1/ How did you become a dominatrix?
At the age of 20 or even younger, I realised that
my sexuality was fulfilled when I felt completely possessed, tied up
and beaten by a man. However, the main problem was getting the little
darlings to understand that it was a game. And that I was not a all
willing to become a doormat in everyday life. I explain in my book how
I went from being a recreationally submissive to a fully-fledged dominatrix.
I was emerging from a painful divorce and crushed by the weight of my
I met a man on the Minitel chatline 3615 Aline who claimed to be a master.
But at his first try, I snatched the whip out of his hands, saying,
“You’re useless! I’ll show you how to whip! Look at
yourself, you’re pathetic!” I spoke to him as if we were
familiar. The mask was off. In a second, he was on his knees, clutching
my low-fronted shoes: “Yes mistress, I’m useless! Make me
I was stunned. Could I be a mistress? Me, who found it tough enough
already to fight my way through life! I was intrigued and changed my
chat handle. The next day I met a man, as I described in my book, “Mon
premier esclave” (My First Slave). It’s one of my fondest
memories. Our affair lasted a long time. It ended with a great friendship.
My life as a mistress became a real life.
2/ Why did you become a dominatrix?
When I was looking for a relationship with a master,
I dreamt of someone stronger, smarter and more cultivated than me –
someone intellectually uplifting. I was looking for sensual pleasure
and a real Pygmalion. Not just anyone – he had to be indestructible
in my eyes. But they all fainted like paper tigers. My expectations
were obviously too high.
On the other hand, my first slave had all the qualities I was looking
for in a man.
Since I became a dominatrix, I’ve had some beautiful relationships
with men. I’d never met such refined men before. They reconciled
me with life. I owe them my serenity and much more.
3/ What led you to write a book?
I’d always wanted to write and perform theatre,
but a complicated life prevented me. It was only later that I began
a life as a “performer.” Before I’d published anything,
it was easy for me to write in online forums. These endlessly reworked
short texts were my rough drafts. When I’m in a relationship,
I’m already in the writing process.
The transition from forums to publication by Gallimard was a huge task
for me. One day my collection editor said, “That could be Genet
you’re writing.” I hadn’t read much Genet. So I immersed
myself in his work. I also read Genet through Sartre and I understood
that Genet was talking about the cruelty of society but that he certainly
didn’t want to change that cruelty as it drove his creativity.
I recognised myself in that. Writing is masochistic, so I also found
fulfilment in creativity born out of pain.
On the relation between pain and creativity, it was during the time
of greatest deprivation that Picasso created his best works. In his
blue period, he was starving and painted with a paintbrush in one hand
and a candle in the other.
I also wanted to talk about masochistic
men in a different tone. Fathy was probably guided by people who were
trying to make masochistic men miserable, crazy drunkards and drug addicts.
I read part of the book and closed it (if I remember correctly) when
I read that she needed to “purify herself” by shutting herself
away in her country from time to time. The book was governed by moral
order and Fathy was its innocent victim.
My book is definitely more subversive, as it sets the record straight.
It shows that anyone can live out this sexuality without being mentally
ill. And that we can lead a perfectly balanced life in all other respects.
After my first appearance on the
Dechavanne talk show, I fell victim to my neighbours’ sadism.
I wrote more than 500 pages on that sadism. That writing looks like
an essay. Every time I was psychologically attacked, I threw it up on
my screen. That prevented me from becoming violent. I summed it all
up in just a few lines in my book, of course. And it was a deliverance.
I’ve never been wounded by gratuitous unkindness since.
4/ What did it change about your life?
Everything. I became serene. I’ve read and
written a lot in this lifestyle. I’ve dressed the wounds and pains
of my life.
5/ You were one of the first dominatrices to appear on
TV. Can you tell us about it?
I didn’t want to do it. I did it to please
some exhibitionist friends.
I don’t regret a thing. With or without me, the veil would have
been lifted off our sexuality.
At the time I had a ready-to-wear clothing shop. Sometimes I would bring
a play partner to the shop at night. He would be the customer and I
would be the sales girl desperate to turn him into an elegant woman.
It’s the only good memory I have of the store. Everything else
was just worry and stressful work. After the first TV programme, I soon
realised I could work with much more passion and less financial risk.
Particularly with Minitel online servers, phone services and, later,
Internet, where my members’ zone is working better and better.
I have become a kind of brand image, and a successful one. TV looks
to trap and ridicule us. On those terms, I turn down invitations to
6/ What does domination mean in your view?
I think you have to start by watching human beings
live: look at their needs and odd habits; watch them as children and
compare with adults.
Form time immemorial, people have needed idols. Where do they find them?
In religions and beliefs, in worshipping gods. Or in veneration for
a star, an athlete or other human being. But in both cases, the god
Some people idealise a more accessible woman or man. They dress them
up as a god. They calm their need with the illusion. The main thing
is to believe in it for as long as it takes to ease their frustration.
That’s why dominatrices or dominators who take themselves too
seriously are ridiculous.
People need ceremonies. They need to shed their skins and become someone
else. Because strength and weakness are vital foods for human beings.
In the shadows of the dungeon, men come to hide their fear of being
recognised in a state of weakness or having their repressed homosexuality
discovered. In the end, they live out that homosexuality with a woman
who has turned into a man for the occasion. A masochist fools everyone,
as he hypocritically blames the Mistress for putting him through what
he implicitly orders. All that is just a fleeting game, but it is deadly
serious while it is happening. When the dungeon door is closed, we become
Nietzsche said that man is born a camel, becomes a lion and is only
fulfilled when he can become a child again. SM to me is man’s
“becoming child”. In the end, it is about children’s
games that are sexualised and adapted to the man-child. We play doctors;
we put on mum’s things – a hat, high heels and a corset.
