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Fetish

A tantric approach to BDSM

Master Crow (image supplied)

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I caught up with Michael, also known as Master Crow, to talk about sex, domination, and control.

You describe yourself as a ‘sensual dom’ — what does that mean in the context of the BDSM world?

A sensual Dom is one who uses the act of domination and control in a sensual way rather than painful way. Most Doms want to bring pain to the sub as a way to assert dominance. I use pleasure and desire along with some mild pain — to vary the sensations and keep the attention — to get them into sub-space. I don’t consider myself a sadist, so giving pain as a vehicle for me to get pleasure is not something I do.

How do you bring a Tantric approach to BDSM?

Tantra is about drawing the pleasure out and focusing on the sensations along the way to whatever the destination — orgasm, pleasure, or release. By using the principles of Tantra, I bring in Kink and BDSM experiences to ratchet up the sensations and the intensity of the session. Tantra is already about the sensations and their exploration. By bringing in BDSM-based sensations I’m also able to help the client get out of their head, into sub-space, or into a heavy endorphin flow.

Tantra teaches that ‘everything is an experiment’ so, for example, I might set up an experiment in staying conscious and present, such as — “I will flog you for 15 minutes and I want you to yell, scream, breathe, or whatever, into each strike by staying present, alert and aware.” Then at the end of the 15 minutes we might talk about what happened, and how that felt. It’s all about teaching them to be with the sensations and explore them and the experience rather than just being physically present but out of your body.

You advertise as having a ‘fully equipped dungeon’ — what does a BDSM dungeon need in order to be considered fully equipped?

To be “fully equipped” a space would need connection points for bondage and suspension, gear for the play — floggers, whips, cock and ball toys, rope, cuffs, and plenty of room. There’s always room for more things above those, but a minimum of tools available that someone could show up empty-handed and have everything they need for a full-on BDSM experience.

I want everyone who comes to me for pro-work, or comes in to rent my space for fun, to be able to explore all they want, and for me to have all the tools that might be needed for that exploration. The only thing I can’t equip the dungeon with is knowledge and skill, but that’s what I bring to the space and client sessions.

What sort of clients are generally looking for your services?

I have a wide range of male clients. Generally speaking, those around my age — 10–15 years above and below — tend to be drawn to me. The majority of the clients I get are tops or other Doms who want to experience what they give. The straight guys that I work on almost always say — “I’m just so tired of making decisions and being in charge.” The gay guys tend more towards — “I want to know what the things I’m doing feel like, and learn new skills.”

Since I’m not a sadistic Dom, my clients tend to be more of the explorer type than hard-core masochists. I advertise as a Sensual Dom, and so I attract those looking for experiences and education rather than beatings.

What does a typical session with you generally involve?

The session begins way before we actually meet. Once the client has made the decision to work with me and we’ve set a date and time for the session, then I send them several pieces of documentation for them to begin telling me about them and about their desires. The desires and boundaries they hold are communicated via a checklist of all the activities that I’m open to doing. I have a system where they can tell me which of those things they definitely want to include, which they definitely want to exclude, and those which are new to them but they want to explore. As they complete that information, we have any discussion necessary on it so that we both have a clear understanding of their desires and boundaries.

When they show up, I spend the first part of the session chatting with them about how they’re feeling in the moment. We talk about their info, their desires, my general plan, and answer any last-minute questions.

Once we have all of that out of the way and the physical contact begins, then I use all the info that I’ve gathered and where they are in the moment, and I create an experience for them from that. The key point here is that I then decide what things are done, for how long, and at what intensity. I do that based upon their info and not a mapped-out plan.

Part of the fun — for both of us — is not knowing exactly where things will go. They know what things they’ve said “include” to, and so my job is to surprise them with those choices in a manner that makes sense for the session. Before we start the session, I already have an idea of various “plot points” that I want to somehow work us into as we create their experience or story. Then I just stay with the experience and move things in that direction from point to point. It keeps them guessing and me attentive, and that’s a win for us both.

I love the sound of the Warrior Challenge game that you created for a client — how did that work?

As a kid, I was always the one making up games for my playmates and I. I’ve discovered that I can use those same skills for making up scenes based upon the desires and limitations of the client. The Warrior Challenge client is a guy that I’ve seen frequently over the years. He was able to afford for me to pull in five of my buddies to do this group scene with me. I knew that he likes to be pushed, to experience intense things, that he gets into military play, and loves surprises.

I came up with what I called the Warrior Challenge so that I could get the client and my buddies to push each other as both tops and bottoms. They came to the facility as specially selected field agents ready for training upgrades. I told them that they would be learning to be secret military interrogators and learning to withstand punishing interrogations at the same time by challenging each other to give and take more intense experiences. I decided to add in some luck of the draw to bring in the spontaneity so each person drew two names from a hat to determine who would be their tormentors (lead and assistant). I also knew that I had to manage what was done to each person because I was the only one who had knowledge of what each of them was into, enjoyed, and their boundaries.

