Is Findom The Modern Day Robin Hoodism?
Rising living costs have meant that people are looking for a second source of income – and in the world of financial domination, no CV is required.
image BONDING / NETFLIX
words Ryan Cahill
Designer clothing, festival tickets, staycations and cold hard cash, all yours for simply shit-talking someone you’ve never met. It almost sounds too good to be true, but this is the reality for many people across the world who engage in “findom” aka financial domination. Findom is a sexual kink where submissives get sexual gratification from emptying their bank balance for their master, who is often someone they’ve met online. In some cases, the submissive, also known as a “pig” or “PayPig” (it’s a play on PayPal and the fact those paying out are effectively piggy banks) can be cashing out thousands of pounds per day or spending hundreds on gifts chosen by their master, or “goddess”. These gifts or transactions are named “tributes”.
While findom has been around for years, the practice has become more prolific thanks to the Covid pandemic and increasing living costs. As such, many doms will have a PayPig side hustle”, utilising findom as a source of income alongside their normal 9 ‘to 5. In an era of record high energy prices and an ever-increasing rate of inflation, findom is the perfect antidote to low earnings. You could consider it modern day Robin Hoodism, where the less financially fortunate are bettering their own wealth by taking from those who have enough to spare, albeit consensually. A 52-year-old man from Ohio who asked to be credited as “ATMPayPig” has been involved in findom for nearly a decade. “I do believe that because of the economy more people, especially younger people, are capitalizing on the fact that Findom is becoming more normalized, as is sex work. Young guys, especially those who identify as straight, don’t have the same hangups about sex work that my generation did. They also have a lot more financial obligations than we did.” He explains. “On the flipside, the Man that I serve does not need my money. He is straight, Married, and financially set. For Him, this is all about power. But 10 or 15 years ago, He would not have been comfortable dominating a gay man. Thanks to social media and social structures changing, he is seeing that there are a lot of other guys out there who are just like him.”
ATMPayPig is dedicated to just one master, who he refers to as his “Sir”, as he writes over email – using a capital “S” for “Sir” and “H” for “Him” to infer God-like status. He tells me that his Sir lived with him rent free for nine years but is now living elsewhere and married. “I would pay for most meals out, pay for groceries, make us dinner. I paid for vacations together. I helped him out when he was in trouble with back taxes. And I did this freely and openly. It was an expression of my love for him, knowing that our relationship would never be physical.” ATMPayPig explains. “It wasn’t until he married and moved out that we realised what role each of us actually played in our lives. Once we put a label on this behaviour, the previous 12 years made sense. I was always financially submissive to him, but only now do I have the vocabulary to express it.”
He says that he keeps the track of his outgoings on what he calls his “PiggySheets”, a database that he created to show his expenditure over recent years. He sets himself goals to increase his outgoings year-on-year. “On average, each tribute is well over $150. This happens a couple times a week so I normally tribute about $1200 every month. Since January 2022, I’ve tributed almost $29,000. $19,000 of that was this year alone and it’s only mid-August. I would love to get to $25K by the end of the year. $10K in 2022, $25K in 2023.”
Findom isn’t just a case of cash tributes and simplistic wish-list purchases; games and activities are employed to further enhance the sexual gratification of the kink. For ATMPayPig, who has written a book on Findom games, this includes letting his Sir use TeamViewer to take over his computer, explore his personal files, and use a “Money Wheel” site to determine how much money is going to be transferred to his own bank account, effectively watching remotely as his earnings trickle away.
He has also used Jenga as a tool, on what turned out to be one of his most expensive days in the world of findom. “I took Him out for His bachelor party, just the two of us. I dropped $300 on dinner and drinks, and $30 at a titty bar (it was too early and the girls weren’t dancing yet..) Then He came back to my place and we played “Findom Jenga” - a spin on the Jenga game where each block had a dollar amount written on it [meaning he received the dollar amount for every successful block removed]. He left that night with over $1200. We have some high-stakes prizes on the Money Wheel including “Take Amazon Gift of Your Choice”. Some nights he’ll spin three to five gifts. To give you an idea of what is at stake, he has a pair of $300 sunglasses in His wishlist. There is one wheel we haven’t played yet; each spin of the Money Wheel tells Him the percentage of my bank account that He can transfer into His account. Anywhere from 10% to 50% of the current amount in my account.”
Since 2020, Findom has been more widely discussed online and in the media, alerting people to the trend and saturating the market. The findom community has found that it is harder to find reliable subs who actually have the means to fulfil their findom fantasies. But despite this, people are still curious to see if they too can earn some money from the findom kink. You only have to do a quick X (formerly Twitter) search to get an idea of the amount of people looking to source a second form of income via a paypig.
