For Dan, BDSM and kink play has always been part of life. After he started working as a business consultant for a major car developer, he found out that he didn’t care about cars and started to use his social skills to teach a topic he found much closer at heart – kink.
When did you start discovering your own kink?
I realized very early that I had some “strange” interests, around 9-12 years old I had some kinky ideas on my mind and I was drawing pictures with ropes around people or in Dom-sub situations. But it was never strange for me, it just felt natural. These thoughts of what I today would call BDSM came even before my first orgasm. Then I had my first session when I was 19 years old, but it all started more seriously in my early 20’s.
I come from a background which is kind of conservative. I had a conversation when I was a kid with one of my best friends, about these thoughts and fantasies. It just existed. I never worked on the BDSM topic these days. I was more working on my gay coming out process.
Between the age of 19-24 it started good conversations around the subject, and it helped me develop my gay identity. I became a part of the community and we started to talk about what we could do together. Then it developed from there also much deeper into kink. For gay people who’s been going through this coming out process, I think it’s much easier to explore the kink.
But the development of my own kink wasn’t easy. I had the luck to find a really good teacher for that. The best part was that he took me as I am and wasn’t even trying to influence me with his own beliefs. It all just came as a part of our chats. He inspired me and helped me with my personal development. I had many other teachers after him as well, probably even better in regard to technique or experience, but he just had the right mind-set and became for a while a real mentor to me.
You went from selling cars to start as a BDSM coach in Berlin - What about Berlin inspires you in the work you do?
For me it was about my personal development. I was a decent student. Had my good education, did masters and bachelors and I was going in direction for a classical business career. I worked in the development department of a German car company, but I realized that I had not that much interest in cars, but much more in people and communications which made me good at what I did. I could see that just by talking to people, I could change things, and that made me think that I could use my skills for other topics that I was more interested in.
I could see that the kink topic could need some development and I’ve had problems myself, when I was younger, to find good teachers and non-judging information.Maybe I should do it, and then I started to combine business and kink talk, developing models for the kink world. There are so many people that practice BDSM without any background knowledge and I saw the opportunity to do something good.
What would you say BDSM has taught you?
I’m a sadist, a rigger, a dom master, an owner, a handler, and a caregiver riggler. I love the freedom of my partners, but I also like to have influence on them. It’s part of my life. It’s my lifestyle and my identity. My husband and even my friends are all kind of linked to this topic. Especially the dominant side is greatly impacted by responsibility – and you must respect other humans around you. It’s such a deep learning. A lot of people are lacking in these respects and that’s why it’s important to learn. If you are so deep in that topic, You get a new understanding of respect and the co-existence of many perspectives. Consent, challenges and tolerance become new core elements which we are too often missing in everyday live.
You have a connection to ’puppies’ too. We’ve heard that your husband is a ’puppy’ at times. Could you tell us more about the fetish to dress up in dog costumes?
It’s not about zoophilia, it’s about changing your own mindset. That’s always important to mention.
If you look at the pet play, this is a fetish where you build up an inner headspace of a dog or a cat, or any imaginary animal. You can work on different levels, some go deeply into their pet spaces, they can only bark, not talk, and only behave like a pet. Others are on another level, and maybe it’s just about wearing a mask and then it’s more about anonymity. Some use if for having sex, others as an escape from reality. Others behave like a cuddling pet. It’s all about the personal headspace and how you want to use it. This is an element, to develop a kink and fetish identity.
Young fetish people especially enjoy the puppy community as a place where they can identify with each other and find new friends, partners and so on. It’s a little bit like a subculture that offers them a new home. In fact, it plays a big and important role for people who are starting to discover kink at first.
What’s the biggest risk about practicing BDSM if you’re a newbie?
There are many risks, from physical to psychological, social, reputation, impact into family and old friendships. But in my regard the biggest problem for an inexperienced sub is that he doesn’t know his limits and likes, he doesn’t know how to communicate it the right way and it’s sometimes really hard to say, but also to give in to this situation. Others can abuse this insecurity by purpose or just by excuse and for the sub it’s the task to identify whom he wants to trust and with whom better not… a difficult choice if you are very new.
As a dom on the other side you need competences, you must know what you do. You also need to have a big amount of empathy for your partner to know what your partner wants. To be in control doesn’t mean that you can do whatever you want. You must know within which frames you are playing. You can’t just cross the boundaries. Many doms are not self-secure enough in their own identity. When you know what you want to do, ask yourself if you are already skilled enough to do it and then comes the question of how to learn it in a safe way... There is so much to think about and learn. For example, are you really a dom or are you playing an asshole just because you’re insecure? One thing is important and that’s that the sub is always the dom of its own body.
Tell us about the Gay BDSM nights. What can one expect?
The club nights are open for all males and male-queer people. There is no need for any experience, no gear, or outfits. It’s for people who want to play and get to know like-minded people. The newbies get an introduction to the venue, we offer workshops where newcomers can learn things. It’s also a way of getting into the crowd, to be in the room. To be thriving and being present. Very quickly you get into conversations, people will get to know people, do some kinky stuff. We also have some guides at the spot.
As a guest you can always use the place to play and use the equipment and gear. If you’re experienced and you know what to do there is a lot to play with. If something feels negative for you, then you can always just ask for help from others around you.
By: Filip Sandström Beijer