Interview with Sex Work Promos
I was recently asked a few questions by the gang at Sex Work Promos and in typical style I had a lot to say.
Full interview below:
Let us introduce you to Mistress Fatale. Mistress Fatale is based out of Fetish House in Melbourne. She describes herself as a classical Dominatrix, Disciplinarian and Rubber Fetishist.
"As the incomparable ‘La Femme Terrible’, I am both your dream come true and your nightmare personified."
If you are seeking to explore BDSM and the psychosexual aspects of BDSM, Mistress Fatale is the woman you want to see. Check her website at the bottom of this post for further details.
We had a read through your website, what is it about BDSM that really captures your interest, Have you had this interest from a young age or is it something the developed over time?
I came to the practice of (professional) BDSM quite late, in comparison to many – starting my apprenticeship in my early 30’s. From a young age I was interested in anything ‘taboo’, sex, death, magic – the usual things, but the first part of my career saw me focusing on my interest in death, as a grief and trauma counsellor and then as a forensic mortician.
My attraction to BDSM and fetishism was probably first reflected in my love of photography and the representation of power exchange found in the classic black and white images by Irving Klaw and John Willie and later, the fetishistic stylings of Helmut Newton and Guy Bourdin. I was also mesmerised by the depiction of the Dominatrix in film; Venus in Furs, Preaching to the Perverted (even when it’s bad, it’s good), Love and Human Remains, Maitresse etc.
Ultimately, what drew me in beyond the superficial appeal of the look or activities that might be taking place in those scenes were the powerful psychological relationships at play, the willingness to exchange power in a way that was not in line with socially acceptable standards of behaviour.
I think in both of my career choices (sex and death), it is precisely that expression of human emotion – the type that no longer abides by socially constructed mores – which has attracted me to work in such ‘extreme’ environments, offering a profound insight into what it means to be human.
After maintaining both careers for the best part of a decade, I realised that one afforded me the opportunity of continual growth, creativity and freedom in a way that the other one didn’t and, quite frankly, who wouldn’t love getting dressed up and embodying their most badass self AND get paid for it?
You mention you are a Rubber Fetishist, can you explain what this means to those who might not truly understand.
I have to start by saying that the meaning of the word ‘fetish’ has been somewhat diluted overtime. By definition, it implies an essential need in regards to sexual arousal or an abnormal desire for something to achieve an arousal state, but I think now we use it more lightly, to express a preference for something or the enhancement of an experience via the inclusion of an (inanimate) object or material.
Besides the fact that latex looks (and feels) incredibly sexy, which enhances the feeling of power and control, it also creates a sensory experience that can be transformative for the wearer.
The experience of latex on the skin enhances temperature, touch and sound, heightening whatever it is that’s going on externally but it can also magnify the internal experience, creating a deeper psychological effect through the means of sensory deprivation (restriction of light, sight and sound).
Those things combined, can really enhance a session for me so it’s exciting to introduce clients to that experience or meet someone who shares that interest.
What is something that people seek you out for the most? Is there a particular session that many are drawn to on a regular occasion? Is there a type of session you wished you did more often?
I tend to find that people seek me out for play that is rooted in the psychosexual elements of BDSM. I don’t really cater to sessions in which the main aim is sexual gratification and I make that clear in how I promote myself.
What I mean by psychosexual is going a layer deeper than the physical act, exploring the psychological elements of why certain impulses and behaviours are present. This can be as simple as incorporating role-play into a scene or more complicated, for example, exploring and developing someone’s desire for submission.
Without doubt though, this level of engagement does require a lot of emotional and psychological energy, so what I really love (to keep things balanced) is to spend time decompressing with a dedicated masochist, someone who wants nothing more than a good old-fashioned thrashing.
We noticed you mentioned that your approach to BDSM Is deeply psychological, how do you feel this facilitates a transformative experience for those who see you?
Following on from the above, I tend to approach my sessions from one of two ways: as a tool for behaviour modification (tapping into the psychosexual, as mentioned) and catharsis through ordeal.
Ideally, both of these approaches elicit a response that lasts longer than the time we spend together in the room. The idea of behaviour modification is that we explore ways to change behaviour patterns through the use of punishment and reward (operant conditioning), with the goal being an improvement in ones psychological and emotional wellbeing. With catharsis through ordeal, we’re just seeking a release of emotions and endorphins that can come from pushing yourself through intense physical or psychological experiences, ideally resulting in a feeling or relief or release.
I’m all for a good, uncomplicated orgasm, but if I’m really honouring my experience in the room, then it has to run deeper than that.
