Honing your Craft: Education & Enrichment should never end.

With most jobs comes some sort of training. You might be required to attend a mandatory workshop, shadow another employee, and be under a probationary period even. In most careers a college degree or certification becomes essential and you cannot even apply for a job without a bachelor’s or even master’s degree. And of course, the more training you have, the more valuable you are due to your proficiency and level of expertise potentially rising to the top of your field.

Jobs we have to make ends meet aren’t typically ones we are willing to devote much time to for training as it won’t really affect your success. These are the jobs that truly feel like work to us. The sort of work we aren’t passionate about but do to survive. Ideally you want to have a job that isn’t work you dread doing and in order to make this a success you will have to be highly skilled in your field. This is where those years of school and that degree comes in handy. Those who tend to be the most successful will even continue their training beyond what may be required both showing discipline and perseverance.

As a Pro Domme, Kinkster, or Fetishist offering services online, the more you know the more successful you will ultimately be. Those who have spent years in this industry make this pretty clear as with their experience they have more knowledge and a better understanding of what’s required to continue being successful. So for those starting, educating yourself on the fundamentals of what you are becoming engaged in is crucial.

I can pretty much confidently say that those who do not make an effort to learn about BDSM and spend time researching will not see the results they expected and last maybe a few months tops. Of course there are some who get lucky but there’s only so many spots for that.

BDSM is a lifestyle and an element of many people’s lives so much so that it’s a part of their identity. Those seeking out experiences from a Professional will expect that person to have a thorough understanding and it be natural for them to provide. Of course you can adopt a “character” but many will see through that and the rate of repeat clients will be incredibly minimal. You probably also won’t have many willing to pay very much for your rates as they will feel the experience isn’t genuine because well, you are faking it.

Being knowledgeable and educated about fetishes, kinks, and how dominance works is probably the biggest determining factor in your success in this industry. It is sadly very underrated and undervalued due to the misunderstanding this is all easy money. For someone that this is a passion and a true interest learning more and continuing to perfect and hone your craft will be pursued. Doing research, talking to educators in the lifestyle and known figures of the BDSM community will advance you so far in your understanding and thus the quality of what you offer because you will understand what you offer.

There are so many that do not realize the importance and value of researching things like “where do fetishes come from?” “why are powerful men submissive?” or “why do most women identify as submissive?” These were things I’d google due to my genuine curiosity and I realized that my understanding of Kink made me way more skilled as a Dominant.

Most know that I am a lifestyle Domme. My desired relationship involves power exchange and taking on the dominant role. Since I am attracted to (mostly) men role reversal becomes a kink naturally. As I learned more about myself and became more self aware I noticed that the clients I was attracting were drawn to that confidence and eager to have an experience with someone they felt truly embodied what they were looking for. More often than not these clients even enjoyed spending (paid) “vanilla” time with me as well as wanting to have my guidance.

Even if you are not a lifestyle Kinkster and perhaps just enjoy it in the bedroom being educated and informed on what you are wanting to offer will make all the difference. There are excellent resources out there as well as educators offering classes, seminars, webinars, and one on one mentoring. Earlier this evening I attended a webinar called “The Art of Ownership” by Sinclair Sexsmith. This is something I am informed about and understand however hearing it from different people and presented in different ways will make it so that you can accommodate and provide even more levels of experience.

So make an conscious effort to partake in a class, seminar, or workshop in the next couple of weeks. If you have a hard time finding one Kink Academy has video series on Basic to Advanced subjects with many of them offered without being a member of the site. (Although I find it worth it to join). From that one effort notice how much more insight you will have into both yourself and your work which, hopefully, isn’t work but a passion you are eager to become an expert in and establish yourself as not only valuable, but priceless.

Visit Kink Academy at http://www.kinkacademy.com
Visit Sinclair Sexsmith at http://www.sugarbutch.net

Quick Update & Insight

Wanted to post this just to let people know that I am still here and creating. I started on a ketogenic diet and ran into some complications but am slowly recovering. Here in about two hours I have an appointment with my doctor to address these things as well as a plan to get back on track.

As much as I don’t want this project to be something particularly personal, it inevitably will to some degree because what inspired me to start in this industry was being limited as a person with a pain disorder. Instead of being reliant on any sort of government assistance I wanted to know that even using my skill set in a part time fashion I could easily stay afloat. Ultimately what has mattered to be isn’t so much the lucrative nature that’s possible but rather the ability to know that despite my short comings, I could still make things work on my own.

So, without getting into too much detail, that’s what has been going on. I do plan on having about 3-4 more blog posts and the continuation of the chart being created of all of the possible platforms in which one can find success, business, a start, or connections necessary to make this industry work for you.

In short: STOP USING SOCIAL MEDIA AS YOUR PLATFORM.

Repeat 3x daily as a mantra. I’m not kidding. This is the number one mistake I see being made in this industry. Do not start off by creating a Twitter account or similar, start by understanding who you are as a Dominant and then how to express that online utilizing a site meant for marketing and drawing paying traffic.

