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Nicole: So how would you introduce yourself to the listeners?
BCT: I'm an Australian who lives in New York City and I'm a leather dyke and dominant and lifestyle player. Okay,
Nicole: so what does it mean to be a leather dyke?
BCT: The dyke to me is sort of like a, it feels like a responsibility, like I'm adorning myself with that label, with understanding of the lineage of where the dykes before me and the leather community is something that I'm deeply enmeshed in.
And so it sort of like signifies to those around me. Like, I'm aware of this name, I'm, I know that the significance of it and I am extremely politically aligned. And to cut it down even further, the word dyke to me is a politically charged word and also a signifier of one's affiliation with political values.
Nicole: Yeah. Could you share more with me about Yeah. What the political charge is of that word?
BCT: I think it, to me anyway, and to those around me signifies an action oriented queer woman or queer lesbian. There's, you know, folks who are operating. As queer people, as gays and lesbians in the world who are not necessarily super politically engaged.
And then there are those of us who are, and for me the word dyke is a reclamation of a slur that I heard certainly growing up. It's a reclamation of an identity that was one that wasn't desirous to me growing up because of the social cues that I got around me. Mm-hmm. And so by reclaiming that word dyke, it becomes vastly more powerful, uh, way to identify myself and position myself in, in history and in community.
Nicole: And you said that the social cues originally growing up around the messages with that word were very negative.
BCT: I mean, yeah. I grew up in Australia in the 1980s and 1990s and certainly in the eighties there wasn't a lot of presence in my life in Australia of queer representation, of positive queer role models.
And it was, you know, something that you were able to access through media. Like there might have been story in the newspaper, there might have been a conversation that you overheard at school, but. It was always in the pejorative. Mm-hmm. There was always some scandalous element to it. There was always some level of sort of like otherness to it that was certainly not celebrated.
Mm-hmm. So in my, you know, little baby dyke brain, as a little kid, I learned that it was bad to be who I was. And so there was a lot of repression and a lot of, you know, like distancing myself from ever being clocked as that, even though I've known since I was. Conscious that I was queer and gender non-conforming.
Nicole: Mm. Mm-hmm. Mm-hmm. So I'm sure there was a whole long journey then to that process from being in that space to, you know, the liberation you're feeling today.
BCT: Oh, sure. It continues. It's been a cyclic process. There's been stages that have been unlocked for me over time for different reasons, at different moments.
And I would actually say that my journey as the sort of like queer dyke that I am today didn't really start to be, uh, a thing in the world until I was in my late twenties. Hmm. So there was a very long period, even though I had that awareness from the time that I was a very small kid, it really didn't.
Become something that I engaged with and lived out in the world until I was in my late twenties. Mm. Mm-hmm. Mm-hmm.
Nicole: And I'm sure you felt, you know, such a shift by being able to be public, engaging in it in terms of your sense of self.
BCT: Oh, absolutely. I mean, one of the reasons why it took me so long was because there were no other people.
No people in my high school, no people in my primary school, no people in my young adult community who were queer and out and loud and proud about it. I don't come from a tiny town, but I definitely wasn't in community where there were like young queer people and. It wasn't until I had some friends of mine sort of like come out to me about their relationship like four years after graduating high school that I was like, ah, this is something that can exist for me.
This is something that I feel suddenly a permission to explore within myself. And there's been versions of that that have happened over the years, whether it's to do with, uh, recognizing things. About my gender, recognizing things about the way that I want to date and conduct relationships, whether it's, you know, defining myself as queer versus, you know, lesbian and whether it's to do with, you know, my interest in leather sex and everything that that entails.
So there's been a, just a ever endless cycle of opportunities for me to learn more about myself from that first coming out period. Mm-hmm. Mm-hmm.
Nicole: And I'm really excited to get into all of those pieces and some of the juicy pieces that are here. Are there any pieces when that come to mind that you wanna talk about today?
Otherwise I can kind of direct, but just wanna open it up to if there's something you feel really strongly about.
BCT: Yeah, I mean, a big thing that informs my life is my gender. Yeah, I from birth have been gender nonconforming. I've always been a masculine energy person. I would say that I owe a lot to the femmes in my life, the queer femmes in my life from Melbourne, Australia.
I. For the ways in which they interacted with me. When I was starting to explore my queerness more intentionally and the ways that they reflected back to me that masculinity in a way that was desirable and desirable for me, and in a way that I could clock that it was dir to them. Mm-hmm. I had, again, messages from childhood that like being this other kind of gendered person meant that I needed to figure out a way to eventually grow out of that masculinity as I became an adult to figure out how to be an adult woman, because that was my assigned sex.
And it wasn't until I started finding community with other queer people and certainly getting that feedback from the queer firms in my life in Melbourne, that the way that I was was fucking great. Yes. The way that I was was appealing in our community and the, for the first time in my life, quite frankly, I felt that sort of sexual objectification, like I wasn't a child that sort of went through the experience of being sexualized really young.
So I didn't get any of that messaging. Even though it's obviously extremely problematic for children to go through that experience, to not know that you are an attractive person to, to know that you are desirable to other people, the kind of people that you want to date, right. Damaging and, and it can be like one of the causes for people to sort of just learn so many different and wrong messages about themselves.
Mm. And so it was really important for me to build those relationships and meet those queer femes in Melbourne and to listen to them basically. Mm-hmm. Mm-hmm. And, and you know, like that moment in time was a huge transformative period for me because I started butch identity and when I started reclaiming the word dyke and when I started dressing, uh, more intentionally in like masculine clothing and adopting more of a sort of butch posture and you know, just figuring out how to move through the world as that person inside of me, but like letting it come out to.
Nicole: Mm. Yeah. Yeah, yeah. I know in my work I've met people who have that same calling inside and want to express it, but when there's no community around you that understands, or community that would celebrate you, 'cause it, it's rather the opposite, right? That you would be attacked and all of these horrible things.
It's so hard to come out in that. So I think you're hitting on one of those big pieces, which is finding community that celebrates you in your authenticity. For sure. Oof. Absolutely.
BCT: Huge. Changed my life. Yeah. Yeah.
Nicole: I know. If I could prescribe anything, right? It's like, please find people where you can be your authentic self.
It is worth every amount of energy to find that group of people because it is quite literally life changing.
BCT: Absolutely. Yeah. Yeah. And that's, you know, gender journey, if you will, like the, um, process of. Learning more about myself as a gender non-conforming person. As a butch in the world. It continues to this day, and you know, that was my late twenties.
I'm 44 this year, so it's a never ending process for me, and it continues on beyond this day. So I know that that will be a lifetime experience. Like that's something that I will constantly be thinking about and constantly be moving with. Mm.
Nicole: Which is exciting and playful. And absolutely expansive.
BCT: Yeah. I mean, like my gender in the fact that it's not conforming to the, uh, gender that I was as a sext, I was assigned at birth.
The fact that like I have, that as a part of my identity, as a part of my lived experience is something that I fucking love. It has obviously been the source of confusion and uncertainty and insecurity while I was growing up, but the moment that I embraced it, the moment that I started figuring it out, the moment I started integrating it into my life has brought.
