Dominatrix Lends Novel Perspective On Her Job

By Ivy Oleson

I turn on Skype at 8:20 AM and waiting for me is a friend request from a dominatrix, Isabella Sinclaire. Her profile consists of a pixelated picture of her in a corset with a choker around her neck and her status: “more fetishes, less computers.”
First, let me backtrack: this year I play a dominatrix in Berkeley High School’s annual production of “The Vagina Monologues” by Eve Ensler.

I wanted to talk to a real sex worker about the part, because all of the monologues are based on interviews Ensler conducted with real women. I also wanted to be sure that I was doing this woman justice.

Sinclaire, a distant family friend of mine, is a semi-retired, big deal dominatrix. After rescheduling a few times (she’s busy with four kids, her ailing father, work, and a demanding volunteer position as the head of a youth basketball league) I am finally interviewing a world famous dominatrix.

How you may already know Sinclaire:

Assuming all of you are keeping things PG-13 out there, you may know her from a Pistachio commercial in which she whips a single pistachio off a chair. What you may not know is that she did it in only one take. If you haven’t seen this, I highly recommend youtubing “dominatrix does it on command.” It could be the best nineteen seconds of your life.
Sinclaire’s catchphrase is:

“Easy on the eyes, hard on everything else.”

What she did before becoming a dominatrix:

Sinclaire was a Psychology major in college. As soon as I heard this it made perfect sense to me; on the other hand, it would have never occurred to me before I met her.

What motivates her:

Sinclaire’s father abused her mother, yet her mother kept coming back to pick fights with him. Sinclaire has come to understand through her work in the world of sadomasochism that “My mom was what in call in the industry a ‘Smart-Assed Masochist,’ someone who mouths off to get punished. I would never love anyone who did that to me. Sad thing is, they could have had a very loving power exchange, but they didn’t know how to.”

How this has informed my peformance:

One of the major themes in “The Vagina Monologues” and the V-Day movement is ending abuse towards women, and I didn’t really understand how my character fit into that. What motivated a dominatrix to talk to Eve Ensler? I realized as I talked with Sinclaire that being a dominatrix can be positive, one way to help end the cycle of abuse.

On being intense:

“Girls can come off as too aggressive and guys are like, ‘Woah, she’s too intense!’” Sinclaire said, “I’ve always been considered too intense. Not because I’m dominating or aggressive, I am just articulate and not afraid.” I too have experienced this. Also, in Vagina Monologues my character says, “Men thought I was too intense, some called me insane.”

Sign you may become a dominatrix:

You were a tomboy as a child. “They’re not afraid to make mud pies, climb trees, shoot guns, play sports.” Or, apparently, to participate in latex wrestling, flogging, and high heel trampling when they are a little bit older.