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So it may come as a surprise to no one that now that I’ve quit the pro-domming business, I’ve been having wicked fantasies about doing terrible, terrible things to lovely boys and men. I mean, it’s like the old joke about the gynecologist, right?

Well, sort of. See, I’ve had a thing about Not Doing Strap-On Sex At Work for the entirety of my tenure as a pro. It was just something I didn’t do. Now, part of the reason I didn’t do it was because it crosses the line into sex: in the state of Massachusetts, if you penetrate an orifice with anything, it’s defined as sex. Good law, for a lot of reasons: it was developed in order to make rape cases where some Neanderthal fucks stuck a shot glass into a woman prosecutable. But problematic law for people doing domination, where one of the most popular items on the menu is being fucked in the ass with a dildo.

For the most part, though, the legal thing was more of an excuse for me not to have to address the real issue, which was that doing strap-on sex was too intimate for me. It was one of the boundaries I set for myself early on, because I didn’t want to be having sex with my clients. I was aware that the other things I was doing were sexual, but I didn’t realize until later the subtle effects that it would have on me. I was prescient enough to know, however, that having strap-on sex with clients would be too much for me.

Why, you might ask? Well, here’s where I break from the crowd completely. I fully appreciate Bitchy’s complaint that strap-ons are not only weird because they imply that power and sexual dominance = having a cock (which I agree is a crock of shit), but that they don’t provide any pleasure to the wielder. I also am pleased with Eileen’s reply wherein she sings the praises of strap-ons as separate from gender identity and recommends them as a tool of dominance comparable to a singletail, a needle, or a fist. But nobody I’ve yet stumbled across (except for, perhaps, Sinclair, but the butch perspective there isn’t one that gets a lot of play in BDSM circles) has gone into anything resembling my own experience of the act.

That is, I fucking love it and it makes me come, in a way that nothing else can.

Because get this: I have a cock. I always have a cock, whether I’m strapping one on or not. It’s non-corporeal, of course, but it’s part of, if you will, my energetic anatomy. Without getting too deeply into spiritual experience, it is a simple fact that at times, I can feel myself penetrating another human being, even when I am not physically doing so. And yes, they feel it too – the force of my will and intention pressing into their bodies, invading them.

For me, the energetics of topping someone will sometimes bring out the hidden masculine in me. I suppose if I wanted to be all Jungian about it, I’d call it my animus. I become more aggressive, my voice deepens, and the desire to possess rips through me. When I strap on a cock, it becomes a very real extension of my body, and when I fuck with it, I don’t want a vibrator inside the harness or anything penetrating me – I just want to fuck. It’s usually not too long into the action that I start to come and come, in a way that even feels distinctly masculine: unlike the internally focused waves that thrash through me when, say, I’m being fisted, I feel energy shooting out from me, into the other person, as white lightning shoots up my spine.

Now. I’ve been reluctant to talk about this, in part because it seems a bit woo-woo, but also in part because I don’t want to give the impression that I think dominance is essentially male, or that penetration is essentially dominant, or any of those bugaboos that come up when we talk about female dominance and try to separate it from gender.

But I do want to record my experience here, because I don’t see a lot of women out there talking about how intensely pleasurable strap-on sex can be for the woman wielding. I also know that my experience is not every woman’s experience – far from it.

But I am out here, feeling this, experiencing this genuinely as part of my rather complex sexuality. For the record, I also often come sympathetically when fisting someone. But this experience is entirely different, separate. It is, at least in part, about awakening my masculine self, my butch self, which is buried deep in a seriously femme facade.

And this is why I didn’t do it at work. I couldn’t fuck men I didn’t know any more than I could let them fuck me. And there weren’t many men (not any, by my last count) that wanted me to fuck them while I wore jeans and a leather vest and boots.

But incidentally…if you are such a man, comment here. I’ve been having the most remarkable fantasies lately…

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I’ve been thinking a lot about why I stopped doing professional domination per se, and the more I talk about it with friends and loved ones, the clearer it becomes.

So I thought I’d talk about it here a bit.

