The Growing World of Financial Domination

When turning over one’s money is a turn-on

Posted Oct 03, 2019

“There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy.” 

- Hamlet to Horatio in Shakespeare’s Hamlet

Written more than 400 years ago, Hamlet’s one-liner still rings true today, especially when it comes to the seemingly infinite ways in which we find sexual pleasure. For as long as we’ve occupied the earth, an amazing array of tabooed sexual practices has existed just beneath societies’ surface. Generally falling under the umbrella of “fetishes,” these are now spilling out into society’s awareness via the Internet, where discovery is only limited by one’s imagination. 

Probably the largest trove of fetishes lies within the world of BDSM—bondage, discipline, sadism and masochism—in which participants enact an erotic game of dominance and humiliation, most commonly practiced in person and one on one, employing restraints, whips, spanking and verbal abuse. 

The Internet, however, provides vast new electronic and distant possibilities for unusual sexual expressions, and one of these is financial domination, “findom” for short. Many men and women have discovered that being “forced” to pay someone to verbally abuse and command them to perform degrading tasks can be satisfying. In all societies, money and power are synonymous, and for some people surrendering their power to another in the form of money and gifts is the ultimate taboo and turn on. 

Image by Michal Jarmoluk from Pixabay
Source: Image by Michal Jarmoluk from Pixabay

Money equals power

Before shaking your head in disbelief, consider the idea that money actually is erotically charged. Some people say they have been attracted to partners with money and the potential to be good providers. If a partner has enough money for a particular lifestyle—owning an expensive car, wearing expensive clothes, buying expensive gifts and such—one may become romantically involved with and turned on by that person even if the partner is otherwise unattractive, much older, or unwilling to be in a traditional relationship.

There are straight men who are willing to have sex with gay men for money, not because they themselves are gay—or even bisexual—but because the money turns them on, makes them feel valued and empowered. 

In much of our world, men must strive for a sense of value that’s reflected in how much money they’re able to make and accumulate. Often this includes having risen in the world to positions of authority and domination over others while bearing the heavy responsibility of managing and controlling others as well as the flow of money. People may be surprised that frequently these very men seek inner balance and solace by surrendering their power and responsibility to someone who will give them orders, speak down to them by calling them “pay pigs” or “cash slaves,” make them crawl on all fours, and, yes, even demand they give up their hard-earned money, their power. For such men, doing so provides some relief and actually turns them on. 

Consensual Human ATMs

Both the dom and the sub know that this is a consensual game they’re playing, and both are getting off on it. Hearing the ding as money drops into her PayPal or Venmo account while chatting online turns the dom on, while the sub is turned on by pressing that button and being relieved of the responsibility of having money and turning over control to someone else. Threatening to expose subs’ taboo fetish to others, i.e. extortion, adds even more spice to the game, and not knowing if the dom will actually do it if the sub doesn’t obey turns it up even further. A dom who calls herself Maitresse Madeline said in an interview with the program Vice that she thinks of her role as a sort of psychological art form, developing an effective online persona over ten years of doing this work. 

“It’s easy to put someone in a submissive position and then f*ck them,” she says, “but to mindf*ck somebody, you really have to get into their head, and understand where they’re coming from and what makes them tick.”

In the past, the classic BDSM scenario has been a woman, the dominatrix, dressed in body-hugging leather, wielding a riding crop and degrading a man, who perhaps is being led around in a dog collar, by making him lick her high heels and such. But with the advent of the Internet they can play a similar game but with no physical contact, demanding men send them gifts, money, and even turn over their credit or debit cards and allow the dominatrix (“dom”) to decide how much allowance the subservient male (“sub”) will get for his living expenses. She may even demand his bank account password or threaten to expose his fetish to his wife or co-workers if he doesn’t comply. 

Once the exclusive purvey of the dominatrix, dom/sub relationships—particularly findom—are showing up now in all online sexual subcultures: cisgender, gay, transgender, straight men and gay men. There seems to be no shortage of people who long to be dominated, humiliated and relieved of their money. 

It is easy to jump to judgment about these sorts of consensual games but one must realize that we don’t do the same when we watch cage fighters beat each other to a bloody pulp, something they mutually consented to do even though it’s possible that one might emerge from these fights unconscious, with brain damage, or even dead. Whatever has driven them to want to do this is rarely questioned. But if two people agree to do something kinky and sexually-oriented such as findom, our tendency is to immediately judge and shame them. 

It’s probably time—or even past time—for us to grow up, get real, and accept that as humans we have countless avenues of sexual expression that we may never understand, and therefore cannot judge. 

Or as Hamlet said, there are more things in heaven and earth than we’ve dreamed of.