Power Play Fucking – The Art Of Negotiating Dominance

BDSM Power Play

Following on from my previous article regarding the fetishisation of race – there was considerable talk about the notion of power within relationships. For the most part – power in relationships and sex, is a concept that we routinely forget or engage in unconsciously. Yet, it’s an inescapable part of relationships, and it needs to be acknowledged.

The thing about power and power exchange is that it’s an incredibly fluid concept, and like most things when it comes to our bodies, our performance of gender, sex and sexuality, power play is something that’s not often thought about and discussed openly – with the exception of abuse, domestic violence and associated situations. These situations however, highlight the abuse of power and fail to acknowledge the benefits of power play whether those benefits be in the relationship, the balance of an individual, or even mental health.

In BDSM, power play falls under the second acronym of DS – dominance and submission. Power play can simply involve a partner subtly assuming more of a dominant/submissive role in sexual play and/or activity, or it can involve more direct involvement such as active decision making, chastity devices, or the use of restraints. In this way dominance can be achieved through emotional ‘power’ and physical ‘power’ and even both at the same time, thus catering towards an individual’s personality as well as the relationship that they have with their partner. In this regard, every power play relationship is different as it accounts for the myriad of variables that are present in every relationship.

What are the benefits of engaging in power play?

We forget about the benefits of consensual and negotiated forms of power play – and this is one of the reasons why power play can be so much fun. It opens up unique possibilities by exposing us to the very things that we take for granted in our subconscious. For the most part – power is often, stereotypically, tied into gender and the roles of our gender. Males are routinely thought to hold the power within relationships, and this often falls back to the perceived activeness of the phallus in comparison to the passiveness/receptiveness of the vagina/anus. The thing is, that power changes, as individuals grow throughout their lives. The balance of power shifts and fluctuates continually both within relationships, and within a person’s life as a whole. There might be circumstances within our lives that cause us to rely more on our partners and this ultimately affects the idea of power. A partner might be naturally dominant in all aspects of life, but requires the balance of submission when it comes to sex – and vice versa. There’s no standard when it comes to the idea of power, but it’s certainly something that can be played with for the purpose of enjoyment and pleasure. By choosing to submit, one can take the stress and pressure of life and sex. Power play can involve anything from taking orders, to being subjected to pain and humiliation, to wearing a chastity device and even engaging in animal play such as puppy, pony and kitten play.

BDSM Power Exchange
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The thing is, it’s often difficult for a partner to come up and say:

‘Hey, I need to be dominated in the bedroom because it provides me with a balance in other facets of my life’.

Such an admission by a male, can be seen as emasculating, and an admission of such by a woman can be seen as anti-feminist. Here’s the secret though – what happens in the bedroom isn’t necessarily a reflection of the rest of your life. In fact, a study by researchers Ogi Ogas and Sai Gaddam titled “A billion Wicked Thoughts: What the World’s Largest Experiment Reveals about Human Desire” (2011) demonstrates that humans have the capacity to be in possession of subcortical circuits for both sexual dominance and submission – humans, and other mammals, have the capacity to be both dominant and submissive interchangeably. With the social expectation that men need to be dominant both sexually and socially, is it little wonder then that some men require the balance of surrendering that power in order to maintain content and happiness? Similarly, when you’re continually being told that you’re caring and nurturing, wouldn’t you want to buck that stereotype every now and then?

Whilst there are examples of TPE’s (Total Power Exchanges) where a partner assumes control of all decision making processes in their lover’s life, these are relatively rare. As such, power play and the exchange of power relies on communication, understanding, and negotiation. Three things which at the end of the day, have the capability to strengthen any loving relationship.

So how do you negotiate power exchange in a relationship?

Power exchange fundamentally relies on trust. You cannot surrender power when you’re not trusting – consider such a relationship like the trust fall – you’re not going to willingly fall if you believe that your partner isn’t going to catch you on the way down.

Who is in control of the power exchange in a BDSM relationship?

One of the more interesting dynamics regarding power play, which is what the majority forget, is that the dominant isn’t actually directly in charge. It is the submissive’s choice to submit, and the sub can choose to end any form of play at any time of their choosing if such a play violates the negotiations and protocols agreed on, or in the event that an event triggers a psychological backlash or memory. Subs have the power of the stop button, with the agreement being that a dominant will respect that button, and also engage in a play that pushes the limits of the submissive, but never break those limits. In this sense, the complexity of power play are vast and interesting and they are something that should be more actively considered in every sexual relationship.

