Dominatrix Terri-Jean Bedford

Saturday, December 31, 2011

2011 in Review – Political

The year 2011 was a continuation of 2010 in some respects. In 2010 our constitutional challenge begun in 2007 succeeded and Judge Susan Himel struck down the prostitution laws. The government appealed and in 2011 the appeal was heard. This time 5 judges, 2 of them women, heard the matter in June. That was over 6 months ago. Their decision is coming out soon, and whatever it is it will lead to a massive national debate on how government should govern the consenting private behaviour of adults. More about that soon.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

2011 in Review – Personal

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.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

For Those Not Celebrating the Season

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.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Questions and Comments about Dominatrix on Trial – X

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.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Questions and Comments about Dominatrix on Trial – IX

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.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Questions and Comments about Dominatrix on Trial – VIII

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.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Questions and Comments about Dominatrix on Trial – VII

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.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Questions and Comments about Dominatrix on Trial – VI

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.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Questions and Comments about Dominatrix on Trial – V

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.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Questions and Comments about Dominatrix on Trial – IV

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.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Questions and Comments about Dominatrix on Trial – III

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.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Questions and Comments About Dominatrix on Trial – II

Some readers of the book from the United States and elsewhere have been in touch with me after reading the book. Some actually said reading got them thinking about how their authorities have dealt with people like me, a dominatrix. Some of them could never even recall a dom being busted in their community or city. Others said their police do not even bust prostitutes at all, not even the ones who work the streets. Still others said they could not recall any significant coverage of a trial such as mine. I reminded them that in the book I went into the reasons charges such as those against me rarely come to trial, and that there are in fact many women in jails in Canada and the U.S. that are basically forgotten.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Questions and Comments About Dominatrix on Trial

Be sure to become a friend of mine on Facebook so you can follow all the detailed discussions and other things there. I have been asked, since the book came out, how I occupy my time. I have been spending, I would say, an average of about 30 minutes a day doing some administration for a local small business. I spend an average of about 2 hours a day on Facebook. I am "meeting" so many interesting people there and I have so much material accumulated over the years to share with them and the public. I can’t get to the gym or pool these days for a number of reasons, but I do my stretches at home. The social media interaction has made being home bound so much easier to deal with.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

More Comments About My Book

During the weeks I have been commenting about the impending release of the appeal decision questions and reactions to my book, Dominatrix on Trial, have been coming in. Also, thanks yet again to all those who have read it. Thanks as well to those who have commented on it. I am pleased that people who have been critical in their remarks were critical of the positions I have taken and not of the book. Dominatrix on Trial has been very well received. In the coming blogs I will share the questions and comments and my reactions to them.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Prostitution Appeal Decision – XIV

In all likelihood the Ontario Court of Appeal will not announce its decision on the striking down of Canada’s prostitution laws until at least January 2012. I just can’t see them re-igniting the debate less than 20 days before Christmas. I have pretty much said what I want to say in advance of the release of the appeal. I will assist our team in alerting the media and supporters of the impending release. I will comment as soon as our lawyers explain what the court decided. I will certainly comment in the days and weeks following the release of the decision. Check in with me. You won’t be disappointed.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Prostitution Appeal Decision – XIII

I don’t envy the judges of the Ontario Court of Appeal or the Supreme Court of Canada. Most observers believe that their appeal decision of the lower court decision striking down Canada’s prostitution laws will end up in the Supreme Court. But until that last court makes a decision, do we keep the old laws in place? Knowing what we know, that means the dangers facing women are ignored yet again. If they do this they will live the rest of their lives in shame. Or do the judges make the lower court decision effectively immediately and put the onus on Prime Minister Harper to act instead of hide. It promises to be interesting.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Prostitution Appeal Decision – XII

I will continue, in these blogs, answering questions and giving my views on the decision striking down the prostitution laws, and the appeal of that decision, for another week or two. By then it is likely that the decision of the appeal court will not be released until the New Year. I will continue blogging about my book, Dominatrix on Trial, over the holidays. I have received many questions I have yet to answer. I am so grateful for the interest being shown in my story by people all over the world.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Prostitution Appeal Decision – XI

I believe I am right to be so critical of the Prime Minister for appealing the decision striking down the prostitution laws. Common sense should tell him he should not reject all the findings of a 3 year virtual public inquiry, and not even say whether he has read it? The judge pointed out that prostitution is flourishing under the current laws, and would not increase significantly if those laws were dropped. Not only that, but keeping the current laws, she said, actually works against the objectives of both the government and the laws themselves. I hope the Ontario Court of Appeal points all this out to him as well.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Prostitution Appeal Decision – X

In my book Dominatrix on Trial: Bedford Versus Canada, there is a chapter where I commented on the Prime Minister, Mr. Harper, and where I quote what I wrote to him. Since then, I have addressed him verbally in the media. I have said he is a bad boy and that he lacks courage. I have said either he does not care much about women, or if he does he has not shown it in his reactions to Judge Himel’s decision. He has ordered his lawyers to keep the Himel decision before the courts so he can avoid dealing with it. The government’s decision to appeal was made and announced in less time, about 3 or 4 hours, than it took to get the decision and read it. That is verifiable. This may do him more political damage than he realizes.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Prostitution Appeal Decision – IX

The current debate on prostitution must recognize the insanity of the government telling adults that they can have sex when they want and with whom they want, yet legislating that they have it for free. Do you remember when having sex at all, for free or otherwise, was illegal between members of the same sex? Oh, and by the way, do my activities as a dominatrix, when no genital contact occurs, qualify as sex? Interesting times ahead.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Prostitution Appeal Decision – VIII

In my book Dominatrix on Trial I explained the reasons for the prostitution laws being struck down. I want to say again here that it was a 3 year process. It was not a sudden decision by a judge making a decision on impulse. The grounds offered by the government for overturning the decision have been, in my view, either irrelevant or weak. Saying there is a downside to the sex trade and not saying there are downsides to many other activities is a feeble reason for the laws to stand. I hope and I think that the Ontario Court of Appeal will tell Parliament it must act. Then the real discussion can begin.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Prostitution Appeal Decision – VII

