[SubmissiveGuyComics is also doing a post for our NaBloWriMo project, though he’s hiding some of them on Twitter so if you aren’t following him, you should… ]
Paltego over at Femdom Resource often links to interesting articles, this one more interesting to me than most.
On 18th November, Yvonne van den Bergh outed herself as a Domme to avoid being outed by a stalker. I was baffled by the whole thing at first when I went looking around for how it was playing out, but when I realised that she’s a pro Domme, it started to make a lot more sense. How anyone in the public eye could expect that to remain a secret is beyond me, but it became obvious that even if she’s an actor, her primary income is from her pro-Domme business, and she is cleverly using this as an opportunity.
She has a Fetlife profile with a full face picture which she added after the story came out, so she is obviously not planning to lie low (though honestly, if I saw a Fetlife profile with a known actor as a photo, I’d be all ‘yeah sure, you fake!’ over it).
The whole story is very low key which I’d love to think means that nobody is blinking an eye over it, but it actually leads me to believe that a) South Africans are less puritanical than some other places and b) she’s largely unknown, even in South Africa, so nobody cares. Her Facebook post explaining how she got into BDSM got very few comments, which of course would not have been the case had she been a high profile star.
It’s obviously great publicity for her pro-Domme business and I’m pleased that she seems to be facing it head-on with honesty and candour. Even though there seems to be little public outcry and pearl-clutching outrage, there are still obviously personal impacts for her. She has two children, for a start, and having to tackle that, and the reactions of friends and family is no small thing.
I have to admit that I would have been much more interested if she had been a very popular personality who was dominant in her private life to see how that unfolded in terms of public reaction (though obviously I wouldn’t wish having to deal with that on anyone!). It will be interesting to see if it blows over in the next week or so, or if it gathers steam.
“pearl clutching outrage”
Thanks for some many consistently great posts across so many personal and public topics.
*smile* Glad I could make you giggle, Anon.
And you’re so welcome: Thank YOU for the lovely feedback, I really appreciate it.
Nothing to to do with publicity then ?
The whole thing *could* be a publicity stunt, though I have to say that as a mother who has to know that her kids are going to get some fallout, it seems unlikely.
I think she’s just making the best out of a bad situation, and if the result is a net positive (or a kind of collective ‘eh, so what?’), I think that’s a great thing for all of us.
“… I would have been much more interested if she had been a very popular personality who was dominant in her private life to see how that unfolded in terms of public reaction …”
There are a hell of a lot of guys nodding their heads up and down right now, thinking of their favorite actress…
*laugh* No doubt!
Interestingly, I had a Domme friend-of-a-friend offer to have me meet a very famous actor who is apparently submissive when I was in LA. She was a pro, so I have no idea what the actual context was for their acquaintance. I declined, and have ZERO idea if it was for real or not (probably not, I think maybe people just like to show off). Fun thought though.
And no, I’m not telling :P.
On the flip side, I’m also wondering what the public reaction would be should a well known male actor be outed as a submissive. Somehow I doubt it would go as well.
I’m sure you’re right, though IF the right one got outed, there’d be a great public relations coup in spinning it as a desirable Hollywood star-level trait, no?
“Treats his woman like a queen, takes a beating like an action hero, heroic acts of chivalry and valour, and looks like a fucking GOD while doing it!!” *cue public relations machine… whirr clunk…*
Thanks for the shout-out.
You’re right that she describes herself as a professional, but I think it’s also a bit more complicated than that. Obviously I only know what I read in the articles and what I saw on fetlife, so treat my opinion with the skepticism it deserves. But typically a pro-domme has a website, advertisements and public galleries (even if her face is obscured). As far as I can tell she just had a fairly vague fetlife profile and a lot of pictures of bruised backsides (before the story broke). That’s not exactly the modus operandi of someone looking to make money from professional domination.
She strikes me more as someone who was dominant in her private life, and decided to use it as an opportunity to make some money at the same time. Obviously she was optimistic to think that wouldn’t get out, but her online presence looks much more like enthusiastic amateur (in the best possible way) than professional domme to me.
Hey paltego *smile*,
Well she says she’s a pro, so I’m inclined to believe her. She claims to have a well equipped dungeon, but isn’t D/s with her husband: That smells like an investment in a profession to me. But you are right: no web site.
By the way, her caning technique is fascinating.
The main point of interest for me is that in dealing with the outing if her MAIN income was from her acting, the aftermath would be very different. As a pro, there are upsides to this publicity that wouldn’t exist if she wasn’t one. So I guess as far as a ‘public figure being outed’ scenario goes, she’s an outlier.
Oh I’m certainly not going to debate if she’s a pro or not. She describes herself that way on the fetlife page after all. :)
I just think there are degrees of pro. People whose main income it is work very hard at building a public presence, creating a website, using social media, etc. In contrast her domme name doesn’t exist anywhere outside that fetlife profile I can see (I had a hunt around when writing the original post). And the fetlife profile wasn’t even optimized for attracting clients. I think there’s little chance being a pro was her main form of income, given what I can find. But of course I could be completely wrong.
I completely agree that she’s an outlier as the public figure being outed. The story would be much more interesting if she was domme in her private life with her husband. I just don’t think she’d see publicity as an upside or desire it. If she wanted publicity there way easier ways to get it. Like having a public presence for a start! Fetlife is not a good or common way to find clients.
I also wouldn’t read too much into her having a ‘well equipped dungeon’. Every pro-domme says that. In fact most of independents rent them as they need them. Typically what they really mean they have access to a dungeon when someone is paying, which is bit of a different situation.
Anyway, this has turned into a long comment for a post where I actually agree with your basic point. The story is an interesting one, but not quite the same as discovering a famous actress is a keen top in her personal life.