Theodora: You're part of the BDSM community. Can you tell us about the role you play and what it involves?
OTKDaddy: I identify as a Dominant but roles can be quite flexible. They are not rigid, people can move between Top, bottom, Dominant, submissive. Right now, I identify as Dominant, and with my particular partner, she is a submissive. In terms of what is my role in the community, I organise a semi-regular club called Club Freak, and I help to facilitate beginner information sessions for newbies that come along before the club opens, that want to know how to have fun and not hurt themselves, or not in a bad way, anyway.
Theodora: How did you get into BDSM?
OTKDaddy: Ever since I was a teenager I've been interested in different things. I was a bit of a misfit. I had a particular girlfriend who was a lot more adventurous than anyone else. We used to do fun things like I'd chase her around the neighbourhood park in her knickers and with a kitchen knife and make her scream.
Theodora: Woah! Did you get any calls from the cops?
OTKDaddy: Ha, no, we never got busted but we did it for fun, just to get a rush out of it. We'd just laugh and end up making out in the park and I'd pretend I was Jason or Freddy Kruger or some shit like that. I just thought I was being a weird kid, having fun.
Theodora: And it grew from there?
OTKDaddy: I was about 25 at that point. The early stuff was pretty straight and vanilla not really all that adventurous. It wasn't until I dated that one particular girl that it sort of got a little crazy. Then later on I was living in the US and dating a girl and I was just interested in getting to know more about her and she used to go to this club called "Sin-A-Matic", in Los Angeles that had a back room where people would play. I asked her about it and she said: "Well, you'd have like a couple of crosses and people would get beatings and there'd be spankings and all sorts of fun stuff." I thought to myself that sounds exactly like the kind of club I want to go to, I was really interested in learning more, unfortunately, she wasn't forthcoming so I took it on myself to research online and try to understand what was going on.
Theodora: So this girl wasn't interested in helping you understand?
OTKDaddy: She'd been involved in BDSM for many years before me and simply had no real desire for it anymore. So there was a lot of resentment there and I was just opening up my eyes. I was on a supercharged mission to find out more and she just didn't want to go down that road. I ended up finding a dungeon in LA called the "Lair de Sade", which is a fantastic place and once a month they would have an open house which would start with a Q and A and then a demo for a particular kink.
Theodora: Similar to what you do with Club Freak?
OTKDaddy: Absolutely. When you have a community that doesn't have a structure around regular training or exposure it's a lot harder for newbies to learn in a non-dynamic, unbiased arena but it's very important to create that space where there's no pressure or expectation. That's what I got at Lair de Sade and I would go there frequently on the open Saturdays and to learn from the guys and the girls that were there. When my relationship ended I was able to take what I'd learned and keep moving forward with it.
Theodora: So, since then, have you always been in relationships with people that are into BDSM?
OTKDaddy: Yes. Everything before that I would call vanilla. Everything after that is like all the colours of the rainbow.
Theodora: And you've mainly been in relationships with female subs?
OTKDaddy: Yeah. I have dominated a couple of men but not in a sexual way.
Theodora: So even though it's always sexual with the females, it's not all about penetrative sex, right?
OTKDaddy: For me, absolutely. Penetrative sex is only one thing that you can do with a person. There's two different worlds of what you can do. I like to move into that headspace that BDSM gives me. I like to be in my Top space where I'm in control and I have a willing partner on the other end who gives up control and we stay inside that space for a while, and if we have sex, then that's great but I am going to do all sorts of other stuff that I want to do to explore that territory.
I think 'what else can I do in there, how far can I push her, how much is she enjoying that, how much feedback am I getting? It becomes like you're dancing with a person, almost on a spiritual level, definitely on an emotional level and then into a physical level. It can be a pretty powerful high for both people if you get it right.
Theodora: Can you expand on the other activities that you do to get into this space?
OTKDaddy: I like to do a lot of rope bondage. It’s very meditative and very layered and it builds over time. When you first start off it's quite calm and simple but it tends to end up building up to something that is very intense as the person becomes more restricted and as your level of control grows. I find that really satisfying and fascinating.
Theodora: How long would you play with rope bondage?
OTKDaddy: There's no real time limit. Maybe a couple of hours but sometimes you can go for two or three days and not leave that space. Some people try to keep it going 24/7 but that's a lot of work. I can't be that full on but some people do it really well.
Theodora: And so these scenes don't always end in sex?
OTKDaddy: No. In fact, one of the fun things that I like to do is to deny orgasms. Oh man, I will take it right to the edge . . . and then just go "No." And the power that's exerted at that point is pretty powerful stuff. Particularly if the other person is submissive.
Theodora: It seems that BDSM is a lot about power...
