Charlie was splayed out on a sling in the dungeon – a blend of nerves and excitement, but ready and willing.
This was one of my first clients as a professional dominant and we were nearing the end of a three-hour session.
In our conversations leading up to the meet, they’d expressed a desire to let go and surrender control to someone with a ‘firm hand’.
And there Charlie was before me, ready to succumb to that submissive state of bliss. A few moments later, there were tears falling softly from their eyes, good tears – the kind you cry when there’s been a release.
Then it was over. They hit the shower while I cleaned the equipment, taking care to leave the hired dungeon space as we’d found it.
When they returned, we embraced and spoke a little during aftercare: a period of physical and emotional care given after an intense BDSM encounter. ‘You’re good at this,’ Charlie told me, and soon it was time to lock up the dungeon and part ways.
How do you find out you’re ‘good at this’, one might ask. And how do you become someone that people pay for such services?
Well, my story has a surprising beginning: the church.
From my earliest years, I was a good Christian girl. Not only did I go to all the bible studies and youth groups, I also began leading church services and preaching in my early twenties.
Yet, beneath these efforts at holiness and worthiness lay deeply repressed parts of my identity.
By the age of 25 in 2016, the first thing that had risen to the surface was my sexuality – I wasn’t straight, I was bi. Shortly after, I accepted that I wasn’t a woman either, but a trans man.
Naturally, these coming out moments were accompanied by much deconstruction and reflection on the oppressive, shame-filled beliefs I’d imbibed as an evangelical Christian. Importantly, I began reframing how I saw my body – from a lowly and deceitful flesh-suit of sin, to something I was learning to listen to and trust.
One of the things my body was drawing me to was BDSM, which I began to explore – in the years since coming out – with partners, lovers, and friends. But this desire didn’t transpire from thin air.
Even as a good evangelical girl, I’d always fantasised and thought about kink. Now I was simply giving myself permission to explore it.
Contrary to the claim by anti-kink people that BDSM is merely a trojan horse for sexual violence, I discovered within it moments of healing and catharsis – both as a submissive and dominant.
Particularly as the latter, things felt intuitive, instinctive – and frankly – it was an honour to be trusted by others in their most vulnerable moments. That said, it’s one thing to have these encounters and connections in your personal life – quite another to talk openly about it and offer it as a public service.
My whole life, I’d played it safe – I prayed hard, studied hard, got an English degree at the University of Oxford, and I worked hard building a professional career as a copywriter. These things connoted outward success and respectability, but they also made me miserable.
So I sacked off the well-paid career at the beginning of 2023 to become an underpaid freelance journalist.
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Then, with the encouragement of my kink-positive therapist, I came out this June as a professional male dominant, introducing the world to my dominant alter-ego, ‘Mister Saul’ (and adding another much-needed stream of income!).
While there are lots of BDSM practitioners who offer classes and education on the topic, there’s not exactly a defined route to becoming a professional dominant. At first, this was a barrier to me – how could I make the leap from being a dominant in my private life, to being a professional one?
I ended up talking to a couple of established pros for advice on how to get started, how to advertise, pricing and more. In terms of equipment, I’d curated a decent tool-kit from domming people over the years (including a flogger originally from Backstreet, London’s last leatherbar!) but most dungeon spaces available to hire also come with plenty of toys.
The critical thing to think through before going pro was safety, such as knowing I had the experience and skillset to, for example, flog someone with the correct technique. As well as how to provide a robust scene negotiation process (where desires, turn ons and limits are discussed ahead of a session) and consent framework for clients.
With the practical stuff addressed, the rest fell into place. Being a dominant involves technical skills and knowledge, but it’s also about being able to create an intense and unforgettable experience. And I’m not sure that can be taught!
After advertising on social media, I booked in some initial clients. And my very first paid-for BDSM scene was a collaboration with a well-established professional dominant.
After several hours of heavy impact play (including spanking, flogging and belting) I remember heading home exhausted, but content – and not just because I’d been given a wad of cash for my work.
I’ve grown immeasurably as a dominant since then.
In the way that many trans people – in order to choose their own joy and embodiment – accept the stigma of their existence, I accept the stigma attached to the line of work I do for my own fulfilment.
On top of this, to be trans in our current climate is such a profound act of going against the grain. I imagine my own transition gave me the metaphorical balls to embrace a very non-typical vocation.
Yet publicly embracing your sexuality as a trans person is often fraught with complexity.
On the one hand, our bodies are oversexualised or fetishised as the ‘best of both’. On the other, they’re routinely dehumanised, scrutinised, and subject to violence of every sort.
For me, the concept of ‘trans joy’ often celebrates transness in a very desexualised way.
Domming two submissives at once and bringing them to orgasm simultaneously is my trans joy, or better yet – trans hedonism. As is making someone miles away from me climax with just the right words over voice-note.
Trans people deserve the freedom to explore and express their sexuality within a consensual framework like any cisgender adult. Which is why, while I take on clients of all sexualities and genders, I think it’s important to be a publicly trans dominant.
Naturally, for trans clients, I seek to provide a gender-euphoric experience, and for cis clients, a chance to expand their horizons.
You can find out more about Jackson’s work as ‘Mister Saul’ on his website here or follow his other work via his Linktree here.
Pride and Joy
Pride and Joy is a weekly series spotlighting the first-person positive, affirming and joyful stories of transgender, non-binary, gender fluid and gender non-conforming people. Do you have a story you’d like to share? Get in touch by emailing [email protected]
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