Maîtresse Absolue: Female Flagellants of the Fin de siècle, Paris March 15 2023

Fin de Siecle
Detail from Henri Toulouse-Lautrec At the Moulin Rouge (1895)


Documentation of the Female Flagellants of Fin de siècle (end of 19th Century), Paris

The historical Dominatrix flagellantion craft was characterised by discreet "underground" operation and specialization within the sex industry, with often long training internships and knowledge acquisition. Their specializations were in birch-rod flogging and whippings, domination, bondage, roleplay of authority figures - including as Governess, Step-Mother, dominant Kept Mistress, Strict Nurse, Empress, Lady Justice, and costumes which incorporated regal attire, role attire, fetishes with material qualities such as kid leather and lace gloves, fur, velvet, exquisite shoes, feminisation and gender play, humiliation, medical play, slave and puppy play, and "unusual" requests. 

The Philosophy of Flagellation dating from c1897 expressed that:

"the commonest form of flagellation and mild cruelty is the voluntary submission of men to women. They love to he treated as if they were veritable slaves, and they generally pay dearly to be thus ill-used and themselves draw up a programme of the penances they wish to have inflicted. Severe flogging is often asked for, stipulating binding or strapping down, and sometimes they are satisfied with being insulted and forced to perform repugnant tasks and obscene acts, such as is mentioned in "La Corruption Fin-de-Siècle", where an individual of this type is delighted to lick the seat of a water-closet in a Paris house of ill-fame."

Reference: "The Philosophy of Modern Flagellation" (c1897) reproduced as Appendix in The Venus School-Mistress (1868) Grove Press, New York p.122-123 and citing  Léo Taxil (pseudonym of Marie Joseph Gabriel Antoine Jogand-Pagès) (1894) La Corruption Fin-de-Siècle Georges Carré editeur, Paris viewable at:

Alongside the English flagellation tradition incorporated into my book ('The History & Arts of the Dominatrix') I have found further information offering tantalising glimpses into Parisian Domination in the era which I am incorporating into new work on French Mistressery. 

The c1897 letter of Alice de Villefranche (to a slave)

Reproduced in original French; and then below in English translation.

"Paris, Dimanche

Nous verrons ce que valent vos belles protestations d'obéissance et de soumission lorsque vous viendrez demain, lundi, au rendez-vous que je daigne vous accorder. J'éprouverai un âpre plaisir vous humilier, à vous tenir subjugué, anéanti, sous mon fouet, dans le collier de chien qui vous attend, à satisfaire enfin sur tout votre être devenu ma chose, les fantaisies les plus tyranniques de mon imagination. 

A genoux, des votre entrée, vous me remercierez de l'honneur que je fais de vous recevoir comme esclave, et préparez-vous à subir, sans le moindre geste ou mot de révolte, toutes les épreuves où sombrera, sous ma volonté, votre fameuse dignité d'homme. Donc, donc à demain, lundi, 4. h. 30 m, précises, après-midi.

Je vous crois déjà assez obéissant pour être exact.

Votre maîtresse absolue,

Alice de Villefranche"


Translated into English for my English-speaking readers:

"We shall see what your beautiful protestations of obedience and submission are worth when you come tomorrow, Monday, to the meeting I deign to grant you. I will experience a fierce pleasure in humiliating you, in keeping you subjugated, annihilated, under my whip, in the dog's collar which awaits you, in taking final satisfaction in your whole being which has become my thing (object), the most tyrannical fantasies of my imagination.

On your knees, as soon as you enter, you will thank me for the honour I do to receive you as a slave, and get ready to suffer, and prepare to undergo, without the slightest gesture or word of revolt, all the trials or you will sink (collapse), under my will, your famous dignity of man. So, see you tomorrow, Monday, 4 hr, 30 m, precisely, in the afternoon.

I believe you are obedient enough already to be exact. 

Your mistress absolute,

Alice de Villefranche."

The contents of this letter from Alice de Villefranche to her slave give us a wonderful insight into her approach, and highly recognizable to modern-day Dominatrices, telling us something about the language of Domination, its aesthetics and linguistic  qualities. 

Source: Preserved & reproduced in "The Philosophy of Modern Flagellation" (c1897) reproduced as Appendix in The Venus School-Mistress (1868) Grove Press, New York p.122-123


Paul Balluriau Filles fin de siècle
Image: "Filles fin de siècle" song illustration, by Paul Balluriau (1860-1917) 
Above illustration  for a song entitled “Filles fin de siècle (Fin de siècle girls). "A woman on a throne holds a sceptre and rides a pig while being borne on men’s shoulders as part of a procession followed by a festive crowd.”


Advertisements of the French Female Flagellants

Several examples of advertisements of French female flagellants were cited in "The Philosophy of Modern Flagellation" (c1897) in Parisian publication Le Journal. This was a publication which featured literature, politics, special arts issues, and advertisements.


Le Journal
Cover illustration by E. Charles Lucas for Le Journal (1897) 
Imp. Charles Verneau, Paris.
An advertisement for Alice de Villefranche appeared on the back page of Le Journal, as follows: 

"Jeune femme, très jolie, magnifique chevelure blonde, Vénitienne, élégante et fine cravache, habituée aux hommages et agissant en maîtresse absolue, désire union avec monsieur aisé , de préférence âgé, soumis et sans volonté. Écrire Altesse", etc.

Translated into English for my English-speaking readers:

"Young woman, very pretty, magnificent blond hair, Venetian, elegant and fine whip, accustomed to homage and acting as a mistress absolute, desires union with a wealthy gentleman, preferably elderly, submissive and without will power. Write Highness", etc.

in Le Journal in Paris, May 22, 1897.

The contact information was withheld in their reproduction in "The Philosophy of Modern Flagellation" (c1897), as was courtesy to protect the women and was also the strategy of the Victorian English erotomaniac and author of Index Librorum Prohibitorum (1877), Henry Spencer Ashbee.

However with some effort, I have now located the originals of Le Journal, digitally archived here:

The original of Le Journal shows the extent to which abbreviations were used, as well as identifying the contact, as Passage de l'Opéra, 27.

Maitresse absol


A second advertisement for another Maîtresse in Paris, which was also referenced in "Philosophy of Flagellation" read as follows: 

"Jeune femme, 25 ans, brune, joli type oriental connaissant à fond éducation anglaise, cherche union aisé avec personne sérieuse, douce et soumise.  - Écrire à" etc.

Translated into English for my English-speaking readers:

"Young woman, 25 years old, dark-haired, pretty oriental type, knowing English education thoroughly, seeks a comfortable union with a serious, gentle and submissive person. Write to" etc.   

I managed to find the same advertisement on another day published 8 May 1897 in Le Journal, and the contact details of the woman - Viator, 27, Passage de l'Opéra


A Viator was historically an apparitor, a summoner; and a visitor or wayfarer. 

Location & images of Passage de l'Opera

With the location identified as I also managed to then locate photographs of what the famous Passage de l’Opéra looked like.


Passage de l'Opera


Charles Marville (c1868) Passage de l’Opéra, Galerie de l’Horloge, 9th arrodisement, Paris. 


Passage de l'Opéra 1877

A.-P Martial (1877) Passage de l'Opéra. Hand-coloured etching. Source: 


These passages were illuminated by its skylights by day, and indoor gas lighting by night, featuring shops and eateries. (And apparently also young female flagellant specialists seeking submissive clients.)

 The Passage de l’Opéra is described by Léo Lespès and Charles Bertrand:

"C'est à minuit que l'Opéra ouvre ses portes pour le bal ; à partir de onze heures le passage de l'Opéra est littéralement encombré par les masques et les travestis qui se préparent au plaisir de la danse en échangeant les propos les plus joyeux et les plus bizarres, tandis que les promeneurs, que ce spectacle attire, se rangent prudemment de côté pour les laisser passer.

Les magasins se ressentent de cette animation, les cafés restent ouverts toute la nuit ; tout est bruit, éclats de rire, gaité, jusqu'à ce que les premières lueurs de l'aube aient remplacé les feux expirants du gaz."

In English:

"It is at midnight that the Opera opens its doors for the ball; from eleven o'clock the Passage de l'Opéra is literally crowded with masks and transvestites who are preparing for the pleasure of dancing by exchanging the most joyful and bizarre remarks, while the walkers, whom this spectacle attracts, carefully step aside to let them pass.

The shops are affected by this animation, the cafes remain open all night; all is noise, bursts of laughter, gaiety, until the first glimmers of dawn have replaced the dying gas fires."

Source: Léo Lespès and Charles Bertrand (1860) Paris-Album, historique et monumental divided into twenty arrondissements  [ archive ] , Paris, pp.309-310 , read online at Gallica

I discovered that at that address which the Parisian female flagellants had been advertising - 27 Passage de l’Opéra - was by at least c1926 occupied by the Grand Restaurant Beethoven, captured in an ephemeral advertising. 

27 Grand Restaurant

Ephemeral advertisement for Grand Restaurant Beethoven, located at 27 Passage de l’Opéra. (Source: )

I had written that we unfortunately have no photographs of Alice de Villefranche or the female flagellant women working in Fin de siècle Paris in the late 19th Century. However, I have just stumbled across some photography of the period.

"Zut pour Madame" features a posed female flagellant disciplinarian figure bringing down punishment on young women, dating from c1870s. The term "zut" is a French interjection approximately meaning "damn" (or alternatively rendered as "drats!", "blast!", "heck!") and expressing anger or irritation, etc.

Zut pour Madame

Zut pour Madame (c1870s) from:  published in Nazaieff, Serge (1988) Jeux de Dames Cruelles 1850-1960 published by Taschen Verlag.


Messalina at the Opera

Amongst the operas played in Paris Opéra (as well as other opera houses around Europe) was Messalina by Isidore de Lara.

It amuses me to think of the possibility of Opera attendees going straight from seeing Messalina to afterwards calling in upon a female flagellant by enquiring at the nearby 27 Passage de l’Opéra.

The figure of Empress Valeria Messalina was herself a kind of Dominatrix in Roman history. She was the powerful third wife of Roman Emperor Claudius, (and cousin of Nero, and second cousin of Caligula,) famed in historical accounts for holding great influence and for being ruthless, predatory and sexually insatiable, and for allegedly conspiring against her husband, and executed on discovery of the plot. 

Lautrec Messalina Opera

Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec Messaline descend l'escalier bordé de figurants / The Opera - Messalina (1900-1901) 


Henri Toulouse-Lautrec Messalina (1900-1901) 

"Specialised passions" at Chez Christiane in Pigelle

At 9 rue de Navarin in Pigelle, an establishment known as Chez Christiane offered sado-masochistic specialities. These were referred to in 1930s Parisian brothel guides such as Le Guide Rose - as "les passions spéciales", as special passions (or specialised passions). 


The only documentation of the dungeons and chambres or operation of Chez Christiane are to be found in traces of police reports and the Paris brothel guides of the era, Le Guide Rose, and Guide des maisons d’amour et des musées secrets (1935). It was reported that the most open-minded (customers) had the leisure to use all sorts of instruments to satisfy their desires, and in relation to its extensive equipment, "nothing is missing..."


Chez Christiane exterior

Exterior of 9 rue de Navarin, Pigelle where the SM establishment Chez Christiane was located. Source:,_9.jpg


I am going to make efforts to track down the original Parisian brothel guides, but the second hand sources I've read without any references - report that equipment including iron collars, handcuffs, chains, chastity devices, gallows and trestles, and that its highly variegated scenarios offered by the House included an erotic journey through the Spanish Inquisition, or the ability to indulge in boot worship, or what we would regard today as classic FemDom S/M roleplay.

Chez Christiane was closed in 1946 after the law known as "La loi Marthe Richard" was passed - which made brothels illegal. And so once again the specialists of the era moved back into the shadows, discreetly operating from private premises and finding clandestine ways to get word out to those seeking out their Domination and fetish services.

Fetish photography in Paris: A future post

We do have some wonderful early fetish photography and costumery of seamstress, business woman, model and Mistress -  Nativa Richard (aka Miss Helios) who with her husband ran the business Yva Richard from around 1913 and into the 1920s in Paris. And the photographic work of Biederer Brothers of Ostra Studio who were based in Paris, and produced a significant body of fetish photography in the 1920s and until they were captured in WWII and tragically died in a concentration camp. I shall make a future blog post on this material.

 x Anne O Nomis

Waitlist for Dominatrix Seven Realm Arts certificate course February 08 2023

This year Anne O Nomis is busy writing her new books and research, and taught her last course for a while has closed off to new students.

For those seeking to take Anne's course in the future, there is now a Waitlist starting for those who wish to go onto it.

The link to go onto the Waitlist is here:


Anne is unsure when she will next run the Dominatrix Seven Realm Arts certificate course due to her other commitments to writing, research, keynote speaking and TV appearances this year. However those who fill out the form will be notified in the future when it next runs.

My first "Leather Hall of Fame" Selection Committee meeting January 28 2023

I am honoured to have been invited and accepted the position to join the Leather of Hall Committee, to bring my International knowledge of history of Dominatrices and BDSM to the group. I am, I think, it's youngest member (at 43 years old), alongside Rostom Mesli.

On Monday just past, I had my first Zoom meeting for the Leather Hall of Fame Committee. 

It was my 7 am in the Monday morning Australia time, Sunday afternoon in USA, and late evening in UK and Europe. So it's a miracle we managed to all mostly make it. (I was up early on coffee and freshly showered to try and be on form.)



Amongst the selection committee's present members are founder and leatherman community legend Robert (Bill) Miller, academic and author Gayle Rubin, author and educator Guy Baldwin, executive director of CARAS and academic Robert Bienvenu, educator & founder of SM Gays Derek Cohen, SM activist and latex clothing maker Nancy Irwin, speaker and author Viola Johnson,  founder of FOLSOM Europe Daniel Rüster, and a list soon to be updated further. (See:



For those unfamiliar with the Leather Hall of Fame awards, it was established in 2009, to recognize the contributions of individuals, organizations and institutions who have contributed to the leather community and history of kinky subcultures.

In particular it focuses on the 20th Century period, and for example the end of WW2 / early 1950s and onwards. Nominees must have made contributions dating back at least 25 years ago.

There are many reasons people may view this as important; to shine a spotlight onto and recognize the important figures, organizations and institutions which contributed to community. To gather the historical background and biographies, and help preserve important information and artifacts into the archives.

For myself, it's also about what I refer to when I discuss it with my students as "Ava / Avus Spiritus" - which loosely translates as Spirit of the Ancestor(s), the inspiration, vision and acts of predecessors, who walked before us, which guide and inspire us. 

Last year, the 3 Inductees into the Leather Hall of Fame for 2022 were the leather artist Rex, the GMSMA (Gay Male SM Activists), and the 15 Association.

And over the preceding years since 2009, the Leather Hall of Fame has faithfully been taking on the task of recognizing the important and influential figures and organizations.

Although a majority of the inductees are of course leathermen and organizations including in the gay SM scene, a number of women also feature on this list.

These include Pauline Réage the French author of the Story of O (real name Anne Cécile Desclos), Jeanne Barney who was the first editor of Drummer magazine, Cynthia Slater who was a leather pioneer and Dominatrix, and the famous Dutch Dominatrix Monique Von Cleef who worked in the USA, and won her appeal against the overreach of the police's search and seizure of her dungeon, and by then had moved to the Netherlands and set up her House of Pain near the Peace Palace in the Hague.

The Leather Hall of Fame Inductees can be found here: 



For each year, nominations end on December 31st at 12am Chicago time. 
Anyone in the community can nominate any individual, organization, institution whose contribution dates back at least 25 years. The LHOF also focuses on the history of kinky subcultures starting roughly around the end of WW2/early 1950s. So at the date of this email, the contributions must have been made somewhere between 1945-1950 and 1998.
Nominations are to be made at
People who nominate are invited to submit a list of achievements. The list can be as exhaustive or as short as they are able to submit. For some nominees, filling the blanks is easy (say, Drummer Magazine: we all presumably can situate the nominee); for less famous nominees, a more detailed list will only help make the nominee competitive so that's something people who nominate should keep in mind. 
The nominees from across the world and across genders, sexual orientations, national origins, etc. are welcome. 
I will do my best to faithfully administer to my role on the committee, and bring my historical knowledge to contribute to the panel, or advance biographical information through research skills, and cast my votes on the annual nominees.
This year 2023 all of the nominees are incredibly worthy and it's a tough decision, aided only by knowledge that some who may not make it through this year will hopefully in forthcoming years.
I'm using my Blog post also to just bring knowledge of the existence of this Leather Hall of Fame to my readers, and it will form a valuable historical archive for the future. I welcome also suggestions of people who others think belong on the nominees list for future years, and will aid where I am able to the biographical research process through knowledge of archival resources.
Anne O Nomis

Anne O Nomis research on cat-o'-nine-tails (for Sky History channel) December 09 2022

With my upcoming appearance on Sky TV's Sex: A Bonkers History, as a historian on the 17th-19th Century female flagellants, I have been busy undertaking research on the implements used by the women in the era, including the cat-o'-nine tails of famed historical Dominatrix "Governess" Theresa Berkley. 

The "Foreword" to Venus School-Mistress by Mary Wilson states that amongst Berkley's instruments - more numerous than those of any Governess, were "a dozen different sizes of cat-o'-nine tails". (page XII)

The name "cat-o'-nine tails" denoted a kind of whip which had nine tails to it. Its history goes back so far, that it is difficult to pin down its precise origins.

In 1695, the term "cat-o'-nine-tails" appears in English language text of Congreve's The Way of the World:

"If you should give such language at sea, you’d have a cat-o’-nine-tails laid cross your shoulders".

So by the end of the 17th Century, the term "cat-o'-nine-tails" was in usage and particularly in the context of punishment-at-sea.


The punishments

W.R "The Punishments" in Wellcome Collection (ref 43287i ) Image of a sailor being whipped with a cat-o'-nine-tails while four sailors are waiting for their turn to whip him. Reference: 


Why was the whip named a cat?

Many sources claim that it was called a "cat" because the whip's cut marks left behind were likened to the painful scratches of cats' claws. And many believed the nine cat's tails was to do with the folklore of cats having nine lives.

Cat's claws

However, it's more likely that the name "cat" came from the use of ropes to make the whips on board ships with ropes and parts of the ship with cat names. For example "cat-harpings" (for bracing the shrouds), and "cat-falls" - which pass over the "cat-head" - the beam projecting out which supports the anchor. (Ref: Brewer, E. Cobham (1898) Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, see: 

Above: The beam projecting out on the upper left of the image of a ship is the cats-head. Ref:

And what did a cat-head of a boat traditionally look like? The end of it was carved traditionally into... a lion or large cat. 

Here's an underwater shipwreck photograph taken of a cathead end carving which has been carved into a lion, from an 18th Century boat.  And below it, two other 18th Century lion-carved endheads of a cathead beam.



Above: 18th Century carved lion head from cathead on a shipwreck Gulf of Finland. Source: Below left: End carving of a cathead in form of a lion, mid-18th Century, from auction in MA, USA. 14" x 13" x 6". Source: Below right: Kohnt Lion plaque - carved end of cathead (1918) from George Glazier auctions

The iconography of a lion on the cat-head - according to the National Maritime Museum in Greenwich - "had obvious traits that made it especially suitable for Royal Navy warships: not only was it a fierce predator, but it was also a national symbol and formed part of the monarch's coat of arms." 

The rope that was used in hoisting an anchor to a cathead was the catfall rope. (Ref: The cat-head was furnished with a single or multiple pulley called "sheaves" at ts outer end, and the inner end was called the cat's tail, and this fitted down on the cat-beam. The process of securing the anchor is called "catting" and fishing it.

And so cat names were everywhere around the cathead and boat's anchor and entwined with the iconography of lions as large cats, carved on the cat-head beam's end. It is unclear if the lions came about from the cathead beam's name, or the cathead was named after the lions.

The number of tails being nine also likely related cable-laid rope technique. Three strands of laid rope formed the hawser-laid rope; and a larger rope formed by counter-twisting three multi-hawser-laid ropes to create cable-laid rope. Thus if a person unweaves a section of cable-laid rope, such as cat-fall rope from a ship to make a whip, they will end up "nicely" with nine "tails"; 3 x 3 = 9.



Above image: Alpheus Hyatt Verrill (1919)  Detail: Construction of cable rope; B is yarn; C is strand; D is rope; E is cable; from: 

English History Author blogspot reports: 

"A four-foot length was split into its three component strands to produce a two-and-a-half foot tail, each strand being separated again into three to produce the requisite nine ‘tails’. These were knotted at the free ends to prevent fraying and the handle part then back-spliced both to provide a good handgrip and stop it unravelling, though in later examples the nine lashes were bound to wooden handles. Once made the cat was stored in a canvas or baize bag ready for use, from whence the title of this post comes." (Jonathan Hopkins, 3 Nov 2012, )

What did the cat-o'-nine-tails used by Theresa Berkley look like?

Well let's start with what they didn't look like. Which is like most of the cat-o'-nine-tails which appear on TV and film - many of which don't seem to have had a historian adequately influencing their construction. They are made more as dramatic props to add scene excitement (rather than necessarily historically accurate).

What I know about the craft of the female flagellant "Governesses" (Dominatrices) is that those accomplished in the art are documented as having had a "a quick and intuitive method of understanding the aberrations of the human mind, and be ready and willing to humour and relieve them". As documented in the Venus School-Mistress, Theresa Berkley studied every "whim, caprice and desire of her customer", and had her equipment to match. (Venus School-Mistress, p. XI)

The customers of Governesses (Dominatrices) were recorded as including generals, admirals, colonels and captains; bishops, judges, barristers, lords, commoners and physicians, as well as many young men educated at institutions where the masters were fond of administering birch discipline. (ibid. p. X)

While birch rod discipline was the most popular implement that the Governesses catered to, the cat-o'-nine tails appears to be the next favoured and mentioned.


Above: Putti whipping from Frontispiece to Index Librorum Prohibitorum (1877) 

It is likely Theresa Berkley, with her dozen cat-o'-nine-tails, sought to accommodate everyone from judges who in their job ruled and handed out punishments, to admirals and those who may have been involved with commanding discipline on ships. To those who may have received punishment at the receiving end of a scourge, whether as a form of institutional discipline, military, admiralty or prison punishment, magistrate-ordered punishment, or that meted out by a parent or disciplinarian who went through the same punishment themselves, and so on. 

And so it is to those sources and surviving implement examples - that we should properly be looking to, to inform what Theresa Berkley may have also herself had as a savvy erotic entrepreneur of the early 19th Century (working around 1820s).

Modern-day Dominatrices have implements authentic to specific fetishes of their clients from their childhoods - crooked school canes used at boarding schools in England, Scottish Lochgelly tawses used in schools, as well as more "fantasy-based" and in some cases "masochistically-intensified" implements.

Turning to historical sources of museums, admiralty and prison collections and so forth, the following are thumbnail images used under Fair Public Usage for historical reference, in which I've cited all the weblinks to make the sources and larger image originals accessible for those interested.

Type 1: Standardised issue cat-o'-nine-tails (solid wooden cylinder-shaped handle)


Anne O Nomis Type 1 Cat-o'-nine-tails

Top left: Cat-o'-nine-tails from Hyde Park Barracks Museum early 19th Century from: Top right: Cat-o'-nine tails from Te Ara New Zealand, with label saying it was authorised for use by Minister of Justice A.L Herdman on 6 October 1913: Bottom left:  Cat-o'-nine tails from Royal Museum Greenwich collection (ID TOA0066). Dated 1866-1878 (dated from The Naval Discipline Act) Wooden and green braize covered handle with red braize zig-zag covering ends, and label with Admiralty foul anchor seal. Bottom right: Hyde Park Barracks Museum Collection (ref #HPB2003/12) 


Type 2: Handmade cat-o'-nine tails made from admiralty drum sticks and wooden spoon handles

Anne O Nomis Type 2 Cat-o'-nine-tails


Top: Cat-o'-nine-tails from Littledean Prison Centre left: Cat-o'-nine-tails (1850-1900) from Admiralty collection of Folkestone Museum (ref #F7450) which was likely cut short its ends in deaccession process Centre right: Cat-o'-nine-tails from Littledean Prison Bottom: Cat-o'nine tails (1700-1850) from Sir Henry Wellcome Collection (ref #A34184), reputedly British Navy, Overall length 1240 mm; handle: 465 mm x 75 mm x 20 mm.


Type 3: Leather split into 9 tails affixed to wooden handle (used predominantly for juveniles and women prisoners)

Anne O Nomis type 3 cat-o'-nine-tail

Type 3 Anne O Nomis cat-o-'-nine-tails

Top Left: Hyde Park Barracks Museum titled as "Whip or cat-o'-nine-tails, leather and wood, 1850s"; from  Top Centre: Hyde Park Barracks Museum (ref #HPB2003/11) from Top Right: Cat-o'nine-tails (1880-1889) used on female convicts. Museums Victoria image ref #259690 Bottom: Hyde Park Barracks Museum (ref #HPB2003/11) from 

Note: There are a number of similar examples which have also come up at auction houses, such as dating from c1840 with a supporting document called "Point Puer juvenile punishment record, 11 August 1838" - see "Corpun" World Corporal Punishment Record:


Type 4: Rope cat-o'-nine tails (which were made both with and without a wooden handle - some with a rope handle)

Type 4 Anne O Nomis cat-o'-nine-tails

Type 4 Anne O Nomis cat-o'nine-tails

Top: Fannie Bay Gaol Cat-o'-nine-tails (c 1900) from Museum and Art Gallery Northern Territory (ref # 2016.014.001). Believed to be used on prisoners of Fannie Bay Gaol from 1882 - 1911. 

Bottom: Undated Cat-o'-nine-tails from a Charles Miller Auction 24th Nov 2020, with a ropework handle and Turkshead knots retaining nine knotted cords; 81 cm. 


Modern replicas made for the shoot

I have had 2 makers - one in UK and one in USA - who have kindly been working away on making recreation cat-o'nine-tails for my Sky TV History of Sex recreation of Theresa Berkley's equipment and as teaching examples. (On my sourcing birch rods, I found someone who was going to assist only to pull out for other reasons - not related to any sex negativity but just other life commitments - and the same occur with a second source, and so for the cats I was pleased to have two makers in case either pulled out or couldn't complete the work for any reason.)

It's always a balance honouring historical styles but also within restraints of available modern-day materials, and limited timeframe for the TV shoot. Both have done an amazing job - taking a slightly different approach each of them to the crafting of these implements. 

