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I Was a Teenage Dominatrix Paperback – November 9, 2001


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Paperback, November 9, 2001
$20.40 $4.17
--This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 124 pages
  • Publisher: Last Gasp (November 9, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0867195304
  • ISBN-13: 978-0867195309
  • Product Dimensions: 0.4 x 5.4 x 8.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (35 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,161,908 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

"You can only blame your parents for so much," says Shawna Kenney in her breezy memoir, I Was a Teenage Dominatrix, quickly disassociating herself from the common stereotype of the sex worker as a desperate victim of a male-dominated culture. Indeed, while Kenney's career choice may be shocking to some, her affable, conversational style reveals how an intelligent college student, short on cash, finds dominatrix work a viable way of making ends meet--there's no sex, it's great money, and there's plenty of time for homework.

After guiding readers through a largely uneventful childhood and rebellious adolescence, Kenney ranges through a wide collection of professional anecdotes that are by turns hilarious, downright disgusting, and even poignant. Cranky from having to wear uncomfortable stiletto heels, for instance, Kenney finds a creative way to gain relief: "'Remove my shoes, you stupid slut,' I ordered.... From then on I was the barefoot dominatrix. I'm sure high heels were designed by some man, anyway." Many of the most unusual clients, however, are those who aren't interested in heels or bullwhips--they pay just to talk. "My wife died twelve years ago," sobs one client. "I haven't been this close to a woman since." Another, a cross-dresser from Argentina, only wants acceptance: "I come from a country where it is very important to be macho. To be like me is a disgrace." Along the way, Kenney reveals keen insight into what goes on behind the closed doors of so-called "normal" people and gains greater understanding of her own attitudes toward friends and romance. With the conspiratorial tone of a best girlfriend conversing over coffee, she shares moments of laughter and tears (as well as a few other bodily fluids), but never once resorts to pure shock or self-pity. Those seeking a morality tale of how the "bad" girl gets her comeuppance should look elsewhere. This is a refreshing, honest portrait of a young woman determined to make something of herself on her own terms. --Ginger Dzerk --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

"'A page turner, a riveting romp with intellectual as well as sexual content...There's something here for everyone, from fetishists to curious culture-vultures' " -- Editor of The Underground Guide to Los Angeles "'Kenney spanked, twisted and bit her way through college...Parents, if you want to introduce your daughters to a profession, this is the book for you' " Baltimore Weekly "'Holden Caulfield in leather'" Salon.Com --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

More About the Author

Shawna Kenney is the author of the award-winning memoir I Was a Teenage Dominatrix (Last Gasp), co-author of Imposters (Mark Batty Publisher) and editor of Book Lovers: Sexy Stories from Under the Covers (Seal Press). She has covered arts and pop culture for Playboy, Ms., Bust, Juxtapoz, The Rumpus, and Transworld Skateboarding, among others, while her essays appear in numerous anthologies. She lives in Los Angeles.

Customer Reviews

A very interesting book.
Just Me
She doesn't knock it or praise it, she just describes it...the good, the bad, and the ugly.
Simone
Definitly worth the read.
girldiver

