Mira Johnson has tried on more than a few jobs for size. Despite a background in more traditional career paths like business, design, event planning and advertising, Mira’s taken the road less traveled: exotic dancer, professional dominatrix, and now, Alpha Female Life Coach.
Through her work as a life coach, Mira helps women in their twenties navigate through the rocky present in preparation for the fabulous future. And recently, from the sandy shores of Los Angeles, Mira chatted with me about the choices that got her to her where she is today, the ways in which her experience as a professional dominatrix helps out with her day to day life, and her advice for women looking for a unique perspective on sexuality and empowerment. Read on to hear about Portland’s booming adult industry, Mira’s thoughts on domination in the bedroom and in life, and more!
So, how did you decide on LA (other than the obvious)?
I was in Portland OR prior to LA. So the obvious was a big factor. I was ready for a change, wanted to spend my 30s somewhere glamorous and exciting. I can’t think of a better place for that than LA. It was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made.
I’d be inclined to believe that. I’m going to dive right in, if that’s okay with you?
Go for it.
Excellent! So, at Scandalous Women, our focus is on sexuality and empowered women, which means you are more or less not just up our alley but the entire alley itself. Before starting your coaching practice, you worked as an exotic dancer and a professional dominatrix. How did you get started on that career path?
I had spent my early 20s (after college) exploring different jobs, from corporate sales, marketing, advertising, graphic design to event planning, desperately trying to find a career that I could be passionate about. Each new job title provided a great learning experience, but none held my attention very long. Eventually, I realized that I couldn’t find fulfillment working for someone else. I wanted to be a business owner, but I felt totally unprepared for the road ahead. I flailed around working freelance graphic design, bartending, doing whatever it took to stay out of the corporate world. While living in Portland, I kept meeting women who worked as exotic dancers and I realized that the adult entertainment industry was an option I hadn’t considered.
I really can’t imagine a better place to get started than in Portland.
It is a really amazing city.
So after much consideration, I decided that taking off my clothes for money was actually less demeaning than sitting in a cubicle. In fact, it sounded empowering to me. And fun. I’m pretty adventurous. I don’t ever want to look back and regret the things I DIDN’T do. So I figured “why not try it?” I be able to look back when I’m 60 and say, “Hell yeah your grandma was a sexy little thing.” Haha…
What was your favorite part about the industry?
I loved the fact that I could set my own schedule and determine my own income based on my sales skills. (I actually bought books on how to be a better hustler.) I also loved the glamour, being center of attention and commanding my sexuality. Whenever I found a kindred spirit among the other dancers, those connections were really amazing. I’m still close with several of my former dancer friends. By the way, there are downsides too, readers can reach out to me via social media if they would like to hear more about my experiences with the industry both good and bad.
Why did you switch careers? (She asked, considering a planet ticket to Portland.)
Working in the adult entertainment industry was a valuable experience, and I would not be the sexually empowered woman I am today without it. However, the label ‘stripper’ did not define me. I was feeling burnt out and I knew I was meant to make a much bigger impact in the world.
I had secretly wanted to become a life coach for most of my 20s, but I was afraid no one would take me seriously. What did I know about life and success, really? Actually I knew quite a bit because I had been studying success through books, seminars, etc. But that’s another story. The bottom line is that fear of success kept me from becoming a coach sooner.
How old were you when you had your first experience with a life coach?
I was 24, at a ‘business after hours’ mixer through the Chamber of Commerce. A woman stood up and introduced herself as a life coach. I had this tingly moment of resonance. Like, WOW, that’s a thing? Life coach? I’ve been struggling to figure out what I want to do and that sounds perfect! –So I asked her to lunch so I could get some answers. A few years later, I hired a coach for myself to see if it really works.
And I’m guessing it did!
It absolutely changed my life. It got me out of the sneaky ‘fear of success’ that so many of us struggle with. My coach helped me get clarity. She believed in me when I still had doubts. She reminded me how to stand in my power. She kept me accountable to what I said I would do.
Hiring a coach is the best investment I’ve ever made in myself and it’s why I’m so passionate about my work now. I know first hand that it works.
How would you say your background contributes to your understanding, today, of a woman’s power?