Mike in the UK from Ouch! (Twitter @ouch_uk_com) has made me 3 cat-o'-nine-tails, using actual vintage drum sticks, and also specializes in historical paddles and so has made me recreations of battledores from thick sole-leather with inch nails run through to docket (based on historical description in Venus Schoolmistress). Battledores were not only historical racquet game but was also a generic term from French for "to beat", and included laundry bats called battledores, and objects we would today describe as paddles. It is likely these were made from actual leather shoe soles - sourced from shoemakers and repairers in the era.

Cat-o'-nine-tails by Mike of Ouch

Battledores by Mike of Ouch UK

Images above: Modern replica cat-o-nine-tails - two made of vintage drum sticks, and reconstruction of battledores made of thick sole leather - one with inch nails run through to docket. Made by Mike of Ouch! (UK)

Meanwhile over in the USA, Demitrio Monteverde (Twitter @nola2nyc1) in the USA has made me 9 cat-o'-nine-tails and recreating cod line of admiralty cats by pain-stakingly recreating the material qualities using long-forgotten techniques. 

Monteverde cat-o'-nine-tails       
Detail of cat by Monteverde

Images above: Cat-o'-nine-tails by Demitrio Monteverde in USA


Theresa Berkley c1820s equipment & female flagellant salon 

The cat-o'-nine-tails arrived in time for the shoot at the Freud Museum London on 22nd Novmbeer 2022, which I set up as part of the reconstruction of historical Dominatrix Theresa Berkley's equipment. 

Here is a sneak peak at part of the historical Governess Dominatrix salon:

Equipment at the Freud Museum

My reconstructed equipment for salon of Governess female flagellant (Dominatrix) and based on Theresa Berkley's equipment (listed in the Venus School-Mistress "Foreword" by Mary Wilson), laid out in the Freud Museum, London on November 22nd, 2022, for Sky History channel shoot.

I hope this page may serve those seeking to do historical research on the topic, as well as those with a lifestyle interest in historical corporal and judicial punishment. I can recommend also the Corporal Punishment site: for information on historical corporal punishment.

And big thank you to the two makers - Mike from Ouch! (UK) Twitter @ouch_uk_com ; and Demitrio Monteverde (USA) Twitter @nola2nyc1 for their hard work with me through this period on recreation of the historical implements.



Anne O Nomis


Next Seven Realm Arts™ courses (updated) November 10 2022

I am just about to leave for London UK this week, to film on the History of Sex and give a talk at the Freud Museum London. (And then onto CARAS C2C Conference).

I won't be back until the first week of December 2022, and there may be a delay in my email replies while I am away overseas. For those wanting to study the Dominatrix Seven Realm Arts™ course, the next dates are as follows:

Dominatrix Seven Realm Arts™ Certificate Course



The upcoming dates are the 21st - 22nd January 2023 for my next in-person course, held in my new discreet venue in Melbourne city, Australia. (Closest station: Parliament station). The link to book is here:

Please note: Strictly limited places, and will sell out in advance. 
Held in Anne's new venue in Anne's new commercial premises in a beautiful historic building in the Paris End of Melbourne city, students will receive a comprehensive foundational training certificate in Dominatrix arts. Students will arrive in normal attire, and may change if they wish into fetish attire at a time during the course for practicum (although this is not required.)

Saturday 21st January, 2023 

10 am - 11.00 am - Welcome, Introductory & Framework Covering Inanna's people, Lady of the Largest heart, Ascertaining Interests, Methods of Questionnaires, Sex Map, Interest cross-over, Medical Conditions affecting play, Mitigating risks, models of consent, SSC vs RACK, and what to do when things go wrong.

11 am - 12.30 pm Realm Art I - The Art of the Sublime & Powerful Woman Covering archetypes, role models of female sexual power, stepping into power, body language and energetics of power, title command, claiming your rightful throne and position above them, etc.

12.30 pm - 1.30 pm Lunch break

1.30 pm - 3.30 pm - Realm Art II - The Art of lowering the man or person into submission Covering different psychologies of peole who enjoy to submit or BDSM activities - including submissives, slaves, masochists, fetishists, kinksters, etc. What makes them tick and from where they take their pleasure. Physical lower and status lower a male (or person) in relation to you in the power dynamic play, combined with proximity privilege.

3.30 pm - 4.00 pm Afternoon Tea Break

4.00 pm - 6 pm - Realm Art III - The Art of Bondage, Entrapment & Enclosure Covering different forms of bondage, why someone may find it paradoxically free-ing to be put into bondage and thus escape their everyday role, and covering bondage equipment and basic bondage wrist ties, decorative slave body harnesses, and CBT ties.

Sunday 22nd January, 2023

10 am - 12.00 pm Realm Art IV - The Art of Discipline and Punishment - Covering forms of corporal punishment and how to safely use impact equipment, warm-up spanking, use of paddles, straps and strops, canes, etc. A brief run-down on cleaning and sterilizing techniques and information for different types of equipment, etc.

12.00 - 1.00 pm: Lunch break

1.00 pm - 3.00 pm Realm Art V - The Art of In-Body and Out-of-Bodily - Covering the origins of this practice in relation to shamanism, use of blindfolds, gags, sensory deprivation techniques, use of plugs and pegging, electrics and Violet wand ray, urethral sounds, mummification and wax play etc.

3 pm - 3.30 pm Afternoon tea break

3.30 - 4.30 pm Realm Art VI - The Art of Cross-dressing, Gender Play & Transformation - Covering the use of cross-dressing from use of panties and stockings for eroticism and sensuality, through to those who desire androgyny as a creative soup escape from fixed gender roles such as rock stars often do, through to more comprehensive cross-dressing and gender transformation.

4.30 pm - 6.00 pm Realm Art VII - The Art of Fetish & Fantasy - Covering the process of fetish formation in pre-adolescence most typically by an experience which combines fear, arousal and taboo, and was found thrilling and chilling with awe involved, and wired a fetish for life. A discussion of most common fetishes - leather, latex, PVC, stiletto boots or heels, and feet, as well as more rare fetishes, and how to play with fetish and weave it into fantasy. Graduation with certificates.

GRADUATION AFTER SUCCESSFULLY COMPLETED WORK & DEMONSTRATED KNOWLEDGE & UNDERSTANDING with graduation certificate signed by Anne O Nomis and sent out to you anywhere in the world

For any questions or queries, email Anne O Nomis at:

To book the In-person course go to:




There is a Youtube preview video here:

The next International Online Dominatrix Seven Realm Arts™ Certificate Course begins on 10th December 2022, and runs for 8 weeks. Information and booking:


* Introductory & Framework

Watch video class for Introductory & Framework - 1 hour, 53 minutes

Covering Inanna's people, philosophy of large heart and open mind, ascertaining interests, methods of questionnaires, questions, sex map, interest cross-over, medical conditions affecting play, mitigating risks, models of consent, what to do when things go wrong.

Homework: 'Ascertaining Interests' homework exercises to undertake prior to the next class.

* Realm Art I - The Art of the Sublime & Powerful Woman

Watch video class for Realm Art I - The Art of the Sublime & Powerful Woman - 1 hour, 41 minutes

SSC v RACK, Covering archetypes, role models of female sexual power, stepping into power, body language and energetics of power, title command, claiming your rightful throne and position above them, etc.

With Workbook provided for homework reference on Seven Realm Arts, models of female sexual power, blocks, etc.

* Realm Art II - The Art of lowering the man - or person - to submission

Watch video class for Realm Art II - The lowering of the man (or person) to submission  - 2 hours, 20  mins

Covering different psychologies of men who enjoy to submit or BDSM activities - including submissives, slaves, masochists, fetishists, kinksters, etc. What makes them tick and from where they take their pleasure. Physical lower and status lower a male (or person) in relation to you in the power dynamic play, combined with proximity privilege. Session planning with cross-over (revision) and session structure. 

With Homework readings on masochism psychology, slave psychology, and on GGG (for comparison with 'Lady of the Largest Heart').

* Realm Art III - The Art of bondage, entrapment & enclosure

Watch video class for Realm Art III - The art of bondage, entrapment & enclosure - 1 hour, 31 mins (Note: it is a slightly shorter length video class this week giving opportunity time to irresistibly practice bondage ties after.)

Covering different forms of bondage, why someone may find it paradoxically free-ing to be put into bondage and thus escape their everyday role, and covering bondage equipment and basic bondage wrist ties, decorative slave body harnesses, and cock-and-ball ties.

With homework practice of two pillar ties (on ankles of self or willing person), body harness, & if you have suitable apparatus available practice of CBT ties. Homework reading on "From Samurai to Sweet Gwendoline: How shibari bondage became a BDSM fetish *thing*", and other forms of bondage that inspire (including medieval period).

* Realm Art IV - The Art of training, discipline and punishment

Watch video class for Realm Art IV - The art of training, discipline & punishment - 1 hour, 45 mins + additional 14 mins to watch the bonus video on Cleaning & Sterilizing Equipment (1 hour, 59 mins in total to watch both)

Covering discipline, forms of corporal punishment and how to safely use impact equipment, warm-up spanking, use of paddles, straps and strops, canes, etc. A brief run-down on cleaning and sterilizing techniques and information for different types of equipment, etc.

With homework to practice CP techniques with equipment as desired, pillow practice, body practice, and possibility to use 'convertible pervertibles' (if one wishes to make use of what they have at home rather than acquiring specialist impact implements) with same technique principles taught to be applied. 

* Realm Art V - The Art of in-body and out-of-bodily

Watch video class for Realm Art V - The Art of In-Body and Out-of-Bodily - 1 hour, 30 mins

Covering the origins of this practice in relation to shamanism, use of blindfolds, gags, sensory deprivation techniques, use of plugs and pegging, electrics and Violet wand ray, urethral sounds, mummification and wax play etc.

With homework readings on topics of Breathplay (& Anne's significant warnings on risks with Jay Wiseman resources), Violet wand ray machines, Heavier sensory deprivation equipment and bondage images, lighter options, and practice exercises of simple sensory play.

* Realm Art VI - The Art of cross-dressing, transformation & subversion

Watch video class for Realm Art VI - The Art of Cross-dressing, transformation and subversion - 1 hour, 32 mins

Covering the use of cross-dressing from use of panties and stockings for eroticism and sensuality, through to those who desire androgyny as a creative soup escape from fixed gender roles such as rock stars often do, through to more comprehensive cross-dressing and gender transformation.

With homework readings on Goddess Inanna and her cross-dressing and gender non-binary cult officiants, and modern-day transgender issues, terms & understandings / Dungeon differentiations of the way in which language terms used with an emphasis on affirming terms preferred and asking when in doubt, on preferred pronoun, name, and their own preferences. Opportunity to practice as homework a cross-dressing ritual or androgyny mixing of gender elements ritual (as optional if one has a willing play-partner).

* Realm Art VII - The Art of fetish & fantasy

Watch video class for Realm Art VII - The Art of Cross-dressing, transformation and subversion - 1 hour, 22 mins 

Covering the process of fetish formation in pre-adolescence most typically by an experience which combines fear, arousal and taboo, and was found thrilling and chilling with awe involved, and wired a fetish for life. A discussion of most common fetishes - leather, latex, PVC, stiletto boots or heels, and feet, as well as more rare fetishes, and how to play with fetish and weave it into fantasy.

With homework readings and further information on Fetishes, difference between a kink and a fetish, and on Looking at, Seeing and Understanding Foot fetishes.

GRADUATION FOR ALL THOSE WHO HAVE SUCCESSFULLY COMPLETED WORK & DEMONSTRATED KNOWLEDGE & UNDERSTANDING with graduation certificates signed by Anne O Nomis and sent out around the world to enrolees.

Course commitment: Approximately 3 hours x 8 classes = 24 hours 

 To book go to:


Any queries, email: 


What would a historical Dominatrix have worn? November 09 2022

With my upcoming appearance on Sky TV's series on the History of Sex, I was asked by the series producer to if possible - dress in historical Dominatrix attire. The particular episode in which I'm appearing is on the 18th - 19th Century female flagellant Governesses and in particular Theresa Berkley who was famous in her time. However the request to dress in costume begs the question - just what would a historical Dominatrix have worn?
One of the main sources we have of the era, is the 1752 print "Flagellation" printed in England and in the Library of Congress USA collection. (Yes I know that's an intriguing provenance accession line as to how it made its way there.) 
The 1752 Flagellation print features a man walking in on the most remarkable scene of a grown man who has been made to write out lines and be punished by a woman in School-Mistress role as if he was a young, naughty boy, with a birch rod. Her attire is in line with what a regular School Mistress or Governess of the era would have worn, and quite understandably given she is roleplaying that profession to administer corporal punishment.
However it's plain from reading through textual sources of the era, that the craft profession of the era not only played the role of Governess or School Mistress - although this was the most common, but also of Step-Mother, Lady's Maid, Kept Mistress and additionally women who advertised by names referring to them being a Lady Judge, and so forth. All of which could have had attire or rather costume for the part.
The renderings of female flagellants, characters in erotica, feature skirts pulled up to expose leg, or clipped up to expose bush (out of scene - viewable only by the gaze of her client on a bent-over chair) in The Cully Flaug'd.
             Female flagellants        
Above left: Dugdale publication of Exhibition of the Female Flagellants artwork, and above right: print titled The Cully Flaug'd (c 1674-1702).
So this doesn't in of itself tell us what Theresa Berkley for example might have worn in her practice dedicated wholly to Domination, bondage and fetish practices.
The wonderful TV series Harlots (can you tell I'm a fan), featured the highly talented Kate Fleetwood playing the character of Nancy Birch. The costume team had her outfitted in a black tricorne hat, then known as a "cocked hat", and dark masculine coded attire and dark green stays corset. The hat and colours allowed her to stand out distinctively in role and identity as a specialist administrator of birch discipline and domination arts. The Georgian prostitute "harlots" of the series by contrast wore richly coloured robes à la française and robes à l'anglaise in lush and feminine-coded colours.

Historical Dominatrix Nancy Birch played by Kate Fleetwood in Harlots
I believe the inspiration for Nancy Birch's costume with queered bending of masculine-feminine was a particular print titled "A Morning Frolic or Transmutation of the Sexes" (c1780). There you can see a woman in a trihorne hat with hands on hips and wearing a sword, while the man seated holds a fan "demurely" (say the British Museum) and with a wonderful frilly and ribboned bonnet. For those with an eye for detail, the book open on the floor is 'Ovid's Metamorphoses done into English', so we are here unequivocally by title of book and print - all about gender transformation. 
A Morning Frolic
When I look into the historical prints of sex workers more broadly around the late 18th Century, by Carrington-Bowles and others, I see a lot of workers wearing colourful separates. Implied within this is of course class and cost of expensive dresses, and the versatility afforded by mix-and-match separates, and the attention-grab of bright colours. Yellow and deep pink and bright blue seem particularly popular. (Prints however were also hand-coloured and I have seen many of the same prints coloured completely differently.)
Sex worker images
Working women of the era - maids and the like - often wore a skirt paired with a caraco jacket or other style of jacket, worn over stays (corset), petticoats and chemise.
A painting by Henry Robert Morland titled A Laundry Maid Ironing (c1765-82) features a maid in a caraco jacket cut by the elbows in length. This is a garment of practicality to movement, and indeed the maid is a character role frequently mentioned in historical flagellation texts.
Something about the caraco jacket - was calling to me. It was the attire of women who could move freely, the women who permeated these men's childhoods.
Morland Maid ironing
Henry Robert Morland A Laundry Maid Ironing (c1765-82) wearing a caraco jacket 
"Female flagellants" likewise needed to move - to birch, to tie up their clients securely, to torture, tease and tantalise them. While the cut at the elbow-length caraco also allows for kid gloves to be put on and removed with ease. 
Theresa Berkley was operating in the 1820s, the so-called Regency when the dress lines changed remarkably, cut in a way that fell from the bust line down, reminiscent of Grecian imagined attire. (And the fashion didn't last for that long before it swung back considerably - in style.)
There is a satirical print by James Gillray print titled "Lady Termagant Tinglebum and the lovely flagellation", in which he adapted an earlier work adding watercolour and birch rods in her headpiece. Appropriately themed artwork on the wall behind depicting Lady Justice with birch rods, and Venus admiring her bottom, and the dress typical of the Regency style fashion arriving on the scene. 
Lady Termagant Tinglebum
But was Berkley in any case wearing attire of her era? The question is apt, because she was recreating the childhoods of her clients. And just as disciplinarian Mistresses today are often wearing attire reminiscent of the client's school teacher or powerful women from his childhood, I suspect Berkley was likely time-travelling.
If we take the 1820s era, and assume her clients were for example some in their 40s and 50s, she would then be spending some time in her sessions - travelling back to evoke the era (or fantasy remembrance transfigured) of 1780s and 1790s.
Time travel
Conjecture is "an opinion or conclusion formed on the basis of incomplete information", and that is exactly what I am being forced to do in my role here. There are no known images of Theresa Berkley and her attire is not described. 
Furthermore, I have to be comfortable myself in whatever I wear and the spirit with which I approach the assignment brief, and in my own skin and embodiment. (Including a body that has changed through having a baby and cancer surgery.)
I imagine I may well be about to get pilloried by the historians watching History channel, and I prepare myself for the future tweets on how I got it "wrong", however... I am instinctively drawn to rendering her in a black caraco jacket. Of her taking the familiar 18th Century working woman's caraco jacket and transfiguring it in darkness. For it is not actually "replicated reality" that She is after. It is the captive dreams and fear-arousal response evoked by and transfigured from the past.  
Many clients had French governesses, the texts mention. The revolutionary style was bringing in black, and was pushing deliberately against and opposed to the royal Marie Antoinette style pinks and other hues. Somehow I feel she would anachronistically conjoin these. The dark with light, the revolutionary with the royal, the colour of death and mourning with the colour of rose flower and life, the masculine with the feminine, paired together. 
BACK TO BLACK, ENLIVENED WITH ROSE (c1780s - 1790s ish era flavour.)
As I began pasting inspiration from myriad sources: portraits, women, fashion, maids, governesses, kept mistresses, only a small sample below, I was intuitively picking and plucking. You can see perhaps my progress, to get to my final costume.
      Scrapbook ideas costume    
I began with a stays corset made by local Australian corset maker, Kirgis Creations, enabling me to buy it and try it for fit, before flying off to UK. Thankfully fit - it did. This component doesn't get seen unless Theresa Berkley stripped off some top layers, although that scenario plausible in that she was a documented "switch". (Adopting submissive receiving role at times for her clients, although predominantly in Dominant specialization.) An 18th Century chemise made by SMiddletonCostume in the UK and I loved and chose it for the lace detailing around neckline and sleeves - correct to historical images. An underskirt petticoat and apron from HedonisticCostumes in the UK (although I may not wear the apron on the day - I'll see). These along with the bum roll are so important to the underlying shape. (And I still have Georgian stockings to acquire, which go above the knees and secured with a ribbon.)
The black silk and gold trimmed caraco jacket, and pink silk stomacher detailing and silk skirt - are from Inna Tiourine, a historical costumer based in Hamburg, Germany. Inna studied history and grew up with a grandmother working at tailoring school where she went daily, and in later life became absorbed with historical costumes. 
Anne O Nomis's historical costume pieces on their way to London.
The 18th Century chamber slippers were ordered from Paulo Italian shoes in custom viola (purple) leather in 39.5. The style I have to say was somewhat influenced by practicality of comfort and fit with open back, and with my flying from Australia to UK and likely swollen jetlagged feet - I don't want a "shoes not fitting" issue.
The key is Georgian antique, bought on ebay; as was a "lot" of antique pocket watches listed cheaply and which I snapped up to pick out one of most appropriate or just personally preferred (to be honest). Time to a Dominatrix is money, and time is appointments. So time - and time travel - matters.

The black Georgian watch strings to me were that exquisite "needed" detail, from Sign of the Gray Horse in the USA. Replica and genuine antique brass ones can also be readily found. Not only historically accurate and doubled, but visually they will bring the black down into the pink. For anyone interested in reading more on Georgian watch chains (and equipages and chatelains), there is also an article at the Pragmatic Costumer here.

Double watch chains 18th Century

Fashion plate 1787 with woman wearing double watch chains

LASTLY - TO COME ON ANOTHER BLOG - is the nosegay, and the "special" hat.
I have no photo as yet of the hat, as it is a work-in-progress by the milliner, so I will post an update and photo later on. While the nosegay bouquet actually deserves its own entire post, believe it or not. (No I'm not joking.) Because there was an entire fetish for nosegay bouquets associated with aphrodisiac flowers. What flowers were these? How did they work? Yes that's exactly why it's another post. Oh and the purple gloves - I'll discuss those with the nosegay as they also have a whole contextual fetish story behind them.
I hope I've meanwhile answered to any academic historian potential "haters" as to why my Theresa Berkley costume appears so anachronistic. 
For those wanting to see my costume and my "Recreating Theresa Berkley's Salon" talk on 22nd November 2022 at 6 pm at the Freud Museum London - the link is here and blog post about it here.
And ultimately to the question of what would a historical Dominatrix have worn? The answer: Whatever She wanted, in consideration though of her client's fetishes and childhoods, transfigured into activation of fear-arousal, likely sensual materiality (silk, leather, velvet, fur), and with a dose of practicality also around the physicality of movement entailed by her craft profession. 
x Anne O Nomis

On to Los Angeles USA November 06 2022

After my upcoming trip to London, I am flying on to Los Angeles to keynote speak at the CARAS conference, known as "C2C West". 


C2C is a 2-3 day academic conference which presents cutting-edge research and clinical topics, and most of the talks offer Continuing Education (CE) credit with the APA (American Psychological Association). 

Dates: Friday 25th November - Sunday 27th November 2022

(There's also a "Meet the Faculty" on Thursday 24th November at 7 - 9 pm.)

Location: Integrated into the CLAW Leather Getaway event at the Westin Bonaventure Hotel, Los Angeles.

Westin Bonaventure


The CARAS C2C conference features researchers, health care professionals, educators, students, advocates and community members. For those who are psychologists, you can register and get Continuing Education credit with the APA by attending.

(And yes my students - you are welcome to enrol and attend.)

I will be giving two talks at the conference. My first talk is on Friday 25th November 2022 at 2 pm - 4 pm on Expressions to "Thewen" Force Power; and my second talk is on Saturday 26th November at 2 - 4 pm on the History of the Dominatrix. 

And I am definitely going to need a lot of coffee, as I was also invited to take a seat on the Community Leaders and Researchers Panel Discussion which follows my Saturday talk, and runs 4.30 - 5.30 pm.

The programme summary for this year is viewable here:

For those wanting information on the conference, on the talks being given you can visit:

To register to attend the event, you can go to:

Price: Advance Registration: $249 / On-Site Registration: $299 / VIP Registration: $1250 / Registration free if you volunteer 6+ hours for CARAS


Link to CARAS more generally:


Note to my students:  
To my students on a budget I recommend that you consider the option of volunteering for 6+ hours for CARAS, which will gain you free entry and registration. If this appeals, you would want to make sure you've very thoroughly read all the pages above on the C2C at CLAW, and understand what you are getting yourself into.


If you have any queries about it, after reading through it all thoroughly, the contact is not me but CARAS C2C, and the specific email you will want to use for queries around volunteering etc is:


I hope to see some of you there! 


x Anne O Nomis


London here I come November 02 2022

I will be off later this month, bound for London, to be filming and undertaking research for my new work in progress. 

For those wanting to see me while I'm over, I will be giving a talk at the Freud Museum London on Tuesday 22nd November from 6.00 pm - 7.40 pm, titled "Sex, Fear and Arousal: Recreating Theresa Berkley's Salon & Presenting the Ki".



DATE: Thursday 22nd November 2022 at 6.00 pm - 7.40 pm

VENUE: Freud Museum London, 20 Maresfield Gardens, London NW3 5SX, UNITED KINGDOM.



Note the price works out approximately £22 but will appear in Australian dollars as AUD $39. Eventbrite won't allow me to list it in GDP due to my address and bank being Australia, hence it billing in equivalent Australian dollars. Sorry for any inconvenience or confusion as a result.


Anne O Nomis (aka Leonora Weston) is a historian and International expert on Dominance studies, history and art. She is the author of 'The History & Arts of the Dominatrix', and holds a Masters in Comparative Art and Archaeology from UCL. Her home base is Melbourne, Australia, from where she teaches hundreds of students around the world, and annually hosts talks and courses in the UK and Europe.


The Freud Museum London is the final home of Sigmund Freud, as the father of psycholanalysis, with it's centrepiece being the famous psychoanalytic couch alongside Freud's collection of Egyptian, Greek, Roman and Near-Eastern antiquities.

It is located in Hampstead, at 20 Maresfield Gardens, NW3 5SX, London, and a short walk from the Finchley Road station.

Freud Museum London



For one night only, you can SEE, FEEL and TOUCH (carefully / gently) the equipment of famed female flagellant "Governess" Dominatrix Theresa Berkley, in a recreation of her early 19th Century salon. All the equipment has been reconstructed from historical accounts, by Anne O Nomis, originally for a TV filming on the History of Sex in London.

Theresa Berkley was arguably the most famous Dominatrix (female flagellant 'Governess') in history. She operated in the 1820s, and died in 1836, leaving behind a a Memoirs full of letters from her clients, anonymised, which was unfortunately destroyed. Her spirit and craft was however fortunately captured in historical sources - the Foreword to Mary Wilson, and in a letter by Frederic Hankey to Victorian erotomaniac Henry Spencer Ashbee.

"Her instruments of torture were more numerous than those of any other governess. Her supply of birch was extensive, and kept in water, so that it was always green and pliant: she had shafts with a dozen whip thongs on each of them; a dozen different sizes of cat-o'-nine-tails, some with needle points worked into them; various kinds of thin bending canes; leather straps like coach traces; battledoors, made of thick sole-leather, with inch nails run through to docket, and currycomb tough hides rendered callous by many years flagellation. Holly brushes, furze brushes; a prickly evergreen, called butcher's bush; and during the summer, a glass and China vases, filled with a constant supply of green nettles, with which she often restored the dead to life. Thus, at her shop, whoever went with plenty of money, could be birched, whipped, fustigated, scourged, needle-pricked, half-hung, holly-brushed, furze-brushed, butcher-brushed, stinging-nettled, curry-combed, phlebotomized, and tortured till he had a belly full."


Recreating Theresa Berkley's Salon by Anne O Nomis


What was different in the 19th Century compared to today? What was the same?

And what does this tell us about sex, about sexuality; and about the differences and continuities across time?



Following on from Berkley, Leonora Anne Weston presents on The Ki; a framework which fell out of the BDSM bottoms survey, laying bare the operation and interconnection of sex, fear and arousal.

