Is being kinky a luxury only for the rich?

Many things are a luxury only for the upper 10% of the population: vacations to exotic locations, luxury sports
cars, cosmetic surgery, nannies, and a whole litany of expensive toys.  However, few people require such things
to live a fulfilled life.  A sports car may be fun, but a Honda Civic works just as well.

Another luxury the more financially secure have is the advantage of better health and psychological services.  
These advantages are a constant debate in our news and government.  Are physical therapies such as
massage or reiki only for those that can afford it?  Should insurance or government agencies pay for these
therapies? Arguably it is the right of American Citizens to have access to these therapies regardless of income.
Another of these physical and psychological services in question is provided for by the Spanking for Wellness
Center (www.spankingforwellness.com).  According to their website, “At Spanking for Wellness, our goal is to
understand our clients' needs and help them achieve wellness through positive spanking experiences in a
therapeutic and professional atmosphere.”

Do people need spankings?  Just ask a professional dominatrix.  They have seen the evidence in their practice.  
Just ask the people that find cathartic release through it.  I regularly attend spanking parties and hear it spoken
over and over that it is as relaxing and psychologically therapeutic as massage.

And it is not just spankings that provide therapy for those that benefit from it.

Many of those in BDSM find their kink to be as necessary to their mental health as are the basic needs of human
touch, affectionate kindness, emotionally safe environments, or intimate communication.  Those that cannot fulfill
this need find they are depressed, stressed, intensely lonely, and guilt-ridden.  

Why do some human beings need the continual companionship of friends and family around them and some
prefer solitude.  Why do some need to be tied up and flogged once a week, and some could take it or leave it?  
The ‘whys’ are for each individual to unwind as they go through self-discovery over their lifetime, but the fact that
it exists as an overwhelming need to many remains the factor to consider.

How and where do these individuals find the emotional and physical encounters they desperately need and
seek?  Unfortunately there are strongly-held stigmas and taboos regarding many of the kinks recognized in the
BDSM community.  For some reason in the American mainstream culture, it is OK to be an ‘ass-man,’ but not a
‘foot-man.’  The need for an individual to re-live a scene involving medical play is seen as bizarre, rather than
therapeutic.

Because of these taboos and stigmas, most people that have alternative-lifestyle needs are as in-the-closet as
most homosexuals were in the 70s.  One cannot easily find a partner who understands their need to play with
needles, let alone have the skill, desire, or equipment to carry out this side of a partnership.  

FetLife has been an incredibly valuable resource for bringing those in need together.  For the first time since the
professional dominatrix, people can find a partner.  And usually that partner does not charge them an exorbitant
amount of money for the benefit of a close and respectful relationship.  Has FetLife cut into the financial liquidity
of many pro dommes?  Very likely.  But it is a resource I share with every guest who walks into my dungeon,
because I view my art as an essential need to those people that I have just described.  If I can help someone find
the fulfillment they need by finding a partner, I choose that over self-serving, monetary gain.

However, what about those who are married, considerably older, or lacking the social skills necessary to find that
perfect companion close by that matches just the type of interaction that fits their specific needs? Even though
FetLife has made it easier to find kinky partners, the reality of it is that it remains very difficult and time-
consuming to do so.  These people are the members of our community that most benefit from professional
providers to assist them in obtaining a much needed service in their lives.

According to the National Wage Index provided by the Social Security Administration (http://www.ssa.
gov/oact/cola/AWI.html), the average American citizen earned $44,321.67 in 2012.  According to my own
experience in the industry, the average professional dominatrix charges $200-300 an hour.  

I have found, that to have a properly fulfilling encounter with an individual visiting my dungeon, I need to spend
at least 2 hours with him/her.  If they receive the therapy they feel they are acquiring through my services twice a
month, their financial obligation is $9,600 at best and $14,400 at the higher end.  Taking the average, that
equates to 27.1% of the average American income.  Banks will not approve house loans greater than 20% of
one’s income; greater than that and people financially collapse.

However, the innately driven alternative-lifestyle needs within a person do not recognize monetary wealth.  

The end result is that the majority of people across America are at a severe disadvantage when it comes to
finding clean, safe, and viable opportunities to fulfill the needs of their particular physical and psychological
fetishes.  Many human beings are spiritually and emotionally impoverished in our society in the first place.  But
those living in the closet with their kink are even more disadvantaged.

I look forward to seeing the resolution of this problem evolving.  It will happen over time, I suspect, the way that it
did with the ‘gay-movement.’  With increasing acceptability and more mainstream exposure to BDSM, perhaps
many more individuals can find the therapy they need in an affordable way, and live their alternative-lifestyles
guilt-free.  Because living kinky should not be a luxury of only the rich.
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