it's mom life meets dom life for jet setting jasmine: master fetish trainer, psychotherapist, mother of 4
jet setting jasmine juggles baby bottles + BDSM like a true master
Master fetish trainer, adult film star, co-owner of Royal Fetish Films, sex toy creator, licensed psychotherapist and mental health educator Jet Setting Jasmine juggles her mom life with her dom life and award-winning career in nearly every area of sexual health, education and artistry. She's as brilliant as she is beautiful, as aspirational as she is approachable, and as sharp as she is funny. (Not to mention her masterful skills at wielding a whip....) She's lent her expertise in endless areas from the decolonization of sex and pornography to sex-positive parenting and sex-worker advocacy to major media outlets including Vice, Playboy, Forbes, NPR, The Daily Show, BBC and Psychology Today. Visit her site to shop her toys, experience her workshops or watch her work.
You’ve received many accolades for the progress you’ve made in the decolonization of sex and pornography. How have you used your artistry to accomplish this?
Jet Setting Jasmine:
So I believe that my representation is my protest. My pleasure is my activism. So honestly, just by having a presence, and that unapologetic presence in this space has helped me to move the needle for folks that are able to see that our bodies can be used in ways that we deem respectful, the way that we feel is natural and beautiful and want to be represented. So the way that I present myself in my own work gives folks a model that they too can have this ownership of how they’re represented sexually. Other work that I've done in this space has been working with mental health providers, medical providers and academics on how sex has been colonized and how it has an impact on how we receive healthcare, and mental healthcare, and overall wellness. So helping them to take a look at some of their own internal biases as well as social biases and how that may be coming across in practice. And that has been some very rewarding work, and has led to a more kink-informed, sex-informed, and specifically BIPOC-informed practice in both mental health and the medical space.
One of the stats I’ve heard is that people who enjoy kink and BDSM have no more trauma or no more mental health issues than those who don’t participate in it. Is that true?
Jet Setting Jasmine:
That is true. What you do find when you just look at the startling statistics of sexual trauma, and this number may be slightly off, but it's 1 in 4 women specifically will experience some form of sexual violence. So if we look in any room, it's not necessarily 1 in 4 sex workers or 1 in 4 folks that participate in kink. We're just talking to you about a high prevalence of violence against people in our culture. So whether I'm in a conference of accountants or accountants of kinksters, those statistics are pretty much the same. I think the difference in why there is more conversation around folks who participate in kink alternatives to, I don't even like to say alternatives to sex, but whatever, kinks and fetishes and sex work having a higher prevalence is because we're more open to talking about those experiences. We are more apt to disclose those experiences because we are either seeking ways of body autonomy, so there's a lot of advocating for what's not going to happen.
"The cool thing I find is that when people are able to disconnect from what their idea is of a dominatrix and start to actually be creative and develop their own style, it's like, I don't know, it's like you see the fireworks go off."
There's also a lot of discussion around boundaries and consent, and it gives an opportunity for us to look at times and places where we didn't have that. As well as a lot of folks are using this space to reclaim something potentially that was taken away or that was violated at some point in time. So this really creates a safe space for those that have experienced trauma to explore it. And I can pretty much say that in most other spaces where sexual energy or sex is centered, that is really not the ask of, "Tell me where your traumas are? So that we could either avoid them or work towards healing them." So I do think that there is a misconception of a higher prevalence, but that misconception is solely based on that you're more likely to have open dialogue about these things than others.
What are telltale signs of authentic porn and how do you think it can be used to enhance, as opposed to desensitize, personal intimacy?
