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With Valentine’s Day on the horizon, I’m thinking a lot about love. I love love. It’s one of those few universal cure-alls that invariably makes any situation better. Whether I’m thrashing a sub’s backside bloody or cradling a sub girl as we drift off to sleep, it’s all done with love. BDSM at its best is an expression of love, and anyone who doesn’t believe that is either misguided or missing out on one of life’s greatest pleasures.

I don’t need kink to express my love, however, and in my private love life kink is something I usually save until I get to know someone–probably because of the extremity with which I express my kink. I’m a hardcore D/s enthusiast, and so BDSM becomes by extension very psychologically intimate. The depth with which I explore my partners’ minds can be the psychological equivalent of being stripped bare in an operating theater and letting a doctor examine you inside and out with a magnifying glass. When you couple that level of psychological intimacy with emotional and physio-sexual intimacy, it can get pretty overwhelming pretty fast.

I prefer to build a solid vanilla relationship with my romantic partners first, or at the very least a vanilla understanding, as long as they are open-minded and accepting of my job. This may sound shocking given my reputation in the industry; many people expect me to demand kink on the first date, but this is something I almost patently refuse to do. With a solid vanilla bond in place, however, I find I can go farther and deeper with someone in our kink because we’ve already established a firm basis of trust and affection.

My need for vanilla connection doesn’t apply to my personal slaves, though. I cherish my slaves, don’t misunderstand me, but I’ve never dated one. They occupy a totally different place in my consciousness, and bring totally different things to my life than a romantic partner. If you ask a slave, and I mean a died-in-the-wool service slave, most will tell you the same thing: they don’t want a Domme to be their friend or lover, they want her to be their owner.

When it comes to a romantic partner, I need someone who is my equal. My ideal is a vanilla-leaning, successful alpha male who is amused by my career as a Domme but not directly impacted by it. I have dated subs, switches, Doms and fetishists (all of which can be alpha males), and because I work so much I need someone who can take my mind off of BDSM when we’re not kinking out together.

This week I’m featured in the New York Observer in an article about New York’s most eligible singles, and in the interview I basically admit to everything I’ve just said. I’m friends with the editor, and as he quizzed me on some of my preferences in relationships, I couldn’t help but open up about my feelings on the topic under his warm and inquisitive gaze. I was a bit surprised to find myself admitting kink chemistry isn’t the first thing I look for in a partner. My subs and clients might be surprised to learn that too, or even put off. However, part of my business model is to offer my authentic self in my sessions. These days I don’t feel the need to hide behind the mask of what people think a Domme should be. What’s true is true: person first, kink second.

All that being said, here are the traits I look for in my King:

Intelligence: He must be at least as smart as me. I also love a man who is MORE intelligent than I am, but it’s rare for me to meet one.

Kindness: Brains are nothing without heart.

Humor: A man who makes me laugh is 100 times more likely to be invited into my bed than one who doesn’t. Humor-wise I’m more Tim and Eric/Danny McBride than Adam Sandler/South Park.

Emotional Support: It’s not enough to be all of the above, I also need a partner who recognizes my emotional needs and can be there to help when I’m having a bad day. Although I am generally happy and successful, I have my moments of sadness and uncertainty just like everyone else.

Adventurous: This is a combination of energetic and open-minded with at least a tolerance of travel. Adventurous means my man doesn’t like to just sit around and watch TV: he’d rather be out sight-seeing, planning our next trip, or out with me in nature. He also has to be open-minded in the bedroom (obviously), as well as socially and creatively flexible.

Looks: Note that this is next to last on the list. That being said, I’m a wreck for a hot male model. Jawline and abs, mmph!

Cool: How else to say it? Don’t be lame or awkward. 

In summary, my ideal man is someone who can embody all these traits and, above all else, prioritize me and give freely of his affection. In return, I treat him as any Queen treats her King: with respect and utmost love. If you have a Queen in your life and have been dying to tell her how you feel, maybe this week is a good opportunity. And if you’re still out there searching for your King or Queen, take heart. I truly believe everyone has someone for them out there in the world.

