“I had one person come to my BDSM party who had a really bad day at work in tears. I spanked her and we cuddled, she cried and told me about her day.”
Mistress Valerie, a dominatrix in the metro Denver kink community, recalled one encounter that demonstrated the therapeutic benefits of BDSM play parties. I met Mistress Valerie when I attended one of her play parties. I was interested in building my photography portfolio and offering photos at her events. Later that month I found myself struggling with lighting during another darkly lit BDSM party which featured a St. Andrews Cross.
While the only photos I got were of Mistress Valerie and a table of impact toys. I was curious about understanding Mistress Valerie and this part of the kink community. In a lengthy in-depth interview, we discussed the recent curiosity with the kink community’s play parties.
For the uninitiated, BDSM is a variety of erotic roleplaying involving bondage, discipline, dominance, and submission. Play parties are simply events to meet fellow members in the kink community. A dominatrix holds a central and dominating role in BDSM and play parties, often leading participants in these activities.
What a better way to connect with a partner(s), yourself or even someone you never thought you would meet than to visit a play party. These parties are for adults who are 21 or older and want to explore the kink community. Each party is catered to what the host wants the party to feel like.
One night a host might hold a BDSM party whereas another host might be holding a trans play party. This is what makes this experience unique and unlike any other; you get to connect with people who share or are curious about the same kinks. Each party has its own personality. The structure of the play party varies depending on the interest of the host and their guests.
Mistress Valerie, who also goes by Miss Valerie, has been frequently hosting parties since April 2022. She usually hosts parties once a week to once a month. Her parties tend to tilt towards a house party aesthetic to make people feel comfortable.
She said, “You’re going to see people sitting on comfortable furniture talking getting to know each other. I try to have board games out, Jenga, or something to help people interact and socialize. Generally, drinks, possible snacks, but it’s not as intimidating as you think. You might see a scene, someone on the cross. Possibly someone getting flogged or spanked or electrocuted.”.
Obviously, safety and consent are critically important to have a good party. These are two of her main focuses as a host. The intentions are to make sure that everyone who attends a party knows the rules of consent. This is a shared responsibility of each person who attends the party.
As a savvy host, Miss Valerie has developed a keen sense of how to make sure safety and consent are embraced by party participants. She suggests having proper consent conversations before parties and even screening members to ensure that they know what consent looks like to them.
She also suggests having a party partner. This helps guest keep each other safe. If you see that your partner is uncomfortable speak up. The knowledge that these parties are others safe space is important to recognize.
Miss Valerie opened up about her experiences as a host. “I think that’s a really big thing and that’s part of my drive. I’ve had so many people who have said that. The energy is there, and the vibe is there, the safety and sense of community. I’ve had so many people tell me they feel home.”
The goal of these play parties to develop a sense of community that doesn’t judge someone because of who they are. Rather they empower you for being human. Sex is very much part of the human experience and Miss Valerie wants to empower people though being a dominatrix as a life coach.
This is probably the most startling revelation of my interview with Miss Valerie. The role of helpfully empowering people through her services as a dominatrix (domme). To the point that she hopes to one day be a life coach by leveraging her services and knowledge as a domme.
Miss Valerie explained that people are often faced with life’s hard things they need to take care of but can’t due to procrastination. For example, creating a living will is a hard thing for a lot of people to wrap their heads around. It involves so many complicated emotions and a good deal of mental anguish. People don’t want to deal with it, especially if you have a kid.
Miss Valerie imagines a business model of accountability through BDSM, where people who are faced with this kind of difficult decisions would hire her as a means of, well, “strongly encouraging” them to complete these hard tasks. “We would set up a plan. I’d check in with you like once a week and if you haven’t done it we’re going to have a session and you’re going to pay me for it. Hopefully you’ve been able to write your will and done a few more on the list of errands. I’ve made some money and we both feel good about our relationship, you got some kinks out that you get to enjoy! It’s like accountability through BDSM.”
This is an intriguing business model. One of the biggest obstacles to overcome is the stigma of kink and BDSM. Hopefully that will change as time passes and more people are comfortable talking about kink.
Miss Valerie wants the world to embrace and better understand the kink. She said, “I wish the world would just be not so judgmental. There is a little bit of kink in everyone and if it doesn’t hurt you, and if it doesn’t affect you, and all parties are agreeing and consenting adults then why should it matter what they do?”
Reflecting on the world of kink, Miss Valerie wondered, “What is so wrong with liking sex, with liking being spanked?”