The Most Bitchin’ Job Interview I've Ever Had
Note: All names have been changed or omitted to protect everyone’s privacy.
A year or so ago, there was a brief period where I considered becoming a pro submissive. “Get spanked all the time and get paid for it? Sounds like my fucking dream job!” I suspected in my gut it would probably not, in reality, be my fucking dream job at all, but my curiosity got the best of me and I felt a pull to explore the idea.
I had worked in the past with a professional dominatrix as her rope bunny, chatting with her clients and letting them tie me up while she taught shibari lessons. It was a good time and for the most part, people were respectful under her watchful eye. I’d also worked as a kink-event organizer, both independently and with a couple of organizations, hosting things like munches, play parties, and educational workshops. I was acquainted with the business side of BDSM, with its mix of sparkly rainbows and soul-sucking bullshit, but none of what I’d done had ever quite scratched my spanko itch. If I could so thoroughly enjoy getting tossed OTK and swatted by friends and partners, perhaps I could get into it with fun, respectful clients too.
(That was my line of thinking at the time, anyway.)
After researching a few nearby-ish commercial dungeons online, I settled on the one that seemed the most professional. It was legal, completely up-front about its policies, and had been open for decades. I reached out with an email that laid out my prior experience working in the community, which was promptly answered. If I was willing to make the drive, they said, they’d be happy to interview me.
Long story short, I got my ducks in a row and managed to make my way there a few weeks later, excited and nervous as I parked at the address. On the outside, the appearance of the place was subtle and nondescript, just like any other drab two-story house on the block. The interior, however, was rich with color and elaborately adorned with fetish-themed art and photos of the women who worked there as doms, subs, and switches. The nice lady at the front desk had me sit and wait in a nearby alcove, twiddling my thumbs until the manager was free, listening as client after client checked in.
“Hi. I’m here to play with Stella...”
On the wall opposite to where I sat was a photo of the owner in her heyday, an awe-inducing woman with a whip who was quite clearly in her element and not one to be fucked with.
“What a badass,” I whispered, studying her confident expression and soaking up her aura.
The manager, a friendly woman in her 50s, walked in and greeted me with a warm and unassuming smile. She led me though the place, past rooms decorated according to a variety of fetish-themed tropes. A doctor’s office. A classroom. A prison. A gorgeously decked-out bedroom equipped with spanking benches and other strappy furniture. We also passed an alcove with an array of paddles, tawses, canes, and other pretty toys hanging from the wall. A kinkster’s paradise, ripe for the picking. Finally, we arrived at a room that would be free for the next hour or so where we could sit and chat. 1950s themed with a comfy sofa and photos of adorable pin-up girls hanging from each wall. Classic.
We had to wait a few minutes, as another applicant was scheduled to join us for the interview. I probably seemed a bit ‘Type A’ while we made small talk, taking a pen and a notebook from my purse, ready to jot down the info and answers to my questions. Eventually the other woman arrived looking blond, polished, and glamorous—providing a stark contrast to the all-black pseudo-punky urban style I was sporting at the time. She had a seat next to me on the sofa and quickly explained she wasn’t looking to sub. She’d come because she wanted to be a dominatrix, but admittedly had zero experience with kink. Never spanked anyone, never been spanked.
The system, the manager informed us, did not work that way. All new employees had to sub for a year, could switch in the second year, and finally move toward topping exclusively during year three. This old-school approach was designed to give staff members time to get a sense of the responsibility involved with being in charge of doling out beatings, which I heartily approved of. After hearing the rundown of the basics of the business, I started asking questions.
“What are most of the clients like?”
Most, she told me, were middle-aged men, many of whom were married but couldn’t enjoy kink with their vanilla wives. They came to cheat and mainly wanted to indulge in fantasies of spanking their partner for everyday transgressions like burning their dinner and whatnot. Domestic-discipline, ‘man of the house’-oriented stuff. No surprises there.
“Do they tend to push boundaries?”
The answer, unfortunately, was yes. Although every session was explicitly negotiated beforehand, guys would regularly test whether they could get away with taking things further. The most common issue, she said, was that they’d try to pull your panties down and/or stick their fingers inside you, and you were responsible for stopping them in a way that was playful and ‘submissive’, but firm. They were also not technically allowed to masturbate during sessions, but many would pull their dicks out and begin to do so anyway, and it was up to each woman to decide how to handle it in the moment.
(Below-the-waist nudity of anyone present = prostitution, apparently = illegal and therefore not ‘allowed’ under any circumstances. Every client is told as much before sessions begin and have to agree to the condition that sexual activity is off the table. The purpose of the business is BDSM, not sex, which is what gives the owner the ability to operate above board. Still, behind closed doors, many clients push these limits, as well as the personal boundaries of each specific employee, as far as they possibly can.)
