What I've learned in 10 years of Pro Domming.
1. People are people. Obvious huh?
Yes I know, but from an outsiders perspective we are all sick. Even from more enlightened individuals it seems that there is an opinion and judgement made about people who are into fetish/kink/dominance etc and also about people who pay to indulge.
From my experience there are good and bad in all walks of life and from all orientations. I see lots of very lovely individuals, who on the face of it society would call normal people. However, there is no such thing as normal, but we do end up talking about normal things, life, where we are going on holiday and the ponderings of the universe.
In the past 10 years some of my visitors have become good friends. I've gone to fetish clubs with some, gone on holiday with some, had one or two stay over at my home and met up with others in a foreign city to share a beer. I've gone to dinner with quite a number and just generally enjoyed time spent together putting the world to right.
I'm fascinated by people in general but more specifically those into BDSM. I'm fascinated by their stories and what led them into kink and also what led them to my door.
Everyone has a story, everyone is unique and everyone has needs. When those need are getting met in a healthy way, everyone benefits. So even when it comes to non kink needs, when people have the courage and the opportunity to seek what they need, the ripple effects can be felt in many areas be that work, family, relationships, mindset or even physical health. So have a long hard think about what you consider your needs in life, and go bloody grab them by the balls....ok maybe not, but gently explore!
2. Trust is key.
Your instincts, your gut, your body will tell you before your mind can process things. That feeling in your stomach will be the tell tale sign. Is is excitement and butterflies, or is it anxiety and dread? It takes time to tune into what's going on there, but when we do it's a mine of information. I always speak to people on the phone before making an appointment. It's not so much about what they are saying, it's how they say it, the tone, the inflection, the attitude. When I listen in to all of that I usually get a feeling about whether I should offer them an appointment or not. I've been wrong on only a few occasions but never badly. Only wrong as in we didn't quite gel. I've never had an unsafe encounter thankfully. I didn't always listen to my gut instinct in the early days but it was all a learning curve. Now I'm shit hot at listening to my gut. I won't ever ignore it or let someone persuade me otherwise. The lesson I've learned is that the gut is always right, choose to ignore it at your peril.
Strong boundaries make for happier interactions all round. Knowing my line in the sand, communicating that and adhering to that line is one of the best lessons I've learned and has transferred well into every other aspect of my life. In the early days this can be difficult until you know where your line is. There are no rights and no wrongs with what you do, what you're happy to accommodate and how flexible you want to be, just as long as people know they will mostly respect it. Of course there will be people who want to try to push your boundaries and chance things but they usually just need to be told no and that's enough to satisfy them that when you say no you mean no.
I know of situations within say family scenarios where people won't ask something of me because they know I can't be swayed or easily manipulated but will do so with another family member. It's sad to see but at the same time it's gratifying to know that I've communicated my feelings on things so well it's known I won't be moved.
4. Everyone needs time out.
Always required. Helps prevent burnout and boredom. I see people come into Pro Domming and hit the ground running. Loving every minute of it and going to every fetish event, seeing every submissive who applies and burning the candle at both ends. Six months later they are nowhere to be seen. When I first came out into the fetish scene I went to lots of clubs, parties and munches. These were wonderful but heady days. I loved kink and decided after a few years to start offering sessions. I couldn't understand why lots of people gave up within the first year. I loved it so much I couldn't understand someone walking away from it and doing so for good. However, what I had failed to realise is that I had a very full life out with. I had then, and even more so now, a list as long as your arm of hobbies that I regularly indulged in. If I'm not outdoors hiking, I'm baking or painting or cycling or running. I regularly sign up for classes to learn something new or perfect something that I enjoy. It makes for a more rounded individual and a clearer mindset.
I know when I've been knee deep in kink for days, perhaps sessioning, filming, being involved and around kink friends I start to get a bit of cabin fever. It becomes a bit surreal and I have to escape to the real world. This is not to say I don't love it, I certainly do, but it's all about balance. When I indulge in other activities I come back to my premises all refreshed and full of new ideas about what I want to do or I've had flashes of creativity about new things to try.
The same goes for holiday time. I regularly make sure I have a decent break, usually 3 or 4 weeks in one go as well as other one week and mini breaks throughout the year. It clears my head completely. It feels like I've just done a brain dump to clear the memory space for new ideas and enthusiasm.
If your head is so full of your work non stop, the creative/fun/childlike part of you never gets let out. That can lead to lots of issues not just mental but physical too. So get out from behind your desk and go do something fun and enjoyable. You'll be way more productive when you get back, I promise.
5. Knowing my worth.
This is a biggie. I had a previous career before this one and let me tell you I was bloody good at what I did. I had managed to get to quite a senior level and in the latter years was head hunted a few times because of the skill set I had. These skills have more than easily transferred over to my Pro-Domming life and made for an easy transition.
However, in the early days you're not quite sure if what you have to offer will be in demand and sometimes this takes a bit of time to get a feel for. Lets face it, this industry is very much weighted towards a visual element and not everyone is going to appreciate your look/size/hair colour. So as in life, you need to develop an appreciation for who you are as a person, what you've got to offer the world and how to be comfortable with selling that. We all know that looks fade and as a society we are all fed the B/S about how we are supposed to look and how much we are worth in relation to that. Having your self worth rooted in your value as a person and your uniqueness is the foundation for being able to reject the notion that your value is less because you don't have the right look, the right size figure, the right colour skin or hair or whatever other B/S anyone tries to tell you.
I've learned to appreciate my years of experience, my people skills, my enthusiasm, my passion, my knowledge and my judgement to such an extent that I will never let someone haggle my tribute down or feel I need to offer any special deals or discounts. I know what I'm worth but if someone else doesn't know that then I don't have a great problem with it. There will always be someone else who knows and appreciates my worth.
This lesson again has transferred into my personal life. Because I know my worth in monetary terms, I also know my worth and value in terms of time too. I won't spend time now on negative people. I won't be in the company of anyone who is less than genuine. I don't want to surround myself with people who think the world owes them a living. These people are energy vampires. My time is spent with people who bring value and worth into my life. Again, I know my worth.