It started with dirty panties.
I was inspired by a friend — and Orange Is the New Black — to sell my worn underwear on Craigslist. I’m a college senior with a 3.61 GPA and two internships. I don’t exactly have time for a job, and hawking my thongs online for $30 a pop was a quick way to earn some extra cash. Before long, I discovered FetLife, a social networking site where people interested in fetishism, BDSM and other triple-X pursuits can chat with each other and post photos and videos. It’s like the kinky love child of Facebook and Reddit.
I connected with a guy — 30-something, works as a consultant — who asked me to Skype with him. The deal: 20 minutes for $50 in Amazon gift cards. I accepted, nervous and unsure of what to expect. I slipped on a bathrobe and chugged a glass of wine as I raced around my apartment, trying to find the perfect setup. The kitchen table was too formal, and the coffee table was way too low. I ultimately landed in the bedroom — which I happen to share with a roommate. She sat, wide-eyed, on her bed, just out of the camera’s reach. But the consultant was less interested in seeing me naked than I’d anticipated. Instead, he wanted to see my feet. And … my toilet.
Confused, I moved to the bathroom — could my white porcelain Kohler really be considered sexy? — and awkwardly circled my laptop around the toilet rim. He asked me to describe how I’d make him clean it with his tongue. And then he asked to watch me spit. So began my foray into the world of domination.
It’s a far cry from my otherwise vanilla life. By day, I’m the quiet girl who blushes when she participates in class. But as soon as I get home and log on, I become Paris Powell — a fierce, powerful woman who tells guys to lick her toilet, clean her shoes with their teeth and drink her urine. And who gets paid for it.
I currently have four “slaves,” all of whom I met through FetLife. Two pay me up to $100 a week; one sends me $50 every two weeks. (He’s also in college; I give him a student discount.) They have to buy me monthly gifts on Amazon, too. But I pay it forward: Each month, my slaves have to donate to a charity of my choice. For this, I send them derogatory, insulting text messages and videos of me doing things like crushing nuts with my boots. (This is what I’d do to your nuts, I say.) Sometimes it gets really weird: I once sent a man videos of me pooping. I also sold him a poop-stained thong for $45. Disgusting, I know. But when you can make money for something you do naturally, it’s hard not to milk it.
My fourth slave is the only one I’ve agreed to meet in person. He’s in his 60s, married, and a practicing psychologist in Philly. (Go figure.) Sometimes he pays me to meet him for coffee, just to talk as friends. Occasionally he pays me to come to his office and beat him to a pulp. All while his patients sit unsuspecting in the waiting room.
In the end, I don’t make nearly enough to live on. But I do make enough to have some spending money. And the work is strangely rewarding. The men tell me I make their lives better. I give them companionship, and the structure and rules they crave. (For example, they’re not allowed to eat meat on Sundays because I’m a vegetarian.) And they give me confidence, a jolt of energy in my otherwise pedestrian life. When I’m on the other side of the computer screen, I’m powerful. A goddess. A total badass. You know, one who lives on a pretty campus in a tidy apartment right next to an R.A. who has no idea that I’m on the other side of the door letting a guy in Alabama watch me take a dump for $45.
*Some names in this essay have been changed.