A dominatrix (plural dominatrices or dominatrixes) or mistress is a woman who takes the dominant role in bondage and discipline, dominance and submission or BDSM. A common form of address for a submissive to a dominatrix is "mistress", "ma'am", "domina" or "maîtresse". Note that a dominatrix does not necessarily dominate a male partner; a dominatrix may well have female submissives.
The term "domme" (pronounced /ˈdɒm/) is a coined pseudo-French female variation of the slang dom (short for dominant). It stems from the Latin words "dominus" = master, "domina" = mistress. The pronunciation is identical to the term "dom", by analogy to one-syllable French-derived words like femme or blonde.
As fetish culture is increasingly becoming more prevalent in Western media, depictions of dominatrices in film and television have become more common.
 Word history
Dominatrix is the feminine form of the Latin dominator, a ruler or lord, and was originally used in a non-sexual sense. Its use in English dates back to at least 1561. Its earliest recorded use in the prevalent modern sense, as a female dominant in S&M, dates to 1967.
Although the term "dominatrix" is not used, the classic example in literature of the female dominant-male submissive relationship is portrayed in the 1870 novella Venus in Furs by Austrian author Leopold von Sacher-Masoch. The term masochism was later derived from the author's name.
 Professional versus personal
The term dominatrix is often used to describe a professional dominant woman (or pro-domme) who charges money to engage in erotic topping fantasy play with submissive or bottoming clients. Sessions are often conducted in dedicated professional play spaces, but can also occur in client homes, by telephone or online via chat.
Women who engage in female domination professionally are known as dommes, dominatrices, mistresses, or simply dominants. Although some vanilla escorts do engage in professional domination, a high percentage of professional dominants also express dominance in their personal relationships.
Like most women in general, most dominant women do not sell their sexuality to paying clients, and limit expressions of their sexuality to within their personal relationships. To differentiate personal expressions of topping from professional domination, non-professional dominants may be referred to as "lifestyle" tops or dominants. Since some professional dominant women are also lifestyle tops, women who only express erotic dominance within their personal relationships may be referred to as "socially dominant", "social dominants", or "social tops". A socially dominant person is usually assertive and in control of their willing romantic partners in their personal relationships, and the bottoming partner(s) can defer to the topping partner(s) according to the criteria all partners agree to.
Professional dominatrices who are also lifestyle tops often have both paying clients and personal relationships with slaves, submissives or bottoms who are not paying clients. Like all personal relationships, social relationships between a topping woman and her bottoming partner(s) are conducted according to their own criteria, which may include the bottoms doing housework, running errands, and may or may not include cohabiting.
Professional dominants most frequently limit their erotic contact with paying clients to exclude penetrative sexual contact. Some professional dominants and their clients may rationalise and eroticise this decision by claiming that sexual penetration would adversely reduce the control aspect of the relationship, or because the client doesn't deserve it or isn't good enough. Local legal restrictions may be more likely to influence decisions to engage in or refrain from paid penetrative sexual contact during working hours.
Stereotypical imagery of professional dominatrices in pornography and the sex industry typically includes highly eroticised images of women wearing specialised clothing, such as a rubber or leather catsuit, thigh-length boots with high heels, black lingerie, stockings, high heeled footwear, and an assortment of other clothing and materials to suit a variety of erotic tastes. Many professional dominatrices wear similar outfits to meet client expectations and fetish requirements.
Like most sex industry imagery, the stereotypical sex industry portrayal of dominant women represents a limited section of the population and is unrepresentative of socially dominant women in general. Women who only express dominance socially in their personal relationships wear a variety of clothing as diverse as within any group of people. In the clothes of their own choosing, most socially dominant women are unrecognisable as dominant women to those who are accustomed to the stereotype.
 See also
 External links
Two professional dominatrices interviewed. Go here
for the full transcript.