Author: Stephen Smith – BA Of Social Sciences, M.Ed

Stephen is a cis-gendered gay male who spends far too much time with his two cats and eating tim tams. A self-identified sex-positive advocate he cares deeply about gender equality, disabilities, sexual education and social issues. Opinionated and bold he isn’t afraid to speak his mind and say what others won’t. With a yearning for knowledge and experience in all things relating to sex, he is a prolific writer that has developed the content for a myriad of informative Sexual Health and Wellness websites.

Stephen’s articles and writings tends to focus on social issues, sexual education, queer issues and all things fetish and absurd. He comes qualified with the completion of a double Bachelor degree in Social Sciences and literature, and a Masters in Education.

Dominant Nature Of BDSM In Primates

Far Cry Video Game

There are reasons why women like being handcuffed, bound and gagged. It goes back as far as time itself when women were dominated by Alpha Males. Then in more modern times dominant religions, societies and groups raped, pillaged and plundered villages. Let’s have a look into the background as to how people and primates sexual lifestyles relate to each other.

Female Mammals And The Method Of Conception

Female mammals can have a regular period of sexual openness and fertility where they are able to have intercourse with numerous males. In some cases the female monkey is sexually assaulted by the contenders that she does not want. Any one of the sexual partners could have been the father to the subsequent newborn monkey baby. This depends on which sperm reaches and fertilises the ovary first.

Rape was used by people within dominant religions, societies or groups like the Vikings and Mongolians as a conception method. It was hypothesized that monkey’s also used it as a method of conception. Rape as a method of conception is truly outdated and is a crime.

Can Female Monkeys Really Orgasm?

In 1996, a book titled “Human Sexual Response” by William H. Masters and Virginia E. Johnson, it acknowledged that women experienced orgasms. It was speculated that the female orgasm was one of the reasons why women were aroused by having sex with men. In the mid 1970’s it was generally accepted by primatologists, that the non-human female primates did not encounter orgasm. Primatologists later examined the sexual physiology of wild female gorillas and monkeys, who found that orgasms within these female primates happened commonly. M Small wrote in her book Female Choices, Sexual Behaviour of Female Primates:

‘Non-human primate females commonly experience multiple orgasms during sex’

Sex in Macaca Mulatta
Image: Macaca Mulatta

To settle the civil argument lab based researchers placed female monkeys from the Macaca Mulatta species into lower leg cuffs and canine restraints. To force the monkey to orgasm, they stimulated it’s clitoris and used an instrument that mimicked a monkey’s penis into the animal’s vagina. They watched the monkeys experience climax. Three stages were noted, the first stage of clitoral and vaginal incitement. The second stage where the monkey snorts, calls and made surprised facial expressions. The last stage after climax where the female tries to get away. These discoveries are documented in the Burton, F D (1970).  It has been found that when the female reaches orgasm it helps to the male monkey ejaculate.

People And Primates With Sexually Dimorphic Features

People and primates (including lemurs, monkeys and apes) can have sexually dimorphic features that are not attributed to their gender. These features can include different colourings, markings, sizes and behaviours that influence sex drive, arousal and levels of testosterone.

How Testosterone Impacts Sexual Arousal

At the first stage of the menstrual cycle a woman’s testosterone levels increase. When they ovulate their testosterone reaches its highest levels and during the last portion of the cycle their testosterone levels fall. Both men and women with high levels of testosterone are noted to have higher sex drives. Furthermore, it also appears that women who are within their fertile stages have higher sex drives. It is hypothesised that women with higher levels of testosterone are more interested in Alpha Males. In the case that your female lover loves being dominated in the bedroom she may have higher levels of testosterone.

BDSM Play

Woman Wearing Handcuffs
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With all of this in mind, the female climax originates before speech was ever invented. Our ancient female monkeys demonstrated how they were able to build up orgasms in response to physical stimulation. These days women may enjoy participating in primitive like sex through BDSM play where both participants in the sexual activity are aware of all the risks involved and partake in a safe environment.  They may enjoy using restraints like handcuffs and Japanese bondage rope. Or they may like sensory deprivation by using blindfolds, masks and hoods.

