Wednesday, September 29, 2004

The longer I do this, the more I feel that my primary identification as a professional domina is as an artist first and foremost. This is definitely a business as well, yet I do not see what I do so much in terms of work. It is a fine line, as successful artists are also successful business people. Yet I think the essential distinction is that one does not compromise one's vision for the bottom line. That one continues to take risks for the sake of one's artistry. And that connections with people remain more about conveying something deep and meaningful, rather than simply being a means to an end.

There is so much out there for the seeker of a true Mistress to evaluate and investigate. A flurry of alluring images and words to draw you in, manipulate your desires and make you want more. Certainly, this is part of what being a domina is all about -- to excel at enticing. And as some of you know, real-life encounters may or may not match the marketed message.

I suppose part of my reasoning for having a blog is to demonstrate in oh-so-many words that I am the "real thing." I permit brief glimpses inside my head to satisfy my own desire to be heard, but also to reinforce the truth of who I am. The statements on my site reflect a personal philosophy grounded in my own unique perspective. It is honest, unadulterated self-expression. I have been fortunate that so many find synchronicity with my brand of perversion. Perhaps it is that very lack of affectation that is so appealing. Where I am now is a natural progression, really a culmination of all that I have experienced and learned.

Friday, September 24, 2004

Though I didn't go this year, a few good friends recently returned from Burning Man in high spirits. There is something quite magical about this festival in the Nevada desert. For a few days at the end of every summer, thousands of people (mostly from San Francisco) gather together to create a unique temporary community in the middle of nowhere. Last time I went there were at least 30,000 people, so it's almost on the scale of a small city. And at the end of each festival, there is the burn. Playing out the cycle of creation, destruction and rebirth, the burning man and other prominent structures are burned to the ground, only to arise once again the following year.

I have always loved the desert. The treks my family made by car from Los Angeles to Las Vegas when I was a kid -- staring out at that crazy big sun over a seemingly barren landscape. My field trips to the rocks when I studied geology -- climbing over a hill to find huge piles of ancient sea-life fossils. And now the out of this world, costume-filled revelry and artistry of Burning Man. I love the stillness, the cracked mud playa, the beautiful sunsets, dust devils that come out of nowhere and that thick, arid heat.

Burning Man is a contemporary version of an age-old idea -- namely the topsy turvy world of the carnival. There are impressive similarities between Early Modern European carnivals (1500-1700) and festivals like Burning Man. During these celebrations, the normal rules of convention and behavior are thrown out the window. Roles are reversed, inversed, flipped around and twisted. It is a momentary respite from the rigidity which normally encloses society. Sound familiar? Indeed, these are the same undercurrents which run through BDSM and fetish play. What makes interacting in these environments so powerful is the absence of a reference to your day-to-day reality. It allows one to feel truly liberated. In fact, it was during my first time at Burning Man that I became fully in touch with my sadomasochistic side. I have encountered many others who have had transformative experiences there. And many other SM players make it out to "the playa."

Burning Man has become even more inclusive and diverse over the years (mind you, I'm not too keen on the videos of nudists that make their way onto sensationalistic fare like "Inside Edition" -- as if the event is some girls gone wild scene). It used to be very much about the San Francisco artist. Yet the motto "everyone is a participant" has allowed people who do not primarily identify as artists to also embrace their creativity. It is a wild, primal experience that can be both cleansing and nourishing.

So that's my take on Burning Man. No commercial vending, no corporate sponsorship, just real raw human interaction at its best.

Eating bread at Burning Man 2002 ;-)

Friday, September 17, 2004

As I walked around "Geisha: Beyond the Painted Smile" at the Asian Art Museum in San Francisco, I saw that I was not the only woman fascinated by these living symbols of Japanese cultural tradition and refined feminity. I spied other pretty, young women slowly wandering through the exhibit, alone in their contemplation of this alluring alternative world. I was immediately enthralled by the atmosphere of curious excitement as we each perused the beautiful art and read about the geisha way of life.

In my research, I found some intriguing parallels between the geisha and the dominatrix. The word geisha actually means "persons of art." Like dominas, they inhabit a secretive world on the fringes of society. They are entertainers for small, private gatherings and most of their clients are men. They are trained to excel artistically: at singing, dance, the playing of instruments, calligraphy and the art of conversation. They begin as apprentices, turning into full-fledged geishas once they have mastered the requisite skills and etiquette. They wear striking make-up, special kimonos and elaborate hairstyles unique to their profession. In fact, unlike the heavily layered gowns of courtesans of the Edo period (1615-1868), the geisha's kimonos were designed to allow for freedom of movement. In this way, the geisha was immediately identifiable as distinct from prostitutes as well as non-professional women.

