I ask the dominatrix if she ever brings the men she dates back to her apartment. “Here? Oh god, no,” she says. “I mean, just look at the place. I couldn’t. Any man in his right mind would run screaming.”
The dominatrix, Mistress Dee, stands with her back arched in a pair of PVC heels, thigh high stockings and a black latex mini dress. Pretty standard attire. She’s petite with giant boobs (real), black curls and skin so white it looks painted on. Dee’s not even 30 but she’s been in the business for almost a decade. I’ve spent countless hours here in her apartment–a spacious one-bedroom in Manhattan’s financial district, the decor of which has been very carefully curated, to what some might consider an intimidating degree.
The first thing one notices when entering the Mistress’s apartment is that the walls of the main living area are lined with metal meat hooks, like the interior of an abattoir. The centerpiece of the room is a large black cabinet–about 7ft tall by 5ft wide–with a glass front, where Dee keeps most of her equipment and/or torture tools. There’s one shelf for dildos (there’s a good 30 or 40 of them in there, all shapes, sizes and colors, including one 16 inch black dildo that looks capable of damage I’m reluctant to even imagine), one shelf for gags, one for masks (my fave is the pink latex balaclava with matching nurse’s cap), one for whips, and so on. Opposite the cabinet, against the far wall, where most people would place a couch, or perhaps a TV, sits an authentic, stainless steel autopsy table. “A dominatrix friend of mine bought that at some sort of ‘morgue going out of business’ sale,” Dee explains, “but she ended up giving it to me because it was creeping out her roommates.” She pauses, thoughtful. “It really comes in handy… ya know, autopsy fetish, zombie roll play, and–my personal favorite–necrophilia fetish.” From the ceiling hangs a chandelier of illuminated glass butt plugs. It really is quite beautiful. In the summer, when the window’s open, a breeze causes the dangling butt plugs to clink together, making a really pleasant chiming sound.
When I arrived here earlier this afternoon, as I walked up the stairwell of the building, I was comforted by the familiar smell of freshly baked bread, drifting up from the bakery below. Dee opened her apartment door just slightly and peeked out, like she always does. I walked in to find a short Indian man crouched on all fours in the center of the living area, staring back at me.
“Don’t look at her,” Dee scolded him firmly. “Did I say you could look at her?” The man dropped his head down at the floor. “I just shit all over that guy,” she said, then began to giggle, flipped her hair and told him, “OK, you can leave now,” and the man obediently crawled out the door.
A few moments later Dee was in her bathroom, wiping the remnants of her session off the black and white tiled floor. “This,” she said, “is the not-so-glamorous part of the job.”
I ask her again why she doesn’t invite dates over. “Because they walk in and immediately think I’m going to rape and dismember them,” she says flatly. “It’s probably my apartment’s fault that I’m single. I love how all this stuff looks—fetish is clearly 80% aesthetics anyway—but it’s really threatening to guys who aren’t in the scene. And the only guys in the scene I meet are submissive guys. And I couldn’t date a sub. I mean… they’re fucked up, right? Not that I’m judgmental. I just mean that, let’s be honest, there is something slightly wrong with all of them.”
“But there’s nothing wrong with us,” I say, unsure of whether I’m asking a question or making a statement.
“Us?… No,” she says with a confident shake of the head.I originally wrote this for Apartamento Magazine