There have been many people asking when the Ontario Court of Appeal will release its decision on the September 2010 decision of Justice Susan Himel. That decision struck down the laws restricting activities around prostitution, which has always been legal, in Canada. (Yes, the laws were a fiasco). My short answer is that I don’t know, but when they do I will have plenty to say to the Prime Minister, no matter what the court says. He is going to wear this issue like a tight girdle.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Prostitution Appeal Decision – VI

I have been getting many requests to go to functions to raise funds and otherwise show support for our constitutional challenge. Again, I appreciate all invitations and I am a very social person. But the reality is I am very ill, often in pain, and sometimes, because of that, not in good spirits. But when I am well for a few hours I love going into my social media site and my web site and these blogs and interacting that way. I have been sharing many photos and writings, including excerpts from my recent book that I have accumulated over the years.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Prostitution Appeal Decision – V

Whatever the appeal court decides, there are so many issues requiring decision that it is almost inconceivable that they would not call upon the federal government to get involved. If and when they do I will have plenty of advice for the Prime Minister, who says he is against prostitution, whatever that is, but does nothing to make it illegal. It is amazing how anxious he is not only to support the positions the Liberals took for so many years, but also that he is supporting the most disgraceful laws the Liberals kept in place. Maybe he should stop behaving like a Liberal lackey.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Prostitution Appeal Decision – IV

There is an expectation that the decision of the Court of Appeal on the striking down of the prostitution laws is automatically going to the Supreme Court of Canada. In fact, this is not a given. For one thing, if the appeal goes decidedly in our favour, the Supreme Court may not consent to hear another appeal. For another, the government of Canada can choose to bring in new laws which address the points made by Justice Susan Himel in September 2010. She pointed out that this is a matter for Parliament. What is the Prime Minister afraid of?

Friday, November 11, 2011

Prostitution Appeal Decision – III

The decision the appeal judges are deciding on found that the exhaustive evidence is that the current laws do little to discourage prostitution, are under-enforced anyway, are discriminatory, and encourage real criminal behaviour. The judge pointed out that prostitution would not dramatically increase if the laws are removed. The judge pointed out that Canada was lagging most of the developed world in changing its prostitution laws. The judge pointed out there will be less violence against women if the current laws are struck down than if they remain in place. Yet Prime Minister Harper announced his intention to appeal in less time than it took to get and read the decision. Bad boy!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Prostitution Appeal Decision – II

When the decision comes out it is important to remember above all that the judges are deciding on the decision of the superior court by Justice Susan Himel. She read tens of thousands of pages of affidavits and transcripts of cross-examination and spent 9 days in court hearing arguments by numerous lawyers. She took one year to prepare her 131 page decision. You can also read a summary of what she decided in my book Dominatrix on Trial, which all good Canadians should buy.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Prostitution Appeal Decision - I

It is expected by many that a major court decision will be released soon. I will be blogging about that this month. I have been asked to. As many of you know, in September 2010 Justice Susan Himel struck down the 3 laws which were intended to restrict prostitution in Canada. Prostitution itself is legal. The government’s appeal was heard in June 2011 by 5 judges of the Ontario Court of Appeal. I will have much to say in these blogs both before and after the decision comes out, and much after. Keep visiting this site. And thanks for all the support we have been getting.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Client Letter - V

In my book Dominatrix on Trial I spoke about the many scenes the clients requested. Often they would put their requests in writing. Another excerpt from another letter.

Dear Headmistress. Thank you for seeing me on such short notice. My name is Slave Bob and it is an honour and a privilege for me to serve you. I have been a submissive for approximately 25 years. I am very submissive and I enjoy being treated and trained as a slave. In an effort to be helpful so you will enjoy our time together I have detailed below my likes and dislikes and limitations: tight bondage, strict discipline, humiliation, (especially in front of others), maid service, animal training, nipple clamps.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Client Letter - IV

In my book Dominatrix on Trial I spoke about the many scenes the clients requested. Often they would put their requests in writing. Here is yet another excerpt.

Dear Headmistress. Although I may not meet your requirements as mention in your ad, I am very much interested in your sissy maid training since I am a submissive woman who needs and requires proper discipline training and humiliation. To let you know how I don’t meet your requirements you see I am a post-operative transsexual, which in actuality means I have had my gender changed from male to female a number of years ago. Since my preference is a woman, I enjoy serving women and being disciplined and humiliated when I do not follow instructions properly. I do hope I hear from your sissy academy soon. Until I do, I remain Submissively Sissy Janice

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Client Letter - III

In my book Dominatrix on Trial I spoke about the many scenes the clients requested. Often they would put their requests in writing. Here is yet another excerpt.
Dear Headmistress. I have a few fetishes I should tell you about. They are a leather fetish, rubber fetish, a lingerie fetish a p.v.c. fetish, a vinyl fetish and a fetish for over the elbow evening gloves; and my more intense fetish for thigh high stiletto boots. So please send me your application form and booklet.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Halloween

Halloween is when people put on masks and costumes. When I have gone to Halloween parties since 1993 I have of course dressed as a dominatrix – with a mask. When the party involved clients they too dressed up as slaves or sissies. One of the great advantages of my trade has been that I have never been short of costumes or disguises. Sometimes my clients would just wear a hood, and so preserve their anonymity in public. Fetish clubs love this time of year and some extraordinary parties take place in Toronto.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Client Letter - II

In my book Dominatrix on Trial I spoke about the many scenes the clients requested. Often they would put their requests in writing. Here is another excerpt.
Dear Headmistress. My name is ---- I am a 40 year old single submissive widower presently living in B.C. All I want is to spend the rest of my life as a submissive sissy cross-dressed maid slave serving a group of older dominant mistresses. I am willing to travel anywhere and move anywhere to serve my mistresses. I would like to be called Stephanie. Please send me your illustrated booklet and application form so I can enrol in your academy and begin my real true calling.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Client Letter - I

In my book Dominatrix on Trial I spoke about the many scenes the clients requested. Often they would put their requests in writing. I have been asked to share a few with you. In these next few blogs I will share excerpts with you:

