Yes, Mistress

How to serve a Professional Dominatrix, discover your inner submissive and embrace your kink.

Domina Esmé Crane
14 min readOct 5, 2015

If you dream of the exquisite pleasure of excruciating pain, or long for the soft touch of satin panties while you serve your Mistress underfoot, seeking out the services of a Professional Dominatrix can be deeply thrilling, rewarding and even therapeutic. Getting there, however, can be like navigating a Fire Swamp. Even if you manage to successfully avoid the Flame Spurts and Lightning Sand, how can you ensure you don’t come across to a potential new Mistress like some sort of rabid, unsavory Rodent of Unusual Size?

Were you worried about that? Even a little bit? Because you should be.

Finding the right Mistress is a delicate endeavor. Whether you wish to be dominated as a biannual treat or seek to serve with devotion on a weekly basis, a good fit between Mistress and submissive is essential to creating a powerful, mutually beneficial session experience. If you don’t respect Her time, boundaries and instructions in your initial correspondence, chances are you’ll never have the privilege of serving Her in session. Furthermore, if you attempt to haggle over the tribute, insist on a protracted discussion without scheduling a session or (horror of horrors!) flake on a scheduled session, She may very well warn Her peers, providing you with a long, difficult road to redemption; a road of your own paving.

So how can you put your best foot forward when making first contact with a Professional Dominatrix without wasting time or causing offense, while still having your most burning questions answered? It may seem daunting, but it’s not rocket science. All it takes is a few simple guidelines and a healthy dose of respect and empathy.

STEP ONE: Don’t send that email yet.

Huh? You’ve cruised your local ads, kinky social media sites, established BDSM forums and now you’re ready to submit your deepest desires to a Domme you found online? Not so fast. Before you spill all your beans into this stranger’s inbox, ask yourself: are your beans Her cup of tea?

Before contacting any Pro Domme, be sure to read Her website. Thoroughly. We know you’ve taken a good, hard look at Our gallery page (trust Me: We track our web analytics and We share with our Domme Friends), now read the rest of the website. All of it. What are Her likes and dislikes? Favorite types of play? Hard boundaries? Where and when does She session? Are you looking for a same-day appointment while She only books at least a week in advance? Is She even accepting new submissives at all? Show your respect for Her through your respect for Her time. An email full of questions that are clearly answered on Her website is a big waste of time and a surefire way to start yourself off at a disadvantage.

So, you’ve taken the time to read Her website, toe to tip — Now what? This depends on the Domme you’re getting in touch with. Many will have a submission page built right into Their website with a form or list of the information They require from you. Others will simply provide an email address, while some still prefer to be contacted by telephone. Be mindful of Her preferred method of contact and the information you will be expected to provide. When in doubt, there are a handful of basics that should always be covered in your introductory email. Covering these basics will serve to show your intention, save precious time and move forward the conversation about setting up your first session.

STEP ONE-AND-A-HALF: Prerequisites.

Before you even get to the basics, it’s important to consider the context, not just the content, of the message you hope to convey.

The punishment for poor grammar and spelling is the excruciating pain of denial, so type wisely. Photographed by Morgana Maye.

The nuances of correspondence are as varied as they are telling. Always use proper spelling and grammar when corresponding with a Dominatrix. We are smart, driven and exacting individuals, and you can be sure We didn’t enter this disciplined, dominant and often ritualistic field just to put up with emails that look like they were written by a toddler (If you’d like to plan an age regression session where you do, in fact, unleash your inner toddler, that’s wonderful, but you’ll still need to act like a grown up until your scene begins.)

This may seem like common sense, but you’d be surprised how often it still bears repeating: Include your name. Any name. Seriously. It could be your real name or it could be another name you would like to go by, but if you’ve seen other Dommes in the past and plan on using them as a reference, use the same name you have used before. Don’t keep changing your name or email address. Do you know who pathologically changes their name and email address? Problem clients. The kind who have been blacklisted by other Dommes and dungeons. Changing the name you go by or the email you use will only make it harder to get a reference and prolong the time it takes to set up your first session.

