While many businesses floundered in lockdown, Sarah Butcher’s was buzzing – literally.
The 30-year-old from Bournemouth is a self-proclaimed “kink educator” who helps thousands of people around the world live out their sexual fantasies.
Sarah, who posts under the domain @subinthecity, quit her job in marketing as demand grew for her kinky workshops in lockdown.
One of Sarah’s most popular workshops is BDSM 101 – an introduction to kink – and her spanking class.
Up to 100 people a time will join these workshops online and up to 50 will participate in real-life sessions.
Sarah – who got into BDSM (which stands for bondage, discipline, sadism, masochism) over 10 years ago – uses her own experiences in the kink world to educate her clients.
She tells The Sun: “When I first started exploring kink there wasn’t much out there. The internet was a dark and scary place. I made my own mistakes and learned through trial and error. “
“But I don’t regret it as it’s given me rich experiences. So my clients can use my tips and fast track to the good stuff.”
50 shades of dismay
Sarah says there are a lot of misconceptions surrounding BDSM.
“Fifty Shades of Grey brought BDSM to the mainstream but it was a double-edged sword,” she explains.
“On one hand it was brilliant for women as it gave us the confidence to talk about our desires, but on the other hand there were a lot of misconceptions which came out of the books and the movies, and Anastasia and Christian’s relationship is problematic. “
“People wrongly think that you have to like pain or be a sadist or a masochist if you’re into BDSM. Yes, that is a big part of it, but there are so many other elements to it.”
“Another big misconception is that doms are super-rich males and subs are timid women. It’s not always women who are subs and it’s not always men who are doms.”
“People always presume I’m a dom because I’m a strong, independent woman in my day job but for me being a sub is about letting go.”
Sarah, who’s in a relationship, says people shouldn’t put themselves in a “box” when it comes to kink.
“My clients ask, ‘Am I allowed to be interested in bondage and tantra?’
“I tell them you can be into BDSM and not pain and like tantra and rough sex. It’s totally normal.”
“It’s not all about flogging’”
Sarah was recently talking at a kink event with Married at First Sight’s sexpert Charlene Douglas and tells how women were surprised at how pleasurable BDSM can be – and the surprising items that can spice up their bedroom antics.
“It’s not all about flogging, spanking and tying each other up,” she explains. “It can be a very sensual experience.”
“My clients assume hot wax is scary and painful and are so surprised at how amazing it feels in my workshops. It can be really erotic pouring it over your partner’s naked body, like a work of art.”
“But don’t use candles around the house as bondage candles burn at a lower temperature. Always buy massage candles from adult stores like Bondara, Ann Summers or LoveHoney.
“Or let your partner control your orgasm by using different toys and get them to slow down when you’re on the edge of climaxing and then start it all again.”
“Sensory deprivation is another great way to experiment with kink.”
“If you’re into more sensual play, use a silky blindfold not a hard PVC one and practice power play using feather ticklers.”
“There really is something for everyone so don’t be afraid to try.”
Exploring your sexuality
Sarah says some of her female clients fear they’re “bad feminists” if they want to be submissive in bed, while her male clients worry they’ll be labeled misogynistic if they want to be dominant.
She explains: “A lot of my clients are worried that their kink is wrong. They’ll ask me, ‘Is it weird of me to think this?’”
“Women will say, ‘I must be such a bad feminist to want to be treated in this way.’”
“But I tell them it’s the opposite! They’re brilliant feminists because they’re exploring their sexuality and taking control of their desires.”
“There’s a lot of secrecy and shame around people’s fantasies but as long as there’s mutual consent between partners it’s fine.”
“My workshops are very interactive,” she continues. “People can practice with each other and have a laugh as they try out the different toys. Online is more about theory.”
“My business boomed in lockdown. The pandemic gave people time to think about what they want in bed and explore their desires in the comfort of their home.”
This article originally appeared on The Sun and was reproduced here with permission.