SECTIONS
What would you like to know?
Share this Story
/

Here's what Fifty Shades means to a real dominatrix

Sara Dobie Bauer is a writer, model and mental health advocate with a creative writing degree from Ohio University. Her short story "Don't Ball the Boss" (inspired by her shameless crush on Benedict Cumberbatch) was nominated for the Pus...

A real dominatrix weighs in on the Fifty Shades phenomenon

We all know Fifty Shades of Grey isn’t exactly vetted for accuracy in regards to BDSM culture. The world has beaten that horse into the ground. So instead of pointing out (again) what's wrong with Fifty Shades, we thought we’d talk to a real dominatrix and find out what her sexual life is like.

Mistress Isobel is a Toronto dominatrix of British origin. She doesn't just sit around in a dungeon all day. She is an artist, storyteller and educator who tours the world as a BDSM specialist.

She admits on her website: "Going through the British school system gave Me a hankering for doling out pain and shame." (And yes, Mistress Isobel always refers to Herself with a capital letter.)

More: Fifty Shades quiz: Are you a dom, sub or something in-between?

She also appeared in the Showtime series SEX with Sunny Megatron, a show intended to explore humanity's deepest, most intimate fantasies.

"When I read The Story of O in university, and I was delighted to find that other people had the same fantasy as I did. That was six years ago," she said of how her BDSM education began. (The Story of O is still her go-to pantydropper.)

Since then, she has developed a dedicated following. One of her customers exclaims on her website: "Everyone deserves a dominatrix this wonderful." Isobel is always learning, and she is currently studying rope bondage suspension.

But let's get serious. What does the real dom/sub experience entail?

According to Isobel, it's all about the client. "After we have negotiated a scene and established signals that allows them to end it if they are uncomfortable, they have no say in how I treat them. I have limitless possibilities in how I can make someone feel in their body and mind, and it is up to me to create a flowing narrative of physical sensation."

More: 12 Unusual "safe" words people actually use in the bedroom

Her clients are not freaks who show up in body condoms. Instead, they are native English speakers, ranging in age from 25 to 60. They are usually respectable business people, not freaks. They are people who want to be dominated, but they are nothing like Anastasia Steele of Fifty Shades fame.

In fact, when asked if Fifty Shades was accurate to her own lifestyle, Mistress Isobel said, "Well, I don't identify as an abuser, so... not at all?"

She continued, "If I'm at all angry or annoyed, I won't play. I never, ever, ever take my genuine frustrations out on someone else. Acting in anger is likely to bring out a loss of control, and I could end up hurting someone in a way they didn't ask for."

She's not angry about Fifty Shades, though; she just wants people to understand: "Read it as pure mindless entertainment, not as a guidebook."

More: Jamie Dornan and BDSM: How he really prepared for Fifty Shades

And yes, it's true: Fifty Shades has brought the BDSM subculture into the mainstream. Mistress Isobel said that culture is "certainly embracing the image. Look at the new clothing rails at H&M. Look at Rihanna, Lady Gaga, Miley Cyrus. Sex and kink is becoming normalized. Do I like it? Honestly, I think it waters down the integrity of the craft. It takes skill to wield a flogger, not just a pair of PVC knickers."

Will Mistress Isobel be seeing Fifty Shades of Grey when it hits theaters? Yes, she admits, "for sociological and psychological research." She said, "I'd like to see who and what they emphasize in the film. Will it be the lily-white tender flower or the coldhearted, troubled billionaire?"

Still, Isobel wants to make one thing clear about BDSM relationships: "A submissive doesn't live in fear of their dominant's jealous rage, because play partners take care of each other in and around scenes."

More reading

4 Ways Fifty Shades is a ripped-off version of Secretary
BDSM relationship tips for beginners
BDSM romance Dangerously Bound the next Fifty Shades?

Comments
Follow Us

SheKnows Media ‐ Beauty and Style

Hot
New in Love
Close

And you'll see personalized content just for you whenever you click the My Feed .

SheKnows is making some changes!