I'm A Dominatrix Looking For True Love

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I'm A Dominatrix Looking For True Love
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I get to do whatever I want, but it's lonely.

By Bridgette Topaz

When I was a kid, women would stop me on the street, leaning in close enough that I'd feel dizzy from their White Diamonds perfume, and say in a thick Boston accent, "What do you want to be when you grow up, hun?" 

I usually said, "I want to be Madonna," but what I meant was, "I want to be a stripper."

I was obsessed with MTV and would practice gyrating and grinding to songs alone in my room. Even then, I knew on some subconscious level that I was born to do this work.

Being a sex worker is a sacred tradition. The oldest profession, sex is a thing that everyone needs, like breathing, or food; everyone is a sexual being in some form. Obviously, I can't speak for everyone — we all have our own story — but I love sex and I love my job. 

Unfortunately, because of this fact, I have always had trouble with relationships.

As a sex worker, specifically, a professional dominatrix, people assume a lot of things about me. Like, I must be horny all the time, right? No. If you work at a pizza parlor all day, sometimes the last thing you want to do is go home and put another slice of pizza in your mouth.

The most annoying thing I hear from women who barely know about me or the profession is, "I hate men. I've always wanted to be a dominatrix so I can beat up men all day." No. This misconception has ruined potential friendships and made me not trust people. I could never hate men and do what I do. 

In fact, in a lot of ways, my job has healed my relationship with the opposite sex because it allows me to see powerful men in their most vulnerable state.

I didn't just wake up one day and decide I was going to wear nothing but leather and latex and piss on businessmen for money. I worked hard to cultivate this sexual magic and was somehow lucky enough to create a successful, independent career by marketing myself to the right kinds of men.

Not everyone has this privilege. I spend countless (very unglamorous) hours in my robe, in front of my computer, advertising, emailing, answering annoying phone calls that I do not get paid for.

At work, I am the dream girl for the hour, satisfying all your desires. I'm your therapist, your mean mommy, your Goddess, your imaginary girlfriend. But in my day to day life I have struggled with romantic relationships due to the simple fact that I make a living selling my greatest talent, sex.

I get that my life might be weird. I lie to my family about what I do. But I'm willing to lie to yours, too.

It's always the same story. Time and time again, I meet someone, we connect, we have chemistry, they tell me they respect what I do. I think, in theory, people want to be cool with it. I can't help but be disappointed when a person is in the queer community, claims to be sex-positive, feminist, and well-educated, but can't date a sex worker.

When it comes down to it, they may not be able to handle the fact that their partner fucks other people all day and makes way more money than they ever will.

It started with Rusty. I was in my early twenties, and he was the first transgender man I had ever dated. I fell for him at the Dyke March when I first moved to Seattle in 2011. We walked down the street topless, him with his scars and manufactured nipples, me with my tiny, pale tits getting sunburned, holding hands. Proud. We drank rainbow jello shots in the park and stayed up until sunrise. He left to study abroad in Berlin before we even got to third base.

He was gone for three months, and by the time he got back, I had quit my barista job and was giving "sensual touch" sessions that were a glorified massage and a hand job with the occasional finger in the butt if I was feeling generous. Upon his return, I enthusiastically told him what I had been up to and got a surprisingly concerned response: "You should probably get an STI test before we have sex," he said to me.

Processing boundaries with Rusty mainly consisted of me trying to coddle his delicate masculinity and ego by reassuring him that I wasn't actually sexually attracted to my clients. For the most part, that is true — I am not attracted to the majority of the rich, old, white men that come to see me, although I do get the occasional hot guy around my age. What really turns me on is getting paid to be a hot, sexy bitch. I love being worshiped. I get off on power.

I am a queer woman and date all kinds of people on the spectrum. I dated a woman who was a former sex worker who would project her own trauma onto my situations, insisting I was psychologically fucked up from my work.

I date a cisgender man who had a complex about not wanting to feel like a client. And I've had casual dates that didn't last because they would do things like brag to their friends. One person even showed my porn to his friends without my consent.

Not being a supportive lover, friend, or ally to a sex worker is dangerous. Our work is not only illegal but the stigma and shame surrounding what we do is harmful on a day-to-day basis.

Sexually empowered women are seen as a threat to masculinity, and people want to rape and kill us just for existing. The sad reality is, being assaulted by a friend or loved one is much more common than being harmed by a client.

Even with all the risk involved and the ways it complicates my love life, especially when meeting new people, I have no plans to retire anytime soon. I refuse to give up the freedom that my job gives me, and the strong, empowered women I have found through my work have become my family. We look out for each other's safety and take care of each other through heartbreak and financial setbacks.

I've had all kinds of jobs, but I've never been good at waiting tables or pretending to sell clothes. I got my GED when I was in my early twenties, did an herbalist apprenticeship and yoga-teacher training instead of going to college — both careers that are very difficult to make money in but come in handy for my self-care. But I have never be happier than when I work for myself, and being a sex worker is fun.

I get to do whatever I want. I can afford to live alone in a beautiful apartment downtown and buy myself nice things.

But it's lonely, and I think powerful women in any career can relate. I wonder, will I ever find someone who understands? Am I stuck in some kind of kinky Sex and the City vortex? All I can do is be my unapologetic self and hope that one day I will find someone worthy of all the love I have to give.

Until then, I'll just keep hustling.

 

 

This article was originally published at xoJane. Reprinted with permission from the author.

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