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Girl Talk: I Was A Dominatrix For A Day

I flogged a man last night.

Despite my Bettie Page-lite haircut and a propensity for sexual experimentation, this is not something I have done before. I did have a very brief flirtation with the field of professional dominatrix-ing, but I never got beyond the training phase due to both a poor collegiate work ethic and feeling massively silly. And in my personal life I tend to swing firmly toward the “S” in the “D/S” yin-yang.

But in all my genital adventuring, I have never gone for the type of melodramatic, overwrought boning that I think of as “sex nerdery.” Spank me, call me names, hold me down, but don’t make me wear some kind of pleather costume or call you “master” while you do it.

Since eye-hand coordination is far from my strong suit, I had major performance anxiety, and, in fact, my first few swats landed closer to the masked volunteer’s back than his “sweet spot.”

”And yet … when an invite popped up in my inbox to a “Dominatrix for a Day” workshop, it sounded at the very least entertaining. Hence, how I ended up clumsily swinging a flogger in the general direction of a masked gentleman’s buttocks on stage in front of 40 other women.

The ladies-only introductory salon was hosted by Domi Dollz (DomiDollz.com), a sort of kink collective of pro dominatrixes who participate in workshops and events with the purpose of education and entertainment. It was held at chichi New York sex shop Coco De Mer, which when I arrived was already filled with extremely attractive Manhattan women in serious shoes perusing the complicated sex toys and partaking of the cocktails (and cookies!) provided.

Our instructor is Ms. Nina Payne (get it?), who steps on stage clad in a red bustier and PVC waist cincher and begins the workshop.

Lesson #1: Choosing your Dominatrix Persona

First we chose dominatrix names. In one column you have a lot of commonly used prefixes like “Mistress,” “Domina,” “Queen,” and “Dame,” and for the second part you just pick something sort of dark and mysterious-sounding – the suggestions in my packet included “Noir,” “Vicious,” or “Sinstress.” The end result should sound something like the title of a Type O Negative song, a la “Lady Regan Black.”

Since Asylum photog Bonnie Biess had kindly agreed to accompany me, we were instructed to write short bios for each other including our specialties and origin stories, just like superheroes! In that spirit, I deemed Bonnie “Mistress Wondrina,” a sadistic lesbian version of Wonder Woman. For me, she wrote:

“Queen Eva Von Bangs originates from the depths of Oklahoma. She likes nothing better than hypnosis and Japanese Rope Bondage until her slaves beg for mercy. Gifts she loves to receive are cupcakes and facials.”

I know very little about hypnosis and Japanese Rope bondage, but the rest is quite accurate.

Lesson # 2: Inflicting Pain

We then entered the interactive portion of our program. Ms. Payne first taught us basic techniques for spanking (cup your hand and aim for the fatty “sweet spot”), flogging (it’s all in the wrist), choking, and face-slapping before calling on workshop participants to try it out onstage. My front-row position betrayed me and I got called up to demonstrate flogging.

Since eye-hand coordination is far from my strong suit, I had major performance anxiety, and, in fact, my first few swats landed closer to the masked volunteer’s back than his “sweet spot.”

” “You don’t look like you’re enjoying yourself,” observed Ms. Payne accurately.

She put her hand over mine and demonstrated the loose wrist motion required for a deft flogging, and as I loosened up a little bit, my aim did get better. All the same, I was quite relived to step down and take my seat.

Lesson #3: Roleplaying

For our final lesson, Ms. Payne led us through a series of roleplaying scenarios, including the basic Mistress/Slave, Teacher/Student and Boss/Employee. The best part of the night came when some very brave volunteers gave it a go in timed three-minute scenes. While the results were sometimes funny (“I don’t want to have to report you to HR”), I was truly impressed by the confidence and composure it took to stay in control while advancing the action.

Along with Ms. Payne’s tips for achieving the correct attitude (”Think of yourself as royalty, maintain eye contact, act like a goddess”), I could see this stuff coming in just as handy in a raise negotiation as in a dungeon.

And as the women in the room got more comfortable through the course of the workshop, the air in the room became charged with an unfamiliar energy that could glibly be called GIRL POWER. Somewhere between all the giggling and the awkwardness, the whole thing sort of transcended the sexual and became genuinely empowering.

So in the end, dominatrix training was a master class in confidence. After all, it’s not every day I get thrown onstage with a flogger and forced out of my comfort zone. And my everyday persona isn’t that great at trying even unsexual new things – so maybe dominatrix me is the equivalent of Beyonce’s Sasha Fierce?

All I know for sure is the next time I find myself in an unfamiliar or anxiety-inducing situation, I’m just going to ask myself: What Would Queen Eva Von Bangs Do?

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