Tell us about yourself , your background and how did you became Girl JO?
I generally just go by Jo— the girl was added in front because my male best fried was also named Joe so it got confusing for people if they yelled out our name in a room so we started going by girl Jo and boy Joe. Probably not as relevent to the conversation.I don’t have a name that I use within the scene I just go by Jo. As far as my background goes I am 41 years old and a synthetic or- ganic chemist who specializes in oncology medicines. I have always been into the goth music scene since the early 90s, and the kink scene has always been on the periphery of it. Once I was 18 I dipped my toe in the waters and began to play with power exchange dynamics with my partner at the time who identified as a dom. I always knew I had submissive tendencies and we had an excellent dynamic that we built. I’ve gone in and out of the scene for awhile depending on partners but craving submission is always there in my brain.
Tell us your role as Sub?
My role as a sub depends entirely on my dominant. There are so many different types of subs— from pets, service subs, littles, slaves, etc. I identify mostly as just a submissive or impact bottom, perhaps with some switch tendencies that I am beginning to discover and explore (a switch is someone who is both dominant and submissive and can switch between roles) . I am currently not in a col- lared dynamic, nor am I “owned” by anyone so my role right now is to honor myself and know that my submission is a gift when the right dominant comes along. I do belong to a group— the Haus of Temptation and we all have roles to represent the Haus and its values.The Haus throws it’s own events too.
What does Submission means to you?
Submission is the ultimate gift I can give someone. It is my pure trust and essen- tially me putting my life in your hands as many activities such as breath play can be dangerous.It allows me to be what I consider is the best version of myself. When I go into “sub space” (which can be defined many different ways but it’s often just a trance like state for me where everything feels perfect and balanced) it brings me so much relief and comfort. I have to be very dominant in my day to day life and career so being able to relinquish that power and let someone take over is very freeing for me.
Why do you believe letting others domi- nate you is important for you?
I believe it is important for me because it makes me feel good. It makes me feel worthy. It makes me feel like a bad ass, quite frankly. The bond that you form with a dominant— even if it is not someone who is a partner— is beautiful. The trust, the scenes you do, and the after care (how you take care of each other afterwards) is all very special.
When being asked if you are a Dom or a Sub most people lean towards saying they are a Dom even though they are not , why do you believe there is a stigma in being a sub?
This question is hilarious to me because I feel like most people I talk to are subs and everyone complains of a “top shortage”, but perhaps many people don’t want to be seen as weak because often submission is equated with weakness. I find that to be a misjudgment though— you have to be strong to be a submissive. There are a lot of arguments that being a sub “isn’t feminist” or is “abuse” but that discourse does not interest me. If this is something I enjoy and want and my dominant is respecting my needs and limits there is nothing abusive happening. Also what is more feminist and empowering than doing what you want? I think that stigma mostly comes from people outside of the scene who just don’t under- stand what goes on, and I don’t participate in debating that discourse with anyone because people tend to have their minds already made up.
PHOTOS COURTESY JO + WRITING ALEX BONNET
Tell us about an experience which blew your mind?
The experience that most blew my mind was the first time (and only time thus far)where I’ve done electroshock play where electricity conducting toys are used on you to stimulate nerves and cause sensations. It’s a very unique experience, and definitely something I never expected to enjoy as much as I did. Also, the first time that Temptress Tiny bound me in ropes was incredible. I have very little “Shibari” experience and the way she was able to tie me just made me feel so safe and close. It felt very comforting despite not being able to move.
Tell us about the underground BDSM scene in Los Angeles
The great thing about Los Angeles right now is that there are so many great events being run by femmes and queer bipoc. I personally prefer to only attend events run by femmes, and especially queer bipoc femmes. These individuals know what its like to experience cis het male dominated beds spaces and how they can feel unsafe (not all of them of course— that is a broad generalization), and take steps to make sure there is representation and consent. There are more of these events popping up in all kinds of spaces which is great for beginners who want to start learning about the scene beyond internet resources. It is refreshing to see femmes leading the way to create these new spaces that feel very safe and welcoming. I also feel that there is a lot of whitewashing of the kink scene, so its great to be in a city that is so culturally diverse and see that representation in the events.
How do you find/attract your Dominator?
I think the key to attracting the right dominant is to first know yourself, know your likes and limits, and become the best sub version of yourself that you can be. Thisapplies to finding any partner even outside of the kink scene in my opinion though. Many dominants are people you hire. Kink is not always sexual, though it is practiced between partners as well. I have done both. It’s easier to hire a professional dominant if you have something specific in mind that you want and they are an expert in it. For partners it often depends on luck as find– ing a kinky partner on apps or websites can be a living hell of unicorn hunters and fake dominants. Attending events and meeting like minded people in person has seemed to be the best course of action for many people. It really just depends. I know many people who have converted their seemingly vanilla partners into full blown ministers. There’s no one right way to do it.
How and what are your limits being a sub?
Every time I play I am learning more about my limits. When I do a scene with someone there’s always negotiations of what the limits are, but some limits are soft and throughout a scene a proper dominant will check in with you and see how you are doing. If you are feeling up to it you can decide to play with those soft limits a bit. Personally, I like impact play the most, but I do not like to be caned and that is a hard limit for me. There have been many things that were hard limits for me that I have softened on over time, but I still prefer to avoid any kind of impact play with a cane.
What advice would you give for people trying to be a sub for the first time?
My advice for anyone looking to begin their self discovery into submission would be to absolutely make sure you do alot of research, and when you think you’ve done enough research do some more. Do not just jump in and play with someone.
Read as much as you can. Take an online course (Haus of Temptation offers a great one, so does Lina Dune from Ask a Sub). Listen to podcasts. Read books — The New Bottoming book by Janet Hardy and Dossie Easton is a great place to start. Learn about yourself and what you like. What do you fantasize about and why do you think sub- mission would feel good. You can’t find the right person to dominate you if you cannot properly communicate your wants, needs, and limits. Learning about what to expect from negotiations, a scene, after care, and the po- tential for sub drop is incredibly important. From there you can start to attend local events and experience what is going on and talk with like minded people. Most importantly learn how to properly vet people whether it’s through taking a course on vetting (many are offered these days) or asking around. You do not want to play with someone who is going to ignore your limits or aftercare needs. The most important advice is to be safe and have fun, and also prepare for things to go wrong or be funny. Not every scene is going to be perfect and that’s ok.