I’ve heard this call a lot over the years. Recently a couple of threads on Twitter and Fetlife have prompted me to this mini burst.
Without addressing any specific points.
There’s no such thing as free
I’m going to address this by talking about some of the experiences of myself and my wife and arguably some of the others I’ve played with without tribute.
First off, we’ve quite a collection of BDSM toys. I estimate our collection to be pushing £1000. Whilst plenty of pieces we own cost literally a couple of quid – stuff like the violet wand kit and some of the accessories rack up to around £300. We have a lovely pair of poi floggers which were £120 and then add in some canes, floggers of varying cost and quality, TENS machine and it sharp tots up.
I imagine most professionals have spent a lot lot more over the years. Hell, anyone who owns a Venus 2000 – they’re around a grand on their own.
I also know assorted other people – women, couples, etc. who have a private toy collection and I imagine theirs is a similar story.
So, if you’re playing with someone who owns the toys, they’ve paid for them. If you’re talking the toys for them to play with, you have, so in neither case are they “free”.
I know clever people who make their own toys. While that saves a cost, there’s still raw materials and time to do it.
This is before we get into furniture. We don’t actually own any cos our flat is too small. Anyone who actually owns any, some of the pieces cost hundreds.
And this is before you get into clothing. I couldn’t begin to estimate what we’ve spent on fetwear, particularly as clothes get binned over time.
Now, granted – many people would argue that a lot of this is not necessary.
A session I’m quite fond of began with a bare hand spanking over a dining room chair with the administer dressed plainly.
But, let’s be honest – for a lot of people the aesthetic is part of the fantasy and you know, there is still more to it than this.
The next question of course is… where to play…?
So, yeah, we do play in our sitting room. And no, we don’t dress up for it – we’re not usually dressed for it.
But it’s actually quite difficult to plan, or get into a mindspace for. When play does start, there’s then sometimes a case of having to find all the toys you want. We can’t really have a flogger rack on our sitting room wall.
There’s often a worry about being interupted by a phone call, a knock on the door, or the cat intefering.
There’s also the worry of noise carrying over into neighbouring flats.
Also, being quite a small flat, it has been known for me to whack the light fittings with a flogger. We’re still a bit missing, actually…
What we really need is a bigger property. Ideally one where there’s a spare room which doesn’t adjoin a neighbours property – say a semi-detached or end of terrace. Of course a bigger property = a bigger mortgage and so already, the costs for having a space go up.
We’ve tried to play in hotels before, but, yeah – we got noise complaints. I’m also aware of a local Pro-Domme who has had to stop booking hotel rooms because She is often worried about the noise and has been interupted.
So, in a dungeon or designated play space is often easier.
It’s much easier to get into the mindset – and enjoy it more. There’s more of a ritual in picking the toys than a fumble and it adds to things a lot.
It’s much easier to find a head space and a subspace.
There are two methods of getting a dungeon. (1) As part of a play event (2) Private hire
Play events are the cheapest option generally especially as you’ve also got an event to go with it. The weaknesses though is there may be a wait for equipment and sometimes a worry you are rushed. Some events are also better than others for bad habits. Bad habits include: people walking into your scene, interupting scenes, or just talking too loud in the dungeon area fucking with people’s headspaces.
I’ve had some great experiences at play events, especially some of the smaller ones where I’ve mutually agreed play with someone who was there. In most cases, this is with someone I’d already built a friendship with over time.
There was already an emotional investment with each other.
This is arguably about as close as you get to “for free”. It’d been with someone I’d built a real life friendship with over time. This wasn’t just someone I messaged someone angling for free play.
A couple of my friends love beating guys in the dungeon. They’ll happily have a queue of guys and beat them all one at a time (sometimes, two or three at a time). I have zero criticism for that approach. I’ve been one of the guys in the queue and it was fun. Although, it was more quick fun cos there’s someone else waiting than a big cosmic experience.
Still good though.
However, I know many women who are put off going to play events because they’re often badgered for play when they just want to socialise.
Hiring a dungeon space is one of the best ways of getting a more personal and closer play session.
The going rate seems to vary from region to region, but £20ph-£50ph seems normal.
What we’ve sometimes done is hired a place which has an overnight deal (i.e. Hoxton, Barnet, etc) as there’s then less time pressure AND saves the cost of a hotel – but still.
In terms of travel costs – two hours in our nearest dungeon(s) would cost £50-£60. Then obviously add £20 an hour onto that.
So, what I am saying is that if you’re in a loving relationship with a wonderful person who is “into it” – the lifestyle is still unlikely to be “free”.
