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dominatrix reveals what it'S LIKE TO TAKE CONTROL; Bondage, domination and fetishes - a dominatrix in Wales tells reporter AAMIR MOHAMMED exactly what her job is like.

IA has just arrived at a six-bedroom detached house in her gym clothes.

MShe has just made PS35 by filming herself taking off her gym socks and sending off the video to a customer.

Within 15 minutes, she's dressed in latex and ready for a photo shoot. Her room is filled with leather and PVC outfits. Drawers are full of whips, leashes, chains, sex toys and other equipment used in a BDSM session.

Now she's ready to see a client and meet whatever specific demands they may have. She can charge anywhere from PS160 an hour to PS900 for an overnight session.

Mia is 34 and a dominatrix. She sees one or two clients a day at this huge house, where she rents a room.

In the middle of her dungeon is a bed. On the walls are hooks for people to be tied to.

Mia used to live in Cardiff and worked in media for 12 years, but says she always felt different and craved "something else" from her relationships that she just wasn't getting.

When one of her ex-boyfriends introduced her to BDSM, something sparked inside of her.

She went to a "munch", a non-sexual gathering for people involved or interested in BDSM, which allows those who are curious to meet others, become more comfortable and more informed.

"I was dating a guy who casually introduced me to the scene, he was quite dominant and that's where it started for me.

"The minute I found this lifestyle I was relieved, I spoke to people about it and they said they knew it was for me. My mindset was always different, as was my sexuality, and that reflected in my everyday life.

"My relationships just never felt right, I can only liken it to someone who has been in the closet their whole life."

BDSM is a lifestyle, not just sex. BDSM stands for and includes bondage and discipline (B&D), dominance and submission (D&S), and sadism and masochism (S&M).

Many people assume it's a life of pain, whips and leather. But Mia says being a dominatrix is a lifestyle, a mindset that everyone in BDSM needs to have.

"We call it a lifestyle; if you're not into it that's fine, but it's definitely a lifestyle," she said.

"It is about power dynamic, trust, love and intimacy. All of these are big things in the human psyche, it's not just about putting high boots on and whipping someone. It's more about where that comes from and the trust that someone puts in you for that. The minute I found this lifestyle, I was relieved."

Mia says she saw plenty of "sex and kink" while working in an arts environment and began working with a charity helping sex workers. She decided to do it full-time. Around a year ago she set up an Adultwork page, a website where sex workers can advertise their services and sell pictures and videos. However, she fears for her career following recent calls from MPs to shut down popular sex worker websites like Adultwork and Vivastreet.

She quickly got lots of meet-up requests from all over Europe from men, women and couples.

Mia will always remember her first client, an older, professional man into heavy bondage and fetish-wear.

Many doms will use traffic light cards or safe words with their clients to determine the level of pain and how far they're willing to go, but Mia's client asked to go "limitless", a term where pain is unlimited.

"It was very full-on, but I had seen so much I was just ready for it, I was nervous beforehand but when I started it was fine. It sounds like bulls*** but honestly it just came naturally to me.

"As soon as I put my services and pictures up it just went mad. Once they realise you're the real deal they want you. I walked into this industry with my eyes wide open, I'm savvy, I protect myself and I know what I'm doing.

"BDSM is very hands on, you must not read up about it online, that's a big mistake that people make, you have to go out and get involved." Older, professional men probably conforms to the stereotype that people expect from BDSM. But Mia says people would be shocked at the type of clients she works with, saying she sees young professionals, male and female sport stars, actors and models.

Some of the clients aren't after sexual pleasure, they're seeking psychological pleasure, stress relief after a long day at work telling people what to do. They want someone else to be in charge for an hour.

"Most are young professionals and they are so stressed from their day job, they just want an hour when they're not in charge," she says.

"They want to be told what to do, or they want to dress up as a puppy, as a little girl and that's completely normal. It's a bit like marriage, where people give trust and consent for someone to perform acts they're both comfortable with. There is no average client."

However, in BDSM many people are interested in extreme pain, including having nails driven into their genitals, something Mia says is quite common.

"I've also had requests where I've sat on someone for three hours, it's always changing," says Mia.

Now, financial domination, known as "findom", is taking the BDSM scene by storm. Women use social media to find men willing to send them money for expensive gifts or everyday purchases like petrol and coffee. In the majority of cases, the dominatrix won't even have to meet the man. Mia will tweet about a pair of shoes she likes, or the alcohol she's just bought, and the men, known as "cash pigs", will send her money. She also has a wish list where men can gift her lingerie and other items.

She said: "Findom is controversial to some but it came around organically. For a woman to take money off a man in a patriarchal society, it's a huge role reversal. It's another fetish for them.

"If a woman says 'give me your money now' it's a huge fetish for certain men. I've never asked for it, people just send it. I've had guys talk to me in clubs and offer to pay for anything.

"I had a holiday paid for last year, a hot tub bought for me, expensive shoes, whatever I want really."

She has had plenty of high heels delivered to her, the most expensive being Christian Louboutin heels, which can cost up to PS800.

But Mia says most men don't expect anything in return, they enjoy the whole idea of being submissive to a dominatrix.

She says she's never met the man who has sent her the most money in the last year. Though in exchange for money, he may ask for emotional support over Whatsapp, or sexual conversations.

"I've even had requests where guys will pay to drive me to a club and wear a specific dress or specific leather. They'll be sat in the car outside but they just want to watch you going in," she added.

"Even if you come out with another man or woman, they don't care. I'll go into the bathroom just to unzip the leather and breathe sometimes!" Mia's hoping to change the taboo around the industry. Her family and friends know what she does and she isn't shy about it. Despite concerns from her family, Mia assured them she was totally happy: "They found it quite funny at the start I guess, and there were worries," she says.

"But as a woman, it's dangerous for me to work in an office or a different job. In this industry, I actually have more control over things than people realise.

"Everything is done on my terms and of course I wouldn't do anything I'm not comfortable with.

"I walked into this lifestyle eyes wide open, and I'm still the same. I educate my clients when they've been racist or sexist. I'll tell them to read up on something or watch videos and the next time we meet I'll see if they've learnt anything.

"The one thing that upsets me is when people ask why I do this. I ask them 'why do you your job?'.

"I do this because I was drawn to it, I love it. It is amazing when you can provide someone with something they may have been searching for for so many years.

"Of course you get backlash, but I got that in my old job, and people get that all the time. I'm privileged because I've got education and I know how to present myself."

Mia is currently writing a book on the industry, as she hopes to raise social awareness and erase taboos people may have.

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Mia, right, works as a dominatrix ROB BROWNE
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Publication:Wales On Sunday (Cardiff, Wales)
Date:May 26, 2019
Words:1480
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