Saturday, October 20, 2012

Playing Darlene Virtual Book Tour

Playing Darlene: The True Double Life of a Public School Teacher & Professional Dominatrix
By Darlene

Genre:  Autobiography/Memoir/ Erotica
Publisher:  Chances Press, LLC

ISBN:  978-0988230200
ASIN:  B0094JN1R2

Number of pages:  114
Word Count: 23,000

Cover Artist:  Geronimo Quitoriano

Book Description:

In this eye-opening true story, one woman recounts the double life she led working in two very different professions…one revered and the other reviled. Darlene spent over twenty years being thought of as a well-mannered teacher in a Southern California public school district, but her colleagues and students would have never imagined that for eighteen of those years she also worked as a professional dominatrix in a dungeon. “

Playing Darlene” lets the reader take a peek into the mysterious lives of professionals in the sex industry and some of the jaw-dropping encounters she had with the thousands of clients whose fantasies she helped come true. With everything from roleplaying a shopaholic wife being spanked by her husband to wrapping up a muscular cross-dressing client in plastic and watching him wiggle, Darlene helped men realize their most secret desires…while she wasn’t grading school papers on her breaks.

Darlene's true stories of balancing her two different personas are frequently shocking, at times hilarious, and occasionally touching, but at the heart of the story is a woman on a personal journey not only to reconcile with her past, but also to discover the full potential of her own sexuality.

Overall: This book is a foray into a side to life that many of us have only read about. Going from a language teacher to a Domme was quite a journey and it had me riveted. It was a short read, and a little choppy, but I enjoyed it very much. The glimpse behind the scenes at what really happens at The Castle was enlightening and at times, stunning. Kudos to Darlene for writing her story and having the courage to embrace her inner sex Goddess. 

The part of the book that really hooked me was when Darlene described her home life as a child. That is something I understand all too well. Safety is an important thing, and if you don't have it, it changes you. The dance class was a good thing and it taught her how to channel her feelings into something else. Go Darlene! 

Playing Darlene is a must read if you are going to write about the lifestyle. It will take you beyond the stereotypical scene and introduce you to characters and situations that you likely have never encountered before unless you have been there. 


Excerpt Playing Darlene

Then one fateful day -- someone mentioned slaves, whips, chains, and dungeons.  That sounded like some kind of theater (oh, good--acting again), and I wanted to know more about it.  I heard the word "Castle", but that was it.  The conversation was interrupted, and I didn't know where it was.
I went home that night and went through the phone book.  There must have been dozens of businesses starting with the word "Castle".  The Castle Liquor Store, The Castle Nursery School, and even The Castle Laundromat.  I started calling.  And calling.  I was on a mission.  "Is this the place with the whips and chains?" I'd say over and over again.  "Sorry, lady, you've got the wrong number" was the usual response.
Finally, this place had to be in the phone book.
And it was.  Finally a guy on the other end of the phone said in a slow drawl, "Yeah, we got that." 
I went right over.

When I got there, I was pissed about what I saw.  The slow guy must have given me the wrong address.  There was no business there.  There was just an old house.  I was in a business district on a well-traveled street in Hollywood, but this old house was nothing.  It didn't say anything on the building.  It couldn't be a theater.
I parked anyhow and started walking around.  Maybe I could ask someone.  The place I was looking for was probably nearby.  There were no people around to ask.  I had to try something.  I went to the door of the old house and knocked.  Nothing.  I decided to try the door, and it was unlocked.  Who leaves a door unlocked in this town?  I opened it and inside there was just a stairway.  Still no people.
But I heard a voice.  The voice of the guy with the slow drawl.  Of course, I went up the stairs.  There was the guy, sitting behind a desk and talking on the phone.  He looked like an extra from an old episode of Gunsmoke:  unshaven, clothes that looked as if they'd been slept in, and crooked, filthy teeth -- what was left of them anyhow.  Behind him on the wall there was a lot of what seemed to be equipment, but I didn't recognize anything except a pair of handcuffs.  He gave me a blank stare.
"Can I help you?"
"I called a little while ago.  You gave me the address, but I don't see...I mean I thought this was a kind of theater.  What do you do here?  I've done acting.  What would I have to know to work here?"
"You got to talk to my mistress."

