Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Several Things I Rather Wish People Would Not Do

Lately, a number of people have told me that they consider me something of a celebrity in certain circles - kinky circles, that is. Now, I think "celebrity" is a bit of an overstatement -"popularity" is the word I'd use. It's a bit like being the head cheerleader at BDSM High. God knows I was a total geek in high school, so it's amusing to be having that experience at this point in my life. I'm sure I appreciate it more now than I would have then.

But whatever you wish to call the Seattle kink community's heightened awareness of me, it's a circumstance that's usually pleasant and flattering. Sometimes I do get hate mail, although frankly it's always been entertaining rather than upsetting. And recently I got some hate mail sent to me at The Stranger, through the US mail! Wow! You know you're really arrived when you get hate mail through the postal service. Somebody invested 37 cents in that. I feel so validated.

But as nice as it is to be known, so to speak, it's occasionally a bit awkward too. You see, I myself am conscious of the fact that, in the words of Valentine Michael Smith, "I am only an egg." However, I realize that it is human nature to seek role models, and I'm honored that some folks I meet see me as such. I do try to live up to the expectations of my community, but there are some things people could do to make it easier for me. And since I understand that there is no way anyone could simply know my preferences without being told, I'd like to explain them. So here we go…

I'm fine with being addressed as "Mistress Matisse" because that is my professional name. But I strongly prefer that social acquaintances not address me simply as "Mistress" in a non-scene context. The people who do this are almost always non-BDSM people, and they seem like they're being all titillated by calling me Mistress. (Hey Mistress, can I buy you a drink? Oooh, didja hear? I called her Mistress! Oooo! Oooo!)

No, don't do that. That title is for people who are actually playing with me, or negotiating to do so. If that doesn't describe your situation, simply call me Matisse. (If that's the name you know me by.) The best way I can explain it is to say that calling me "Mistress Matisse", or simply "Matisse", doesn't imply that we have an intimate relationship. Calling me "Mistress" does.

Please don't tell me how I'm the only "real" dominant woman in Seattle. I'm not flattered, because it's not true, and I wouldn't want it to be true anyway. There are a number of other pro dommes in Seattle, and just because they have not chosen to structure their careers the way I have does not render them any less "real" than I am. There are also plenty of highly competent, non-professional dominant women around, and if they hear you telling me that, your chances of getting any play with them will instantly vanish. And justifiably so.

Please don't ask me if you can be my apprentice, because I'm not hiring. And please, oh please, don't ask me "how to get started" as a pro dom. There is not a short answer to that question, and I'm afraid you'll have to wait for my book to come out to get the long one. I am always happy to give someone my opinion on a very specific "should-I-do-A-or-B?" type of question - I'm just trying to avoid doing lengthy career counseling sessions with strangers at play parties.

Okay, I got that all off my chest, I feel better.

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