Having Their Way With Them


The other day I was in my car listening to CBC Radio when I heard a feature about changes to the laws surrounding prostitution in Canada and Germany.

I heard that some in Germany are now rethinking whether loosening already loose laws in a country that has had legalized prostitution since after WW II was the best decision given that many of the women who work in the trade are from the world’s poorest countries and aren’t doing the work voluntarily.

Said one German who loves what she does and chose it, “there is exploitation in all sorts of workplaces, not just the sex trade.” True. But can we agree that having to put up with not being paid for overtime is a little lower down the human rights tragedy scale than being raped and beaten while doing work for someone who reaps all the financial benefits from work you didn’t sign up for and would never have chosen? This is the reality in Germany for some trafficked women from Hungary, Bulgaria and Romania, according to the interview.

They spoke to a German woman who had graduated from university with a physics degree and who now works as a dominatrix. I was fascinated by the type of woman who would get a physics degree and decide she’d rather be a dominatrix.  What motivated her decision? Enquiring minds want to know. Was it because there’s not a ton of work out there for those with brains big enough to get a physics degree, especially if the degree was only at the undergraduate level? Listeners weren’t told whether she had a B.Sc. or a PhD.

Did she wake up one morning and look in the mirror and think to herself, Fuck physics. I want some real control. And, as a dominatrix, just like in physics, acceleration, velocity and time would definitely come into play in her preferred career path.

I thought to myself, I’m a bit of a control freak. I’m interested in the freakishness of the human psyche. Writing and being a dominatrix might fit well together. At least that way, I’d be the one in control for a change.

Like you, I’ve done the cursory flipping through all the mediocre writing in Fifty Shades of Grey to get to the next sex scene and the next and every time I finished a paragraph I thought to myself, so that’s it, that’s what all the fuss has been about? That’s what made E.L. James a millionaire at least once over? The world is so lowest common denominator!

I was thinking that if you were a really good dominatrix maybe you could get away with not even having sex. You could build that into your shtick through a never ending waiting game. The conversation might go a bit like this extremely polite version.

“You don’t honestly expect me to reward you for your behaviour today do you? Are you kidding me? Not this time. Sorry. Not gonna happen! Don’t be such a baby. You’re so DEMANDING. Forget it.” Then a crack of the whip. A tightening of the chains.

You could carry on with this game until finally after a session or two you’d have to give in because he or she was paying you and then undoubtedly you’d have a client for life, because can I just say there is nothing like anticipation. Isn’t that what relationships, at least in their earliest phase, are built upon?  Isn’t that how girls and women get labeled sluts? They don’t wait long enough. How long is long enough in the 21st century? How long is long enough if you’re gay versus straight? How do “the rules” differ for each?

Along with the mystery vanishing of flight MH370, these are the kinds of things I’m wondering about today.

Here. Why not wile away some time listening to this interesting  CBC interview that I’m referring to and see what kind of questions come up for you.


  1. Gayle, I found this witty, funny and thought provoking. You are a mistress of satire here- enjoyed it so much. One of my friends commented on your ‘ballsy’ writing – I concur – it takes nerve and skill to write something so entertaining about a serious topic. Brava.

    1. Hi Elaine, So nice of you to comment. I really appreciate it and glad you enjoyed what is really just an off the top of my head musing.

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