Talking To Terri-Jean Bedford: Dominatrix On Trial

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Dominatrix on Trial: How A Canadian Dominatrix Fought The Law And Won is a stunning autobiography from Canadian sex worker/dom Terri-Jean Bedford, a lady who changed sex work laws in Canada through a multitude of trials and a very public airing of her case.

Under the name Madame deSade, Bedford worked as Canada’s most famous leather-clad dominatrix, and in her book, the lady takes the reader through her time as a sex worker up to her life leading to it; born into poverty, her being put on the street at the age of 16 and her rise as Canada’s most famous dominatrix. It’s quite the story!

“At the age of 16, the court basically said, you are on your own, we can’t do anything for you,” Terri said about when she had to find a way to survive by working a round of unskilled jobs. “I had no ID, no social security, no experience in doing anything, but after a time, I did befriend a woman who worked in a brothel. She taught me quite a bit. Basically, she said, ‘do something else; this takes years off your life, heart, and soul.'”

“But becoming a dominatrix is a whole different story; you take control; it’s like improvisational theatre.”

Located just outside of Toronto, Terri’s well-outfitted infamous “Bondage Bungalow” became the place to visit to get one’s fetish fix, such as force crossdressing and feminization, something Terri was especially adept at, likes, and understands well. As she says, her clients were mostly: “Seeking intimacy, to act out an experience. Quite often, men came to me seeking to work out childhood traumas; they came to me to address issues, they needed to be hugged, to play, be taken out for walks, have their hand held.”

As much as becoming a famous house for fetish, Terry’s bungalow was also the target of a much-publicized raid which led to her infamy in the Canadian court system and her present advocacy.

“Two decades through the justice system, three trips to the Canadian Supreme court, I won over nine judges (in the ground-breaking case of Bedford vs. Canada) a five-year constitutional challenge to Canada’s sex trade laws; what I went through changed the sex trafficking laws in the country,” she proudly declares, adding what she feels is the most important point. “Having laws in place that keep women out of harm’s way, to decriminalize sex work, educate people of where the real harm lies.”

Beyond the publication of Dominatrix on Trial, Terri just enjoyed watching a stage play about her life have its first run in Windsor at the Waawiiyaatanong Feminist Theatre. She wrote the play with the help of Joey Ouellette, a well-known playwright, and actor in Windsor, who also was its director.

“The first act was hilarious,” Terri said of sitting in the audience and watching her story coming to life on stage. “There was some great stuff from a comedian acting the part of a slave. The second act had me crying about me giving up my daughter over court issues. All of it was wonderful to see, and I hope it does get more chances to play.”

Terri has hopes for even a television series or movie to be made of her exploits.

“In the end, we all have to realize our sex lives matter. People need intimacy, understanding, and self-discovery. But the government has no place in the bedrooms of consenting adults.”

Well said, I’d say!

You can order Dominatrix on Trial: How A Canadian Dominatrix Fought The Law And Won here: Amazon.com : Dominatrix on Trial

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