I am a straight female who was a dominatrix for a while—and out of all the jobs I’ve had, I loved it the most. But professional dommes aren’t immune to workplace romances, and I fell in love with a client. Long story short, we are still together after a year and a half, after I closed my practice and sold (most of) my toys because he didn’t want to be with a woman who was still practicing this kind of physical intimacy with others. Fair enough. But the list has grown longer. His jealousy flared when I told him that I went to lunch with a male friend that I’d played with before, and again when he found an old picture on my computer of me blowing my ex. But the latest and most bitter pill is that he no longer wants me to write anything about my experiences—not because it might cause professional fallout if people knew about him dating a former pro domme (notwithstanding the fact that he was a client once), but because he doesn’t want me to think about the experiences I’ve had. Fuck, Dan, I love this guy, but “retiring” has never been so hard and so scary. I honestly miss the sex-positive community and the impact (ha) I had on people who decided—for whatever reason—to pay a professional to share this creative, spiritual, eros-infused intimacy with them, if only for a few hours every month or so. It seemed like I needed to give that up to have a marriage and family, which, as I get into the later half of my 30s, seems like I better get going on if I want this to happen. DTMFA, I know, but why has it been so hard to do this time?
—Despairing Over My Man’s Expectations
“DOMME’s letter struck a chord with me, because I was once in a relationship with a guy who did very similar things,” said Mistress Matisse, a professional dominatrix, writer and sex-worker-rights activist. “He knew exactly who I was when we started the relationship—just like DOMME’s guy did—and he said it was fine. But once I got emotionally invested, that all changed. He tried to control me by making me feel insecure, like I was a flawed person and my only chance for a relationship was him—who else would be willing to be with an (ick) sex worker? As dumb as it sounds now, I think part of what blinded me to what he was doing was the fact that I was a dominatrix! Surely a dominant woman could not be in an abusive relationship, right? Wrong. Leaving him was the best thing I ever did.”
And that’s exactly what Matisse thinks you need to do: DTFMA, DOMME. But Matisse isn’t telling you anything you don’t already know. So why is it so hard?
“It’s ‘so hard’ because she’s in a relationship with an abusive, controlling man who’s been systematically tearing down her confidence and her sense of self for a year and a half,” said Matisse. “He’s made her give up things that were positive and meaningful to her, he gets angry when she sees her friends and now he’s trying tell her what she’s allowed to think? This flaming hypocrite isn’t just chipping away at her self-esteem, he’s going after it with a jackhammer!”
Matisse doesn’t want you giving your boyfriend a second chance, DOMME, and neither do I. His controlling, slut-shaming behavior is simply unforgivable. “DOMME’s boyfriend is leveraging all the power of a sex-negative world to make her think she has to give up all of who she is, her past and her future—even her own mind—to be in this relationship. Leave him. She shouldn’t agree to talk it over, or try to understand his feelings or work out a compromise.” He might pretend to make some bargain with her, like telling her that if she married him, or had a child with him, then he would possibly feel OK about her writing about her own life. Don’t fall for this,” said Matisse. “Her thinking about, writing about or even being a dominatrix is not the problem. He is the problem. If DOMME sticks around, she’ll just be giving her boyfriend a chance to do more damage than he already has. She should leave and not look back—and she should spend some time with a therapist. This guy has planted so much poison in her head, more than she can even see right now. She needs to dig it all out, so she can move on to a happy relationship with a man who loves her exactly as she is. And trust me, DOMME, those guys are out there.”