What It’s Like To Be a Dominatrix

People sometimes say that “sex work is easy”, of which, by nature of it being an erotic job, a Dominatrix falls under.

How hard can it be to be a Dominatrix, you say? You put on a catsuit, boots, whip someone while telling them what a loser they are…while raking in a lot of cash, right? Anyone can do that!

If only it was that easy!

First, you gotta get set up: come up with a name, develop a brand, decide on a location, create a website, establish your email, set up a phone number, are you going to own your own studio (how much money do you have to invest?) or are you going to rent (assuming there’s someone to rent from in your area), what activities are you offering, when are you offering it (part-time, full-time, early mornings to late nights), knowing about risk, law, managing business expenses, and taxes. (Contrary to what people say, we have to pay taxes, too.) Tired yet? But you haven’t even gotten started!

Now, you need to get yourself noticed. Expect to create a steady stream of content, which takes hours to prep for, write/shoot, edit, post, and distribute. Are you going to pay a professional photographer or do it yourself? Do you have the right photography equipment? Do you have editing software? Do you know how to use it? Don’t forget to watermark! Pirates will be out there ready to steal your pics, videos, and likeness so they can try to scam someone with your hard work. So either you’re either going to learn how to track it down and get sites to remove it (hint: it usually involves paperwork and sometimes proof that the content is yours), hire an attorney or piracy service, or ignore it and hope it doesn’t tarnish your reputation. (Pirated video will cut into your revenue.)

You’ll also need a decent wardrobe. Like latex or leather? It can run in the hundreds (or more) for 1 piece. Latex is popular with clients but it can rip easily so be prepared for that session where you ruin your $500 catsuit. Shoes? Depends. Usually, 100 & up per pair. Want some of those fancy red-bottomed Louboutins everyone is horny over? Around 1000 per pair.

Running your own studio, like I am? Be prepared to spend thousands of dollars on furniture, gear, consumables, cleaning supplies, utility bills, etc. I’ve spent over 10k on equipment alone. And don’t forget maintenance. You will need to repair or replace things periodically.

OK, now you need clients. How do you get them? Gotta know how to market in a competitive field. I don’t use OF or sell videos, so I have a narrower opportunity for exposure. How do I get people to find me? Website (you’ve got to pay someone or make your own). Directories and forums. Social media, where you need to be constantly active to be seen, while simultaneously facing constant censorship and the possibility of your account being deleted without warning.

Do you know how you’re going to get paid? Especially when there are ZERO payment processors that allow you to use their system to accept payments for adult-themed sessions? That’s right: no PayPal, no Venmo, no Stripe, no Google Pay, no Apple Pay, no…you name it. If you do it and they find out they could confiscate your money and ban you. (No joke. It’s happened to several people.) You could have people send it through the more adult-friendly channels like NiteFlirt, SpankPay, Erotifix, etc. but that’s a risk, too, because even they don’t want you to use them as a payment vehicle for face-to-face sessions. (If you do use them for any reason, be prepared for their cut to be 20-35% versus a standard business payment processor’s ~3%.) And how are you going to manage the clients who say they can’t have a “paper trail”? They often ask to pay with a gift card. Are you going to accept gifts cards from all these people? How will you pay rent or your utilities?

Skills? You better have them. Or you won’t get repeat business. Hoping someone awesome will mentor you for free? Very unlikely. Most of us don’t have the time or interest because many Domme hopefuls underestimate the work and will either not take it seriously or disappear. Who wants invest any of their (limited) time into what is very likely to be a net loss for us? Be prepared to find and pay someone who will teach you. Acquire books and videos, attend classes, workshops, and conventions. More expenses.

Going to offer a specialized activity? Like medical or heavy rubber? Expect to invest a big chunk of money into it — and a big chunk of time with the specialized cleaning that kind of gear requires. (Ever washed and dried a 7 by 4 foot heavy rubber sack by hand, inside and out? That’s the reality of vac bed maintenance.) Maybe you’re going to do something less intense like foot worship? Foot fetishists usually want pedicured feet. That will be an additional, regular investment to keep your feet soft and looking pretty.