Jet Setting Jasmine:
Sure. So some of the telltale signs of authentic porn are that the person or the people that are in it are the ones that are promoting it. I think we are at such an advantage right now in adult entertainment where we can actually feel good about what we're watching. I know that in the past people have felt that they were watching perhaps the exploitation of someone or they were watching content that may not have been consensual. And I think that content did exist and in some dark pockets of the Internet, that content still exists. That being said, I think we have really done a lot of work industry-wide and those that are adjacent to the industry, so meaning those web-based platforms and credit card processors, et cetera, with making sure, so doing a lot of verification using technology to verify that the folks that are in the films they are the folks that want to be in the films and that agree and consent to be in the films. And then we actually hear the voice of the performers that are promoting and marketing their own content. Whether it's self-produced and shot or promoting that they had a great time on set, or that they're really proud of this particular film that they're in. So that in itself, it's like when you're buying from the creator, at least it's authentic to the consent, authentic to the representation of the person. This is how they want to be represented, and then also the ethics behind the erotic labor and taking care of the person who's creating that labor. Some other areas about authentic porn, I think authentic porn to me means that it's legal, that it's shot legal, it's purchased legally, and part of it being shot legally is that everyone is over the age of 18. And I know that's perhaps not always easy to prove, but one of the best ways to prove that is purchasing it from the performer themselves or a platform that requires verification. And so I don't expect for people in the middle of 3 AM you're hot and heavy and you're going to start looking at the terms of agreement. But I will say that if payment can be processed on that site, then you probably are in the right place, I'll at least say that.
"...what calls for [my partner and I] to be great practitioners is that we never take for granted that the way that we presented yesterday is the way that we're going to present today, especially in the context of this conversation when it comes to kink, BDSM and sex. But we use that principle for all things… it’s the permission to grow."
And then to your other question, how do you think it can be used to enhance versus as opposed to desensitized personal intimacy? I think there's overwhelming literature that suggests that porn desensitizes folks sexually and intimately. And I really think that that is very subjective. Some folks are going through ebbs and flow around sex and intimacy in their own life. So relying on porn for fantasy, for pleasure, may be a perfect fit for personal and self-intimacy with them. For some folks, it's the way that they engage with their partners. For some people it's an absolute no, and I think what we can really gather from that subjectivity is that we should have more dialogue with folks about what they want their goal to be. So oftentimes I talk to my clients and I ask them, they say, “Oh, I think I'm addicted to porn. I think I watch too much porn." And so I ask them, "What is too much?" And they cannot tell me a standard. "What is your baseline? What's too much or too little? How do you decide?" And they're like, "Oh, I shouldn't..." And then we start to get a little bit more into the shame and the stigma and this very generalized idea that any watching for pleasure or relying on it for pleasure is too much. And so then we start to talk about how is it having an impact, if at all, in your quality of life? Is it keeping you from going to work, eating, sleeping, dressing? So some of our basic activities. Are you finding yourself late to work every day or are you at risk of losing your job because you're going into the bathroom and watching porn? Is your relationship at risk? And if those answers are no, then is it too much for you? And what would you like that to look like? So a lot of goal setting on how do you want to use sex entertainment? Is it something that you want to use only for your pleasure, or is it something that you want to incorporate into your sex? Is it a part of your fetish, your kink? So I like to explore a little further than the literature just saying, "If you watch porn, you're probably addicted." And also desensitization, I think it's important for what might you be becoming desensitized to. And so a lot of that anti-porn literature is surrounding that you won't want a partner if you engage with sex or you won't be able to have an orgasm without porn, or that there'll be some physical de-sensitivity. And we've seen this same approach to women and toys, and we have to be careful who's perpetuating this message and why may that issue not be an issue for everyone? Because let me tell you something, if I am a single woman, let's just say right now, if I didn't have access to partners and I had that messaging of “oh no, toys are bad and porn is bad," I would not be fulfilling a huge part of my self-exploration. And also the tools that make sexual pleasure available or accessible. So I'm very, very mindful about making sure that that is a very individual conversation and that people’s goalposts are set by them.
You and your partner, King Noire, are Master Fetish Trainers. How can one begin to explore and discover their persona and style as a Dom/mes and how far can we go? Ie is Master the highest level achieved as a practitioner?
