feels like for a young, aspiring drag queen to eagerly assist his mother with hair, make-up and accessories, living vicariously through her in spite of his Spiderman t-shirts and boy-cut jeans. For the first time in my life I sense the presence of the genuine femme in me, a part of me I never even knew was there, and my inner femme is feeding off Stiletto because she doesn’t feel safe enough to express herself through my boyish, awkward body, and for just a moment, I wonder if I could overcome the trauma of all the years of being forced into dresses against my will; put on one of Stiletto’s skirts and actually feel sexy. The thought dissipates as quickly as it evolved. “These earrings or the dangly ones?” The strength of Stiletto’s commanding voice brings me back to reality.
Before she leaves, Stiletto reads me the piece she’s going to be reading at the launch. It’s brilliant and I tell her so, my eyes wide and adoring. She thanks me, then confesses she’s nervous to come out to the queer community as a sex worker because she’s afraid of being stereotyped as dirty and disease-ridden. Who will sleep with her? How many hot butches will cross her off their to-do list? And she would never know how many sweet little bottoms would have gotten down on their hands and knees for her had she not come out as a sex worker. When you think about it rationally, it seems absurd that a professional sex worker would be seen as less sexually desirable than any other occupation: the women’s studies major, the social worker, the softball coach, the bicycle mechanic…If I wanted to make my bike a fixed-gear, I’d take the bike mechanic. But if I want to have good sex, I’d take Stiletto over a softball coach or a women’s studies major anyday. She is extremely skilled at what she does. She’s even taught me a thing or two, like how to suck a cock well. “Suck,” she says, and puts her hot pink dick in my mouth. She’s taught me how to lick the underneath of the dick and make circles around it, how to look up into a lover’s eyes while I give head and how to override my gag reflex.
I tell Stiletto I’d like to support her by going to the $pread launch, but my situation of not having a home and bouncing from couch to couch has me in dire need of some alone time. I ask if I can retreat into solitude in her apartment and she gives me her blessing and her keys. And I become a boychild again, protected and safe in the comfort of this older, bolder, courageous woman’s home while she calls a taxi, gives me instructions on when she’ll be back and strides out the door looking more like a grown-up than anyone I’ve dated in the past five years. The only thing missing from this scenario is the babysitter. Stiletto returns late and I launch myself from her bed and descend the three flights of stairs to let her in the front door. She puts her finger to her lips, motioning for me to be careful when opening the door, lest I disturb the landlords on the main floor with the jangly bells that rattle loudly when the door is opened abruptly. I turn the key in the lock and open the door. Stiletto’s smell wafts in and I take it in, give her a brief kiss on the cheek and then follow her up the stairs in my pajamas.
The next morning I’m lying in Stiletto’s bed, pretending to be preoccupied with a book while she checks her email. In truth, the words on the page are like passing scenery on a fast-moving highway. They don’t even register in my brain. I peer at Stiletto from behind the book at regular intervals. Finally she announces she’s done and leans back in her chair. I shut the book and climb up onto her lap, settling my ass into the crevice between her thighs, and start scoping out the shared accommodation section of the classifieds. Stiletto helps me for a while and then scoots out from underneath me to make some phonecalls. I found an ad for a place just a few blocks away from Stiletto’s and the guy asked if I could get over there to see it immediately. On my way back from viewing the place, I stopped at Ginger to pick us up some take-out.
After dinner, we discuss what our next play session will look like, and in my best whiny voice, I remind her that we’ve been talking about restraining me for a month and I really want it to happen. Stiletto is very hesitant about kink with new lovers. I know she’s just being cautious, but I really want her to tie me up. I feel ready. Stiletto gives me that stern look she always gives me when I get whiny. I note her annoyance and bring my vocal tone down a notch and try to take on a calmer demeanour. “So you want me to restrain you? Let’s go,” she says, and motions for me to follow her. She picks out a pair of black leather cuffs from her collection and adeptly secures my wrists to the metal ring hanging from the thick white post in the centre of the room. She pulls my feet back from the post and orders me to stick my ass out. She picks a flogger and gives my shirtless back a whipping that really feels more like a massage than a beating. I close my eyes and savour it. Afterwards, Stiletto asks me how I feel about nipple play. I don’t know, comes my standard answer, winning me a famous Stiletto glare that says know your boundaries my dear. She shows me a pair of clothespins and explains to me how the edges have been softened using sandpaper, so that they’re not so harsh. She asks if she can use one on me. I’m scared, but Stiletto reassures me she won’t hurt me, and that she will take it off right away if I don’t like it. I blink my eyes as if to say please don’t hurt me. I’m not sure I can trust her without the use of my hands. It is my custom, during sex, to brush the hands of lovers aside whenever an action doesn’t feel particularly good. Somehow it feels easier than saying stop. Tonight I will have to learn to use my voice. Stiletto places the clothespin on my side, gradually releasing it, until it is fully closed onto my skin. She leaves it there, allows to adjust to the feeling while she kisses me. Next she wants to place it on my nipple. I am reticent. She asks me to trust her. I’m convinced she’ll leave me writhing in pain, desperately trying to break free of my chains while she laughs sadistically at my helplessness. I don’t say any of this out loud, just shake my head. She lifts my chin, looks lovingly at me and tells me I need to learn to trust her. I nod my head a silent yes and she strokes my head reassuringly while she places the clothespin on my nipple.