Weston argues that the dynamic of BDSM both activates and plays with fear and arousal responses. Upon which, self-identifying terms used by BDSMers overlay onto activated responses.

With self-identified "submissive" having strong overlap to Placant; the response of softening, pleasing, sweetening, giving, yielding, and taking pleasure from the pleasure of the Dominant.

With the self-identified "slave" having strong overlap to Thrall; the flight response yoked and into following command and orders, discipline and robota, and given purpose and having a place as a captive slave of the Dominant.

With the self-identified "masochist" (and to a large degree another term - "brat"), having strong overlap to Detorquent, to twist-mend to manipulate to gain advantage; in which in this heightened response state associated with excitement - sensation and intensity substitutes "pain".

The "Detorquent" response is missing from modern day framework, but mistakenly so. It was in the science back in 1920 with Dr W.H.R Rivers, the WWI physician and psychologist who wrote his book 'Instinct and the Unconscious'. River's book laid out 5 danger responses, and within those - we find the "missing" piece that Leonora found in 2021, independently of Rivers, stimulating interest in his work.

Dr W.H.R Rivers


Lastly, she discusses the "Acquiescent" response, and the entry to the metaphorical Underworld, which is associated considerably with "sub space". Within BDSM it is associated with self-identified "kinksters" and "kinky surrenderers", but also with all identities able to be taken down into it. It is associated with the bodily response of going floppy, collapse and surrender, in deep acceptance of helplessness to total power of the Other (eg Dominant), quieten, and experience often of leaving the body, floating, flying off - into the universe, the heavenly, an Otherworld. This response is often associated with going into cocoon / shell / second skin, and splitting of spirit from body, in the metaphorical and symbolic transfiguration of the experience.

Acquiescent and Sardax artwork


Leonora Weston explains that no one is limited to any response state, but that people tend towards a particular default or preference. And as the journey taps into something deep within them in their life force response to their Dominant in their session, play or relational dynamic, they identify with who they "are" with their arousal response.

The talk will leave some time at the end for Questions, for discussion on how this insight might be helpful to BDSMers and indeed to the world-at-large.

DATE: Thursday 22nd November 2022 at 6.00 pm - 7.40 pm

VENUE: Freud Museum London, 20 Maresfield Gardens, London NW3 5SX, UNITED KINGDOM.


Note: This is a pre-ticketed event talk organised by Anne O Nomis, and those interested in attending and tickets need to be purchased in advance - available only on this site.



CARAS talk - Under Thewen Force Power: A Framework for Conceptualising BDSM Roles & Behaviours April 19 2022

On May 21st, 2022 I will be giving a 2 hour CARAS Continuing Education Webinar run in the USA as their month of May speaker, on a topic dear to my heart.


The talk as I understand it is being attended primarily by academics, psychologists, therapists and university professors. For those interested and for my followers who fall into such groups, the information is as follows:



Detail of Leopold von Sacher Masoch stationary

Under "Thewen" Force Power:

A Framework for Conceptualizing BDSM Roles & Behaviours through the Hyperarousal Adrenaline-Fear Activation of Fight-Flight-Freeze-Fawn Captive Response Domains


Leonora Anne Weston (aka Anne O Nomis) is author of the book ‘The History & Arts of the Dominatrix’ and an International teacher of Dominance studies. In the last two years, 2020-2022, Weston has turned her attention to the so-called “bottoms” of the BDSM scene, who variously self-identify by terms such as submissives, slaves, masochists, brats, kinksters, spankees and switches.  

She developed questionnaires to draw out insight into the activities, preferences and psychologies of people identifying as submissives, slaves, masochists, brats, kinksters, spankees and switches, in correspondence with a Canadian psychology professor. 

From out of her research data, and 13 years experience, she has developed a novel conceptual framework for interpreting the self-identifying roles and behaviors of BDSM bottoms, which may be of interest to CARAS group attendees and therapists.  

Her novel theory highlights the role of excess “thewen” force power encounters in earlier life experiences, and most frequently in childhood. The old English term “thewen” means: 

“To press, impress, force, press on, urge on, drive, press with a weapon, thrust, pierce, stab, threaten, rebuke, subjugate, crush, push, oppress, check”. 

While the term “thew” meant slave, servant or bondsman, from proto-Germanic *þewjanÄ - to enslave or oppress. 

She argues that the self-identifying roles of BDSM bottoms sit on Fight-Flight-Freeze-Fawn responses, in which “Flight” in captivity may become a yoked toil, in alignment with Complex PTSD theory (Walker, 2018). Added to this is the “Floppy” Tonic Immobility state which is most discussed in the literature in relation to sexual assault victims (TeBrockhorst et al. 2015; Kalaf et al. 2017). She highlights that in BDSM, the surrender state in tonic immobility can be a highly desirable headspace and associated with altered states of consciousness. Her argument sits upon the well-established science of biological activation and role of epinephrine (adrenaline) in activating fear and hyperarousal responses. (Katz et al, 2021; Kozlowska et al, 2015)   

Weston argues however that there is an additional “missing” fight-flight-freeze-fawn + floppy response domain, of “Twist-bend manipulate” to self-advantage and self-preservation. She draws attention to the historical work of the World War I physician Dr William H.R Rivers (1864-1922), who famously gave testimony at the parliamentary enquiry on Shell Shock, and in his 1920 work conceptualized five responses of 1) Flight; 2) Aggression; 3) Manipulative Activity; 4) Immobility; 5) Collapse. (Rivers, 1920)   

In the 1960s psychologists conflated Rivers’ “aggression” and “manipulative activity” into a single “Fight” category, and Weston argues strongly that they erred. 

The “twist-bend” is strongly attested to within etymology (language) of kink. The Indo-European pie root *terkw (twist) gives rise to the English words “pervert”, “queer” and “torture”; and *wen- (2) (bend) words “subvert”, “weird” and “wrestle”. While the word “kink” comes from Old Norse kikna – “to bend backwards, sink at the knees”. She also points to first-person accounts of citizens captured in war or political imprisonment, which attest to twisting and manipulative activities in captivity (Moore-Gilbert, 2022). 

Weston accounts for each response domain approximating BDSM self-identities and behavior in a context of thewen force power activation. She links the data results of self-identified “masochist” and “brat” to the bend-twist to manipulate to self-interest and subjugated into a surrender state by elevated force power; the “submissive” with wishing to propitiate and please the Dominant (although notes variability in the use of the submissive self-identity); and the yoked toil and discipline of the “slave” to the run response as transformed by captivity and thewen force power, and implied by the archaic term “thrall” meaning runner and slave. While the floppy tonic immobility state is achieved by Dominatrices via the use of bondage, body bags, cocoons, latex vac beds, suspension, breath play and adult-baby play, to facilitate immobilized “floppy” helplessness and dependence states. 

Lastly, Weston reexamines the historical record of the Dominatrix craft profession and BDSM arts (Nomis, 2013), and from 13 years research of historical primary materials, under the lens of her theory. She draws attention to the “stubborn consistency” of lion furs and feline catsuits of Dominatrix figures, eliciting an apex predator fight-flight hyperarousal response. She discusses the recreation of specific childhood roleplay such as school teacher punishment and medical and sexual bodily experiences, as encounters with a thewen force power figure with time-travel to childhood lived experience. She outlines her conception of the significance of transfiguring invisible psychological trauma, by way of bondage, punishment and erotic torture made tangible and material, and the discharge of emotional pain through physical embodiment and response states, eroticized and transformed.  

Although trauma is implied within the framework, Weston advocates for the framing of “thewen” force power experience combined with sublime awe, suspension, impact, response state, settling, processing, transformation, life force springing back, and revisiting of site and response domain, its power and potential in transfiguration. Therapists may consider Weston’s approach in supporting clients to examine their unconscious default into conscious choice, without stigma or judgment, and recognizing the transformative and processing power of imaginative self-directed and Safe, Sane and Consensual BDSM play. 


Learning objectives: 

1. Describe the fight-flight-freeze-fawn mechanism and tonic immobility states, associated with trauma, sexual assault and Complex PTSD theory.  

2. Understand the historical framework of Dr William H.R Rivers’ distinction of “aggression” and “manipulative activity” in 1920 in the context of World War I, and be able to discuss and debate whether psychologists were correct to conflate the two into a singular “fight” category from the 1960s onwards. 

3. Gain familiarity with self-identifying terms of “bottoming” used in the BDSM scene, of submissives, slaves, masochists, kinksters, bottoms, spankees, switches and fetishists; which clients may use to self-identify with certain preferences implied, within a therapeutic setting. 

4. Evaluate, through discussion and debate, the new conceptual framework outlined in this talk, in relation to fight-flight-freeze-fawn response domains, and BDSM constructed identities and practices. 




Byrne, Romana (2013) Aesthetic Sexuality: A Literary History of Sadomasochism Bloomsbury Academic, New York and London, ISBN: 9781501308697  

Gebhard, Paul H. (1976) “Fetishism and Sadomasochism” in Sex Research: Studies from the Kinsey Institute edited by Martin Weinberg. Oxford University Press, New York. ISBN: 0195020324 

Kalaf, Juliana et al. (2017) "Sexual trauma is more strongly associated with tonic immobility than other types of trauma – A population based study" in Journal of Affective Disorders 215 (2017) pp.71-76  

Katz, Carmt et al (2021) "Beyond fight, flight, and freeze: Towards a new conceptualization of peritraumatic responses to child sexual abuse based on retrospective accounts of adult survivors" in Child Abuse and Neglect Volume 112 February 2021, pp.1-14 

Kozlowska, Kasia et al. (2015) "Fear and the Defense Cascade: Clinical Implications and Management" in Harvard Review of Psychiatry Vol. 23,4 (2015): pp. 263-87. doi:10.1097/HRP.0000000000000065 Weblink: 

Moore-Gilbert, Kylie (2022) The Uncaged Sky: My 804 Days in an Iranian prison Ultimo Press, Sydney Australia. ISBN 9781761150401 

Nomis, Anne O (2013) The History & Arts of the Dominatrix Mary Egan Publishing & Anna Nomis Basingstoke, UK. ISBN: 978099270100 

Rivers, William H.R (1920) Instinct and the Unconscious - A Contribution to Biological Theory of the Psycho-Neuroses Cambridge 


TeBrockhorst, Sunda Friedman (2015) "Tonic Immobility Among Survivors of Sexual Assault" in Psychological Trauma Theory Research and Practice and Policy March 2015 Vol 7, No 2, pp.171-178 

Van der Kolke, Bessel (2015) The Body Keeps the Score: Brain, Mind and Body in the Trauma of Healing Penguin Publishing Group, Great Britain. ISBN: 9780141978611 

Walker, Pete (2018) Complex PTSD: From Surviving to Thriving Azure Coyote Publishing, Lafayette, CA. ISBN 1492871842 



Online Webinar Information

Presenter  Leonora Anne Weston (aka Anne O Nomis), MA UCL 


Saturday, May 21, 2022 at 2 - 4 pm on USA Pacific time; and 5 - 7 pm on USA Eastern time. For those in Australia the time difference works out to be May 22, 2022 at 7 am - 9 am Melbourne time. 

To register for the webinar, please visit

Attendance is free for CARAS subscribers, and $25 for others.

Email for CARAS is:




Anne O Nomis


New Dominatrix course class dates for 2022 March 19 2022

I've been receiving emails aplenty about my Dominatrix courses - both in-person and International online option.

There is a Youtube preview video here:



Anne is the author of the world-renowned book 'The History & Arts of the Dominatrix'. Her book has been positively reviewed by DDI Magazine, Massad Magazine, Leatherati, Slutist, Library Journal Review, and Dominatrices themselves. It is used as the training curriculum at many dungeons and Mistress training courses worldwide.

She holds a Masters degree in Comparative Art and Archaeology from UCL (University College London) which is rated in the top 10 universities Internationally. Her undergraduate Bachelors degree is in Art History and Theory.

As well as teaching Villa Domme, she teaches the online and in-person Dominatrix Seven Realm Arts™ certificate, has taught Oz Kink Fest for two years running in 2017 and 2018, and DomCon NOLA in 2020.


INTERNATIONAL ONLINE Dominatrix Seven Realm Arts™ certificate course 


The International Online Dominatrix Seven Realm Arts certificate course is available at:

Anne O Nomis has gone to great lengths to record the entire course to a high quality level with a professional videographer and editor, to make it available to those based around the world.

The online International Seven Realm Arts certificate course follows the same format as the in-person course, with 8 lessons in which each lesson is approximately 1 hour 45 minutes in length. Additional reading material, resources and homework has been added to support and enhance the course for those who are studying around the world.

Welcome, Introductory & Framework
Covering Inanna's people, Lady of the Largest heart, Ascertaining Interests, Methods of Questionnaires, Sex Map, Interest cross-over, Medical Conditions affecting play, Mitigating risks, models of consent, SSC vs RACK, and what to do when things go wrong.
Realm Art I - The Art of the Sublime & Powerful Woman
Covering archetypes, role models of female sexual power, stepping into power, body language and energetics of power, title command, claiming your rightful Realm Art II - The Art of lowering the man or person into submission
Covering different psychologies of peole who enjoy to submit or BDSM activities - including submissives, slaves, masochists, fetishists, kinksters, etc. What makes them tick and from where they take their pleasure. Physical lower and status lower a male (or person) in relation to you in the power dynamic play, combined with proximity privilege.
Realm Art III - The Art of Bondage, Entrapment & Enclosure
Covering different forms of bondage, why someone may find it paradoxically free-ing to be put into bondage and thus escape their everyday role, and covering bondage equipment and basic bondage wrist ties, decorative slave body harnesses, and CBT ties.
Realm Art IV - The Art of Discipline and Punishment
Covering forms of corporal punishment and how to safely use impact equipment, warm-up spanking, use of paddles, straps and strops, canes, etc. A brief run-down on cleaning and sterilizing techniques and information for different types of equipment, etc.
Realm Art V - The Art of In-Body and Out-of-Bodily
Covering the origins of this practice in relation to shamanism, use of blindfolds, gags, sensory deprivation techniques, use of plugs and pegging, electrics and Violet wand ray, urethral sounds, mummification and wax play etc.
Realm Art VI - The Art of Cross-dressing, Gender Play & Transformation
Covering the use of cross-dressing from use of panties and stockings for eroticism and sensuality, through to those who desire androgyny as a creative soup escape from fixed gender roles such as rock stars often do, through to more comprehensive cross-dressing and gender transformation.
Realm Art VII - The Art of Fetish & Fantasy
Covering the process of fetish formation in pre-adolescence most typically by an experience which combines fear, arousal and taboo, and was found thrilling and chilling with awe involved, and wired a fetish for life. A discussion of most common fetishes - leather, latex, PVC, stiletto boots or heels, and feet, as well as more rare fetishes, and how to play with fetish and weave it into fantasy. 

GRADUATION AFTER SUCCESSFULLY COMPLETED WORK & DEMONSTRATED KNOWLEDGE & UNDERSTANDING with graduation certificate signed by Anne O Nomis and sent out to you anywhere in the world.

To book:

Queries: email Anne at


IN PERSON SMALL GROUP COURSE (Melbourne, Australia): Weekend Intensive on

The upcoming dates are the 30th July - 31st July  for my next in-person course, held in my new discreet venue in Melbourne city, Australia. (Closest station: Parliament station). The link to book is here:

Please note: Strictly limited places, and will sell out in advance. 
Held in Anne's new venue in Anne's new commercial premises in a beautiful historic building in the Paris End of Melbourne city, students will receive a comprehensive foundational training certificate in Dominatrix arts. Students will arrive in normal attire, and may change if they wish into fetish attire at a time during the course for practicum (although this is not required.)

Saturday 30th July 2022
10 am - 12.10 pm - Welcome, Introductory & Framework
Covering Inanna's people, Lady of the Largest heart, Ascertaining Interests, Methods of Questionnaires, Sex Map, Interest cross-over, Medical Conditions affecting play, Mitigating risks, models of consent, SSC vs RACK, and what to do when things go wrong.

12.10 pm - 1 pm Lunch break

1 pm - 3 pm - Realm Art I - The Art of the Sublime & Powerful Woman
Covering archetypes, role models of female sexual power, stepping into power, body language and energetics of power, title command, claiming your rightful throne and position above them, etc.

3 pm - 3.30 pm Afternoon tea break

3.30 - 5.00 pm - Realm Art II - The Art of lowering the man or person into submission
Covering different psychologies of peole who enjoy to submit or BDSM activities - including submissives, slaves, masochists, fetishists, kinksters, etc. What makes them tick and from where they take their pleasure. Physical lower and status lower a male (or person) in relation to you in the power dynamic play, combined with proximity privilege.

5.00 - 5.15 pm Mini refereshment break & preparing for bondage

5.15 pm - 7.00 pm Realm Art III - The Art of Bondage, Entrapment & Enclosure
Covering different forms of bondage, why someone may find it paradoxically free-ing to be put into bondage and thus escape their everyday role, and covering bondage equipment and basic bondage wrist ties, decorative slave body harnesses, and CBT ties.

Sunday 31st July 2022

10 am - 11.30 pm Realm Art IV - The Art of Discipline and Punishment - Covering forms of corporal punishment and how to safely use impact equipment, warm-up spanking, use of paddles, straps and strops, canes, etc. A brief run-down on cleaning and sterilizing techniques and information for different types of equipment, etc.

11.30 - 12.30 pm: Part I of

12.30 pm - 1.30 pm : Lunch Break

1.30 pm - 3.00 pm Realm Art V - The Art of In-Body and Out-of-Bodily - Covering the origins of this practice in relation to shamanism, use of blindfolds, gags, sensory deprivation techniques, use of plugs and pegging, electrics and Violet wand ray, urethral sounds, mummification and wax play etc.

3 pm - 3.30 pm Afternoon tea break

3.30 - 4.30 pm Realm Art VI - The Art of Cross-dressing, Gender Play & Transformation - Covering the use of cross-dressing from use of panties and stockings for eroticism and sensuality, through to those who desire androgyny as a creative soup escape from fixed gender roles such as rock stars often do, through to more comprehensive cross-dressing and gender transformation.

4.30 pm - 6.00 pm Realm Art VII - The Art of Fetish & Fantasy - Covering the process of fetish formation in pre-adolescence most typically by an experience which combines fear, arousal and taboo, and was found thrilling and chilling with awe involved, and wired a fetish for life. A discussion of most common fetishes - leather, latex, PVC, stiletto boots or heels, and feet, as well as more rare fetishes, and how to play with fetish and weave it into fantasy. Graduation with certificates.

GRADUATION AFTER SUCCESSFULLY COMPLETED WORK & DEMONSTRATED KNOWLEDGE & UNDERSTANDING with graduation certificate signed by Anne O Nomis and sent out to you anywhere in the world

For any questions or queries, email Anne O Nomis at:

Preview video of the online version of the course:



Due to venue capacity, there is only a small number of tickets available, and on the past two courses tickets have completely sold out well ahead of the event, with a long Waitlist forming.


TICKETS INCLUDE LUNCHES (& accommodate special dietary requests)

The course costs include lunch both days in a cafe / restaurant and accommodate special dietary requests; equipment, snacks, etc. All is taken care of - you only need bring yourself.



Anne requests discreet everyday attire arriving at the venue, so as not to cause any issue or alarm with neighbours and keep the clandestine secrets of what is being taught at the venue. You are welcome however to bring any attire to get changed into if you so wish, however this is entirely optional and Anne notes it is a lot of information and practice being undertaken and She herself dresses in comfortable clothing with focus on learning. Typically most Mistresses attending wear casual attire, and there's usually 1 or 2 who opt to change at the venue into something more fetishy, or remove a jacket to reveal a top which is more fetish-orientated.



In short - yes. In past years, Anne has had special requests from people of diverse genders and orientations, requesting to join the course. The course is welcome to people of all sexualities, but Anne just notes it is informed by Dominatrix tradition which has tended to be more FemDom orientated and for a largely male sub-identified clientele and which has influenced some aspects such as "CBT", and also for women stepping into Dominance coming head-to-head with gendered stigma and language (eg "Slut", "Whore", "Ball-buster", etc) which is discussed in the course. However Anne absolutely adores and welcomes diverse attendees including on each course there will often be 1 from a group who identifies as a transMistress, non-binary, a male-identified sub / slave enrol, a switch, and the odd couple enrol together, etc. This is fine by Anne, as long as it is understood it is a predominantly FemDom course in terms of the knowledge tradition being taught having been derived from Dominatrix learning and practices. Anne specifically teaches around "Inanna's people" and discusses the people of the Goddess Inanna including people of gender non-binary and transgender, sexual submissives, sex workers, and so forth.

Anne asks however everyone to practise "Large Heart, open mind"; being respectful of others, and lean-in and lean-out in discussions.



You can email me for any queries at: - however please note that I am away in Europe teaching Villa Domme and visiting archaeology sites from 20th June - 15th July 2022, and will be less on email and patchy connection during this period. So expect that there will be a delay in reply if you are emailing during these dates while Anne is off teaching or on archaeological sites.

To book:


Any queries: email 

Rough Play frame: BDSM & fight-flight-freeze-fawn + deflect response October 04 2021

After processing through the BDSM questionnaire surveys filled in by the "bottoms" of the BDSM world, a fascinating pattern is emerging from the thousands of cells of data. 

It is not a random scatter graph. It is not a bell curve.  

It is a loosely fight-flight-freeze-fawn pattern in response to a force power with "thewen" impact, in a setting of captivity / bondage to a person or people.

Most people were a mix of predominant two of the below. (And often, but not always - one was somewhat more predominant than their second.)

The following is under Copyright Anne O Nomis, 4 October 2021, and will be more fully developed in my upcoming book.

A) Role identity in relation to Dominant

submissive --> loosely "fawn" approach in animal terms but richness of rather human complexity of psychological approach. Wanting to give of themselves, wanting to please their Dominant, wanting to know what their Dominant enjoys and doesn't. Rewarded by the smile and pleasure of their Dominant. Wanting to go along with what their Dominant would like, to a significant degree. Aware also though of her sensitivities and sore points. A style of language and expression which is characterised by politeness, amusing, flattering and companionate style which is very considerate of its effects on their Dominant. Adoring and devoted. To relate to historical forms, a vassal to their Dominant, who is familiar and close to their Dominant, and wants to reflect well on them. Attendant and considerate to the desires, needs and wishes of their Dominant, and protective of their Dominant and strong for their Dominant. This may include active performance of oral sex, as well as being subject to the Dominant's preferences of play, and openness to a large degree with generosity of giving over their body and mind to their Dominant's play desires. They enjoy activities which play particularly with connection, often symbolised by bondage, physical intimacy proximity to their Dominant, and taking some degree of pain to please their Dominant, and evidence their devotion to their Dominant. 

The Middle English / Old French vassal from Medieval Latin "vassallus" was manservant, domestic, retainer, from "vassus" servant, Gaulish wassos young man, squire, and Proto-Celtic *wastos ("servant"). Similar terms in Old Irish "foss" and Welsh "gwas".


A "rough" of the structure I am seeing in the data. Most people are two quadrants predominant, in general terms.

slave --> loosely "flight" turned to "toil" (labour, duties, service) in bondage / captivity, with human complexity of psychological approach. The slaves want to be run by their Dominant, to be given purpose, challenges, duties, under collar / yoke. This can take a variety of forms such as service submission, running errands, boot-blacking, maid duties, helping their Dominant create something under the Dominant's instruction commands. A useful term I came across was ""toil and moil", to work hard, to drudge. The word "moil" comes from Old French moiller "paddle in mud, moisten", based on Latin mollis (soft), and can be likened to getting oneself dirty in muddy fields, or a maid doing dishes with muddy dishwater. There is a preparedness to get ones hand's dirty, and an almost romance of drudgery that must be enlivened by task enrichment and excitement of new challenges and development of the slave. And they wish to be driven, with Dominant as "slave driver" if you will. Given challenges, instruction commands, their work evaluated, and they are sent off to work often with some distance and then the Dominant comes into closeness to check over that work. (I imagine with punishment as seen fit - wink.) The captivity collar / yoke or attire of role such as slave collar, or butler or maid etc - may come into play.

The etymological root of slave *threh is "to run"; Proto-Germanic *thrakhilaz (slave) "runner", German dregil "servant / runner", and Old English þrægan "to run". This links also to the term "thrall", the lowest of the three-tiered social order of the Germanic peoples but who received protection. It is from the slave term "thrall" that we get the word "enthrall" meaning to hold spellbound, to capture the attention of, or to enslave.

On the BDSM "slave", see earlier blog post "What a slave needs" with account by the late david stein (who preferred his name rendered in lowercase, which I honour): 


kinky surrenderer / kinkster --> loosely a "floppy / freeze" state depending on individual, and a "do me" form of submission, of "I'll lie back and deliciously take it". This may include according to preference, the sexually passive role, the receiver of anal / pegging, face-sitting upon them, and use in gang-bang activities in which they are passive role receiver. They tend to enjoy feeling captured and captive, and being made helpless by way of bondage, including ropes bondage, leather bondage. Higher intensity forms include incapacitation bondage, suspension from a steel frame so that they experience weightlessness amplifying their sense of helplessness and surrender, use of leather or latex body bags as containment, and hoods as "head trips", alongside gags. Once in this state, application of stimulus or torture (CBT cock and ball torture, genital torture, or NT nipple torture), while in bondage restraint, or other intense sensory play, serves to set of a shot of chemicals of the fight-flight-freeze-fawn response but unable to move and only potentially wriggle against the bondage, results in a delicious bathing or basking in the arousal activation and its drug-like effect, and go off into "la-la land" / sub-space / floating or flying off into space as it is variously referred to in BDSM circles. Breathplay and tubes further intensify the effect of total surrender, and their life being in their Dominant's hands and power. Some like being virtually "frozen" in a position by objectification as human furniture, table or chair, statue, made into a doll. For some this may be medical play in which they are often secured or strapped down to a medical or gynaecological bench, and made helpless while medical examination and manipulations of their body take place, use of vaginal or anal speculums, dental gags, nipple clamps and surgical play. For others there exists the possibility of infantalism in the surrender state, attended to as a baby or infant, with diaper nappies, and bottles; in which Dominant role is that of "Care-taker". For others it may be kidnapping and interrogation torture while in a passive receiving role as the framing of the play.