I’ve learned that our culture discourages and demeans a woman for being sexually empowered or professionally driven. It’s common to be labeled ‘bossy’ or ‘bitch’ when you know what you want and you’re not afraid to go for it / ask for it. It’s society’s way of keeping women small.
Becoming a dancer and later a dominatrix, taught me to use my sexuality and ask for what I want without shame or apology. I had to overcome a lot of social stigma to make such radical career choices and I’m proud of them today.
I now know that your creative source is in your sexuality. We are all driven by our sexuality and learning how to harness that energy is foundational to living an extraordinary life.
What is your favorite part of coaching now?
I love connecting with ambitious women in their 20s and witnessing the ‘ah ha’ moments that happen when they finally get the lesson they’ve been struggling with. Sometimes our lives don’t make sense and we’re confused about “what it all means.” Every experience – every one – is teaching us something or leading us where we are meant to be.
Helping women harness their confidence and learn to hear their intuition are such critical pieces of the puzzle. Yet no one teaches this in school and rarely do our parents instill it. I’m honored to be able to coach and mentor in this way. I thrive on supporting my clients to succeed in doing what they love.
That sounds beautiful! Can you describe an “Alpha Female”? What does Alpha Female mean to you?
I look to women such as Oprah, Angelina Jolie and Jennifer Lopez as role models of the Alpha Female.
An Alpha Female is emotionally strong, confident, assertive, unique, independent, ambitious, sexually empowered and a natural leader. She does exactly what she wants with her life, no restrictions. She gives back and makes an impact in her community. She’s a role model for other women.
What would you suggest to women who are afraid of others’ reactions to their coming out as Alpha Females?
First of all, I love that you called it ‘coming out’. That’s a buzz word I use often and I will likely write a book on the subject. To answer your question:
Squash the inner critic, break through your comfort zone often and surround yourself with supportive people.
We are usually hardest on ourselves. We must learn that no one gives you permission but YOU. When you show up confident and unconcerned with others’ opinions of you, it’s amazing how people drop criticism and just respect you. It’s only when you’re insecure that the haters have ammunition on you.
Regularly challenging your comfort zone is another one. Go sky diving, hold a tarantula, go to a kinky dungeon party, travel to a third world country… the list goes on. Do something that scares you. You’ll be amazed how it boosts your confidence.
And finally, surround yourself with like-minded supporters. Take an honest look at your social circles. If your friends are not encouraging you, they’re NOT your friends.
One of my favorite motivational speakers, Jim Rohn, taught that “You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.”
And it’s absolutely true. If you want to become more sexually empowered, radically honest, spiritual, optimistic, goal oriented, business minded, artsy, kinky, adventurous or financially successful – then surround yourself with people who share those qualities. Let go of the ones who don’t ‘get’ you.
That’s awesome advice! Through your meet-up group, Naughty Girls’ Night Out, you help women find “a sisterhood of awesome women.” What makes your meet-up group unique?
I started Naughty Girls Night Out when I moved to LA two years ago as an answer to the question ‘How can I re-create the sisterhood of amazing empowered women I knew in the strip clubs?” I wanted friends who like the same things I like and this city is too big to make friends the old fashioned way.
The group grew from zero to almost 300 members in no time! Evidently, I’m not the only woman who craves the company of other sexually empowered ladies. It’s the only group in LA which focuses specifically on sexual empowerment through pole dancing, going out to burlesque shows, experimenting with kink, etc. These experiences dramatically expand your understanding of sexuality and having a group of friends to do it with safely makes all the difference!
That sounds really cool. And brings me to my last question – what would you recommend for women outside the LA-area who are looking for something similar?
If you’re in a metropolitan city, consider starting your own meetup group. You’re welcome to use mine as a template, or even contact me to become affiliated with ours. www.meetup.com/naughty-girls-night-out
If you’re in a more suburban or rural area, you may have to travel to the closest metro-area and seek out a ‘naughty guide’ to the city on Google or through Meetup. If you already have friends interested in joining you, make it a weekend trip to the city. Plan an itinerary and get out there! You’ll wish you’d done it sooner!
Alright, that’s all from us! Thanks for making the time to talk, Mira!
My pleasure Caitlin. Thank you for the opportunity!
Find your passion. Rock Your Confidence. Be a success symbol. For a 30 minute life coaching session from Mira, click here.