Performance: BOUND, London – 11/10/13

It was late by the time we managed to attend BOUND shibari night, held at The Flying Dutchman in London. It was Benjamin‘s birthday and we had already spent a large portion of the evening with close friends and a restaurant meal.

Most of our time spent at BOUND tends to be watching the performances and socialising (a large majority of our friends attend this same event), but this evening was different (despite being Benjamin‘s birthday) and it was not until the performance before the last that Nina Russ approached Benjamin and said “Oh, by the way, we have booked you in as the last performance of the evening. Happy Birthday!”

Nerves ran high (which is probably why nothing was said until about an hour before we were due to perform) and we almost bottled out of doing it. But in the end we swallowed hard and went on stage; as you can see from the simply amazing photos.

We have both been buzzing from the experience all weekend, after all, this was our first Shibari/Kinbaku performance.

I am just glad he had such an awesome birthday.

These images were taken from two different photographers (details are under each collection of photos). I have been told more people were taking photos, but these are what we have received to date.

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Photos courtesy of Amplified Pulse.
Photography by Rebecca Seal-Davis.
Images are Copyright © 2013 www.amplifiedpulse.com

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Photos courtesy of Sex is not Art.
Photography by Manolo Remiddi.
Images are Copyright © 2013 www.sexisnotart.com

More photos can be seen: Here.

Exodus UK photoshoot 06/10/12

I had a wonderful time teaching a flogging workshop at the Exodus UK over the weekend. The venue is huge, well equipped, warm, welcoming and many new friends were made.

Naturally, seeing as there was a photographer at the event, I could not resist getting some photos of myself practicing 6 point florentine with Scylla and Charybdis:

Getting a few photos of a couple of my knife play blades was also mandatory:

Photos were also taken with my Benjamin, but these will be shown soon in a post which will introduce him properly.

I hope the images are enjoyed. They will be added to the blog gallery.

Comments welcome.

Photography by Raven Imaging.
All images are Copyright © 2012 AemiliaHawk. All Rights Reserved.

A Velvet Thought – Mistresses Musings: What is the difference?

Recently I was asked what the difference is between a professional Dominatrix and a lifestyle Dominatrix. I thought my reply was worth posting to blog and I have thrown financial Domination in the mix as well because this has also been asked of me in the past:

A financial Dominatrix has no skill in any of the BDSM arts. They are not a true Mistress, they simply pose as one. It is unlikely you will meet them anywhere apart from online. All they will do is demand that you give them money or pay their bills. They demand cash in exchange for nothing (aside from possible verbal abuse or online humiliation).
These people tend to give professional Domination a bad name because many people fail to differentiate between financial and professional Domination as there are quite a few professional Dominants who practice financial Domination.
I personally loath this practice. In my opinion they are on a par with beggars or ‘spongers’. I believe that money given should be money earned and I class financial Dominants as lower than pond scum on the evolutionary ladder.

A professional Dominatrix is basically one who plays in a dungeon with a paying client. The client has a fetish, kink or BDSM fantasy and would like to act it out. It is a form of drama therapy and while it may be erotic or sensual, there is never any sex ( if sex is involved then they are a prostitute, not a Dominatrix).
The majority of professional Dominatrices have a normal life when they leave the dungeon (When I say majority, I can only comment on my own experiences and acquaintances. Around 90% of all I have met. And when I say normal, I mean of course a vanilla existence). They do not spend a large portion of their life studying BDSM practices. They have a very basic knowledge of the equipment, normally what they have been told by friends, played with in the bedroom, have seen on TV or what they may have had shown to them by other Mistresses or submissives at their dungeon of residence. This level of skill coupled with common sense and safety is often enough to deal with a large portion of paying clients. Most clients have a very generalised fetish (often something they have seen on television or on the internet) which tend to be very simple to do. They do not often attend BDSM events or clubs because they consider the play their job and there is no profit in attending such places.
I must stress that this opinion is based solely on the professional Dominants that I have met. The other 10% tend to be incredibly skilled because they are usually both lifestyle as well as professional. The key is, of course, noticing this before passing judgement simply on their choice of profession. The lifestyle professionals tend to do it for a living because they love BDSM so much.

A lifestyler (or lifestyle Dominatrix, if you prefer) is one who does it because they love it. It is part of their everyday life. They often go to great lengths to get high quality or specialised equipment (I rarely use the equipment on show in the dungeon as I prefer my own) and they spend a great deal of time learning the skills involved in their chosen BDSM activities. They tend to attend the events, clubs and venues because it is their passion and not simply a job.

Essentially it comes down to this: Give a financial Dominatrix a flogger and she will demand money from you to have the privilege of passing it to her hand (and she will have no clue as to how to use it or have any inclination to do so. Of course, this is if you actually manage to meet them in the flesh), give a professional Dominatrix a flogger and (9 times out of 10) she will show you how to hit someone with it for money, give a lifestyle Dominatrix a flogger (preferably someone that has a few years experience) and she will show you how to make it dance.

There is a lot of information on the internet about the differences. These are of course just my own observations and opinions. I am forever hoping to have these opinions improved upon, but this is how they stand to date.

I am both lifestyle and professional. I am of the minority. I do this for a living next to my small business (even my small business is BDSM orientated) and it has been my passion and a major part of my life for almost 10 years.

Constructive opinions appreciated if anyone would care to give their own interpretations. Is my opinion flawed?

So, you want to be a professional Dominatrix?

I receive regular emails and messages asking me questions on how to go about becoming a professional Dominatrix and I do offer training sessions in my dungeon (phone me for details if you have a specific training in mind). However, there are a certain number of base truths that anyone who aspires to get into this kind of business should know.