The very first thing your introduction email should say is:

“Dear Mistress So-And-So,”

It may also read:

“Dear Domina So-And-So,”

Or even:

“Dear Goddess So-And-So,”

The title, of course, depends on the title preferred by the Dominatrix. Obviously, you know which title to use because you’ve read Her website thoroughly. There are a million ways your introduction email SHOULD NOT begin. They include but are not limited to:

“Hey there,”

“How much is it?”

And my personal favorite:

“Do you do [blank]???”

An introductory email isn’t just an avenue for seeking a Mistress’ attention — it’s also Her first impression of who you are as a potential submissive. Show your respect by addressing Her properly, communicating concisely and presenting yourself as the wonderful, well-behaved submissive you so long to be.

Think of your introductory email as you would any other formal introduction. Unless otherwise specified on Her website, address a Mistress by Her title and surname. Address Her in any future emails however She has chosen to sign past emails. Few details show a sense of entitlement and lack of awareness more than when someone continues to address me as “Esmé” although I consistently sign my messages “Domina Crane”. More than a formality, how you address a Mistress (or anyone in your life, for that matter) conveys deference, intention and empathy. Still, I adore any permutation of “Domina Crane”, including, “Mistress Crane”, simply “Mistress”, or even a well intentioned “Miss Crane”.

And another thing:

What’s up with those capital/lowercase letters? If you’ve spent any time researching Dominance and submission on the internet, you’ve probably come across non-traditional spelling regarding names. Does She capitalize Her pronouns? Should you lowercase yours? This is a matter of personal preference, but when in doubt it’s a marvelous demonstration of submission and can also delineate your sincerity in keeping submission present in all of your interactions. Every Mistress is unique in their style of correspondence, but most will continue to refer to you as you have referred to yourself, so pick your poison, be consistent and luxuriate in the comfort of finding your own kinky identity.

PART TWO: The Basics.

Now that you know who She is and how to address Her, it’s time to introduce yourself. In a nutshell, the best introductory emails contain each of the following components:

1. A polite salutation: This can be as simple as “Dear Domina,” short and sweet.

2. A little bit about yourself: Include your name and what you would like to be to Her. Are you an adoring financial submissive wishing to pamper your Mistress, or are you a long-time masochist seeking a bewitching disciplinarian? An emerging sissy? An enthusiastic adult baby? None of the above are mutually exclusive. Tell Her how you identify your submission and how it might please Her. You already know which areas of Domination She does and doesn’t practice from reading Her website. While you may be tempted, there is absolutely no need to begin an introduction with a photo of yourself or a string of superlatives about your wealth and success unless it has been specifically requested. What you look like and whether or not you high dive through Scrooge McDuck piles of gold coins have no bearing on what sort of submissive you are. None. At all.

Find your inner submissive: Sissy Cheri serves best through her love of bondage, frilly dresses and excellent boot worship. Photographed by Morgana Maye.

3. Your experience: It is always useful for a Domme to know what your BDSM experience is, whether you’re active in the lifestyle or new to the game. Be sure to include any experience you have seeing professional Dominatrixes as well as your personal experiences out of session. If this is your first time seeking a session with a professional, be candid about your interest and what has motivated you to make contact. Both Domination and submission are fluid, evolving concepts, and what pushes your boundaries now will fluctuate as you continue to learn and grow. Resist the urge to feign a knowledge of yourself that you may lack. Many a submissive has possessed eyeballs bigger than their stomach, which serves no one. Give yourself the best shot at an enjoyable first session and pleasing your Mistress by letting Her know where you stand.

4. What you seek: You seek to please Her, of course, but how? Tell Her which of Her favorite kinds of play you are most interested in. It takes time to plan a good session, and planning an afternoon of roleplay can require far different things than suspension bondage or sissy training. Don’t send a play-by-play of your ideal fantasy, but describe your desires clearly and honestly. Remember, you serve Her, and only through true submission and the nuances of a good interpersonal fit may you experience the transcendent respite of the interstitial peace we call sub-space.