So much joy, so much pleasure, so much power. Mm-hmm. And you know, as a person that's interested in exploring power dynamics, you know, the ways in which I can wield my gender and my queerness and my but in the world in that way is really interesting to me. And I love the dance that happens between myself and others of any gender expression because of my gender expression.
It's really fun because you know, the minute that somebody could see that you are intentionally playing with your gender, there's almost this sort of, yeah. This dance that begins between you. If they are also somebody that's interested in doing that. I'm ready for the dance.
Nicole: Take me through it. What does that look like?
BCT: Oh, I guess it depends on who the dance partner is. So, and it's not, you know, one prescriptive thing to a particular group of people, but there's an intentional, somewhat heteronormative performance that's happening, but it's twisted it remixes and references queer gender expressions of the past. I mean, butch and femme genders specifically, if we're sort of pairing those things together, there's long, long lineages of queer pairings of those genders and butches of my generation and those before me.
There is a really strong tie into like working class aesthetics and working class lived experiences, and that's certainly my background. You know, like I can sort of like. Place myself in a lineage of butch aesthetics and and butch people who come from blue collar back backgrounds. And there's a really macho masculinity that is in blue collar community and it's really fun to be able to participate in that.
In your sex life. Yeah. In your personal life, in your friendships, in your interaction with the world. It's not something that I was able to engage with when I was not yet out and not yet in touch with my butch ness. Sure. Gender was a really confusing, challenging thing, you know? Like not really knowing how to be a woman, a cis woman, and trying to figure it out.
Like there was definitely a period in my life in my young adulthood where I was in femme drag, and I look back on those times now with a mixture of like both. A little bit of a tinge of like sadness but also a tinge of like, what the fuck was I doing? 'cause it looks ridiculous. And then, you know, also a whole lot of gratitude and a lot of love for that version of me as well because I was really just figuring it out.
But the charge that comes up when I'm interacting with somebody who's deep in their femme gender performance is really fun. And what I've found in my experiences of that particular appearing is the gender performance on either side escalates, they are like fueled by each other. Certainly in my experience of it, it's something that happens to me and it's something that I've witnessed in partners past and also in friendships we're inspired to amp up that posturing to the nth degree.
Like it just keeps going. Sure. You know, there can be downsides with that as well because you sort of get trapped in this gender construction and mm-hmm. That can be a trap, but, um, It's really fun. Ultimately, at the end, at the end of the day, there's also a part of me, you know, in the, in the community that I inhabit, the past communities that I've been, I've been a part of where I've been able to play a, I would not necessarily say traditional masculine role or figure, but that's certainly like something that I enjoy about my gender.
I'm able to inhabit roles in the world where it makes sense for me, and I've certainly played daddy figures in the past in relationships. There's certainly a lot of people in my communities who have regarded me as sort of somewhat of a father figure or like the sort of like cool uncle, if you will, or the dirty uncle, the sort of like masculine figure that.
Is steady or the masculine figure that is also able to like really throw down in a deep and meaningful conversation or the masculine figure that drives a truck and can like haul your furniture or help you move house or whatever the fuck. Yeah. You know? Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. Yeah. It's pretty traditional in, in many ways.
There has been like a long journey to like play with gender and yes, I would say that at this point in my life, it's something that is, rather than being more external and more performative in the world, it's something that is now. An interior exploration for me, I'm thinking more deeply about what is happening inside of me and what happens in my, what's happening in my psyche.
I, I'm less concerned with the performance with the world, um, because I feel like I've done enough of that and the interior exploration is more important right now, and I think it will aid in ongoing, like community building the value that I can like, bring to my communities if I am doing that work rather than just being a one trick pony and posturing constantly.
Nicole: Mm-hmm. Yeah. And take me into your relational world. What does it look like?
BCT: Uh, well, these days I have one primary relationship right now that is a very leather centric relationship. It's a 24 7 dominant submissive or DSS dynamic. It is two and a half years now that we've been exploring that dynamic.
Mm-hmm. From the jump. It was a DSS dynamic and we didn't set out to do it 24 7. It just felt like organically right to continuously interact with each other in that register. In addition to that, and I'll come back to that relationship soon, but it's a non monogamous relationship and I have been practicing non-monogamy in all of my relationships since 2010.
And that was sort of like while I was still in Melbourne and first learned about non-monogamy and first read the ethical slut and you know, was doing the very basic, uh, 1 0 1 level stuff about non-monogamy and polyamory. Um, back then at the moment, I also have a. A number of people in the world who are either ongoing play partners or play partners past where we would easily pick up again, where we left off, were they and I in the same city.
Mm-hmm. Or were either of us in a different relationship construct where it made sense for us to play again. So that's the current set setting. Um, I would also say that my relationship network is expansive because of the other partnership that my submissive has and that we are situated within like a leather family and leather community.
We each have our own sort of people that we regard as our closest leather family, and they're different. And then we have a sort of broader sense of like what it means to be in leather community as well. And those people are also quite, quite close to us. Mm-hmm. Mm-hmm. Mm-hmm.
Nicole: I'm excited to unpack all of this.
There's so much expansion here, right? I am. Wanna slow down? Not too much, but just enough. Because we've talked about kink and non-monogamy on the show a lot, but I don't think we've ever really slowed down to talk about leather and a little bit more in the lineage and what it means to be in a leather family.
Could you provide a little bit of context to someone who might not understand fully what that means?
BCT: Absolutely. I will say that there are different uses of the term leather family, and I want to make reference to the fact that there is a huge sea of leather clubs and leather organizations across the world, and I most recently was in space with a lot of people from those leather clubs and organizations and leather families at the International Miss Leather Convention in New Jersey in April, 2023.
Within the traditional like leather community in the leather scene one might be part of one of those clubs. I'm not part of that sort of convention circuit or that traditional leather organization lineage where like leathers are handed down to you from elders and where you are, you know, inducted into the organization and where you are earning different honors and you are sort of coming up through the ranks.
That is really a robust, wonderful community and wonderful lineage. And for anyone who hasn't been to an international Miss Leather convention, I encourage you to go if you haven't yet, or to international Mr. Leather or to visit the leather archive and museum in Chicago. There's lots of information out there on the internet as well about leather lineage and leather history.
So with that, Said my leather community and leather family is more informal. I would say that it currently is situated around my involvement and co-director ship of an entity called Kink Out. And Kink Out is Arts and Activism collective, founded by a leather person named Yin Q, and currently Helmed by like there's five of us on the core team and a huge community of contributors and collaborators.
And Kink out is by and for queer leather people, and we host events and fundraisers and panels and rallies and screenings and retreats and all kinds of different spaces to bring queer leather people together to celebrate queer leather culture and also to cultivate awareness and raise funds for. Sex worker rights organizations.
So we are a collective that is a hybrid of lifestyle and professional B D SS M practitioners. Yeah. And there is a very strong link between the B D S M community and the commercial B D S M community and the people that are, you know, practitioners in that world are also often in the lifestyle B D S M community.
