Episode 3: Genevieve Bouvier: Creating Intimacy with Fetish and Fantasy

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Everywhere you look today it seems like people are talking about sexual role-playing, spankings, and including fantasy as a part of good sex. The fashion industry often seems to be influenced by, if not run by, the leather fetish crowd. And did you see those movie ads for "Catwoman"? Ever wonder what all this fetish and fantasy has to do with you? Genevieve Bouvier is a dominatrix and performance artist. In this episode Chip invites Genevieve to give us a primer on fetish and fantasy, what it is, why some people are drawn to it and the safe and secure side of positive dominance and submissive play. In an open and adult interview we'll hear about using various "accouterment" for sensual gratification. It may not be for you, but it's still an interesting facet of human sexuality and one, if you understand it better, might be something you can gently incorporate into your own love play in some unique way. If you've ever been even a little curious about these subjects, here's a shame-free way to know more. And don't miss Chip's safe, erotic exercise that you can try at home.

Transcript

Creating Intimacy with Fetish and Fantasy

Announcer: This program is intended for mature audiences only.

Chip August: Welcome to Sex Love and Intimacy. I am your host, Chip August, and today on the show, we are going to take a little walk on the wild side and learn something about dungeons and about fetish and about fantasy, and how those things can be incorporated into our joy and our fun in our sex life.

Genevieve Bouvier: I always ask people -- and this might be getting a bit too personal, but I go there -- do you have... What are your triggers? Is their any name or certain sentence or way of speaking that will trigger you?

I think what also is really important is people need to have good boundaries. One of the first things I always talk about when someone comes for a session with me, is about playing safely. It is important to have a safe word, generally a word that would normally not be said in sessions, not something like harder, faster; something like pineapple, kamikaze; something silly and offbeat, colors or whatever. So that, both of you know you have a definite out.

Chip August: I am here with a dear friend of mine, Genevieve Bouvier. Genevieve is an amazing woman. She has worked at four different dungeons. She has performed in various fetish and fantasy sessions. She does BDSM performances and workshops, and is also quite an extraordinary performance artist. I have seen her working. Very, very amazing. I am really pleased to have you here. Welcome, Genevieve.

Genevieve Bouvier: Thank you, Chip.

Chip August: OK, you worked at four different dungeons, let's start there. What in the world is a dungeon and what did you do in one?

Genevieve Bouvier: Well, a dungeon -- I am thinking of one of my employers right now, who would be kicking my butt if she heard me use the word dungeon -- but, basically, its -- in the professional sense, where I worked -- a place where people can come in and book a session of any type of -- well, most will have some fantasy -- and carry out this session with one of the ladies or men who works there. Anything from, maybe being dominated, being tortured, or tickled, role-play, newspaper fetishes, medical fetishes, pretty much anything you can think of. It is kind of hard to describe in a way, because you just work with what the person has in mind, what you are comfortable with, where your energy really flows together, too.

Chip August: So if they don't like calling them dungeons, what do they call them?

Genevieve Bouvier: Fetish and fantasy session houses, or something of that nature.

Chip August: OK, now, when you are talking about a fetish, what is a fetish, what are fetishes?

Genevieve Bouvier: Well, a fetish is something to which someone is very, very attracted. Most people define fetishes as sexual. I don't find them all to be sexual.

Chip August: So, you knew, for instance, one of the things that turns me on, is the feel of silk on my skin, or one of the things that turns me on, is seeing someone in lingerie, those kinds of things.

Genevieve Bouvier: Yes. Those kinds of things. I am a medical fetishist, and have been since childhood. And a lot of it is really isn't even sexual for me. I like to be around the paraphernalia, I like to hear the terms. I like to read Gray's Anatomy. I used to have 3D diagram of the anatomical man that they would have for science classes.

Chip August: OK. So, fetishes are the things that turn us on, and we really like objects, feelings, scenes, performances. When you were describing -- I asked you what a dungeon was, and you were talking about people creating fantasy sessions -- I have to say, in my own mind, all I can picture was some really sort of sleazy thing.

