Lifestyle: Grey Shades the Tale of a Domina
Long leather whips hang on the wall alongside black stiletto heels on a shelf. Furniture in modern imperial style, there is a metal cage in the corner, and framed photos of a cat. The Mistress is the one in charge of pleasure and pain-the Mistress. Hers is a job where a woman is worshiped as a goddess. The daredevil woman that encapsulates the anxieties and guilty dream of the patriarchal world.
A door opened, and a woman showed up, she was dressed in a pencil skirt with a black jacket. If you meet her on the street, you would think that she is a businesswoman from an office. Mistress Wira, 36 years-old, lives in the north of the Netherlands. She has been working for the last 15 years as a Domina in different parts of the country.
Domina is another term for a dominatrix. Mistress claimed that she prefers the term Domina because it sounds more elegant than a dominatrix. When asked about how she became a professional Domina, she says that becoming a professional Domina was her fate as many friends noticed how she carried herself. Then one of her friends, a dominatrix, encouraged her to try it and guided her at the beginning of her career. “She was the gentle soul who pushed me into the deep,” says Domina about her old friend.
“It was that people saw it in me. From the compliments that I found rather an insult. It was that I have an arrogant look. They were just small signs in the regular day of life. It was based on coincidence, coincidence, coincidence… And it literally crystallizes itself,” Domina says. She did not embrace this side of her at first. She explains “Basically, I was the only one who held back even though I collected my first boots and everything. I wouldn’t dare to open up, I wouldn’t dare to step out there and call myself a Dom and attract clients.” However, fate kept leading her down this path. It took years of experience to fully grasp for herself what it means being a dominatrix and what domination is about.
The way we look at BDSM has changed recently in the last couple of years. The awareness and acceptance of it grew among people. The major role in the shift of public opinion has played the book and the movie adaption of it Fifty Shades of Grey. The erotic melodrama between a dominant male and submissive female hit high peaks of popularity back in 2015, over 100 million copies of the book were sold worldwide and the trailer of the first book adaption was seen 250 million times. It encouraged the public to explore the spicy things in their sex life. However, the real BDSM has remained a taboo subject, in particular regarding the people who work in this domain.
A domination session is more than you think. Social and psychology scholars such as Meg Barker, have already discussed the healing ability of BDSM practices regarding past traumas and pressure of the postmodern life. The submissive tries with a professional dominatrix to re-enact a traumatic event from their life, such as bullying, in a safe environment in order to overcome emotionally the event. In other case, some men need a place where they feel vulnerable and liberated from their responsibility as head of the family or from the role of provider. “I always knew that domination is not about whipping someone until blood. It is definitely not violence. Maybe it is even the most caring psychotherapy in an erotic manner,” says Domina.
She grew up emotionally with this job and reached some kind of catharsis by being in control of someone’s pleasure. She said that a session with a client is sometimes like a memorable dream that hunts you all week. One of this type of session included tying up her client to the staircase and leaving him there for a couple of hours while she was spending time with her friend in the house. The dynamics between Domina don’t exceed the certain established limits with her clients.
It is a lifestyle for her being a mistress. She created a mixture in her house of the professional tools and usual furniture: whips, chains, a cage alongside couches, a TV and, plants in her living room. Even though one of her friends did not approve of this change of lifestyle. Keeping a separation of the workplace and her own house created a mental struggle, “I felt violated in my private area. It is hard to describe. I was just mentally so split between who I am in daily life and who I am when I am the Mistress. I began to explore mixing the two worlds,” she explains. Domina overcame this problem with the help of her trustworthy clients, who she felt comfortable inviting them in her personal space. The last three years were for her a crystallization in her work and life.
Whenever you hear about a dominatrix, a certain image comes to mind-a woman dressed in latex with spikes, black lipstick, and a chocker. A woman that tells you what to do and punishes with a whip if you disobey. Some kind of modern super-woman, but in a BDSM world. A lady with unlimited authority that makes the body tremble and the mouth dry at the glance of her outfit. However, this outside image does not apply to every dominatrix. It is a two-dimensional illusion that hides the human side.
“It is bad! It is really the only negative thing in this lifestyle,” she says with a low voice, almost whispering, “If I wouldn’t need to lie about it, but you got to do some job and pay the bills. If you cannot come clear on this, obviously you have to make up a lie. And I have a really huge struggle with that.” Her family and some friends don’t know about her job, except her older sister. She has these moments when she wants to tell the truth to her loved ones and take all the judgments for it. She wants to be free of this burden of keeping a secret.
Domina Wira moved to the Netherlands from her home country, which she kept off the record. She left her homeland when she was just 21 years-old by leaving behind her family and a job in an office. As she described herself- a rebellious teenager with an American flag on the wall that dreamed of moving in the West. She picked up Dutch and English language from just watching TV and talking to the customers in the Netherlands. “When I came to Holland and I heard for the first time Dutch, I thought it is impossible to learn it. So, I leaned towards English. Back then I was located in Amsterdam area and it was easy to speak English. Here (the north) it is different. First, I thought they are fooling around,” she smiles, “They don’t want to speak English because they want you to be forced to talk the local, native language.”
When asked about her everyday routine, Mistress Wira said that most of the time she spends cleaning her house, which is also her workplace, and preparing everything for the clients. She works seven days a week and also in the holidays by offering as much as possible flexibility to the clients, “I am the woman and the man of the house. I have to keep it clean. Especially I am working everywhere.” She also is following a course in Coaching and Consulting for improving her skills in dealing with clients, in particular approaching and understanding them.
About the Author
Born in the old Soviet Republic of Moldova, Maia Paduraru is an Art History major currently studying for a Masters in Journalism at the University of Groningen in Holland, from which she aims to work as an art critic and a cultural journalist. Polya is a featured writer for the University's Masters Program Blog, The Lens.