So we sort of take it as a responsibility as community to make sure that we are leveraging the collective power that we have to support the sex worker rights movement and to bring as many people as possible with us into that movement. Yeah. Yeah. And so that is a, a core mission for kink out. It is to really continuously partner with different sex worker rights organizations and advocacy groups and to keep building awareness and knowledge and raising funds for those organizations.
So, hell yeah. My leather family. Yeah, my leather family is really centered around or sort of like springs forth from that organization. As I said, it's a loose construction. It's an informal leather family. Yeah. But. They're all people who are deeply enmeshed in B D S M one way or another where they have either just a lifestyle involvement in B D S M or a hybrid lifestyle and commercial involvement in B D Ss M and mm-hmm There are things that we do in terms of public facing stuff through kink out, and then there are things that we do private setting in a private domain that are more sort of like intimate affairs or like things that are closer to home.
But I do wanna, uh, also name that there are people who are outside of kink out, who are also my leather family. Ah. And. It's those people that sort of brought me up at different points. Mm-hmm. Along the road. I met them in my early days of sort of figuring out what I was into with B D S M and in my travels and they had, you know, been in the scene for longer than I had, or they were also starting along their journey and we've sort of come up together and they would be people that are like more of my like, Age group and like cohort in terms of queerness and leather identities and all that kind of stuff.
So I, I wanna name those people exist in my life as well, and that all of my leather family are scattered to the wind. So there's a huge contingent in New York City, but then there are also people further afield across the US and internationally as
Nicole: well. I'm sure It's great to have so many connections when you travel.
You could meet and have those relationships and pick up play and be able to have that. That sounds like it's really fun.
BCT: Yeah, absolutely. That's a huge, uh, consideration for me when I'm traveling. Like, am I going somewhere where there is an evident queer scene and an evident kink scene, and who can I reach out to who knows somebody in this city so that I can start building networks and building connections with local kinky queers.
Mm-hmm. That's a really fun experience. You know, there's been a lot of opportunity to build queer, kinky community all over the world, and I, I can't. Uh, waits to keep going and, and to see how that keeps unfolding over the years.
Nicole: Right. For the rest of your life. Yeah. Like what a joyous journey that is to continually unfolding and explore and figure out parts of ourselves in this process of play.
Right. And like you said, the community was really helpful at the beginning when you were first figuring out what you were into in B D S M, I feel like that can be a journey in and of itself, right? Trying to unpack what it is that you do like and don't like, and then having the space to talk about it.
Yeah. I'd be curious what that was like for you.
BCT: Yeah. I mean, my journey into B D S M started in 2011. Pretty much a month after I arrived in New York City. I was out at Queer Bar in Brooklyn, New York, and. Met a stranger who was there with one of my new friends and I asked her how they were in each other's lives and she kind of looked me up and down and she's like, we met at a sex party.
And I was like, tell me more. Having yes, just come from Melbourne, where I had started to hear some one particular friend talk about B D S M and talk about going to a dungeon there. And I'd watched the movie Short Bus and it fascinated me. And there was this sort of like building curiosity at that point in my life.
And so the minute that I hit the ground and I met this person and she literally named that she had gone to a sex buddy and she'd met this person, I wanted to know more by asking that question and having her answer it that way that I'm here today. I'm not sure how else I might have entered this well, had that moment not happened.
Who's to say I I would have, but we ended up dating for a while. She was a lifestyle dom. I hadn't yet figured out what I was in the world, so we didn't have a B D S M like relationship with each other. But we hooked up for a long time and she chaperoned me, if you will, to my first play party. Like walked me in the door and sort of just said, off you go figure it out.
That kind of energy. Yeah. She had her play partners and her, her dates sort of like arranged and it was truly like an awkward experience for me because I was fascinated and I felt comfortable in a space, but at the same time I felt like I, I couldn't pierce the veil. I didn't know how to make things happen and I was probably VOing and like figuring things out and going to workshops and meeting people for at least five months before I ever laid hands on somebody.
And it was after. An L S M workshop. L S M is the Lesbian Sex mafiaa. They hold monthly meetings and workshops, and back in the day they used to throw a little casual play party after their workshops at a nearby dungeon in the city. And so I went along to that dungeon after the workshop and someone invited me to co-taught somebody with them in like a spanking scene.
It was pretty innocuous looking back, but at the time it was my entry point. It was my like threshold crossing moment of like, I'm in, like, I'm now gonna like throw down I'm, I'm gonna do something. And yeah. I mean, talk about threshold moments and talk about moments of transformation. That information that came to me in that session of like pleasure and power and joy and the thrill and the heat and the lust, everything that came through in that, like, I'm sure what I would consider to be these days, like something that was quite tame.
Sure. Um, was like a lightning bolt. And so that was the starting point of the journey that I've been on for 12 years now, I guess. But I spent the early part of my exploration really drilling myself, going to workshops, meeting as many people as I could, learning as much as I could, and trying to get involved in, you know, scenes and just figuring things out.
And it honestly was a years' long process until I got to the point where I looked around me and I real looking back and I got the feedback from the world around me that I was somebody that was considered quite experienced and sort of like a regular at these parties and somebody that was like a, you know, like a, a skilled, trusted face in the room.
Yeah. And so that was, you know, an important moment where you realize, okay, you're no longer the, you know, you are constantly the student and you're constantly graduating from past levels where you're operating. So, you know, like that first moment of feeling like, okay. I have something to offer now as well was really important.
And that process, again, it's constant. It's ever evolving. It's something that will happen for the rest of my life. I'm constantly learning new skills. Yes,
Nicole: yes, yes, yes. And coming back to that first moment of that impact scene, I'm just curious what was going through your head? Yeah. What was going through your head?
What happened? And I, I, I laugh to it. Like you said, that like if you were to look at it now, it's probably tame, but like, I'm just so curious how many people are at like, way back there, right? Like wanting to happen this, wanting to do this, and are right there at that moment, like what's happening?
BCT: First of all, I wanna thank the person that invited me into that scene.
They were also the person that brought that first babe to that party who I asked the question of. Yeah, great. So they were a really important figure in my kink journey back then. I love it. And the scene was quite literally myself and them. And, uh, we were co topping the bottom and it was a spanking scene.
The bottom was like, I'm sure, bent over and restrained against some kind of apparatus and mm-hmm. The dungeon was a dedicated dungeon. So it was a dark space. It was brick walls, concrete floors, you know, the atmosphere was really helpful. And they started the scene and then sort of like tagged me in. That is an experience that I would echo to this day.
You know, if I'm playing a, a co topping scene, especially if it's an impact play scene, I am often doing that tag team thing where one of us sort of like has, you know, time at that, if you will, and then tags in the other to take a breather and to sort of like, you know, sharing the experience. Sure. I've done that many times over now, but, uh, when I first laid hands on that person, I was spanking her ass and I just remember it being such a thrill and that I was instantly feeling competent.
