Vulnerability. It’s something we innately fear. Defined by Oxford Languages, vulnerability is “the quality or state of being exposed to the possibility of being attacked or harmed, either physically or emotionally”. Whether we’re being emotionally vulnerable and opening our heart, or standing naked before a lover with nothing to hide behind, most of us can recall a sense of discomfort. Similar to a gazelle being chased by a lion on the african plains, as animals we approach our fear of vulnerability with a ‘fight or flight’ response. But what if you’re physically restrained from fighting it? What if flight is not an option? Staring your vulnerability in the face and not attempting escape is a different level of connection.
Dr Brené Brown – professor at the University of Houston and famed author and Ted Talk speaker – lectures on courage, vulnerability, shame, empathy and human connection. She argues that “vulnerability is the birthplace of love, belonging, joy, courage, empathy, and creativity. It is the source of hope, empathy, accountability and authenticity”. Today’s Wickedly Inspirational Woman takes you on a journey into vulnerability, to find these enlightening feelings, but through wonderfully wicked means...
Meet Rina Trevi. To attempt to categorise this woman for ease of introduction, isn’t so easy. She’s not a dominatrix not a masseuse, and not a psychotherapist. She describes herself as a Vulnerability Coach, but what does that entail? For near on a decade of being a professional dominatrix across the globe, 3 years of practicing sexological bodywork for women, and 8 years studying Tantra with various schools in Asia, she honed her craft and advanced her BDSM sessions to become ritual journeys into self-awareness and conscious exploration of her ‘shadow self’; the unconscious side, the side of your personality that contains all the parts you don’t want to admit having.
Recently launched at the end of 2020, Rina has created ‘Underline’; an online school of BDSM and tantra, to expand her reach and be able to help more people get intouch with their deeper selves and explore their mind. As her website highlights, “your sexuality, your ability to communicate with yourself and your partner, your dreams, your fantasies, your internal wiring -– all of these are keys to your deeper self”. With a syllabus that explores vulnerability and surrender, BDSM, consent, partnership, safety, psychology, spirituality, tantra, along with practical skills such as shibari and rope bondage and fetish exploration, her 10 week course will open your eyes, and your mind, to the path to explore your inner workings. With packages to learn the roles of submissive, domme and switch, there's something for every area of enlightenment.
We find her fascinating, and we know you will too...
Tell us a bit about yourself, name, age, where you live?
I’m Rina Tevi, I’m 34, and I live all over the world but based in New York City
What do you do?
My name is Rina Trevi, formerly known as Ms. Renee Trevi. I’m not a Dominatrix, not a masseuse and not a psychotherapist. A Vulnerability Coach is the best way to describe my profession: my mission is to acquaint you with your own self -- raw and unmasked.
Here are some other terms that others have used to describe me that are accurate: sexological bodyworker, author, BDSM coach, world traveler, skydiver, BASE jumper, freediver, student of ancient traditions and intrepid explorer of consciousness.
Like most people, I grew up conditioned to believe that I have to fight hard to make it, and that fear and greed are our main engines. I used to believe I needed to seek happiness on the far side of the moon instead of within myself. Now I know this isn't so: this life is for freedom. Embracing vulnerability is a key to intimacy and, ultimately, to freedom. Vulnerability is a shedding of the many cumbersome layers of the protective armor and defense mechanisms that we have spent our lives collecting.
Can you tell us 5 words to describe yourself?
Alluring, thoughtful, unconventional, adventurous and playful.
How do you feel when you wear lingerie as opposed to underwear?
I feel my inner Goddess. I feel empowered, confident, beautiful. Like this is not just an ordinary day, but a celebration - of life, of femininity, of Me!
What is currently your favourite piece of lingerie that you own and why?
Thong bodysuit - lace and see-through. It makes me feel enhanced, seductive and playful.
What does female empowerment mean to you?
It means being in touch and celebrating all aspects of the Feminine. Female empowerment is all about equipping and allowing women to be their desired versions of themselves, to be accepted in their sexual and emotional expressions, as well as more globally, to make major decisions through the different problems in society.
What do you do to make yourself empowered/liberated/confident?
I start with mastering my own self-esteem, finding the unshakable place of confidence within. I do so via mindfulness practices - meditation, yoga, qi-gong, self-inquiry. Once I’m rooted in this state of inner freedom and peace, I feel at ease when facing the world. I find that connection to myself is the priority.
When it comes to intimately relating to others, I enjoy power exchange play. I love being both domme and a sub, or dominating and submitting with my partner. A forceful partner demonstrates with his or her passion the value and desirability of the one who submits. The reverse is equally true: a submissive partner demonstrates through his or her surrender the irresistible erotic powers of the dominant one. Both top and bottom feel not only strong and affirmed, but deeply connected with each other.
Regardless of whichever end of the spectrum I find myself, I find power exchange play to be incredibly empowering. Places of total power and total powerlessness are my places of freedom.
‘Female sexuality is no longer a taboo’. Do you agree with this statement?
I wish. I mean, it’s less a taboo these days in some parts of the world. But if you compare, for instance, San Francisco with my hometown Stavropol in Russia, the gap is huge. I grew up in a very sexually restrictive environment and unfortunately it’s still the same, there is a long way to go.
Yet I’m very pleased about the fact that I can feel myself sexually accepted with all my expressions, kinks and fantasies in NYC where I live. I can be openly a Dominatrix and I can also go to sex-parties while dressed in my favorite lingerie, I can be topless on a street! NYC is amazing in that sense, just like Berlin and San Francisco!
Yet I feel like part of my mission in this world is to bring more freedom to our sexuality, to recognize the beauty and sacredness of it. My sessions, workshops and online course are all about it - being unapologetically yourself in all your sexual expressions!
What message would you give to your younger self e.g as a teenager?
You are beautiful, you are precious and you are loved as you are!
Reverting back to Dr Brown, “vulnerability sounds like truth and feels like courage. Truth and courage aren’t always comfortable, but they’re never weakness”. Infact, finding strength through vulnerability is wonderfully wicked.