Introduction: Financial domination involves the payment of cash or gifts from a wish list by a money slave to a money mistress, financial dominatrix, or findomme. Boundaries for findommes working through webcam and video-call services may be more fluid than via text-based modes since the domme engages in more visible displays, and modification of language, voice, and feelings to fulfil the fantasy for a client. We explore the nature of findomme work and its relationship to BDSM to understand how the interaction progresses and how the boundaries, of reasonable and permissible behaviour which affect both incoming and outgoing interactions between people, are maintained.
Methods: The study was in two stages. The first stage was a survey of online findommes (n = 56) in UK and the USA. For the second stage, we explored the experience of findommes (n = 195) on money-slavery websites and social media feeds using netnography as an observation method with cisgender male, female, and transgender participants.
Results: Our analysis reveals how findomme interaction progresses from text-based interaction to virtual face-to-face and voice communication. We show financial domination to be on a continuum from being a lifestyle choice in the BDSM community that reaps financial benefits to a purely economic and legitimate form of commercial labour. Although financial domination clearly elicits sexual arousal for clients, the relationship can also be exclusively psychological and focus on the relinquishing of control to a money mistress for a prescribed period.
Conclusion: The findings also show how personal boundaries are negotiated and enhance understanding of how the microculture of findomming interacts with other microcultures. By demystifying the process of financial domination, we clarify its relationship with other microcultures and add to the growing body of literature that destigmatizes consensual erotic labour.
Implications: These findings show how online support, in a decriminalised environment, enabled new and 'instadommes' to set and maintain healthy boundaries for enhanced physical and psychological well-being, and the research provides valuable insight into sex work that is safely carried out in online spaces by a large number of participants so adding to the growing body of work on decriminalization.
Keywords: BDSM; Cybersex; Domination; Dominatrix; Financial; Kink; Sex work.
© The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2021.