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Making men's fantasies a reality: The life of a professional dominatrix in Dublin

For the first time in her 10-year career as a professional dominatrix, Dublin’s Mistress Lara has decided to tell her story.

LARA ARRIVES INTO work at 7am most mornings, she puts the kettle on for a cup of tea, sits down and starts going through her emails.

But unlike the somewhat mundane messages most people open up in the morning, Lara’s inbox is teeming with written accounts of man’s deepest fantasies. She is Ireland’s top professional dominatrix and she has, for the first time in her 10-year career, decided to tell her story.

IMG_0028 Mistress Lara in her Dublin dungeon... Source: Michelle Hennessy/TheJournal.ie

“It was kind of an experiment, I was into it for about five years before and got to know a few pro-dommes in London and I thought it sounded like fun. So, I thought I’ll give it a try. Ten years later, here we are,” she told TheJournal.ie as she sat in her Dublin premises.

A dominatrix, or mistress, is a woman who plays a dominant role in bondage, dominance, submission and sadomasochism (BDSM) activities.

At her Dublin property, Mistress Lara has four unique rooms for clients to enjoy these activities. The first is a typical dungeon with every type of whipping, spanking and flogging device a person could think of.

Source: Michelle Hennessy/TheJournal.ie

Here, the mistress will bend her client over her spanking bench and punish him, she will tie him up in ropes and suspend him from the ceiling or maybe lock him in a cage – but not before he’s licked her boots clean.

Just down the hall is the schoolroom, where Teacher will check her pupil’s spelling and harshly reprimand him for chatting during lessons.

Source: Michelle Hennessy/TheJournal.ie

It is set up like an old fashioned classroom with a blackboard at the front and a copy of the proclamation on the wall. Around the room you’ll find canes, wooden paddles, a hockey stick –  and a copy of Soundings, of course.

Clients can dress up like schoolgirls, with a selection of uniforms for them to choose from.

Source: Michelle Hennessy/TheJournal.ie

Many of Mistress Lara’s clients enjoy cross dressing and her third room is a boudoir with wardrobes full of women’s clothes, shoes and lingerie for men to dress up in. She also has a selection of wigs and will do their makeup if they want to go all out.

Source: Michelle Hennessy/TheJournal.ie

Her favourite room, though, is the medical room. It is cold and clinical and just a little unsettling. In this room, Lara will bind her client in a straightjacket, lay him down on the bed and experiment on him.

She might start with a urethral sound, which is essentially a long probe she inserts into the urethra, or perhaps hook him up to the milking machine (we will leave that one to the reader’s imagination).

Source: Michelle Hennessy/TheJournal.ie

For those who enjoy BDSM, is can be as psychological as it is physical and that is why Lara put so much effort into these play rooms.

Many simply enjoy the pain of being spanked, whipped, pinched and probed, but for others it is all about handing over control to another person, or in some cases being humiliated by a person who is above them in status.

‘I did that to him’

Though she has come up against criticism from people in Ireland’s fetish community who claim she is only in this for the money – she charges €250 for two hours of her time – Lara says she gets real enjoyment and fulfillment out of her job.

“I don’t know why. I can’t explain it. It’s like when you talk to someone who’s on the receiving end, the submissive or the masochist, and they can’t explain why they get such a buzz out of it. I can’t explain either.

I suppose, in a strange way, at the end of the session when someone says to you: ‘That was really great’, you get a buzz out of that. You think: ‘I did that to him’.

To look at and to speak to, Lara is one of the last people you would suspect is secretly tying men up and tearing into them with a bullwhip five days a week. A petite brunette, she comes across as chatty, funny and kind and this soft side of her is something she thinks appeals to her clients.

Source: Michelle Hennessy/TheJournal.ie

“People would expect the bossy bitch, but I find more often than not, you get further with a smile than you will with a cross face.”

She will often sit down with a client at the end of a session and chat with them over a cup of tea.

That is not to say she can not turn on the “bossy bitch” if that is the client’s preference, however. Lara takes a lot of pride in her work, she relishes a chance to be creative and gets a kick out of the fantasy emails or scripts clients send her before sessions.

“I once had a guy who I think I kind of took by surprise a little bit. Part of the game was that he wanted to be corrected or given out to for using bad language. Now there were other things that in my head I thought this might be okay with because of that. One of the other things was that he wanted to have his head shoved in the toilet – I know, cliché, but it’s kind of like ‘you’re disgusting, look at the mess you’ve made’. So I thought if that’s okay, this might be okay.

He was on his knees and I was giving out to him saying: ‘I’m really annoyed at you for using such bad language and I’m not having it, this is not going to be allowed continue, is that understood?’ And then I produced a bowl with a bar of soap and hot water in it and a toothbrush. And I proceeded to wash his tongue with the soap, I was washing his mouth out for using bad language. At the time, he was gagging, he was really going red in the face and I thought ‘oh shit, maybe I’ve gone a bit too far with this one’.

“It literally only happened 20 seconds, but afterwards he said to me: ‘That was absolutely brilliant, that was one of the best parts of the session I’m sorry you didn’t keep going for longer’.”

‘I don’t have any cows…’

Lara’s clients range in age from 25 to 76 (the eldest is “a spring chicken, flying around”, apparently). She won’t take anyone under the age of 25 because, as she put it, “you’d want to be a complete bitch to be taking money off an 18-year-old”.