Jet Setting Jasmine:
Yes, King and I, we are fetish trainers, and we have spent the last combined over 20 years helping people to explore their fetishes and kinks. I think one of the cool things that has been really eye-opening, doing this work and really walking thousands of folks through helping them discover their persona and style, oftentimes it's helping people tap into something that already exists. It's already there. It's already there by the time you're curious about it. It's just making that connection to where are other areas in your life where you are dominating or taking up space and you feel really good and confident about it and tapping into that and how can we bring a little bit of that into this space? The cool thing I find is that when people are able to disconnect from what their idea is of a dominatrix and start to actually be creative and develop their own style, it's like, I don't know, it's like you see the fireworks go off. So it's like, "Oh, I don't have to wear latex from head to toe. Oh, I don't have to lose 20 more pounds. Oh, I don't have to be brutal and mean to subs. Or I don't have to know how to throw a whip." There are so many ways that we can start with wherever you are and we can stay there forever or we can ascend to these other areas or maybe you are someone who needs a space to explore that serious sadism. And so I think that dispelling so much of the stereotypes of what it means to be dominant or what it means to be kinky, there is definitely this idea of black leather, dark dungeon and whips and chains. And I get it, that's a fast way to create a scene of dominance. However, it's not the only way. And so I think what we've done over the years working independently and together is really unlock that that can look very different to different folks.
"I've been surprised with partners and clients with how introducing something like BDSM play opens up a whole leg of communication, a whole world of play outside the bedroom."
And also dispelling really everything about 50 Shades of Gray, how BDSM and kink can be used in so many ways towards sexual liberation, sexual healing and also how it is already being used. So there's so many examples in our lives that we are tapping into our fetishes and kinks, but because it doesn't look like a foot fetish or because it doesn't look like a latex or leather fetish, people are not necessarily connecting that yes, you are kinky. You've always been. As long as you've been an ass man or a breast woman or what have you. You have been honoring your kink. Now let's see how else we can honor and take that. As far as the highest level that one can achieve as a practitioner, I do not think even the term Master Fetish Trainer is, in my opinion, it encompasses someone who is always learning. To me, I'd rather say a Master at Learning Fetishes and Exploring Fetishes. I think that when we feel that we have arrived, we have failed, miserably. And I'll give you an example of that. I know everything about this area, and I have fully encompassed all that there is to learn about, this is the moment that I become a dangerous practitioner, because that's impossible, especially in the world of BDSM, kink and just sex in general because it's so personal. So the only person that I'm an expert on is me. That's it. And then I have to relearn me with you, me in a group, me with this person, me at this age, and all of it. So it is constantly evolving. And I think that to me is a telltale sign of someone who is not a master practitioner or anything above or around that or an elevated status.
So I think we should always, always, always be learning and also taking every single opportunity as your very first. And I say that, even my partner and I who've been working together, our bodies have been working together, our brains have been working together, but every single day we give each other permission to, how do you say it, to give or rescind consent. We give each other permission to change our boundaries, and we give ourselves permission to change the things that we're into and we're not into. And I think that is what calls for us to be great practitioners is that we never take for granted that the way we presented yesterday is the way that we're going to present today, especially in the context of this conversation when it comes to kink, BDSM and sex. But we use that principle for all things… it’s the permission to grow.
You’ve said that many are surprised to find out their role and that’s the point where the real exploration begins. How do you know that you’ve come into your own/are playing the right role?
Jet Setting Jasmine:
Yeah. I think one of the ways that people find that they're into their right role is when they are actually experiencing pleasure. I think that's important. Specifically around being a dominatrix or a dominant, sometimes there is a disconnect that you are the giver of pleasure, even if it's where pain is pleasure, that you are the giver of that. And if there isn't anything reciprocal happening for you, then maybe that role isn't for you. I think the same thing around other types of kinks. If you are getting up from that space and you don't feel pleasure, perhaps you feel shame, perhaps you feel discomfort, or you feel any type of negative emotion. All the things that we do in the space of sex, unless it's for procreation, but even that should be pleasurable, it is for pleasure purpose. And so I say the same thing for sex that is outside of any type of role or role play, is that it should be pleasurable. Even if it is a position that feels uncomfortable, there's no part of this thing that we have to endure. And I think that's important because that is really not how... when we think about in our culture, it's like, "Oh, gotta have sex every Wednesday at two o'clock. Gotta satisfy someone." That sort of, it's an obligation. And I think even though very few people probably are in that situation, just that messaging bleeds over into how we think about enduring sex, or being obligated to, or fulfilling a role because someone else expects it. So that role should definitely be attached to pleasure. Now that being said, there are things that I've tried that I've been like, "Ugh, I'll try it again, because I don't know that..." I'll just say, rope suspension. The first time I went up in a rope suspension, I was like, "Oh, this is cool. This is amazing. Ouch, this hurts." But the parts of it that were pleasurable were worth me saying, "I want to get better at this. I want to try this more because I want to access more pleasure than there was pain." So I think taking it in context in that way. But I do feel that we, and part of it is my philosophy about just being a pleasure-focused sex educator, sex entertainer and performer, and just person is that we should be cued into is this role, is this act, is this kink, is this person helping me access pleasure no matter if my role is a submissive or is the meanest, most humiliating dom you've ever seen? Does it release endorphins for me the same way it does for the person I am performing with and/or for?
