has your perspective on your line of work changed since you
first became involved with it?
When I began professional
domination, it was an experiment. I approached it with
candor. I had a sense of humor about it, and I still do.
That sense of humor seeps through - to the delight of my
submissives! I have learned more about human nature than
I did during 10 years of college. I have faced and conquered
my issues. I try to help other people with their issues
too, but it does depend on where they want to go with it.
I want my clients to experience catharsis through their
There are different reasons why a person craves submission,
and it can be anything from just wanting to escape and
get off, to needing behavior modification. Sometimes ill-informed
reasons need to be reshaped and directed into something
I view what I do as an art form. I have studied, learned
techniques, and attended workshops world wide to have new
experiences. This is my vocation.
I have learned about boundaries in a nontraditional way.
I am a fluid person, and I do not think in a linear fashion
(beginning middle end) about sexual things. I have a desire
to grow and learn new things to keep the experiences interesting.
The longer a Mistress is in this business, the more important
it is for her to do the scenes she actually finds an interest
How do nonprofessional
lifestylers perceive you?
Lifestyle Ladies often befriend me. I
have a few lifestyle male friends too, who are switches,
dominants and submissives. I have had a few girl toys too!
What has your experience been
with people not involved with the lifestyle?
Since I don't advertise
to vanilla society, I don't know what they think.
Many women in the scene are highly
educated. Why the correlation?
The men who are
attracted to this are intelligent. They are often in the
upper income brackets and many are computer savvy. They
make important decisions all day, and some of them run
large companies. They want to trust and submit to a woman
who they feel is bright. Most of them seek out intelligence,
and they want to play with someone they would actually
find interesting in 'real life' too. If a Domina wants
to be successful she has to be able to mentally spar (and
outwit if need be) these crafty men.
Would you say that there
has been a shift in “mainstream” perceptions
of the subculture?
due to the new fad of being a 'modern primitive' in our
society almost everyone in generation X has a tattoo
or a piercing. A whole new wave of club life has popped
up in the last 10 years, and its cool to go out in public
and submit to a Mistress at fetish night. These things
unfortunately take years longer in Pittsburgh to occur
with the frequency that they do in other cities. There
is a burgeoning scene in Cleveland, Columbus, Philadelphia
and Washington DC (Black Rose) but I mostly go to Europe
to get my kicks that I need beyond the ones I get in
I feel the shift is good in some ways and bad in others.
The bad: There is a new breed of Mistress moving in -
the fetish model that just wants to be adored with gifts
and money online. They are not concerned with technique
and neither are their clients. Its 'cool' to be a Mistress
right now. You can find references to domination in many
advertisements. The whole 'male bashing' thing unfortunately
gets mixed into the soup too, and people who are not
scene savvy cant possibly understand the differences
between immature male bashing, professional female domination,
matriarchy or female supremacy unless they are willing
to spend time on some serious reading.
The good: All of this is keeping us on our toes! We
have to work harder, be more interesting and learn more
to inspire our clients to want to continue their sessions
with us. Our clients are starting to realize that what
we are providing cant be found at some bar or through
some lifestyle advertisement on a 1-900 line. There will
always be clients who would rather visit a professional
for their own separation from the scene. The convenience
of 'no stings attached' is a very attractive thing. No
matter how big the club scene gets or the lifestyle groups
become, there are always going to be clients who want
to separate D/s from the rest of their lives.
About the portrayal of D/s in mainstream society:
S/m is titillating. It sells movie tickets and indeed
it does get portrayed in nonfactual and negative ways,
but those people want to sell films. They don't care
about the scene. Scene people know this, and the more
educated ones simply take it in stride, and also take
advantage of it; for example: by getting a secretive
thrill by taking the wife (who knows nothing of their
scene interests) to see 'Quills'. The problem with D/s
in filmmaking is that it is too much of a hot potato
to 'do the right thing with' and 'send the right message'.
Someone somewhere is going to get offended. Filmmakers
who choose to use D/s as subject matter for their projects
know this and exploit it. By the way, 'Quills' is more
of an art film than a commercial money maker, and I highly
recommend seeing it with a non-scene person to get their
perspective on it.
Some would say that there is something insidious and harmful
about this even existing- the whole decadence/fall-of-Rome
thing. What is your slant on this?
If society was perfect
there would not be perversions. We are imperfect in an
imperfect society. We find pleasure in our perversions
and eroticism in our taboos. Comparing Rome and the modern
S/m scene is like comparing apples and oranges. There is
no comparison that I see. We are now living in the age
of technology; not the age of iron! Due to technology,
we can now interact with thousands of people anonymously
about our desires, and feel we have a kinship - even though
most of us have to be very secretive.
How would you say professional
domination fits into the term ‘sex trade’ or ‘sex
is 'sex work', because it is a sexual thing to people.
There does not have to be sex in order for something
to be sexual, however.
Do you think that the inclination
towards BDSM is a sexual orientation, per se?
Yes, I define myself
as a pan sexual leather person. I accept/play with/have
had relationships with - all sexual orientations, but to
make things easier I simply call my own orientation leather.
