A joyful experience in learning how to be a dominatrix


Attending the Domming 101 Class by Lola Jean and Yes Miss Shayla from NYC

Learning about BDSM took me recently to an online class/talk on how to be a Dominatrrix…The class was called Domming 101, and it was led and organized by Lola Jean and Yes Miss Shayla, two very well established New York-based SW’s, dominatrixes, and educators.  It was a joy to participate as a /s, and it was really, really interesting to hear as a /s. This post covers their key messages.

A word on the instructors

This session was excellent, and was a mix of presentation covering a structured set of themes, and a live Q&A in the chat during the session which made the whole experience quite interactive.  Both of these two lead sessions such as these in their own right, and have a fairly regular schedule of events—definitely worth checking out.

Take a look at Lola Jean’s website. https://lolajean.com

Yes Miss Shayla is Miss Shayla Lange. https://yesmissshayla.wordpress.com

Both of these two kink educators are professional Dommes and co-hosts of @7daysofdomination

These are my notes from the talk, picking up on the points which resonated with me.

Domming

There is no one right way to be a Domme.  There is, however, shitty v. respectful.  It is important to be responsible.

Finding your Domme persona

Don’t pretend.  Don’t role play.  It should be a version of yourself which you can step into.  To help figure this out, ask yourself, who are you and who do you want to be, and come up with words to describe this.  These were mine.  [And yes, when I grow up I want to be a dominatrix…or maybe I’ll get to be one in my next life].

Who are you?Who do you want to be?
GracefulLoved
WarmCreative
LovingCherished
CreativeFeminine
 Fun
Stepping into a version of yourself

Understanding these things can become the building blocks of your persona.  If I were a dominatrix, I wonder how that would be?  Hmm, let me see…

What kind of kink are you?

It is good to understand your subset.  Lola Jean’s website has a short quiz you can take which will give you some insights on this.  I took the quiz and interestingly, the answer was a whole category that covered both Domme and sub.  My kinky subset according to Lola Jean’s quiz is “service”.

www.lolajean.com

A fun conversation ensued about service submissives.  Lola Jean “dislikes” service subs because of what a pain it is to come up with things for them to do and then have to check up on them after.  She does, however, really like being called “Boss”.  I think I would enjoy discussing this further with her at some point—after all, doesn’t a boss have subordinates?

An aside on service submission

I went out to dinner with a dominatrix very early in my explorations of BDSM.  The dominatrix “diagnosed” me as a service submissive, which at the time was nothing I had ever heard of.  She told me that a true service sub is quite rare, and made the distinction between the “French Maid” or its equivalent, which is really more about being humiliated, sissified, or made to dress in a certain way, vs. a service sub who will just want to do a good job cleaning your house if that is what s/he is asked to do.

As it happened, this dominatrix loved having service submissives, or slaves in her life, and in addition to her husband, she had two slaves who were semi-integrated into her life–one in a technical area of expertise who was doing research for her on projects she was interested in, the other was a household manager, and who kept her house clean, stocked, and well managed.  This appears to be an interesting balance between professional and lifestyle.  Given how this particular dominatrix appears to live the lifestyle full-time, however, going to events, being an active participant in the social kink scene, everything seemed quite balanced, genuine, and down to earth.  She was hugely helpful to me, pointing me towards further reading, events to attend, groups to join, how to use Fetlife (which I have still not done).

I wrote once about another educational talk that I participated in, and there a group of Dommes were lamenting at how bad most subs were at rendering service.  

There is a rich vein here, though.  The book Real Service, by Raven Kaldera and Joshua Tenpenny, reviewed here, explores service submission from a lifestyle perspective.  While I didn’t absolutely love the book, the precision with which it describes a Master/slave dynamic was helpfully instructive.

The dissonance I felt in listening to Lola Jean’s description of what a pain it was to have a service sub, and the words of the dominatrix I dined with made me realise that any given Domme is every bit as diverse as any given sub, and that what might attract within a power exchange is just another factor in what might attract two people in life to one another.

Second Aside on Service

Permit me to go further down the rabbit hole on service.  As someone who was correctly diagnosed as a service sub, exactly what I do to render service actually matters.  If the Domme asked me to clean, of course I would do it, and I would enjoy it, and I would do a good job of it.  I would also not expect anything in return, other than perhaps a “good job” or a “thank you” if indeed I had done a good job.  

