Sakura Strike is a fulltime pro dominatrix who, in her spare time, also models latex and other fetishwear under the name Psycatt. As a result, she now finds more enjoyable applications for her profess-ional photo-retouching talents, and reckons mistressing has also equipped her with various transferable skills — in luxury customer service, psychology, promotion, management and leadership
Effect of Covid on my work: It’s affected my ability to do real time sessions, which is the bulk of my income. Sadly for me I’m currently unable to bully, punish and torment my poor subs/slaves in person.
…and on life beyond fetish: I’m a very social person. Being unable to see most people I love, as well as travel, has made me feel very stuck and restricted. I really miss being able to spend time with people I care about as I’m not great at keeping in touch via text.
Obviously financially I’ve also taken a blow, because live sessions are what I live for and made most of my income from, so being unable to go to work means I’ve had to re-think business strategy and spend a lot more time on my screen than I enjoy spending.
Thankfully, I have very kind and caring friends and clients who are very understanding, and remember me and to keep in touch despite my terrible communication online!
Income replacement: I’ve had to shift all my efforts into online domination, which is a completely different market with different clients. Currently I’m running an OnlyFans page where I’m doing a lot of custom content, and posting snippets everyday, investing time in remote tasks, texting and camming sessions.
I think providing high quality service/content is important, and I aim to deliver a luxury service standard, that’s highly personalised and bespoke to my clients.
Counter-intuitive as it sounds, outside of a scene, regardless of how degrading/cruel/sadistic we’ve agreed for things to be, empathy is very important. I want my clients to feel valued and feel that they receive the things they want from me, and maybe just that little extra that makes them want to stay and come back for more!
Financial support: I might seek it if things don’t go as well as hoped for, although I’d like to avoid it if I can. Who knows, this might just be the kickstart I needed to start doing Findom (financial domination) properly!
Coping strategies: I go for a daily walk for exercise and for coming up with ways to be creative. Currently thinking of some plans for a YouTube channel for Psycatt as a form of directing my anxiety somewhere positive and focused on personal growth!
The outloook for me: I’ll have to continue investing in the online business for as long as it takes, and look into solutions rather than problems. Adult workers have always been resourceful and found interesting, creative ways to bypass and overcome obstacles, so I’ll focus my attention on becoming better at those forms of business!
One big thing: Knowing my bills and food would be taken care of financially would really reduce my anxiety levels!
Hopes/fears for our community: My biggest hope is that that we’ll come out with a brand new kink instead of collective trauma! I’m only joking, but will also have a cage ready for anyone wanting it as soon as the lockdown is over! Biggest fear is that people will be scared of physical contact and having fun socially!
…and for society/humanity: My biggest hope is that this crisis inspires people to develop themselves further as creatives and spiritually! My biggest fear is the long term financial and psychological impact this will have on my clients and friends. But as I always like to think, there’s no problems, only solutions, and I’m sure we’ll figure out a way to overcome things positively!
A performer specialising in exotic fetish/ BDSM shows, Topanga works as a latex maker for well-known brands and applies this skill to creating her stage outfits. Jojo to her friends, she accepts private party work and latex commissions. She has previously worked in customer relations on cruise liners, and for hotel suppliers.
Effect of Covid on my work: Living day to day for a freelancer is hard, especially when all our industries are in lockdown now. I try to stay busy, wake up early every day, do some admin, avoid social media like the plague due to personal reasons, writing lists of things I could do other than performing and latex production.
I still work on my patterns and getting through my stash of rubber to do a sample sale soon to cover costs of living.
My Etsy shop is finally going live, not sure if it’s even worth it at this point. I self-isolate, so it’s been difficult especially with the news of the loss of my dear friend only a few days before lockdown.
Not getting any closure, and mourning during a lockdown feels a bit like when Dumbledore dies and we all know its only going to get darker. Lots of movies, some gaming…
…and on life beyond fetish: Well, the travel industry is a mess, which is annoying as it’s usually my fallback. I don’t think it will recover anytime soon. Just catching up with the backlog will take months — this is a situation without precedent.
The last time the industry froze nearly as badly as this (by European standards) was during the Eyjafjallajökull volcano eruption in Iceland. I remember being on the phone with customers stranded in Dubai, unable to give them a resolution.
This is of course a very different situation — however it all boils down to people wanting answers and us not having any information to give them.
Income replacement: Currently I’m just working on new patterns, and making samples for an eBay sale. Also bringing my Etsy shop back to life for orders and commissions of headdresses, latex and costumes.
Financial support: I’m due absolutely nothing due to being away from the UK for three years for medical and family reasons.
Coping strategies: Watching lots of thrillers, sketching, exercise, some self-teaching through online tutorials, cooking, cleaning and snuggling cats.
The outlook for me: I have no vision of the future. I am going through the motions of what I should be doing to get me past each day. I am questioning everything at the moment. The scene, the industry, the mentality and hypocrisy behind most of it.
I am also aware that mourning will take a while and that right now I am too angry due to my grief. It’s a bit contradictory when my job is to look good and happy, while I feel rotten inside at the tremendous loss of human life.
One big thing: Knowing that I’d have a stable job to go to after this would be a major stress relief.
Hopes/fears for our community: I hope this will give us all time to look at what is working and what isn’t.
I won’t get into my social media debate, but this is supposed to be a safe scene for obvious reasons, and it isn’t. Abuse has been witnessed but the scene is more concerned with pretending all is well.
I fear that, as new events were popping out and 2020 was starting to look promising, they won’t recover from this and the scene will die out for a few years. Latex and all this are luxuries after all.