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While the remaining three guys got the ‘hostage’ restrained in some way for the experience, I would have a quick consultation with the ‘captors’ about what to do with that person and how hard to go. Once things started, the three remaining guys surrounded and supported and encouraged them to go harder and take more. I stayed in the scene as an in-the-moment coach so that I could modulate the experience and keep everyone comfortable and safe.

By the end, everyone was exhausted, high on endorphins, blissed-out, and soaking wet with sweat. It was three hot hours of amazing experience after experience after experience, with everyone getting some time in every role. When my buddies and I see each other, that one is now the scene we reference as the one to beat.

Is role-play a big part of your work?

It’s not as big a part of my practice as I might like, but I get to do a scene about two or three times a month. I find role-play to be incredibly fun. When I was first asked for a role-play scene, like most everyone else I just thought — “I’ll feel silly and I won’t know what to say.” But, as a professional, I knew that I just needed to let those feelings go and go for it. I had a blast! Since then I’ve really taken the time to add all sorts of outfits and props for characters, so that I can be ready for pretty much any scene that comes along.

I enjoy role-play a great deal because once you decide that you’re another character, then you can do and say things that you might not do or say because you’re that character and not yourself. The thing is that once you get with the flow of it, it just comes naturally — with a well-placed statement or action, it can go in unexpected and exciting directions. The easy part is that while you may not know what to say when starting, you quickly learn that you don’t need to know. Staying present with the experience and just pretending you are that person is freeing and empowering. I never rely on a script. That’s too static for dynamic experiences like this.

Role-play can also be very healing because it allows us to re-engage situations which may have been challenging in the past or that didn’t end the way we might have liked or needed. In this space, with a safe distance from the original experience, we can choose a more desirable outcome that leaves the person feeling empowered by the experience rather than a victim of it. That positive imprint on the mind can help push out the negative experiences from the past when done with conscious work. The key is that it’s all play, so just have fun with it.

What are some of the challenges of being a sex-worker in the US at the moment?

Sex work in the US is in an awkward and uncomfortable place right now. We have a President claiming to be a Christian to gain the support of the white religious right, and so he’s pumping up the issues that get his base fired up. Abortion, patriotism, immigrants, gays, and sex workers are all on their hit list. Unfortunately, it’s all being forced upon America under the guise of ‘eliminating human trafficking’ but the legislation does nothing to reduce or prevent trafficking. It’s just being used to bully websites that advertise for erotic workers.

Sex workers know that there are those who are forced into the sex trade and we all oppose that. Those doing this work should be doing it by choice, and so we want that choice to be left open but the trafficking shut down — finding what we can accept to get what we want is the key. Members of the community are working on every front to decriminalise sex work and legalise it beyond that.

The unfortunate side of it is that it seems to be impacting our clients as well. Many of us are noticing that we’re slower this year than in most years past, and this is our busy season of summer. Our fear is that clients will want to avoid being caught up in any ugly bust, so they’re laying low to avoid that. It’s our job to let them know that the police are really targeting street workers who are being victimised by their pimps and clients. They aren’t really going for those of us on the high end, where we work by choice and clients choose to make these interactions. Adults making adult decisions that harm no one should not be illegal.

What are some of your goals and ambitions for the remainder of 2018?

After working in the industry for over 13 years, and reaching a golden age of 55, I’m starting to transition from being a practitioner to being a space provider. I created my studio, The Crow’s Nest Escape, for me but with the intent to be able to rent it to other practitioners and couples. I enjoy the process involved in all of that, and getting to keep making the space more and more fun and functional. I’ve found that creating the studio has been very enjoyable for me and allows me to express my creativity in a productive way. I hope to soon begin creating a second Crow’s Nest Escape locally or in another city. I also hope to do a bit of travelling to cities around the States, offering fun scenes and spreading the love.

Follow Master Crow on Twitter

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Fetish

Welcome to planet Akeron

Sandy Pianim from Recon sits down with body modfication specialists Alex and Yan to talk tattoos and fetish.

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Recon members: Akeron. Photo by Joaquin Bielsa for Recon

By Sandy Pianim – Brand Director of Recon

Tattoos & Piercings are a fetish interest we rarely get to shine a light on at Recon. So, when we met this French couple during Fetish Week London 2017 we knew that we’d eventually sit down with them to discuss what it is about body modification that makes them tick. Welcome to planet Akeron!

Alex and Yan are so distinctly different from everything around them in Nice – the sunny city on the French Riviera where they are based and run their tattoo and piercing business, Akeron Body Mod – that their impact is all the more powerful. As rare fetish visitors, we’re greeted with warmth and excitement, though this greeting would extend to all. “We wanted to create a safe space for anyone… for fetish people or not. To offer them the opportunity to do body mods, tattoos, [and] piercings in a non-judgemental place – which is very important and to help people with their journey.” Alex tells us.