Outside of the bedroom your lover may act as a dominant person in a social setting. But when the tables are turned and you are back in the privacy of your bedroom, he or she may love being a submissive who is bound and controlled by restraints and dominated by their lover.  As it turns out what a person is interested in kinky sex can be completely different to what they are interested in their day to day life.

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Andrew is right into the Fet Lifestyle and enjoys BDSM. He has written about these subjects in many arena’s and is an expert at Shibari. He shares his knowledge by working with Adultsmart a sex toy store. Enjoy the descriptive and educational articles he has written.

Essential Tips To Master Perfect BDSM Photography

Dominatrix With A Crop

“I don’t look anything like the girls on your website.”

This is about the most common thing I would hear when I would speak to a new client.

“Well, let me let you in on a little secret. The girls on my website don’t look anything like the girls on my website either.”

This may or may not be entirely truthful but it puts people at ease.

Everyone has heard of Photoshop and everyone wants it to varying degrees so I let them know we apply it liberally when required. However I will use every part of my skill set to avoid it. If I get it right in camera with good lighting and positioning we can minimise the need or eliminate it entirely… Yes, I am that good.

Naked Strangers And What Actually Happens On A Photoshoot

I have no idea what this person looks like over the phone. I have no idea how comfortable or relaxed they will be during the shoot. I have no idea if the outfits they bring will be flattering to their figure. I have discovered that confidence is far more important than any other part of the skill set and gives you a massive head start. I have to be confident. More importantly, my client has to feel confident.

These days, most of my clients have heard of me through a friend or seen my work so they are confident in my abilities and it’s only themselves they are worried about but it still pays dividends to let them know they aren’t alone. I photograph every shape and size and nothing is going to be weird or gross or whatever they are hung up on.

So we discuss everything over the phone and set out a rough idea of how the shoot will get. We set expectations for quality, cost and other incidentals. Most people at this point want to, but don’t think they will be taking their clothes off due to nerves but we find out if it’s on the cards or not. It’s usually 50/50 and it all comes down to the individual. Most of my clients are either simply excited or ready to fill the porcelain throne with bricks. Very rarely do I get people who are blase.

Sexy woman with a ball gag
Image: Woman With A Ball Gag In Her Mouth

They come into the entry of my studio, it’s also my office admin space as well as a viewing gallery so there is a couch, a TV, some desks and computers. Nothing elaborate. Nothing fancy. A small makeup area and a studio in the back that is fully blocked out to natural light. Nothing overly fancy or elaborate. The studio just looks like a clean artist’s workshop. I get a lot of comments like:

“It doesn’t look like some seedy dungeon!”

or

“It just feels like home.”

This vibe is definitely on purpose. I have worked in more intimidating spaces and it puts people on guard. A lot of my clients are NOT from the kink world. They simply want to pretend for a few hours and have something special to look back on or give the photos to their partner. If the place looks too luxurious then people don’t relax. If the space is too niche with a heavy kink/fetish dungeon vibe it gives people the wrong idea of what goes on behind the curtain. So I have worked hard to establish a safe space where adults play dress-ups rather than an over the top fancy glamour studio or porn production venue.

For the most part, the shoot goes simply.

I very rarely get people who don’t understand the boundary that is the camera. My subjects are sexy for the camera. Not for me. The only time people sexualise what I do is at parties with drunk men slurring

“Do you get to see titties?”

I will always do a warm up set with some simple portrait work and learn my subjects face and body lines. I will figure out what positions will and won’t work here as you don’t want to be working this out with lingerie or nude work. My subject will also learn how I work. No, they are not expected to model for me. Yes, it’s quite easy for the most part. The only difficult thing is holding some of the poses as they can feel very un-natural.

I don’t focus on expressions and specifics. My approach is to cover a lot of ground. Get a lot of variety and let random chance factor in. People don’t usually like the photographs/expressions I like so I find it’s best to get through the work rather than focus in on one particular thing. Besides, if you say to someone their expression – smile/pout/bedroom eyes isn’t working they will become very self-conscious of it. At that point I might as well put the camera in the bin.

If a session is going swimmingly and I can tell my subject is feeling confident it I use 5 simple words.

“How brave are you feeling?”

If someone isn’t feeling comfortable it’s sooo much easier to affirm that they are at their limit here and no one feels uncomfortable at all… Usually… like 99% of the time they are feeling the best they have ever felt about themselves and off come the clothes.

