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Loss of a Submissive – when one of yours leaves this world

by | News

Death of a Submissive { this isn’t going to be a happy blog – but life isn’t always sunshine and roses)

Lilies for memory



His favorite thing to do was discuss Gilbert and Sullivan musicals while we played tic-tac-toe with a scalpel on his chest. We would play for hours remotely while he burned and cut himself under my orders while we listened to musicals and opera. And now he is gone. He wouldn’t let me see him at the end, afraid to do so. Now I grieve alone for a soul I was intimate with , in ways people outside our community would not understand.
Let me define what I mean by intimate here. I don’t only mean sexual activities.
As they say : “Anyone can fuck.”  To reach another deeply and energetically is profound and rare. Providing a space for another to let down their barriers, toss off societal conventions and be comfortable sharing their unique perversions is the most intimate we can be with each other. So many hide behind the facade of what is expected by society, family, career or religion. When you engage with a SW worker, fantasy comes to the forefront and even with a simple encounter, the world falls away and it s just you and her in the moment. What makes us good at our chosen path is the ability to let others into our space to be vulnerable, connect and let go while we still maintain our own self-space.
One of the saddest aspects of this path is sometimes not knowing what happens to our submissives. We are contextual for some, regardless of the intimacy we provide. For those rare few, we develop long relationships ,tying into each other’s lives.  It’s like a door is slammed shut and we are not allowed inside to share in the grieving process. So instead we must learn to cope and celebrate the life of them in our own way. Whether its through talking about it with fellow Dommes, reviewing the intense times you had, or memorializing their toys or collar -somehow we must cope. It’s a strange and solo kind of grief – being so connected yet so removed.
As Mistress Shayla Lange said : “It’s so hard to lose someone like that, without having the grieving and sharing stories/memories together with others who knew them brings.” It has changed some now with the advent of social media where we can reach out and share our stories and experiences with others that may have felt same. Before this, we were often left guessing whether they just lost interest or died. Often we would eventually find an obituary, or a family member would run across something about us and contact us in anger or despair – but usually not.

Over the years I have had at least 5 close submissives pass away. Some I received notice ,most I did not. They just disappeared. What made it worse in a few cases was that we had been in communication up to the end. I knew they were ill. One was an unexpected suicide.
In most cases the next communication after death was met with silence or a family member responding in one of 2 ways : angry or confused.

I want to share my experiences with you for a few reasons :
1. Its about time the myth of the uncaring Dominatrix is dispelled. We care very deeply. We develop bonds. We share experiences at the deepest level of connection.
2. For those younger Sex-workers just starting, I want to provide insight into this issue and hopefully provide some advice how to deal with it.
3. Let those subs who are connected with us know that we do experience grieve and loss when they leave us, and to possibly help a few set up a system for letting their Domme know.
4. Sharing my experiences will be cathartic for me, and hopefully help someone in same situation. I know, I know – its not the sexy fetish pics you want to see on a Mistress’s site or the information on how she will humiliate you. And if that is all you seek, we are not well matched. I I want your vulnerability, your pain, your tears, your humor  and your angst, in short- the real you.

So to my 5…

(before you get all huffy, all these names have been changed to protect identity OR the sub was out in the lifestyle. I would NEVER disrespect a client’s right to privacy.)

Nick : In my dungeon there are 3 pieces  I refuse to get rid of no matter how often they get used or how out of date they look. I may eventually move them to my private space but for now they remind me of who made them out of service and devotion. When I was a younger Domme I ran a well known Chicago BDsm club know as the Leather Rose now the LRA. I had my own play-space in the back, called the Annex. In front we had a retail store for fetish wear and gear. Nick came into the store one afternoon, then another , and another, etc. We chatted and got to know each other. He shared his submissive desires with me. Eventually he would offer to fix something for me around club. He would bring me coffee or lunch. Then he graduated to club nights,being there to help me set up and be security. I knew his personal life situation. We would session every so often but more so he was of service. When I needed new pieces for my space, he offered to build. He built a gorgeous cherry stained cross and whipping post. The post still gets much love today, and every time I use it , I feel his spirit.

Whipping post

Whipping post- ignore the meat

Nick helped me put on local fetish fashion shows at various Chicago clubs including Aftermath. He played my naughty Santa.
He taught me how to dive, giving me one of the greatest gifts of my life. We went to Hell and back, literally hell in the Grand Caymans. I swam with sting rays, did night dives. His wife and I became co-Mistresses. I met his daughter.
For years I had pushed him to watch his diet, eat better ,exercise. Stubborn as he was, my orders didn’t help. He came down with diabetes. Eventually it made him less able to come around. We kept in touch but he didn’t come around as often. Eventually I stopped seeing him. This was before the internet so I couldn’t text. We didn’t really email either. I called a few times and wife would say he was busy. About six months later, a community friend told me he passed away. I wasn’t invited to funeral because family didn’t want to explain me. I was crushed. He was my first loss. Till this day , I feel sad in not being able to say good-bye. Its why I keep the cross, post and memories.

