Jennifer – Thank you for being a part of the Kink~E Magazine family! We are so excited to feature you.
MB: One of the things that’s different upon viewing your site, the first thing you mention is your education. How important is that for the BDSM community?
JD: Thank you so much for having me! I am very excited to have the opportunity to interact with our kink community.
Basic academic education and basic hands-on training is important – especially as it relates to safety. Topics such as, safe/sane/consensual, D/s contracts, restraint methods, etc. However, learning the control-dynamics behind a specific fetish, as well as the accompanying behavioral techniques -is equally important. Even though there are basic methods of control used within all fetishes, there are additional differences -depending on the type.
For example, one of my services is helping couples introduce a specific fetish into their relationship. The most common fetish request I get from clients, is cuckolding (usually initiated by the sub). So, the first thing I ask is, “How do the two of you discern the difference between cuckolding and swinging?” Sometimes people describe a relationship devoid of any power-play whatsoever, and other times, they describe a dynamic with an uneven balance of give-and-take.
However, most of the time, the submissive is looking to the Cuckoldress to be the primary driver of control, and she is responding by feeling unduly pressured. What they don’t know, and what I am able to teach them, is that the bull is actually the primary driver of control – in that particular fetish. And that is an example of equally important, fetish-specific education.
MB: How did you find yourself being a part of the kink community and finding your place in mentoring?
JD: I have been personally involved in kink for over 10 years. I was introduced when my, then fling, put me over his knee and started spanking me until my butt was on fire -which was a HUMONGOUS turn-on. Then I went home and kept staring at my butt in the mirror, watching the welts continue to rise. Snapped a couple pics of the ensuing bruises – and the rest, as we all know, IS HISTORY!!!
I ended up finding my place in mentoring, inadvertently, when, thanks to a strange TWIST of fate (also-known-as, divorce, illness, legal problems, and job loss), I found it necessary to start in an entirely new occupation. I randomly ran across an ad on Craigslist, for a professional dominatrix. By then I had been dabbling in BDSM for years – as the sub. However, I had been on the “receiving end” of this dynamic, enough, to know how to do it right. So I applied and got the job!
I began as a sensual dominatrix, then moved on to being a disciplinarian, and I began to notice a pattern. I noticed that people were coming to me to be disciplined for real life issues. Thanks to one of my clients, he alerted me to the fact that there were a handful of professional disciplinarians around the country who were also life coaches. I was particularly intrigued by this because in my former occupation, I took care of children and adults by assisting, training, and motivating them, in ALL areas of their life- including, academic, social, domestic, and occupational. So, in essence, being a disciplinarian was actually the same idea, only spankings were now involved! LOL.
And that is how the idea for my business, Life Coaching With A Twist, was born. I went on to create elaborate goal-setting programs, using spankings, as incentives and disincentives for changing their bad habits. My previous occupational skills included a lot of behavior management, so this was a perfect fit. However, though my business was popular, due to my own neck and shoulder problems I was not able to continue with the physical discipline. By then I had received enough client feedback to know that other non-physical, fetish needs, also existed. And that’s when I re-angled my business with more of a mentoring and coaching vision. I have fine-tuned it over time, and that is how I came to offer services in three main areas – Fetish Exploration, Lifestyle Partner Searches, and Introducing Kink into Relationships.
MB: What have been the overall challenges when coaching?
JD: The first challenge comes in getting people to truly open up to you – because the extent to which I can help them is based upon the extent to which they are willing to open up. Luckily, I am “that person” who people -even complete strangers- naturally spill their guts to, anyway. People naturally feel safe with me, and in that way, I am very blessed because that enables me to more effectively help them. I hear at least once a week “I have never told anyone this before…” along with comments from clients who have conventional therapists, telling me, “I could never tell my therapist this…”
MB: Other than education, what do you think may be lacking in the BDSM Community?