And then it’s suddenly eight o’clock and Stiletto is meeting a client in an hour. She sprawls out on her bed with her book on cock and ball torture. I read aloud to her while she paints her toenails. Stiletto wants to train to be a professional domme. She has honed her skills as a domme of butches, bois and transmen, but she hasn’t played with many cisgendered men. She has a lot to learn and she takes her studies so seriously that one might think she’s doing her ph.d in male genital torture. She tells me that one thing she appreciates about BDSM with cis men is that they’re more into forced feminization than the butches or genderqueer folks that she usually plays with. Stiletto is so confident when she says this that I never think to disagree with her openly, but inwardly I think to myself, But I’m genderqueer and I’m into forced feminization. I allow myself to drift off into a fantasy of Stiletto forcing me to wear a skirt with nothing underneath, shoving me up against a wall and fucking me. I simultaneously nod my head in agreement with Stiletto.
In the following weeks, I leave Stiletto’s place with an underlying sadness. I have no way of knowing how many more hours I’ll be able to spend with her before she leaves for Thailand next month. She’s in a permanent state of busyness preparing for her last radio show, her interview with CBC about sex work, tying up loose ends at work, packing up her apartment and organizing a give-away party before she goes. Every time I leave, I worry that this might be the last moment I ever spend alone with Stiletto.
It’s not just about the sex with Stiletto. It’s about the communication that goes along with it. Stiletto inspires me to be straightforward and honest by living it. She doesn’t hold back and is always direct with me about other lovers, about sex work, about sex. She seems to know when I’m saying what I think she wants to hear or beating around the bush instead of saying what I really want and she refuses to accept it. She’s the first person who ever insisted on me defining my sexual boundaries before agreeing to play with me. She taught me that bottoming is not about powerlessness, that I can have all the ass-kicking, humiliation and name-calling I want outside of the context of an abusive relationship, but rather in a loving, consensual kinky relationship.
It’s one of of Stiletto’s last weekends in Toronto and my friend Disco has invited me to Steers and Queers at Dakota Tavern and I know it would be good for me to get out in the queer community, meet some new people, and dance with hot queers all night, but I also know that Stiletto’s going and that may incur major threats to my security if I catch a glimpse of her dragging some other cute dyke around by the hair. I find Stiletto’s bold, open, self-proclaimed sluttiness both extremely attractive and extremely threatening.
I don’t have to meet Disco for another hour and a half, so I duck into Wellesley Station to warm up and wrestle with my insecurities about tonight’s event. I send Stiletto a text message to give her a heads up that I’m going to Steers and Queers and she responds positively. I send another text, tentatively asking if any of her other lovers will be there tonight. Sensing my distress, she calls me and reassures me that even if any of her other lovers are present tonight, she is not there with anyone per se. Stiletto tells me she always goes to events in the queer community independently, so she can pick up, make out with or take home whoever she wants. I put down the phone feeling somewhat reassured and barrel down the stairs to catch the next train.
There’s a familiar face outside the Dakota Tavern when I arrive. I used to see Muff around when we both lived in Peterborough and I hear these days she’s doing fat-positive performance activism. I say hello to the familiar face within a foreign land and follow her inside, but we run out of things to talk about after the initial small-talk and soon I’m left wandering around the bar alone, trying my best to blend into the crowd so that no one can tell I’m there alone. No really, my friends are coming. Finally, I see Disco and her friends and I join them for a drink. The show begins, and about halfway through, I notice Stiletto, standing on a chair scouring the room. My heart races as I realize she’s looking for me. My insecurities start to vanish, replaced by a proud feeling that the most popular girl in the room is looking for me. I don’t want to approach her just yet. I want to enjoy this feeling of being sought after.
Once I feel Stiletto has put in a diligent effort of trying to locate me, I ditch Disco and walk over to her. She grabs me and pulls me onto a bench at the back of the room to make out. That’s Stiletto’s word. She always says “Want to make out?” before she grabs me by my shirt collar and starts kissing me. I’m feeling confident, knowing that no matter how many lovers may be lurking in the room, I am the one with my tongue down Stiletto’s throat at the moment. As we continue to grope and grab at each other, we slide off the bench and onto the floor beneath the table, most likely for the sake of Stiletto’s privacy, but adding to the teenage vibe of our makeout session.
