This year’s Miss Rubber World competition was won by Toronto’s own quirky, talented and beloved Archean. Having recently learned of her victory I sent her a message asking when we could speak so I could get all the details while they were still fresh in her mind.
I remember her announcing at a mutual friend’s birthday party her intention to participate and so she started planning since last October.
Not having been present, I asked her about her presentation. Archean shared with me that in taking her performance piece seriously she chose to essentially “test” it a couple of times at other events. First at a Hard Rock Cafe and then at “Capital Kink” in Ottawa, where she delivered it as a multi-media piece incorporating video that she interacted with. The multi-media concept was dropped for NYC in order to prevent technical difficulties.
She wanted something with a narrative and so she designed a show with a bit of a plot line. Something about and of herself. She illustrates the journey of her discovery of her kinks and coming to terms with herself as a fetishistic woman.
*Launching in the Spring, Kink Engineering’s website “Rubberlesque” will present video of the show, I’ll keep you posted.*
I asked Archean why she decided to participate in the pageant. She laughed and freely admitted that the prize pool was a strong motivator. She then went on to say that she and her other half (Mad_Scientist) have a number of concepts (like their existing Knockoff Knockdown Blog) brewing in their Kink Engineering RubberLab. Having the Miss Rubber World title would enable her to better promote these projects – projects that benefit the rubber community.
Her plan was to represent herself as honestly as possible. She designed outfits that she truly loved and were a good reflection of her personality – including making her Tank Girl costume herself. She feels her genuine love of rubber really came through and that as someone with body-image issues she wanted to see if she could be “on par with the model-types” one expects at these competitions. Archean described to me the first time she put on a catsuit – how she literally cried for joy for feeling so beautiful (something I can very much relate to). She described competing at the event as a “very empowering” experience that made her feel “really beautiful”. She wanted to see if the public was interested in having her represent them as Miss Rubber World and they did!
It was funny listening to her describe some of the high-points of the weekend…
There was zero tolerance for fraternizing with the judges. She had to wait until after the competition to hang out with Dawnamatrix, whom she’d befriended at another fetish event, and had a terrific time doing so. She really liked the rice pudding at NYC’s “Rice to Riches” and would totally go back. Apparently this was the first “solid” food she could hold down during that weekend. You see, our Miss Rubber World was sick with the stomach flu for those three days and was vomiting literally only three hours prior to the competition.
“I absolutely loved it. It was a lot of work. It was stressful. It took every ounce of focus to make this happen.” Archean loved the whole experience so much that it brought her out of her sickness and put her in the “happiest spot in the world.”
“The crowd lost their minds and people were telling me this was the best fetish performance they have ever seen. Skydiving didn’t compare to this!”
Observing such a tremendous response from the audience made it all worthwhile even if she didn’t win.
“This was really inspiring, it built up my confidence and was loads of fun more than anything. I got to look pretty and be smart in front of an audience!”
She and her crew arranged for a videographer to capture footage for a documentary about the experience. Another Kink Engineering project? : )
I asked her if there was anything she wished to share with you folks…
“I really want this to become a big event to showcase the new amazing talent out there. I think it’s on its way to becoming that. I really want people to put forth their best efforts because this has the potential to inspire people to do new and exciting things. This is an amazing platform for people with less experience and fame to present stuff that will blow everybody away. I want people to keep striving to bring excellence to the competition because its good for the community.”
Beautifully said by a 26 year-old artist/latex-activist I’m proud to know. Well said, indeed.
*More images to follow as I receive them*
*Disclaimer – the delay in getting this online was due to a family emergency, however you folks should still know about the event!*
Kudos to Craig Galbraith for bringing together Toronto’s first weekend-long fetish event – and with Torture Garden, no less.
“Craiger” – as he is affectionally known by the local community – hosts the monthly “Subspace” (http://www.subspacefetishnight.com/) event, but wanted to do something on a grander scale.
I have to say that I am more than a little impressed with how he was able to pull so many well-dressed people together and over a 5 day period.
*You really did it, man!*
Thursday night was a “martini party” for fetish industry folk, held at local Goth club “Nocturne”.