Woman in Japanese Rope Bondage
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A Quick Side Anecdote

There was a period of about 3 months where I was shooting art/erotic nudes exclusively. Sometimes up to 8 sessions a day. I noticed as I was burning out that people were responding differently and seeming very deflated. After some introspection I realised I was too detached.

I was not being friendly at all. I was reacting to this person taking their clothes off like a bitter ex-lover filled with vitriol and resentment. I had to make a real effort to not treat it like mopping vomit off the floor and get back to enjoying the process.

The best way to handle the situation is to act like an asexual pixie. Be really excited about everything but sexualise nothing. This will temper people and make sure things never become inappropriate. It’s hard to hit on the professional BDSM, fetish and kink photographer when he is a naive puppy and it’s hard for the naive puppy to offend anyone. It also solidifies the notion that they are being sexy for the camera, not for me. The demeanour has been effective for all clients, from stay at home mums to escorts and exotic dancers.

I have seen it all these days. I have had clients who have had full body lifts after massive weight loss and are completely covered in scars, amputees, people in their 50’s, 60’s, 70’s and even 80’s. I have shot multiple women who have had full double mastectomies, people who have every inch of their body tattooed/pierced, I even had one lady who had a severe physical disability that caused her bone structure and muscles to never properly develop. She was wheelchair bound and I had to literally lift her from the chair and move her into the poses.

There are definitely times where I know I could do better with a second go but I have a 99% success rate with everyone leaving feeling amazing. They might only have 1 or 2 photo’s they love or they might have 50. There are times where you do get it wrong but usually another session a few weeks later fixes that right up.

It doesn’t matter what you’re shooting. I could have a client who is timid to the point of only perhaps showing an inch of cleavage, someone who wants to just do very dark, moody art nudes right up to people who bring their own BDSM kits, doms, submissives, lovers and all sorts. It’s usually very much the same process. We talk, we meet and we shoot. I talk about my puppy mostly during sessions at the moment. Sometimes she is with me at the studio and people want to play with her more than they want to do the photo shoot!

Sexy woman wearing bondage tape
Image: Woman Wearing Bondage Tape

The One Thing That Never Changes

People are impossible to read up front. At the start, everyone is roughly the same. Their mask is on and their guard it up. Give me 30 minutes and a camera and they relax and open up entirely. I am always surprised and usually wrong about who will want what.

The single mum of 3 in her 40’s with one small bag will want to be tied up or do very sexualised erotic art nudes for her dating profile but she won’t mention that to me in the consultation phone call… The stripper with full body tattoos, she will just want some headshots for her personal training business… The guy in his 50’s with terrible hair and teeth? He is adamant the photos are for his partner I will never meet and she wants him to look like a sexy Twilight inspired vampire… The 20 year old uni who is wearing a trench coat and a beanie and looks like she hasn’t slept for a week. After hair and makeup she looks like a BDSM goddess who only brought nipple clamps and a riding crop as her “outfit.”… And the quiet ones? Well you know what they say about the quiet ones.

I have been asked a lot of times if I date clients. Those drunk dudes at parties might not put that quite too politely. A lot of people expect that I live fast and loose. They expect that I lead a very sexually adventurous, party lifestyle due to the nature of my work but that couldn’t be further from the truth.

I have dated a client exactly once many years ago when I was still working freelance in other studios. She pursued me aggressively after the session and with the studio owner’s knowledge and permission we started dating. Early in the relationship her life situation changed and so she moved to a different state to be with her family.

It has been a hard no ever since and it’s never even been something I would consider. Quite a few of them have become good friends, joining my Dungeons and Dragons group, gaming online or playing board games together regularly.

Author: Jason is a consultant from Oh Zone Adult Lifestyle Centres

JJ Maher has been a professional photographer since 2008 covering all facets from shiny glamour to wedding photographs. As he progressed in his career he began to specialize in portraits of people with particular interest in adult erotica and those living outside of the norm in society. His magnificent portfolio speaks for itself and we welcome his insight and stories of his shoots, how he meets his subjects and the interesting tales he has to tell. Oh, and he is also right into music !

In Defence Of 50 Shades Of Grey (From A Non-fan)

50 Shades a BDSM movie

The happy and bubbly couple stood in front of me “You know he uses them on her in the 50 Shades movie.” I stare back at her blankly my face tells her I haven’t seen the movies. “Oh my god, you haven’t seen them! You have to!”