  1. This kind of work takes a specific type of mindset and a certain mentality. It is not the kind of thing for the faint of heart and it is not just about wearing some fetish clothing or sounding bossy. Clients will know if you are less than genuine. In my opinion, a decent intellect and a basic knowledge of human anatomy is mandatory, and if you are not naturally dominant or you do not already have an interest in fetish, kink or sadomasochism, then I would highly recommend you give it up as a bad idea before you make yourself look incredibly stupid.
  2. It is not easy work. This job can be very draining emotionally, mentally and physically. I am certain that from the observers point of view, this kind of lifestyle can look incredibly glamorous, fun and exciting. Those who are successful tend to make it look easy. But there is a lot of work to be done both in and out of the dungeon before sessions can take place. Profiles, websites, updates, advertisements, photo shoots, constant correspondence 24/7 with both potential clients and time wasters, references to check, set up before and clean up after each session, travel and any specific arrangements that need to be made beforehand. To say it can get stressful is an understatement.
  3. You get out of it what you put into it. You are directly responsible for any success or failure that you achieve. The energy and money that I invest in developing my business, equipment or skills, directly reflects my success and earnings. Quality brings longevity, knowledge brings respect, investment brings potential and all are required to bring profit. You will also find that this business is very seasonal or fickle. Certain times of the year can be incredibly busy whereas at other times you may not spank a single bottom for weeks. It is a very true barometer of the economy; when the economy is healthy, people feel that they can spend on the luxuries, when the economy is slow, the mortgage is more important than tribute for a Mistress.
  4. You may meet mentally questionable people in this lifestyle and business. Most tend to be very respectful and intelligent, however, you do get a few who look to abuse and take advantage (some are prone to violence). You learn to identify these people fairly quickly, but you must keep your wits in this kind of business and be able to handle yourself both verbally and physically. A lacking in self-confidence or being emotionally sensitive will mean this kind of work will bring you nothing but mental anguish.
  5. This kind of profession can be very hard on relationships. Family, friends or partners; not everyone will agree with your choice of work or lifestyle. This is one of the reasons why the mundane are called mundane, they will never understand. The best you can hope for is that they simply accept. Many people will make assumptions, often negative, about you, your motives or your character. I have also noticed that despite being a lifestyle Dominatrix, even other members of the BDSM scene may take an active dislike to a professional practitioner of BDSM.

These basics by no means cover everything and I am sure other professionals will have different views. They are just a few personal observations which I have learned in my years as a lifestyle Dominatrix as well as my years in the professional business and I am simply relaying to those who have been seeking my advice or to any who may seek it in the future.

I would not recommend seeking advice on practicing professional BDSM from anyone other than those who have experience practicing professional BDSM (you may be able to learn skills from those who frequent the BDSM scene, but you will not learn the finer details of how to run your business from anyone other than those who have hands on knowledge, no pun intended).

It is unlikely that this will be my last ‘advice post’. Some of my previous blog posts which have been written with the intention of giving help advice to the aspiring professional Dominatrix include:

Preventing “bounce”

Tipping the hourglass

My only hope is that this helps people to decide and accept the consequences of their own life choices.

DV8 Fetish Festival 2012: Overview

As expected, the festival was exceedingly fun.
The first evening, the DV8 club XS party, consisted of greeting old friends, saying hellos and letting my submissive (Benjamin) find his feet. This was his first time seeing public play, so I decided it would be best to make few demands, let him watch the activities of others and to let him decide on his own when he would be ready to play with an audience.
I was in no rush and was planning on a relaxing weekend.
I did get up on the main floor to play with Tempest for a while, but aside from that, my entertainment mainly consisted of friends, conversation and watching my wide-eyed menial take in the atmosphere.

The day of the festival, however, was far more active.

For the majority of the morning and afternoon, I played host at the Kabunza Craftwerks market stand. For our first ever official event I think we did exceptionally well. Lots of business cards were passed around, we received lots of interest and collars, necklaces, bracelets and cuffs were made to measure on the spot for a good number of people.

Shopping at the market was expected, though I did not expect to spend so much or have so much spent on me. I was having an incredible amount of fun testing out the weight and flow of the floggers for sale.

With the approach of the evening: A dip in the pool (Nudity mandatory), lots of conversation and the meeting of more kinksters. But the highlight of the night started with some violet wand play. A friend of mine had brought along his violet wand and graciously allowed me the use of it. It was at this point my menial play partner lost his “finding his feet” immunity and spent the following hour or so being flogged with an electrified mini flogger, having his nipples toasted and generally being zapped for my amusement.

Eventually, my attentions turned towards the electrical arc of the wand. The electrical arc was a lot larger compared to what I had seen in the past. It beckoned attention. Asking my friend to turn it up to full power, I spent half an hour or so attracting a crowd by playing with the currents and lightning. I had an incredible amount of fun with this and it is my hope to visit the home of my friend in the near future in an effort to make a video or two for show on this blog. There was one comment that I overheard about my play that I found most amusing and will never forget: “It looks like the hand of god.”

My proudest moment was when my menial requested to be flogged. It seemed the nudged play with electricity had culled all his butterflies. Using my new dual floggers (freshly purchased from the festival market) I was still eager to play and many people gave compliment to both my technique and my menials stamina. He did very well for his first public play.

I had one request from a random watcher in the crowds. A canning. Which, due to the lack of decent arm room, could only be relatively light. But he seemed to enjoy it immensely.

The festival eventually came to an end with the closing of the DV8 venue at 3:00am on the Sunday morning. It had been a wonderful weekend, it was over far too soon and I find myself already in anticipation for next years event.

Final analysis: Excellent. A much needed and very fun break.

All images are Copyright © 2012 AemiliaHawk. All Rights Reserved.