What is something surprising that you can discover about yourself or partner as you begin exploring dom or submissive play?
Jet Setting Jasmine:
I think something surprising is going back to the creativity. It's called play, so if we allow ourselves to actually play, I think it could be so much fun. So how much fun and how much we access those areas that at some point in adulting we're told that there's no time for it. And so I think it can be really surprising to see a couple of things. How much either relinquishing control, or having control of a sexual scenario or scene can be empowering on lots of other levels of the relationship? How much of a relief providing the space for your partner can be. Also, I know it extends intimacy beyond sex, so allowing partners to have a much longer foreplay. And I've been surprised with partners and clients with how introducing something like BDSM play opens up a whole leg of communication, a whole world of play outside the bedroom. And so that increases intimacy. And then of course, that creativity, how creative you and your partner can get with tools, with scenarios, with just all kinds of ideas, even how we interact with others. It doesn't necessarily mean that we are physically being intimate with them, but BDSM opens up community. So that has also been really interesting, unlocking the BDSM community in your neighborhood, and you're like, "Oh. Okay." There's a lot of surprises if you allow yourself…. Whenever we throw parties at local venues and local people are like, "I had no idea this is here. I had no idea."
How do you switch roles for both people new in the game and experienced BDSMers?
Jet Setting Jasmine:
So some people identify as switches, and those are folks that like to engage as dominant and/or submissive. And the cool thing about that is sometimes people think like, "Oh, you have to arrive as a dom. You leave as a dom, you arrive as a submissive." And the cool thing is, depending on your dynamic with who all you're playing with, you might be in and out of that role in just one setting or scene. So it can be very interesting. I think the most important part of how you switch roles is making sure that the people that you are playing with know. They're not going in going like, oh, you're going to be submissive. And the next thing you know you're jumping up and grabbing the whip. That could be very jarring. Like whoa. So I'll give you an example. We have this great theme called Poly Sutra, and King and I are both double domming in it, but King and I don't dominate each other. So in that role, you will see where we have dominance over the 3 other actresses or performers, but then to each other there is a cancellation of power between each other. And that would be not necessarily submitting to, well I guess you could suggest that we were submitting to each other. But just within one scene, one sex act, multiple people, there are different dynamics. So remembering how you relate to the person that you're playing with and making sure what those boundaries are. Where it's like, "Okay, when I am submissive to you, these are the things that I enjoy or that I enjoy happening to me. When I am in a dominant space, these are the things that I enjoy doing." And being clear because there could be a huge difference. There are things that I enjoy doing as a dominant that I do not enjoy receiving as a submissive. And so really being clear about where your boundaries start and stop depending on which role you're in, and that you can communicate that clearly to your partners.
jet jetting jasmine slays in our déjà vu 11 bodysuit
Lunatic Femme incorporates a lot of straps and ties that we hope can be used for sensual play. What are a few ways we can use lingerie to foster experimentation?