I knew I arrived at the correct location when my boy and I stepped out of the taxi to hear a very distinctive laugh – my good friend “Ohhh” (http://www.thestoryofohhh.com/).
We walked up the stairs and into a surprisingly well-appointed yet moderately-sized nightclub (have never been there before) that was jam-packed with people involved in the fetish industry in some fashion.
They even created a martini menu specific to the event – including drinks with names like “The Pink Bottom” and “The Hobble Skirt”.
I quickly found Craig (a man who’s height is near impossible to miss!) so I could thank him for the invitation and introduce him to my boy.
We then spent some time chatting with Lady J, KardynylSynysTyr, and the folks from Kink Engineering.
Craig had suggested that we attend the Friday night event held at Club Wicked so that he could introduce me to Kaori Matsubara (http://www.kaorislatexdreams.com/) as he felt there could be a useful interview there.
The club was packed shoulder to shoulder and the music was so loud that I achieved a sore throat after briefly introducing my boy to my dear friend Mistress Katina’s (http://www.mistresskatina.com) boy.
I found Craig, who then led me to Kaori. By the time we were within “earshot” of one another I knew this interview would be impossible in this environment.
I suggested to her that we conduct the interview via email, but she suggested that I meet up with her backstage after her fashion show the very next day.
The results will be coming soon as she deserves her own story.
My boy had commissioned Ewa of Latexworks (email@example.com) to make him a catsuit for the Saturday night party.
We went to visit Ewa and when the catsuit was finished it looked amazing on him!!!
(There will be a pic or two to follow.)
The Saturday and Sunday parties were hosted at The Opera House (http://www.theoperahousetoronto.com).
Saturday included a fashion show featuring Kaori Matsubara’s work displaying her signature style – a design concept making the wearer look as if they were coated in candied syrup! Delicious.
This was followed up by a performance.
Initially the show was intriguing.
The performer was wearing a relatively modular outfit, would remove pieces to create a distinctly different outfit and I thought this was both interesting and quite creative.
Then the disappointingly predictable happened – more came off, then she was topless, played with her breasts, rubbed whipped cream on her private bits and more lowest common denominator stuff.
Needless to say, my interest was lost when the show was reduced to the usual vanilla pap.
I took this opportunity to find my way backstage to speak with Kaori about her work with latex design and her history.
She was welcoming, genuine, interesting and surprising.
I look forward to writing about this lady and her work shortly.
There were merchant booths on the main level and Kink Engineering managed to secure a spot where they were encouraging guests to examine and try out the vac bed and the vac cube. The trials were all done clothed and so were safe for public consumption.
For Sunday’s performance, Kink Engineering displayed 2 difference cubes – the “swim cube” featuring a water wave print by Ego Assassin
and the “tower cube” incorporating a self suspension within the cube itself.
Matt’s performance background was definitely showcased with these theatrical demos.
First Archean was wheeled out “swimming” within the cube and was then suctioned in. There were other performers playing badminton in this beach-time vignette.
Matt then appeared dressed as lifeguard with Lotuslily, shooing the other performers offstage.
He set up the vactower – 1 1/2 times the height of a normal vac cube.
He rigged it up to be suspendable. Lotusily entered the cube, did some of her rope magic suspending herself within the vac tower – there was a suspension point inside the vac tower It was then vacuumed with the tower now being suspended by Lotuslily’s body.
At the end of the performance, Matt got into tower, helped Lotuslily unrig,removed the breathing tubing, cut out a hole and the two of them jumped through with a bit of a “ta da!”
This seemed to cause some misunderstanding as many folks thought the choice to cut came as the result of some “emergency”.
There was no emergency – this was all theatre.
Monday was about wishing those who remained a fond farewell by offering up a casual, but lovely wine and cheese wind-down at Cafe Taste in Parkdale – a mere walk away from my home!
Every night brought together an impressive number of delightfully well-dressed eye-candy, making this event officially the only multi-day fetish event in Toronto – and yes, this included a hell of a lot of latex.
A few weeks ago I promised a follow-up to my last story and am pleased to say I have been too distracted to write “Kink Engineering Part II” and the other pending interview.
