Tied Up

Photographed by Pixie Levinson.

Adreena, can you tell us about how you got started in the BDSM world and how long you’ve been involved?
Longer than I’d like to admit! I entered the kink scene about 19 years ago, socialising, modelling and performing in clubs. I immediately felt I’d found my community, and began to explore play. I don’t think when I first entered it I thought I’d end up a professional domme, but I’ve been pro for about eight years now.

Reflecting on your experiences, what was it like being tied up by Marie for the first time during the photoshoot in Paris?
I’ve always wanted to be tied by Marie, so it was exciting to get that opportunity. I always find rope very peaceful and tend to drop into a very calm, meditative place. That said, suspension can be quite intense on the body, so a lot of energy is expended managing that whilst also trying to maintain the poses. I was quite tired afterwards, but always get such an adrenaline rush.

Speaking of that experience, how did being tied by Marie change your view on rope play?
I’m an enthusiastic rope bunny and am lucky to have a number of shibari artists as friends in London who I have little rope dates with, so it’s
something I’d already explored a lot. It’s always different being tied by a woman than a man, it’s easier to allow yourself to fall into it and give your body over, and there is a softness to woman on woman rope, for me. I always feel a natural infinity with other women and enjoy sharing sensual experiences with them. Getting tied by someone with so much skill and experience was such a pleasure- you learn a lot about the process from being tied. I think the thing that always fascinates me is how the artist ties is as important as the ties themselves, the speed in which they move, the pressure they put on your body and their bodies proximity to yours. There is so much more to practising shibari than just knowing knots.

Considering the trust involved, can you discuss the vulnerability required during your rope session?
When you get tied, you are obviously incapacitated, so for that reason alone it can make you feel vulnerable. But I think the vulnerability actually runs deeper than that- the head space it puts you into and your physiological response is so personal and private, it takes a level of trust to share that with someone. I see being tied as an energy exchange and you both have to lean into that to get the most out of it. There’s something quite liberating to give over control to someone else and to feel safe in their hands.

In your opinion, in what ways does rope bondage enhance the dynamic of domination and submission?
Rope can be practised in so many different ways, for so many different reasons, whether they be sexual, meditative, artistic or as a power exchange. The physicality of being restricted by someone else inherently leans the power into one person favour, and creates a beautiful vulnerability. The artist isn’t the only ‘giver’ in this instance- the person being tied also has to give over their body to you. It’s that exchange of power that I think is so important.

Moving on to your daily work, what does a typical day or session look like for you?
I wouldn’t say there was ever a typical day! I think that’s what I love about my line of work, every day is different and everyone’s sexuality and the experience they’ve had that led them to it are different. There are always certain aspects of my day that remain the same- there is a lot of prep and admin time involved as well as sessions themselves! A large amount of my life is spent at my laptop, or cleaning! My sessions will always begin with a conversation. It’s so important to check people’s limits, any health concerns, what sort of emotional state they’re in that day, etc, so I always begin with that before moving on to the ‘fun stuff’.

Regarding safety, how do you ensure the well-being of both yourself and your clients during sessions?
Consent and communication are absolute essentials in BDSM practise. Learning about your client’s limits, state of health and current emotional states are imperative before play. You really can’t educate yourself enough when it comes to practising kink, or be too safe. Cleanliness and understanding about the transmission of germs is also essential. I was a pastry chef before I became a dominatrix and this was invaluable for having a good understanding of health and hygiene. In terms of my own safety, I vet intuitively- you sort of develop a sixth sense about these things over time. The most important thing for me is having the luxury to say no. If I even get a sniff of a bad vibe, I’ll politely decline the session.

Addressing some common misconceptions, what do people often get wrong about being a dominatrix, and how do you tackle these in your work?
That you hate men, and our job is all inflicting pain. I couldn’t dedicate my life to pleasuring men if I didn’t like them! There is a huge variety of kinks out there from the painful to the sensual, and not everyone who engages in play likes or wants to experience pain. I specialise in sensual and erotic domination- it’s softer and more playful. Not that I don’t absolutely love ball busting, when the opportunity arises. I can’t describe the adrenaline rush I get from that!

When it comes to fulfillment, what do you find most rewarding about your work as a dominatrix?
It always sounds contrived when I say this, but genuinely, helping people to not only accept their sexuality, but to have a safe space to celebrate it. I love seeing people happy in their sexuality and enjoy exploring it with them. You get to meet so many different people, hear so many stories and go on so many journeys with them.

How do you maintain boundaries between your personal and professional life in such a unique industry?
It’s quite nuanced. Obviously a lot of my life is published online for everyone to see, and because of that level of exposure, and how emotionally draining the work can be, it’s important for me to have things that are private and just for me. There are certain parts of my life I always keep just for myself. Establishing boundaries with clients is important for my well being, as it’s easy for people to get attached and boundaries to be blurred.
It always amuses me to think that I post a lot of wild aventures, but generally the wildest parts of my life, no one else gets access to…

What advice would you give to individuals who are considering exploring BDSM or entering the dominatrix industry professionally?
Don’t rush in to anything. I think it’s really important to explore and play privately and for personal pleasure before making the step into professional play. Learn as much as you can, gain experience, understand the tolls it can take on you and the labour involved. It’s best to go into it fully prepared. Whilst it can be a very glamourous career, it can also be a difficult life and it’s best to be fully aware of what you’re getting into. Before anything else, make sure you have a solid understanding of consent, communication, ethics and hygiene. That’s a great place to start. Make friends in the industry, support other dommes- we need each other.

Lastly, looking at the bigger picture, what do you hope to achieve or contribute to the dominatrix community through your work?
I do a lot of public speaking alongside my studio work, and the activism and education side of what I do is very important to me. Mostly I want to empower other women to be able to explore domination in a way that is right and authentic to them. I think it’s so important to share your knowledge with others, to make the scene a safer place for everyone.

Tied Up

Credits:

Photography: Pixie Levinson / @pixielevinson
Talents: Adreena Angela, Marie Sauvage / @adreenaangelaofficial @marie__sauvage
Interview: Pixie Levinson / @pixielevinson
Editor: Lidia Gómez / @mamba.vt
Fashion: Atelier Bordelle / @atelierbordelleproductions

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