Dominatrix Jenny Nordbak talks about adding kink to V’Day

Are you looking to spice up the bedroom on Valentine’s Day? Are you in the mood to get a little naughty?  Do you want to try something new, but don’t know how to start? Well, former dominatrix Jenny Nordbak has some great suggestions for you to safely explore adding a little kink.

Ever wonder what the one tangible item to bring to bed that will change things up?  How about whether a man can be both a Master and a Gentleman, and how willing women can be a Submissive and a Feminist. Or maybe just how to talk to your partner about your desires? 

The former professional dominatrix and author of the upcoming The Scarlett Letters: My Secret Year of Men in an LA Dungeon spoke with TheCelebrityCafe.com about her sexy journey, offered tips on how to make your sex life more exciting, some things to try if you are interested in getting into BDSM, how to have a hot sex life even if you have small children at home, saucy tales from her book and more.

TheCelebrityCafe.com: So first, is Jenny your real name or is it an alias?

Jenny Nordbak:  It is my real name.

TCC:  And can you please tell me about your early life and education?

JN:  I was born in Scotland, so as a teeny kid, I lived in the UK, and then we briefly lived in France for a couple of years, and then we moved to a suburb of Houston, Texas, and that’s where I mostly grew up. So I was in the Houston area until I graduated high school, and then I moved out to LA to go to USC for college.

TCC:  And education. So you went to USC?

JN:  Yep, and I got a degree in archaeology.

TCC:  Oh, wow. Where do you live now?

JN:  I live in Los Angeles.

TCC:  For people who’ve never heard of this, could you please explain what you do for a living?

JN:  Well, I’m retired now, so these days I’m a writer for a living, but back then I was considered a dominatrix which means you have clients come to you for essentially BDSM services so to play out fantasies of some sort, whatever those may be.

Credit: Bobby Quillard

TCC:  And does your family know about your previous job?

JN:  They do.

TCC:  Are you married?

JN:  I am [laughter].

TCC:  Was your husband a client?

JN:  He was not [laughter].

TCC:  I didn’t think so, but always that fun to ask.

JN:  It’s funny. When I told my mother-in-law what my book was about — I had to obviously — that was how I told her what I used to do. That was her first question as well is that how we had met, and so [laughter] we were relieved to tell her no [laughter].

TCC:  Well, how did you become a dominatrix?

JN:  I had just graduated from USC. And I had had a series of really unsatisfying relationships and had always kind of been curious about that world but never had the confidence to explore it, and went kind of digging online and discovered that there was a working dungeon a couple of miles from where I lived in LA. And there was a banner on the side of the page that said, “Now hiring. No experience necessary” and it seemed like a good way to learn. It seemed like a controlled way to learn and to just try to find a partner that was into it or something like that.

TCC:  What did your training entail [laughter]?

JN:  [laughter] As you can imagine, it’s pretty hands-on.

TCC:  I would hope so [laughter].

JN:  And there’s a steep learning curve because you’re using some implements that can inflict significant amounts of pain if used correctly. If used incorrectly, it’s injury. But the way they do things around dungeons is to have your start as a submissive. There’s three categories that fall under the broader term of dominatrix: a submissive, a switch, or a dominant. So you start as a submissive, which means you’re on the receiving end of everything that you’ll eventually be doing. So you’re the one getting tied up and spanked and everything else. And then you pass a test that shows that you know how to use the implements correctly, which lets you become a switch. And then there’s another test that you can pass to become a full-blown mistress. I mean, there’s a lot of mentoring that goes on, I guess is the real answer to the question. The other girls teach you, and during downtime during the shift, we would have practiced knots on each other or teach each other how to use different implements or a lot of coaching and informing that was happening.

TCC:  Now, how do people find this particular dungeon? This is online?

JN:  It is online.

TCC:  Can you say what it’s called?

JN:  I’m not sure whether I’m supposed to because I’ve hidden its identity in the book, but it’s easy to find, so– [laughter].

TCC:  Okay [laughter]. Thank you. How did customers find you when you were working there?

JN:  The dungeon does have a website, so usually through the website. And a fair number of them have been regulars there. It’s been there since the ’80s, so some of them have been going there for that long.

TCC:  Did you have a set work schedule or was it when clients called you in?

JN:  Most girls worked set shifts. So you have a set schedule and your clients can come in during that time. If there was someone special visiting or something, you could plan ahead for that. But in general, it’s almost like working in a restaurant where there’s the different shifts and then, there’s a swing shift that covers through the shift change [laughter].

TCC:  Did you wear a uniform?