*That said, recent events have brought me into contact with other interesting lifestyle characters, so my own selfish reasons aside, I have even more material to share!*
The day after the Spring Equinox I found myself in a session with a beautiful and fascinating man who’s aura was so powerful it led me to perceive him as a giant!
He asked me to consider him as my slave.
There was a strong and powerful attraction that I could not ignore.
After a considerable number of emails, nightly phone calls lasting up to 5 hours, his assurance that he can visit me often to build the bond (he does not live in my country) and that he can relocate to me, it was time to plan a visit.
Our first visit was brief – 3 days planned together.
While it was a bit awkward at first – a certain element of “too good to be true” led me to being reserved on a level that is unnatural for me – I was introducing him to my cats in no time.
Then he missed his flight out – I feel somewhat responsible – which was the best thing that could have happened as it meant he “had” to join me at a group dinner with some of my dearest friends and it gave us another day.
We then discussed a longer visit.
When he suggested a week (10 days, actually) I was a little nervous at first.
I’ve been living alone for almost 3 years now and spend most of my time in solitude and silence by choice.
Still, when considering the scope of what could be a lifetime bond, sharing space for that length of time was a realistic next step and so I agreed.
He’d shared with me that he’d never been to Montreal and would love to explore it.
I expressed my own excitement about sharing his first taste with him.
He asked me how I’d feel about making the trip by motorcycle if we did it in stages – breaking it down to a couple of days both ways.
The motorcycle idea was sexy as hell to me (straddling a big, rumbling machine, leaning into his strong, masculine back with my arms wrapped around his broad, muscular chest!!!) and the plan to do the trip slowly was practical.
I agreed with enthusiasm.
Prior to this trip I had also advised him that I wish for him to escort me to the Torture Garden event in Toronto (http://www.torturegardentoronto.com/) and that this would mean ensuring he was appropriately attired.
A visit to Ewa of Latexworks for a custom catsuit (a body like his cannot be clothed off the rack) was essential and the measuring would have to be planned for this visit to assure his suit would be ready in time.
During our many emails back and forth we shared with one another some of our fetish wish-list items – a delightful way for a new couple to determine if their kinks are in sync.
I told him about Max Cita and his work – inescapable restraint systems for bondage enthusiasts.
I sent to him the direct link for a heavy rubber straight-jacket that I would love to see (and use) him in (http://www.maxcita.com/latexsj/latexsj_HD/latexhd.htm).
He loved it!
We initially thought we could order the straight-jacket online and have it ready for pick up on our way to Montreal, but after some correspondence, Max advised me that he could not have it ready with such short notice.
He suggested that we come into Ottawa regardless, meet him and his partner for lunch, he would take my boy’s measurements to get the job started and would give us a tour of his facility.
Now a plan for our trip was beginning to flesh out.
We knew we would want to play and while an enthusiastic and creative couple can play anywhere, having access to play-space is even better.
I placed some posts among different groups on Fetlife (www.fetlife.com) and learned of a bed and dungeon that was on the way from Ottawa – about 2 hours away.
The same name was recommended over and over again by numerous users.
After a considerable amount of correspondence between myself and cassie to determine that our needs would be met, I instructed my boy to make the reservation for a night at The Warmbuns Inn.
We wanted access to a play-space in Montreal as well.
I had recently reconnected with my old friend MistressNoire – a domme friend I had known in Toronto years ago who is now living in Montreal.
I contacted her to arrange to meet (we had not seen one another in perhaps 15 years!) and asked her if she could recommend a play-space for our use.
She recommended Domina Erzulie’s space without reservation as being well-equipped and very clean.
I contacted Domina Erzulie, who communicated with me promptly and efficiently, had quickly sent me photos of a tastefully decorated and well-equipped space and offered a very reasonable rental rate.
I informed my boy that the choice for a play-space in Montreal was settled.
We were really building an itinerary now.
In the end we determined that it was still too early in the season to do all of this by motorcycle and decided to take my car.
The abridged version of our last visit together looks something like this:
I picked up my boy upon his arrival in town on the evening of Saturday May 1st.
*What happened when I got him home is private.*
Sunday May 2nd we had a “double date” with my best friend rubberraccoon and his Lady over brunch and a visit to The Royal Ontario Museum.
That was very cool.
Later that evening we visited Ewa to have him measured for his new catsuit.