50 Shades Of Grey for those of you that don’t know (all 3 of you) is a book series about a woman named Anastasia Steel and her love affair with a handsome rich guy named Christian Grey. This book series is also being made into films.

“You’ve read the books though right?” asked the customer. This I could answer “Yes, I read the first one, but I couldn’t really get into it.” She looked at me shocked.

The truth is I really just didn’t like it that much. As someone who has always been pretty sexually open I found it tame. And while I thought the story was ok I just really couldn’t see what all the fuss was about.

In truth, I am not alone. The reaction to 50 Shades Of Grey has been mixed, for every person that loved it there was someone else who said it was pure “mommy porn”, “watered down erotica” or even said it was “not real BDSM.” It seemed that for many people they were underwhelmed, they expected something more from all the hype and to be honest I did kind of agree with them.

However none of that mattered when I had a customer in the store ask for something specific from the films. I realised in that moment whether I liked it or not I should know more about it because like many of the other things I sell I may not be personally into it but it is my job to know about it. It was this interaction that had me downloading the films that night when I got home and settled down to watch them. I didn’t really want to spend the time reading the books and being a film school grad I was keen to watch the movie for homework. I switched on the movie and rolled my eyes at the cheesy opening music and began to watch.

Now this isn’t a film review (no matter how much I want to turn it into one) and in fact I quickly came to realise that what I personally thought of the film was unimportant. What was important was me understanding the appeal and I do.

Who Is Fifty Shades Of Grey Made For?

I had to come to realise that this film wasn’t meant for me, an adult lifestyle centre employee with no filter and little shame. 50 Shades is for people who aren’t or haven’t been very sexually adventurous but would like to try. This book isn’t something the more “experienced” should roll their eyes at it is actually something we should be grateful for.  Because of this book more people and definitely more women are considering their own kinky sexuality, trying new things and generally taking a greater ownership of their own selves.

While the story is considered by many as anti-feminist, I can say the result of the book is anything but. In truth I think many women who like the book see themselves as Anastasia and are coming to realise that their sexuality isn’t something to be ignored it is something to be explored.

Also couple this with the widespread success and the fan fair of the books and movies. To get so popular they must have appealed too many and in that there is an increased acceptance for broader and more open definitions of sex. It was almost saying to people who maybe hadn’t been as open that:

“You liking this isn’t weird look how many other people do as well!”

Anastasia Steel Being Dominated By Christian Grey
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Why Understanding Fifty Shades Of Grey Is Important

From my perspective of taking the time to watch and understand these films has been very important. Firstly, it helped me realise that the people coming into our stores who ask about 50 Shades weren’t uninformed about sex toys, or sex in general (outside of the norm) but rather they are starting their own journey to learn about what is BDSM to them after being inspired and have because of the book have felt comfortable enough to come in and explore their options. Secondly, it reaffirmed something that I had forgotten, people have different tastes. I was always so understanding of customers who would come into the store with “extreme” (whatever that means) requests and questions however I wasn’t extending the same courtesy to the other end of the spectrum, those who were just starting to explore their desires.

In truth, I think there is a lot of judgment surrounding the 50 Shades Of Grey franchise, it seems to be the easy target for many different groups of people and after considering it, I think that this is just silly. Just because you don’t find something appealing doesn’t mean others will have the same reaction. Live and let live as they say.

Author: Jamie is a consultant from Oh Zone Adult Lifestyle Centres

Jennifer works marketing at Adultsmart an online sex toy shop. She has a non-judgemental approach to sex, sex toys and sexuality. Her favorite saying is if it feels good and right and is not illegal then why not!

I​ ​Accidentally​ Walked​ In​ On​ A​ Porn​ Set

Fetish models in black

Fruit​ ​salad

or​ ​rather

 how​ ​I​ ​accidentally​ ​walked​ ​in​ ​on​ ​a​ ​porn​ ​set.

