Q: Is it legal for a man to procure the services of a Dominatrix? In the kind of session I have in mind, there's no nudity or sexual activity or contact involved. There's not even any whipping or flogging or caning or hardcore BDSM stuff. I just want to see what it would be like to be bound and gagged. That's it. So is it against the law to pay a woman to tie me up?
—Boy Into Nonsexual Domination
A: "The short answer is no, he's not likely to be arrested for procuring the services of a Dominatrix," said Mistress Justine Cross, a pro-Domme based in Los Angeles. "What BIND desires sounds totally legal and safe — he just needs to find a Domme who is reputable (check out her website, read her reviews) and knows what she is doing in the realm of bondage. That said, I'm not a cop or a lawyer."
Cross is, however, a business owner. She runs two dungeons in Los Angeles — and she consulted with a criminal-defense attorney before going into the professional domination business. "He assured me that what I do is A-OK," said Cross. "And even though he had practiced for many years, he had never defended, nor did he know any other lawyer who had ever defended, a professional Domme. Since Dommes rarely find themselves in trouble for their work, it stands to reason that BIND, a future client, will be in the clear as well."
With the feds going after websites like Rentboy and myRedBook (sites that make sex work safer), and with the never-ending puritanical, punitive crusade to "rescue" adult sex workers from consensual, nonexploitative sex work (by arresting them and giving them criminal records), how is it that professional Dominants and their clients aren't routinely harassed by law-enforcement authorities?
"We don't offer sex or nudity in our professional BDSM work," said Cross, "and this keeps us out of the 'criminalized' categories of sex work. However, every state has different laws. NYC and L.A. both have large professional BDSM communities, but I can't say every state or city welcomes or tolerates this type of sex work. In some places, the scene is more 'underground,' mostly because people still have a hard time understanding that some people just want to get tied up and not get a hand job too." Follow Mistress Justine Cross on Twitter @Justineplays.
Q: I'm a good-looking, fit, younger guy living in Southern California. I'm getting older, though, and have never been in love or had any kind of serious relationship. I'm straight, but in the past five years I discovered that sexuality is gray, not black or white. I learned this when I accidentally dove into the world of trans. I go on Craigslist and other sites and find local trans girls to engage with in sexual activity. It's hard to describe why I'm into it, but I just am — maybe it satisfies a sexual side of me that women don't? Regardless, I've felt like this is an issue getting in the way of my quest to find a great woman and start a family, which I'd like to do in the next few years. I'm caught between thinking my sexual addiction is hindering my advancement toward a family life and enjoying the rush and sexual gratitude I'm inundated with when I meet up with trans girls. Is it something I definitely need to put an end to, or has it become a part of me that I can't deny and hide?
—Rocks And Hard Places
A: Trans women are women, RAHP, and some of them are great. (And some of them, like some of everybody, are not so great.) You could date a trans woman, you could marry a trans woman, and you could have kids with a trans woman (through adoption or surrogacy). The only thing that stands between you and being with the kind of person you're most attracted to (a trans woman) and having the other stuff you want out of life (marriage, kids, family life) is you.
Q: Penis puppetry came up on an episode of Difficult People. I don't want to google it, but I am curious about how it works. I don't want to see pictures. Could you explain it?
—Delicately Interested Person
A I couldn't tell you, DIP, but Billy Eichner, one of the stars of Difficult People, could. "Puppetry of the Penis is a show that tours all over the world, where men use their penis and testicles as puppets, twisting them into all kinds of shapes and characters," said Eichner. "Not sure what about the name Puppetry of the Penis threw you off."
Q: I'm a straight man, age 33. I was in a mutually unsatisfying relationship with a woman in my 20s. I told her not long after we got together that I didn't want to eat her pussy because I didn't like her smell. I'd eaten other vulvas before and loved them. She wasn't a week-between-showers kind of woman, and she was rightly hurt. Years later, I started listening to you and got religion. (And since she didn't want to hear from me, I made my apologies by treating the women I date now better.) Since then, I've loved the smell of every woman's pussy I've been fortunate enough to stick my nose in. But the question haunts me: How could I have handled that situation instead? How would I handle it again? What's a sex-positive way to tell a pussy-having person their smell turns you off? As someone who feels imbalanced in a sexual relationship if I'm not eating my partner's pussy, should I just quietly end things and say nothing? Seems like there's a middle way. I first thought of your advice for smelly dicks — tell him to take a shower — but for Americans, the smell of a vulva is tied up as much in hygiene as misogyny. I'm not sure how to approach this.
—Wondering How I Fill Females In Now Graciously
Telling someone with a pussy that their genitals smell funky is more complicated and fraught, as you're already aware, than telling the same thing to someone with a dick. The culture has been telling women — and, yes, that tiny percentage of men who have pussies — that their genitals are unclean and stinky since basically forever. But there are legitimate medical issues that can make someone's junk smell funky (and just not pussy-style junk), WHIFFING, and sometimes we need the people who can actually get their noses into our crotches to give us a heads-up. A bad vaginal odor can be a sign of bacterial vaginosis or even cancer.
Here's how you approach it: You ask yourself if you're the problem — think they smell bad? You're the problem — and then you ask yourself if sexual chemistry is the problem. (Don't like this person's particular smell and taste? Keep your mouth shut about their smell and taste and end the relationship.) If you think it might actually be a medical issue, you say something like this: "Please don't take this the wrong way, but your vagina and labia smell funky. That's not an easy thing to hear, I know, and it's not an easy thing to say. I know the misogynistic zap the culture puts on women's heads about this — but I'm worried that it might be a medical issue, and I'd rather risk your anger than your health."
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