Transcript of 37th Session between Charles Balis, M.D. and Ms. Anna Green, Thursday, April 10, 1997 at 4:00 pm.

Dr. Balis: Hello, Anna. How are you today?
Ms. Green: Hello, Doctor. I think I've made a decision to do it.
Dr. Balis: To do what?
Ms. Green: I've been talking with Martin and he agrees that if I need to try being the bottom before being his top, then I should just go ahead and do it.
Dr. Balis: You mean Martin is encouraging you to go and get whipped?
Ms. Green: Yes.
Dr. Balis: By whom, Kathy?
Ms. Green: No, of course not. And she's a bottom anyway.
Dr. Balis: Then by whom? A total stranger?
Ms. Green: Well, there won't be any hard feelings that way.
Dr. Balis: Martin doesn't mind if you go and get whipped by someone you've never met?
Ms. Green: He wants it to be some one really good. But that's where Kathy comes in.
Dr. Balis: Hmm.
Ms. Green: I told you that Kathy is really plugged into the S&M community in San Francisco. She knows everyone and could recommend a very good top. Did you know that some of them have a reputation as being very talented at what they do? They even each specialize in particular techniques.
Dr. Balis: Anna, I really don't think it's...
Ms. Green: Relax, Doctor. I'll meet him first.
Dr. Balis: You picked the top already?
Ms. Green: Yes. Kathy arranged it all. There is this flea market this Sunday where they all get together and swap instruments and outfits and stuff. That's where I'll meet him.
Dr. Balis: A flea market?
Ms. Green: Yes, a flea market. Aren't you listening Doctor? But I have to say, I thought it was wild too. All these people getting together and shopping for second-hand hand-cuffs and floggers and who-knows-what. Kathy said that it's really cool. Sort of like a big party. People talk to each other and try things out--just have a good time.
Dr. Balis: The last S&M party you went to didn't appeal to you much, if you remember.
Ms. Green: But I was completely unprepared for it. This time I know better. And the scene will be different, anyway. This will be very low key, very casual. No one will really be doing anything--just shopping and talking, that's all.
Dr. Balis: Right, just a little paddling, nothing much.
Ms. Green: That's right, Doctor. There's nothing to worry about. And if I don't like it, we'll leave.
Dr. Balis: Kathy will go with you?
Ms. Green: Sure. It's a closed party--invitation only. Kathy said that it will be a good introduction to the community. I get to meet people in more or less normal circumstances. Sure there'll be some dress-up and a little action here and there. But mostly it won't be anything that you won't see on Castro Street for example. And I'll meet Gray.
Dr. Balis: Gray is your talented top?
Ms. Green: Yup, a whip master from the Far East.
Dr. Balis: What?
Ms. Green: I'm just fooling around. But Gray does have a very good reputation. Kathy said that he did her once.
Dr. Balis: Uh huh.
Ms. Green: Kathy's point is that if I'm going to get whipped, it might as well be from someone who knows what he is doing.
Dr. Balis: Anna, I really think that this is a very bad idea.
Ms. Green: I know, Doctor.
Dr. Balis: You know?
Ms. Green: I knew that you were going to say that. But if I don't do this, I will wonder for the rest of my life. And if I don't like it, I always can use my safe word and Gray will stop. It's completely safe and in my control. Anyway, it's not definite yet. I have to meet him first and know I keep thinking about all my other boyfriends.
Dr. Balis: Huh? You mean Bill?
Ms. Green: Bill, too. Can you imagine what they would think if only they knew that I was going to be a real leather-clad dominatrix?
Dr. Balis: Anna, it really shouldn't be about what other people in your past will think. I cannot stress enough how wrong I think this whole thing is for you.
Ms. Green: Doctor, thank you for caring so much about me. Really, I appreciate it more than you think. But I'm not losing my head over this. If I don't like it, I don't like it. I won't do it if it doesn't feel right. I promise.
Dr. Balis: Anna...
Ms. Green: Kathy will help me pick out a real nice and sexy leather thing to wear. I swear, if only Bill...and I don't mind if David saw me in it too. These men had such power over me. But now...maybe I'll wear the leather thing under my clothes to work one day. Even if no one sees it, I'll know that I have it on's really about attitude anyway. Maybe I'll show you.
Dr. Balis: Anna...
Ms. Green: Just kidding, Doctor. But I'll let you know when I have it on. You can use your own imagination.
Dr. Balis: Anna...
Ms. Green: I wonder just how many people there are who are fairly normal on the outside and are wearing a sexual secret underneath? It would certainly make me feel pretty special.
Dr. Balis: Anna, you are a very special person even if you don't wear leather under your clothing and whip people for pleasure. You are trying to change yourself into someone that Martin will find sexually stimulating. You are willing to expose yourself to pain--which I don't think you've ever found sexually stimulating yourself--just to please a guy. This isn't about being powerful. It's another example of you allowing yourself to be manipulated by your sexual partners.
Ms. Green: That's not true. I'm doing this for my own intellectual and sexual gratification.
Dr. Balis: How is that? If it wasn't for Martin...
Ms. Green: Martin doesn't want to whip me. He wants me to do it to him. I just want to try it out before I take the whip into my own hands. It's perfectly reasonable--don't do something unto others until you try it out on yourself.
Dr. Balis: I don't think this is one of your amendments, Anna. If you remember, early on we created Anna's Bill of Rights to help you prevent situations like this one.
Ms. Green: Doctor, I keep telling you, if I don't like what's going on for any reason, I'll stop right away. That's what the safe words are for. Do you want to know what my safe word is?
Dr. Balis: What?
Ms. Green: Doctor.
Dr. Balis: Doctor?
Ms. Green: Yes. If I yell out "Doctor," Gray will stop whatever he is doing. It will be okay. You'll see.
Dr. Balis: When are you planning on doing this?
Ms. Green: We'll talk about it after we meet on Sunday. But I want to do it as soon as possible. I hate this murky area of indecision. I'm getting very emotionally involved with Martin. And before it's too late, I would like to know whether our relationship stands a chance. It doesn't mean that we will have to do it this way every time we make love. But I want to know that, once in awhile, I will be interested in pleasing him in a way that really turns him on. I think I'm doing a very smart thing, Doctor, by figuring everything out first before allowing this relationship to progress any further.
Dr. Balis: Anna, I'm very worried that you'll end up hurt by this exploration. I have nothing against S&M as a sexual practice between people who desire to practice it. But S&M is not something that you were ever attracted to. I do believe that you are attracted to some of the role playing and theatrics that come with it, and I think you might even find that part sexual rewarding. But I believe that actually inflicting and submitting to pain will be emotionally and physically devastating to you. I wish you'd reconsider your decision, Anna.
Ms. Green: I couldn't agree more with you, Doctor. I do love the theatrics of it all. And about the other stuff, I'll only know through experimentation. If it doesn't work, it doesn't work. It won't be the first time in my life when a relationship with someone I liked a lot didn't work out. That's what I have you for, Doctor. You'll make it all better. If I didn't have you, I might not be as brave to try things as I can under your care.
Dr. Balis: Anna, you're succeeding in making me feel like our sessions might be a bad thing for you.
Ms. Green: Oh no, Doctor. Please just relax. Everything is okay. You'll see. Things will work out. Anyway, I've got to go. I'll call you if something happens.
Dr. Balis: Please think everything through before you do anything, Anna. Okay?
Ms. Green: Sure thing, you know me. I'll see you next week, Doctor.
Dr. Balis: I'll see you next week. Please call me if you want to talk.
Ms. Green: I will. I promise. Don't worry, Doctor. Bye.
Dr. Balis: Goodbye, Anna.
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