Mistress Marley Explains How Findom Healed Her From Corporate Trauma
Originally published on MadameNoire
Most of us are waiting for the government to pay us what they owe us in the form of reparations. But Mistress Marley collects hers through her individual clients: white men who want to be dominated by Black women. We recently had the chance to speak to Mistress Marley about her particular brand of sex work, how she teaching other Black women to follow in her footsteps and how being a dominatrix has healed her. See what she had to say below.
Veronica Wells-Puoane: How did you get into dominatrix work?
Mistress Marley: I pretty much stumbled upon this work. I am originally from North Carolina. I live in New York now; but back in North Carolina, I dabbled in sex work here and there by stripping. I was a sugar baby at one point. And when I moved to New York, I kind of fell into this work by hearing about it around me. There was a time when I was down and out, didn’t have any money. I had just graduated from grad school and could not find the corporate job that I needed. And I was just Googling, ‘How to make money online as a woman.’ As I’m going through different page results on Google, that’s when I saw findom. Financial domination. And ever since then, the rest has kind of been history.
VWP: Explain to us what financial domination is?
Mistress Marley: Basically, financially domination or (findom) is a psychological kink that involves the submissive party handing over their wallet, finances, money, gifts to the dominate party or the dominatrix.
VWP: How did you go about obtaining clients? It’s one thing to see that this is something that exists but how do you make it work?
Mistress Marley: For me, I ended up on Twitter. When you go on Twitter and type findom in the search bar, you’ll see this whole separate world that a lot of people don’t even know exists. I really just winged it, like everybody else. You make a page. You take pictures. You make content. You make videos of you maybe telling submissives to hand over their money. A lot of findoms will go out to eat and they’ll take a picture of their receipt and say, ‘Reimburse what I spent.’ It started off by doing small things like that.
Within my first two weeks of findom, I got my first anonymous tribute. A tribute is basically a gift a sub gives you, just for you existing. It could range from $10 to $1000. It could be anonymous. Or they could tell you ‘Hey, I sent this.’ Majority of the time, in findom, the whole psychological thing is about sending money anonymously to us doms and us never knowing who sent it but knowing that someone is paying for us to exist.
VWP: I notice that there’s a racial dynamic in your work and I know you went viral because you were seen walking this white guy on a leash. Are most of your clients or subs white men?
Mistress Marley: Yes, 99 percent of my clients are white men and they range from the college student to the CEO, to the tech person, to the guy on Wall Street, to the everyday construction worker. It really just varies. Since 99 percent of my clients are white men, I do a lot of reparations within my work. Every tribute I get from a white client, white sub or white admirer, I consider it reparations for me existing as a Black woman and for being so great at being a Black woman. I really encourage—when I’m teaching courses to other Black women—‘Get what you’re due from these clients. Don’t let these clients walk all over you. You call the shots. You tell them what you need in life. You tell them why they’re there to serve you.’ I’m very big on reparations in my work.
VWP: What is it that you think white men get from submitting to a Black woman? Is it atonement for them? Is it a chance for them not to be as powerful as they are in regular society? What do you think that is for them?
Mistress Marley: I think men in general submit to dominatrix because a lot of these men are used to being in power in their everyday life and even if they’re just stripped from that power for an hour, they love that. But I also think, digging further into it with Black women, for a lot of these white men, it’s either a.) a fantasy b.) something that’s seen as taboo or c.)it gives them a thrill because of a lot of their friends or family knew that they were kneeling to Black women or giving their money over to Black women, a lot of people wouldn’t be cool with that. It would be strange.
So I want to say it’s fantasy. A lot of my clients or potential clients will say, ‘I dream about serving a Black woman.’ ‘Black women are just superior. I’m inferior to them.’ ‘Black women are so beautiful. They’re skin is amazing. They look amazing.’ They just really like to hype us up, rightfully so. It’s fantasy, something that they’re doing that’s not in their norm.
Every tribute I get from a white client, white sub or white admirer, I consider it reparations for me existing as a Black woman.
VWP: Does your work ever impact you mentally or psychologically? Do you ever feel like you’re fetish for these men?