Some relevant terms to think about this role are Latin "prehensio" - of taking, taking hold, seizing, grasping, hoist and winch; "captum" captive, and "rapina" kidnapping, rape, plunder. (In a consensual BDSM context I am referring to consensual desired-for and requested activities of these kinky surrenders.) The forms the kinky surrender desires is to be taken, held, captive, desired and chosen (prey) of the Dominant and in erotic terms.

Photo of my students with a "kinky surrenderer" in latex vac bed. (From Dominatrix Seven Realm Arts certificate course - 8 weeks length)


Masochists (Thews) --> loosely a "deflect" strategy which I have located within the fight segment as so ends up with a pointy wedge shape, which I think rather appropriately satisfying for the masochists. There is an adversarial and self-interest flavour which came across in the data, focused on gaining advantage. 

Activity-wise, masochists are a "thew me" / "thew me harder!" / "do your worst", in which I am drawing from the term "thewen" that I've outlined in previous blog posts which is from Middle English thewen, from Old English þēowanþȳwan ("to press, impress, force, press on, urge on, drive, press with a weapon, thrust, pierce, stab, threaten, rebuke, subjugate, crush, push, oppress, check"), from Proto-Germanic*þewjaną ("to enslave, oppress").

Masochistic preferences of form can be very individual fetishistic preferences in some cases influenced by childhood and in those cases many of you have written about the background of coming to the particular "thing" and activity you have. 

What I've found absolutely fascinating when I've gone through the data, is that the forms this take tend to concentrate and intensify force energy.

For example the stiletto point trampling, in which there is a often preference for a thin talon stiletto that intensifies force (to more than that of an elephant due to the tiny surface area of the point).

Caning is one of the preferred implements of some masochists and again we have the intensity of the cane stroke as directing strong force. Also up high on the list is face-slapping, spitting, ball-busting, humiliation, pissing, piercing, needleplay, and even branding. "You're evil", says the masochist, wanting exactly that treatment. The masochist wants the strong will of the Dominant with psychological intensity and cruelty marked by glee in her / his / their eyes. 


The glee may also be in the masochist's eyes; for this is a mental challenge battle of psychological and physical intensity, and cause-and-effect. Energy is rebounded or return-served back and forth, and the masochist may act like a rider who crops/whips its horse to spur it on, by an insult or challenge. ("You hit like a girl!", a class masochist might say to one of my Dominatrix Seven Realm Arts course students, spurring them to irritation, challenge or outrage to hit harder.) 

Masochists typically rated very low on self-reported slave quotient (a 0-100 slider bar scale), compared to other psychologies, and higher on switch scale evidencing a high versatility and switch-ability.


What theoretical paradigm does this fit?

The US therapist Pete Walker wrote a book titled Complex PTSD: From Surviving to Thriving (2014), which features tables on his conception of "Positive Characteristic of the Four F's" and "Detrimental Characteristics of the 4F Defences" on pp.106-107.  He was focused on survivors of complex PTSD and 4F survival strategies in response to activated fight-flight-freeze-fawn response of those who lived through a long-term situation of abuse and captivity, or childhood with an abusive or narcissistic parent.


As far as I am aware, this model has never before been applied to BDSM,  and there was no "deflect" option (the masochist "thew" in my model) in Walker's conception.

However the structural model I have outlined is a good fit for the BDSM data bottoms surveys, including slider bar scales (0-100 scale self-reported), activity preferences, and values rated on 1-5 scale importance. Many of whom also indicated childhood with a narcissistic or Borderline parent, as well as some noting spending a long period in hospital for multiple operations and physically restrained to stop them from bumping or removing bandaging as a child, others at boarding schools and caned, and others who experienced assaults. Others are unsure where their "proclivities" have come from - it's a complex picture inevitably, and one that is nuanced and complex.

I wish to make it clear that my own position is that I don't wish to use the term "trauma" for experiences which have left impressions which are complex, multi-faceted and I don't wish to attach negativistic leaning on interpretation. Preferring instead terms such as - Impressions of force power impact on a person / people in captive environment and/or attachment (bondage) relationships.

The theory isn't "universalising" in as far as it depends on force power and captivity or bondage, and eroticization of "magnificent sublime" force power impact; thus according to my model, I believe BDSM will increase or decrease relative to these forces and constraints, and operate in the underground or sprout up into greater visibility relative to cultural-historical factors (social acceptability etc). Interestingly Masoch has things to say on this also, which are made more clear in some of his less well-known writings.

The fight-flight-freeze-fawn + deflect model also "fits" the etymology of language terms used for different kinds of slaves and servants across a huge swathe of historical-cultural contexts, of the vassal (vassallus, vassus, wassos, wastos, foss, gwas) ; the threh / thrall runner (dregil, þrægan), and the thew; Mesopotamian assinu etc, in which the forms of submission, subservience or surrender to a stronger power are organised around the "4Fs" with accordant roles.


Fetishists discussion will go onto a new blog post

I will include discussion:

* Time travel (to time of fetish formation) and revival with variations-on-theme, such as Corporal Punishment fetishists which are one of the most common that Dominatrices see and has been a theme of their craft for hundreds of years recreating such scenes from their client's childhoods and specific implements used.

* Membranes as distancers, insulators, translators and second skin effect, such as leather and latex which are also hugely common, but also hoisery, silk, cashmere, fur fetishists.

* Spikes as distancers and punctuation "thewen" effect force intensifier, and other force intensifier objects made animate by extension of body force extending limb (such as trampling stiletto shoes, prosthetic limbs, cane as an extension of the arm, baton as extension of fist, etc)

* Force power impact intensification site fetishes such as symphorophilia (fetish for car crashes), ceraunophilia and brontophilia (fetish for thunderstorms), which pair beautifully to the discussion of higher force power and impact as arousal site.


* Kinky surrenderer fetishes in realm of helplessness and total control and dependence, which such as apotemnophilia (fetish to be amputated) / acrotomophilia (fetish towards amputee(s), feeder fetishes, infantalism and adult baby and diaper fetishists. 


These can all be interwoven into a more cohesive framework.


To be continued.


Anne O Nomis 

PS With spanks and thanks to my patrons who have sponsored my upcoming book, an English translation of Leopold von Sacher Masoch's 'The Emissary' (via this page ). I am writing an essay on a model of "thew" masochism, discussing Leopold von Sacher Masoch and Masoch's idea of oppressive force and its effects on people in Galicia, in historical context and theoretical terms. (Not the casual news style of my blogs, intended for a general audience). This will go out as a pdf and e-book with essay and English translation of 'The Emissary' to sponsors on Christmas Eve 2021. 

And if you'd like to email me about anything in today's blog post: 

Not forgetting your first: 'The Emissary' by Leopold von Sacher-Masoch September 16 2021

Many of you reading this blog will be familiar with Leopold von Sacher-Masoch, after whom "masochism" was coined. (By Kraft-Ebing in Psychopathia Sexualis.)
Sacher-Masoch is best well known for his novella Venus in Furs (in German 'Venus Im Pelz'), which was published in 1870. The book has been translated and reproduced a number of times.



Venus in Furs inspired the song by the same name by the Velvet Underground in 1967 which much later became a cult classic. (Youtube clip: ) The novella and its themes were also adapted into a modern play, which I had the privilege of seeing in New York in around 2011. 
Amongst the English book versions I particularly recommend to my students are the suitably academic edition which combines an essay by Deleuze with Venus in Furs in Masochism: Coldness and Cruelty / Venus in Furs by Sacher-Masoch; and the other charming edition worth having is the illustrated hardcover edition of Venus in Furs by UK FemDom artist Sardax. (The Sardax illustrated hardcover of Venus in Furs is only available in the UK from by emailing him as instructed on that page, or from Joanna Lark or DirtySexyWords or e-book kindle version from Amazon.) Which to get? Both! I have 2 of each, in order to be able to lend out to my Mistress students taking my courses, although I believe one of each book is currently not returned - cane strokes! (I'll have to run a book amnesty at some point for my naughty students to return borrowed books.)




One of the reasons Venus in Furs is so well-read, aside from "masochism" being named after Masoch, is because it is a tale of "Female Domination" with themes familiar to BDSM-ers, in which Wanda dominates the character of Severin (who has much in common with the author himself). 


However this was not Sacher-Masoch's first time exploring this subject.


The Emissary

In a piece of writing titled  "A childhood memory and reflections on the novel", he writes:
Leopold von Sacher-Masoch referenced the significance of 'The Emissary':
"...strange scenes, other figures, in regal ermine, in bourgeois rabbit fur or in rustic lamb's fleece, produced new sensations on me; until one day this particular type of woman became crystallised in my mind, and took definite shape for the first time in the heroine of The Emissary'.
(From Sacher-Masoch, "Chose Vecues" Revue Bleue, 1888, cited in Masochism: Coldness & Cruelty / Venus in Furs by Gilles Deleuze and Leopold von Sacher-Masoch p.276)


Sacher-Masoch makes it clear that The Emissary (Der Emissär in German language) is the first of his writing to explore this theme of the Dominant woman. And yet where is it in English language? It was published in German in 1863, seven years before Venus in Furs. A library search bears no fruit. Nor does a search of Abe Books, or any other avenue.


It appears that it was never translated into English. Yes you heard that correct. The first piece of Masoch's writing to explore the theme of the Dominant Woman, written in 1863 - seven years prior to 'Venus in Furs', is not available anywhere in English.


So the time has come - we must not forget Masoch's first. I have begun a crowd-funding campaign to have the publication sponsored into existence in English translation. People can sponsor 1 page of translation (US $40), or a Double-spread (US $80), and their names and an inscription to their Mistress will be immortalised at the back of the translation. (So there will be a list of the pages and who sponsored them, with inscriptions.)
Original copy of German Der Emissär (The Emissary) originally published in 1863, by  Leopold von Sacher-Masoch. 


The original German of  Der Emissär (1863) was published in a historic cursive print, which will make it just that little bit extra laborious to clean up and translate. I commissioned several expert German translators to translate a sample of the first two pages so I could compare styles and approaches, and will be "Green-lighting" one of these tomorrow 16 September 2021 to begin work on the full translation. 


Meanwhile, I am writing a piece of writing on masochism, from my research and getting out all my thoughts on the subject. And they will be delivered together to sponsors in time for Christmas 2021 by ebook and pdf before anyone in the world has seen it.  And will make a lovely present and honour their Mistress, or themselves, and receive updates on the progress between now-and-then to keep them entertained.


For anyone who would like to support this important project for US $40 or US $80, to bring The Emissary to an English translation, and have your name immortalised as a sponsor with inscription, please go to:


To manage expectations, I don't expect this to be Masoch's best work; what is significant is that it was the FIRST and as such I expect it will be sketching out the ideas and figure prototype that would occupy Masoch for much of his life. And the fact we do we not already have this piece in our collective knowledge is a travesty. So please support this cause.

For any queries, email me at:


With spanks and thanks, 


Anne O Nomis


The Underground Tree: Why masochists operate across time & culture September 13 2021

As some of you reading my blog will know, I've had a fascinating period of stimulation and frustration in equal measures, being part of a US academic reading group who begin masochism in the 19th Century. Some of them refusing to really look at anything earlier materials - believing it to be a different "thing". (eg Flagellation as "merely mechanical irritation of the spinal centre" versus 19th Century masochism and into modern-day BDSM.)

I know this to not be the case, because of my research into primary sources, gathered for 'The History & Arts of the Dominatrix' as an assemblage, from which there is a consistency of:

1) Time-travel roleplays to childhood with roleplaying or rather embodying the Governess / School Mistress / Step-Mother / Aunt etc. Whether 16th Century or 17th Century or 18th Century or 19th Century or 20th Century - same themes and roleplays ad infinitum.

c1761 Fashionable Lectures Delivered with Birch Discipline... (ideas for roleplays with corporal punishment birch discipline in roles of Step-Mother, Governess etc) 

2021 Mistress Iceni "Sessions" ideas from her website: 

2) Cold Venus with whip / Goddess Kali Creator-Destroyer / demon-God / Lion-Woman or Human Tigress / Gigantess / etc, being invoked by masochists across time and culture. They keep landing on the same "kinds" of figures. These include accounts pre-dating Masoch, include Masoch himself, and those who came after him but in many cases were "in ignorance" of his work and were doing this at a young age before they stepped into BDSM scene or knowledge (in the pre-internet days). 

3) Second skin / pelt / leather / fur / hair / membrane / toile / lace / silk fabrications coming up again and again, through time. Whether fur, leather, cashmere, hoisery stockings, latex, something strange was going on with this and how repetitive it was coming up. Yes this can be culturally codified and become fashion and identity-signalling, but its origins and consistency speak to something additional at its roots and going on as to why these fabrications / skins / toiles keep coming up as fetishised second skin. 

4) Consistency of equipment for impact play / punishment predominant, authentic childhood school and domestic home discipline implements, bondage and suspension frames, clamps and screws, punctuation piercing or penetrating devices, cross-dressing and so forth, across periods and time eras. (I will go into this in further detail in my new book)

5) Linguistic form of particular words and verbs, with a consistency over time and place, and there is an energy transfer to them. I began spread-sheeting them and their etymology:  

The "thewen" verbs (þēowan, þȳwan )  to press, impress, force, press on, urge on, drive, press with a weapon, thrust, pierce, stab, threaten, rebuke, subjugate, crush, push, oppress, check. (As already mentioned in earlier post)

Root * wer verbs to wrangle / wrestle / bend; Root * ttrkw verbs to torquere, torture, torment, twist; *ghend words to pry, prey, predator, prison; Root *(s)teu- (1) verbs "to push, stick, knock, beat" - used in toil, strive after, press forward, pressing forward, thrusting toward," "strive after; Root *peuk words to prick, to pierce, to punctuate; Root *klam to clamp, cleat; Root *fang / fāhanan for seizing, taking spoils, plunder; Root *sed- (1) use in equivalent Latin obsessus, past participle of obsidere "obsess, watch closely; besiege, occupy; stay, remain, abide" literally "sit opposite to," from ob "against" (see ob-) + sedere "to sit, etc.

Words that invoke a magical / supernatural / religiosity / Otherworld effect; spine-tingling / hair-raising etc, with a shift in perception of light glow and shine / halo- like effect, etc. (Related to fight-flight-freeze-fawn activation with awe and arousal driving trance effect, as also a feature in Venus in Furs' novella by Leopold von Sacher Masoch.) 

Temperature and energy / electrical words - cold, hot, electricity, etc, and use in proximity to absence / ignoring / denial = COLD, and to presence / contact / proximity = WARM. (Structurally related in my view to a "Fort/da" operation from Freud, 1920)


None of these above phenomenon 1-2-3-4-5 seemed "explainable" by historical-cultural specific phenomenon. I work with for example culturally-historically specific pottery and artwork in archaeology, with specific forms, materiality, functional use, production, names, iconography, style and fashions, status and consumer / audience, and I identify from looted artifacts and those lacking provenance from my encyclopedic knowledge across quite an array of cultures.

So for me, what I was finding in my search of primary historic sources of the Dominatrix craft profession through time, was perplexing and fascinating. 

"What is this - the cause of the SAME THINGS and practices popping up again and again, across cultures and time?, I wanted to know. I didn't attempt an explanation in 'The History & Arts of the Dominatrix' because I knew it would take me years, decades, perhaps a lifetime to land on an explanation, and my lecturer advised me and reminded me what happens on archaeological sites when publication of digs is put off waiting on the perfect explanation final site report. Answer: It often never gets published years on, and the Head / Lead of the excavation team dies, with no-one other than those on the dig knowing clearly what was found.

I'd expected joining the CARAS group that we'd be bouncing around ideas to solve this. 

I knew the cultural-historical model and Arnoldson's argument didn't adequately "fit" or "work" for masochism from my primary sources assemblage.

A few options / explanations seemed most likely:

Less likely - Option 1) Cross-cultural transmission, revival and fashion (alone). I didn't believe it was this, as an archaeologist specialising in Comparative Art and Archaeology (which is what my Masters degree is in). I would never shut down the possibility absolutely on such scant evidence of fragments from forbidden books, ephemera, sex worker advertising. While one can transmit culturally, as do Senior Dominatrices teaching young apprentices, and get ideas out by books and things becoming "fashion". I absolutely acknowledge and in my book showed evidence of where this has occurred, such as Fanny Hill, Fashionable Lectures and more modern-day 50 Shades of Grey.) To me this was only colouring the tips of something which went much deeper and my gut instinct was this wasn't the fully story "why" the above keep happening across time and culture with such consistency, and breaks, and sprout up again in the same essential form listed above of 1,2,3,4,5.

More likely but still unsatisfactory to me - Option 2) Jungian ? Question mark. I'm not myself yet totally convinced by Jung's "Collective Unconscious" claims.  

Or some other explanation so far unknown.

Finally I feel like I have got there, and have come up with a theory of what I think is going on. The answer combines childhood development, adaptational survival strategies, a conversion of beating-down force energy into components (used for ego, esteem and emotional warmth energy) formed like a pendulum operation "fort da" play. And it's the "emissary effect" throwing up of transfigured Venuses from the subconscious / unconscious, and cast forward into life.

The Underground Tree, Kinky Roots, Magical Conversion & Throwing Up Venus

With huge thanks and acknowledgment to Gayle Rubin in my CARAS group, who I must have driven crazy with my incessant emails while I was juicing my thoughts out, (sorry Gayle!), and who is an amazing academic with whom I hold in highest esteem.

Her cultural-historical specialization which I understand in my own framework and head as a "talea" (twig) approach - she is a "splitter", helped me in bouncing emails back-and-forth to get "there" where  needed to go.

My brain works in a bit of a nuanced way, sifting through huge volume of cross-cultural comparative artifacts and production methodologies, artifact types.


In trying to get to "why" this phenomenon was not sitting as one would expect as a cultural-historical phenomenon, based on my artifact assemblage, I was trying to scan through everything I know of the world across cultures, and I kept coming back to an "Underground Tree".

I was trying to communicate to Gayle Rubin - that the closest I could relate masochism to was something like pigmented tips of pyrogenic geoxylic suffrutices. (Poor Gayle and she must have thought I'm crazy.)

The pigmented tips of the plant - are shooting up and in the sunshine and cultural-historically contingent factors can act on them. However around 90 something percent of the tree is below the ground, with this vast and kinky (appropriately - wink) root system. 

But why do you think masochism is like an "Underground Tree" shoots Anne? Why is your brain going to this image / plant system and its shoots? 


Image: Parinari capensis Bart Wursten


Answer 1: Because the masochist psychology appear to form predominantly in babyhood, toddlerhood, an age of brain development, attachment relations and "milestones" (of crawling, etc). These are not strongly contingent on any particular culture or time at the age we're speaking. The "sprout" hasn't come up far enough to be strongly affected by cultural forces yet. (Is not far off the ground, metaphorically and literally.)


Answer 2: Because the masochists appear to have a parental / primary attachment figure who runs hot and cold, and have to develop a coping mechanism / survival strategy. I speculate that the parental authority figure may be narcissistic Cluster B in today's available language psychology terms. They are alternating between hot and cold from the infant's perspective and experience. By which I mean they are getting "cold" emotional inattention and neglect. And "hot" spotlight shining on them suddenly when they are inadvertently or intentionally fulfilling the desires or offer "supply" for the narcissist figure, OR, when they inadvertently (or later intentionally) vex or annoy the narcissist figure and all of a sudden receive negative attention; are rebuked, put down, punished, beaten, reminded of their place.




Why does my masochist have such a complex root system growing? The root system is growing so big is analogus to grape vines growing in shitty old riverbed soil full of stones from where the river used to run, so the plant has to work really hard to put down roots to get nourishment. The roots grow thicker than normal, go down deeper than normal, and have to navigate with kinks (an appropriate metaphor) around all the stones.

These are trying conditions. The plants are strained in fight for survival, to get nourishment. They are also needing to work out and around the stones - their shape, feel their way around them. And potentially other plants nearby vying for nourishment in terms of siblings, and uneveness of conditions / position.

And it in the case of Underground Tree varietals, they grow the way they do in challenging soil, and being regularly grazed and razed - pressed on from forces from above, that makes survival challenging. 


Image: Xylopodium resprouter detail from: from 


In my "BDSM bottoms" large range data surveys, many masochists (and other identities) describe a childhood of "walking on eggshells" or feeling as if they are "treading through a minefield". Other masochists report a parent is so rarely "there" metaphorically (emotionally) or literally (present), and report that the parental figure is off getting their needs met outside the home, or locked off in their office or other space.

We have a poverty of emotional responsiveness to the child's emotional needs, and a lack of emotional warmth from the primary parental figure being reported.  I'm seeing playing out also in Self-Interest indices. On a part of my data I asked people to rate themselves from 0-100 on Selflessness to Selfish slider bar scale; and 0-100 on a Giver to Taker slider bar, the masochists tended to have a higher rating of selfish-taker scores added together, by a significant margin. 

I would argue that what tends to bump masochists up the Self-interest scoreboard favours a survivalist "I have to look after my own needs" because no-one else is / or will, or within a poverty of limited emotional sustenance availability. They have to "grab" what they can for their own self-interests and needs.

Image: Hands grabbing for the bread basket: get in while you can! 

So what is the cause of this emotional poverty within the child's environment growing up? And an apparent regular triggering of the fight-flight-freeze-fawn activation system in their early childhood?

The question is beyond my specialization and lies in the realm of psychology. As an archaologist and art specialist, Dominatrix author and teacher, I see only the impression left behind from this - in masochist psychology, writings, and art, and how they operate "in play", and what they seek. 

However I feel relatively comfortable to take a speculative stab at this topic given this is only my blog and not a formal academic paper, to shine a flashlight in the direction I think this trench or root system runs to - for others with greater expertise in this department to look into.

I think it is highly suggestive that the iconography of 'Venus in Furs' by Leopold von Sacher Masoch was based on a figure of a woman in furs looking in a mirror. (Titian 'Venus with a Mirror'). You'll recall that the term "narcissism" is based on the Greek figure of Narcissus who falls in love with his own reflection. If I lay those images side-by-side, the theme perhaps become clearer to readers.


Left: Titian 'Venus with a Mirror'. Right: Caravaggio 'Narcissus' (1594-96)

I think we are often seeing the after-effects of a childhood with a parental figure with narcissistic tendencies or even NPD (Narcissistic Personality Disorder) under current conception terms. There are of course other possibilities - such as Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) as it's presently conceived of, or Complex PTSD effects - whereby the parent is self-absorbed in dealing with their own issues and lacks capacity dealing with their own internal challenges to extend themselves to dealing with the child. Perhaps alcoholism and addictions may also be a factor in the poverty of emotional attentiveness and warmth.

However, I think it is also highly suggestive that masochist writings and emails requesting a specific dynamic or roleplay often invoke themes of the Mistress is to be:

Beautiful, callous, arrogant, vain, exhibit supreme confidence, callous laugh, wicked smile, magnificent, gloating, mocking, delightful, selfish, aggressive, brutal, dominant, pretty, sexy, evil, cruel, Goddess, cold bitch, angel-and-devil in one.

The parental figure feels hot-and-cold from the child's perspective. The child is struggling to get their emotional needs consistently met and attended to: to get metaphorical "warmth".

If there are siblings within the family system, there may too also be a reported unevenness of treatment. I would speculate that in some instances this is due to what the narcissistic parent wants and demands and gains "narcissistic supply" from, responds positively or negatively to, with attention or inattention, and explodes in rage from and directs it towards, who they see as an extension of themselves, and who they view as a rival, within the family system. Much has been written in popular "Pop" psychology on narcissistic family triangles and roles which commonly may emerge reported by therapists such as Golden Child, Scapegoat, Invisible (ignored) Child, Brainwashed Enabler Child, and so on. 

I'm not even going to begin to get into any discussion of the validity or accuracy of any such terms, which is far beyond my specialization and pay grade.

However where it gets really interesting is how the masochist child emerging develops in relation to these challenges, various coping mechanisms to deal with the hot-cold effect, emotional survival strategies, and what I describe as a "magical conversion" method that distinguishes the masochist strategy to others.



The masochist child in development is as discussed having to employ a higher level of survival strategies to their needs met in the childhood situation.

Masochist children gradually acquire a range of tools, and use whatever one "works" with trial-and-error, observing cause-and-effect.

However one of their chief modes - tends to be in the art of deflecting.

They take the energy coming at them and bounce it, return-serve, using the momentum to their advantage.

They may also start playing, tinkering, bumping, experimenting with the dynamic they're in, testing its limits, and what works to get the desired effect they want. They do this not only with the original Object-Other (parental figure), but others in the family system, and at school with Schoolteacher, or historically the Governess, sister's friends, or whoever makes a suitable target for such experiments.

The masochist tendencies flexibly employed as appropriate are:

i) carefully observing the other person (looking for chinks in armour, weaknesses, noting the person's routine, values how they operate pattern, in order to use this knowledge to gain an advantage etc) 

ii) experimenting with spurring the other, bumping them, or being bratty or provocative, or deliberately naughty to get the desired-for attention, or indeed calculated attentiveness and offer of assistance, to gain proximity privilege.

iii) multi-play dynamic of others within system (family system) and outside the family system looking for other alternative sources of supply, and / or they may seek to "sure up" a source of supply if they find a good one.

Of course such strategies employed are familiar to those captives use to survive. 

And then at some point they - the masochist - arrive at a kind of magical alchemical conversion trick strategy. They can take a force form of what may once have been "Negative Attention", split it into component constituents, and convert it into something that can feed their needs. (As if taking lemons and making lemonade, or from sour grapes making wine.)  


The ingredients are so versatile - you can use any form of "thewen" force energy coming at you. This includes but is not limited to:
Beating, Squishing, Crushing, Trampling, Caning, Whipping, Punching, Rebuking, Insults hurled, Ball busting, etc as you prefer the flavour of, or have readily available.


Separate out the energy force processing into the following by splitting and focusing in on the desired-for component, by where you place your attention:


i) A person has to care about or be invested in someone enough to want to beat them / rebuke them / punish them / push force at them and spend energy and attention doing so. Therefore they must really care about me or love me - even though you treat me coldly, for me to be able to impassion them or frustrate them or have them want to punish me this much. --> Their force and attention becomes PASSION / INVESTMENT (LOVE) FEED


ii) I must be a threat or vexing for this bully / person to put their attention on me; or I am very clever to be able to "bump" (manipulate) this person so effectively (if wanted) to beat me / rubuke me / punish me / push force at me with attention. --> Their force and attention becomes EGO FEED


iii) I am strong to be able to take it - to take anything they dish out at me, even with all their force and power coming at me, so there - ha! Or I focus on outlasting them. -->Their force and attention becomes "I AM STRONG" ESTEEM FEED


iv) I can manipulate them or co-produce the effect with them, (or alternatively find someone sufficiently skilled or who intuitively does it), and convert the HOT + COLD repetition into an overall satisfying alternation becomes EMOTIONAL WARMTH EFFECT FEED


How does one do this? By mixing the taps like a kind of Freudian "fort/da" game. HOT - COLD - HOT - COLD - HOT - COLD - HOT - COLD alternated with the right tempo frequency so that the overall mixed effect is WARM. (Like a tap mixer) 


This looks like a pendulum swing, or a Freudian "fort/da" reel-and-thread game.