Dear Headmistress,

I would like you to train me in being a sissy because I have come to the realization that I am a girl and I would like to be trained as a girl. Do we live with each other and do we wear all female clothing and how much is it for a month at the academy? Can you train me as a Sissy Socialite? How is this done, and what is the difference in the cost? I will obey you at all times.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Tweeting

As many of you know I have been tweeting quite often. I started doing so at the request of supporters who wanted me to keep in touch daily. I have found it to be good fun, and there are times I look forward to sharing interesting tidbits. There is also a more serious reason for tweeting twice a day. Soon the Ontario Court of Appeal will release its decision in Bedford Versus Canada – Justice Himel’s decision striking down the laws combating prostitution. There will be plenty to be said then, and much will be said by many very quickly. You can be sure I will be tweeting and blogging then.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

School Days

I have had a lot of requests and questions from students writing papers on the current court decisions on the constitutionality of Canada’s laws to combat prostitution. For those who may not be aware I will offer the following sources of information. My recently published memoir, Dominatrix on Trial, has two chapters about the current matter. Go to the website dominatrixontrial.com for ordering details. Also, there are the links on this very website, terrijeanbedford.com as well as another site I have madamedesade.com. These sources provide the factual information on the matter, as well as my perspectives. In these blogs I will comment further once the decision on the appeal is released and my co-plaintiffs and I, and our lawyers, have had a chance to assess the decision and our options to respond.

Friday, October 21, 2011

My Dominatrix Bondage and Fetish Equipment

What I said in my blog 2 days ago about how I stocked my wardrobes in my houses could also be said about my equipment. I had a couple of clients who were long time S&M enthusiasts, but were also carpenters. They built me a jail cell and some devices clients could be fastened to. Things like chains and fasteners I got at hardware stores. Clients also bought me restraints, harnesses and straightjackets from the fetish stores in downtown Toronto. However I personally selected my whips, paddles and specialty bondage masks. You can see a few photos of the equipment in my book, Dominatrix On Trial.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Madame deSade's Dominatrix Wardrobes

Some readers of my memoir Dominatrix on Trial have asked me where I got the clothes I wore in the dungeon and so forth. The clothes they are talking about are described in detail in the book and I did make some reference to a couple of the places I shopped. But let me also add here that I was constantly adding, so it was not all bought at the outset. Also, clients brought me items as gifts that they wanted to see me or my staff wear. Finally, it is important to keep in mind that there was a wardrobe selection for the cross-dressers, as well as one for the doms. Most, as I say was bought at the two stores mentioned in the book or given by clients. However, much of what I had, such as leather skirts, boots and gloves, was also bought at second hand stores.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

The Picton Hearings

In Canada the public hearings into the serial killing of women by Robert Picton has begun. Picton abducted dozens of prostitutes from Vancouver to his pig farm and murdered them there. The hearings are looking at why he went undetected for so long. I have been asked to comment, but I say that everyone should listen to those testifying before the commission and read the decision. We cited the Picton matter as evidence that the prostitution laws should be struck down, and we won. Yet the government appealed, in less time than it took to get and read the decision. This time, however, the hearings are public and what we said about the laws will, I think, be amplified. But as I say, let’s listen and watch. That means you too Prime Minister Harper.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

About My Birthday

I just turned 52. Several years ago, when I found out that I had advanced Hepatitis C, and began chemotherapy, I knew that every birthday would be something to be grateful for. I look good for my age and feel bad for my age. Most days I can only function for a few hours at most. On special days in the current legal battle I would, as they say, run on adrenalin. On the days after I would have to recover.

Now I must be selective about how I spend my time. I have heard people say that without your health you have nothing. I don’t agree. Without my health, confined to home, I was able to finish my book. That was a great motivator. I also have had many interviews about Dominatrix on Trial, and have tried to respond to the many who have written. I also make a point to keep this diary and tweet. People have told me they are glad I am staying in touch in this manner, and I want to take this opportunity, my birthday, to thank the many who have sent their good wishes and support.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Waiting For the Appeal Decision

The decision on the appeal of the September 2010 decision striking down Canada’s prostitution laws is expected in the coming months, if not weeks. We, the parties to the proceeding, will be advised of the date of the release a few days in advance. I have had to wait for numerous verdicts and decisions during my legal battles, and I have learned a few lessons on how to handle the wait. For one, it does no good to dwell on it or worry about it. If I do an interview or respond to correspondence, or do something else tangible, I will think about the matter of course. At other times I work at chasing the matter from my thoughts when I am alone. My friends know they should not raise the topic when with me. This way I don’t burn out. I have the added advantage that Val and Amy, the other plaintiffs, have also done their share. A number of activists have also been very supportive in furthering the cause in the media. Of course the lawyers have as well.

After the activities following the release of the September 2010 decision I turned my energies, when I had them, to finishing my memoirs and then promoting them. If, after the decision on the appeal is released there is another appeal, as most expect, I will have prepared myself for a long process with episodes of activity. That is the way to run the long race – pace yourself.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Thornhill Press Coverage

This month there was an article about my book, Dominatrix on Trial, in the Thornhill Post. Some of you may recall that this is the town right at the top of Toronto where my Bondage Bungalow was raided in 1994, giving rise to many of the matters dealt with in my memoirs. I hope of course that book sales result from the article, but above that I hope that my book will remind the residents of Thornhill to be vigilant in ensuring local officials are not corrupt. When you add official corruption and incompetence to bad laws which are subject to arbitrary enforcement (or non-enforcement) it is an open invitation for our society to backslide to the dictator-like conditions so common in other parts of the world.

After the raid on my bungalow it was discovered that the Chief of York Region Police was corrupt, and that many officials and police officers had acted inappropriately in my and other matters. Julian Fantino, who is now a member of parliament for a riding near Thornhill, was brought in to clean up the York Regional Police. Numerous investigations led to corrective actions. When he became Chief of Police of Toronto around the year 2000, I was back in business there. I had no police problems at all.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Ontario Election – After the Vote

A few days ago we in Ontario, Canada’s largest province, went to the polls. The result has been the re-election of the Liberal government, but with a minority. Unless there are recounts or whatever, they will have 53 seats in the 107 seat legislature. Assuming no members resign, die or change parties, the 2 opposition parties can bring down the government and force another election. It also means that the government must seek support or non-opposition from members outside its own party for anything it does.