That whole song and dance would piss me right the fuck off, I thought.
I can understand the impulse regarding the panty thing, as most spankos feel like a ‘real’ spanking happens on a bare bottom. However, my pipe dream of being able to enjoy the experience on any level evaporated then and there. This would be nothing like playing with friends, a partner, or even someone new I'd just met at a play party. I would be topping from the bottom while having to act like I wasn’t, enabling a good amount of men who were lying to their partners and/or didn’t respect limits. Again, not surprising, but as I listened and took it all in, I began to accept the fact that the gig was not for me.
“Do any of the guys get obsessive?” I asked, pressing on while the other applicant listened next to me in wide-eyed silence. “Stalker-type stuff? Waiting to follow the women home after their shift?”
Yes, yes, and yes. Rarely, but it happened. Of course it did.
“Are there cameras in the rooms?”
There were cameras at the front desk and in the parking lot, but not the play rooms, as privacy is of the utmost importance in the BDSM realm. Knowing they’d be watched or recorded during sessions would discourage a considerable percentage of clients from booking in the first place, which would obviously not be great for business. There were, the manager said while pointing to a button on the wall, intercoms in each room that could be used to alert the front desk in case you really needed help, but that didn’t do much to put me at ease. I’ve had some terrifying experiences with aggressive men in the past, and visions of what could happen if I encountered the wrong person and didn’t make it to that button fast enough started flashing through my mind. I have zero delusions that that kind of stuff can’t happen to me because it already has.
Though both of us sitting on that couch were likely leaning toward passing on the job, we agreed to move onto the second portion of the interview: testing our pain tolerance. Clients could choose between booking soft and hard sessions, and management needed to know what you were willing and able to handle. My fellow interviewee and I were about to get spanked.
I had expected this. The staff had informed me well in advance over the phone and I was fucking stoked. The other applicant, however, had not been aware of this portion of the process and appeared to get a bit nervous. I turned and whispered to her while the manager got on the phone to find us a free room, as the one we were in had been booked in advance and we needed to vacate within the next 10 minutes.
“Is this really your first time? You’ve never been spanked before?”
“No, never. First time.”
I smiled. “That’s exciting.”
Secretly, however, I worried for her and probably should have kept my encouraging opinion to myself. She hadn’t come there intending to submit to anyone and was clearly not an eager little masochist like me. It’d be traumatizing, potentially, to get spanked when you’re not nuts about the whole thing and I didn't want to add to any pressure she might be feeling to go through with it. Hmmmmmm, not ideal... but she was an adult. She could’ve declined and left if she’d wanted to, but chose to stay.
The manager continued on the phone. “Yeah, I can take one of the girls, but I need someone to take the other one.” I’d previously claimed to have a high pain tolerance and she had someone specific in mind to test me on it, who luckily happened to be free at the time.
Hanging up, she nodded toward my new friend to my left. “I’ll take you. You,” she said, raising her eyebrows and pointing my way with a smile, “are going to get spanked by Darla, one of our longest-serving dommes.”
The nervous giddiness pooling in my belly was delicious. Christmas had come early. What a lucky day!
We followed her to a plush, dark room with a large comfy armchair, a cage, and a St. Andrew’s cross. As we began to strip down to our underwear, in walked Darla and hoooooo boy, I knew I was in for it.
I would like you to imagine an Amazonian, no-nonsense woman well over six feet in height in a black leather corset, with long dark hair and a handful of fun weapons including paddles, straps, and a flogger. She nodded my way while the manager tended to the other applicant.
“This one’s mine?”
I clock in at 5’2” on a tall day, so this was all quite the dream come true. She approached, towering more than a foot above me, powerful and intimidating. I looked up at her and grinned.
“You’re gonna spank me.”
She grinned back.
“Yes I am.”
The manager had the other spankee bend over the cage at the other end of the room and began swatting over her panties with her hand. Darla and I took the cross. I leaned against it, reaching up to grab the upper arms of the X, sticking my booty out like a kinky gal who hadn’t been spanked in months. She began and, foolish me, I couldn’t help myself no matter how hard I tried… I got the giggles.
“Are you fucking laughing at me?” she asked, incredulous at my challenge to her authority.
“Hehe… (SMACK) ow! No, (SMACK) haha, of course not. (SMACK) Ow!… hehehehehahaHAHAHAHA!”
SMACK SMACK SMACK SMACK SMACK
“I’m gonna beat your ass, girl!”
She went for it, cycling through her arsenal of implements, spanking harder and harder while I lost my shit, tickled pink by the entire situation. At the other end of the room where my fellow spankee was quietly getting through her interview, expression neutral, the manager paused and turned around.
“Don’t mark her up! WHAT ARE YOU DOING?!”