When I talk about this, I talk about a number of different reasonings for quitting: the work was no longer serving me, the work was subtly harming me, I was concerned about the effect I was having in the world. But what it all comes down to is one concept that permeates all the smaller reasons: I seek greater integration.

In the world. Reading Bitchy started it for me: an increased awareness, or rather putting words to the awareness, that the world I was involved in is fucked up beyond belief. While I often disagree with her categorical statements (which, to her credit, she spends a lot of time qualifying by reminding readers that they apply only to her), I felt something huge come together in my head when I first started reading her. I’d always had the feeling, since I started the pro work over four years ago, that there was something that felt vaguely wrong about it to me. I watched other pros interact with their long-term slaves and felt uncomfortable. I was unassuaged by those dommes’ assurances that the slaves “loved it” when they got bitched out, yelled at, treated like indentured-servant dirt. At the time I figured, “hey, not my kink” and resolved not to do things that way. But I continued to be creeped out by what I saw: pro-seeking submissive males’ total deference to all women, whether earned or not (so-called “female supremacy;” I came to call it “pedestalizing”); many pro dommes’ senses of entitlement and ungluedness from the real world (my mentors in this business were rare exceptions, which is possibly why they wanted to help me to begin with); and the overall unsexiness, to me, of the whole thing. It’s worth noting that I got fewer clients, both in-person and on Niteflirt, because I wasn’t willing to be a total bitch.

The world of pro dommes and paying submissives was severely un-integrated, it seemed to me. As a marketplace, that world divorced for me what was sexy about female dominance and male submission and consistently revealed itself to me as chiefly a monetary exchange, in which the woman received monetary gain, and the man received a simulacrum of the pleasure of true submission to a loving partner. Just another aspect of the world’s oldest profession, I suppose, but I was never fully comfortable moving in that world. I didn’t travel much, found going to parties geared toward pro relationships uncomfortable, and only really dipped my toes into creating femdom porn. I’m still wondering if I’ll ever make videos again; if I do, I’m curious to see what would happen if I did them on my own terms, rather than trying to cater to the market. Which brings up another point: it’s curious to me that the biggest market for femdom porn is also the world of forced feminization, heavy humiliation, and female supremacy. Where, I wonder along with Roberta Flack, is the love?

In my sessions. Once in a while I would have a real connection with a client – a feeling of mutual attraction resulting in a really fun session for both of us. When this happened I was often left feeling a little sad: here was someone I’d happily play with for free, in “real life,” and I’d never even be able to tell him my real name, and he probably wouldn’t want to know it.

And that was the best of times. Most of the time, I felt kind of like a jukebox. Men I mostly found unattractive would pay me to enact various scripts in the standard femdom canon, and I would enact them well and spiritedly, but leave sessions feeling drained. I’m always amused when I read memoirs that include the subject doing pro domme work, and they talk about how easy it was. Sure, if you don’t have any feelings, I guess. The sessions I had with men I wasn’t attracted to left me with various feelings: the worst was feeling totally creeped out, which luckily didn’t happen often. But most of the time I again felt sad: many of these men were afraid to reveal their kinks to their partners, were in essence cheating on their wives, or had told their partners about it and it had made them sick. While I was happy to be able to provide a service that these men could not have fulfilled elsewhere, I was frustrated to be contributing to a culture of dis-integration, to be essentially putting a band-aid on the gaping wound of self-hatred these men were often bearing. Again, the woundedness of the pro world impressed itself upon me: the availability of pro dommes props up the idea that being a submissive man is shameful and needs to be hidden away from real life.

It was always a great joy when I saw the rare client who was brand new to kink and wanted to try it out safely, or whose partner knew what he was doing and approved but was uninterested herself, or who was clearly at peace with his submissive desires and only sought a professional because it was what was practical in the moment. If only these were the norm.

But in myself. I found my true desires becoming decoupled from my actions. Things I used to enjoy: dressing up in fetish gear, receiving foot worship, flogging someone – became associated with work and desexualized. Contact I had with people at work was in fact intimate, but I knew the boundaries of that intimacy and cut it off from my heart and head. That leaked over into my personal life, where I started finding true intimacy more difficult to engage in.

Integration. Connecting the heart, the crotch, and the head. Connecting sexual desire with the rest of life. Connecting sex to intimacy, submission to respect, domination to desire.

