The Scarlett Letters: My Secret Year of Men in an L.A. Dungeon

Jenny Nordbak. St. Martin’s, $25.99 (320p) ISBN 978-1-250-09113-0
In this entertaining read, Nordbak sets the tone early: “I was having a typical Monday. My foot worship client had been late.” For more than a year, while working a day job as a construction manager, Nordbak spent her nights working at one of the most popular “dungeons” in Los Angeles, “a similar idea to a brothel, except no sex happens there and it specifically caters to fetishes.” But “no sex” really just means no penetration, and Nordbak details a wide range of sexual appetites being satisfied in an unassuming residential house “where pleasure and fantasy were sacred.” She deftly explains how she learned the difference between a submissive and a dominatrix as well as the complexities of the work itself: “I had to be confessor, therapist, and temptress while in the space of a few minutes negotiating a business transaction... and reading the subtext of a client’s fetishes.” She also introduces the reader to a range of customers, such as Doggie Dan, an elderly man who liked to be led around on all fours while wearing a dog collar, and an unnamed Hollywood star who was into urethral sounds, metal rods originally used by doctors to open blocks in the urethra. Throughout, Nordbak is sympathetic in describing her clients as well as frank and funny about her own kinks. (Apr.)
Reviewed on: 02/13/2017
Release date: 04/04/2017
Genre: Nonfiction
Ebook - 978-1-250-09115-4
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