Everybody is wearing black leather and hoods, and everybody is really embarrassed and ashamed, and it is mostly nerdy guys who are totally ashamed. So maybe that's what it really is, maybe it is not. But could you describe to me like who comes to these kinds of things, like what kinds of things they are looking for.

Genevieve Bouvier: Oh, Chip, the answer is everyone comes, except for women. Not enough women come to the dungeon. But people of all different types come to the dungeon. There is the stereotype of the overworked businessman, who just wants to be out of control, and on his lunch break he will tiptoe out of his meeting and get spanked and flogged, and whatever, and tiptoe back to the meeting.

But really a variety of people. They come from different walks of lives, blah, blah, blah. You know people have different needs that they come to a dungeon to address. There were some people who come there who blatantly said, "I was told to go to therapy, I don't want to go to a therapist, I don't believe in therapies. A dominatrix can help me." And we do.

There is a lot of psychological stuff going on there. I had clients that would come specifically for psychodrama, for which I am trained in, and spend an hour working out issues, serious relationship issues. There were some people that would come in specifically, because they had a partner they wanted to play with and didn't feel competent. They didn't know how to play safely. They didn't know how to do certain things. They don't want to hurt someone. Some people would come to work out these issues. Some people would work there to work out a few of these issues. [laughs] Not everyone.

Chip August: So, I am imagining, I have an idea that I want to play with spanking with my partner; and then I come to somebody like you and you teach me how to spank someone so that I don't hurt them, but that we have fun.

Genevieve Bouvier: Yeah.

Chip August: Now do couples ever come to you, like together?

Genevieve Bouvier: Yes. They do, and, you know, for all different combinations…like you and one of the people ganging up on the other one. Some come in just for lessons. Some come in because they want to be watched by someone.

Chip August: OK, now. You do BDSM performances. Now what is BDSM and what kinds of performances?

Genevieve Bouvier: [laughs] So, BDSM performance - it is a really strange line. I got into doing them because I was going to Goth clubs and they had Goth fetish BDSM nights. I had a friend who started choreographing these little performances, put me in them. So I was performing and decided to do my own. And, it is a strange line, because in most BDSM performances, you are not faking anything; but it largely is choreography, because it needs to move along and be interesting to the audience. And there are certain positions you need to be in, so that the audience has a view. And so it is creating a visual and a mood, as with all performances. So it is like, if you were in a play but you didn't fake your stage combat, but you were still doing it safely, you would have a BDSM performance.

Chip August: Wow. This is a lot to comprehend. We are going to take a short break, and give a little support to our sponsors. This is Chip August. I am with Genevieve Bouvier, and we will be right back.

[commercial break]

Hi, we are back and I am Chip August, and we are talking to Genevieve Bouvier, and we are talking a little bit about BDSM and fantasy and dungeons and lots of interesting things. The thing I am wondering, is this just sort of like some little corner of society that most people are just never really going to be involved in, they are never really going to be interested in, or do you find like this is really broadly appealing to a whole lot of different people?

Genevieve Bouvier: I think everyone has a different idea of what it is. But there is elements of it all over the place. I mean, how many people have tied up someone, have spanked someone, even... not to sound crude, when someone is fornicating with somebody from the back and they reach down and they smack them on the butt. You get into a little bit of play there, rough sex and hair pulling. You see all those Valentines kits for lovers with the blindfold, and the Kama Sutra honey dust. I mean, you get into that. And, you know, role play too.

Oh, my goodness, Halloween, I have always maintained, is a real form of erotic role play. Other people dress up as things that would turn themselves or others, on for Halloween. Except for the person with the bumble-bee suit on the bar. Maybe someone had a bee fetish, I have no idea.

Chip August: Now, how did you start doing performances in this? I mean, yeah, how does one start?

Genevieve Bouvier: Well, other than, I mean, the actual BDSM thing that was through the fetish clubs; but I was always, even as a kid, I was very attracted to... I did a lot of musicals, and the villain roles, where someone tied someone up... It was the Wizard of Oz. and the witch and Dorothy; and she has Dorothy in the castle; she is menacing her and she is walking around. I find that a very sexual scene. Maybe it's just me. It's things like that.