Do you know how to do things safely? Do you know the risks of the various health conditions of the clients you will get? What about medications? Do you know which ones affect the kinds of activities you can do safely, within whatever limits they provide? Do you know how to handle a medical emergency? Fainting? Panic attack? Cardiac arrest?

Got someone interested in you? Fantastic. How do you know who to accept for a session? How do you screen them? Do you know warning signs? Do you know what questions to ask to be able to do this work safely and effectively?

They showed up? Congrats — this one wasn’t a no-show! Now what kind of security do you have? You do know we have a higher risk for harassment, stalking, assault, rape, and murder, right? You might want to learn some self-defense.

Now it’s time to run the session. Know what to do? The person booked 4 hours. Do you know how to entertain someone for 4 hours straight? How do you make them want to come back? You need people to come back or you won’t be able to do this full time.

Done! Not so fast. Time for cleaning. You will spend hours doing this. And you can’t just wipe things down with butt wipes, you have to disinfect and sterilize so your clients don’t end up with infections and disease. (Don’t expect clients to be honest about what they may have.) Oops — ran out of chux, gloves, lube, disinfectant, bleach, etc? Time to order more supplies (a constant expense).

Uh-oh, got a problem client? What if they keep touching you in the session when you asked them not to? What if they keep showing up at your studio, unannounced? What if they start making threats? How are you going handle this?

Got through that all? Great. Now, time to do it all over again. And again. And again. And don’t expect success right away. While I did pretty well in my first year (had a plan), it wasn’t until around year 5 that I really felt established in my field. (YMMV.) Expect that once the sense of glamor wears off that aspects of this will feel more and more like a job. Expect to go through phases when you really don’t like those aspects. You will need to learn how to manage this or it will lead to burnout.

SO! While each type of SW has its own requirements, none are “easy”. Being a Dominatrix is the most expensive form of SW & requires a specialized skill set, including understanding how to do very risky activities that could severely injure or kill someone. It involves a lot of time, cash, and dedication.

So, do you still think it’s “easy”?

The More You Know 🌈

Cleaning: Know What You’re Doing

I always have a pretty strong suspicion that someone doesn’t understand how to properly clean when they say something like,

“I always sterilize my furniture.”

Someone

…because you can’t sterilize furniture.

You should know this stuff before you ever accept a client. You don’t want your ignorance about what you’re doing to set up conditions for someone to get an infection or develop a disease.

Learn about universal precautions. And then use them.

Know Your Limits

When you approach me for a scene please make sure that you can tell me your limits, not just your interests. Lately, I have noticed more people are not prepared and don’t know what theirs are. They’re approaching me for a session and have sometimes no idea about what they’re not okay with.

For my play-style, this is a problem. Your limits are actually more important than your interests as they tell me important boundaries that I cannot cross. This is essential for me to know so I, you know, don’t cross them.

What’s happening is that during the scene consultation I start asking about limits and I’m getting “I’m not sure” or “I don’t know” kind of answers. Then I’m spending valuable time asking if this or that is okay when I should be spending it on other things. The consultation is not the place for me to help you figure out your own rules but to ask you clarifying questions about them, if needed. Figuring things out can take a lot of time and will quickly eat up the call.

If you’re not aware, there are (at least) two categories of limits: “hard” and “soft”. Everyone seems to be in agreement that “hard” are things that are completely off the table, but “soft” has some confusion. I see most people define it as “things you don’t really like doing but will do if the Mistress wants to do them”. I don’t think that definition makes sense as you are not telling me a limit but a preference. A limit is a boundary. There is no boundary in that you don’t really like wax play but will do it if I like it. So, I define “soft” as something that falls between being completely OKAY or completely NOT OKAY.

In short:

HARD limit: done under NO conditions.
SOFT limit: done under CERTAIN conditions.