AGAIN, Repeat it with me, STOP USING SOCIAL MEDIA AS A PLATFORM.

VPNs & Why You Need One

Out of all the concerns I have for practicing BDSM online safety is my number one focus. Keeping yourself protected and difficult to track down is so valuable and risking this even slightly can be putting yourself in a significant amount of danger.

Connecting and facilitating sessions or interaction through such programs as Skype, Discord, etc. is commonplace in this industry. But how safe are you in doing this? How easy could someone get your personal information and narrow down your location?

It’s frighteningly easy and can take literally seconds to do so.

Fortunately there is a way to protect against this and disguise your location to others online. A program which will connect you to a different server location and make it near impossible for anyone to effectively track you down. This solution is called a Virtual Private Network or VPN.

A VPN is a private network extended across a public network allowing the sending and receipt of data privately. Applications will benefit from this additional security. A VPN allows for connectivity to proxy servers to protect your personal information such as your IP address.

Your IP address can be found through widgets installed on certain websites or when someone is using a packet sniffing program such as Wireshark. A VPN creates a virtual point to point connection through tunneling protocols or encryption. The resources available within a VPN can be accessed remotely. Note there is a difference between a VPN and a Proxy server.

A Proxy, in this case, is known as a web proxy which facilitates access to content on the world wide web and used to bypass IP address blocking and offer IP anonymity.

A Proxy can protect you when surfing the world wide web and your TCP connections but wil not protect against UDP necessarily meaning who you are connected to via Skype. A reverse proxy is most often used for site encryption and SSL acceleration. Simply put, if a website you are using is wanting your personal information it should have an SSL which is seen by “https://” as part of it’s URL. Do not use websites which do not have this!

Suggested VPNs & Proxies

E-mail with end-to-end encryption: https://www.protonmail.com/

There are free to use VPN services but many of these lack the features necessary and don’t function nearly as well as the paid options. A VPN is a minimal expense at around $5/month and will protect multiple devices. There is absolutely no reason to not have one.

It’s worth $5 to protect yourself.

The Importance of Proper Payment Processors

One thing that I see a lot (and something that will require it’s own resource segment) is the ignorance regarding how one receives payment for ANY online interaction that may be considered adult. For those of us in the BDSM, Kink, & Fetish arena it’s important that we are safe and aware of what we need to do and know to make this a profitable venture. So, to be the most aware it’s important to understand what is safe to use.

The term “high risk merchant” is indicative of a payment processor which handles accounts and companies that have potential issues with customers that may pose a risk and put the processing merchant in danger of losing money. It’s understandable that these options want to avoid these risks and the industry in which that is the most prevalent is the adult industry.

So what is the risk here? Two words: Charge backs. (“cb”s for short).

A charge back occurs when a purchase is made but then disputed by the customer. The reasons for the dispute can be anything from they didn’t receive the promised product, they were accidentally charged, or their card was even stolen. Unfortunately this happens quite a bit in the adult industry. One reason is potentially trying to hide certain purchases from, let’s say, a spouse. Regret tends to be behind this quite a bit or the malevolent position of simply trying to steal from the provider. Yes, a bit dick-ish.

Due to these occurrences many payment processors bow out of supporting transactions that are in anyway related to the adult industry. This is typically stated in their terms of service (which unfortunately few read) of their stance on what actions are taken if such an instance is found whether the transaction is even an issue at all. For example PayPal will freeze an account that is even suspect of being used for anything adult related. This usually results in losing the funds in the account and no longer be able to use it at all.

Paypal isn’t the only processor that does this. In fact most popular merchants absolutely will not facilitate transactions if there can be any way to connect the account to the adult industry.

Anti-Adult Industry Payment Processors

  • PayPal
  • Venmo (they are owned by PayPal)

  • CashApp
  • Circle Pay
  • Google Pay
  • Amazon Gift Cards (Amazon is not as strict but in their ToS you cannot use these cards as a means of monetary exchange for services.)

  • Gift Rocket (not as likely to enforce but still not meant for adult content)

Adult Friendly Payment Processors

The processors above work by having a tip or tribute option which customers can utilize and be linked to specifically. These companies are meant specifically for adult content and work through a larger “high risk” merchant. While one could employ their own merchant service it is very expensive to initially set up. CCBill, one of the top adult payment processors online, has a VISA set up fee of over $1000 which isn’t practical for most.

From my experience if a potential customer is unwilling to use any of the above and insists on something such as PayPal this is a huge red flag. They are aware that they can cancel the payment or dispute it later which puts you at risk any time this is used. Also, there are people who work for these companies whose job it is to specifically seek out websites which are using their services for “high risk” transactions. And trust me, they will shut you down.

It is absolutely worth the percentage they take to use the safer services. Not only are they meant for it they protect both you and the customer. Many of them also protect you against charge backs and will absorb the damage. This is nice considering you could start a new payment period in the negative due to a charge back. Should this protection matter to you make sure the platform you investigate offers cb protection.

