We know our SW women have a wonderfully wicked streak. Whether their kinky side is their money maker, an alter-ego that they live through on social media, or it's a little more private behind closed doors; we know you know a flogger from a crop, and you’re not afraid of getting a little experimental. Our collections are often inspired by the art of bondage; the Lexi collection paying homage to shibari, Jade featuring bold straps which are a subtle wink to bondage. This blog post is going to introduce you to one woman (unless you’re already familiar, she's rather notorious) who could teach you anything and everything you don’t already know…
While the taboo clouding BDSM still hesitantly lingers for some, there have been breaks in the cloud in recent years. The release of the 50 Shades of Grey in 2015 saw BDSM thrust into popular culture, and the ‘50 Shades Effect’ saw a 400% increase in sex toy sales, and hardware stores saw a spike in women purchasing rope, after succumbing to the throbbing groin of Christian Grey. However many argue that the franchise normalised out-dated power structures; presenting the image of a wilting wallflower submitting to a man who not only has financial and social power, but now the sole power over her whole being.
Inversely, the role of the dominatrix has been less visible in popular culture - contributing to the outdated, but ever-still-present, notion that society fears independent powerful women. Well, oppressed by the patriarchy, we shall not be. The history of the dominatrix is extensive - the story of Phyllis and Aristotle is evident from the 12th century, in which Phyllis rides Aristotle’s back, whipping and verbally abusing him, seducing the mind of the greatest male philosopher. A woman after our own hearts.
These powerful women were popular in secret spaces from the 16th century and today play a valuable role in the ever growing BDSM community. 1 in 4 under-40s have reported that they want to try BDSM, 12% of the overall British adult public already have, and of those who have, 88% would like to go again, while the NHS reported that fans of bondage and S&M recorded better mental health. Therefore, while popular culture may still want us to believe that the sexual world is a man’s one, boy oh boy is it wrong.
Mistress Justine Cross is a professional BDSM consultant and lifestyle Dominatrix based in LA. For over 10 years she has dominated as well as educated; running two BDSM dungeons in LA, simultaneously leading classes on BDSM, safe sex practices and consent, and lending her time, talents and philanthropy to LGBT causes, the BLM movement and empowering and self-care women’s charities, such as the Keep a Breast Foundation. Mistress Justine’s expertise and creativity has been called on for dozens of print, radio, and video productions, including Janelle Monae’s 2018 “Make Me Feel” video, the 2014 film Bound, various podcasts including “Savage Love,” and for a number of campaigns and projects for major brands.
We are big fans of Mistress Justine Cross and everything she stands for here at Something Wicked, we decided it was a must that she joined our growing line-up of wickedly inspirational women. Here is our conversation with her, in which we discussed empowerment, self care, and all things wicked…
Tell us a bit about yourself, name, age, where you live?
I am Mistress Justine Cross, a professional BDSM consultant and lifestyle Dominatrix based in Los Angeles. I'm in my 30s.
What do you do?
I own a small company. I am a professional dominatrix, model and educator. I also run two BDSM dungeons, Dungeon West and Dungeon East.
Can you tell us 5 words to describe yourself?
Intelligent, gorgeous, hilarious, classy and woke.
How do you feel when you wear lingerie as opposed to underwear?
I feel sexy and more powerful, commanding.
What is currently your favourite piece of lingerie that you own and why?
I recently got a turquoise lace onesie that I really love because it’s hard for me to find one pieces that aren't too short for me, but this is a really unexpected colour because its so bright and not normally something i would wear, but let’s just say it rubbed me in all the right places.
What does female empowerment mean to you?
It means not only feeling powerful as a female identifying person, but also to help empower others. I feel very powerful and relish in that power, but I also want to shine light on other powerful women and bring others up with me. There’s lots of room at the top for all of us.
What do you do to make yourself empowered/liberated/confident?
Dismantle the patriarchy in any and all ways that I can. Sometimes that means draining men of thousands of dollars, sometimes it means donating to organisations to make this world a better place - particularly LGBTQ+ and BLM organisations, sometimes it means having conversations with people. Honestly, I feel pretty empowered by the nature of my business - I have multiple people tell me daily that I am the best and that I make them so happy. However, in general, I’ve always felt pretty confident. Self-care is so important and doing those things like exercising, getting my nails and hair done etc, make me feel confident.
'Female sexuality is no longer a taboo'. Do you agree with this statement?
Unfortunately, I do not. So much of this depends on where you are in the world. In much of the world, including my own country, women are treated as less than as men. I see a lot of women doing things like taking back their power like making an Onlyfans or making money with their bodies in other ways. Sex work is the only profession in the world where women make more than men - and it’s also an industry that isn’t legal or decriminalised in much of the world.
What message would you give to your younger self eg as a teenager?
You were correct in your belief that you were destined for greatness.
Intrigued by this enchanting mistress and wish to know more? Fancy learning a lesson from the divine dominatrix herself? Visit https://www.losangelesdominatrix.com and follow @thejustinecross on Insta.