OTKDaddy: For me it is but that's why I identify as a Dominant. I've played submissive once or twice and it didn't do a lot for me. To me there's a difference between being submissive and being a bottom, and that's not for everybody. For for me, the submissive is a mind state whereas bottom is a role that you play for a particular session. I have been on the receiving end of implements and toys and power plays but I am not like the submissive person. It doesn't give me the same powerful rush that it does to someone like my partner who is absolutely flat-out submissive.
Theodora: Do you think it has to be a part of your inner core to fufil the role?
OTKDaddy: I would say so but a lot of people would disagree with me. I don't think that it's something you're necessarily born with but it's definitely something that you become attuned to, that you connect with. There's going to be some that say, "Well, you're born a natural Dominant," or "You're a natural submissive." I personally think that's hogwash. I believe people can learn either way. I was very lucky when i was in LA to find some open-minded people that saw that I was coming out of a negative place and into a good positive place and they put a lot of reinforcement around me. I was hanging out with a lot of people in the BDSM space, who knew what I was going through. I could talk about stuff that was really dark for me, and that I'd never told anybody, about having these power fantasies, stuff that I was ashamed of and that I thought was evil. I thought that no one's ever going to want me because I'm this fucked up crazy psycho. And they made me realise that i was just misunderstood. Self-acceptance helped quiet my demons a lot. I found a lot of peace out of it.
Theodora: So, do you think “vanilla” people misunderstand you now? Are you open about being a Dominant?
OTKDaddy: I'm open. Probably to my own detriment.
Theodora: Why to your own detriment?
OTKDaddy: People like to judge me pretty quickly when they meet me. I find that people use my openness and my appearance almost as a license to act out in their own world. Let me clarify that - this has got nothing to do with BDSM, it's just a personal experience of my life. I could wear a suit and a tie and talk to someone about normal stuff and they will treat me like I'm a business person. If I take the jacket off and they see my tattoos, they will start acting different, not because I've changed, but something in them has been triggered.
So, when I start talking about BDSM and kink, they change. And it's like they borrow something from me and then that allows them to act out somehow. They start being arrogant or talking about degrading people. They change really quickly.
Theodora: Is that your way of saying everyone has a darker side?
OTKDaddy: I think everyone does. I think it's a part of the natural makeup of the human psyche. I just think it's an area that hasn't been explored because there’s been so many taboos around sexuality. Getting pleasure from your own body is like some sort of evil thing. I don't think it's evil. What I think is evil is living in denial of yourself and living in denial to the point where you actually have no ability to connect to yourself. I think that's evil.
Theodora: I have to bring it up coz it's like the grey elephant in the room. Has "Fifty Shades of Grey" helped or hindered BDSM?
OTKDaddy: The BDSM take on “Fifty Shades of Grey” is that it promotes an abusive relationship that doesn’t have clear boundaries, that doesn’t have clear, defined safety mechanisms and there’s no agreement. They haven’t negotiated a space or a relationship dynamic that is respectful and supportive of both people, it’s completely predatory and completely abusive. It’s incredibly hot but it’s hot on a fantasy level. The reality is that you can’t go around doing that stuff coz you damage people and there’s no place for that.
Theodora: Some say that "Fifty Shades of Grey" has helped to make women more open about sex. Your thoughts on that?
OTKDaddy: I think anything that empowers people of either sex to get more access to their sexuality is a good thing. So in that way, the book opens a lot of doors for people. It's very accessible. They're not going to get weirded out talking about that book to their girlfriends, because their girlfriends have read it.
Theodora: It seems that there's misconceptions that BDSM is about violence. What do you think about that?
OTKDaddy: There's stereotypes that say there's something wrong with you if you need to be beaten up. Why would you want a dominatrix to walk all over you and call you filthy names and call you a worm? That's like nothing, that's hot as fuck. Just work it, you know?
Theodora: But a lot of people could find that confronting
OTKDaddy: Absolutely, some people will judge themselves by the common feedback that's around them in their lives. If you're a fairly vanilla person and something extreme comes along then your first reaction is going to be "Wow, what the hell? Like that's pretty crazy!" But that will be most people's reactions.
Theodora: You’ve been with your current sub for two and half years. Do you go out for dinner together?
OTKDaddy:: I guess so, but she's not like a girlfriend. She's a submissive so the power dynamic is always enforced.
Theodora: You're always going to tell her what to do…
OTKDaddy: Always, yeah, but it’s by agreement. There's a big difference between Dominant and domineering. I class Dominant as being an agreed upon space. A domineering person is just going to be a fucking, abusive asshole. There's a big difference between dominance and abuse. One's power between and one is power over, domineering is overt control through brute force and emotional manipulation. That's just abuse. Unfortunately, that's what the Fifty Shades of Grey book is based around because it's highly erotically charged to have your control taken away. It's very fantasy based, but the reality is, that there is a lot of negotiation. You got to talk about that stuff, a lot! If you don't like talking about it, don't do it.
