So it has come to this…

Shameless attention whoring ahoy! I figure if Ferns can get away with it, why not me?

Rori is once again taking nominations for the best sex bloggers. Last year I was nominated and ended up on the list, as I blogged about at the time. Now obviously as a serious and dedicated sex blog blogger, I’m above such petty popularity contests. It matters to me not one whit should I be nominated or not. My only concern is to bring you, my dear readers, the best femdom based material I can. But it strikes me that getting nominated would encourage more readers to visit. And that would mean more readers to write witty and insightful comments. And that in turn would create a better quality blog for everyone. So I’m really doing it for all of you out there.

Anyone buying that unimpeachable logic, and wanting to help me help you, can do so by leaving a suitable nomination comment on Rori’s site. It’d make me, I mean you, as happy as a Deviant Kade being tied up by a Simone Kross.

Deviant Kade with Simone Kross

The image is originally from the CBT and Ballbusting site. I found it via the Happy BDSM tumblr.

Payment and power

It’s widely accepted that the power dynamics within a BDSM scene are separate to the dynamics outside of it. In some cases they may happen to align (e.g. couples in 24/7 D/s relationship), but often they will not. Outside a scene the players might simply be casual play partners, or in a standard egalitarian relationship, or even enjoy a reversed dynamic, where a dominant outside the bedroom bottoms within it. Pretty much every combination possible is working successfully somewhere. Yet, if you add money into this mix, attitudes tend to change. I’ve often heard it said that a pro-domme’s client always has the power because he or she supplies the money. That no matter what the intended power dynamics in a scene are, it can never be genuine when money is involved.

As regular readers might predict, I find this an odd attitude. Firstly, it suggests a leaking of the power dynamic across scene boundaries that doesn’t apply in any other situation. Nobody would maintain that a couple can’t have a ‘real’ D/s scene because they regard each other as equals in daily life. Secondly, it implies that somebody paying for any kind of service can never have a submissive experience. That’s self-evidently not true when you look outside the sexual realm.

My favorite counter-example of this would be high end dining experiences. Eating at places like Saison (in SF), é by José Andrés (Vegas) and Uraswawa (LA) is always a submissive experience. These are restaurants where you don’t get to choose the food, you don’t get to choose the preparation and you don’t get to choose the accompaniments. You eat what the chef decides to present that night. Some places have even specific rules about how to eat. For example at Urasawa, the chef insists you eat each sushi piece in less than 10 seconds from when he places it in front of you. The restaurant’s clientele may be paying the bills, but nobody expects that in doing so they’re buying ownership of the chef. Instead, much like a session with a pro-domme, they’re paying for access to an experience.

Nobody would claim that my decision to dine or not at Le Bernardin puts me in a position of power over its chef Eric Ripert. Yet that’s exactly the argument advanced when it comes to pro-dommes and their clients. I suspect this contradiction arises from prejudice against sex workers. Some people erroneously believe, possibly subconsciously, that nobody would voluntarily choose to do sex work. They wouldn’t do it, so they can’t imagine anyone else choosing to. And if they believe a pro-domme isn’t there by choice, then she clearly isn’t operating from a position of power.

Note that I’m not claiming that all sex workers love their jobs, or that all pro-domme/client interactions are models of D/s perfection, or that a professional interaction is the same as a lifestyle one. I just to want break the idea that money inevitably corrupts and negates any BDSM scene it comes into contact with.

Mistress Wynter

Given the nature of this post it seemed appropriate to finish with an interesting image from a pro-domme. This is from Mistress Wynter. I’ve sadly never had the pleasure of doing a session with her, but by all accounts she is one of the most talented dommes in NYC. Certainly someone who enjoys her chosen profession.

Journalism fail

See if you can spot the problem between the title of this article and the data presented. Apparently the author, Amanda Chatel, can’t tell the difference between an absolute value (as implied by the title) and a relative value (as measured by the survey). Based on this approach, a town than went from 1 to 2 kinky people would be kinkier than a town that went from 1000 to 1500 kinky people. I know most journalists find anything beyond grade school mathematics confusing (see any recent mainstream economics discussion for proof of that), but this is pretty poor even by their conventional low standards.

