Monday, September 14, 2009

in a past life...

I am often asked, "Are you a natural sub?" This is certainly not the type of question most people would expect lobbed at them over a glass of wine or appetizers but I am unfazed by it. It's difficult to date in the traditional manner because I don't want to show up wearing a designer dress and an albatross, hence why I resort to CraigsList and other dating sites where I can stipulate my interests up front.

When I was in grad school six years ago and found myself unemployed, a brief panic led me to consider working as a professional dominatrix after spotting an open call ad in the back of the Village Voice. Since I was studying feminist theory, I wanted to see if I could "put my money where my mouth is." After years of spouting that I surely had no issues with sex workers, I needed to know: did I?

I called my then-boyfriend and asked if he had an issue with it. He was thoughtful and considerate. And honest. "You can do whatever you want, honey," he replied, "but I don't want to know about any of it. At the end of the day, you come home to me."

The hiring process was this: lift up my shirt to show her my abs (or lack of). "You need a wig," I was told. My magenta streaked faux-hawk just wasn't dominant enough.

Training was ridiculous. The dungeon owner, a recovering heroin addict and time-ravaged, constantly lost her small baggies of marijuana, accusing her personal sub, of stealing from her, only to find them tucked in her wallet later. (Of course she never apologized.) One time, she asked me to go to the nearby cafe to get her a coffee and a cookie. When I returned, she threw a tantrum, insisting she could never drink from a medium sized cup. Oh, and she hates chocolate chip cookies! Perhaps had she told me this prior to my departure, this would have been avoided.

Things I learned during training:

- dominant women stand with their toes pointed out - never in
- never apologize
- no sex with clients
- handjobs are OK, but you call it "manual release"
- how to perform CBT, aka "cock & ball torture"
- how to tie a body harness
- how to properly flog a slave
- how to use hot candle wax
- how to use clothespins and other such devices to create pain
- i really like holding the riding crop, even claiming a favorite

In one training session, I used the wrong clamps on the slave's testicles and he bellowed. "I'm sorry!" I blurted out repeatedly. Yeah, never apologize.

During orientation we were told that if we were willing to "switch," we could make more money. Already realizing the dangerous situation I was willingly placing myself into, I wasn't about to increase my chances of being harmed at work. It's one thing to give a hapless girl a whip and set her up with a guy who worships and respects woman, it's another to give a strange man who wants to hurt a girl and is willing to pay for it a cat o'nine tails and tell him to "giddy up." (Yes, I am aware of the irony of this statement.) I declined, realizing that I was not about to add my sexuality to an already-sexualized job. What I was doing could surely be considered "sexy" by some, but I wasn't going to enjoy it at all. If I'd derived any sexual pleasure from my work, it could jeopardize my relationship with my boyfriend. I needed to keep everything compartmentalized.

And here I am now, not really more sure about anything other than I still really relish the feel of a riding crop - both holding one in my hand and now, against my bare ass.