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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

A dominatrix (plural dominatrices or dominatrixes) or mistress is a woman who takes the dominant role in bondage and discipline, dominance and submission or BDSM. A common form of address for a submissive to a dominatrix is "mistress", "ma'am", "domina" or "maîtresse". Note that a dominatrix does not necessarily dominate a male partner; a dominatrix may well have female submissives.

The term "domme" (pronounced /ˈdɒm/) is a coined pseudo-French female variation of the slang dom (short for dominant). It stems from the Latin words "dominus" = master, "domina" = mistress. The pronunciation is identical to the term "dom", by analogy to one-syllable French-derived words like femme or blonde.

As fetish culture is increasingly becoming more prevalent in Western media, depictions of dominatrices in film and television have become more common.


Word history

Dominatrix is the feminine form of the Latin dominator, a ruler or lord, and was originally used in a non-sexual sense. Its use in English dates back to at least 1561. Its earliest recorded use in the prevalent modern sense, as a female dominant in S&M, dates to 1967.[1]

Although the term "dominatrix" is not used, the classic example in literature of the female dominant-male submissive relationship is portrayed in the 1870 novella Venus in Furs by Austrian author Leopold von Sacher-Masoch. The term masochism was later derived from the author's name.

Professional versus lifestyle dominatrices

French dominatrix Maîtresse Françoise.'

The term dominatrix is often used to describe a professional dominant woman (or pro-domme) who charges money to engage in fantasy play with submissive clients by visiting their homes in person or via chat. In reality most dominatrices are not professionals, but lifestyle dominants. A lifestyle dominant is a person who is assertive and in control of their relationships both inside and outside the bedroom.

Women who engage in female domination recreationally are known as dommes, dominatrices, mistresses, or simply dominants.[2] A high percentage of dominants are lifestyle dominants, but some simply play the dominatrix role because it is perceived as a high-paying profession.

It is common for professional dominatrices who are also lifestyle dommes to have both paying clients and a "personal slave or sub" or slaves or subs, who are not paying clients. A personal slave will typically perform a domme's housework and run errands for her. A personal slave may or may not live with his or her domme.

Professional dominants most frequently do not engage in sexual contact with their paying customers, as this can be construed as prostitution in some places. Outside of their life as a pro-domme, they may or may not engage in sexual behavior with a devoted slave or sub. A common form of domination involves chastity where a dominant controls her slaves' sexual access, sometimes keeping them locked in a chastity device except for rare occasions.

The stereotypical image of a dominatrix is of a woman wearing a rubber or leather catsuit and thigh-length boots with high heels or, in a more elegant and teasing mode, black lingerie, stockings and high heels, or some combination of these two alternatives. Many professional dominatrices do indeed wear similar outfits for their work in order to meet client expectations.

See also


  • Tomi Ungerer: Schutzengel der Hölle, Diogenes 1986, ISBN 3257020163
  • Annick Foucault, Françoise maîtresse, Gallimard 1994, ISBN 2070738345
  • Shawna Kenney, I Was a Teenage Dominatrix: A Memoir, Last Gasp 2002, ISBN 0867195304


External links

David Shankbone interviews two dominatices about strange client requests.ogg
Two professional dominatrices interviewed. Go here for the full transcript.

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