WHAT IS SHE TO YOU? – the question

By | 6th March 2017

I was delighted that Mistress Elita agreed to accompany me to the Saturday evening event at the Eroticon sex writer’s conference last weekend. As the Mistress with whom I have been exploring my kinks more or less since I started this blog, she is a huge and important part of the story I try to tell here. I really enjoyed introducing her to some of the people who write such lovely comments on my posts.

Later in the evening, prompted no doubt by her presence (and perhaps by the wine) I was asked some questions about my relationship with Elita :

“How important is she to you?”

“Would you say you were friends; after all you’re out together tonight?”

and this one which, to be honest, I didn’t see coming:

“She’s gorgeous, isn’t she? Do you love her?”

This, as you can imagine prompted a bit of thought and I decided to answer these questions here. My answer may surprise you. It may even disappoint you, given the amount of time Elita and I spend together, the way I write about her in these pages and the intensity of the experiences we share.

I would describe our relationship thus:

Elita is a professional dominatrix and I am her client.

What makes it possible to write this truth without feeling in some way disappointed by it, is the rather beautiful blog post that Elita wrote on the same subject and has kindly allowed me to include below. In it she describes what the “C” word means to her and tries to mollify those who worry that they might be “JUST a client”.

You see: I love being her client.

I love that she chooses to spend time with me and clearly enjoys our sessions. I love the depth of her understanding of my kinks and I love  the fact that she trusts me enough to push my limits.

I am in fact proud to be her client and there is no-one whose client I would rather be right now.

I relish our sessions and they have become important to me. I also relish the social time we spend together, the dinners, the shows and, yes, the Eroticon social evening. Importantly, the fact that I pay her to pass that time with me in no way lessens my enjoyment of it.

I think of her often between sessions. I think of her with lust, with admiration and with great fondness.  I will frequently look back on our last meeting with wonder and amazement and forward to our next one with excitement and fear.

I would like to believe that, as she says below, the fact that I am her client doesn’t mean there is no friendship between us; we have, after all, shared amazingly intense experiences, some of which have been as new for her as they were for me. We laugh a lot and talk easily about a wide range of subjects. I have confided secrets to her that no one else knows. If these things are marks of friendship, then we are friends.

So there you have it: I am Elita’s client and it pleases me greatly to say so.


Here Elita describes what the word Client means to her.

The ‘C’ Word and the validity of experience

The ‘C’ word. Something that rolls off the tongues of so many sex workers, sometimes even without thinking about what present company might think about it.


If you thought I was referring to the word ‘cunt’, you’d be wrong. But ‘client’ is often reacted to just as strongly, seen as a derogatory term by some; a name that is painful for others to bear.

Recently, I have had a couple of instances in which subs have asked me (both times rather forlornly) “do you see me as just a client?”. Both times were with people that I adore playing with and whose company I greatly enjoy. Both times were with people who pay me for my time and services.

More importantly, both times made me feel exceptionally awkward; I know what they are asking, and it is not simply whether money changes hands between us; of course it does and they know this. They are effectively asking what they mean to me and assuming all of the negative connotations that come along with being ‘just a client’ in their minds. I think at the time, I gave some vaguely reassuring answer and we both shuffled awkwardly in our shoes. But it is something I have given much thought to since and feel might be worth blogging about.

I must say at this point that the following opinions are mine alone, and other providers may vary in their stance on the ‘c’ word. For me, if you pay me for my time, you are my client. But I would like to tell you what that word means to me and perhaps it might not seem like such a bad thing after all.


Here’s what I think you think when you say ‘just a client’ (also pay close attention to the use of the word ‘just’):

– I don’t genuinely enjoy my time with you

– I don’t think of you in between our sessions

– I don’t care about you

Correct me if I’m wrong, but this is the sense that I get when people ask me if they belong in the ‘client’ corner of my brain. The reality is that I DO care about my clients, often a great deal. I have felt genuinely attracted to many clients and that attraction has been no less intense than it would be had they not paid me for the time I spend with them. I have also genuinely found professional sessions engaging and, indeed, arousing. Of course, there are some that I enjoy more than others but, as a general rule, I bring a lot of real feelings to the table as a Mistress. OK, so I might be embellishing on the truth a little when I tell you mid-session that I share your fetish for dressing up as a penguin and screaming ‘Shirley Temple’ when I orgasm, but that doesn’t mean that I can’t find our time together incredibly charged and erotic.

Personally, I see sexual engagement as a continuous positive feedback loop and, chances are, if you find something arousing (whatever that thing might be), the erotic energy emanating from you will be the very thing that gets me going. It doesn’t necessarily need to be the case that I have to be ‘into’ everything that you are; firstly, if I had the same fetishes as ALL of my clients, I would literally never get anything done because just stepping out of my home would be an all-consuming erotic experience. Secondly, if we only ever explored MY fetishes, well…you’d never make it out alive (I think it’s important at this point to add a ‘wink wink’)…


Originally posted by my-worst-nightmares

Being a client doesn’t make you any less important to me than someone who is in my life in an non-financial capacity. What it does mean is that there is an acknowledgement that I am bringing my skills, education and experience to our sessions; that my time is something that holds a monetary value. What it also does is set out certain boundaries that are in place both for my benefit and yours. For example, I will never ask you to leave your wife for me. I will never turn up unexpectedly at your house demanding to see you. I will never place emotional pressure on you and I will always embrace you seeing other people (workers and non-workers alike). I will always endeavour to allow you to realise your fantasies and make you feel every bit as good as you should about them.

