Talking about the business

I participated in something a little different last night. Kinky friend Tasha Lee, owner of Bum Rap Productions, asked me if I would like to participate on a panel to discuss being a pro-domme, following a one-act play that a friend of hers had written.

I’m always up for something different. I tend to leap before looking half the time, but this didn’t sound too crazy, so I said sure — I could always use the publicity, attention slut that I am.

The play was called Skin Deep, and here’s the description from playwright Rich Orloff’s website:
“A effervescent new comedy about sexuality and morality, SKIN DEEP digs under the surface of nudism! When a conservative couple from Ohio inherits a clothing-optional resort in Key West, they’re forced to deal with a gay desk clerk who’s an aspiring drag queen, a lesbian janitor who moonlights as a dominatrix, a businessman who likes giving gals the business, and the naked truth about their marriage.”

Well, basically it was about getting thrown into a new situation where you are forced to confront your prejudices and/or preconceived notions. I thought it was very well done, well acted. I especially liked the actor who played the aspiring drag queen. But the nervous conservative character was well-played, too.

To explore the main theme a little more — to give the audience a look into some alternative lifestyles — Rich had organized a few after-show panels. He put together a panel of nudists one night, a panel of drag queens another night, and then last night there was the panel of pro-dommes.

Rich is a former news reporter, so he led the questioning and then allowed the audience to jump in. Some of the things asked were, “How did you get into pro-domming?” “Do you feel natural doing it?” and “Do you consider yourself a ‘sex worker’?” I thought the last question was interesting. I said that although I do not do sexual activities in a session, I do consider myself within the realm of sex work. There was some discussion about what is done if a customer is aroused. (The answer is that he’s pretty much on his own, and I don’t play with someone who wants more).

Someone in the audience made the point that power exchange isn’t necessarily about arousal. This is true, and I liked that this was brought up. There may be excitement, fear, a natural high — but not sexual stimulation or arousal — during a scene. It’s happened to me many times when I’ve bottomed. I was thinking — “of course!” — but maybe it’s not “of course.” Maybe to those not familiar with the dynamic, this comes as a surprise. Even without the sex or sexual arousal, however, I still consider all of my play to fall under the area of “my sexuality.”

Since I consider myself a “disciplinarian,” Rich asked me what that meant compared to other types of domination. There was a discussion about dishing out real punishment for real infractions vs. role play spankings vs. spankings delivered for purely cathartic release. He asked me how much my clients could take, pain-wise. I said many of the guys could take quite a bit — but not all; everyone is different in how he reacts.

One thing I had completely forgotten, until I arrived at the theater, was that this was a public performance where there might be vanilla people present, not a safe haven like Paddles NYC or one of the other places where I attend spanking/S&M parties. Oops. I scanned the audience as the place filled up, hoping I didn’t know anyone there. Nice time to start thinking about that, Cassandra. Leap before you look. As far as I could tell, there was no one there that I recognized, so I was safe.

Skin Deep is running until Nov. 6, so think about checking it out.

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