Someone I love dearly said it outright the other night, in a way I never could have myself: “Essentially, you were doing something that was against your nature.”

Yes. I’ve never been one for casual sex. I’ve had whirlwind romances, but I’ve never been much for sex with strangers, particularly if it wasn’t going to be followed up on. I have a general rule: if I don’t think I’ll want to do it again, I don’t tend to do it the first time.

I knew the danger of this going into this work, which is why I had very strong boundaries about not having sex with clients. But I didn’t realize to what extent I was having sex with clients: this work is a kind of sex, too, at least if you’re doing it right.

And that’s why I’m taking the work in the direction I’m taking it: I want to truly help people, not just keep them limping along. I never wanted to be a triage doctor; I wanted to be someone who helps the mostly healthy achieve optimum health.

And I no longer want to have sex with strangers for money. I want to help strangers have better sex with each other.

Help me help you. 🙂

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I realize lately that I’ve been feeling an uncomfortable internal conflict over two major lines of thought I’ve been reading in the blogrolls.

One: the argument that those of us who are kinky and whole have been having with the radical feminists over whether submission is okay for women (In case you’ve been sleeping: the kinkyfeminists say yes, the radfems say you must be brainwashed by the patriarchy).

The other: why is the general image of male submission, and for that matter, female dominance, so fucked up that both truly dominant women and truly submissive males almost don’t want to identify as such and feel that their sexualities are being hijacked?

Now, it’s certainly true that one of the reasons I stopped doing professional domination is because I wanted to stop contributing to the mainstream image of what female dominance and male submission is. With a few lovely exceptions, it was hurting me to be involved in a business that consistently objectified both the client and me, without allowing for true sexual fulfillment for either of us.

I made a post recently about the wacky ignore lines that are available on Niteflirt. I came to the conclusion that ignore lines, along with financial domination, have the same ethical problems for me as heavy humiliation play, only with the added bonus that I would feel like a schmuck for taking their money for doing nothing. Ignoring seems like the end result of the kind of humiliation play I don’t like to engage in: the “you are a worthless disgusting pathetic small-penised worm beneath my queenly notice” variety. It hurts me that this type of request is so popular for certain submissive men, particularly those that seek professionals. Especially since many of the men who want financial domination include a very scary real-life aspect of wanting me to financially destroy them, which I could definitely never do. It’s not too large a distance between “i’m a worthless piece of shit beneath your heel” and “I want to be actually destroyed,” and so I was never comfortable going down that road with my clients.

Yet the thing that keeps itching at my brain is this: if we decide that (as Tom Allen puts it) “sissified sissy maids who insist on talking about their sissy clitty,” men who want to be treated like dirt, and even men who want to have their money taken from them and to be ignored by the object of their worship are all suffering from the delusion that their sexuality is not okay and so they are punishing themselves for it, then are we not invalidating what may be their true desires just as cavalierly as the radfems invalidate the desires and agency of submissive women?

It’s a stretch, I know. And I think the answer lies in how one separates a kink from a pathology. If you are, say, an insensitive prick at work and you treat women like shit, and you go to a dominatrix who treats you like shit for an hour, and then you go back to work and at least for a while you’re a little nicer…well, maybe that kind of domination is doing some good in the world, and maybe those desires are healing. If instead, however, you’re that same prick and you pay a dominatrix to expunge your prickitude so you can go back and be a prick some more, then that seems control-freaky and pathological to me. By the same token: if you enjoy buying a dominatrix gifts and sending her money because you have a lot of money and enjoy showing your admiration in that way without asking anything in return, then that’s cool (these, I must advise those who are considering pro domination, are definitely the unicorns of the paying male submissive world). If instead you send a dominatrix gifts without clearing it with her and then start demanding a bunch of her attention in obsessive ways, or if you send your entire paycheck to a dominatrix each week and are therefore living in a cardboard box, there might be something wrong with you.