Personally if I had to pick the kinkiest town in the US, it would be between San Francisco and New York. Given that SF is considerably smaller, it would probably get the nod based on a percentage of population estimate. With that in mind, I’ll finish with a shot of San Francisco’s own Vinyl Queen. This image is from her tumblr and features tickle torture. That’s a love/hate activity for me. I often think about putting it on my hard limits list, but I do perversely enjoy the fact that many dommes seem to love tormenting me with it.

Tickle Torture with Vinyl Queen

Should you wish to be tickled or otherwise tormented by Vinyl Queen, her professional site is here

And that’s magic!

Can you trace the origin of your kinks or fetishes? Assuming that you have any. Although if you don’t, you’ve chosen a really odd site to browse.

The NY Magazine article discussed in yesterday’s post on the origins of people’s kinks, talked a lot about triggers and formative events. Things from childhood that could be directly linked to a later sexual preference. It would seem that some fraction of kinky people have very clear triggers, some can point to a range of influences but no single thing, and others have absolutely nothing in childhood to point at. In the comments to the post Miss Margo mentioned that a lot of her clients can identify triggers, while Vista represented the kinky person without that genesis moment.

Personally I’m in the same camp as Vista. I don’t have anything I can point to that twisted me kinky. However, I can very clearly identify the moment when I first showed interest in a kinky thing. Cue a wibbly wobbly screen and swirly special effects as I take you back thirty (ahem) or so years to a much younger paltego…

I grew up in a tiny village. It was basically two streets, one shop, a village hall and (since this is England we’re talking about) two pubs. This was a time when the internet was still the arpanet and British television consisted of 3 channels. Any kind of organized live entertainment was therefore a big deal. There was the occasional village fête, a Christmas carol concert, an agricultural show, etc.  Then one year, when I was around 5 or 6 years old, somebody organized a variety show in the village hall. I can’t remember most of it. It was probably the usual amateur song and dance acts with a bad comedian thrown in for good measure. But there was also a magic act. And that act has stayed with me to this day. It was very traditional. Card tricks. Linking rings. Endless streams of colorful handkerchiefs. And a woman in a sparkly costume getting sawn in half (actually the Zig Zag Girl trick). It was this final trick that particularly transfixed me. I can still remember my excitement as she climbed into the box and the magician tied things around her wrists and ankles. She was constrained, in peril, sacrificial and yet willing. He took away her control, yet she seemed to enjoy it.

From that moment on I always kept an eye out for magic acts and escapologists on television. There was something I found very enticing about the ropes, chains, padlocks and perilous situations that featured in their acts. But it wasn’t till I hit puberty, and discovered the idea of bondage (via my parents copy of The Joy Of Sex), that I had my ‘Aha!’ moment. I certainly don’t think the magic act I saw as a child was formative. The wiring was already in place, because it excited me in a strange way the instant I saw it. The discovery of kink just helped me to understand why I’d found that particular act in an otherwise long forgotten village show so compelling.

Femdom Magic Trick captioned by Servitor

It was surprisingly hard to find a magic themed femdom shot. A lot of the equipment for elaborate magic tricks looks awfully similar to the contents of most dungeons, yet there seems to be very little direct cross-over. In the end I turned to the prolific Servitor and this amusingly captioned picture. The ‘magician’ in question here is the lovely Lexi Sindel.

Nipple torment and good hair

I’m safely back in Seattle after an interesting few days in Vancouver. While I was there I was lucky enough to meet up with Mistress Eleise de Lacy. We had a few scheduling issues that cut into our time together, but the session time we did have was highly enjoyable. In a painful ass beating, cocking piercing, type of way. You know – all the good ways.

A close-up photograph of the piercing part of the session did feature on Mistress Eleise’s twitter feed. However, I’d rather not drive all my readers away with a cock piercing shot right on the front page, so I’ll reach back into her twitter archive and pull out an older and slightly less explicit image. Here’s something she entitled ‘Heavy nipple torment meets good hair day. Happy all round’. That seems to capture the moment pretty well.

Mistress Eleise de Lacy

Mistress Eleise has feature on this blog in previous posts (here, here and here). Her site Femme Fatale Films is a most excellent source of femdom erotica. Her professional site for arranging personal sessions is here.

