Confessions Of A Maltese Dominatrix: 19 Questions You Always Wanted To Ask

Sex work has changed drastically over the last decade, with the rise of the internet, changing morals and the wider acceptance of kinks and fetishes leading to a swathe of niches and speciality sex work finding acceptance in the modern world.

As more and more young people turn to OnlyFans accounts as a side-hustle and entire generations of people find ways to satisfy their fetishes online, Lovin Malta spoke to one Maltese sex worker to find out more about the situation in 2020.

Mistress M has been in the local and foreign sex work industry for five years. Images courtesy of Mistress Hellkitty and Mistress Isys. 

1. For those that may not know, what is a dominatrix?

Mistress M: A dominatrix is a sex worker that performs fetish-related acts anywhere from having a client lick her boots clean all the way to performing sex acts, depending on her limits and the client’s wishes. We do a lot of BDSM – Bondage, Discipline, Sadism and Masochism.

The word sadism is etymologically related to the writing of the Marquis de Sade who wrote at length on taking pleasure in inflicting pain. On the other hand, masochism is from Sachler-Masoch who wrote Venus in Furs, a book about being hopelessly devoted to a dominant and devious woman who whipped him. Ergo, S and M.

2. Would you say BDSM is popular in Malta?

Mistress M: BDSM has been around in Malta longer than most people think. One of my clients, T, has been an active member of the Maltese kink scene for 30 years. He’s even told me there used to be a website called BDSMMalta in the 1990s, with workshops and parties.

BDSM tends to emerge everywhere, but it’s especially common in religious countries where a lot of practices are taboo, this whips the imagination into a frenzy. BDSM is also gaining in acceptance with popular culture thanks to large-scale films, TV shows and books referring to it.

In addition, online sex work has risen across the globe, especially during the quarantine.

Websites such as OnlyFans allow providers to upload customised content based on client fetishes, for a fee. As the fetish community becomes larger and less underground, it becomes more accepted. These days, there are even nannas on TikTok joking about liking rough sex while being filmed reacting to Cardi B’s WAP video.

BDSM in Malta is still extremely underground compared to other European countries like Germany and England, but that has been changing alongside the recognition of LGBTQI+ rights here, and the realisation of society that sexuality, like gender, is not a binary, is not something for which people deserve to be shamed or judged and is not necessarily a conscious choice.

A wide variety of sexual practices comprise kink that can be practiced according to the acronym RACK – Risk Aware Consensual Kink. This obviously discludes any coercive or unethical acts, since they are by default non-consensual.

3. Why do you think certain kinks are still so underground?

Mistress M: Religion, taboo and the fact that Malta is very small and filled with nosy neighbours.

Since last I checked, the Catholic church hadn’t published a Kama Sutra. There is a staunch rigidity written into the religion in terms of not accepting homosexuality, sexual diversity or any sex at all unless it is for the purpose of procreation.

Many people with diverse sexualities like homosexuality feel shamed, judged or outright despised for their interests.

The next time you judge someone’s sexuality, think for a second about what business it is of yours, whether it hurts anyone and whether you are curious about the same things.

In 2016, Malta’s #1 porn search result was lesbian, followed by MILF, giantess and vorarephilia (a kink related to being consumed).

If that’s not a kinky population into mature and dominant women, I don’t know what is. Also let’s face it, Maltese women are dominant by nature. We’re just born this way.

4. On average, how many requests do you get a week?

Mistress M: It really depends! Locals three to five per week but with people on vacation it can go up.

With clients who are sometimes lonely or feel marginalised, we might chat regularly via text or WhatsApp and not just about sex.

I listen to clients when they have personal issues, health problems or just need attention and appreciation. We fulfil each other’s needs and I am remunerated for my time.

5. How does a typical client interaction go down?

Mistress M: I post ads on private fetish websites or sex work pages, clients mostly reply politely and respectfully, discuss session requests, dos and don’ts (I don’t do intercourse and fluid exchange sexual acts, but that’s up to individual discretion, some people do). I accept a deposit and book the appointment for the agreed upon time.

Clients must arrive clean, safe words and hard limits are established and payment is completed before the session.

There are a few dungeon spaces in Malta but nothing open to the public, this is something we would like to see change. Many European cities have kink clubs like Verboten in London and Kit Kat in Berlin, it’s accepted and normalised there.

I see no reason why we shouldn’t decriminalise sex work and allow sex clubs in Malta, it’s good for tourism and these events are already happening here underground in any case. Why not collect the tax money and ensure things are done safely?

confessions of a maltese dominatrix 19 questions you always wanted to ask - Confessions Of A Maltese Dominatrix: 19 Questions You Always Wanted To Ask

6. What is the most common request in your experience?

Mistress M: Foot fetish and pegging.

A lot of people are turned on by their partner’s feet or panties or are interested in experiencing anal stimulation but ashamed to admit it because of toxic social norms of men feeling compelled to behave in a masculine way.

I always encourage clients to be more open and honest about their sexuality. It leads to better intimacy in relationships, provided you and your partner are capable of being open-minded.