The dungeon becomes a theme park for adult children.
For the dominatrix, it means being queen for a day. It’s also
an escape route from a world of terror, tears and blood.
The patriarchal power’s instruments of punishment are castrated.
The whip, cane and humiliation that have long been used to punish are
turned into instruments of pleasure. It’s a way of thumbing one’s
nose at our civilisation.
And the media have caught on. Humiliating TV shows like “The Weakest
Link” are big hits. Men take part to satisfy their need for weakness
but do so quite innocently.
There are many examples. Men would do anything not to feel guilty over
that need for weakness.
Man also needs to break the established rules. SM is a kind of modern
Saturnalia. At the time, the slave was allowed to become the master
once a day. And the master could become the slave. The “human”
need to turn everything upside-down was already understood.
Today’s pagan festivals – Carnival, which is a lot like
a fetishist party, and Halloween - are proof of this. The amusing thing
about Halloween is that the witch is humanised. And so, therefore, are
the devil and the dominatrix. By making the presence of the witch or
devil less alarming, we make God the Father less credible, because believing
in God means believing in the devil. We deprive society of the devil
as scapegoat for all our wrongs. Look how vociferously the Church opposes
the event. But that story is too long is to explain.
SM is a game of masks. Many people would like to experience it, whether
hooded or made up. I think that wipes out the face that religion has
made guilty. The fact that they don’t go to mass doesn’t
change a thing. That guiltiness is set in our roots.
The image of the guilty, erased face can be seen in the art of Francis
I have a partner who for years has felt the need to be completely enveloped
in leather. I talk about him on my website. He likes having his dick
covered in leather. As if he was wearing a strap-on dildo, so that you
wonder, is it a woman wearing a strap-on or is it a man? His constant
quest is for the perfect boot that can cover him all the way up to his
corset so not an inch of his skin can be seen. The aim is to hide the
image of the mortal, guilty body to make it eternal and shelter it from
the cadaverous body of Christ on the cross and, therefore, from any
I think that the barrier between SM and fetishism is virtually imperceptible,
but many people are unaware because they haven’t read or thought
enough. By the way, I don’t like the initials SM. Why not say
masochistic and masochisting? Let’s talk about that some other
7/ What do you like about SM?
What I just said, to get away from the usual clichés,
I like the pomp, the ceremony and fine accessories. Some of them are
real works of art. “Masochism finds its source in works of art.”
There is nothing innocent in the fact that masochistic men like looking
at themselves in the mirror. Even when a man cross-dresses ludicrously,
it can still be a work of art, a painting.
I like the look in the eyes of the person I’m dominating. I like
fusion: there are two of us and we both have to be on the same wavelength
for the pleasure to be mutual.
8/ What do you hate?
Part of the new generation that is there just
to look good.
Fetishism and SM are used in advertising. The biggest names in fashion
use and abuse them. Which leads to a sham in our community. They make
the real enthusiasts look common.
These newcomers jump on the bandwagon, nose around and set down new
prohibitions that are as ridiculous as they are pointless. And they
preach to us and mistrust each other depending on their respective multiple
This is real racism that has arrived in our community. Which makes me
miss the time when we were still hidden.
9/ Can a domination relationship ever be degrading?
What is degrading is a relationship based on insidious
moral domination day in, day out, with harassment and sadistic domination,
certainly not orgiastic domination.
10/ What do you think of people who are completely closed
to dominating behaviour?
Around the world, the more a country is puritanical
and fundamentalist, the more violent acts, crimes and rapes are committed.
We should take a closer look at the people who reject or are intolerant
of our sexuality. I’m sure that we’d see some neuroses that
lead them to behave badly in everyday life.
It’s also a kind of religious war. What I mean is that by putting
sex into our ceremonies, we are mixing the sexual and the sacred. Nothing
is more pagan and therefore more intolerable for a right-thinking society.
It means asserting sexual happiness all the more loudly. There is a
connection with the Great Goddess, with ancient religions and so paganism.
11/ In the domination relationship, is language important?
Language is essential. Cerebral sexuality is what
sets us apart from animals.
A masochist is like a child to whom you read a fairy story, bringing
the scene to life. In general, a poor child dreams of lignum the life
of Cinderella, of going from rags to riches and becoming a princess.
With adult children it’s the opposite. Men dream of rags or imagine
themselves as princess whores. They prefer the cruel stepmother to Snow
They like shedding their skin. They have to be told what they are experiencing
to make it even more intensive.
They enjoy feeling dependent, like prisoners, dogs or whores. Others
prefer pain inflicted with sadistic technique. Without, of course, bringing
real sadism into the relationship.
A build-up of language is essential to the ecstasy they are looking
for. I’ve seen men ejaculate without my touching them, just by
talking to them.
12/ How far can you go with language? And with gestures?
Remember that words are like gestures. A clumsy
movement, a word out of place and everything that was sublime suddenly
becomes extremely vulgar.
You mustn’t make a mistake. And you have to know how to catch
the invisible keys that a masochist throws you.
Everything is authorised as long as it is a relationship between consenting
adults, with no influence and without risk for the submissive partner.
13/ A word of advice?
You must read “Le Masochisme ou Comment
ne pas devenir un suicidé de la société.”
(“Masochism or How not to Become a Suicide Victim of Society”)
by Anne Larue, for sale online at http://www.talus.be/livres/091.html
Author, “Françoise Maîtresse”
Lettres Erotiques collection, edited by Jean Jacques Pauvert
Published by La Musardine
On sale at the Démonia store.