- 11 Oct 19
Do whatever the fuck makes you happy, as long as you're not hurting anybody. So says Jess Brennan, one of the new generation of Irish influencers. Known for her sex appeal, she is big on Instagram. She is also a performer, has starred in videos and is generally leading life just the way she likes it. Are there pressures involved in her social media persona? What are her views on love, life and sex? It is, she says, all about open-ness...
When did you decide to develop the role of Jess Brennan, Instagram star?
Haha! This is something I am often asked and I find it funny! I guess it’s probably because I don’t see myself as an ‘Instagram star’ and I definitely didn’t decide to develop a role. I was just always myself from the get-go on social media, which was seemingly a bit out there and different to most other Irish women – and all of a sudden a surge of people connected to it and it snowballed I suppose.
How do you feel about the number of people now dressing like you – are you flattered by it – or pissed off about it!?
Again, I think this is funny! I don’t ever think anyone really dresses like me? My style is constantly changing and developing as I am. Well, certain parts of it – but then there are also very trademark parts which I’ve kept the same for years, which I think is really nice because I don’t feel I need to adapt to suit the latest Insta trend! If you’re always chasing what’s trendy now, you’re never gonna be happy in your own style. So when someone says, ‘Oh they’re dressing like you’, I’m like ‘No, they’re dressing how I would have dressed maybe four or five years ago’.
Can you give an example?
Like chaps! I wore PVC chaps to a festival about four years ago, now I see so many people in chaps – but I wouldn’t wear chaps now if that makes sense. So, I don’t really see it as my style anymore. I’m definitely not ever pissed off about it – I think there must be a few screws loose if you are ever petty enough to be pissed off about someone else and/or their clothing choice! Flattered? Again I’m not so sure, I guess what other people wear doesn’t affect me that much! Although I do get so many messages from people saying they wore such and such because I gave them the confidence to do so. THAT is flattering and super-humbling! So thank you to those legends!
Is there a pressure on you to be ‘on’ all the time – once you step outside the front door, you have to look hot and sexy?
I’m laughing at every question! I just don’t see myself as hot and sexy! I suppose on Instagram – but in reality I’m not! Maybe in a more goofy cute way though haha! I don’t think sexiness comes from how you look! But no, I don’t feel a pressure to be done up, I suppose, every time I leave the house. Nine out of 10 times, unless I’m going to work or going out, I leave the house in a t-shirt and trakkies with no makeup, and hair in a lil nest perched on top of my head. When I was younger I used to be much more aware of this and would put on some makeup up just to go to the local shop. I suppose I was a little more insecure then and definitely cared more about what people thought. Luckily that diminished over the years.
Irish people used to be full of sexual hang-ups. What do you think about Irish attitudes to sex and sexuality nowadays?
I think Irish people are still absolutely and wildly full of sexual hang-ups unfortunately – they try to act like they’re not, but really they are! I think it’s definitely improving but it’s still very taboo here. It’s something that people still use as a weapon to insult people – or at least to try to! I’ve seen it a lot: people bad-mouthing other people’s sexual choices while justifying their own. Unfortunately the previous generation has that ingrained into a lot of today’s generation – but hopefully we will be the generation to change that.
People seem to be much more open now to the idea: if you’ve got it flaunt it! You’ve done that amazingly effectively!
Thank you very much! Yes, I do stick by that mantra: if you’ve got it flaunt it. BUT also if you don’t have it – flaunt it the fuck too! (If you want to, of course). And that’s the mentality we need to encourage. We are all beautiful.
Do you look at other Instagram stars and think: ok, I gotta top that! Or do something even sexier?
Jaysus no! That would be very weird haha! To be honest, all the accounts I follow are either my friends, fashion, astrology or animals – and apart from that I just creep on my own page – haha! All I think when I look at iconic Insta peeps is YES BITCH FUCK THAT SHIT UP and I do a lil twerk in their honour. If anyone thinks they need to top what someone else is doing, they really need to focus more on themselves, or they will really struggle with their own inner peace.
You’ve got loads of sex appeal. What role does sex play in real life for you?
