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 🌈

Welcoming Nimagras

Recently, I brought Nimagras on his first adventure with me. He indicated that he had wanted to contact me for a long time but didn’t feel he was ready to submit to me — until now.

Nima is an experienced player. He had a lot to say about what he enjoyed and didn’t, and presented a level of self-awareness that I appreciate. However, in my typical fashion, probed him further in our pre-session conversation (almost twice what I allotted!) which revealed “things…that never crossed my mind”.

When he came for his session, our conversation flowed, but once we descended into my dungeon I perceived some reticence. I usually see such things as a challenge — which I gladly accept. 😉

Afterward, we were both spent.

The day after he wrote this to me:

“I left enveloped in a womb-like warmth, physically and mentally exhausted. I awoke pleasantly numb and famished.

I have a pair of day-after measures which have yet to fail.

1. It’s a great session if I felt safe enough to drop my guard, to give into the experience, and to GET OUT OF MY OWN WAY. It means that the walls enveloped us and that I trusted you to take care of everything. It means I did not have a care in the world because you were taking care of everything, and all I had to do was enjoy what you produced. It means it was a symbiotic relationship where we both got something. It’s akin to mental marriage for a few hours.

2. It’s said that a starving man will pay anything for a steak, but he has no interest in a second steak, even if it’s free. It’s a great session if I walk out so satisfied that I could not conceivably continue playing, even for free!

Together, we hit home runs on both. I’m certain I have never had a first session where both litmus tests were positive. That success is a testament to your ability to let me enjoy the roller coaster.”

Thank you, Nima. If I were to say anything, other than to thank you for your trust, it would be that while I created the roller coaster, you were the one who allowed yourself to enjoy it.

He then sent this follow-up message:

“It occurred to me last night that on a daily basis you produce such experiences to fulfill each client’s hopes and expectations. I’m awed at the mental and physical toll put upon you. Plus, you willingly carry the huge responsibility of guiding each client safely and successfully through their experience. 


I knew being a pro is hard work. Until this week, I did not have an appreciation for just how much you give of yourself. Saying thank you seems insufficient, but I sincerely thank you for putting forth such effort on the behalf of your clients.”

I appreciate this. You’re right: this is hard work. And the more you put yourself into it, the more exhausting it is — but also the more rewarding.

UPDATE: Nima sent me this a few days later:

“Still mellow and warm inside. Better than drugs. 


You have the touch.”

I’ve heard this before. 😉

Until next time…

Mistress Tissa

Welcoming Loso to Temenos

Loso recently came for his first session with me. This is what he wrote to me afterward (edited slightly for privacy):

After reflecting on our session I was impressed with the entire experience from the pre-session communication to the execution of the activities during the session. You made me feel very comfortable when I arrived, and I felt like I was able to be very open with you about my likes and dislikes. That is very important, because at no point there was pressure for me to feel like I had to do something I was uncomfortable with. At the beginning of our session I was a bit tense and in my own head. You noticed this right away, and you made sure to make me feel relaxed and put me in a headspace where I could fully let go. … This is all a credit to you and your experience on how to guide someone to having the right mindset while serving you. Also, you were very caring for marks that were made throughout the session and made sure to clean/treat them properly. There were a lot of favorite activities I can pull from our time together, but I will try to name a few. When I was on the cross there was silence in the room and the only sounds were the impact of your flogger and smacks. This was the moment I truly let go and felt like I was no longer thinking, but instead reacting. The next activity was when I was on your table … There were a lot of sensations being played with at this point, and I loved the feeling of how vulnerable I felt. The last thing was [the predicament]. During this part I felt like I had to work for something, and the challenge I was presented with created a unique sensation on the mind and body. All in all it was an amazing session, and I hope I can be granted the opportunity to serve you again.

Also, he sent me this fantastic silicone gag from my wishlist:

Thank you, Loso! I’m glad we were able to have this hot and memorable experience together. You’re welcome back whenever you’re ready.

Send Me a Text!

Now you can text me via NiteFlirt!

Go to my page: https://www.niteflirt.com/Mistress%20Tissa#

Then, the listing under “Mistress Tissa offers chat” click on “chat now”.

You pay 99 cents to send and my reply is free.

You can send a text any time you desire. I will reply as soon as I can. Those sent between 6pm and midnight EST are most likely receive a reply right away.

You can ask questions about BDSM/kink, receive counsel and support about BDSM/kink and relationships, we can discuss our day or hobbies, or you can just say hi. If you show yourself to be a good submissive, you may receive a task.

IMPORTANT: Do not use text for:

  • scheduling in-person sessions (this is against their TOS and can get us both banned)
  • cancelling in-person sessions (same as above)
  • for scenes or roleplay