Story: Sex work

Different desires

Mary Brennan works as a dominatrix under the name Mistress Mariah, at her BDSM (bondage, discipline and sado-masochism) salon in Lower Hutt. A dominatrix is a female sex worker who specialises in bondage and discipline (both physical and psychological). This does not usually involve sexual intercourse. Brennan says that people who pay her to act out their fantasies of being dominated find her establishment a place where their desires can be fulfilled. She argues that it is therapeutic for people to act out their desires in a safe way without fear of judgement or ridicule.

Sound file: Mary Brennan, interview by Caren Wilton for oral history project Selling sex: the New Zealand sex industry, 2009. Alexander Turnbull Library, OHC-0976-01

Using this item

Private collection

This item has been provided for private study purposes (such as school projects, family and local history research) and any published reproduction (print or electronic) may infringe copyright law. It is the responsibility of the user of any material to obtain clearance from the copyright holder.

All images & media in this story

How to cite this page:

Jan Jordan, 'Sex work - Sex workers and clients', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 20 January 2022)

Story by Jan Jordan, published 5 May 2011, reviewed & revised 31 May 2018