Q&A: Unmasking Bondage/Sado -Masochism with Rachel and Goddess Cheyenne

Even though BDSM is becoming more mainstream, stigmas still surround the lifestyle. To help unmask the lifestyle for the uninitiated, I spoke with Goddess Cheyenne, a professional Atlanta Dominatrix. As a submissive, I chose to answer my own questions, too, to give an idea of what it’s like on the other side of BDSM.

Q: What does your role, dominant or submissive, entail?

GC: The techniques and skills of a true Dominatrix range from an array of medical role play procedures such as scrotal infusion, male sounds, needles, cutting and catheters to single tale whips, nawa shibari, transformations, protocol and the psychology of the power exchange, just to scratch the surface. Not to mention the gear: a fully equipped dungeon and wardrobe.

RK: There are many forms of being submissive—there are roles such as “slave” that take the submissive role and interweave them into every day life. These slaves serve the Dominant inside and outside of the bedroom. I’m not a slave. I’m only submissive in the bedroom. I can’t remember a time that I wasn’t submissive in this way. When I lost my virginity it was in a submissive setting. I have had normal, or “vanilla” sex, but it’s not exciting to me. I get bored with it.

Q: Why do you think sex education is so important, and how would you change sex education in our schools

GC: Surprisingly, the majority of sex education classes do not have to be medically correct, parents have an option to deny children sex education and only two states forbid the promotion of religion in sex education classes. Many states emphasize abstinence only instead of information on contraception and provide little to no reproductive biology. These states have the highest rates of teen pregnancy. Education concerning contraception, STDs and reproductive biology should be medically accurate, age appropriate and standard curriculum.

Cheyenne, goddess of dominatrix
Cheyenne, goddess of dominatrix
RK: Sexual education is crucial in our schools. There is a large amount of college students here, and across the country, that don’t understand where children come from. We need to separate religion from our education and teach our children even the BASIC human biology of reproduction. I think we have failed and are currently failing children by not teaching them about safe, consensual sexual expressions.
Q: What advice can you give someone who is just starting to explore his or her kinks in the BDSM community?
GC: Find trustworthy partners to explore with. Negotiate your likes and dislikes before any engagement. Have a clear set of safe words. Educate yourself on the techniques and risks involved. Honesty is always the best policy— whether it is to your likes or dislikes if something feels right to you or if it is something that you are not into, trust yourself.
RK: When you’re first starting out in the BDSM world, you want to find someone who has more experience than you. For example, my dominant helped me grow and discover things about myself that I didn’t know before in a safe, trusting space. This is crucial when you’re experimenting with dangerous situations such as blood play. If you try these things with someone who hasn’t tried this before, you could be left with lethal consequences.
Q: Does humor ever come into your sessions? Do you ever have days when you take off from your role, or do you live it 24/7?

GC: Keeping a good sense of humor is necessary for all aspects of life, a balance of not taking oneself so seriously and being able to laugh about it. When I find something funny I don’t try to suppress it—my cackle rings out through the dungeon. Being a Dominant is an integral part of who I am. There is no such thing as separating that from my personality. It is not a “role” or an alter ego. It is a facet of who I am. Those relationships that are based on Domination maintain that tone. I do not, however, push my lifestyle on an unwilling person or public. I respect the boundaries of others and strive to represent myself and my community with dignity and respect.
RK: When you’re in a submissive role, there has to be a certain type of rapport with my Dominant. Both the Dominant and the submissive are there to have fun (also called “playing” in the lifestyle), and so contrary to popular belief, there is humor, there is fun and there is a lot of laughing. There have been times where I’ve been in a serious session and something has gone wrong and we had to wait a few minutes to start again until we subdued the laughter.
Q: Consent is a huge part of the BDSM lifestyle. How do you make sure that your slaves and submissives are comfortable?
GC: Negotiation is paramount to a successful scene. I have a threefold process making certain everyone involved is on the same page concerning limits and boundaries, activities of interest and any health concerns or conditions of those involved. All play is safe, sane and consensual. Safe words are understood as well as any risks that may be associated. There is a huge amount of trust and responsibility given to the Dominant. I take this very seriously and personally, going to great lengths to assure the well-being of my partners.
RK: Safe words or phrases are critical. I don’t do anything I’m not comfortable doing. If I’m meeting a new partner we talk about what we are both willing to do and not to do. This makes the playtime easier and more organic. Different submissives are into different amounts of pain, and expressing your interests and needs leads to better understanding of those needs. I would never play with someone I was not comfortable with. Atlanta has a ton of conventions for the kink-minded. Weekly events and educational seminars are hosted at 1763, a 10,000 square foot Dungeon that serves as the fetish community hub of Atlanta. 1763 serves the Atlanta, Southeastern, National and International Fetish and BDSM Community by offering a wide variety of events each month.
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