Every sex worker, whether “full service” or otherwise, has the story of “that time that a client got violent.” It’s why massage therapists hire security, ostensibly it’s why prostitutes have their pimps, and it’s why ProDommes have our spotters. Something happens to human beings when they enter a space in which societal expectations not only don’t exist, but where the client is expected to remove the mask they wear so tightly on a day to day basis.
That “something,” is that sometimes, they lose their fucking minds.
For a massage therapist and a prostitute, the general conclusion is, “you got an asshole client.” And that’s not entirely wrong when it comes to the world of Professional BDSM services, too. A client who acts smart and goes beyond “topping from the bottom,” shifting straight into outright attempts at control and manipulation via physical means, is a client who should expect a fucking beat down. But there’s this intriguing gray area between joyful submission and aggressive anger, and in that area lies the entire psychology of each of us.
I realise that sounds big, but I’ll explain what I mean. Last week, I took a client. This man has come to my door (with my approval), for the honour of being slapped in the face and to kneel, in public, at my feet. He’s what I would call an “alpha sub;” extremely dominant in his work and home life, charismatic, and almost never at a loss for the right words. He would happily announce himself as my “boot meat,” and adores when I heap abuse on him. So here’s Boot Meat, tied to a St. Andrew’s cross. I’m flogging, whipping, and doing a bit of breath play. Intense? Yes. But he was being punished for a particularly egregious offense. At one point, my whip hits him, and he loses his shit.
*SLAM SLAM SLAM!!!*
He’s tied to the cross, but he’s balled his hands into fists and slammed them against the frame. The wood knocks, but holds. I stop, partly because I’m unsure as to what’s going on, partly because I realise that he’s becoming violent and I need to stay cool, and partly because I realise I’ve made a tremendous mistake…
….I didn’t bring a spotter.
“What the fuck was that??” I ask.
“WHAT THE FUCK WAS THAT?!?!?!” he shouts back at me.
I pause. In the battle between fight or flight, my native state has always been to freeze. He takes a moment and tries to explain what’s going on in his head. I’m torn between fear…. and fascination. I’ve read about this moment so often, and I’m just watching him. He’s struggling for words, he’s reigning himself back in, but in a very real way, what I just saw is a part of him that most people never will. Not the violence; that’s a symptom of it, but the authentic pain and humanity behind his need to submit.
He’s gotten himself back together and as soon as I feel safe, I take him down off the cross. He kneels at my feet, and tries to explain that the pain was intense. So intense, but he was torn between speaking up, and wanting to impress me. He wanted to make me proud, and a part of him just…. broke.
“It’s happened before, but only a few times. I just let loose. I never would hit you, Miss. NEVER. Part of it was just knowing I COULD let loose because I was tied down.” The same bondage that allows people to experience sex acts they feel they shouldn’t enjoy, is the bondage that allowed him to express an emotion that he feels he shouldn’t have. Anger. Rage. The Unpretty inside of us. It shits and farts and it’s selfish. It binds its feet every day to walk in the shoes that society gives us, but in my play space, it flexed for a moment. I found it stunning.
“The question you have to ask yourself, slut, is whether you want it to happen again. Because we can do that.” He’s kneeling at my feet now, his head on my knees as I sit on the couch, talking to him. I notice how soft his hair is, how his breathing has slowed down.
He stills for a moment, “I don’t know. I guess it’s something to think about…”
I think it is. This is the client who teased out a darker side of me with his requests, and I find now that I’m really more in control than ever. And now I wonder, do I have enough control to look at his most naked side, and really stare it down?