Nomis characterises as the "Golden Age of the Governess".
No fewer than twenty establishments were documented as having existed by the 1840s, supported entirely by flagellation practices and known as "Houses of Discipline" distinct from brothels.
A dominatrix is typically a paid professional ("pro-domme") as the term "dominatrix" is little-used within the non-professional BDSM scene.
The term domme is a coined pseudo-French female variation of the slang dom (short for dominant).
A scene where both dominant and submissive are female, 1930.
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Ancient cuneiform texts consisting of "Hymns to Inanna" have been cited as examples of the archetype of powerful, sexual female displaying dominating behaviors and forcing Gods and men into submission to her. Nomis notes that Inanna's rituals included cross-dressing of cult personnel, and rituals "imbued with pain and ecstasy, bringing about initiation and journeys of altered consciousness; punishment, moaning, ecstasy, lament and song, participants exhausting themselves with weeping and grief." The profession features in erotic prints of the era, such as the British Museum mezzotint "The Cully Flaug'd" (c.
1674–1702), and in accounts of forbidden books which record the flogging schools and the activities practised.