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Power Lesbian

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Jackie Warner, owner of Beverly Hills gym Sky Sport and Spa, is blazing trails as the out lesbian star of Work Out, Bravo's hot new reality show.

Having watched the first couple of episodes of the new Bravo reality series Work Out, I'm a little daunted about meeting its star, personal trainer Jackie Warner, at a Beverly Hills restaurant-bar.

Not that Warner, who's 37, seems overly intimidating on TV. Yes, she's an extraordinary physical specimen, complete with eight-pack abs. And she's an alpha gal, to be sure, as seen clearly when she disciplines the other trainers who work at her hoity-toity Beverly Hills penthouse fitness center, Sky Sport and Spa. But she also has a sexy warmth on camera: She's usually grinning, even when making employees toe the line or clients work their asses off.

No, the fear factor in meeting Jackie alone is wondering whether her girlfriend of 41/2 years, Mimi, may be lurking. The fiery blond Brazilian--an artist and fitness pro herself and 11 years Warner's junior--is a jealous sort. On one episode of Work Out, Mimi dispenses some discipline of her own to oversexed trainer Rebecca after the flirtatious employee playfully moons her boss. And when Jackie dares to visit a strip bar with the trainers or doesn't call Mimi when she's supposed to, there's hell to pay.

Then there's Mimi's tendency to bite. Her on-camera love nips are just this side of The Hunger. "Anytime I see her, at any function, there is biting," Jackie affirms with something between a smile and a grimace. "I have scars; it's embarrassing. Try explaining a bite mark on your arm when you're wearing a tank top."

Warner, who's a charmer in person, is nothing if not frank. But perhaps we've gotten ahead of the story. Let's not skip over the most important point: Bravo is going to broadcast a reality series starring a lesbian, and quite a hot one at that.

Forget The L Word--Jackie and Mimi's dyke drama is the real deal, and many lesbians who watch the show will identify. And Jackie's androgynous cross-gender, cross-sexuality appeal should resonate with men and women of other appetites as well.

"Gay men love me," she says matter-of-factly. "I get mobbed every time I go to the Abbey [the popular West Hollywood restaurant and hangout]. And I do get hit on by a lot of straight guys. I think a big part of it is that I grew up in a small town surrounded by straight people. I'm extremely comfortable with my sexuality, and I can be flirtatious. I don't know what it is, but I get hit on so much more by straight women than gay women."

Related Links: Sky Sport and Spa Bravo

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