Can you please tell us how you first become a part of this community?
Even though I know I started exploring my kinky side when I was very young. My first real introduction to the lifestyle was when I was 20, so almost 30 years ago. Back then I met a woman, who I refer in my conversations as my Mrs. Robinson. She was not married but she was older than me by 20 years, a cougar before there was even term for that. She was the one who introduced me to the lifestyle first in one on one play and then into more group settings and back then there were not really any public places to go, but there were private events and clubs. Also, when I started my exploration into this I started out as a slave and was one for about 11 years.
When did you know you were a Dominant? How did this information change/impact your life?
I have always been dominant in some way in my life, even in my slave years. Of course, in my early years I had my kink side, which of course had to stay hidden. Then there was my Vanilla life for which I tended to do jobs that required being more dominant, like being a bouncer. Back on the other side in my kink life, as I mentioned I was a slave and in time that segued into being a Switch. I finally made my full transformation into being an all out Dominant in my 30s. This was about the time I also started blending my vanilla life and kink life together an being more open about it. I have always been a man about balance and respecting and even making what we would consider feminine part of my life but then I would shut out various aspects of the masculine. I believe once I excepted the masculine more, is when my true Dom came out. Sounds a little woo woo, but we all have our journeys, don’t we?
Did you have any fears going from vanilla to kink? If so, how did you help to assuage them?
Of course, I did. I have been doing this for quit sometime now but it is not until in the past decade that kink has become more normalized. Fuck, I hid my shit even from other lifestyles in the beginning, such as the swinger community (which I was a part of) because I did not want to get judged. My first sense of normalization came from my work as an AIDS Buddy, which was a program that connected you with an individual who had AIDS and your job at that time was to help them die. Anyways, one of my buddies I was assigned to was into kink and more importantly the leather scene. He was also a gay man and what I found inspiring about him was that he owned both those identities and did not care what others thought of him. It because of the normalization of various communities such as the LGB (eventually TQ), swing, poly, etc. which helped me challenge those fears.
Can you elaborate on your work in the community? Can you define therapeutic Dom in your words?
I wear many hats in the work I do, and it is a spectrum at that. At one end I am a Sex, Intimacy & Relationship Coach (a.k.a. The Pleasure Coach), as well as being a sensual bodyworker and even throw into the mix being a vanilla massage therapist and a cuddle therapist. How did I get being a Pro Dom from all that, well as I my journey went from slave to switch to Dom, I eventually started presenting workshops and lecturing. My coaching work started becoming niche and I started working with more people exploring their kinky sides (thank you 50 Shaded of you know what) and doing mentoring. Even my sensual bodywork expanded into including Bondassage for which I had the honor of learning from Mistress Jaeleen. The Therapeutic Dom aspect came from the idea of who I am. I enjoy helping people in many ways as you can see, and I also think kink/BDSM is very therapeutic. Say you are being flogged. 1. Flogging (done right) is very grounding 2. Depending on the type of flogger, flogging and the person flogging you. A flogging session can actually feel wonderful on the body. 3. During a session, the person receiving can go into sub space and experience a connection between the mind, the body and the energy (spirit) around them. In many ways this like a regular massage and has many therapeutic values.
In your opinion how do therapy/mental health and kink work together?
Yes, they do and there has been a good amount of information coming out about this, especially from organization like the Center For Positive Sexuality http://positivesexuality.org In my area of work I do a form of work called Therapeutic Spanking. What I do approaches it on a rather simple level but there are far more advanced ways it has been used. For the people I work with, we use it for several areas, but the most common area is for grounding. I have a client I work with who has Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) and her explanation of how the spanking works for her, is that when she starting to get into a bad state of being, she feels disconnected from her physical body. The spanking for her helps her reconnect and become more present with in her body and mind/
Are there mental health benefits from practicing kink/BDSM? Can kink/BDSM ever be detrimental?