I​ ​had​ ​been​ ​shooting​ ​for​ ​about​ ​a​ ​year, I​ ​was​ ​very​ ​close​ ​to​ ​hitting​ ​a​ ​few​ ​huge​ ​milestones and​ ​start​ ​getting​ ​paid​ ​work​ ​as​ ​a​ ​fashion​ ​and​ ​commercial​ ​photographer.​ ​Before​ ​any money​ ​had​ ​ever​ ​changed​ ​hands,​ ​I​ ​was​ ​invited​ ​by​ ​a​ ​photographer​ ​I​ ​knew​ ​to​ ​come​ ​and take​ ​part​ ​in​ ​a​ ​group​ ​photo​ ​shoot​ ​event.​ ​There​ ​would​ ​be​ ​about​ ​12​ ​photographers​ ​and​ ​as many​ ​models​ ​including​ ​food​ ​and​ ​drink.​ ​There​ ​was​ ​normally​ ​a​ ​participation​ ​fee​ ​but​ ​I​ ​had been​ ​requested​ ​by​ ​one​ ​of​ ​the​ ​models​ ​to​ ​be​ ​in​ ​attendance.

At​ ​this​ ​point,​ ​I​ ​was​ ​just​ ​a​ ​nice​ ​kid​ ​with​ ​a​ ​camera​ ​and​ ​had​ ​no​ ​idea​ ​what​ ​to​ ​do​ ​with​ ​it.

It​ ​was​ ​about​ ​a 2.5​ ​hours​ ​drive​ ​north​ ​to​ ​a​ ​lovely​ ​beach​ ​house​ ​that​ ​looked​ ​like​ ​a​ ​weekend escape​ ​destination.​ ​Beautifully​ ​manicured​ ​frontage​ ​with​ ​a​ ​tropical​ ​vibe.​ ​There​ ​was​ ​a sign​ ​on​ ​the​ ​door​ ​suggesting​ ​photographers​ ​make​ ​their​ ​way​ ​around​ ​the​ ​back​ ​via​ ​the​ ​side gate.

I​ ​swear,​ ​the​ ​large​ ​pool​ ​was​ ​surrounded​ ​by​ ​about​ ​an​ ​acre​ ​of​ ​timber​ ​decking​ ​with​ ​a barbeque​ ​large​ ​enough​ ​to​ ​cook​ ​for​ ​an​ ​army.​ ​I​ ​was​ ​quickly​ ​met​ ​by​ ​the​ ​model​ ​I​ ​had worked​ ​with​ ​once​ ​before​ ​and​ ​she​ ​introduced​ ​me​ ​to​ ​one​ ​or​ ​two​ ​of​ ​the​ ​other​ ​models​ ​and photographers​ ​there​ ​that​ ​she​ ​knew.

One​ ​of​ ​the​ ​models​ ​was​ ​cutting​ ​up​ ​lots​ ​of​ ​fruit​ ​off​ ​to​ ​one​ ​side.​ ​I​ ​was​ ​approached​ ​by another​ ​model​ ​I​ ​hadn’t​ ​yet​ ​met​ ​to​ ​photograph​ ​her​ ​in​ ​the​ ​pool. We went​ ​through​ ​a​ ​few​ ​simple​ ​poses,​​ ​through​ ​the​ ​session​ ​her​ ​bikini​ ​top​ ​came loose​ ​and​ ​fell​ ​to​ ​one​ ​side.​ ​I​ ​awkwardly​ ​pointed​ ​out​ ​that​ ​she​ ​was​ ​exposed​ ​ and she​ ​laughed​ ​at​ ​me.​ ​She​ ​knew,​ ​IT​ ​WAS​ ​ON​ ​PURPOSE!

I​ ​can​ ​laugh​ ​at​ ​his​ ​happening​ ​now,​ ​I​ ​am​ ​now​ ​a​ ​very​ ​open​ ​minded​ ​and​ ​very​ ​difficult​ ​to shock​ ​kind​ ​of​ ​person​ ​but​ ​it​ ​begs​ ​the​ ​question​ ​that​ ​no​ ​caution​ ​was​ ​taken​ ​here​ ​to​ ​ensure that​ ​I​ ​was​ ​ok​ ​with​ ​this.​ ​If​ ​the​ ​roles​ ​were​ ​reversed​ ​it​ ​could​ ​be​ ​perceived​ ​as​ ​very unsettling.​ ​With​ ​all​ ​the​ ​latest​ ​allegations​ ​rocking​ ​the​ ​Hollywood​ ​Press,​ ​it​ ​is​ ​actually comforting​ ​to​ ​be​ ​able​ ​to​ ​see​ ​and​ ​experience​ ​tangible​ ​progress​ ​in​ ​these​ ​areas.

