It’s the week before Locktober, that month when all good boys (and bad boys) hope that a somebody in the spirit of the season, will help them enjoy a little tease and denial.
Net result, a slight uptick in men wistfully publicly dreaming of a bossy lady taking charge, being the approximate equivalent of Valentine’s day for femdom. “Is there a Miss, a Mistress, a Ma’am, who would want little old me?”
And that trots out the same old wishful thinking: what if, out of the blue, a woman wanted to take charge and provide the denial role for one, or a harem of men?
And of course the usual insistence is made, that she be really, really into it and prove that by being free.
Thence comes anguish, why is easy to find femdom only for sale?
Ok, let’s unpack: Why not? What’s going on with all the sex work attached to femdom? Why charge? Why can’t straight guys easily get someone to dominate them for free?
The lazy answer I get is that there’s a ratio imbalance, and in the same breath, that femdoms are fake if they ask for any remuneration. Sites catering to such dynamics, but with a low barrier of entry rapidly clog up with a soft whine “are their any real dommes on here who don’t charge?”
While sex work has always included people who were indifferent to through to disdaining the tasks that make up its labour, I posit rather that the circumstances that make any sex work exist are largely compensations that deal with both the variable artistic quality to audience demand, and the lack of protections for promiscious/ sexually open women.
What does dominating “For Free” mean anyway?
The fantasy of “Free” is that one is so attractive that without the use of currency, one’s partner is so enamored of a person that they fixate and tend to your particular need, getting back warm and fuzzies or erotic hurrah sensations in reply.
Next door to the Free argument is that your own inherent attractiveness should be payment enough- assuming that money makes any social interaction complex and insincere. Ironically the claim is often that it cheapens things to bring money into it, placing the presence of a dollar figure as below priceless.
So, let’s unpack the Free = Authentic false belief, that anything we are passionate about we cannot receive currency over.
I mean, obviously that’s bullshit, we use giving people things including ludicrous amounts of money, as some of the most ultimate measure of someone’s worth. From the bloated salaries of corporate executives to dropping a tip into the hat of a street busker, money means you approve of a behaviour or person.
And, what about me?
I believe the prodommes who say this is their sexuality because I try to take people at their word, but also because I know my own erotic creative overlap into sex work is both a labour of love and a thing I like to get paid for.
So- I enjoy writing fiction, but I am good enough to do it for $$$ so I also do that. Selling my fiction, as well as giving my femdom stories for free, both give me warm social fuzzies.
Let’s be 100% cards on the table. I know that my fiction (and writing) causes both orgasms and emotional feelings of comfort. Both bring me positive attention, and knowing people do donations and kindle book sales to support my sexy art tells me I am special and popular and people love my stuff.
If I didn’t market myself and aggressively pursue attention, the nature of the signal to noise ratio of online content means my work (and thus my voice) would probably go unnoticed. I am loud and have confidence in my value, but more than that, I want you to notice and read my stuff.
That’s a lot closer to the reality of professional femdom.
A lot of what you are paying the pros for these days is availability, risk management and sustaining the lifestyle to do the whatever. I do caveat I ain’t a pro and the pros speak for themselves better than I could, but I am a femme human and being sexy is dangerous… and expensive.
For example, costwise, just as a sexy lady making just herself happy, I have spent about $1000 on lingerie and fetish wear in 2020, almost half of that on latex alone- that’s on top of the hair and makeup- and I’m pretty frugal for a woman who bothers to dress up. On the safety front, I also have to be paranoid and secretive- my overt presence, even an erotica writer draws both social condemnation, persistent sexual harassment, and depending on my visibility, ever increasing threats.
Death threats, boundary crossing attempts to find and force a personal relationship, you name it. Being female shaped, particularly sexually in public and pestering and wishes for violence happens, largely unchecked, except by your own actions.
Put a face picture out there, and the abuse and negative attention increases exponentially. Sorry, that’s the breaks, not only might people try to shame and hurt me for having my sexuality, but for not hiding it well enough.
I also spend a couple of hundred dollars a year on web hosting for my blog- although not as active as it was, traffic isn’t free for me. Living, itself, isn’t free, and I am compelled to occupy myself working some way or another to pay for everything.
The Economics of Being a Slut
Sex work tends to exist in the overlapping area of being on the edge or past mainstream acceptability, and significantly limits your options for most women if you are found out. That being said, it isn’t the easy industry the average misogynist seems to think it is. As much as you see a sea of lingerie clad “fakes” doing drive by insults, the economics of sites like OF is that most of these women are losing money.
No really, unless you are very good at marketing yourself, sex work isn’t just real work, it’s got a very poor pay off prospect. This goes to conventional old school porn, where being an actress meant neither controlling any part of the copyright or distribution (much less royalties), to the realities of things like stripping, or even the so called full service sex work.
Leaving aside discrimination on the basis of looks, and the usual ugly age/race/gender biases in paying porn… Payment takes both luck, sales talent and a number of factors otherwise typical of any other business.
If you add up marketing effort and work out their hourly, for most OF models, it’s actually a significantly worse take home than grabbing a few hours at McDonalds or similar. They are, in effect, giving a product partially for the feeling it gives to them in pursuing the dream and maybe a pay off.