JN:  [laughter] I think the closest thing to a uniform would be each of us had our sort of go-to power outfit, if you will [laughter], so a sort of leather mini-dress or a corset or a certain pair of boots or something like that, but it’s definitely a job where there’s any number of costumes that you need to have available at any time, because the fantasies range so broadly. So if you didn’t know what a client was looking for, you would just wear your sort of go-to outfit and then have a work bag with you that’s got anything from a nun’s habit [laughter] to a school teacher to an Amazonian warrior to any of those really strong female archetypes, and then you end up just accumulating a random assortment of extra stuff that covers everything in between.

TCC:  What are the rules with customers?

JN:  When in the dungeon there was no actual sex, so no penetration of any kind was allowed to happen at the dungeon, and no exchange of any kind of bodily fluids. So at the dungeon, no golden showers or anything like that. I’m trying to think of what other rules would apply. I mean, you go in and do an interview before you go into a session where you would set further boundaries and expectation, so specific to the scene that you were doing. You would outline what was and wasn’t okay.

TCC:  Are your customers only men?

JN:  No, definitely some women and definitely some couples. Most often if we were seeing women, it was as part of a couple, and sometimes that was because both of them were curious about it and wanted to explore with another woman. And sometimes it was more of a teaching session, so they were interested in adding some BDSM to their own bedroom, but didn’t know how to go about it so they came and sought a professional’s help.

TCC:  Can you please give us some tips on how to spice things up in the bedroom?

JN:  I think a really great way to spice things up, but not take things too extreme too quickly, is to add some sensory deprivation to the bedroom. So sensory deprivation is exactly what it sounds like. It’s where one partner tries to remove as many senses possible, outside of touch, to really amplify your sense of touch. So a blindfold is a key and then earplugs are a big one. And you sort of leave that partner to just lie in the dark silence for a few minutes. And a few minutes feels like a long time when you can’t see or hear. And you suddenly get really aware everything that’s going on around you and your sense of touch gets hypersensitive. So then you can start doing touching with different sensations, and that doesn’t even have to be anything kinky necessarily. It can be something like spanking, but it can also just be things that feel good, like a blanket, and then a feather and then your hand. I think it’s a really good way to engage that sense of touch, but also to let the partner who is having the sensory deprivation done on them kind of go to wherever they want in their mind. It gives you permission to sort of disconnect and just be in the moment and enjoy that sense of touch.

TCC:  Now, why do you think married people or people in relationships go to dungeons?

JN:  I think it can be really difficult, particularly when you’re married and have been for a while, or in a vanilla relationship, to introduce something kinky to it. There’s a lot more at stake, and once you’ve put something like that on the table, you can’t take it back. So I think there’s a lot of fear of judgment that if I reveal to my wife that I have a foot fetish, and she judges me for it, then where does that leave me? So it seems like it’s safer and there’s less risk of judgment by just going to see a professional and then hiding it from those nearest and dearest to you, as sad as that is.

TCC:  What advice would you give to couples who find themselves in a rut?Image result for blindfold

JN:  Explore a little bit. It doesn’t have to be anything too crazy, but take some baby steps, and both of you come to the table with something that you want to explore, whether it’s some bondage, or start with a foot massage, or just something interesting, and then take it one step at a time from there.

TCC:  So what are some toys that you would suggest that beginners could have on hand to make things more interesting?

JN:  Definitely a blindfold. I think blindfolds are more powerful than people give them credit for — you can use just about anything to make one. And then from there, I think it gets specific to what you’re into, but maybe some light bondage to go along with the blindfold. So I mean, wrist cuffs or if you know what you’re doing with ropes then you could go that direction.

TCC:  Do you have any tips for parents with small children on how to keep their sex life?

JN:  I have a one-year-old so–

TCC:  You do [laughter]?

JN:  I’m familiar with parent sex. I mean, yeah, living it right now I think my advice is just get it while you can. Find a way to make it work and don’t worry too much about all of the gimmicky stuff that we’re talking about right now. Just connect with your partner on that visceral, emotional, physical level and if it’s vanilla or it’s boring or both of you aren’t getting off, just take the connection and worry about the rest of it later.

TCC:  Do you have any ideas on what people could do to make Valentine’s Day special?

JN:  I mean, I think a lot of women would like to go see Fifty Shades of Grey [laughter], but that sounds kind of cliché.  I mean, I think it’s a good excuse to spice things up. You know, I think instead of going the present direction, give each other a present in the bedroom. Do something totally for your partner, make it all about them.

TCC:  Now, what are your thoughts on Fifty Shades of Grey?