…and for society/humanity: I hope that we start looking back at history and learn from it. This time of isolation and introspection can be good. Pollution levels are lowering and I hear the canal near my old house in Portugal is now full of ducklings and clear waters.
The worst is a riot state — it takes one small spark to ignite the fragile powder keg that is our society, and we have been pushing it.
Farrukh’s photography and videography under the Hyder Images monicker is much-admired on the UK’s fetish scene, especially for events coverage. Outside fetish, he works as an office manager, though is currently unemployed. Photo above by Gothic Image
Effect of Covid on my work: As with everyone else on the scene, I’m currently housebound as no events are taking place. I also had a few photoshoots in the pipeline which are now on hold.
…and on life beyond fetish: So far I’m managing to cope as best I can with the lockdown. However, I’m experiencing long periods of depression on occasions, as I’m currently jobless and there is no income coming in.
Income replacement: Looking for office-based work.
Financial support: Universal Credit.
Coping strategies: Calling friends and trying to maintain a positive attitude.
The outlook for me: I really don’t know.
One big thing: New friends.
Fears for our community: The stress that this crisis has inflicted on friends and businesses.
…and for society/humanity: In the long term nothing will change. Just remember how over time everything went back to ‘normal’ after 9/11.
The famous Mistress of Murder Mile Studios is also a performer, fetish model, photographer, retoucher and website builder – pictured above by Murder Mile
Effect of Covid on my work: My work as a dominatrix has been affected in that I obviously can’t see my clients face to face (or face to boot!) at the moment, and none of us know when this will change. As a studio/dungeon owner, no one can use the space, we can’t shoot anyone right now and all of the events that use the studio are on hold until there’s more information as to when this lockdown might end.
…and on life beyond fetish: I’m very fortunate in that I was already doing a lot of work from home and I have my own little studio set-up here, which makes life a lot easier. My husband is a musician and was also doing a fair amount of work from home too. He has a recording/rehearsal space in our garden, so he is still able to work on music.
We’re used to spending a lot of our time together at home, so not much has changed for us in that sense, thankfully. My main concern right now is the studio, as the rent and bills are still due and it’s virtually impossible to get an answer regarding any sort of government help.
Income replacement: Fortunately I am able to session with regular and new clients via webcam and phone domination calls. I am also offering custom clips and photosets. I have a lot of content that I have gathered over the years, so I’m also setting up an OnlyFans and AVN profile which I’ll be updating regularly with new content.
Financial support: I haven’t received anything yet, although I believe I’m due something in June and I’m waiting to hear about a possible grant for the studio. I am continuing to operate as a pro domme, just online for now, so I do still have an income.
Coping strategies: I’ve been working out a lot and taking full advantage of being allowed out to exercise once a day, which really helps in keeping the morale up. I usually go for a run in the nearby forest. I’ve also been practising guitar, singing/writing and doing a lot of house reorganisation as well as attempting to sort the garden out…
I’m sure everyone has that long list of things that we all mean to do but never have the time for, so I’m getting stuck into that. There’s also a fair amount of movie/series watching and probably a bit too much wine and gin.
At the weekends it’s great to have little WhatsApp parties to catch up with friends. Some of my friends are on their own, which must be really hard right now, so I try to make sure to keep in regular contact, and we’re all checking on each other to see if anyone needs anything.
The outlook for me: I know that I will probably be fine personally, but my main worry is the studio as it can only last so long with no custom or help. So I’m really hoping for some sort of small business grant.
One big thing: To know that there is definitely help and support available for the self-employed and small business owners, and that it will come through sooner rather than later. Also to have some idea of when this situation might end.
Hopes/fears for our community: I just really hope the fetish businesses, performers, entertainers, artists, photographers, musicians and other creatives can get through this. It’s hard enough as it is for the self-employed and small businesses — I just hope everyone gets the help that’s needed to survive this crisis.
…and for society/humanity: I worry about the effect it will have on the economy and people’s mental states; I think it will take a long time to get back to some sort of normality.
My biggest hope is that it will make people appreciate each other, the environment and the freedom we have, and not take things for granted. I’m sure there will be one helluva party/round of parties once we are able to go out again without risking anyone’s health!
Veteran rigger Esinem (with model Sophie Alice Golder, above) creates online shibari tutorials with partner Nina Russ for ShibariClasses, and does online rope sales through Esinem-Rope (retail) and EU-Rope (trade). He does occasional live performances and rope-related projects for music videos etc. Rope is now his fulltime work
Effect of Covid on my work: So far, people have been buying lots of rope and tutorials to cope with lockdown. Shipping is slightly affected and I’m hoping it won’t worsen significantly.
…and on life beyond fetish: Not massively as we tend to be very home-centric. Sad to have less visitors.
Income replacement: I’ve not needed it, but am using time to update social media marketing. Hopefully, the project to build a three-bed house on the site of my garages will not be too much delayed.
Financial support: Again, not needed.
Coping strategies: A lot of airgun target practice. Thinking of ways to contribute more usefully.
The outlook for me: Not worried, feel confident of weathering any storm.
One big thing: The club shooting range re-opening, and being able to have a few rope models here.
Hopes/fears for our community: I’m very worried about a lot of fetish friends who rely on face to face contact and don’t have any financial reserves.
…and for society/humanity: Firstly, I hope we all emerge from this with the least damage possible — physically, emotionally and financially.
Also, that we realise, in the end, effective action is down to each one of us and we should not just rely on big government.
I fear this might become an excuse for more government and on a global scale.