Ever heard the words “fin dom” or “pay pig”? Probably not – they belong to a very lucrative fetish that a very small segment of the population know about. Claire Hubble takes us inside the secretive world of financial dominatrices.
Unless you’re a notable reality TV star, member of the royal family or offspring of somebody outrageously wealthy, it’s very unlikely that you’ll ever get paid for doing nothing. The harsh reality of adult life is that you’ll probably spend 40 hours a week working like a dog until you either keel over and admit defeat or retire and spend the rest of your years trying to move to Spain or France or somewhere, anywhere a little bit sunnier than the UK. So I often find myself on a late night Google session, trying to find a way for us regular folk to get something for nothing.
One evening on a quest to get rich or die tryin’, I stumble across a rather niche corner of Twitter.
“I fancy a nice lunch up London tomorrow which of you pathetic losers is gonna treat me rather than your wife?” tweets a woman called Rochelle. I was surprised to find that swarms of men had actually replied, begging to provide money for her mojitos in return for verbal abuse.
I’d found the world of the “financial dominatrix – or “fin dom” for short. Fin doms use Twitter to find “pay pigs” – men who are willing to give them money for whatever they fancy buying. What they get in return is variable. Women like Rochelle will send a demeaning message or a humiliating task to her “pay pig” and he’ll comply, sending sums of cash over as payment. It’s not hard to see what makes the life of a financial dominatrix so appealing: all you have to do is tell some dude he’s a loser and he’ll pay for those Topshop boots you’ve had bookmarked for weeks. But is it really all that simple?
To test my theory that this could potentially be the easiest and most LOLs way to make money online, I got in touch with Miss H London Domme, a sex shop worker and professional dominatrix who lists fin dom as just one of many fetishes she caters for.
“The men who ask for fin dom want to be alleviated of the responsibility of managing their finances,” she explains, “or just to feel like they are contributing to something that has more importance than their own life. The majority enjoy handing over money to women knowing that if it weren’t for the cash, they would pay no attention to them. It’s a more honest subversion of the traditional premise that men have to pay for everything in the dating world.”
Meanwhile another young woman known as Miss Gigi is a webcam model who dabbles in fin dom among other forms of domination. She says that the pig-dom relationship is a lot more complicated than it first appears.
“I have a very different approach to fin dom and domination in general compared to a lot of girls around,” she says, “these girls seem to think it’s a quick, easy way of making money, they’ll be demanding, bossy, bitchy and treat their subs like dirt but there’s so much more to it than that. My relationships with my subs are based on mutual respect, and I have lovely friendships with all of them.”
And while Gigi is happy to share the dominatrix stage with other women, she’s adamant that it takes more than a girl with bags of confidence, an Amazon wishlist and a frequently updated Twitter account to be a true fin dom.
“I don’t know when it happened but suddenly fin dom became a trend and all the girls were doing it, girls that had no experience with domination of subs who don’t actually understand the fetish nor take the time to understand it.”
So who exactly are these guys who get a kick of this unusual fetish? As it turns out, the answer is extremely ordinary men. One of them is Pencil Dick, who introduces himself as a “middle aged, middle class, married” man who will only be interviewed under the condition that I refer to him by this affectionate nickname. By day he’s a popular alpha male with a good job and an active social life, but in his private life he gets his sexual kicks from throwing cash at young women who humiliate and degrade him online.
For ‘Pencil’, his descent into the virtual world of fin dom began in his office.
“Her name was Sarah. I think she realised she could manipulate me after spending some time in my company during many of the boozy nights out after work shared with many office colleagues,” he says.
What began with Sarah asking for lunch money and cigarettes soon turned into demands for £20-30 a week. Pencil happily obliged, and after Sarah left the office his dedication to fin doms went online, where he used Twitter to scout out new young women to splash his cash on.
Pencil’s involvement in the secretive world of fin dom might have originated in the real world, but for other pay pigs it’s a strictly online business.
For 37-year-old human resources manager Richard, his secret pay pig identity remains in the same place it was born; in the virtual world, as an escape from his “vanilla” wife.
To many of us, the idea of someone getting paid for sitting around and bitching while the rest of us have to work like a dog just to afford to go to Nando’s is terribly unjust, but that’s exactly what Richard finds so erotic.
“The thought of the unfairness turned me on. I studied and worked hard while they lay in bed smoking weed but they got the money,” he says.
As Richard got more engrossed in fin dom, he would do embarrassing and degrading things under the instruction of women who held him by the wallet.
“I wore a dog collar and a leash, ate from a dog bowl, wore knickers and a bra under my work clothes and would put myself on sex bans if my fin dom told me to,” he recalls. “One made me go to a super market and get a receipt showing that I had bought just a large cucumber, a packet of three condoms and a tube of lubricant.”
That’s a far more impressive story to reel off at parties than the same old spiel about your marketing job, right? But despite the world of fin dom seeming like a girl-dominated world where females rule the roost and pay pigs are left drooling in their wake, the reality is quite the contrary.
“I sometimes feel like I’m ‘topping the bottom’,” Richard says, “by which I mean it isn’t real submission. I am very selective about what I do and it feels sometimes like the women are working for me. Paying them is more an expression of my power than my submission. I create the exchange. I choose whether or not to pay, how much, when I want to pay.”
A pay pig I contacted for an interview offered to pose as my slave while I took the role of a fin dom in order to lure in more men in and get a feel for what it’s like to have desperate men serve you. I thought about it – getting direct correspondence from pay pigs might help me better understand WTF they’re getting out of the exchange.
Being a pay pig is a way of giving over some control, be it by tying a shoelace around your penis (something I actually witnessed on Twitter, I kid you not), or splurging hundreds on some girl’s Amazon wishlist. But as I learned more, I came to realise that being a fin dom probably wasn’t something I should get tied up in, for the sake of journalism nor the promise of affording a spree in Charlotte Tilbury.
It’s a sentiment shared by Miss H, who highlights the need to be cautious. “Sex work is sex work, no matter how it’s framed and it could jeopardise future career options,” she says. “It’s still hard for ex-porn, ex-escorts and ex-dommes to get jobs and potential employers don’t always give a shit about the difference between a fiin dom and a prostitute if they think their reputation could be damaged. It’s important for women to know that when engaging in any kind of sex work online.”
Successful fin doms are seen less as freeloaders and more as skilled BDSM workers. These ladies might not be wearing strap-ons and wielding whips, but they’re providing a service that arouses men, and relying on men’s money to get by.