Similarly, serious dominas also undertake years of ongoing training and typically are active seekers of experiences which broaden the depth of their knowledge. Traditionally, one would begin as an apprentice, switching or subbing to a mentor domme. Dominas undertake hours of practice with their various tools of pain and pleasure, often becoming reknowned in their mastery of a particular implement. A domme's fetish wardrobe -- with its edgy latex, vinyl and leather -- serves to differentiate them not only from conventional women but also from the soft and frilly fair more typical of vanilla escorts.

Geishas and inspired dommes spend a great deal of time refining their presentation, focusing on aesthetics such as the sound of their voice and the flow of their step. Many of the women in these paralell worlds consider themselves performance artists first and foremost.

And alas, both geishas and dominatrixes have been sorely misunderstood and maligned as women of ill repute. Though neither have sex with their clients, both have been misrepresented as prostitutes. For geishas, this mislabeling was largely due to the fact that when Japan first opened up to the West, untrained foreigners could not distinguish between the multilayered sashes and overgarments of courtesans and the more simplistic beauty of the geisha's kimonos. And certainly, a professional domina's need to advertise in venues alongside sensual masseuses and escorts can make the lines seem more blurry to the untrained eye.

On a sidenote, I read an article in issue 29 of WYWS While You Were Sleeping magazine about a freelance caucasian geisha in Japan. Her photos revealed a body adorned with tattoos and pierced nipples. Though quite a divergence from tradition, her look is apparently not an issue because geishas do not take off their kimonos. Interesting how this woman seems to represent a convergence of my geisha/dominatrix comparison.

Last tidbit - I heard Spielberg has optioned "Memoirs of a Geisha."

Me in Kimono-inspired Latex by Madam S.

Wednesday, September 15, 2004

I've got a lot of positive feedback on my new pics. But it was also nice to hear from an admirer that over and above my physical appearance, the depth of my power lies in my "spirit, mind and ability to connect. You're a goddess in any guise." Thank you. Very nice :-)

Sunday, September 12, 2004

For those who appreciate domination over the phone, or who simply desire a remote consultation with me, I'll try to make myself more available on Keen. Though it will have to be after this week as I'm jamming for a chemistry exam! I do enjoy this type of play, as it's fun to use my voice as the primary vehicle of my power. It can be quite intimate and exciting, in a way that reminds me of the thrill of soft lips whispering commands into one's ear. Though I certainly can sound stern and demanding, I am not much for the yell and scream school of domination. Subtle changes in vocal intonation, timely pauses, and the sound of the breath -- these work for me.

Friday, September 10, 2004

One of the challenges I enjoy during a scene is to bring out the energy connection between myself and a sub who, for whatever reason, is not immediately emotionally accessible. I actually have a few loyal slaves who I have rehabilitated from previous negative experiences with pro dommes. These traumatic encounters can often cause the sub to turn more inward as an act of self-protection. By creating an atmosphere of trust, affection, and really listening to them, I give my slaves permission to open up to new levels. I have one slave who had seen 15 to 20 pro dommes before he sought me out. Before we met, he had never had a truly satisfying fulfillment of his fantasies, always feeling too weird or somehow not quite right. I sensed this during our first session almost two years ago, and used all my powers to let him know his kinks were safe with me. Another long-term slave of mine had actually been robbed by a so-called domme he was serving. To endure such a violation and still pursue one's explorations is courageous. And I would say he is quite fortunate now, as he has continued to learn and grow in his perversions with me as his guide.

One of my slaves did admit to me recently that he initially hesitated to see me because I don't show my face in my photos, and he had a bad experience with another pro domme who did the same. For the record, the only reason I do not reveal my face in pictures is because I am a fairly private person. And isn't it nice to know that I am discrete? Say we sessioned together, then you ran into me on the street and initiated a conversation with me (as I would not for discretion's sake). It's not like someone passing by would say "Look at that man talking to that dominatrix!" Of course, if you did see me out and about it's best not to yell out "Xia!" or "Mistress!" A "hello there" would do just fine ;-)

Thursday, September 9, 2004

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Friday, September 3, 2004

Below are some pics that I'm thinking of adding to my Gates profile. I'm getting more photos taken, so we'll see what ends up being the "best of".

Look out soon for a post about my visit to the Geisha exhibit at the Asian Art museum.

Until next time. . .