Why I Make A Big Deal About Not Being A Pro Femdom

Last time I talked at length about how the pro femdoms are an important part of the scene and that they weren’t an inherently bad thing. This time I’m going to talk more about a problem: conflating what professional dominants and non-professional dominants are as if it were identical.

We need to stop acting like there is no difference between sex work femdom and fun femdom. And we need to stop pretending that clients are the same thing as sub boyfriends/girlfriends and husbands/wives.

Prodoms are to lifestyle as porn is to real people sex. Yes, many women who work as pros are just as much a dominant as I am. They are as capable of dominating as I am. I’m not better than them. But right now there is a serious problem between confusing the standards of their work with my dominance and it needs to stop.

Prodoms, if they’re any good, deserve their self title as experts. Many of them are good sex educators. I would turn to them in a heart beat for advice on topping techniques- and they’re a good source of how tos on safe ties and walloping people. I might, tentatively ask them about weird sub behaviour, like aftercare need variances.

But they really can’t represent me accurately any more than I can say I can speak for them as sex workers just because we both spank or fuck. And the conflation is causing problems.

Like, for example, prodoms face industry competition of errm, full service sex workers (generally sneered at as “hookers with whips”) who dilute their brand and encourage customers who want sex and dominance to demand both, or who offer less competent ‘budget’ approaches to dominance and fetish. They tend to have a degree of professional interest in protecting the parameters of what is and isn’t dominance. For example, as sex workers, the Gordian loops of the law in many areas often allow for fetishism, but smack down on people who move into more common sexual practices. And prodoms are very particular about minimal price controls- this is their livelihoods and they feel about their right to a salary the same as any working person. But this conversation is extremely alienating to non-pros. You see I’m kind of everything they talk about despising in a dominant.

I fuck, suck, snuggle and do things at the cost of a man’s love and submission, basically a price they can’t beat. I want dominance to be indistinguishable from fucking, because for me, it is. And I don’t want to be an expert. I don’t want to spend thousands of dollars on tools and equipment and for men to want me because I am teh expert. I don’t want to have subs expect me to know them in an instant and decide my dominance based on that (are you fucking kidding me?).  They are supposed to love me because I am Pearl, not just because I am Miss. But being a professional is about convincing people to pay you by the skill under which you embody being the Mistress. You might put your own spin on it- you could even be a hairy legged, queer femdom and there’s a niche for male pros who generally serve male clients. But at the end of the day, even if the person also does it at a hobby, it’s a job.

And It’s incredibly hurtful and tone deaf to be told that my sexuality exists to give subs fuzzy feelings, and I’m good if I can and am fucking up if I’m anything other than dominance embodied. Not as in “good lover”, but the whole of my sexuality has been hijacked into something that gets men off and measured in terms of how much a (random) man will pay for it and my skill in opening up a random dude’s head. It’s been so tainted with the expectations of being a good pro that it kept me from self IDing as a dominant until my early 20s. Because I can be a fantasy object,  but that’s uh… the sort of shit you’d have to pay me to do, and not really a job I want anymore than I want to be client support at a call centre. Because pro-dom client pleasing has zero to do with my sexuality.

And the typical guys, even the polite ones, trying to send out client requests to me also have zero to do with my sexuality.

Now some pros may just be naturally promiscuous women (because why not!) who are simply paid to do what they love, but take away their paychecks or expect them to go dutch (as i would consider perfectly reasonable) and most of them would seriously curtail their activity. Talk about my fantasy of having a kept man and most people look at me like I had three heads. (Nobody blinks when femsubs want to be a kept pet, mind you!) The ability for there to be a whole industry built on things claiming to be my sexuality for the purpose of male sub pleasing had gone beyond a nice thing to have and into making me invisible.

Think I’m over reacting? It’s not hard to find examples.

The other night I was listening to the generally thoughtful Dr. Sue- specifically to her podcast about the pet peeves of dommes, in which she explained that “a good dom should be like an escort” (as opposed to a street walker). Leaving aside that street walkers are generally not doing it because they like being on the lower tier of sex work, I basically had to stop listening at that point. Imagine if they said “a good heterosexual woman should be like an escort, not a street walker”.

For me, professional dominants were the first introduction to me of what female sexual dominance was, which is like if I’d learned about the existence of sex as a whole as something you need to be paid to do normally. I don’t think I’m alone in this- in fact there’s a comment on the sister piece to this blog post to that effect. It’s part of what drove Bitchy Jones to spin out her marvellous words. And it’s got to fucking stop.

I don’t mean that prodoms should stop talking, teaching and sharing  and it’s not their fault that our world is broken, but sometimes I feel so damn lonely in my own sexuality. I feel alone in my needs, when guys can’t understand why bribing me with dishes or offers of money doesn’t make me feel dominant, when some of my male submissive friends can’t understand why I won’t go pro. When they can’t separate client pleasing behaviour from my behaviour and when it has to be a competition of whip skill and psychological intuition.

