In honor of DomCon LA happening this weekend, we wanted to revisit this interview from last year’s DomCon issue. Mistress Cyan is the creator and visionary behind DomCon LA. You’ll get a glimpse of the history and importance of this annual event. Enjoy!
Dexx: You’re obviously a community leader, pioneer, and inspiration to a lot of the people in the BDSM community. I wanted to start at the beginning, when did you first come to realize you were kinky and have thoughts about BDSM?
Mistress Cyan: It actually goes back to when I was a kid, even just playing with friends; cowboys and Indians, cops and robbers. When you’d get captured for some reason it was almost a turn on about the restraint-either tying somebody up or being tied up whatever it was I didn’t even know what any of this was about but I knew I was attracted to it. I can remember even before having any sexual type of inclinations about doing self-bondage and just loving the feel of it all. Even to the point that at my age I grew up when they had the old Batman series and some of my favorite were the two parters and at the end of part one they would always be caught and there would be some kind of predicament thing. I thought that was so exciting. It’s something I think I was wired with. My upbringing was very normal. I had a good family, tight knit family. So there was nothing going on that was traumatic or anything else. I’ve looked back on it if there was anything that would have influenced me. I just can remember from a young age being interested in it.
And certainly the same for me and many other people I’ve spoken to in the community. It just seems to be something we’re prewired with.
Yes and there’s nothing you can point to and go oooh maybe that spurred it. There were times when I first got into the community or lifestyle legitimately playing and I was interested in bondage but things like spanking or flogging, that was the furthest thing from my mind. I was at a play party and met some people and they wanted to do birthday spankings and my thought was no I don’t want to do this, I’m not into pain but they talked me into it and it turned out to be very erotic. It wasn’t what I thought it was going to be and it opened my mind up to eventually some flogging, etc. and all of it was bringing me to a subspace that I really enjoyed. Having been dominant in every area of my life and doing sports in school I felt that maybe this was like yin yang, that balance that you need, being submissive. So for years I was submissive, collared and everything. My Master at one point wanted to switch and I thought oh my god I don’t want to do this its not going to be any fun but we did and it just sparked something in me. This was really where I belong and identify as much as the subspace was really nice, this was what really resonates with me. But I think that has made me a much better dominant, being on that submissive side and collared.
So once you made the change to being a dominant, was it a case that you didn’t look back?
Exactly, that relationship changed that night. The collar came off that night and in the last eighteen or twenty years whenever we have played I’ve always topped him. The whole dynamic changed.
You don’t miss being on the submissive side at all?
You know I was a professional bondage model up until just recently before I got sick and that satisfied that subspace thing. I’ve always been into bondage and I was actually a semifinalist for bondage model of the year for four years in a row. That kind of satisfied that. I still loved that. It’s enough to surrender rather than be submissive. It gets those endorphins and subspace and energy going.
How did you come to discover and join the scene itself?
When I started there was no internet. I had read things like Penthouse Forum and there was always one or two letters about kinky stuff and were very very erotic and it just resonated with me. So one day I got the courage to go to an adult bookstore. I explored some more of it and the whole world opened up to me essentially. I found a magazine that was basically just contacts, so I started to write and it was back in the days where you put a code number on the envelope and put it into another envelope and you send it to the publisher and they forward it. So I actually opened up a couple of conversations via mail with people who were local who were in the scene.
