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Michelle's corner

Michelle Knight. Writer, photographer, programmer, truck driver and general, all round nut case. Life is a journey and that's what this blog will probably end up being. Let's see where we go, eh? ;-)

Currently reading

Zero Point
Neal Asher
Your Beauty Mark. All You Need to Get the Hair, Makeup, Glow, and Glam.
Dita von Teese
Progress: 208/256 pages

Second chapter completed

The History & Arts of the Dominatrix - Anne O. Nomis

In chapter 2, we jump forward to a time where there is more documentation, imagery and writing. "The Female Flagellant Governess In The Seventeenth To Nineteenth Centuries." Forty five pages in this chapter, a little over two of which are end notes, and a few images with the occasional handwritten evidential note. (Hence part 2 has come quite quickly.)

There was a documented demand for flagellation, from those who required such to stimulate them sexually; a good number of these clients coming from high up in the social echelons of the time.

Flogging Schools and their Cullies

The Dominatrix profession appears to have originated as a specialisation within brothels, before becoming its own niche craft.

As far back as the 1590's flagellation within an erotic setting is recorded as in this rather crude epigram by John Davies:

When Francus comes to solace with his whoore[sic]
He sends for rods and strips himself stark naked:
For his lust sleeps, and will not rise before,
By the whipping of the wench it be awakened.

As clients would seek out flagellation and other fantasies within brothels, a large number kept a few birch rods and whips to accommodate the proclivities and desires of their customers. Some women within brothels gained a reputation for their aptitude at conducting scenarios. They were valued for their "command" of the rod or whip administered with an air of authority, and their refined technique.


The cat and mouse game of matriarchal establishments and the patriarchal establishment has been a long one and is documented.

Ward draws attention to the irony that the "Mistress" of such establishments risked being imprisoned and punished in Bridewell, exposed to similar treatment that they would normally be administering on their clients.

The chapter closes with perhaps a telling paragraph...

These were no "fallen women," but erotic entrepreneurs. They achieved wealth by the arts of their courtesanerie and domination, and were significantly, "in command, " of their lives, their sexuality, their skills and their own crafted self-image.

There is plenty within these pages that show just how the Dominatrix of the era worked and it discusses the censorship of written materials of the time, among other aspects of the subject.