Shawna Kenney, |
I Was a Teenage Dominatrix
(Retro Systems Press, 1999)
I think Shawna Kenney is like the girls I hung out with in high school. Kinda boyish, getting into punk rock (as much as they could in middle America), and hanging out with the boys way more than the girls. We were all loosely allied, like rivals with a common thread.
Reading about her early life made me remember all those girls. Not the cheezy, bottle blondes with the cheerleading skirts, but the rest of us. Those of us for whom a t-shirt was more important than a gucci shirt. (Hey. It was the '80s.) Now I'm wondering where they ended up. What they've been doing. Maybe one of them has lived as exciting of a life as Shawna.
Shawna Kenney worked her own way through college as a dominatrix in a small in-house "salon" in Washington D.C. Her book, aptly named I Was a Teenage Dominatrix, chronicles her adventures in a way that doesn't give in to the hype or the over-eroticising of the professional aspect, but still tells you what you want to know.
She has no lack of stories. From the first few guys she whipped to the last few that she ordered, she relates these stories with a sort of matter-of-fact nature and subdued humor that almost makes it read like fiction.
Strangely, if it was fiction, it wouldn't be believable. Her inner shift from good ol' small-town girl to ball-busting domme with leather tools who believes herself to be Queen of the World when she's wearing PVC would be just too dramatic to be realistic. The fact that it's a true story makes it compelling -- a definite page-turner, with every new client story causing the reader to shake her head in wonder and amazement.
She's such a pretty girl, too. Isn't that what they always say about women in the sex industry? Her picture on the back cover makes her look like a little cute kewpie doll. It's almost distracting, while reading, to think that this little cute thing is the main character. It's such a dichotomy that it's all that more intriguing.
I was riveted by this book. It's small -- only just over a hundred pages -- and once I picked it up and got into it, I couldn't put it down. I like the author, I find the stories fascinating, and the production quality of the book is good. It's not one I'd re-read, but I might whip it out at parties and quote some of it, just to watch the faces of my guests.