Saftey Words Are For Pussies!

My Life at the Dildo Factory

by
on April 29, 2021

“Saftey words are for Pussies!” read the Roy-Lichtenstein-does-BDSM faux pop art painting displayed in the office. 

I worked at the Anonymous Sex Toy Company, one of the earliest online retailers in the United States, a freewheeling, funloving place that prided itself on its extraordinary ethics and the way it was improving the world for people who loved kinky sex.

Tripp Ford was the boss. He bought the aforementioned painting at a fetish art gala held in a bar that plays lots of Depeche Mode.

Tripp was a little guy. “I can’t run but I’m great at wrestling!” he liked to boast, apropos of nothing. I think he was trying to tell us that despite being short, he was really strong. Strong enough to be our boss. He was stocky, muscular, with thinning dark hair and a fondness for skin tight Affliction t-shirts and baggy designer jeans. He consumed nothing but red meat, boiled peanuts, and Monster Energy Drink. He was always in motion. He dreamed of becoming the adult industry’s Joe Rogan.

Tripp liked guns, fighting, and latex. He disliked spelling and called attention to the details of spelling and grammar “wordsmithing.” “You’re fucking wordsmithing again!” he would scream at the marketing department or anyone else who grew concerned with words. His distaste for copyediting is why the website used to read: “Anonymous Sex Toy Company assumes responsibility for unsafe, improper, or illegal use of these items.” Pointing out that the word “no” was missing would trigger a torrent of abuse from Tripp.

The painting’s misspelling went unnoticed by Tripp. He seemed neither to notice, nor care, that the words he had displayed in the office were entirely inconsistent with everything the company professed to believe in. The company’s motto was “Safe, sane, and consensual.” To have drawn attention to such an inconsistency would’ve been “wordsmithing.”

//

A beautiful old former discount t-shirt warehouse store in Highland Park, a trendy and rapidly gentrifying Los Angeles neighborhood, housed the office. The warehouse occupied the bottom floor. Production happened on the second floor. There, our proudly “Made in America” gear was assembled by a crew of Cambodian refugees who were being paid minimum wage. The top floor featured an open office with scarred but polished wood floors, high ceilings and exposed brick walls. A handful of closed offices used by the men who ran the place surrounded the open space. A pair of windowless bedroom bunkers also belonged to the structure. 

Tripp lived in one of those windowless bedrooms with his girlfriend, Mistress Amazonia.

//

When Tripp first arrived from South Carolina, a place where he’d been fifth in command at a pay-per-view-porn company, he was single. During his first few months here, he would fly out various goth girls from all over the South East. They would stay for a few days and spank him, trying to suss out the situation.

Mistress Amazonia was the one who lasted.

She lived with Tripp in the bunker just behind the marketing department.

//

Tripp liked to describe himself as a bratty switch. 

Every afternoon, around 3pm, Tripp would head into his bunker with Mistress Amazonia. She would whip him for half an hour, and he’d scream. Everyone could hear the beating. After re-emerging from his bedroom, he’d start screaming at us: “Stop that fucking wordsmithing!” 

“You think you know more about the internet than I do? Fuck you!” 

We didn’t have much in the way of boundaries at the dildo factory.

//

Al Gore might not have invented the internet. Hudley Taylor might have.

When Hudley was a political science student at Occidental college, he longed to dominate women.

He wanted to do so on a budget.

Hudley was cheap, bondage gear was expensive, and so he decided to make his own. His girlfriend was studying leather working, and had leather, tools, and skill. She’s almost certainly the one who actually crafted the gear. “While you’re at it”, Hudley probably said, “make extra.” A fervent capitalist and boot-strapping entrepreneur who was determined to make his first million by the time he was thirty, Hudley created a bondage catalog and began selling his gear through university message boards and usenet groups.

Hudley claims he has been selling sex toys on the internet since before there was an internet.

//

Steely Dan is Hudley’s favorite band.

Steely Dan is named for a dildo.