Mistress Marley: For me personally, I’ve never seen myself as a fetish for white men only because when I was stripping, when I was a sugar baby, I was used to dealing with white men, being spoiled by white men. Also I know I’m beautiful so I know men of all races are attracted to me, that’s just me being transparent.
But there are instances where I do get messages or DMs that say, ‘Hey, I want you to dominate me because you’re a Black woman and I know Black women are mean.’
Stuff like that, I’ve gotten before. But I’ve been the game three, going on three and a half years. I know now who to engage with and who not to engage with. Someone who sends me a message like that now would automatically get blocked. There’s not even a back and forth because in the kink world, going back and forth is a thrill for them. It’s a turn on. So I try to teach a lot of the baby dommes or aspiring dommes coming up, especially Black women, know who to engage with and who not to engage with. Because you will have people try you. I mean, men are men.
VWP: Do you have a personal preference for the men that you engage with outside of your work? Do you prefer white men or do you not have a preference?
Mistress Marley: In my personal dating life, I prefer to only date Black men because there’s nothing like Black love. I’m 27 now, I’ve only dated Black men seriously on a personal relationship level. In my personal relationships, I don’t like submissive men. I like dominate men. So I consider myself a switch.
VWP: What do you get from dominating white men? How do you feel when you’re in those sessions, when you’re telling white men what to do, when you get money from a white man, what does that feel like for you?
Mistress Marley: Oh it’s an amazing feeling. To go from working a 9-5 corporate job—because I quit my 9-5 last January on really just a hope and a prayer. And it’s gotten me to six figures now, which is good for me. To me, getting the money from them, knowing that they’re paying my bills, knowing that they’re paying my bills, they’re paying what I’m due here, even outside of the money, seeing them kneel at my feet, wanting to serve me and just be there at my beck and call and them knowing that I am the goddess that I am.
Especially for someone like me who grew up not really speaking up for myself, in job situations, dealing with passive aggressiveness from other white co-workers, I had to deal with so many things. But now, it’s all completely about me. I call the shots. I make the schedule. I tell you when to send me money. It really is powerful. And it’s healing work. I tell everybody that BDSM, (bondage, discipline, dominance and submission, sadomasochism) is healing work. If you’re doing it the right way, it can be work that’s healing not only for myself but for my client.
People think that because you’re a dominatrix you’re just mean to people and then toss them to the side. No. We look at our clients as people too. I’ve had clients that have maybe been through mentally trying things in their days or feel alone in their life.
And the fact that they can come to me, talk to me, vent about it, get their ass whooped a little bit and pay me money, it’s a win-win for everybody.
I tell everybody that BDSM is healing work.
VWP: Tell me how you decided to go into teaching? Why was that important that you offer your classes specifically to other Black women?
Mistress Marley: I went into teaching because when I started out in findom, I had no help. All I had was Google. Google is not always accurate. Most of the articles were written by people who thought they knew what findom was but never were actually findoms.
So when I got on Twitter, I would reach out to other dommes, which at the time, three years ago, it was mostly whitewashed. Now, you’ll see nothing but Black findoms. But I would reach out to these white dommes and they would be rude to me, they would block me. They would say find out on your own. They would say, ‘You’re a bot. I don’t trust you.’ They would really not help.
I said this is not it. It’s not a positive space. We need community. So I asked myself what can I do to make sure that no other Black woman goes through this? That’s when I decided to first create a Facebook group called Black Domme Sorority. At first it was just me and my friends who were into findom. Then, the next thing I knew, it grew to 1,000 members. Now we’re off Facebook and more of an exclusive group of 100 members. We’ve been around since July 2019. Our two year anniversary is next month. I created that organization for us like a sisterhood, a family, a bond. We do events, we’re doing the Defend Black Women March in DC. We do a lot of community outreach.
Then I also said, what can I do to make my teaching accessible to people who might not want to commit to an organization because some people are private. So that’s when I created the Sexcademy on Patreon and it’s literally $5 a month and it’s a place where you can learn from me.
When I first came into the industry, BDSM was big on gatekeeping. There were a lot of gatekeepers. There was a lot of older dommes not trying to help the new dommes. Even now, I still see shade from older dommes, which I ignore.