COLD - Withdrawal                                          HOT - Contact (intensity)
Absence, withholding, induces longing            Force Impact (beat, pierce, weight)


"Fort" (Object gone) "o-o-o-o"                         "Da" (Object returns) 
stands for "mother gone" for Freud                  stands for "mother returns" 


The dance of the two needs to be "right" for it to work to proper effect for the masochist. For example, if the impact / punctuation is to too quick-coming or too intense for adjustment to the sensation intensity level, it will be experienced as "too much". There needs to be enough time / recovery to adjust and/or process the pain or sensation at the level administered.

However, if the gap and absence is too long or not enough play intensity or passionate / invested  engagement, then it will be experienced as unsatisfying, too boring, or tepid / lukewarm in effect by the masochist.  

v) The higher the Other (Mistress / Dom) is in status and elevation, and the stronger / more force they are capable of, they more delicious the cake is. (So the masochist can ride on the coat-tails of the Dom's status elevation regard and drive extra pleasure from being dealt with by "Her" (Him / Them) by association.


Adding to the recipe is the delicious rush of adrenaline and endorphins, the sensation play impact, the psychological high, and emotional intimacy built with a play-partner.



I want to add in, and this is a very unscientific claim (and I realize I'm now risking getting into the land of "woo-woo"),  but I also think there is something going on with the particular bodily "beats", "hits", "punctuations", "piercing", "twisting", to do something energetically within them. It's roiling their internal waters, breaking up the stagnant settled and separated components. It's drawing particular things to the surface. I believe that the masochist in particular has a tendency to have opposites separating out within them, and there is some "body work" going on with these processes; whether one thinks of beating out dough, yeast rising, for example. I don't think it's for nothing that Meibom was considering activation of spinal column and blood flow to the loins - or however he worded it. (I'm stuck in a Level 4 Melbourne Covid lockdown away from my office and original texts to quote from, I'm sorry.)

However what I'm trying to say is I believe there's something also in the Bodywork component, and proponents of texts such as 'The Body Keeps the Score'. That the physicality of BDSM and its techniques and words I keep finding in the etymological roots, are "doing something" in particular, and there's a reason they keep cropping up time and time again in different places and locations.

The "thewen" category terms of pressing and impressing, beating, piercing, crushing, etc, after whom I am indeed naming the masochists; the *ghend root pry; the *peuk root prick / pierce; the *(s)teu root push on, stick, knock, beat, the *klam root to clamp, cleat.

The preferences some have for particular types of pain, mixing with their own body energetics. I believe in the future one day there will be a better language and framework understanding of this. 

I also believe it is why Dominatrices have different types of equipment - like thuddy and stingy sensation beating implements, twisting items, clamping items, piercing items, stretching items, penetrating items, doing different things in sensation play and energetically.


Many Mistresses have asked me why the masochist can be so insolent right before a (very much desired for) session / scene / play. (Not all masochists are like this or do this, but many do.)


The insolence is the masochist is pushing up like a whale out of the water, a last large breath of ego, before descending inevitably down down into the dark abyss of the ocean towards sea floor. 
For Part II on masochists, I will be exploring why masochists keep throwing up (or vomiting up) Cruel Venuses / Dominatrix-like figures from their Unconscious,  and/or attaching and conflating their fantasy with other figures in life but within a particular familiar range and time travel drawn from their mind's available data set.




The answer involves the "emissary" (throwing up, vomiting up, pushing forward) of a transfigured "Ideal" (icon, Goddess) from the subconscious / unconscious, and casting figures in multiplicity. And I will discuss why I think this is so consistent across time and culture with the same figures thrown up, again-and-again - whether 16th, 17th, 18th, 19th, 20th Century. 


I will be exploring in detail why the Venus figurines, the invocation of supernatural religiosity effect, trance state affecting perception of light, the fight-flight-freeze-fawn activation and default differences amongst subs, slaves and bondage fetishists, such as pleasing (fawn tendency) submissive, and the pugilist (fighter tendency) who appears as a different sub-type of masochist - using a Mistress with positive connection to discharge who I am calling a "baterie" from French.  I will also discuss why again and again comes up the leather, pelt, fur, membrane, silk, toile; and lastly why alongside seeking a Venus the masochist also seeks out the antidote "cure" (from Latin cura - meaning care).



I know some psychologists and others reading my blog end up potentially concerned that masochists and BDSM-ers are re-visiting and playing at sites of what might arguably been interpreted as compulsion repetition to prior trauma or (narcissistic or other) abuse. To them, I would ask them to open their mind, and expand their heart. And I would  thereafter say... 

They are not merely revisiting the site (compulsion repetition) - but alchemising and finding jewels of self-knowledge, and finding the antidote - that the “cure” is care (from Latin). The masochist chooses a beautiful evil but caring Mistress.

They do so in order that they may safely visit places of magnificence and beauty and fear, play and dive and experiment, find pools of wonder, and where their pleasure bubbles. They ride waves of pleasure and pain, submit, surrender, find deep acceptance of Self and others, find corporeal ecstasy, or their soul’s deepest need, psychological release from social pressures, and resurface and be rebirthed with care.

It's interesting that indeed care and compassion are built into the BDSM language vernacular; we speak of afterCARE, and many use "Mercy" as their safeword or a system of Green, Orange and Red to know and symbolise when their limits are reached and set boundaries in that knowledge of those limits, which they inevitably begin to apply beyond session play and into their life.

Lastly, back to those complex underground root systems. It might be an appropriate time to mention to readers that grape vines putting down deep thick kinky roots in shitty stony soil in order that they survive and get nutrients, also grow grapes with great complexity and depth of flavour and which make the best wine. As any winemaker will tell you, good fertile soil makes abundant but watery grapes.

True story.



If anyone reading this blog post has been inadvertently triggered by its contents, I encourage you to reach out. You can call Lifeline or similar service offered in your country, there are Sexual and Domestic Abuse hotlines, counselling services and psychologists that you can seek out where you live.

I initially published this blog post as a piece of writing speculating on why BDSM to my interpretation is so frequently popping up with similar elements, and speculating on what I thought was going on, and I didn't realize at the time how on the dot so many of you have found this - that it has "hit" home. (Quite literally in terms of your childhood and household experience.)

I send you love and light. I ask that you take a deep breath, full of Mercy. And let her travel with your breath down into your lungs, and oxygenate your blood. From there to travel in your bloodstream, all the way down your limbs, into every cell, and into your heart. Everywhere deep compassion and Mercy. You are held and supported by the Universe.

 x Anne O Nomis



Date of blog published: 13 September 2021 
Note: I will be turning this raw material into a longer and more elegant and eloquently worded (I hope) piece of writing for a new book, which will feature alongside a translation of Leopold von Sacher-Masoch's 'The Emissary' (1863) which I've commissioned. This will be the first-ever translation of his first work of this kind into English language.


The knowledge chain from this blog post will continue in:  

Part II "The Emissary: Throwing up / Vomiting up Cruel Venus figures"

and I welcome your feedback to these blog posts as I refine the arc trajectory and information within for publishing eventually in the next book. My email is:     

School Mistress / corporal punishment scholastic disciplinarian Mistresses around the world August 11 2021

Above: A print of a school discipline scene (with text narrating the scene) from 1752 made in London and held in Library of Congress USA collection titled "Flagellation": (and also featured in my book 'The History & Arts of the Dominatrix')

School Mistress / corporal punishment disciplinarian Mistresses

I have from time-to-time encountered people who are under the false impression that traditional Corporal Punishment school punishments and domestic discipline is no longer a "thing". I can assure you it is.

Corporal punishment sessions are most popular in places where corporal punishment was practiced in schools and in homes. And since corporal punishment has been outlawed in many places, this skews the average age and cultural background of clients to those who most typically received it in childhood. Some have noted the significance of English boarding schools which used to give out a lot of corporal punishment, of certain implements specifically used in particular places such as rattan rug beaters used in parts of Asia, and of Scottish tawses used in Scotland, and the martinet in France, and so on.

The disciplinarian female authority giving out school punishment and domestic discipline remains an enduring specialization of the Dominatrix craft around the world.  

In fact, Mistresses to this day keep collections of authentic implements - school canes, leather belts, leather straps, wooden hair brushes, school slippers, and so forth. In some cases regionally specific implements such as the tawse in Scotland to cater for clients who require a specific familiar implement from childhood.

To honour this craft specialization of the Dominatrix disciplinarian, I have begun putting together a list of Mistresses who particularly offer this service. Some even have their own dedicated school room.

Photo: Courtesy of Mistress Servalan who has had a schoolroom in Australia for over 20 years and specialises in Scholastic Discipline. In the photo is Hannah Elliot and naughty S who she notes in the caption have distinct cane preferences.



Anne Valentina  

Anna Valentina based in Portland, OR, USA

Twitter: @AnnaValentina

She advertises: "If you have ever been left unsatisfied after a spanking, you need to see me. I specialize in hard, thorough, expertly paced spankings.

You will be secured firmly across my lap - you'd be surprised how strong my thighs are - and your bottom warmed to a solid red flush. I know all the angles and spots to guarantee you a tender sitting-down afterwards. And I will push you to the greatest heights of your tolerance: when you feel comfortable and trusting of your Top, it's amazing how far you can go.

  • over-the-knee HAND SPANKING
  • leather paddles, institutional straps and razor strops
  • wooden hairbrushes, belts, slippers
  • tawses, floggers, riding crops
  • figging, mouth-soaping, hand-whipping 
  • lectures, corner time, written sentences

Mx Eve Minax based in San Francisco USA


Mistress Simone Chicago & Saint Louis

Twitter: @chicagomistress


Dominurtrix Miss Chris in Phoenix, Arizona  Twitter: @Dominurtrix


Mistress Shayne Atrophy in New York, USA Twitter: @MistressShayne 


Mistress Elena de Luca in New York, USA Twitter: 


"I love scholastic and domestic discipline. I even offer special rates for “Strictly Spanking” sessions."


The Empress Jasmine Wu in Miami USA & touring to multiple locations Twitter: @ThankYouEmpress 



Mistress Melody Pond in Southern California, USA Twitter: @MissMelsPond


Miss Georgia Payne in Los Angeles, CA, USA Twitter: @Georgia_Payne01

"I specialize in this genre in the USA."


Mistress Pomf in Florida, USA

Twitter: @MistressPomf

"After a hard spanking, She softly placed Her hand on my arm to reassure me everything was ok. It was a great gesture. However, every time She spit on me, She stared into my eyes to remind me She was the boss. i won’t forget Her beautiful eyes piercing my soul!"



Opehlia Margaux in San Francisco, CA, USA. Twitter: @OpheliaMargaux

"No classroom/desk but I have vivid memories from Christian private school & enjoy incorporating etiquette in sessions along w/ caning, tawse, ruler, hairbrush"


Mistress Servalan, Sydney, Australia Twitter: @msservalan (Note: Mistress Servalan has her own dedicated school room)

Blog post: She writes: "Yum – so as everyone knows I absolutely adore administering the cane. When I first started at Salon Kitty’s as an apprentice many years ago my personal life experience meant that I was “authorised” pretty much straight away to conduct heavy discipline sessions – I was taught to flog and cane by an ex-professional Mistress who took me under her wing in my first tentative steps into the kink community back in the 90s. I believe that my previous experience as an ex-fencer (I competed in sabre to a National level) stood me in good stead when it came to using a cane!

...Interestingly caning is the one area where I’m happy to take direction – while I never appreciate a bondage sub detailing how he wants to be bound (apart from general information and preferences)  certain masochistic caning fetishists may only be able to process the intense sensations of a severe thrashing under certain circumstances. This might relate to caning position, the diameter of the cane, timing, number of strokes at a time and so on. While the energy exchange is very different from a role play or a D/s focused session it’s still an amazing intense experience and being a part of it is so very enjoyable for me."


Hannah Elliot pro-sub & switch Mistress Twitter: @_truesubmissive

Hannah Elliot is recommended as "the ultimate Head Prefect switch. She’s an exceptional devotee of the cane on either side."


Mistress Electra Amore in Melbourne & Sydney, Australia (& tours) Twitter: @MzElectraAmore

"School punishment - It’s one of my favourite CP role plays, particularly when it involves the cane." 


Mistress Violet in Melbourne, Australia Twitter: 




Ms Chasey Devil in Melbourne, Australia  Twitter: @MsChaseyD


Mistress Misty in Melbourne, Australia Twitter: @Mistylatex1



Mistress Zoe in Melbourne, Australia Twitter: @ZoeDemure

Corporal Punishment: Nothing pleases me more then a polite and well-behaved, genuine masochist! I take enormous pleasure from giving you that delicious agony your body craves. I will be your governess, your sexy principal, or your strict auntie who must punish you over and over for your naughty indiscretions. Whether you want a strict and stern disciplinarian or a sensual and loving Mistress, I relish in my role and delight in your reactions. I have a large collection of canes and other implements. With precision and skill I can measure my strokes to suit your level, whether light, medium or heavy. I also enjoy hand strapping, and Bastinado.


Mistress Mynx in Melbourne, Australia Twitter: @Mistress_Mynx

"So much fun with this (school punishment) in the past. A particular naughty boy would bring me his collection of historic straps. Delightfully delicious times."


Georgette Delphine in Melbourne, Australia Twitter: @Domina_Delphine


Mistress Amara in Cairns, Australia  Twitter: 



Mistress Dee Ville in Brisbane, Australia Twitter: @MstressDeeVille

"I love giving an old fashioned spanking, and playing with textures, rhythm, and intensity, this can be very extensive if well deserved! I also enjoy harsher treatment as the situation at hand requires! (Such as caning, and specialty straps.) I have a school room set up at my GoldCoast Facility, and very much enjoy domestic discipline at my Brisbane Address."


Strictly Miss Brown, London, UK Twitter: 



Miss Iceni, London, UK Twitter: 

@Mistress_Iceni & she has a page here on her website outlining some possibilities:


Goddess Soria, South Wales, UK Twitter: @GoddessSoria


Mistress Lagerth, West Midlands, UK & Europe. Website: Twitter: @MistressLagerth


Goddess Cleo in London, UK  Twitter: @Goddess_Cleo

Who notes: "I even live in a converted school 😉 "


Miss Svenson caning therapist in South East UK



Mistress Ava Von Medisin in Norwich / Norfolk, UK (& International). Twitter: @AvaVonMedisin


Miss Amy Hunter in London, UK Twitter @HelloMissHunter

"Having spent several years as a popular spankee both on websites and in sessions, my skills as a Domme were built from my personal experiences, and over the last few years I have honed them to become a very firm - but usually fair -disciplinarian, using my natural dominance and love of power interaction.

Having been on the other end of the cane, so to speak, I am in an excellent position to know how it feels, both physically and psychologically."




Mistress Kalyss Mercury in Oslo, Norway (and tours other locations) Twitter: @kalyssmercury

"Yes, of course! Teacher student role plays are a lot of fun! Here in #Norway, we even have a "Girls Boarding School" weekend event a few times a year. Most school boys prefer private tuition..."


Note: This list is not "comprehensive" and skewed to those who happen to follow me on Twitter and responded to my shout-out on who is offering such sessions. It is quite time-consuming for me to list everyone and upload photos and links, so I've done the best I can for now and will continue to update when I'm able around my other commitments.

x Anne O Nomis

Photo courtesy of: SinaminSchnapps Twitter: @SinaminSchnapps


ENERGY, ATTENTION & WEIGHT: Masochism and its misdirected analysis (analyses) August 09 2021

I was recently delighted to hear about an academic reading group on BDSM History (CARAS) in the USA, and excitedly joined. As many of you are aware this is an area I've been working in for years, undertaking original research and uncovering the original material wherever I can to bring it up from the "underground". Whether that's so-called forbidden books, artwork, letters and ephemera, beyond just the well-regarded and "classic" texts on BDSM (such as beyond Leopold von Sacher Masoch's Venus in Furs and Marquis de Sade's work for example which are already well-known of).

A few of those involved in leading the group are doggedly of the belief that masochism only came about with Leopold von Sacher-Masoch and Kraft-Ebing's term 'masochism'. Ignoring all other material to the contrary which pre-dates it by years and centuries, which are not included in the History of BDSM group, they locate masochism as if a highly specific historical phenomenon of its era. And while there are absolutely fascinating aspects to the era of 19th Century sexology, this is not where masochism as desire / psychology in people came about, but only the term "masochism" was coined for "it". (Just as Troth's Knavery of Astrology (1680) tells us that there is "a neat invention of flogging..." -  it's not that flogging was only invented in 1680, but rather the term. Nor did Miley Cyrus invent bum dancing with her 2013 MTV Awards twerking, and one could look at New Orleans 1980s bounce music scene twerking or much further back to other "bum dances" in time.) 

One can only hold such a position of masochism only existing from 19th Century if one regards only the "classic texts" of major male figures, and ignores all else. There are plenty of materials that evidence it is not a historically specific phenomenon only invented by Kraft-Ebing (Psychopathia Sexualis, 1886) from Masoch by his book 'Venus in Furs' (1870).



While I would agree that the term "masochism" and the book by Sacher-Masoch were influential on how those with particular desires and psychologies INTERPRETED / FRAMED their own desires, it didn't invent the desire/psychology but only the name it and frame it in a particular way.

Indeed I would argue that the psychiatrist and popular definition of masochism focus and skew on particular elements which misinterpret or misdefine what for me are the important characteristics of the psychology/desire. 


From 12 years of professional and lifestyle exploration of the topic, and from now large scale survey data gathered from participants, keep bringing me back again and again to the pressing and impressing of weight, and overpowering / beating down / subjugating / piercing / rebuking with various specificities to the forms wanted by some to recreate the "thing" that made such impression on them in the first place (usually in childhood).

Hence my preference to now use a term "thew" in my new book (in progress):

noun - a bondsman, a slave, a servant

From Middle English thewen, from Old English þēowanþȳwan 
"to press, impress, force, press on, urge on, drive, press with a weapon, thrust, pierce, stab, threaten, rebuke, subjugate, overpower, crush, push, oppress, check", from Proto-Germanic*þewjaną ("to enslave, oppress"), from Proto-European *tūk- (to beat).  Cognate with Old High German dūhen (to press, press down), Middle Dutch duwendouwen (to push, press, force).


The pressing / impressing nature and enjoyment of weight (whether by physical body weight, impact play, trampling, strangulation etc) is well-conceived of by Leopold von Sacher Masoch himself in his invocation of the anvil. The person receiving is subject to the hammer (as-metaphor) coming at them. 


Interestingly, fascinatingly, they (so-called) "masochists" do not merely "take it", the inertia of the anvil rebounds transferring energy. Time and time again in professional sessions and in writing by masochists, they talk of the action and reaction. Action-and-reaction. Listen to the words they write - they are telling us something.


ANVIL METAPHOR: Force applied - Action-and-reaction
The "clues" then were all there, in Leopold von Sacher-Masoch's 'Venus in Furs', but they were also there in numerous other materials predating him. However what fascinated psychiatrists was the apparent perversity of someone enjoying pain, (which goes against the "pleasure principle") and this became the inordinate (over) focus - on pain. 


What didn't get enough weight of consideration, in my view:
* Pressing
* Impressing
* Beating-down
* Rebuking
* Piercing / stabbing (with penetration / punctuation effect)
* Trampling
* Crushing 


Let's listen again to the words of Sacher-Masoch, he writes:
"I became aware first of the mysterious affinity between cruelty and lust, and then of the natural enmity and hatred between the sexes which is temporarily overcome by love, only to reappear subsequently with elemental force, turning one of the partners into a hammer and the other into an anvil."
(Emphasis my own, Leopold von Sacher-Masoch "Choses Vecues" Revue Bleue, 1888; reproduced in Masochism 1991 Zone Books, New York, p.276) 


He's trying to tell you of the ELEMENTAL FORCE, and you dear theorists and psychiatrists are not listening. 


The metaphorical (and I want to say universal ) masochist, or "thew" in my wording, perceives the powerful object/other and challenges them or bumps them to:


Do me. Thew me. Squish me. Crush me. Whip me. Hit me. Cane me. Trample me. Strangle me. Squish me. Torture me. Tease me. Pierce me. Fuck me. Spit on me. Rebuke me. Crush me. Ravish me. Vanquish me. 


Some with particular specificity which goes to the original childhood impression characteristics, the original "ravissement". (Do it like this, use this on me.) Other masochists more flexible in method of "thewen".   


I came to this word today, frustratingly trying to refocus you on the "bit" that matters, to explain it to you (the hostile academic who believe in 19th Century masochism).


I didn't want to use just the term "trauma" as it's loaded and interpreted and associated with negative experience and with damage. It's not that this isn't true or possible but there is Wonder also, something that came through our daily existence; like a meteor shower streaming through the sky - streaming and sublime - that impacts - and leaves a crater(s) and fall-out.


And depending on where you put your focus; wondrous and/or sublimely powerful / destructive, changing the landscape of your life. 


I played with word possibilities - discounted choosing "trauma", considered the term "peak experience"(s), and immediately I then went to "ravissement", in French. And it fit like a jigsaw puzzle piece, clicked together. 


The word came to me from Marguerite Duras and her book " Le ravissement de Lol V. Stein" (which I have only read in English).


Ravishment of Lol Stein


Was "ravissement" used by my French slaves or masochists ever in session in Paris in late 2009-2010 era? I don't know and quite possibly, I don't want to discount that possibility.


I have just reordered the English out-of-print Duras book to remind myself of that moment and how it is portrayed by Duras for Lol Stein. I was going to write to explain it is not a BDSM moment, of a couple kissing at a ball - the character's partner for the ball night and it's effect on her, frozen and in ravissement, but then I realised it "IS" a BDSM moment. Shit it is (mind my language). It's an emotional cuckolding. 


nom masculin
  1. VIEUX
    Action de ravir, d'enlever de force.
    Fait d'être ravi transporté au ciel.
    Le ravissement de saint Paul.
In English: 
1. rapture
2. ecstasy
3. ravishment
4. enchantment
5. abduction
6. translation
7. rape


The action of "ravir" verb - to delight, to enchant, to wrest (from wrestle), to enrapture, to entrance, to rejoice, to rape, to torture, to abduct, to bereave, to elate.
Ravissement de Proserpine   
Image: Ravissement de Proserpine (1708-1733) Etching after François Girardon published by Bernard Picard, British Museum # 1914,0214.253


Remove all positive or negative connotations from this and approach all the terms with open mind and neutrality and pause to judgment. 


Pause there in this place.


You are now - paused - in masochist potential. (By all means correlating with Reik "suspense factor" cited in Deleuze "Coldness and Cruelty" p.75, and Deleuze discussion of frozen quality and suspense on p.34.)


And to add in religion, and you are now transported to the sky.


Boom. There it is. 


(Call that sub-space if you wish - call that what you like. Described by different people in different cultures and different eras, describing the same thing.)


This is why the stories retold by masochists involve elemental force of ravissement effect in a childhood (often) experience:  
A disciplinarian school punishment caning. A domestic discipline punishment by a parental or other figure. A sexual assault. A schoolyard physical / verbal / psychological bullying. A sister and her friends stomping / trampling. A caught in utter humiliation. A cuckolding. A medical operation experience. Teasing and denigration of having a small penis. And so on.


A further point.... The submissive is moved in this experience to bow down to authority and contemplate the wondrous power and submit to the sublime powerful figure-of-force, in generalised terms. 


The masochist - remember though - is the anvil. Saying bring it on, do your worst, and bounces back energy force, action-and-reaction. (Consider fight-flight-freeze + deflect)


In a a variety of individual dynamic relations which vary by person and inter-personal dynamic - whether bratting, smart arse, sassing, (mock) resisting, swearing, provoking, encouraging more of the elemental force:

"Whip me, I beg of you, it's a joy to me!"... "hurt me in earnest", "if you love me be cruel to me".

(Leopold von Sacher Masoch 'Venus in Furs' (1870) and in my edition Masochism 2013 New York, Zone Books p.186)


And as I looked to find the former passage, beside it on the adjoining page unexpectedly as I didn't recall it, p.187 of Venus in Furs

"her cruelty fills me with rapture". 


x Anne O Nomis


Date of essay / blog post: Tuesday 10th August 2021


Acknowledgments to the CARAS group and the academic claimed "invention of masochism" by Masoch & Kraft-Ebing, and open hostility to my work in the 7 am Sunday my time class and ignoring all the pre-Masoch era artifacts, writings, ephemera & artwork. This is my perhaps masochist anvil return serve of energy force. Wink.  


To summarise: The term "masochism" merely put a term to a thing which long-existed and been a specialization of the Dominatrix craft profession. And in my view the framing of "masochist" as defined overly-focused on pain rather than weight / elemental force and rebounding energy proposed in the anvil and fight-fight-freeze options the technical "deflect" of taking energy coming at them and bouncing it back. And masochist discussion also often misses the significance of the "ravissement" state. 



THE BRATTY SUBMISSIVE: Is there such a thing? (Or are they masochists?) July 20 2021

To answer the qustion of the "bratty submissive", I want to share with you some of my initial data is in from my surveys on submissives, slaves, masochists, bottoms.

And this will come as a surprise to few - the "brats" or "bratty submissives" turn on the data to be very much masochists, or as I intend to rename them - thews.

What is a thew? It's a very old term I've taken from Middle English thewen (þēowan, þȳwan ) and want to bring back into popular use - and thewen means: 

to press, impress, force, press on, urge on, drive, press with a weapon, thrust, pierce, stab, threaten, rebuke, subjugate, crush, push, oppress, check.

A "thew" was a slave, servant, bondsman - approximately translated - in a term derived from "thewen" and proposng they were pressed / impressed / forced / pierced / rebuked / subjugated / crushed / oppressed into it.

And that in my argument is what the BDSM thew seeks - they seek the thewing. (They seek the  pressing, the impressing, the forcing, the urging on, the pressing with weapon, the thrusting, the piercing, stabbing, rebuking, crushing, pushing, oppressing and so forth - often in specific preferred form. Whether that be facestting, or asphyxiation, or needle play, or impact play / punishment, or trampling, or "forced" penetration or pegging or rough play, overpowering by wrestling down, strong-arming, and so on.)