I instantly felt like, okay, like I know what I'm doing. Yeah. I instantly felt a certain assurance of like how to move, how heavy to go, where to take it. Access to this person's body. And that was a lot to do with, you know, the learning that I'd done, but also the feedback that I was getting from her in the scene.
Sure. The way that she was reacting. And that's also an important part of the way that I play. It's constant attunement to the body that I'm working with, to the sounds that the person is making to the way that they're moving, the multisensory experience that's happening, that, you know, that feedback loop is ever important to the way that I play.
So that happened from the very first scene and continues to be the thing that I'm mostly sort of tuned into when I'm playing. Mm-hmm.
Nicole: Mm-hmm. And I'm tracking with you and trying to pull out a little bit more, like, why is that important? How does that shape how you play with that level of attunement?
BCT: Well, despite the fact that that spanking team might, in retrospect, have been pretty tame these days, my prime mode of operating is heavy impact. And that means that I'm going for really brutal impact, play with really intense bruising and marks on the person's body. In any of the places where they will allow that to happen.
And using either my hands, my fists, my boots, or any of the implements that I've got in my kit to bring out those effects. And so, you know, as a person that's like responsible for brutalizing somebody's body, be really attuned to what they're telling me in the moment. Yeah. And if they are not coping well with the level of pain that I would like to operate at, I need to know that as soon as possible because it will not go well for anyone And mm-hmm.
So that, uh, you know, attunement and it's almost like kinda like tunnel vision. I'm aware that, you know, if I'm in a public play setting that there's people around, but the most that I might interact with anybody in the space is if they're coming into the physical container that I'm trying to create between myself and the people or person that I'm playing with.
Mm-hmm. And. Other than that, everything else is tuned out and I'm, yeah, for the best of my ability, you know, sometimes there's really loud music happening, so you can't always hear. But to the best of my ability, trying to tune into, almost from like a peripheral way, like without necessarily like looking directly at the person in the eyes, because sometimes, often they're facing away from me.
But this sort of like peripheral vision of like what is happening and me sensing the movement of their body, their responses to the strikes, the way that they might lean into it, the way that they might. Take the strike and express some kind of pain or some kind of audible reaction to it. Like, what's the long tail of that sound?
How are they breathing? Where are they looking? If I can see their eyes mm-hmm. Where are they tense in their body? If they are tenses at all, uh, are they wet? Are they turned on? Like, uh, are they hard? Are they evidently asking for more? Are they pulling away and trying to sort of bo like steal themselves for another strike?
You know, where are they? And there's a lot of information that you can get, even if you aren't able to hear because of the music that's visual and it's body cues. And it's like your instincts as well. I mean, literally it's an ever evolving process. I'm learning constantly about feedback that different bodies are gonna give me and different people are gonna give me.
And you might play with a person in a one-on-one scene. And beat the shit out of them. And then the minute that you introduce another top or another bottom, or multiple people into like a group scene, that same person. Might not be able to cope and to take the same kind of beating that you, that they would be able to if it's like one-on-one attunement.
So there's like different ways that you need to attune depending on the circumstances, depending on the senses that are available to you. And depending on the like level of your relationship to that person, how well you know each other. Mm-hmm. Mm-hmm. Mm-hmm.
Nicole: And call me a hopeless romantic, but I find that level of attunement, that level of presence, so deeply intimate and romantic.
BCT: Yeah. I mean, I agree. Something that I'm used usually doing at the beginning of my scenes, you know, because I'm about to get really brutal with somebody's body. If they're playing with me, that's more than likely going to happen. But as a starting point, I am often massaging their flesh. If you'll, mm, I'm, I'm connecting with their body.
I am releasing some of the tension that I'll find. And I'm through that process letting them know that I'm interested in really physically connecting with their body, by touching them gently, by touching them with like a firm hand. And that I'm interested in their pleasure. I'm interested in working with them to create pleasure in the container that we built together.
And it offers a moment for me to feel the heat on their skin or lack thereof. It offers me a moment to like understand like how juicy is their ass or like how fleshy are their thighs, or like how much of their chest can I grab? Where on their body might be an interesting place to strike, you know, where are they less likely to, you know, like be strike, that kind of thing.
Mm-hmm. So starting my seams by connecting with their flesh in a less brutal way creates an intimacy between myself and that person. And I've found that it sets a tone and it allows for more intimacy to grow throughout the scene as opposed to starting cold and like, just like having somebody, if you will, propped against a wall and starting to fucking flog them or spank them or whatever.
You know, where, where you. Don't really have that skin to skin contact yet. You know, if I'm striking somebody initially, I'm usually starting with my hands as well, and I think that that's a really important part of my ritual process, that they can feel my desire through my actual hands as opposed to a toy.
I'll move to using toys if it makes sense for me, and it often does throughout the scene. But again, building intimacy and building the container where that person can hopefully give themself to me is paramount. And so I wanna feel their flesh. I want them to know like the force that I'm gonna be using.
I want to feel like with my fingertips, how they're reacting to these strikes, because it's not always possible to feel all of that information if you're using a fogger or a paddle or a whip or a cane, or. Name your toy. And so that kind of information is again, really important. And I'm also giving them information with all of this touch about my intentions and my desires.
So it's all super important to building that intimacy.
Nicole: Yeah. Yeah. And the writers of the Ethical slut also wrote this other book called Radical Ecstasy. Have you heard of it?
BCT: I haven't read it, no. They
Nicole: talk a lot about states of transcendence in s and m and other, uh, play dynamics. I'm curious how that relates to your play dynamics, if you felt that state of transcendence or mysticism in your play with other people.
BCT: Yeah, absolutely. I mean, I'm not a, I'm not a scholar, I'm not a student of theology or spirituality, but I. The feeling of transcendence through leather sex. And most recently, I was having a conversation with somebody last week about how the concept of mana, and I know that that is spiritual concept. I know that it's a theological concept.
It's a. Theoretical concept, but to be quite honest, I first heard about the concept of mana through video games and the life force that one has in a video game. Anyway, this person was reflecting back to me that there's a life force exchanged between people who are engaging in like specifically like dominant and submissive.
We were talking about dominance and myth of dynamics, DSS dynamics, but I would say in any kind of leather sex where it's like good and where you do feel that transcendence, that's part of what's happening and that's part of why I love it. Part of why I'm so invested in the leather world and the like leather identity that I hold.
That sense that somebody is, as I said before, giving themselves to me. Yeah, I'm receiving their life force. Mm-hmm. I'm able to wield power over their bodies. It's really fucking hot. Yeah. It's a transcend experience in that like we're not supposed to be doing that if we are conforming to social norms.
And I am not interested in conforming to social norms, and I am interested in living the life less ordinary. That has been my motto for as long as I can remember, and I might forever be, if you will, chasing the dragon of that transcendent moment where we crossover from being too humans into being some archetype into being not trapped, but like alone in a container.
Or we are enthralled in a role play, or we are constructing and building a world or a system literally in the real world that just sort of circumnavigates the real world. And so all of that from the, you know, like physical interaction, skin, skin in a scene, and the transcendence that can come from somebody giving their flesh to me, to the way in which like I am emotionally and psychologically fulfilled and stimulated through humiliation scenes.
