SEX + MUSIC "A lot of dominatrixes are artists," says Oakland's Hether Fortune. "I know a girl who's a tattoo artist, I know models, painters, fashion designers."
The BDSM pro-domme Fortune has a creative side as well. She's the lead singer, songwriter, and major driving force behind darkly gripping East Bay post-punk band Wax Idols. After some haphazard searching on my own and prodding of Fortune, we came to the conclusion that neither of us could think of anyone else in a comparable rock and domme position.(Not that there aren't the rare exceptions out there.)
"A lot of dommes I've met have musical talent or are involved in underground bands, but there's nobody I know who is in a band full-time, up in the shit, playing shows, touring on the regular, in the public eye, who is also a professional domme."
No one except of course for Fortune.
"So I guess that's kind of my thing," Fortune says, chuckling. Bold and confident, Fortune ends every sentence in our phone conversation with a hard punctuation mark. She's speaking to me from the road on her cellphone, after a quick trip down to LA and on her way back to Oakland. Her striking poise works in both major facets of her life — her time at East Bay dungeon Fantasy Makers and her life within her band, which this year released sophomore LP, Discipline & Desire (Slumberland), following 2011's full-length release, No Future (Hozac).
While Fortune's domme life has slowly bled into press coverage of Wax Idols, this is the first time she's spoken of both quite so openly.
"Almost two years ago I got in at Fantasy Makers...that's where I've been working ever since," Fortune says. Fantasy Makers is a kinky dream dungeon, at which no actual sex is allowed, that offers safe bondage and fetish play.
"I've never actually said publically where I work, because I've been weary of the overlap of music-related fans coming to find me in that space. But I'm totally ready and comfortable with it now."
Part of the reason she's coming out with her actual workspace is because of the upcoming Folsom Street Fair (Sun/29) — Fantasy Makers will have a big booth at the fest again this year, and she'll be there. And part is due to the empowerment she's gained through her domme work (and play).
Fortune became a dominatrix almost on a lark, although, it was something she was long interested in, and she was already practicing various forms of fetish and role play in her personal life. But the actual journey began three years back, when the Midwest transplant (now in the Bay Area for more than half a decade) was working at vintage store No Shop in the Mission. Her then-bandmate, Matt Jones from Blasted Canyons, wrote her an email in which he mentioned that she should seriously consider becoming a pro-domme, perhaps as a joke. She was laughing about the email when a customer came in and noted that her best friend was a professional dominatrix, and could put her in touch. Her name was Domina Colette.
"We hit it off right away," says Fortune of Domina Colette. "And then she invited me to her dungeon and I just shadowed some sessions for awhile. It was a several-months-long period of immersion, talking to her...learning about bondage and all the various forms of fetish play, sensory deprivation, flogging. She is an amazing flogger."
Fortune then went off on her own, trying out at different Bay Area dungeons until she found one that was the perfect fit: Fantasy Makers. She's been working there ever since and became close with the other women who work there. They often come out to her shows when Wax Idols plays. "Usually at my local shows, there's at least one to four dominatrixes there at any given time. You don't even know because they're just in their streets clothes."