It poses an interesting challenge in this work: to dominate from a place of pure intentions, compassion and lovingkindness. Whether one comes from a place of healthy play or dysfunction, I have seen that one can be successful. Like attracts like as we mirror each other's hidden pains, secret aspirations and basic sense of self.
In this way, letting one's ethics lapse can be a downward spiral - negative elements can cling and pull one down even further. The hope is that it won't be too long before one surfaces with the realization: I need to clean house! I admit to having gone through this on several occasions. What is pretty amazing about this work is the incredible range of play within its borders, which makes it relatively easy to shift from one way of being to another. The trickier part is keeping one's heart open in whatever one's current incarnation.
Cruelty is a characteristic which is often considered a positive in this line of work. Yet to me, cruelty with callousness, without forethought or reflection, is more of an energy drain than an energy exchange. Empathy is key. It allows me to enjoy the ride along with the submissive, but also tells me when we are treading on psychologically dangerous territory.
A simple question to ask oneself when topping: Would it be OK if someone did that to me? Even if you are strictly domme and never switch, the question is still valid. It cuts to heart of the matter. Namely, am I acting in a humane way? Top or bottom, domme or sub -- we are all still human.
Indeed, cruelty is a trait which I possess in good measure. I would like to think I am proficient at controlling my sadistic urges in a manner befitting my position. I do feel very fortunate to have this outlet.
Four years of sessioning on average seven times a week. That's a lot of scenes. Countless intense, intimate and magical encounters with the known and unknown. It makes sense to me that I learn at an exponential rate because of the gift of these wealth of experiences. I know that if I hadn't found this vocation, it would have come out anyway -- the scheming, erotically ravenous side of me. But it would probably not be as consciously articulated, as wholesomely contained, or as embraced and celebrated!
I have seen others who have subjected themselves to the seedier side of sex work for years. By the time they say "Enough!" there is so much heaviness there, the baggage left behind from a world of pain. It's not necessarily that the work they chose was inherently exploitative and degrading (though that is debatable -- I for one, could only do what I do!). Rather, it was as much about how they approached it as anything else. I have seen the cycle. The money that's so good for the amount of time put in, it makes all other work seem less desirable. The alcohol or drugs used to numb the discontent. The disassociation with what one is doing. Then the anger at all who participated, including oneself. I have seen these ladies finally end up in the pro domme arena, ready to take it all out on the men. And I actually think it's not a half-bad way to go. Working out one's issues in this way can be empowering and even fun. What is of utmost importance, in the big picture, is approaching it all with a sense of gentleness and compassion towards oneself and one's play partners.