sex

Anika is 18 years old, and halfway through a dominatrix internship.

Pass Anika on the street and I guarantee you won’t look twice.

Anika Betts is 18. And her name isn’t really Anika Betts. Her real name she has chosen to withhold, which is fair enough given she’s midway through a dominatrix apprenticeship and yet to tell her family about it.

Her apprenticeship takes the format of three sessions per week, observing and learning from pro dominatrixes at an esteemed BDSM (bondage, discipline, sadism and masochism) house in Sydney, Australia.

Her upbringing was fairly regulation: she graduated from high school in 2016; lives at home with her parents and younger brother; and loves going clubbing with friends.

She has a day job, too: “I work for my Dad. It’s just a web design project. It’s hard, because I’m working three shifts there and starting Uni this year too.”

That’s in addition to her dominatrix internship.

Anika has an unofficial client, separate from her internship, with whom she practises BDSM on the side. This means as well as watching professional dominatrixes during her training, she’s able to put theory into practise with a real life client. Most dominatrix interns don’t have that luxury.

The man with whom she practises knows she’s unqualified. He knows that at this stage she has little more than an intense interest in BDSM and domination. But he’s a wealthy businessman, and her lack of qualifications don’t bother him.

Anika holding a flagellation (lashing whip). Image supplied.

Anika's dark brown hair falls behind her coffee-coloured shoulders. Her walk is one of purpose; each step gives off an indisputable air of 'I know what I'm doing'. Not in an arrogant way, but in a powerful one.

She discusses the industry with me as if she's seen it all. Listening to her speak, it's difficult reminding oneself that rather than a veteran, she's barely an amateur.

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What follows is a breathtaking deep-dive into the world of BDSM and domination, all through the eyes of an 18-year-old girl hellbent on breaking her way into the industry.

LL: First things first. What is a dominatrix?

AB: Any powerful woman who exchanges power with a man, or possibly another woman [ smiles]. Usually as a dominatrix, people come to us, we don’t go to them. We essentially punish them; we sexually starve them. It has a lot to do with power. In an actual BDSM session, they [the client] are completely powerless. Their lives are in our hands. We have the power to do whatever we want.

LL: Does a dominatrix actually have sex with their clients?

AB: No. No sex. Sometimes there is nudity - the clothes we wear are quite revealing [she motions to a pair of red latex underwear lying on the table]. But no, no sex.

LL: I know you're midway through a dominatrix internship. What does that involve?

AB: A few weeks ago I contacted a BDSM house in Surry Hills, Sydney, and asked if I could come in and learn about domination. It's a place where clients go if they're looking for a really specialised, kinky experience - they have dungeons set up and everything. They said I could come in for an apprenticeship as long as I got my First Aid certificate first. Now I go in for three sessions per week, each of them about three hours. I watch the professionals conduct sessions with clients, help setup the scenes and props, and talk to all the dominatrixes. I love learning and hearing their stories.

Like Anika, porn star Madison Missina has wanted to be a sex worker since she was a young girl. She discusses it with Mia Freedman on No Filter. (Post continues after audio).

LL: You talk about domination like you have a huge amount of experience... but you're still in the early stages. Have you ever actually conducted your own sessions, or just watched others?

AB: My situation is really unique. I actually have my own client who I meet with privately. I met him last year, when I knew I had a huge interest in kink but hadn't started my apprenticeship yet. He's a businessman - I won't tell you who he works for, because you'll definitely know the company - but I see him about once a fortnight now. We practise real domination and BDSM. He's allowed me to practise everything I've ever thought of or fantasised about. He has an apartment out in the West [of Sydney] where I've set up my own sort of... dungeon, where I conduct sessions with him. It's all very unofficial, though. It's not the traditional way of getting into domination. I wouldn't recommend it to others.

LL: So you were practising professional domination and BDSM before you even started your internship. Why did you want to go back and do the internship if you were already practising professionally?

AB: Well, a few months ago I began getting into the idea of being a dominatrix as like, a career career. Before that, when I was just conducting those unofficial private sessions, it was just for fun - just a way to explore my kinkiness. So I wanted to visit an actual dungeon, inside a real BDSM house, to get a feel of how it all looked and learn how they create the elaborate scenes. I was too young to be in there legally - you have to be 18 to enter a dominatrix household, and I was still 17 at the time - so I lied. I wore my Grandma’s wig, and used a fake name to get in and have a look around. The people there were so lovely. I wanted to learn it all properly, by the book.

LL: Is there any part of domination as a concept that makes YOU uncomfortable?

AB: No, apart from my hard limits - which I’ve never reached in my private sessions so far. I think that’s what I enjoy about domination: the rawness, the kinkiness, the fact it's all acceptable. In terms of the private sessions I've done with my client so far, I’ve loved everything.

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LL: You mentioned 'hard limits'. What are yours?

AB: I wouldn’t do extreme cock and ball torture. I wouldn’t do wrestling. I’m not into ‘medical play’ - restraining a client and using blunted medical equipment on and around their dick, or for nipple torture. That’s more for the hardcore clients, as is ‘Bloodplay’. That’s f***ing scary. If someone did want to do that, I’d be able to recommend someone who they could go and see... but it’s not for me.

Image supplied.