The most common requests are for dungeon play like bondage, spanking and ‘cock and balls torture’ or medical play with hoods, gas masks and those urethral sounds mentioned earlier.

“The milking machine is quite popular as well,” the dominatrix said with a laugh, adding “And I don’t have any cows”.

Source: Michelle Hennessy/TheJournal.ie

There is no denying the activities that take place on Lara’s premises are of a sexual nature. TheJournal.ie was invited to observe two sessions with regular clients of the Dublin mistress and both men were clearly highly aroused throughout.

The first, a masochist who appeared to have no pain threshold at all, ejaculated from the pleasure of being thrashed on the rear end by the mistress about an hour and a half into the session.

Her second, very submissive client, described feeling like there was “electricity running through” his penis at one stage.

Both of these men were married and admitted their wives would not be happy if they found out what they got up to in their sessions with the mistress.

Source: Michelle Hennessy/TheJournal.ie

But as far as Lara is concerned, though she enjoys BDSM in her personal life and practices it with her boyfriend, these interactions in her professional role do not count as sex acts.

“Anal play, without sounding cold about it, from my point of view it’s like if a man was to go to a doctor and get a prostate exam, what happens? The doctor puts his finger in your ass and has a bit of a feel around in there. That to me is kind of where my head is.”

“Yeah, okay, it can be somewhat sexual to them, but not to me.”

Source: Michelle Hennessy/TheJournal.ie

Any man who wants to be one of the mistress’ clients is made aware of the rules before they even set foot in the door. They are not allowed to touch her, she will not get naked for them and she certainly will not be having sex with them.

I don’t do happy endings, I don’t do the spank and wank and I’m very clear about that. If I get a phonecall and someone says they want to come see me, the minute I hear ‘tie and tease’, it’s good luck and goodnight, I don’t want to know. Tie and tease to me is what an escort does, you’re being tied up and she’s going to literally wank you for half an hour until she decides your half an hour is up and she’s going to make you cum. That’s not domination, that’s not BDSM, that’s totally different.

“I’ve no problem with ejaculation or whatever, but I don’t partake, that’s not my thing at all,” she added.

Legally, this is somewhat of a grey area as there is no specific legislation in Irish law for professional domination. However Lara said she steers clear of sexual services like forced bisexual encounters to avoid straying into areas that could land her in trouble with the law.

She also stressed that she makes a tax return every year, registered as self employed – there is just no ‘professional dominatrix’ box to tick on Revenue tax forms.

‘I’m not getting my boobs out’

She rejects any kind of comparison to an escort and Lara claims she is the only real professional dominatrix in the country.

“I’ve never ever ever advertised on an escort site and all the others say happy endings,” she told us.

When she first got into the fetish scene, dommes were seen as “untouchable”, she explained – and then the recession happened.

When the recession came along and the money got tight and there wasn’t so much of it, the clients were drying up. I think a lot of them, instead of saying: ‘Right well I’m going to improve what I do, so say I will invest in new equipment or I will buy a new leather body bag or I will buy gas masks, I’ll get into this, I’ll start doing medical play I’ll learn how to do needle play’, instead of expanding what they could do, they went down the easy route.

“They thought: ‘Sure f*** it if they want a happy ending, if they want me to get my boobs out, I’ll do it’. They lowered their standards. I went the other way, I thought to myself, right, well I’m not going to do the hand shandies and I’m not getting my boobs out for anybody, they’re mine.”

Source: Michelle Hennessy/TheJournal.ie

BDSM and fetishism are not particularly new for Ireland. There is a well established community who share their interests on the fetish site FetLife. There are also a number of events across the country, like Dublin’s popular fetish night Nimhneach.

But there is still, unfortunately for Lara and her clients, a stigma attached to their sexual interests.

“Speaking from somebody within the Irish scene, who was in the bubble, 50 Shades of Grey came along and there were woefully high hopes. We thought: ‘They’re all reading it, they’ll all accept us now’”.

However she said the details of Graham Dwyer’s trial for the murder of Elaine O’Hara put the community “back to square one”.

You could see the whole thing opening up, people who’d never even thought about it before. We’ve all firmly jumped back into the closet now.

“In this country there’s one label for everything. And that I think is unfortunate. And it’s the same for people who are into this, not just dommes. The label of weirdo or pervert applies to everything.”

Source: Michelle Hennessy/TheJournal.ie

The mistress said there is “not a living soul” who does not have a fetish – they just may not call it a fetish.

“A man says he loves to see his wife wearing stockings, Valentine’s weekend she gets the stocking and suspender belt out, and he likes it. That’s a fetish – he likes it, it tickles his fancy in some way. That is a fetish.”

Lara would like to be able to go public, to tell the world what she does and that she’s proud of it, but because of the public perception of her job she has not even told her family. She hopes giving the Irish public a look into her world will help lift the stigma.

“I want people to know that it’s not sleazy, that it’s not some kind of thing up a dark alley on a Friday night. That people who engage in it are usually pretty clued in, educated, creative sort of people.

“We’re not weirdos and also I suppose from a personal point of view that I am not one, and I love what I do.”

This article was originally published on 17 July 2016

Read: Findom in Dublin: The Irish men who are turned on by women spending their money>

Read: An oasis of consent: My experience at Dublin’s fetish club night>

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