The cool thing about running the Urban Dater blog is that you get to meet a variety of characters. Some people like to give awesome advice and coach people; some people love bacon, while others just want a woman to sit on their face and, still, others who sometimes dominate other folks… for a living. Meet Tizzy Wall, y'all.
I'm really stoked about this piece today because I've been wanting to do this for a while now. I've always had some questions about sex workers but have been afraid to ask. Why? While I don't mind being dominated now and again, a whip to the pee pee just ain't my thing, man. So I put together some questions and got some pretty fab feedback.
- Not that you're a therapist, but do you sometimes find what you do to be a type of therapy for the folks that come to see you? Or is more to satisfy an “urge?”
Clients often came to me for a lot of reasons, including the two that you’ve mentioned. The more experienced clients typically know what they are looking for; they know if they are there to achieve a specific physical goal, or if they desire an end result that is more nebulous and emotional in nature. Sometimes it’s a little bit of both!
Compared to a lot of the women I used to work with (I was working out of a house of BDSM), I would get a disproportionate amount of clients that were interested in what we jokingly referred to as “therapy sessions”. I worked as a counselor in the past (in my “legit” job life), and I have wondered if possessing those skills unintentionally encourages that dynamic with particularly vulnerable clients.
Last April I performed at an event held at the Center for Sex and Culture in San Francisco called “Sex & Absurdity,” where I talked about one of my especially unique sessions that falls into a gray space. It was a client that came to us specifically for what he identified as his therapeutic needs, but I struggled with some of what he had requested because of my background as a counselor. The appropriate therapist/counselor response would have been far different from what he asked for and what he needed. It is a great example of a client having a combination of needs: satisfying an urge, seeking therapeutic exploration, and hanging out with a bunch of hot women (which let’s be real: that’s part of the appeal). It’s a bit long, but you can watch the performance here.
There are many clients who see BDSM (in all of its many iterations) as an extension of sex, even if the acts themselves are not terribly sexual. Think about it: When you get off, don’t you feel better afterward? Some people feel that intense BDSM experiences offer its own form of release, separate from orgasm, and many folks who are in the “scene” feel that intense BDSM experiences enhance their orgasm.
2.What's one thing that you truly enjoy about what you do?
As a person who is interested (to the point of near obsession) in interpersonal subtext and the human psyche, working as a pro-domme is like working in CandyLand! While I was a counselor I met lots of vulnerable, amazing people. I definitely felt that I connected with and helped a lot of folks who needed it, but there’s still a big boundary between counselor and client. People have ideas about what they can or cannot share with their counselor, but few people have that with a dominatrix.
Generally speaking, if you’re a woman in the sex industry, you have already been deemed by society as the Worst Thing Ever (see: every stereotype about Daddy Issues, drug problems, gold diggers who just don’t care about anyone, man-haters, sexually dysfunctional, unintelligent, undeserving of relationships, incapable of intimacy, etc. The list goes on.), which means that you are a perfect person to confide in. If you are talking to someone who is ballsy enough to do this kind of work, to go to all the places that people (especially women) aren’t supposed to go, you can expect that they probably won’t judge you too harshly. The dynamic inherently encourages open communication.
3.Did you find that there was a “line” you had to draw in your work? I mean, snuff films I imagine are one of them… No one ever comes back for the sequel… =-/
Definitely! Everyone who I have worked with has very different boundaries regarding what they are comfortable with. One of my major boundaries is that I do not do any kind of professional submission/switching anymore; I only take sessions that allow me to be in complete control of what is going on. While I enjoy toying with power play in my own personal life, which puts me all over the spectrum (from submissive to switch to dominant), I learned that doing so professionally generally makes me feel uncomfortable and often unsafe.
4.Coolest thing that you've done as a result of what you do for work. This could be places you've travelled, sites seen or anything that just made you say “neat!”
I have seen a lot of wild things in session, ranging from a client who liked to get poked with toothpicks while he imagined they were forest ants biting him to a real life latex vacbed to many other unexpected fetishes. Being a person who is intrigued by the “abnormal” and generally fascinated by how the human brain forms attraction means that a lot of this work can be really gleeful in the day to day.
5.What would you suggest to someone looking to get into the type of work you do?
Ask yourself: Am I a weirdo?
Kidding! Ok, half-kidding.
I would recommend that they research their local BDSM community, and get involved in the sex worker community (both on and offline). Depending on where they are, it can get tough; there are obviously some places that are more sexually freer than other (see: SF Bay Area!). I would recommend that they do some real research on the activities involved, as well as look on Tumblr for sex worker stories (there is a huge sex worker community there that often is speaking very frankly about their experiences).
I would also remind them that this isn’t a good get rich quick scheme. Sure, the hourly rate is going to be better than you are making a McDonald’s, but there is a decent amount of overhead (you will have to rent a location, have the proper tools, fantastic photos, a website, etc.). Plus, building up a client base isn’t something that happens magically because you showed up on the scene.
From there, I would recommend that they get involved in that BDSM community and see if opportunities crop up.
Otherwise, keep your ears and eyes open. I had some interest in BDSM prior to working this job, but I sort of fell into it through the internet. I didn’t know very many people in the scene and it fell in my lap!
If you'd like to know more about Ms. Tizzy wall, here are a few links to her on the interwebs
- Follow Tizzy Wall on Twitter
- Check out her ‘About.me‘
- And if you Google Her you'll find some pretty rad YouTube Vids and Vibrators. =)