The Other Side of Sex

by Emilie Branch

I interviewed a friend of mine who is a dominatrix, because I was curious about whether she finds her job empowering and what made her get into it. She was kind enough to answer my questions candidly, providing insight into a world I know relatively nothing about. 

1. How did you get into being a dominatrix?

I’ve always been a pervert. When I moved to New York, I pretty much immediately started going to burlesque shows, which are closely tied into local fetish parties. I was always kinky and had a rough sex life that went far beyond what my friends were doing, but I got my first taste of really beating someone up for fun in the play areas at those parties. Then I started modeling nude, which led to a stint doing lesbian and solo fetish porn, and when I answered an ad to do a film for my current dungeon’s website, they hired me as a Switch (professionally Dominant and submissive, sometimes but not always in the same session). After I established that I’m a shitty, bratty submissive who can’t keep my mouth shut when big stupid guys yell in my face, I went full-on Domme. 

2. Were you intrigued by it beforehand–what made you do it?

Always. First and foremost, I’m an artist– I’ve always drawn fucked up, dark shit. No one’s surprised that this is where I ended up.  As for what made me do it, I’m not going to say the money had no part in it; but there are other things I could have done for money. I actually really like the job. People tell me their deepest secrets, even more than they tell their therapists, best friends, and wives. I have a constant crystal clear window into people’s brains. It’s great material for my fetish art- go into work, get paid, get inspired, draw stuff, sell the art. Profit, profit, profit!

3. Did it match your expectations?

I don’t work in a huge dungeon. We have no cool features or huge equipment like a St. Andrew’s Cross or a medical room or anything, which is a bit of a disappointment when I hear about my friends in their big, fully loaded places. The difference is that they have to work long shifts and I only have to go in when I have a client (and I get paid more). I prefer that, for the most part, so it’s worth the exchange for now. As long as I have a punishment chair and an array of ropes and paddles and other knickknacks, I can make it work.  As for the clients, they matched my expectations in every way.

4. What’s the average time in a dungeon like?

It depends on the client. Sometimes I just sit there and we have a normal conversation about life- people will pay 200 dollars an hour to listen to me talk about my everyday life.  Other times, I walk in wearing head to toe latex and spend the next hour yelling and hitting and punching and kicking and spitting without coming out of character, even at the end when the session is over and I grab the bloody pathetic pulp of a man by his hair and try to throw him down the stairs to get him out of my sight. I get a lot of sessions with guys who just want to suck feet for a whole hour. Some want to smell my armpits or act like babies or eat my used toilet paper. Some want me to wear a frumpy dress and be a diaper changing Mommy who swaddles and breastfeeds them. It’s a mixed bag, there is no average.

5. Is it overtly sexual– ie dildos etc, or is it mostly just guys who want to be verbally abused and whipped?

I don’t do dildo stuff because it’s technically illegal and I don’t really care for it. I can instruct guys to penetrate themselves with dildos, but I won’t usually do it for them. Almost all of them jerk off during the session, so yeah, it gets pretty sexual; but I absolutely never touch a penis unless I’m torturing it.  That said, I have used my hands to make a man ejaculate… With sandpaper 🙂 Clients are not allowed to touch my vulva, anus, mouth, or breasts, and they need to ask permission before touching or worshipping any other part of my body.  

6. Do you find it empowering?

I guess I find it intellectually empowering… knowing more about what really goes on in people’s heads than most. I ask my clients a lot of questions about what drives them, where their fetishes originated, exactly what makes them tick and why, et cetera. It’s a kind of honesty that not a lot of people get to hear. I guess it empowers me as a woman in that I can get paid to do this job that no one would pay a man to do. It’s cool to just be some ratty little girl who can force a grown man to drive in from Jersey to buy me a candy bar and bring it to my building at 2am for no reason.

7. Is it easy to get taken advantage of?

It’s easy to get taken advantage of if you’re naturally passive or even a little naive about men. When I was a professional submissive, I’d occasionally have group sessions with other submissive girls. I saw a lot of shit. Guys will just stick a dick in your mouth and expect you to keep quiet; they’ll go as far as they can until you tell them to stop. You’d be surprised by how many girls don’t know how to tell a guy when to stop or when they’re uncomfortable.

When I got hired at my current place, it was me and one other girl coming in for the interview. I was told that I’d be going into “training”. We were tied up, bent over, and gagged. No real instruction was being given so I was immediately suspicious about the nature of this “training”. The other girl had previously expressed to me that she was naturally extremely passive and rarely spoke up. She kept glancing over and giving me uncomfortable eyes like she didn’t know what to do- we were both confused as to what was going on. Our boss took off his pants and began jerking off. I saw him pull her underwear down to look at her vulva and before he had the chance to go any further, I immediately untied myself, forced him to untie her, and made him hire us and pay us for our time and trouble. He apologized profusely and never tried that shit with me again. Sometimes he has the balls to ask me if I ever want to “train” girls with him, which is code for help him get a free jerk off session with a random submissive girl who doesn’t know that she can say “no”.  I’m not into that.

The only way I get taken advantage of is over the phone. I book my own clients, so I have to answer phone calls from a lot of freaks. Some of them will try to keep you on the phone for an eternity so that they can keep asking questions while they quietly jerk off, and sometimes for the sake of trying to book the client, I have to keep answering their dumb questions. I’m getting better at weeding out the phone wankers.

8. Do you think working as a Dom has made you stronger?

I am definitely better at standing up for myself. I don’t take any shit, ever, from anyone; maybe I took a little shit before I learned that I absolutely 100% don’t have to. I am better able to notice when others are trying to take advantage of me and I’m good at seeing through manipulative lies. I also have a quicker wit and am a better arguer from that whole coming-up-with-insults-for-an-hour-at-a-time thing.

9. Has it changed your relationships to men at all, (esp. in the beginning?)

It made me more confident that I’m a huge gigantic massive lesbian. I’d occasionally date men before being a Domme, but I was never physically attracted… whatever feelings or urges I was having that made me date them years ago have not surfaced since I’ve had the job. I guess I’m getting just the right amount of the masculine attention I’m subconsciously craving to satisfy my repressed Daddy Issues, without having to dole out empty affection or sleep with someone I’m not attracted to.

10. Any other crazy stories?

I had a Med School student who would pay me in his student loans for bottles of pee and bags of my used shitty toilet paper. His sessions would consist of an hour’s worth of me farting in his mouth. How did I fart for an hour, you ask? I prepared by eating everything in sight for at least a day. He started engaging in light stalking so I had to cut him off before it got out of control.  I also have a guy- who I actually just saw this afternoon- who is a Hasidic Jew whose fetish is being spat on and force-fed non kosher food. I get a lot of Hasids; I’d say 60% are into being peed on, and half of those don’t shower before they go home. I have a lot of stories about people who are sexually repressed by religion; those are the most outlandish fetishists.  As a submissive, I had a guy with a crazy sock fetish. He’d come in with hundreds of dollars worth of socks and make me try on each pair and say “daddy, do you think my feet look pretty?” Then he’d tell me to act like I was crying and he’d pretend to rape me, beat me, and make me thank him. The crazy part is that the most degrading part, for me, was having to wear a pink nighty and a headband. I felt retarded.

11. Do you have any advice for girls who’d like to do it?

Know your rights, speak up, don’t do anything that makes you uncomfortable, and have fun. If you’re considering doing this job solely for the money, become a stripper.  It’s easier and pays more and you don’t get covered in spit and sweat.

Artwork by the interviewee, who prefers to remain anonymous.

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