One of them invited me to a party. She said its my birthday and she says its important that you don’t tell anybody this is the first time we met because the people that are going to be here are vetted and everyone knows each other, it’s a very tight knit thing. But we’ve talked on the phone and via mail and I feel very comfortable with it. So I went to this party and it started out just like a birthday party but as time went on it was less and less people and I was thinking everyone left early and realized I hadn’t seen people leave through the front door. And I asked where’d everybody go and she said they’re out in the playroom. She said come with me and we went out and their garage was converted to a dungeon. We walked in and opened the door and all these BDSM scenes are going on and one of the first ones I see is this woman who’s suspended upside down, they’re dropping candle wax between her legs, she’s screaming bloody murder and I’m thinking to myself oh my god I gotta get out of here! I was still working in the corporate world and thinking if I get arrested or if this gets raided and she put her hand on my shoulder and said everything is consensual, everything is safe here, and everything is legal. When I watched that seen and they let her down there was just this warm embrace and great aftercare. It touched me, that closeness. It opened me up to exploring a little bit more. From that point on they introduced me to other people. And play parties back then that I was invited to, they had no places like Sanctuary or Lair it was all at peoples’ homes. I was just in heaven for four years with being on the sub side of things and looked forward to it. They were very nurturing and caring, all about safety, protocol, what you see and what you hear stays here. I felt that for the first time I could disclose things to them that I couldn’t even tell my closest friends. Unfortunately these days I think it’s more like information today is ammunition tomorrow with the internet. There’s less sense of responsibility to each other. But it opened up a whole world to me not only in the kink aspect but ethically and how you live your life as far as respect goes. It taught me a lot of things about the submission part, self control, self discipline. There were a lot of life lessons to be learned just from getting involved in it. But again it all went back to contacting people and asking questions and then having them open their arms and accepting me.
I guess for me having just come into the scene a lot more recently, it still seems to me like there’s now this wonderful community of people that you can open up to and talk to about things you’d never be able to say to people and generally without any fear that its going to come back to get you even despite the whole internet age which has been really nice.
I think that BDSM and the leather community have been integrating a little bit more because the leather community is all trust honor respect and the Old Guard. That goes a long way in how you live your life. We used to say BDSM is what we do, leather is who we are. I think in the last five years I’ve seen the two communities integrate a little bit better. I think some of the BDSM communities are starting to realize some of the ethical and lifestyle things of the leather community.
You talked about how you discovered your dominant side and then was it some time after that that you then actually transitioned into being a Pro-Dominant?
Yes, it was years actually. There was a dungeon in Los Angeles called 665 and many years ago they used to have a play space down in east Hollywood across from a church. I would go there and play and I got to meet people. I got mentored on how to do some of the stuff I did. Eventually met more people in 1986 I believe and moved in with some friends in Riverside. They had a big five bedroom two story house on an acre and a half of land and there’d be a party every second week of the month. I started getting entrenched in the lifestyle part of it and one day in I think 1991 somebody invited me to participate in doing a scene with them. I did it and it was like wow this was great we get to play and do all this stuff and I can actually get paid too that’s amazing! This is great! But my thought of ever doing it professionally was not even in the picture.
My background coming out of college; I worked myself up from a low level position to a director of operations for a 3.4 billion dollar company. Then when at one point the company relocated to North Carolina I chose not to. I was also managing bands at the time, so I went to full time doing that for years, so being a pro was a past time for me. In 94’ I met someone at a party and she invited me over to her space to see it and asked me if I’d be interested in working with her and partnering on the dungeon. So we started this little dungeon in Glendale. And as I started going, the interest in the Domination did not wan. It seemed like it fueled it. I enjoyed meeting people and playing with new people. So I made the decision to stop managing bands and concentrate on Pro-Domming and that’s what I’ve done ever since.
And did you have any particular influences or mentors during that period that helped you?
Yes actually there was one Pro-Domme who’s actually now retired named Jennifer Antone. She was a big influence. When I was submissive she had been playing with me and then taught me. But there were people that were teaching at Society of Janus and TES in the east coast and those were some of my mentors. Not just technique but what you’re trying to accomplish from it and having experienced it I could understand it. I felt that I had really good mentoring and training. When I started to do it professionally, the clients that I had would come to me about how there was magic between us, how I could sense it. What I realized I had learned through my experiences as being a submissive and being mentored is that when I was playing with someone, their body would speak to me more than their words were. If I really paid attention their body would tell me how far to go. That made them want to come back and see me. That launched my career.
In your time of both personal and professional play do you have any particular memorable or creative scenes that you’ve been involved in?