For example:

If femme play (aka “feminization”) was a hard limit it means you’re not okay with any kind of femme play. There are no conditions by which you’re willing to do anything femme related.

If femme had a soft limit, it means you have specific conditions around it. It could be that you’re only okay with panties OR panties and stockings OR everything but makeup, etc.

If femme play has no limits, then you’re okay with anything femme related.

I realize that new players may honestly not yet know their limits. I get that. However, you still should have some idea of what you are absolutely not interested in incorporating into a scene, or even what kinds of things you’d be okay with as much as you can imagine having them done to you.

I have hard new players say things like, “Mistress, I’ve never done bondage before. I think I’d be okay if you tied my wrists or ankles down but I’m not sure about both yet.” You have just given me a soft limit.

If you’re having a difficult time coming up with your list a good place to start is my interests page. Go through the things I have listed there and add anything that you would not want in a scene to your hard limits or things that you have particular requirements about to your soft limits. Don’t worry about being afraid that you don’t get it right or that you end up wanting or not wanting to do something. You can change your limits at any time. But you should have this ready when you ask to play with someone. All good players — tops and bottoms — should be familiar with their partner’s limits.

If you would like personalized help I recommend scheduling a coaching call with me before you ask for a scene. I can go through a variety of things with you and we can hone in on your boundaries. I’m very good at this so you can feel confident that you will learn something about yourself during our call.

So, again, PLEASE BE PREPARED!

A Bit About Anal Play

This article is for those who are curious about anal play: how to try it…or what to do if it didn’t live up to your fantasies.

I’m a big ol’ anal top and have been taunting, training, and taking butts for almost 15 years now. Little butts, big butts, virgin butts, hungry-hungry-hippo butts. It’s one of my favorite things*. Butt, alass, this is not the case for all.

Sometimes when someone volunteers a little bit about why they dislike it, such as “I didn’t enjoy it because it hurt” or “I tried it once…wasn’t sexy”, I will ask if they don’t mind me inquiring further about their experience (for my own research purposes). What I usually discover is that they either tried it themselves and didn’t know what they were doing or they were introduced to it by a girlfriend or Domme who didn’t know what she was doing. It makes me sad because one bad experience — or even one less-than-hot experience — can sour people to the point of never wanting to try it again.

The reason why this happens is because people don’t bother educating themselves about how it works, what to do, and what not to do. They think it’s as simple as Put Thing In Hole. They don’t consider how their body might react or how it needs to adapt. Then, because they don’t know these things, they make assumptions and end up writing the whole thing off.

There is a common misconception that your first experience will look like what you see in porn. You know, that hot FemDom clip where she’s ramming a huge cock in his ass and he’s moaning in bliss. You swoon, “Ohmygoddess, I would do anything to be fucked like that!” I hate to break it to you, my slut, but that will not be anywhere close to what your first experience will be like. That is what may happen if you spend some quality time training your ass.

The reality is that your first experience putting something past your anus and into your rectum may feel unpleasant. Maybe even a little painful. You may feel like you suddenly have to shit. Which is the opposite of what you were expecting to feel. And is it at this point that some people decide they hate it. Because “this is supposed to feel as good as that FemDom clip looks!” and it doesn’t so horniness turns into bitter disappointment and the dildo goes into the dark drawer, never to be seen again.

Well, I say: give it another try. But let me help you get started on the right path.

If you want to experience what it would be like to be fucked like the gasping, whimpering, writhing-in-ecstasy bottom in the clip, start by exploring your own ass. Look at it in the mirror.  Touch it. Touch the area around it. Pay attention to how it feels when you lube up your finger and just slide it around your anus. Be gentle. You want to make friends with your budding cockhole.

Once you’re comfortable you can get ready to slide something in.

If you’re not sure where to look for the right toys there are plenty of guides online. (I may just write one myself.) Without a little help, people may end up getting something that’s not suitable for them. This can be because you feel like a kid in a candy store and you just buy whatever looks like it would feel good in your ass. It also can mean you may unknowingly buy something that shouldn’t actually be touching your private parts. See, the sex toy industry is not regulated and so they’re pretty much free to use all sorts of toxic materials to make the things you are rubbing back and forth against your delicate insides. Some of these compounds can be absorbed by your tissue and some of them are linked to things like endocrine disruption, birth defects, and cancer.

