There are a lot of differences between doing something professionally and doing it for fun. I was arguing this with a friend the other day, and now that I have thought about it I think I can explain it better.
First, being a Domme in your personal life is nothing like doing it professionally because it’s for fun. You get to set up scenes you want to play out, and pick who you play with, and all kinds of others awesome things. So of course, it’s fun to be a Domme when it’s not your job. (And maybe you’ve noticed that almost anything seems fun until you do it for a living.)
So for all you Dommes out there who have never worked professionally as a Dominatrix, of course it seems like it’s all fun and games.
The thing is, here’s what being a Professional is like:
I get to work and there is already two clients waiting. When I say clients, I kind of mean creeps. I know I shouldn’t say that, but I got a creeper vibe off half the guys that came to see me. So great, I pick one and we go into my room of the dungeon. I have a small table where we sit down, and I take out the standard consent form, which I have every single person sign before every single session. It says that I am not legally responsible for any physical harm that may occur during the course of the scene, and it asks questions they must answer about what kind of scene they are looking for.
We go over he form together and make sure I understand what type of scene they are looking for. Then I get out the checklist. It is a list of about 100 things that may or may not happen, depending on the client’s desires. On MY checklists, certain things were always crossed off, such as any part of me being penetrated by anything at all. Other Dommes made other choices and also made more money. I respect that, but chose not to do it.
So, then we know what kind of scene and what things will be done or not done. I name a price and collect the money up front, and then I go out and wait while the client prepares. (Usually taking clothes off and getting into position or whatever.)
I come back (leaving the door open so my DM can check in on me).
Now, let’s use an example of a common fetish that I had to deal with. I’ll describe a scene I did for a guy we’ll call Mr. Chocolate. So, he wanted very much to be treated like a puppy. He would do this in his underwear, with a collar and leash on.
He’d jump up and I’d say “No! That’s a bad dog!” And I’d use my riding crop to smack his butt. And then he’d pout and look cute, so I’d say “Aww, I can’t stay mad at you! Come here.” And I’d get down on the floor and let him crawl around and put his head on me and lick my face while I petted him.
He came to see me several times, and we played out scenes where I taught him tricks and punished him when he did them wrong; while rewarding him with treats when he did them right. He also came to me once obviously upset, and spent the whole time making little whimpering noises while I petting his head and told him he was a good puppy.
Mr. Chocolate had this need to be a puppy, and so my job was to play the scenes out with him. Would I have chosen to do those things on my own? No. I’m not really into pet play. (I do call my husband pet, and I do pet him, but he never pretends to be a dog and I don’t want him to.)
That’s just one example. I had guys who just wanted to be flogged for hours. I had guys who waned to be spanked, and made to count each whack. I had guys who wanted to be hurt in any way I could think of until they “felt something.” Sometimes, it is about the pain.
But in my experience, mostly, it’s about the control. Someone wants to give themselves over to you wholly and completely and be free from all responsibility or worry. And because they are playing for it, the experience, it will be on their terms.
How is this different from a personal relationship, you ask?
Well, here are the main things as I see it:
1. Focus. Yes, in private the sub still gives themselves over to you wholly and completely. However, they generally want to please you, rather than having the focus on them being pleased. Even when you do focus on just pleasing them, they still do what they can to make you feel good too, because you are their master and they want to please you.
2. Sex. There is usually sex or penetration of some kind or oral contact or something in a personal BDSM relationship. In general it is frowned upon in a professional context. This is because back in the day when I worked as a Domme*, the dungeons were in private houses and as long as there was no sex, it was legal. If sexual contact happened, it could be considered prostitution and there could be jail and fines and such.
3. Respect. A person who is paying you doesn’t respect you probably, even if they have to act like it to make the scene work. And you don’t respect them all that much either, since you can’t help wondering why they don’t get a girlfriend that will put them on a leash and take them for walks.
*Note: In the 1990’s the internet hadn’t quite created things like fetlife.com and collarme.com yet. There weren’t BDSM meetups just advertised, and going looking for them could be scary. Communities that you could talk about kink with were rare. Kink was less accepted, and more persecuted. Dungeons like I used to work out might not exist anymore (I haven’t been to one like that in years!)
See, nowadays, you can just meet someone to do kinky things with, so there is no need to pay a girl to do things to you.
So now, dungeons like the CSPC are places where people can go alone or as a couple and do kinky things in a professional dungeon setting, without needing to pay for time with a Dominatrix.
It’s a better age, but I feel like it renders people like me somewhat obsolete. I just teach now. After all, I got good at speaking frankly about kink during all those scene negotiations I used to do. So, it’s easy for me to talk practically about things that embarass others. It’s therefore easy to do workshops and things like that.
Anyway the point is, working as a Domme isn’t the same as being a Domme for fun. If I’ve failed to explain why then I am sorry. I tried to do my best. But as someone who has Dominatrix friends who are both pro and personal, (as well as having been both) all I can do is promise you that I know what I am talking about. It’s not the same.
Anyway, I hope that you guys know I write these posts with a smile. If you met me in person you’d see that even though I can snap right the fuck into serious mode when I have to, I really am mostly a goofball.