Although she must have been inundated with orders for outfits timed for Torture Garden, she was kind enough to be quite flexible with us due to his residency in the U.S.
She informed us that she would have something ready for a fitting upon our return from Montreal to assure the suit would be ready for the event.
Later that night we packed for our trip – and it was particularly fun to pack my gear!
On Monday we went to the gym together (I am delighted that he is so serious about fitness!), loaded up the car and made our way to the Warmbuns Inn – a bit outside of Kingston.
Master Joe and cassie were very responsible hosts, taking their time giving us an orientation of the play-space and the equipment within.
Understand that I am not known for being a morning person, yet I awakened early and we explored a particularly fascinating piece of dungeon furniture with gusto!
We then had a killer scene that extended to both playrooms – and I do mean KILLER!
All of this in my nightie and bare feet – ok, it was a sexy nightie – AND before breakfast.
*Rise and shine!*
I made us some swiss and asparagus omelettes, which we enjoyed while having a wonderful conversation with Master Joe.
I cannot over-emphasize how hospitable and gracious our hosts were.
The space was also super clean, well-equipped and spacious enough to swing a flogger AND a whip.
We will probably be back.
My boy then loaded up the car and off we went to Ottawa to meet with Max Cita.
Our arrival in Ottawa was timed for a late lunch with Max and his partner.
We were greeted with a smile and a joke and then led to a nearby Vietnamese restaurant.
After a great meal and a conversation that revealed we have more people and interests in common than I knew, we returned to Max’s home to look at some different designs.
Max showed us a number of different prototypes and certainly stimulated an interest in at least one other item, but ultimately it is the heavy duty straight jacket I want now and so my boy was measured for it.
We added a built-in lockable posture collar to the design.
Again, there was more generosity and hospitality here as Max gave us a tour of his facility and welcomed us to join him and his partner for dinner so we could avoid rush-hour traffic.
There had been a number of delays already along the way so my boy suggested we stay in Montreal an extra day to allow for more relaxation.
He also found us an amazing deal at the Hyatt Regency – downtown, close to Chinatown and Old Montreal, had a 24 hour fitness facility, a dedicated yoga room (!!!) and co-ed steam room/sauna so we could be together while relaxing.
Not just another pretty face, my boy.
Of course I agreed to the extra day and the hotel.
The next day (Wednesday May 5th) we did something a bit out of the ordinary for me.
My boy convinced me to take a bus tour.
What’s more, it was totally worthwhile as we now have a list of places to visit next time that we may never have considered.
We got in contact with Domina Erzulie regarding booking our time at her facility, had a light dinner at a local brew pub (tasted some very nice beer), made a dash to Priape’s Montreal location, drooled over an exceptional spreader bar design and went to visit MistressNoire, who had generously set aside some time for us in spite of having just moved!
Now, it is impossible to catch up over a 15 year period apart within an evening’s visit, but we did what we could as an abbreviation and will certainly fill in the gaps over time.
It was great to see my old friend and check out her new space.
She had a boy present who served us attentively and she played for us some music she had collaborated on.
I know some very creative people.
It was getting late, however and I wanted to return to the hotel in time for catching the sauna before it closed for the night.
The serving boy drove us to our hotel.
The next day, we did our daily yoga and steam and then packed for our play-date at Domina Erzulie’s facility.
We were greeted warmly by the lady of the house who then gave us a tour.
I have to say that the glutton in me ambitiously thought we could use 2, maybe even 3 of the rooms during our time there.
Not only did we stick to one room, I kept my boy on one piece of bondage furniture throughout.
Well, I did change his positioning, but the suspension in the other room…
Next time… and we will be back for sure!
The next day was Friday May 7th.
We opted for the later check-out time so we could squeeze in yoga and a steam bath prior to the long drive back to Toronto.
We made a pit stop on The Plateau for lunch, coffee and cake – swearing that we’re back to a clean diet for the next while.
*Latex looks best on healthy bodies.*
The drive back to Toronto was long, but it gave us time to talk a lot.
We shared more of ourselves and we talked about us as a unit – giving each other feedback about the time we’d had together and discussing ideas for future times.
