Digitally submissive

Matthew Swallow wants to explore 'FinDom'…

FinDom a combination of ‘Financial Domination’ is an emerging online trend that sees submissives wiring sums of money, typically via PayPal or Apple Pay, to their chosen dominatrix – sometimes in the hundreds of pounds. The gratification comes in the voluntary financial abandonment and humiliation – the dominatrix verbally demeans the submissive and the submissive revels in their insignificance. This topic is interesting as a point of reference for sexual identity in the digital age. What makes FinDom both peculiar and interesting is that it’s totally abstract. The two individuals never meet, so the affair is wholly digital and the narrative is mentally constructed – I think this is one trend in a larger wave of online trends as we approach a socio-technological singularity.

In the age of Tinder, sex dolls and virtual-reality pornography we’re seeing sexual identity become increasingly metaphysical. I’m particularly interested in how this phenomenon relates to masculine identity. The current UK statistics on suicide are 3:1 men to women, and whilst I don’t believe submissives are suicidal, I think the element of self-deprecation relates to the fragile state of the male ego. I think the behaviour of optional financial ruin suggests mental unrest. The pressures men encounter in their professional/social lives break down and manifest in a regressive submission to a higher authority – in a pseudo-religious sense. I believe the dominatrixes have suppressed issues and use their character role as a way of validity and empowerment – they seek control of their lives and hold a contemptuous relationship with men that justifies their exploitation of them – it becomes a perfect storm of seemingly damaged individuals using digital means to contextualise their sexuality.

I would like to open up a debate around this topic, gather people’s opinions and insight, contact both submissives and dominatrixes to collate data surrounding the topic as there is little research available at the moment. I want to explore the dynamics of this trend, the psychology behind it. What keeps the desire persistent? What balance does the dominatrix need to find to entice the submissive enough to keep giving away money? How are these online encounters initiated?

I would like to get the opinions of readers who can provide relative topical insight into the dynamics experienced by the submissive and hear opinion of whether my theory of this trend representing a shift in modern sexuality has any basis. I ask for the help in directing me to related materials that can provide clarity in my investigation.

I’m aware the topic could widely be interpreted as trivial or lewd, but I believe the cultural and technical conditions in which this phenomenon has proliferated globally will continue to become a point of interest within contemporary psychological studies. I’m enthusiastic to explore it with you if you’d be willing to support me in my investigation.

Matthew Swallow
London E2

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