Review: The Corporate Dominatrix: Six Roles to Play to Get Your Way at Work


The Corporate Dominatrix: Six Roles to Play to Get Your Way at Work
The Corporate Dominatrix: Six Roles to Play to Get Your Way at Work by Lisa Robyn

My rating: 1.5 of 5 stars


This is a 1.5 star book. I didn't hate it. I didn't think it was okay either. I was intrigued by this book due to the title. As a switch who easily identifies with all six of these "play acting" roles Ms. Robyn categories, I can see her point.

First, props to Ms. Robyn for coming up with this idea. Her concept is sound. Her execution and research is what failed for me. It is obvious to one who is in the lifestyle that Ms. Robyn doesn't understand the lifestyle even at a surface level. The ones in the lifestyle didn't give her a good enough education on how BDSM works. Or Ms. Robyn didn't interpret and translate it well. Here's the thing. This isn't a fiction book. This is non-fiction. The research is going to be held at much higher level. Correlating BDSM would take more than reading the few books mentioned as references. Books which are outdate and one which I roll my eyes at. Since this book is published in 2007, I'll give her the benefit of the doubt. She just didn't know where to look and what few people willing to talk to her were just what she could find. It's too bad she didn't interview anyone from the Black Rose Society or the actual authors of the BDSM books she referenced.

Ms. Robyn keeps talking about S&M. What she's reference more is D/s. Her examples tie closer to dominance and submission rather than the SM parts. She talks about power exchange constantly yet doesn't fully understand what she's talking about as it pertains to BDSM which is annoying. She's just scratching the surface. It's like trying to say that company culture would be so much better if we were all to follow the airline Southwest's policy. What is their policy? Why, it's to be fun! They are fun! That's how we can be successful. Right...

Another point she makes up front is that Dominatrix at work involves no sex or emotional entanglements as does SM. (Although she is quick to point out that professional domintrix don't get paid to have sex either.) This one point makes me laugh because BDSM doesn't always involve sex either. Specifically those who are just into SM. Theses don't expect any sex nor do they involve emotions either. So this goes to show again Ms. Robyn's lack of understanding in regards to BDSM and the many different flavours of it.

Second, some of the correlations Ms. Robyn makes between BDSM and corporate culture are negative. For example, explain to BDSM folks that the schoolgirl's power is all about topping from the bottom. Get ready to have most of those in the lifestyle to shutdown and not listen to another word coming out of the person's mouth. Newsflash - Topping from the Bottom, especially the way Ms. Roybn states in here not recommended in the lifestyle. It's a quick way to end up without any partners to scene with.

Third, Ms. Robyn completely misses the point on how power exchange works which really bugs me. Ever archtype created here is a "game" to her. It's all about manipulation and acting. This could be because the ones she talked to were professional dominatrix who get paid to dominate a bottom. When it comes to a healthy power exchange, it is based on communication, trust and a giving/receiving. Ms. Robyn's suggestions may work in the short term but for long term, I'd guess they would fail. Because, there is a lack of authenticity. Without authenticity, it won't work because people who are submitting will feel as if they are being lied to and used.

Now, let's review on the 6 archtypes: Goddess, Queen, Governess, Amazon, Nurse and Schoolgirl. Do these work? Actually yes. Ms. Robyn does a good job of providing characteristics and how one would behave. Are her suggestions of how to respond to a situation good? They are fair, nothing totally new.

What would be good is to have better examples of women in the business world correlating to each of these archtypes. Using celebrities without researched interviews with them makes this book come across as more an editorial opinion. If Ms. Robyn found two to three C-suite executive women in the Fortune 500 companies per archtype, researched them and provided either examples or interviews, this book would lend more creditability.

Fourth, the most offensive part of this book is pages 190 through 193. It talks about Corporate mind games, administrative fetishes and exec-tricities. The way she ties what she considers BDSM fetishes to corporate behaviour is abhorrent. It once again underscores just how little she researched into the BDSM lifestyle. It's insulting and I wouldn't recommend anyone male or female to pay attention to these pages. Seriously, here's an excerpt:

INFANTALISM AND AGE PLAY: Has your boss talked to you like you were two instead of thirty-two? Being treated like a child is meant to make you feel inferior. Conversely, senior executives can act like babies. Don't fall for it - everyone needs to act their age and you may need to administer a dose of reality. (The Nurse is the role you would use for this tactic.)(p.192)

This derogatory example and assumption of what ageplay and infantalism (or ABDL as we call it) isn't about inferiority. This shows a complete lack of research and understanding into this fetish. I'm disgusted with misinterpretation. This misunderstanding is what BDSM find in BDSM PORN - you know, the books people know are fantasies and use to masturbate with. This once again makes me question where Ms. Robyn went for her research material. This leads me all to a conclusion about this book. This book just tried too hard to fit BDSM as a gimmick into a empowering female business book.

Lastly, there is a comment where Ms. Robyn notes a dominatrix can immediately identify if a person is dominant or submissive.

When I spent time with professional dominatrices, I noticed they could nail someone's MO (or modus operandi) from a mile away. One dominarix would just point and rattle off the labels "submissive" and dominant" as we walked down the street! Her antenna was so tuned in to body language and facial expressions that she knew immediately what everyone's power vibe was." (p. 176)

Whilst this is a skill set people can cultivate, the way it's presented here is no different than someone claiming to have gaydar. What proof do we have that this so called dominatrix was actually accurate?
Even though there are a few gems in this book, they are few and far between. I wouldn't recommend this to any of my female mentees.



View all my reviews

Comments

Mistik said…
Great Review BA.Always looking for new non fiction to read.

I think, I might have WTF moments if I read this, maybe even feel offended a little.

I second the Age play and TFTB with schoolgirls statements because *Really?! thats how it works?! Well ok, maybe for some but certainly not for me.*

PASS and not collect. =D

Popular posts from this blog

Chemical Play

Sensual Stapling

Sensual Sadist