//

Hudley was a musician. He had thick sausage-shaped fingers that were surprisingly delicate on the keys of his electric piano.

Hudley lived for lite jazz and dominating women.

//

Hudley went to Occidental at the same time Barack Obama attended the school. Hudley knows politics inside and out. He’s an expert. He believes in chemtrail conspiracy theories. He understands that the government controls our minds through chemical substances and that chemtrails are a means by which the stock market is manipulated.

Hudley wanted us all to know that he was smarter than Barack Obama. 

//

Hudley called his employees his “collection of broken toys.” A former alcoholic who had also recovered from cigarette smoking (but still enjoyed a good cigar), he scoured the rooms of Alcoholics Anonymous, on the prowl for employees. He believed that he was damaged, mostly by a childhood during which he and his hapless father Jerome had been dominated by a strong, controlling mother. As a consequence, Hudley needed to prove to everyone, especially himself, that he was more powerful than any woman. Hudley said he loved women and considered himself a feminist. He supported women as long as they remained submissive to him. He believed it was man’s destiny to be in charge, and Hudley was a special kind of man, a stern, but benevolent tyrant, the type of despot who knew exactly what you needed to thrive as a human.

What you needed was to be controlled by Hudley.

In addition to hiring staff out of twelve-step meetings, Hudley also culled submissives there. The rooms of AA were full of young and attractive women in recovery from alcoholism and addiction, some of whom also suffered from schizophrenia or obsessive compulsive disorder or anorexia or bulimia. He sought women who had been sexually or physically abused as children and, probably, as adults. Some of the women had been sex workers. Hudley was there to “help.” Hudley would show these women tenderness, love, and compassion. He set out to teach them trust. He offered to help some women with rent. He offered others a place to stay. All he asked for in return was their submission. Their surrender.

Later, as the Anonymous Sex Toy Company took off, Hudley surrounded himself with well-known porn performers whom Hudley decided could also benefit from submission. Their celebrity had delivered them to him.

//

Hudley’s theory of Masculine Superiority was rather flawed. He didn’t actually believe he was superior or masculine. He believed he remained dominated by his cruel, imperious mother, and because of this oppression, he lingered near the bottom of any masculine hierarchy. He resolved this problem by tightly controlling his environment and populating the immediate hierarchy with people he could convince himself were beneath him. He called some of these arrangements “diversity.” Hudley would hire women and people of color not because he was interested in representation but because he believed such staffing prevented any white alpha male challenges. Such staffing also enabled him to underpay people.

Each day, Hudley struggled against equality.

He surrounded himself with people he convinced himself were racially, ethnically, sexually, and/or intellectually beneath him. He worked hard to keep us there.

Our job was to live beneath him.

Hudley was a junior member of the Enterprising International Entrepreneurs Investment Organization; EIEIO for short. He occupied the lower eschelons of the EIEIO hierarchy, and when they held their meetings at the Anonymous Sex Toy Company offices, he would be fawning, obseqious, and servile, sweating in his dark suit-jacket, rubbing his swollen hands with his sausage-like fingers together, heavily-lidded eyes downcast. He was visibly desperate for their approval.

Hudley’s only peer was Victor, the accountant. Victor had an MBA and in Hudley’s mind, this made Victor a financial genius. Hudley, on the other hand, wasn’t a financial genius. He got by on what he believed was extraordinary intuition, but finances, real finances, those were complicated, especially once the government, mind control, and chemtrails got involved. Hudley knew politics – he was smarter than Barack Obama – but, like other great men, he required a financial genius at his side, whispering in his ear. The problem was having a peer took Hudley someplace unbearably far from his comfort zone, and so, he resented Victor for embodying parity.

//

Hudley’s father Jerome was the broken toy he’d loved the longest. Hudley provided him a place to live, a small allowance, and a bicycle. He was always at the office. We called him Pappy.

Pappy was incapable of relationships with men. He got along only with women and children. He tutored them.