I revealed to him my long-time fantasy about touring the fetish scene around the world with someone special – with my partner.
He smiled at me, saying that we had that in common.
We hit a rain-storm once back in Ontario.
*Thank goodness we didn’t take a motorcycle!*
The visibility was so poor that we missed the exit to Ewa’s place, but we made it there safely and not terribly late.
During our last time there she’d told us that her and her husband have been experimenting with making wine.
She now had a bottle set aside for us, which was very sweet – the lady, not the wine.
My boy’s catsuit was mostly completed – just enough to see if all was fitting properly.
My jaw dropped.
There were some minor adjustments to be made, but it looked amazing on him.
He’ll be perfect arm-candy for me at Torture Garden!
*Yes, some women do think this way, boys.*
Ewa assured me that it would be ready on time and that she would deliver it to us the day he returns to me – the first day of the event.
The next morning, I was due to meet a potential new client at Northbound Leather for a shopping trip.
I directed my boy to my favourite cafe (The Jet Fuel) – the best coffee in town and free wi-fi so he could attend to some business while I was busy.
I left him with my iPhone and would call him when I was ready to be picked up.
The gentleman I met was very sweet and generous.
We were attended to by Anna herself, who knows my tastes and my build.
She quickly found me the perfect item for something off the rack – a floor-length leather gown, with a backless halter-style top.
Later that evening, we attended my dear friend KardynylSynysTyr’s birthday party.
His partner (and my soul sister), Lady J, informed me that their friend (and perhaps now mine) Master Windsurfer had completed the whip I had ordered specifically for play with my boy.
This was an amazing surprise as I didn’t think I’d be seeing it until the end of the month and I almost felt like a 4 year-old on Christmas day.
I suspect he rushed the order as he did seem moved when I expressed to him my excitement over this new relationship and that this whip was intended for one man only.
Matt and Archean from Kink Engineering were in attendance – somewhat tired from a demonstration the previous night, but engaging company as usual.
My boy and I got on the subject of shackles as we very much want a set made for him.
Matt told us about a friend who apparently does beautiful and effective work.
I have recently contacted them and will keep you posted.
Lotuslilly was also present with her partner and told us about her scheduled self-suspension performance on the last day of Torture Garden.
Sadly, my boy will be on a plane headed home, but I will try to make it and have made arrangements for a photographer if I can.
There was more cake and wine after many days of much indulgence, but it was good to be able to introduce my boy to more of my community and see him so at ease among people who are important to me.
The next morning we made it to the gym (wow), prepared for his departure and had much to talk about.
The day after that was time for his return home.
So, technically the last 10 days were our third date.
Not bad, huh?
Other exciting news?
Torture Garden in Toronto is afoot (Thursday May 20th – Sunday May 23rd) and I will be there.
I am currently swamped with making latex gear for myself and friends for this event – yes, I have taken the leap!
I promise to let you know all about it.
Contacts and urls for characters in order of appearance:
Ewa of Latexworks (firstname.lastname@example.org) – The best custom latex tailor/designer I know. Located in Toronto, Canada.
Max Cita (http://www.maxcita.com/) – Serious bondage enthusiast and creator of quality bondage wear in canvas and rubber.
The Warmbuns Inn (http://www.warmbuns.ca/) – A sweet and cozy bed and dungeon. Clean, very well-equipped and operated by two of the warmest and most hospitable people I have ever met.
MistressNoire (http://fetlife.com/users/42493) – Montreal-based dominatrix who’s been at it probably as long as I have. Bilingual (English/French), creative, an artist, singer, poet and more.
Domina Erzulie (www.dominaerzulie.com) – Also a Montreal-based dominatrix, offering sessions and play-space for rent. Well-equipped, very clean, great rates and a lovely lady.
Lady J (http://www.theladyj.com/) – One of my best friends and perhaps the most skilled domina I know. *She was in the military!*
Master Windsurfer (http://www.whipmaker.ca/) – A whip-maker who’s reputation for quality and value precedes him. This gentleman is very busy – and with good reason – so it may take a while, but his whips are worth the wait. He is also a patient instructor to those he knows to have a sincere interest.