Actually for me almost all of my scenes are memorable in a way. I’ve had some pretty crazy ones. I had one guy come in and want to do an interrogation scene and he wanted it to be very intense, be threatened and shot-to actually be shot. I’m a pretty creative person. He said nobody would do this and I said ok I’ll do it. He was kind of shy and we planned a date. He came over and we started doing this whole interrogation scene and what I’d done was get a paint ball gun and red paint balls. We’re doing the whole scene wanting him to talk and him not wanting to talk so finally I drag him into the main room and put him up and pull out this gun and all of a sudden the fear of God is in his eyes. I start telling him I’m going to shoot him, but he has one more chance. He’s thinking as scary as this is I’m not really going to do it. He declines so I shot him with the paint ball gun. All of a sudden VOOM! the projectile hits him and the red splatters! He was just blown away with it and it was one of those scenes that was a roleplay that really took a life of its own and went there. What heightened it all for him was because he wasn’t expecting it to really happen. He was expecting it to be a toy or something. The effect of the paintball and visual of the red was very intense. It was just an amazing scene.
Did he talk!?
(Laughs) At that point he was talking more saying thank you mistress that was incredible!
So I know that the Sanctuary space used to be Passive Arts and that ended with a a particularly tragic incident and I guess I’m curious to know what impact that had on the LA community?
Severe. Severe. I was very close with John who owned Passive Arts and as a matter of fact I had done some of my fundraisers here. John was a really great person, he cared about the community, he cared about making people happy. So when the tragedy happened it was pretty devastating. A large part of the community felt a big loss. Not only the loss of John but this place was so big it held so many people this was like home to so many people. And the estate contacted me and said we’ve got a lot of people coming here with money and want to redo it but we don’t think any of them are doing it for the right reasons. It looks like it’s a financial investment that people want to make that think it’s a cash cow and we know you were close with John and you’ve got a good reputation and in a nutshell we would like to find out if you would be interested in taking the space over.
Up until then I thought there was no way I could ever do that. I don’t know if I could take it and feel good inside, benefiting from the loss of somebody else. They explained to me if there was anybody John would want to take it over it would be me. So I got a couple of investors together and we scraped up enough to get the thing open again. The community has been very supportive. My commitment to the estate was that Passive Arts was Passive Arts and it couldn’t be replaced so what my goal here at Sanctuary was to take what John had to the next level. I’d bring it to another stage of its evolution.
And do you feel that you’ve achieved that objective?
Yes I do. And I’ve gotten that from the community but its still a work in progress and every day, every month we’re doing something different. Where we wanted to be is still not there but despite what people might think this is not a cash cow, we don’t get rich here (laughs) and having been in the corporate world I understand about growth and if you grow too fast it can be bad. So we try to maintain our budget and grow slowly and put money back into the business that we can afford to. But we’d rather take baby steps to get to the big goal rather than do it all at once and stumble and have something happen where we have to close the doors.
Most dungeons seem either cater to lifestylers or professionals. But clearly here you cater to both. Why do you think other dungeons don’t do that and do you think that that’s presented any unique challenges to you?
Number one I cant say why people don’t do it I can only say for me since the year 2000 I’ve been actively promoting truth in this. Kind of like the story about how I started DomCon. I was in a Yahoo group, a BDSM group and one day I went to log on I couldn’t log on, it said I wasn’t allowed. I thought I’d forgotten the password. So I contacted the moderator and she responded and said well you’ve been banned because you’re a professional and this is a lifestyle group. And I said I’ve been doing lifestyle for ten years, I’m lifestyle before I’m professional I just happen to be able to choose a career that I happen to be able to live with and not have this as a job as a life. They said sorry there are no professionals. So I started setting my goals on trying to change that. That’s how I came up with the concept of DomCon because it’s professional and lifestyle.