Pappy was a musician and, apparently, a math genius. He declared himself on a mission to teach the porn performers math. The porn performers weren’t interested. Pappy then started mentoring middle-schoolers, mostly kids of color. The teens and pre-teens would come to the office, walk past the harnesses, dildos, leather dog outfits, sex slings, and fuck machines, and into the kitchen where they would huddle with Pappy for hours, reviewing music theory or algebra. 

The kitchen was spacious and well lit, with many tables. It was a functional kitchen, not just a dining area, and it served as a company meeting spot. Porn performers and fetish models wandered in and out, as did people from purchasing or marketing. Salespeople promoting or demonstrating the latest in butt-plugs, strap-on harnesses, urethral sounds, or electro-sex toys also came and went. Pappy and his student would stay in a corner, drawing in closer to each other to keep the kink at bay.

//

Tripp would be in the office bedroom screaming while Amazonia whipped him. On the other side of the building, Hudley would be in his office playing lite jazz on his electric piano. The two sounds would meet in perfect balance at the desk of the marketing assistant.

//

Hudley’s personal assistant was a woman named Ana Santiago. She was also his submissive. Hudley moved Ana across the country from coastal Alabama, where she had had friends and family. She had also run a pool-cleaning business, enjoyed the beach and surfing, and shared custody of her son with her ex. Ana arrived in Los Angeles with no friends and no possessions. 

Hudley promised to make a new life for her. 

They lived in a windowless bedroom in the building.

The only people in Ana’s life were those Hudley had selected and put on payroll. 

Hudley isolated Ana.

Hudley disliked Ana’s locs, tan, muscular physique and boldness. He wanted someone soft, pale, ladylike, and gentle, everything Ana was not. And so he molded Ana. He prohibited her from the gym. There was to be no more surfing and no more sunshine. He ordered her to change her hairstyle and to start wearing makeup. He bought her high heels and business suits with short skirts. Hudley longed to be waited on by a woman of power and so he outfitted Ana as his fantasy and had her wait on him.

When Ana traveled back to Alabama to be with her son, Hudley chaperoned her. He became buddies with her son, showering him with gifts. He purchased the house that Ana had been renting in Alabama. In addition to being her employer and master, he became her landlord.

After supplying Ana with a place to live, clothes to wear, food to eat, and people to surround her, Hudley explained to Ana that she didn’t really need money. Being his personal assistant was not so much a job as a duty. Her vocation. Nevertheless, out of benevolence, he would pay her. Ana explained to me that Hudley gave her an allowance and that he allowed her to spend the money on whatever she wanted.

She said her allowance was four dollars an hour.

Hudley sought women whose agency had been eroded. Then, he worked to grind their agency down to nothing. In the beginning, he found women in twelve-step programs. Later, he mined for women working in the adult industry. He was drawn to women who exhibited the PTSD symptoms. Ana differed from these women. She showed no outward signs of mental illness. He cultivated her dependence by developing an economic and social grip over her.

Ana would find it very difficult to leave if she wanted to. There was nowhere for her to go. Hudley owned her house, her apartment, her car, her clothes, her shoes, and her friends.

//

As Hudley’s personal assistant, Ana attended all business meetings. Her job in those meetings was not to assist Hudley, but to be on display. Prim and proper, Ana sat in the corner behind her master, at the front of the room. She was silent and statue-stil. She pressed her legs together and kept her spine straight and her eyes down. Her hands stayed folded in her lap. Her job during these meetings to model submission.

When it was too draining for Hudley to appear in person, Ana placed an iPad at the head of the conference table, beaming in Hudley from the windowless apartment one hundred feet away. In these instances, Ana did not sit behind Hudley but directly across from the iPad, so that he could surveil her.

Tape and Dildos
Tape and Dildos

Tripp only set foot in the kitchen to make his weekly batch of boiled peanuts or to check on his gourmet coffee machine, which was frequently broken.

