Sex Educator Profiles: Ms Heart
What led you to become a BDSM Educator?
In 2003 I wanted to share and experience a pedagogical role in the community especially when it came to inclusion and diversity. Hence, the birthing of the Bay Area Women of Color Photo Project 2003-2009. Also, in 2007 I wanted invaluable knowledge with people so that they would be safe, know their rights. Finally I wanted to share a style of play that is not so popular which is an elegant energy sensation Power Exchange style which is “guided by” Ritualized Formal High Protocol Sensibilities, and laced with transformative inspired connections.
How did you start giving BDSM advice?
I started training submissive that were under my formal training and then informally helped people in my immediate circle that were new. In 2007 I started giving formal advice by teaching classes in the community The Heart of Spiritual Flogging by Heart©, Beyond the Duality of Hands: Playing Energetically with Hands and Body by Heart©, and Percussive Impact Play Toys for the Body, Mind and Spirit by Heart© . In my Percussive Impact Play class, I reached out to the men’s community and was able to connect with a collared male couple and have them participate in the class scene demo. I really want to explore the ideas a gender fluid play (play not based on a player’s sexual orientation but solely on energetic connections that can happen during play.
Where did you get your education?
I fell into the fetish education by way of an informal introduction. It was not something I was seeking out consciously. In 2000, a former trainer officially introduced me to the BDSM and the scene in the Bay Area. The trainer was more experienced than me and was very spiritually savvy and we decided to use BDSM as a form exploring our connection. Additionally, through BDSM training we were able to deal with some deep-seated issues that needed to come to the surface. I was trained in the very formal high-protocol ritualized form of the lifestyle art in the form for submissive service practice (I was never a submissive though). Once I had graduated, we started co-topping training with an emphasis on spiritual Femme Domina. I was able to bring my spiritual practice into this style of highly ritualized play. I read a lot of the classic lifestyle how-too-books: SM 101, Consensual BDSM and How to do it Safely, The Loving Dominant, and the New Bottoming Book. In addition I attended several orientations put on by Society of Janus which at the time provided a safe place to begin my formal education and networking process. Shortly after that I started taking classes, attended munches, volunteering at play parties/events such as the SF Citadel and Castle Bar (now closed), private events, public events, and connected with several local well-respected BDSM educators.
What do you love about giving BDSM advice?
I always have feedback forms to see how I am doing. It is helpful to see when people have been introduced to something new, a new way of equitable play offerings. One of my classes I wrote this feedback which is my website: “Thank you so much to everyone who came to witness the scene and participate in the after discussions. Thanks so much for your feedback. It really helps so I can make changes as needed. During the discussions, everyone had the opportunity to ask the questions that they are interested in.
This is anonymous audience feedback from my Good Vibrations class The Heart of Spiritual Flogging by Heart.
*A pleasure and privilege I learned quite a bit even as I am very new to BDSM.
*This was one of the most powerful scenes I have seen.
*Thank you – beautiful experience.
*Thank you!! Spiritually and the connection is what in BDSM for. It is uplifting & exciting to know that there are others who feel this way about BDSM.
*Thank you. I feel more prepared to scene (Top) with my Priestess. How did you build your circle/community of Spiritual Kinksters?
*Excellent – Thank you. I love the new Rhythm.
*Please speak louder – even in a small intimate space.
*Give more verbal description and outline what energy is.
*Give guidelines for what “Holding the Space” means.” Some people are not familiar with that and tell us more about how you build it.
What is your most common question?
How to get started safely and how to start developing one’s personal style.
What is the most difficult or hard-to-answer question you’ve ever received?
It had to do with a person with audio disabilities who did not arrange to have a sign-reader beforehand and started blaming me for not developing my scene/class so that she could hear. Also, she did not move to a place so that she could see the scene that I was doing. I really had no answer to her complaints other than this response:
Note on taking care of yourself as an audience member:
With all things not everyone will know how to take personal responsibility and take care of themselves in the moment. It is important to alert the establishment mangers at least one week ahead of time if you are Disabled so they can figure out how to get find a volunteer to either help with “American Sign Language” interpretation for you or some other suitable solution if you hard of hearing or have another disability. Also, if you are unable to see or hear and you are in a bad seat, please feel free and get up and move to a spot that you can hear and see from.
