Good Girl to Dominatrix to Mom??

The following material contains mature subject matter. Viewer discretion is advised.

Jenny spent two years as a professional dominatrix and has written a book "The Scarlett Letters: My Secret Year of Men in an L.A. Dungeon" about her experience in one of Los Angeles’ top dungeons.

When she was 22, she was bored at her day job and, in her words, “Went looking for trouble.” When she learned that there was an actual dungeon less than 10 miles from her home, she was intrigued enough to visit its website – and when she found out they were hiring, she took the plunge.

“I didn’t even know what a dungeon was at the time!” she says. “A dungeon is a place where people can go to carry out their fantasies that are outside of the traditional. It’s not somewhere that people go to have sex.” She discovered that the different rooms fit different themes, from classroom to doctor’s office to the stereotypical stone dungeon chamber. The fantasies she was paid to enact involved everything from “Foot fetishes to men who wanted to be forced to pretend to be dogs to the more traditional corporal punishment type stuff.”

Keeping her second professional life secret was a strain. Only a few friends and her boyfriend knew about her career. Although having a secret was fun, Jenny didn’t like lying to the people in her life.

She worked steadily at the dungeon for a year, and off and on for another – by then her day job was becoming more satisfying and it was getting harder to juggle her two careers. Now she’s a mother and a wife and “in a completely different phase of my life.” But, she says, “It definitely helped me get out that exciting wild side.”

Urologist Dr. Jennifer Berman wonders if that kind of excitement can’t still be part of Jenny’s life, “to embrace that side of you in a healthy way?” Jenny replies, “I think the line is, is doing it professionally is a whole different experience from just having it be part of your lifestyle.”

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Jenny believes that this kind of fantasy play is much more empowering in real life than it’s portrayed in fiction like “50 Shades of Gray.” “It’s coming from both sides, both sides are equally excited about it – rather than one person being dragged in.” She adds, “the submissive is usually the one in control.”

ER Physician Dr. Travis Stork asks psychotherapist Dr. Mike Dow, “Where do you stand in terms of when is it healthy and when is it unhealthy?” Dr. Dow points out that about one in six people has a fetish of some kind, and one in three has explored them in real life. “Sometimes we just like what we like!” he points out.

“If they are isolating this fetish, and they are only going to you,” he says to Jenny, “But they’re keeping it a secret from their partner – I would say that that is usually unhealthy.” He suggests that they incorporate what they like into their life with their partner – and Jenny nods in agreement.

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Dr. Berman notes that studies have shown that people who incorporate their fantasies into their sex lives with their partners are usually less anxious and better adjusted. “As long as no one gets hurt,” concludes Dr. Dow.

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