The Problem With AIM



When I read this account of AIM early history a lot of things became abundantly clear, you get a good picture of what was fundamentally wrong with each organization to begin with, and why they are all doomed to fail, as AIM already has.


Whether she’s a stand-in for actress on the Broadway stage, wiggling her toes on a foot fetish site or sewing up assholes [literally], Sharon Mitchell has always brought along some kind of controversy to her tenure in the porn industry.

Today Mitchell is quoted on the UK website,

Author Jenny McCartney writes an article about young girls appearing in violent sex scenes. McCartney quotes Mitchell: “I sit there everyday and I sew up anal tears and anal prolapse and the physical conditions of what people are putting their body through is getting very, very far away from sexuality as we know it.”

The words are glaring for a number of reasons, suggesting that Mitchell, besides running AIM, might have been filling in as a licensed practitioner of medicine. I found it very odd that Mitchell would say that. Bill Margold, who’s been at odds with Mitchell over the years, found it more disturbing.

“Needle and thread? Why doesn’t she [Mitchell] start by sewing her mouth up first,” comments Margold dryly.

“What the hell is that all about? I couldn’t believe it. I had to read it again. Are we now to believe that Mitchell was a surgeon and was sewing up ruptured, prolapsed assholes?”

That today’s writers are continually on a hunt to link porn to violence is no different than when the Meese Commission did it. Marigold testified before that group and got off many memorable quips, quoted to this day..

“I remember saying that porn put you to sleep- once you got off, you went to sleep. We’re a masturbatory catharsis designed to get society off rather than someone going out in the street with a hatchet.”

But Margold’s convinced that a quote like Mitchell’s is someone desperate for a sound bite and to keep their names in the press.

“Mitchell’s comment was insane,” opines Margold, wondering if Mitchell has ever told the truth.

“Over the years she’s said things like she met the dog that worked with Linda Lovelace. On the set. How old is Mitchell?”

[Had Mitchell been of legal age at the time of Deep Throat, she’d be at least 57 years old; but Mitchell apparently began working in porn while underage.]

Margold also remembers Mitchell telling him that she doubled for actress Sandy Duncan [Duncan is 65] in the Broadway production of Peter Pan, and for actor Michael Sarazin in The Resurrection of Peter Proud. Margold doesn’t buy any of it.

“She and the truth are poles about, but that thing about sewing up assholes is.”

If you’re looking for a seminal moment, AIM’s origins and Mitchell’s ascendancy to power within the adult business began with an offhand comment Marigold made to Inari Vachs.

Mitchell was incensed by it and circulated a petition to have Marigold extracted from PAW. Before AIM came on the scene, PAW [Protecting Adult Welfare] was handling the testing of performers.

“I guess I was ‘unprofessional’ with the way I had been handling the PAW office [located where World Modeling is] where the blood was being taken after the Marc Wallice-thing began to explode,” shrugs Margold.

“This was all basically early 1998 and AIM was created within the first two weeks of May. Mitchell didn’t like the way I was handling the patients because I was much more blunt about people getting sick. One day Inari Vis sitting in the office crying. She asked why this was happening and I said this is what happens when you treat your vagina like a trash can. A lot more than HIV is going to crawl in there and get you. Mitchell heard that and began screaming. ’You’re not fit for this office!’

“I told her I was more than fit because I tell them the truth. I practice what is known as the deep wound theory.”

Unimpressed by that answer, Mitchell immediately began circulating the petition to remove Marigold from the medical participation of the organization, PAW which Margold established upon the death of performer Savannah.

It was during the summer of 1997 at the VSDA show that Margold was first approached by attornies informing him that Mitchell was now going to work out of the PAW office for an hourly rate.

“I said, what? Nobody gets paid being involved with PAW,” Margold recalls. Douglas told him differently.

“Oh yeah we’re going to start her at $12.50 an hour. [Which, within six months, erupted to $25 an hour.] What am I going to do, start arguing in the middle of a convention floor? So Mitchell starts showing up making calls, reminding people to get their blood taken at these other facilities. Pretty soon we setup a facility in the PAW office. We got a little school chair, have a sink and we bring in this incredible woman known as The Golden Possum.”

Margold, who addressed himself to keeping the books, quickly explains that he wasn’t involved per se in the drawing of blood, that it was this woman’s job to do that.

“She was an ex heroin addict along with Mitchell. She was adorable and so cool. I was immediately in awe of this woman being around. She had this very dry sense of humor. I never really understood where she came from, but she had this daughter named The Little Possum. I started having fun watching Mitchell become power mad in an organization that wasn’t about money.”

Mitchell’s salary, incidentally, was footed by Free Speech.

Margold was also having his battles with Douglas and realized he was in a no-win situation. Then, when Vachs stormed out of the office, Mitchell took that as a cue to make her move.

“I didn’t know how power mad she [Mitchell] was, but I did realize she was all about money. Mitchell starts screaming that I have to go. I said I’m not going anywhere. This is my goddamn office. She said I’ll see about that!

“The next day I’m shown a petition. The first person to sign it is Tony Tedeschi. The second person to sign it was [the late] Shawn Ricks. He couldn’t wait to get rid of me. He said I was bad for the business.”

Margold, who had been out of town when the petition first circulated, had no attention of leaving.

“Mitchell’s glaring at me from across the room. I wrote down three letters on a piece of paper: A-I-M. I showed it to her. She goes, wha? I said AIM. She said it looks like PAIN. I said, no, AIM. What are you seeing? I tell her what it means.

“She runs across the hall makes a phone call. Three minutes later I get a call from their lawyer thanking me. I knew I had to get Mitchell away from me so I gave her, her own organization.

The Lawyer was happy and got an immediate non-profit status for her. But there was nowhere for her to go. So for the entire summer I was treated as a third rate human being trying to keep the offices alive. Then the last day of August, 1998 I moved her over to the location on Ventura Blvd.

“She brought two recovering drunks in to help me move the furniture. Within an hour they were wasted in an alley. I was literally carrying one of her desks up to her office upstairs. It fell on top of me. She ran over to see how the desk was, basically more concerned that I may have hurt her precious desk. It was 112 degrees that day. I was dehydrating as fast as possible. God knows how much weight I lost.

“Mitchell turns to me and goes what do I do now? I go, welcome to hell. You’re in business.”

54990cookie-checkThe Problem With AIM

The Problem With AIM

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  1. I had to laugh at the irony of Sharon Mitchell claiming to sew up anal tears and prolapses. That would also mean that she was likely administering general anesthesia in her little clinic — highly unlikely! I know that if anyone starts sewing on my anal sphincter that doc had better put me under, anyway. I hope the FSC clinics get a better track record for the sake of the industry. Whatever good intent Sharon had for AIM, everything I hear about it makes it sound like a very sick joke!

    Another thing I read off of Bobbi Starr’s blog — when she went to AIM for testing, she said they couldn’t even find her vein to do the test! She started going to another clinic and they evidently didn’t have any problems drawing blood out of her. For the record, Bobbi does say that APHSS is much improved over AIM but she is also on the board (of directors possibly?) for that organization.

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