I would write little scenes, put them in there, and perform them. Or I would put reasons, I would always write these scenes where we had a reason to tussle and fight, wrestle. And then I got older, I started doing rocky horror. There was Frank carrying the whip. And then it was kind of like, "Oh, wait a minute, I am a pervert! OK, I understand now. [laughs] I get it!"

And from there just, you know, seeing, meeting other people, especially coming down here in the Bay area, and really meeting people who were into these kinds of performances, and who taught me a lot.  There was an event called Debauchery, that's not around anymore. I only performed in one of them. But the performance were all fetish themed. It was its own genre.

Chip August: Now, one of the performances that I have seen you do; your partner tied you up. And now, I don't mean they just fastened your wrists behind your back. You were pretty much encased in rope. You were cocooned in rope. And then, not only were you tied up, but you were actually suspended from one of the rafters of the building, as I recall. And part of the performance involved actually having you sort of swing a little bit from the rafter. Is that a sexual activity? Is that... Talk to me about that.
Genevieve Bouvier: It definitely can be. That particular performance you saw was -- we kind of like had three minute time limit -- so that was kind of a slice of a performance. But, yeah, suspension bondage. There is a book out by Chanta Rose, and it is... I am such a bad pervert, I can't remember the title, and it is a lot of bondage for sex, that is the title of that book; that shows some of that suspension bondage, You know the love bungie swings, kind of an advanced form of that.

I have, the two people that I do a lot of performances. I have one, that you saw me with, I have been sexually involved with. So yeah, it has gone very sexual. And I have been at one time, suspended upside down by someone, and he was using a dildo on me, while I was hanging upside down, and I was able to go down on him, while he was standing in front of me, he was using his dildo. That was a very effective use of rope bondage for sexual pleasure.

Another friend of mine -- who I just did a performance with a couple of days ago. We are in no way sexually involved, but we put on these shows. He is a real old show person and so am I. We will put on these shows that feature a bunch of different positions, moving around and not only just swinging around, but lowering of the ropes, switching this, switching that. You know, whacks, dildoes, flogging, paddling, freewheeling circus of rope bondage. And hopefully, the people that come, a lot of couples come to that, hopefully they will get some ideas.

People often will come up after the show, and ask a lot of questions. One interesting thing about it is, a lot of people assume that I am being submissive, because I am tied up with rope and the performance you saw, at the workshop, a lot of people asked that. And there is a difference between being submissive and being a bottom. And a submissive would be someone who would be submitting to the person, in whatever form that takes, because it is different for everyone. I guess there is this general idea sometimes, in the public that if you are submissive, you know, there is no safe words, there is no rules, whatever a person wants to do, you are going to do. Which is not the case.

But a submissive is doing some modicum of submitting, going with someone else's will, whereas a bottom is more about the sensation. Almost like, "OK, I like to be flogged. I have had a bad day. Will you flog me? I am going to lie down and be still, and listen to what you told me to do with my body or whatever. I lie here, but I am not being submissive to you."

Chip August: I would assume some of the release in having someone else sort of dominate you, is that you are getting some level of endorphins out of what's going on, and also it is sort of a wonderful relaxation just not being in charge, letting somebody else choose.

Genevieve Bouvier: Yes. [laugh] Yeah, it is a great endorphin rush.So I used to do stuff to myself to get endorphins, especially when I was depressed. I didn't realize that's what I was doing back then, but it was. To this day, dripping candle wax all over my legs really calms me down.

Chip August: I would not normally think of that as a calming activity, but I have got a lot to learn.

Genevieve Bouvier: You never actually stuck your hand under the Menorah, or in the Sabbath candles, how the wax falls, and you say, "Wow!" But you probably just ran along and washed it off. [laughs]

Chip August: No, I have to admit I have played with the dripping wax from a Menorah. Now that you have mentioned it, I have done that. This is true. I have been outed. So I am with my wife tonight, and I have listened to this podcast, and I am thinking, "Woo hoo, this strikes some responsive chord!"

What do I need to know to start to bring some of this into my own life?

Genevieve Bouvier: Well, that's a big question. One of the first things I always talk about when someone comes for a session with me, is about playing safely. It is important to have a safe word, generally a word that would normally not be said in sessions, not something like harder, faster; something like pineapple, kamikaze; something silly and offbeat, colors or whatever. So that, both of you know you have a definite out.

