What is findom?
[This article was first published in 2017]
Of all the sexual fetishes in the world, financial domination has perhaps one of the most glamourous images.
Beautiful women are sent money and lavished with expensive gifts by men who seemingly want next-to-nothing in return – it’s all about submitting to the dominant woman and relinquishing control.
Much like physical forms of BDSM, it’s this surrendering of power that is arousing. But in the majority of cases, the dominatrix (domme) and the submissive never meet – it’s all done online.
Some financial domination (or findom) relationships consist of one-off payments, others are regimented regular transferrals of money and some men even hand over passwords and total control of their bank accounts to a domme, asking her to devise a minimal budget too.
But what’s the attraction for the men? We asked a self-proclaimed submissive to explain.
“The arousal factor comes from the thought of the domme invading the personal space that is your finances,” Steve* tells The Independent. “People measure their self worth with their money.
“Financial domination scoops up this notion of human beings and weaponises it as something kinky. It’s intimacy, in a very capitalistic and masochistic way,” Steve explains.
He believes that most submissives get into findom due to low self-esteem, and they have an “inability to deal with rejection, humiliation, loneliness, fear of being unwanted and redundant in today’s rapid-paced society.”
According to Steve, when a submissive is discussing the transfer of money with his domme, he enters “the zone” which is “where he is free from all his woes and worries,” and becomes aroused.
“But as soon as that’s over he comes crashing back down to earth with a hole in his wallet and a head full of regret,” Steve says.
“Findom is merely another form of escapism for people who struggle with everyday life in this bizarre cash- and self-obsessed modern society.”
Another reason some men get into findom is purely to talk to a woman one-on-one, and hold her attention. A typical submissive would be a young man under the age of 35, but there are older men into findom too, Steve says.
Most men find their dommes through websites such as findom.com and Twitter, where young women advertise their services.
“All you need is a twitter account, a means of accepting payment, a few selfies of you acting rebellious and defiant and the confidence to hurl a few insults to strangers over the internet,” Steve explains.
He says that findom today is defined by the plethora of young woman bragging aggressively on Twitter, but adds that “there is a stark difference between a financial dominatrix and a mean girl demanding money.
“The former is in fact much much rarer, despite many declaring that they are one.”
True, the top dommes spend years establishing their personas and honing their skills that make men want to send them money – and become aroused doing so.
In recent years, findom has increasingly been viewed as a way to empower women and manipulate weak men, but Steve doesn’t think this is the case.
“Ultimately, a submissive hands over his money to a domme because he wants to use her as a tool to access some emotions that provide him with a chemical high that only comes from feeding his addiction to self destructive behaviour,” he explains.
But of course, there are risks for the submissives too: financial ruin, addiction, loss of property, increasing debt levels, anxiety, psychological and physical harm (mostly through self-torture tasks, according to Steve).
And there’s also the impact on real life personal relationships.
Despite this, Steve believes findom is becoming increasingly mainstream and dommes are going to more and more bizarre lengths to attract the attention of submissive men.
*Name has been changed