Darlene's Guest Blog

Q:  What made you decide to now write a book detailing your experiences working in what many may see as two radically different professions?

A:  Soon after my career as Darlene began, I discovered I needed to keep notes about the various sessions so that I'd have the details handy in case the clients returned.  As time passed, it occurred to me that it might be fun to turn my chronicles into a book.  It wasn't until recently that I came to understand the two professions had profound similarities.  That's when I felt compelled to actually put pen to paper.

Q:  In what ways do you think your job as a public school teacher and professional BDSM worker were similar?

A:  I'm sure it doesn't seem that way initially, but the two jobs are extremely nurturing.  Whether I'm helping a student learn to speak English or playing a part in someone's fantasy, I'm the facilitator who is making it possible for a fellow human being to reach his/her goal.

Q:  Why do you think the first announcement of your book received so much interest?

A:  My book appeals to people for several reasons.  First, readers are intrigued by the two career choices, which seem to come from opposite ends of the spectrum.  Second, most people are unfamiliar with and curious about what really goes on inside the "forbidden" world of sex, bondage, and domination.  Next, it gives women a way to vicariously live the life they didn't choose.  Finally, the book is ultimately about my own empowering journey.  Women love comparing notes so to speak.

Q:  What advice would you give to people who have been curious about exploring a new sexual side of themselves but haven't done it yet?

A:  The short answer is, "Go for it!"  Okay, not in all cases, but look, if people have even a fleeting thought about trying a new sexual practice, they owe it to themselves to take a minute, look at it, and truly consider the possibilities.  I'm not advising folks to rush into anything, but on the other hand, years from now, do you really want to look back and regret the chances you didn't have the nerve to take?

Q:  Why do you think some people still think of exploring these fantasies as taboo?

A:  What's considered taboo varies from culture to culture.  Let's face it, this country is not the most open-minded when it comes to sexuality, but we're evolving.  Adults of all ages and backgrounds visit dungeons -- from doctors to auto mechanics.

Q:  The book describes how you came to feel empowered by exploring and working in the world of BDSM. What do you think your book has to say in general about woman taking control of their own sexuality?

A:  Too many women feel (or are made to feel) that their own sexual desires are relatively unimportant.  I hope my book will encourage ladies to be more assertive in that respect.
Q:  What do you think were some of the pros and cons of working as a professional in this industry?

A:  One of the obvious pros is that my brain now houses a sizeable inventory of fantasies.  (Something for every occasion, if you will).  The downside is the possibility of becoming jaded.  At one point I did feel cynicism creeping in, and thank goodness, was able to turn it around.

Q:  How do you think you would have reacted if one of your students, school co-workers, or even the PRINCIPAL had shown up for a session at the club where you worked on the weekends?

A:  If someone who knew Ms. _____ the teacher had come in, I probably would have laughed.  Both of us may have been embarrassed at first, but actually, we're in the same boat.  Hopefully, we'd agree that the "encounter" never happened.

Q:  What's next for Darlene?

A:  At the present time,  I'm writing a second book.  I plan to include the more outrageous sessions (over an 18-year period, I did over 5,000), in addition to answering some of the most common questions I've received on my Dear Darlene advice column.  Some readers have even suggested adding a few topless photos to show that women over forty can still look fantastic. (Joan Collins looked drop-dead gorgeous in her Playboy spread, remember?)  After that, who knows?  I'm open to suggestions.

About the Author:

Darlene was born in Hollywood, California, and grew up in Pasadena, a quiet suburb near Los Angeles. She received a BA in German from California State University, Los Angeles. For several years she worked in television and film. Credits include General Hospital, Chicken Soup for the Soul, and the female lead in the film Monstrosity in which she played a spaced-out punk rocker. She even photo-doubled for Christian Bale in Empire of the Sun and Corey Feldman in Friday the 13th: A New Beginning (when they were 14 and 12 respec- tively). For the past 20 years, she has been a public school teacher in Los Angeles County. She currently lives in the San Fernando Valley, where she can be found indulging in her favorite hobby, ballroom and country-western dancing. Her next book is scheduled to be released in early 2013.

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