Latest posts by Brittany Bennett (see all)
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- Rape culture and campus culture, an unfortunate partner in crime - March 16, 2016
A single wooden massage bed, slightly larger than average, sits in the middle of the room. It does not look home-made, the wood is mainly covered by the long white sheets. A fluffy white pillow rests right before the face rest.
The light peach walls are calming, the air cool, and the smell fresh.
Three wide mirrors absorb the room. The one adjacent to the face rest tilts slightly downward, covering a window that looks fully curtained from the outside.
Long shelving above one of the mirrors spreads an array of colourful candles and rocks. Two hooks are attached at either end, hanging four robes siding the mirror. To the left hangs a large, fuzzy black house coat, one you could see your dad wearing with his plaid blue slippers when walking down the driveway to pick up the local paper. To the right hangs three more: a thick, soft light pink, on top is one slightly shorter and dark, and covering both is a tiny silk green with off-coloured lace on the sleeves.
Beside the door two empty hooks await the clothing of the next client.
A glance to the left and eyes fixate on the shelving that holds a coat rack beneath. Various floggers, paddles and crops fill each small, silver hook.
Jessica Dark, preferring to go by her stage name, has been an exotic massage provider for over six years now. At the end of each session, Dark puts on one of her robes and texts a simple “done” to Malcolm LeBlanc, her current fiancé, telling him to come back home.
Their monogamous beginning
Despite Dark’s career, LeBlanc defines their relationship as being monogamous and even “vanilla” (a relationship devoid of fetish) for about five and a half years. The past two and a half years have gradually led up to a fully polyamorous, BDSM engagement.
LeBlanc currently holds a full-time position within Kraus Carpets, but also fell upon an interesting hobby in leather fashion. LeBlanc makes many unique medieval-type creations such as accessories, women’s skirts and corsets.
Dark and LeBlanc met online in the summer of 2006, initially as just friends, through Plenty of Fish. Dark mentioned she had needed somewhere to move for school and LeBlanc had a room for rent nearby. Dark moved in that August, coincidentally the day after LeBlanc’s then girlfriend moved out, ending their relationship). It was within the first night they realized their sexual attraction for one another, and by that December they were in an official, monogamous relationship.
“All these things were kind of going like, this is what couples do, like this is serious,” explains Dark. Within their first year together, Dark got her first car, they got their first dog, and LeBlanc was already pushing for an engagement ring; a typical fairy-tale love story.
This was only LeBlanc’s second monogamous relationship, all the others being an assortment of open-type relationships in the past. Soon enough, LeBlanc was asking Dark what new things she has wanted to try sexually, and the suggestion of a threesome came about. They began looking for a third-party through Plenty of Fish, a website the couple refers to as a great way to meet friends as well as lovers.
The life of the exotic
The first candidate of a three-way night of fun ended up gawking about her own job in exotic massage all night. Dark’s new friend made it sound like the cushiest, easiest, no-brainer job. At that time, Dark had a diploma in massage therapy and was looking into canine massage (of which, most of her family currently believes she does). But once she heard this girl made one thousand dollars a week, Dark had to investigate. Bringing up the interest to LeBlanc was easy, he even encouraged her to go check the place out.
Dark was hired on the spot at the same parlour as her friend. She had a tour of the place, soon received her Class D Erotic Massage license, and sat in on another masseuse’s session before jumping into one on her own.
A middle-aged gentleman walked through the door, there was nothing specific about him, just a regular looking guy. The girls all lined up in their club-style outfits, gave a rundown of what the “menu” is for the night, and he pointed at Dark. She could hardly breathe, she was hoping the first girl to be picked would not be her so she could sit it on another session and learn more tactics, but that was not the case.
“It’s not just the physical right? It’s like an emotional feeling you have to get over, of being naked in front of someone, or letting them touch you, or anything else like that. I had to kind of be like, ‘Am I going to be okay?’ Because it’s not my boyfriend, or it’s not a guy I’m sleeping with, or it’s not a love interest, it’s somebody else.”
To Dark’s surprise, her client loved everything about her. As soon as she dropped her clothes, the compliments began. “‘Ah! I love your boobs! I love your ass! Oh my god, come over here,’” the man exclaimed. Dark was so utterly flattered, she quickly got over her initial fears.
At this particular parlour Dark’s income was completely based on whether clients came in, and chose her as their masseuse. The first $50 on every half-hour session would go to the owners, which allowed for the gentleman to touch the girls, and have a release. Any extras were tabbed on, with a strict “no fucking, no sucking” policy.
The recession hit, and Dark left this parlor about six months later when she realized the better potential in bringing her work home. Unlike most exotic massage providers that realize the money in moving up to an escort position, Dark has never wanted to have sex with her clients. LeBlanc even informed Dark that he would not mind if she chose to do that, so long as she felt good about herself in the end. Dark says she would rather have sex with someone for herself, not because they have two hundred that day.
