Options for Mistress Training
As the author on the book of the Dominatrix, I often get asked about where people can train in the skills of Mistress or Dominatrix. There are three main methods of training as a Mistress, and here I share my personal thoughts on each.
1) DUNGEON INTERNSHIP
Some dungeons take trainees, who undertake an internship over typically 1 to 2 years. This may mean taking 3 shifts of 6 hours a week, and being around a group of dominant Mistresses who work at that establishment. Trainees clean and sterilise equipment, run chores for Mistresses to try and win favour or just to do as they are asked of, and there's also a lot of sitting around at times with nothing happening. However on occasion the trainee receives actual teaching in activities of BDSM, and gets invited into session to observe, and eventually to assist.
Pros: If you stick it out, you'll end up generally well-trained in different areas of BDSM and have seen a range of different clients and their psychologies. If you manage to befriend some of the senior Mistresses, and be in a place to ask them questions when it's quiet, then you can learn a lot if those women are willing to share their knowledge with you. Some trainee Mistresses who have gone through this system have come out with excellent skills in the craft arts of a Dominatrix, have worked at the establishment, or have gone on to eventually become an independent Mistress.
Cons: The dungeon benefits by you earning them money, so logically that motivates their willingness to take trainees. However that doesn't mean that the senior Mistresses necessarily are eager to train an intern. Dungeons are somewhat notorious for being environments that can be bullying and have a lot of hen-picking, due to the nature of having a group of dominant women together in one place with all the egos and energy involved in that. A Senior Mistress may view a young apprentice as competition to her, and if she has insecurities, it is possible she may manifest this as treating the intern badly and create a toxic environment in the hope that the trainee may drop out. In many cases this is successful, with dungeons having a very high drop-out rate of trainees. Some commercial dungeons have something of a push to activities that make them money, which has in some instances seen trainees feeling pushed to offer services that are more sexual in nature than they may feel comfortable with. As dungeons are transactional commercial businesses, focused on providing a service, with many short sessions, it can mean that the flavour of domination is service-orientated and fulfilling the exact request of clients, rather than enabling and supporting true power exchange and the soul of domination.
2) BEING TRAINED / MENTORED BY A SINGLE EXPERIENCED SENIOR MISTRESS
Some women are lucky enough to secure training and mentorship by a single experienced senior Mistress. This is a rare method, as it's hard to find someone prepared to give up time for free to train someone - who will then go on to be potentially competition to that person. Some of the situations in which this can happen are that the person is good close friends with the Mistress, and the Mistress sees real devotion and commitment from the individual wanting to learn. Furthermore there may be some tangible benefit to the Mistress, such as undertaking Double-Domme sessions and profiting in some way from the arrangement or drawing extra sessions with an apprentice as an attraction to clients to want to book.
Pros: The trainee gets to avoid the sometimes catty / bitchiness of a dungeon full of dominant women. They get trained up one-to-one by an experienced Mistress in which they may get more intensive training in some instances than they might in a dungeon, depending on the arrangement. They also get to see how an independent Dominatrix runs her business, markets herself, and operates independently, which sets her up well for being an Independent Mistress.
Cons: As you are only seeing one Mistress in action through this method of traineeship, one's knowledge would be limited to that of the Mistress. So for example, if she was strong in some areas, but not in others, you would end up similarly skilled only in the areas that Mistress knew and taught you. That in turn may also flavour the type of client who attended the Mistress. So for example if she was into corporal punishment, that would slant her client base to corporal punishment enthusiasts. So essentially one may not learn the full spectrum of activities, skills and arts of the Dominatrix, or see the full spectrum of client psychologies. If the Mistress is teaching altruistically, it can put strain on her to teach without getting much or anything back in return. If the Mistress is benefitting from sessions and free labour of the trainee, that can lead the trainee to possibly at some point feel exploited or used, or pressured into doing something they don't want to do - in order to meet the desires of the Mistress who is so generously training them.
3) MISTRESS TRAINING COURSE
A number of Senior Mistresses offer training courses for aspiring Mistresses. They may be driven to do so from a desire to share knowledge, or as a way of utilizing and making additional money from their skills which they have taken so long to build up. The courses on offer range from holistic courses on female dominance, to workshops on very specific individual activities, and intensives which aim to teach the foundational skills over a short period of time such as a weekend, through to those which go for a full week.
Pros: For women who are busy with existing commitments but want to learn, it allows them to gain foundation skills in a burst of intensive learning for a fixed fee. This can be supplemented by practice with a suitable willing submissive on their own time to reinforce wha they have learnt. It allows choice and self-determination over what kinds of skills, activities and knowledge the individual wants to learn, and who they want to teach them. There is no obligation on the trainee to undertake activities they don't want to do, and not the same level of strain on either party as the exchange is one of teacher who wants to teach - and student who is seeking knowledge and paying to be taught. At their best, some of the courses are really good, and a woman can have a great time on the course and learn really efficiently with course content focused on maximising learning in a short timeframe.
Cons: The courses offered may be of variable quality. Some are taught by someone in the lifestyle scene whose knowledge and skills may not be at the level of a senior Mistress who really understands the psychologies of different clients and a wide range of skills and arts of the craft profession. Also, even if it is a good Senior Mistress teaching, who has excellent skills and knowledge, she also needs to be a good teacher to get the skills and complex information across to the student. For being a good teacher is a skill in of itself. The other potential con is that some of the courses are very short, only a few hours. Even weekend intensives are still best regarded as introductory or foundation skill courses. In order to really master (or more accurately 'Mistress') the skills and psychology, a trainee / student would be wise to take a number of classes, including more advanced classes to build their knowledge. If they are able to additionally organize themselves to actually practice the skills on a willing participant in their own time, this will help reinforce their knowledge and help prevent them from forgetting what they've learnt. The other con is the financial cost and the option should be compared to other kinds of industry learning, or tertiary level education - where there is a substantial investment in getting a good education, with financial payback once they have acquired that knowledge.
As I am the author of the major book on the Dominatrix and her arts ('The History & Arts of the Dominatrix') - I am often emailed from all over the world, asking me to teach and do Mistress training.
I decided the best way I could effectively do this, as a week-long retreat 'Dominatrix Diploma' - which covers the history, psychology, arts, and specific technical skills needed and use of implements and equipment. Running for 7 days and 7 nights, in June 2018, I get to maximise my teaching of women seeking to learn - who are attending Villa Domme in Tuscany from all over the world.
It's suitable both for aspiring pro-Dommes, and for women who want to learn in a lifestyle capacity - such as to dominate their partner boyfriend or husband. In offering this course, I aim to really honour the craft knowledge which has been passed on from Senior Mistress to apprentice as a batten of erotic wisdom.
I've also been asked if professional Dominatrices can attend - because they loved my book on 'The History & Arts of the Dominatrix' and want to extend their understanding. Yes - that's absolutely fine with me. (My only caveat is that inevitably some of the material I will teach will be things they already know, and some will deepen and extend their existing knowledge and understanding, and some may be brand new to them.)
For those of you who want to undertake Mistress training, but can't come to Villa Domme in Tuscany in June, or Australia where I offer my short courses at Passionfruit's Salon, (taught in 2 hour classes over 16 weeks), I will also post a further blog on the options for Mistress training courses around the world that I know of.
Update: See my new blog post on Mistress Training courses around the world, as promised!