In the early 2000s (oh, those naughty aughties), I gained confidence as a domina after learning from Simone Justice and making a name for myself in New York City. With burgeoning self-confidence came some self-importance, and my session playlist began to reflect what was essential to creating my mood in a play BDSM session. What better for a dominatrix to listen to music from “The Scene That Celebrates Itself”?
Adding a first edition iPod to my dungeon, I could create specific playlists–Psycho-Emotional Soundscapes. And I thought of them that way. Something to keep the movement of the scene but also fade into that characteristic “Wall of sound.” I could gently pull in my subject’s mind through a light flogging to “Cherry Coloured Funk” by the Cocteau Twins, as my rhythm gently swayed as the song progressed. The unassuming but driving drum snare in “Sight of You” by the Pale Saints helped my inspiration flow without being over-enthusiastic.
Of course, while the music of this playlist moved me, perhaps it wasn’t always the case with my subjects. I don’t remember receiving compliments on my amazingly esoteric taste, but I remember more than a few saying, “This music is–weird.” And twenty years later, Slowdive and Beach House are better known for their trends on TikTok than a domina’s BDSM dungeon.
“Frou-Frou Foxes in Midsummer Fires” is the best song to wield a whip with, and I will fight you on that.