But what about the place of the desire for being made to feel less-than in a non-monetary D/s relationship? I don’t want to play make-fun-of-the-small-willy, but I’m sure there are people who truly do. While I find the entire sissy-maid thing distasteful and sexist, I know that there are dominant women out there who do not find it so, and believe it is their prerogative to play with sissy maids. And while I got sick of wearing corsets and heels all the time, I used to get a lot of enjoyment out of decking myself out in traditional fetishwear (until I was obligated to, which is the issue, of course). After all, there are sexist dynamics reflected in male dom/female sub SM play as well, and while I think it’s important to beware of abuse, I also will fight tooth and nail to defend the right of healthy submissive women to do their thing.

I want to reclaim the masculinity and power of the submissive man as much as anyone. But might there also be room for the stereotypical submissive man in there, a way to reframe his desires without destroying them? That is: I’m sick and tired, too, of there being only one idea of what a female dominant is, of what a male submissive is, and that being representative of those entire sexualities. It’s a huge and monolithic image to do battle with, and I want to do my part to encourage greater diversity. But I also think it’s dangerous to decide that the people who really want those things can only be either pathological or participating in a monetized script.

Your comments wanted.

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Okay, so I’ve had an account on Niteflirt for some time, but I must admit that I’ve rarely used it. If live domming was frequently uncomfortable for me, phone domming was even worse: without the human element of physical connection, I felt even more objectified than before. And bargaining for more time and thus more money always felt rather sleazy.

Nonetheless, many women seem to do really well with it. And most of those who do fall into one of two camps:

1. Women who will act like bitches and treat you like shit, and

2. Women who pick up the phone and then ignore you.

When I first found this second one out, I was flabbergasted. I mean, I know about the whole bitch-goddess thing; I don’t do it and never did, because I think it’s ridiculous and kind of horrible to charge someone for your abuse.

But to charge someone to be ignored?? I mean, if I wanted that I’d call customer care at my credit card company.

What I wonder is: what do these women do while the men are on the other end ignoring them? Stay quiet? Do nothing? Go about their TV-watching or chatting on another phone with someone else? True, real ignoring can’t be the complete fantasy can it? I mean, maybe she’s masturbating or something and he can hear the sounds??

Talk to me, internets. What the fuck is going on with this ignoring fetish?

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I was reading back in Bitchy Jones’ Diary last night and was again stirred and moved and amused and made curious by it. I have to be careful over there, as her blog never fails to draw me in to several hours of reading.

When I first picked up on her blog nearly a year ago, it made me start to think hard about the image I put forth as a pro domme – and, frankly, about whether I wanted to continue being a pro domme at all. So much about the culture of pro domming has always been ugly and alien to me, and I spent a lot of time trying to put my finger on why. Is it the exploitation of men? Of women? Is it the obvious fact that most of the men who see me are, in essence, cheating on their wives and partners? I spent a lot of time in my first couple of years of domming figuring out what things made me feel icky and what things don’t, and how to minimize the former and capitalize on the latter.

But Bitchy – looking from the outside of the industry as she is – was able to outline the problem for me perfectly. She writes well on many topics and at length, but her central thesis, if her blog can be said to have one, is something like this:

The image of the dominant woman and the submissive man are broken. The prevailing submissive male culture dictates that said men are worthless, less than men, unworthy to be touched by Women who are Superior, and deserve punishment, enforced chastity, and feminization at the hands of Dominas, whom they should worship as Goddesses. This image, rather than empowering women, pedestalizes them and robs them of their sexuality, locates their power in their appearances rather than in their total persons, and suggests implicitly that femininity is actually inferior, seeing as 1) “forced” feminization is reserved for submissive “sissies,” and 2) dominant women are only allowed to have sex with submissive men if they use a strap-on cock and fuck them up the ass.

Add to this the prevailing notion that certain things germane to being female (getting penetrated being the biggest example) are by their nature submissive, and you’ve got one fucked-up image system going on.

The major problem, that Bitchy goes over and over against the protests of many (especially pro dommes), is that the image of the Big Bad Dominatrix is the only mainstream image of dominant female sexuality there is. As such, it robs women like her of any recognition of their sexuality.

