The Emotional Benefits Of Being A Domme Sex Worker
By Margot St. Vincent
I find myself being tested in good ways about my boundaries and willingness to engage in emotional labor.
When I met my most current client, I wasn’t expecting him at all. It was 7 a.m. on a Thursday, and my last steady client — whom I’d genuinely enjoyed spending time with — had just pulled bullshit by cyberstalking me and making unreasonable demands of my time, all while gaslighting me (a super fun PTSD Mashup Gravitron). I was in a rough mood, feeling cunty and mean about men and their entitlement, jaded about the biz, and generally disenfranchised.
Then I got a message from a guy, a young one, in his 30s (which doesn’t happen often), who was looking to be dominated, humiliated, and cuckolded.
When I was a baby ho, I started making money by doing fetish videos. They were lower impact, I could make custom clips as I wanted and sell them over and over, and I could do the work at my leisure. My favorite videos to make were clips for men who were really into being cuckolded — basically, being told what losers they were, and how much bigger/better/hotter/cooler other men were than them.
Better yet were the clients with homoerotic tendencies, ones who wanted to be punished by having me tell them about what I would make my (imaginary) boyfriend do to them. Always a fan of power play, always a bossy-ass bitch, always a feminist killjoy, I was super stoked to get clients who allowed me to dominate and humiliate them, who let me get my latent misandry out in ways that were compensated.
I was super stoked to get clients who allowed me to dominate and humiliate them.
So when I met Simon, I was primed and ready to dive into the world of domination and humiliation again, and excited to try it in a full-service way, outside of the world of screens and video clips.
Have you ever met a kink match? I have only three times in my entire kinky adult life. The first was with a date (goddamn Leos with Leo in Venus, man) where the first time I crawled onto their lap, I orgasmed and basically didn’t stop for the duration of our year-long on-again, off-again thing. The second was my partner, a true-blue switch with whom I get to be my best domme self AND my best sub self — which is rare.
And the third was Simon.
Our first scene was fantastic. He’d bought me presents, which were waiting for me when I got to his house — hot studded stilettos, lace-welted thigh highs, a few pieces of retro-inspired, amazing lingerie (not the shit clients usually get, where you’re like gee thanks for this vinyl piece of ass floss that is totally a present for you and is going to make me look like a twined-up chicken). I made him lick my heels, eat food from the floor, do all manner of things to all manner of toys I’d brought. I took humiliating pictures of him and made him send them to other girls he’d played with. I left five pairs of my underwear with him, and took all of his, so he’d have to wear them to work all week. And after the scene was over, we had a glass of wine on his balcony and talked a little about ourselves outside of fantasy land, he walked me to my car, sang a song at me as I drove away.
When I was a teenager, I was sexually assaulted and spun into several years of sleeping with anyone I felt was even remotely attractive. I wanted to fuck like a dude, because it felt powerful, and it felt like I could be careless in the ways I’d been treated (carelessly). And when I finally figured that out, it was through kink where I realized that I could have power and trust and play and fantasy and reality in ways that were not only hot as fuck, but also healing. People in my community familiar with all of these intersections (kink, sexual assault, sex work), say that this is what’s called healing on a cellular level.
And why not? It’s empowering as hell to be trusted by a sub to dominate them in ways they want, to create and curate scenes that both of you will enjoy, but also to make sure that everyone is safe and cared for, always. It plays into my own tendencies to care deeply and nurture deeply and be maternal, it caters to my own high sex drive, and it caters to my politics of subversive power.
But there are pitfalls, there, too. Remember how I talk about sugaring, the emotional labor, the girlfriend experience? Doing domme work can quickly fall into the same kinds of harmful patterns if the D/S relationship isn’t equally strong on both sides (meaning both parties have their own sets of boundaries and healthy ways of approaching/communicating about things). It can become dangerous if the fantasy blurs too much into what is supposed to be reality. A weak sub — one who doesn’t have their own boundaries or any ideas about self-preservation — can trigger in me my old mainstay harmful ways where I will go to great lengths for others, many times at a cost to myself. Being a good domme means setting guidelines, enforcing them, expecting trust and respect and mutual care (after all, dommes need care too, not just subs), and offering emotional labor only within a certain framework — especially if you are getting paid to do so.
Simon and I are negotiating a lot, and are only a few weeks into our playing. And though there are many factors at play about our dynamic that would feel too private to share, I find myself being tested in good ways about my boundaries and willingness to engage in emotional labor. It hits my old wounds and experiences in ways that allow me to see exactly how far I’ve come, and how strong I am.
And as person who has experienced a lot of really rough shit in the world, I’m a finely-tuned barometer of what is OK and not OK for me — which is a gift that trauma gave me. And, fingers crossed, maybe domme-ing will be the thing that sticks for me, that allows me to experience sex work in ways that feel on my terms, and actually allow me to be properly compensated for the emotional labor I have been doing for others for free my entire life (and also compensated for being socialized as female, which I’ve also been paying for my entire life).
And of course, it all depends on the client (there are some really shitty subs), but I’m holding out for hope, here.