Kink Engineering (www.kinkengineering.com) – Known primarily for manufacturing custom vac-beds – and the best design I know of – but expanding into other forms of rubber/vac perversions and distributors of latex sheeting. This is who I go to when I need sheeting for my work.
Lotuslilly (http://fetlife.com/users/123817) – A remarkably talented self-bondage/suspension performance artist and rope bondage educator.
I know that this blog entry was not specific to latex and rubber only, but The Boss (Mr. 3xL) has asked me to also blog about my life as a FemDomme.
About a year ago or so I learned of a new character on the scene known as “Mad Scientist”. What people were consistently saying was that he was making the best latex vacbed on the market and that perhaps one of the reasons is that he is an engineer.
A bit of nationalist pride fueled my curiosity.
You have to understand that for so very long quality equipment of this nature was typically a mail-order item from Europe or something purchased on a special vacation abroad.
Matt (the man behind the handle), is not only Canadian, but a fellow Torontonian. I determined that at some point I would have to meet this person and observe a demonstration of this vacbed.
Eventually I did contact him to ask for this demo, however he said he was just too busy with manufacturing to set up the apparatus. During our exchange we somehow got on the subject of Ego Assassin’s latex-making workshops, which he strongly recommended
The details of this workshop will be their own story, but I will say that it was at this workshop that James – from Ego Assassin – informed me that Kink Engineering (the company founded by “Mad Scientist”) would be distributing latex sheeting locally.
This was very exciting news.
I walked straight to my computer upon my arrival home and went to their website. Sure enough, they were advertising a number of available colours and thicknesses. I did not, however, see what I wanted for a corset experiment and so I contacted them.
Matt emailed me quickly, advising me that he would have what I needed in stock some time in February. I practically counted the minutes until contacting Kink Engineering to confirm that what I needed was available.
While setting the date for pick up of my order, I asked Matt if he’d mind making some extra time for me as I essentially wanted to interview him for 3xL.
In my excitement about finally being able to experiment with my corset design, I mentioned to a number of my friends that I would be meeting with Matt and everyone commented on what a wonderful person he is. I have to say, it’s not often that one encounters someone in this scene whom everyone likes!
I could already tell that Matt was a rare breed before having met him.
The 33 year-old kink equipment designer greeted me warmly and promptly introduced me to their very friendly and playful cat. There were sweet and yummy-looking treats on a table – mindfully presented by Matt’s partner Archean, who could not be present at that time. This was a definitely an artist’s studio and I immediately felt at home.
We sat for a time discussing issues with vacbeds and the solutions he’s come up with. The big issue for me is the noise of the vacuum cleaner. The very idea of suffering the noise of the machine throughout a scene is a complete turn-off for me as I know it would be a profoundly irritating distraction.
The vacbed manufactured by Kink Engineering was designed in such a way that it maintains suction once all of the air has been removed. The machine is turned off and no longer required.
*NOTE: I’ve not yet seen this bed demonstrated, but we are in the process of planning a date for the demo and I’ll let you know all about it.*
I then brought up different access issues – head in or out, access to male “private bits”, etc. Matt quickly described the solutions he’s come up with that are readily available as each piece is made custom according to the customers’ needs.
He is also working at creating some new designs and was kind enough to show me some images on his computer of something very cool in the works – I’ll keep you all posted.
Time just evaporated as I asked him about his background, how he found his interest in latex (the defining moment being revealed to me as when he saw Madonna’s “Human Nature” video)…
I have decided to keep our Q & A in that exact format as Matt does have his own voice and I wish to share this with you.
Q: How long were you operating as an occasional custom manufacturer before you knew you were in business?
A: For about 3 months we operated on custom occasional work only. That was in mid 2008. Once it got to the point that I had correspondence and physical building to be done every day, I knew that this was not a hobby any more.
At that point I consulted my financial planner, incorporated, and created our website www.kinkengineering.com for custom latex vacbeds. That was October 2008.
About 4 months later I created our first online store to handle ordering, payment and stock-keeping. In early 2009 we moved to a commercial space to have a larger workshop for the business and we branched out into supplying latex sheeting by creating www.sheetlatex.com.
Q: At what point did you go full time?
A: Very recently. I was working out the end of a long contract engineering/educational position that finished at the end of January.
