“I Am My Own Boss:” Autonomy Within Sexual Self-Empowerment
© Photography by Lanee Bird || Inframe Violeta Félix
Interviews in identity and performance II - Esluna, Violeta, and Yvonne discuss education, success and autonomy.
What is your favorite thing about what you do?
Esluna: I just can not choose only one thing that I love the most about my work. I love that I make my own choices: I am my own boss. I travel for work and meet other like-minded, creative, and inspiring people. Not only that but I also create art in a sexual/fetish way and that feels really good. I have learned so much about myself and my sexuality and I never stop learning. I just love everything about my work.
Violeta: I genuinely do love being in the role of Domme. I like the connection I develop with my clients, and I love playing with them. It feels like magic when I completely captivate someone with just my words, the trance that glazes over their eyes, having their complete and undivided attention only on me! It’s an experience that’s hard to put into words. I also enjoy the community that comes with being a Domme. I have met some of the best people in my life through this work, and I am very thankful for it.
Yvonne: For me, it’s hearing the audience enjoy what they’re watching. I love it. The cheers, banter, and everything else under the sun. Meeting them after the show and hearing them say how much they enjoyed it is so gratifying.
Are there occasions where you have struggled with negative assumptions or feedback on what you do? (Either from random people, family, or friends?)
Esluna: Yes, but not a lot. I get the most negative assumptions from random people that I do not know. Mostly on social media or they troll in the comments. I just delete the comments when I am able to do that or laugh at it. You need to have a thick skin for this work. I always think this person that is hating on me must have a really bad day or is really unhappy. Violeta: Not really. Thankfully my entire circle has been fully supportive and loving regarding what I do, seeing as most of them are also sex workers. My mom knows what I do too, and she supports my decision.
Yvonne: For me, in the beginning of my Carnival and Burlesque careers, friends would tell me I was “brave.” And while I know this was said without malintent, to me, I was not being ‘brave;’ I was doing something I was in love with it. Since the show has grown, I have heard less of this so we must be doing something right!
Whenever you are starting something new, it is important to listen to people who want you to succeed.
To what extent are there (sex / consent / pleasure) education opportunities, either for yourself or others?
Esluna: There are definitely education opportunities with the content of sex/pleasure/consent. There are some sites that give workshops or produce videos/podcasts/articles about this topic. I know this because I do not only work In mainstream porn but also In indie, art, and ethical porn. I get information and experiences from both sides. But for example, CHEEX, Lustery, Erika Lust, & Joybear are some examples that really create helpful and informative content. Sometimes I create videos or give live educational workshops that are about sexual practices/pleasure. Violeta: In a lot of my sessions, I do educate my clients about a variety of subjects related to kink and human sexuality, from telling them to not use silicone lube on silicone toys to deep dives into the spectrum of kink and the psychology that drives it. Inversely, I have also learned practical skills from my clients regarding impact play, aftercare after physically heavy sessions, and D/s psychology.
© Photography by Arden & Erlika Lust Films || Inframe Esluna Love, Jasko Fide, and The Finch
To what extent has being a performer helped you figure out who you are, sexually, spiritually, or just generally in what you want, who you are and what you are comfortable with?
Esluna: In my work, I continue to learn more and more about my sexuality and because of that, I feel self-empowered. I make my own decisions and choices. And only do what I want and like to do. Being a performer definitely helped me figure more out about myself. Violeta: My work has allowed me to establish firmer boundaries with people in my life, and make me more comfortable and self-assured with my own self-image. D/s has allowed me to say “no” more, to establish consequences to unacceptable actions, and to appreciate every single corner of myself.
Yvonne: Performance has helped me become self-aware and connect intuitively with my body and its movement. Sexual self-empowerment comes with being confident and in love with your own skin and soul. Escaping in your own art is the ultimate therapy.
Any final advice? About being confident, about sexual self-empowerment, or about educating yourself on sex / pleasure?
Always stay true to yourself.
Do not rush or cross your boundaries.
You are one of a kind and special, nobody can take that away from you.
Treat your body like a temple - it is sacred, so be selective.
Most people are full of shit. If you feel hot, it’s because you are. If people are mad? They can stay mad.
Remember to surround yourself with loving and supportive people, people that neg you or criticize every minuscule thing about you need to be cut off from your life. Stat.
Self-empowerment is an ongoing process. You will never stop learning how to love yourself and you should always aspire to do that when creating your art.
Practice safe sexual practices, mentally and physically.
Reach out to resources if you want to be more educated - there is so much access to information thanks to the internet.
For educating yourself about sex/pleasure check out podcasts/articles and videos on CHEEX, Lustery, Erika Lust, & Joybear.