Dominatrix: Gender, Eroticism, and Control in the Dungeon

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University of Chicago Press, Oct 3, 2012 - Psychology - 239 pages
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Our lives are full of small tensions, our closest relationships full of struggle: between woman and man, artist and customer, purist and commercialist, professional and client—and between the dominant and the submissive. In Dominatrix, Danielle Lindemann draws on extensive fieldwork and interviews with professional dominatrices in New York City and San Francisco to offer a sophisticated portrait of these unusual professionals, their work, and their clients. Prior research on sex work has focused primarily on prostitutes and most studies of BDSM absorb pro-domme/client relationships without exploring what makes them unique. Lindemann satisfies our curiosity about these paid encounters, shining a light on one of the most secretive and least understood of personal relationships and unthreading a heretofore unexamined patch of our social tapestry. Upending the idea that these erotic laborers engage in simple exchanges and revealing the therapeutic and analytic nature of their work, Lindemann makes a major contribution to cultural studies, anthropology, and queer studies with her analysis of how gender, power, sexuality, and hierarchy shape all of our social experiences.
 

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Contents

Introduction
1
Power Exchange and the Theatrical Frame
24
Dominatrix Careers
53
Art Authenticity and Pierre Bourdieu
82
Fantasy and the Boundaries of Commercial Intimacy
105
5 Whip Therapy
127
Reproduction of Gender on the Dungeon Floor
153
The Emperors New Leather Thong
175
Historical Context
199
Terminology
201
Initial Contact Email
204
Original Interview Schedule
205
Final Interview Schedule
211
Notes
217
References
229
Index
237

Methods
187
Getting Collared ProDommes and the Law
194

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About the author (2012)

Danielle J. Lindemann is a postdoctoral research scholar at Vanderbilt University. She lives with her husband in New York—a city she loves masochistically.

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