But as far as the dungeon goes, there was no reason why the professional people and lifestyle people cant mingle. My philosophy if you’re going to be a successful professional it has to be something that you love. A kid can watch Kobe Bryant play basketball and find out he makes fifty million dollars and if he’s motivated by money and says oh I’m going to do that playing basketball, if he doesn’t like doing it he’s not going to be very successful with it. If he loves basketball he’s going to do well and succeed. The same thing with our business. If you don’t like what you’re doing or doing it for the money you don’t last. It was not a way to get rich quick. So most professionals are lifestyle people who came from the lifestyle. They didn’t just decide one day they’re going to wake up and be a pro. And those that have generally aren’t around. Some simple guidelines for my staff, my pros know that in our lifestyle parties its not about soliciting, its not about business, its about the lifestyle. If you come to the parties you’re here to play. You’re not here on business or anything like that. And during the day we treat it as a job, as work. So there’s a certain amount of separation even though the venue itself caters to professional, lifestyle, and also we’ve got promoters coming and doing men only parties so we have the gay and lesbian and pansexual communities, we’ve got classes and workshops so we’ve been able to use the facility because of its size to incorporate and try to do more of a community center of BDSM so we can bring people together.
You asked me about the complications there have been some. There are some people that say oh that’s a pro dungeon you don’t want to go there its just a pro dungeon or we keep trying to get categorized in one thing but we try to not be categorized. We’ve had weddings here. We’ve had memorials. As being the biggest dungeon in Los Angeles we feel we also have a responsibility to community. That’s one of the reasons why I think we try to do so much.
I guess my other question would be clearly almost all of the professionals you see are women, is there any demand for male pros?
Not very much. And the reason I think is that they –and there are exceptions-in general some of the fantasies that submissive guys have as far as seeing a master is sexual. And being a professional dominant in a professional field we cant cross sexual lines. There cant be oral/genital contact or penetration. And I’ve experienced the same thing even as transsexual. They seem to think that well if somebody hasn’t had their surgery they can? And that’s what’s attracting them. Most female dominants that they see they know there’s not going to be sex involved and they’re going for the BDSM part of it where if it’s a male or somebody who’s transgendered they assume there can be more to it and it can fulfill some other fantasies and when they found out they cant it’s the sexual fantasy rather than BDSM that attracts them so most men would do some sessions but there are very few out there that can make a career out of it.
You’ve suggested based on that answer that most clients are men is that true?
So very few women would come through for pro sessions?
I would say that we’ve got about 85-90% men. We have some couples that come in who are exploring and because of movies like Fifty Shades and things like that that opens up a door of curiosity and they’ll come here and they can meet with a Domme and get walked through it or both experience a scene being flogged or bondage, those kind of things. Or if they’re dominants they can come and play with a submissive because they may not be able to find somebody.
Have you had some challenges from employing so many professional Dommes and subs under one roof?
(laughs) Yea, like herding cats sometimes. There can be drama. When you’ve got forty women working for you it can be challenging. And not everyone sees eye to eye as far as personalities. But generally, as a rule the challenges are minor. As I’ve said I come from a large corporation and I dealt with different challenges. Whatever it is you’re going to find it. Here its more of a sisterhood or family. New girls that come in get taken under our wings and taught technique. We work with them.
I’ve spoken with several different people in the community some of whom work for you, others who don’t who have mentioned you as a mentor. Is that something you think you’ve been drawn to?
Again this goes way back to the old way before the internet. When I first came into it you got in by meeting somebody and I was taught no body ever charged me. Nobody ever said yea I’ll show you how to flog if you schedule time with me. It was all about showing me. Back then there were no classes like there are today so it was impressed upon me, our community is going to grow because we pass on the knowledge and experience. So we’re investing our time in teaching you, we expect you to spend your time teaching somebody else and they’re going to teach somebody else. So I’ve always been in a mentoring capacity. In 2007 the LA Leather Coalition awarded me the mentor of the year. I was very honored two years ago LA weekly wrote an article on me calling me the most respected Dominatrix in Los Angeles. A lot of it is because it feels very rewarding to give back. And I love it when I see somebody who sees me florentine and says oh I can never do that and you’re working with them and they get it down and its just a pleasure to know you’ve helped them on a journey. Unfortunately I don’t have the time and energy to teach one on one as many people as I would like to. We do a lot of fundraising and charity events and that gives you a feeling inside that can’t be replaced just like teaching does. I’ve been a guest speaking at UCLA, Long Beach State, Occidental College, Northridge and I’m scheduled at a three day speaking engagement at Stanford later in the year. It’s very exciting because it seems like the colleges are opening up so that stigma of what we do is being put more in perspective and then understanding is coming and its not all about being sick. They’re trying to understand.