Revisiting the pro/lifestyle discussion

O Miss Pearl is the latest blogger to venture into the debate around the intersection of pro and non-pro female dominants. She has two recent posts on the topic here and here. I’m going to try and avoid getting deep into the details of her posts. I’ve touched on similar issues in the past (e.g. a series of posts on kink and money here, here, here, a debate with DD here), and while I may quibble about parts of Miss Pearl’s posts, I do agree with the majority of her points. I’m a huge fan of pro-dommes in general, but I still think it’s a bad thing that they’re commonly seen as the primary representation of female domination.

I will say that I think it’s important in these discussions to avoid purely binary classifications. There’s not a single type of pro/client interaction, in the same way there’s not a single lifestyle interaction. These things exist on a continuum. There’s also not a single role that people are uniquely assigned. It’s often acknowledged that a pro-domme may also be a lifestyle dominant, but that same flexibility should also be attributed to her clients. It’s not wrong to occupy multiple categories. What’s wrong is to take a dynamic unique to one and apply it to another. Pro-dommes aren’t looking for a date and lifestyle dommes don’t exist to service male submissive fantasies.

Shortly after reading Miss Pearl’s thoughts I came across this post by Ms Maya Midnight. She’s talking about clients who ask for an ‘easy session’ and what a pain in the ass they usually are. Their definition of what an ‘easy session’ is rarely chimes with hers.

My definition of an easy session is one where I can wear and do more or less whatever I want — or at least have a very wide variety of enjoyable activities to choose from. It also means an easygoing, responsive sub with good communication skills who doesn’t top from the bottom. It does not require much if any prep.

I thought it made for an interesting statement in the context of the pro/lifestyle debate. Often the complaint from lifestyle dominants is that guys expect them to dress like a fetishists wet dream and focus with laser like intensity on the submissive’s very specific fantasy scenarios. i.e. The stereotypical pro/client scenario. Yet, for a pro, her best clients are those who care about the dynamic (rather than an activity or outfit), communicate well and actually submit. I suspect the above list of attributes would strike a cord with lifestyle dominants just as much as professional ones.

Ms Maya Midnight

The image is taken from Ms Maya Midnight’s website. She’s a NYC based pro-domme. Her interests and a link for booking a session is available here.

I don’t judge

Today’s post continues the amusing video theme. While yesterday’s was funny but a little silly, this one is funny with an edge. It’s called ‘Shit Girls Say to Dominatrices‘ and was created by Miss Ginger Millay. While ostensibly from the point of view of a pro-domme, there are plenty of comments in there that I’m sure lifestyle dommes will have also heard. The line and follow-up about accepting Jesus particularly made me smile.

The video’s creator is a NYC based pro-domme. I’m sure she’s fabulous at many aspect of her job, but I particularly like her librarian look as shown below. I never roleplay in scenes, but if there was ever a gateway scenario, it’d be Miss Millay in the library with an overdue book. Much more fun than Miss Scarlet in the study with the candlestick.

Miss Ginger Millay as a naughty librarian

The art of marketing

Someone dropped me a link to this video advertising Wodka Vodka. It’s an amusing commercial, featuring a woman getting jobs done thanks to a quick internet ad and a succession of helpful horny slaves.

However, it particularly caught my eye because of a post I recently stumbled across from San Francisco’s Vinyl Queen. In it she lists the efforts she goes to in order to get a client to actually show up at her play space. The vodka commercial is entertainingly unrealistic, but it wasn’t until I read her post that I realized the extent of the gulf that exists in professional BDSM between advertising and closing the deal. For a lot of her new clients…

These men ultimately hate the fact they can’t rid themselves of this part of their psyche, so it comes out sideways in their dealings with the ONE person who can offer them a brief respite from their desire to submit/serve/be tortured—you get the picture. So instead of my calendar booking up like a medical office, it fills up in a manner unique to this profession. Enter: The Hand Holdee

Despite my website being very detailed and clear about my interests and limits, the Hand Holdee loses all semblance of reading comprehension and memory. It’s like he WANTS me repeat what he KNOWS is on the computer screen in front of him. He is so conflicted internally that he has to hear the words he wants come out of my mouth so he will feel more secure in the days/weeks/or months leading up to our time together.

