Financial domination, aka findom, a bondage-discipline-dominance-submission (BDSM) fetish where the submissive, often called a “cash slave,” gets erotic pleasure from relinquishing financial control to a dominatrix, has gained significantly in popularity in recent years.

“Findom is currently the most popular category,” Sarah, the marketing director at the adult video site iwantclips.com, told International Business Times. “A lot of the top 50 [performers] will specialize in findom.”

Like many popular adult entertainment sites, iwantclips.com allows viewers to pay performers directly through the site. Findom has taken that idea to a whole new level, with Sarah pegging last month's top payout from a submissive at $93,000.

However, unlike cam girls and porn stars, financial dominatrixes often develop intimate, fiscal relationships with submissives beyond their screens. With a growing number of people using mobile payment options like Google Wallet and bitcoin to immerse themselves completely in the findom lifestyle, high-tech gadgets could shape the future of financial domination.

Read: Cryptocurrency Increasingly Popular, Safer Payment Option For Sex Workers

With her shiny black hair and voluptuous figure, Jasmine Mendez is one of the most successful iwantclips.com dominatrixes. This 27-year-old findom veteran in Boston was one of the first to take her fetish persona mainstream, starring in a 2016 episode of MTV’s True Life. After more than a decade in the business, Mendez claims to earn around $300,000 a year — her only job since high school. 

“I do a lot of cash point meets, usually around $500,” she said. “The most I’ve ever made at one of those is $20,000.”

This is one of findom’s most common types of interactions. A submissive meets his domme at an ATM, takes out money at her command, hands it over and promptly is left behind. Mendez has around 10 regulars, including one submissive who has been her cash slave for six years. “I have two who I am logged into their bank accounts,” she said. “I completely take control of their money and decide how much they get to keep.” She grants them an allowance and takes the rest.

Her boyfriend is also a financial domme. He has been working in financial domination for more than four years and goes by the online alias Mr. Grey, as in "50 Shades of Grey." He is one of the few straight, male sex workers in financial domination who welcomes tributes from both genders. “Everybody likes to be out of control,” he told IBT.

Mr. Grey started out by dominating women he met on FetLife, a fetish site that recently lost the ability to process direct payments through PayPal, Visa and Mastercard credit cards. Financial dommes are constantly looking for new mobile payment options to circumvent discrimination from the banking industry. “If you’re using PayPal, then you’re clearly new,” New York financial domme Godess Lady Petite told IBT. “They could freeze your account or cancel payments.”

Lady Petite sees bitcoin payments as a more secure conduit for her international submissives. She said most of her submissives are successful businessmen by day, some with jobs in tech and politics. And no one wants to have their bank accounts potentially jeopardized by association with the sex industry.

“Most of my best ones [submissives] have been from Europe,” she said. “Specific regulars use bitcoin. I especially like bitcoin for international regulars.”

Today, financial domination often operates in legal purgatory. Some dommes, like Mr. Grey and Mendez, run their operations as an official business. Others moonlight as dommes with hidden identities and avoid paying taxes on income from cash slaves. Several findom community members told IBT they don’t use safety words in their digital role play, unlike traditional BDSM. Most good dommes will have detailed discussions about limits and lifestyle before engaging with a new submissive. But, sometimes, things can still go too far.

“Some people have spent thousands of dollars in wire transfers,” addiction counselor Chuck Petko told IBT. “The brain is operating as if an addiction is taking place. ... I’ve heard from people who wanted to stop, but couldn’t.” Petko is the founder of the mental health nonprofit The World Through Your Eyes. Before that, he ran an online support group for dozens of cash slaves (2007-11). Many of those members saw financial domination as a dangerous type of gambling addiction.

Contrary to what you might expect, both Petko and several dommes themselves agreed that most cash slaves were completely different people outside the bedroom. “Most of the individuals I’ve talked to who strongly identify with findom are dominant in their everyday lives,” Petko said. “They have a lot of responsibility.”

Findom play can take many forms. Some submissives enjoy letting a dominant person take control of their wallets as a form of erotic stress relief. Findom dominatrixes often offer personal budgeting plans and manage their submissive's responsibilities through Google Calendar. For in-person experiences, a financial domme often dabbles in other fetish play like whipping, public humiliation and genital torture. “Those other fetishes are definitely associated with findom,” Petko said. “I specialize in ball busting,” Mendez laughed. “I kick a lot of balls.”

Mr. Grey was a finance director before he quit his day job to help manage Mendez’s business, which includes her own website and national tours. His experience managing budgets and loans comes in handy when organizing tributes from cash slaves. His slaves, now predominately male, service him and Mendez together as a couple. Submissives do the “alpha” couple’s household chores, finance their vacations and rub their feet. “You can’t be weirded out by that stuff,” he said. “I enjoy dominating people — men, women, it doesn’t matter.”

Jasmine Mendez and Mr.Grey Jasmine Mendez and Mr.Grey on vacation in Mexico, being pampered by a submissive. Photo: Jasmine Mendez

His cash slaves contribute an additional $1,000 a week to the “alpha couple” household. “I do have bitcoin, but I don’t really use it that much,” he said. Instead, they prefer international connections send Mendez Amazon gift cards or transfer money directly to Mr.Grey's Google Wallet, which is connected to his bank account.

Meanwhile in California, another findom businesswoman is developing proprietary technology for complete data domination. Since Mistress Harley, the self-proclaimed “tech domme," started three years ago, she has become the most recognizable public face of findom.

Harley charges as much as $100 for a computer control session, where she uses TeamViewer to take over the cash slave’s computer and all that it entails, from email and social media accounts to personal photos.

“I specialize in high-tech control,” she said. “Blackmail is an extremely popular fetish.”

Recent media coverage has drawn many first-time sex workers to the findom community, eager to try their hand at digital BDSM from the safety of their homes. To distinguish herself from the competition, Harley developed her own findom app. It allows her to monitor men’s phones and even take control of the phones if her submissives misbehave. If a submissive used a banking app or logged into a bank account from a phone, Harley’s app could recreate those steps.

For the few fully immersed in the findom lifestyle, Harley even instructed several regulars to install nest cams in their homes. “So I can monitor them 24/7,” she said. Harley interacts with 10 to 20 regulars every week, in addition to 10 to 20 curious newbies, which she says results in $500 to $5,000 a day. In the near future, Harley thinks that pet tech, like high-tech shock collars a domme can operate by phone, could become popular tools for financial domination. High-tech gadgets could redefine BDSM play for findom couples, the same way that social networks have already reshaped the broader community. 

Read: Bitcoin Price Reaches All-Time High, Continues Upward Trend In 2017

Findom is popular on networks like FetLife, Instagram and Snapchat. There are more than 97,900 Instagram posts with the hashtag #findomme. Yet Twitter is by far the most popular platform for financial domination. It's now the main way community members find each other and interact. “A lot of girls think they’ll just log onto Twitter and start getting money," Mendez said. "You actually need to build a relationship with the slaves.” 

Digital domination is now a popular gateway into the sex industry for tech-savvy women, many of whom don't offer any sexual favors in return. “It’s definitely a growing field,” Harley told IBT. “Even if you are not taking your clothes off, it’s still sex work because you're dealing with sexual fetishes and sexual desires.”