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How to Quit Your Shitty Job and Become a Dominatrix

In the first installment of our new column, we meet a former financial researcher who switched from flogging numbers to flogging people.

by Rose Stokes
25 July 2019, 7:52am

Goddess Cleo lying on people. Photo by Club Pedestal courtesy of Goddess Cleo 

VICE U.K. originally published this article.

Work sucks. Between the rising cost of living, a looming economic recession, and homeownership looking increasingly out of reach for most young people, there's never been a better time to feel absolutely terrible about your job. After all, what's the point of investing in the daily grind if successive generations have gotten less and less out of it?

Quit Your Shitty Job is a new column that speaks to people who turned their back on their totally average and uninspiring jobs to pursue something they actually wanted. After all, if the world is going to be on literal fire in a few decades' time, you may as well spend the rest of your life doing something you actually enjoy!

This week, we spoke to East-London based dominatrix, Goddess Cleo. After a string of unsatisfying and downright depressing gigs in research and management, she finally quit her job in finance to become a professional dominant.

VICE: Hi Goddess Cleo! What did you do in your previous jobs?
Goddess Cleo: I was working for a top 10 financial services firm in the research department. Before that, I’d worked in management and research roles in a variety of different industries, including retail, hospitality, and entertainment. I worked in a call center for a while, which was definitely the shittiest job. I used to dread going into work and feel physically sick when I was there—I lasted eight months, and it took me a while to recover.

Why did it suck?
There was very little flexibility, and I found it really repetitive. The hours were long and the egos were big. I also didn’t like working in an environment full of really stressed out and frazzled people and, of course, as a woman, you’re vulnerable to discrimination in the workplace.

What did you switch to instead?
I became a professional dominatrix, events planner, and life coach.

Professional dominatrix Mistress Cleo with a slave in a cage licking her foot
Photo courtesy of Goddess Cleo

Was there a lightbulb moment?
In a nutshell, I came across a blog by a woman who talked very openly and honestly about her life, including dancing at strip clubs and dabbling in findom [financial domination]. Her professional name is Madame Says, and she was my initial inspiration for considering domination as a profession. I used to read it regularly and was completely fascinated by the whole world she described.

Then, one day I saw an ad on Craigslist that simply said “would you like to be a professional dominatrix?” and I literally said out loud “FUCK YEAH!!” I answered the ad and met the guy who posted it along with two other women who had done the same. We all got on really well and decided to check out Torture Garden as our introduction to the fetish scene and BDSM. That night changed all our lives for the better and was the beginning of my journey into learning the art of domination.

What do you love most about your job?
Being the one to show someone what subspace is all about—most people don’t even know about the positive impact it can have on your mental health, which is quite sad. You know that endorphin high fitness fanatics talk about from running (runners’ high) or doing a gym class? Imagine that multiplied by about 20, and that’s what subspace feels like; floaty, calm, happy, and trusting. It’s like therapy.

The community is also so welcoming and accepting of people from all across the spectrum of gender and sexuality, which is so nice. Oh, and I make much more money these days.

Are there any downsides?
The hours! They are LONG. As I’m also lifestyle, I’m literally on 24/7.

Have there been any funny moments?
There are a lot of funny situations that happen during sessions. I once ball-busted a guy so hard I literally kicked the shit out of him—yep, he pooped on my foot!

Do you feel safe?
Oh yeah! I have tons of safety measures in place; everything is traceable, but I’ve never had a bad experience so far, knock on wood.

What do you wish you'd known about your new job before you started?
Nothing! I went in with my eyes open. My only regret is not making the switch sooner! I feel like I wasted time in a job I hated when I could have been having so much more fun and feeling more respected in my role.

What was the single worst moment of your dull job?
Being told I’d be given only two weeks off work to recover from disc replacement surgery, when another person having identical surgery was given six months’ recovery time. This was the catalyst for me deciding I needed to change my career. Incidentally, it took between three to four months for me to recover from that surgery.

Rate your life out of 10 before, and now:
Before, I was at about four out of ten. I was miserable. I had a long-term health condition that left me in a lot of pain at work, and was receiving very little support from my employer. I felt completely stuck. Now, even on my worst days, I rarely fall below eight out of ten because there’s literally nothing about my current job that I hate. On the best days, I would say it’s a definite 10/10. I now have the freedom I craved and am doing what I love.

How smug do you feel when you talk to your friends working shitty jobs?
I’m not the smug type, but it has definitely made me more of an advocate for the idea of leaving your shitty job, and I would support any friend who wanted to do the same.

What advice would you give other people who hate their jobs?
The only person who can make a positive change in your life is you.

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This article originally appeared on VICE UK.