Hence being bratty is but one technique to potentially try and get a reaction and draw some of the thewing from the Dom.

Common reasons that brats reported for being bratty was to:

  • test the reaction from the Dom
  • push the Dom's buttons
  • to make the Dominant work to earn the brat's respect and prove they can manage them 
  • get a rise from the Dom
  • get the Dom angry / frustrated and get retaliation
  • add fuel to the fire
  • to give the Dom a reason to punish
  • feel good to act out in an unrestrained and uninhibited way
  • to speed things up (getting a spanking / speed up the session)
  • to make the session or punishment tougher 
  • challenge the Dominant to make the Dominant muscle them / strong-arm them / force them (in a consensual non-consent dynamic)

Such as for example getting a reaction of the Dom who says "Right now I'm really going to give it to you!"

Yes! This is exactly what the brat wanted. This is the specific dynamic the bratty sub (masochist / thew) seeks, is to be put in their place and receive punishment / funishment / be beaten down and subjugated by the Dominant and driven into a state of submission (or rather surrender).

However they also often want it - the thewing - done in a particular way or even highly idealised way that exists in their fantasy. Such as they want to be Dominated with finesse, with great competence and understanding. The idealised expectations or fantasy hopes make it arguably even harder for them to find satisfaction oftentimes. 

Why brattiness may not always be such a good idea for their dynamic with their Dom?

Depending on the Dominant and the dynamic, being bratty risks in some cases the behaviour not being well-received or appreciated by the Dominant. Everyone's different of course, and some Doms enjoy brattiness as a playful dynamic and for others don't like the behaviour and have coined the "PITA brat".

Just what is a PITA brat you may be asking? It's short for Pain-In-The-Arse Brat.

This is where to some Dominants, the bratty behaviour is potentially perceived by some Dominants negatively as:

  • Pain in the arse behaviour (hence the "PITA brat" phrase)
  • Annoying behaviour
  • Childish / immature behaviour (without the Dom having consented to or wanted a "little" dynamic)
  • Attention-seeking behaviour
  • Passive aggressive behaviour
  • Manipulative behaviour
  • A form of topping from the bottom
  • Disrespectful to the Dom
  • Damages the relationship (for those Doms who don't take fondly to bratty behaviour)
  • Not submissive behaviour (by perception of some Doms)
  • Not being a "true submissive" (by perception of some Doms)
  • Undermining of the D/s dynamic

And to a degree I have sympathy for the perspective of undermining the D/s dynamic because bratty behaviour is arguably turning it into a Dominant/masochist dynamic (or Sadist/masochist dynamic); and not strictly what I would think of as a Dominant/submissive dynamic. 

We're now in the realm of brat-taming, or "thewing" strong-arming them into submission or surrender - which is of course exactly what the brat wanted and sought, but may not be what the Dominant enjoys in terms of the dynamic. Or for some - particularly those inexperienced or unconfident - may throw them off their game as they don't know how to deal with that or don't understand the behaviour and take it as disrespectful behaviour.

Some Doms like brats / bratty behaviour 

Yes! Some Doms do like brats and bratty behaviour. Some take it as playful and enjoy it in that light. Some enjoy the rise in their sadistic streak. Some Doms enjoy the rise in sexual arousal that provocative bratty behaviour stimulates in them - particularly noted by some male Doms / Daddy identities in relation to female brats.

Some enjoy the Big / little dynamic that can be activated by bratty behaviour. Oftentimes those who are also parents are very familiar with the dynamic of bratty behaviour.

Some love being given an easy excuse narratively to punish, such as in corporal punishment roleplay scenarios. To force their brat over the knee and spanked. To be given the go-ahead to increase the planned Domination intensity. And the list goes on.

Differences between brats and subs?


Here's a small screenshot of a section of my masochist data, with 20 masochists at the top, and then 5 self-identified "brats" below the horizontal grey bar.

At the top is the set-up of the columns:

Doing whatever it is that my Dom wants to do | Completing duties set | Serving my Dominant | Being trained Being shaped Feeling owned Authentic real control given over - not only kinky time control 

The options to pick from for answers were Crucially important, Very important, Moderately important, Slightly important, or Not important.

I've colour coded them manually for easy reference.


Now here's a small section of my 26 submissives' data for the same columns.

Say what! Ooooh! Do you see the difference? We're now swimming in more of an overall blue appearing tapestry mosaic. 

The subs tended to rate "Doing whatever it is that my Dom wants to do" as Crucially important (coloured dark blue) or Very important (mid blue).

The masochists and brats tended to rate "Doing whatever it is that my Dom wants to do" as Moderately important (coloured yellow), Slightly important (coloured orange), or Not important (coloured red)!

There is much much more data and at this stage I am just illustrating but one small section to show how these differences are appearing from my survey data.

The data is significantly larger, more complex and individual and I can say much, much more about my findings, and from my experience of 12 years. And there are exceptions to the general rule which I don't have time to go into here in this blog. Some subs are a little bit bratty playful, but overall quite "well-behaved", etc.

Every individual is ultimately an individual, and there's no one quality in of itself that I can nail down a masochist from a sub, but the overall pattern colour tapestry mosaic is different.

(Also - not all masochists are bratty, by the way. It's but one approach or tool in the toolkit to get the "thewing" I describe above that they seek. Some develop a relationship with someone sympatico who understands them for example, and goes straight to work thewing them, and they don't need to be bratty to amp up the intensity or provoke to get the dynamic and play they seek.)

Lastly I want to leave you with some answers to another survey question on brats.

Some individual answers on whether they used provocative behaviour such as being bratty, cheeky, deliberately naughty to provoke reaction / play / punishment / funishment.

Here are a small selection of answers and perceptions of those who filled out my survey on the topic, who include subs, slaves, masochists and brats. (I'll let you guess which each person might self-identify as; wink).

Answered VERY MUCH THE CASE: "I explore how the dominate is reacts and find ways to please her but also push her buttons at time.  I enjoy the sadistic dominatrix more and I can tell you that they are easy to make the sessions even tougher at times .  To me not being a brat would mean a boring session.  I have to be able to please the dominatrix but also push boy tries to seek a reaction."

Answered MODERATELY: "Being defiant in a subtle way. My favorite provocation is to insinuate, with words, gesture or attitude, that the Domme doesn't have and is not capable of have power over me. It's about timing and subtlelty, never being offensive or disrespectful."

Answered ONLY VERY OCCASIONALLY: "I do it more as a flirtation. Do X… “No” get that little reaction of a look or a what did you just say… it’s nothing more than a quick reaction to get a small rise and not a constant on going push." 

Answered ONLY VERY OCCASIONALLY:  "For me, I tend to avoid it until things are well established. Communication is often so fraught anymore that communicating in the shades of gray where "brat" and sarcasm operate adds complications. Once other things are more "solid" such come into play more." 

Answered VERY MUCH THE CASE: "As the Top/Bottom relationship grows and time together expands I'm of the belief such antics/behavior have a greater effect."

Answered ONLY VERY OCCASIONALLY: "I don't really think it is a part of submission / being a good sub :P "

Answered ONLY VERY OCCASIONALLY:  "I am stoical and serve. Therefore I am not bratty during more intense femdom."

Answered NOT AT ALL: I don't do it because I fear showing disrespect to my Female Master, whom I feel compelled to submit to at all times.  I would only misbehave if it was something I thought She wanted me to do.

Answered NOT AT ALL: "It doesn't feel natural to me.  I want to be the best submissive and playing-up to provoke a response is the antithesis of that."

Answered VERY MUCH THE CASE: "the simplest case is merely  to give the  Top a reason ( cause and effect) to do as desired.  Such as investing them into a greater intensity in their response.    There is nothing more primal than anger or frustration  to motivate a harsh retaliatory reaction.  Such stimuli are   -belittling  their skills ( aw you hit like a girl.. oh i forgot   you ARE a girl)   -feeding their insecurities  -sarcasms and /or giving inaccurate replies (   mostly a way to keep them unbalanced so out of frustration there creates a bit of extra fueling of the fire (like cooking with gasoline- in needs of a spark of excitement or rush) "

Answered NOT AT ALL: "My Domme sees being a brat as incredibly disrespectful."

Answered MODERATELY: "Poking my tongue out  Standing when asked to kneel   Ignoring an instruction    Seeing what reaction I get."

Answered VERY MUCH THE CASE: "Sometimes you need to move things in the direction you wish them to get to, that can be through guidance or perhaps if you know you will be spanked for a specific reason - you do that specific thing to draw the spanking you wish for.  - It is a funny pattern because you seek punishment and discipline, and learn that certain behavior can accomplish that so you seek that. I don't often share, but if my "Dominant Partner" were to use punishment/discipline as a reward and ignore me/not play as a punishment - I would behave and never be bratty, or deliberate!"

Answered VERY MUCH THE CASE: "I will talk back, argue, not carry out the task, not respond correctly."

Answered ONLY VERY OCCASIONALLY:  "it seems passive aggressive and annoying"

Answered NOT AT ALL: ""Brattting" is manipulative behavior - and just not good manners."

Answered NOT AT ALL: "This would be considered manipulative and disrespectful. i would be punished.  Usually by having all interactions stop.  A real punishment.  - If this is the kink that both parties agree to.  Awesome have fun and be ready for a good thrashing, depending on how bratty you are.  my relationship is different than this.  i would be quickly dismissed."

Answered MODERATELY: "To speed things up sometimes.  - I try do to as told. But if time is brief then I may be extra naughty/sarcastic or “today I wanted to this” kind of stuff to try and speed a session along or point it in a certain direction."

Answered MODERATELY: "I prefer confessions of naughtiness, rather than actually doing anything. - Recurring themes:     1) Thinking about something sexy (like what the woman is wearing under her skirt); or, looking at her bottom. "Please, Miss, I was looking at your bottom while I was following you upstairs to get spanked."     Or, getting caught doing this "Were you looking at my bottom, boy, while I was bending over to fetch my cane?"    2) Confessing to being naughty on purpose in order to be punished, because I enjoy it.    "Please, Miss, I was naughty because I've always fantasised about being punished by you - and I enjoy it when you do punish me."

Answered ONLY VERY OCCASIONALLY: "Just before a scene, I might occasionally stand my own ground, be more pedantic, or less open. "

Answered ONLY VERY OCCASIONALLY: "I feel it is disrespectful and it annoys the mistress. So I avoid this."

Answered ONLY VERY OCCASIONALLY: "This is highly dependent on the personality of the domme I’m playing with.  Some are very playful in their nature.  Those that are might find me joking/provoking a little because I sense they’d enjoy it.  I mostly don’t do this on a serious level because it strikes me as a passive-aggressive trait.  I hate passive-aggressive."

NOT AT ALL: "I very rarely be bratty I find it goes against my want to serve and provide for the dom."

And this Twitter comment: "I've never really understood bratting, except as a mutual game which (if played properly) allows the bottom some degree of influence over the actions (punishments etc.) meted out by the top ... ... too often it 'gets silly', and the balance of control/submission is lost." 

So there we go - very mixed reports on brattiness and people's views on it in a BDSM context. And hopefully you have a better understanding now of why brats act up as they do.

And my own view on brats and brattiness?

Sometimes someone is deliberately bratty and I'm in the mood for playing that game and it can enliven my energy and is good for my students also to enjoy watching for their amusement and the interaction and dynamic. I can chuckle along with light hearted spirit or try and stay deadly serious and play the game of punishment / funishment with a mock stern expression. And gives me opportunity often for stronger or higher intensity play, if I'm in the mood for it, and knowing the masochist brat thew is seeking that.

Other times it can be plain annoying and poorly timed, and come across as childish and inappropriate, and ultimately insensitive and inconsiderate of everyone else in the room. (eg super noisy, interrupting, bumping into people, me-me-me, give me attention, etc)

And still other times, I don't play along but actually evidence I know exactly what they're up to and am not going to play into their game, and the real punishment is no play and ignoring them entirely. (Ooooh - ouch Anne! Yep that's right.) So that if they want to engage me they need to change their approach and behaviour.

And as a teacher of Dominatrices, I am of the opinion that bratty behaviour is often not a good idea with newbie Mistresses as it can really throw them off their game and confidence as they're just getting started. And received potentially as disrespectful, as that think you don't take them seriously or their Dominance seriously, and undermining them, etc. So perhaps consider whether it may be strategically better to help raise their confidence in Dominance with positive reinforcement encouragement and delighting in play with them first - just my five cents.

The sub-title to the masochist / brat's game is:

Do your worst! Thew me! (Preferably the way the masochist / brat had in mind / in fetish fantasy).

Brat-taming and Domination classes

For those interested, I am teaching a later this year on the topic of "brat taming" and masochist management as a Domination class.  (With options of both Online streamed class, and "in person" class taught in Melbourne Australia.)

You can join my Mistressery Muse and news letter to stay updated, by clicking here. (In which I try to get around to letting people know of my classes, talks and new book news, and don't send it out too often - just to manage your expectations. I'm more focused on my work than on marketing myself.) 

I am also teaching another 8 week Dominatrix Seven Realm Arts certificate course again in September, for which I keep getting requests, and the information and dates for this is via Passionfruit shop here.

Over and out for now.

x Anne O Nomis

(Any queries you can email me at: )


Anne O Nomis presents at DomCon NOLA (USA) November 04 2020



DomCon was founded 17 years ago, and is the major conference for Dominants in the USA. Due to Coronavirus, this year's DomCon NOLA event was moved online.

Anne O Nomis featured and headlined as one of the International presenters for DomCon. Her talk received one of the highest number of attendees of all talks, and received rave reviews and feedback from all who attended.

Journalist Gram Ponante wrote up DomCon NOLA for AVN, and picked out Anne's presentation for paragraphs of the write-up - and all of the images featured for the article, commending the quality of Anne O Nomis's work:

DomCon’s closing day featured a TED talk-level presentation by the Australian domme and scholar Anne O Nomis, whose ““From Ancient Goddess Rituals to Female Flagellants & The Bizarre Underground: The History of the Dominatrix” drew on research that took “Nomis” to little-visited museum collections and forbidden tomes in search of the sacred and ritualized ancient origins of what would only much later be called the dominatrix.

Her 2012 book The History & Arts of the Dominatrix collects art and documentation from Egypt, Sparta, and Pompeii before it gets to the 1960s, when the term “dominatrix” became de rigeur. Before that, words like “governess, whipstress, flagellant, bizarre lady,” or “strict madam” were common.

Reference: Ponante, Gram "Virtual DomCon NOLA Dominates the Weekend" 4th November 2020:

Anne sender her thanks to DomCon founder Mistress Cyan, and to Simone Justice in USA, for selecting her as one of this year's International presenters, with her talk scheduled to be the final presentation to end DomCon NOLA (on Sunday 1st November at 4.45 pm New Orleans time) and for organizing the event.

Mistress Cyan expressed she'd love to have Anne O Nomis back again for future DomCon events as an International presenter, which Anne would welcome as an opportunity to share knowledge on her brand new work and research in progress at the major USA conference for Dominants and the industry.

Website for DomCon:

Slide from talk   Slide 2


The "Do Me sub" : A masochist in submissive disguise August 16 2020

Back in 2009 when I was undertaking my apprenticeship at the Dominas Realm dungeon (now closed), the senior Mistresses had a particular expression they used to describe a particular type of client. 

The Do-Me sub.

"And what pray tell is a Do-Me sub?", you may ask.

The Do Me sub

A "Do Me sub" is someone who says they're a sub, before proceeding to tell you exactly what you are to do to them.

"I want to be dominated, and for you to take control of me Mistress. I want to be your toy. You will be wearing leather clothes, red or black which allow me to see your skin, for example, a small bra, a short leather skirt and very high heels. I sent photos ahead of how you'll be dressed - did you receive them?

I will present myself in front of you, kneeling down. Then you'll tie up my hands strongly. I am now your prisoner, your slave. Then you will walk around me, caress me or strike my ass. Put a tie around my cock, exciting me as well as being severe. At the same time, you'll give me instructions on how I have to talk to you, always using "Mistress" at the end of my sentences, and no talk if I'm not invited to.

Then you'll continue with total bondage of my body. I like to feel the rope on my body. You'll act slowly, taking your time, and of course I must not move otherwise I am punished. Then you'll play with me, alternating between being erotic, exciting or severe. You'll then test my resistance, pinching on my nipples, or having me stay in the cage, dripping candle wax on me, fixing me to the St Andrew's Cross with mask over my eyes, and whipping me. Within my limits - no watersports.

Then you'll offer me your breasts to kiss very gently. You can also show me your breasts and then take them away just when I am about to kiss them. You'll play with me, caressing one second, and stopping for no reason. 

When you consider I have behaved the proper way and obeyed well enough, you'll give me my final reward, making love or exciting me with your hand. You can also ask me for a massage, soft and sensual. Any misplaced gesture is punished unless you agree to it. After that - you liberate me."

The above is adapted from an actual real life email from someone who identifies as a "sub". 

A sub who scribes and prescribes the entire session he wants in great detail. And in violation of most professional Mistress's boundaries in respect of the sexual content. And which ironically is prefaced with: "I want to be dominated. I want you to take control of me".

However everything which follows after this first sentence, contradicts it's meaning. 

He doesn't want to be genuinely dominated with Mistress taking control. He has his fetish and fantasy in his mind's imagination, and he wants the Mistress to play out and enact this fantasy of Domination. 

He's scripted the entire session from start-to-finish according to his own wants. And where's the room here for what Mistress wants? Where's the empowering of the Mistress to dominate him really? Where's the opportunity for her to control him to Her actual wishes?  

One of the female graduates of my Dominatrix Seven Realm Arts certificate class recently tweeted me in on this amusing meme: 

A sub telling their Dom all the things they want to try

There's the so-called "sub", wide eyed with his frenetic plans and ideas and visual examples of the session he wants, and the activities he wants.

And often what follows this is a sub disappointed or frustrated that things haven't lived up to his hopes and expectations, and a baffled Mistress who doesn't understand how he could have such high expectations or say he wants to be dominated but then seemingly doesn't actually want to submit but only to submit in the ways he wants. And seemingly a fantasy (masochistic) submission rather than a genuine power exchange.

This operation is seen very well in the film 'Duke of Burgandy' (2014), written and directed by Peter Strickland, in which the so-called submissive it turns out deeper into the film has told her Mistress what to say and do to dominate her - to a great degree. (For those interested in watching the film, the trailer is here and option to purchase in top right hand corner - I have no vested interest or back-kick and am sharing only for knowledge: )

Duke of Burgandy

There is also a very amusing short little animated film here, entitled "SUBMISSIVE MALES WATCH THIS":

It's only 1 minute, 46 seconds long, and gets the amusing point across well by showing the "Do Me sub" in their most extreme form. (Most aren't quite as bad as this, lol)

A "Do-Me sub", or a "master masochist"?

As I explain to my students, this is not a true submissive at all. This is as the Mistresses of the Dominas Realm would call a "Do-Me sub", and in most cases is actually a masochist rather than a submissive.

The popular definition of masochist - as someone who enjoys pain, is due to vast oversimplification and shortening to meet dictionary-style descriptor, and it's not correct.

In fact, someone who enjoys pain is in my definition a "pain slut" or to use the psychology term - an "algophiliac".

A masochist is not someone who necessarily enjoy pain for pain's sake, but rather takes their pleasure from drawing invested punishment (and potentially bullying-style humiliation) from their Mistress, and "bumping" her to get their fetish and fantasy. The masochist enjoys the pain the Mistress is inflicting because it fulfils his fantasy and also her investment in administering it shows that she cares enough about him to be bothered to hurt him. 

A masochist also inevitably has a particular fetish - such as for leather, or stiletto shoes, or fur - as was the case of Leopold von Sacher Masoch (the author of 'Venus in Furs' and after whom the term "masochism" was named after), or some other "thing".

Leopold von Sacher Masoch (author of 'Venus in Furs' novella, and in real life he sought to be whipped and beaten down by a cruel women wearing furs.)


If we look to Leopold von Sacher Masoch, as the original masochist, he wanted to be a so-called slave to Mistress, and have her dominate him, wear furs, whip him and beat him down. But the contract he had drawn up reveals she was not to enter his office, leave him alone in specified hours, wear furs frequently, and... and...    and the list goes on. 

Indeed his letterhead featured a commissioned illustration of his exact fetish fantasy - featuring a woman wearing regal furs and wielding a severe whip.

  Leopold von Sacher Masoch letterhead from Welcome collection

A psychology with a cadence towards submission and ego regulation

Leopold von Sacher Masoch, and masochists more generally, have a very specific psychology that goes beyond enjoying pain per se. Rather what they seek is a play in which they are beaten down by the Dominant figure - through punishment and/or humiliation, who is wearing or wielding their fetish and to the image and details they have in mind. The masochist often wants to be at her feet, in awe of her, with her elevated above him. For her to tease and torment him, alternating attention on him, and then ignoring him in turn. He wants for her to be cold and cruel, beating him down with whip or with insults (or even in some but not all cases degradation) - until he "submits" and is in a trance-like state of yielding - or "sub space". This is the reason that many masochists (mis-)identify as submissives - is that they do want to submit, to be strong-armed by the Mistress into submission, through a particular sequence which has a kind of cadence to it. And once they are there in that "submissive" state - they do truly enjoy that state, like an infant or small child whose mother whose power and strength has brought them under control.

There is ego regulation going on, from the masochist revelling in (narcissistic) success in machinated - plotting - to draw the attention of the Mistress. To her toying and playing with him as a cat - or rather tiger - would its prey, pouncing with ipower over them and weight upon them, making them little. Bringing their ego into regulation, squishing the air out of their over-inflated balloon. And in the aftermath reassured by the feeling of being invested in, cared about, and thus worthy, clever and loved.

Professional Dominatrices are of course expert in such offerings and services. With a wardrobe typically filled with popular fetish attire requests, of leather gloves, skirts, hoisery, catsuits, corsetry, latex attire, stiletto talon heels and thigh high boots, and other items often to cater to very specific but less common client requests - such as for fur, or silk scarves, items with supersensuality and powerful animal association.

A masochist emailed me just the other day to emphasize an element from a class on fetish - the animal aspect of many fetishes.

Animal aspect of fetishes

I recall Sacher-Masoch had "dreamt of human tigresses" in a letter to the sculptor Rodin, his fur fetish elaborated by some degree by this phrase. Furs are literally the skin pelt of particular animals. The catsuit also evokes this concept of animal skin. Silk fetishists frequently wish to be cocooned in silk. Others want to be woven into a web of ropes bondage, in which the Mistress is by extension the Weaver-spider who has entrapped her prey. One of the FemDom clubs was called Mantis, named after the Preying Mantis who uses its mate to feast upon after copulation. While various birds of prey have powerful talons which they use to grip onto flesh.

Indeed it is no coincidence that the powerful Goddesses across ancient Mesopotamia, Anatolia and across and into India - were linked to and symbolised in proximity to lions, tigers and birds of prey.

An algorithm of desire of the "Do-Me sub" or "masochist"

After eleven years of theoretical and practical study of BDSM, I feel that I really know the pattern of the script they want and its rhythm, or rather algorithm. If I was working on the mathematical equation, it would go something like:

Sexy powerful clothing with fetish effect is worn or wielded

+ lowering (of man / person)

+ Invocation of awe

+ they have invested attention of Dom

+ Command

+ Bringing under control (by bondage or other)

+ Overpowering / strong-arming

+ the 4 Ts (tease, toy, torment, torture)

+ Ignoring attention of for periods

+ Specific fetish worn or wielded

+ Beating down (eg whipping, bullying) with "hits" of pain

+ more of 4Ts (tease, toy, torment, torture)

+ Proximity privilege (such as body worship)

+ Tease-and-denial

+ Begging / bargaining / plea for release

+ Delayed gratification

--> Ending, reward, release & liberation (could end with denial, with caning, with sexual release or ruined orgasm, worship, or numerous other ways) 

Phew! That's a lot of energy expended there - did you feel it reading that? Or perhaps if you're a masochist reading this you're just thinking "hot" and you've been taken off into a state of fantasy?

There are individual nuances to the above of course. A CP fetishist will have specific School teacher roleplay and paddling / caning potentially. A latex fetishist will have you and them wearing latex tied in with this session, perhaps strapped down to a medical chair and the tease and torment may be using medical equipment, speculums, clamps, electrics, etc. And numerous other variation. Those with strong algophilia (enjoyment of pain and endorphins from it) will potentially want a stronger emphasis on heavy pain infliction, etc. Many masochists are into forced face-sitting and / or weight upon them pressing down on them, or being sat on their chest or body, or trampling literally walking over them. Some enjoy heavier bullying focus with verbal humiliation and face-slapping, or degradation play such as pissing, etc. To each their own form, but there is nonetheless a pattern and rhythm, and a way this rhythmic cadence makes them feel. 

So how does a masochist differ from a submissive then? 

The difference of a submissive is that they enjoy pleasing their Mistress, and genuinely care whether she is happy or displeased. I call a submissive a "sub placeur", with placeur meaning "pleasing".

My father - a submissive - used to say "for you I kill ze bull", meaning "for you - anything", like a matador he would slay the bull for me. Much like a chivalrous knight who would slay a dragon for the Lady, a submissive stands at the ready to serve - and please - his Mistress.

Edmund Leighton "The Accolade" (1901)

If you ask a submissive what he's into or what he wants, the answer is often "I want to do what you want to do Mistress". And although this can be frustrating to a Mistress, he is answering in integrity with his identity.  They defer frequently to the Mistress.

By contrast, a masochist doesn't relate particularly at all really to the chivalrous knight. To a masochist this kind of thinking is weak and sappy. A masochist is in it for what he wants, to be Dominated to his fantasy, and is self-orientated or self-centred actually in this regard, and he thinks cynically that's true of all people.

A masochist also only wants to "submit" when he's in the mood, at times that suit. Otherwise he's liable to get very grumpy, complain or refuse when the opportunity's there but he's not in the mood. And he needs the algorithm that I elaborated above: the overpowering, the entrapment, strong-arming, the wants you in the sexy powerful attire. And it's really all about them (the masochist).

Now I should additionally qualify this by explaining a submissive does also often enjoy many of the same things, but the difference is that for him that's a bonus to get that "play", and there's a sense of caring about the woman and pleasing her that is the foundation of a submissive's inclinations.

So how does a masochist differ from a slave then? 

A true slave, or "nomis slave" or "titilus slave" as I'll likely call them in my forthcoming book, wants to be owned - their ideal would be 24/7 (24 hours a day, 7 days a week), and given clear duties, role, place, security.