Jet Setting Jasmine:
So I will speak specifically about your line. Love, love, and I'm actually looking at a piece of it right now, hanging up in my office. So what I love about the pieces and how we can experiment with play is this one piece can be worn in so many different ways. And I think that's really important, especially when folks are starting out, which is being creative with sex and even sexual expression because you can be very, very expensive to buy a lot of different gear. So I love any piece that's multifunctional. So I'll tell you one of the reasons why it's hanging up in my office is because it is a little indicator that my partner and I use when something sexy is out. It's like, "Ooh, that's nice." And so he's walked in here already a couple of times and says, "Oh yeah, that's a really nice piece." I'm like, "Oh, you think so?" So the piece itself flirts for me. And so that just in itself, and then it has the card that shows the multiple ways that you can wear it. So that is really cool. But I love the fact that you can use this in a very subtle way. So if I was going to, let's just say a business meeting and depending on what type of business, but for my business, if I was going to a business meeting, not my therapy practice, my kink practice, I can have a hint of my personality peek through my clothes. Maybe perhaps with this particular piece that I'm looking at. This is the [deja vu 11] playsuit, if I'm wearing that piece and I want to communicate to my partner or my dinner mate or whoever that I am feeling a little submissive or I am calling for a particular type of dynamic, I would have a collar around my neck for sure. I would definitely use this piece symbolically. Perhaps if I wanted to do something that was a little bit more indicating some form of dominance, I might use more of a harness-y look or use the straps across my chest in a different way. So there's a lot of ways that we can use clothing to express sexually. And one of the things that I enjoy, it goes back to our conversation a little bit earlier, is people sometimes think, oh, to be dominant or submissive... again, like the leather and the whips and the chains and the chokers, and there's a style for that, it's dope, and I love that, too. But there's also some beauty in the subtle art of BDSM, of how we can use this one piece of lingerie to communicate in multiple different ways without it being harsh, abrasive or outing necessarily. We have children, so I can't really walk around, I mean, in our relationship we don't collar each other, but if we did, I could not walk around with a collar on my neck that said slut. But I could wear this piece underneath my caftan and allow it to peak for me. So I think that's a way. Second is when I think of different kinks and fetishes that fall under lingerie, the voyeurism where just wearing a piece for some people is a huge sexual turn on, having sex with clothes on is a very big fetish. And this might be something that you and your partner enjoy but don't necessarily know the word or that it is a thing. So keeping a lingerie piece on, and your pieces are super accessible where you can get to lots of cool places with it still on. Other things, some people like defiling lingerie. Now that part for me is something that my partner and I have to discuss. We talk about it, if I have a piece of lingerie on and he goes, "Is this one of your good pieces?" That means you better not rip it. You don't rip it, you don't come on it, you don't sit on it. You just look at it. Other pieces, I'm like, "It's had its shelf life. Do what you will." So making sure that if your partner is someone who likes to use the lingerie as part of the play, you might want to have a range. You either want a range of lingerie that can be defiled and maybe you frame it or something when it's done, or you want to make sure you have your Monday through Wednesday stuff and then your weekend gear.
What’s the latest fantasy on your radar right now?
Jet Setting Jasmine:
Okay, so the latest fantasy. Actually, I'm revisiting something that I've done in the past. So I just had a baby, well, not just, 11 months ago. And so I've been getting back into the groove of things and something that I'm feeling really strongly about is asserting my dominance, again, in a very particular way actually. So I'm still getting comfortable with just my balance, my body, and my coordination. So hardcore BDSM doesn't feel like the first thing that I want to jump into. So I've really been interested in some sensual dominance, but at the same time, that's really intense. So I am going to actually have this fantasy fulfilled very soon. I am working with a submissive that wants to experience my specialty, which is foot in ass. So not fisting, but footing. And it is incredibly intense. It's something that has to be slow, deliberate with a lot of good communication. And it is such a power position just because for all the obvious reasons physically. And then also my foot up your ass, that sort of bad ass, taking that literally is really, really exciting. And it is one of those... yeah, I’m back, bitch, my foot's in your ass. And I've done this before, but I have not done it with a female-presenting performer. So this is going to be my first time exploring with a woman's body. And I'm really just excited about what that dynamic is going to be as well as the control… I get to tap back into that control where you are just super hyper-focused on this person's body interacting with yours. And so the real fantastical part for me is that sexual escapism of nothing else in the world matters besides my foot and your ass. And I'm smiling. Yeah. I can't wait for this. So it is, and I think one of the parts that are cool, and I hope your audience can tap into this, is that our fantasies don't always have to be something that is brand new. It can be just a small iteration of something that we've experienced before. Maybe with someone else though, or this time my toes will be painted red, or this time, whatever. Look for me this time, it's a woman and not a man. So I've been thinking about it. I was like, "Oh, I'm going to point my toe this way..." I'm just so excited that it's actually going to happen.
