A Day in the Life of a Professional Dominatrix

by Christopher J.

April 28, 2024

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It’s no secret that some people have a soft spot for being dominated – in the bedroom, or in everyday life. Some people simply adore being (consensually) bossed around, belittled, and bludgeoned to help them get off or get turned on. What happens, though, if you don’t have a partner who shares this kink and won’t indulge your desires for domination? That’s where the professionals step in…in their knee-length, lace-up, stiletto heeled, patent leather boots. Read on if you’ve ever been curious about hiring one of these BDSM boss babes, or just want to know what an average day is like when you’re a dominating diva for a living.

Each day is completely different, but Marlee Pickles’ life as a dominatrix starts early. The Northeast Ohio-based professional rises in the morning, ready for the phone to start ringing with clients who want to book times, often desiring a lunch-hour appointment. She also takes time for self-care, tidies up her studio/dungeon and does her laundry to clean sheets, linens and her domme gear.

Marlee also starts staging the room and setting the lights for a session.

I focus a lot on creating what they call a ‘permanent 9 pm’: dreamy, dark, like a casino does, where you want people to feel that it’s evening at any time of day,” she explains.

The last half-hour before an appointment rushes by like a whirlwind of transforming into whatever dominant female her submissive clients are expecting her to be. “I do my own mental preparation time to get into the character, into that type of space and step outside of my normal self and switch to my dominating self.”

For seasoned submissives who know what they want, she prepares their preferred scenario. For first-time subs, however, she never schedules a same-day appointment. A true pro will ask a lot of questions, then sit you down on the couch before your first session to discuss everything in detail.

“I like to spend some time talking with them on the phone first,” Marlee says. “They might know what they want or think they know what they want, but I want to make sure. Then I like to make a plan for that scenario, focus on what they’re going to want and where I can push them a little bit.”

What Should Novice Subs look for in a Dominatrix?

“It’s about professionalism and straightforwardness,” says Marlee in a frank and open conversation about that especially exclusive relationship between a man and his dominatrix. “In a sub/dom relationship, especially if you are entering it as a sub, it is 100% about trust building, and that begins with that first phone call.”

Long before the first cat-o-nine-tails (aka, “the cat”) cracks the air, look for the simple things. If they say they will call you back in an hour, they call you back in an hour. Your domme should start by asking you a lot of questions and listening to your responses, making sure you feel heard, while also being discrete.

“You’re looking for someone who’s going to do all kinds of humiliating, painful things to you, so you’re going to be emotionally and physically vulnerable,” Marlee says. “That initial contact should begin with compassion and trust and acknowledgement of your vulnerabilities.”

Finding the Right Lady Boss for You

Identifying the ideal dictatress may take some digging online first. Marlee recommends Googling “dungeons” or “kink parties” so that you can begin to connect with the BDSM or kink community. A great starting point, she says, is FetLife, the world’s largest and self-proclaimed “most popular social network for the BDSM, Fetish & Kinky Community.”

“The places where people are socially talking about these things are the places to look,” Marlee directs. Once you are engaged with those communities, it becomes easier to ask for recommendations or meet professionals in those fetish arenas.

She adds that, if you’re living outside of a major metropolitan area, you may have to travel to a professional dominatrix or pay them extra to travel to you.

Red Flags

Returning to signs that you may not be dealing with the best person to whip you, tease you and please you, Marlee says there are several red flags you should be conscious of, starting with the person requesting a sizable deposit up front.

“A small deposit is not necessarily a red flag, especially if there’s travel involved,” she says. “There’s always a chance they won’t show up, so asking for $50 on my cash app or PayPal is professional because if they cancel at the last minute, I still get a little money for my time. Someone who’s asking you for $200 to make an appointment, though, that’s a scam.”

Consent is absolutely essential in all situations, whether or not you are paying the dominatrix.

“Informed consent is the number one thing to confirm, especially for someone who is new to BDSM and to being a submissive,” she says. “The person new to the scene needs to understand that submission is a consensual act, and if someone is not reinforcing that at every step, that’s a red flag. The domme needs to be completely concerned with her sub’s safety, too. “

Mistress Marlee employs a simple safe word system that should be familiar to all: Red means “I’m worried about my safety; stop everything.” Yellow means “I’m kind of into this but pull back. I need a second.” Green means “I’m all good, go for it.”

Three Stages of a Good Session

The first stage, according to Marlee, should be “before care,” where the domme and sub confirm consent and safety practices. The second stage is the “midpoint check in” just to ensure the person is okay and getting what they wanted and expected. Then the final stage is “after care,” where the person can sit down, relax, drink water, have a snack, maybe even take a shower. They can bring things that they would enjoy eating or drinking afterwards. They should have a debriefing, too, to discuss what they just experienced.

“It’s a return to normalcy, and we’re done with that now, and you don’t have to be ashamed,” she says. “I’m taking care of your humanity before you get your clothes back on and return to what you are on the outside world, and if the domme is not doing that, they’re not doing a good job.”

Sessions typically run 90 minutes to two hours. Expect to pay between $250 to $400 to work with a professional dominatrix. That cost may be higher if you’re in a major city like New York, Chicago or Los Angeles, she says.

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