JD: I wouldn’t say this is what is lacking, per se, but we could definitely use more proactive efforts to collaborate with the vanilla world. PROACTIVE being the key word. For example, reaching out to people in the legal system and OFFERING to comprehensively educate them about the BDSM world. I have a friend, who engaged in consensual BDSM play throughout their marriage. Then, they got divorced, and she tried to press charges against him for abuse. He had to explain BDSM to the investigators, who could always benefit from a more accurate and comprehensive understanding of the BDSM world. Our community can offer them that understanding. I just read an article about an expert witness who was called into a case with a similar scenario – a psychologist with expertise in fetishes – and that’s great! But, our community also has expertise, and we don’t have to be a psychologist to share what we know, and educate others. The perspective of the people who live it, is just as important as understanding it academically or therapeutically. But, again, PROACTIVELY reaching out is key.
MB: Talk to me about your own personal experiences with BDSM and switching.
JD: I feel dominant toward people who I feel have strong, naturally submissive energy, and I feel submissive to people with who I feel have strong, naturally dominant energy. These energies do not directly correlate to sex or gender – they are just descriptors of the QUALITY of the energy. For example, I have a submissive (male) who is naturally, extremely passive, beta, and submissive. I also have a Master who is naturally, extremely aggressive, alpha, and dominant.
MB: There are some die hard old school that don’t believe in switch, they believe you’re either dominate or submissive. Do you believe that to be true?
My opinion is, that for the majority of the population, switches are MADE and not born. I do believe we all have some of both energies in us, but that everyone is born with energy that leans significantly toward either dominant, or toward submissive. To me, significantly means your energy is about 75% one way or the other.
However, just as human behavior is a product of both nature and nurture, so is dominance and submission. People BEHAVIORALLY “switch” between dominance and submission, to adapt to the demands of the society in which they operate. For example, I know people who are introverts with naturally submissive energy, who work in positions where they are forced to behave like an extrovert -which means displaying dominant behavior. So they learn to behave dominantly, but that does not alter their natural energy. Just like my most common complaint from my clients, regarding their significant others, “My girlfriend spanks me, but she doesn’t really mean it, and I can tell”. What they are tuning in to is that her behavior is not in alignment with her natural energy -she is just behaving like a switch.
However, there are other VERY IMPORTANT factors at play with regard to switching. Dominant and submissive energy falls along a spectrum, and since it is different for everyone, this makes it possible for someone to feel submissive toward someone with naturally submissive energy, and likewise dominant toward someone with naturally dominant energy. So, for example, I have natural submissive energy, but my sub’s energy is so much more submissive than my own, that I feel dominant toward him. This makes me a COMPARATIVE switch, not a natural born switch. Now, my sub may feel dominant toward someone else for this same reason, but again, that makes him a comparative switch, and not a natural born switch.
But in the big picture, the important questions is -does it even really matter whether “true” switches exist? I believe the answer depends on whether you are in a D/s relationship for play, vs. lifestyle. For purposes of D/s play, whether you are “truly” a switch, or not, is not as important as it is in an actual lifestyle D/s relationship. That is because, the contrived feeling of someone acting in opposition to their natural energy, is a contradiction that is easier to overlook when the play is just for fun. But, entering into a lifestyle relationship with that same dynamic, can cause serious issues when it is a 24/7 relationship. These kinds of misalignment exist in vanilla world relationships too, where they also create various issues.
MB: With the internet growing and a lot of woman promoting themselves as a professional dominatrix there are many who are not. How do you think that may or may not diminish a fetish lifestyle? For example, many women now request before any questions are answered from a potential male submissive, they must make a tribute.
JD: It is just like any other industry -anyone can call themselves a professional. Professional, or not, what’s MOST important is, what are their INTENTIONS?