Tripp loved gourmet coffee. He imagined himself a connoisseur. Tripp believed himself a connoisseur of many things. He imagined himself a connoisseur of the internet, which he knew almost as well as Hudley, even though Hudley had seemingly invented it. Tripp was also a connoisseur of MMA, porn, techno music, and guns.

What Tripp didn’t know was aesthetics. He was proud of this. Real men don’t care about aesthetics. They care about guns, MMA, power, and marketing. Tripp believed himself to be a marketing visionary. He declared that all our dildos needed to include a photo with a model and penetration.

“It’s so people will know how to use it!” he would scream. 

Various women in the office quietly suggested that certain consumers might be bothered by product shots of spread-eagled models with dildos protruding from them. 

“That’s bullshit!” Tripp screamed, manically pacing back and forth, waving his can of Monster Energy Drink around. “Do you think you know more marketing than I do! What the fuck? Fuck you!

//

Hudley often fantasized about the girl-next-door. In his fantasy, the girl next door was a Playboy model from the mid 1970s. He pictured her peachy skin in soft focus, her hair long and blond, not a tattoo anywhere. The thing is, Hudley lived in LA next to a tattoo parlor. The girl next door was probably a Chicana with tattooed sleeves.

 Some of the women in the office pressed for more diversity among our models.

“We have diversity,” Hudley said. “We have Fabiola Versace. She’s Italian.”

Fabiola Versace’s real name is Brandy. She’s from Orange County.

//

Hudley was convinced that women were the primary shoppers at the Anonymous Sex Toy Company. Hudley knew what women wanted better than most women did. Hudley did everything for women. He wanted to free them from their puritanical mores. He wanted to liberate them. Hudley was their male savior. 

He was momentarily devastated when Google Analytics data showed that the average customer of the company was a forty-five-year-old man. He sat there, mouth agape, processing the information. “Here’s what’s happening,” he finally announced. “The average customer is a forty-five-year-old man because mistresses are ordering their slaves to buy them dildos! But it’s still the women who are in control and shopping our website!”

Hudley believed that women controlled everything. That’s why he needed to control women.

“See! I fucking told you,” Tripp screamed at us, slamming his can of Monster Energy Drink on the table. “I fucking know marketing!”

//

Tripp started losing his mind.

He was a man of ideas. Most of these ideas came to him in the middle of the night. He wanted to be there for those ideas and decided the best thing to do was not to sleep. He did this by consuming increased quantities of Monster Energy Drink. The less Tripp slept, the more the ideas came. He declared himself a visionary. He started pacing faster, screaming louder, and buying more guns and office furniture. His office was full of Ikea shelves covered in disassembled electronic devices. The ideas started coming harder and faster. He would head up to the roof of the building with a cigar and pace back and forth, faster and faster and faster, talking to himself about taxonomy, taxonomy, taxonomy. He grew obsessed with taxonomy. He thought the keys to the universe could be found in taxonomy. He hired burlesque performers he knew through Amazonia, and they pulled all-nighters in his office, working on his taxonomy project.

Tripp managed to get his sleep down to just one night a week. Tripp only slept on Wednesday.

He claimed that he was superhuman. 

Tripp sniffed a lot. He became paranoid. He would nod off during meetings and then wake up and start screaming at us. 

Some of us suspected there was more than Monster Energy Drink involved. 

//

Tripp’s ideas began to take up all of his time and energy. He brought in a second in command.

Like Tripp, Troy Montgomery had worked at EVE, the Extreme Video Emporium, a company that had pioneered pay-per-view pornography. Based out of South Carolina, EVE was run by a lumbering goth viking named Bjorn Bjornstad, who looked and acted like the love child of Marilyn Manson and Thor. In place of an HR department, EVE had a boxing ring. Disputes weren’t mediated. They weren’t even refereed. If two employees had a problem, they entered the ring and fought it out. All it took to ascend the corporate ladder at EVE was brawn. Tripp was not that brawny, which may be why he hadn’t lasted. Troy was bigger and a dirty fighter. His dad was a retired cop. Tripp figured Troy could keep us, the broken toys, in line.

