No matter which way you google "Los Angeles Dominatrix," there is one result that you'll continue to see over and over again: the presence of the gorgeous Mistress Justine Cross. She may seem familiar if she gave you a good shine at her Spank and Shine booth at the Bondage Ball, or perhaps you are familiar with Dungeon West. æBetter yet, perhaps you have seen her infamously cruel Vinesæand found yourself desperate to know more.
Upon seeing my touring ads, Justine contacted me last month to tell me about Dungeon West, her centrally located play space in Los Angeles. I ended up using her space the entire time I visited, as well as extended my stay and attended the Bondage Ball as one of the ladies at the Dungeon West Spank and Shine booth.æ
Between her intelligence, unexpected friendliness, and her professionalism, Mistress Justine Cross is a spectacular person to work with (and I imagine a wonderful person to play with, too!). æEnjoy a little peek into her perspective below!
How long ago did you start doing pro-BDSM? What was your draw to it?
I've been doing pro-BDSM for about 7 years now. Initially it was something I enjoyed in my personal life and pro-dommed on the side, but now it's become a full career. I never really expected this to happen when I moved out to LA.
It's beyond rewarding to know when you've rocked someone's world and left him speechless. ææBeyond the personal connection I crave with clients, I also love the flexibility, being my own boss, and being able to travel.
How long ago did you start up Dungeon West?
I've had Dungeon West for about two years now. I started it in a small apartment-like space and now moved to a huge loft. DW has been at the current location for almost a year.
Why did you decide to open your own space, as opposed to renting space from others?
Unfortunately, a couple of private dungeons that I frequently used closed down. I rented from a few other places, but they weren't quite right--limited open hours, long distance from my house, confusing booking procedures, etc.
When I realized that being a pro-domme was going to be my career at least for now and not having my own space was losing me money, I knew that I had to have my own space.
Do you feel like you've learned anything from maintaining your own space?
Yes, I've learned a lot maintaining my own space--and also visiting other dungeons when I travel. I'm constantly changing things for the better.
It's brought my business as a domme to a whole new level--I can be more flexible with my time, I maintain my own equipment and cleaning supplies. I'm also interacting with a whole new set of clients since I actively rent my space out to other dommes, lifestylers, as well as for productions and private parties.
What are some of the pros and cons? What are some of your favorite experiences from maintaining your own space?
It certainly helps my business (as well as my state of mind) to always have an exceptionally clean, well-stocked dungeon. Some cons are that I'm essentially running two businesses now that take up a lot of time time--I really couldn't do it it if it weren't for my slaves!
Some of my favorite experiences are when someone walks in who "gets" it and just says, Wow. My studio looks very different than many other dungeons in the US. There is no "dungeon purple," it's not ornate, it doesn't have that cliched carved throne--it's a large, modern, upscale space designed to look more like a minimalist art gallery.
There actually is an art installation by TommyO in the front lobby [titled] "Modern Domina" that features several prints of dommes and fetish models. Some are of me and ladies that use the studio as well.
It's frustrating when some people interpret "open space" as "empty." My dungeon has enough room to make your slave do laps if you want, or my favorite, walking around the cage with my willing victim inside and my stilettos clicking on the concrete.
Would you recommend the experience to others?
It depends, if I had a reliable dungeon that was open to me 24/7, I probably wouldn't have opened my own space. I see some dommes have their own playspaces in their house, which makes economic sense to them, but may not be the safest measure. I also know many clients who are uncomfortable about being in a residential area or have issues with pets that live in the playspace.
What are your goals with Dungeon West (other than to make a living of course)?
I'd love to have more events there that aren't necessarily BDSM-related, like art/performance shows and I would love to have a fundraiser for breast cancer.
If you'd like to keep up with Mistress Justine, follow her on Twitter and on Instagram. æYou can also read my review of Dungeon West on Slixa Under Cover. æ æ