Storytime with... A Domination Therapist

"I mean, I’ve given a girl an orgasm from across the room before."

By Lizzie Plaugic

MasterJ runs the Jonai Academy for Bad Girls, specializing in tantric therapy, specifically Japanese bondage, or Shibari. 

What gave you the idea to start the Jonai Academy?
There was a reform school where I grew up, and it was a reform school specifically for girls. And I remember always having this level of empathy for the girls who were in there, because I knew their lives were different. But I think there was also a level of guilt or shame, because I knew some of that interest and some of that empathy was tangled up with sexual desire—I wanted to find out about the bad girls. It was part of my personality that I suppressed for a really long time, until later on in my life and I started realizing that that power exchange is an important part of life. What I’m trying to teach is social equality as it intertwines with sexual desire, or sexual roleplay.

What did you think the girls in the reform school were suppressing?
Well speaking in terms of my own personal experience, I was suppressing my dominant nature. It didn’t make much sense. As a younger man, everything that felt natural to me would be something that would get me smacked. I was really just trying to reconcile my sexual nature with what society deemed acceptable.

And so would you say it is possible to reconcile the two?
Oh absolutely. And I think that’s what the kink community does, and does so well. There’s a degree of shamelessness. Society uses shame to attack people. How that relates back to the teachings of tantric is something called tantric theater, where you do roleplay and power exchange, and you find these traumatic events that are sexually charged and you relive them. You relive them with a different script, in ways that you would have preferred it to play out. And that has a way of unglue-ing sexual traumas that happen. That’s what I think is the discrepancy that we can’t cognitively work out between what we naturally feel, that is, dominance or submission, and social equality, or what we’re taught is social equality.

What happens if you can’t reconcile your sexuality with what society teaches?
I was talking to some young doms who were having troubling separating the roleplay from their real-life interactions. Because if you’re dominant all the time, that’s not going to work very well for you in society at large. And I don’t think it really serves your dominant nature, it’s a give and take. For example, I recently got an email from a guy who wanted me to work with him and his wife, and he wanted to really push her limits. My message back to him—and I never heard back—was, “You do get that this is roleplay, right?” Bottom line, when you step out of the bedroom, she’s equal to you and she gets to put input into this as well.

What is a typical session at The Jonai Academy like?
The Healing Binds program is more of a tantric therapy-type thing, and I use Shibari [Japanese bondage] as a tool to teach someone the ideas behind tantra. I will tie the clients up in various ways—nothing too extensive at first—but usually there are around five different position. And then we just start talking. The whole idea is to get to something deeper, whether it’s a feeling or a past trauma, maybe a feeling of fear. And then, this happens in tantra all the time, people who are really dedicated to it suddenly just stop showing up. What happens is, they trigger something deep down inside, something emotional, and they just don’t want to deal with it. Everyone’s first instinct is to run from this. But when you’re tied up in ropes, you can’t run. It brings you to a point where you have to confront these things.

Beyond not being able to leave, what about bondage makes it conducive to bringing out these sort of revelations?
You completely submit to the experience. This happened to me one time when I was surfing, I was caught in a wave and I couldn’t get out of it. And rather than fighting it, you just kind of submit to the experience. And that makes it much more likely that you’ll be able to get out of the experience, because you just kind of float with it. And the same goes for your emotions: the more you fight it, the more you’re causing yourself suffering and emotional damage. There are things in our brains that work to protect us from remembering traumas, but as an adult, often you’re forced to submit to it. There are certain times when you’re not going to be in control, and you have to face that.

Can you remember any specific sessions where something really stood out to you or caught you off-guard?
Well the crying always throws you off-guard. That happens a lot with women. But recently, I was in a nudra session [creating an energetic circuit through touch] with a guy and it brought up all kinds of stuff for him. Going into it, he was pretty sure he was heterosexual, but he was a virgin. And now, he’s gone off on this bisexual spree that I was just not expecting at all.

Do you ever get requests for services that you don’t offer?
Yeah, I get a lot of strange requests. I think a lot of the time, people are looking for a quick fix. Like, you’re gonna come in, I’m gonna get you off, and then it’s all over. That’s not what I’m doing. It’s a long-term, therapeutic sort of thing, and one session is probably not going to get you to where you want to be.

Is there any sort of sexual release or orgasm from clients during your sessions?
A lot of this is about deprivation and any touching that would be required, I’d have them do themselves. Stuff like nipple clamps, things like that. But the humiliation, deprivation, and torture, it goes hand-in-hand with any of the pleasurable things. It’s all going to be part of the therapy.

So it would be unusual for someone to orgasm during one of the sessions?
It could happen spontaneously. And it does happen. Because orgasms are, in many ways, just as psychological as they are physical. I mean, I’ve given a girl an orgasm from across the room before. I think you can initiate an entire courtship with just your eyes alone. 

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