5. Hard boundaries: Share your hard boundaries right out of the gate, however odd they may seem to you. Nothing cuts short a session like a safeword, and everyone safewords for different reasons. Plenty of folks can’t take marks. Maybe you have a deathly fear of needles. Perhaps you’ve always wanted to please a Mistress by taking sounds, but only if you’re blindfolded. This is also the time to discuss injuries and health risks. For instance, if you’ve got a heart condition, electrical play is out of the question, and circulatory issues require extra consideration when it comes to bondage. Help Us help you by giving Us the information we need to best plan a session that everyone will enjoy. Fewer things are more frustrating to a compassionately Dominant professional than planning an afternoon of fun, only to learn when you arrive at the dungeon that half of the activities We’ve planned are on your list of boundaries.

6. References: Show your understanding and respect by providing any new Mistress with a reference or two. The more willing you are to provide references, the faster you’ll find yourself with a scheduled session. Any independent Domme or house dungeon you have visited in the past should be happy to provide a reference for you, assuming you were well-behaved. Your references are a currency of goodwill for making new connections and indispensable in proving your submission to a new Mistress. If this is your first time seeking a session with a professional Dominatrix, let Her know. She may be willing to accept personal references, employment verification, P411 credentials or some other form of verification. This is for Her protection, and by extension, your protection. Accountability is key.

PART THREE: What not to do.

Don’t haggle. If you can’t afford a session be honest, thank Her for Her time and get back to Her if and when you are able.

While you may feel that Her tribute is high, there are a multitude of factors that go into how a Domme decides Her rates. Dungeon rental is certainly one of these factors, but there are countless considerations that may not even occur to you. Advertising is a constant expense, and one that varies depending upon the city you are in. Gear and wardrobe are regular investments that We make, both for our Own enjoyment and yours. Well made bondage gear and fetishwear are expensive, as they should be given the labor and expertise of the craftspeople who make them. Session planning is a large component of any professional Domme’s practice that takes both time and patience, and it is not unreasonable for any well versed Mistress to require a deposit up front and even request that you book a separate consultation if your scene is particularly long or detailed. In most cases, your Mistress will have spent a number of hours corresponding with you, checking your references, preparing Herself, setting up the space and cleaning up afterwards. All of this is covered by the cost of your session, and that’s not all…

In addition to the particulars of your session, your Dominatrix is also a unique small business owner. This role covers everything from marketing and advertising to webmastering, social media engagement, content creation, travel expenses, gym membership, photography, community outreach, hair and makeup, wardrobe, transportation, continuing education, and, yes, even taxes. Taxes, and in many cases health insurance, renters insurance and even a mortgage and property taxes if your Mistress owns and operates Her own dungeon.

These are but some of the reasons your Mistress’ time is valuable. If you waste Her time, either by haggling, by insisting on a protracted discussion of your scene or by demanding Her time and attention without booking a session, She may choose not to engage with you and may warn Her colleagues not to bother with your inquiries either. Ensure you have the best session possible by being courteous and respectful of any prospective Mistress’ time. The professional kink community is small and word travels, so put your best foot forward and reap the rewards of of your good behavior.

PART FOUR: Go the extra mile.

Contrary to popular belief, everyone loves a teachers’ pet. Show your Mistress you care by going above and beyond what is expected of you.

1. Tell Her how you found Her: Dominatrices are independent business women. Telling Her how you found Her will help Her to refine Her advertising and social media presence. Online advertising is key in this day and age, and information is power. Giving Her this information can help your Mistress grow Her business, and Her happiness is your happiness.

2. Consider Her time: When you tribute a Mistress you aren’t simply compensating Her for time in session. Being a professional Dominatrix is a full time job that includes the gamut of roles outlined above. Show your Mistress you appreciate Her time, expertise and effort by doing what you can, from always being on time and keeping your emails concise to tipping Her beyond the expected tribute whatever you are able and feel is deserved.