Photo Stephen Perry

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You’re attractive, professionally successful, and doing just fine on the vanilla dating front thanks to the bevy of dating apps out there. And yet… with a never-ending stream of gorgeous partners at your literal fingertips, you somehow find yourself wanting more. More substance. More layers. More excitement.

That ‘more’ is kink. You’re probably not sure how far you’re willing to go, or even what kinds of activities are available. Maybe you hated 50 Shades of Grey, but it did pique your interest. The more you research, though, the more you realize you don’t know. And frankly, it can be overwhelming. Don’t worry: We all have to start somewhere. Years ago, I was as vanilla as they come. Working as a ProDomme thrust me fast and furious into the world of kink, and eventually, I started exploring it at home. Now, eight years later, my sex life is extraordinary. You CAN have your cake. And eat it too! And do a hot force-feeding scene afterwards with a sexy naked chick tied to a chair.

Thanks to my job as a Dominatrix, I travel the world for kink, and there is one app that has literally changed my dating life forever. No matter where I go, Whiplr seems to have sexy scene players in my age range who are eager to meet up. The search settings allow you to narrow down your basic preferences, and the Dekadom membership helps you get even more specific about who and what you’re looking for. It attracts a broad range of experience levels as well, from skilled scene veterans to excited newbies who’ve never even tried a blindfold. I adore introducing vanillas to the scene, so it’s thrilling that so many people who’ve joined recently are brand new to BDSM. Me: kid. Whiplr: candy store.

If only there had been an app like this when I first started exploring. It’s the only global dating app dedicated to kink and fetish, and it’s getting bigger by the day. To “keep it 1000” as we say on the internet, my stock is pretty low on places like OKCupid and Tinder. As a vanilla woman, I’m just another petite brunette with curves. On Whiplr, however, I’m a feisty sex Goddess with an astonishing set of skills and experience. It gives me easy access to hot partners who might just breeze past me in other apps. ALL of the people I’ve met from Whiplr have been gorgeous and fascinating, and it’s yielded MY BEST dates ever.

To be very clear: I want hundreds of new people to join Whiplr every single day. Not because I work for Whiplr (though I kind of wish I did), but because I want a bigger dating pool! I love this app and want to do everything I can to promote it, since each new member who signs up is another adventure waiting for me.

As for those other dating apps? I’ve deleted them all. If I want vanilla, I’ll just have some ice cream.

Photo: Ian Reid.
Models: Mistress Darcy, Goddess Aviva, Bob Revolver and friends.

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I always encourage my clients to adopt a pro-honesty, pro-relationship attitude about kink in their personal lives (meaning spouses, significant others, and any close relationships), which goes double for anyone who’s actively seeking a romantic/sexual/BDSM relationship outside of pro sessions.

Personal BDSM relationships don’t necessarily preclude professional ones, but even when they do I have so many clients that it doesn’t negatively impact my practice to counsel my clients (who desire it) towards an exit strategy from pro sessions, especially anyone under 30. I want to see my slaves (well, everyone I know really!) fulfilled in profound and life-altering ways, and I try to let my dominance extend past the end of the session and echo into the days, weeks, and even months afterwards so that your life actually improves after you leave in ways you didn’t expect. In an ideal world you should always feel my guidance and care as you move through life, whether you’ve seen me recently or not. Kink is meant to be a net positive experience. It saddens me that some of you believe you won’t ever find a personal relationship that incorporates both sides of you. I LITERALLY believe that your dream partner(s) are out there waiting for you right now, and I dearly hope they manifest after you read this.

Here is a SURPRISING list of steps that will help you find your BDSM SOULMATE. It’s not necessarily easy, but you need to look at what YOU have been doing to get in the way of your own relationship happiness and then take the necessary actions to change your attitude. You won’t be sorry and will only benefit from this kind of deep inner analysis and work.

1. Adopt Radical Self-Acceptance. Your kink is not a weakness, it’s a strength. It’s not a caveat, i.e. “he’s a great guy, BUT…” Your kink is a gift, i.e. “he’s a great guy, AND…”. Interests like yours don’t make you just different, or even different-but-equal. You are different-and-better. I know: I’ve lived years on both sides. BDSM enthusiasts are the connoisseurs of sex. Your erotic life (with or without intercourse) is SO MUCH better than billions of others’ as a result of being sexually adventurous and will only get richer with time. You have passion, complexity and a sense of fun and you’re brave enough to explore your desires. Kudos to you: you’re part of the sexual elite.