Of course there are benefits and with recent studies, I am sure we are just hitting the tip of the iceberg. On the most basic level, I see with kink/BDSM it helps with one’s self, whether it is with awareness or esteem which gives people a better sense of well-being. With that said though, with ever positive there is a negative, so yes there are detrimental sides. I just mentioned that kink/BDSM can in positive way help with someone’s self esteem, but I have also found that there are those who try to enter this lifestyle who have low self esteem about themselves. My experience has been that they are trying to find connection at any cost and they feel if they partake in this community they will get what they need even if it hurts them not just physically but mentally. For individuals like this, they need to step back from the community and do self-work for themselves and then if they are still interested they should try again.
Are you currently working on any new projects? If so, what are they?
Well I am always trying to work, train and teach. In the past year, when I can I have been researching and discussing the effect that SESTA/FOSTA has had on our community, especially the Pro aspect.
I have also been talking and looking for photographers about an idea for combining people into kink and their everyday lives
What is your overall mission concerning kink/BDSM and the Kink Community? How does your work go about accomplishing this?
To make everyone kinky …. I wish but it is a happy thought. Honestly, I work to be the best kink positive person I can be and lead by example. I want to stand by the work I do and continue to talk, educate and be there for others.
What is the most rewarding thing(s) about your job?
The fact that I get to do this for a living. I know it is a generic answer, but it is so true. To expand though, it is a physical, mental and energy high, when I am done working with a client and you have met her needs.
What is the most challenging thing(s) about your job?
For me is that I can only do this part time. It is not easy being a male Pro Dom always, especially if you only work with female identified clients. Even though women have come along way with their sexuality and paying for it, exploring kink/BDSM is whole different ball game which requires trust and that is a good thing but still makes it difficult. I mentioned it before, SESTA/FOSTA laws make is hard to advertise my services.
How do you separate working in the community from your personal life?
I do not really separate honestly. I am and will always be kinky, it is who I am. When I am working on a professional level, I do have to take a step away from that in mindset that that is work, just like I do with any of my other work. However, since kink is part of my life. I must remind myself, it is not work and you still can have fun. I hope that makes sense.
In your opinion what makes for a good Dom/Domme?
Wow, how many pages do I need to answer this. Okay let us, start by say what a bad Dom is. In many cases these are the ones I call “Wanna Be Doms”. Generally male identified but can be female identified as well. They are all talk, domineering not dominant and have a perception of kink/BDSM of what they think it is and not what it is.
Now a good Dom, whatever identified gender, has many qualities. I find the first quality is that they are authentic and who they are. I call myself Master Hercules, because master is the archetype I decided to connect with and use, but that is not what makes me a good Dom. Hercules, the person behind that title is what make me a good Dom. With that I feel that a good Dom is good in communicating and expressing their true intentions, which is especially good in today consent culture. They are who they are and do not have to boast about themselves.
What makes for a good submissive?
Another question that could surely go on for pages. In many ways, what I said about a good Dom correlates to a good submissive. For me personally, I look for those who able to articulate their desires and limits openly and honestly. Someone who can think outside the box. A person who is committed and not going to ghost you. Since the list can be quite extensive, I would say a submissive must trust you enough to submit to you
What is the number one common misconception that needs to be dispelled concerning the Kink and Fetish Communities? How can we go about eradicating this?
This is what I say when I am I talking to an audience. There is nothing wrong with me or other in kink/BDSM. I have not mental health issues, I was not abused as a child, I am a Spiritual Atheist, so I did not practice organized religion. All the bad press and negative things that you have been told that are part of kink/BDSM and that are wrong for people that are in the scene, have never happened to me. I am like you in many ways, but I like to cause pain to people who give me consent and desire to receive it. How we can eradicate it is simple just by having honest discussions about it.
Any closing words?
Nothing profound but thank you for the opportunity to so this. I love that there are outlets like Kink Weekly that are out there for us kinksters.
About Master Hercules