It is my hope that the new legislature will pay attention to the current debate of the Himel decision striking down Canada’s prostitution laws. As I have said before, the issue before the Court of Appeal is not prostitution. The issue is the decision. In a bigger sense though, the issue can be said to be the desire of the governments of the country and province to keep the current laws in place – regardless of one’s views on prostitution. The judge was clear, Parliament pass new laws, laws that are clear, laws that are fair, laws that will be enforced. The present laws are dramatically under-enforced and when enforced often applied in an arbitrary and select fashion.

Parliament should do something now, not just try to do nothing for as long as possible. The new provincial legislature must do the right thing too. It should withdraw support for the appeal of the Himel decision, and instead advocate, like me, that the federal government write new laws and justify them. I will have more to say about that in the future. The federal and provincial elections are over and the time to act has arrived. This should not be before the courts any longer.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Ontario Election – Before the Vote

Today the people of Ontario are voting in a provincial election. The Liberal Party, led by Premier Dalton McGuinty, has a majority of seats in the provincial legislature. They are neck and neck with the Conservative Party. Each is expected to get about 40% of the seats. The New Democratic Party (NDP) is projected to get about 20% of the seats. If these projections hold up, it means a minority government which in turn means the NDP will support one of the major parties in return for the government putting some of their policies in place. However, it is still possible for a majority government to be won by any of the parties.

I do not want to say which party I prefer, and I am not so sure I in fact prefer any party. I am very familiar with the issues that have been points of discussion in my legal battles. I suspect that the Conservatives will, like the federal Conservatives, refuse to even consider accepting Judge Himel’s decision or conclusions. The Liberals have already taken the course of following the federal decision to appeal. The New Democrats have been strangely silent about Judge Himel’s decision, and the decision to appeal it. It should be interesting to see if and how that changes when the election, later today, is over. At that time all levels of government will have had recent elections and I will be addressing my comments to those in power, except this time without the complication of upcoming elections.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

My Artwork

A number of people who have read my book Dominatrix on Trial have written asking about my paintings and whether any are for sale. My paintings range from tribal fetish-like medicine man images to wilderness settings to floral arrangements. Most are in colour. I have never had them looked at by an art critic or appraiser, but am planning to do so at some time. It has been suggested to me that I have an auction. This may happen too. I have never sold any. In my modest home they cover almost all the wall space in the main rooms. Fortunately, the desire to paint more is less pronounced and I have been taking photos and arranging them on my computer with music.

I did little painting in the last couple of years because I was finishing my memoirs and we had the constitutional case. There was, and is, also the matter of those days when I am too sick to do much of anything. I can now only read at most an hour a day and writing is difficult, so I only respond to select e-mails and do a bit of bookkeeping for a nearby business, which fortunately is now routine for me. I can talk and listen without too much trouble and I am able to watch television without too much trouble. But the urge to paint, and the ability to do so comfortably, may return sometime and if it does I’m all for it.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Locations of My Dungeons

I had 3 dungeons. The first was in Windsor, the small Canadian town near Detroit where I came from. That was in the 1980’s. The second was in Thornhill, basically a suburb of Toronto, which was famously raided in 1994. The third, from 1999 to 2002 was in downtown Toronto. The first was a house with the dungeon in the basement. The top floor was used for the escort service. It was near downtown Windsor. The second was a bungalow in a posh neighbourhood. All rooms on the ground floor and basement were put to use. The third dungeon was a four storey semi-detached house in downtown Toronto. About 8 rooms were in use by the time I closed.

Some dominatrices have cottages which are fully equipped. Some work out of apartments. Some have houses like I did. Some do outcalls or rent facilities for sessions. When I chose a location it was not based on the location itself, it was based on the availability of a place within my budget and with a landlord who was on side. If I was healthy and had unlimited funds and wanted to go back into business I am not sure where I would reopen and locate. All locations have advantages and disadvantages, as do all choices of a full facility or minimalist approach.

Monday, October 3, 2011

My Favourite Dominatrix Scenes

People who have read my book Dominatrix on Trial have written to ask me which "scenes" were my favourites. Every dominatrix enjoys some things about her job more than others. Obviously we like the pure dominatrix stuff more than the administrative aspects of the job, such as cleaning, paperwork and answering phones. In the book I was careful not to say which my favourite scenes were. However, outside the book I will give you these additional comments.

First of all, longer scenes were better. I was always frustrated, as was the client, when the hour went by so quickly. For example, a cross-dresser would take off his clothes, I would help him into restrictive female attire, and there might only be a bit more than enough time of his hour left to get him changed again. Role play can be greatly enhanced when prolonged. Secondly, I would say, honestly, that there were many role-play scenarios I enjoyed above the others, but at that I will stop. Some things are best kept secret. Sorry. It would be like a magician giving away the secrets of doing the magic tricks.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

The Harper Anti-Crime Agenda

Last week the federal government introduced new laws to combat crime. I will not take the kind of partisan positions I am taking on the prostitution and related laws. If I have learned anything it is that one needs to know what one is talking about before taking a position. I spent 2 years in hearings and several days in court, not to mention living the issues for decades, before coming to my position on the prostitution laws. Those of you who have read my book Dominatrix on Trial, will know what I am talking about. While I know something about the justice system I will not take the irresponsible position of commenting conclusively about the latest law changes introduced into parliament.

For those who are not aware of these the laws are essentially being changed to mean more time in jail for violent crime and the like and take away judicial discretion in some areas. There may be some deterrent effect, maybe not, and there may be more or less justice as a result of the new laws. However what struck me was the absence of anything preventative or curative, such as more police or more rehabilitation for offenders. There was also no recognition of how much better rich people with lots of talented legal representation fare than do poor people. Is that justice? Isn’t that something the government should be worried about?