How do you/ other women negotiate
the crossover between professional and lifestyle domination?
I have boundaries between my personal
and professional life.
How has your involvement changed your general outlook,
if at all?
I have had other
types of employment that have affected me more than this
one has. I have learned things from each job that I have
been able to bring to my current lifestyle. From the archaeology
I did in the early eighties, I learned that I had 'true
grit' to dig holes in the ground in the middle of March
at 45 degrees below zero. Its hard work drawing maps and
taking pictures when its that cold outside! From being
a waitress (while in college) I learned how to 'size people
up', so I could make an experience positive. From being
an artist I learned how to be spontaneous and abstract
with my clients, and of course from being a teacher I learned
patience. What made it hard for me in all of these jobs
though, was that I am not a follower or team player. I
am a leader, and I am only really happy working for myself.
I am lucky to have found this occupation, because it suits
me so well.
Do you look at people/ life differently? Has it changed
how you deal with people?
can read someone very quickly. It is scary. My extra
sensory powers have gotten much stronger too. I know
what people are thinking, and when I have them in bondage
I 'talk to them without talking'. How has doing professional
domination changed me? I am much more protective of
my personal time. When I was an artist my work was
about my life, and my domination is really about my
Most importantly - has it changed how you see yourself?
I am less selfish than I used to be and
am a stronger person physically and emotionally.
What was coming out to your family like; i.e., how did
they see it, as opposed to how they see it now?
They already knew
before I told them. I am proud of what I do. If you feel
good about what you do, those who care about you will be
Abuse is a common stereotype, as
far as reasons go that people enter the scene. (My advisor
can’t get it out of his head, for example.) My thinking
is that this is but one of many catalysts-but that there
usually is one present. What is your perspective on this?
Your adviser has
probably met sadists and not even known it. It is what
we do behind closed doors that is scary to non-scene people.
Remember, that scene people negotiate their play. The 'victim'
is seeking out 'the treatment', and quite aggressively
seeking it too! These 'victims' often struggle and act
like brats in order to get more 'attention'. The submissive
is often the 'selfish' one, and the Top is often satisfying
the fantasy of the submissive. It is consensual play in
the world of Professional Mistress and submissive client.
It is also consensual play in the lifestyle BDSM world,
mixed with relationships that are more personal than professional.
Careful negotiations are carried out pre-scene in both
worlds, and the submissive ultimately has control over
what happens to them.
are partaking because they want to. This is very obvious.
Abuse is something
else entirely. People who are dangerous to society are
not part of 'the scene'. They try to hide behind it's
skirts on occasion, but they are always blasted out in
There is a big difference between what goes on in D block,
and what goes on in a dungeon. The energy may appear
similar, but the morality and ethics are different. This
craving' for realism so many submissives have has popularized
such role play games as prisoner/Guard, victim/Interrogator,
criminal/Cop, accused/Judge, and so forth. Look at the
way the D/s scene has sexualized most types of uniforms.
Power play is hot,
and those in the D/s scene often 'play around' society
roles, which are forbidding and horrible
things to actually become. It would be awful to really
be a prisoner, victim, criminal, or the accused, wouldn't
it? Playing 'around it' in a sexy way makes it really
hot! Your adviser needs to realize that sadists are often
by the 'tableau' and that means what we do is 'literally
on a stage' even if it is in our own minds. The ideas
excite us, often just as much, if not more, than inflicting
kind of real physical or mental 'pain'. The power of
the spectacle rules in the mind of the sadist.
Many women with whom
I have spoken dominate men professionally while identifying
as lesbians. Is there
a correlation, or is that just the side I’m seeing?
professional Dominas are kinky women, who are not repressed
sexually. Everyone has same sex fantasies at some stage.
I have noticed that women who stay in this over the
years are sometimes gay, but they also have male slaves.
The sex industry in general is filled with women who
get excited looking at pictures of each other. When
we are young, the first pornographic images we see
are often of women. It is 'acceptable' for women to
look at pictures of other women, and men are turned
on by the idea of women being together. A lot of dominant
women find the idea of gay male sex to be hot.
I do not know of very many women in the professional
dominant scene who do not like other women sexually.
Most of the dominant women I know have also had relationships
that are sexual with personal male submissives. Therefore,
I would conclude that most professional dominant women
are actually bisexual, with leanings overall towards
men or women as a preference.
(This is for me… do you know of any sources where
I could find out more about the history?)
I just read a delightful
little book while I was on the treadmill the other night
entitled "Uppity Women of Shakespearean Times".
This book is a series of small vignettes about each woman
(it even mentions transvestites) and what she did and how
she coped with being 'dominant' in a patriarchal world.
The book also mentions a lot of female 'scoundrels' which
is most amusing. The author has such D/s flair to her writing,
I know she must have had something to do with the scene
(or still does) because of the many colorful uses of certain
words and phrases. A must read for some entertaining history.
I also have fantastic library link for the members of my
Thank you for the interview Ms. Boss!
You are welcome. It was enjoyable!