- Emma Louise Alvarez
“Sexual Self-Empowerment is a Road, Not a Destination”
© Photography by SUD || Inframe Esluna Love
Interviews in identity and performance: Esluna, Violeta, and Yvonne talk about what sexual self-empowerment means to them.
INJECTION Magazine had the opportunity to speak with Esluna Love, a performer, model, and content creator; Violeta Félix, a Domme who describes themselves as hypersensual, curious, and silly, and Yvonne Lux, a charismatic and optimistic burlesque performer. This interview series explores sexual self-empowerment in an environment where there is a plethora of expectations and misconceptions around sex, identity, and autonomy.
Trigger warnings; sexual inequality, sexual violence, mention of assault.
When did you first know you wanted to be a performer? How did you get into this line of work?
Esluna: I was always a performer & creative human from a young age. I am actually a professional dancer/dance teacher; I have my bachelor’s degree in dance. After my graduation, I started with alternative/dance modeling to have some extra income. My social media pages started to grow because I worked with a lot of photographers in Europe. Then a year later I got asked by another model and performer if I would like to perform in a porn movie. They found my Instagram page and really liked my looks. I already did nude/erotic photoshoots so I thought why not.
That’s also my ‘thing.’ I love to try out new things/experiences. So my first shoot was for an ethical all-female production ‘Ersties’ in Berlin. It was my first porn shoot and my first time having sex with other women. And I loved it! From there it started all slowly with more and more productions and now I am here: a full-time performer & content creator.
Yvonne: I also knew from a young age. Performance was where my heart was, but I got into it later down the road in life thanks to some Divine help. It kind of happened naturally - I was invited to join a Carnival band in Los Angeles in 2016 and that is when it really started.
Violeta: I got into this line of work through a close friend who is also a fellow Domme. She invited me to watch her humiliate someone in a session, and the next thing I knew I was enthusiastically joining in on verbally ripping this man apart. Ever since then I swore to myself that that was what I was going to do. It felt very liberating. After that, I ended up living with her and another Domme. They had their dungeon in the house we lived in. Suddenly, Femme Dom became part of my daily life. They were both enthusiastic about sharing their skills and knowledge, the whole process was actually pretty organic and spontaneous.
Did you have any fears or worries before getting into this? How did you cope with that?
Esluna: I actually did not have any big fears because I build up my career really slowly and carefully. I thought a lot about my options and choices. About who to work with and who not and about what kind of content I wanted to create. I always was open to my loved ones and they are super supportive. I am so lucky. They know that I am always available for questions and conversations. I was always a risk-taker and did not really care what people thought about me. So it was not really a surprise for most loved ones.
Violeta: I had this initial question about whether this would ruin my life. But, then I realized that I wasn’t going to become a politician, a teacher, or pursue any other profession where my life would be looked down upon. The other worry was safety. I grew up watching a lot of the nasty side of the internet, where hyper-obsessive internet trolls would doxx anyone at the drop of a hat and ruin their lives. I was also afraid of guys stalking me. I guess that fear still persists, so I take precautions when communicating with people and with what I post online.
Yvonne: My biggest fear has always been falling. I have not yet really fallen off stage (yet, and let’s manifest that that never happens), but falling over or hurting a patron is my ultimate fear. Falling back to my technical dance and stage training always works - to breathe and maintain control always.
© Photography by Sven || Inframe Yvonne Lux
What is the most infuriating misconception about what you do?
Esluna: For me, the biggest misconception is: ‘What you do is not a real job, you are lazy and it is clear that you do not have an education. And because you can do nothing, you sell your body’
Yeah... I will just leave that here without any further comment.
Violeta: An assumption that people make in my line of work is that Dommes don’t face violence because of the sexual role we play. This is a misconception that I’ve heard not just from civilians and clients, but from other sex workers as well. I am not denying that there is a level of privilege when it comes to being a Domme, but to think we are exempt from whorephobic, transphobic, and misogynist violence is ridiculous. Dommes have been arrested, Dommes have been raped, Dommes have been beaten, and Dommes have been killed. We’re not exempt from injustice just because we’re Dommes. We’re still in-person workers in a criminalized and clandestine profession. The other misconception that bugs me is that all my clients must be freaks. They’re not. They’re regular people. Yeah, once in a while you may encounter a kooky character, but haven’t we all? People who judge other people’s private sex lives really bug me. They must be pretty miserable.
Yvonne: Burlesque performers are often put into the same category as ‘stripping’ - and while there’s nothing wrong with being a stripper (I even considered doing it in the past), what we do on stage is we create art - a compelling and entertaining performance where we are moved by the melodies of the stage. And when ‘burlesque’ is immediately linked to ‘stripping,’ we are frowned on by the ‘industry,’ and there is no open-mindedness about what we do.
What does ‘sexual self-empowerment’ mean to you?
Esluna: Sexual self-empowerment means a lot to me, it is a road, not a destination. As a human, you learn every day and you continue to change. Your sexuality changes as well; it is not just the same throughout your whole life.
Violeta: Sexual self-empowerment means knowing and being sure about what you want and not being afraid to ask for it. It’s also knowing and being sure of what you don’t want and not being afraid to say no.
Yvonne: Sexual self-empowerment comes with being confident and in love with your own skin and soul. Performance has helped me become self-aware and connect intuitively with my body and its movement.