Like if I'm able to like use knowledge against somebody, if they're giving me information about themself, if I'm turning them into something. Else other than what they're presenting through a humiliation scene or through some kind of role play. I get a huge kick outta that. It's, you know, one of the various different projects that I'm co-creating in the world that is designed to circumnavigate systems that exist.
And I'm able to create worlds tools, platforms, spaces that operate on a different level or that see the world through a different lens. I'm very animated by doing that work. So yeah, transcendence is a huge part of why I am interested in leather.
Nicole: Yes. And that, that life force, quite literally that you had said, right, and the energy that comes with that and, and the gift and the power of that.
I'm also curious too, you know, as someone who's newer to all of this, what do your consent conversations look like? I know that's, that's, we could do a whole series of a podcast probably just on that. So I understand that's a big question.
BCT: It depends. So, you know, I cut my teeth playing in public spaces. I was going to dungeons and play parties and workshops for years before I ever had like a leather or kink experience at home.
So often I'm involved in pickup play. Or in play that is with somebody that I know, but it's like off the cuff in Playspace and so. In those situations, you are having like a verbal conversation around their limits, their desires, any pain thresholds or uh, physical things to ailments or psychological triggers to be aware of.
Making sure that they're aligned with like what I'm into and that they're willing to engage in the sort of things that I'm into as well. You know, talking through all of those things upfront and also just checking in upfront about like, what does aftercare look like? So if it's a pickup play, seeing with somebody that's, uh, new to me, that might look like something to me.
And it might mean something different to them, so, right. Making sure that we're aligned with what our expectations are around, um, aftercare, putting some boundaries down about like what it means to engage in pick up play versus, you know, if I'm going to a play party with somebody, like as a date, if I'm mm-hmm.
Having a date with them in a private setting. If I'm starting a dynamic with somebody and it feels like it has some legs or that there might be some like, sort of like opportunity to like really throw down. And that there's some lead time in that scenario, I am usually going to ask the person to complete some homework for me.
Mm-hmm. And in my case, that can look different for everybody. Everybody's got different like levels of like, what does consent look like? What does kink negotiation look like? What does learning about each other look like? I like to get as much information upfront as possible. Mm-hmm. And I am extremely thorough about it.
Yeah. And it allows me to get a really comprehensive download about that person so that I can digest it, hopefully, like bring some of that information into the scenes that we play without necessarily being concerned as to whether or not they're down for this or down for that, or like speaking too much in the moment.
So that homework is in the form of a spreadsheet. I'm a love. Thanks. I'm a burger. Yeah. It has several ques, like long form questions like, you know, like what is your gender identity? What are your pronouns, what are the names that you prefer to be, uh, referred to in, in play settings? Yeah. What are the words that you use to refer to your genitals?
And do you have any limits around all of that sort of terminology stuff to what are some of the physical or psychological like triggers, elements, information that I should be aware of as we get to play with each other? Like that's like you have a bad knee and you can't, you know, be put on your knees to like, the smell of oil could, like, trigger something or the, um, sound of, I don't know, birds chirping could like set somebody else off, so never know it could be anything.
And so I just wanna know where somebody else is in relation to their kink journey. Also, like what does non-monogamy look like for them? Totally. You know, they have partners if they have fluid bonding boundaries, all of that kind of information. And then the next tab in the spreadsheet is a checklist, which is pretty standard for folks who are on a journey in the B D S M world to come across, say like a yes no, maybe list or some kind of checklist.
I have a checklist that at the moment I think has about 180 different line items of I love that. Things that we could potentially explore. Yeah. And they're all things that I'm willing to explore. And so I'm curious to see like where our desires match and where our desires line up. Sure. And so that list involves, you know, what is your level of experience with this thing?
What is your level of interest with this thing? How do you feel about this thing and any other notes that you would like to tell me about this thing? You know, I've had so many different people over the years complete this homework for me as it's evolved over time. And literally it was created back in 2011 with that first lover that I had where, you know, we were collaborating on a few different projects and that was one of the things that we came up with together to, you know, like this very day.
It's something that I'm still using a version of and I've had people fill it in with incredibly thorough detail and some other people just sort of like quickly dance through it and not leave many notes at all. And so there's, in addition to the homework that they will return to me, we'll usually have a follow up conversation and we'll like talk through some of my questions.
Sure. I. Clarify some things or tease and torment them about some things or make sure that we're on the same page and if it makes sense to you, if there's gonna be an ongoing dynamic and, and or if they ask me for it, I'll often send them my responses to the same questions from the dominant perspective.
And I decided to do that, I don't know, about six years ago now, because I felt like it was time for me to insert myself and my needs into the conversation. Mm-hmm. So that like moving forward, I was seen as a real human who was coming into this experience, not just. Uh, a dom object who was going to dish out from experience for that purpose.
Right? Right. And so it felt really important to bring in my own desires, my own needs, my own things about my life and about myself, about my body, and my desires. Like to really lay them out. For the people that I'm like curious in like a more ongoing thing with, and also not just those people, but like if somebody asks for it, regardless of like my intentions as far as I'm concerned, fair.
That they like get that information if they like, get desires to uh, see my responses as well.
Nicole: Okay. Yeah. And just like, you know, the sub will have triggers and various edge points like, you know, the dom, the top will have various edge points as well. And so being able to come in then as not an object but as a full human who is equally coex exploring at the same time always and forever, right until the day we die.
And being able to have that sort of conversation. And yeah, that spreadsheet sounds amazing. I would love to see it just to like get my eyes on it and see what's on there.
BCT: I'm sure you know, like it can be incredibly hot to read that information about each other. So if I'm like starting a new relationship, it's, I've had enough experiences now to know that like it.
Is super hard to have those conversations, to read that stuff about each other, to like get that information. And it's part of my ritual that feels really pleasurable to me. And you know, people have access to those files for as long as they want to access 'em. They can update those files. My current submissive updates her file at least once a year to sort of like see where she is in space and time.
So yeah, it can be fun and it's something that I just have a whole bunch of these files now in my filing system. I am curious about without any identifying information being included, you know, what data could I draw out of these files over time. Yeah. Like sta statistical data. I have never done that, but I think it would be a fun project for my submissive at some point down the line, like a data vz project to like, oh, yes.
You know, to celebrate some kind of milestone. Or if we're publishing a book together or something like that down the line to, to draw out some data from this. Oh, yeah, yeah.
Nicole: Yes. And whoever owns that, like B D S M quiz, I'm like, where's the data on that? I mean, people use that stuff all the time. I'm like, I wanna see that data.
And the progression of it, like you said, right? Yeah. Like filling it out every six months to a year and seeing how things change over the time. I just like, I feel this strong desire to like highlight, underline, and underscore like that that conversation is hot. Yeah. And sexy, right?
BCT: Yeah. Really. Yeah, absolutely.