On X, you get an idea of the breadth of the world of findom. People are openly advertising their desire to find doms and PayPigs, creating an entire community of people exploring findom. Thanks to its limited community engagement rules around nudity and censorship, X has become a prominent social network for sex positivity, allowing findom to thrive. The social network proves that findom comes in many different shapes and sizes, and the specificity of the kink is often navigated by the sub, who will have particular preferences. This could include foot worship, small penis humiliation, general degradation. Overall, they seek to be fully coerced into serving their dom, while the dom is mindful of their specific preferences. The way in which the tribute is attained also varies and the methods carry their own definitions. A few examples are as follows:
A session where the dominant extracts a substantial amount of money from the submissive.
The act of the dominant person having control over the submissive's financial decisions and resources.
A submissive who is treated like an automated teller machine by the dominant, dispensing money as commanded.
In some cases, findom may involve role-playing scenarios where the submissive fantasies about being blackmailed with incriminating or sensitive information and material, such as nude pictures.
A consensual agreement between the dominant and submissive outlining financial obligations.
20-year-old Auriela, who resides in an undisclosed city in the USA, started her foray into findom earlier this year after seeing a TikTok where a woman explained that men were willing to pay you to humiliate and essentially bully them. She tells me that she’s puts the money she makes towards her college tuition. “I am currently very fresh into findom and I’ve made around $1000 in the span of three months.” She says. “I know the professionals of findom are getting more than $1000 in a day. It makes me feel very dominant and empowered. Especially when it's a drain session.” A drain session is where a sub empties their bank account or offers the highest amount of money that they can afford at that moment. “It feels amazing to be part of. That's the whole kink too. These men recognize female supremacy and they worship with their money. It feels nice because the more they send, the richer I get. It feels good knowing they want me to get richer with their money.”
While for many it's a safe and enjoyable kink which is rewarding to all parties, it isn’t without its risks. Questions could be raised about the mental health status of those in the sub position, and the impact on their mental health if they already have feelings of low self-worth. It also can be addictive, as ATMPayPig muses: “There are some with addictive behaviour who are not able to afford the fetish. As a result, they play far beyond their means and endanger themselves. Findom can be very addictive.”
Douglas, a creative based in London, has been participating in findom since early 2021. He became a dom after being approached on Grindr by a PayPig who asked if he could buy him a pair of trainers. “I went along with it. You start to understand that these people thrive on you making them feel bad. He was picking out shoes and I was saying ‘These are all ugly. Who do you think I am? Why do you think I’d wear any of these things?’ So I chose a pair and he ordered them and got them sent to my house and it started from there.”
Despite the reward of free gifts, the negatives aren’t lost on Douglas. “Sometimes you’re encountering really emotionally volatile people, and although it’s not true that all PayPigs are fucked up and mentally ill, a lot of them do have, quite evidently, low self worth.” He explains, addressing the downfalls while highlighting the pleasure that can be obtained from findom. “The financial destruction angle is interesting, because the key to doing findom safely is listening and reacting. Oftentimes I’ve had a PayPig tell me they don’t have the money to afford findom at the moment, and any sane person will listen to and respect that. Findom isn’t about bleeding a person dry, the dynamic is built on the idea of someone having something that they have earned but then getting off on the idea of giving it to someone else who they feel is more deserving of it. From my perspective, degradation is a serotonin booster for those into findom. They get off on being told they’re worthless. Also it is all a performance; I never actually believe anything I say in these situations.”
When you take a broader look at the kink, the hierarchy within findom is a little more blurred than it seems on the surface. Despite being considered the submissive, the PayPig is usually the one calling the shots, often dictating which gift to buy or the size of the financial transfer but giving the illusion that they are in fact being financially dominated. Naturally there are some situations where the submissive might relinquish control entirely and allow the dom to fully take ownership of their finances, but it seems that in most cases, it’s those with the money that are still in a position of power. They’re still able to set the parameters within which the kink exists. Despite this, the kink overall is advantageous to both parties, one is fulfilling their sexual desires while the other is making financial gain – all on a healthy, consensual level. On whether the kink is modern day Robin Hoodism, ATMPayPig concludes: “I’m sure for some people there is that element. But I find that other subs want to submit to somebody who is truly dominant and that it’s the head game of being dominated and helpless that makes them want to give up their cash. For me, I get turned on knowing that my alpha‘s motorcycle was paid for by me. His boots were paid for by me. His expensive jackets and glasses were paid for by me. Do those things make his life better? Maybe. Does he appreciate them? Absolutely. So knowing that I’m making him happy makes me happy."
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