//

EIEIO believed that personal growth required corporate growth, causing Hudley to lust after as much personal growth as he could get his hands on. The Anonymous Sex Toy Company needed to expand. 

To experience maximum personal and corporate growth, Hudley and Troy set up licensing deals with two of the world’s biggest porn performers: Reyka and Smoldering Cherub’s Lana Cherub. Troy wanted to be a fashion mogul and felt Reyka could be the one to take him there. He worked with our designers to come up with a Reyka branded PVC raincoat, very similar to something you might buy at Forever 21, but much more expensive. The Reyka deal would be short-lived. Something Troy did made Reyka never want to be around him.

The Lana Cherub line was made up of bondage gear in Lana’s signature orange. The Lana Cherub deal was handled by our new marketing director, Joey Q-Ball. Joey was a scrawny art perv with a grey walrus mustache. He lived in a party-loft downtown and was always high. He loved athletic and preppy-looking straight boys and wanted to have sex with them all. The first project he embarked on was setting up photoshoots for our queer male audience. Prior to Joey’s arrival, this clientele had been catered to by a single photoshoot done by our straight art director. The art director’s photos of women were filled with a cool longing and shiny latex. The images communicated his very heterosexual desire. His revulsion was equally apparent in his photos of bears in leather jockstraps. Five years after that photoshoot, the guys in the warehouse were still upset about the way their forklift had been used as a prop. Only the new guys would drive it. New male model photoshoots were needed. What wasn’t needed was Joey inserting himself naked and submissive somewhere into every shoot. 

//

As deals were being launched with accompanying marketing and publicity blitz, Reyka revealed that Marlon Bondo, her ex-boyfriend and fellow porn performer, had raped her. Almost immediately, other women came forward with their stories about rape and abuse perpetrated by Marlon. Lana Cherub tweeted “He’s dead on the inside and dead to me. He’s literally the worst person I’ve ever met.”

The Anonymous Sex Toy Company held licensing deals with two prominent performers who were accusing Marlon of rape. Our only business dealings with the alleged rapist were that we sold a third party Marlon Bondo dildo, just one of a number of celebrity dildoes we carried.

A number of porn companies immediately cut ties with Bondo. The Anonymous Sex Toy Company wasn’t one of them. Despite having business deals with two of Marlon’s most prominent accusers, Hudley said, “We must remain neutral.” Troy placed the Marlon Bondo dildo on sale. The goal was to liquidate stock while giving Marlon’s misogynist supporters a chance to save money.

Victor, the accountant, made an unofficial statement to everyone in the office: “They’re fucking porn stars. They have no brains, just pussies. You can’t rape someone who does porn!”

“Victor has an MBA!” Troy would exclaim.

Hudley and Troy thought that made him the smartest person in the office. Victor wanted to fuck porn performers, but had no respect for them. He disrespected women in general. To Victor, porn performers embodied the best and the worst of women. They existed solely for men – any men – to fuck. Of course, men needed to stand in line, according to their place in the masculine hierarchy.

Victor would issue these pronouncements in the kitchen, while Pappy was in the corner tutoring.

Victor’s favorite band was the Eagles. “Peaceful, Easy Feeling” was his anthem.

Victor was the one in charge of paying Lana her royalties.

disembodied crotch
Disembodied Crotch.

The purchasing manager was a woman. She quietly discontinued stocking the Marlon Bondo dildo. This allowed The Anonymous Sex Toy Company to avoid having to take an anti-rape stance.

Hudley felt that being anti-rape was making a political statement that might alienate some customers. It didn’t occur to him that refusing to be anti-rape was the equivalent of being pro-rape. He thought he was being rape neutral. Hudley was pro-sex, and he thought being anti-rape was philosophically incompatible with being pro-sex. He seemed only to view sex through the narrow prism of men’s rights, whatever that means.

