Would you buy something off an Amazon wishlist for someone you’d never met? Would you give them 10% of your income even if you knew you would never meet them? Would you hand over control of your finances so someone else spent your money and only gave you what they thought you deserved?
This is Financial Domination, a fetish that has emerged and grown in strength over the past few years. In it the submissive pays money to the Dominant without knowing whether they are going to receive anything in return. In keeping with this status these submissives are known as “finslaves”, “pay-pigs” and “human ATMs”, while the Dominants they tribute are “Findoms”. Often tributes are paid as purchases from wish lists, expensive “per minute” phone calls and cam sessions, or simply as cash transferred in lump sums.
It is the online element that has created some of the confusion around what Financial Domination is and isn’t. To the uninitiated it can seem little different to any other form of webcam or phone play: the submissive is humiliated, teased or simply told to tribute again and again as the clock ticks on. Yet this ignores the fundamental basis of the fetish: it is an act of worship and nothing is expected in return.
RumpusParable is a Domina who uses Financial Domination as part of her lifestyle. She see’s a clear distinction between those who offer a service and those who are tributed as an act of worship. “I’d say the difference comes down to the same as paying for dinner with your partner because it’s the relationship habit versus paying for dinner with your partner as part of service. Or buying one’s partner a piece of lingerie because it will make them (and you) happy versus buying a person lingerie so they’ll send you pics to wank over.”
What draws Dominants into the fetish can vary. The typical perception is that a young woman (usually) will start out as a Findom simply to make money. A couple of new Dominants I contacted admitted they saw it as a quick way of paying college and other bills that was relatively easy, didn’t involve porn and was financially rewarding. Others came into the scene through more traditional routes.
Her relationship with her submissive husband was how RumpusParable entered the scene. “I’ve always been one to love organizing budgets, running money, etc. and took on that role in my marriage but was also due to upbringing horrific at accepting gifts and handling money matters with friends and partners, even from my parents (where the discomfort came from, of course). It was over the time of my husband trusting me to handle our finances and him being very much a gift-giver that I became comfortable with it from someone in a submissive role, where gift and money-giving was a form of worship and service and running finances was a matter of trust as a dominant partner.”
Submissives can also find themselves involved for very different reasons. “John” admits he contacted his first Findom because, “she was young and pretty and I was feeling bad about myself. I wanted to be used and that was what she promised. Me just giving her money because she wanted it helped me feel I didn’t matter and she didn’t care.” On the other hand, a pay-pig called Chaste said he “simply asked a Domme if she would be interested in talking in chat and she explained that I had to pay her for that. I thought, what? As I read through more and more profiles I learned that people are actually into being used for money and to my surprise, it made me hard.”
For those who are active in this scene and following it as a form of D/s the power exchange can be intoxicating. Given the importance that money has in our society handing over control to another person can create a strong feeling of excitement. As Chaste observes, the thrill is “mostly as the money is being handed over, but then to a lesser degree how the money is actually used, possibly because I have no real proof what it was used for.”
Over time the relationships can become quite strong, just as they do elsewhere in D/s. Many of those I’ve contacted have spoken of long email exchanges, phone calls or instant messenger sessions where the topics have been wide ranging and far outside what many might consider kinky. Perhaps it is the online nature that allows this freedom, or that there isn’t a direct link between the amount of tribute and the activities, services or time that a Dominant may wish to gift.
Clearly not every finslave is going to enjoy this level of access and keeping a broad base of potential susbmissives engaged is a challenge often met by public displays. Twitter feeds are awash with demands for tributes, links to wish-lists and announcements that expensive phone lines are open. In return the canny Findom will pose pictures of wads of cash gifted by human ATMs, deliveries from loyal pay-pigs and even selfies posed in outfits purchased from wish-lists. Good behaviour is rewarded with a mention, poor behaviour results in admonishment for the group. All of this creates a sense of competition so that the most loyal have to demonstrate their commitment by tributing further.
“That first girl wasn’t very good, so after a couple weeks it felt like I was just giving some girl money and I quit,” John explains. “The next woman was really good and she made me feel every cent I gave her. Sometimes it was just a pic of something I’d bought on her Facebook or Twitter, sometimes I’d get an email thanking me. Only there was always that hint of ‘could do better next time’ and I kinda rose to the challenge.”
What followed for John is why some in the fetish scene consider Financial Domination to be exploitative. Tales are commonly repeated where pay-pigs have put themselves in difficult positions, with rent being missed or food not being purchased. “I was handing over a weekly tribute and then buying stuff and giving gifts and it all added up. I was so wrapped up in it I didn’t realise what was going on until I maxed out a five grand limit on my credit card.”
John is still paying off that debt and his partner doesn’t know what happened. “Just keep an eye on your bills and only gift what you can afford,” he warns.
It isn’t difficult to understand how this can come about. With a real time relationship the submissive is far more aware of the money they are spending and commitments they are making. Online it is far easier to click a button to tribute or buy something with one click ordering and lose track of the bills mounting up. Add to that the competition that can arise amongst submissives and the conditions are set for those who are perhaps more vulnerable to be exploited, even if inadvertently.
“A dominant or top is responsible for themselves and not violating the negotiated limits of a sub or bottom while the sub or bottom is responsible for themselves and not allowing their negotiated limits to be violated,” observes RumpusParable. Recognising this responsibility is something that Financial Dominants are not always in tune with, particularly given it can be argued the impact of exceeding a limit can affect people who are not consensual players in the fetish. As Chaste notes, “The Dommes that have no conscience about wives and kids are not likely to get very far with it in the long run and are not likely actual Dommes into bdsm, but more like self gratifying, sociopathic, greedy, the list goes on.”
There is a strong interplay between more mainstream D/s and Financial Domination. Those who start out purely as Findoms can be drawn into the wider domination scene, while many professional and lifestyle Dominants are extending their reach to include it. As a component of a wider power exchange relationship it can lead to feelings of complete control being transferred from submissive to Dominant that allows other aspects to flourish. From my own experience, when I took control of a former submissive’s bank account her sense of being owned reached the point she considered herself to be my genuine slave. Equally, having a level of control where I was dictating not only what she spent but also what she spent it on gave me a heightened sense of responsibility towards her that fed into my Dominance.
Clearly the temptation is to write Financial Domination off as nothing more than young girls exploiting vulnerable and silly men and certainly there are some, perhaps many, who come into the fetish purely for that reason. Yet also there are those who genuinely enjoy the unique power exchange that control over a person’s finances brings.
Understanding motive is vital before entering into Financial Domination. As a Dominant, being clear that it is not about paying your bills but rather an intense exchange of power is essential if long term, successful relationships are to be formed. As a submissive, knowing your own financial limits and having the sense to back down when they are breached is essential. Provided these balance then there is no reason why we shouldn’t accept Financial Domination as another healthy expression of our unique sexuality.
V1.0 22nd November 2013
©2013 Razz. For use by Skin Two