Monday, September 26, 2011

The Dozen

I dedicated my recently published memoirs, called Dominatrix on Trial, to 12 people: "The Dozen". Briefly, they are those who fought with me and enabled me to fight. One was a wealthy client. One a journalist and activist against the current laws back in the 1990’s. One was an owner of a cross dressers’ clothing store in Toronto, Paddy Aldridge. Another was her husband, one of the most well known transvestites in Toronto, known as Roxy. Roxy in normal life was a distinguished looking man who retired early to enjoy being his true self. Roxy died early in 2011. Paddy and I were with him when he died. Albert was a prosperous retiree who helped me financially and otherwise with my legal battles. He was in his late seventies when he began to do so and he is gone now too. Some clients and friends who have been helpful to me and my daughter to this day are among the dozen.

The range of backgrounds of this group is highly varied, but they all came forward to fight for me and with me, or help me in other ways. I think Dominatrix on Trial is as much about The Dozen as it is about me. My biggest regret about the book is that I could not do them justice. I tried, but their desire for privacy and the pressures of space in the book made me omit telling the reader the extraordinary things they did and what wonderful people they are. Maybe an entire book about them is in order. I will certainly consider it.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Dominatrix Not in Practice

In the last while I have sometimes been asked what it is like not to be running a dungeon any more. More specifically, they wanted to know if I missed the lifestyle with all its activities and the people I encountered. In the first place I have to remind them that I closed my Toronto facility, known as The Bondage Hotel, among other names, in 2002. I have since then practiced my trade in a very limited capacity, rarely for money, among a close inner circle only.

If I was healthy, and was funded to the point that I did not have to make ends meet, I would have no problem with reopening. I do miss doing sessions. However, when your health is as bad as mine, with my failing liver, spinal stenosis and fibromyalgia; you don’t feel a big desire to take on responsibilities. I can’t even be depended on to make a session I have booked. Some days I am bedridden. I make a point of setting an afternoon once a week to go to interviews for my book that are not over the phone, and only go out when I am up to it otherwise. So, as you can see, there are everyday things I miss more than the life I lived as a dominatrix.

So I have restricted myself to two interests. One was finishing my memoirs, Dominatrix on Trial, now published. The other was the current constitutional challenge to the prostitution laws. I try to look forward now that I have confronted my past.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Dominatrix at the Supermarket

The other day I went to a small supermarket down the street from where I live. A woman who was also shopping there came up to me and said 'Are you Terri-Jean Bedford?'. Although I was in my sort of disguise I said yes, I am. She told me she had always wanted to meet me and asked me for my autograph, which I gave her, on back of a flyer she found. We had a nice chat and she told me to keep up the fight and stand up for women victims of our laws.

It is always interesting to keep a finger on the pulse of opinion and see what people’s perceptions are. It is amazing how out of the most obscure corners there often comes the most solid support. It is also amazing, watching or listening to call-in shows and the like, how much people know about the current legal battle, and how little some others know.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

My Struggles Through the Years

I have been asked in interviews about my book, Dominatrix on Trial, to compare my struggles, my trials, in my younger years to the legal battles I have fought. I was first busted for having an escort service, with dominatrix services as well, in 1986 and have basically been fighting in courts since that time.

I was born in 1959. For the first 30 years of my life my struggles were for survival. I sometimes had to steal to eat. I had to sell my body in the most dangerous ways possible. I was so down and out and desperate most of the time that the only people I could associate with were those on the margins and things like drug and alcohol abuse, which got them there, rubbed off on me. I was always just responding to the needs of the day and mistakes of the days before. I was almost always in over my head. Sometimes from poor judgment, sometimes from desperation. When I wrote about those days in my memoirs I glossed over some things just to keep my story moving, because I think the reader was getting the idea. I tried to tell about some times when things went well for me, but didn’t last because I was either betrayed, or I screwed up, or changes occurred that were not anybody’s fault.

My later struggles however were of a very different type. My time as a dominatrix and the behavior of the authorities in my cases brought me many allies. I did not struggle alone. Now the struggles are carried on for me, as I must struggle with my chronic health problems. I stand by what I wrote in my memoirs. I have regrets, but not about fighting for what is right and just. That makes me a winner.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

The Life of a Dominatrix

I devoted about 4 chapters in my memoirs 'Dominatrix on Trial' to describing how I operated as a dominatrix. For those who are curious about the lifestyle I want to say that being a dominatrix, or dom, can mean a number of possible lifestyles.

For those who do outcalls only it means you just pack a bag of equipment and perhaps clothing, or wear your fetish wear under an overcoat, and go to the client’s home or hotel room. Other doms will have a small “dungeon”, perhaps even one bedroom in an apartment or a bachelor apartment set up as a dungeon. Yet other doms will rent dungeons in which to see their clients. So different doms use different locations.

Some doms will work in teams and share clients, whatever their locale. Others will hire someone to handle all phone calls and just go to sessions or be in their dungeons when the clients arrive. If the dom has an extensive dungeon she must clean and tidy up or have it done for her. Some will allow loyal clients, slaves, to exchange their labor for sessions or just to be around her and her staff.

What is common to all is that they must have records kept and be aware of what laws they must observe concerning licensing, taxes and prostitution. The latter, as we are well aware, is a fiasco in Canada and now before the courts. They must have good records kept like client files, schedules and contact information of associates.

The job part of the lifestyle is as much like another job as it is unlike it. It means responsibility and work, as well as creativity and role playing. The personal part of the lifestyle can be as much or as little as the dom wants it to be.

In my book I tell all about that. I hope you will read it.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Thoughts on the 1994 Raid

When I first realized I was being raided I was shocked and angry. I had been there doing this openly for almost two years. I had checked with lawyers, a couple of whom were clients, to ensure legality. I had run my dominatrix house as if all visitors, repeat all, were police.

There was absolutely no need for a SWAT team. There was absolutely no need for them to strip the place almost clean by seizing 700 items, most of them everyday items. There was no need to mock us. And they didn’t have to call a press conference the day after the raid to display what they had had taken. They could have just charged me or given me a ticket and awaited trial. I knew this during the raid and it was raised in subsequent legal proceedings.

In future I was actually glad they made such a big splash, because it led to my profile in the media where I could advocate for my rights and bring big issues to national attention and publish my story as well.