Essentially, the idea of dominant female sexuality – that a woman could actually be in control during fucking, or that she could come from taking a burly, masculine man and causing him pain – is so scary that it needs to be desexualized, dehumanized, the sweat and blood and come taken out of it, and turned into a high-heeled, latex-sheathed, small-penis-humiliating freakfest where a woman’s stilettos are a more powerful seat of sexuality than her cunt.

As she so trenchantly points out, Sometimes I think femdom is like a horrible warning. This is what can happen if you replace actual women being turned on with women’s whose job it is to pretend to be turned on.

Or, as an excellently smart commenter puts it,

Inside kink we have a sexist, distorting, repressive culture which tries to make people like me believe the norm of my sexuality is play for pay, tries to make men believe their submission is shameful and unattractive, tries to make dominance appear unsexy to women.

If you are working as a pro dom, how is it in your interest that this distortion gets changed? It creates a great deal of your demand.

And this:

[T]his is not about deriding sex workers for being sex workers.

Example. If a prodom said “I can’t have sex with clients because it would be illegal where I live” or just “I prefer not to have sex with clients”, this would be from a perspective of sex work. Nothing to make fun of.

But: “A female dominant can’t have sex with a male submissive, because it would upset the power dynamic / they’re unworthy of our sacred shrines / these wimps can’t satisfy a woman anyway”… Are these lies? Do they sound familiar? Are they ridiculous? Do they have harmful effects?

…This is about prodoms knowingly telling lies about sexuality with harmful consequences, and profiting from these consequences….This is about people who claim that their pompous facade, i.e. their sex worker persona, represents female dominance as a personal kinky sexuality. And that is not okay.

As should by now be obvious, all of this is making me think like crazy. I have long been repulsed by the trend in prodommery toward the apparently sexless ice princess who treats her feminized, submissive wiener-men like shit. And it’s taken me a while to figure out exactly why, but I think I know now.

I want to continue to be a pro domme in addition to continuing to live out my personal kinky sexuality. But 1. I want to be more open about who I am as a total person – partly because it makes my life better to do so, but partly to contribute to dismantling this horrid pro-domme stereotype. And 2. I want to restructure how I market myself to reflect the things I love to do in sessions, not the things I’m expected to do as part of this culture.

This is a long time in coming, and I’ve written about it elsewhere in great angsty detail. But Bitchy, as usual, you’ve caught me out. It’s time to stop perpetuating false images that define female dominance as sterile and male submission as shameful. And it’s time to start putting out there what I truly find hot.

And for the record: me? Totally a sex worker. Let me say it here and now: what I do is sex work, it is a sexual service, and I don’t have manual, oral, vaginal or anal intercourse with my clients because it’s illegal and I don’t want to. A post is brewing about strap-on sex, which Bitchy tends to write about as part of the problem, but which I count as a sex act for the reason that it totally turns my crank. One day soon I’ll write about the one time I broke my no-strap-on-sex-in-sessions rule…one of the hottest sessions I’ve ever known. But that’s for another day.

For now, picture this: a new site by me that highlights my friendliness, my viciousness as a sadist, my sensuality with touch and voice, my wrestling fetish, my work as a healer and therapist, my human connection with my clients, and yes, my sexual desire.

It’s very likely that I’ll never have the guts to do videos where I play the submissive. That part of my sexuality is too private, too precious to me to share with the world in that way. Probably this is also the result of the sickness in our sexual culture: while I experience submission as powerful, I have the fear that others won’t see it that way, and am still haunted by the notion that taking my clothes off and going into that space strips part of my power. (Is it any wonder, when most of the images we have in porn of female submission are all about humiliation and conquest? Again – another post for another day.)

But I think you can safely stay tuned for more vulnerability from me as a domme. More clear expression of my desire. More scenes with models I care about, or am at least hot for.

And more stories here about the kinds of scenes that actually make me wet.

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I’m answering one question today, since its content seems to have launched me into a complete post about the topic. Given my general long-windedness, this may become a pattern. But please: do continue to send your questions to delilah@dommedelilah.com , or comment here with your kinky queries, and I will answer them in due time!

Dear Delilah,

As a dominant woman, frequently I get approached by guys who think the experience should be all about them and what they want. “I want you to do X, then Y, then Z!” You’ve probably had this experience too. Obviously, I know what I think about it… but what would you say to these guys about why this tactic may not work? What would you suggest they try instead?