We see you are mainly in Melbourne, do you have a space of your own that you make use of or do you mainly work out of another location? Are there places interstate that you visit semi regularly?
I’m lucky enough to work at Melbourne’s only dedicated professional BDSM studio, Fetish House. It not only provides me with a safe, established space to host a variety of session types, it also affords me support and friendship from an amazing bunch of talented and highly skilled practitioners.
Having started my career in a less than supportive environment, I can’t underestimate the importance of having the encouragement of peers around you to learn from, debrief with and have a proper laugh with!
I do, under the right circumstances, offer options outside of that environment provided certain criteria are met, and I feel that it’s practical to do so. I’m also doing my first official tour to Adelaide later in the year (October) and beyond that, we shall see.
Are you happy to see people with little to no experience in BDSM? If yes, how is the best way for them to approach you for a session and what can they do to ensure that it goes well for you both in order to explore BDSM more fully?
I am more than happy to session with people who have little or no experience. We all start somewhere.
My advice to any new comer is to do your research. Don’t make a decision based purely on how attractive you find someone, because their style might not suit you at all. There are as many different approaches to BDSM as there are Dominatrices and if you haven’t at least given some thought as to your motivations (besides getting your rocks off), you might be in for at best, a disappointing experience, at worst, a traumatising one.
When you’re ready to approach, make sure you do so following their protocol for session bookings or enquiries and provide some information about your interests and what it is you’re hoping to experience in a session.
Do not make the mistake of deferring to the Mistress by saying ‘whatever you’d like, Mistress’ or ‘I want to be your slave, Mistress’ as you’ll likely be met with sarcasm, disdain or be dismissed as a time waster. We all have desires that need to be met when we engage in successful BDSM play and being submissive doesn’t negate you of those.
You will find that a lot of professional Dominatrices will seek common ground and only accept sessions that resonate with their style of play or interests, so pushing for something they don’t offer or not being honest in your intentions will not bode well. If I don’t feel like we will be a good match, I will happily refer you on to someone who I think would be more suitable.
How would you describe your style and personality to others?
In my profile and website etc, I describe myself as a classical or traditional Dominatrix. Again, definitions have become a little muddy as BDSM has become more mainstream, but for me that loosely means two things:
My role is not performative. Meaning, I don’t perform my role (it’s authentically ME in session) and I won’t enact a personality type or follow a script.
I don’t provide ‘normative’ sexual acts in session.
So much of the power in the D/s exchange comes from the manipulation of desire and I really enjoy the push and pull of that in a session. So, while I don’t engage in overt sexual acts, I certainly enjoy how I can use that energy to elicit certain responses.
Aesthetically, my style tends towards classical also. Archetypally, the image and persona of the ‘femme fatale’ resonates with me so I tend towards more classic styling when it comes to my presentation, referencing styles that have historically been associated with fetish and BDSM; leather, latex, pencil skirts, red lips etc.
My personality is also reflected in those preferences, I like to be measured, contained and calm in session. I’m very unlikely to raise my voice, instead preferring to assert my power through more subtle means. I am definitely strict and I don’t suffer fools but, providing I am met with respect and a genuine willingness to be open, then I’m actually very warm and compassionate!
Do you participate in workshops to constantly maintain your skills and share those with others? What kind of workshops if you attend them do you enjoy participating in?
It’s been 10 years since I started training as a Dominatrix and I can safely say that that I’ll never stop learning. But that’s half the fun!
I have to admit that at this stage of my career I tend to seek mentorship from people who have been in the industry longer than I have or specialise in an area I don’t have experience in. Workshops can be fun and there’s always something you’ll pick up on, but I really get more from one on one relationships where you can get into the nitty gritty.
The things I seek to learn at this stage tend to either be more nuanced or heavier styles of play that aren’t necessarily teachable in a workshop style setting.
Lastly what is something you would like others to know about you. What are some details you would like to share with us?
Can I say that I’m a living, breathing, feeling human person who at the end of the day has the same ups and downs and needs and wants as everyone else?
I say that in jest, a little, but I think that it’s important to remind people (clients) that we do put a lot of time and energy and emotion into this work and we have good days and bad. Treating us like said human beings (and not performing monkeys) will go a long way towards having a positive experience when engaging with us.
Other than that, when I’m not engaged in the day to running of the business of professional Domination, I can be found plotting my next meal or planning my next overseas adventure. Because as much joy as I get from the work that I do, it is met in equal measure by the things that it affords me to do in my time off!