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msknight

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

Review - The History & Arts of the Dominatrix - Five of Five stars

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

This book does a first class job of telling us the story of the Dominatrix and stating, on paper, what many of us already know but have avoided openly acknowledging. There are more than ten pages of references in there, particularly in the historical sections.

At the end of the day, the Dominatrix of the last few centuries has existed as a profession, to satisfy the clientelle who wish the service. It is a human demand that is probably baked in to our natural blueprint; as evidenced by the societies before the Abrahamic religions, that ran on those same principles. There is solid argument that these services also exist because of the un-natural restrictions placed on us by our, "binary thinking," societies; thus creating the un-balanced psychological states from which we need release, and hence the need to turn to extra services to redress that balance, away from societies judgemental eyes.

This work will probably be among the books that society as a whole, considers, when it justifies to itself the further removal of organised religion from our governance.

There is the question of the future of the Dominatrix, however. Society is taking the much stronger step of re-defining beauty; one of the very weapons of carnal desire that the Dominatrix relies upon. We may yet see the Dominatrix separate from the fetishistic and return to the core of emotional dominance. Cultures are changing, and the Dominatrix will have to change with them. After all, with corpral punishment now banned in schools, how many years will remain before people stop seeking the schoolboy scenario; or once India abandons the caste system, for example.

The way I see it, the core facets of submission and dominance are not unique to the sexes. It is merely that the patriarchal society has painted female submission and male dominance as normal and to be accepted; while the converse is to be rejected.

These traits, however, exist within us all and I forsee a future where dungeons contain Dominant and Dominatrix, working side by side, for the benefit of their clients of either sex, who wish to exercise various facets of their natural personalities.

At one point in chapter 4, one submissive was quoted as saying, "I would try my best to bury my desires, to pretend they weren't there, but it inevitably would pop up and I would feel guilty, then I'd try and push it back down again. But you can't, you know? It's part of who you are, a part of your identity and being. ... So eventually I told my wife. I was terrified and expected her to want to leave me. I expected the worst, and broke down and cried several times, explaining it all to her, how it started, how it affected me. And surprisingly she was actually really understanding. She's not interesting in whipping me or wearing leather herself, but she's ok with me seeing a Dominatrix professionally, as long as it stays within those confines, and I tell her when I'm going." - He was lucky, I guess. Not everyone who, "comes out," to their partner manages to get such a response and works a way forward with their other half. But I think understanding is generally improving as the years roll on.

As chapter 5 recalls Dumas' words, "Marriage is a chain so heavy that it takes two people to carry it - sometimes three."

Spouses frequently detect something, "not right," in their partner and on the occasions that this imbalance is outed, the spouse may not only aquiesse to them attending a Dominatrix (knowing that sex is not on the menu) but sometimes conspire with the Dominatrix themselves to guide their own spouse's treatment at her hands. There are many complexities to human relationships and this book does an excellent job of laying them as bare as possible within the confines of just short of three hundred pages.

This book is a cracking read which introduces the reader to things they very likely weren't taught in history class, and exposes the other side of power control in a responsible, researched and factual manner. Be prepared to see the occasional picture that might upset you; not on the nudity part as I think the only thing I ever saw was breasts ... but in terms of the bondage and more extreme power exchange that is depicted here and there. But then, a book like this should only ever be approached with an open mind.

Top read. Thoroughly enjoyed it. It should be required reading for anyone who is in a position of control concerning the censorship of our society.

Here are the links to the chapter reviews...
First -

http://msknight.booklikes.com/post/1201248/first-chapter-completed

Second -

http://msknight.booklikes.com/post/1201299/second-chapter-completed

Third and Fourth -

http://msknight.booklikes.com/post/1201426/third-and-fourth-chapter-completed

Fifth -

http://msknight.booklikes.com/post/1201905/fifth-chapter-completed


The last word to the author herself in a small section of her afterword..


Having spent much of the last four years in the "underworld" of Dominatrices' dungeons, and the dark and artificially lit interiors of museums and libraries, I have finally drawn to the end of my journey documenting the history and arts of the Dominatrix.
After all that I've learnt about their world and their practices, the Dominatricies have lost nothing of their mystique. I have great admiration for these highly independent, talented and free-thinking ladies who have made domination their professional craft occupation.