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Emmanuelle Seigner in Bitter Moon (1992)via IMDB

How men are getting off on women ruining their online lives

We speak to Mistress Harley: the world's first ‘techdomme’, and a master of long-distance data domination

Think of a dominatrix and the first image the brain conjures is often one of whips, latex and underground dungeons. Now, thanks to our gluttonous devouring of internet porn, dating sites and dick pics, most of our sex lives are acted out in online realms. It only seems fitting, then, that traditional methods of domination are getting an update too.

Mistress Harley is the world’s first and only “techdomme”, and uses her finely tuned tech skills to sell a very modern brand of kink: data domination. With her reputation for highly competent and permanent domination, she's now training other female tech experts to follow her lead.

Once, Harley, from San Francisco, was managing 20 guys a day in her role as a tech project manager. It was while webcamming as a side hustle that her business idea was born. “I noticed this demand amongst men who were looking for women to degrade, humiliate and abuse them in a variety of ways,” she tells me. “One of the really popular fetishes in Europe, was blackmail. In the course of examining how to blackmail people, I realised there are a bunch of softwares that allow you to go on other peoples’ computers. Clients also told me they wanted more realistic control, so I looked into how to control people in a more permanent way, longer term.”

Taking administrative control of her clients' devices, she started installing parental controls, spyware, and basically anything mean she could think of to do to their computer. “It became evident no one else was doing this as you need to have a lot of technical skill,” she says. “I use multiple operating systems and know how to get around peoples' computer set up.” Soon, she'd gained a rep as one of the only dommes who could do this highly skilled work. She even developed her own app so she could control her clients' phones.

“I think this is the ultimate in female empowerment: a technologically empowered woman can keep her clothes on and use her tech skills to get what she wants” – Mistress Harley

When a client approaches Harley and says they want her to control them, she charges them a minimum of $65 and installs desktop sharing software on their computer or laptop. Having 20 regular clients means the techdomme can make up to $5,000 a day.

“I'll come onto their computer, go into their user preferences, make myself admin and put child controls on,” she explains. “I can then log in whenever I want. I'll give them some time restrictions, say they can't use their computer after 8pm, or that anything they want to do online is negotiable and they'll have to pay me.” She'll also rifle through her clients' browser history to see what kinky stuff they like to look at, and then stop them from viewing it.

As well as installing filters and capturing their keystrokes, Harley will even snoop through their photos, tax returns and medical bills to collect heaps of personal data. This can be used as leverage whenever she wants to demand more cash. “If they escape, I can completely control their lives,” she tells me. “I’ve taken over peoples' Twitter and Facebook. Usually, I’ll take a snapshot of their friends and family members, so even if they deactivate their accounts, I can still find their Mum and send her a weird message. Social media can be used as an exposure measure or a threat.”

The most loyal slaves install cameras in their homes so she can watch them 24/7 using NEST cam technology. GPS allows Harley to know where they are at all times. They could be under lock down for years, and her work can often have more permanent effects than a good old caning session. “Some people want to be exposed as the sissy they are, and others actually want their marriages to be ruined. Gauging whether they want to play with the idea of a non-consensual relationship, or whether they want you to go all out can be challenging.”

Kastranja, one of Harley's long-term slaves, is under lockdown, camera controlled and has been tattooed and castrated for her. He tells me he has various sexual fantasies and fetishes, including being controlled and dominated, technical gadgetry and feminisation.

“It occurred to me that after unsuccessful attempts of living some of my fetishes in a 'real' or 'loving' relationship, I might try the more professional version. On a basic level, (my relationship with Mistress Harley) triggers some of my fetishes, either by watching provided videos, or by interaction by Skype.”

“On a higher level, we have quality conversations about technology, politics and culture. I get praise for accomplishing assignments she's given me. She also sees herself as a facilitator of self-awareness and self-fulfillment, which I've had the pleasure of experiencing.”

“I acted on some wishes I'd had for a very long time and got castrated, so one could say I used Mistress Harley to externalise responsibility for myself” – Kastranja

“In 2016, I acted on some wishes I'd had for a very long time and got castrated, so one could say I used Mistress Harley to externalise responsibility for myself. I probably wouldn't have gone through with that without her support.”

Defining herself as a “neo-feminist”, Mistress Harley explains: “I don’t think there’s anything more powerful than a man giving me money for nothing. In a world where women often get paid less than men, and where they're subject to men's political desires when it comes to their bodies, there’s nothing more empowering than exploiting men they way they have us for centuries.”

Since writing and publishing a manual on how to be a techdomme – a term she coined and trademarked - she's trained up other super smart women. In fact, she's run two dommes fully through her tech training program and is currently dealing with 30 enquiries about the course.

“Technically, I am the only techdomme. However there are now other dommes using high-tech devices to control their slaves, and I've enjoyed training them in the arts of long distance control,” she says. “I get requests from women all the time who wish to learn how I control men. They realise that instead of doing something that makes them uncomfortable like stripping or working as a webcam model, they can now make money from men in the comfort of their homes without compromising their safety. I think this is the ultimate in female empowerment: a technologically empowered woman can keep her clothes on and use her tech skills to get what she wants.”

You can learn more about Mistress Harley by visiting her website here, or you can follow her on Twitter