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

46 of 46 people found the following review helpful By Jay J. Wiseman on December 22, 2000
Format: Paperback
I had the pleasure of meeting Shawna Kenney at a publishing convention earlier this year. (I'm also an author.) She is a very bright, engaging woman who has seen some fascinating aspects of both men in particular and of life in general.
Shawna is one of many attractive women who discovered that, if you approach it intelligently, doing various types of what is known by the general term of "sex work" can result in being paid (a lot) better and in being treated considerably better than is true of many mainstream jobs.
She started out working as a private erotic dancer and then switched over to working as a professional dominatrix. After learning her craft and working in two professional domination studios, she established her own independent practice. Her work as a professional dominatrix allowed her to put herself through college and become the first person in her family to graduate. (The discipline she learned from her father, who was in the navy, also helped her.)
She always treated her clients ethically and respected their privacy scrupulously -- including in the writing of this book. She also discovered that men have more varied reasons than the average person might imagine for hiring sex workers. While many had a unique aspect of their sexuality that they want to explore or further experience, particularly as it related to their erotic submissiveness, others merely wanted some female companionship.
The descriptions of these latter encounters were among the most poignant passages in Shawna's book. Her description of the pain and loneliness these men endure is very moving. I don't see how anyone could doubt how sex workers often make a deep and positive contribution to the well-being of their clients after reading these passages.
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33 of 36 people found the following review helpful By "tartuso" on August 2, 2000
Format: Paperback
Don't be fooled by the title of this entertaining, offbeat memoir. The author, Shawna Kenney, may, indeed, have been nineteen when she began working as a dominatrix, but she was in her twenties for most of her career in domination. Of course, you can't blame the publishers of this book for choosing the title. After all, "I Was a Twenty-Something Dominatrix" isn't nearly as titillating.
Also, don't be fooled by the jacket-copy on the back of the book. Gushes the enthusiastic marketer: "Kenney transforms herself from young, broke, and miserable in crappy jobs ("The worst thing was my boss who stared at my chest while he yelled at me") to successful and empowered as a self-made professional-dominatrix-slash-college-student." To read this, you'd think Kenney was something of a feminist heroine. In fact, before she took the restaurant job, where she resented the way her lascivious employer ogled her breasts, Kenney was an exotic dancer who regularly disrobed for paying customers to ogle her breasts - among other things. That's hardly the behavior of a feminist in search of empowerment!
One can understand the excesses of a publisher anxious to market a book, but even Kenney herself gets into the spin-doctoring game. She spends an inordinate amount of space at the beginning of the book trying to convince the reader that she's ordinary, "the girl next door." To prove this, she drags us through excruciatingly boring details of her childhood - including what TV programs she watched and what treats she had for dessert. But in her attempts to prove her "normalcy," Kenney only manages to underline why she's so well-equipped for the job of a dom.
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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful By girldiver on October 19, 2003
Format: Paperback
Shawna Kenney is no ordinary teenager or coed. She had a goal to get through college her way and the tenacity to do it. As amusing and even shocking as this memoir was at times you always new this was a means to an end, paying for college.
She really just stumbled on to being a dominatrix and just happend to be good at it. Shawna takes you from her childhood poverty and mindset to an adventure on her own and the discovery of her true womanly power, self respect and fearless confidence.
She writes this memoir in a very relaxed personal way. You know what she enjoys and what she does not and never does she hide behind political correctness or self importance. She just tells it like it was the good, bad, ugly, and gross.
She talks about her clients, acts of her job, the scene of professional dominatrix, and the learning lessons she acquired. The book really is a self-discovery and has some real moments of poignancy were she discovers the emotional consequences of her college job. Albeit an unusall memoir it was definitly filled with funny stories and insight. Definitly worth the read.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Sarah on August 21, 2002
Format: Paperback
I knew I had to read this book when I saw the cover. Not the covered pictured here, mind you. The cover I saw depicted a voluptous woman in cartoon character form wearing a leopard print dominatrix costume. From the looks of the cover I assumed the book was some sort of graphic novel or comic book. To say the least, it intrigued me.
When I opened I Was a Teenage Dominatrix I was surprized to find plain text within its pages. No matter, I read onward. And I am sure glad that I did.
Shawna Kenney was born to young poor parents in Upstate New York. She spent her formative years in a housing project trying to avoid being a girl. She was loud at home and quiet in school, a quizzical paradox.
Her family moved around a lot and eventually settled in Maryland where kids made fun of her for "talking funny." She found this bizarre since they were the ones saying weird phrases like "ya'll."
At age 17 Shawna left home with $400 in her pocket to move to a big city. She settled in Washington D.C. She tried several part-time jobs to stay afloat such as waitressing and babysitting both of which bored her and did not allow her to make much money. Plus she had decided that she wanted to go to college and let's face it, babysitiing ain't going to pay anyone's tuition.
One day she say an ad the local paper for exotic dancers. She answered the ad and tried her hand at being an exotic dancer for a while. She ended up hating it. She felt like the men who were watching her dance were the ones in control. This loss of control really got to her. The one good thing that came out of her stint as an exotic dancer was that it opened her eyes to possible careers in the sex industry.
Shawna had a friend whose sister was a practicing dominatrix.
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