I agree. This is what works for me. This ritual feels pleasurable to me and I've had enough feedback now over the years to know that it's a really. Useful, valuable experience for the people who are completing this homework. It draws out answers to questions that people have never answered before and it prompts many of the respondees to think about and to Google.
Activities that they've never heard of before. Yeah. And so I'll hear that a lot. Like there'll be at least one or two line items in the list every time where somebody's not quite sure about what the thing is and they need to clarify. And based upon the answers that I get, there's a lot of bringing up fantasies from the past or getting to talk about something that they've experienced in the past for the first time ever.
Or getting to name that something is boundary with me and or a limit with me, whereas it's not with another partner that they have and like I'm human in this journey. There have been relationships past where, you know, in my journey through non-monogamy, I've been like kind of indignant if somebody had a particular act that they were not able to do with me because it was a limit that they had set with their other partner or partners.
And you know what it is, what it is. But from having so many versions of this homework returned to me over the years and also detailing the boundaries that I have. In my life as well. I now value that information so much. It's super useful to like understand if you know somebody is desirous of doing something, but they have a boundary around it, I can play with that.
You know, like I'm not going to break their boundaries or move beyond consent in that way, but I can fuck with them if I know that they're desirous of doing the thing and toy with them around it or tease them about the thing and there's like a way that you can take that. That thing that used to feel like you were being withheld or like, you know, someone wasn't giving themselves to you fully.
And just like play with it. Even if somebody has like stuff that you would like to do with them, but they aren't really ready for, they aren't sure about, or that they might wanna return to later. It's all fodder, it's all creative fodder and there are so many different ways to engage with somebody about stuff.
Obviously there's stuff that's completely off limits, but there's also a lot of stuff within the gray area that you can toy with that stuff in the middle. The stuff that is fun that you can like really mess with somebody about that. I really enjoy receiving all that information from somebody brings us back to that point of the Life force minor.
Yeah. And I'm receiving information from somebody. They're fueling the way that I'm going to play with them because I'm now downloading all of that information about them into my brain and I It is very likely to be turned against them in some way. I, yes. Yes. I, um, Interested in knowing what their desires are and especially as it relates to stuff that they haven't yet explored and you know, like what new territory can we break together?
Oh yeah. Yes. Yeah. So all of this information that I'm getting from this, like homework exercise is valuable, it's functional, it's a paper trail, it's hot. It's inspiring my creative juices and it really fuels this sense of like power that I'm always looking to, you know, engage in some capacity, be it briefly in the container of our scene or throughout the course of a relationship with somebody.
Just touching back on the, the question originally was like, what does my consent practice look like? That homework exercise is an opportunity for somebody to. Modulate or really customize their consent with me. We don't need to necessarily have broad strokes conversation about like everything. I mean, that can happen, but it allows them to get very nuanced and distinct about specific things in their own time, and therefore sets us up well to play together.
Because I'm sort of like usually concocting some kind of, I'm constructing some kind of rough path that we could take on the date that we're about to have. Be it. Yeah. In a private setting or at a play party. If I'm aware of the space and the apparatus and all the tools that will be available to me, then I'm usually able to sort of like concoct some kind of path toward creating that container with them.
I'm able to draw upon that information. Yeah. Knowing what their edges are around something, knowing what their physical limitations are. Mm-hmm. Knowing the things that will optimize for pleasure. And yes, that is primary concern for me. Optimizing for pleasure is one of my greatest concerns as a letter person.
Consent is like a very, it can be very brief and in my case, often it can be very detailed. Yeah. And ever evolving.
Nicole: Right. Ever flowing in that sort of way. And I would, I'd love if I could get a copy of the blank sheet and include it in the show notes so people could like start to explore, think about these things.
Maybe like you said, even terms they've never even heard of that they could Google and start stepping into.
BCT: Absolutely. As I said, the list of activities is based around my desire, so it's certainly not comprehensive, but Sure. I'm sure it'd be a good jump off point for a lot of people.
Nicole: Yeah, definitely.
Definitely. I know we talked a little bit about your various relationships. I'd love to hear more about the 24 7 DSS dynamic and what that looks like.
BCT: Absolutely. So as I said earlier, it's a relationship that has been ongoing for two and a half years. We set out to start exploring a DSS dynamic intentionally, but didn't necessarily label that it would be 24 7.
That just happened organically. And this dynamic has been the most sustained kink dynamic of my life so far. Mm-hmm. It is almost like a durational performance piece in the sense that we are constantly creating the world that we exist in, and I think that the, the world, the kind of dynamic that we have is actually quite unique.
Based on my travels, I haven't heard of anybody else, um, having the kind of construct that we have. So my submissive and I, we met together working on a kink out project. We were introduced through community and, uh, we had a really good chemistry on the work front. She's very much into spreadsheets. She's also like a very organized producer type person.
And it was a real joy to work with her on a particular project that we were working on back in, uh, 20 19, 20 20. And it was through that sort of initial chemistry, that initial sort of like mutual interest and mutual desire that there was a spark and there was a sort of like interest on my part to get to know her a little better.
And we ran into each other at a, a kink event. And it was, she very unintentionally revealed to me that she was interested. And it was that information that sort of like set us on this journey now because based on learning that she was in interested in, uh, playing with me, we set up a scene at a play party later and at that play party.
It was one of those transcendent experiences where, you know, I'm playing with this person for the first time. We've known each other for a little while, but I'm touching her body for the first time. Mm-hmm. And I felt her because she's asked me what it was at that, you know, first encounter that was interesting for me or like, what did it feel like for me?
And it truly was one of those moments where I could feel her giving herself to me. Oof. Energetically, oof. Physically Oof. It was evident. Yeah. I could feel it. And you know, we weren't playing for hours, but it really left an impact on me. And so that was at the start of 2020 and I got busy with some kink out stuff.
Sure. And we were in touch just after we kink out, has a, had a residency at MoMA PSS one, and it was a really big deal and a months long affair. And just after we finished that residency, she reached out to, you know, congratulate me and to wish me well in terms of recovery, and asked me if I needed any support and I needed a vacation.
And I was having difficulty deciding what I would do, uh, where I would go. And I asked her if she could help me figure that out, like keep me accountable to booking. Yeah. And she was more than happy to, and she's told me after the fact that she considers that to be her first submissive task to me. Mm-hmm.
And I, I booked it all. I was going to go overseas and like take a two week solo journey by myself in May, 2020, sorry, March, 2020. And then Covid hit and I wasn't going anywhere. So instead of going overseas, I stayed in my apartment for six weeks straight. And she just happened to be within a 10 minute walk of where I live.
So we were able to have a couple of dates in the early Covid period of 2020. And so she would come to my house. We would throw down and she would leave. Mm. And I was somewhat concerned about like forming intimacy with her because of our, you know, work dynamic. Sure. You know, we working in the community project and organization, that means a lot to me.
Yeah. And I was really trying to be really intentional around that and to be really mindful about what I was offering. And she was also in a relationship for a long time. Mm. And she was figuring out what, I mean, they had been non-monogamous for a while and she was still figuring out how non-monogamy functioned.
