January/February 2002
Professional Domination
(A.K.A. So Ya wanna get paid to do what it is we do?)
by Caliann

First off, let me start with letting you now that I am in no way encouraging anyone to become professional. This article will not go into the professional versus non-professional, nor will I write prose on rates, advertising or other such mundane topics. This article is about HOW to be a professional. It is written with the female professional in mind, because that is what I know.

If you are reading this because you want men to fall at your feet and shower you with money, for little or no effort on your part, you need to read elsewhere. To use an old saying: “ There is no such thing as a free lunch”. If you want to learn the steps it takes to be a respected, reputable professional in the lifestyle, read on. If you want to be a kept woman with a whip, find a rich man with a submissive fetish who is looking for a sex toy.

Now that the disclaimers are over, let us begin.

I would suggest that before you even start on this path, you check the laws regarding professional domination in your state. In some states, professional domination falls under “Adult Entertainment” and is perfectly legal as long as you have a license for it. In other states, it is considered prostitution (even if there is no sexual contact!) and is a criminal offense. If you live in a state where it is illegal, stop right here. I do not advocate breaking the law. If you still wish to be a professional dominant, move to a state where it is legal first. If you live in a state where it is legal, go and get your license then continue reading.

First off, you need to LEARN. Oh yes, you do. To be a professional does NOT mean you have a lot of free time on your hands and no job. To be a professional means you have got to be BETTER than average at what it is that we do. Would you take your brand new car to a shade tree mechanic? No, you would take it to someone who has the knowledge and education to know the machine you have paid hard cash for. Would you go to back alley patch man to get your tonsils taken out? No, you would go to a doctor, someone who has spent the time to learn how to do the procedure properly. Why should a submissive trust their mind and body to anything less?

So you learn. Get used to reading and make yourself enjoy it, because you will be doing a lot of it before you ever touch a body. I would suggest getting a copy of Gray’s Anatomy and pouring over it. You need to KNOW the human body, because you will be abusing it. A class or two in human anatomy and biology at the local Community College will also serve you well in the future. How can you know what areas are safe to bludgeon if you don’t know anything about the body?

Have I scared you off the idea yet? Don’t worry, there is more.

Now that you have immersed your intellect in anatomy and biology, taken a few classes and have insured yourself that you know the creature you will be hurting, it is time to learn some more. You need to know about the human psyche. Oh yes, it’s time to get some basic books on psychology and take a couple of courses in that too. The human mind is a wondrous, adaptable thing, but it CAN be broken. Broken toys seldom come back for a second session.

The submissive mind is a very tender thing. A submissive will believe their Dominant over anyone or anything else. A good 85% (or more) of BDSM is psychologically based. You need to KNOW the mind you are screwing. Therefore, basic psych 101 and 201 are close to being a necessity, with Human Sexuality being a terrific bonus to add.

Didn’t know that college was on the list for becoming a professional whip wielder, did you? Have you known any other professional group that did NOT take college or trade school courses? Even Fast Food Managers go to management courses.

Well, that is the end of your college for now, at least until someone opens a Professional Dominants Training Academy. Oh no, you don’t get to the juicy stuff yet. Now that you have learned the body and mind of the species you wish to consensually abuse, you need to learn HOW to abuse them…and with what.

Now is the time to get in touch with your local BDSM organization and find some others in the lifestyle. This is the research portion of your education. This will be fun. Now is the time when you learn all about floggers, canes, clamps and cuffs and that can only be done in real life.

Wait! Did I hear someone in the back say “ Floggers? But don’t I need high heeled boots, a corset and some cool leather clothes first?” Whoever you are, get out. Now. This is NOT a fashion show. There WILL come a time when you have a choice between buying a new leather head-hood and a new leather bustier…and the head-hood will win. When it comes to a scene, quality equipment is MUCH more important than the clothes you are wearing every single time.

(I have been known to conduct a scene wearing a pair of faded bell-bottom jeans, a halter top and barefoot)

Now, where was I? Oh, yes, equipment. Now is when you wish to go to any and all classes, seminars, demonstrations, etc. etc. that any BDSM organization within traveling distance from you offers. Someone is doing a talk on canes? Go. Is there a seminar on interrogation? Go. Is there a demonstration being held on water sports. Go. Even if it isn’t your kink and it grosses you out, you need to KNOW about it even if you don’t USE it.

You will also need to buy books. LOTS of books. Every BDSM book you can get your hands on to start with. Then you need to read them. Over and over again. Why all this education? Well, because you need to be better educated and more skilled than 80% of the people around, that is why. You need to KNOW. You need to know that criss-crossing cane strikes can cause excess damage to the skin. You need to know that using a paddle on a body that is being held at a 90 degree angle can concuss the internal organs and cause internal bleeding that COULD lead to death.

Now you have a little hint about WHY you need to know all of this. Unless, of course, you are REALLY good at explaining dead bodies to the police.

