Bringing Black Feminist Theory into the Non-Vanilla Bedroom
January 4, 2020 6:31 PM   Subscribe

Mistress Velvet took the opportunity to turn race fetishism into a teachable moment and has built her professional work around it. Meet The Dominatrix Who Requires The Men Who Hire Her To Read Black Feminist Theory.

Realizing you're into kink can be difficult as a Black person. This can be even more fraught as a sex worker, as some of your clients may have some subconscious issues they wish to work out with you.

Seeing an opportunity to explain that racial fetishizing can be a form of dehumanization, Mistress Velvet created a reading list for her clients. However, not all of her clients are into bdsm with a critical theory center.
posted by loriginedumonde (9 comments total) 37 users marked this as a favorite


 
“ Eventually, I realized, wow, I’m emotionally invested in my clients. They’re getting this safe space. The ways that patriarchy impacts men, they can’t really be submissive in a lot of contexts. They come to me looking for a safe space to explore the parts of them that may not be seen as masculine, or they might have a lot of shame around. They may not have opportunities to be their full selves in a lot of ways, including sexually, because of those societal constraints.“

I adore her and the work she is doing. Recognizing this vulnerability and honoring it, and also taking that opportunity when people are open to teach and get them to learn. Being in an open and vulnerable place is when we are most able to absorb and change. This is truly the work of the angels.
posted by stoneweaver at 8:24 PM on January 4 [19 favorites]


This is super cool! Mistress Velvet's comments on how subbing can be in part an act of freedom from toxic masculinity is super interesting - it looks like the work that she's doing is also about creating a space where neither she nor her subs are subject to the toxicity of white supremacy either, if that makes sense?

Domming and helping someone unlearn white supremacy are both incredibly difficult and complex tasks that require some v deft emotional work. You always have to be aware of and managing the other person's emotions, and in some ways being the person doing the domming/teaching has less freedom to express their own emotions because they can't derail the "scene."

The main difference is that when Mistress Velvet tells a client to sit down, shut up, stop making it all about them, do the reading and actively listen they actually do.
posted by storytam at 11:51 PM on January 4 [11 favorites]


It's sweet, but also kind of hilarious. In a way it's like gamification, but for instilling feminist values.
posted by Joe in Australia at 1:27 AM on January 5 [3 favorites]


When I was a tutor at uni I wish I could have taken some form of whip or paddle or something to my students to have them do the fucking readings. TBH, beating them for money might have been a more sustainable means of making a living as well...
posted by Fiasco da Gama at 6:01 AM on January 5 [6 favorites]


Very interesting. I also liked her discussion in the last article linked about the difficulty of breaking into the business:

I will say it was very difficult. In my entire four years of doing it, I really only got to where I wanted to be within the past two years, truthfully. It is harder if you don't have someone to be there for you as a support, to answer your questions, and it’s also a risk for clients to just have a session with someone who isn’t really trained. I had to market myself a lot, like, “I'm a beginner domme, I need someone to practice things on,” and the clients who were okay with that would reach out to me.
posted by Dip Flash at 6:02 AM on January 5 [3 favorites]


Like consent, intersectionality is hot.
posted by rmd1023 at 6:28 AM on January 5 [4 favorites]


god i think this is so genius and good for her that, with all the skilled care and love that she puts into these relationships, she gets something mutually valuable out of some of them. what a gift that she made a space for that, especially with the info about how hard a place bdsm is to get into emotionally as a black person/financially/support-wise
posted by gaybobbie at 9:36 AM on January 5 [2 favorites]


she is really amazing and I love what she is doing.

back in the day when I dabbled in the BDSM scene, the woman who trained me is African American. so I got to observe and absorb some interesting dynamics watching various scenes.

ie our friend in the group: middle age white guy topping his younger very submissive Asian gf. yawn...

watching my mentor doing a scene on a white guy: woooo!!! just wonderfully subversive and full of levels of meaning beyond the obvious. there is a lot of food for thought there if you put your mind to it. I'm glad she is willing and able to do the work of leading these horses to water :D
posted by supermedusa at 10:22 AM on January 5 [4 favorites]


If you're interested in fictional explorations of some of these dynamics, I highly recommend the work of my favorite writer, Samuel Delany, particularly the Nevèrÿon quartet, The Mad Man, and Hogg. The intersections of race, power, and the erotic run all through these books, with many reflections and discursions along the way using the language and conceptual framework of critical theory.
posted by slappy_pinchbottom at 11:12 PM on January 5 [1 favorite]


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