2. Draw a Line in the Sand. Say outloud, right now, I REFUSE to settle for anything less than someone who accepts all sides of me. You have to know the perfect partner is out there for you–I’m sure you’ve thought about him or her before and what their core values and traits are. Lose sight of the visual and demand that your partner meet your requirements emotionally and mentally. You need to stop making exceptions and allowing partners into your life who either don’t accept your kinky side or don’t treat you with respect and care. It’s okay to long for it, by the way. Longing opens you up and makes you vulnerable. Don’t let it make you aggressive, pathetic or desperate, but if you are honest and surrender to your longing for a partner that longing will magnetize them to you. If you’re doing it right, this whole process should make you MORE confident, not less.

3. Tell Them Upfront. Mention it on the first date. Don’t wait. You don’t need to get into the gory details and should always exercise tact and decorum, of course, but there is no reason to be dishonest or lie about your kinky side in a dating context–not in the age of the internet, anyway! If they react negatively to what you say (as long as you’ve said it respectfully and not with the agenda of getting them to sleep with you or play with you immediately) then you should write them off and never call them again. I don’t care how hot they are. Find a way to put a positive spin on it and create intrigue if you’re attempting to convert a vanilla. For instance, a diehard foot fetishist might at some point say, “I would LOVE to spoil your feet sometime, and if you’ve never experienced that from someone you are seriously missing out. Shoe shopping, massages, kisses: what girl WOULDN’T want that?” Remember that your kink is a gift to the partners you meet. If they don’t want it, it’s their loss.

4. Get Out There. Meet them on OKC, Tinder, Fetlife, Whiplr, whatever! Go on three dates a week minimum. If you’re not seeing results within a month then chances are you need to revisit steps one through three.

As for me, I have met and had longterm relationships with some INCREDIBLY good looking kinky men on Fetlife, Whiplr, and through friends of friends and at parties. Just like you, I have had to work my way through all four of the steps above. Step one is by far THE MOST IMPORTANT. It’s taken me eight years, but I can finally say I love my kinks and think they are a huge gift to whoever I deem good enough to receive them. I’m pretty selective about who I date these days, and though I haven’t met my soulmate yet I know he’s out there and will come into my life at the perfect moment. In the meantime, I’m having an incredible time along the way! Dating is important, but remember: it ain’t everything!

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I was chatting with a cute 22-year-old slave the other day, and I happened to admit that I’m recently single (well, as of Valentine’s Day). He gawped, recovered, then mumbled something about a “mad, mad world.” Although I am indeed beleaguered day in and day out by adoring males due to my job, I explained to him that my personal tastes are actually quite “specific.” Meaning: unbearably high. As they should be for any intelligent, beautiful woman, in my esteemed opinion! But like everyone who has ever lived, there have been a few times in my life where the object of my affection has been, in fact, “just not that into me.”

Now, I would be lying if I said it didn’t bother me. Of course it bothers me. I think there’s at least 10 great reasons to date a ProDomme, and about 500 reasons to date me specifically. However, I know that my career brings with it a certain unique category of “issues” that any boyfriend is going to have to contend with. If a man is deeply confident, he won’t be threatened by the professional relationships with my clients, but how many deeply confident men do you know? Or deeply confident humans for that matter? They’re out there, definitely, but like a pair of Louboutins at half price they are rare indeed.

Cut to this morning, when I fire up my inbox to find an open letter from that same slave. He’s taken it upon himself to chastise the wayward Adonises of my lovelorn past! I found the letter so hilarious that I decided to post it here.

NB: I’m not ashamed of being single. It makes it that much easier to not pay for things.

