Freedom, or How The Hell Did I End Up As A Dominatrix?!

Published on July 4, 2018 by   ·   No Comments

Freedom 02July 4th is almost here as I’m writing this, but I’m having a hard time thinking of anything patriotic to write.  I still recognize the privilege I have living in the United States, even if there are people here who are working very hard every single day to take away my rights and enshrine discrimination into our laws and institutions.  Our country is being pushed further and further every day toward all of the extremes, to the point where we can’t have any sort of civil discourse.  And why should we?  The President, the leader of our country, is a woefully underqualified reality TV host who brags about grabbing women by the pussy and speaks with a middle school vocabulary, governing through his Twitter profile.  Children are being kept in kennels along the border and shot to death in record numbers in their high schools.  I have a deep love of my country, but right now it feels really hard to be proud of it.

Instead, I think I’m going to spend some time thinking about the nature of freedom.  Power and control.

This is on my mind because in this crazy unexpected life I’ve been living, I seem to have wandered into the strangest role yet: dominatrix.

Freedom 03Now before you imagine your beloved Miss Jaye in a full body vinyl catsuit yelling, “Bring on the gimp!” I should say that so far this experience has all been online.  And it’s not exactly the first time.  Not that long ago, a crossdresser who referred to me as Goddess Champagne wanted to be my personal maid after a show and service me and the other queens…in whatever ways we might desire.  I played along for a while, but I’m just not that good at being dominant in sexual situations.  If I were a lesbian, my friend Jorja would call me a “pillow princess.”  I spend most of my life being in charge (of a classroom, hosting at a show, creating my content) and talking and explaining and elaborating, so the bedroom is the one place that I usually like to just shut the fuck up and let someone else take control.  Plus, I don’t really mix my drag persona with my sexy sexy time play, and that aspect of it wasn’t all that interesting to me.  I couldn’t keep up the conversation with the frequency and the voracity that she was looking for, and things sort of fizzled out.

This new guy found me on Instagram, and messaged me to say that he really liked my profile.  His profile is pretty bare, only a few pictures, but everything there looked gorgeous.  He’s a tall blond gym rat with a chiseled body and I assumed that I had to be getting catfished.  He’s a little bit of a cowboy, and always says, “Yes, Ma’am” and “Of course, Ma’am” when he’s writing to me.  He likes to show off, so he sends me nude and semi-nude photos; to make sure I wasn’t get cat-fished, I asked him for a couple of fairly specific photos, and surprisingly he obliged.  He asked for friends’ IG handles to send photos to them as well, so I roped in a couple of my more understanding friends who also started to receive a collection of risque photos.  As the conversation progressed, he talked about wanting to be collared.  Sometimes he asks if he’s earned a reward; since I’m not very adept at this, I ask what type of reward he would like.  Frustratingly, he responds, “You’re in charge, Ma’am.”  I’m still working out the nuances of these interactions.

Freedom 04I’m fascinated by this guy.  He’s spending hours at the gym sculpting and crafting his body into an instrument of power, and yet his fantasy is to be powerless.  He wants his hands bound, his eyes covered, his body used at the whim of another.  Sometimes the best exercise of power is to give it to someone else.  To be dominated, knowing all along that the only reason the other person can dominate you is because you’ve allowed it.

I’ve found myself attracted to lighter versions of that dynamic in the past (from the other side), and I tend to be attracted to men who are more dominant than I am.  This…this is new.  Now I’m the one who’s leading the play, the one who is being allowed to have control over another person and as much as I’m trying to get into the fantasy I’m struggling through a thick anxiety.  How do I best care for this strange, beautiful creature who wants to lay himself at my feet, call me his Goddess, take his rewards and his punishments with a respectful, “Yes, Ma’am. Thank you, Ma’am”?  Power comes with responsibility, and that responsibility shouldn’t be taken lightly.

It makes me think of the Promise Keepers – remember them?  An organization of Christian men dedicated to reestablishing traditional gender roles.  Theoretically, the idea was that the husband should be placing the needs of his wife and family above his own, and because of that, he is in charge of making all of the decisions.  It reminds me of the faction of Abnegation in Veronica Roth’s Divergent; because they are selfless to the point of denying even their own reflections, they are the governing faction.  Being in charge means understanding the needs and desires of those you are in charge of and using those as your guide when making choices.  It’s a beautiful idea, but I also think about the famous quote from John Dahlberg-Acton: “Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely.”

Maybe that’s part of the appeal, and it’s why these relationships really test the limits of trust: when you give yourself over to being controlled, you do so knowing that the person can choose, at any time, to either respect your limits or not, to treat you humanely or not.  But you do it because you trust that they will.  If they don’t, then you work through that relationship the same way you do any other relationship where trust has been betrayed.  It all seems so straightforward.

But it still scares me.

FreedomIt scares me because I don’t know if I’ll be able to hurt him in the ways he wants to be hurt without…well, hurting him.  It’s a role I’m not familiar with (or entirely comfortable with), and that inexperience could lead to unintentional blunders and abuses of power.

And beyond that, I’m not sure I’m comfortable with the role that humiliation plays in this whole dynamic.  Obviously every BDSM relationship or interaction has its own rules and boundaries, but I get the sense that this guy really likes to be humiliated.  And that’s great, for him.  I’m all about people finding what makes them feel excited and sexy, and getting off to it.  I’m just not sure I’m the person to help get you there.

See, I’ve had relationships in the past where someone else had power, and they didn’t take the responsibility of that power seriously.  My memories of humiliation are not about being tied up in the bedroom with someone who cared about me indulging in my fantasies; my memories are of being chased on the playground, called names during recess, being invited to be a part of games and activities just so that those same kids could make fun of me for it later.  I was picked out early as “the gay kid,” in a time in 1980s Bowbells, ND when I don’t think people even really knew what that meant or that there were actually real gay people in the world with whole entire lives.  Those kids had power over me, and they weren’t concerned about what effect their abuses of power might have.

Freedom 05And because of that, there were times where I returned that abuse.  People talk about bullying as if there are clearly demarcated categories: bullies and the bullied.  But that’s not how things look on the ground, and while I was certainly in the bullied category more often than not, if I saw an opportunity to help shift the focus to someone else I took it.  Those experiences definitely changed who I was, made me harder on the inside, less willing to trust.  And that worries me: what if this new fantasy playground touches a part of me that feels vulnerable, causes me to take more liberty than I should?  Do I trust myself to have power over this other person, to indulge their fantasies for humiliation without turning it into a way to appease my own battered inner child’s desire for revenge?

I’m just not sure I have the sort of personality that can navigate that particular power relationship very effectively.  With my issues trusting others, it’s a little disorienting when they so easily place so much trust right in my hands; no matter what, I end up feeling like I’m that kid who’s getting chased in another impromptu game of “smear the queer” or who is watching every other kid in his class pretend to spray the things he’s touched as if they might be infected with something.  I think about that powerless kid, and I wish that someone had used their power responsibly, that someone had protected him and his fragile heart.  The fantasy that I have isn’t one of pain or humiliation; it’s one of restoration and acceptance, and that’s not the sort of fantasy that works well with the typical role of the dominatrix.  When I’ve been powerless, truly powerless, I’ve needed someone who would build me up rather than knock me down.

When he kneels before me, eyes downcast, and says, “What would you like me to do, Goddess?” I want to take his face in my hands, raise his eyes upward, and say, “I want you to flourish.”

Freedom 06

 

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