7. What was the strangest request in your experience?

Mistress M: Hmm there are so many! I try never to kink-shame people, since that’s what society does to them and they come to me in confidence to be able to reveal fantasies.

But definitely eating toenails is up there. My client T has a funny story about a balloon fetish request and a domme quite happily filling a room up with balloons for her client.

8. Have you ever had to turn done a request?

Mistress M: Oh yeah. I don’t do sexual fluid exchange, as I mentioned, so lots of nos. Anything creepy or illegal.

9. Have you had any high profile clients or people in professions you weren’t expecting?

Mistress M: Well two of my clients in Malta were cops, one is a professor, most are business people, students, bar employees, doctors or lawyers.

I have a Gozitan farmer too! My clients are just regular nice people with fetishes that are not accepted by people in their lives.

10. On average, how many of your clients are married?

Mistress M: The majority are not married, but I find this to be a really loaded question.

Do you ask the convenience shop owner if he verifies whether smokers are addicted or hiding smoking or drinking from a partner? Does the grocery store owner take responsibility not to sell sweets to overweight clients who don’t want their partner to know? Are gaming sites ensuring they don’t profit off addicted persons who spend more than they should? Of course not.

I am not responsible for people who make inappropriate decisions or lie to their partners, they are adults and if they cheat, that’s their choice. I’m not emotionally involved with my clients.

The fact is that cheating is already rampant in our society, I simply charge people for seeing me.

It’s not my responsibility to background check clients beyond their STIs, and actually, oftentimes if someone does ask me about a relationship question, I guide them about how they might be able to discuss their kinks with a partner, recommend seeing a relationship counsellor or bringing a partner in for a couples’ session.

My client T is married and we have great sessions with his wife who also likes to dom him.

11. Have you ever had clients that were in a relationship, a couple or a group?

Mistress M: Yes, but not all dommes do this. I think it can be really therapeutic. A big part of our job is helping people to accept themselves and then slowly try to open up that side of them to others.

In the same way that a lot of queer people are in the closet for a long time, people with diverse sexual fetishes may include same-sex fantasies, trans fantasies or object fantasies like latex or leather.

Ask yourself how you might treat your partner if you found out tomorrow that they liked dressing in women’s clothing, or enjoyed gay porn. Would you shame them? Be angry?

Or would you try to be open and understanding? These are the things that couples discuss with sex workers as well as psychologists.

12. What is the general price range for services?

Mistress M: It ranges on the time and service! Online sex workers with an OnlyFans account might earn €5 or €10 per month per client but they may have tens or hundreds of subscribers.

In person sex workers usually charge at least €100 per hour. I charge €150 in Malta and €200 to €400 an hour depending on which country I am working in.

13. Have you ever been in need of police intervention or protection during work?

Mistress M: No, especially not when a few clients were police.

I have turned away clients before a session for having an aggressive demeanour, insulting toxic masculinity attitude or being rude or insulting. Unfortunately, street solicitors have been physically abused and mistreated here, and this is the reason why decriminalisation is so important.

The most vulnerable women doing sex work can be trafficked or coerced and this needs to stop.

Decriminalisation would allow women to work free from the fear of prosecution and therefore not requiring pimp-like protection. We are hoping a SWOP (Sex Worker Outreach Program) group is created in Malta soon to help women with legal and other questions.

It’s shameful that in 2020 marginalised women are still being arrested in Malta for solicitation, while massage parlours, strip clubs and online sex work are free to carry on unhindered, often because they are run by wealthy local men.

Street soliciting sex workers are statistically the most marginalised and arresting and prosecuting marginalised women is not helping them to get out of sex work if that’s something they want to do.

14. Are there lots of sex workers actively working in Malta?

Mistress M: Yes, there are lots of online sex workers in Malta, porn actors, full service sex workers and massage parlour workers. It’s a flexible job for a lot of people with a good rate of pay, unlike a lot of available work in Malta.

The rise of online sex work over the quarantine shows that sex work is becoming a legitimate and respectable means of subsistence for a lot of people that needs to be de-stigmatised and taken out of the legal grey zone.

We are not all trafficked foreign victims, either. While that exists and needs to be remedied, many sex workers are setting their own rates, are Maltese citizens and are happy doing their jobs.

15. What attracted you to the job?

Mistress M: Independence, flexibility and a good pay.

A lot of people here live with their parents until well into their 30s! This has an obviously negative impact on sexuality with no private place to experiment or be alone with a partner. This may be one reason people do sex work, to afford moving out, but also why people seek out sex workers on the island to have somewhere private to be sexual.

Sex work is a well-paid job that gives people financial stability and is no more degrading than working at a restaurant or shop. My clients buy me gifts all the time and send me nice messages thanking me for helping them!

I have worked in the food service industry, at a clothing shop and I have never experienced the level of client rudeness in sex work that I got from people treating me like a second class citizen in the service industry.

Service industry workers make under €1000 per month. Sex workers can make two to three times that. The next time you judge a sex worker as a victim or working a shameful job, think about how you’re treated at your job and how much you make!