Another issue that can confuse consumers is that you can’t trust that a manufacturer actually knows what the hell they’re making. It’s true. Some of them clearly haven’t ever done the activity they are making products for. (I’m looking at you, Random China Brand Often Found In Places Like Amazon, eBay, or Alibaba.) Take for example this plug:

MistressTissa_wtfintroplug

Notice the way it’s marketed: “Perfect size for intro anal play”.

Hunty, this is in no way an “intro” plug — unless you are an elephant. This plug has a circumference of 6.5″. You know what else has a circumference of 6.5″? My vitamin bottle. No beginner should be trying to put a vitamin bottle in their ass.

Here’s a comparison of the above plug with a plug that is actually more suitable for introductory play:

MistressTissa_PlugCompariso

When you’re ready to try putting something in, start with something small. Like a finger. The actual beginner plug on the left is like a finger. A meaty, manly finger that will probe your wet, hungr–oh, sorry. I got carried away.

If you’re using a toy, and it’s not a body-safe material like silicone, glass, or medical-grade stainless steel, be sure to slide a condom on it. (We don’t want sexy time to later turn into anal cancer time.) If you don’t have a toy, or a meaty, manly finger, use your own finger. If a finger still feels too big, use something with an even smaller diameter. This could be a pen, wood dowel (make sure it’s not a wood that will easily snap in half), or anything else that doesn’t have sharp edges that can hurt you. And, of course, put a condom on it, too.

If you’re concerned about the possibility of getting a little poo on your hand, put a glove on. Or, if you want to be sure that there will definitely not be any poo on your hand — glove or not — you can get one of those cheap enema kits (like Fleet), empty the contents, fill with lukewarm water, and gently rinse yourself out until you’re clear.

Once you’re ready, lube it up.

Lay on your back and slowly slide the toy or finger in. Not very far; just the tip. Just enough to get your anus familiar with the sensation of something going in instead of coming out. Breathe and relax while you’re doing this.

Once that feels okay, you can slide it in a little further. If it doesn’t, either just sit there and wait to see if the discomfort passes or, if it doesn’t, take it out. Wait a few moments and try again. Then breathe and relax. Repeat. Until you have it where you want it.

If it feels uncomfortable, focus on relaxing that area. If it still feels uncomfortable, you can stroke or use a vibe on your cock or clit and see if that helps. If not, you can stop and try again another time.

Keep in mind that it can take several tries to feel any pleasure. And for some it never seems to feel pleasurable. That’s okay. You can do something else. Maybe come back to it next month or next year. Or never. Whatever you want.

Dicks. Lots of dicks.

For those who do find the right feel and are ready to move on, you can size up, if that is your goal.

Again: always use condoms on unsafe or unknown materials and always with a lot of lube.

Once you get to where you feel like you can take a dildo, start slowly there, too. No matter how eager you are to be your Mistress’s dirty, dirty slut, don’t force anything. You can injure yourself, which can be very painful, and possibly lose some of the progress you’ve made as your body heals. 

Now, for those who want to ask a professional Domme for anal play…

*Please be aware that some Dommes don’t openly offer it. The reason is laws can make it a risky endeavor. This is because, depending on your jurisdiction or which judge’s courtroom you may unfortunately end up in, anal penetration within a professional practice could be — and in some cases definitely is — construed as “prostitution”. Therefore, to be safe, some Dommes, like myself, do not advertise it.

You can mention that you find anal play interesting. (Unless she indicates it’s a hard limit.) You can tell her what your experience level is. Just be prepared that the negotiation process may be slightly different than other activities, if she is willing to negotiate it at all — especially if you have no references. Just be patient and follow her lead.