Being a pro is not about the giggly, strange and serious path of sexual self discovery, it’s being a vessel by which the submissive experiences his desires. No matter how they dress it up, while dominant-for-fun can be pros, it is inherently coloured by client wishes and cannot function without the client. My sexuality at least, can get by on masturbation during a dry patch where as pro-dominance is performative. And at the end of the day, while I like and respect many pros, I am not like them. I am a sister, not a twin, and we are only siblings in a bigger family, to which I am just as much a sister to a male dom, or a female sub or a male sub.

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14 Comments

  1. boyish male

     /  July 25, 2013

    For this reason I haven’t ever visited prodoms.

    w.h.

    Reply
  2. Neophyte

     /  July 25, 2013

    This post surprised me a little bit, not because I think you’re wrong about anything, but because the only places (except for when sensible people, like you, have pointed it out) I’ve ever encountered the attitude that pro domination is how all domination should be is with stupid wankers online. Everybody that I actually talk to about the subject at a bare minimum recognizes that lifestyle D/s is perfectly, completely 100 percent valid — and there are quite a few who would definitely say it is moreso than pro domination.

    And, like w.h., I have no interest in pro domination.

    Reply
    • It’s not just a prodom specific problem, but is also one that has to do with how we approach female sexuality. For example heterosexuality is largely shaped by the narrative of males providing and compensating females for their attention, regardless of orientation, and this is hyper exaggerated (much in the way that we often visually depict men as being much bigger than women than the actual biological ratios are). So if you’re a heterosexual women you already grow up with courtship narratives with inherent biases, for example presupposing that my male partners will have to invest in restaurant meals or luxury gift products, while I am expected to spend several hundred dollars and many hours every year on cosmetic based gender performance. The trade off is also immense performance pressures on men to be bigger, better and stronger that is probably one of the things that abrogates their lifespans in relation to women, now that cervical cancer and childbirth are less of a problem.

      But when you get to female dominance, there is a definite uniform that was developed with male consumption in mind, and the stereotypical script of pop-culture dominance is very much developed based on things that came out of Georgian and Victorian era porn and sex work. Some of this is being in a culture that decided that women are the dress up gender, and the gender that gets Cosmo’s man pleasing sex tips, but female dominance is objectified in a way that is hostile to women, when dominant is not a description of your desires but rather a role you put on like a leather corset.

      So I started out with a proto-sexuality that, as as a kid, had an unusual obsession with men in distress and bondage, from an imaginary male friend who got into scrapes, to my favourite children’s media involving a lot of captive men. Of course as I developed sexually in my teens I went exploring and that’s where I ran into the ‘script’. “Wicked” woman in fetish clothing going through an elaborate song and dance based on some highly specific activities that uh… generally were not “She smiled at the defiant male in chains, now here’s a close up of him struggling and moaning”, and were most definitely about watching what basically goes down between pro and client with the camera in her tits 95% of the time. It’s hard enough to find lady porn, outside romance novels, and finding femdom that’s made for women, that also happens to fit into my kinks, is really, really hard!

      Now this was the late 90’s and early 2000’s, and at the same time I was also exploring my own masochism and (circa 2002) losing my virginity, etc, etc… And being an average teenager in a small town, although my primary high school boyfriend was kinky he was a dom (tedious but workable), so I cut my teeth doing sex chats in RPG settings. I learned my sexuality was weird, even for D/s, so whatever I was, it wasn’t a sub (although it was easy to control people through being a fake perfect subbie). And trying femdom was dull, dull, dull.

      And when you turn to the teaching resources for female dominants and getting outside teenage games, suddenly a choir of pro-doms perk up and sing. Since the real BDSM scene is heavily in bed with sex work, any community is going to have lots of pros, online or off. These days you have things like Uniquely Rika, but I routinely get solicited by people who don’t make the distinction and prodoms go out of their way to bill themselves as “real”. It was really, really confusing, and like I said, lonely.

      Reply
  3. random young domme

     /  July 25, 2013

    Oh boy, I need to comment again because some of the stuff you said here is very similar to my own experiences. I hope you don’t mind if I ramble here, I don’t often get to talk about this stuff to other people.

    I’m in my early 20’s and only few years ago realized that I’m sexually dominant and sadist, despite having fantasized about men in distress for pretty much as long as I can remember… I grew up in very liberal environment so that was not the problem. I was exposed to porn early and of course knew about femdom porn but it never occurred to me that I could enjoy something like that (I still don’t). No, the only type of porn I liked was gay porn (including m/m fanfiction). I had no interest towards heterosexual sex and basically assumed I just was some freak who didn’t want sex or romance but could masturbate to two guys fucking. What I saw about how straight sex worked (women submissive, passive, objects) and even how dating worked (I always hated the way men pursue and women are passive) made me very uncomfortable. I never could really understand WHAT it was that was so off about it all, I just knew I would’ve preferred to play the role of a man in a relationship.