Okay, now you have taken the college courses, taken the organization classes, been to seminars, watched demonstrations and listened to speakers. You are ready to go, right? Nope, not yet.

Now you will wish to have equipment. Now you must open your wallet or checkbook and spend obscene amounts of money on equipment. Someone who is doing BDSM for personal pleasure can gather implements and toys as needed. However, you are setting up shop as a professional, therefore you need a complete compliment of equipment BEFORE you ever have your first client. You cannot be an effective mechanic without an auto shop. You cannot be an effective doctor without an office or access to a hospital. You also cannot be an effective Professional Dominant without equipment.

I hope you were very nice to the people that you met at those seminars and demonstrations, because they will be your contacts for local leather workers and toy makers. Find a reputable local toy maker and start spending money. Quality equipment costs LOTS of money.

Buy mainly things that are portable first. Floggers, canes, crops, quirts, clamps and cuffs are good starts. Realize that a well-made, quality whip of almost any sort is going to cost you $150.00 or more, JUST FOR ONE PIECE OF EQUIPMENT. Before you are finished, your toy bag will be worth approximately $2000.00, if not more. This does NOT include Dungeon Furnishings or Dungeon Space, if you wish to go that route; only portable toys that you can easily fit into your trunk.

Okay, so far you have gotten the college education, went to lots of seminars, talks, demonstrations and meetings; and bought a full complement of equipment. You are ready for business, right? Oh, you ought to know the answer by now!

Now you get to learn your toys. You will be spending LOTS of time with your toys. Each and every one of those toys you will have to be able to use with PRECISE aim. You will need to know EXACTLY how hard they strike with the amount of force that you are using. If you think you only need to practice until you can hit an area semi-regularly, think again. A single miss-strike that was aiming for a client’s nipple can easily take out an eye. Not only will you feel really bad about it, the medical bills will break you. There are not many states where insurance will cover single-tail accidents.

So first you will be learning to tap into your masochistic side, whether or not you have one. You get to try out your toys on yourself. The inner thighs are a great place to test out crops, canes, taws, clamps, etc. Find out what each one feels like at a light, medium and heavy swing. Floggers can often be tested on the outer thighs and calves, carefully. Do they thud or sting? Get out your feather pillows and draw a nice bulls-eye on a few of them. You should be able to hit the center of the bulls-eye, leaving an indentation that deepens depending upon the force, EVERY SINGLE TIME. Until you are completely confident that you can strike EXACTLY where you are aiming, every time, with the force that you intended to use, every time, you have no business aiming at a human body.

Now that you have achieved confidence and ability with your implements of pleasure and torture, it’s time to go back to those clubs and organizations. You need to find some submissives that are willing to let you practice on them. DO be honest and let them know up-front that you ARE a novice. Don’t worry, there will still be many of them quite willing to volunteer as target practice, but they should know up front that you ARE inexperienced so that they CAN consent. Whether or not you believe in SSC or RACK, SSC is going to have to become your living mantra. As a professional, you will be more in the limelight of the vanilla world than almost anyone else in the lifestyle. Any slip from SSC on your part will, at the least, ruin your reputation and your business and, at the worst, land you in jail.

So, find yourself several willing submissives to be target practice and WATCH them. Observe how they react to different stimuli and different situations. This is the point where you are not only gaining more education, but you are also integrating all of the college, the practice and your own abilities into a cohesive whole. This is where you gain your own style. This is also where you will learn what your clientele is going to WANT.

So now you have taken the college courses, gone to the seminars and such, bought the toys, learned how to use them, practiced on real, live submissives and have gained the confidence, poise, knowledge and experience you will need. You are ready to open shop.

Well, almost. There is one last little expenditure that may surprise you. It’s time to go out and buy…………………… office supplies. Yes, you read right, office supplies. You will need a filing cabinet, folders, paper, etc., etc. Well, you know this IS a business don’t you? You will need to keep files on your clients. No, not their real names or anything, but copies of their BDSM checklists, interviews you have had with them, scene reports of them, what you have tried with them, what worked, what didn’t work and why, ideas of future scenes, etc., etc. Hopefully, you will have several clients that return on a regular basis. You will wish to keep record of things you have already done with them and things they still want to have done with them.

Okay, NOW you are ready to open up shop. I suggest getting in touch with other professionals in your area and getting advice on advertising and such. Most importantly, you will want to share information with them on difficult and problem clients, so that you will be forewarned if a known one comes your way. Besides, even Professional Dominants take vacations sometimes, where do you think they send their clients during those times? That is correct, they send them to trusted colleagues. Those trusted colleagues will also send you their clients when they wish to take vacations.

I wish you luck and joy on this journey; you will need it. Professional Domination is one of the most headache inducing, creativity draining, demanding, exhausting professions that I know of and that’s just the interviews with the prospective clients.

My last bit of advice: be picky when choosing your clients, NEVER allow yourself to go past a limit, either theirs or yours, for ANY reason and be true to yourself and your word.