LL: You mentioned extreme cock and ball torture. What is it? Be brief. Please... 

AB: [Laughs]. Again, it’s using a lot of medical equipment — metallic, very sharp stuff. You know a pizza-cutter? Like that. Except with pricks coming out of it.

LL: Talk me through a stock-standard costume, or outfit you would wear during a private session with your client. In my mind I'm picturing all black. Is that accurate?

AB: I brought it! [She reaches into a fabric bag. Onto the table between us, she places a number of items: a tight black, latex mini-dress; arm-length, black latex gloves; red latex underwear; a black studded dog collar; two whips; and a studded black vibrator, in it’s original box, but unsealed.] 

This is just one outfit I wear. It’s all latex - it looks really tight-fitting, and sort of feels like a second skin. BDSM gear is expensive though, and I’m really anal with money.

Anika's props and clothing. Image supplied.
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LL: You're new to the industry, so obviously you won't have explored every corner yet. But from what you've experienced so far, do you have something you'd consider your 'specialty'?

AB: I love erotic seduction, punishment and psychological torture - I like the thought of getting inside my client's mind. I’m also really into intricate role play. Like, puppy-play. Oh, and I’ve golden showered - that’s something that I’m actually into.

LL: Golden showering - that's the one Trump's into, right? Explain what that is. Is Trump a prospective client? 

AB: So a golden shower is where you pee on someone, be it on their body, in their mouth, whatever. It’s something I was always into. I just was. I like toilet training, too. The client has a collar on, and they - because they want to be - are treated with degradation. They’re on all fours, you drag them to the toilet and you make them lick the toilet. Then you pee on it. I think what appeals to me is that it’s not only filthy in a purely sexual way, it’s just filthy. For me to watch someone do that is really attractive. It’s a turn on. 

LL: You mentioned you’re into puppy play as well. What does a puppy-play session look like?

AB: The submissive client becomes the animal: they have absolutely no human qualities; they wear a dog mask; they don’t talk, they bark. I like to treat them nice at first - allow the client to ease into it: ‘You ready to go visit the toilet today? You want to come and watch me pee?’ That kind of thing. Then I’ll do stuff like have a dog’s water bowl, and make them drink out of it. Then I’ll knock it [the water bowl] so it spills on me, pick up a flog, and whack him on the face. I’d say [scolding] ‘Look what you did there!’ That’s what’s so stimulating - it's about being very nice, then suddenly very cruel.

LL: Are there certain personality traits you feel are essential in order to succeed as a dominatrix?

AB: Firstly, you must be naturally dominant. That doesn’t mean that you have to be bossy - in real life I feel really guilty bossing people around - you just need the ability to be assertive. Next, you have to have a real interest in S&M. You’re not going to survive in this kind of environment if you don’t have an interest in punishment. In pain. In erotic torture. You have to have quite a high sexual appetite too. The whole thing runs on being kinky.

"I want to drive S&M into the new millennial."

Anika's dog collar, used in puppy play, pictured with vibrator.
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LL: Do your parents know what you do?

AB: Nah. I think they just think I’m kinky. They've never found my clothing, or equipment

LL: What do you tell them when you go to see your private client? Or when you have an apprenticeship session?

AB: Most of the sessions at the BDSM house or with my private client are at night. I’ll be like ‘I’m going out to a club.’ Then I’ll tell my best friends ‘I’ve got a session’. They know the drill - they know to cover for me in case Mum contacts them to ask where I am. Which she totally does. 

LL: Craziest thing you’ve had happen on the job?

AB: [Smiles]. I was with my private client and we were trying trying this new thing called ‘full body and boot worship’. It's where the dominatrix plays God, Goddess... judge, jury, executioner. The client worships you. I got these lavish, latex boots and the heels were thin - and really sharp. My sub [abbreviation for 'submissive client'] was lying on his back, sucking the end of my boot. I didn’t know if I was going to push the heel down or if he’d move his mouth up. I grazed the roof of his mouth, but thought nothing of it. We were doing ‘aftercare’ at the end of the session - making sure he was okay, like a debrief. You do it after every session. He was talking to me and blood was pouring out of his mouth, so I was like ‘What’s going on?’ I checked his mouth and I’d made this huge dent on the roof. Blood was pouring from it. But he didn’t sue me or whatever so it’s fine [laughs].

LL: I'm imagining a dominatrix would be fairly well paid, given it's such a niche space. But I've been wrong about so many other assumptions. So how much do you earn? 

AB: Because I'm doing this with an unofficial client, I was doing it for $50/hour at the beginning, and I was doing three hour sessions. It might be a lot for a part time job, but for a dominatrix it isn’t much. Especially because the gear is f***ing expensive. Now I get paid $150/hour when I conduct sessions with him. Most professional dominatrixes earn about $350/hour, though. 

***

By this point I'd absorbed far more sexual information than I could possibly process. I thanked Anita for her time, but she wasn't done. It was clear she had something more to say; one last personal detail to impart; the answer to an extremely salient question. One I'd completely forgotten to ask...

"I just want to help kinky people not feel ashamed, you know? I want them to be able to live their lives."

Listen to Madison Missina, award-winning pornstar, talk about the logistics of approaching BDSM with a partner, here:

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