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... the other Black experience

Confessions of a Black Dominatrix - Part 2: Race Play?

What's your fantasy? I recall seeing Spike Lee’s 1996 film Girl 6 when I was much younger than I am now. I’ve always been a fan of Spike Lee’s flicks, but Girl 6 to me remains one of his more unsung pieces, and still no DVD release? Shame on you, Spike. For those who are not familiar with Girl 6 it starred the drop dead gorgeous Theresa Randall as an actress down on her luck and in dire straits. Unable to find a steady paying acting gig, she responds to a classified ad looking for telephone actresses. Well, she gets the gig as a phone sex operator. Now, I don’t want to spoil the movie for those who have yet to see it but the movie is telling about working in the sex industry.

Words by Mistress A.

For me, what I do is a bit like acting. I have to act out elaborate fantasies for clients who want something so specific that it can only exist in their mind. Sometimes it can be fun and other times it makes one wonder what is going on in human sexuality.

Working as a dominatrix has taught me so far to not make snap decisions about fetishes and fantasies. While many women say this, I don’t say this with a blind eye to fetishes that are hard limits for me. Hard limits in the BDSM context are what you will not do under any circumstances. A hard limit can be anything. It can range from a gentle spank, a precise caning, or calling someone a particular word.

Which brings me, to the mind field of race play. “Race play,” is almost exactly what it sounds like. It is “playing” with race. It usually operates as one race dominating the other, or racial humiliation. However, I do not wish to say that my loose and workable definition of race play is all there is. In my dark world of sex, certain scenes and actions can take a life of their own and bleed into the next. Race play is fascinating in the sense that it is something that makes most people tighten in their chest.

I have heard of proud black men who wanted to be paraded around as denigrated objects for white mistresses. These men, sometimes seek out specifically white dommes to humiliate them in ways that a black or another dominatrix of color simply cannot. One must ask why? Fantasy and a whole cocktail of other reasons that only those who partake in it can answer or at least attempt to.

So much of BDSM play is therapeutic for those engaging it they feel that the absence of pain can make anything possible. It is true, pain is a high catalyst and in some cases the rush of adrenaline and endorphins can bring clarity. In the case of race play, the one who wants to explore this dynamic seeks out a release from the entrapment of certain words and certain scenarios by directly exposing themselves to the fear. It is akin to if you are afraid of spiders submerging yourself in a well of them to overcome the fear. It is not for everyone.

It is very easy to judge those who participate in race play, specifically coming from the position of someone of color. You ask yourself why add this potentially poisonous element? For me it is too close too home. I don’t want to judge those who do race play because, as we all know black people are not monolithic. Yet, despite knowing this I cannot help but ask myself what is the heart of the matter? Is it purely for kink? Can we reconcile kink, fetish with morality? If a black male submissive or black female submissive wants to be called the N-word while being led around on a leash do we step in? When our own hearts tighten in our chest how do we examine it without casting judgmental glares in their direction? How do we not take it personally? Being marginalized does not give you space for individuality.

Those who are into race play often cite that once they engage in it, the words, the humiliation has no power and they feel that they have transgressed. I don’t doubt their sincerity when they say this. I, for one, cannot afford to engage in this play in particular. As a domme, my identity is solely based on my ability and my perception to seem unattainable and impenetrable. If a white client wants me to call him a name that debases him solely based on his race, I know that it is fantasy for him much like his black counterparts. However, unlike his black counterparts, when my white client leaves the chamber and puts his tie back on, his power is once again reinstated without so much a hitch. This is the biggest difference that I come across in my digestion of race play and I wait for someone to explore this double standard thoroughly.

Part of being a domme is being able to access pain limits and pain as we all know is not exclusive to physical pain. Bruises will indeed heal but emotional pain is tricky. People can become like Mercury, a sudden thump and you have shattered pieces. What I do is play with the notion of that sudden thump and with skill, intelligence and empathy we can avoid shattering.

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Tags: 2, BDSM, Black, Confessions, Dominatrix, Part, Play, Race, S&M, a, More…of

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Comment by Andrea on February 6, 2014 at 10:48am

all Things Spike Lee!!, I love both She's gotta have it and Girl 6 especially the soundtrack for Girl 6,(Prince fan) speaking of Prince and sexuality, I was 12 when I first was introduced to Prince, not truly aware of the meaning of all the lyrics to to a majority of the songs I listened to, however they gave my immature 12 year old self a sensational feeling of freedom of expression.

Comment by mistress eden on September 16, 2012 at 3:13pm
Comment by Cindy on January 25, 2012 at 12:57pm

I saw "Girl 6", I thought it was amazing. I love "She's Gotta Have It" also...anything having to do with sexuality usually gets me jazzed. Sex work in general fascinates me because the workers always get villified..and it's legitimate work. To me that's odd, the taboo is frustrating.

First I want to say I love that you are doing this blog. The last time I saw a black dominatrix in any sort of media, she was being villified on the Tyra Banks Show. It's important for people to see that the black women's experience is not monolithic. Our sexuality and the way it manifests and the way we choose to play with it and to push our personal limits is surely not monolithic. And why are we automatically deemed out of bounds for doing something that is not necessarily mainstream. It's viewed as deviant, which is ridiculous in my book. The race part from my understanding is emphasized by the client and where you work. I've never heard of a professional just randomly playing the race card, if anything don't they seek you out in particular. It's part of their fantasy.

I see what you mean about the race play. You made an interesting observation which I read somewhere else too. I've never heard of what you described above, but I can definitely see why I haven't. It'd be really interesting to see a Black man have to explain that particular kink or any person of color. This isn't to say the White guy wouldn't get flack, but it would be different. You are exactly coorec when you said, "Being marginalized does not give you space for individulaity". People are entitled to like what they like, as long as everything is consented and no one is being needlessly harmed in the process.

This is what I remembered when I read your observations....In an essay about reverse racism, anti-racist educator and author Tim Wise explains:

As a white person, I always saw the terms honky or cracker as proof of how much more potent white racism was than any variation practiced by the black or brown. When a group of people has little or no power over you, they don’t get to define the terms of your existence, they can’t limit your opportunities, and you needn’t worry much about the use of a slur to describe you, since, in all likelihood, the slur is as far as it’s going to go. What are they going to do next: deny you a bank loan? Yeah, right. So whereas “nigger” is a term used by whites to dehumanize blacks, to “put them in their place” if you will, the same cannot be said of honky; after all, you can’t put white people in their place when they own the place to begin with.

 

 


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