And so there was a lot of negotiation. And you know, because of the concerns of Covid, we had to literally negotiate how and when we would meet and set it up intentionally so that everyone felt safe. Yeah, of course. And it was also an opportunity to incentivize. Because she is a grad school student. She was going through a period of time in her grad school work where she had to read a lot.
Mm-hmm. She was going through a really in-depth literature review, and it was pretty monotonous and she was finding it difficult to concentrate because the world was on fire with the staff. And I came up with the construct that she would set her own reading goals from week to week, and if she completed her reading goals by the end of that week, we would have a check-in conversation and if she completed them, she could come to my house for a date.
If she didn't, she wasn't coming. And so that was really motivating for her. Yeah. And. It was really exciting for me to be able to sort of like flex that power over somebody. Yeah. And their work, which had nothing to do with me ultimately. Mm-hmm. It worked really well. I mean, there was definitely a few weeks where she missed her goals and she was devastated, naughty.
And there was, uh, a very, a very concerted effort to, uh, get it together for, um, many of the other weeks. And so we explored that for a while and went really well. I ended up going away in the middle of 2020, so I was out of town for three months. Mm-hmm. And we put our dynamic on port. Sure. When I returned in the fall of 2020, we had a conversation and we were both pretty clear that we wanted to continue to explore that dynamic.
We wanted to reanimate that. Figure out how that would work for us. I was returning with a broken heart mm-hmm. From exploring a relationship with a past lover. Yeah. And I had a few DS Dynamics in the years prior to meeting my submissive where I was the daddy. Sure. And the other partner was like a kitten in two of my past dynamics.
So I was like really exhausted mm-hmm. From playing the daddy role and being a benevolent caretaker and you know, sort of like externalizing the concern and, and like being very like present with the needs of the other. Yeah. And so when my submissive and I started talking about what our dynamic would be, and she was expressing a desire to be of service to me and to like, make my life more seamless and to just be useful to me, we were talking about it in the terms of like, what would our, what would the construct be?
What would my honorific be? I had this like, really, I. Intense nauseated feeling of like, I'm not anybody's daddy anymore. Like, I don't wanna play that role. I'm so exhausted from taking care of other people and I have this person sitting here interested and desirous and willing to like, make my life easier.
And it occurred to me that the chemistry between us was based upon us working together. And so the term that came to mind was that I would be her boss and she would be my subordinate. Hmm. And so that was the very start, very first thing that we ever named. About our dynamic dynamic that has now grown into a world in which we now are running a company together.
Yeah. Well, I run the company and she's the only employee, but uh, yes, it has gone from this terminology of like, I'm her boss and she's my subordinate to, I'm now the c e o and chairman of B C T industries, and she's the unpaid exploited, uh, entry level employee who has no career advancement opportunities and.
All kinds of systems, all kinds of processes, tool in place that support the infrastructure of this company. From every six months we have a performance review, a three performance review where we can give each other feedback and we literally fill out performance review tool that we have created, co-created together.
Yeah. And we are about to do one now at the end of June. Every month we have a monthly strategy meeting where we talk about various things to do with the functioning of our dynamic. Mm-hmm. Be it operational stuff, be it community events that we're participating in. Mm-hmm. Be it times when she's gonna be unavailable to serve me.
There is a lot to it. I'm not gonna get into every single of course agency about dynamic right now, but the point being our dynamic is 24 7. She's my service submissive and. The role that I play with her in sort of like the reciprocity sense is that we have a very intense accountability system between us that has stemmed from that very first reading list mm-hmm.
That she had to, uh, commit to. So that has now turned into a two-way accountability system between us, where we're each setting goals in our lives that are important across multiple life categories. Mm-hmm. And we're moving toward those goals week to week. And we have a goal setting period each year that rolls up to like a larger sort of vision for each of our lives and our lives together.
Yeah. And that system has allowed us to sort of like name the things that we want from our dynamic together. Mm-hmm. Name the things that we want independently in our lives, be it with other relationships. Yeah. Or with our families or financially or with our health. All kinds of different categories and to continuously work toward those goals that all roll up to the long-term vision.
And that accountability system is the bedrock now of our relationship. And it is one of the things that fuels our relationships, sorry, our dynamic and keeps it really hot. I've been in a lot of different relationship structures in the past where I have found myself doing a lot of caretaking. Mm. And in this particular dynamic, It's the opposite of that.
Ah, her desire to serve me from the jump remains to this day as the primary sort of like way in which care taking flows in this company where each engaging in, uh, relational behaviors that are the opposite of the ways that we've behaved in past relationships. And that feels really cathartic. Really, really healthy, really constructive.
And it is an ongoing process to like unlearn some behaviors and, and learn some new behaviors and, and behavioral patterns. Yeah. And it feels so fucking good. Yeah. Yes. And you know, by her expression of being desirous, of serving me and me having nothing in the tank back then, yeah, it set us up well for where we are today because that moment in time sort of like was an opportunity for me to learn what it meant to keep somebody at arms length to not.
Rush in and sort of spoil somebody with my attention or like to love bomb somebody. Sure. To keep the ways in which I've let romance and or intimacy cloud out, what's really happening within the like structural dynamic of a relationship. Mm-hmm. Because intimacy came later between the two of us, I was able to see clearly what was happening in terms of articulating my needs.
Were they getting met? Was she articulating her needs? What was going on between us? Like how was this. Dynamic functioning and that clarity of vision remains to this day. I'm able to like really understand clearly, like whether or not she's upholding her end of our relationship bargain, if you will. And whether or not I am hold, upholding my end of our relationship bargain.
Yeah. And all of the stuff that was going on in the early days of our dynamic has really set us up well for a sustainable relationship, for intimacy to grow, for it to feel real because it, it has been like hard earned. Yeah. And for the what, uh, many would call the sort of like death of desire, the death drive for that so far to not have come knocking at our door.
Mm. Like I, to this day, like am super hot for this dynamic. I'm constantly invigorated by this dynamic. I'm, uh, I feel heat and desire for my submissive all the time, and. I know that that's the case for her as well. And I'm really just honestly fucking stoked that I've managed to integrate a lot of the learnings that I've had over the years, both in terms of technical skill on the kink side of things, but also relational skill.
Yes. Relational like maturity, but also like self knowledge and like surfacing some of my behavioral shit and my, you know, behavioral patterns and being able to sort of like steer out of those in many ways and all work through them in this dynamic as well. And the combination of things that, you know, that happens between the two of us is fucking glorious.
Ugh. And it has to be said that we also have extremely good physical chemistry as it relates to B D Ss M. She is deep, deep masochist and that generally means that we are gonna be able to play really heavily uhhuh and both revel in the result of that heavy play after that.
Nicole: Yeah. Yeah. Thank you for sharing all of that.
I think that my hopes are that people hear your story and And dream bigger. Yeah, think bigger, get more creative in the ways that we can connect, that we can grow, that we can build intimacy. Because I think, I mean, we both know the world tells us one script to do all of this stuff. And so I love when people can come onto the show and paint a world of something that's completely different and the beauty of that world.
