Now that we’ve covered how to be a domme for personal play, let’s go over how to make this hobby your job, if you’re so inclined. For some, professional domination can be a very rewarding career where you set your own hours, work for yourself (including deducting all sorts of naughty expenses), and continue to dominate subs well past your usual retirement age if you so desire. Although sexual contact isn’t necessarily part of being a pro-domme, it’s generally considered sex work in the eyes of the law, though that varies from state to state, or even town to town. Even in places where being a domme (or “dominatrix,” which is usually the term given to people who are dommes “professionally”) isn’t technically illegal, it’s at the discretion of local law enforcement to interpret the prostitution laws and decide whether to prosecute or not. Unfortunately, as it involves “non-vanilla” actions, this increases the likelihood of prosecution.
So before you start booking your first sessions, try to cover your bases. We can’t provide you with everything you’ll need to know but we’ll do our best to start you off in the right direction!
Do your research
What are the laws in your state and city regarding domination and prostitution? Some areas have well-defined legislation for both while others are vague and open to interpretation. Familiarize yourself with these laws and get advice from a kink- or sex-positive lawyer. They can provide more detailed information about what you can and cannot do to solicit clients, what may constitute as a sexual act, and much more. Kink Academy has a section for legal concerns and there is a detailed listing of both federal and state prostitution laws and penalties here.
Look into what kinds of pro-domme work is out there and what interests you. There is a lot of variety in the kink scene: impact play, degradation, ageplay, foot worship, medical play, and electrostimulation are just a few activities a pro-domme may specialize in. Some dommes focus on one area while others provide a range of services to suit different kinks. Find out what’s popular in your area and if there are any niches you’re interested in that you can tap into to give you an edge.
Research where you’ll work. Dungeons are a good starting point for a new domme as it allows them to learn from other dommes and have a safe place to play. Other dommes do outcalls to client’s homes, incalls in their own homes and/or rent private space for sessions. SAAFE (Support And Advice For Escorts) is a wonderful organization with tons of sex worker focused information, including how to work with clients in a variety of locations. Using a pseudonym to maintain your privacy is crucial for any type of sex work but especially important if you are taking incalls at home or renting a space to meet clients. If you do rent a space, look into doing so using your pseudonym to add that extra layer of separation.
Some clients may want more than one domme or more than one sub involved. If you are comfortable doing scenes with multiple players, take the time to find another domme you’re at ease working with. Go over your usual play procedures together as every domme will have a different approach. Once you’re on the same page, establish the ground rules in detail with your client(s) for each participant before every scene. The more people involved, the more complicated the rules may be so you can’t be too cautious in this regard.
Learn from a pro
BDSM classes are great but if you’re going to make a career of it, find a mentor. Go to a local club/dungeon, play party, conference (e.g. DomCon LA) or search online to see if any dommes are interested in taking on a new protégé. Not all dommes are necessarily good dommes so chat with others in the community first and try working with a few people to see who suits the style you’re aiming for. An experienced domme can help you improve your technique for a variety of kinks and clients. More importantly, a professional domme can provide crucial information about the business side of being a domme. Whether it’s how to advertise and screen clients, taxes and record-keeping basics, or local laws and law enforcement tips, learning from someone who’s successful in the industry can get your domme career off to a much better start. A lot of sex work business advice also applies to being a domme so visit the Business section of SAAFE for a good overview.
- Mistress Amanda Dwyer’s blog – Lots of information on being a pro-domme by a pro-domme
- EduKink’s article Becoming a ProDomme - Great tips and contact information for pro-dommes who have helped new dommes in the past
- Dungeonnet’s Distance Domination section – List of sites that includes many educational/training resources for new dommes
Do some soul searching
Just like any job, to be successful as a professional domme you have to love what you do and be adaptable to changes in the industry. Competition can be fierce in cities that have an abundance of dommes. Though you’ll set guidelines on what your speciality is, your clients may approach you with kinks that either don’t appeal to you or you haven’t tried before. By familiarizing yourself with a range of kinks early on—e.g. by observing another domme’s session—you’ll have a better understanding of what falls into the “Yes”, “No”, and “Depends on the client/scene” categories. Know what your limits are and stick to them, but also know what you’re willing to make some concessions on, depending on the client and the kink.
There are many professional dommes who find their jobs very rewarding and wouldn’t want to do anything else, despite what could be considered a difficult career path by some. At the end of the day, you know yourself and what will make you the happiest in life. Sex work as a pro-domme may be a short term experiment or turn out to be a long term lifestyle. If you’re curious enough to give it a shot, play safe, play smart and have fun with it.
More Pro Domme and Sex Worker Resources