I’m not sure what I would have done differently. I had a chance to run a first rate dungeon and facility for adult role play. I had a chance to earn a decent living. My dream of running such a facility came true, and the cause brought me allies to enable me to rise up again with another facility a few years later and bring forth my book. I don’t think, looking back, I would have changed a thing I had done.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Being Exposed to the Public: How It Feels

For me, today, it feels good. Not embarrassing now. After all, I have a book for sale and some causes to advocate. This means that long ago I accepted that my life would become an open book itself.

The opening of that book began in Windsor in 1986 when my dungeon and escort service was busted and my name and face were in the papers. Then in 1994 came the big raid near Toronto and I was again front page news but this time in Toronto, and my name was very exposed; as were the private practices I sold to the public. When I fought the charges I was interviewed and photographed continually and my private life and history discussed continuously in the media. Nothing the people I am closest to privately see in the media takes them by surprise.

So I have got used to living as a public figure. I did so gradually. I love to talk and fight for what I believe in and, as I say, I just published my memoirs (go to my website terrijeanbedford.com if you are interested) so for me it is now second nature to live my life knowing that everyone who knows who I am knows my history, public and formerly private. However the fact that it is now second nature does not always make it easy.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Public Reactions to My Memoirs - II

I am pleased to be able to tell you that the formal launch of my memoirs in the United States began earlier this week. The book was made available on the web sites of major retailers, such as Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Border and Chapters Indigo over the last month. There is usually a period of a couple of months for retailers to gradually begin their promotions, and this is a very quiet time of the year, being the end of summer vacations.

I do not have sales figures, as these don’t become available for some months yet. However, Barnes & Noble has conferred their Rising Star designation immediately and will be featuring the book. Early reactions from the industry have been most encouraging. The professionals in the publishing industry have been telling us that the book is a well paced page-turner and is well written. They have been impressed with the number of events and persons the book deals with and find my story to be a fascinating one.

I myself consider that I have been at the centre of a number of fascinating stories, and the number of people who have helped me over the years, such as the lawyers, activists and the group I call The Dozen, are as much the story as me. This is also part of their stories. It is also a Canadian story, about how Canadian society has dealt with the matters surrounding me and those who have stood with me, for me and against me.

I cannot begin to yet again express my gratitude to those who helped me write these memoirs. The editors at iUniverse were amazing. My personal lawyer, Sender Herschorn, reviewed the manuscript and made countless recommendations. In the early years the man called Scott in the book and the woman called Camilla, helped me draft some of the chapters about those times. This is their book too.

I hope you enjoyed or enjoy reading it.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Introducing Myself and Why I Wrote the Book

You may have just started reading my blogs now so let me introduce myself. I am Terri-Jean Bedford, Canada’s most famous dominatrix. I presume you know what a dominatrix is. If you don’t you are going to learn some very interesting things. On my website terrijeanbedford.com you can order my book. That tells you about all I can about the craft of the dominatrix. It also tells about my legal battles fought over a period of 15 years.

It is because of those legal battles that I became famous. Before I came into the public eye I had an early childhood of severe poverty, a youth of abuse and neglect, and wild teenage years filled with drugs and prostitution. My years as a young woman were like that too, until I became a dominatrix. When I was charged with prostitution despite not selling sex I fought the charges and supporters came from all over. My final legal battle, waged beside two other courageous women and with three great lawyers headed by Professor Alan Young – a Canadian institution in himself. It led to the striking down of Canada’s prostitution laws; a stunning legal victory that is still under appeal. I am now in my fifties, very ill and may not have long to live. I spend any time I can with my grandson and daughter and close friends.

My supporters wanted me to tell my story in book form. Right from the time I was raided I kept notes and drafted chapters. I would sometimes put the draft on the market to get reactions and raise a bit of money. So the book that was published in June and is now being launched formally in August is really the completion of a work in progress. I was going to finish it and self publish in 2005 or 2006 but when the constitutional challenge began it seemed to make sense to wait a bit longer and tell a more interesting story. My main reason for writing the book was to explain why I fought, what I fought, why I got so much support and to tell the world what needs to be done to protect freedom and improve the safety of women.

If the book makes money that’s great. But I wanted to be heard, and from what the marketing people overseeing the formal launch of the book tell me I am being read and will be for a very long time.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Public Reaction to My Memoirs - I

My book “Dominatrix on Trial” has been available on the Internet through retails like Chapters Indigo, Amazon and Barnes and Noble for about 2 weeks now. These companies will promote the book more when the printed books arrive. I am told that this is quite normal.

I only approved the actual hard and soft cover productions just over a week ago. In the coming days it will arrive in the bigger Chapters stores in Toronto, Vancouver and Ottawa. You can also order a hard or soft cover book by following the instructions on this website. The major retailers should soon be offering it by both delivery and download.

From what I am told it has been starting to sell electronically in a number of countries. Early words of reaction have been reaching me. In the main people have been very surprised by what they read. The length and complexity of my legal battles came as a surprise to many. Others were also surprised by how elaborate the goings on in my houses were. Yet others have told me they were reduced to tears by the hardships they read about.

But the most common reaction was that as they read they became more and more “angry”. What seemed to anger them was the failure of the authorities to do justice, and how someone has to fight just to fight back. I’ll leave it at that for now.

For those of you who have bought it, or those who will, I thank you most sincerely.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

My Memoirs are Published

It is with great pleasure, and appreciation to all those who helped in the process, that I can announce that my memoirs are now available to the public.

To order your copy please visit:

http://DominatrixOnTrial.htm

Thank you all again so much,

TJB

Friday, June 24, 2011

Vacation Time

I have not been updating my blog each day because I got a great invitation to stay at a cottage for a week. It was sudden and I had to leave right away and it has been great. The only way I can vacation is if it doesn’t cost anything, so I can’t plan.

My supporters are watching for the release of my book on the Internet. Instructions for downloading it will be on this web site and in my blog as soon as possible. Some technical issues are currently being resolved.

Direct e-mails will also be made to many contacts I have made over the years. Hard copies should be in major bookstores soon as well. I’m very excited and encouraged by the reactions I have been getting thus far.