Do you run into any difficulties with local government or law enforcement?
No. One of the things here is we’ve been the only dungeon in LA and probably in the country that actually has our address running on our websites. We’re totally above board. We don’t do anything that crosses lines legally so we have the support of our landlord and neighbors. The sheriffs, when they get a new officer they bring them down for a tour. For our parties they drive by and wave. They really watch out for us.
I see the district attorney’s card up there. (In Mistress Cyan’s office)
Yes! They’ve been very supportive. As a matter of fact when I was out having my cancer treatment they did a fundraiser and a lot of people showed up to the point that the parking lot was full and people were parking down the street. We have a guy who watches the parking lot and walks people out to their cars. He volunteered to drive people parked far away. So he was driving people and on one of the trips he got the red light on him and the sheriffs pulled him over and he thought uh oh. And the sheriff came up to the window and said do you work at Sanctuary and he said yes and they said tell Mistress Cyan we’re pulling for her. It really warmed my heart and surprised me and it sent a message to the people that were there that they are aware of what we do, they’re supportive and they care. We are very respectful. The fire department comes in checking the fire extinguishers. We try to do everything on the up and up and not do anything to cause trouble. There was a commitment I made to myself back in 1999 that I wasn’t going to put time and energy and money into space where we had to hide it because if I had a landlord or police coming in and shut us down all that was gone. So it’d be much better to be open and disclose everything and if we’re going to have a problem have it early on and not later.
Do you think that the law generally is working for people who are in the BDSM lifestyle in California and elsewhere or do you think there are any laws that need to be changed?
Well, I think that there’re a number of laws that should be changed. But in California in Los Angeles technically what we do is illegal because of domestic violence laws. Most states have a law that says you cannot consent to being assaulted and they passed that because in domestic violence the wife would get beat up and then wouldn’t want to press charges. So they enacted these laws that say even if she doesn’t press charges, the state can press charges. So essentially if we’re spanking someone we could be arrested even if both people say its consensual. But in Los Angeles and society as a whole are growing to learn the difference. There are some places in California and the country that that’s not the case. Unfortunately depending on where our future goes with the government there are some people that would like to see us not be able to do anything. There are some people who understand it and feel that the law should be expanded. We don’t do strap on play because its penetration. There’re a lot of people that come from Europe other Dommes and they’re so surprised when they get here for DomCon and say “You cant do that here?!” There’s a feeling in a lot of the industry that there should be a difference or something that’s loosened up a little bit. But then you get into a whole sociological situation about what is prostitution. Right now pro domination has got a pretty clean cut line and we try as much as possible to maintain that image. But again the independents and there are people out there that do that and already do prostitution and will add BDSM so it tends to blur the line to some people who don’t know what we do.
I imagine its pretty hard to find a politician that will champion the loosening of BDSM laws when so many people who are into BDSM are unwilling to come out and say that publicly.
Yes. Again we have a mayor Gil Garcetti who is very open. We just finished the LA Leather week here. He’s been very supportive. He gave one of the gay leather bars The Bullet an accommodation for their service and commitment to the community for the last twenty two years. I’ve got something out here that I received back in 2007 from the City of West Hollywood, an accommodation for leadership and community support. There is a lot of them that are but for every one that is willing to champion the cause there’s a hundred who aren’t. In an election year you never know which way its going to go.
So lets talk about DomCon. You’ve been doing this for quite a while now?
Yes, this will be our thirteenth year. In LA and Atlanta.
You mentioned before about what inspired you to start it, wanting to create an event for both professionals and lifestylers.
