Dear Mistress Matisse, My friend is a BDSM slave and she told me that since she is a slave, she can never leave her master no matter what he does. He could send her away if he wanted to, but she can't leave him. Are all BDSM relationships like that? I'm sort of bothered by this, even though she seems happy.

No, all BDSM relationships are not like that. Is your friend new to dominant/submissive relationships? There is no zealot like a recent convert, and while the passion and fervor they bring to their kink can be charming, one must sometimes make allowances for a rather Story of O mindset.

I do admit that sometimes one does encounter kinky people who are sort of wacko about this, like the woman who told me that she owned my former submissive Jae, and if I wanted to have a relationship with her, I would have to buy her. Yeah, sure. My money is all tied up in Nigeria right now, so how about I write you a check for $10,000 more than her price, and you refund me the difference, okay?

Everyone, even if they identify themselves as a slave, has a right to leave any relationship at any time. Hopefully both your friend and her partner know that at some level, although it may not suit their fantasy to say so.

Dear Mistress Matisse, How common is it for two dominants or submissives to start dating? If they do, does one become the dominant between the two of them, do they switch, or do they stick with vanilla?

It's not uncommon at all. I myself am a dominant in relationships with two other dominants. Max won the coin toss to be the dominant in our relationship, and Roman and I switch. The thing about being dominant or submissive is that it's not a black/white thing, but rather a matter of degree. I'm much more dominant than the vast majority of my lovers, and I've flipped a lot of people. That means I hooked up with kinksters who identify as dominants and got them to bottom to me. That's actually not as hard as you'd think—there are plenty of people who are tops only because no one's had the nerve to bend them over a heavy piece of furniture. But that didn't work with Max, who our friends affectionately describe as "the Death Star of evil." Max ranks me; in relation to him, I'm more like the Star Destroyer of evil.

Stick to vanilla? Not likely. It's my opinion that if you're seriously kinky, you can't really have vanilla sex even if you try. Your kinkiness will creep in around the edges, although it may be just an energy that you both feel. But someone has to run the fuck, so you're better off just going whichever way the energy takes you.

Dear Mistress Matisse, My question is, how can people balance public kink and professional jobs? Does a lawyer, teacher, et cetera who's interested in kink run the risk of destroying his or her career by becoming active in a public dungeon?

I'm sort of the wrong person to ask about this, since I've never had that kind of job. I do know lots of people who have straight jobs who play in public. Some of them take precautions, like using a "scene name" instead of their real name, and never allowing photos to be taken of them. In spite of such measures, I have known a handful of people who were outed to coworkers, with negative results. If you deal with children professionally, I'd say you're running a bigger risk than anyone else, as our current culture demands that you pretty much be a eunuch if you're going to work around kids. If you don't come in contact with kids, think about your employer's diversity policy. If it's a fairly liberal environment in terms of gay and transsexual people, you're less likely to catch major shit for your sex life. Bottom line: It could be just fine, but it's a judgment call. You have to weigh your choices and decide what risks you're willing to take to have the kind of life you want.

Kink Calendar


The Wet Spot's kinky dance party: socialize, dance, have sex, and do BDSM to a gothic/industrial soundtrack. Wet Spot, 270-9746 or, 9 pm–2 am, $10.


The Little Red Studio, in conjunction with the Wet Spot, presents Fetish Diva Midori for a sexy workshop, catered dinner, and late-night party with entertainment by the Little Red Studio troupe. Little Red Studio, 328-4758,, 6:30 pm, ticket prices vary, RSVP required.

Want to play dress-up? Lady Diana will show you how to fulfill your fantasies in a safe and comfortable atmosphere. 8 pm–10 pm, 523-5544 or, $20.


The New Horizons swing club welcomes new couples for Guest Night, where member couples can bring guests for only $80 per couple. Orientation required for all guests and new members, membership and party fees vary, or for info and reservations.

An evening of information on the latest sightings and methods of detection (such as the sexy-sounding Passive Radar) led by Peter Davenport, director of the National UFO Reporting Center. Seattle Museum of Mysteries, 623 Broadway E, 328-6499, 7–9 pm, free.


Do you want to know how to be a dominant without being a bitch? Fetish Diva Midori will share her secrets about the psychology, politics, practical exercises, techniques, fashion, and more. Babeland, 707 E Pike St, 328-2914, 7:30 pm, $35.