“The service she provides now is very genuine, she enjoys what she does. Where if it were the other way it wouldn’t be,” explains Leblanc. Dark believes she would come off as fake if she were to include sex in her work.
Dark’s job not only provides a sexual release but also a stress release. Dark is one of few exotic massage providers that actually know how to massage properly, and as a substitute for her massages she also offers BDSM and fetish sessions. People come to her because she caters to their needs, sexually and emotionally. “You be who you want to be here, I’m not going to judge you if you want to wear high heels and your pantyhose, or if you want to wear my panties, fine. I’m not that picky,” Dark explains. For many, Dark is their only outlet for trying new things or pursuing specific fetishes.
While Dark’s usual clients are the middle-aged business professionals, she has also been with widows, virgins, men that are going through a divorce, men wanting to practice before trying something new with their partner, and even men whose wives are very ill and thus, sexually inactive. Dark explains that there can be a lot of counselling involved in her work, she is also there to listen.
“Obviously the stigmas of society have led [people] to believe that there’s only one kind of whore, and it’s not true. There’s so many beautiful people out there that this is something different for them: this is their way of getting through a bay day, or this is their way of dealing with a bad marriage, or their wife dying. It’s just another outlet. And I feel happy helping them.”
Transitioning to polyamory
Dark began seeking sexual encounters outside of the relationship in the summer of 2012, four years after LeBlanc proposed, and it was actually his idea. Dark’s sex drive had dropped over the years, she began feeling as if she was just working when in bed with her own fiancé. While brainstorming of when they were the most sexually active, LeBlanc realized it was before they were even official, when they were also seeing other people. So he thought she should give it a go.
“I didn’t like it because it wasn’t Malcolm. I couldn’t let go. He felt different, he was a different weight, different size, he smelled different,” Dark confesses. But she soon realized she enjoyed the different. She had to put effort in her appearance again, as if going on a first date, getting those nervous butterflies all over again.
There was a long list of rules at the beginning, in writing, but it slowly got shorter over the years. Three of which still stand very important to this day: no other guys in their bed, always wear condoms, and never leave marks.
LeBlanc has yet to have sex outside of the relationship, and did not even begin experimenting sexually at all with other girls until last April. “I’m very respectful of her emotional state, and I’m always paying attention to that. And that’s a Dom thing too,” says LeBlanc. LeBlanc has been practicing a fetish lifestyle for 26 years now, and knows how important it is to take things at the right pace. LeBlanc even worked as professional dominant for six years, but did not introduce DS (dominant-submissive) into their relationship until Dark asked.
The first girl LeBlanc pursued outside of the relationship was a younger woman, wishing to have his collar: become his submissive. It destroyed Dark. “Any normal feeling that girls’ would have if their boyfriend was talking or touching another girl, that’s sort of what comes up and you just feel sick.” LeBlanc ended that relationship, and instead pursued Dark as his submissive. After seeing the way LeBlanc treated the other girl, Dark wanted that.
Since LeBlanc was experienced in open relationships, he did not have to go through the same process as Dark did. “To me I don’t really feel jealous when she’s with someone else, I miss her, but I don’t feel jealous,” LeBlanc explains, whereas Dark felt a lot of anger, towards him and herself. She felt guilty for being angry with him since he had been letting her be with other men for years already.
But with baby steps, and talking to one of LeBlanc’s sexual partners that is in a similar situation, Dark slowly got over a lot of the little things.
A large factor in helping Dark’s acceptance was when the emotion-factor came into play in her relationships outside of theirs. The couple found the whole point of their open relationship to be unraveling. Dark would come home upset after a bad date, and instead of coming back with an increased sex drive and desire for LeBlanc, he had to pick up the pieces from another guy. But they found a much better consistency while having actual relationships outside of their own, each would come home missing one another and feeling as if they were on top of the world. “I felt super loved and super special and thought, ‘I must be awesome,’” brags Dark.
Dark and LeBlanc found their way into a polyamorous relationship within the last three or four months. Dark fell for another guy, she could see having with him what she has with LeBlanc, and it had positive outcomes for hers and LeBlanc’s sex life as well. As of now, Dark has one boyfriend outside of the relationship, LeBlanc has one girlfriend outside of the relationship, and they both share another girlfriend who is included in their DS part of the relationship.
“When I met him I was like this little girl going ‘Okay, show me,’” but now Dark sits across from LeBlanc flashing a sexy smile at her partner of over eight years. The couple smiles a lot, even while speaking of the hardships. Their aura is warm, welcoming and accepting. They are a happy couple living a successful life in their polyamorous, fetish lifestyle, as well as their exotic careers and hobbies.