Review: The Scarlett Letters: My Secret Year of Men in an L.A. Dungeon by Jenny Nordbak
Title: The Scarlett Letters: My Secret Year of Men in an L.A. Dungeon
Jenny Nordbak takes us to a place that few have seen, but millions have fantasized about, revealing how she transformed herself from a beautiful USC grad into an elite professional dominatrix.
On an unorthodox quest to understand her hidden fantasies, Jenny led a double life for two years. By day she was a construction manager, but at night she became Mistress Scarlett. Working at LA’s longest-running dungeon, she catered to the secret fetishes of clients ranging from accountants to movie stars. She simultaneously developed a career in the complex and male-dominated world of healthcare construction, while spending her nights as a deviant sex worker, dominating men. Far from the standard-issue powerful men who pay to be helpless, Mistress Scarlett’s clientele included men whose fantasies revealed more complex needs, from “Tickle Ed” to “Doggie Dan,” from the “Treasure Trolls” to “Ta-Da Ted.” The Scarlett Letters explores the spectacularly diverse array of human sexuality and the fascinating cast of characters that she encountered along the way.
Author: Jenny Nordbak
Published by St Martin's Source: Author
Published: April 4, 2017
Genres: BDSM, Memoir
See the title at Goodreads
Purchase your copy: Amazon
Visit the Author's Website
I received this book for free from the Publisher or Author in exchange for an honest review, or I purchased it with my own funds. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
I am not a person who likes reading non-fiction books, especially biographies. I, however, do enjoy a good smutty book and even though The Scarlet Letters was listed as a memoir, I went for it. In all honesty, I had a few preconceived notions about what I was going to be reading. I’ve read plenty of BDSM fiction, and just assumed I was going to get more of the same, just on the reality side. WRONG! I was so, so wrong. Everything I read before was romance with BDSM as filler. What The Scarlett Letters offers is a journey of self-discovery, which just happens to take place in a dungeon!
So let’s tackle the easy part first, because let’s be honest, it’s the whole reason why I and almost everybody else is picking up the book. The Dungeon, Dommes and the people who go to them. Jenny, aka Mistress Scarlett, does not start out as a Domme. She has to work her way up. Along the way, she interacts with many interesting clientele and let me tell you, for the most part, I was in stitches laughing. Not because what they requested of her, but of her personal reminiscings. You have to give these guys credit. They faced their fetishes head on and knew (for the most part) what they wanted. Okay, some of the requests were funny and some were just down right gross. My personal favorites were Ta-Da Ted and Ben. Well, not Ben’s initial story, but the prep work Scarlet and its aftermath. Could. Not. Stop. Laughing.
The harder and more emotional side to the story is Jenny. She has personal issues she addresses in a frank, candid way. Nothing is held back and you have to admire her for it. As she grows into and become Mistress Scarlet, I can’t help but feel without her duel sides she wouldn’t have gotten to where she is now. As funny as Scarlet’s stories are, Jenny’s are deep, honest and tore my heart out. It’s quite the journey she takes her readers on as begins to acceptance what she wants in life and she comes into herself.
So why did I read this book? The blurb lured me in. The subject matter had me curiosity, just like it will most people. However, let’s be frank, The Scarlet Letters is not a book for everybody. Even though I thoroughly enjoyed the subject matter, the content can be hard to swallow. There were some scenes that had me gagging and something you can’t just unread. But, if you can get past all the kink and are willing to step out of your comfort zone, you will find a story of a brave woman on her voyage of self-discovery and self-worth.