I Went to a Class to Learn How to Financially Dominate Men
Last week, I went to a financial domination class in Downtown Los Angeles, hoping to learn valuable lessons on how to empower myself. After years of getting screwed over by the Man, I was ready to screw the Man myself. The class was at a place called the Den of Inequity, which is a BDSM club that also puts together workshops.
Financial domination, for the uninitiated, is a fetish where people (usually submissive men) pay money to a dominant female without any hope of sexual intercourse. The sheer thrill of being taken advantage of is enough to turn on the submissive male.
Most of the Den of Inequity’s workshops are on things like “cock and ball torture” and “whipping.” But, as a poor person with an amateur interest in verbally abusing people, I figured I’d go learn about financial domination. I go on drunken rants where I insult men all the time. Why, just the other night I sent a drunk text to my ex saying that we’d probably still be together if his dick was as big as his ego. So if I can make a few dollars doing what I love, why not?
What Does It Mean to Be a Pervert?
You may have recently seen the soft-spoken Jesse Bering on Conan recalling the strangest of sexual fetishes. Be it arousal from falling down the stairs (Climacophilia) or feeling steamy from rolling around in stones and gravel (Lithophilia), nothing surprises the Western New York author and psychologist. That’s why Dr. Bering just wrote Perv: The Sexual Deviant in All of Us, which unloads the morality of all things sexually weird.
Being a pervert is more than just what initially springs to mind. Armed with an academic backbone, the former psych professor adds a dash of humor to his research, many of which are learned from written reports. Bering has studied them extensively, and said he developed immunity to shock, in the process. His writing style is not an undergrad snorefest, so his book is getting a lot of much-deserved hype. Sex research is a touchy topic. Jesse believes cracking someone’s desires helps understand them fully. He spoke with us about the depths human erotic imagination, “objectum sexuals,” and how he views homophobes as types of pervs.
VICE: What is a perv in your eyes?
Jesse: If I could rewrite the definition for the word “pervert” based on my own criteria, it would be a person who intentionally causes sexual harm to another. Note that this definition applies not only to the obvious examples—rapists, child molesters, those who abuse animals, and so on—but also to those whose bigotry causes harm to sexual minorities. A homophobe is a perv in my book, for instance, by dint of his or her invasive, voyeuristic preoccupation with the private sexual lives of an innocuous minority.
What kind of weird things did you find in your research?
Well, when you set out to read everything that’s ever been written about the subject of sexual deviance, you quickly develop a sort of immunity to shock. But some of the more memorable case studies included a morbidly obese Australian teenager who’d developed ulcers on his body after he failing to bathe properly; he came to, essentially, fall in love with these bubbling cankers, masturbating to the image of a beautiful woman who was sucking on his fingers while he inserted [them] into his festering wounds. Disturbing, yes, but also a testament to the power of the human erotic imagination. Then there was the Indian man with an insect paraphilia (“formicophilia”) who could only get off by placing slugs and beetles around his testicles and anus; and the young actor from London who thought his hay fever as a boy led to his sexual attraction to sneezing men.
Are there more male than female pervs or is it about the same?
In terms of people with certifiable paraphilias and fetishes—and by that, I mean in the clinical sense of either requiring or being largely dependent on something outside of the norm for their sexual gratification—it’s an overwhelmingly male phenomenon. Most sexologists believe that there are 99 paraphilic men to every one paraphilic woman.
I Had a Food Fight with a Food Fetishist
My initial plan was a series of interviews. I would talk to a few different people about their obscure fetishes in an effort to find out what exactly was so hot about a woman sitting on you as if you were a chair or knowing someone needs to pee or smooshing a birthday cake with your ass while wearing fancy underwear.
The range and variety of activities and objects that gets people off fascinates me: What exactly is sexy about a fat lady sitting on you, and why does it have to be a fat lady? Is age-play exactly what it sounds like (pedophilia-lite)? Could I find someone who was intoaxillism
to explain that time with that guy where it seemed like he was going to try to push my limbs together and go to town on my armpit?
