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BDSM

The Perils of Dating a Dominatrix

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Tue, Sep 4, 2012 at 8:00 AM
click to enlarge On their first date, Mistress Tetra (top) asked Nicole (bottom) to pose for her birthday party invitation. - LOUANN
  • Louann
  • On their first date, Mistress Tetra (top) asked Nicole (bottom) to pose for her birthday party invitation.

This piece is part of our series on the L.A. dominatrix industry. See also:

*How a Dominatrix Does Her Taxes

*Inside the L.A. Dominatrix Industry

Smack. Slap slap slap. Thwack. Professional dominatrix Mistress Tetra pauses her spanking to press her breasts into the bare bottom of a woman clad only in a gold corset, eliciting applause, cheers and monkey-like screeching from the nearly two hundred voyeurs and fetishists assembled on a recent Saturday for Mistress Tetra's Birthday Flesh Fest at Sanctuary, a 7,000-square foot commercial dungeon near LAX. Clad only in black underwear and platform heels, with her dark red hair slicked back and her nipples covered by green pot leaf stickers, Tetra, 25, is one of four dominants currently on stage paddling, scratching, whacking and spanking four eager, submissive party-goers.

As Def Leppard's "Pour Some Sugar on Me" transitions into Juvenile's "Back That Azz Up," the girl in the gold corset stands, hugs Tetra, and exits the stage, only to be replaced by a smiling, voluptuous 20-year-old college student wearing a frilly white corset and garter belt, crotch-high white fishnet socks and a collar of pink fabric rosettes. She doesn't want her family, her sorority sisters or her professors to know she's here, so I'll call her Nicole, which is part of her username on FetLife, a social networking site for kinksters that has 16,379 registered users in the city of Los Angeles and another 12,000 or so within thirty minutes of downtown.

Before bending her over the spanking horse, Tetra grabs the back of Nicole's head and kisses her hard on the mouth, a rare moment of sappy, vanilla affection at a party filled with leather, whips and chains. Why do these two make out, unlike all of the other dom/sub pairs on stage?

Perhaps because Tetra and Nicole found each other on OkCupid, not on FetLife, and because before she met Tetra, Nicole had only experienced BDSM on the privacy of her computer screen.

The two had intended to grab lunch for their first date, earlier this summer, but the model who was supposed to pose with Tetra for the invitation to her Eden-themed birthday party cancelled at the last minute, so Tetra asked Nicole to step in.

"We basically stripped most of our clothes off and I taped leaves all over her," Tetra remembers.

"It was definitely an interesting first time to meet someone," Nicole says. "I'm open to weird situations, but I was a little bit nervous."

click to enlarge Eat that apple, Nicole! EAT IT! - LOUANN
  • Louann
  • Eat that apple, Nicole! EAT IT!

Later in the party, after she's been properly spanked, Nicole bubbles with ebullience. She chats with Lady Aubrey and Switch Harlow, two of Tetra's Sanctuary coworkers, in Annubis, the dungeon's medical-themed playroom, which features educational anatomy posters and an electronic medical bed with stirrups. Squeals and moans occasionally break the staccato of slaps and cracks coming from the other playrooms.

"[Nicole] is so adorable," Harlow says. "She looks so innocent and white. It makes you want to beat her. I want to destroy the innocence!"

Nicole giggles, blushing, and Aubrey laughs appreciatively, tossing her long braids. She's wearing a silver snake armband, a green belly dancer top dripping with mirror coins and teensy, sky blue fishnet shorts.

"Tetra and Nicole are really cute," Aubrey says.

"Nicole's really innocent, and Tetra's really not," Harlow adds.

On her newly-made FetLife profile, Nicole lists "cuddling," "snuggling" and "cunnilingus" among her fetish interests; Tetra lists "gagging/choked by cock," "degradation" and "piercing."

"But they balance each other," Aubrey says.

"Yeah, it works out," Harlow agrees.

Both Tetra and Nicole use the word "bonus" when describing how Nicole feels about Tetra's BDSM expertise, in the same way one of my friends might describe a guy who has a law degree: a nice plus, but not the primary reason they are spending time together. But dating a professional dominatrix comes with challenges that dating a lawyer does not.

For one thing? Sharing. In addition to the men who pay to worship her feet or have her sit on their faces, Tetra has a long-term boyfriend, and her FetLife profile indicates she has two other personal slaves and is considering a third, separate from Nicole. Both Tetra and her boyfriend include on their FetLife profiles that they are looking for a woman to join them "in a poly household." However, Nicole says she's only attracted to women and has no sexual interest in Tetra's boyfriend.

Outside Annubis, near the stage, Tetra has one arm on Nicole and one on a girl behind her. Another domme approaches and murmurs in Tetra's ear.

"I'll be right back," Tetra says.

Nicole arrived two hours before the party began that evening to help chop fruit for the chocolate fountain and set up trays of pretzels and potato chips at round tables with floral tablecloths.

"I offered. Some of her other subs [submissives], she told to be here," Nicole says proudly.

Although they've played publicly and privately, Tetra only bosses Nicole around in a sexual way. "You know that point in dating where you don't fight yet? You're kind of walking on eggshells around each other?" Nicole says.

Tetra characterizes the status of their relationship a bit differently: Nicole is still "under consideration" to be her formally collared slave.

As another performance begins on stage, Tetra takes a seat in the front row next to her boyfriend, then moves to his lap. Nicole hovers near the back of the audience on the right side, drinking her blue Gatorade alone. A man parades by her wearing only chunky black boots and a black garter belt, revealing the innumerable pink scars that crisscross down his back. When the scene ends, Nicole scoots up front and kneels next to Tetra, who is now squatting in front of her boyfriend.

A minute later, when Tetra stands, Nicole stands. Nicole looks at her expectantly and then forces a smile as Tetra hugs and thanks one person and then another, then another, for coming by. She kisses the fourth well-wisher on the lips, grasping one woman's hand as she swings her arm around another's waist.

Nicole stands a few feet away, her eyes scanning the room then flickering back at Tetra. She takes another step towards her new girlfriend and whispers something. They hug and kiss, briefly, but Tetra pulls away. Nicole turns around and walks off.

A man whips out his iPhone and gestures to Tetra and another woman that he'd like to take photographs of them together. The two sashay onto the stage. Tetra grinds her hips onto the other girl's, who leans against a wooden St. Andrew's cross at the back of the stage, and they touch their tongues together for the camera.

A third girl, half-naked, grips the metallic pole five feet in front of them, inverting her body as she wraps her legs around it like a stripper, dancing up the pole and out of the frame.

Follow me on Twitter at @adelaidelaments, and for more arts news follow us at @LAWeeklyArts and like us on Facebook.

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