As a psychotherapist, what do you think is the number one thing we can do to bolster a healthy sexual appetite?
Jet Setting Jasmine:
So as a therapist, the number one thing that I focus on to begin with is determining what is the sexual appetite you want? Not what Cosmo page 7 says a sexual appetite should be. Not what you hear your friends lie about on your weekly Zoom calls. Not what your favorite sitcom says. What is a healthy appetite for you? And at this moment, we are in a very distressing time globally, we are in a very stressful period of time for a number of reasons. And those reasons may have implications on our sexual appetite. I think as a psychotherapist, I do like to help people zoom out of, "So you are having this experience and this feeling. Let's look at the things that are attached and are having an impact on those areas? And what are the things that have an impact that we have control over that we can manipulate for the betterment of your mental health?" And what I tend to realize with my clients is sometimes they are expecting to perform sexually, not in concert with what's happening with the rest of their life. So it's like, yeah, my sexual appetite is really low. Or high, for that matter. People respond differently to stress and stressors. And, maybe I'm out of concert with my partner, or I haven't masturbated, or all I do is masturbate, any of those ranges. And we start to look at like, what's happening outside of sex? What does your bedtime routine look like? What does this look like? How are things with your family, your job? And we start to realize, oh, those things are out of sync or are really stressful, or there's changes that are happening, or they're uninspiring, they're not motivated, and it's having an impact on our sexual appetite. So sometimes trying to force sex, like I was talking about date nights, because I don't think with our scheduling, I don't think it's a bad idea at all. But I do think it should feel pleasurable and there should be desire to engage, not just obligation. I do think that when we are able to see our sexual presentations as a part of our overall health and wellness, then we don't get so hyper-focused on sex by itself, or try to fix sex alone when it's attached to our overall health and wellness. That could be really frustrating. Where, for me, as a postpartum mom, my partner and I, we have to have this conversation. My sexual appetite has changed because I'm tired. And that has nothing to do with attraction. It has nothing to do with love. It simply has to do with this new person who I don't even know, now has moved into my... well, first moved into my body and then moved into my house and is very demanding. And so I really don't have the same level of intimacy with my partner because I am building a totally different form of intimacy. We all are with this new person in our lives. And so I don't want my appetite to be through the roof right now. And that's okay. And so for the subjectivity as a therapist, I expect my therapist, and for me as a therapist, I expect me to be setting a goal around, "Well, when would you like to see this increase the curve. When do you feel like you are going to be more apt to tend to this area of your wellness?" And so for me, it feels like probably when I'm getting about a good six to eight hours of sleep a night, and I feel like that's coming. So I'm looking at a different measurement of my wellness than how much sex am I having. I'm looking at it more from the perspective of "What's having an impact on my sex life? I can actually focus on that." Looking at, "When we hit this milestone as a family, I'm pretty sure it's going to unlock this area." And my partner and I were like, "Hmm, looks like he's kind of sleeping through the night. Okay. Okay, we're getting closer." And so when we do have these moments of intimacy, they're great. And then when we can't, it doesn't feel like, "Oh, I'm not desirable," or any of those things, it's just where we are in our life and all of the external circumstances, this is what our appetite is, or what our sexual diet is right now, and it's healthy for us. And so I think that to me, most of our chat today has been about individualizing our sexual needs and also our treatment plan of how we get to our healthiest version of sex. It is incredibly subjective. It is individualized. And if we treat it that way, we can prioritize our pleasure, not the society's expectation of our sexual performance.
So I guess the major takeaway is that this new baby/stranger in the house is the ultimate dom, right?
Jet Setting Jasmine:
Yes, yes, yes. And there's no whips, there's no leather, there's not even a word. That's what I'm talking about, different styles, like he came with his own style. And without a choker we are all apologizing. Yes, that is the major takeaway.