And curiously enough, and unbeknownst to my host, I scrubbed the bathroom floor, tub, sink, toilet when visiting, including going out to buy cleaning products…and never said a word.

And cleaning appears to be a popular thing to ask for, but I am not sure which of the two involved in the dynamic want it.  After all, paying someone to come to clean your place regularly is not that expensive.  And no matter the intent of the sub, an actual maid probably does a better job.  And so, this falls into the category of “make work” which Lola Jean rightly fingered as not so appealing.  

What is appealing?  I latched onto concept of relevance.  Service is only valuable if it is relevant to the person for whom it is being done.  What good is service if you are just making up the task?  But if the task is one that actually takes care of something meaningful to you, then that has an avenue to become mutually enriching.

And this is where a professional Domme who enjoys this kind of relationship, of being a Boss, can also find fulfilment.  At its most basic, most successful Dommes are incredibly busy, so having a secretary could be useful.  Bookings, calendar management, travel arrangements.  I have heard of some who have their subs go beyond these administrative tasks and also contribute to the actual work of being a Domme.

I have also heard and read of Dommes who really don’t want this…who don’t want a sub in their home, their place of work, in their lives in that way.  One wrote, “I don’t want a sub washing my lingerie, touching my knickers.” 

I can relate to all of this.  What Lola Jean’s words meant ultimately sparked this soliloquy.  As a Domme, you need to know what you want and like, so that you can attract and develop meaningful and deep relationships with subs and clients who want and like the same things…If you are true to yourself as a Domme, that will pay itself back in your practice.

Back to the talk.

Easing In.  How to do it?

Start slowly.   Think about what you want to feel.  How do you like to feel.  Make this central to your persona as a Domme.

Good and Bad Dommes

A “shitty” domme says, “here is what I like, do it.”  A good domme finds herself and knows what works for her.  Not all dommes and subs belong together.

Kink

It helps to understand what you like.  For example, you might think you like spanking, but maybe you just like the attention.  There is a myth that kink isn’t sexual.  It is completely sexual.  BDSM does not need to be about pain or humiliation, even if those are the two most popular characterisations.  

24/7 might sound fun as an idea, but the reality might be very different.  Finding the line between something which is too much work and that which is fun, natural, and easy is the key to long-term happiness and success.

Boundaries

You need to know what they are and also understand why they exist, and be able to articulate them.  It is important to articulate boundaries in terms of feelings.  For example:

  • No: I don’t like blood, scat, or needles
  • Yes: this is how I like to feel, or, this is not how I like to feel
  • Yes: here is what I want and why I like it

Safe Words

These are critical.  It is important to have non-verbal ones too.  Best is to pick a word that you wouldn’t normally use.  Lola Jean, who loves to do kinky wrestling, requires taps and other forms of non-verbal cues to signal safe words.

What are you creating?

A dominatrix is creating a safe space where someone can feel vulnerable.  How do you earn the trust of that person to make that happen?  What kind of opening do you want to see and encourage?  What kind will be fulfilling to you?  Understanding this will help you to attract the right clientele.  Are you into:

  • Top/bottom: giving and receiving
  • Master/slave: power exchange

Sub Etiquette

Rituals are designed to trigger a Pavlovian response.  Things like collars or getting naked are ritual steps that can happen at the start of a session which help to put the sub in the right frame of mind.  Clothed female, naked male is a common way to do this.

As a sub, it is important to commit to the process.  Don’t be silly.  Go with the flow.  Don’t upset your top or the scene will end.

Lola Jean put a plug in for her “Brat Support Group”.  As a self-identified Brat, she is surely a qualified leader of such a session, and it sounds like it would be fun to join in the discussion.

Punishments and Funishments

Punishments should fit the crime.  What areas are safe for humiliation?  Explore them.  Predicament play is a favourite: choose between two things where the sub cannot win—damned if he does, damned if he doesn’t.  This can be fun.

Talking to Someone in Sub Space

This was Miss. Shayla who led this conversation, and her words really resonated with me.

“Talking to someone in sub-space is like talking to someone on drugs.  You need to speak as if you are speaking to a toddler.”

