Underneath the Buckle of the Bible Belt
(Editor's note: Part 1 of the interview can be found here.)
In New York or L.A., a dominatrix if full regalia could walk the streets, if not unremarked, at least unmolested, but I doubted the same would hold true way down south in the land of cotton, where old times they are not forgotten. Look away, Dixie Land. Look away, indeed. Just how does a Domme survive and thrive in the Bible Belt?
Do people in your “straight” life have any inkling of what you do on the side?
I don’t specifically hide it, but I don’t specifically say what I’m into either. I actually have a bit of an advantage in that I’ve always been a bit of an alternative person. In my teens—and I’m dating myself here—I used to hang out with the glam rock drug crowd. I was one of those people back behind the school smoking cigarettes or pot before class. I hung out with the stoners and the drama geeks. I was never one of the popular kids. Once I got out of school, I discovered the Goth industrial crowd, the vampire role-playing crowd, and I’ve always played D & D (Dungeons and Dragons). I’m a geek alternative person, so the fact that somebody knows that I’m into alternative things… I don’t really give two craps about.
The only people that I would have cared about were my grandparents. They lived 500 miles from here, way up north. I saw them a couple of times a year, but now they’ve all passed on. I’m pretty much estranged from my family. Lots of history there. My dad’s an alcoholic. No, he’s a drunk. Alcoholics want to get better. Drunks don’t, so I stay away from them. It’s kind of just me, and some nights that scares you, to realize that you are pretty much all you’ve got. Other times it’s very liberating.
Do you have any siblings?
I have two brothers and one of them is on the Internet. He did discover the website. He called me, and he goes, “Sis, what’s a dominatrix?” I told him, “It’s not a hooker.” (laughs) And he says, “Okay. You know what? There are just some things I don’t need to know about my sister.”
My mother is also someone I wouldn’t want to know exactly everything I do, although I’ve told her that I’m a dominant. Finally, I got tired of hiding—having to put everything away when she came over—and I told her, “Mom, I’m a dominant.” And she said, “What?” So I said, “I like to hurt people, Mom, and I like to hurt people that want to be hurt.” And she says, “Oh, thank God! I thought you were about to tell me that you’re gay.” (laughs) So I guess we just won’t mention the bisexual part—one shock at a time.
Let’s talk about some of the people that helped you realize your potential.
I’ve been really, really lucky. I’ve had exposure to some amazing people. Charlotte has a local group CAPEX (Charlotte Area Power Exchange), and I was on the board for three years. CAPEX gave me the ability to have one-on-one interaction with some of the names that we brought into the events, like John Warren, who writes a lot about domination, and Jack McGeorge who taught me about interrogation play.
Being on the board of an organization, while it’s a lot of work, you also have the opportunity to talk to people. You have a lot of personal interaction that you wouldn’t have otherwise. I really used that to my advantage. CAPEX is pansexual. At the time I was in it, there were probably about 150 contributors. We topped out at about 175. This was several years ago. Now the organization is somewhat smaller, but it’s still highly respected in the area and on the East Coast.
Is it like any organization? Do politics get in the way?
(Laughs) There were politics at my mother’s women’s ministries group; at the PTA. Any time you have an association. After three years of being on the board, I was kind of burnt-out on it. It wasn’t that I didn’t want to serve the community anymore; it was that I wanted to find a different way to serve the community. So I started putting together presentations, and I present on four or five different topics, and I’m always writing new ones. If somebody says, “Can you do a toy-bag explosion?” or “Tell us about your toys”—I can do that. I have a presentation on vampire role-play that’s been extremely popular. I’ve been able to give that all up and down the East Coast.
What kind of venues do you present at?
There’s this really interesting event called Frolicon in Atlanta, it happens every year. It’s the only convention of its type that I know of. It brings together people that are into S&M, swingers, the Goth industrial scene, the music scene, the convention kids. It’s probably the most interesting bunch of people you are going to find anywhere. That’s one of the places I’ve given my vampire role-play presentation. The really cool thing about it is they have play parties and demos, but they also have dances and drinking events. You can play your little heart out in the afternoon, then go to a party and drink that night, because you know you can’t drink and play—for safety reasons.
Like you wouldn’t drink and drive.
Exactly. I’m not necessarily and advocate of what they call “Safe, Sane and Consensual.” There’s another term “RACK: Risk Aware Consensual Kink.” I’m more aligned with that…. I like to do ball busting, and that’s not necessarily completely safe, nor is it completely sane, but I’ve had training, and I’ve consulted with nurses and other medical professionals on the safest way to kick somebody in the balls. If you’re strictly SSC, that would fall outside of the bounds. However, if the person I’m playing with knows I’ve had training and he accepts the responsibility that this is something he wants and enjoys, and accepts that there are risks associated with that….