 

To whom it may concern,

Throughout history man has shown many situations in which he has lacked good judgment and overall common sense. No group of individuals has confirmed this idea better then the group of sad fools that have, for whatever nonsensical reason, chosen not to exclusively date Mistress Darcy.  This is quite possibly the most ridiculous decision a human being could, or has ever made. I can not seem to comprehend how anyone could ever turn down an opportunity to be around this angel of a woman. Her body is perfect, and I cherish any opportunity to even catch a glimpse of it. At one time or another, each of you had been given the opportunity not only to spend a considerable amount of time with a stunningly beautiful goddess, but also to have sex with her!! If you fall into this group of morons, what exactly is it that has been clouding your judgment? Because it has to be something. It’s completely impossible that any heterosexual male in their right mind would turn down a chance to be with Mistress Darcy. The thought process and decision making of these men has left me utterly confused. The perfect female wants you and you’re not ready? What are you waiting for?  It doesn’t get better than perfect and it does not get better than her.

Sincerely,

An extremely perplexed admirer of Mistress Darcy

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Deep down, I’m a woman of simple tastes: a little kink, a lot of sex, some community and a good night’s sleep (which usually comes after any of the first three). Yet I continually find myself having to venture outside of New York for all of the above. This place is a mecca for the arts and commerce, a hothouse of talent where your most impossible dreams can be launched and applauded. It’s also the loneliest place I know.

To start with, America does not do kink very well. Say what you will about our ‘oversexed society’ here in the West, most of it is just a glittering veneer that masks some very strange, puritanical ideas. As a result our society is caught in not an oversexualization, but a premature sexualization of girls and boys, which introduces sex at too early an age thereby creating immediate sex-shame. This is all driven by corporate greed that uses sexual identity as a way to sell more products to more people.

As a result of our contentious relationship with our own sexuality, Americans aren’t even close to understanding or respecting kink—how can we when the bedrock of our society is made up of sex-shame-sex-shame? We have the not-so-intelligent intelligentsia ranting against consensual BDSM, at times using gross journalistic misconduct and cleverly disguised bigotry in order to appear progressive. We also have 50 Shades of “Damaged Goods,” which has raked in $566M in box office sales and well over 100 million copies in print. Whether BDSM is being used as an ontological baseball bat against itself, or sensationalized to make E.L. James and a small portion of Hollywood very wealthy, the result is the same: objectifying a way of life and ignoring the greater lessons that BDSM has to teach us. Did I enjoy the movie? Yes. Does that make me a disgusting hypocrite? Yes. But at least I’m upfront about my hypocrisy, unlike most of the country.

Of course it could be worse: we’re not Russia, which announced this year it would suspend the drivers licenses of fetishists. However, we’re not Germany or Japan either, which have been admired for decades for their embrace of kink and alternative erotica. Our sexuality is wedged begrudgingly in the middle between hyper-liberal and hyper-conservative, as evidenced by the US media’s obsession with anything celebrity-kink related and local politics, i.e. the dungeon raids in New York in 2007-08. I take the point that many of the public BDSM scandals fall into a sort of gray area, as they often involve either ProDommes or high-profile professionals-as-clients; the involvement of either calls into question all sorts of legalities and insinuations of prostitution, etc., which raises a whole different set of questions that has nothing to do with BDSM. However, even the lifestyle kink scene in the US is wan compared to some other countries. In this respect, globally speaking, we are simply not as progressive as we like to think.

From personal experience, I have found the New York lifestyle scene particularly distasteful. Most of the community here seems to fall into three categories: cool and cliquey; hideous and scary; or aggressive and rude. I cut my teeth in the London fetish scene where you will find people dressing up for EVERY EVENT. Even the worst events in London are well attended and have a few promising newcomers to chat with. The established kink community there is terrifically welcoming to fresh faces, and it’s nigh impossible to leave an event without making wonderful new friends—many of whom will be gorgeous, fascinating, and otherwise “normal.” In the US, I’m glad if I come away from an event with a single hottie on my arm—though I did manage to pull a total fox at a party in Philadelphia last weekend…tell ya ‘bout her some other time. The sad truth is you’ll find more quality, public BDSM events in one week in London than you will in most US cities in a month—including New York.