Thank you! This is another funny one, because I guess a lot of people expect me to be a consistently sexual person and anyone who knows me properly will laugh at this. Again it’s people’s perceptions of what they think you are from your image – which is often incorrect. I am only like this with people I have a strong connection with and am very comfortable with. A friend of mine used to call me a fake slut – haha – because of I guess the ‘sex appeal’, but actually not hooking up with anyone, for no other reason then the fact that I didn’t connect with anyone intimately at that time. That time lasted I think almost two years haha. So in real life, sex doesn’t play a big role at all, unless it’s at a time that I’m sharing a strong and intimate connection with someone. And I’m always happy either way.
Some people say you have to be in love to have good sex – but that increasingly seems outdated – women have an attitude now that they are entitled to sexual pleasure for its own sake. Am I right in thinking that this is how you look at it?
Hmm, yes and no. I think it depends on what you are looking to gain from the experience. Obviously if you are in love with someone, it makes the sexual connection a lot stronger, but I don’t think a strong sexual connection relies on being in love. Personally I still think authentic sex is sacred and I need to share a strong connection with a person before I get intimate with them – whether it’s emotional, physical or spiritual – which means I’ve never been into one-night stands. I think one-night stand culture is growing here now, which is great for people who enjoy it – but I just hope people aren’t doing it to try and fill something else that they’re missing, or feeling pressurised to be a part of it because it’s growing.
Tell us a bit more about you own feelings on this...
People need to understand the power of sexual energy and how it can affect your subconscious mentality either positively or negatively – and respect that. This is where openness and acceptance of masturbation is vital, so that you are not sharing sexual energy with someone you don’t particularly have a connection with, but with yourself. Women and men alike are entitled to sexual pleasure for its own sake. If something feels good and is honestly fulfilling to you and someone you like or love, why the hell would you not!
You look great in the Joie Boots video. How did you approach that?
Aw thank you. Joie got in touch with me with the job offer, ‘cos he thought I suited it. My approach to work like that is usually a minimum, as the artist and creative team usually have an exact idea of what they want to do. So I just go with their flow but bring my own energy, which is usually what they want and why they book me. It was fun!
Is there an artist that you’d love to do a video for – or with?
I’m sure there is a tonne! But pretty much just the ones that want to work with me. It’s nice to know they want you to be a part of their production. Definitely some powerful badass bitches like Brooke Candy or IAMDDB but I might be getting a bit ahead of myself, haha!
Tell us a bit about how you would choose a sex partner?
I don’t think partners are something I choose – in fact definitely not! I don’t think it’s a choice who you end up being attracted to, or fall for. For me, it’s just a connection that grows naturally – so I suppose I choose whoever I’m feeling a deep connection with, who I know are attracted to me and attentive to me and who respect and love me and make me laugh. I think there is a lot of people playing the passive, ironic attitude thing, and it’s not cool. It seems to work for some people but definitely not for me. I’m attracted to passion and honesty.
How important is it that a guy is handsome and sexy looking?
I think this ties back to how looks are not what makes a person beautiful to me. A guy might not be classically handsome but some characteristic about them will make them sexy to me. Could be their voice, humour, their movements or how passionate they are about what they love (or me haha)! A lot of the time when I find men attractive, none of my friends will agree or vice versa! So it’s a hard question to answer.
A lot of women now seem to be veering into bi-sexuality, or are bi-curious. Do women interest you as sex partners?
Not particularly no. I was definitely curious at times, which I think is the same with a lot of people as homosexuality and intersexuality is open and accepted now. I have explored and enjoyed experiences with women but I connect with men always. Although I don’t think sexuality is black and white and, as I already said, it’s not to say I would never have that connection or fall in love with a woman. But, as of now, it hasn’t happened.
What’s the most daring thing you’ve done or experimented with?
Haha! I’m assuming your speaking sexually? Depends on what your definition of daring is I suppose! But I consider sex something to be shared intimately between the person or people involved, so it’s not something I’m going to discuss publicly.
Would you do Love Island if it was offered to you?
I would probably laugh! Unless I was offered a ridiculously outrageous amount of money for it, then I might take it a bit more seriously haha! It is my idea of hell!
What did you think of Maura on Love Island? Is she your idea of sexy?