Ok, but prodommes?
Domination-for-pay has this factor too. You are managing a client base, advertising, etc… probably trying to juggle complimentary revenue streams (eg clips, phone sex, etc…). It’s likely that you are renting a dungeon by an hour, if that’s expected (although some obviously own their own space), buying and maintaining gear, etc…
None of this is required to be a dominant, however. But, it is required if you have any hope of making a consistent amount of money. And the money pool is small- only a slice of guys can afford either occasional or regular by the hour “sessions”.
Prices go down, ironically not scaling with the actual work or risk. Indeed there’s a certain unfairness that the people in the highest prestige positions in sex work are likely to get the treatment of the most legitimacy and ease in crossing into work that isn’t stigmatized.
I don’t think adult content consumers realize this.
A lot of guys assume that because there are many pros they can see advertising that they are a licence to print money- its not. For a minority of women you can make a decent middle class living (or even be wealthy), but like vanilla modeling or being an instagram influencer, it’s not exactly the most reliable pay off.
Sexist idiots, in particular, labour under the idea that all women enjoy a sort of sexually motivated UBI. I don’t think I need to spend much time combating the delusions of misogynists with detailed facts and citations, but I do think it does help to look at the ingredients on the salami even if we don’t tour the sausage production facility.
The other sad truth is that the encouragement to go pro can sometimes be a form of self defence. To be a sexually out there woman means wrangling all the same creeps, and putting a price sticker on it can simply be a means to sustain a literal lifestyle that’s incompatible with being perceived as socially acceptable.
For example being doxxed won’t go any better/worse for my lack of official sex work. I’m still the nasty slutty pervert lady. Femdoms exist in a perfect storm of representing a certain phobic projection to a certain kind of man, while getting smacked with the “whore” stigma, is it any wonder that real or not, they charge?
So why don’t you go pro, Miss Pearl?
In my case I don’t do prodom work, but that’s partly because I don’t have the attraction to the scenario that would involve. Am I asked to? Frequently.
The overlap between dominatrix as a viable commercial archetype, and my sexuality is not close enough to justify it. I don’t dislike all of it!
For example as a writer, even in erotica, the hot thing is incest. I could write incest porn and more people would like my work better. But… I dun wanna.
I got out of vanilla copywriting because the pay to effort was shit. I don’t write incest porn because my personal perception of it being gross (victim of real life incest) isn’t worth the uptick in happy readers.
For me, the other askew is I don’t personally like the two conditionals of pro-domme work, both the necessity of certain conformity, and an availability that makes me squick hard.
Conformity isn’t falseness.
I am overdue to write about the other femdom audience. It’s a whole essay on its own, that we exclude women in conversations about our own physical and aesthetic presentation… even though we are actually the (snrk) dominant voice by dint of the whole nature of contemporary gender roles.
To put it on a napkin: although the economics make male patronage favour certain modes and aesthetics, whether designing, assembling or performing the aesthetic, fashion is a woman’s language. It is so female coded that men existing in our spaces as creators and taste makers cannot escape at least the presumption of queerness.
Nailing that down, it hits the artists dilemma: what sells is nessarily pragmatic. Just as the technically submissive enjoy more real power in a BDSM sex act by virtue of the fact that that their submission isn’t passive, he who pays the pegger picks the pipe.
Where we go wrong is saying that he composes the entire scenario. It is possible that clients can create it as a form of vanity theatre, the Sun King (or Sun Kink, if you will) in the centre of his ballet of courtiers. But, again, composers, costumers, set designers, advisors, etc… all express various points of agency.
I am no baroque ballerina, but that is a lot more personal pathos than a dislike of every bit of dance. Supposed social structures and group participation in a whole, to me are fundamentally a reminder of my being broken. Trauma or Autism, I cannot hear the beats that everyone else seem to.
I mean, this makes me a unique kind of fraud, because I pass pretty well as a relatable rebel. Only once you spin out the #fuzzyslippers and #pyjamadomme to its extreme, I fall out of step with the chorus.
I am correct that the monopoly that the current structure has on defining femdom (looking at you Annie Nomis, you Academic Elise Sutton) is hot garbage, but “Real Femdom” is just another trap of limited definition. I am not going to be any more happy if the entirety of my sexual performance is directed by that norm set more so than the Dominatrix one.
Back to the point at hand, however, that norms, themselves, help us bridge the gap of communication with the unique selves. Costume, title, tool- all are overlays onto bridging the isolated self into the other.
I am reticent to admit but one of the places I am most able to connect to others is through my sexuality. The intensity of the moment, a free ability to suddenly lose the bewildering metaphorical wall of noise that most people are and just be merged as the self overlaps over my victim is a sensation of joy beyond my body.
Some sort of conclusion
When you pay a sex worker, they are no more or less fake than anyone you interact with. What you are paying for is the risk and the effort involved to make themselves work for you, outside of the pure creative work.
Being upset people ask for payment is being unaware you exist in a world that largely caters to your desire and asking for people to make it even easier for you- there would be more out there lifestyle femdoms… if you dealt with that pesky sexism problem.