This is an interesting question, since it’s more asking me to pass along advice to unnamed submissives than to help you with this problem, which you already know what you think about. But thanks – it gives me a chance to think about this, and pass along my thoughts. Hopefully they’ll be helpful to you as well, but I think you’ll find that answers to this question vary for different people.

For one thing, it is – or at least can be – very different to approach a professional dominatrix as opposed to a dominant in the scene. For me, I rather expect – and even appreciate – a submissive who tells me what he likes and what he hopes I will do to him up front. One of my clients even arrives with a kind of script, which – guess what? – makes my job easier.

However, I don’t like a potential client who approaches with demands and entitlements, which makes me feel like a kinky jukebox and not a human being. Nor do I enjoy clients who pretend that they’re all into only what I like, and then don’t enjoy the session or get upset that I didn’t do x, y or z.

But what you’re talking about is being a dominant woman – someone who lives the lifestyle and only plays that role. As a switch, I can often have a very good time with someone who approaches me and says “I want you to do x, y and z.” I can also imagine that people new to dominance might enjoy the input of a more experienced submissive when planning scenes within a new relationship. But I can well imagine that a “true dominant” would find that really annoying.

So, submissives: some tips – both for approaching professionals, and for approaching dominants in the scene.

Figure out if you really only want particular things done to you, or if you really want to play with a particular person. This can be tricky, since usually it’s a synergy of both. I have often found, both from the dominant and submissive perspective, that I’ve been willing to do something I wouldn’t ordinarily do for the sake of someone I was truly interested in. I have only occasionally found that I really just wanted a particular thing done to me/to do a particular thing, and it didn’t really matter much who the other person in question was.

If you can untangle this, however, here’s what I recommend: if you want acts, go to a professional. A professional dominant is more likely to be able and willing to accommodate your particular kinks and execute them well. When you approach them, however, do so with respect and with an eye to what they might be interested in doing, too. Tell them what you’re interested in, but don’t make it a list of demands.

I absolutely love Mistress Matisse’s page on “slave training.” Read it for a great explication on different types of submission and how to know what you’re really asking for when you approach a professional.

If you want to play with a particular person, well then, that’s a different story: you have to know how to approach them specifically. That’s hard to know, but there are a few rules with which you probably can’t go wrong:

Do not throw yourself at someone’s feet. The last thing a dominant, professional or otherwise, wants is for some yahoo they’ve never played with before to drop to his or her knees and start hurling honorifics like Mistress, Sir, or Supreme Goddess. If you want to play with someone, you need to approach them as a human being first.

Strike up conversation first. How do you know if you want to play with someone if you don’t even know anything about them except how hot they look? Find an opportunity to start a conversation about something ordinary – preferably something that doesn’t have to do with kink. If you’re in a kinky setting, this might be difficult; on the other hand, it might lead into hotter topics sooner if the chemistry is there. If you’re not in a kinky setting, ease into it.

Observe them playing. If you know a person you’d like to play with, and know that they do in fact play, you should find an opportunity to observe them doing so. If this isn’t possible (you/they don’t do play parties or go to clubs), then find a way to slip it into conversation once you’ve opened up to each other a bit. Find out what they like doing. If you can get them talking about it, there’s a good chance of your getting a sense from their tone about whether they’d like to do it to you.

Talk about what you like without demanding it. This is likely to come late in the game, when you’ve already started talking about playing together. Before you start, or when you’re planning your session, talk a little about what you like. This can be difficult and embarrassing, but sometimes that can be part of the fun. I know I enjoy watching a submissive blush and stammer as s/he talks about his or her kinks.

Talk about what you don’t want. As a submissive seeking to play with a new partner, what you don’t want can be even more important than what you do. After all, if you get to play with that hot new person, and you already know that they’re into some things you like, then it’s probably going to be good for you so long as they know what to avoid. Make sure you make your hard limits – things that you absolutely do not want – clear, and also mention things that you don’t generally like, with the caveat that some dominants will enjoy pushing those boundaries for their own amusement.

