One of the more ardent foes of Prodommes, Miss Pearl, said in a recent post:
We need to stop acting like there is no difference between sex work femdom and fun femdom. And we need to stop pretending that clients are the same thing as sub boyfriends/girlfriends and husbands/wives.
But wait a minute. To me, Femdom is femdom whether is comes from the hand of a “pro” or an “amateur”. And who says Prodommes can’t be friends with their clients? And what about the occasional “pros” who also perform femdom with their friends without money exchanging hands?
It is true that there is a general ban on “pros” trolling for clients in amateur bdsm events, but the pros are there socializing with others and not interested in business at that time. Even Miss Pearl acknowledges that there are some #SW’s who enjoy what they do both in the business and outside of business.
It is also true that Prodommes (and many other SW’s) spend a lot in their fetishwear, play spaces and toys – but why should we envy them just because they are investing in their business?
Miss Pearl also says:
But they really can’t represent me accurately any more than I can say I can speak for them as sex workers just because we both spank or fuck. And the conflation is causing problems.
I also agree with her criticism about Prodommes defining what is Femdom if only because they promote themselves more than amateurs. They are motivated to do this for business reasons. This doesn’t make them any less respectable than amateur “lifestylers”. Maybe the problem is the general association of Femdom with Prodomme promotion?
[Prodommes] tend to have a degree of professional interest in protecting the parameters of what is and isn’t dominance…But this conversation is extremely alienating to non-pros. You see I’m kind of everything they talk about despising in a dominant.
True, Prodommes are out front about what, to them, is and isn’t dominance particularly in their services, but outside of the business they are people too. I frequently see them encouraging “amateurs” (lifestylers) to continue in their kind of femdom because if we start a civil war against ourselves, we’ll be an easy target for the growing anti-SW, anti-glbtq movement (aka “Trump-Pence”) that will take us all down.
She does say:
Because pro-dom client pleasing has zero to do with my sexuality.
and I agree with her entirely. Sex work is just that: work! A lot of SW is with clients you wouldn’t normally have sex with. And (as she mentions) SW, especially #bdsm, doesn’t always include sex!
I agree with her remark of being mistaken as a SW:
And the typical guys, even the polite ones, trying to send out client requests to me also have zero to do with my sexuality
Most SW’s don’t want to be just anyone’s sexual plaything (unless there’s a lot of money involved).
I feel alone in my needs, when guys can’t understand why bribing me with dishes or offers of money doesn’t make me feel dominant, when some of my male submissive friends can’t understand why I won’t go pro. When they can’t separate client pleasing behaviour from my behaviour and when it has to be a competition of whip skill and psychological intuition.
She’s right on that point about people who make assumptions and try to influence her to do SW. But SW’s also have the same experience from people who assume that just because they do SW, they’ll do anything for them.
The real danger in her criticism of Prodommes and sex-workers in general is that it gives more ammo to the “moral” crowd. I think we need to stick together and stop fighting among ourselves.
Lifestylers owe it to themselves to come out like Miss Pearl and tell us how they are different from the Femdom stereotype and that they deserve respect too.
Rebuttal from Miss Pearl (via Twitter)
I received 3 tweets from Miss Pearl’s Twitter account (
@OMissPearl ) as follows:
The hardest part of the conversation is steering it away from pro bashing.
Those who read your entire post will notice how careful you were to avoid “pro bashing”. Unfortunately there are some who will interpret it otherwise. It may be because you promote “lifestyle” value by comparing it to the goals of Prodommes, especially with the sex worker (provider/client) aspect.
The issue is that professional domination is about a salable product, with a defined provider/client dynamic baked in. (1/2)
The norms of this salable product overshadow non-pro, who by definition, do not experience their sexuality this way. (2/2)
It it true that pros create mercantile relationships that “overshadow” those of “non-pros” ? Is it true that all pros are only in it for the money?