And I'm curious if someone's listening to this that's resonating with everything you said and going back to that you, before you had even had that first impact scene. Mm-hmm. Is there anything you'd wanna say to them?
BCT: If you are exploring your queerness, if you're exploring kink, if you have had your curiosity peaked.
About anything relating to leather sex or B D S M. Keep pulling that thread. Find out where the events are happening in your city. Sometimes that's on fat life. If you're in a major city, often it's on social media. Find out if you have a local leather and B D SS M, like educational organization. Find out if you have one of those local leather clubs or orgs.
They're around the us. There are many of them around the world. And just get involved. You don't have to have all the technical skill. Yeah, you don't have to have any kit to start. You can start by exploring specific things that feel accessible to you, and that might mean that you're starting as a bottom, but you ultimately end up as.
Top. It might mean that you start up exploring life as a puppy and you end up as a incredible mommy dom. Your explorations can lead you anywhere and your starting point is not your end point. It's literally just the start point to a very long journey. If you're interested in a life that involves kink and O B D S M.
Mm-hmm. Mm-hmm. Mm-hmm.
Nicole: What a great invite and call. Right. To listen to that piece in their heart. To follow that thread. It, it gave me chills. I am, there's just so much there for people to explore a lifelong journey with it. So I appreciate everything you've shared. Yeah, go ahead.
BCT: One thing as well, like yeah.
If somebody is starting out on this journey as well, like something that leathers sex and leather community has unlocked for me is purpose. And you know, I was somebody that was politically engaged. Yeah. And. Politically aware from my whole life raised in a politically engaged family, but I didn't find my own path and the ways that I could contribute to movements that were important to me until I found it within the kink community.
And it has been life changing. Mm. And that is to say that there's like many opportunities for you to get involved and to find purpose, but it also can mean that you are living a lifestyle that isn't normative, that isn't conformist, that is self-created. And in many ways that can have an downstream effect to the rest of your life.
And you might unlock things like if you're engaging in leather sex without, you know, too much skill or experience, it might unlock some other stuff for you that you know tells you, oh, well I'm doing this thing over here in the bedroom, or in the dungeon as it were, that humans aren't. Really supposed to be doing with their bodies with each other, but this is super hot and all of these people are obviously really here for this and like it's really permitted and acceptable here.
And that might just hardwire you to start thinking about other things in your life if you haven't yet found a path to dismantling the ways in which you're de programmed by default. That's something that can be unlocked within you by exploring many kinds of alternative lifestyles. B D S M being one of them.
So that's another call to action. It's like a path to unlocking the ways in which you've been socially programmed. Yeah. Liberation.
Nicole: May it be so right. May it be so.
BCT: Absolutely. Yeah.
Nicole: I have a closing question, but I wanna hold space in case maybe through our conversation there wasn't anything that maybe we didn't get to otherwise.
That can lead us towards our closing question.
BCT: I'll, I'll also add one other thing here. You know, like this term or this concept can be thrown around glibly or in spaces or within communities where it kind of feels like it's being commodified. But I also, Hmm. B D S M can literally be healing. And you know, there's many ways in which I've sort of like talked about how my relationship patterns have been affected by my life as A B D S M practitioner, quite frankly.
I think that it has allowed healing within me, and I see that it is also a tool and or an opportunity for many other people in my life to have also healed some wounds within themself. Yes. And that can be. Through like gender stuff, you know, we talked a lot about that upfront. It can be through unraveling some of those socially programmed defaults.
It can be through in conjunction with an excellent therapist, like working through some traumas. It can be working through some self-esteem stuff. It can be working through body stuff. It can be so many different things can be addressed and unlocked and or healed through B D S M. And I found that when I am in communities where wellness is central and there's like healing, that's the primary topic on the table.
I'm not a healing practitioner per se, you know, in the standard sort of like definition of the word. But I've learned many years ago that my exploration in B D S M the. Knowledge that I'm able to bring into wellness conversations is deeply valuable to people that maybe haven't thought about the shadow part of their sexuality yet.
Oh yeah. Or the ways in which power shows up in their life. And so I'm able to like bring value to those wellness spaces. And I say this because I am also the co-founder of an entity called Queer Healers. It's a directory of queer practitioners in alt wellness and alt medicine and plant medicine. And I work with a great team of co-founders, two of whom are more sort of traditionally defined practitioners.
One of them is a herbalist and yoga instructor, and the other is an astrologer. Mm-hmm. But I also see myself on that team despite the fact that like I come there with the tech skill and the business skill. Part of my contribution to our team is this knowledge and this intuition and this. Experience, experience as a B D Ss M practitioner.
Mm-hmm. And the experience of like doing the community building work and the Yeah. Sex worker rights movement work that I've been doing for years now in that realm of my life. I bring all of that into my work with queer healers. Mm-hmm. And it is baked into the d n a of our company. And so I wanted to like, make sure that people are aware that beyond just being something that's like, you know, a hedonistic pursuit, it can also be a, a space for healing in conjunction with other modalities.
So I wanted folks to sort of like think about B D S M through that lens as well. Mm-hmm. Mm-hmm.
Nicole: Mm-hmm. Yes. As a doctoral student in clinical psych, you know why I'm here. Maybe my colleagues don't, and maybe my professors really don't. But you know why I'm here having this conversation.
BCT: Absolutely. Yeah. Uh, yeah.
Nicole: It was such a pleasure. I'll guide us towards that closing question. Yeah, go for it. Which is, what is one thing that you wish other people knew was more normal?
BCT: I know, uh, we are all engaging in power dynamics every second of every day of our lives, whether we know it or not. Oh yeah. Some of us are engaging with some of those power dynamics intentionally for sex reasons and for, uh, you know, many of us we're engaging in power dynamics unconsciously with the state.
Yes. With our ancestors, with our peers, with our families, there are so many different apparatus and structures in which we are engaging in power exchange, and I invite people to start thinking about the ways in which, you know, they are able to gain power, the ways in which they are surrendering power, the ways in which they're able to play with power and, and to think more intentionally about it.
Nicole: Yes, it's everywhere. And I think the unconsciousness of it is where some of the harm can come from it, right? When people aren't aware of it. And so if more people could become aware of how power is inherent in everything and being able to see that, I think then comes the play with it and the ability to understand how we can harness that for healing and for change and for a larger systemic, yeah, political change.
I think there's so much in that, for me at least. Absolutely.
BCT: It's really fun to fuck with power as well.
Nicole: Oh yeah. It's my favorite. Uh, it was such a pleasure. Where would you wanna plug so that listeners who are connecting with you can find you and your work and the various organizations that you are running?
BCT: Yeah, absolutely. If you wanna follow me on Instagram, my handle is Bridget Ct, B r i D G E T C T, and Kink Out is kink out events and Queer Healers is Queer healers. You can find all of those on Instagram.
Nicole: Yeah. Thank you for sharing your world with us today.
BCT: Happy to. Thanks for inviting me to chat.
Nicole: Yeah, it was super juicy and very fun.