Like many BDSM practitioners, financial submissives eroticize giving up control | Peepshow | Pittsburgh | Pittsburgh City Paper
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Like many BDSM practitioners, financial submissives eroticize giving up control 

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My first encounter with financial domination came by way of an instant message on the phone sex platform where I work. A new client introduced himself, asked if he could call me Mistress, and told me that he has been fantasizing about having me drain his wallet. Fortunately for me, I am in the business of turning fantasies into reality and after a couple hours of (non-sexual) online banter, I had grocery money for the month.

In a capitalist society, it should be no surprise that money is equated with power and that power is eroticized. It should also be no surprise, then, that financial domination — or "findom" — has emerged as a kink within BDSM that many professional dominatrices have incorporated into their work. While these relationships can take different forms, it is not unusual for a findom to have access to their sub’s — or “pay piggies” — bank accounts, credit cards, and paychecks. I talked to two financial subs about what motivates them to enter into these relationships.

David, a 47-year-old lawyer in New York City, says that while a lot of financial domination takes place online, his experiences have also been in-person. “I definitely met some people in NYC who I would just be generous with, I would take them shopping,” he says. The first time he remembers spending big was on one of these shopping trips, during which he spent $17,000 on expensive shoes, clothes, and jewelry.

This experience was a rush for David. “I felt exhilarated and turned on,” he says. “That part of it made me hard.” For David, the rush is deeply tied to giving up control. “It is a sense of being carried away. This woman has overpowered me; she can take whatever, do whatever.”

He has since moved into a long-term findom relationship. His entire paycheck is deposited into an account he and his domme share, and she gives him an allowance. Like many relationships, this one has moved from the initial thrill into something that is more sustained. “Over time, it becomes more about the other person’s benefit, I enjoy the servant aspect of it,” he says. Though he also admits it is masochistic, “Humiliation and denial is part of it, I will be depriving myself of the money I give her.”

Russ, a 48-year-old salesman in Washington, D.C., is also in a long-term findom relationship with someone he originally started following on a cam site. While they don’t have a joint bank account, his domme has access to all of his accounts and three of his credit cards. “She has access to my money, she could easily just buy herself what she wants,” he says. “But 90 percent of the time she asked me to make the transactions.”

Part of their dynamic, in other words, involves him actively giving her what she desires. This was never truer than when he gave her $49,000, a number that she dictated. “That big give affected me spiritually, to have her call the shots,” he says. It was an act of submission.

For Russ, this submission is about her happiness, but it is also about the feeling that he gets when he makes her happy. “[Findom] is where I get that feeling of appreciation, that feeling of success," he says. "By giving my money to someone, I am succeeding.” While it can be emotionally difficult to get that sort of validation in these transactional relationships, but as he puts it, “When a [domme] reaches out to me and asks for something I can give her, I do it in a heartbeat, and my heart skips a beat.”
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