|Credit: Jennifer Learmont|
Jennifer, Welcome to Authors by Sasha. Kiss My Boots is a memoir described as provocative & steamy reflecting your adventures in the 80's and 90's in Hollywood. What made you decide it was the right time to pen a memoir?
I wasn't sure what the right time was to write this memoir, but it started out with my ex-husband writing his own. I am in a couple of his chapters which didn't shine a great light on me; it didn't explain where I came from, or where I ended up or why his story unfolded the way it did. He contacted me in 2017 and I worked with him for a couple of years, doing some research. Then I thought I should write my story from a girl’s point of view.
I was tired of hiding my past; people would ask me questions and my answers just provoked more questions, so I decided to just put it all out there. It started out as a journal for my family, but it just took its own journey into a book. I thought, “take me or leave me but here is the story.”
What was your backstory prior to embarking upon a three month journey to the United States that resulted in a twenty year tenure in the country?
My back story was from a very dysfunctional childhood, which I thought was a good segue into why I did what I did, and the choices that I made. I couldn't wait to go to the USA; I loved everything about it - the music, the entertainment industry, Tinseltown. It was very intriguing to me as a young girl; it was where all my heroes were from.
Adhering to no rules comes with risk. What were you trying to accomplish by abolishing all constraints which could affect your growth and success at a young age?
Really, I didn't even think of what “no rules” or “no limits” were. It wasn't a plan; it was just the way I was, my makeup. I was a free spirit and I had no plans. I have to say that time of my life was a time that I lived purely in the moment, not thinking of consequences at all but just living. It was so exciting; it was pure freedom. I’m really glad I got to that; it’s rare.
What is the greatest risk you’ve taken in life that has paid off?
All the risks that I have taken, whether it be with criminals or being a Domme, paid off because I have an incredible story to tell. The adventures that I lived in were unique. I have amazing friends to this day from that life whether it be ex-clients, girls I've worked with or just all the colorful characters I met along the way. I've always lived life to the fullest and wanted to experience everything, so to me that life paid off in that way.
Jennifer, what was the younger version of yourself seeking from life and how have your life experiences evolved for what you’re seeking today?
I had a childhood of neglect, no security, going to so many schools, never staying in one place for very long, always being a new kid at school. I think I was seeking to belong and maybe that's why I experienced everything that was thrown at me, to fit in. Don’t get me wrong; I was wild and had so much fun seeking all this.
I have learnt a lot. Today I'm seeking the opposite: pure health and peace of mind. I'm also very careful of who I choose to spend time with, but I think I'm still seeking security in some sort of way.
Having lived the sex, drugs and rock n’ roll lifestyle, what surprised you the most about the celebrity lifestyle?
Well, as the old cliché goes, celebrities are no different than everybody else; they still have the same insecurities. Still, it did surprise me, the sheer decadence and wealth of some of these people, especially with me coming from a poor background.
What is the greatest misconception about Hollywood?
Well, everybody goes to Hollywood thinking it's this amazing place where your dreams may come true, but in reality it's very dangerous. It's very dark and it's very sad. Everybody has stars in their eyes but it's also very hard to avoid substance abuse, especially if it's not going so well. It's a bad place to just go to without knowing anyone because you’re basically a sitting duck. Having said that, I had some of the best times of my life, saw and heard some of the best music and met some of the best people. Hollywood's a funny place; it's bright and dark, comic and tragic. Everywhere has that but in Hollywood it's magnified millions of times.
|Credit: Kiss My Boots|
Among your adventures referenced in your memoir Kiss My Boots, you’ve also worked as a dominatrix for fourteen years. How were you introduced to the exciting and exotic world of dominatrix prior to becoming a professional in the field?
How I became a Domme was simply that I had met a girl at the gym that thought I was perfect for a Domme: I was beautiful with a strong personality. I also needed a job. I built up the courage to go in and have an interview, and the rest is history.
Dominatrix represents a woman who physically and / or psychologically dominates her partner in sadomasochistic encounters. It's considered a healthy channel of sexual exploration. What appealed to you about this lifestyle?
So to be clear, being a professional Domme does not involve physical sex; it’s all mind play. To be a good Domme you have to have tons of empathy and compassion, even be a therapist to these men. A lot of professional Dommes don’t live the lifestyle out of work.
I feel the job as a Domme filled a very important need for these people. Where would they go and what would they do without it?? It’s a serious need for many.
What appealed to me with this job was that I met some of the most amazing people, and I was attracted to how bizarre it all was. I liked seeing the grey side of life and the parts of people that nobody sees; to me that's very interesting, and that's exactly what you see in this job. These clients confided in us so deeply, I'm sure they told us things that nobody else on the planet knew about them. Believe me, there was a lot of humor in this job, too; it could be incredibly funny.