I thought, in the age of a million subreddits and Google Hangout groups exclusively for adult babies, this would be a cakewalk—everyone can meet anyone via the internet, right? While it was certainly easy to find options for interview subjects, reputation proved a problem, as many people associate VICE with mockery and judgment. Then there was also the issue that I associate meeting weirdos through the internet with getting murdered. So, basically, when I factored out people who didn’t want to speak to me and factored in those I was sure weren’t murderers, I was left with Stephen, a 38-year-old social worker who likes custard. Like, like likes it.
I Have Cerebral Palsy and I’m Looking for Love
Dating is hard for everybody, but dating with cerebral palsy is harder.
Not that I have much to complain about. I’m not, what the media likes to call, “confined to a wheelchair.” I walk with a cane like Dr. House and though I’m no Hugh Laurie, I think I’m pretty decent looking. Sure, I use a mobility scooter to get around on the street, but people have cars, right?
Yeah, if you were a woman who decided to try dating men with disabilities tomorrow, but wanted to ease into it—I’m practically training wheels.
But the fact that I’m physically higher functioning than a lot of other guys with disabilities doesn’t seem to move my dating life past anything more than sporadic. I’m intimately familiar with what comedy band Garfunkel and Oates call, “The Fade Away,” where you think things are going well and then suddenly, radio silence. Some girls sell themselves as open-minded, assuring me that the disability doesn’t matter. They hang around longer, trying to reconcile their words with the reality in front of them, before eventually being overwhelmed by their temptation for able-bodied human beings.
Perhaps I have some massive character flaw I am unaware of that has nothing to do with my disability, but if Paul Bernardo can find Karla Homolka, (and I’m a few thousand rungs below that) I wonder what else about me could be considered so unworkable?
Leg Warmer Porn Is Gross
“I’ll squander the hours I should be working trolling the internet for pictures of women whose leg warmers have been spattered with semen. You could call this my kink.” – Lewis “Teabag” Miner, Home Land
Legwarmers piss me off in a way that other types of “let’s forget it never happened” fashion fads don’t. Because unlike “mandals,” jean-skirts, or zip-off cargo pants—which are all disgusting but fulfill a purpose—legwarmers don’t do shit to keep you warm. Sheathing your legs in tubes of yarn while your feet dangle out in the cold is like popping mittens on your elbows. So why are these frumpy, outdated, and fundamentally absurd excuses for socks the source of so many boners on the internet?
Legwarmer smut ranges from short YouTube clips of girls slipping them on and slowly rubbing their legs together to full-blown porn videos of girls—or g-string-wearing guys—fucking with their (surely very toasty) legs thrown high in the air. You can also find scores of pictures on foot fetish sites of pouty models with their legwarmers spread open. The commenters are always far more interested in the length and furriness of the legwarmers than the gaping pussies staring them in the face.
Financial Domination Is a Very Expensive Fetish to Have
Being a financial dominatrix is a lot like being an accountant. Except for the fact that people masturbate over your penny-watching and you’re more likely to work from in front of a webcam than behind a desk in a pantsuit.
The fetish of financial domination basically entails men (or “pay pigs,” as they’re known within the fi-dom world) transferring large sums of money to women over the internet. The nuances vary, but a relationship can stretch anywhere from a pay pig sending his dominatrix $30 a week to donating the vast majority of his earnings and having his dom take full control of all his finances. Which seems a little frivolous given the current economic climate, but I guess that’s kind of the point.
I spoke to a pay pig who wanted to remain anonymous because he figured his family wouldn’t be too happy to find out he’d been spending a bunch of money on an internet dominatrix. Which is perfectly understandable. When I asked him how he’d ended up as a pay pig, he told me, “It was always meant to be–I was born to serve beautiful goddesses like my mistress.”
