Make it hurt so good

A popular Reno dominatrix talks about life in her dungeon

Photo By David Robert

A black case lined with shining steel tools. Ropes, tightly coiled, hanging from a peg board. About a dozen whips varying in size, length and potential for pain.

These are just a few of the skin-bruising mechanisms and electrocuting devices in the basement of a one-story Reno home. They are the tools of a local legal secretary who moonlights as a leather-clad purveyor of pain.

Mistress Nevada, 32, has been a professional dominatrix in Reno for the past two years. Her daytime look doesn’t set her apart from other working professionals. Her clothes may be a little more stylishly sassy, and her makeup is not exactly conservative. She has a sweet voice and a girlish giggle. She is a woman who orders a frappuccino at Starbucks, puts holiday decorations on her lawn and beats naked, tethered businessmen while they’re straddled over a leather saddle.

Such pleasure does not come without a price. Mistress Nevada makes upwards of $200 an hour to beat, command and insert foreign objects into her clientele.

How exactly does someone stumble onto such a career path?

“I was looking for a relationship,” says the Mistress.

Mistress Nevada got her start after doing many an online search seeking out leather-lovin’ Reno folk who were looking for an endearing relationship of love and an enduring one of pain. She posted want ads for sadomasochistic partners on the Internet but kept getting responses for one-night rendezvous with spikes and chains.

After about six months of hassles, she eventually agreed to trade S&M for compensation. A new enterprise was born.

Although she started with a dungeon away from home, Mistress Nevada has since moved her “office” to her basement. Her home seems normal enough. Tidy, with two couches, a TV and family photos in brass frames. The kitchen is spotless; a stairway at the end of it signifies a transformation.

“Watch your head on the way down,” Mistress Nevada warns.

On first look, there’s a washer, a dryer, a laundry basket and a dog cage. Nearby is a large, covered object. Upon removal of the sheet: a leather spanking bench. Colorful ropes and whips line the entrance to the more torturously equipped room—the threshold into the world of a practiced dominatrix.

The most eye-catching piece is the nearly 8-feet-high, X-shaped, leather object called a St. Andrew’s Cross.

Whips, whips and more whips in Mistress Nevada’s basement dungeon.

Photo By David Robert

“This is where a lot of torture goes on,” Mistress Nevada says, giggling.

The room is a kind of kitchenette for the basement. It’s equipped with homey cabinets and counters full of penis squeezing devices, an electrocuting kit, a basket of bondage cuffs, paddles, gloves with spikes, a riding crop ($7.99 at Petsmart), mouth gags, needles and testicle weights to which 12-pound buckets of water are attached.

“If it gets too heavy I give them a straw and say, ‘Make it light,’ “ Mistress Nevada says.

The “humbler” also sends chills up the spine. It’s a wooden, vice-like instrument into which the testicles are inserted, which forces the man to kneel. This device is technically categorized as predicament bondage. The process also includes a bar placed between a man’s arms and weights placed on his genitals.

“They can’t move,” the Mistress describes, “and if they do, they’re in a predicament.”

One of the more intriguing objects in the room is the electrocuting device. At the lowest level, it’s only a little stronger than the “lightning balls” at the science museum. The most painful attachment is an extreme dental pick, which Mistress Nevada drags across the skin of a victim/customer.

“It’s like a knife cutting them,” she says.

But the fun of knifelike electrocution is nothing compared to a different torturous device that looks like the missing part to some unknown, household appliance.

“I get a kick out of this,” Mistress Nevada says as she picked up the mysterious object with a gleam in her eye.

It’s a narrow, metal rod about a foot in length used for “urethral sounding.” This tool is inserted into the urethra of the penis until only about two inches show. Need a visual? Try an online S&M site.

Some of Mistress Nevada’s most creative customers want a bit more than your average tie-’em-up-and-beat-em-silly dominatrix spiel. One cross-dressing male customer pretended he was house-sitting and was caught ruffling through Mistress Nevada’s underwear when she came back for a forgotten hairbrush. In a fit of theatrical rage, she bound and gagged him with all the underwear he’d been sifting through.

One of her patrons exchanges housework for Mistress Nevada’s services. The phrase “so clean you could eat off of it” took on a whole new meaning as Mistress Nevada spoke about testing her “maid” on how good a job he’d done cleaning the toilet.

“Well, if it’s clean …,” she said.

Bondage is just part of the job when you’re a profesisonal dominatrix like Mistress Nevada.

Photo By David Robert

Since she’s not engaging in sexual intercourse with customers, Mistress Nevada says her business is completely legit. She sterilizes all the toys she uses, wears Playtex gloves when making body contact, and has a safety word customers can use to stop her if the play gets too rough. There’s even a safety gesture for those who find underwear inhibiting their speech. She does not admit customers under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

The bulk of her clients are people in such surprising positions as doctors, military personnel, police officers or business owners.

“They are in control of their daily lives, and just want to submit control to someone else for a while—and they’re kinky,” the Mistress explains.

She even has regular out-of-towners from Oregon, Seattle, St. Louis, Las Vegas, San Francisco and Sacramento willing to make the long journey for the beating they receive at the end of it.

The downside to this glamorous life is the celebrity status that follows her like an unwanted entourage.

“All I want is a normal night,” she says. “Maybe meet a nice guy and chat.”

But of the times she attempts to lead a semi-normal nightlife away from work, inevitably someone screams, “Mistress Nevada, Mistress Nevada,” from the other end of the bar. After that identification, the “I’m a legal secretary, what do you do?” line seems a little beside the point.

Mistress Nevada maintains a Web site with pictures of her clients. Although most of the photos represent the dark side of the sadomasochism business lady, something odd appears in all of the scenes. In almost every picture, the serving patrons wear socks.

“I have a reverse foot fetish,” she said. “I make [my clients] wear socks because I can’t stand looking at people’s feet.”

So how does a toe-hating, urethral-sound-loving lady tell her parents about her career choice? It started after her dad became interested in the words “Mistress Nevada” in her online screen name, and a quick Internet search led to a whole new understanding of “It’s 10 p.m., do you know what your kids are doing?” The next time they spoke, his comments were, “Wow, I’m really impressed.”

Her mother still doesn’t quite understand, but in the name of mother and daughter bonding through business, she refers clientele to her dominatrix daughter.

Mistress Nevada’s life is far from vanilla—a term she uses often to describe things that are lackluster and normal, including rudimentary methods of sex and boring people.

Whatever words best describe Mistress Nevada, boring is not one of them. She is not the stereotypical sneering, clawing, beating dominatrix woman, covered in leather and issuing commands. She is an everyday person with a twist, a giggling, leopard-print-loving lady with a slightly different way of spending her Saturday nights. She’ll greet you with a smile, then shove your testicles into a device that’s meant to hold withered grapes.

Mistress Nevada’s name has been changed.