In return, I expect certain courtesies from you. I will want to be able to keep aspects of my private life…private. I will wish you not to become possessive over me, or consider me ‘yours’. I will request that you do not expect me to spend time with you ‘for free’, even if it is to do something that we will both enjoy immensely (if I stopped charging every client that I liked, I would, in all probability, be homeless by now!). Most of all, I will hope that our time together can enrich both of our lives in an appropriate way.

I think that one of the reasons that people can get their knickers in such a twist over the word ‘client’ is that it perhaps suggests that their experience with me is nothing more than a lie. That I am a clever actress who tells them exactly what they want to hear during a session and then rolls my eyes after they have left. What I would say to this is that, well, first of all, I certainly don’t roll my eyes when you leave! But, more importantly, I think that there is real value and validity to your experience with me. The emotions, the arousal, the sensations, the submission that you feel; that is about as real and truthful as it gets.

No matter what someone else thinks about our circumstances and how we should respond, our feelings are not imagined. “

                                                                            – Lori Deschene

In our society, we are taught that the only way that a relationship/interaction is genuine is if it ‘goes somewhere’. People forget about appreciating the present, and how utterly exquisite embracing a moment for what it is (rather than what it might lead to) can be.

If you are my client, it means that I am agreeing to spend time with you instead of someone else at that particular moment. If you are my client, it is likely that I think of you from time to time in my ‘other’ life and often with great fondness. Don’t ever make the mistake of undermining any experience by telling yourself that it is not real. Yes, it’s true that you and I will not be married or grow old together in any conventional sense. But in playing together; in having that electric connection that comes with a BDSM interaction, we will both leave a lasting impression on the other, however slight or significant that might turn out to be.

4 thoughts on “WHAT IS SHE TO YOU? – the question

  1. Rebecca

    The questions had to be asked, I watched the interactions with interest and the blog post above is so well written and expressed. And the view on “clients” is expressed brilliantly. We all have facets of our lives which a stranger walking past could not guess what lies behind the public face as we go around our everyday lives. I look back at life and I see those people whoever fleetingly made a difference in my life, who pop in for a short period and then leave and become a memory or who remain for far longer. Can we love friends? I feel love is multi faceted with several layers. I have for all a brief moment been “in love” on occasions but “loving” someone is different.

  2. Skin Shallows

    Thanks for the reply, very interesting, especially your experiences.

    I didn’t quite mean ”giving performance” in the sense of stage acting (and anyway, even stage acting isn’t very good unless the actor engages/gives of themselves). I meant that both dominance and ”being a great vanilla lover” are more actively performative roles. I think everything we do while being conscious is, to some extent, performative. But specifically sexually, dominance is I imho MORE performative, almost by definition: it’s about control, and being in control, both of the bottom/sub and yourself. I would propose that it has more of an element of a skill, a skill that can (and perhaps to some extent at least for a pro) has to be learned. A lot of what a top in a scene/session does is about, well, what they (actively, performatively, skilfully), DO, isn’t it? And similar with a vanilla sex (we talk about oral sex skills for example).

    To me, submission in its essence is about giving up the agency, becoming almost purely reactive, an object/subject of another’s doings so less space between ”being into it” and ”stage-acting while enduring” in the bottom role. As a corollary of all that, I THINK (I might be wrong) that it would be harder to convincingly – or at all – perform submissiveness (at least the kind of submissiveness I like ;-p) if you don’t ”have it in you”, whether in a market transaction, in casual sex or in a relationship.

    It’s even more clear with topping/bottoming eg in bondage or SM, where, to simplify it totally, ”let me hit you darling” is a much, much (much) bigger ask than ”hit me/tie me up please”. Sure, it’s much less fun if the ”top” is not really into it sexually, but it’s still totally doable, and gets done.

    So, going back to my original though, I think I’d be more reluctant to hire a sub because I’d be worried that IF they are not into it (ie if they don’t have a submissive streak or if there’s no click between us) it would just fall flat into a big meh. I mean, a guy can still thoroughly fuck me (maybe with some pharma assistance), or eat me out without being into me at all (and if necessary he would could even play-act enthusiastic if he is into sex in general), but if he’s not into being topped he’d need to be a fantastic actor indeed to react convincingly.

  3. SkinShallow

    This is making me think. I’m less interested in analysing the difference between a sex worker and a friend/partner/lover and wonder much more about the difference between a ”scene” with a playpartner (more or less casual, but free of charge) and a ”session” with a professional.

    I’ve considered hiring a pro though never have done and came to a surprising conclusion: I can imagine hiring a professional dominant (was I that way inclined), I can imagine paying a sex worker to provide a mostly vanilla sexual service to my spec. But I can’t imagine hiring someone as a submissive. I don’t know why, but it might be something to do with the fact that to me the previous two are performative, the latter isn’t, or much less so. I might be completely wrong. …

    1. PainAsPleasure Post author

      Hi. I love your comments on my blog – they always make me think. I am not sure my own experience supports your view. You imply that a sex worker offering a Domme session or a session of conventional sex is more likely to be giving a performance than actively participating in the scene in her own right. I think Elita is specifically making the point that she is NOT just “a clever actress who tells them exactly what they want to hear” but actually puts a lot of herself into the session. Also, I have had vanilla(ish) sex with an escort who displayed such unforced joy in her own sexuality that I don’t believe there was a performative element in the session at all. Conversely, I once had a session with someone offering submissive services who gave me the impression that she tolerated being spanked rather than derived real pleasure from it. Hers was more of a performance I think.


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