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Archive for April 2nd, 2009

Someone asked me recently how I set my rates, and whether it’s appropriate for people to negotiate with me on them. It’s a complicated enough question for me that I thought I’d blog about it, since that seems to be what the cool kids are doing these days.

For various reasons, it’s traditional for dominas to call their payment “tribute.” I’ve never been sure exactly why, but my guess is that it’s some combination of legal concerns and wanting to make it sound more ritualized. It may also be yet another way that dominas sometimes try to separate themselves from other sex workers – which is a subject for another post.

I set my tribute according to the going rate in my state; when I was starting out, I asked around and found that the hourly rate was fairly consistent. It was difficult in the beginning, though, asking for that much. When I first started out I had serious imposter syndome, and asking someone to pay a three-digit fee to see me seemed ridiculous. But I quickly got used to it, and after a short time could rattle off my tribute amount without so much as an “um” between the question and the answer. It still occasionally fascinates me, though, how clearly rare and desired the services of a professional dominatrix are. Are there really so few dominant women in the world, or even so few women who are willing to play the part with their partners from time to time? Or is it more reflective of the male need to stay in control and not reveal their vulnerability to anyone they have a stake in?

Again, a topic for another post.

I don’t want to speak for other women, but I believe it’s generally bad form to negotiate on tribute, especially if you’re a first-time client. Some of the more common annoying versions of this are people who try to offer me gifts instead of money, people who see if they can get a lower rate for multiple hours (only over 3 hours, for those who are curious), or who simply directly try to talk me down, as if I were a used car. It’s fairly simple: when a domina sets her rate, she believes that that is what her time is worth, and attempting to talk her down is likely to come across as if you think her time is worth less than that. I don’t recommend it.

I do occasionally, though, have someone approach me respectfully (usually via email), and tell me up front that they can’t pay, but would love to serve me in some way. For a long time I told these people, “Sorry, I don’t keep personal slaves,” but these days I often see if they would like to model for me. It’s a nice way for someone to get some scene time with me without paying the full tribute.

Once in a great while I will barter for session time, but only if the service you’re offering is very specific and something that I very much need. For the most part, though: I know it’s a lousy economy, but if you’re in need of the services of a pro domme, ante up. Anything else will probably not go over well.

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