Jesse Lee Denning: A Dignified Woman
Jesse Lee Denning was born and raised in New York City. She is also covered in tattoos, something we highlight much too rarely at the Dignified Devil. We recently talked with this illustrated woman about sex, life and what it’s like to be covered in art. This is what she told us.
What prompted you to get your first tattoo, and what was it?
Jesse Lee Denning: I was always fascinated by women with tattoos. When I first started collecting tattoo magazines there were very few women with tattoos. The ones that were, to me, were just so intriguing and beautiful. My aunt also had a tattoo and I remember always thinking it was the coolest thing and knew I wanted one from a very early age. My first tattoo was your typical first tattoo for the time, and for a 16 year old…A tribal sun on my lower back (laughs).
Is there a connection in your mind to sex and body art?
JLD: Not directly. Although I think the first time you get naked or semi naked with someone it adds an interesting dimension of exploration and, ultimately, should it be a long term sort of deal, an added level of knowing every inch of someone.
What is your greatest fear when it comes to getting a new tattoo?
JLD: Pain! I hate the pain!
How do you think your tattoos change the way you are perceived by men when it comes to sex?
JLD: I think because I have tattoos, the two go hand in hand. Men generally think I’m easy, slutty, trashy, wild, stupid etc…Which of course I am (wink).
What about women, how do you think you are perceived by women when it comes to sex and your tattoos?
JLD: I think most women think the same as men do, although they tend to think more sensually than men do.
What is the best thing tattoos have brought into your life? And what is the worst thing?
JLD: Great friends and art. Shitty friends and bad art.
What do your tattoos say about you in general?
JLD: I’m a creative and artistic person who loves to adorn my body. It’s really the same as my love of jewelry, clothes, etc…it’s just a little more permanent.
What do you most deplore in others when it comes to tattoos?
JLD: That they have to label themselves as the “tattooed,” or say they are “heavily tattooed.” Who the hell cares? Did you get it for yourself or to make a statement? If it’s to make a statement I think you are a fool. My tattoos don’t define me.
What is your greatest extravagance when it comes to your body?
JLD: Well, I slacked for a while in the workout department. But currently I’m really pushing myself into the ultimate shape. I think that’s an extravagance as my whole lifestyle – eating, working out six days a week, etc – revolves around it. If you didn’t already know I love being naked and love feeling good when I’m naked.
What is your favorite journey when it comes to getting a tattoo?
JLD: I don’t know how to answer that. In fact I think it’s a silly question.
Do you have a tattoo that means more to you than the rest?
What defines you as a woman? In other words how do you define yourself against other women?
JLD: I’m neither a guy’s girl or a girl’s girl…I get along with everyone. If people don’t like me that’s their problem. I never get myself involved in the catty drama that I see going on between other women. So many women out there are constantly having “drama” of all sorts. I pride myself on staying clear of all of that. I’ve been there and it’s not cool. I’ve grown up.
What do you dislike most about your appearance when it comes to your body art?
JLD: I don’t have any dislikes or regrets.
On what occasion do you lie when it comes to sex?
JLD: Haha, oh man…you’re going to get me in trouble. I’ve been known to lie to make someone else feel better about a lack luster job or about a past hook-up.
What word or phrases do you most over use when it comes to sex?
Ed Godden is an editorial photographer based in Nottinghamshire, UK. A pro since the age of 17, he spent the first 12 years of his career as a sports and newspaper photographer. For the past 4 years he has concentrated mainly on shooting edgy portraits for model portfolios and magazines. To see more of his work check out his website… www.edgodden.co.uk
JLD: “Let’s bone.”