An aside on this topic.  Boy oh boy.  There was one time that mistress played a “game” with me.  She would tell me something, things which I found rather lengthy and quite complex, and then ask me to repeat to her what I had heard and what she had just said.  I was utterly unable to do it.  Over and over again.  It actually got harder each time.  I felt horrible about it, and I couldn’t understand it, because normally I am ace at complexity and listening.  I asked if I could write it down, and she said no, and as I think back now, I am a total blank on any of what we were talking about.

Miss Shayla’s words put it all in context.  I would be in a kind of sub-space for days just knowing that I was going to be in session.  I have mentioned that all I needed to do to feel in sub space was to sit next to Mistress.  And given what I have noted about our dynamic and our play, I think it is not hard to see how deeply Miss Shayla’s words resonated, how much they explained.

Homework Assignments

Both presenters like giving writing assignments.  500 word essays.  What turns you on and why?  Where do you like to be touched and how?  Dream up 3 scenarios of what we would do together.  What name could I call you to make you fall on your knees, to feel submissive to me?

Other Domme Educators

They highlighted two other dominatrixes who do courses which they recommend.

Mistress Damazonia: she does a fear play course

Domina Faustine: does a sensual FinDomme course

Domme Collectors

The topic of whether subs should be monogamous or whether they should play around came up, and they described this concept of Domme Collectors, this type of submissive man who “has to see everybody” and “has to try everything.”  These people are after something different.

A true sub is looking for someone to belong to, which is why they generally see fewer people.  Some people will have a primary D/s relationship but then play outside of that.  They referred to one slave who is totally devoted and attached to his owner, “quite beautiful to see”, but who also plays on occasion with other Dommes.

Mental Domination

The topic of animal play came up.  That role play is there to allow for unbridled behaviour.  Release.  Interrogation or interview tactics can be a rich area to work with.  Send out a few softball questions before getting into some really tough stuff, or questions you know they can’t answer.

Aftercare

It is good to know what the Love Language of the sub is to be able to do this properly.  Discuss this beforehand and discuss what needs there might be for aftercare.  Sub-space looks like dissociation.

Dissociation is a disconnection between a person’s thoughts, memories, feelings, actions or sense of who he or she is.

Have a ritual, a mantra, something that you do after.  Listen to particular music which you clean your space with.  Eat the same bar of chocolate.  The same goes for you coming out of top space as it does for when you guide your sub out of sub space.

Mistakes to Avoid

These are some things to avoid:

  • Raising your voice…it is a sign that you have lost control.  Doing the opposite, being more quiet, more calm, is a way to signal power.
  • Questioning yourself out loud
  • Punish or reward without reason
  • Not checking in with a sub on how they are feeling, doing
  • Apologizing too much
  • Not providing aftercare

Play Party Etiquette

  • Be normal, it is not really play time
  • A chance to meet and greet…that may be the only reason that someone has gone.  Respect that.
  • Watch out for predators.

During the Q&A, one participant asked about one of the presenter’s relationships with her dog and the unconditional love that a dog has for its owner.  It was an interesting discussion.  A dog’s unconditional love still comes into being with “strings attached”…being fed, having a place to sleep, the importance of companionship, the importance of tone and kind words, and of being “pet” which is how a dog experiences love.

Of course, humans are much more complex, but in chatting with a fellow slave/sub, we both latched onto how enjoyable this thought is.  The domme who responded to the thread on the Q&A was skeptical.  After all, she seemed to say, where is the challenge?  Do our expectations of the human animal mean that it would be impossible to respect that kind of “blind devotion” we get from a dog?  

Or is finding the strength and will inside of you to love someone without condition the highest possible expression of enlightenment possible?  Is that not the essence of submission?  Is that not what we seek in relation to God?  Perhaps unusually, the dominatrix I met with and I spoke of God at length…and we settled into this idea that “Goddess” when describing a Dominatrix is a misnomer, but in a way, she is connecting us to a higher self…that she is a High Priestess instead.  Only in this case, the Holy Communion is a ritual founded in kink.

Not sure what you think, but I guess that there are some subs and dommes who see D/s as a spiritual practice, and others who see it, for them, as a hedonistic pursuit—I do it because I get off on it…is this distinction accurate?  Which are you?  A spiritualist or a hedonist?  Which of the two is what actually releases you?  Or are they inextricably linked?  Do you only get the holiness from the hedonism?  Is the essence of God that which forces us to lose ourselves?

4 thoughts

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