I can’t exactly remember what I’d misplaced. It was my keys or a pair of shorts or something. But while I was scouring the living room, my partner Nyx went into my room to search for some things I’d hidden. What she found was a stack of nearly two dozen deluxe edition Blu-rays, smuggled away like contraband. In a sense, I knew that’s exactly what they were. There’d been a 50 percent off sale on the entire Criterion Collection that month, and in a shopping frenzy, I’d blown roughly $500 on them during a time when I was depending on unemployment to get by. It was then that my girlfriend, a domme both privately and professionally, decided she would financially dominate (or “findom”) me.
The uncovering of this pile of cinema classics from the likes of Federico Fellini, Bong Joon-ho and Elaine May wasn’t the first time she’d felt I’d given her cause to take our D/s relationship beyond sex and basic lifestyle control. Though I comfortably identify as a hedonist, I can readily admit I’ve always struggled with impulse control to a degree that quickly becomes detrimental to my quality of life. In Nyx’s words, I tend to “spend big money on food delivery and graphic tees but then struggle with paying bills.” And given that hiring an accountant was well out of my price range, financial domination by the brilliant woman who is one of my girlfriends and mommy dommes seemed the obvious solution.
In a typical financial domination situation, the submissive or paypig may give the financial dominatrix (or dominant of any gender) their money as a financial tribute for their attention, time and derision and practically nothing else. In other dynamics, dominants take control of their finances, pulling money out for themselves as tribute. But since Nyx and I are already in a loving, intimate relationship, her approach to exerting financial dominance over me has taken a different shape than it would with one of her paypig clients. It’s more akin to a budgetary form of total power exchange — in which I give her all my money as soon as I cash my paycheck — and she decides what I can spend it on while also budgeting out money for my rent, bills, groceries and other expenses.
It’s been just under two months since we’ve started, but in that time, my finances are in better shape than they’ve ever been. I have a steadily growing balance in a savings account I genuinely can’t touch until I need it. I don’t have to worry about how I’m going to pay my bills, because that money is always accounted for and squirreled away. And now, whenever I want to spend money to get something frivolous, I have to ask her for it first (and I don’t always get her approval). The only time I really can spend money outside her purview is when I want to get her a gift, like a new Hitachi, an eyeshadow palette or a pair of leather gloves.
Part of me feels a bit of shame that I need this kind of help a decade into adulthood, but I can also recognize that not everyone had parents who taught them how to handle money or plan for the future. And while I don’t expect it to be a permanent arrangement, it’s currently also enriching my relationship with the woman I love. “I like doing it. It’s sometimes difficult to balance it all, but I crave more intensive D/s protocol [in relationships],” says Nyx. For her, it “mirrors the more intense methods of findom,” but instead of getting a financial kickback, she gets a “sustained high in the form of power and the deepening of our dynamic.”
And I have to admit, I get an erotic rush from it, too. As a lifestyle submissive who gets off on certain forms of humiliation, it’s sexy how small and helpless I feel when I have to beg her for money to buy anything I don’t need — be it a new video game, a butt plug or a John Cassavetes box set. After all, mommy knows best.
So, if you’re struggling with how to better handle your finances, maybe you should have your girlfriend financially dominate you. Or better yet, have my girlfriend do it.