It’s evident that the pair have been on quite a journey of self-discovery together and regard themselves as aliens, which is fitting given their appearance.

Recon members: Akeron. Photo by Joaquin Bielsa for Recon

“When I met Yan he only had one tattoo and two piercings” Alex says “So I helped him modify his appearance. I’ve been into body piercing and modification since I was 14 and I got my first heavy body mod when I was 18”

Yan recounts his first piercings “I did my first piercings myself, my labret and naval, I was like 16. [Though] I also had my ears pierced when I was 12.”

We asked them what they like about modifying themselves and Yan explains, “For us it’s not a real fetish, It’s a way of life. We don’t think about it, we live for tattoos and piercings. It’s a passion for us. It’s a way of freedom”

The themes of freedom and self-expression are evident in their desire to have more done. “As you get older you discover yourself and try a lot of things. It wasn’t fashion.” Trying to find the words to describe how they enjoy pushing their limits in English, Yan jokes “We like to stretch holes! Sometimes on Sunday we don’t have anything to do then it’s like ‘Oh why don’t we do some scarification today? OK!’ Or a new piercing or a new tattoo.”

They must have a lot of free Sundays, as they’re covered head to toe with a variety of modifications. This approach also gets us wondering if they had any limits. Alex says, “Everything I said no to when I was younger, I ended up doing anyway, so never say never. We don’t like limits.”

How this lack of limits translates into their sex life seems a salient point, so we ask what their other fetish interests are. Alex discovered his love for rubber and bondage from some guys he met on Recon in Nice about five years ago. He also mentions that he loves deep throating. “I would say it’s my main talent in life!” Yan interjects jokingly, referring to the movie Alien, “And I’m a face hugger!”

If you’re wondering how they manage to have sex with all their piercings, Yan fills us in, “It’s horrible to fuck with all our piercings. You cannot suck. There is always something that goes wrong…” Alex interrupts with his disagreement of this, but Yan continues “He’s lost a lot of piercings. Always losing piercings!” Alex concedes this point. “I used to have some high Monroe piercings with tiny balls when I did them. Maybe one or two days after I got them, Yan was fucking my mouth, the balls came in and it went so bad! He can’t help himself. He likes to make me suffer. He’s a bit of a sadist.”

Not only have they evolved together with regards to their body modification, but Alex continues with telling us how Yan helped him evolve sexually. “When I met Yan, I was mostly top and then he forced me into being a greedy bottom. I discovered anal pleasure with him. I’m very thankful for it because now I enjoy it from both top and bottom. I would never have imagined being here four years ago. It’s constant evolution.”

Alex has a list set out in his mind about what he wants his next evolutions to be. “I want my labret cut again, I would love my conch removed, I would like my eyes touched up, my tongue split a bit more, my nipples removed, my naval removed, and my dick implants with some silicone work. Not silicone injections, silicone implants… bits and ribs. I would like a lot of silicone work on my arms as well and facial scarification, more facial tattoos done… a lot of stuff.”

One might think that even after all they’ve done that the pain associated with these procedures is second nature. They both exclaim, “Of course we feel the pain!” Alex continues, “I don’t enjoy pain at all, I’m just willing to get through it for the results.”

The couple have to deal with people’s perception of them and whilst we hang out we notice people’s reaction to them more and more. Yan reasons, “The fact is that we haven’t invented anything, it’s just modification that has been around for thousands of years.” When they feel like people think they’re odd or scary Alex’s response is, “…I say thank you. It’s definitely not my point to be scary, but if that’s the perception from others then ok, I don’t care.”

One of the most noticeable reasons why people stop and stare could be due to their most dramatic modification: their eyes. “In a lot of sci-fi movies what makes the difference between humans and every animal or extra-terrestrial thing is the eye colour. It definitely changes you. It takes the humanity away, and that’s what I really like about it” says Alex. Yann adds, “The day after, it felt like we were reborn.”

Alex’s shares his view with us. “We don’t live for other people. I can understand their reaction, as they’re not used to seeing people like us, but we’re here to open minds.” Yann adds, “And that we are free, it’s a free country, it’s important for us. Some humans are not free today. People cannot be themselves. We are lucky to be here and to be free, together as gays. We can do what we want so we have to enjoy it.”

We love Akeron’s spirit and energy and encourage people to go to Nice to visit them and their shop or reach out to them on Recon or social media with any tattoo, piercing or body modification questions and queries.

Follow Akeron on Instagram

Recon members: Akeron. Photo by Joaquin Bielsa for Recon

Originally published in Recon Issue_01. Available in print and digitally via Recon.com

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Words by @That_Sandy

Photos by Joaquin Bielsa for Recon

Join Recon by signing up for free on Recon.com or download the app for IOS and Android via recon.com/app.

Recon members: Akeron. Photo by Joaquin Bielsa for Recon
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