I suppose it could be easy to argue there is more to the lifestyle than merely “play time”. I agree with this. But, let’s be honest, most the guys who argue “If she was into it she’d do it for free…” are mostly interested in play time.
That what they want in their head is either (a) someone casual they go to for their kinks dispensed and then sod off (b) a kinky wife/girlfriend whom – well, he’s already said he won’t help finance…
Alright, maybe I’m not being fair – but that’s how it is implied. Because a lot of these guys either come across one-sided or try to be clever but still look transparent. For example: foot guys who are like “I want feet to worship, but I want to get to know you first”. Then also, anyone who “just wants to be friends” is someone who should always be erred with caution. If you only want friends you also sending this to people of a gender you don’t fancy?
I’m sure some of you had your calculators out.
“So, if it costs, say, £50 per hour for the dungeon – and, like petrol must be £10… and she owns clothes anyway… and there’ll be toys included in the rental… then why does she want £150 per hour?”
Shortest answer. Because she can.
Longer answer is that there are also other costs involved. (Promotion, accounts, talking with you on email is still working, etc. etc. etc.)
But actually, even aside from that.
Back off a second.
You’ve effectively messaged someone you don’t know and have never met about going off and doing your fantasies. No matter how you dress it up, you are.
There has been a couple of threads lately, like I say, have prompted me.
One of which, for example, was a guy offering nominal prices for custom content.
Basically, 50p a minute for videos or 25p a photo. While photo prices vary wildly for customs (and a lot would decide on the size of the order and varience) the video in particular is fairly low.
When people pulled him up about this, his argument was that there were plenty of people shared photos for free (which is true) and that he was offering a cash, albeit small, in exchange for taking photos from a “little direction”
I understand the logic. Although, this ignores that many who share photos do so for their own promotion, exhibitionism or sharing with friends and this would be none-of-the-above.
And that his logic also went on to state that it was aimed at amateurs (fair…) and that while people had a right to charge what they wanted (OK…) that he didn’t want people who would “do anything for money”
Woah. Hold off a minute. It’s the same language though isn’t it, “people asking money aren’t really into it”
OK, we’re fairly aware there’s some, often young, women who appear to see it as an option for ‘easy money’. I think we’ve often got to look at the environment rather than the people, what causes young women in college with crippling debts to seek to sell photos/socks/etc, hmm…?
Ironically, the type possibly more likely to take the 50p a minute deal are those who find this wasn’t the ‘easy money’ people think. Those who may be less likely to be ‘into it’ and that – actually – nominal offers feeds into exploitation. It also of course preys on the new and naive.
(Mind, it’s totally different if a woman/model/etc chooses to offer content at these prices. Then it’s about her creative control and limits)
The guy pointed out there are women happy to share videos for free “they are out there”. But, this also ties in a little bit with the general argument of “people in my inbox support me”. You present a case without evidence. Also, a lot of women/people/etc who do share videos for free it all comes down to again : promotion, exhibitionism, sharing with friends – of which a nominal custom is none.
Meanwhile, on Twitter, we had a guy arguing that fetish/BDSM videos should be free, “if she is really into it”
This has me boggled. I mean, everything you watch on TV… free-to-air channels are funded by TV license or advertising, premium channels a subscription AND advertising.
Perhaps if there was a fair system where women can produce content for free tube sites and are paid fairly based on viewers this could be considered. But there doesn’t seem to be and so, if you want to jerk off to her then it’s not just a tissue you need to pull out of your pocket.
I’ve touched on the “is she into it” argument before – and I’m telling you this bit for free.
I mean, what you describe as “it” could vary. A woman I used to session with said that, while she turned down a lot of sessions – some that she took she knew were fairly pedestrian for her. She could tell she probably wouldn’t really enjoy it, but was happy enough to give someone who seemed decent enough an experience in exchange for her being paid.
Mind, she did also tell me a lot of her sessions were very fun and she did really enjoy them. However, some were merely ‘work’.
We could criticise her for this, but then I’m sure most of us spend time in the office or work doing jobs we don’t always enjoy cos, you know, it pays the bills.
Obviously, within what many see as a lifestyle a lot of guys want to see it as more-than-a-job but a lot of that, to me, is not about the person but how you click with the person.
Sometimes, like, when you meet someone in a bar and then go on a date with them, you might not click and you’ve paid for dinner and movie and it’s gone nowhere.
I guess at least in this lifestyle if you pay for a session and don’t click you at least get some fantasies met.
But, then, research-research-research leads to better experiences anyway.
I think though, to get this back on track “She’s not really into it” or “If she was into it, she wouldn’t charge” is just ultimately another form of shaming and insult.
In pretty much every case, any woman who does “charge” – if she didn’t, she wouldn’t play with cheapskates like you, anyway.