In stark contrast to Leopold von Sacher Masoch's what I would call "mock slavery" (eg I'll be your slave, during these hours, but you can never enter into my office, and you shall wear my fetish, and whip me, and fulfil my fantasy as scripted and as I manipulate and bribe you to do, etc), a real slave feels that they are a slave as their true identity and wants to be owned and to find an owner who can fulfil their needs. 

I recently posted a blog post of some writing by the late (deceased) slave david stein, that explains well what a slave needs. (Direction, discipline and service, explains slave david stein.)

Image: slave david stein

I think in many eras, slaves may well have joined an abbey as a monk to get the kind of sense of place, purpose, duties that they feel most fulfilled by. And indeed the book "The Rule of Saint Benedict" written in around the year 516, for monks living with the authority of an abbot - reads very much like a slave-training manual. 

Whereas such a life would not suit a masochist at all; he only wants the play of being a slave when he's in the mood for it, and it involves the ingredients that capture his fantasy of Domination.

So although a masochist may call himself a "submissive" or "slave", and these terms get thrown about readily and mixed up frequently in the BDSM scene, due to misunderstandings also of the term's meanings, and he is not in fact either of these things. And they often don't identify with masochist as they think it means someone who enjoys pain, whereas many masochists don't enjoy pain per se, but rather being beaten down by the Dominant (with pain hits).

And it's one of the reasons I plan to rename the psychology typologies in my new book forthcoming, to get greater clarity of the way people self-identify.

Psychology typologies by Anne O Nomis

submissive --> sub placeur (meaning pleasing submissive) someone who takes their pleasure from pleasing their Mistress and submitting to their Mistress

slave --> nomis slave (meaning name slave)* or titilus slave (title slave)* someone who takes their pleasure from being owned, having duties, discipline, a place, security.

masochist --> supersensual machinator (meaning supersensual + artful plotter)** someone who takes their pleasure from drawing invested punishment and humiliation from their Mistress, and bumping her to get their fetish and fantasy of being strong-armed into submission. 

fetishist --> someone who takes pleasure from play with their fetish

kinkster-hedonist --> someone who takes their pleasure from explorative play with kinks and hedonism (and may not be submissive or Dominant but happy to play in either role or switching)


* I am undecided of which of the two slave terms to go with, whether nomis slave (name slave) or titulus slave (title slave), and wish to see which uptakes better with slaves themselves. I don't have ego invested in the "nomis" - it means name rather than referring to my psuedonym Anne O Nomis. The word "anonymous" itself being "without" + "name".

** The term supersensual was the term that Leopold von Sacher Masoch used himself in his book 'Venus in Furs' when its character Severin is describing his own inclination. In German this is rendered as übersinnlich (supersensual), with associations to supernatural, the awe of the  magical sorcery-like sensual fetishistic effect.

Are all masochists "Do Me subs"? Do they all scribe and prescribe how you should Dominate them? 

No, not all masochists are "Do-Me subs" in scribing and prescribing what they want - but a lot to be fair - do do this.

Some - newbies in particular - don't yet know themselves well enough what they want exactly other than to be "Dominated". As they begin experimenting and some things "work" on them and others "don't", they begin to start bumping towards that which does have the magical sorcery effect upon them, and they can't help but manipulating or scribing this then, to try and get better what they want.

Some masochists have learnt how to be subtle in their manipulations, "gifting" her the fetish they want her to wear, suggesting in nudging ways. Some masochists who are seeing professional Dominatrices or very experienced lifestyle Mistresses feel confident and trusting enough in her knowledge and understandings that they can to a greater degree leave it down to her, because she's doing the algorithm largely anyway which is getting the desired effect. Or by giving her a certain amount of information that is enough to indicate the direction they want to go, and reminding her of their fetish preferences.

However it's true that many masochists do indeed present as "Do Me subs" with tactics of dictating what they want in order to get that magical effect and submission they yearn for.

And as Mistress may have previously had or seen a genuine submissive - who was happy to please Her and much more pliable around the content of the session play - she may get very confused then trying to understand this "do-me sub" or sub who is actually a masochist using the wrong hat to title himself.

The masochist may feel they need to explain to a Mistress clearly that they're not much into doing things like cleaning for her, or doing things for her that are not on their fantasy erotic fetishistic wavelength.

Here's another email from a masochist masquerading as a submissive.

Hi Mistress,

My name is _____ (deleted for privacy),

I am a submissive 34 years old and I would like to meet you for a switch session, as far as I am concerned you can inflict the following punishments on me:

insults, slaps, shoe licking, whip, swift bondage, torture of the nipples and parts, kicks and knees in the parts, pissing, wax, dildo or strap-on.

What are the procedures for meeting you?


Do you see the scribing and prescribing of exactly the activities he wants? Do you see the ingredients I refer to in my algorithm, and indeed in another email was what the Mistress should wear. (For quick referral, a reminder that the algorithm was:

Sexy powerful clothing with fetish effect is worn or wielded

+ lowering (of man / person)

+ Invocation of awe

+ they (the masochist) has the invested attention of Dom

+ Command

+ Bringing under control (by bondage or other)

+ Overpowering / strong-arming

+ the 4 Ts (tease, toy, torment, torture)

+ Ignoring attention of for periods

+ Beating down (eg whipping, bullying) with "hits" of pain

+ more of 4Ts (tease, toy, torment, torture)

+ Proximity privilege (such as body worship)

+ Tease-and-denial

+ Begging / bargaining / plea for release

+ Delayed gratification

--> Ending, reward, release & liberation (could end with denial, with caning, with sexual release or ruined orgasm, worship, or numerous other ways) 

This email evidences another very good exemplar of the "Do-Me sub" that the Mistresses of my dungeon of internship would have referred to, and who in my framework of thinking - is a masochist (supersensual machinator) and not a sub. 

Masochists often are quite capable of switching, and often do so in order to direct the content and activities exactly as they want. Indeed many masochists switch to playing Dominant role, which might seem odd to many seeing they want purportedly to submit, but it evidences exactly why a masochist isn't a submissive. They want that algorithm above. They "bump" the Mistress in the direction of what they want. They scribe, prescribe, direct, unless by chance she's already doing what they're into. (Such as you may get with an experienced pro-Domme who's so used to the activities and rhythm that she autopilots to it.)

And often frustrated by things not quite going as they want, some masochists opt to switch in order to get the exact content they want, to gain pleasure in both the Directing of the scene as well as vicariously in what the person subbing for them will be feeling.

It's for this reason that the term "sado-masochist" is often used as a further identification to explain the switching from masochist-sub-bottom into the alternative role of directing-sadist-top.

The problem for heterosexual male masochists - here's what women want. 

I feel empathy for masochists (supersensual machinators) because they're often misunderstood, or end up frustrated or confused, or sad or let down, or find it hard to find a life partner who can fulfil their needs. And not all, because I know some who are happy and indeed a few such couples come to Villa Domme each year. 

However part of the reason that they find it hard often to find what they want, to be dominated as per their hopes or fantasy, with the activities and rhythm they need to get to that delicious place they want to go, is that it's not perfectly aligned or even well-aligned with the activities that most lifestyle female Dominants want.

As a reminder, and I've written a post on this, here are the favourite activities of 43 lifestyle Female Dominants, averaged from the ratings they gave out of 10 for each activity. This is from Elise Sutton's book 'Searching for Wanda', but graph my own creation to visualize the data more clearly in this form:

At the very far end of this graph are many of the activities that masochists want - the more sadistic activities, cock and ball torture, humiliation play (including verbal bullying), corporal punishment and bondage. 

Up the top rated activities end of the graph are things which please the woman. Domestic servitude - having the man do the washing, ironing, vacuuming. On body worship the masochist may well be into, orgasm control too. But then her controlling finances and having final authority? The masochist likes to be in control, and I don't know of any example where he's gone along with this, although I'm not saying there are none - it would be very rare for a true masochist to agree to that.

It's the perpetual conundrum for masochists, they say want to submit and give up power, but they don't actually want to give up power and give over actual real power to the woman.

They more want mock power play, once a week or a few times a week, when they're in the mood for it - most typically.

But it's very confusing for the woman because you often say you're a submissive, and say you want to be her slave and plaything, and yet when she goes to take power - orders you to do household chore - you say "no, not like that, I mean sexy stuff, like be cruel to me and can you put on that outfit and then whip me. But now harder. Then ignore me, and like taunt me..." etc.

So what's the answer to this conundrum? Communication. Compromise. Put energy into your Mistress one way or another, because you are zapping a lot of energy out of her, and ultimately that's not sustainable. 

If you're seeing a professional Dominatrix, why not just be honest and tell her you're more of a masochist in the sense of wanting (insert algorithm) and be appreciative of her service, knowledge and craft abilities to facilitate that, and pay her appropriately and well? They need the equipment, the attire, the knowledge to execute this. It's a specialist occupation because it's quite complex doing that.

For a lifestyle Mistress, she's not being paid and she's unlikely to fully understand your psychology. So you're going to need to explain with clarity. Be patient that she will take time to "get it". Positively reinforce and compliment when she's doing things your really like. Don't complain and be negative as this will just lower her self-esteem and make her feel unconfident and incompetent and lower morale, and have her potentially want to give up. And a relationship is two ways, not only about getting your fantasy sexual needs met. Treasure her, invest in her, support her, respect her, and importantly - consider her needs and wants, and not only your own.

I suggest don't be a "Do Me" sub.

Allow space for the Mistress's wants too, come at it as a pre-scene negotiation rather than a pre-scene dictation. Find your mutual areas of cross-over and wider willingness. Be honest and frank if possible, rather than manipulative.

Realise and recognize that your needs extract a lot of energy to meet, so ensure you're putting energy back in somehow - whether financially, or domestic labour, or other genuine giving of energy into and towards your Mistress that is not all about yourself. Why would you want to do this? Because bottom line if you don't you'll drain her of energy, of enthusiasm, lower her self-esteem and confidence over time, and you won't find her sexy or powerful or able to dominate you any more if that occurs. 

The higher she is, the more you'll worship and respect her.

And because on some level, you believe in the cause of Female Dominance and in the power of women, because a very real manifestation of that captured your imagination and eroticism in the first place. Am I right?

Over and out.

x Anne O Nomis

 PS If you want to talk to me more about this topic, I do offer private Zoom consults and now have an online booking system in place in order that you can book, and I also teach classes which cover such topics which are FemDom orientated and open to people of all genders and sexualities.

I also host 'Villa Domme' held in Europe each June, where Doms and subs / slaves / masochists fly in from around the world to attend and live the lifestyle with classes, activities, dinners and drinks for 7-10 days. (Note for 2021 we're in a castle rather than a villa, so technically Castle Domme.)

What a Slave Needs: personal view by slave david stein July 06 2020

The following is an article written by slave david stein, who sadly passed away in 2017. (The lowercase form of his name is intentional and not be corrected, in the same line as the poet e e cummings, as david stein self-identified in lowercase in keeping with his identity as a slave.)

I wrote an obituary on david stein on 13 October 2017. Although I didn't know him personally in "real life", we were members of the same online groups and posted on each other's threads and freely shared information and ideas with each other. Over the years since his death, many of the work he'd posted online has had the links no longer work as presumably his own website domain and the "bearboy" domain weren't renewed. Many other BDSM and kink website resource domains have meanwhile become inactive, with broken links, error messages and redirection to domain sellers. I fear that some important information is at risk of being lost from the community.

So I wish to repost david's article here, titled "What a Slave Needs: personal view by slave david stein" (written in 1997), and I believe it would be with david's blessing from my interactions with him and our mutual sharing of views, ideas and writing. At the time of writing this, the article is also available presently at Ambrosio's BDSM site at, (which is an excellent resource and I hope stays around a long time) at: and in case that ever goes down - will also be preserved here for posterity for the BDSM community.

Like david stein, I shared a view on the distinguishing of the "slave" - who wants to be owned, to have duties, clarity, purpose and place to and with their owner Master / Mistress, - as distinguished (in my view) from the "submissive" who takes pleasure from pleasing their Dominant and submitting. 

For david stein, the "needs" of a slave were direction, discipline and service, as he explains and elaborates in this historic 1997 article.

david stein

What a Slave Needs: personal view by slave david stein

Some late-night thoughts i felt were worth sharing:

slaves, and those who seek to be slaves, are constantly advised not to be self-centered and not to focus on our needs and desires but rather those of others. And this can be good advice when a would-be slave is so focused on fantasies of what a Master will look like, act like, and do to the slave that he loses sight of what he will do for the Master or bring to the relationship. As i've said before - and no doubt will say again, here or elsewhere - being a full-time sex toy / captive / whipping boy almost never actually happens, and if that's what slavery means to you, 99% of the real-life Masters out there will be terribly disappointing.

But aside from that lesson, there's another, more subtle lesson about slave "selfishness" that's only now becoming clear to me, which is that someone who's looking to become a slave, or remain a slave, needs to be ruthlessly *selfish* about getting his or her slave needs met. By this i don't mean the basic needs of life for food, shelter, clothing, employment, social contacts, and a degree of affection. We all need that, whether we're slaves or Tops or boys or vanilla. Rather, i mean the things that feed and strengthen a slave's slavery: things like direction, discipline, and service. About these there can be no compromise, because when they are lacking in a slave's life, slavery itself cannot long be sustained.

The popular conception is that slaves are people who are forced to obey a Master's orders, and many slaves also fantasize being forced. Being obedient is held to be the opposite of freedom, and the negative connotations of "slavery" largely consist in this lack of freedom.

This no doubt was true of many or most coerced slaves in history. It is not true of consensual slaves today. Those who become slaves today in the U.S., Europe, and the rest of the developed world do so not because they are being forced to obey, but because they positively *need* to obey. Obedience is the voluntary slave's lifeblood. To obey is not our cross but our joy! We only ask to be given the opportunity.

And that's where direction comes in. Any idiot can tell someone else what to do! Lots of people are bossy or domineering or pushy. That's not what can satisfy a slave's need to obey, not in the long run, because people who are merely bossy tend not to be very consistent or intelligent about what they tell others to do; they operate on whim. The more perfectly you obey someone like that, the more likely you are to get into trouble, because today's order may contradict yesterday's or undermine tomorrow's. You can drive a dog or a child insane with contradictory orders; is a slave any less sensitive?

Ideally, what slaves need - whether they're aware of *wanting* it or not! - is clear direction, firm goals, consistent rules, unambiguous orders. And it takes a Master with great presence of mind, intelligence, self-control, and self-understanding to provide that kind of environment.

The most common slave fantasy is probably of being punished, but i think the erotic charge of this is really a metaphor for discipline, which is not the same as punishment. Discipline is controlled behavior; punishment is simply a means, and not often a very good one, of achieving discipline. Just as slaves need to obey, we need to follow rules and to push ourselves to live up to some ideal. i think every (voluntary) slave *wants* to be "the perfect slave" in some sense, and we need - as much as we need air and water --someone to hold out that ideal before us and challenge us to live up to it, even knowing that we'll never actually achieve it.

If it were easy to be a slave, if anyone could do it, what would be the point? If there were no sacrifice involved, if it required nothing "above and beyond" ordinary life as a bottom-oriented leatherman or leatherdyke, why bother?

slavery is a demanding, challenging vocation, or calling, and its challenges cannot end once the slave enters into service with a Master. The Master must provide a continual challenge as well as an environment in which the slave's discipline and dedication are continually honed. To this end, many Masters institute various rituals and protocols for their slaves to follow. These are misunderstood, i think, if they are examined too literally, and especially if the point is taken to be the inculcation of a worshipful attitude toward the Master's person. The point is to enable the slave to develop a worshipful attitude, period. Giving the slave a framework by which to live a disciplined life of respect and dedication is the point, not feeding the Master's ego.

Nonetheless, at the very prosaic level of "enforcement of rules," a Master who does not notice or care about infractions is one who is shirking His duty toward His slave. It is not necessary to punish, but it is necessary to take notice of the lapse and deal with it in *some* definite way. slaves need to feel the Master's eye on them continually, until it is internalized. If He cannot or will not provide discipline, He has no business owning a slave, just as a parent who will not provide it for a child is unfit for that role.

While there are no end of fantasies about obedience and discipline, most slaves only fantasize about *sexual* "service" - but that is typically the lesser part of a full-time slave's service. Indeed, the difference between a slave and a bottom may turn on the willingness, even eagerness, to serve in nonsexual ways. (As i once read in a personal ad, "I don't clean my own apartment - why should I clean yours?" If you have to ask, you'll never understand.)

Difficulties arise when Masters, or slaves, confuse service with being used. The difference is subtle but critical. Perhaps it is the difference between "being used" and "being useful." Being used has a very negative connotation for most people, and i suspect that in cases where it has a strong erotic charge, it refers more to the categories of direction and discipline than service. That is, what is exciting about "being used" is being obedient and controlled, transcending your own ego and its selfish pleasures to be an instrument of someone else's will. That doesn't *have* to be a humiliating, demeaning, or degrading experience - it can be an exhilarating and liberating one.

Being useful, in contrast, is something that most people do find pleasurable and rewarding -- slaves more than others. It is the sense of "right employment," of expending your life energies in a good and satisfying way. The joy of service is the feeling of having "made a difference" in some part of the world, however small.

When Masters think of a slave's service purely in terms of having him at Their beck and call to fulfill any whim or transient desire, They trivialize the slave's slavery and undermine his ability to continue that way of life. On the contrary: a case could be made that the main reason Masters even exist is to provide slaves with an opportunity to serve to the best of their abilities! Whether you accept that view or not, a Master who neglects or wastes a slave's talents is worse than a fool; it is a form of abuse as serious as physical harm or neglect.

Perhaps the greatest challenge for a Master is to determine how a given slave can best serve Him, and to reconsider the matter again and again as the slave grows, learns, and develops. This is not to say that any particular service should be beneath any particular slave - we can all benefit from taking a turn at menial chores. Nonetheless, a slave needs to feel, overall, that he is fulfilling his potential for service, or he will not remain content in his slavery for long.

In conclusion, the lesson i'm trying to convey is that slaves need to look out for ourselves in terms of making sure that our needs for direction, discipline, and service get fulfilled. No matter how sexy a potential Master may be, no matter how many of your fetishes He matches and BDSM buttons He pushes, if there's no clear evidence that He'll provide for your basic needs *as a slave*, look elsewhere. By the same token, a potential Master who's not your wet dream but can offer an environment of clear direction, firm discipline, and opportunities for challenging and satisfying service deserves at least a second look.

Hope this is helpful to someone!

david stein

Online Dominatrix Mistress training course in the Seven Realm Arts™ by Anne O Nomis April 05 2020

As the author of 'The History & Arts of the Dominatrix' book, and as a well-known BDSM and Dominatrix educator, I have been receiving emails for years and years around whether I would offer online Dominatrix Mistress training in the Seven Realm Arts™ certificate course. And I have exciting news for you all - that the answer is now "yes".


Online Dominatrix Seven Realm Arts™ certificate course (for International and domestic students) 

The online Dominatrix Seven Realm Arts™ certificate course is something that International students had been emailing and asking of Anne for years. Many of her students were flying in for her Melbourne course from all around Australia - from Adelaide, Sydney, Gold Coast, Perth and other regions, as well as flying in from overseas from Thailand, New Zealand and Canada to Australia - just to take her weekend course. Such was Anne's reputation and word-of-mouth from students who had graduated to their friends and the shift in their knowledge and confidence.

Anne's former reluctance to offering an online course was out of concern for her privacy of being on camera, and on protecting herself and her intellectual property reserved for those who were true seekers of the knowledge and who would be respectful around privacy. Then there was also the cost of filming an online course with a videographer, and the significant workload of putting together all the resources and knowledge into a course that would work online, to the high quality that Anne would want for herself and for her students.

However in March 2020, due to Coronavirus pandemic and with a course imminently approaching, Anne began rapidly working around-the-clock to have a professional videographer film her giving her workshops, editing the rich content, and pairing this with other resources and adding live group videoconferencing for live Q&As. The feedback has been resoundingly positive, with 5 star reviews in anonymous feedback forms, and Anne feels she is succeeding in her aim of delivering a really high quality course through online mode and is thrilled with the success of her students.

NEW DATES for the Dominatrix Seven Realm Arts™ certificate course

Group course - Begins 20th February 2021

To enrol:

Fully-supported Individual course - begins whenever you wish to begin

To enrol:



For the group class, you receive the filmed class and weekly resources in time to begin on Saturday February 20th to watch anytime over the weekend or Monday at your leisure, and then attend the live Zoom Q&As with Anne O Nomis on Tuesday each week. The Zoom calls are offered on two different streams, to accommodate people in different time zones and countries around the world: 

Stream 1 weekly live Zoom Q&As with Anne O Nomis option - on Tuesday 23rd February 2021 at 10 am on Melbourne Australia time & weekly at this time. To convert to your local time enter your city into the blue bar here:

Stream 2 weekly live Zoom Q&As with Anne O Nomis option - on Tuesday 23rd February 2021 at 4 pm on Melbourne Australia time & weekly at this time. To convert to your local time enter your city into the blue bar here:



The course is run through Passionfruit Sensuality Shop in Melbourne, Australia, where I've run the in-person course for 5 years with positive reviews, and is priced in Australian dollars. Now the exchange rate fluctuates daily of course, but to give you an approximate idea at the price of the 8 week course, at the time of writing this:

AUD $                       UK pound                     Euro                    USD $

$1080        approx    600 pounds                665 Euro              US $790

But please check the latest exchange rate at: as the rate fluctuates daily.



*with individual 1-on-1 Zooms with Anne O Nomis herself weekly so you get her all to yourself on your weekly Zoom call for 8 weeks, & get to start the course on whenever date you wish. The time of the Zoom will be negotiated with Anne O Nomis to work in with her schedule and your own requirements to find a mutually-agreeable time slot.

AUD $                       UK pound                     Euro                     USD $

$1980        approx    1,100 pounds               1220 Euro            US $1450

But please check the latest exchange rate at: as the rate fluctuates daily.



Introductory & Framework for Play

Covering Inanna's people, philosophy of large heart and open mind, ascertaining interests, methods of questionnaires, questions, sex map, interest cross-over, medical conditions affecting play, mitigating risks, SSC vs RACK, what to do when things go wrong.

Realm Art I - The Art of the Sublime & Powerful Woman

Covering archetypes, role models of female sexual power, stepping into power, body language and energetics of power, title command, claiming your rightful throne and position above them, etc.

Realm Art II - The Art of lowering the man (or person) to submission

Covering different psychologies of men who enjoy to submit or BDSM activities - including submissives, slaves, masochists, fetishists, kinksters, etc. What makes them tick and from where they take their pleasure. And on how to physical lower and status lower a male (or person) in relation to you in the power dynamic play, combined with proximity privilege.

Realm Art III - The Art of bondage, entrapment & enclosure

Covering different forms of bondage, why men find it paradoxically free-ing to be put into bondage and thus escape their everyday role, and covering bondage equipment and basic bondage wrist ties, decorative slave body harnesses, and cock-and-ball ties.

Realm Art IV - The Art of training, discipline and punishment

Covering discipline, forms of corporal punishment and how to safely use impact equipment, warm-up spanking, use of paddles, straps and strops, canes, etc.

Realm Art V - The Art of in-body and out-of-bodily

Covering the use of blindfolds, gags, sensory deprivation techniques, use of plugs and pegging, electrics and Violet wand ray, urethral sounds, etc.

Realm Art VI - The Art of cross-dressing, transformation & subversion

Covering the use of cross-dressing from use of panties and stockings for eroticism and sensuality, through to those who desire androgyny as a creative soup escape from fixed gender roles such as rock stars often do, through to more comprehensive cross-dressing and gender transformation.

Realm Art VII - The Art of fetish & fantasy

Covering the process of fetish formation in pre-adolescence most typically by an experience which combines fear, arousal and taboo, and was found thrilling and chilling with awe involved, and wired a fetish for life. A discussion of most common fetishes - leather, latex, PVC, stiletto boots or heels, and feet, as well as more rare fetishes, and how to play with fetish and weave it into fantasy.

Standby Date

In case of Anne being sick for any week, there is always a standby date allocated as part of the contingency planning.


The course comprises:

* Filmed and professionally edited workshop presentations streaming to students at the same time weekly (at the 2 hourly class time window; each video around 1 hour, 40 mins in length, followed by live videoconference time)

* Live Group videoconference with Anne immediately after watching the class, with live Q&As from students

* Resources, readings and diagrams each week for the 8 weeks of the course

* Extended optional readings for those seeking to "deep dive" into a particular topic.

* Homework issued each week to undertake relevant exercises and practice as directed by Anne.

* Live Zoom Q&As with Anne O Nomis herself each week for 8 weeks.

* Graduation with Dominatrix Seven Realm Arts™ course certificate signed by Anne O Nomis.

 * (NB: Certificate is for those who have demonstrated their mastery / "Mistressery" of the topics. Anne reserves of course the right to not issue a certificate to anyone not completing their work and not applying themselves to the course and acquiring the knowledge and undertaking their homework.)

Time commitment:

8 x 3 hours comprising video classes, reading, exercises, Live Zoom Q&As with Anne O Nomis and homework. 

And for any questions or queries, email me at:

x Anne O Nomis





A whipstress with wings (or priestess-initiator) from the Villa of Mysteries, Pompeii, prior to c79 AD (eruption of Mt Vesuvius burying Pompeii in ash)

Comfortable Dominatrix fetish attire - An oxymoron? March 01 2020

I've been giving some thought lately to "comfortable Dominatrix fetish attire".

It's a conundrum facing many Mistresses who conduct long sessions of 3+ hours. The attire so strongly associated with the fetish Dominatrix include thigh high stiletto boots with 6 inch talon spike heels, which it may come as a shock to slaves to hear - but are not all that comfortable to walk around in.

Not only are thigh high stiletto boots not all that comfortable to wear (shocker) but they're also potentially putting Mistresses in some danger, as they are usually in sole responsibility of a slave in bondage or suspension, and should the Mistress slip or mis-step and fall over, worst-case she's at risk of knocking herself unconscious on hard flooring while her slave is otherwise incapacitated. A more common occurrence is of course the Mistress slipping and injuring herself, and having to tend to her own medical care and potentially call off the session. And for those who think this is unlikely, I can tell you having interviewed so many Dominatrices for my book ('The History & Arts of the Dominatrix'), almost all could recount having slipped over in their stiletto boots or shoes in a dungeon accident, and I've been personally present when a Mistress slipped and fell down stairs in the dungeon, with me accompanying her to the A&E department of the nearby hospital. While falls can happen to anyone, wearing thigh high stiletto boots certainly increases the likelihood. (Not to mention the possibility of a drop of silicone lube on the bottom of a boot or dungeon floor.)