But it’s a new world. BDSM used to just be word of mouth. You had to know somebody, who knew somebody. But now, you can go online and type BDSM and book a session right now with a dominatrixs You can see a video of all these dominatrix things. Being a dominatrix is in music and pop culture. Megan Thee Stallion, Cardi—all of them are doing dominatrix type things in their work. It’s more accessible. But there’s a difference between it being accessible and it actually making sense so that is why I decided to start the Black Domme Sorority and the Sex Academy for someone to not feel alone like I did.
What can I do to make sure that no other Black woman goes through this?
VWP: What are some of the misconceptions you think people have about dominatrix work or sex work in general?
Mistress Marley: One of the common misconceptions people have is that sex work is not real work. Sex work is definitely real work. We have to be our own HR. We have to do our own scheduling. We have to do our own payroll. We have to do our own PR if something goes wrong. There are times when I have to do content all day because it’s the livelihood. You have to book sessions last minute.
People see it as, ‘Oh, they’re just using their body to get what they want.’ Or ‘They’re just logging on to OnlyFans.’ It’s way more than that. Sex work can be very mentally and emotionally trying, especially for people just coming out. You see so many comments from people who think that just because they’ve seen your body or seen your work that they have access to you. We have to deal with clients hitting us up at four or five in the morning hitting us up like we don’t sleep or we aren’t normal people.
The second misconception is that people think that all sex work involves sex, which is false. A stripper is a sex worker. If you get on the webcam, you’re a sex worker. If you sell pictures of your feet, you’re a sex worker. Me as a dominatrix who never gets naked and never has sex with my clients, I’m still seen as a sex worker.
And then the third one is that people think dominatrix are just mean and latex and that’s our only personality. But it’s so many different types of dommes out there. Like me, I can wipe and beat you but I can also be very nurturing. I can be sadistic, I can be bratty. I can be so many different things. A lot of these misconceptions come from pop culture, 50 Shades of Gray and things of that nature.
VWP: You said that BDSM can be healing so how has it been specifically healing for you? I feel like so many Black women were in your situation, coming from corporate America, working with white people, feeling like you’re not being heard, being mistreated and abused in some cases. How has this type of sex work healed some of that for you?
Mistress Marley: It’s definitely healed me in the sense of, it’s taken away my anxiety. I used to go to one of my corporate jobs anxious like ‘What am I going to do wrong today?’ ‘What is somebody going to point out today?’ ‘What is someone going to say about my hair or my clothes?’
This work took away my anxiety and it became healing work in the sense that I have stepped into a power that I never really saw before. I always knew that I was confident person growing up. But now it’s like—not even confidence in the sense of arrogance. When I walk in the room, it’s me. I’m here. Where it used to be, ‘I don’t really want anyone to look at me. But if somebody happens to, I’m here.
Now, it’s like I’m here. I call the shots. Even when I have conversations now with media, clients, people in general, I’m confident. I’m out there.
It’s been healing work in the sense of I wake up in the morning and I know my purpose. Whereas with my 9-5, I felt like a robot, just doing the same thing all the time.
Being in BDSM and being a dominatrix has helped me in my personal relationships. It has helped me on those first dates to be like, ‘Unnhh unnn I already see how this person is. It’s not going to work.’ It makes you look at things differently as a woman for sure.
VWP: How so?
Mistress Marley: Before BDSM, I would go on a date and just feel good that I was on a date, they’re paying for dinner, they’re complimenting me. You would get so caught up in the cute things that they were doing. Being a dominatrix, it’s helped me realize, ‘Okay, I see this person is giving my pushback about this.’ ‘I see this person has a little bit of uncomfortability.’ ‘I see this person’s judgments right away.’ I can see if a person really wants me for who I am or just wants me because of looks. A lot of people are very vain.
Also, when I got on dates, I tell people what I do and it helps me eliminate. This is what I do. This is who I am, either you accept it or move on. And for the most part, it’s been fine. I haven’t gotten a lot of men who just move on.
But the dominatrix work has just helped me be confident and speak up for myself. It’s even helped me if a date is going bad. Before being a domme, I would sit through. But now, I literally have left dates. I just say, ‘I’m going home.’ And that’s the confidence it gives you, to really respect my time.