Thanks again for your interest.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Upcoming Publication of My Memoirs

I am advised by the publishing company in the United States that my memoirs have gone to press and should be up on the Internet any time. I will have instructions on how you can get them in the coming days. For now I just want to share a few thoughts about them with you before they come out.

At the encouragement of some of my key supporters in the early days I wrote about what was happening to me and about what I did as a dominatrix. For example, the chapters about my practice as a dominatrix were written many years ago. I worked on them after my first house was raided and closed and again after my second house closed. The two chapters on my life before my first house were the first written. The chapters on the early legal battles were drafted not long after the events occurred. Final consolidation into a complete draft for all but the last two chapters was done in 2009 after the Himel decision was released.

I was assisted by my key supporter Scott and my web master. The editorial staff at Iuniverse (the U.S. company for self publishers) edited the drafts during the months of January and February of 2011 and in March I made my final revisions before the final editing process set in. During this time my lawyer, Sender Herschorn, ensured that the manuscript was fair and balanced in its recounting of legal events. A very few changes were made in April and May. Basically the book ends early in March 2011. Obviously the book could not have reached the standard it has without the extensive editorial assistance provided. I salute the three editors who worked on the book with me during the last months.

The book has been circulated to some media and intellectuals a few weeks ago, before final editing was completed. Some chapters were provided in draft form to graduate students at a couple of universities who were writing papers on the current case. A couple of interviews with me were published before the Court of Appeal sittings so as not to be conflicting with the coverage of that. This was at my explicit directions. I did not discuss the memoirs while the court was sitting. But now that this has happened, there is no longer, in my view, any reason to withhold publication any longer.

The book will be available on the Internet any time now and in Canadian bookstores in about 10 days, possibly sooner. I hope you will find it informative not only about me, but about the issues that have surrounded me and so many others over the years.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Some Reflections on Recent Media Coverage

I am appreciative of the media for presenting me in their reports so frequently, but I must remind everyone that I am one of three plaintiffs in the current constitutional challenge. Val Scott and Amy Leibovitch have for years been in the forefront of the battle to change the laws.

In the 1990’s Robert Dante headed a coalition to amend the laws. Richard Hudler and numerous others met regularly at 519 Church Street in the middle years of the decade just concluded to make efforts for amendment. Andy Anderson is not to be forgotten. He too has been a presence during all these years. This list of activists is long and not confined to Toronto.

I and some of my key supporters have been in touch with some educational institutions and may be participating in histories and other studies to be written on the initiatives over the years to change the laws. The media has largely ignored this history and this is a shame. It is my wish that all the heroes in this long struggle be acknowledged.

I am going to be publishing my memoirs this week, so in future blogs I will talk about my book and address some questions about it that people may send me. I will attempt to share the questions and answers with you on this blog. Also, I will now reduce my blogs to every second day or so for the present time. Thank you for reading what I have to say.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Some Reflections on the Prostitution Appeal

We have now concluded the hearings of the appeal by the governments of Canada and Ontario of Justice Susan Himel’s striking down of Canada’s prostitution laws in the fall of 2010. A decision is expect in the fall of 2011. It is widely expected that the matter will go to the Supreme Court of Canada, but this is not certain. The stay on Judge Himel’s decision remains in effect until at least the release date of the current appeal decision.

There is also widespread agreement amongst those following the case and involved in the case, that Parliament, not judges should decide what is legal and not legal between consenting adults. I will comment on that in the future, but for today I just want to share a couple of observations looking back on the week just passed.

Most of those studying this matter, by far, in the academic community are women. I know this from contacts I and others have made during the three years of this case and from seeing who attended the overflow room at the courthouse. In my opinion, many women are concerned about being told how to conduct themselves in private and about being legally denied the right to take measures for their security. This case has hit a nerve amongst women, whether for or against the original decision. Perhaps the current laws remind them of the authorities in other countries denying women basic rights and protections.

Another observation to share. At the Conservative Party convention before last week delegates voted to oppose any liberalization of the prostitution laws – meaning not giving prostitutes any more rights. At their convention this weekend, as far as I know, the New Democrats have been silent on the issue. Whatever these parties advocate, I hope they begin by defining exactly what prostitution is. I hope they distinguish which private behaviours between unmarried adults at home for free are to be illegal in private for money. The more specific they are the fairer they are. Fairness would be a start.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Court: Day 5 – Last Day

Well, the appeal hearings are finally done. They ended this morning after just a short sitting. I was home for lunch. Today the lawyers for the federal and provincial governments and our lawyer Professor Young replied to the intervenors. As I have said before, the intervenors, in my opinion, just reinforced or reiterated the arguments made by us and the government lawyers. However, the judges wanted them to be heard.

Yet again, these hearings were about Judge Himel’s 131 page decision and the evidence presented to her. New arguments and evidence were not relevant. The question is whether the judge erred. But of course so many commentators and even lawyers wanted to speak to the issues as if the issues were being raised for the first time. They just don’t get it.

I have made many comments in public this week and last. Some have taken offence at some of my remarks and some have pointed to factual errors I may have made. Others have praised what I have said, and of course some have disagreed. I apologize if I made any factual errors or poor choices of words. I assure all of you that I would never intentionally do so. I am not a lawyer or professional spin doctor, so I don’t have the presence of mind that they do. Yet, if I was not to speak publicly, I would be condemned as too scared to do so, just like Prime Minister Harper (even though I haven’t even touched him yet). I am doing the best I can. I am so grateful to all the other activist gals who are speaking to support our side.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Court: Day 4

I was in not at the court today. I am following the plan to attend on the Monday, Wednesday and Friday of the week. My health will not stand going every day. And it works out well. Monday was the first day, so significant decisions might have been made on how to proceed or whatever, and it was wise to be there. Wednesday was our presentation by Professor Young, which I told you about in my previous blog. And tomorrow, Friday, there are the replies to the presentations of the intervenors the day before, and a scheduled ruling on the extension of the stay on Justice Himel’s strike-down of the prostitution laws.

