Teaching critical race theory at the tip of a whip

In this Air Mail piece, Boing Boing pal George Pendle (Strange Angel, Death: A Life) writes about the late Mistress Velvet, "the revolutionary dominatrix who educated her clients in critical race theory as she beat the pulp out of them."

Even in a profession defined by unconventionality, the Chicago dominatrix Mistress Velvet stood out. To the domme's traditional arsenal of high heels, whips, and spanking paddles, Velvet added a new sort of weapon: critical race theory and Black feminist literature.

Velvet, who was born Danielle Achiaa Boachie and used gender-neutral pronouns, found their calling while a graduate student at the University of North Carolina Greensboro, where they focused on women's and gender studies. Unable to pay their rent, they turned to dominating submissive men for money. In their early days, they instinctively apologized after whipping their clients, the equivalent of a chef spitting in the soup. One "slave" told them, very politely, that they weren't hitting him hard enough and that perhaps they should hang up the whip and try more traditional sex work. It only made them more determined to succeed.

As Velvet learned how to bludgeon men without qualms, they began to notice something about their clients: the majority were heterosexual, middle-aged white men with secret submissive tendencies who had sought them out specifically because of the color of their skin. The most debased thing they could imagine was to be punished by a Black woman. (Jeremy O. Harris's 2018 Slave Play involved the opposite premise: inter-racial couples engaging in "Antebellum Sexual Performance Therapy" in which they acted out master-slave dynamics as a cure for impotence.)

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Image: Inset from Instagram image.