His answer wasn’t much of a surprise–submissives generally worship their doms. That’s the general idea of those kinds of relationships. But discovering the amount he spends a month was a little shocking: “I leave myself enough money to eat basic foods and pay my bills and everything else goes to her. Sometimes I’ll go hungry so that I can spend more on her. I am the manager of a large company, so this means that I spend a lot.”
Paid to Eat
After years of getting paid to scarf down tacos and pizza on “fat fetish” cam sites, Donna Simpson reached an astonishing 600 lbs. She’s now desperately trying to lose weight in order to lead a normal life for the sake of herself and her children.
FETISHIZING THE LATEX DREAM IN THE BRAZILIAN RAINFOREST
Photos By Matheus Chiaratti
Jenni tries on Fetisso’s best-selling gloves in the factory’s stockroom.
Sometime in the mid-1960s, near the small Swiss town of Vordemwald, little Willi Graber was playing by himself on his grandparents’ farm. He wandered into the kitchen, where something in a basket of old clothes caught his eye: a pair of yellow latex kitchen gloves. He put them on. They made him feel funny. Immediately sensing their power, he walked outside and grabbed a piece of cow manure. It was a strange feeling—squeezing cow shit between his fingers and knowing it couldn’t touch him.
With these gloves, young Willi realized he could get away with all sorts of forbidden deeds, unscathed. He touched poisonous plants and stinging ants, plunged his arm into the creek and pulled out blood-sucking leeches. Drunk on his newfound power, he even inserted a latexed finger into the asshole of one unfortunate bovine. It was absolutely sensational. Of course, a few years later he started masturbating while wearing the gloves. Like any good Swiss boy, he’d been taught masturbation was wrong. But with the gloves on, it was different; it was OK. He felt protected. The gloves became his magic talisman that shielded him from God’s judgment. Slowly and strangely he realized that gloves and other garments made from other materials like leather or vinyl didn’t hold the same allure. Latex was it for him, and it became apparent that Willi had a fetish. Still, he had no way of knowing that decades later he would use his secret shame to his advantage by establishing a lucrative fantasy fetish-wear company in a paradisiacal stretch of Brazilian rainforest.
By no means was Willi the first person possessed by the power of latex, the milky white sap that drips from the scored trunks of rubber trees. During the Industrial Revolution, rubber was as important a resource as oil is today. Like oil, it was the impetus for mind-boggling exploration, exploitation, and violence in the service of empire. Rubber tappers who failed to meet their quotas in King Leopold’s Congo Free State had their hands cut off. To leverage the vast reserves of rubber trees in the Amazon, South American barons drove the natives into indentured servitude as seringueiros. These miserable workers were forced to scale towering Amazonian trees and gather their sap. In 1876, British explorer Henry Wickham smuggled 70,000 rubber seeds out of the Brazilian Amazon—an astounding act of botanical piracy and the beginning of the British Empire’s plantations in Asia. Henry Ford later purchased a piece of the Amazon as big as Delaware and Rhode Island combined to grow rubber trees and hired thousands of Brazilian workers to run Fordlandia, a failed Detroit-style processing plant and suburb in the middle of the Amazon.
Latex drips into a collection pail at a plantation in Pernambuco, Brazil. Moments before, a tapper dragged the tip of his knife down the bark; the red stuff is a chemical that helps the tree heal.
Karl Marx wrote in Capital that capitalists are basically fetishists, worshipping mystical powers that workers impart to the goods they create (sounds like Prada to me). Before latex, fetishists had made do with what they had—fur, silk, and tight-laced corsets. That was until 1823, when Scottish chemist Charles Macintosh concocted the rubberized fabric that laid the foundations for future BDSM fantasy. Though his Mackintosh coats were smelly, sticky, and sometimes melted on hot days, they were also hugely popular. Valerie Steele, author of Fetish: Fashion, Sex, & Power, identifies England’s Mackintosh Society as one of the modern era’s first fetishist organizations. During her research, she found a 1920s fetish magazine titledLondon Life that detailed “the thrill of maccing.” Today you can buy a snappy Mackintosh raincoat for $800 from J.Crew.