LOVE: THE LIVES AND TIMES OF A DOMINATRIX

Dressed in thigh-high stilettos and brandishing a whip, the dominatrix is, to most, a seedy figure from tabloid exposés. But what lies behind the stereotype? By Julia Llewellyn Smith . Photographs by Kate Peters .
The photographer Kate Peters spent a year shooting dominatrices, or ‘doms’, in Britain and was astonished at the contrast between the ‘normal’ women she met and their leather-corseted personae. ‘I remember one session in an ordinary east London terraced house. I was chatting to the dom over tea, when the doorbell rang. I opened it to an electrician in his twenties in overalls, holding a bottle of wine. His mistress started verbally abusing him. Minutes later he was lying fully clothed over her knee, being spanked.’
A traditional dominatrix does not have sex with clients, but instead enables their fantasies – no matter how bizarre. ‘They’re England’s dirty secret, but they’re everywhere,’ Peters says. She estimates that about 70 per cent of the women consider their work as not just a well-paid job, but a labour of love. ‘They get as many kicks from it as their clients do.’
Dominatrix V, in her late thirties, is of Spanish origin and grew up in Australia. she came to Britain last year and works in London
When I was younger I put my parents through hell – moving around, changing jobs, trying to find something that made me happy. I worked in hospitality management, then became a stripper and finally entered the world of BDSM (bondage domination sadism masochism). This job is perfect for me – I’m domineering and headstrong, I love performing and the money is fantastic. I’m single; not many dominatrices have steady relationships as most men find it pretty tough to know what you are doing.
My mother knows what I do. I’m the black sheep of the family, so I don’t think she’s too shocked – she expects it and I’d rather be honest with her. But my father probably doesn’t know. To him I’m still daddy’s little girl.
I won’t do everything clients ask; it has to be something I enjoy. I refuse to do adult babies (when men want their nappies changed and suck dummies) and I don’t do needle-play (when you pierce clients or sometimes suspend them through hooks in their flesh).
I don’t like severe sessions either, where someone is begging you to stop but doesn’t actually want you to, or leaving marks on bodies. If there are marks on your bottom after a caning you’ll have some explaining to do when you get home. Before a session you need to find out if the client has health problems
and agree on a ‘safe’ word. If a client has been tied up for a certain length of time you have to check that they’re OK. You don’t want them passing out on you.
This isn’t about providing our bodies for sex; it’s about role-playing and providing humiliation. You’re fulfilling a fantasy that someone has never been able to fulfil in their marriage or with their girlfriends. One client whose marriage ended badly, with his ex blackmailing him and calling him names, now likes us to re-enact those scenarios. I guess he misses something from that time and wants to replay it. Often I feel like a psychologist without a diploma, delving into people’s minds.’

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Professional Australian Dominatrix, Sissy and Crossdressing Specialist, Fetish Barberette Ex, Hair & Makeup Artist, Queer Femme Kink Performer

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