Images by Samantha Casolari
The thing about Teresa (aka Miss Nasty) is that you develop a crush on her just by following her Tweets. She has a way with words that is addicting. Even an ocean away, you can feel an overwhelming warmth and gentleness, despite her chosen profession. After experiencing the aforementioned coupe de foudre, I was lucky enough to meet Miss Nasty thanks to our common friend (and hero) Maxime Büchi. A New York artist, whose creative persona happens to be a dominatrix, Teresa is constantly in the process of uniting her body and spirit to acquire power and wisdom, and help others achieve the same.
Elisa Lusso: Imagine that I don’t know anything about you… Who’s Miss Nasty and what does she like?
Teresa Nasty: I am a Sagittarius Dragon, a dynamic individual who has a propensity toward action, change and extremes, but [I am] trying to temper my ways. I enjoy the arts, reading about psychology, mystic and esoteric philosophies and experiencing new cultures through travel. My darker desires lean toward morbid wonders and naughty fantasies.
Although my wild social days are waning, I still really enjoy meeting new people with different and enlightening perspectives on life. This persona embodies quite a few aspects of my life, such as my visual and conceptual art, musical performances and my occupation as a professional domina (dominatrix). I am equal parts human and spirit, electricity and matter. This life feels like a reward for all the other hard lives I’ve lived and I am eternally grateful for the opportunity to wake up each day with love in my heart and a desire to spread beauty and joy wherever I go.
Elisa: Where are you from? When you decided to move to NYC?
Teresa: I was born in Ithaca, New York, but have never lived there. My grandmother raised me in Taipei, Taiwan until I was about 5 years old. After that, my grandmother, mother and I moved to the United States. We may have lived in Kansas for less than a year, and moved around the Midwest United States to Iowa and Wisconsin before finally settling in Texas for the rest of my adolescent and teenage years. I spent my developmental years in Houston and then went to university in a small town near Dallas named Denton, where I really began to bloom as an artist. I met some of my closest and best friends there. Eventually, we outgrew Denton and Dallas and decided that our dreams could be catalzyed in New York City.
Elisa: What does “dominance” mean for you?
Teresa: I think there are several different meanings of ‘dominance,’ depending on its context. True dominance is the power of knowing what will work best in any given situation without having to use force… A dominant person does not hesitate to act, nor does the person doubt his/her intuitions and inclinations. True dominance is complete trust in yourself and your processes.
I consider myself a dominant individual who is assertive and confident in my choices. The double-edged sword of dominance also comes across as a tendency for tyrannical control and self-importance.
Elisa: Is there any power in causing pain? Isn’t it more on the opposite side, receiving pain makes you dominant?
Teresa: In bdsm (domination and submission0, the causer of pain regularly plays the dominant role, but yes, the submissive is usually the one who ultimately has the most control. You cannot give up control unless you initially perceive yourself to have it. In a professional setting, the top runs the show, but the bottom is usually the one with the final say as to what kind of pain and how much, because the domme is ultimately providing a service. If chemistry and interests align, the power play oscillates back and forth, creating a dynamic and powerful bond between the players.
Elisa: What does a client search for from you?
Teresa: Usually the client is looking for a sense of release through surrender. Usually the client is looking for a sense of release through surrender. The most therapeutic effect of a bdsm session is the freedom in surrendering control and afterward, the exhaustion of releasing so many endorphins and adrenalin. All of this happens on a subconscious level; a client isn’t necessarily able to articulate that this is what they are seeking, but it usually is quite an addictive experience. Some of my clients are simply lonely and seek not heavy corporal punishment but a pretty female to talk or listen to, who will give him her undivided attention, maybe a little slap and tickle. We call these sessions “sensual.”
Elisa: What is the thing/person/concept that most inspires you?
Teresa: My mission in life is to inspire. Motivating one to make a new decision in their life based on what they feel is truthful and fulfilling on any level or simply making the connection for an individual to a higher truth is the most rewarding feeling in my world. I have one client whom I keep in touch with outside of the dungeon, which is discouraged for professional reasons. I have been seeing him for about a year and have watched him change from an overweight, brooding schmuck to an empowered individual who has begun taking control of his creativity and veering away from his emotional poisons.
Elisa: What do you look for in a real-life relationship?
Teresa: I firmly believe in the Law of Attraction, which states that similar energies will attract each other. In a real-life relationship, the energy compatibility must be present. Because energy represents a vibrational status of the person’s life force, it embodies so much more than just physical attributes, sexual preferences and hair color. Relationships are like mirrors for our own progress and weaknesses. When we develop a relationship with someone, we care about their opinion and judgment, even if it’s biased, because fundamentally this person is a reflection of who we are. This kind of interaction and introspection is usually some form of love. Whether in a platonic relationship or a sexual one, I seek energetic companions. Also, I have a rather strong hand fetish—[they] must have beautiful hands.
Elisa: I actually “met” you on Twitter; how are our relationships changing thanks to the Internet?