And several safe words. At the dungeons, they would usually use green, go harder, or go go more. Yellow, that's enough, it's as much as I can take. Red, stop!. Double red, let me out of here, let me leave.

It is important to really... I would take some classes, if you want to get into really, you know, not just putting the blindfold on and teasing, but really spanking, flogging, tying, especially with the rope. I am not particularly good with rope. I have never been. But one of the things, couple of the things I do know is in terms of tying. You know, you need to insure proper circulation. There are certain places you can tie in, certain places you can't. If someone's limbs are turning blue, you should not keep them tied. There are certain places on the body that are acceptable to hit; certain places not, like the spine, the kidneys, that t-shape.

You really want to know with someone, especially if you are getting into psychological play, where they are coming from. I always ask people -- and this might be getting a bit too personal, but I go there -- do you have... What are your triggers? Is their any name or certain sentence or way of speaking that will trigger you? What gets you going? What do you like? Reading books is good, going to munches, gatherings of kinky people who sit and discuss kinky things, is a good thing to do.

There was actually a series called edukink that takes place at Citadel. That's really, really good. You can also go to various houses of fetish and fantasy play in the area. There is one I used to work at, a really good one, called Fantasy Makers, that's a website though. It is called fantasymakers.com, and it is an excellent place to get some training, one on one, with someone else.

Ms Sara’s  domain down in Mountain View, does not get enough attention. Used to be backdrop and the ladies that started their own place; is another excellent one, Sara, in particular is a really, really skilled trainer. Because it is always easier... Reading books are good, but to really understand the logistics, you really need to hands on, at least watch a demo. Really see it, before trying to do it.

And what I tell anyone, anyone who is Being a dom -- any equipment you are going to use on someone, use it on yourself first. Know how it feels. Know how it feels when you go harder, know how it feels when you go softer, any way, shape or form. Have someone else use it on you or use it on yourself. I couldn't use it just for me, giving it out, if I didn't know what I was giving.

Chip August: We are going to take a short break. We are going to give some support to our sponsors, let our sponsors give some support to us. This is Chip August. I am with Genevieve Bouvier, and we will be right back.

[commercial break]

We are back. This is Chip August. This is Sex Love and Intimacy. I am talking to my guest, Genevieve Bouvier. Can you come up with three or four things that I could do with my partner tonight that might give a little taste of this, or might spice up our sex life, right now.

Genevieve Bouvier: OK. One fun thing to do, would be take a scarf and tie it across your loved one’s eyes so that they cannot see anything, and give them different sensations. Have them guess what you are using; maybe ice, maybe some wax.  Little things like a toothbrush in a really sensitive area can feel really, really good. Plastic silverware can be dragged along the body. Different kinds of materials are wonderful. Yeah, anything that you can find in your kitchen. Aah, Chip is pointing, and he is mentioning more olfactory things like smells and tastes, that's good too. That is very good too.

Another thing that you could do, is to tie up your partner, just the wrists -- actually tying the wrists to the ankles, completely immobilized and just watch them trying to get out of it. If you are not sure where, you are trying to figure out where you fall on the dom, submissive or switch, which is both categories. Just do that, just watch them get out of it, See how you feel. Are you jealous? Do you want to go back into it more? Do you want to join them? That can help.

Another thing is to ask them the most -- one scene from a movie that they say, that really, really turned them on, and then act it out. That is a very fun one. And yet another one, is to go online together and locate some Internet porn, and find a photo that you find particularly erotic, and either recreate it or make up a little story that goes with, and then act it out.

Chip August: Well, I already noticed I am breathing heavier [laughs] The mind boggles, I had one dom friend of mine once said, "A really easy thing to ..." First of all, I said, "I don't have any equipment." And he said, "Well, your bathroom has a sash, doesn't it?"

Genevieve Bouvier: Yeah, the bathroom sash is good.

Chip August: The other thing my friend said was, why don't you see if the next time you are kissing your wife, you just grab her hair and pull a little more, to pull her into the kiss and pull her out of the kiss, and just notice how it feels to sort of control somebody's head that way.

