Why I Made a Show About My Life as a Kink Dominatrix

Mercy Mistress, Photo by @NatashaGornik
“My first introduction to bondage was through rope. I love it as an extension of my dominance and sensuality, as well as a meditation on vulnerability and freedom.” —Yin Q, creator/writer of Mercy Mistress⠀
Photo of actress & activist Poppy Liu by @NatashaGornik

Handcuffs. Nipple clamps. Leather whips.

Kink sexuality has taken mass media by storm and shows no signs of slowing. Women and men are exploring their sexual fantasies more courageously than ever before, and the resources—classes, online tutorials, social media networks—are continuously expanding.

As someone who is now considered part of the “old guard” as a Bondage, Domination, Sadomasochism (BDSM) and Kink practitioner, writer, and educator in the leather community, I applaud the progress of sexual freedom. But when so much of the kink content that is showing up in the network industry repeats an erotic story filled with shame and stereotypes, it makes me want to tell a different story. My own.

Mercy Mistress is a fictional show based on my career as a professional and lifestyle dominatrix in New York City. Each episode focuses on a particular client or kink participant, their kink, and their unique slice of life: from where their proclivities developed and how they balance (or don’t balance) these with their “vanilla” reality. From the nucleus of one woman’s work, the show delves into the foundations of sexuality and gender roles. The contiguous story weaves through layers of the protagonist’s past and present life to uncover the roots of her identity. It’s a story of violence, empowerment, and spirituality.

The title itself, Mercy Mistress, refers to the safe word that BDSM participants use to keep their actions within a consensual arena, and to prevent them from trespassing abuse. It is also a bow to the Buddhist diety, Kwan Yin, who has pledged to walk the earth until she has aided and vanquished all human suffering.

The show, while entertaining and tantalizing, is also a social enterprise vehicle for the intersectionality of identity. The protagonist is a Queer woman of Chinese-American heritage, a sex work activist, graduate student, daughter of immigrants, and an abuse-survivor wrestling with recovery. Her community and the clients who come to see her are from diverse political, social, and economic spheres.

I am a lifestyle BDSM practitioner and educator. My intention is to illuminate a smattering of voices in the vast spectrum of sexual orientation that is kink. Our stories deserve a platform for honest storytelling from those who are actively living the lifestyle. Together, with the all-female production team Collective Sex, we are moving forward to film the pilot in January 2018. We are launching a crowdsourcing campaign that draws support and stories from our diverse community. This story is intended to teach, tantalize, and destigmatize the shame that shrouds sexuality.

Our crowdfunding campaign can be seen here. Or, follow us on Instagram and Facebook.

We’re so glad you’re with us. We’re a community of women who are changing women’s media. That’s no small task. But because you’re here, we know that you care, too. For us to keep doing what we do, we need your support. So we can keep printing, posting and furthering our mission. With you.
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