Teresa: There are social networking sites for every niche of our culture: homosexuals, fetishists, business creatives, high-schoolers, gamers, bikers… You name it. The way we perceive a “social life” has acquired a new tangent. This can be a positive thing, bringing people all over the globe closer together, allowing for connections which may never happen otherwise. This is the Age of Aquarius, the symbol of the maiden pouring water out of its pot. The free-flow of ideas and information has begun, and although it may need to be tempered at some point, being alive in this age is extreme exciting.
Elisa: What is changing in terms of “identity,” now that every desire and curiosity is accessible?
Teresa: Everything. We no longer have to be who we say we are, look the way we do, or even have any sort of social skills to persuade someone to like us. Programs like Second Life and other virtual worlds make it so that you never have to leave your house to develop a relationship. You can tailor your persona to be whomever you wish, reality aside.
As much as I am a spectator in this game, I am also very much a participant who is crafting her identity with the help of the Internet. I find that quite a few people have been able to use it to their advantage to promote their careers as niche models, who would not have otherwise been able to become as known because of certain industry standards by mainstream modeling (i.e., Suicide Girls, etc).
Elisa: What is the relationship between flesh and technology?
Teresa: Flesh is and always has been the most desirable human commodity. The more technology develops to facilitate conveniences and accessibility, the more available flesh is [and] the less valuable it becomes. In some ways, technology has a way of de-humanizing flesh, allowing people to disassociate from empathy and emotional connectedness, especially in such ways of business or sex.
Elisa: What is Bad Mind?
Teresa: It’s an intentionally low-budget horror film that an acquaintance asked me to star in for one webisode. We went to Atlantic City to film. There wasn’t much involved in it, just some bloody slashing and Voodooo props.
Elisa: You’re a Sagittarius, like me. Which animal and human aspects of the zodiac influence you?
Teresa: Being a Sagittarius is mighty and full of dynamics. I feel that being a fire sign is full of ever-changing progress and evolution. I follow @zodiacfacts on Twitter. As dorky as it sounds, 99.9% of what they tweet I feel is correct about my character. The human part, holding the bow and arrow, is strong-willed and clear-minded, aims for its goal and like an arrow, shoots straight for it. The animal half, the legs and body of a horse, denote a sense of strength and endurance. It’s this part that tirelessly carries out anything necessary to achieve the goal. I also identify strongly with being a Dragon in the Chinese Zodiac. It is the only mythical creature and also the most powerful and passionate.
Elisa: The first thing I liked about you was that behind your “public figure,” you’re hiding a very sweet and sensitive personality. How do you deal with this inner dualism?
Teresa: My sweetness and sensitivity comes from genuine caring and being curious about people, but in reward for being that way, I have to swing to the other extreme sometimes, which I’ve learned to do in private. When I’m in narcissistic ego-mode, I don’t care about anybody but myself, but I find that aspect of my persona one-dimensional and vapid, so being caring and empathetic when it comes to others is a superb balance for my duality. By being both, I can embrace my wholeness by accepting both aspects of this part of my personality.
Elisa: What would you still like to accomplish, gain, buy, see or release?
Teresa: Build an art empire and take over the world. Complete an epic conceptual piece about vanity. Go live in London. Inspire others to live creative lives and transcend the status quo—brief and simple but ambitious, right?
Elisa: What do you miss most from your teenage years?
Teresa: Having a meal cooked by my mother every single day of the week. She is an excellent cook and a supremely loving mother. Too bad her cooking ethics didn’t rub off on me.
Elisa: What is your everyday look? How do you dress at night?
Teresa: My philosophy on style is that if you’re going to wear clothes, why not have a little fun? It doesn’t have to be utilitarian and boring, but it doesn’t have to be so serious and tiresome either. During the day, I keep my look clean and effortless while maintaining lady-like silhouettes and a simple palette of red, black, white. I wear a lot of skirts and dresses in the summertime, along with flats and wedges. Sometimes I create uniforms out of a few pieces that can be mixed, and I wear them for as long as it pleases me—something like a creepy, sophisticated schoolgirl uniform. At night, I like to look more dramatic with red lipstick or very dark eyes. Usually my nighttime costume is a little more risqué. I’d like to find a fun little cloak with a stand-up collar or giant hood to wear this winter. Dressing up is too much fun to only do it on Halloween. And the idea that an outfit can spark the imagination is much more interesting to provoke.
Elisa: What is your definition of “beauty”?
Teresa: Ease, strength, wisdom, peace. Symmetry, balance, flow, grace. Defenselessness, vulnerability, purity, clarity. Light, love.
Elisa: Your definition of lust?
Teresa: Intense, unquenchable desire, usually of the sexual nature, but not exclusively. [It can also mean] fine goods, luxurious dwellings, exotic foods. Often times it leads to unsavory behavior.
Elisa: What was your last tweet? What will be the next?
Teresa: Last Tweet: “Your butt smells like 200 dead crabs buried under a yard of cigar butts.” [It was] a quote from one of my sessions involving humiliation. Next Tweet: Day off! Museum!
Location: The Fetish Fortress