The last little bit of working both jobs was very stressful as the latex business did not seem to want to wait for me to be ready to devote the time it needed.
We are now at the point of being totally caught up with back-orders and supply chain needs, so we expect to see a lot of product development happening coupled with much faster turn around on products.
However, I would rather be known as a manufacturer who is “slow but high quality” rather than the opposite. Even if there is nothing on the table, vacbeds take about 3 weeks to get out the door. This is largely because I spend a good amount of time on back and forth correspondence with my customers to make sure that the product is exactly what they want.
Measurements need to be taken and small design decisions are often put back in the hands of the customers. Since a lot of vacbeds are shared by a couple (or more) there is often a bit of decision making on what size and location to place the various breathing/playing ports so that everyone can play. We work that out with each customer before we assemble the bed.
Q: Please confirm: You’ve been a engineer/educator. You were also an actor, set designer. Anything else?
A: Ha ha ha! Jobs! I have never been fired but I have a strange path. I’ve always followed the most interesting path, regardless of money. Highlights include (I’m not making this up):
• Nuclear Science/Engineering
• Research Design Engineer
• Web Design/Marketing Consultant
• Indoor Landscaping
• Theatre Set Designer/Special FX artist
• Building Maintenance
• Professional Actor
• Education Director of a children’s theatre company
• Science Teacher
• Latex Designer/Distributor
Q: There’s been a lot of buzz about how the strength of your designing comes from your engineering background. Please tell me about your degree.
A: I have a bachelors and Masters Degree in Mechanical Engineering and as a side project I also got an Education Degree (teacher’s college). The engineering educational experience is all about 2 things. Learning how to work… HARD, and learning how to solve problems. I do the classic engineering treatment on my latex designs: Use off the shelf parts when possible to reduce costs. Design, test, troubleshoot, re-design (loop this until you are satisfied with the product… but keep testing and improving continuously). I’ve found myself making unique tools to take on the specific challenges of the gear that I design and build, so that I can make myself more efficient and keep up with demand.
I’m also really into quantifying information (just try answering “stretchy-ish?” on an engineering exam… NOT – GETTING – MARKS!) so I work very closely with our suppliers of latex sheeting to get the clarity, stretch, surface, thickness and colour exactly what we want them to be. Luckily Archean has a background in Materials Engineering, so she’s an expert on material properties and chemistry.
Q: When were you first motivated to make your own vacbed?
A; First experiments into making vacbeds would go back to around 1997 when I first got out of the parent’s house, went to university and had a room of my own to build stuff in.
Plastic was used at first to get an idea of how they worked… I always wanted a latex vacbed, but I didn’t want to lay out the money if it was not going to work like I wanted, and all of them on the market were either leaky or super expensive.
I built my first latex based vacbed in 2007 when my girlfriend (and now business partner) Archean and I started exploring our fetish side more deeply. The first bed included a lot of early designs that have evolved into the standard features in the current product, after a lot of design cycles to get them just right.
The first bed was technically successful but the seams were UGLY! UGGGGLLY!! And it was hell to build since I was totally untrained in making latex. I had no sense of what thickness to use, how to get the glue/latex to behave, how to make strong seams… it was a fiasco.
I’m surprised that 1) Archean agreed to try it (her latex fetish was young at that point) and that 2) it wasn’t so much of a pain that I never did it again.
Thankfully I’m very stubborn, and Archean LOVED the sensation of the vacbed.
Q: Were these issues in the early stages of development what motivated you to take the latex-making workshop at Ego Assassin?
A: Archean found the course online and said “maybe the next vacbed can be built better?… Plus we’ll get some fun-underwear!” I was sold. The workshop was very fun, and was groundbreaking in terms of our latex making skills. We still don’t come anywhere near the skills of Ego Assassin, they are truly masters of their craft, but we have thoroughly developed the skill set of making vacbeds, which are a bit more function based than the delicate and sleek fetish clothing that they put out.
Q: How long ago was that?
A: That was in early 2008. We now work with Ego Assassin often (They do our custom printing for extra-special vacbeds), and we buy FAR too much of their amazing clothing.