    Which lead me to wondering if I was a lesbian (nope, not into ladies) or even transgender (no, I like being a woman). I went trough a lot of confusion because on some level, I wanted sex and I wanted love but I couldn’t imagine myself in a “normal” relationship with a man.
    The realization to me came when I saw some women talking online about who they identified when they watched gay porn. For some reason I had always just assumed that of course everyone identified with the top! After all the bottoms in gay porn, often are prettier and the camera focused on them more, shooting form the POV of the top. The tops to me were completely interchangeable, I never cared about what they looked like. But no, many women identified more with the bottoms or didn’t identify at all -actually, very few seemed to identify with the top. Which kinda led me to realize that it was seeing hot guys getting fucked and dominated that did it for me – I was sexually dominant.

    Then I tried to get into femdom porn and couldn’t. I was surprised by how different F/m stuff was from M/m and M/f, both of which have WAY more elements I like. My preferences are opposite of much of what is common in femdom:
    * I do not feel powerful as a sex object, as being desired or lusted after – I feel powerful when I MYSELF desire my sub, when I objectify him and lust after him. Usually the dommes power is supposed to come from being desired and little else.
    * Like you, I prefer to pay and spoil and like the idea of a “kept man” and I find it powerful position, like I’m “owning” the sub a bit with my money, while if they are paying me or bribing me then I OWE them sex, which gives them the power. Well, this is how I see it and it’s kinda like how men sometimes say that every woman is a whore because it’s so common for men to pay drinks, dinners, gifts, roses etc and get sex in return.
    * I like to fuck, period. I like passionate, hot sex. I don’t like chastity or denial in general.
    * I want to objectify my sub without feminizing him, I want him to be able to enjoy being desired without becoming a woman. I have zero interest in dressing in domme-gear. I want HIM to be the object.
    * I want to be able to worship and adore my sub in the way that male doms can, as inspiring, beautiful, not as worthless or ugly. It’s silly but I’ve always wanted a sub who is like a “muse” to me, not a pathetic worm or whatever.

    I could go on and on but this comment is too long already. Yes, it’s lonely. Nobody wants to be a “freak among freaks” which I how I at least feel when it comes to kink. I don’t want a man who sees me as sex worker, or a blow up doll with a whip. I don’t have the energy to change guy’s views because they were fucked up by porn and pro-domme culture. I can’t and don’t want to teach my sub to SEE ME AS A HUMAN BEING. Vanilla women aren’t expected to do that, why should I? And this is such a common issue, so many sub guys (not all but many) come with so much baggage that personally I have found it easier to date vanilla men who have submissive nature but who have not been “ruined” by femdom cliches.People who get into the kink scene get there because they like what they see. Those of us who don’t, who want something different, tend to stay out and of course it makes it hard to find each others.

    Thank you so much for writing about this, I’m sure there are many women out there who agree with you. I know I feel a bit less lonely after having read your writings and that’s a good start! 🙂

    Reply
    • Rambling encouraged!

      I guess I’m not the only one who likes making men into my muses, am I?

      Reply
  4. I found myself nodding at various points throughout reading this post. It is exactly the reason I moved from being a Pro-Domme with paying clients to being a ‘highly-tributed lifestyle Mistress’. As a result, I’m much happier and feel as though I’m able to express who I really am as a Dominant Woman 🙂

    Reply
    • Hmm, precisely! I think it’s perfectly possible to be a sex worker and dominant, just that client expectations are not the same thing as a relationship. It would be like expecting your girlfriend to act like a highly skilled high end waitperson, complete with the apron and sensible standing shoes.

      Reply
  5. GimmeShelter

     /  July 29, 2013

    It warms my heart to learn that there are women out there who like the idea of a kept man. 😀

    I will never attempt to live that fantasy out. Being dependent is _not_ a good thing in real life.

    But it is a real turn on. I always thought it would be grand to see that “traditional” family structure flipped and the man being confined to the house (or whatever few social circles the wife approves of).

    Reply
    • The challenge is accepting that two income homes are the norm these days, so being willing to allow the sub room for healthy adult self expression and income earning, while keeping the supportive mindset.

      Reply
  6. When I was pro-domming, most of the guys were meat to satisfy my sadism, apart from negotiating the scene and the aftercare, it was clear cut, a scene and then we go our separate ways. I don’t have any commitment and they have none. Maybe a bit like a guy sees a one-night stand, just without the sex. I sometimes really miss that….

    Reply
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