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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

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

Fifth chapter completed

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

Chapter 5 - "The Seven Realm Arts"

There are a good many paradoxes within human nature; and I know some of them personally.

Freedom in bondage, elevation in degredation and relief in the breaking of taboos. It sounds like nonsense, but is actually obvious when you look underneath the hood at each of these elements. The issue at hand facing society is the people who don't want to understand these things; they would rather society attempt to go on about its fluffy, dream-like state and cringe when the pressure in the bottle builds and the resultant headlines splash across the tabloids.

The arts put forward by the book are thus...


  • The Sublime and Powerful Woman
  • Lowering The Man To Submission
  • Bondage, Entrapment and Enclosure
  • Discipline, Training and Punishment
  • The Bodily and the "Out Of Body"
  • Cross-Dressing and Subversion
  • Fetish and Fantasy

Such play runs not along not only individual lines, but also cultural. Any experienced Dominatrix will anecdotally report, and the cliche runs (but some truth lies in it, however politically incorrect) that clients of Indian ethnicity often desire to be in servitude to wash, massage and worship feet, as feet have special association in Hindu culture as being lowly, and subservience is demonstrated by lower casts, or towards those of seniority, gurus, Gods and Goddesses, by touching the feet.
French clients may enjoy "puppy play" in which they are treated as a poodle or other dog, typically scolded and told off, but lavished attention upon, culturally by women. A common fantasy in England amongst a particular generation is public school role-play, derived from genuine childhood and adolescent experience, to be treated as a schoolboy, scolded and punished by a Head Mistress or Governess figure.
Such desires make up only a small portion of play and subtypes of client profiles, and should not be taken to classify a nation. They do, however, offer insight in to the degree to which elements of humiliation are culturally based and inform psychosexual play.

The provision of some of these arts, particularly the overly masculine male seeking enforced feminisation, make perfect sense once the work of psychobioligy is taken in to account. Professor Daphne Joel, Chair of Ph.D. committee and head of the psychobiology program in Tel Aviv University, gave a presentation on brain and sex which you can probably find on-line. At the conclusion of the fifteen minute presentation, she discounts the notion of the male or female brain at the biological level (I'm shortening this here) instead showing that we are each a collection of, "traits," forming an individual. It is up to society as to whether those traits are perceived as being masculine or feminine. Thus, it makes sense that people kick back against societies forced gender binary stigma; because such a binary classification isn't natural within humanity; nor are many other cultural restrictions and so called, "norms."

The application and career of the Dominatrix is not something so slap-dash that anyone can take out an advert and wield a riding crop. The book sets out the extended knowledge and skill that a Dominatrix must wield in her craft.

The Dominatrix takes in to account pre-existing medical conditions that the client may have, any medications that a person might be on, before agreeing to engage in such activities. She mitigates against foreseeable risks, turning down if necessary a session request she feels is inappropriate and unacceptable in its risk level for an individual. She needs to understand human anatomy and location of nerve endings. She watches closely for signs of circulation being hampered, for coldness in the extremities, listens to the regularity of breathing, and so forth, which requires specialised training in bondage.

The last thing I will bring to you from this chapter, is one of the demonstrations as to how closely the Dominatrix works within social norms. Those who think that the services provided by Dominatrices are outside what we are taught as being, "acceptable," are actually in for a shock when they realise just how tied in to our natural psychology and natural behaviors, these services actually are.

One of the interesting things about contractual bondage is how much of it aligns with the social construction of marriage - highlighting, in fact, the "bondage" of marriage. This may bring discomfort to those who are themselves married, in recognising that they have contracted themselves in bondage to another, which the language and symbolism attached to marriage plainly reveals.
Marriage is jokingly talked about as a "trap" or "cage." Wedding rings are described as "the worlds smallest handcuffs."

The subjects are, of course, a lot deeper than the snippets I'm presenting to you here.