JN:  I think you have to give Fifty Shades of Grey credit for what it did, which is expose a lot of people to a world that they were clearly curious about but didn’t have any knowledge of. And it definitely started the conversation. And if I say the word sub or submissive now, they know what it means. Whereas before Fifty Shades of Grey came out, no one had any idea. So, I think you definitely have to give it it’s due for that. But I think when people say that it misrepresents a BDSM relationship or borders on abusive, or that kind of stuff, there’s some validity to that. So I think it’s good to keep in mind that it is a work of fiction, and there are better representations of more honest experiences with those kinds of relationships.

TCC:  Do you have any favorite doms played in film or TV?

JN:  I’m a big fan of Secretary, which is a male dominant. But I love that movie.

TCC:  I like that one too. Let’s see. Now, okay, please tell me about your book.

JN:  My book, The Scarlett Letters: My Secret Year of Men in an LA Dungeon, is a memoir that covers the period of my life when I was leading a double life as a dominatrix and then working on a construction site during the day. So it’s a story that looks into leading a double life and keeping secrets from the people in your life, but it’s also a story of personal growth where I went from being this recent college graduate who was insecure and didn’t know how to ask for what she wanted to a woman who very much knew what she wanted and wasn’t afraid to get it. I’ll stop there.

TCC:  Okay. Well, what are some of your favorite client stories?

JN:  How detailed do you want me to get?

TCC:  As filthy as you want.

JN:  As filthy as I want. Man, I loved clients who were imaginative and got creative with what they were doing. I’ll have clients who came with a full-blown role play fantasy. So I had one who wanted to be the Maharaja and he came in full Maharaja costume and it was this whole theatrical work that was put on. He had lines and I always found that really fun because it was like he was going there, he was fully buying into it.

I had some really funny ones. I had a client who could only get off if the three phrases, “I’m the winner,” “I beat you,” “tada,” were said repeatedly in that order [laughter]. And I had a really hard time “tada,” with a straight face. So by the end of it, I was like in stitches laughing just trying to keep it together, but it still worked for him so it was okay. But I mean, other favorites, foot worship was always a favorite because you’re getting paid to have a foot massage. So no complaints there. Like any job, there’s tougher sessions where you’re like, “I don’t get paid enough to deal with this.” And then, you would have a foot guy and you’d be like, “I am getting paid for this.”

TCC:  Now, you said that there’s no exchange of fluids, but are they allowed to finish.

JN:  So the sort of unspoken rule, in our dungeon at least, was he can manually finish himself, but I’m not going to participate in it. So I’m not going to stop him, but I’m not going to be the one doing it.

TCC:  Okay [chuckles]. Thank you for that clarification.

JN:  No problem [chuckles].

TCC:  Now, do you have any sad stories with clients?

JN:  I think it always made me sad to see how deeply ashamed some of my clients were when they often really weren’t into anything that outlandish, or anything that I thought they should be ashamed of that they were deeply, deeply ashamed, but couldn’t seem to stop doing it. So it was like, I don’t know, you were excited for them that they were getting to come and fulfill their fantasy, but then knew that they were going to feel bad about themselves when they left. And that was sad and frustrating.

TCC:  Now, are there personality types that are suited to be dominant and submissive?

JN:  I think usually the most powerful, successful, dominant women are not always the ones that you would expect. I think they’re usually intelligent because it takes a fair bit of psychoanalysis to really really understand your client’s motivations and what really makes them tick and get inside their head, so I think that’s the type. But they’re often softer-spoken, they’re not the ones that you would pinpoint as, “you are clearly a dominant.”

Then I think the stereotype of really powerful men liking to be submissive held true, for me at least. Men who are in really powerful jobs or have a lot of responsibility on their shoulders during the day tend to like to surrender that control at night.

TCC:  Do you think adventurous people should try both roles?

JN:  Absolutely, yeah. I think, even if you’re not attracted to being on the flipside of it, it at least lets you get a better insight into what it’s like to be in that role, and if you’re a dominant and you are being submissive, I think it makes you a better dominant because you can get into that mindset better when you’re trained to do things on the dominant side.

TCC:  Have any of your clients forced you to sign an NDA?

JN:  No.

TCC:  Are there any rules about that in the dungeon?

JN:  Not at the dungeon where I worked, no.

TCC:  Now here’s kind of a – I don’t want to be indelicate – but what if people were to ask you, “How is this different from being a prostitute?”

JN:  I think it really depends on what your definition of prostitution [is]. I think sex work is usually the blanket term that covers strippers, and prostitutes, and porn stars, and dominatrixes. And I think at a certain point, you’re splitting hairs. I always find it strange when women are uncomfortable with that term, like a dominatrix, she doesn’t want to be called a prostitute. I wasn’t having traditional sex with my clients but to them, it was a sexual act. So I guess it’s really just a question of whether you have a problem with being called a prostitute, but it’s not something that I take issue with. I think depending on how broad your definition of prostitution is, then it potentially falls within that category.

