Saturday, April 29, 2006

I was perusing the Max Fisch message board and came across a discussion about the merits of house vs. independent dominas. Though specifically addressing the New York scene, I thought Diana Balance's well thought out response did an excellent job of highlighting the overall pros and cons. You can read the thread here.

I am so thankful to not be caught up in that old debate anymore. I am secure in myself and having the time of my life as a Lady of The Gates.

When I first started out, I fell for a lot of the talk about what made a real pro domme. I was first exposed to the belief system that you learned the ropes, so to speak, at a house. Then when you "graduated" you went off on your own as an independent.

Watching woman after woman leave The Gates to follow this well-worn path, I honestly had a bit of an inferiority complex. Yet something told me to not follow blindly; not to take for granted all the benefits that a collective offered. I am glad to have exercised such caution.

In the time I have been with The Gates, most of the ladies who chose independence are no longer active professionally. There would often be a big show of spreading one's wings, casting off the restrictions of a house for liberation. There would be expectations of a big splash into the wider world of pro domination. Then finally, rumors of loneliness and lack of security. It reminds me of that song, "Is that all there is?"

Early on, when I still naively believed I could never achieve true legitimacy working out of a house, I decided to investigate my options. Yet I treaded lightly, testing the waters rather than jumping in head-first. After all, did I know how cold or deep those waters were? Did I know where the rocks were just underneath the surface?

When a respected former colleague put up her website shortly after leaving The Gates, I decided I would also create my own pages. Why couldn't a domina at a house have a signature site, where she could detail her interests, guidelines, specifications and the like?

During several forays to Los Angeles, I would put up a visiting ad in Eros and experience a taste of things as an indie -- taking phone calls and arranging my own sessions. Though I had a great time playing out of the Wicked Garden, I did not feel compelled to cut off my association with a house. After seeing it from both sides, I concluded that my gig at The Gates was perfect for my needs.

I can understand why from the man's perspective, seeing an independent domina would be preferred. You have her telephone number and get the pleasure of hearing her voice when arranging a session. She arrives at her private space especially for her date with you. You two might even be alone on the premises together. I can see how he would find this set up advantageous.

Yet in my mind, being so accessible compromises my sense of dominance. It begins to feel too much like I am doing the serving. I like the idea of hanging out at The Gates, with the possibility of a few submissives paying me a visit while I'm there. Now this is not a judgment on my independent sisters. It is simply how I feel and what works for me. And in this endeavor, one's approach must be highly customized in order to be truly fulfilling.

Some admit to seeing me despite the fact that I session out of a house, while many prefer this arrangement as much as I do. As long as an appropriate attitude of humility and gratitude is present, I am happy to be served by both.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

A few things you should know about my email practices-

I am often on the go when I am not at The Gates, so typically I check email during the day using my phone. If you are perplexed as to why you are sometimes given a wordy reply and why other times my message is extremely brief, don't think too much about it. It's more than likely that in the latter case I have punched in the text via my cell.

With regards to scheduling, please note that The Gates handles my appointment bookings. They will know better than me my latest availability on any given day. I do sometimes coordinate directly with out-of-towners who need to plan their trip far ahead of time as well as those new to The Gates who opt to send me a deposit to secure an advance appointment.

Otherwise, going back and forth with me via email to try to schedule a session will be slow-going compared to calling The Gates at 510.261.7243. It is not rare for me to have prime spots already reserved beforehand, so it's best to call up as soon as possible to get the time you desire.

I offer these tips to avoid disappointment and make it that much easier to serve me. Hope this helps!

Sunday, April 23, 2006

The role of dominatrix continues to fascinate me. There are so many reasons why I love what I do. High up on that list is the broad range within which I can practice this craft. The vast array of activities and approaches that all fall under the rubric of BDSM and fetish allows for virtually endless explorations.

As my four-year anniversary approaches, I find that there is still so much room for growth. Perhaps it is because so much of what I learn acts as a catalyst for changes beyond my role as a domina.

I mean what is a scene if not the quintessence of human interaction? A connection at once fundamental and complex: physical, sensual, emotional, spiritual, creative and intellectual. This play becomes a metaphor for the shaping of my life.

We play with darkness and light. We make games out of the taboo. There is a timelessness to it. A sense of the primal. We are acting out ancient roles -- the archetypes of our collective consciousness. We are goddesses, queens, priestesses, warriors, witches. The sacred and the sexual reunited. Worship of the divine feminine unearthed. Yet hidden away from modernity in these scary, Medieval-looking dungeons. Seems fitting somehow...

I think for a while there I was very much into the sadistic aspects of domination. Lately I have been balancing that out with more control- and service-oriented training, as some of the latest additions to my stable are not so much masochists as submissives. Keeping things interesting!