Theodora: You hear a lot about signed contracts, is this something you do?
OTKDaddy:: You negotiate. You can sign contracts. We haven't because we're not at that level. For me, that would take a lot of commitment. I would need a lot more out of what's going on than is currently available. She doesn't live with me, she can't spend every day with me. But what is there now is great, it works really well.
Theodora: How do you meet someone and then decide you'll enter into this D/s relationship?
OTKDaddy:: It's just like meeting anybody. If you're vanilla and into them, you might hook up, go home, have some crazy mad sex for a couple of days and then figure out if you want to keep going or not. It’s the same thing.
Theodora: Do you generally meet them at the club so that you already know they’re open and into BDSM?
OTKDaddy: I meet a lot of people through the club but I haven't actually played with anyone from the club because I like to keep that separate. Smacking around inside the club is one thing but following that up outside the club I haven't done. I met my partner through friends at a party so there’s a fair bit of that going on. I find that I exert a certain level of energy and the people that respond positively to that energy get drawn to me. I'll find that there’ll be people that are drawn to me and they may not be consciously aware of their submissive nature but within a short amount of time it'll start showing.
Theodora: So they haven't necessarily been a sub before?
OTKDaddy: Not necessarily. They might not even know that they are submissive. Maybe they have feelings and yearnings that they don't know how to express because they've never tried to express it before. It doesn't mean it's not there, they just have no words for it. Over the last couple of years since the club started, I’ve found that since I'm a lot more open about what I do and I'm a lot more inside that zone more often, it happens quite a bit.
Theodora: What role does pain play in your activities?
OTKDaddy: I play with pain with people that enjoy experiencing pain. I enjoy inflicting it on those people. I'm currently with a person that really enjoys it. She’s described it as a real endorphin rush, the sensation and the pain and the emotional trauma and the distress that goes with it, and then there's the naughtiness in knowing that she's asked for that to happen or wants it to happen. But there’s others who are masochists that aren’t really into being dominated. They love the pain but they don't want you to tell them what to do. That gets tricky but it’s perfectly valid.
Theodora: Communication is obviously a very important aspect of BDSM?
OTKDaddy: Yeah people don't talk. You got to be able to communicate. If you can't, then how are you going to tell the person that's a fairly significant part of your life what it is that you want and need to feel satisfied? How do you tell someone that in order to feel nurtured, “I need you to put a collar around my neck, chain me to the end of the bed, put a towel down for me and I just need to be there for an hour and nothing else. Just come check on me every half an hour. Why? Because I need to feel safe in my place and know that you're here and watching out for me so that I can let all of my life go away and just get some time in my zone”. I'm like “no worries. I'll be there”.
You've really got to have the base ready and your basic relationship has got to be strong enough to withstand what you're going to do with BDSM. BDSM will never fix your relationship, it'll only add more on top. If you're basic level of communication is suffering, adding ball gags and whips to it, it’s really going to suffer. It's going to get really bad really fast. BDSM forces you to slow down and listen and talk and get clear and on the same page. Really get clear.
Theodora: So, you have amazing experiences with your sub and you seem to connect well. How does it end?
OTKDaddy: I guess there's all different ways of handling it. If I want the relationship to end my responsibility as a Dominant hasn't changed, I always have that same open, clear communication. I'll just say “this isn't going in the direction that I want. I need some other things. I need to go do some other things. I'm going to go ahead and do that”. It's then up to that person whether or not they want to stick around for that or if they want to go off and do whatever they want to do on their own. It’s really up to them.
Theodora: That sounds easier for a Dom to express than a sub?
OTKDaddy: Yeah, you got a point. A lot of the times they won’t say that, which is why I insist on regular time-out. I'll just say to her “I need to check in with you” and she'll be like "why? What's up?" and I'm like “I don't know, just time out and turn off the TV, turn off everything” and it's a neutral space and I'm not going to tell her what to do, nothing. It's just open communication. I say "How are you doing? How are you going with this?" I check in with her and she's like "Okay, I'm doing this. I'm doing that" and I give her a chance to unwind without it being a loaded situation.
Theodora: It must be difficult, if she’s playing that role all the time how do you know what's real and what's a play?
OTKDaddy: Well trust me, even if people are role-playing they still lose their temper but I do check in with her quite often so if there is a problem she'll tell me. She's not afraid of me so it's two people agreeing to what's happening.
Theodora: Do you think some people that are unaware of the intricacies of BDSM think that maybe a sub is scared of their Dom because they are standing over them , domineering?
OTKDaddy: Movies like Pulp Fiction didn't help. The whole scene in there where they got a gimp in the back and they bring him out and there's old yocals and their going ‘We’re going to rape you in the ass and put ball gags in your mouth’. That shit doesn't help but that’s just total shock value.
