Interview with a Sex Therapist
Getting to know the London kink community
The kink community in London is big and strong. It has variety in its demographics and pride itself for being a safe place for all kinksters, veterans and newbies alike.
Last time I interviewed a Dominatrix – KINK COMMUNITY: A LONDON-BASED DOMINATRIX, and this time I thought I would put into focus another well-known figure in the community. She has been around for some time and is a professional sex therapist, BDSM educator, and so much more.
I am pleased to present you The Kink Shrink 🙂 – because also kinky people see therapists.
Firstly, can you please tell us who you are?
My name is Deborah, I am a professional, a mother, a human, and a demi-submissive cuckquean. I identify as a woman, and defend this aspect of me as an inclusive feminist and egalitarian.
A cuckquean? Can you tell us what that means?
As a cuckquean, I am someone who likes her partner having sex with others and sharing their stories, adventures etc preferably without being there (send me an audio clip, sheesh, *fans herself*). I like a side plate of humiliation with it.
“NO is an important word, use it.”The Kink Shrink
You are a therapist, a BDSM and sex educator, and much more…
What core principles do you keep close to your heart?
Beneficence. Do what is good and or right for the person. I am boundaried, I believe in consent and in being relational and challenging. My ethical question is always ‘how would I represent this in a coroners court’. Also lead by example, do what is good for me AND those around me as a balance.
You are a therapist, where is your place of work? Do you work online too?
I have always worked mainly online, as people approach me outside of my locality given my specialism. Before covid, many would say ‘oh no you can’t, it isn’t the same’. It can be amazing. Also funny how they’re all doing it now. Over 90% of my work is online and in the kink/poly communities, AND I see people from home as I have a dedicated room there too. I see individuals, couples, polycules, families and children. Even vanillas! 😉
What kind of workshops do you run? Can you tell us a little more about it?
I have run the healthy mental practices workshop at London Alternative Market for 8 years I think now? I asked to run a one-off, as there was nothing like it on the scene, and it was so popular we said let’s do it until it isn’t, and it’s still full! How amazing is that? When covid hit, we took them online every Sunday, and I developed my own one on Zoom every Thursday too. I have also done many events nationally and internationally as a speaker. I run a free online workshop every other Thursday that anyone can come to; sometimes it’s a Q&A format (like HMP) and sometimes they are on specific subjects. They’re two hours long and available on YouTube and FetLife. I cover all things kink, polyam, relationships, communication skills and mental health. I love doing them, I have the most amazing support and feedback. It is a privilege.
You also have taken part in some podcasts, can you tell us a little about it?
I am always happy to talk and share and at no cost. My proviso, especially as I have been asked to do TV, is that I am not misrepresented. Hence I say ‘no’ too, and say ‘no’ often As tempting as the self gain would be, it isn’t worth my integrity.
What else are you involved in?
I tend to throw myself into things, so try to do less. The kink community, cheerleading, musicals, films and reading science fantasy alongside family and friends fulfils my life.
You lived through so many challenges yet you keep going, where does that passion come from?
I wonder if it as a choice at times. I don’t believe the world is against me, I really believe the world doesn’t care, so it’s down to me. I choose positivity and own those choices, and live accordingly. I was brought up to be a smart, good girl who pleases and, while I have tempered that, I keep the good bits 🙂
You are The Kink Shrink, online and offline.
Tell us, what does that mean to you?
It is a funny persona, I have even been approached in public AND inappropriately. I love it, though there is NO such thing as an overall expert, and I hope it conveys how I take it seriously and with fun, and my passion for sharing and learning all the time as well. I learn something every day.
How did you get into this job?
I have had a varied past. I was a performer, worked in business and psychotherapy, and a fair few post graduates in specialist subjects, and did many courses (another childhood pressure, have lots to prove you are smart). I have logged over 50k hours as a therapist now. People kept asking me for help, telling me I could; so I went from helping businesses to people, and feel more rewarded and fulfilled doing so.
That’s quite the educational journey. How long have you been working in the industry now?