I’m a university-educated Maltese citizen and so are a lot of other Maltese sex workers.

16. Should prostitution and sex work be legalised in Malta?

Mistress M: It should be decriminalised.

Let’s get Malta up to speed with other countries like New Zealand which has helped decrease trafficking rates with full decriminalisation.

Legalisation is not necessary, but we need to stop arresting women for solicitation and allow women to work together for their protection without calling it a brothel like what is happening in the U.K.

The Nordic model of sex work legislation does not help sex workers.

Criminalising the buyer of sex or prohibiting brothels endangers sex workers.

The fact is that a lot of these well-intentioned NGOS against sex work are relying on junk science to prove that sex trafficking is on the rise. The way to combat sex trafficking is not to drive victims further underground.

The biased NGOs here working to lobby the government want to see sex work criminalised even further because they see sex workers as encouraging cheating or as trafficking victims.

These consultations are flawed and their research is based only on statistics of victims of sex trafficking, not a broad consensus of sex workers.

These groups simply do not consult the stakeholders of this legislation: consensual buyers and sellers of sex work.

17. Is there anything that clients can do that you or other workers would like to see more of?

Mistress M: We appreciate honest, respectful and open communication.

Married people are actually the worst clients because they often no-show you since they are sneaking around and this makes them unreliable. We like stable, regular honest clients.

Please, if you recognise your sex worker out in public, never doxx them.

Malta is a small place and we are trying to exist in a world that shames us. We give clients the privacy of never revealing their identities and we appreciate the same also. Until it’s safer and less stigmatised to be in this job, we are unfortunately forced to give anonymous interviews and hide our identities.

18. What is the biggest misconception about sex work and sex workers in your view?

Mistress M: I think I mentioned this above but the idea that we are victims, drug addicts or that we are nymphomaniacs or something. Most of us lead pretty normal standard lives outside of sex work!

We have partners, families, kids, houses and other businesses.

Another misconception is that sex work = sex trafficking. It absolutely does not.

Sex work or prostitution (we have changed the word due to the stigma attached to prostitution, but they are the same) is a consensual choice. Trafficking is not a choice, it’s a forced job and we have a problem with this in Malta that isn’t related simply to sex but other kinds of forced or underpaid labour especially in the migrant community.

Sex work is not coercive by nature.

Recent US and UK legislations like SESTA and FOSTA which banned third party websites like Backpage did absolutely nothing to help reduce sex trafficking.

They simply dispersed the concentration of sex buying and selling from being on a single website where law enforcement could follow up on postings and look for underage or trafficked persons onto hundreds of other different sites, making their enforcement difficult and making it tougher for consenting sex workers to earn a living.

19. Finally, what would you tell readers to keep in mind about sex work?

Mistress M: Please listen to what sex workers would like to see happen with reforms that concern them, rather than patronising NGO groups who profess to know what is good for us without actually consulting any sex workers. Decriminalise sex work and modernise our little country so that it’s not only a safe place for LGBTQI+ people, but for sex workers (who are often themselves marginalised LGBTQI+ as well) also.

Sex work is real work and sex workers deserve respect.

A small coalition of sex work positive NGOs working with the LGBTQI+ community and asylum seekers had some wise words to say on the subject in a recent local interview. They point out that the arguments against decriminalising sex work and criminalising the sex buyer are based in a belief that reforms will increases pimps and traffickers, and turn Malta into a sex tourism hub.

This is patently false.

First of all, Paceville and other areas are already hubs for sex work. It’s just operating in a legal grey zone. Pimping and trafficking should always remain illegal, but solicitation is not pimping.

In fact, under the Nordic model of criminalising buyers whilst decriminalising sex work, sex workers are still forced to operate outside the law, opening them to further opportunities for violence and making them vulnerable to discrimination and abuse, as has already been the case in Malta for decades.

Sex work has been a feature of the island since before the times of Strait Street and sex work exists whether it’s criminalised or not. Malta, (unlike Germany and New Zealand which have Tier 1 ratings), has a Tier 2 rating in terms of their government compliance according to the Trafficking in Persons report of 2019.

This means that Malta has a lot of work to do to bring up their level of compliance to the recommendations by the TIP report to protect of victims of trafficking, and not only those in sex work. The majority of abused and trafficked migrants in Malta are not working in the sex industry, but are in agricultural, domestic and sanitation work.

There have been loads of reports on Maltese owners refusing to pay racialised garbage collectors and no one is asking for a ban on the entire industry or assuming all sanitation workers are trafficking victims.

The same is true of sex work.

Trafficked persons in all industries deserve legal protections and assistance, but to imply that those suffering as victims of sex trafficking are in worse distress than people being trafficked in the other industries does a disservice to all victims of trafficking and doesn’t help end the problem. Decriminalisation would help end sex trafficking by giving sex workers more rights to seek out police intervention without fear of prosecution against themselves.

Cover photo and images: Mistress Hellkitty, Mistress Isys

Has sex work changed in the modern age? Let us know what you think in the comments below

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