Do you cover yourself legally? Is there some kind of release form your clients sign?
No, and that’s something that’s always in the back of your mind. Whether you’re playing professionally or you’re playing at an event—you can play at an event and something can go wrong. It’s not so much inherent in professional versus lifestyle; it’s inherent in the play that you do. That’s why you don’t drink. That’s why you don’t do drugs. That’s why you don’t offer to do something to somebody that you don’t know how to do.
I’ve actually had [clients request services I do not perform]. One of the things I don’t do is full face—strangulations or smothering or anything like that. I do some breath play, where I’m just kind of like holding the nose, but I can see the whole face. I don’t do the latex body suit kind of thing because I’m not trained in that—and I’ll tell somebody that because being safe and not having an accident in my playroom is more important to me than making money.
The money buys my toys, it pays for my clothes, it buys the equipment, but it would never pay if I actually hurt somebody or if I had a medical emergency. I would not be able to look at myself in the mirror. At the end of the day, the money is completely secondary—it’s about having fun, experiencing that variety. Nothing can bring variety into your life like this profession, because you never know what the person on the other end is going to be asking for this time. I’ve been playing for over 13 years now, and after awhile the usual slap and tickle gets a little boring.
Is there something that someone asks for, and you’re thinking: If I have to do “X” again, I’ll tear my own head off?
After a while, it might even be nice to do something Vanilla. (laughs) You find that the more you do this, the more you want to do it. The more the variety there is, the more you want. The first time I did an interrogation scene, I had other people there obviously, but the person I was interrogating had specifically said he liked being slapped in the face. This was something that I hadn’t come across before, so I had someone show me how to safely slap somebody in the face without dislocating their jaw or breaking their nose. I remember the first time I slapped somebody across the face; it was so awesome!
Where do think it comes from in them, that they want you to do that?
You know, I’ve tried to get inside the heads of my subs, but I am not a submissive. For some people, I think it goes back to childhood where they’re reliving an abuse situation. For some, they find being slapped in the face is terribly humiliating, and they like that feeling. This is where the fact that I don’t switch and I don’t sub are a bit of a liability, because I can’t really know why they like it, I just know that they do.
I would think being here in the Bible Belt, there might me a lot of people who would need your services.
Yes, there are a lot of people repressing themselves around here. (laughs)
Banking & Spanking
This is a banking town. Has the recession affected your clientele?
It’s funny, there’s another Domme in town who takes great pride in advertising that she is the only dominatrix in Charlotte that doesn’t have a day job. Sometimes, I think, Ow, that kinda hurts, because it implies that you don’t take your kink seriously, that it’s just something you’re doing, but that could not be farther from the truth. Even before the recession, I was very selective.
Like I said, for me, it’s not about the money. If somebody approaches me with something sexual, or they approach me with something that I’m just not into—like, I had a gentleman offer me $500 to give him a golden shower. It’s not something I offer—not so much that I’m not into that, because I’ve certainly enjoyed that at lifestyle events, it’s just I don’t want to do that with someone that I don’t know.
These are very trying economic times. Money is hard to come by. So, when somebody chooses to spend their discretionary income with me—and I have a couple of clients who save up for two or three months and then book a two-hour session. It’s their vacation. If they’ve saved up for two months, I am not going to give them anything substandard. I want them to truly have the time of their life, and I put a lot of energy, a lot of time into it. I ask a lot of questions while we play. “How are you doing?” Some of them think if you ask how they’re doing, you’re not dominant enough, but it’s not that at all. It’s that if they’re not having a good time, I’m not having a good time. In order for me to please myself, I need to know that they are having a good time, otherwise, it’s boring for me. They serve be by telling me. I want them to leave blissed out and happy and glad that they spent the money. It’s a compliment.
You’re in a relationship. Is play a component?
Yes. I gave him his first spanking. Ever. He was my roommate. For years, I was in a “singles’ commune.” (laughs) It was a three-bedroom apartment and the tenants were single. It was like living in a sit-com. I was there from the time I was 23 to the time I was 26. He moved in when he was 19. I gave him his first spanking when he was 21.
He was my submissive at one point, but he’s a switch, and as I’m not, we’ve had to bring some polyamory into our relationship because he needs to be able to be dominant every now and again, and I am not into that. Even in the bedroom. I’ll let him do it if it makes him feel happy, but I can’t help turning the tables on him. It’s just not natural for me. But he’s a really good dominant in his own right, and he needs to have people to play with.