Bottom line, DO NOT accept or advertise that you accept payment through any of the payment processors which are anti-adult work. With FOSTA/SESTA becoming more of an issue this is being cracked down even harder than before. Protect yourself, establish yourself, and work only through the appropriate platforms.

An Idea for Affordable, Secure, and Easy Hosting

As I’ve looked more into what I can offer to others and do as a developer I’ve visited the idea of purchasing a web server. What this would offer is basically everything one might need for getting a website of ANY sort set up with varying levels of personal maintenance. Some people feel comfortable with me essentially running everything, some may want to do it themselves via WordPress, or some may want to even have me guide them and show them how to manage things. Either way, you can have a site that is completely customized.

Getting this started would be a lot out of my pocket personally but once it is I can successfully manage it and provide an option that is run by someone with industry experience (me). Additionally I will have someone (1-2) maintaining the back-end evaluating performance and security.

To give an idea of the perks of this here is what I can provide:

-Become a domain registrar, web server/host, and email provider.
-Cloudflare protection with advanced Network Security
-Optimized performance with powerful processing and hardware
-Unlimited e-mail accounts for every user
-SSL certification for every site run. Your privacy is valued.
-Free Hosting migration. Costs nothing to move your domain to my server.
-Sites run through cPanel, Python, and PHP
-MySQL and phpMyAdmin database management
-Wordpress, Joomla, Drupal installation with Zend Engine and ionCube Loader.
-Password, Hotlink, and Leech protection with Clam AV Antivirus
-400+ Softaculous apps available with 1-click install.
-Website speed increases of 1000x with Varnish Caching & Cloudflare CDN. This allows websites to move up ranking in search engines.

Essentially, I can effectively cover needs whether small or extensive.

I will have 2 back-end developers working on this along with me but not involved in the development process. You would only be working with me and I communicate with the others as they make sure that your site performs optimally.

The objective here is to provide the most cost-effective solution from someone with the insight needed for developing the site which will result in the best success. I will implement your content platforms into your website so that it acts as a central hub and overall increases your SEO and search results.

I’ll be asking around and seeing how many people are interested in this. If it is a need I will start up a fundraiser which will allow me to create and brand this making it the only service of this kind available to adult performers and creators.

I’d like to think it’s a bit revolutionary.

I’m estimating that start up costs will be around $2,500-$3000 however anything raised over that will be used to add as much more as possible. For those that donate I will be offering services that are being made possible by these donations.

Please let me know what you think by emailing me at thelolabohemia@gmail.com or reaching me on twitter @MsLolaBohemia

Resources being made available

Well, there’s much work ahead of me and for reasons, a bit of a time crunch. Oh, yes universe, give me MORE stress.

So over time I am going to try to organize this the best I can as far as how resources are presented because I’m covering several different areas of relevance. The aim of presenting these is so you can make informed decisions hopefully leading to the most successful outcome for your venture. I want people to be safe, successful, and educated above all else. This industry does not currently have a set of standards so it’s important that we try to create at least something that will help keep individuals safe as well as held accountable. There is no degree or certification in BDSM; it’s really all a process of vetting which was a lot easier to do when services were not available online. You had to really work to promote yourself and have a Dungeon space for anyone to take you seriously.

With the socio-economic climate being affected by poorly written legislation here in the US (FOSTA/SESTA) tech based companies and payment processors have joined hands to cover their asses and stay afloat. Controlled by fear of being no longer funded many have complied but have isolated an industry which was becoming essentially safer by having these services done online.

What I aim to be collecting, analyzing, and personally testing are the resources someone needs to know about and perhaps potentially use. From basic education in BDSM to companies that are still adult friendly or even adult specific in which to open a platform or business on. There is not one solution for everyone. Having options is a good thing and it will take time to find out what will be the best fit for you. Hopefully my research will cut short the trial-and-error process for many.

  • Payment processors that specialize in “high risk” transactions.

  • Content creator platforms specializing in providing a marketplace for adult content.

  • Platforms for performers utilizing webcam, phone, or online interaction.

  • Membership sites which charge a monthly fee for users to access the content of a performer or content creator.

  • “Indie” listing sites wherein the creator/performer needs to direct their own traffic.

  • Developing your online “persona” as a performer.

  • Marketing and branding yourself on social media.

  • How to effectively draw your desired client base.

  • Staying safe online; utilizing VPNs and other protective measures to prevent stalking and harassment.

  • What practices and services are anti-sex work.

  • Hosting solutions and domain name registrars.

  • How to go about building or having a website built to best establish your online presence

With this research I have been coming across a lot of other helpful articles that will hopefully keep people updated regarding the best working solutions for their venture. Ideally I’d like to collaborate as much as possible with others who offer resources to make this as comprehensive as possible.

Remember you can tweet to me on twitter via @MsLolaBohemia or contact me through Discord. Thanks!

-Lola

The Start of Something much Needed

This is the bit where it shows I understand the blogging function. Granted here will be the initial starting blogs of the resources section. I will be looking into what is asked most often in a forum I frequent to get a nice start on this project.

If you have any ideas or would like to share please reach out to me on Twitter @MsLolaBohemia.