A portrait of the artist as a young dominatrix 

Jessica Love showing her tattoos and her technique with a client/“slave.” Photo by Bob Krasner

BY BOB KRASNER  |  There was a time when an ambitious young artist supplemented his or her income in the domain of food services — waiter/actor, waitress/musician, etc.

But in a world where housewives are kicking back with “Fifty Shades of Grey” and Rihanna and Britney are extolling the virtues of “S&M,” finding that Jessica Love, a model, singer, writer and artist, is making a living as a dominatrix shouldn’t be surprising.

The 27-year-old is a striking beauty who is completely comfortable in her skin, which has been liberally decorated by her own design. When she was 17 she began to create the tattoos which eventually became permanent fixtures at age 21. Black vines approach her eyes and monstrous tree branch talons rise up from below, reach over her breasts and rip away at her skin. An original poem about time surrounds her leg and angel wings made of ants decorate her back, hovering above twisted roots and babies still attached to their umbilical cords. A tribute to her late sister is purposely placed on her arm, “a constant reminder that she’s understood and not forgotten.” The various designs cohere around the body much the way that her various pursuits combine to form the creation that is herself.

Love, whose name comes courtesy of her “hippie mother,” spent her formative years on a roller coaster of dysfunctionality. Until she was 2, there was little or no structure to family life. At that time her father remarried and Jessica found herself in a “Christian cult” that had nothing but restrictions. When she turned 8, her father got divorced, left the cult, threw all the rules out the window and covered himself in tattoos. That’s when she started smoking cigarettes with her dad. Not surprisingly, Love grew up fast, living a life, she said, that involved “molestation as well as physical and emotional abuse.” She found herself variously spending time in boarding school, boot camp, a mental institution and jail before she became a model at 15 years old.

Newly on her own in New York, the teenager found herself getting work but also getting ripped off by “a terrible modeling agency.” Her portfolio included a David LaChapelle shoot with Ricky Martin, but working for someone else’s benefit was not her goal. Today, she continues to model, but on her own terms, with no agent to take a cut.

Her apartment, part of which is the “dungeon,” is filled with examples of her sculpture and other artwork. Two books are in the works, one a memoir, the other a “dark fantasy about a girl who becomes trapped in her own mind.”

She’s also recording a collection of songs that are influenced by both the Velvet Underground and the Beach Boys, among others.

A few times a year she finds herself in Paris, doing showroom work for clothing designer Rick Owens. Partygoers in Manhattan may notice her (and it’s hard not to) when she’s been hired by clients like David Barton to provide atmosphere as a “club kid” along with a group of her more creative friends. Maybe inevitably, a reality show is being pitched about that group as well. “We’re all attention whores,” she explained.

Add to that résumé a stint touring all over Europe dancing with and eating fire, after which, we come to her present guise as Mistress Isis Succubus. At a recent session, crop in hand and clad in a skin-tight latex nurse’s outfit, she confronted her slave, a young man in a French maid’s outfit (also latex), his face covered in a hood. Both mistress and slave see the interaction as therapeutic. “Balance” is a word they use to describe the primary benefit of the sessions, which do not involve sexual contact.

Her dominatrix name was chosen because, she explained, “Isis is the goddess of magic and life-giving and medicine and wisdom.” Although the surname references, as she said, “a demon who lures and then preys,” her guiding philosophy is one of healing and positivity.

“Being a domme [a female dominant in BDSM] means power, independence, control, controversy and excitement. But, above all, it means being able to help others,” she explained. “It’s satisfying to be able to touch people’s lives in ways that others can’t.”

As much as she enjoys her work, it’s not a permanent career. Thinking ahead, she said, “I want kids someday and I definitely won’t be a domme mom. I feel bad enough being a domme mom to a dog. When I come out of the room she always has her little ears back and an abused look on her eyes like, Why, Mom, why?’”

For all inquiries, contact mistressisissuccubus@gmail.com 

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2 Responses to A portrait of the artist as a young dominatrix 

  1. All this poor woman needs is a real man.

  2. Veronica DeName

    you go girl!!!

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