Yes I wanted to bring it together because being from the lifestyle and being professional and knowing a lot of the other professionals who started in the lifestyle and trying to bring an understanding that if somebody is going to be a car mechanic, they don’t get up one day and decide they’re going to be a car mechanic. They go to school and learn. Instead of going to school for it we got involved in the lifestyle and we lived it kind of like on the job training. So it was very disturbing to feel that we were being not accepted by the lifestyle community. Also when I started I realized that some of the professionals were getting a little jaded after they had come out of the lifestyle and become professional feeling like maybe they were a little bit above the lifestyle people because lifestyle people do it once a week but we do this every day. So it was like lets try to bring something educational to bring people together to understand it. The first year or two it was a little challenging but when I first started I envisioned it as a nice LA event. I had no idea it was going to be this huge. But within three months it became a national event, it blossomed.
The very first one?
Yup! And we had people come from Europe and everything. One of the most satisfying things after we did the first one was the chatter online. The people talking about how they met some of the pros and we thought they were just all about the money but they’re real people, very polite and nice. And the professional community was talking about being really surprised. Some of the lifestlye people, the technique they had was amazing. So it kind of brought some of that together a little bit. It started out as just a Friday night meet and greet and then Saturday, Sunday convention and we expanded it out to four days and now its five.
Essentially DomCon was trying to have an educational event to bring people together, predominantly professional and lifestyle communities. Then start to integrate the other areas of alternative lifestyle; the leather community, gay/lesbian, anything that celebrates our commonality but respects our diversity. DomCon was never about trying to homogenize it. We’re not all one big happy family but we do share some things. Everybody fits in at Domcon
So DomCon must be some of the largest BDSM events in the country.
Yes. As a matter of fact we’re the largest professional and lifestyle Domination convention in the world. There’re some other fetish events that are much bigger but as far as what our niche is we are the biggest. This year we have people coming from Australia, Belgium, England, Mexico, all over.
How many people are you expecting to attend?
Last year we had about 1500. This year I think this is going to be bigger because of the hotel rooms selling out much earlier. The buzz seems to be much greater this year.
You talked a little bit about some of the different subgroups within the BDSM community, do you think that now that we’re getting a lot of newcomers into the scene particularly in the last couple of years that there’s a clash of culture between some of the old guard and newer?
There was about two three years ago and what we noticed was that the times are changing and things are changing. Some of the more established Dommes have been doing this for ten or twenty years and are used to it a certain way and we started to realize that maybe there seems to be a bias between some of the newer Dommes that are calling themselves online Dommes. They get the comments that say they’re not real. How can you be Domme if it’s just an online thing. You know what, we cant allow our culture to fall into the same trap that it was twenty years ago when we started all of this. We started because there was a separation, there was inclusiveness. Just because there are things that are being done right now that weren’t done in the past, doesn’t mean they’re wrong or there should be judgment against them. Really what we should be doing is making sure that we embrace even though things are done differently now and there may be online domination or things that traditionally weren’t done. Doesn’t mean its wrong or not legitimate. I have an advisory board of ten pros and lifestyle people that are very experienced and we made a commitment; let’s not allow the convention or our professional community to walk into a judgmental thing. We embraced that. As a result some of the people that came to that are starting to teach some of the older pros who have been established about some of the online stuff and what can be done and they’re also learning now and going to class and learning techniques so instead of just doing virtual stuff they’re actually learning how to flog and about the safety and psychology.
So you touched on something which is interesting, online and financial domination. I guess from the outside it might appear to be something that is a scam. But in your experience is this a legitimate thing which some people are into and is satisfying to them?
Yes it is. One of the things we have to never forget is that with what we do both sides have to benefit. Whether it’s a personal relationship, D/s or BDSM. So if a Dominant is forcing you to give you their money that’s not going to last. The people who are into financial domination they for whatever reason are feeling some kind of fulfillment. I’m not in a position to judge why but they’re not being forced to do it. They’re doing it because they care about the person or its their way of submission or giving back. If financial domination exists and its an ongoing thing its because both parties are getting something out of it. It may very well be that the person who’s just sending money is having an online relationship. My experience is that financial domination isn’t about someone just writing a check and that’s it.