Genevieve Bouvier: If she is wearing a wig, she is going to kick your butt. Flog him! Yes, I will flog him, never mind, he is obnoxious. You know, I have a question I want to ask you though. Because when I mentioned the movie scene, I saw your eyes kind of go, "woop." What movie scene were you thinking of?

Chip August: I actually did not. I must admit I did not immediately come up with a movie scene. I just thought, what a great idea. OK, so now I am going to come up with what I think is a sexy movie scene. I have to say, what I think the most powerful sexy sex scene I have seen in a mainstream movie in a while, is in a movie called "History of Violence", and there is moment when he winds up having sex with his wife on a staircase. And it looked so uncomfortable, but it just looked so sexy.

Genevieve Bouvier: That was a good scene. I remember that scene. And I just thought of one, when I was talking. There was one movie called Crush, about car crash fetishes. And there was one woman, and this goes with my medical fetish, who was Rosanna Arquette, she had shiny, silver crutches. And she was wearing fishnet stockings and her legs were scarred, and her partner ripped the stockings over and ran his fingers over the scar, and that was just... I remember watching the scene with my girlfriend. She was sitting next to me and she was looking at me and just laughing hysterically, because she knew.  Never enacted that one, though I should.

Chip August: So I assume, when you were talking earlier and you were talking of doing fetish and fantasy, that this is what you mean by fantasy. That you invent a scene with somebody. You set up, I am going to be this character, you are going to be this character, we are in this milieu; and just sort of improv your way out of that scene in a way that you can sort of make sex as you like with your partner.

Genevieve Bouvier: Yes, that is one way you could do it. I don't want to say any absolutes. There were some people who came to me at dungeons, and they would have a full-on script written out with lines, directions, time to the minute. You know, we will talk about that and come up with a plan that suited us both.

Chip August: Now, do you wear a costume when you do this?

Genevieve Bouvier: Yeah. yeah, different ones. I know there is the stereotypical dom image of the six feet tall, with long black hair, the eight inch heels, and the little tight leather stuff. I always found that stuff too hard to move around in. Of course it is beautiful, but I find them uncomfortable. I was always barefoot. Little dresses with cherries on them, actually I wore them. Today I put on this. This is one of my domme outfits right here.

But you have costumes, definitely if someone has a specific role play. I had to dress up as Kim Possible, the cartoon character, once, from Nickelodeon. I have a Wonder Woman costume. I also like cheerleaders, prom queens, all those.

But there is really no one way to be a as a dom.

Chip August: A dom, sub, switch.

Genevieve Bouvier: Dom or sub or switch! Anything, anything at all.

Chip August: By dom, you mean somebody who is dominant, a sub is submissive, and a switch is somebody who can go either way.
Genevieve Bouvier: Or bottoms, or tops, or cushy bottoms or smart-ass masochist, or whatever is the category, I think I would rather have fun. Do what turns you on, as long as you are safe. It's good. I think also what is really important is people need to have their boundaries in doing this. You know, talk about when the scene is over, is it over for you. For some people it is. Like I will go and I will do a scene with someone where I am submissive. I going to do some degrading stuff, but we understand that when the scene is over, you know, it goes right back to, we are ourselves again.

Whereas some other people, they are more turned on by a scene, and maybe they didn't want to go out to dinner and, you know, master tells them what they can have, and master presses the button to the little electric device that's hooked up between their legs, so they go, "Wooo-ooo!" And the waiter is there. You know, it is really important that you are both really clear about that.

I had a relationship once, where we really were not as clear as we should have been, and you know, it didn't end too well. I think if we had really, really talked about that, about, "OK,, you like submissives. I think submissive is, what is your personal definition of a submissive, and what does it that mean as a scene, when we are together, when we are still hanging out but we are not specifically playing, what does that mean." I think a lot of stuff could have been avoided.

Chip August: I imagine that some people listening to this, worry that, well if I open this door, how far will everything go? Will I still... You know, I think, for a lot of our imagery about this, is so conditioned by society's sex-negative attitudes, that it is sort of like, "Oh, if I start playing with this fetish, or I start playing with this fantasy, then I will be -- you know, pretty soon I will be trawling the tenderloin, going from sex club to sex club. You know, my life would be ruined."

