Julie Preston, or alter-ego Mistress Dita, discussed her career as a dominatrix, her charitable deeds for the city and community of Hull, and the notion of mental health awareness in sex work.
Confidence and Challenges
Julie recalls how the confidence she exudes is not innate – she had to build her way up to become a powerful and dominant woman who can hold her own. “Confidence comes with age, experience, and knockbacks” Julie states as she recounts how she has become who she is today. She continues: “When I was younger, I had a massive lack of cheerleaders, there was not anyone encouraging or supporting me. This led me to become more independent”.
Julie’s self-improvement and determination lead to her transformation into a powerful yet charitable woman who is not afraid to fight and talk about what she believes in.
When being a sex worker, challenges and oppression will be faced and thrown at you from all angles – this does not seem to phase the Hull-born powerful woman. Highlighting that people from Hull have a specific way of reacting to situations, Preston notes: “Everyone was horrified initially by the dominatrix thing, it was very derogatory the things that were being said to me”.
Continuing with the people of Hull’s reactions, Julie states: “Hull folk are difficult to win over”. Yet these comments and looks did not affect her – “over time more and more people started to see me as Julie, not as Mistress Dita, seeing me on the streets dealing with donations made them think ‘oh she is one of our own’”.
The Notion of Faith
Despite the knockbacks faced, whilst being known as Mistress Dita around Hull and openly being part of the sex worker community, Julie holds faith as one of her most vital values in life. “I am not particularly cynical and I try not to judge people as I know there is a reason why people behave the way they do”. This dominatrix doubling as a charity-worker appears to be a kind-hearted and caring woman who goes out of her way to support and look after people – even if they have wronged in the past.
Mistress Dita – The Life of a Dominatrix
Turning the focus the alter-ego Mistress Dita, Julie claims: “It was not a career I ever thought I would get into”. Jokingly she continues: “It was a suitable job for someone who looked like me, I am an Aries, and I am bossy.”
Reminiscing on the times when Julie would be “flown out first class to LA” or “having a suite booked on the strip in Vegas” – the negatives of being a sex worker in a not-very-affluent city also are raised. Being self-employed in Hull – a city that is not well off financially – Mistress Dita faced many struggles when she was a dominatrix. “It was only me on my own, I had to bring all the money in, pay my mortgage and these were difficult times”. Yet Julie being Julie, always finds a silver lining in a negative situation. “I am proud as an advocate to say I am a sex worker”. Even with the negative side of being a self-employed sex worker, Julie is still proud of what she achieved as Mistress Dita: she holds this period of her life to an extremely high value – a time that she does not disregard and forget.
Sex Work, Mental Health, and Charity
Within the discussion, Julie also alerts to her role as a charity worker in Hull and the importance of mental health within sex work. “I would like to see improved laws and legislations in this country surrounding street work and independent escorts”. She continues: “Some people are having to live double lives – it is a dangerous situation as it is not legalised”. Due to the lack of protection legally for sex workers, it is a dangerous game to play: Julie is an advocate for improved laws so people living similar lives to her can live safely. On a positive note, the Hull-born dominatrix praises the work of the Hull Street Angels: “We are becoming more accepting, the support mental health wise is improving because of the Street Angels, people are more caring”. Julie advocates for the mental well-being of not only sex workers but those living on the streets – the homeless. She is a caring community soul who does not want to see anyone suffering.
“If you want to get into the sex industry, any aspect of it, I offer free sessions and mentor support that is all confidential and free ” Julie comments regarding any advice for anyone looking to get into the industry. She candidly is a community woman who puts others before herself to ensure no one has to suffer.
Not only is she well-versed in the knowledge of sex work thanks to her alter-ego Mistress Dita, but Julie also has her hand in charity work in the Hull area. When asked what made her want to get into charity work, she responds: “These are my people”. Continuing: “I think it stems from me being the oldest of nine, I had a big part in my sibling’s upbringing and I have always looked after people”. Reiterating a previous statement – Julie Preston is a genuinely caring community soul.
Julie and Her Best Friends – Prince and Madonna
Directing the attention away from Preston and her alter-ego, Julie explains how music has profoundly impacted her life. “My musical influences are definitely Prince and Madonna, I like to call them my besties. People will be like you do not know them, but they are my best friends”.
Continuing, Julie says: “They soundtracked by teenage angst, they got me through my anorexia and being scared of my own shadow- they helped me through everything”. Having music by her side has benefitted and healed Julie for the good, it is another aspect she believes has helped her become more and more confident.
Motivation is another music is used for: “It is always gonna be rock music” Julie notes. Her parents raised her on this type of music – rock music is engraved in her mind and soul, leading her to become the Julie Preston she is today. “Anything that is loud and rocky, Metallica, Motorhead, is what lifts my spirits and gets me ready”.
Final Words of Inspiration
Before ending the discussion, attention turns to Julies Facebook account and how she tends to end each post with the hashtag #TilTheyCloseTheLid. When asked what this means to her, she responds sincerely: “I will keep doing what I am doing until I die”. This determined message spread by Julie reinforces her activism and drive to improve the community around her whilst also embracing her powerful alter-ego – Mistress Dita.
Ending on an optimistic message, Julie says: “Just be kind to people, you never know anyone’s story”. These final words of wisdom from the empowered female summarise the interview utterly – Julie Preston is more than a sex worker who dominates men: she is a mental health advocate in the industry and a charitable selfless woman full of faith and community spirit.