The lesson for all of us: Please take care of your needs and ask for help. Please, don’t wait till the “end” of event voice your many complaints to the presenter first off. How about a thank you for the presentation¦ I appreciate your time etc.? There are interpreters (ASL) volunteers in our Leather Community that show up at various events and help in this manner.
What is your favorite BDSM toy and why?
My custom made floggers. I love to flog. Flogging is an extension of my arms and it feels like dancing. I get to move and dance and create I have taken private lessons from a local flogging expert and just fell in move with his style of flogging that I just had to learn. I was interested in integrating fluid percussion flow, heart, spirit and sensual Power Exchange in their Flogging play explorations. With lots of practice I developed a unique ritualized style of flogging play that is steeped in her spiritual self-awareness practice and rhythmic flogging patterns. This style creates a fluid and natural flow of powerful sensual scene building. I feel that this style of spiritual play and energy connections are something that speaks to those who are into that already or for those so are Spiritual Seekers. It begs both players to bring themselves to the experience with intention, ritual, and a willingness to go deep. It works best for those for experienced players who are interested in integrating fluid percussion flow, heart, spirit and sensual Power Exchange in their flogging play explorations.
What was the most interesting thing you learned in your exploration of BDSM?
On July 29th, 2002 I was a demo model for ˜A Journey with the Ancestors: Play Based on Uplifting Ones Racial Background’ a class taught by Midori (formerly known as Fetish Diva Midori) at QSM in San Francisco, CA. It was transformative and emotionally intense. I quoted on my aftercare/feedback letter to her: “A transformation the engendered compassion, connecting to spirits beyond us.
How has what you’ve done or found at Good Vibrations helped you?
I love a sex positive facility such as Good Vibrations. I remember back in 2000 I went to a women’s gathering that included poetry/prose readings. It was a lot of fun and I felt very comfortable there. I loved teaching there, the store offered a space for individuals who are not comfortable with Fetish/alternative lifestyle per say to come in and learn in a mainstream retail outlet that has a reputation for sex-positive education for all.
What’s the best thing you’ve learned or best advice you’ve received?
Develop a strong emotional back-bone because you can never stop the gossip, the infightings, and petty rumors that can start when you put yourself out there. People have their own personal issues and project them onto you and make those projections as fact.
What do you think is the biggest misconception about BDSM?
From those from the dominant culture, we see them depicted in shows like CSI, Bones, and other police investigation shows depicts a depraved person murdering someone while on a St. Andrew’s cross etc¦ and that is what they believe BDSM is about. Mainstream stigma still sees it as unsafe, non-consensual, confuses it with criminal behavior, they people have mental health issues; it is full of rapists, morally corrupt, and associated with pornography.
I do see one issue that is not changing on a fundamental level, Social Stigma! The scene is not so separate from every day life. We bring our pop culture ideas to the scene and our own biases of what the scene should be. In addition to mainstream stigma, many People of Color and others have many cultural stigmas regarding education access, economic viability, sexuality and religion. Also, there are cultural and emotionally charged issues when being from the non-dominant culture. I have to really work through those issues as there were exacerbated at time during play.
Further, based on each of our culturally specific histories, we really have to deal with the historical and cultural issues of oppression, slavery and colonialism. These issues weigh heavy on cultures that have a long history of oppression. Many see BDSM as pornographic, a new form for oppression and abuse especially in the media. Also, many physicians still see it as pathology. (The DSM IV (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Health) has in the past considered the practice of BDSM abhorrent behavior.)
Which is your favorite project that you’ve worked on?
I was model in the book Two Knotty Boys Showing You The Ropes: A Step-by-Step, Illustrated Guide for Tying Sensual and Decorative Rope Bondage that was photographed by Larry Utley. It was a lot of fun to do and I was glad they included several other Women of Color and a male Man of Color models in the book.
What projects are you working on now?
I am getting ready for a few screening panels for an educational film I and other lifestyle educators volunteered to be in: I am in an educational film BDSM it’s Not What You Think!: Kinksters Confront Stigma & Stereotype by filmmaker, Erin Palmquist which has finally come out on DVD. It was one of the film features at The Good Vibrations Erotic Independent Film Festival. Currently, I am pulling away from my pedagogical role in the community to pursue my vanilla/writing a book, and academia goals.
Where can people find out more about you?