Genevieve Bouvier: You know, I think, you have to respect the people you are playing with, on some level. There has to be some modicum of respect. And, you know, when you get into this, go slowly, and really cross it if you can be honest with yourself why you are doing it. I think keeping a journal is an excellent thing when you start playing. That's what can keep you going. That's really, you know, go through it, how do you feel about everything you are doing, why are you doing it?

Chip August: We are going to take a short break. I am with Genevieve Bouvier. You are listening to Chip August, in Sex Love and Intimacy, and we will be right back.

[commercial break]

First I want to say to our listeners, that if you have any email questions, things that you want to talk to me about, you can always reach me at [email protected] That's personallifemedia, all is one word; [email protected] Love to hear your comments, love to hear your questions. If you suggestions for future shows, please feel free to get in touch with me.

As I said that we are almost out of time, I kind of wanted to ask you a final question. Just something to wrap us up. I am curious, what did getting into BDSM bring to your life, like what value brought to you?

Genevieve Bouvier: It's brought me community, some of the best friends I have ever made, a place to kind of be myself, to not be afraid to expose certain things about myself. I found a lot of personal strength and recovery in finding my own boundaries. A lot of confidence in being able to teach workshops actually came from sessions. Lot of experience with prop theater, having to create a character, camaraderie, a lot of joy, very good endorphin rushes that helped cure my depression.

You know I don't even know what I would have been, if I hadn't found that community. And I am just thankful that there are people who share this interest, and are not afraid to go with it. And being able to help others also, especially the abuse survivors when they come to the dungeon. Those sessions were the most meaningful of any. I am going to remember those the rest of my life.

Chip August: Well, I am very thankful to you. I really appreciate your openness, you candor, your honesty, and your sense of humor. For a lot of people it can be really a shameful subject, a difficult subject to hear about or to talk about. And I just really appreciate your openness and honesty. So, Genevieve, I really want to thank you for being here today.

Genevieve Bouvier: Thank you for inviting me, Chip.

Chip August: This is my pleasure. And this is Chip August. You have been listening to Sex Love and Intimacy, and I hope you will listen in again at the next show. See you then.

This is Chip August. You are listening to Sex Love and Intimacy. We are back and as promised, I like to give an exercise after each interview. Today's exercise I was thinking a little bit about how surrender, and games for surrender, I think that might be appropriate. Here is a nice game for you to play with your lover.

The way this game works is pretty simple. You will need five coins, pennies or dimes work really well. The one of you that's going to practice surrendering, you are going to place your hands together, so that each fingertip is touching each other fingertip; thumb touching thumb, forefinger touching forefinger, index finger touching index finger. In between those fingers, you are going to hold a coin. So your two forefingers are holding a penny; your two little fingers are holding a penny; your two ring fingers are holding a penny.

That way, your five fingers on each hand are pressed against the five fingers of the other, and all holding a penny in between each finger. Now the way this game works is, the person who is holding the pennies, if you drop a penny, your partner will stop and as long as you don't drop any pennies, your partner will continue.

The partner who is not holding pennies, your job is to titillate, to stroke, to tickle, to nibble, to kiss, to play with and otherwise completely arouse your partner in every way that you can think of that your partner will enjoy. Your object is to have your partner being able to hold the pennies because of their joy, but not have them drop any pennies, because if you actually push them to the point of dropping the pennies, then you must stop.

I encourage you to be really creative. I encourage you to have fun, to laugh, and to take turns. Go back and forth. First one of you will hold the pennies, and the other will tease, tickle, kiss, nibble, lick, stroke, caress, and otherwise arouse the person holding the pennies. And remember, person holding the pennies, if you drop even one, then that person who is playing with you is going to stop. I like to call this game Penny Surrender, and I notice that when we play this together, we begin to learn something about surrender, about control, about passion, about fun, about theater, about playing games with sexuality.

So tonight, why don't you bring five pennies into the bedroom, and with your partner play with Penny Surrender, and have a nice little, pleasant, theatrical power game. Little power game. This is Chip August wishing you great sex, and please come on back to the podcast again next time, and we will talk some more about love, about intimacy and, of course, about sex. Bye for now.

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