The specific example you gave, is actually a common issue within the financial domination/submission fetish -and may or may not have anything to do with being a professional. There are authentic dominatrices who understand that D/s relationships, are supposed to be a two-way relationship where they are expected to give as much as they get. Likewise, there are inauthentic dominatrices, looking to take advantage of others for material gain, and who are not opposed to pretending to be sincerely interested in a fetish, to get what they want.
Women who use this (or any) fetish, to take advantage of others, create big problems for both lifestyle dominatrices and professional dominatrices. When submissives have been burned enough, by inauthentic dominatrices, subs naturally become suspicious of everyone’s motives. But the worst part is, they become suspicious of lifestylers AND professionals. Hearing about this problem from so many submissives is what actually laid the groundwork for my Lifestyle Partner Search services – through which I teach submissives how to screen potential partners’ to determine if they are authentic, or not. It’s no different than sorting through potential vanilla-world dating partners, there is a learning curve, and you learn to figure out which profiles are probably just bots, which ones might actually be escorts, and which ones are actually looking for love. What I help submissives do with my service, is I significantly diminish that learning curve for them, by teaching them methods for weeding out inauthentic dominatrices.
MB: Why is the psychology aspect so important to know for Fetish life?
JD: Whether people know it or not, the main benefits of BDSM activities, ARE psychological. And this is the pinnacle of what I do as a fetish mentor. I help people explore what psychological benefits, their fetishes may provide. Clients frequently come in stating “I don’t know where these urges are coming from?” Though understanding where those urges are stemming from is important, what is actually MORE important is understanding what psychological benefits may be obtained, from acting on those urges. And once they see what the benefits may be, they are able to stop resisting their urges, and embrace them instead. Dropping their resistance enables them to reap the maximum possible psychological benefits of their fetish. Therefore, understanding the psychological aspects, is crucial.
MB: What are the important things to know when a client approaches you and wants to explore Fetish life?
JD: This relates to the previous question. The most important things both of us need to know – is WHY do they feel the need to explore that particular fetish and WHAT purpose will doing so serve? The other EQUALLY important thing that I help them figure out is, what are the potential downfalls of acting on their fetish? The cons are almost always related to what I call “conflicts-of-interest” between the vanilla and kink world. I provide them with “risk-assessment” questions to help them examine potential consequences.
MB: Is there a point in one’s life where Fetish life takes a back seat to “normalcy”?
JD: This is related to the previous question. After I guide clients through the risk-assessment, some clients decide that the potential downfalls of acting on their fetish, are not worth the risks it poses to their vanilla-world life. And that’s the point at which, for them, fetish takes a back-seat for the sake of “normalcy”.
MB: What has been your greatest aspiration to continue doing great work in supporting your Kink community?
JD: My biggest aspiration to continue fulfilling my life’s purpose, will always be the look of relief that I get the pleasure of watching, spread across clients’ faces. Relief, that is stemming from the validation, information, and analysis that I provide them, which in turn enables them to shift their perception of their fetish interests, from one of detriment to one of benefit. Knowing that I helped to create an opportunity for them to embrace the entirety of their authenticity – THAT is my greatest aspiration.
MB: What advice would you give to someone solely looking to partake in Fetish lifestyle as a means to support themselves financially?
JD: If you mean, solely relying on a D/s relationship, as a means to support themselves financially – I would strongly advise against that.
If, you mean, solely relying on working as a type of fetish professional, as a means to support themselves financially – I would also strongly advise against that.
The Universe always has “other plans” for all of us and having a back-up plan is essential – and that also goes for back-up, financial support plans.
MB: Is there anything else you would like to include?
JD: MY MASTER RULES!!! And, no, I am not “just” saying that to diminish the redness of my butt! Lol.
MB: And now your social networks!
Please sign up for my newsletter at the bottom of the first page of my site!
Jennifer L. DeLeon, Life Coaching With A Twist, at http://www.lifecoachingwithatwist.com/
You can also find me on Facebook at www.facebook.com/lifecoachingwithatwist123
Thank you SO MUCH for this wonderful opportunity to interview with you!