Thigh high stiletto boots

Thigh high stiletto leather boots - they look amazing, but ask any Mistress how they feel to wear them for a 3+ hour session! 

One very senior London Mistress (with more than three decades in the business) said to me in an interview years back, that if she could give one piece of advice to young Mistresses it would be to not wear stiletto heels constantly. She says she has permanent issues with her hips and knees, has had multiple surgeries as a result of throwing out her posture from constantly wearing corsets and "6 inch "killer heels".

Sure this comment is anecdotal, but it's a theme I've heard repeated by many senior Mistresses.

Another one is how impractical the full latex catsuit is for long sessions, particularly in Summer, as latex doesn't allow the skin to breathe, so you essentially end up "sweating like a dog" and becoming very dehydrated in session. By the time the Mistress takes off her catsuit at the end of the session, there's an accumulation of sweat caught in the catsuit which streams like a river out the bottom as she removes it.

Similarly the tightlace fully boned corsets laced up until the Mistress is what's called "a bout de souffle" (without breath / breathless) are also not ideal for long sessions, and impede to some degree her physical movements in session.

Wearing a corset for a very extended period of time is associated with lower back pain and risk of muscle atrophy, including pectoral muscles, which in turn cause a greater reliance on the corset. The internal organs have to physically move, and this has been found on MRI scans to affect the large intestine in particular and the transverse colon, with the stomach and liver above the waistline. And as the Victorians were aware, tight-laced corsets made it more difficult to eat and could cause indigestion and constipation. The lower lobes of the lungs are potentially put under higher strain due to constriction of tight lacing. The blood pressure is increased by 6-15%.

Edwardian corset 

Historical tight-lace corset in the Edwardian era


German Dominatrix Cora Korsett, circa 1970s who practised waist-training with corsets and here also wears a posture collar around her neck.

While the tight-lace corset achieves undeniable visual effect well-suited to fetishists, the practicalities of conducting sessions can make tight lace corset-wearing less than ideal for Domination arts - with its activities requiring a high degree of focus and attention to the job, dexterity and movement.

As Goddess Alexandra Snow (On Twitter: @DominaSnow ) noted, "Professional domination is the only profession for which the "expected" wardrobe is unsuitable for the work."

I have known a few Dominatrices whose discipline and dedication, paired with fitness and endurance - would see them don fetish outfits and stiletto boots for long periods (Mistress Tokyo from Sydney would be one of those), but I think they are exceptions rather than the rule. Most Mistresses struggle and speak of that struggle amongst their peers.

There are some "tricks" and work-arounds they often share, such as blindfolding or hooding their slave, and getting the slave strapped down on a bondage bench, before sneakily removing their stiletto heels or boots. They then put them back on very quietly at some point towards the end of the session, before they remove his blindfold or hood, so that the slave is (hopefully) none the wiser and has only seen them immaculately kitted out in the full fetish look. 

Many say they get kitted up in the most fetishistic but impractical gear for their photo shoots, but don't actually wear the items sessioning in, because they're so damn uncomfortable and not functional for the activities they need to do in session.

It's a real skill and challenge therefore to find the holy grail of Domination gear - that looks fabulous and fetish but is also comfortable (relatively speaking) for hours of sessioning.

On 20 February 2020, I put the question out to Twitter....

And synthesising the feedback on Twitter and in private messages, here's some ideas I can share with all of you, dear readers.

Comfortable Dominatrix Attire Suggestions

1) A Leather Boiler Suit 

This was the suggestion of @TheLadyNess, who herself wears a leather boiler suit for comfort. It has something of the catsuit look about it, but it relaxed fit. It has its origins in the Coveralls worn by mechanics, bricklayers, and tank crews to protect their standard clothing. Similar to this design is the "Siren Suit" worn by Winston Churchill in the War era, to throw over clothing in an air raid to be able to stay comfortable, warm and modest. And as soon as it's made in leather and elevated, it becomes a thing of fetish and beauty. So to the idea of a Dominatrix leather Siren Suit? This should become a "thing".

Lady Ness in her Leather Boiler Suit (courtesy of @TheLadyNess )

2) A PVC kimono or a PVC dress

Mistress Fatale (On Twitter: @Mistress_Fatale ) wears a PVC kimono from TealeCoco (unfortunately now sold out), which she notes is essentially loungewear, referring to its comfort. It's shiny, it's fetish. It's also waterproof - as Mistress Fatale notes, with implications as you can imagine in terms of practicality. It also has that air of Orientalism and geisha artistry, deriving its design loosely from the Japanese kimono.

A PVC dress also came up in the recommendations, with Madame Caramel (On Twitter: @LadyCaramelXXX ) commenting in response - that her favourite comfortable outfit for a long session was a PVC dress with a front zip preferably. I speculate that the reason for a zip is in consideration to the ease of getting it on, and the zip also achieving a fetish function of that long line down its centre from crotch to bust line.

PVC kimono by TealeCoco recommended by @Mistress_Fatale 

3) A stretch Spandex or PVC bodysuit

In contrast to the restriction and heat of leather catsuit and corset, or the sweatiness of a latex catsuit, if you change the garment fabrication to a stretchy spandex or PVC - and all of a sudden you have a comfortable but still very body-fitting and sexy piece of Dominatrix attire!

This was the preference of @Amikoland, who says "Depends on the kind of session, but I'm generally pretty happy in something like a bodysuit and heels that have a platform." The idea of a bodysuit was seconded by Siren Vandoll (Twitter: @thesensiren ) who commented - "Bodysuits are the best!"

A submissive who goes by the Twitter handle of @subdued_by_Her notes that a: "One-piece catsuit, opaque, but highlighting a woman's curves, spandex (or cotton/spandex) catsuit is the sexiest outfit imaginable, imo [in my opinion]. Also allows for freedom of motion and action." And he posted to the following image to me, of "Modesty Blaise".

Love it!


4) A latex / rubber apron

Just as the latex fetishists reading might be despairing.... (with one Mistress noting she only ever wears latex for photo shoots but not for sessions), Dominatrix Mistrix Sade (On Twitter: @mistrixsade) offers hope to latex lovers everywhere when she describes her favoured outfit to wear for long sessions as:

"Rubber apron, fishnets, boots."

Love this as an idea. The rubber / latex apron has long been a "thing" within modern gay S/M culture, with a workman / butcher vibe going on.

Or depending on the length and style one chose, the apron could evoke the strict nurse. 

And the best thing about latex aprons? They're easy to get on, comfortable to wear, and the skin gets to breathe, but the fetishist still gets their latex fix.

A latex "Playroom apron" by Libidex - great for Dommes too!

 5) Vintage lingerie / girdle with suspender stockings

Good old lingerie, given a fetish twist - came up high in the answers.

Mistress Electra Amore (Twitter: @MzElectraAmore) said that her favourite outfit (in the context of sessioning for hours) was: "Vintage style girdle or modern Fetish style bra & knickers with a waist clincher + heels & stockings."

The vintage girdles she refers to can be found in the odd second-hand clothing or opportunity shop, as well as on Etsy and Ebay. They often come in peach and skin colours, and were popular in the era around the 1940s in particular.

Example of a c1940s era peach coloured girdle with lace up and suspender belt.

There are also contemporary lingerie stores such as What Katie Did in the United Kingdom who do vintage lingerie, and Kiss Me Deadly who do Femme Fatale style of lingerie.

The "Maitresse suspender belt" by What Katie Did is particularly popular amongst UK Mistresses. The word "Maitresse" also of course being French for "Mistress".

Maitresse suspender belt by What Katie Did


And the rest...

There were so many fabulous comfortable attire ideas that I haven't been able to cover them all in this list of 5.

But to wrap up this blog post, the others included:

- "Goddess robe and barefoot." (courtesy of Ophelia Margeaux. On Twitter: @MargauxOphelia )

- "Naked, or black skinny jeans and a cotton blouse." (courtesy of Mlle. Gateaux. On Twitter: @HerRoyalCakines )

- "Usually my black leather skirt + black leather bra + black shiny high heels pumps + black sheer stockings." (courtesy of Euryale. On Twitter: @Ms_Euryale )

- "It's got to be a set of thigh high boots with fishnet stockings and suspenders and a sexy bra, the rest I don't care about..." (courtesy of Gemma Jameson. On Twitter: @JamesonGemma )

- "Or nothing at all." (courtesy of Kitty du Jour. On Twitter: @KittyduJour )

- "The classic LBD, some sort of legwear (stockings, pantyhose fishnets - whatever strikes my fancy) and heels." (courtesy of Mistress Noel Knight. On Twitter: @msnoelknight )

"Sexy short black cocktail dress that shows skin, but not too much. Pref with some sequins or embellishment, but yet hand-washable, and doesn't look cheap. Pair with leather gloves and boots or heels he finds most alluring. Thigh-highs go a long way." (courtesy of Miss Margo Adler. On Twitter: @PiecesofMargo )

- "Black leggings and a sheer black blouse with a black lacy bralette under, no shoes. Or a nice, comfortable black cocktail dress, again, no shoes. Body stockings are sexy and comfortable too." (courtesy of Lucille Lockley. On Twitter: @LucilleLockley )

- "Bodystocking." (courtesy of Mistress Evilyne. On Twitter: @MsEvilyne )

Fishnet bodystocking.

- "Strapless body, corset, thigh high boots". (courtesy of Mistress Bliss. On Twitter: @MistressBliss )

- "I generally just wear jeans, t-shirt, boots and lingerie, and maybe lose some of the outer layers depending on the scene. I'm all about comfort." (Sir Claire Black. On Twitter: @SirClaireBlack )

- "Pants. N NOT FRIGGEN HEELS." (Miss Honey Anal verkehr. On Twitter: @misshoneyanal )

So there you have it folks. Some gold nuggets of advice on fetish Dominatrix attire from those with experience around the topic.

And hopefully any subs and slaves reading this might consider to be a little more empathetic of their Mistress and what she goes through in terms of the discomfort in wearing traditional fetish attire. And perhaps, in consideration, let Her know that you're happy for Her to dress for Her comfort.


x Anne O Nomis


The tradition of FemDom afternoon (or "high") tea February 07 2020

In Australia, I've found to my shock and horror (I mock), that submissives over here don't tend to understand the afternoon tea ritual which is so commonly practised by lifestyle Mistresses - and to a degree professional Dominatrices.

Suffice to say that I've found it necessary to write an entire blog post on afternoon tea so that the submissives reading will hopefully "get it".

A brief history of afternoon tea

In England, "afternoon tea" is part-meal and part-ritual.

When the Portugese Princess Catherine of Breganza married King Charles II, she is credited with bringing with her the tradition of tea drinking to Britain. And although earlier references to tea can be found, it's likely that her arrival and enjoyment of tea helped ensure its popularity.

Catherine of Breganza

However "afternoon tea" as a ritual meal was reportedly started in 1840, when Anna Russell, Duchess of Bedford, was visiting Belvoir Castle, she would get hungry in the afternoon; in the long gap between lunch and dinner at 7 or 8 pm. She requested that a tray of bread and butter and cake be brought to her room during the late afternoon. She began inviting friends to join her, and the Duchess of Bedford's afternoon tea became a ritual event.


Belvoir Castle, Leicestershire, United Kingdom (Wikicommons)

If Belvoir castle looks familiar to you, that may be because it was used as a stand-in for Windsor Castle in the Netflix series 'The Crown'. In addition to being a location used in the 'Da Vinci Code', for 'The Young Victoria', and other films and TV programmes.

And just who was Anna Russell? She was a close friend of Queen Victoria, and Lady of the Bed Chamber between 1837 and 1841. She was also sister-in-law to the prime minister John Russell, being married herself to Francis Russell, the 7th Duke of Bedford. 

Anna Russell

In any case, the ritual of afternoon tea meal she enjoyed took off as an idea and a meal amongst the middle and upper classes.

Bread and butter evolved into dainty club sandwiches - it was reportedly the Earl of Sandwich who had the idea of putting a filling between two slices of bread. Scones served with clotted cream and preserves were common, alongside little cakes and pastries served on fine china. And of course it goes without saying - tea - from exotic climes of India, Ceylon (Sri Lanka) and China.

The afternoon tea tradition continued on through the 19th and 20th Centuries.

Afternoon Tea

Francis Cadell 'Afternoon' (1913)

Richard Miller Afternoon Tea

Richard Miller 'Afternoon Tea' Wikicommons image.

The special appeal of afternoon tea

The fanfare surrounding afternoon tea may seem rather strange to those from outside of England observing it. To quote the American author Alice Walker: "tea to the English is really a picnic indoors".

I've often heard it being referred to as convivial - meaning "friendly, lively, enjoyable". The word convivial is from the Latin convivialis, from convivium ‘a feast’, from con- ‘with’ + vivere ‘live’.

A friendly, social, lively feast is a good description of English afternoon tea. And it was (and is) a privileged affair. Established by royalty and aristocracy, who could spare the time in the afternoon to take this afternoon tea / meal, and with teas grown in far-away places and transported over vast distance.

Part of its appeal was tasting exotic flavours and variants from the romanticised Orient, and taking a fantasy voyage there as one sips the tea. Teas were traditionally held to have medicinal properties, and regardless of one's beliefs, there's certainly something comforting and soothing in drinking a well brewed cup of tea from dainty cups with delicious finger food. Even more so when enjoyed with friends in good company.

The food offerings are designed to pleasantly see to all desires for both savoury and sweet. Most commonly these are served on a multi-tiered cake stand, adding to the visual display and sense of pleasantry. 

Afternoon tea Wikicommons

A traditional English afternoon tea with scones, clotted cream and jam, along with savoury offerings and sweet treats, served on a 3 tier cake stand.

How the afternoon (or 'high') tea became a #FemDom thing 

I'm not sure myself even as a historian on the Dominatrix as to how long the tradition of afternoon tea for lifestyle Mistresses and Dominatrices goes back, but I imagine as far back as the tradition itself. As the Dominatrix embodies the Empress, Queen, Lady, and so forth in her play and role, it's only fitting that she receives good service, teas and treats from her submissives and servants. 

The pleasure and leisure of the afternoon tea offerings also helps to put women into a state of "owning the want". Whereby they specify their desires and preferences, direct the service, to have the afternoon tea served and tea poured, and to adjudicate the performance of their submissive or slave or maid attendants. (There is plenty of opportunity for chastisement for the tea being too weak, too strong, the wrong amount of milk poured, or sugar put in, not following instructions, and so forth.)

The psychology of submissives is to want to please their Mistress, and the psychology of slaves is to be owned and have duties, so it makes complete sense then that both find suitable role in attending the Mistresses for afternoon tea. It provides a sense of occasion and event, for training, for playing out roles and the power dynamic of D/s. It also provides opportunity for "high protocol" if so desired. (I'll write a separate article in the future on "high protocol" in D/s Domination/submission dynamics in the future, in case there's people reading who are wondering what that is.) 

The special event nature of the afternoon tea enables opportunity for dressing up in more elegant attire if one so wanted to do so. Tea dresses for Mistresses (or subversive or latex takes on the formal wear idea), or even period costume. Submissives in maid's outfits or servant's attire. I even know of a submissive turned into 'Miss Brown the scullery maid' complete with appropriate brown uniform for the job. Certainly cross-dressing and sissy maids work well for the afternoon tea ritual. And spankings and mild public humiliation tend to go hand-in-hand with the various misdemeanours committed by the attending submissives / servants / maids and butlers.

Part of Domination has also always been in subversion; taking social norms and rituals and playing with them in a carnivalesque kind of way. So a ritual established essentially by women, based on their desires and wants, and so up for the possibility of delightful subversion - was always going to fly in FemDom.

To see examples of the London FemDom High Tea Ball run by Madame Caramel, there's a weblink here:


What do I need for a FemDom afternoon (or 'high') tea?

* Ideally an English-style tea set, with teapot, teacups and saucers, sugar bowl and milk jug. Traditionally these were bone china, and these days you can pick up second-hand sets on ebay auctions, or buy brand new tea sets from major department stores or specialist shops, depending on preference, style and budget. You can go traditional English rose or floral designs, Art deco designs, vintage 50s / 60s and 70s, or modern contemporary. Some famous brands are Royal Doulton, Paragon, Portmeirion, Royal Albert, Wedgwood, etc. You can even get subversive 'Naughty tea cups with Slut, Cunt or Cock inscribed. (see below) 

Royal Albert tea set on ebay

Example of ebay listing for Royal Doulton 'Lady Carlyle' tea set

Naughty tea cup

Naughty tea cup - available in 'Slut', 'Cock' or 'Cunt' from Passionfruit Sensuality Shop. Click here.

* A selection of teas, ideally loose-leaf. Traditionally this was a black tea which was a little less strong than English breakfast tea, however these days most places don't tend to follow such rigid rules, and English breakfast is commonly taken for afternoon tea. However multiple selections of teas are great to enable options and a taste of the world, from Earl Grey (black tea blended with bergamot oil), to smokey Lapsang Souchong (from China), to herbal teas such as Chamomile, to name but a few.



* Champagne. A relatively modern addition to the traditional afternoon tea, but decadence added of course!

* A three tier cake stand wouldn't go amiss either for setting the tone. The display adds to the mood and ritual feel of the afternoon tea. These come in a variety of styles from metal frames onto which you put the plates, to those with graduated plate sizes integrated with smallest sweets plate on top.

Cake stand  Three tier cake stand

Examples of 3 tier cake stands.

* Finger sandwiches. Common fillings are cucumber, or egg (boiled egg mashed with mayonaise and dijon mustard), or salmon and dill, or crab, or chicken, etc. The crusts are cut off, and the sandwiches cut into finger size. And other savoury canapes commonly served also.

Finger sandwiches

Finger sandwiches from Wikicommons.

*  Scones served with clotted cream and jam. These can be raisin scones or plain scones, or lemon scones. Ideally baked freshly that day.

Scone with cream and jam

Scones from Wikicommons.

* Sweet treats such as little cakes and pastries.

Afternoon tea sweets layer

Image from Wikicommons.

* And just to increase the indulgence one more step, some people serve up even more petits fours and chocolates at the very end. (Just in case anyone had any room left in their belly).

Note: I haven't gone into the differentiation between "afternoon tea" and "high tea", because I think people can get a bit snobby and wanky about it. Technically "high tea" was for workers who had to wait until after work to have their tea, by which time they needed more than cakes and wanted hearty substantial food after a day of hard labour, and so it was more of a meal and it was served at a high (usually normal dining) table. Confusingly, people might easily mix this up and think of high tea as the one that was the elevated and posh tea meal, when in fact the reverse was true. Afternoon tea was the posher tea for those with leisure time to have it at around 3.30 or 4 pm, while high tea was the working class meal with tea and served later after they finished work at around 6 pm and served at (high / normal) dining tables. 

In New Zealand and Australia, the expression "afternoon tea" is used to refer to the short break for 15 mins in the afternoon at work around 3 pm for a quick cup of tea or coffee, also known as "afternoon smoko break". And so as a result, Australians and New Zealanders used the term "high tea" is used to describe the more formal affair that the English would call "afternoon tea". (Yes just to confuse you further.) 

I personally don't worry too much what anyone wants to call it, or how they adapt it. After all, we're living in 2020, and it's a living tradition, so do it in any style you want. And you can call it formal afternoon tea, English afternoon tea, high tea, FemDom high tea, or whatever you wish.

It's your prerogative right as a FemDom to hold it at whatever time you like. You know the tradition, so you can make it, break it or subvert it - to suit your desires, preferences and D/s dynamic. And have fun and enjoy Your self.

x Anne O Nomis


I just finished teaching a Weekend Intensive format of the Dominatrix Seven Realm Arts™ class in Melbourne, which had sold out months in advance, and most of the students had flown in from all over Australia to take it. (Including two flying in Internationally - from Bangkok and New Zealand).

To try and ensure I keep my classes as wonderful as possible, I send out anonymous feedback survey for my students to fill in. 

All but one student rated the course 5 out of 5 stars.

Anonymous feedback for Anne O Nomis Seven Realm Arts class


"The practical experience was great. Anne’s experience makes her a very credible teacher - also her approach- learn from mistakes, empathy etc made it a safe space for all."

"Anne is a wonderful educator. I was super nervous prior to attending the course but i felt comfortable straight away. Thank you."

"This course was incredibly informative and inspiring. Anne was an amazing teacher. I loved learning about the psychology & history behind BDSM. The hands-on experience using various implements was great, as getting real-life feedback is vital."


Thank you to my students - it was a pleasure to teach you all, and I appreciate the time you all took to fill in the detailed survey forms. Much appreciated.



With a long waitlist of people wanting to take the course, and pressure on to come up with some new course dates, I have met with Passionfruit Shop after the Summer holidays to set down new dates for 2020.

There will be two courses running in the first half of 2020.

OPTION 1: Weekly Thursday evening classes, beginning Thursday 26th March from 7 - 9 pm and every Thursday for eight weeks. To view and book this course:

OPTION 2: Weekend Intensive (Fly-in option), on Friday May 8th from 6 - 9 pm, Saturday May 9th from 10 am - 6 pm, and Sunday May 10th from 10 am - 6 pm. To view and book this course:

I've been teaching the course for nearly 5 years now, and it's such a pleasure to watch everyone develop as they acquire the knowledge, psychology understanding, framework for ascertaining interests, practical skills and confidence to apply them.

And due to popular request, I am also intending to run an Advanced class with practicum, and lower teacher-student ratio for more one-on-one support, in August 2020 in Gold Coast. (In planning and not yet officially announced).

I will also be giving a bunch of talks, 2 hour workshops and other events at Passionfruit Sensuality Shop in Melbourne. This year I am "in residence" this year in my Education Salon / office writing new books and beavering away.

For more information refer to Passionfruit's website:

x Anne O Nomis


Recently I've been teaching classes on some of the different psychologies of people within the BDSM scene and who report to Dominatrices and lifestyle Dominants; submissives, slaves, masochists and fetishists. I feel that this is one of the areas least understood, and which in Dominatrix training is remiss in being taught.

Today I want to write a bit about "slaves".



Firstly let me qualify the term "slave". I am of course speaking of consensual voluntary BDSM slavery in which the aspiring, desiring and self-identifying slave has sought out a slave position with a BDSM Master, Mistress or Dom, because they want to be a slave and to serve. (And not in other words been coerced, trafficked, involuntary or anything else of that nature.)

As David Schachter put it in the Introduction of his co-written book on Master/slave relationships: "this is a consensual relationship, and either can quit at any time. The Master has to make sure the slave is happier serving than not. Therein lays the drama and the difference between Master/slave and other relationships." (David Schachter "Introduction" in Ask the Man Who Owns Him: The real lives of gay Masters and slaves Perfectbound Press, New York, 2009, p.13)

Some slaves live in what's known as a "24/7 live-in relationship", which is an abbreviation for a 24 hours a day / 7 days a week relationship, living with their Mistress / Master / owner in their house.

While others live separately, and are only able to engage in their relationship part-time or sporadically due to other life or work commitments. For example some "slaves" seek training and service under a Dominatrix or lifestyle Mistress, which is fitted in within the rest of their life.

The "ideal" for a slave is typically to want to be in a 24/7 live-in full-time relationship, even if that seems a distant dream or fantasy for many.

Some will attempt to seek out a would-be owner / Mistress / Master / Dom(me), and negotiate a relationship, and even move locations geographically and change work places or quit their work in order to try and make it work. It would be folly though to do so without having really got to know and understand fully each other's needs and motivations, and the practicalities of how such an arrangement might work in the real world. It also takes a skilled Mistress / Master / owner / Dom(me) to manage well such a relationship due to the responsibility and skills required to make it work. 

There are also practicalities (such as how are they going to be able to afford to live) which can get in the way of such desires, and other challenges which I will go in to within Part 2.

For this reason, many will practise such a dynamic on a much smaller or short-term scale, such as a day's slavery, weekend or week's slavery. In doing so, they learn more about their needs, capabilities, and about themselves and the Mistress / slave relationship dynamic.

Meanwhile, I want to talk about what's in it for both parties?

WHAT'S IN IT FOR THE (consensual voluntary) SLAVE?

Everyone and every relationship is different, however some of the common themes which come up when slaves are asked about what's in it for them.

- Fulfils a need to serve and obey.

- Some (but by no means all) see it as a "calling".

- They may perceive being a slave as their identity and role, and holding deep / life meaning.

- Structure to their day and life, and a sense of purpose.

- Sense of security and belonging.

- Feeling of being cared for / protected.

- Love (may be qualified as love in a spiritual sense rather than romantic sense).

- Enjoy to be developed / trained / given direction and purpose / guidance by Mistress (Master / owner / Dom(me)).

- Excitement / play, and in some relationships this may be sexual use.

- Happiness and / or a sense of fulfilment. 


From the other side, it's of course a huge responsibility for the owner / Mistress / Master / Dom(me) to take on, and many underestimate just how much is involved in keeping a slave happy, their needs fulfilled, and setting up their duties and structure in order for a M/s relationship to work.

So on the other side...


Again every individual and relationship is different, however some of the things that Mistresses (owners / Masters / Dom(mes) say they get out of the relationship with their slave is:

- Helps them in some way in life, for example service and support, cooking done, house cleaned, etc, with their slave as servant / caretaker / cleaner, etc.

- In some cases, a slave for BDSM activities  / or sexual use of slave (but in some or many M/s relationships, the Mistress or Master does not have sex with their slave, nor do they necessarily have to engage in BDSM activities)

- Receiving slave's love and full devotion.

- Companionship.

- Challenge and development of self-mastery and mastery of another person to understand them and to be able to operate and manage such a relationship. (Some see it as a sense of vocation to be a Master / owner, just as some slaves see their slave-calling as a vocation.) 

- Entertainment / amusement

- A sense of achievement / accomplishment in being a successful Mistress / Master / slave owner over a prolonged period, working through issues and problem-solving as things in life come up for both parties.

- Happiness and / or a sense of fulfilment


Just how the Mistress / Master / owner / Dom(me) and slave make this type of relationship work is the topic I will explore for the next post. (Clue: A lot of communication, honesty and openness about their needs, clarity and structure around slave's duties, ability to potentially have to make some compromises to their fantasy for reality and make adjustments as needed to make it work in real life, values such as respect and understanding the other's needs, and more.) 

Best, Anne O Nomis


Author of 'The History & Arts of the Dominatrix'

Host of Villa Domme