Diverbob: My sweet soul who lost his will to live. When I first met my bob, he came to me for a cathartic session. He was a fellow diver, much more experienced than me. We bonded over this love. He traveled extensively so he would share the dives he did with me.Tiger sharks were his favorites,even though he knew it made me nervous. He would present me with small gifts from his travels when we sessioned. He eventually moved away but we kept in touch. I will not go into details but life changed for him, and he tried his best to cope but couldn’t. Then there was a long period of no communication.I grew worried so I sent an email which was the way we kept in touch – nothing unusual. I received an reply from his daughter letting me know he had made the choice to leave us.She had gotten my email and wanted to let me know. She found our correspondence while going through his things-(HINT!!!) When my email came through , she felt I should know. She wrote a very kind letter thanking me for making her dad’s life richer. I still have it.
It is important to note this is not the norm. Most often, we are left to wonder or contacted by  an angry and/or upset family.

Janette: One of my first sissies. We played dress up for over 20 years. Shared love of exotic cars, always brought me a gift for myself or my partner to do with cars. As kinksters age, the desire can stay strong but the ability to participate may not. Janette had numerous health problems we worked through to still be able to play. As the Mistress, it is my job to make sure the ones in my care stay safe when together. She started having longer break between sessions. Said she wasn’t sure could do it anymore. Interest waned. Her health got worse. Eventually my emails and texts went unanswered. Disappeared. I can only assume the worse. I won’t go looking for an obit.

D: He was an old friend from my Leather Rose days. We had played casually back then as he was a heavy masochist while I’m a heavy sadist- perfect match! He had a hard time find people to beat him hard enough. We kept in touch through emails and Fetlife.He knew my personal life and I knew his. he was very private though so I respected his desires (as a good Sex-worker should). Then he decided to come for a session. Grew close. He would spend the afternoon in my dungeon, fixing things for me, making sure it was in working order. I would beat him, he would fix things. I knew he had other play partners as he was a switch. But he was my pain slut. I was his sadist. More friends than Mistress/slave.He always said if he had his pants on, he didn’t have to behave. My partner loved his energy with me. They would spend time in the dungeon just hanging, fixing things,chatting. One day, he came in and told me we had to talk. He had found out he had cancer. My heart fell. He started treatment. We kept in touch. He would tell me his progress. Treatment was successful, we returned to our beatings and fixings. Then it came back…he fought hard but eventually from what I can guess, lost his battle. We kept in touch while fighting it again, then one day the texts just stopped. After a few months, I texted the number I had which was safe to communicate. I got back one sentence : “No Dale here.” My partner from time to time will look at me , tell me that he has pants on so doesn’t have to listen. I smile and remember my painslut.

Burning Man: My Opera & Musical loving heavy painslut. He came to me after years of knowing each other once again from the old days. He had never found anyone that was comfortable with his extreme interests. On suggestion of a mutual friend who knew of my sadism, he came for a session. Finally he found someone who would accept him and his desires. I thoroughly loved our severity. Even in all that, he was one of the gentlest souls I ever knew. Smart as hell – loved math. Would go into long diatribes about physics – which I would only understand 1/3. We both love musicals and operas so our relationship expanded to include both. He would treat me to season tickets. Opera, dinner then play. If he was unable to go into city due to health, I would go over to his home,(the only person I ever did outcall for). We would watch a musical on TV then play. I knew his other play partners as he was a switch. As his health deteriorated, he put in place communication between us so I wouldn’t be left in dark if something happened to him. When Covid hit, we took our play remote. Via text we would have long threads about musicals , politics ,etc – all while I instructed his masochism. It helped keep us connected, also not go crazy being locked inside. He never felt comfortable enough with his health to return to the dungeon. December 2022, he was scheduled for hip surgery. He informed me that after he healed he was coming back in person. Both of us were excited. It is so much better to see you bleed in person! I waited to hear from him. Late February I received a text from his other partner letting me know he had entered hospice. He didn’t feel comfy seeing anyone so we respected his wishes. Then I got the text letting me know he had passed. No word on memorial or if we would be welcome. His small collection of impact toys will come to me. Each time I use one, I will remember him. Every opera season I will attend one and keep an empty seat besides me in his memory.


Closure is something we do not often get as Sex workers. At times, we can share with others who played or knew our submissive. If we have friends or partners that knew them it can help in the grief. Often we must find a way to say “Farewell” on our own.them with others to keep them in your heart.

We can do this in many ways but some that I have found helpful are :

  • Keeping their collar or cuffs, something to remind you of the connection
  • Performing a farewell ceremony or ritual to honor them
  • Placing something they cherished or gave you in your studio, dungeon
  • Share stories of them with fellow Sex Workers who may need to share memories of them.
  • Doing the things you did with them , such as the opera.

I have found this article helpful for processing my grief

It bears to mention , this is a 2 way street. For those that see, serve and care for us – if we disappear they can feel same as we do and grieve.
I have no final words of wisdom to make this easier to process. It is an individual journey we each must take. The only thing I can say is to remember those we connect and care for in a way that honors their uniqueness.
I hope mine will do the same for me.