Anyway…

One​ ​of​ ​her​ ​friends​ ​arrived​ ​and​ ​she​ ​thanked​ ​me​ ​and​ ​skitted​ ​away.​ ​I​ ​sat​ ​down​ ​to​ ​chat​ ​to the​ ​photographer​ ​I​ ​knew​ ​who​ ​had​ ​also​ ​just​ ​arrived​ ​at​ ​the​ ​event.​ ​A​ ​very​ ​sheltered​ ​man with​ ​broken​ ​English.​ ​He​ ​wasn’t​ ​sure​ ​what​ ​he​ ​had​ ​walked​ ​into​ ​either.

The​ ​model​ ​I​ ​knew​ ​came​ ​back​ ​over​ ​and​ ​said​ ​one​ ​of​ ​the​ ​models​ ​wanted​ ​to​ ​do​ ​some​ ​shots with​ ​the​ ​Fetish​ ​props​ ​in​ ​one​ ​of​ ​the​ ​rooms!​ ​Very​ ​light​ ​bondage​ ​stuff.​ ​Some​ ​silk​ ​ties connected​ ​to​ ​a​ ​large​ ​rack.​ ​Nothing​ ​to​ ​extreme​ ​here.​ ​A​ ​few​ ​well​ ​placed​ ​lights​ ​made​ ​it quite​ ​dark​ ​and​ ​created​ ​a​ ​nice​ ​sensual​ ​mood​ ​coupled​ ​with​ ​lace​ ​corsetry​ ​and​ ​whatnot.​ ​I was​ ​comfortable​ ​here.​ ​I​ ​was​ ​in​ ​my​ ​element.​ ​A​ ​few​ ​other​ ​photographers​ ​jumped​ ​in​ ​to grab​ ​some​ ​shots​ ​as​ ​they​ ​really​ ​liked​ ​my​ ​lighting​ ​setup.​ ​This​ ​actually​ ​gave​ ​me​ ​a​ ​major buzz.​ ​They​ ​all​ ​had​ ​much​ ​better​ ​cameras​ ​than​ ​me​ ​and​ ​so​ ​it​ ​was​ ​one​ ​of​ ​the​ ​first​ ​times​ ​I felt​ ​like​ ​I​ ​might​ ​not​ ​be​ ​pretending.​ ​The​ ​photography​ ​industry​ ​is​ ​a​ ​very​ ​self-loathing​ ​place. Most​ ​peoples​ ​are​ ​assholes​ ​to​ ​each​ ​other.

As​ ​we​ ​were​ ​finishing​ ​up,​ ​someone​ ​let​ ​us​ ​know​ ​that​ ​lunch​ ​was​ ​ready.

Lunch​ ​was​ ​the​ ​fruit​ ​salad.

A​ ​fruit​ ​salad​ ​laid​ ​out​ ​on​ ​top​ ​of​ ​one​ ​of​ ​the​ ​models.​ ​Sans​ ​clothing.

Naked Model Wearing Fruit
Buy Now | Bondage, Kink and Fetish Products

I​ ​didn’t​ ​have​ ​any​ ​lunch​ ​that​ ​day.

At​ ​this​ ​point​ ​I​ ​decided​ ​I​ ​was​ ​probably​ ​going​ ​to​ ​call​ ​it​ ​a​ ​day.​ ​I​ ​didn’t​ ​have​ ​any​ ​problems with​ ​nudity​ ​or​ ​working​ ​with​ ​and​ ​around​ ​it.​ ​I​ ​wasn’t​ ​extremely​ ​happy​ ​with​ ​how​ ​the​ ​event had​ ​been​ ​organised​ ​with​ ​only​ ​some​ ​of​ ​the​ ​models​ ​and​ ​photographers​ ​being​ ​aware​ ​that there​ ​would​ ​be​ ​more​ ​going​ ​on​ ​than​ ​just​ ​for​ ​the​ ​creation​ ​of​ ​art and portfolio​ ​building exercises.

My​ ​bag​ ​was​ ​back​ ​inside​ ​the​ ​house,​ ​I​ ​was​ ​giving​ ​the​ ​people​ ​I​ ​knew​ ​a​ ​lift​ ​to​ ​the​ ​station. We​ ​all​ ​agreed​ ​to​ ​leave​ ​and​ ​so​ ​we​ ​went​ ​in​ ​to​ ​grab​ ​my​ ​gear.​ ​As​ ​we​ ​went​ ​inside,​ ​we​ ​were greeted​ ​by​ ​a​ ​sight​ ​I​ ​will​ ​never​ ​forget.

