This article originally appeared on VICE Canada.
As I’ve discovered on “sex work Twitter,” there are a lot of us out there who became sex workers to work around the obstacles of growing up in poverty or having health issues that make working a regular job difficult. (I’ve been escorting casually for about a year and find it’s been a really empowering experience as someone who lives with a disability.) But just like every job, escorting has its pros and cons. Even though I screen clients, sometimes it would be nice to make money through the safety of a computer screen. And during those lags around the holidays when clients have less money, I would love to have another way to make up the income.
This is why, while scrolling through SWitter one day, I instantly became hooked on tweets about financial domination, or “findom,” where people—often older men—send money over the internet to other people—often young women—because they get off on it.
My first exposure was of tweets demanding “tributes,” or electronic money transfers from “finsubs”—or “paypigs,” as they’re often called—whose “worthless existence is to serve them.” Findommes would post photos of receipts where tributes were transferred from finsubs into various payment apps like Paypal or Circle Pay. I watched YouTube videos where women went to meet finsubs for “cash meets” at ATMs and were handed mountains of bills seemingly without having to do anything at all.
In theory, findom should be the most profitable career in sex work without having to leave your bed. But in reality, just like escorting isn’t simply getting paid to lie there, there’s a lot more to findom than demanding that men give you money.
For many wealthy or even not-so-wealthy men, watching an attractive woman take your money is a satisfying feeling. But having power over someone doesn’t necessarily mean yelling insults at them and expecting money in return (not all finsubs want to be insulted).
“There’s no way to teach findom,” says @ChrissieDyballx, an experienced findomme who had 25k followers on Twitter until her last account was hacked and deleted. “You either have the natural dominance and manipulation skills or you don’t. If you don’t, you might fool a couple of subs into giving you £10 [$14] here and there, however real findom, (where the big money is) cannot be manufactured.”
Being a real findomme means taking control of your finsub and understanding how to get into his head. But at the same time, it means wanting the best for your finsub and knowing where their limits are. This takes skill only learned from spending time in not only the findom industry, but the fetish industry, and why patience is so important when wanting to become a findomme. Otherwise, finsubs can spot a fake findomme pretty quickly.
As Chrissie says, dominance can be the softest of things. It can be caring. It can be nurturing. It can even be like therapy.
“There’s an imbalance in the way money is distributed in society and findom takes some of that power back,” says Princess Nix, a findomme who usually works off FetLife and who has struggled with the financial hardships that come from health issues. She says that findom has changed her life as someone who deals with mental illness—it’s made her more confident and financially stable than before.
Nix describes herself as an “ethical” findomme, who cares about her finsubs. She says that a huge mistake a lot of women make is learning to be a findomme without learning to be a domme first. The whole basis of financial domination is power exchange. It's not about “women being superior,” it's about men choosing to give up their power to women they see fit to hold it.
When it comes to the actual economics of making a living in findom, there are a number of other factors that come into play. The common misconception is that it’s easy money has led to Twitter becoming saturated with “fake findommes” who are “ruining it” for professionals—and finsubs who are looking for those professionals—according to a number of findommes I spoke with. “Fake findommes on Twitter are just this hoard of desperate women shouting insults into the void and making us all look bad,” says @PrincessXNix, who says it’s hard to come by finsubs on Twitter for this reason.
Once I made a Twitter account and started posting, I quickly learned that findom was going to be a lot more work than I had anticipated. While I managed to make a little money here and there, I also got scammed by a man who told me he wanted me to “rinse him,” and after an entire shopping session over Skype, his credit card was later declined.
Nix says that money in this profession is unpredictable. She makes $80 [$62 USD] on a slow month (not including gifts)—however, the other day she made $150 [$116 USD] alone. But other findommes have a more regular income. @CCCcherishme, who’s newer to findom on Twitter already makes $4,000 [$3,100 USD] a month from domination-related jobs offline. And while Chrissie won’t say how much she makes doing findom, she says when it comes to this fetish, “the sky is the limit.” We can assume, though, that it’s somewhere around what @GreedyFinDom makes. With over 3k followers on Twitter, she says, “generally I don’t go below 10k a month.”
While anyone can do findom, it takes real work, understanding, and dedication to make a dent in your income. @CCCcherishme says, “before even dipping your toes into the kink world—findom in particular—research fetishes, personality types, and role play (one of the single biggest aspects of findom).” She puts an emphasis on findom as fantasy, and that the idea isn’t to actually destroy a person, their family, or their job.
This is why Nix recommends that women don’t go into the industry when they’re broke and desperate. If a domme needs the money a sub is paying her, she doesn’t hold the power and that dynamic is doomed from the get-go.
“Findom isn’t a quick fix for cash,” says Chrissie.“ Instead, it’s a beautiful, well-thought-out art, complete mental manipulation, and control without the sub even realizing you’re doing it.”
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