So for a pro-domme advertising and marketing is only a starting point. Ironically enough, and to tie it all back to the starting point of the post, for vodka marketing is pretty much the first, last and only point that matters. The basic product is interchangeable, varying only slightly depending what filtering is done and what water is added. So, as this fascinating article describes, how you market it is key. The Wodka of the kinky commercial is actually trying a new approach in that respect.

Scene from vodka commercial
Scene from vodka commercial

Uh huh huh huh

A few posts ago I was writing about domination for dummies. This post is the double converse of that – submissive who are dumb. It was sparked by the tumblr of Mistress Ouch and her series of posts on some of the dumb things wannabe clients say to her. I found them highly entertaining. A few of my favorites were…

“Hi Mistress, I want a really simple easy session and since all that other stuff you do is gross and weird you’re probably really glad to have such a simple easy boring session. Can I have a discount?”

“I disagree with your boundaries. I am very logical and your boundaries are very illogical. Let me use my awesome logic skills to show you how stupid and crazy your boundaries are. Why aren’t you agreeing with me? You’re stupid and crazy.”

“Wait, you’re letting me choose when I get to come in? You mean you don’t dominate me during the booking process?”

She has plenty more amusing example of obtuseness from the little s brigade. They’re well worth a read as examples of the kind of idiocy that pro-dommes have to regularly sort through.

I thought picking a picture for this post might be tricky until I stumbled on the one below. Butthead would make the stupidest submissive possible. I don’t think they ever did a Beavis and Butthead episode featuring a pro-domme, which feels like they missed a trick. The dialog just writes itself. It starts with “Uh huh huh huh. We’re totally going to do it. Come to Butthead”. Swiftly followed “Owww! Get off me you asswipe! That hurts”.

Butthead dreams of a dominatrix Daria

This image was never part of the TV show. It’s taken from a 1997 book called The Butt Files.

Identity crisis

I’m going to do something fairly foolish in this post and disagree with someone who doubtless knows their business far better than I do. Not to mention someone who lives locally, swings a mean single tail and could almost certainly kick my ass. I’m talking about Domina Victoria Rage and her recent post on safety and screening when setting up pro-domme sessions.

There’s a lot of good information in it, but I do have to take issue with her suggestion that clients should always use aliases. She goes onto say…

Come to me with a real sounding first and last name and that’s a red flag that you might take my privacy as lightly as you’ve taken your own.
There’s no reason on the planet why personal information should be exchanged on either side, anything you say is a gamble because both of you – just by seeing each other – are in a position to do damage to the personal life of the other.

Anyone I session with, or even just meet, will know my real name. I’ll typically provide it in the first few exchanges of emails. And a domme who expects me not to do that creates a red flag of my own. It suggests to me that she’ll not take my privacy seriously and that the onus is on me to always guard information from her. I’m absolutely sure that’s not the case for Domina Victoria, but I would find it really weird to not use my real name with a domme when I’m trusting her in so many other ways during a session. I would feel inauthentic.

While using an alias is pretty much universal for pro-dommes, it’s certainly not for clients. Some dommes demand a photographic id before a session, or will take credit cards, which instantly rules out fake names. And personally I don’t buy the argument about creating risk to personal lives. I’d be much more worried about crazy ex-girlfriends than pro-dommes. The former typically know your social circle, know your intimate sexual secrets and may have nothing to lose by spreading gossip. That’s a scary mixture. In contrast a pro-domme sharing information risks her professional reputation and therefore her livelihood. She has a strong incentive to keep information private. I’m not saying it has never happened, just that as things to worry about, it’s way down my list.

As an entertaining side anecdote on identify and verification – I once had someone complain that my professional linked-in profile didn’t have enough contacts. I had a 100 or so listed, but she said she preferred to see 200+ before she trusted it! This was someone I’ve never mentioned here, and someone who crossed a few of the legal lines that pro-dommes are typically so strict about. She was therefore far more concerned about legal entrapment and demanded strong proof of identity before she’d meet. I was highly entertained by the fact that my long neglected linked-in profile might suddenly be a kinky sex deal-breaker. I wish I’d know that when I was busy deleting all their spammy emails to update it!

Domina Victora Rage and a big strap-on

I’ll leave you with a shot from Domina Victoria’s blog. I love the contrast of the white skin, the red nails and the big glorious cock.