We were having way too much fun.
Darla sighed and tossed the flogger aside, exasperated. “Welp, she can take it. She’s a hard player.”
(I felt a tad victorious, not gonna lie.)
We made chit chat as I got dressed. I asked her whether she enjoyed the job.
“Yeah, it’s fun,” she said, smirking. “Gotta be tough as nails, though. The guys that come in here aren’t your dream dom. A lot of ‘em are fuckin’ assholes, and they’ll try anything they think they can get away with. You’ll get the whole gamut. You’ve got to be careful.”
It did seem, generally, that the women who worked there were confident, laid-back, and thick skinned, but had an overall sense of private disdain for the men who came through to play.
I thanked Darla and the manager for their time and told them I wanted to think about it, heading toward the exit with spankee #2. Outside in the parking lot, we turned to each other.
“Well,” she said, “that was… something.”
I laughed. “It was indeed.” We said an awkward goodbye and went our separate ways.
For the next few weeks, I tried to convince myself to take the job, at least for a little while to see how it went.
The money’s good… I’m sure it could be fun sometimes… Maybe it wouldn’t be that bad… The women there seemed to be okay…
Most of my friends approved of the idea, encouraging me to go for it. It’d be an amusing, interesting, empowering gig, they surmised, and they were sure I could handle it based on my experience in the kink scene. “Getting spanked all the time? Pfft. You were made for that job.”
Only one person in my circle openly disapproved and tried to dissuade me: my vanilla ex-boyfriend. Despite our sexual incompatibility, we’ve remained close friends for more than a decade since the breakup and still kick it at his place where he lives with a mutual friend. I sat on the floor of his living room and told him about the interview, laughing as I described the scene. He paused and glanced up at me from where he sat on his couch, leaning over the coffee table as he rolled a spliff, utterly serious.
“Please don’t take that job.”
He’s never made a habit of claiming to know what’s best for me, so on the rare occasion that he does, I listen.
“Please,” he repeated. “I know you like that stuff, but those guys aren’t your friends. Every woman I’ve ever known who got into sex work has a grip of shitty stories to tell. I’d worry about you every day and so would your parents if they found out. Please do something else.”
“It’s not ‘sex’ work,” I mumbled. “There’s no sex, it’s just spanki—”
“It is sex work, T. You KNOW it is. They’re paying to touch your body like you’re a fucking product. Your girlfriends might think that’s ‘empowering’ or whatever, but they haven’t done it. You need to get real.” He dropped his gaze and licked along the gummy edge of the paper, shaking his head and sneering as he sealed up his doobie. “You think I’d ever pay to touch a woman rather than earning it?”
I don’t necessarily agree with his opinion of people who pay to play. A number of my longtime kinky friends have visited professionals in the past in order to explore their kinks with someone safe and qualified, and I’m glad they had that option. My ex was, however, right about me: I wouldn’t be able to handle it. I like spanking for the intimacy, fun, and affection involved in those connections, and while I’d surely have encountered a number of delightful clients, I’d have had to deal with the opposite sorts of folks on a regular basis too. You can’t know whether someone’s safe right off the bat. Predators aren’t accompanied by ominous music in real life. There are independent sex workers who handle the job differently, taking time to vet clients well before agreeing to be alone in a room with them, but that route comes with its own slew of risks and I wasn’t willing to go there.
Ultimately, I took my ex’s advice and I’m glad I did. It all feels a bit silly now, looking back on the whole thing. In the short time that’s passed since that interview, for a handful of unrelated reasons, I’ve become so SO much pickier about who I’m willing to play with. I don't even want to be spoken to by total strangers in overly direct or flirtatious ways these days, let alone have them touch me until we've spent plenty of time forging a friendship and solidifying trust. The fact that I thought I might be able to hack it, going over the knees of people I'd just met all the time, seems ridiculous. I'm too sensitive and realistically, the experience would've wounded me.
It’s not my intention to judge sex workers or act like my way is best for everyone. Some pro dommes/doms/subs/switches appear to handle it all with grace and enjoy the hell out of what they do. I respect that strength and truly do believe that sex work is work. They deserve every penny they get and FAR more protection than the government currently affords them. I’m grateful to have had the chance to peer more deeply into that world and develop a clearer understanding of it all.
I can say without a doubt though, that was the most magical job interview I’ve ever had and I hold it in my heart as one of my dearest memories. Spanked by a legendary, take-no-sass goddess at a pro dungeon, punished hard for my cheeky insolence! WHEW, she was scary! I think of Darla sometimes and hope she’s doing well. Perhaps someday in the future, I’ll head back to book a session of my own so she can really go to town and swat the giggles out of me.
It’s quite the ride, this spanko life, chock to the brim with conflicting feelings. At the very least, the adventure never gets boring.