Today, Thursday, the numerous intervenors were heard. It is important to keep in mind that the judges were presented with materials by the intervenors well before today. The issue is whether the lower court judge erred, not further arguments or evidence about the issues. A knowledgeable supporter watched the full proceedings from the media overflow room and told me that there was nothing unexpected in the proceedings. Judge Himel ruled against having any intervenors, excepting the Province. However the Court of Appeal overruled her and there were three intervenors in the main hearing, all opposed to our motion. Yesterday there were many more, about half in favour and half against.

I hope they added something to the question of where the first judge might have erred, if at all. But let us not lose sight that the present laws are the worst laws we can have, whatever your views on prostitution, whatever that is. And further, almost all commentators seem to agree that Parliament, not judges, should make the changes. That brings us to Prime Minister Harper, as usual. As I said before, he is clogging the courts so he can hide from leading on this issue. Impressive? More about that another time. Much more.

Day 3 in Court

I was in court for the entire sitting on day three of five scheduled. The seats were hard and narrow and my back was killing me. On day one I was only there half the day and yesterday, day two I was not there at all. However it was so interesting I often forgot the discomfort. Alan answered back for our side. He answered the judges more directly than the federal and provincial crowns. His summary was so on point and moving that after we rose I went outside and wept tears of joy.

Reporters approached me outside but I asked them to give me some time. A couple did interview me as I sat on a bench in the shade after the hearing. But, as I said before, the focus must now be on the lawyers, judges, other activists and the issues – particularly whether Judge Himel erred or not in the decision now under review. But I wasn’t going to miss our day in court, and Alan’s presentation, for the world. He answered back so well that I had to cry. It was one of those times when one has the feeling that the fight is worth it and right can triumph in the end.

It seems to me that the editors of the Globe and Mail support our side. The Toronto Star also seems headed in that direction. My view is that Parliament should bring in new laws. I will have plenty to say about that in the future. Tomorrow, Thursday, the interveners will be making presentations. My understanding is that fifteen groups have submitted documents to the judges who will question all their lawyers briefly. I don’t know how that is enough time for so many groups to be dealt with, but if it is the appeal concludes Friday. On that day the judges will decide if the stay on the striking down of the laws continues, and what the terms of the continuation will be. Or, they may say the laws fall on Friday night or shortly after. We will see.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

After 2 days at the Ontario Court of Appeal

We have now had two days at the Ontario Court of Appeal and both the federal and provincial governments have been questioned by the panel of five judges. I was not at the court today, but from reports and from what I saw yesterday it appears that the judges are having problems with the appeal. Tomorrow my lawyer, Professor Young, will respond. I am hoping to be there. On Thursday the intervenors on both sides will make their presentations and on Friday final replies and discussion on possible extension of the stay on Justice Himel’s decision striking down the prostitution laws.

I am struck by the crown attorneys on the one hand saying that the government has no responsibility to protect prostitutes (prostitution is legal while activities surrounding it are not) yet at the same time arguing for the present laws because they say they want to protect prostitutes (which is nonsense).

Already there is widespread acceptance of the need for Parliament to act. The National Post today called for Parliament to overhaul the laws to make them more logically consistent. I found it amusing that their editors noted that prostitution is legal and then concluded their editorial by saying that prostitution should be legalized.

When Parliament does get around to acting the important thing is that the laws are clear, equitably enforced and recognize that this is a free country; and that what consenting adults do in private is not under the control of Prime Minister Harper

Monday, June 13, 2011

Prostitution Appeal after 1 day

Today was the first of five scheduled days before the Ontario Court of Appeal, who are reviewing Justice Susan Himel’s striking down of Canada’s prostitution laws in Ontario. She issued her decision in September 2010 and there is a stay on the strike-down until at least June 17.

I attended most of the day and then went to the CBC for interviews. Now I’m back home and here I will stay until, I think, Wednesday. On that day Professor Young, my lawyer and head of our lawyers will reply to the federal and provincial governments’ arguments.

From what I saw and what I heard the federal government lawyer was not doing well with the judges. That comes as no surprise. The issue is whether Justice Himel erred. She took a year to prepare her decision. It was 131 pages. There were 88 volumes of evidence and transcripts. Hers was not a whimsical utterance. From what I and the press have seen so far it appears that it is standing up on appeal.

In my comments to the press I attacked the Prime Minister Harper. I believe he can stop deferring dealing with the fact that the present laws are a fiasco, whatever your views on prostitution, but I think he is afraid to do it. I look forward to when Parliament considers new laws, as I think they will. That is what I have fought for. But I am mad at Mr. Harper for his determination to keep intact the laws the Liberals kept intact for so long at such a high human cost. Nothing can be worse than what we have now, whatever your views.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Welcome to Terri-Jean Bedford's Dominatrix Blog

For those of you who are just finding out about me let me say a few words of introduction. I am Terri-Jean Bedford. I am a retired Canadian dominatrix, whose trade name was Madame deSade. I have been in the news for many years because I was charged under the prostitution laws yet, I maintain to this day, my conviction was wrong. I never sold sex or sex acts. I operated two “dungeons”, one from 1993-94, for which I was convicted and one from 1999-2002, for which I was not even charged. I have been engaged in numerous legal proceedings to clear my name and reform the laws. The most recent of these, where I joined with two other women as plaintiffs, resulted in Canada’s laws against prostitution being struck down in September 2010.

As you may know, my memoirs are about to be published. I have been working on them for almost 15 years. However I am withholding their release until after the appeal of the September 2010 decision. This appeal is being held at Toronto at the Ontario Court of Appeal from June 13 to 17 inclusive, at least. Even if it adjourns without concluding I will not delay the release of my memoirs much beyond the 17th, if at all.

For now, let me just say that these proceedings are a disgrace. They involve 5 or 6 judges and 32 lawyers and countless other support work and resources. Judge Susan Himel, who wrote the decision under appeal, was clear. The issues raised are for Parliament. I accuse Prime Minister Harper of cowardice in hiding behind the courts. Real criminals and serious crimes will go unaddressed as he clogs the court system so he can sidestep the issue. At least for now. Or so he thinks.

Thank you for sharing this time with me. I will continue to enter my blogs daily during the next couple of weeks, and regularly thereafter.

TJB