I don’t watch the show so I don’t really have a good sense of her at all – although I met Maura years ago when I was performing at a bike show. It was a crazy blur of a weekend, so I can’t really remember much apart from her being a really nice, gorgeous girl. I don’t watch the show or pay any attention to anything about is so I’m blissfully oblivious.
On the one hand, attitudes to sex have become much more liberal. On the other, when you went shopping in a g-string in Croatia a few months ago, the media went mad! What’s your response when people react in that way?
To be perfectly honest, unless the reaction is obviously directed at me which it rarely is, I’m usually oblivious. It’s probably something I’ve gotten used to. My friends and family sometimes notice when they’re with me, but I’m usually blissfully unaware. Also – just to clarify, it wasn’t a g-string, it was a bikini, and I was on my way to a beach festival and it was 35 degrees. The Sun newspaper then decided to do the same story, which I found pretty ridiculous. They used some of my Instagram photos and captions, which is legal, because my page was on public – it’s been on private since. Haha. I wasn’t happy with it, but it got me some business deals so thanks!
Did you do that knowing that there’d be a reaction – or was it just that you didn’t give a damn?
A reaction? Haha, no I didn’t think a man in a local supermarket in the back-arse of Croatia was going to take a sneaky pic of me and send it to the national newspaper! And also, I don’t give a damn.
I see you have a link to the Blasphemy fetish night on your instagram – do you think fetish will be the next big thing?
Fetish has always been a big thing. Unfortunately in Ireland sexual fetish and sexual expression are ostracised. Sanctuary is not a fetish night as such. It is a clubnight, the focus being on freedom of expression, so any form of dress-up or fetish wear is highly encouraged. We want to create a fun place where people can dress however they want, feel free, have a good dance to good music and meet like minded people without judgemental onlookers. This is the main reason of our no photo/video rule. We have announced the first Sanctuary for Halloween night and are excited about the venue for this one. It’s nerve-wracking sometimes trying to create nights like this in a city like Dublin (especially now that I’ve gone out on my own), because you never know how people are going to react. But it is something Dublin is seriously lacking and all the feedback so far has been amazing. So thank you to all the open minded people of Dublin coming together to make these waves.
In Hot Press we’re big fans of the new sexual diversity. What’s your take on all of that?
This is funny: sexual diversity is nothing new, just something that luckily is starting to be accepted in society. Because people are fighting for it. And it’s not easy. There has been decades of repression of sexual diversity, and although it seems like it’s suddenly liberated, coming from living in a place like Berlin, we as a nation have a long fucking way to go. Anyway, in a nutshell, my take on it, and my take on most things, is let people do whatever the fuck makes them happy once they are not hurting anyone – and mind ya own damn business, haha!
I’m sure you’re good at doing a bit of role-playing – do you have an inner dominatrix, or what sort of role do you like to play?
Haha! This is a common misconception. People assume a lot from a person’s style which often doesn’t match their ‘role’. This is another reason we are creating Sanctuary: it’s nice for people to have a club-night where people can dress how they want without it having to be a hardcore fetish party. Anyway the answer is no, I don’t have an inner dom at all! I don’t like it, I think I have too much respect for people haha. I can’t bring myself to humiliate or hurt someone. The only time I enjoy something like this is when myself and my work-wife, Leonie, are performing.
What tips do you have for our readers to spice up their sex life?
Stop reading magazines on how to spice up your sex life! Haha, only joking! Umm, I don’t know, because everyone’s sexual relationships are unique. The emotional and physical connection is the most important, so I think if you work on developing that with your partner, the good loving will follow.
Is the long term plan to make a success of acting – or how do you see your career developing over the next five years?
Acting?!?! Jaysis no! I’m the worst actor in the world! Performing, yes, it’s something I’ve always loved since I started 10 years ago – so here’s to the next 10 (or at least until I’m agile enough to be still be gyrating around on bars with naked flames!). Career-wise, I’m a bit of a pirate, in the fact that I will try anything I think I will be good or successful at – and that’ll be a buzz. So I don’t know where the hell I’ll be in five years – and if you asked me five years ago where I thought I’d be now I would have also not have had a clue. Haha, that’s the beauty of it!
Any final thoughts for our readers?
Love each other...