There are noble efforts from The NY Fetish Tribe, but I always leave their parties feeling that I haven’t actually made meaningful connections—most of the “fun people” all seem to know each other already and are disinterested in making new friends. Or maybe my resting bitch face is just not particularly well received. I have also found many of the New York kink events to be heavily MaleDom/femsub oriented: recipe for awkward Darcy. There are events here and there at the house dungeons in New York, but as an independent Domme I feel a bit gauche crashing a ‘house’ party. And the last high profile, private “BDSM play party” I went to in Manhattan was definitely a sex party. I was yawning after an hour, annoyed at having wasted my latex in front of all the naked swingers.

The most unsettling thing about kink, and about New York, and about kink in New York, is that everything is so transactional. I understand the inherent absurdity of such a statement coming from a ProDomme. However, I’m honest about my transactions: unapologetic, upfront, and dedicated to creating a happy exchange for both parties. For the most part, commercial usage of kink is a three-way transaction in which only two parties receive something: the corporation pretends it’s selling BDSM and what it stands for, when really it is selling fashion, music, film, cars, or pistachios; the customer gets to feel “edgy”; and the BDSM community receives either nothing or less than nothing, as their identity and values are appropriated and then displaced. Part of my role as a D-list celebrity in the fetish scene (D for Darcy, of course) is to raise awareness about kink in a way that gives back to the culture itself, slowly integrating it into the mainstream in a manner that is respectful and inclusive.

Dating in New York is as frenzied and cutthroat as a #LillyforTarget stampede (or if you’re a guy, trying to get an early release of Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare). Kinky dating here is only slightly better. The reason I prefer kink in New York to sex in New York is that at least I can understand the landscape of kink and malesub/MaleDom desire, whereas with vanilla dating everything is so gosh-darned ambiguous that I generally have no idea if someone likes me until months later after they’ve moved on. Kinky New York men are similar to vanilla New York men in that they are generally uncouth, agenda-driven, flaky and jaw-droppingly selfish—but as a Domme I have a skill set and wardrobe that many guys in the scene want (see Top 10 Reasons to Date a ProDomme), so I become part of their agenda and can at least make it onto their “to do” list. I have a lot to offer as a vanilla woman as well, but in a city where supermodels literally walk the streets, it can be tough to hold a ‘nilla guy’s attention for very long.

I would be less grumpy about all of this if I could get a good night’s rest. I should have listened to what they all say—this place really doesn’t ever sleep. They were telling the truth! I have suffered chronic insomnia since the day I moved here, partly due to the sheer energetic momentum coursing through the streets. But it’s also just a noisy place. Noisy, busy, exciting, with so much squandered potential that it makes me crazy in a way that is both funny and terrifying at the same time.

What’s the solution? I could continue to get on a plane every two months to London. I could keep running, keep dating abroad, and keep hooking up with random New York male models that then disappear into the skyscrapers. Or I could start to build the kind of city in which I want to live one relationship at a time. Until New York is a fashionable, cultured, kink-friendly haven of love, fun and community. Can one woman really make a difference? My clients tell me almost without fail that I’ve changed the way they think about domination. If I can make such a difference to them in a matter of hours, think what I could do if I put my energy towards creating the perfect city, day in day out, for a few years. Or better yet—perhaps my writing will one day reach the hundreds of millions that E.L. James has. Each interaction is a chance to create the community you want, each word you speak is a small brick in the wall of your greatness.

You have tremendous power, even you subs—as much as me or anyone else. Start now. Spread awareness. Speak acceptance. Give freely. Communicate honestly. Love openly. Find calm.

And if you’re a kinky male model, take me the hell to dinner.

These gorgeous words make me think of the truly powerful women I am blessed to know: my fellow Dommes who understand strength, humility, integrity, and the beauty of compassion. I love this sonnet and am forever awed by Shakespeare’s unearthly understanding of the human condition.

They that have power to hurt, and will do none,

That do not do the thing, they most do show,

Who moving others, are themselves as stone,

Unmoved, cold, and to temptation slow:

They rightly do inherit heaven’s graces,

And husband nature’s riches from expense.

They are the lords and owners of their faces,

Others, but stewards of their excellence:

The summer’s flower is to the summer sweet.

Though to itself, it only live and die,

But if that flower with base infection meet,

The basest weed outbraves his dignity:

For sweetest things turn sourest by their deeds,

Lilies that fester, smell far worse than weeds.