Once you do get to the point of making that dream come true, be sure to rinse that hiney out. Practice beforehand until you’re good at it. Then make sure you do it before you arrive for the session so there aren’t any surprises. Then, relax and enjoy every minute of it!

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How to Get A Goddess

Many men (or women) would love to date a Goddess. She is attractive, not necessarily conventionally so, but She has an energy about her that is alluring. She is intelligent, confident, capable. She loves her body and knows how enjoy it, unapologetically. She doesn’t need a man (or a woman)…but might consider one, if they’re on Her level.

Look at this specimen. An unkempt slob with dirty socks, cleaning his teeth with his finger. If you’re not aware, one of my talents is my ability to read minds. His is saying that he doesn’t understand why these bitches won’t fuck him. Or even talk to him. He makes a joke to himself about a hot chick getting one of his ball hairs stuck in her teeth while they’re in her mouth.

Now, look at this specimen. He is showered and you can’t see this but he trimmed his pubes. He obviously cares about his appearance. He appears to have collared and leashed himself. (He already did his research and knows She likes red fuzzy slippers in size 8.5. The order is on its way.) If you listen you can hear him quietly ask, “Goddess, how can I serve you today?” Good boy.

Get into it, gentlemen.

To Aspiring and Practicing Pro Dommes

I know that this work can demand a lot from you, and you may feel you can’t do everything, so you look for “help”. You may look for ideas about what to offer, how much to charge, and where to advertise. These are all reasonable things to look for help for. But one thing you have to be careful about is “help” trying to come up with your own brand.

It’s essential your brand is driven from your own inner vision. This means being unique and not using other Dommes’ content — no matter how much you like it. People will notice, and it will not reflect well on you. Not only with other Dommes, who will recognize their own work, but with clients, who may think you must not be very good if you can’t come up with your own ideas.

Suggestions:

  • Don’t use someone else’s name. Do a thorough search to make sure there isn’t someone else going by the name you are thinking of using. You don’t want to be confused with someone else — especially if that someone else has a bad reputation.
  • Don’t use signature aspects of someone’s brand. This can be their tagline, symbolism (e.g. a crown in their logo), or even a font they use pervasively. The less overlap you have with other pros, the better it is for you.
  • Do explore your own style and use that to craft your image. What is important to you? What do you really enjoy? If you see someone already doing it, come up with your own way of doing it.

While being inspired is expected, avoid copying at all costs. No one likes a copycat.

Need some personalized help? I offer professional business consulting. Please send a message through my coaching page to set up a call with me. (Ignore the write-up and go right to the form.)

Ballet boots are not what you think they are

Recently I had someone ask if I had ballet boots in my dungeon (not yet) and if I would incorporate them into a scene (if I had them, yes).

When the person asked about being made to do pirouettes and things, I knew they didn’t understand that ballet boots are not meant to actually dance or even walk in. They’re fetish/fantasy footwear. This means they are used for looks and to invoke a certain feeling in the wearer or observer rather than having practical use.

I did a fetish/fantasy photo shoot in 2016 in which I wore mine but made it look like I was at the barre, taking class or warming up or something. Here’s a photo from the shoot:

I know I make it look “normal” or “easy” or whatever, but it was actually a very painful shoot.

See, ballet boots do not actually have support for you to stand like this, like actual pointe shoes do:

(my feet in a pair of my very old pointe shoes)

The vamp of the toe in a ballet boot is just some rubber or vinyl material. The vinyl is the thicker but flexible stuff used to make shoes and boots. However, there is no reinforced box or shank to help support your foot and the weight of your body as there is with pointe shoes. As a result standing en pointe in a ballet boot will feel much more painful.

It also can be dangerous. People who dance en pointe have had years of training their feet, ankles, and legs so they can stand, walk, and dance in that position. Without training, and in a pair of shoes not even meant for walking to begin with, you can really hurt yourself.

So, ballet dolls or footwear fetishists, please be careful when wearing these shoes or you might end up with broken toes or ankles, torn ligaments, or, if you fall, possibly worse.