I am very much enjoying my experience of being a Maîtresse (or dominatrice) in Paris. I am somewhat different in being one of the only English-style Mistresses in France, and also one of the only switch Mistresses in the country. As such, I receive a number of slaves who have lived in the UK (or commute from London) and have a fondness for traditional corporal punishment.
I have also attracted a large number of French clients who were looking for an intelligent and well-trained Mistress, and it has come as quite a suprise to me that so many of the French Mistresses are without professional training or specialist knowledge. From anecdotal account, many of the dominatrices in France seem to split up into two categories, those who just woke up one day and decided to become a Mistress (presumably for the perception they could make quick, easy money), and have little idea what they are doing in relation to how to use implements or equipment or indeed the nuances of psychological domination. The second category is that of well-trained Mistresses who have a defined style of traditional femdom domination which is quite severe and cold. This works well on many slaves, and the Mistresses amongst this category are well-trained and reputable, and I regard them well, but I also understand that their colder style does not suit everyone.
So within a very short time, word seems to have got around of my particular style of compassionate Mistressing , whereby I mould my session to the submissive’s needs and can combine stern treatment and harsh words, with encouragement and compassion, and I am very busy. I am reluctant to commit myself to more than one session in a day, in order to maintain my enthusiasm and energy as a dominatrix, and also to allow time for my writing which is my first priority above all. I recommend other Mistresses as appropriate to submissives who want a different kind of session from that which I offer, or requiring equipment I do not have, or with content that I don’t specialise in or enjoy. So I hope this is helping generate good will amongst my Parisian counterparts.
Paris is a great place to live and explore, and it has a varied BDSM scene, incorporating two specialist BDSM clubs. These are Cris et Chuchotements (which roughly translates as “Cries and Screams” and also references a 1972 film realised by Ingmar Bergman), and l’Orchidée Noire (which translates as the Black Orchid) which is a private club run in a basement set-up by and for lifestylers which I attended in my first week in Paris. There are also regular fetish events, including Nuit Elastique which caters for fetishists of latex, PVC and leather, and the annual event Nuit Demonia which is attended by close to 2000 people. This year, I performed in Nuit Demonia 2009 at La Loco, near the Moulin Rouge, alongside Mistress Absolute and Charlotte from the UK. We were one of 20 International Acts on the main stage, and modelled Ainsley-T fetish shoes from Milan on the catwalk.
I found Nuit Demonia to be a great night, and in general all the people I have met in the lifestyle scene are friendly, intelligent and open to newcomers. There is more of a fetish materiality prevalence throughout the scene, with many slaves attached and aroused by foot fetish and high heel stilettos, and also an insistence of wearing rubber and leather. Most events enforce a strict dresscode which restricts the choice of material in fetish attire. This is quite different from in Australia where fetish is seen as a broader construct and far more unique rather than restricted to such a limited range of materiality. Fetish may be miliatary style attire, or opulent historically-based corsetry, and individuals often make their own creations and put much time into putting together their unique ensembles.
The basis behind the strict codes of fetishware at events appear to be to avoid having people who are not true fetishists and perhaps just there for a perve, turning up in “normal clothes”, or for example in biker jackets rather than true fetishware. The logic is that those attending the events are more likely to be comfortable and not judged if they feel that they are amongst like-minded and like-dressed people. I can understand and empathise with such a code, although I consider that it could be widened to a more expansive view of fetish with careful thought applied to the topic.
One of the consequences of the law in France is that Mistresses are not easily able to work together, or share a dungeon space, so lifestyle events are often the only place one may come into contact with other dominatrices. It is a shame that the law is constructed as it is, as it in fact compromises the safety of dominatrices by not being able to have a colleague work alongside them, particularly with a more difficult client, or an advanced style of session involving complicated suspension. It also means that Mistresses have no real sense of fellowship, and see themselves as competing with each other individually, with a reluctance to pass on a client on recommendation who may be seeking exploration in an area they have no knowledge or training to adequately handle. By contrast, the lifestyle scene is small but flourishes with a communal sharing of knowledge, and workshops are offered on areas such as shibari and other forms of BDSM play.
I was amused also to attend the Paris Munch and see how well the format (which is replicated around the world) suited the French culture. Of course it is a very French passion to enjoy food, wine, intelligent conversation, and philosophy, and on the particular night I attended there was an intellectually rich discussion held on the subject of foot fetish which lasted for hours. It was also filmed for a documentary covering alternative fetish cultures around the world.
Paris Munch has a well-organised and constantly updated website featuring a programme of all the different fetish and BDSM events that are on across the city, and so the website is a great first-stop for any lifestyler over in Paris and wanting to participate in the scene. (Website address: http://www.paris-m.com/ )