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

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I finally got around to sorting through my photos from my trip to Asia in February. I found this fountain sculpture in a crafts market near the Golden Triangle. An elegant and exotic goddess as beautiful and natural as her surroundings. Gorgeous!

Monday, April 17, 2006

Please note that I sometimes need more than a week to get caught up with emails. Of course, if you have not heard back from me in a couple of weeks -- or if it's time-sensitive -- feel free to send a follow up message.

Stepping out to blue skies and a shining sun. Enjoy your day!

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Tuesday April 18th now 3pm-10pm

The recent additions to The Gates staff have allowed us to go back to double shift days. So on Tuesday the 18th I will now be taking sessions from 3pm to 10pm.

Schedule Update for Mondays & Friday: Now 3-10pm

Slight change in time that I will be at The Gates this Friday and the next two Mondays. I will now be at The Gates 3pm to 11pm Friday the 14th as well as Mondays the 17th and 24th.

Note that whatever time is listed for the last session -- whether I am listed as there 3-10pm, 10am-5pm or 11am-7pm -- the latter number bracketing my availability is the latest start time for a one-hour session. So on a day where I am available from 3pm to 10pm, last session would be from 10 to 11pm. I've noticed quite a few pre-books lately ending right before that last hour, so if you are trying to get the latest appointment possible do keep this in mind!


Everyone seems to be bewailing the waterlogged weather, yet the longer it stays wet the more I am enjoying it. I procured a stormproof jacket and pants which has made walking in rain a lot of fun. Even in a downpour it's not so bad. Rain can feel very sensual and enlivening, as long as you don't get too soggy! Being from LA, I find just about any change of season exciting ;-)

Wednesday, April 5, 2006

On rare occasions, I find myself sucked into watching the boob tube (for something other than my favorite show Battlestar Galactica, that is) and whenever I do I remember why I like the set better off than on. Especially bad are those entertainment shows which go on about the weirdest and most mundane little things that have to do with members of the celebrity class. I feel sorry for the utter lack of privacy these stars endure.

I have a pretty awesome life, if I do say so myself, so turning off the television is easy because I have much to look forward to in my real world. But it's amazing how shrill and controlling the media can be -- all these horrible messages about valuing oneself and achieving one's dreams presented through this very narrow, rigid lenses. Throw in a load of hypocritical judgment of others to brace the fragile yet overly enlarged ego and voila! it's modern mass marketing and media.

Thank goodness for blogs, podcasts, homegrown websites and other alternative forms of expression to strike a balance. It's funny because I've heard more than one person bewail all this guerilla media. "If everyone blogs, who will read it?" they say. There is a sort of nervousness at this hyper-proliferation of ideas, words, images, video et al. A comfort with the monolithic order of traditional media.

I subscribe to a more village view of things: smaller groupings of genuinely interest-aligned individuals sharing artistic expression and celebrating life. Basically, media as a representation of various subcultures. And it's already happening.

I recently watched some old episodes of The Honeymooners for the first time, wanting to check out this classic of early television. Interestingly, in a few episodes the plot revolved around watching TV or being on TV and dealt with some of the social implications of this new technology. It made me realize that TV shows today rarely directly address the viewer. That invisible forth wall is no longer acknowledged. By erasing a certain level of self-consciousness, it becomes harder to question what is being fed to the viewer, who is essentially treated as non-existent or assuming the role of the omniscent.

It should come as no surprise that I click best with those who think critically about what they take in.


I am just starting to read an interesting memoir called Timepass. It is about the life of Protima Bedi, a classical Indian dancer, model and wife of a Bollywood star who led a scandalous and liberated life.

A good friend and former domme lent it to me. And just in the nick of time, as it gave me an excuse to stop reading another book which had become more and more unpleasant.

I had gotten almost halfway through a very thick science fiction book which had really begun to irk me. It had some violent undercurrents in it, with women and children being butchered. As the story went on, these themes became stronger and more explicit. Well actually, the killings of the children, though disturbing, were extremely light on detail. Yet the terrorizing of the women was told quite explicitly, distastefully and in a way that showed the author's true colors. It was so obvious to me, as I read this crap, that the author was living out his sick fantasies. Of course, all the while taking a righteous and condemnatory tone against the character who's acting it out. Whatever...

Back to more pleasant topics, then! I do love reading about the lives of unique women. Another great read is Athenais: The Real Queen of France, which is the scintillatingly decadent true tale of King Louis XIV's mistress Athenais de Montespan. Beautiful, brilliant, and a key participant in France's highly influential culture of Versailles, Athenais had to live by her wits in a time when women were denied conventional avenues of power. A juicy story!