This was written as the forward to Hearts and Flowers, Whips and Chains edited by Jay Willowbay. Get your copy here.
The Joy of Professional Domination
When I meet somebody new, the conversation often goes something like this.
“What do you do for a living?” they innocently ask.
“Well, I have one of the most unusual professions in the world,” I respond, preparing them as best as I can.
“Oh, really? Do tell!” Humans are such a curious bunch, aren’t we?
“I’m a professional Dominatrix. I spend my time creating fantasy worlds for people to explore their most intimate desires.”
Often my response is met with blank stares, occasionally with a sly and knowing smile, and now and then, an enthusiastic “Wow, that’s so cool!” I’m pleased to say that, up until this point, I’ve never had a negative reaction, but then again, my profession has helped me fine-tune my people reading skills and adapt to different situations. While I believe that it’s important to be open about my work in an attempt to help people understand that what I do is ethical, important, and done with love and respect, I’m not going to walk into a bookstore and proclaim that I’m a professional Dominatrix.
Indeed, it is so cool. I am one of a lucky bunch of people who earns a living doing what I love. How many people do you know that are fortunate enough to spend their days doing what that they are truly passionate about? My guess is not many. While there are certainly aspects of my job that are less glamorous, the time that I spend in the dungeon makes up for all of that tenfold.
Here are a few of the reasons that I love what I do so much.
Thanks to this job, I meet tons of wonderful people. They come from a variety of backgrounds and each of them have stories to share. Contrary to what you might think, there’s not one type of client. They are all ages, genders, sexual orientations, and ethnicities. What they do have in common is that they trust me enough to divulge their deepest desires, things that many of them have never shared with another soul. What an honor that is that they trust me enough to do so!
Because of them, I have become an even more empathetic person, although I’ve always been that way. Because such a wide range of people contact me, each with their specific desires and emotional needs, I have learned to be more compassionate and kind, more understanding and tender. That’s not to say that I am easy-going with them. They are expected to follow an explicit set of rules that I clearly define for them, but I have learned how to communicate those rules in a variety of ways depending on who I have in front of me.
The connections that I make through my job are truly wonderful. I’ve known some of my subs for years, and we have beautiful relationships. They encourage me to be a better woman and a better Domme.
How fabulous is it to get to live part of my life in a world that I have constructed based on fantasy? I spend much of my time creating scenarios ranging from alien abductions to domestic training to traditional sadomasochistic scenes. Depending on my mood, I can be a seductive siren or a menacing tyrant. I get to wear marvelous outfits in leather, lace, and latex. I’m paid to create a play where I am both the director and the starring role.
I’m Always Learning
Whether it’s studying psychology or taking a class on how to properly strangle my submissives without harming them, I am constantly striving to improve my skill set. The marvelous world of BDSM offers an endless number of things to explore, both physically and mentally. For someone that is curious by nature, this suits me very well.
Being fairly well-known in the BDSM community in France has also allowed me the opportunity to share my knowledge with those who are eager to learn about this magical universe. Because I always want to give the best advice possible, before I conduct a workshop or coaching session, I do extensive research to double-check my prior knowledge and beliefs. This forces me to question my own point of view and practices regularly, which I think is necessary if we want to thrive.
Many people are not able to explore their fantasies outside of visiting a pro Domme. People need to be able to explore fantasies, and should be given the opportunity to do so in a safe, secure, and judgement-free environment. Unfortunately, that’s not reality for many folks. Perhaps they have jobs that prevent them from attending play parties lest they be “outed” by someone, perhaps they only want to play the role of a slave for a short period of time, perhaps their partner frowns upon their fetish, perhaps they’re curious and want to explore but don’t know how to go about it. There are a plethora of reasons someone might opt to visit me or one of my pro Domme colleagues. But regardless of the reasons, people need us.
I often hear “time with you is more effective than therapy.” While BDSM is in no way therapy, it can be therapeutic for certain people. Reclaiming power through play can be cathartic, a way of turning the tables on previous experiences. By using controlled, consensual means, some people are able to do just that. I repeat, absolutely no one should use BDSM instead of seeing a mental health professional if they need help. But yes, there can be positive benefits to BDSM. Just the endorphins and adrenaline from a session are enough to keep a smile on your face all day!
My career choice offers me freedom that most “traditional” jobs don’t. I can take time off whenever I want or need to. This winter, I was able to travel to warm destinations outside of the busy school holidays when beaches are crawling with other tourists (and hotel prices are adjusted accordingly). If I want to go spend a long weekend in another country for a BDSM event, I don’t need to check in with my boss.
Being a professional Dominatrix has also offered me more financial liberty than I have had in the past. While I’m certainly not rolling in money, I live a comfortable life and no longer stress about not being able to pay my bills. If I want to go out to a nice dinner, I can.
It also has given me the freedom to be 100% authentic. Before going pro, I hid my kinky desires from those around me. It’s so liberating to be able to openly discuss it now!
It’s not all rainbows and unicorns
I don’t want to sugar coat it too much. There are a lot of drawbacks to being a professional Dominatrix. Being a strong and outspoken woman in a patriarchal society can be a challenge in itself. I’ve been called a bitch more times than I’d like to recall, despite my generally cheerful and outgoing nature. Society generally looks poorly upon sex workers (even those of us that don’t have penetrative sex with our clients). There’s an enormous mental load when you’re managing other people’s most intimate secrets. I have very little social protection. There are hours of cleaning to be done before and after sessions.
As an independent pro Domme, I am responsible for my own marketing, which means many, many hours on my computer each week. Twitter, Instagram, FetLife, Facebook, my website, podcasts, my newsletter, interviews, writing articles for my blog. Screening clients and taking care of emails … The list goes on and on. Not to mention, as a small business owner, I need to be good with money management so that when the slow months come around, I have enough in the bank to pay my bills. There is no such thing as a routine day or week, and I need to be able to adapt to my clients’ schedules. It takes a huge amount of self-management to make things look effortless. It is certainly not a job for the faint of heart, or at least not long-term! But it is a job that I love, and I can’t see myself doing anything else.
The Japanese have a wonderful concept called ikigai. In French, our raison-d’être. Ikigai is a way to define your personal meaning of life related to your passions, talents, and profession, and what you bring to the world. Through professional domination, I have found my ikigai and look forward to all the wonderful things it will bring me in the future.
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Inanna Justice, Dominatrice in Paris
The Joy of Professional Domination