• Penelope Waters

The Femme Domme Evolution

The first time I met sex work it was love at first sight. I was 18 years old and living in San Francisco. Being a young thing in the bay in the golden age of Craigslist adult jobs was a beautiful thing. I remember hanging out in the the Mission when broke teenagers could still afford to live there, chilling with a bunch of gay boys who assured me that it would be so easy to hustle this tight young ass. And in a way they were right. I remember the first time I nervously got into some man’s car to sell my panties for $60 and walking out of that car feeling like the smartest bitch on the block. The next thing I did was trot on over to the Crazy Horse on Market where I worked a day shift and made probably around $230 in 8 hours. Now, that is a pittance for a stripper but at the time, making in a night what I usually made in a week waiting tables in a two-bit diner felt like a glorious triumph. In my little fresh-off the-farm teenage heart I felt certain that all my problems were solved.

From that moment on, sex work was my sole means of income. I couldn’t imagine myself doing anything else. The feeling of dancing naked on a stage with money being thrown at my tits felt as right as a blanket in the cold. I’ve always told people seeking advice for starting in the sex work industry that you truly are either wired for the work or you’re not. You can learn to be good at sex work but you cannot learn to love it. That’s something you’re born with.

Sex work has brought me to levels of healing that simply would not have happened otherwise. When I first began that work I had the attitude that most young hustlers have: fuck these dudes, don’t trust these dudes, I’m here to take ‘em for all they got. On some level I thought that sex work would be payback. However, that attitude did not last long. I realized those feelings were a response to feeling taken advantage of by men in the past and that I didn’t want my life’s work to be dispensing more mistrust in a world where experiencing vulnerability is so hard. There would be no longevity in my work if I couldn’t find a way to feel good about the mark I was making in the world.

I began working at a full body sensual massage parlor. What I loved about sensual massage is that it was centered around the client receiving and myself giving. The rules were that I could touch them but they could not touch me. While this may seem like a rule no one would go for the result was remarkable because it removed the option for my client to perform. The opportunity for a man to receive pleasure without the expectation to perform is a very rare event. Often times a nervous client would suddenly reach out and grab me aggressively attempting to dominate me. At first this was very startling and evoked an immediate fear response. Obviously!

***I’ll take this opportunity to say to you gentlemen that regardless of the societal expectation that femmes want you to “take control” or “dominate” them, you need to remember what a unique position of control you are in. Ultimately you are stronger and can hurt us which gives you the control. Always err on the side of extreme caution and courtesy when you are having sex with anyone least of all a sex worker.***

But at some point I realized I was fortunate enough to be in a safer environment and came to the conclusion that these men did not intend to hurt me. What was actually happening (other than a huge blind spot for considering my sense of safety) was that they were performing the image of the man they though was expected of them. A man who takes control and “performs the deed” like the body is some sort of conquest. The imagery of the dominant male is ubiquitous. There is not a single popular movie with a strong male protagonist who does not, at some point, respond to a woman asserting, “No” by throwing her to the ground, ravaging her body, having his way with her… and in the end she falls in love with him. Now we all love a good action movie but this is real life folks. I found myself in a unique position to not only identify this fallacy and the harm it caused both femme and masculine people but also to rewrite the story and find healing for both myself and my client. One day when a client was getting a little too rough and ignoring my clearly stated boundaries I tried a different method of confrontation. Instead of ending the session and asking him to leave I simply sat back and stopped touching him entirely. I looked him in the eye and said in a very level headed, compassionate voice, “Look, I don’t know what you think I expect you to be but I don’t need you to be anything or act any kind of way on my behalf. What I want, what I truly desire, is for you to lay back and enjoy the feeling of me touching your body. I want you to enjoy the opportunity to lay back and let someone else do all the work. I want you to feel pleasure and know that I have no expectation of you to perform.” The shift in the energy of our session was incredible. This man went from performing some machismo posturing to letting out a slow exhalation of relief, exclaiming ‘Thank you!’ before lying back and being perfectly content to simply enjoy his massage. From that moment on, my work was forever changed. I saw how harmed we all are be these violent expectation and lack of clear communication. That was a distinctive moment when my work went from a basic hustle to a path of sexual healing and growth.

Eventually I moved on to doing full service escorting. Sensual massage had served me well for years but I was getting the feeling that I had hit a plateau and there was no where else for me to go within that modality. Escorting was wonderful because I no longer had to uphold the stringent rules of fbsm and could be the insatiable, playful freak, nasty gal I truly am. Finally I had a platform where I could really let my skills shine through! After investing several years finding the quiet, centered healing of massage I was ready for something more. Sex work does not have to be wholesome and meditative to be healing. On the contrary, some of the experiences that have left me feeling the most revitalized and whole have been nasty as hell! We are complex creatures with complex sexualities and desires. The thing is, our society drills this idea into us that anything healing must be sterile and abstinent while vice, debauchery and sin are specifically not healing. Lies, all lies. You need touch to be healthy, and if your desire is for that touch to be filthy wet, juicy and raunchy there is absolutely nothing wrong with that. I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again and again. No one and I mean absolutely no one, has the right to judge or condemn acts that transpire between two consenting adults. No one has the right to define your sexuality or what brings you joy. NO ONE.

As I walked the path of escorting I found I was falling into the old societal expectations I had avoided for so long. Without having the expressed intention to facilitate a unique experience my sessions started resembling a main stream porn, dominant male paradigm. I acknowledge that I was not being authentic to myself and that I must make a change. I employed the consulting services of my incredibly talented friend Zachary Prince. With his help I realized I was engendering the typical stereotypes I thought were expected of me. I was succumbing to the expectation that I be a nice, normal lady; mainstream in my looks and demeanor. The typical expectations placed on women; that I be demure, non-threatening, submissive. This is very clearly not who I am! So much so that when I realized what I was doing I laughed out loud. I am a dominant and powerful femme. I love to hold a position of control, I have the experience to back it up, and I take very good care of my play partners. Why was I trying to fit this round dildo into a square hole!?

I took this last month off to have a little sojourn in the woods and really take some time for myself to reflect on who I am, what I want and what I have learned in these last 10 years. What I concluded is that I am saying goodbye to traditional gfe. It is no longer who I am and I cannot authentically facilitate that experience for people. I choose to reflect in my work who I am in my real life; a strap-on top, a fisting expert, a cuckholdress and a bad bitch in need of a willing sissy to usher into womanhood.

I believe this work is incredibly important to begin healing a society that is mired in toxic masculinity. The people I am casting out for are the ones who, like me, cannot fit into the roles of dominant male, submissive female. I am now creating sessions for clients who crave to submit and serve. I am not a sadist, I am just reversing the roles. The client experience is just as capable of evolution and growth as the provider experience is. I am a provider for the client who is ready to transcend the norm and find the dominant, feminine touch they need and deserve.

This is my personal statement. This is who I am. This is a declaration of gratitude for the healing and evolution this work has brought me. This is a call to the people out there seeking a similar healing and exploration. You are not alone. You just have to reach out. It will all be worth it.

***I cannot give enough praise to Zachary Prince of Niche Escort Marketing. Through his invaluable insight into the industry he enabled me to look at my work with a fresh perspective and revived passion for what I do. Not to mention, the consultations are incredibly affordable and the turn around it produced was immediate. I cannot recommend him enough! http://nicheescortmarketing.com/

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