//

Troy loved working for an adult company because he reckoned the sex business is all about sex and not about business. Troy figured any woman who worked in the sex industry had, by virtue of her choice of employment, consented to being a sexual object in a sexual workplace. Just as Victor believed you could not rape a porn perfomrer, Troy believed he could not sexually harass one. According to Troy, even women in the proximity of porn performers had consented to this dynamic.

These misconceptions are in now way unique to the male staff at the Anonymous Sex Toy Company. They are variations on the following misogynist tropes: 

She asked for it.

Look at how she was dressed.

You can’t rape a slut.

Women in the store began complaining about Troy’s behavior. Perhaps he was doing to them the same things that led Reyka to cut all ties with the company. I don’t know.

Troy hated working for an adult company. He didn’t think the adult business was legit. Many people don’t. Troy wanted to fuck porn performers and bask in the limelight of mainstream stars. Maybe he wanted to fuck them too but figured they were out of reach.

//

Troy wanted to be a fashion mogul and he saw a path toward becoming one. 

BDSM gear was becoming popular in mainstream popular culture. Introducing BDSM play, characters acting as Mistresses, and fetish fashion into TV shows and music videos seemed an easy way to allude to sex while remaining well within what censors found acceptable. As a consequence, the Anonymous Sex Toy Company built up a clientelle of fashion, video, film, and television stylists.

One of those stylists was outfitting R&B star Desaray for a video. In order to make the custom clothes, the designers needed some specific measurements. Troy got his hands on those. It’s one thing to know a star’s height, or weight, or shoe size. You can find that info anywhere online. But to know a star’s intimate measurements? That is some up-close and personal data, and Troy thought leaking it to the press would confirm just how up-close and personal he really was with celebrities.

Troy was going to use Desaray’s crotch measurements to put himself on the map. 

He sent out a press release.

Soon after, Troy left the company and returned to South Carolina.

//

When I started working at the Anonymous Sex Toy Company, I really, really, really needed a job. Under capitalism, we all do. I was one of the folks recruited from a twelve-step program. I was fairly new to sobriety and unsure of what made an ethical world and or how to function in one. I intentionally overlooked a lot of what was going on around me.

My fellow workers, mostly men, said, “We’re an adult business. This is part of the landscape,” and I accepted that. 

We’ve all made a decision to work under these conditions, I told myself every time I saw behavior that seemed wrong, an argument that in hindsight seems adjacent to the judgement implied by the question often posed to battered women: “Why didn’t she just leave?”

I questioned my own judgment as a means of rationalizing staying.

Maybe I’m just a prude, I thought. Toxic masculinity tells you there’s nothing less manly than a prude.

What happened at the Anonymous Sex Toy Company isn’t much different from what happens everywhere in the United States. At the company, it just happened in a more concentrated, visible way, as the men emphasised the “adult” and minimized “business.” Misogyny and abuse were displayed on a pedestal – the pedestal of “consensual bdsm,” even though few of the staff had ever consented to being spectators to or participants in Hudley, Tripp, and Troy’s BDSM play. As part of our employment, we were required to perform in a drama we had not auditioned for. Every relationship was tainted by varying degrees and types of coercion.

I’m unsure how much agency Hudley’s submissives had. The relationships I’ve seen within and without the Anonymous Sex Toy Company have made me ask myself, “What is consent? Who can give it? Can it exist in degrees? Can one consent to harm?”

In the conference room, Ana Santiago sat behind Hudley, hands folded in her lap, eyes looking at the floor, so that Hudley could display his control, not just of her, but of all of us, and maybe even of the world at large. Men use female bodies as conduits through which they enact and express their control. 

Safe, sane and consensual was our company slogan. Saftey words are for pussies was the reality.


This is a work of fiction. Unless otherwise indicated, all the names, characters, businesses, places, events and incidents in this book are either the product of the author’s imagination or used in a fictitious manner. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental.


Skip Nutt is a former model turned IT professional. After spending most of the 90s working as a fashion model in Milan, his photos appearing in L’Oumo Bazaar, British GQ, Japanese GQ, and elsewhere, Skip returned to California and took up programming.