So let the buyer beware: The dominatrix uniform cannot be worn innocently. But that, as kinky initiates know, is exactly why it’s fun. To test this proposition, I recently dug up a minidress that, because of its close resemblance to the black rubber number, I had avoided wearing ever since the creepy-dude debacle. I paired the dress—a tightly fitted, black leather Marc Jacobs shift from the mid-Nineties—with a pair of black felt, over-the-knee Azzedine Alaïa boots of similar vintage. Then I pulled my hair back into a naughty-librarian bun, clipped my dog onto a leash, and took her and my ensemble out for a stroll. Sadly, the experiment yielded no obvious X-rated results. No passersby begged me for a beating, and the few double takes I attracted could have just as easily been due to my outfit’s incongruity (with a 40-year-old woman walking her ancient, arthritic sheepdog) as to its sexiness. Still, the ensemble felt sexy. The sleek tightness of the leather made me stand up straighter; my stride automatically grew longer and more powerful in those high, clomping boots; and there was something deliciously wanton about the low, rustling whisper my felt-wrapped calves made as I walked. In my own mind, I had morphed into a seductive, tyrannical tormentor of men—a creature who, if handed a whip, would not have hesitated to use it. For one brief, shining moment, I was a believer. However much or little my kink wear did for anyone else that day, it was definitely good for me.