Wednesday, November 12, 2008

A Recent Email

SUBJECT LINE: Hi, would like appointment and/or other info
I just wanted to know how to get started in this profession in a safe way. I figured group sessions were my best bet but I just don't know where to go or who to talk to about it. I feel like I'm going to lose my mind. I know I could get a lot out of this line of work and I don't mean a lot of money. I have fantasies that I want to act on but I know they could cost me a lot in the end. Please help me get in touch with someone in my area so that I can learn about being a mistress and see if it is the right thing for me. I'm young, five nine, one hundred forty pounds and attractive. Thank you for your time.

Whoa, whoa, whoa. What? I had to read this email about three times to figure out what this woman (at least I now assume it's a woman) is asking me. Because of the subject line, I started out thinking it was a request from a man who wanted to see me professionally, which made no sense with the body of the email. (Insert here my obligatory rant about the poor writing/communication skills displayed by people who want me to do something for them, but make it hard for me to understand what.)

What I'm reading here is that she wants to be a professional dominatrix. And I am not going to help her do that. Nope, sorry. Not for the usual reasons, though. Not because the email is badly written, or because the writer wants to be spoon-fed, or because she clearly doesn't know much about either sex work or BDSM.

I would not facilitate this person's entry into sex work because there's a dark thread in this email that bothers me. "I feel like I'm going to lose my mind?" Dear girl - no. Do not get into sex work when you're already feeling emotionally/psychologically challenged in some way. That will go badly, I promise. Whatever it is that's making you feel like you might go crazy, fix that first. If you get into sex work with your head in the wrong place, you will have bad experiences, and I don't want any woman have bad experiences.

"I have fantasies that I want to act on but I know they could cost me a lot in the end. " I don't know exactly what this means, but I sure don't like the sound of it. I have seen a lot of women use sex work as a vehicle for self-destructive behavior, and I'm getting a strong sense of that here. If you have self-esteem issues, there are plenty of people in the industry ready and willing to treat you just as disrespectfully as you think you deserve. Men and women both, clients, co-workers and employers. They will reinforce your negative feelings about yourself, you will make worse and worse choices, and yes, it will indeed cost you a lot in the end.

The challenge of sex work in our society is to do it while staying happy, healthy, safe and sane. Many of the difficulties are external and require only observation and cleverness to evade. But you also need a certain psychological makeup. The impression I have from this email is of someone who is really not wired to get up every morning, put out a lot of emotional energy to create intimate experiences for people she met five minutes ago, and whom she may or may not even like, and go home every night feeling good about that. I have very connected, ongoing relationships with my guys, but I'm unusual, and I think I've attracted some unusually cool guys to me and created something rare with them. Most sex work, especially at the entry level, demands much and gives little, emotionally. I think pro dommes have a slight advantage over other areas - our clients tend to be more loyal and long-term. As you build trust over time, the emotional balance can shift and the relationship becomes more mutual.

However, learning the skills to create mutually positive experiences/relationships takes time, and in the interim, you must have the emotional reserves. I don't think this person does. Not now, at least, and maybe never. If you want my advice about how to feel better about whatever is troubling you, you can ask me and I'll give you my take. But I cannot in good conscience give you advice about becoming a pro domme.

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