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Nonfiction by Alice Kay

Say My Name
"I am the only one who can decide what my name is, but hearing someone say my name out loud allowed me to take that next step in embracing and expressing an identity I already knew existed."

Mistress was not a name that I was used to being called. If anyone called me something besides the name my parents gave me or my stage name at the strip club in which I worked, it was likely to be sweetheart or some variation of that term. So when a man laid a twenty-dollar bill on the edge of the stage at the end of my main stage set and asked me if he could call me mistress for the evening, I didn’t know what to say. 

I just smiled at him and blew him a kiss before gathering the rest of my tips from the stage and heading through the glittery silver curtain into the bright fluorescent lighting of the dressing room. As I applied more eyeliner, my fingers trembling around the plastic tube, I looked at myself in the mirror. A light purple lace bra and matching high-waisted panties. White stockings with bows on the back. Pink lipstick. I looked more like a naughty version of Little Bo Peep than the latex and leather clad dominatrixes I had seen on Instagram. 

I had experienced BDSM relationships, but I had always been the one getting spanked and tied up by a dominant partner. For the past few months, however, I had been looking at those pictures of dominatrixes on Instagram and watching the dominants during their scenes at the dungeon, longing to be the one who was doing the teasing. The spanking. The restraining. But I was scared. Scared that people would laugh at me if I said that I wanted to be dominant. Scared that I wouldn’t even be able to inhabit that role, even if I managed to find a submissive partner.

So I had continued to wear my Little Bo Peep outfits and to let other people do the spanking.


Knowing that I couldn’t waste too much more time if I wanted to talk to him, I left the glow of the dressing room and entered into the deep blue lighting of the main room of the club, trying to appear composed and elegant in spite of the sweat pouring from my body. I walked over to his table, hoping that I wouldn’t trip in my platforms, and held out my hand to introduce myself as Alice. 

“My mistress has determined that you are the only one in this club worth submitting to,” he said after shaking my hand and telling me his name. 


“Is that so?” I said, wondering if they were crazy. There were other women working who looked far more dominating than I did. I looked at the woman sitting in the chair next to him. She was talking to the guy on her other side. With her jeans, loose black shirt, and ballet flats, she didn’t look particularly mistress-like either.

“I’ve been given instructions to go on an adventure with you,” he said, holding out one hundred dollars.  


I felt my stomach clench with nerves, but I tried to keep my facial expression composed. “Follow me,” I said, taking the money and then his hand. We took the elevator upstairs to the private lap dance section and then walked down the dimly lit hallway to the room with partitioned booths, and I wondered what the hell I was going to do with him for twelve minutes. I didn’t have any floggers or ropes or paddles. Just my hands and the white fishnet stockings that my regular had given me earlier in the night.

Leading him to one of the chairs, I said, “Sit.” My voice came out high-pitched and soft, and I cringed, vowing to make my tone more authoritative and seductive next time I spoke. However, before I could say anything else, a new song began, and so I started doing my usual routine. I danced in front of him, letting my hands explore my own body, and then I made my way to my knees. As I was about to crawl between his legs, it occurred to me that it should have been the other way around – I should have had him on the ground, crawling towards me. 

Panic began rising in my chest. I thought back to all of the waitresses who called me sweetheart when asking me what I would like to order. My regular at work who called me sweetie and gave me pastel lace panties and white stockings. All the boyfriends who had called me baby and cute and who said they liked my innocence. The dominant men at kink events who always assumed that I was submissive.

But as I looked into the man’s eyes, I saw excitement and anticipation radiating from his features, and I realized that while I might not believe that I could do this, he sure did. Even with my Little Bo Peep lingerie and current position at his feet. 

I took a deep breath and willed strength to return to my hands, and then I pushed his legs further apart. Ran my gaze over the inside of his thighs, to the bulge of his cock underneath his jeans. Met his gaze and then looked to the bulge before locking eyes with him again. As the second song began, I let a smile saunter over my lips. 

“I can see that you’re a very naughty boy,” I said, imagining that my voice was hot wax dripping onto his skin. He blushed. “Do you know what happens to naughty boys?” I asked. 

He shook his head. 

“Sometimes they get spanked…but tonight they get tied up.” 

Cognizant that we hadn’t had time to negotiate the scene, I took the pair of the white fishnet stockings out of my purse and held them up. He nodded, and then I rubbed the fishnets across his throat before tying his hands together with the fabric and pushing them above his head. 

My regular would be horrified to learn what I was doing with his gift, but I felt a deep sense of joy and pleasure bubble within my body.  

“Keep those there,” I said, tapping his hands. 

“Yes,” he said. 

“Yes, who?” I said, pulling his hair back so that his neck was exposed.


“Yes, Mistress,” he said, his voice barely audible. 

“Louder,” I said, pulling his head back further and putting my other hand on his throat. 

“Yes, Mistress,” he said, his voice echoing across the room.  

This time, Mistress felt right. 

“Good boy,” I said, my voice soft, and then I squeezed his throat and released it before gently caressing the side of his face.  

I didn’t spank him that night. Or slap his face. But those things happened with other clients, on future days, and those things – as well as many more things – began to happen in my personal sexual life. I don’t know exactly what I did during my main stage set that sparked the interest of that man and his mistress, but I’m glad that they did decide that I was the person they wanted that night. I am the only one who can decide what my name is, but hearing someone say my name out loud allowed me to take that next step in embracing and expressing an identity I already knew existed. Now, if someone were to ask me if they could call me mistress for the evening, I would know how to respond. 

Alice Kay is a writer, sex educator, and stripper. Originally from a small town in the Midwest, she now lives in San Francisco. Follow her on Instagram at @insidealicekay

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