Over 20 years now. However, when meeting a therapist, ask about their hours, not their years. And when you ask about their qualifications, also ask how many hours of personal therapy 🙂
20 years is a long time and 50k hours even more so… Has it changed much over the years?
Yeah HUGE changes, good and bad. Ironically the issues are still the same: abusers and people who think they are above decency and respect. Add into this people wanting a fast, and at times meaningless kink experience, I struggle with that. I am a lifestyle submissive vs a kinkster.
Tell us, what makes you come back year after year to the kink community?
The above is one reason, to empower people who could be manipulated, to offer choice vs the supposed ‘right way’ or ‘one true way’. Sometimes I get tired and it is is hard, but on places like FetLife I have pruned my feed and following, so it is supportive and positive and I shout when I see sh*t. When I did a Psychosexual Psychotherapy two year course, I was shocked that it mainly focused on sexual issues, less positives, and also just a weekend on Polyam and Kink. *Sighs*. So all I do is also for therapists who want some CPD hours and to learn more.
As a ‘shrink’ working in the kink community with over 50k logged hours...
Can you tell us more about the clients you work with?
Humans who happen to be kinky come to me with everyday issues and problems, because they don’t want their kink pathologised. So I work with all sorts. They come to me as I, like them, live all aspects of this lifestyle and I respect their story. That said, I am not afraid, because who I am to say that x,y,z isn’t good for you sometimes too? Using sex, polyam, relationships and kink for the wrong reasons, doesn’t make sex, polyam, relationships and kink wrong. So the issues are varied, and rarely just about kink/polyam. At the end of the day: human first.
And the traumas encountered?
One of the wrong reasons can be the chemical hits we get vs learning to cope, or as a response to trauma. It can help, however, also to deal with the trauma alongside kink too. Although it can be very tempting, recreating a traumatic experience can worsen things for some people, some of the time. It’s important to recognise that it is both players’ responsibility to prevent trauma from repeating itself, as it can create issues; the body is funny like that. If you are struggling, and cannot communicate with your partner how you feel, get a friend to help you, or do it via text for example, come see me too! Go see a therapist and interview said therapist to be sure, kink aware means what exactly?
For sure you must have some great tips for kinksters.
What is the thing you wish someone told you at the beginning of kink journey?
That it’s something that will change and bend with you, and that the connection really matters over time vs the thrill of a moment. Pre mortem the sh*t that can go right AND wrong, so you know what to do. And learn to trust yourself before, and above, others.
Do you have any advice for newbies?
Go slow, and retain your power and choice. There is no true way, but there is a right way for you and your wellbeing.
And for veterans?
We do not know it all, and remember to be open to learning, to growth again and again. Do what is right for your well being.
What about any tips for bottoms?
Be equal in your negotiations, you can always do more, and it is worse to have regrets. DO the ‘boring’ safety sh*t, please. The top is a human, not your private fetish dispenser.
And for tops?
Treat that human you are about to hurt with respect and care. Negotiate, and do not ask for something else or do something else in the middle of a session. Limits aren’t goals, they’re limits. You also have a right to say no, so hold your boundaries too. It isn’t about being the best with a flogger or rope. It is your ability to be present with, and listen to the human you are with. Do not impose your safe words, ask them theirs as they’re more likely to remember it.
“I prefer to be compassionate rather than kind 🤍”The Kink Shrink
Do you have anything planned for the future?
Something exciting! @scenecounsellor (on FetLife) and I are writing a ‘course’. Nothing like it exists in the UK. It will be two weekends worth of all you need to know about kink, polyam, relationships and communication from beginning to end. It will include self empowerment, negotiations, first aid for kink and mental first aid too, drop, Ms, Ds, Play, all forms of relationships, trauma, tools, basically you name it, it’ll be covered. Included in the fee, you will have access to a web site that will be a living book, something that we add writings to, links to, add new research into and have a Q&A option that we will answer 🙂 I am SO excited about it.
And that is all for today, I would like to thank Deborah for her time and her thorough answers, and catch up soon at the next party!
To you all, take care and keep it kinky!!
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