There’s still time to nominate local icons for Best of D.C.
A life in leather, a world of whips: The dominatrix lifestyle seems to me at once mysterious, fascinating, and more than a little sexually deviant. It’s not unusual for most folk to sneak a little back-scratching, “Who’s your daddy?” playfulness into their lovemaking, but it’s another thing to start paddling fannies and pissing on people. First, few are comfortable with pain—not to mention riding crops—in the bedroom. Second, even though most of the tricks in the dominatrix bag are just good clean fun by the letter of the law, many people equate the practice with prostitution. Nevertheless, Shawna Kenney, in her memoir I Was a Teenage Dominatrix, makes her descent into badness seem sane and practical. Kenney’s life in D.C. started off pretty typically: She liked punk rock and hated waitressing. But she soon began looking into new sources of income to pay her way through American University and became an exotic dancer. (With American, Georgetown, GW, and Howard all right here in the District, it’s a wonder the streets aren’t flooded with strippers who’ve got class in the morning.) Kenney’s foray into nude gyrations proved unsettling, so she quickly switched majors. After answering an ad in this very newspaper—”Get Paid for Being a Bitch”—she found out that she’s a woman with a knack for making guys suffer. Good thing more young women don’t read the classifieds. The Dominatrix speaks, and signs copies of her book, at 7 p.m. Friday, Oct. 29, at Olsson’s Books & Records, 1200 F St. NW. Free. (202) 347-3686. (Neil Drumming)