Why it’s ok to pay:
I have a client, we’ll call him Ron, who I’ve known for a few years now. Ron and I have developed a loose friendship outside of our professional relationship -a friendship that consists of calls once every two months if that and/or checking in via text to say things like “hi,” or “this made me think of you,” etc.
However, I noticed a pattern during our last few BDSM sessions that I eventually called to his attention. The last time I met with Ron, as is customary with us, we spent some time talking – he calls me his therapist because he can tell me things that he can’t tell anyone else, and according to him, I make him think of things that he wouldn’t have otherwise thought of.
After we were done talking and the conversation switched to the topic of our BDSM session to follow, I could sense discomfort in him before he said, “I would be OK if we just talked, went out to eat, or went to see a movie.” This is the same thing he has said during the last few times I have seen him. When he says this, I always respond with, “So you don’t want to play today?” And of course, he always says, “No, I do.” So, he is giving me mixed messages probably due to some underlying conflict he has with -what I assume to be – the fact that he pays me and that we have an emotional and physical relationship.
That being said, when he was strapped to my table, I decided to bring this to his attention.
“Ron,” I said. “Do you have a problem being my client and my friend? Do you have a problem that you pay me?”
The topic of money is something that a lot of providers and clients alike, avoid. For some reason, our society looks down on the fact that there are people that provide not only sexual but emotional services, and that those services are paid for. Sure, it’s ok to pay the masseuse and the therapist, but when they are combined into one (more or less) we attach shame to it?
Ron responded, “Well, I know that this is your job, and it must be clinical for you.”
I responded, “I hear that you have worries about my work being clinical.”
This led us to a discussion about how it is OK to pay for things we need but cannot get elsewhere. I explained to him that his incorrect assumption in regards to my approach to my work would be like me saying to him, “You’re married, so you probably can’t connect with me in a way that is very deep.” I don’t know if he understood what I was trying to say, so I decided to write a blog post on it – for him and others to read.
Basically, the point that I am trying to make is that just because there is an exchange of money, does not mean that my actions, motivations, or emotional expressions are feigned. Sure, there are some providers that do not provide an emotional connection for their clients, but I do. Everyone has different limits, and my work is more about how I do what I do and not about simply going through the motions.
I also have no shame in calling my clients friends and vise versa. A lot of adult service providers try to maintain some illusion for their clients that they are not clients at all and that simply isn’t honest. Because let’s be frank, would the providers be providing their services if there wasn’t money involved? Would the clients continue to pay their providers if the service was removed? No, and no.
Specifically in reference to Ron, would I still be his friend if he stopped paying me? Yes, our friendship would look the same as it does now – loose, with occasional check-ins and rare phone calls. Would I engage in BDSM activities with him if he didn’t compensate me for the gift of Domination? Absolutely not. Now, if I was not a Professional Dominatrix and only did kink on the side, in addition to another job, I might have play partners for fun, but since I am a Professional, and this is my livelihood, it is absolutely illogical to think that at this point I would ever do it for free.
It just so happens that my work is playful and an excellent outlet for creativity, connection, and sexuality. And the exchange of money for what I offer – both physically and emotionally – is nothing to be ashamed of and nothing to be silent about. I offer a wonderful service, a lot of people benefit from it, and just because there is money involved does not mean that it is clinical, fake, or that the emotional exchange is cheapened.
Remember, it’s OK to pay.