universal language

The Dom Offering Pro Bono Services for Essential Workers

“I’m here to do stress relief. It’s like, ‘Daddy’s here to take care of you.’”

Illustration: Simone Noronha
Illustration: Simone Noronha

Lou, 36, San Francisco

I kind of have two lives: one, very public-facing, buttoned-up professional, and then the other, I’m a sex writer, a former sex worker, and very involved in the queer community.

I’m a partnered, nonhierarchical non-monogamous trans man, and I prefer to use written ads for all of my dating. I always start with writing — whether it’s dating apps like OkCupid or Tinder or Lex, I use words first. It’s so incredible that Lex is a dating app that’s for women and non-cis men. To be in a clear space that’s explicitly inclusive of trans men is such a revelation. And I love the Lex app because there are kind of two vibes of the personal ads: either “I’m looking for a community of support,” or “I would like to have this kind of sex on a Thursday.” And I love both of those elements.

I saw a post that Lex reposted on Instagram, and it was the sweetest ad ever. I think it was a nurse after work. It read along the lines of, “I’m an essential worker, and it’s bad out here. I just want a top who will sext me and help me let go. I want someone to boss me around, sext me real good, and take the load off.” I was so moved and inspired by their post, and I was like, “Okay, it’s topsy-turvy land. The pandemic is making everything wild. I want to serve as a top in this hyperspecific context.” So I made my own ad, titled “ESSENTIAL SERVICE TOP,” and was just like, “This is going to be super-fun.”

Are you an essential worker who needs some rough, doting sexts from a Daddy Top? Experienced Daddy here for appreciative subs who want to hand over the reigns and relax under a firm hand. DM me with your number and any intro fantasies you’d like to start with. Brattiness is not welcome. 

Everybody who responded to my ad knew what they were responding to and looking for the thing that I was offering. The people who know what the words “service top” mean probably know a little bit about kink and a little bit about their desires. So that just immediately cuts out so much bullshit. I was offering was pro bono sex-work services for essential workers, one-way sexual caretaking through erotic sex messaging. I’m here to do stress relief, not to build a relationship, but it’s like, “Daddy’s here to take care of you.”

My partner thinks it’s hysterical that I’m doing a service-top offer now. My whole life, I’ve only wanted egalitarianism and no service topping, because it makes me feel bad and like I’m doing professional services for free. It’s like going back to my old profession, which is so different from dating. Sexting with a prospective date or for my own pleasure is like, “What do we have in common?” But service topping, and particularly for me, any kind of professional work, is simply drawing others out and then reflecting that back and creating a scene around it. It doesn’t center me in any way, except as a provider. At the end of the day, there’s a difference between mutually sexting and pro bono services.

But I feel like the pandemic has changed literally every kind of work, including sex work. I’ve never done pro bono sex work before on purpose — although we’ve all been on dates where we’re like, “Ooh, I feel like I should be getting paid for this.” But this is my first time doing pro bono pro-Doming with these parameters, and I’ve learned a lot in the past weeks. It’s been a real joy.

I’m in San Francisco, and I’ve been getting messages from Ireland, from Argentina, from all over the world. I don’t know if they’re doing keyword searches on the app or how they’re finding me, but they’re really putting in the work to find their own support. That makes me feel so honored to be a part of it.

Whenever someone writes to me, I ask them two questions: Tell me about your work week, and then tell me the fantasy at the top of your head. So this is twofold. One, “How are you doing?” I’m offering this service because you have a stressful job and I want to know how you are. But it also verifies that they are actually an essential service worker. I learned very quickly when I got a crush of requests that I had to separate my target audience, because I don’t have enough time to meet all of the requests from nonessential workers.

The people who are essential service workers have been excited so far. They’ve been very appropriate and respectful about receiving the service. I’m hearing from folks who are truck drivers, who are farmers, who work in food service, grocery and restaurant, and then a number of health-care providers. The truck driver was a favorite, because truck driving is something that arguably, you can jerk off while you’re doing, so I was just like, “Oh my God, I have so many enthusiasms about that. It’s making me so happy.”

No one has identified themselves to me as like, “I am an ER nurse,” but a lot of folks are saying, “I am a direct services health-care provider, though not dealing directly with corona.” So abortion services and other specialists who are just continuing their practice. A lot of people were like, “I’m an admin for a health care organization so I’m being forced to go in even though that’s stupid.” So there’s a lot of like, “Oh baby, I’m so sorry.” Just on a human level, we get to connect. And then their fantasies are very direct, so I’m able to provide both that social connection and provide the sex work very quickly.

Almost everybody wants impact play, although I got a really adorable one where they’re like, “I’d say my biggest sexual fantasy right now is being treated with respect and care.” So this person was coming from more of a place of like, “I’m just exhausted and afraid, and I just like love.” So I just wrote them a message about how great they were, and it was profoundly nonsexual, but it was just like, “Dad is here to dote on you,” which is what I love doing.

Other themes are nipple clamps, and getting fucked and being stuffed — so just like multiple dildos, dildo gags, just everything filled. Lots of people are just like, “I want the endorphins, and I want to let go of control.” Or “Daddy, I’m on all fours, stuffing my pussy. What are you going to do?” It’s so unencumbered and unselfconscious and liberating, and a real honor to witness and support.

Another common one is just making Daddy happy. They’re like, “I want to be used. I want you to use me to come. I want you to tell me I did a good job. I want to hear that you’re getting off using my body.” Just this fantasy of being an adored object.

I’ve gotten around 90 responses. Out of all of them, not a single person has asked for disparagement, humiliation, degradation or non-consent. I would say that, of the taboo-y things, those are sort of the most garden variety of requests typically.

In professional work, degradation and humiliation are at the top of the list. So here, it was notably absent. I’m so curious, but it’s not my role here to ask, “Oh is this like … is this always you? Do you never like humiliation, or is it the pandemic influencing your desires?” It doesn’t matter from my perspective — I’m just here to make them happy. But it did give me a lot of softer, tender feelings. I’m really seeing that all of the desires that are being reflected to me and requested are about, “Help me release, relax, and tell me I did a good job.”

I want to emphasize how much I love and cherish every person who reaches out. I think it is amazing, every time. My very favorite part of all sex work is that it’s a self-loving act of asking for what you want. I think it’s really brave to ask for help. I would never want to shame anyone for wanting unilateral, focused sexual care.

I feel like the pandemic is bringing out the best in people, and folks are just finding such beautiful, revolutionary, creative ways to connect, and it is my whole world. The revolution is going to take a multiplicity of tactics. I think one part of the work of all of our lives is trying to find the ways that we can be helpful and giving that don’t deplete us. I’m not going to run out of my dom skills. I might run out of patience — but I won’t run out of that.

Interviews have been edited and condensed for clarity. Some names have been changed.

The Dom Offering Pro Bono Services for Essential Workers