By Kendra Holliday | April 13, 2022
A few years ago, I attended Woodhull Sexual Freedom Summit in the Washington, D.C. area. Several authors were featured, including Elizabeth Anne Wood, Ph.D. She read an excerpt from her book, Bound: A Daughter, a Domme, and an End-of-Life Story.
I was instantly intrigued, as I’m a bit obsessed with sex and death – I’m both horny AND morbid. I had never heard of a story like this – a daughter being supportive of her mom’s kinky sex life?! Come again?
I’d like to say I couldn’t wait to read it, but it turns out I DID wait to read it – when I got home, I put it on my shelf of sex books and there it sat, for months. So many books, so little time.
But I finally had more time to catch up on my reading, thanks to a serious mental breakdown I had in February. I took time off from seeing clients (I’m a sex worker who does Pro Domme, fetish and surrogate work), and was able to tend to myself.
I’m glad I read it when I did – it was published just a few weeks before my own mom died in 2019, which allowed me to relate to what the author shared so much more.
But if you haven’t experienced the death of a parent yet, or aren’t that kink savvy – fear not, the author takes time to define terms, and painstakingly details the grueling obstacle course of many months of illness and hospital stays. You will definitely learn more about kink, and perhaps get some tips on how to navigate the healthcare system, such as qualifying for Medicaid and managing home dialysis. Trust me, you will learn a LOT.
The mother’s St Andrew’s Cross (mine is pictured here as an example) serves as a poignant symbol of her cross to bear. What happens to someone’s fetish gear and sex toys when they can’t use them anymore?
If you know any Dommes, you discover how creative they can be with their “torture” techniques, such as brushing a submissive’s teeth with his own semen, or locking his cock up in a cage. I was delighted to learn a new CBT (cock n’ ball torture) trick of the trade – the author’s mom stuck a red birthday candle in her sub’s peehole and lit it, letting wax drip on his precious bits. Brilliant!
I grew so fond of the author’s mama Domme – she reminded me of my mom, who wasn’t kinky, but was extremely freaky and messy. After my mom died, we filled up three dumpsters of junk she had accumulated over the years. Going through her things, we found so many interesting items, such as a copy of Ted Bundy’s death certificate taped to the wall above her desk. Oh, Mother.
The author was so clever with relating healthcare terminology and concepts with the dark world of BDSM – “the bondage of bureaucracy”, for example. I found myself nodding along more often than not, and was so impressed with the level of detail shared – from family conflict, to finding surprise dildos in unlikely places. Beautifully written, this book grabbed me from the first page and I didn’t want to let it go.
I ached as mother and daughter endured so much uncertainty and suffering – they did the dance of death for eight months. My mom’s descent was swift – only five days in the hospital. One of the last things my mom said was, “This is no way to live!” With that, I knew what she wanted, and respected her wishes. I was SO proud of the author for honoring her mother so bravely and fiercely – right up until the very end – and beyond, by writing this vivid tribute.
Witnessing a parent die is such a profound experience. The author wrote: “How do you know when a person has died? Does it happen with the last breath? The last heartbeat? Does something electrical and chemical continue after the numbers reach zero? Is she gone even before her body stops? I don’t know…”
I don’t know, either. We all experience birth and death, but one thing we do know is,