I have definitely learned that you can't judge a book by its cover, some of the most powerful men have some of the darkest fetishes. I did learn that most of these fetishes and needs came from early childhood. I learned to practice the art of non-judgement; everyone is just trying to get along in this world and some needs of this kind help them. I've always had a big heart and a lot of compassion, and I became stronger with this job; I really appreciate it.
There are many channels present for one to connect with their higher source. How were you introduced to the Interdenominational Church and its activities which also included a gospel choir?
I was doing a lot of cocaine and one of my clients who was a reformed drunk suggested I come with him to this church called The Sanctuary. It was right up my alley; there were celebrities, there were rock stars, and there was amazing music. Everyone was really healthy, and when I heard the gospel choir that was it for me! Of course, I didn't get involved in the choir right away because I had to pay my dues and attend for a while. Music was in my blood; all my family were musicians, so I really felt that I belonged there.
All the people that went there were musicians, artists or actors; so many celebrities there.
I couldn't believe how healthy everyone was and when I found out they were into power yoga, they showed me a new way of living which was life-changing.
Labeled as a self-proclaimed fearless child, did you ever encounter fear while living the highs and lows of the American lifestyle?
Yes, I did encounter fear, but I think I processed it differently than most people. I was resilient and strong, so I just brushed myself off and kept going. I never ever felt like I was a victim. I still have the fearless child in me but I'm a lot more responsible now. It's different when you're living a healthy clean life; you make good choices and choose your friends very carefully.
Everyone perceives fear to be different. In your opinion, what is the opposite of fear?
The opposite of fear is living a life without crazy experiences, as the old saying goes; your life begins at the end of your comfort zone, and that includes fear.
The memoir Kiss My Boots also presents a survival story. Keeping secrets can be considered a survival skill. Secrets can also be dangerous. What impact did living a secretive life have on your health, heart and sanity?
Keeping my life secret, I thought, was for survival but it was very damaging. I felt no one ever really knew me, and how could they? They definitely didn't understand me because my whole life was a façade. It was not real and it was a lie, what I told my family and friends was a made-up story. I wasn't sure what they would think of me.
Every person responds differently when existing outside of their comfort zone. Did you ever encounter homesickness when away from Australia?
I didn't get homesick for Australia so much, but I missed my family a lot. Once in a while I'd wake up in a panic, wondering “what am I still doing in the US,” but it just kept me hooked and I couldn't seem to leave.
The book Kiss My Boots has been nominated for Indie Book Awards (Non-Fiction), NSW Premier's Literary Awards (Non-Fiction & New Writing) and Queensland Literary Awards (Non-Fiction). How would you describe your writing experience from the point of conceptualizing the book to launching it in the market?
My writing experience so far has been mainly cathartic, purging deep things inside me that I have kept bottled up for so long. Offloading those experiences and putting them on paper make me feel light and free. I had never written anything before or even trained in the art of writing, but I just knew I had to get this down on paper. I think I did a good job.
What part of the writing process did you enjoy the most when penning Kiss My Boots?
It isn't easy launching your book onto the market. The whole process takes years with a lot of rejection. In the end I put it down on paper and no more have to lie.
Were there any parts of the book that were challenging to write?
I enjoyed the way the words just flowed out of me. I don't even know where it came from; it just came out. The pure freedom of it all! I laughed and I cried writing this book; it was fun and it was a great experience.
Can you kindly share two writing tips that can benefit new and seasoned writers?
I think the best tip is to really put out the nitty gritty and don’t hold back. I think people like the messy side of life. Be humble and honest, no matter how hard it is to expose yourself, especially if it's a memoir.
While growing up, what type of literature did you enjoy reading?
I have to say I didn't get a chance to read a lot because of my unstable upbringing and going to so many different schools. I did enjoy English and I was into reading a lot of the old classics, which I loved.
Is there a book that you enjoy reading which you wished you had written?
Catcher in the Rye.
Jennifer, as a proud Australian, how is the American social culture different from the Australian lifestyle?
I never thought that Australia and the USA were that much different. I don't think I ever had a huge culture shock except for the fact that everything's tenfold in America; it's like Australia in the future. It's a lot easier in Australia; the quality of life is a lot better.
Are there any new hobbies, or endeavors you’ve embarked upon since your return to Australia?
My hobbies now are still yoga. I'm a marriage celebrant. I love reading, being really healthy, friends, food, gym, writing and music.
What exciting new projects are you working on that audiences should keep an eye on?
I'm just about to start a second edition which will start in Hollywood and do a deep dive into all these characters, and especially the Domme world.
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