3. Be indulgent: While the role of any Dominatrix is that of a small business owner, it’s more than that. A good Mistress understands your desires, creates a safe, guided space for kinky exploration, and provides the physical and emotional support essential to creating a blissful experience of submission. There are myriad ways to show your appreciation for Her work. You might gift items from Her wish list or treat Her to an indulgent spa day. Perhaps there is a new piece of bondage gear She had been lusting after… Even if these forms of appreciation are beyond your means, thoughtful kindnesses can be just as great a pleasure.

This card from a gracious sissy absolutely made my day and melted my patent leather heart.

Some of My favorite gifts have been those of thoughtfulness — a handwritten note or sentimental gesture can be moving because they show the gift of your time and consideration. Just know that your efforts will be appreciated, and take pleasure in any kind deed you might do to please Her. Should you continue to serve Her your efforts will surely be rewarded.

At its best, submission is a fluid, ever deepening relationship that offers many benefits to both Domme and sub. Strive to be your best self in service and you will no doubt find that you will grow both as a submissive and as an individual.

PART FIVE: After Eden.

After your first session with a new Mistress you may want to send Her an email reflecting on your session. Before you leave, thank Her for Her time and ask if you might send a follow up note. Perhaps your experience has piqued your interest or been so completely transcendent that you already know you’d like to serve Her again. If so, feel free to let Her know, and to inquire about Her upcoming schedule so that you might put another session on the books right then and there. Many independent and traveling Dommes are busy businesswomen and it may take some time before She is able to get back to you via email.

You may also share your experience with fellow fetishists and help your Mistress increase Her reach by posting about your session online. Leaving feedback is the perfect way to show your Mistress you care while reminiscing about your time together and reflecting on what lies ahead. Popular Domina Guide Max Fisch has an entire forum dedicated to reviews on The Hang. Mistress Review is another site dedicated to listing Dominas and their reviews. Furthermore, some Mistresses will also post individual reviews from submissives on their websites — if you do choose to send a post-session summary of your thoughts, it’s always appreciated to let your Mistress know you’d be happy to let Her publish your feedback on Her website should She desire.

If you didn’t feel a deep connection or ideal fit with a new Mistress during your first session, don’t despair. Like all relationships, D/s relationships take time and trust to develop. Perhaps you enjoyed yourself but didn’t feel comfortable letting go completely, or maybe the stresses of everyday life permeated the sanctuary of your session, distracting you from subspace. If this is the case, give it another shot — chances are your Mistress will appreciate the opportunity to explore your submission further and value your commitment to the process.

On the other hand, while fear and uncertainty are powerful tools for building trust and submission, you should never feel unsafe during a session and your hard boundaries should always be respected. A good session will push your boundaries, expanding your experience of submissive bliss. It can be unnerving, even terrifying, especially if it’s your first rodeo, but the rewards are worth the struggle. If you’re conflicted after your first session experience, reassess what it is you are seeking through submission. Was there a breakdown of communication? Did you clearly explain your desires and boundaries in your initial emails? Do your Mistresses interests and experiences match yours as a a submissive? Did you let Her know in session when your boundaries were pushed to the breaking point? If you’ve done all you can, but don’t feel you’re on the same page, perhaps another Mistress would be a better fit for you.

The words you are searching for are, “Yes, Mistress. Thank You, Mistress.” Photographed by Morgana Maye.

Submission is not one size fits all, and while a strong Domme can and will delight in guiding you through the experience, your submission is ultimately up to you. Venturing into this new territory and embracing your kink can be daunting, but, armed with the right information, finding and serving a Professional Dominatrix can be both simple and deeply rewarding.

Cover photo by Le Voyeur Photo.



Domina Esmé Crane

Mistress, Model & Gleeful Sadist // Musings on Sex, Gender & Kink in Culture