After a considerable amount of enthusiastic conversation, I left Matt and Archean’s studio with my roll of latex sheeting inspired beyond belief to proceed with my own rubber corset experiment.
We have since planned a second visit when I will be given a demonstration of their vacbed, will pick up more latex sheeting and have an opportunity to meet with Archean to interview her personally as she is very much a part of the design process.
I will follow-up with Part II shortly.
As a woman in the unusual position of being a femdomme fetishist having re-entered the dating pool – still not sure if I’m treading water in the deep end, casually wading in the shallow end or doing laps back and forth! – I have been observing a considerable amount of bitter feelings and loss of hope among the men on the number of fetish and SM dating sites I have my profile listed on.
While I am not “actively looking”, I find myself being looked at often – as well as directly approached – and so I look back.
I am truly amazed by much of what I see – and not in a good way.
A number of men actually have to poor sense to write into their profiles statements such as “all the women here are fakes anyhow” or “I’m not filling in my profile because it’s not worth the effort” and other statements to this effect.
I can only presume that it could be because they have either had negative interactions or none at all.
Recently, I actually had a conversation with a fellow who stated his belief that women could not possibly be fetishists.
When I tried to set him straight, he actually accused me of being a liar!
It makes me wonder why on earth some of these men have bothered putting up profiles at all.
Can you say “Self-fulfilling prophecy”?
Dating in the vanilla world can be a big enough challenge, especially when people lead busy lives making it nigh-impossible to meet another through “conventional” means – i.e. through mutual friends or at a party.
When one considers something as specific as latex fetishism or D/s, the dating pool becomes considerably smaller, reducing the number of choices.
I’ve become particularly aware of this within the rubber community.
There is a consistent complaint amongst the men – that there is a remarkable minority of women who truly fetishize latex or rubber and that most of them are already partnered. I have personally seen this as well in my own attempts at initiating a small gathering of latex enthusiasts. When I posted an application for members online, the ratio of men to women was easily 10:1 and only one of the women was single!
Needless to say, this has now become a “back-burner” item.
Then there’s the statement I often hear from submissive men. Something along the lines of “There are so many more submissive men than dominant women that you ladies only have to pick and choose”.
Not true at all!
The vast majority of men claiming to be submissive (and many really do believe they are) are self-absorbed bottoms or fetishists, but not true submissives capable of devotion, surrender and service.
It is not at all easy for dominant women to make a worthwhile connection.
Now I have to say, if you fellas think you’ve got it hard, allow me to provide you with some perspective…
I am both a dominant and a fetishist.
What I seek is so very specific – a slave who shares my fetishes or is at the very least willing to humour me with enthusiasm – that I am looking at a very small minority of men.
*Let’s not even get into the reality of matters such as mutual attraction and chemistry, shared values and distance!*
Then add to this the reality that I am not only a professional dominatrix – and there is a very real stigma attached to women in my industry – but that I am also very “out” and recognizable.
Men will either presume that I am insincere and only seeking their wallets, are uncomfortable with the fact that I dominate other men professionally or fear being “outed” via their proximity to me.
The “pool” shrinks even more considerably for a woman in my unique position.
Am I jaded or embittered?
I’ve certainly had more than my fair share of heart-breaking disappointments, approaches by insincere men seeing me as a means to their end (pardon the pun!), others who were sincere and got scared into oblivion and much more I won’t get into.
If I haven’t given up hope, no one else should – in my not-so-humble opinion.
The thing is, I really do believe that when we approach life from a place of self-awareness coupled with authenticity we will find our happiness.
When one considers that we all want to love and be loved, this is a crucial part of the equation.
Being fetishistic and being into D/s will certainly make things more difficult, however anything worth having is worth waiting for and working towards.
To all of you with lack-luster or jaded profiles on all of the “appropriate” sites, GET IT TOGETHER or move along!
You get out of life what you put in.
Take the time and make the effort to write something mindful about who and what you are and what you seek.
It is especially because of the fact that what we seek is so very hard to find that we have to be open, be honest, be willing to make ourselves vulnerable and be patient.
Ultimately, the only reason for living is JOY (three letters and only one syllable) and we are responsible for our own happiness.
In the very immortal words of Joseph Campbell “Follow your bliss”.
The most sound advice I have ever read.