Researching the wide, wild world of unusual sexualities involves lots of online searching. I actually love how this exposes me to a plethora of eccentric characters, from genius thinkers and heroic activists to flat-out crank cases. Once or twice a year, however, I stumble onto a category of people who really tick me off with their unashamed evil. What makes them especially insidious is how well presented they make their case, and how they sometimes delude even themselves into thinking they are in fact good guys: in time this has made their peculiar blend of wickedness somewhat trendy and accepted – but having a conscience also means that I cannot keep ignoring them, and I have to take a stand. And no, I am not talking about Catholic priests. This is about “financial domination”.
Let me give you a brief description In case you are not familiar with the subject. So-called financial domination, or ‘findom’ is one among the many ramifications of sex work, and of professional domination in particular. What sets it apart from the other kink services, however, is that in this case the transaction is strictly one-way only: instead of receiving pleasure, attention or at least one emailed picture of the dominatrix, the client brings home nothing. Like, at all. That’s precisely the point of actual findom: the satisfaction is supposed to be derived from the act of squandering money in itself, for the implied pleasure of the dominant part.
The only interaction between the parties is in the form of receiving more demands for “tributes”, transferring money and – if ever – getting insulted for your “inferiority”. That’s it. In some cases the client is further humiliated by exposing his (they are overwhelmingly males) behavior online.
From a psychologist’s point of view, the above is not so surprising after all. Very briefly put, the current relationship between society and wealth is dysfunctional to say the least. The infamous “99% phenomenon” is but an exacerbation of an timeless wealth divide, which sometimes drives the better-offs to suffer from a sort of financial impostor syndrome, feeling they aren’t really entitled to all those riches. This leads them to seek punishment for their earnings, whether they were rightfully gained, resulting from sheer luck or criminal activities. A financial dominatrix makes the perfect outlet to get temporarily rid of their guilty feelings, since she adds a twisted yet alluring erotic dimension to just burning their money away.
A second element is the Capitalist assumption that people are only worth their money value, therefore someone believes that being able to fritter money away actually validates them – especially on the sexual front.
And what about the other side? Of course some women (again: findommes are almost always females) can’t believe their luck when they learn that there really are guys out there willing to fatten their bank accounts in exchange for nothing. If you are so inclined, the prospect of not having to prostitute yourself, nor to go through the complex and demanding role of the regular dominatrix is an unparalleled godsend. It is no wonder that trashy magazines publish wide-eyed articles about financial domination, implying how cool the women portrayed are, just as it is no surprise when some girls are tempted to give the lifestyle a try.
Now, truth to be told, the very definition of ‘financial domination’ is quite open to interpretation. Some profess that some form of exchange between mistress and client has to occur, if even in the form of a webcam session or some other game – but just as many people object that in that case you would be talking of just a regular form of sex work, only with premium prices. “True” findom is supposed to be defined by its abstractedness.
This is also the point made by – oh, the coincidence! – one financial dominatrix in a high-profile Medium article a few days ago, where she dumped all the rhetoric tropes of the subject on the readers. I refuse to link to her text, but among her points you could find:
- When you give me your money I get your power too and this makes my dominant soul happy
- If you don’t like this, it is your fault because you are “too broke” and therefore you are “gross”
- “Real” women are disgusted by non-wealthy men
- Expensive orgasms are better
- Lots of men are secretly submitting to findom, so you should too
- By the way, just send me money right now
Now, am I the only one who finds this sort of clumsy attempt at manipulation repulsive? This is why, after having stayed silent for way too long, I composed a restrained reply which I partially copied below.
[…] “Financial dominatrixes”place themselves in the position of taking advantage of mentally unwell persons, in a most unethical and possibly criminal way. While analyzing kinks is always interesting, taking a firm ethical stand is also important. The pro-findom propaganda supported, especially online, by a network of “findom professionals” (and frequently by all-male organizations exploiting young models as their frontwomen) is a social danger, no doubts about it. Mocking dissenters as ‘too broke for it’, as it happens in this article, is especially nasty because it presents this compensatory fetish as sane and even desirable. Pity is, while nobody will lose their sleep over some white collar criminal squandering their ill-gotten gains over nothing, there are also many financially insecure people falling for this fantasy.
Try promoting financial domination again after you’ve met the troubled men who blew their life savings on ‘the bluest balls of their lives’ and destroyed their lives and their families’. You can even try telling how fabulous and trendy findom is to my female client who had to unwillingly prostitute herself to support her “financial domination addiction”.
She could confirm that ‘money is power’ all right. In fact, its power is directly proportional to the amount of effort you put into the work for earning it. “Financial dominatrixes” should try having a job themselves instead of taking advantage of the feeble-minded: they might even get to appreciate its meaning.
This prompted, by the way, a long and ranting reply where the lady attempted extravagant debating somersaults and temerarious word-twisting to justify her position while personally attacking yours truly and whatever she imagined I represented. Which sounds odd, come to think of it. After all, why should you have to justify legitimate activities?
However, kindergarten squabbles aside, the quoted section really says everything I have to say about financial domination. And I do have to say it, indeed, for silence equals connivance, and as a kinkster I really don’t want to be grouped with abusers of any kind, in any way. Maybe you want to do the same?