Theodora: What's the most extreme or shocking thing you've done?
OTKDaddy: Oh fuck…Ninety nine percent of the time I'm not an extreme player. I have a lot of friends that are very hard players, very edgy, very high levels of pain, high levels of blood and all sorts of things that to me move further than I would ever go. I think for me the most intense things are very subtle things. It would be the connection that I build with a person after playing with them for two or three hours with very heavy intense sessions. I think the most intense thing I've ever done was a water torture scene in a two-person shower cubicle. I did an abduction scene with a friend of mine and I did a water torture scene inside because it's such a tight enclosed space and because the water makes it hard to breathe and the psychological power that was in there. That was probably the most intense.
Theodora: Did you feel like you were close to hitting your limit?
OTKDaddy: No. At the time when I'm in that Top space there's a dissociative element that comes in. I could go and go and go. You need to really to reign it in because you can almost go too far. You need to keep your wits about you when you've got someone who will let you do whatever you want.
Theodora: That could be scary...
OTKDaddy: Yeah but that's part of the rush too. People are scared of the demons that live inside them. It's not until you actually start making friends with some of them that you realize the really horrible scary stuff you're not really ever likely to come across, unless you have a mental problem. Then I think you should go get help. For me, during that scene I was fine, it wasn’t until after that I realized how intense it was. It’s something they call “Top drop” and “sub drop” when you come out of the scene and the reality has to come crashing back in and you go "Holy shit what have I done? I'm a monster kind of thing.
Theodora: So a little bit of guilt plays in?
OTKDaddy: You get a lot of that. It can be very difficult for Dominants and submissives to deal with the change back to real life.
Theodora: How do you deal with it?
OTKDaddy: Time, mostly, and talking.
Theodora: And you still want to do it again?
OTKDaddy: Yeah because it’s not that hard core. Mostly in the come down phase after play I focus on the sub and I make sure that they're okay. You can't leave them alone, you’ve got to be nearby. Sometimes they want you to actually physically touch them and you might have to sit there for half an hour, an hour or more so that the reality crash isn't so harsh.
Then over time they'll come back and you’re like "Cool, how you doing?” and then you sort of talk your way through it. Maybe you go out get something to eat or plenty of water, maybe some soft drinks to bring your sugar levels back up, try to balance yourself back out again and readjust to reality.
Theodora: You're obviously very experienced in BDSM. How would you create an amazing BDSM experience for someone for the first time?
OTKDaddy: You need to find out what their fantasy is because you have to have a willing partner and you’ve got to be willing on both sides. The other person might not have something that's like straight up and down. So if I had a real full on thing I wanted to do, I'd be like "all right so this is my idea, this is what I want to try ".
The best liaisons I've ever had have been as close to impromptu as possible. Because it's BDSM, you need to have a certain level of discussion to identify your boundaries, limits, safe words and what you agree to and don’t agree to. There's a certain level of dialogue to be had but in any good scene you want to have a certain level of mystery so the sub doesn't know what's coming because if they just anticipate everything that's going to happen to them, it’s not really playing. You got to kind of set it up so that you don't give the whole game away, too.
Theodora: So can you elaborate on how would you start a "scene"?
OTKDaddy: It has a negotiation which is when you do your talking and agree to play. Then you have the scene opening and some people have rituals around how they do that. I have rituals that I have with my sub so there will be certain words that I will say, some actions that she will have to do, some positions that she takes before she puts on the collar. These are ritual layers that people go through to get themselves into the headspace of what's going to happen. From the time you begin playing until the time that you end play, that's called a scene. It's one snapshot in time.
Theodora: And what are some specifics that you do with your sub (who enjoys playing the role of a service submissive)?
OTKDaddy: One of her fantasies is 1950’s role-based domestic service.. She might do the dishes while she's tied up. That's fun. It's fun for me to make it hard. I leave her with only two fingers left and I’m like “now go do it.”
Theodora: But of course this is all agreed upon prior to play? You're not going to just go around telling her what to do!
OTKDaddy: No, that’s right. Let me tell you, some of the most fiery tempered people I have ever known in my life are subs and you definitely don't go running around telling them what to do. No you don't. I've known a number of Dominants that are absolutely OCD about their cleanliness in their house. They would no sooner have a submissive touch something of theirs than they would fucking soil it with dog poop. That's their level of "No, fuck no this is mine. You’re lucky to even breathe near me." Do you know what I mean? That's their level of control.
My level of control is not that hardcore. My level of control is what is it that you like doing. If that fits with me I am going to facilitate it. I'm going to monitor it and it will be done on my terms and there will be consequences if it’s not done to my expectations.
Theodora: So she’ll often do a poor job with the dishes?
OTKDaddy: Ha, often. So now you know the game.