Lifestyle Dommes, Dominatrixes and Pro-Dommes? Learning the Ropes.

femdomme ball gag

When you’re just dipping your toes into the world of kink, there are certain terms that can be confusing. Sometimes you can feel like people are speaking a special language, and you haven’t learned it yet. One example of this is the differences between the terms lifestyle domme, dominatrix and pro-domme.

A domme is simply a name for a dominant woman in a BDSM relationship. A domme could be a gentle domme or a not so gentle one! It’s entirely up to the person as to how she defines herself. Much to some people’s chagrin, you don’t have to do anything to be a domme except call yourself one. 

As a note, some women dislike the extra “me” because they think it’s old fashioned or misogynistic and will simply refer to themselves as doms, which is often used to denote male dominants. There’s no accepted right or wrong about this. If you see a woman refer to herself as a dom and not a domme, it’s doesn’t mean she’s any more or less dominant.

Domme is just pronounced like “dom,” by the way. It’s not pronounced like “dom-ay.” Also, by the way, like almost everything else in kink, someone will disagree with this. It’s up to you if you want to try and correct them!

Domme is actually short for dominatrix, which is a term for a professional domme. A woman who calls herself a domme may or may not be a professional, but a woman who calls herself a dominatrix is almost always a professional, offering her domination services for money.

Domme is actually short for dominatrix, which is a term for a professional domme. A woman who calls herself a domme may or may not be a professional, but a woman who calls herself a dominatrix is almost always a professional, offering her domination services for money. And just like calling yourself a domme, there are no qualifications for calling yourself a dominatrix. Anyone can call herself a professional dominatrix. That’s why it’s important to vet potential providers. Just because a woman looks good in black latex and boots and carries a crop does not mean that she is an experienced dominatrix. Some BDSM activities can be dangerous, physically and emotionally, so it’s important to understand the skill level and experience of anyone with whom you’re playing. And any dominatrix worth her weight in chains and rope is going to make sure you are safe to play with as well.

Another term for a dominatrix is a pro-domme. These are basically the same thing. They are women who are offering domination services for money. Usually on sites like Fetlife, women will be upfront about whether or not they are pro-dommes, but not always. Remember. If something seems too good to be true, it usually is. Pro-dommes offer valuable services for people looking for domination who aren’t able to or don’t want to find it in other ways. There’s nothing inherently wrong or unethical about being a pro-domme or dominatrix or seeing one, as long as its consensual and no one is being pressured or misled.

Saying that you are a lifestyle domme is just a clear way to say that you are not a professional and you don’t do it for money. That doesn’t mean that a lot of lifestyle dommes aren’t experienced.

Saying that you are a lifestyle domme is just a clear way to say that you are not a professional and you don’t do it for money. That doesn’t mean that a lot of lifestyle dommes aren’t experienced. Many are just as if not more experienced than pro-dommes. But they aren’t in it for the cash. They participate in BDSM for a variety of reasons, such as because they enjoy it sexually, they like the feeling of control or it just makes them and their partners happy. (Professional dommes can enjoy these things as well!)

Some pro-dommes may be lifestyle dommes as well. They may work as a pro-domme but have personal relationships outside of that. It’s not totally uncommon that a woman might start out as a lifestyle domme, realize that she enjoys it and become a pro-domme as well, at least some of the time.

These terms can seem a little confusing at first, especially when you add in honorifics like Mistress or Goddess, which some professionals use and which some lifestyle dommes use as well. But if you ask a few questions in person or read someone’s ad or profile online, you’ll quickly get a sense of what they are looking for from you. And, as with anything in kink, since people’s definitions of things can be fluid, a respectful question is rarely looked upon with scorn. If you’re not sure, just politely ask!