This​ ​was​ ​around​ ​2009.​ ​Super​ ​high​ ​speed​ ​internet​ ​was​ ​still​ ​not​ ​entirely​ ​common.​ ​I​ ​had seen​ ​plenty​ ​of​ ​porn​ ​but​ ​it​ ​was​ ​not​ ​as​ ​much​ ​a​ ​part​ ​of​ ​the​ ​tapestry​ ​that​ ​makes​ ​up​ ​the internet​ ​as​ ​it​ ​is​ ​today.

Legs​ ​spread​ ​eagle,​ ​strapped​ ​in​ ​and​ ​or​ ​onto​ ​a​ ​shoddy,​ ​homemade​ ​bench​ ​was​ ​one​ ​of the​ ​models​ ​I​ ​hadn’t​ ​met.​ ​It​ ​was​ ​surrounded​ ​by​ ​about​ ​5​ ​photographers​ ​who happily documented​ ​the​ ​experience.​ ​The​ ​machine​ ​that​ ​was​ ​doing​ ​all​ ​the​ ​work​ ​was​ ​sluggish. Accompanied​ ​by​ ​a​ ​dull​ ​whirr​ ​and​ ​clunk.​ ​It​ ​was​ ​not​ ​pretty.​ ​It​ ​was​ ​not​ ​flattering.​ ​Again​ ​it was​ ​not​ ​announced​ ​or​ ​agreed​ ​upon​ ​for​ ​some​ ​of​ ​us.

I​ ​learned​ ​a​ ​host​ ​of​ valuable​ ​lessons​ ​on​ ​this​ ​day​ ​about​ ​communication​ ​and​ ​consent within the BDSM scene.​ ​The fact​ ​was,​ ​I​ ​hadn’t​ ​thought​ ​much​ ​about​ ​these​ ​things​ ​but​ ​if​ ​I​ ​could​ ​feel​ ​uneasy,​ ​as​ ​a​ ​male, with​ ​a​ ​camera​ ​in​ ​these​ ​situations​ ​then​ ​it​ ​should​ ​be​ ​at​ ​the​ ​forefront​ ​of​ ​everyone’s​ ​minds at​ ​all​ ​times.

I​ ​have​ ​never​ ​allowed​ ​control​ ​of​ ​a​ ​creative​ ​get​ ​together​ ​to​ ​be​ ​out​ ​of​ ​my​ ​hands​ ​again.​ ​Any work​ ​I​ ​have​ ​done​ ​since​ ​in​ ​the​ ​BDSM, Kink and Fetish​ ​categories​ ​have​ ​always​ ​been​ ​one​ ​on one in​ ​private​ ​sessions​ ​between​ ​myself​ ​and​ ​the​ ​model, couple, rigger and/or client.

​Something​ ​like​ ​this​ ​can​ ​so​ ​easily​ ​tarnish​ ​reputations​ ​or​ ​cause​ ​serious​ ​trouble​ ​for​ ​groups or​ ​individuals​ ​with​ ​poor​ ​organisation.​ ​I​ ​stopped​ ​going​ ​to​ ​these​ ​kinds​ ​events​ ​unless​ ​I knew​ ​the​ ​organisers​ ​personally​ ​and​ ​even​ ​then​ ​it​ ​was​ ​to​ ​only​ ​ever​ ​be​ ​introduced​ ​to someone​ ​who​ ​wanted​ ​to​ ​work​ ​with​ ​me.​ ​It​ ​was​ ​a​ ​very​ ​steep​ ​learning​ ​curve​ ​from​ ​this​ ​day forward​ ​to​ ​navigate​ ​becoming​ ​a​ ​successful​ ​photographer​ ​both​ ​in​ ​and​ ​out​ ​of​ ​the​ ​kink world.

 

JJ Maher has been a professional photographer since 2008 covering all facets from shiny glamour to wedding photographs. As he progressed in his career he began to specialize in portraits of people with particular interest in adult erotica and those living outside of the norm in society. His magnificent portfolio speaks for itself and we welcome his insight and stories of his shoots, how he meets his subjects and the interesting tales he has to tell. Oh, and he is also right into music !

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