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I want to take this time to thank, in this moment of international crisis, the world’s heroes.

No, not the soldiers, the policemen, or the firemen. No, as we face a foe in the coronavirus like nothing we’ve faced prior, we find ourselves with heroes of a different stripe:

The doctors who are working double or triple shifts without adequate protection as they uphold the Hippocratic Oath to the best of their ability, against ever-swelling odds. The scientists, whose research, churned out at a breakneck-pace, stands to stock our arsenal against our microbial foe, every day bringing us closer to the solution that will win this war once and for all. And let’s not forget our grocery store clerks, our delivery people, and everyone else who has revealed themselves to be a far more “essential” worker than many of their white-collar brethren, despite what their paychecks might say.

However, I would be remiss if I let carry on any further the ignoring of an all-too-vital cog in America’s efforts to carry on and stave off boredom and loneliness in these claustrophobic times of quarantine, replete with so much solitude. So, while you’re draping your hosannas like a wreath upon the necks of our doctors, our scientists, and even the pizza delivery man, please don’t forget to save a few for this nation’s criminally-unsung heroes in black:

The dominatrixes.

In times like these, it takes a special breed of sex worker to rise to the occasion. I do not wish to generalize, but really, would you trust a run-of-the-mill stripper, who can barely remember to wipe down the pole after a dance, to remain pathogen-free at a time when keeping sanitary requires exacting precision? I’ll answer for you: You wouldn’t.

Even an escort is a gamble. I’m sorry, but I just don’t like my odds that they’re going to change the sheets and wipe down their room between patrons, or follow my instructions to perform only reverse cowgirl upon and only while we both wear face masks, which is the sole sex act any of us should feel safe enjoying with someone whose coronavirus status we’re unsure of.

No, none of that sounds very relaxing to me.

And why do any of us frequent sex workers if not to relax?

Which is why, in these troubled times, I sought the comfort of a latex-clad dominatrix. Now, don’t misunderstand me: I’m really not into being dominated. I even chaff under the tyranny of traffic lights, to which my 22 red camera tickets will attest. But something about the regimented, militaristic presentation of a dominatrix led me to believe that they, of all people, wouldn’t mess around when it came to coronavirus preparedness. And, boy, was I right.

Allow me to regale you with a summary of the Friday night that I spent in the flawlessly sanitized arms of my dominatrix, Mistress Imperium.

I entered through the automatic door (no handle touching!) of Imperium’s vinyl-covered dungeon and immediately felt my pulse rate lower as the smell of Lysol disinfectant filled my nostrils. Ah, what soothing incense for these troubled times!

My smile only broadened when Imperium’s voice came over a speaker, informing me to disrobe and slather myself head to toe in the hand sanitizer she had provided, both for health concerns and because I was a shit-eating maggot who did what he was told. While I could have done without the language, the hand sanitizer was a sight for sore eyes, and I gladly slathered copious amounts of it upon my naked form.

After complying with these instructions, I was told to place the N95 respirator laid out for me upon my face, and then let myself into the main portion of the dungeon. I affixed the mask to my face, and honestly, was pretty happy to simply sit there, germ-free, breathing in the Lysol, social distancing while outside of my house. Collecting myself after a few blissful moments of reflection, I shook myself free of the sirens’s song of disinfectant-drenched air, and marched forth to make good on my mission.

It was through the next automatic door (again, no handle!) that Mistress Imperium revealed herself, clad head to toe in latex, positively drenched in isopropyl alcohol.

Now, when it comes to sex, I’ve spent the better part of my post-pubescent years fantasizing about women in the nude. But in this post-coronavirus universe, where skin can be positively crawling with disease, the sight of latex, so easily cleaned by all manner of disinfectant, struck me like a bolt of sexual lightning. And I’ve always thought I was a fan of women’s faces, but the airtight wehrmacht gas mask hiding every inch of Imperium’s visage scratched an itch I was unaware I had.

Imperium told me we would be engaging in mummification bondage to start with.

I had zero clue what that meant, but when she explained I would slathered in another layer of sanitizer before getting packaged in plastic wrap, a veritable germ-proof armor, I was completely down. After my wrapping, the next 30 minutes or so were spent enduring verbal abuse of all stripes. Again, I could have done without the name-calling, but most of her outbursts were punctuated with a spray of Lysol into the air, so the experience was one of net relaxation.

My mummification session was followed by something that Imperium called “breath play.”

Again, I was unaware of the details of the act, but I was told that I’d have my mask covered until I almost passed out, then it would be uncovered, and then re-covered, in a yoyo of torture designed to bring me to a state of heightened arousal. None of this made sense to me, but I figured the less breathing I did, the lower my odds of contracting coronavirus, so again, I was game.

The breath play left me more nauseous than anything, and my time was nearing its end without my mission being achieved. When I asked Imperium when she was going to tend to my plastic wrap-imprisoned genitals, she informed me that wasn’t part of domination. This was a bit of a letdown, given I had spent $500 for the hour. But as I laid there, mulling over my options to pop the cork on my sexual champagne, it happened: I spontaneously achieved a gigantic orgasm with zero touching involved.

And in that moment, I learned that I did indeed have a fetish: Knowing I had been positively germ-free for the entirety of an hour.

After throwing me a towel and a wink through the lens of her mask, Imperium was even kind enough to ask me if I wanted her to bury a small bottle of hand sanitizer in my ass before sending me home. I replied I’d be even happier if the bottle didn’t go in my ass, to which she begrudgingly consented, since I used our safeword, “marzipan.” Shortly thereafter I found myself whistling a jaunty tune and driving back home, my rectum completely intact.

So I ask you, my fellow Americans, in these trying times, take care of yourselves.

And, if you find yourself with a moment to dedicate to a quiet moment you can spare for soul-searching, give thanks to thank our nation’s heroes. The doctors. The food delivery drivers. The grocers. And, yes, our dominatrixes. Because what good is living if you can’t get yours?

John Papageorgiou

John hosts a long running comedy radio show titled Papa's Basement. He also performs standup and improv and drummed once for a Unitarian church.

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