She walks into her bedroom, places her purse and books on her bed and begins to undress. She puts on a pair of blue jeans, high-heeled boots and a fur lined sweater.
Sitting at her computer, she enters her password, turns on the webcam, and starts work.
She is Mistress Katie.
She is catering to the online fetish known as “denim ass.”
Katie, the online persona of a female St. Thomas student, is among thousands who make extra money on websites catering to fetishes.
A fetish describes anything that causes a person to become sexually aroused, whether an inanimate object, body part, or scenario.
While she’s only been a member of these websites for a month, Katie has immersed herself in the world of online domination and she’s not the only student on campus using the fetish websites for extra income.
“My friend mentioned that he has a female friend that uses these websites and made a lot of money off of it,” she said, “I thought it was crazy and insane until I started myself and realized that it’s a total possibility.”
She began searching online for sites to create accounts on. She found a website called seekingarrangements.com, which she claims favours long-term financial relationships, usually involving in person meetings.
The website does background checks of those wanting to be “Sugar Daddies,” or “Sugar Mommas,” to ensure they have the money they claim to.
Other sites favour female domination, otherwise known as “FemDom.” Katie described FemDom as a woman taking total control of a mans life, deciding everything from what he eats to how much money he spends on himself and her.
The websites are set up to allow men and women to find those willing to participate in fetish-related activities.
Katie’s first time participating on a FemDom website didn’t involve her seeing the man on webcam, or even speaking aloud. She went on camera and gave him permission to ejaculate via messenger and made $25.
“It was kind of scary and threatening after. I was kind of upset about it and sad,” said Katie, “it was kind of weird and I wasn’t used to it.”
After her first encounter she vowed to never do it again. A week later, she was back online.
She then found her usual site that specializes in financial domination, or, as she calls it, “FinDom.” Though not as extreme as FemDom, it still places the woman in charge of the man’s money and how he spends it on himself, as well as on her.
“I was paid $50 for 20 minutes of my time, just to paint my toenails on camera, which I was planning on painting anyway,” she said, “a lot of the time, guys have foot fetishes or boot fetishes.”
She says she`s made a total of $1,500 between Paypal money and gifts sent to her in the past month.
Women aren’t the only St. Thomas students using these websites in order to make extra cash. A male student uses domination websites afford to pay his bills on top of working two part-time jobs. Canyon, going by his user name, says he’s been using the websites for four months.
He claims to have had the same judgemental feelings towards the sites before getting involved and now feels no guilt towards his actions.
According to Canyon, on the male side of the websites, the people paying tend to be dominant and pay others to be submissive. He claims to prefer being the submissive due to his personality and the role he takes in relationships, he said.
“I was shocked at how many gay men were on the site.”
He says the male population prefers aggressiveness in its fetishes and that he’s done many things such as expose himself, slap himself and even choke himself to please the dominant.
After making almost $1,200 in the past few months, he`s open about his online activities to close friends as well as his mother.
“I told her about it,” he says, “because she was questioning me why I wasn`t asking her for money anymore. I can`t lie to my mom.”
Despite her concerns, he plans on continuing to frequent the site to pay his bills.
Elizabeth Harrop-Archibald, a Masters student in the Education department at the University of New Brunswick, focuses on human sexuality and sexual promotion in communities at the UNB. She feels the Internet has created a space where more people can connect about sexuality, in regards to thoughts and questions, allowing them to relate with others who share similar ideas.
“For some people, fetishes are very serious. It’s something they’re drawn to and that they desire,” she says, “I think that fetishes are a great thing for people to explore,” adding, “as long as they are not harming themselves or anyone else.”
Fetishes, along with sexual addictions are not included in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders.
“Some (fetishes) don’t disrupt your life,” she says. The individual has to decide whether or not the fetish controls their life.
She finds both parties, the submissive and the dominant, are accountable for their actions on the site. Users who log on are aware of the activities and the outcome of their participation online.
Mistress Katie plans on continuing to use the website and keep her name private.
She says it makes her excited having a man tell her that she is beautiful and has amazing feet but the negative stigma surrounding fetishes is not something she wants to deal with.
“I don’t want to release my name because the negative stigmatization towards this type of domination and submissive relationship,” she said. “I find people think of the wrong thing when it’s brought up, they imagine a guy tied up and gagged but it’s a totally different aspect of the FemDom community than what I do.”