For further thoughts on this, see this marvelous recent post about communication between kinky partners. Remember that sometimes you have to talk to each other, especially at the beginning, even when it’s embarrassing or uncomfortable; even when it sucks.

It all kind of boils down to the usual: don’t be a dick. Treat other people like human beings, not machines. Have respect for other people’s desires and boundaries as well as your own. But it’s amazing how often some people need those simple reminders.

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It’s already Monday again, and time for your questions! The first is a short and sweet one, but a good topic.

How does one get into the pro-domme business?

To be honest, I have no idea. All I know is how I got into the pro domme business, if that’s not too flippant an answer. I can tell you a little about that, but it’s partially dependent on locale, market, density of population, etc. I can’t tell you, for instance, how a domina in a rural area got into it or how she keeps afloat, but I know several who do just that. What you’ll get from me is how someone with an excellent support structure started a small business in a major metro area.

I had planned on going pro for some time – I think it was ultimately two years between the time the idea was first suggested to me and when I saw my first client. During that time I did a lot of reading and a lot of hands-on training: learning the (literal) ropes, practicing my aim, taking classes on foot fetish and breathplay and humiliation and animal play and just about anything else I could find. Friends helped me out tremendously by giving me instruction and serving as practice dummies. (Aw, come on, quit whining – you’ve got another kidney!)

Probably the most important thing I did was to get a hold of local dommes. I looked them up and contacted a bunch of them – each one individually – about my interest. Some were not responsive; some were. Some I clicked with; some I didn’t. In the end I was blessed with the resources, minds and advice of two dominas I greatly respect, Lady J and Princess Kali. From inviting me to parties at which I could meet scene people and market my services, to finding me space to do sessions in, these two remarkable ladies helped me tremendously.

And the rest was just smoke and mirrors: get some sexy outfits, advertise on Craigslist until you have the means to build your own website (I also utilized Pandemos early on), screen screen screen your clients, and start seeing them.

There’s a lot more of course, about marketing and screening, and how to behave in a session, and making sure you know your state’s laws. But the most important step, I think, to doing anything is to research: read, and find people who do what you want to do and talk their ears off.

I’m a kinky single girl who is getting seriously tired of the vanilla boys on JDate, etc. I’ve tried a couple of the kinky online dating websites (collarme.com, alt.com, bondage.com), but I only get emails from:

1) Creepy old guys;
2) Dominate Men who Cannot Spell; and, most troublingly…
3) Guys I might conceivably like, but who insist on talking about my sex life faster than I’m ready to.

I’m a wildcat in the bedroom, but I’m shy about talking about it until I know the person a little! What’s the etiquette for a first date off a kinky website? Am I expected to talk about my sexual interests, or is it possible to just talk about everything else and shelve the sex talk for a few dates until I know I like the person out of the bedroom? Help, Delilah!

Well, this situation puts you in a little bit of a bind, if you’ll forgive the pun. Kinky dating sites are places where kinky people meet to date, and just as people who connect through their love of chess may start their interactions by chatting casually about strategy, people who connect through kink are likely to open with a kinky gambit.

That said, just because that’s the context doesn’t mean that you have to open up about your particular kink or sexuality more quickly than you are comfortable with. However, you need to cut the guys who are contacting you in that manner more slack: it’s the nature of a dance hall that people who approach you are going to ask you to dance before asking you about your favorite vacation spot.

If there’s one thing I’ve learned from domming, it’s that you have to ignore a lot of chaff: feel free to delete the creepy guys and illiterates without a second glance. But if somebody seems nice and comes off a little more forward than you’d like, just ask them politely to back off. If you’re meeting up partially based on compatible kink interests on Fetlife or something like that, then you already know that he likes to do things that you like to have done to you, or vice-versa. What comes next is what comes next in any dating game: find out if you have chemistry. Tell him, “Listen, I really like to get to know someone a little bit first. Once we know whether we’d like to be kinky together, then we can talk about how we might do that.”

If you like the guy up front, be up front with him – firm, but not discouraging. If he doesn’t want to take the time to get to know you, then he’s not the type of guy you want to be knocking boots (or licking boots) with, anyway.

That’s it for this week! Remember: comment here or send your questions to delilah@dommedelilah.com !

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