THE BLOG

The Top Five Perils of Working in the Sex Industry

27/02/2014 18:00 GMT | Updated 29/04/2014 10:59 BST

Maybe I've just been unlucky, but a quick mental tot up reveals I've had the misfortune to have:

  • Been mugged
  • Been sexually harassed
  • Received a black eye
  • Needed to call the police six times due to being burgled and
  • Had my Facebook account trolled almost into oblivion

"Serves you right," some of you might remark when you hear that I'm a dominatrix. "What do you expect if you choose to work in such a dodgy, seedy sex industry..."

But you'd be wrong. None of those vile occurrences happened as a result of my choice of career. Nope, they all happened in my so-called 'normal' life where I was just an average person going about my everyday business. It seems to me that normal, everyday life is far scarier than when I'm in my dungeon waiting to whip a stranger.

So what are the top five perils I've discovered from working in the sex industry? In no particular order, here they are:

Number one - Finding a partner

Whenever I've been out on dates I always treat them like I would my clients - in one sense, anyway. Namely, that I make it as little about me and as much about them as possible. Something my mum said about being seen but not heard. "Oh really," I simper when any of my prospective lovers bang on about their particular jobs. "Fascinating, tell me more," I smile.

Eventually, they remember it's good form for them to ask about me too. Here I have two options. To tell the truth or to lie. If it's the former, then any verbal or non-verbal responses are usually: "Great! Kinky", "Weird, I'm off", "Mmm, what will my family think?" or "Brilliant. This will save me a fortune in hookers." None of which are really the basis for a loving, lovely relationship.

Or alternatively I lie and pretend I'm a magician. Or an office manager. Or a taxidermist. Except then of course it means that I have to wear a big hat, keep ordering paperclips or perhaps find a cat, kill it and take it back to mine just to keep up the pretence. And, with that, inevitably sooner or later, after the paperclips and cats have piled up and I'm weighed down by all the carcasses and lies, I have to come clean and confess. This then leaves them wondering about all the other fibs I have or haven't conjured up to hide my sore hands or the smell of poppers. Not to mention them thinking I'm such a complete nutter that I willingly have a mountain of dead cats in my front room just to maintain an illusion.

Number two - Having to take appointments wherever I am

"You'll call me Mistress from now on," I snap, as a supermarket checkout girl holds her hand out for money. "Sorry, not you," I mutter apologetically as I hand over my cash. The relief is palpable on her face when she gives me a bemused look, as if I'm some barking mad bag lady. "Treat me with respect or you won't get an appointment," I continue into my mobile phone as I quickly pack my purchases and beat a hasty retreat, all too aware of the painted and raised eyebrows of housewives behind me in a mid morning queue.

It's times like this that the "who is dom and who is sub" question looms in my head. Theoretically I should be able to tell a caller to ring back in five minutes by which time I'll be safely outside a busy supermarket full of nosy shoppers. But logically I know that, with new clients anyway, they're fickle enough to be clutching a list of any number of potential Mistresses they could call and visit that day. So they're more likely to move on to the next one on the list rather than ring me back. When someone wants to be dominated they usually want it now, please Mistress. Disappointing. But true. So, more often than not, I end up dropping my spuds and Wash'n'Go, and going...

Number three - Shopping for everyday essentials

As an astute business woman with a focus on a bottom line, not just on spanking one, I'm always bargain hunting. A 'buy one get one free' offer on condoms and I'm stacking my shopping basket to the brim. From the way shop assistants sometimes look at me, I'm sure they think I'm having tons of sex. I tend not to tell them I'll mainly be using the condoms to roll onto dildos before shoving them up my clients' bums!

Number four - Shitarse timewasters

My biggest source of frustration is the large proportion of time wasters who call, sound all authentic and excited and then don't turn up. In fact, the more excitable they are on the phone and the more questions they ask, the less likely they are to appear. And I don't know if this applies to real life, and I'm not saying they make lousy workers or husbands, but people called James are the most unreliable clients of all. I've worked out that, out of every twelve Jameses who contact me, only one of them ever actually appears. If you or your partner are called James and you could perhaps shed some light on why this might be, then please get in touch with me via the Huff ost or my site and explain, because I'd really love to know.

Number five - Being taken seriously in social circles

I used to run an upmarket dining club for sophisticated lesbians and invariably during the ice-breaking first few minutes of meeting new women I'd be asked how I spent my days. "I'm a Dominatrix," I'd nonchalantly reply. Stunned silence. Open mouthed expressions. Many later told me they assumed this meant I had a drug habit to support, that I was thick and had no other skills, that I was a pervert, or any combination of those. I was somebody to be treated with an element of disdain. "I used to be Operations Director of a PC company," I'd add hastily, successfully reassuring them that I was actually a 'normal' person. Disappointing to be judged on choice of career rather than for the person I was and, indeed, still am.

So, there you have it. Contrary to society's beliefs, as a dominatrix I have never been in any physical or mental danger. Only at the mercy of everyday life, people's prejudices and annoying habits.

Next time you're around someone and happen to overhear them talking about fifty ways to stuff an otter, barking orders down a phone whilst dashing out of a shop or stocking up on lube, reserve your judgement if you can and listen without prejudice. They simply may be getting up to less good or more bad than you can possibly imagine...

Jacky Donovan's autobiography Instant Whips and Dream Toppings. A true-life dom rom com is available in paperback and kindle from Amazon. Further information is available on her website InstantWhipsAndDreamToppings.com