Stiletto wants to know what time it is, and as the pants-wearing member in our party, I reach into my pocket for my cell phone. It’s getting late, so we pull ourselves out from underneath the table, dusting the bar debris off our clothes, and say our goodbyes…well…mostly Stiletto says her goodbyes since she seems to be some sort of femme icon in the community and my only friend at the event has vanished into the night during my bar-floor rendezvous with Stiletto. At the top of the stairs, we are delayed by a few more goodbyes and then we are free, running through the alley in our sexually charged bliss. Stiletto is on a spanking mission, looking for dark corners and waist-high objects to bend me over. We spot a couple of garbage bins, but a couple of friends have already claimed them for play, so we wave a hello and move on. Then I spot a fire escape leading up to a large deck on the back of a house and like an excited toddler, I point and go for it, looking over my shoulder to make sure Stiletto is following. We make it up the fire escape, me in my skate shoes and her in her pumps. Then all I see is grey, my face pressed up against a cold cement wall, Stiletto’s hand on the back of my neck. She orders me to pull down my pants. I look from her to the apartment window to our left, then down at my fly and back to her. She doesn’t waver. I pull down my pants and savour the dichotomy of the cool cement against my face and the heat created by the smack of Stiletto’s palm across my ass. When the session ends, we gaze at one another all starry-eyed and run laughing down the alleyway.
Cherry bomb is Toronto’s largest monthly dyke event and probably the last big event that will happen before Stiletto leaves town. It takes place on the outskirts of Little Italy at Andy Pool Hall. I get off the streetcar at Bathurst to give myself a few blocks to walk off the nerves and call Stiletto to tell her I’m almost there. She’s out front having a smoke with some of her friends when I arrive. She’s coatless and shivering so she herds us all inside as soon as I arrive. Stiletto is popular. She’s like that girl in high school who was head of the cheerleading squad and president of the student council: the girl who wouldn’t be caught dead sitting next me in the cafeteria when I was in high school, except Stiletto is the queer version and she’s way cooler. Before we even get to the bar, three people have stopped her to flirt, converse or embrace her. I feel jealousy gripping my stomach and squeezing it like one of those abdominal belts I’ve seen advertised on infomercials, only I didn’t consent to this feeling nor did I mail-order it for just $29.99. This must be a mistake: It came to the wrong address. Me? Jealous? Hardly…ok, maybe a little. Later in the night, Stiletto unknowingly feeds my starving ego when she takes me out behind the bar and shoves me against the wall. Ya, that’s right. It’s me she wants to smack around, so all you other little bottoms can give up and go home right now.
She clucks her tongue at the wallet in my back pocket and pulls it out so I can feel the force of her blows. After smacking me around for a few minutes she turns me around to face her, pulls up her skirt and orders me to fuck her, much to my surprise, as Stiletto has always been stone with me. My fingers desperately try and keep up with her demanding cries to fuck her harder and when she finally pulls me out, I am forever changed. It’s the first time in my life that I truly enjoyed fucking someone. Just as we’re walking back into the bar, I realize my wallet is missing from my back pocket and turn back to retrieve it from wherever Stiletto flung it. There are a couple of guys standing on the porch facing the alley and the holler chants of approval for fucking my “lady” real good. For a moment, I feel like I’m part of a fraternity. I guess they missed the part where I got my pansy ass spanked. My wallet isn’t there. I frantically run back into the bar and Stiletto is waving my wallet at me from across the room.
It’s been four years since I stopped working on this story…I never did finish it. A few months after we started dating, Stiletto went to Thailand and then to Australia for a year and a half and I moved to Berlin just before she moved back to Toronto. We saw each other once, when I was home visiting and she was flying in from San Francisco. Being the romantic that I am, I found out from a mutual friend what time her flight was arriving and went to surprise her. We hadn’t seen each other in nearly two years.. We hugged, kissed and 10 minutes later, while waiting for the bus downtown, we got into the first and last fight I ever had with Stiletto. All the old wounds I didn’t know I’d caused by my question on our very first date came up to the surface….”So, have you been tested for sexually transmitted infections?”
It was such an ugly fight that we didn’t speak for another two years, which is a pretty easy thing to do when you’re living on different continents and your only contact in the last several years has been over skype and emails. I thought I’d lost her forever. Then last summer, I went out for iced tea with Stiletto while visiting Toronto. She told me that my question had bothered her throughout our entire relationship and I apologized for not communicating how sorry I had been about it. Then I felt all the old love I used to have for Stiletto coming back into my heart as though it had never left, and I guess it hadn’t. It just went into hiding for a while.. When I got back to Berlin, I found this old, long forgotten story while cleaning up my hard drive. I immediately sent it to Stiletto, who asked me if she could publish it. And the rest as they say, is herstory.