So, once a month or so, he’ll have a girl in for the afternoon, and they’ll spend their time up here or in the bedroom, and that’s fine with me. I’m downstairs reading, playing video games… I’m like, “Hi, how ya’ doin? Have a good time!”
So, this is just “normal” for you.
This is who I really am. Through the day, you have to be so repressed. I have a professional job. We’re responsible neighbors. He mows the lawn. Keeps up the yard. Coming here in the evening and being a pro dominatrix is like being Lois Lane in Superman, only you are actually Superman, because you have a secret identity. There’s something really cool about taking off the glasses and the short skirt, and underneath you have leather. You feel like a superhero. I’ll come into this room, and I’ll meditate in here—I’ve had some religious types of experiences. This is who I really am in here.
Little does anyone suspect there’s a superhero living next door….
Exactly, and that’s what I want… I’m alternative, and I don’t mind if somebody finds out, but I don’t wear it on my sleeve that I’m “out there.”
Has someone finding out ever caused you a problem?
Yes. Apparently, one of my clients had left his emails on his computer, and his wife sent me some very threateningly worded e-mails [when she found them]. So, I was trying to be very honest with the lady. I told her, “I appreciate your concern. Please know that I have never had sex with anybody here—outside of my boyfriend—and I’m sorry that you felt he was hiding something from you, but if you could tell me who he is, or what name he contacted me under, I won’t see him again,” because I don’t want to get involved in someone else’s relationship. I don’t want my Karma to be affected that way. The money’s not worth it. It’s just not.
When I asked her to tell me who he was, I realized, I hadn’t seen him in two years. I was very conciliatory, but I told her, “Thanks for letting me know, but I haven’t seen him in two years—and you’ve only been married a year.”
So at least she knew what he was into.
Right. (laughs) I know my worlds are going to collide occasionally, but that’s part of who I am. I’m kind of out there. But, at the same time, I’m not walking down the street with a placard that says: “I am a dominatrix!” I think it’s really cool that no one knows; that I can go to the grocery store, and I’m just walking around thinking, Ha, ha, I’ve got a secret. I more want to keep it secret for that thrill. That’s why you do it. It’s hot.
Do you teach others? Have you ever given lessons?
Yes, but I’m pretty selective in who I teach. I want to know why. I had a girl last year who e-mailed me that wanted to apprentice. I asked her, “Why do you want to be here?” and she said, “Because I need some money.” So I said, “I’m sorry, no.” Because I’m not all about the money, and I don’t think that somebody this is in it only for the money will necessarily be a good dominatrix.
Have you seen an up-tick in people who want to become Dommes because they think it’s easy money?
Yes. And it is very much not easy money. Years ago, there was this film called Fetishes (1996, d. Nick Broomfield). It was filmed at Pandora’s Box in New York, which was—I’m not sure if it’s still around or not—but at the time, it was one of the best dungeons anywhere. In it, there’s an interview with a Mistress. I will never forget her words. The interviewer asked her is she liked men, and she said, “You have to love men to do this. If you don’t love them, you can’t.” That really stuck with me because when you are playing with somebody who wants to be a little boy, and they want “Mommy” to touch them “there” on his “pee-pee” as part of an infantalism exploration—now, they’re adult, I’m adult, but it’s a role-play of regression. If you don’t understand and like men, then you just get weirded out. But if you understand, then you realize they are working through something that’s not allowed in normal society, and that they will go home and be relaxed and happy for having experienced it.
Say, “Joe X.” has been coming to you for a period of time; do you see that your services have helped him toward self-actualization?
Sure. I’ve had clients tell me that they are better focused at work because of what’s happened here, but for a lot of them, it’s just fun. And a lot of them don’t even realize what’s going to come of it. It’s a mental break. It really is.
You have some clients who are in very high-stress jobs…
They can come here for an hour, and all they have to do is take it, “Like the good little bitch you are!” That’s all they have to do. “Move over there. Stand up. Sit down.” They don’t have to think about the audit the next day, or what their wife is telling them. All they have to think about is licking my boots.
Do you think coming here gives them some perspective about how they treat the people when they are in authority?
I don’t know if it does. I have some “thinking clients,” as I like to call them, that tend to take this to an introspective place. Then I have some people that it’s just superficial, it is what it is—just an hour of fun. But I do know that when people leave here, they are relaxed and focused and happy—and I am cheaper than therapy. (laughs)
Next up, Mistress Mine, Part Three: Nuts and Bolts, Whips and Chains!