Modern media portrayals of BDSM and kink (26:15) focus on the accouterment of kink, while often struggling to center what kink is ultimately all about: deepening connection, between individuals in a scene and within one's own body.
Dani and Seven, the creators of Sabersmyth, opened up in an interview with Nika Cherrelle about how kink personally has deepened and enriched their own relationships, how it offers healing, empowerment, and avenues for informed consent, and how their products are soul work (56:45), developed with deep care for the health and well being of the wearer.
Accessibility and Inclusion
Sexuality involves both the mind and the body, and yet despite the diversity of human experiences, social scripts in the broader culture around sexuality remain relatively stringent in their archetypes and expectations. Nika opens the interview with an introduction to how kink can help individuals break through and explore outside those archetypes in a healthy, liberating way that creates inclusivity for diverse neurotypes and physical abilities. They also explore the intersection of kink and invisible disability, or other disabilities that impact the direct physical experience of intimacy (27:30).
“Imagine the freedom of not having to express externally what you’re feeling inside.” – Dani
At timestamp (7:55) Dani opens up about how kink offers accessibility for their sexuality as a person on the autism spectrum, through creating avenues for frequent check-ins and communication that are explicit instead of dependent on subtle social cues. They explore how the muzzle gag, beyond offering an interesting BDSM experience, can be freeing to wear for some individuals. Informed consent is a staple of healthy kink, and arguably regardless of where somebody is in their sexual journey offers healthier connection with clear communication (16:08). Explicitly negotiated boundaries create safety for individuals that may belong to more vulnerable populations (26:45).
Sensory Experiences in Kink
As we’ve explored in this blog, BDSM play can offer opportunities to enhance, experiment with, or otherwise explore sensory experiences. While most people can benefit from exploring the sensory preferences and limits of their body, for people with Sensory Processing Disorders (common among ASD/ADHD individuals), the sensory experience can make or break a sexual encounter. At timestamp (24:15), Seven and Dani explore the sensory awareness that went into the design and development of some of their flagship products, including the recently released strap on harness, which was designed to feel as close to a natural part of the body as possible, with consideration for users seeking gender-affirming strapon play.
Dani discusses some of their sensory preferences (37:40) and how kink allows them to safely explore those physical sensations, and what that experience does for them emotionally and physically. BDSM offers an opportunity for people to seek strong physical sensations that may be difficult to encounter in the rest of the world, offering physical release and bonding with a partner in the process.
“Kink is a language.” – Dani
Safety and Aftercare
Some individuals use kink to push their personal edges in a controlled manner. While there’s different goals behind every person’s reason for expanding their comfort zone, a very frequent one is that somebody is living with the long-term side effects of trauma, and wishes to safely re-connect with experiences that were once pleasurable but have since become sources of tension or anxiety. The explicit boundary negotiation of kink offers an opportunity to explore those edges in a way that the sub has total control to end the scene if it begins to make them feel uncomfortable. The option of saying “yes,” with full awareness that a “no” would be immediately respected, can be healing and empowering.
“To push an edge safely and pleasurably, it has to come from a place of comfort and safety.” – Dani (26:45)
At timestamp (28:37), Dani and Seven talk through the euphoria that can come during a BDSM scene, and the resultant emotional drop, sometimes called “sub drop,” after the hormones and excitement of the scene are done. They discuss what that experience is, what contributes to it, how it feels, and some suggestions for helping it be a useful space of downregulating and transitioning through an experience.
Financial Accessibility in Kink
Tackling the question of financial accessibility of high quality leather products for marginalized populations head-on (50:25), Seven and Dani discuss and acknowledge the reality that handmade leather bondage gear products do take substantial time and effort to produce. While the resulting price does put these products out of reach for many people, they discussed the options customers have to make Sabersmyth products more financially accessible. These include payment installments available on the Sabersmyth website, trades, and the idea of DIY leather kits, where some of the most time-intensive steps of finishing the product (such as hand-sewing edges) are completed by the customer.