TCC:  Now, when is your book coming out?

JN:  April 4th.

TCC:  Okay. Who is the publisher?

JN:  St. Martin’s Press, which is an imprint of McMillan.

TCC:  And it could be found, I’m guessing, online as well?

JN:  It can be found on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and IndieBound.

TCC:  Is there any other favorite character that you’d like to talk about that you encountered on your journey.

JN:  Yeah. He was a screenwriter so he was creative during the day as well. But I think a fun character in my life at that time that I’ve written about — and he’s still in my life — there was one male dominant who worked at the dungeon. And I think he sees some really interesting stuff and, as the only man there, it’s sort of an interesting environment for him and he definitely sees more female clients than we did. Women come to him to explore a little bit more. But I always find male dominance really interesting because although we put characters like Christian Grey out there and have them up on a pedestal, I think when you really dig into, I want to overpower women or I want to spank women or hurt women or whatever it is, that is viewed really negatively. So I’ve always been fascinated by men who can strike that balance and be a dominant man but still be a perfect gentleman.

TCC:  So, it’s supposed to be about having fun, not actually hurting someone?

JN:  I think it’s about pleasing your partner. So he doesn’t just want to do it. He wants his partner to like him doing it. And that’s kind of the critical component, I think.

TCC:  Now what are some basic dos and don’ts of BDSM?

JN:  The three big tenets that I always held to were safe, sane and consensual.

TCC:  Safe, sane and consensual?

JN:  So safety is a big concern which covers do you really know how to use the implements that you’re using? Does anyone have relevant medical conditions? Are they going to pass out? Just general safety [laughter]. Sane is a broader one that people tend to get frustrated with because it’s a gray area. I define sane differently from you, but I always throw it in because it’s like if you’re questioning what you’re doing like, “Is this a really good idea?” it’s probably not a good idea [laughter]. And then, consent is obviously huge. And then a safe word, I think, is critical to always play with.

TCC:  Now how did you come out to your family and tell them about your double life?

JN:  It varied a little bit case by case, but I think in general it was I just sat them down and had a conversation with them about it. I think my mom was the one I was most scared of, and I had gone to great lengths to hide it from her the entire time I was doing it. Then when I finally told her, it was like she really wasn’t — she wasn’t upset about it. She was curious and interested and I think maybe a little proud of me to have the confidence to explore another world like that. So all the things that I had been afraid of the whole time didn’t end up being true. She was supportive of my choices.

TCC:  Now, how do you want your fans to connect with you? Do you have a Facebook or something like that?

JN:  I have a Facebook or on Twitter, Instagram.  In all three cases, it’s just Jenny Nordbak, my name exactly. So my twitter handle is @jennynordbak and then Facebook and Instagram it’s jennynordbak.

TCC:  I like the cover of your book by the way.

JN:  Thank you [laughter].

TCC:  It’s very clever. Is there anything you’d like to add?

JN:  I think it might be perfect timing, but [if you] might be in the Los Angeles area, we’re going to be throwing a masquerade to celebrate the book launch and I’m going to be announcing it this weekend.

 

The Scarlett Letters Masquerade Party

TCC:  Great. Well, Jenny, thanks so much for talking to us. This was a lot of fun. I hope you have a good day today. Thanks again for setting this up and hope you enjoy your baby.

JN:  All right, thank you. Bye.

The Scarlett Letters: My Secret Year of Men in an LA Dungeon comes out in April and you can find more info on Jenny Nordbak here.

What is something that you want to try in bed, but are nervous to ask for?

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Michelle Tompkins

Michelle Tompkins is an award-winning media, PR and crisis communications professional with more than ten years experience with coverage in virtually every traditional and new media outlet. She is currently a communications and media strategist and writer, as well as the author of College Prowler: Guidebook for Columbia University. She served as the Media Relations Manager for the Girl Scouts of the USA where she managed all media and talking points, created social media strategy, trained executives and donors and served as the organization’s primary spokesperson, participating in daily interviews with local, regional, and national media outlets. She managed the media for the Let Me Know internet safety and Cyberbullying prevention campaign with Microsoft, as well as Girl Scouts’ centennial Year of the Girl To Get Her There celebration in 2012, which yielded more than 800 million earned media impressions. In addition to her extensive media experience, Michelle worked as a talent agent in Los Angeles, California, as well contracting as a digital content developer and her writing has appeared in newspapers and online. She is passionate about television, theater, classic movies, all things food and in-home entertaining. While she has lived and worked in NYC for more than a decade, she is from suburban Sacramento and gets back there often to watch the San Francisco Giants on TV with her family.