One criticism that is often made about BDSM is that it can be a haven for predators. Do you think there’s any truth in that?
I think there’s an element of truth in that. Again, the internet has opened us up to the world. When I was coming through it you had to walk in the footsteps of people. They taught you. These days, the internet teaches but its also opened a door to people who are predators and can go online and learn what you’re supposed to say and how to say it they can really lure somebody in. Our community the BDSM/fetish/leather is going to be like any other community. You’re going to have your good and your bad. You’re going to have some people that really care and others will be there to exploit. We’re not special. Just because we happen to be kinky doesn’t mean everyone has a halo and that’s why I’m a big advocate of doing classes. We have BDSM 101 classes here every Monday night for beginners. Just because someone calls themselves a Dom does not mean they’ve mastered the art of how to be a dominant person they’re just dominating someone. But realistically we’re just like any other community.
On more of a serious note I know you were diagnosed with cancer last year. How did that feel when you first heard that diagnosis, what was that experience like for you?
Very disturbing. Actually a little bit after DomCon I had a bit of a sore throat and I had a little lump in the side of my neck. I went to the doctor and they did a quick look, they checked for strep throat it wasn’t and the doctor said if it persists come back. So I waited about ten days and it wasn’t changing. I went back and a different doctor looked at me and said I see your right tonsil does not look good, its not normal. So they sent me to a specialist and they did a biopsy and a CAT scan and tests. They called and told me the biopsy came back as cancer. All of a sudden in a week’s worth of time, I’ve never had any health issues so I was disturbed and worried about it. My dad died of lung cancer, he smoked for forty years and I saw how he went and this is not the way I want to go. I’ve never smoked anything in my life, I live a healthy lifestyle and here I am being diagnosed with this. I immediately went online and researched what I was going to be going through. It was scary reading about chemo and radiation. I even went as far as to thinking if they tell me it’s really bad, I’m going to look into Oregon’s assisted suicide and have myself surrounded by friends and family and go peacefully on my own terms. Kaiser called and scheduled an appointment with a team of dentists and doctors and they told me it was a stage 4A and it was a slow cancer I’ve probably had over a year and didn’t know it. They said this was a type of cancer that responds well to treatment and rarely comes back. Their biggest concern was that I’m skinny and going through this treatment was really hard. If you don’t stay strong psychologically you’re going to give up. It was an experience, life changing. Last week I had my scan that confirmed I was cancer free, it’s all gone. The prognosis is that this cancer rarely returns. I’ll be sixty two next week and they expect me to live another twenty or thirty years and die of old age so it was a load off of my shoulders. I’m still working, I’m not 100% yet, I’m at about 75%.
You mentioned that the cancer impacted some of the projects you’ve had going on and amazingly you’ve carried on.
Well I’m surrounded by a lot of great people. All of the toy and food drives I do, everyone is always thanking me but if they didn’t come out to support then there wouldn’t be anything.
You mentioned before about the mental strength that helped get you through. Where do you think that comes from?
Well I think it’s realizing that people care and realizing that you contributed something to this world. There’re things that I’ve done over the years that have improved peoples’ lives or made their life better. Early on from the very beginning it’s about giving back. Nothing comes for free, you have to invest something. The investment I’ve made over time was about helping people and being there so when the time came that I needed help and support the people were there emotionally for me, people were there letting me know that I was missed that I meant something. It was knowing that all these years of helping people and giving to people, now I’m in a situation where I need their support and needed financial help. People told me they were pulling for me and I would be missed. That made me feel really good.
Or being a pioneer in the community itself and changing a lot of peoples’ lives and enabling them to come out and explore.
Yes, and I still think I can make more of a difference.
Mistress Cyan is a lifestyle and professional Dominatrix in Los Angeles. She is the owner of Sanctuary LAX, the largest dungeon in the greater Los Angeles area and the producer of DomCon LA and Atlanta. You can contact her here.