Mistress Velvet’s guide to individual reparations

Mistress Velvet is a black dominatrix who requires her white cisgender male clients to read black feminist theory

Kwana Adams
Feb 17, 2018 · 3 min read

Dominatrix: a dominating woman, especially one who takes the sadistic role in sadomasochist sexual activities.

Mistress Velvet is a black dominatrix based in Chicago whose clients are mostly white, cisgender men. She first introduced black feminist theory into her sessions after her first client asked her if she had the temperament to do this job. She’s been including it ever since. Why?

Image for post
Image for post
Photo courtesy of Huffington Post’s Nicki Sunshine; click to jump to the original story

“I thought this could be something really fun, and it’s a lot of money, so why not try,” She told HuffPost

Though introducing feminist theory into sex work is a bold idea, Mistress Velvet is certainly in the right niche to try it. Inspired to incorporate a reading list and curriculum into her client relationships after hearing from one sub who only held the door for black women, she says she’s noticed positive results. One client was so struck by her teaching that he created a nonprofit to support single black mothers on Chicago’s South Side.

One thing that sticks out to me about Mistress Velvet is that she mentions she created a ‘safe space’ for her clients. The patriarchy makes it difficult for men to be submissive. That she has created a safe space for men to explore submission is laudable; that they learn names like Audre Lorde and Patricia Hill Collins at the same time is astonishing. Everyone wins here!

Eventually, I realized, wow, I’m emotionally invested in my clients. They’re getting this safe space. The ways that patriarchy impacts men, they can’t really be submissive in a lot of contexts. They come to me looking for a safe space to explore the parts of them that may not be seen as masculine, or they might have a lot of shame around. They may not have opportunities to be their full selves in a lot of ways, including sexually, because of those societal constraints. — Mistress Velvet

Image for post
Image for post
Any clients looking to spend time with Mistress Velvet first have to spend time with this seminal work

Why don’t we think ‘Domme’ when we think of black women? We don’t. I confirmed this myself by Googling black dominatrix and black domme, looking for images, and found very little. There were a few photos scattered around, but most seemed sort of caricature-y or irrelevant. Aside from that, there were just a lot of photos of white women dressed in black. It makes me proud to see a black woman finding a space in an industry where we’re often excluded or an afterthought.

I raised my fist in solidarity when Mistress Velvet claimed this was a form of reparations, “… not in a systemic way like we’re getting land back, but definitely on an individual level, it provides me with an emotional sense of reparations.”

Image for post
Image for post
From Mistress Velvet’s website; click the image to jump to her page

As a black woman, I can get behind this method of educating someone. It gets so tiring having to explain feminism and why black women need to be included. We’re brushed off over and over because people refuse to listen or because people gas-light the hell out of us, to say nothing of the fetishization of our bodies.

We are TIRED.

Maybe we should all start tying these men up and forcing them to read black feminist theory…

Check out the Huffington Post article that inspired the story.

The Sex-Positive Blog

We strive to aggregate and amplify historically…

Kwana Adams

Written by

Providence girl who wants to change the world

The Sex-Positive Blog

We strive to aggregate and amplify historically disenfranchised voices and perspectives. Our talented, passionate writing staff covers topics like Sex/Sexuality, Sex Toys, Sexual Freedom, Pleasure, Relationships and more. Tell your sex-positive friends!

Kwana Adams

Written by

Providence girl who wants to change the world

The Sex-Positive Blog

We strive to aggregate and amplify historically disenfranchised voices and perspectives. Our talented, passionate writing staff covers topics like Sex/Sexuality, Sex Toys, Sexual Freedom, Pleasure, Relationships and more. Tell your sex-positive friends!

Medium is an open platform where 170 million readers come to find insightful and dynamic thinking. Here, expert and undiscovered voices alike dive into the heart of any topic and bring new ideas to the surface. Learn more

Follow the writers, publications, and topics that matter to you, and you’ll see them on your homepage and in your inbox. Explore

If you have a story to tell, knowledge to share, or a perspective to offer — welcome home. It’s easy and free to post your thinking on any topic. Write on Medium

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store