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October 27, 2015

Casey Calvert on What to Expect on a BDSM/Fetish Shoot

Adult performer Casey Calvert, the BDSM and fetish expert for Gamelink, wrote this essay for AVN offering advice to new performer looking to book kinky shoots. It originally ran in the October 2015 issue of AVN magazine. Click here to see the digital edition. So, you’re a brand-new porn performer, and your agent booked you for a fetish shoot. Or perhaps you’re a veteran, but work has been a little slow so you agreed to do a fetish job to expand your niche.  In either case, here are some tips, tricks, and things to expect on a BDSM or fetish shoot: • Before you show up, you need to know the fetish. Do a little research. Look at the website. There’s a big difference between working for Sex and Submission (hardcore fucking and bondage) and working for A Splash of Glamour (girls going swimming in their clothes). Is it video, stills, or both? Are you expected to get naked? Masturbate? Have sex? What kind of sex? Some things that are commonplace on a porn set are the very opposite on a fetish set. Everyone, including yourself, will be more comfortable if you know what you are getting into. There’s no shame in asking if you aren’t sure. • It’s also important that you know your role. Many BDSM shoots have someone playing the top/Dominant and someone playing the bottom/Submissive. For our purposes (i.e., a professional environment), these words are different ways to say the same thing. The top will be doing things, and the bottom will be receiving those things. A lot of times, those “things” are a pain- or humiliation-related activity. This can catch you by surprise if you aren’t mentally prepared for it beforehand.  Don’t worry, being mentally prepared isn’t some sort of ten-day meditation challenge. For me, it’s just knowing what part I’m playing when I go to work that day.) Again, just ask if no one tells you. • In the same vein, you need to know yourself and what you are comfortable with. Shooting fetish and BDSM can be more mentally and physically challenging than a regular porn shoot, and if you aren’t comfortable with what you are doing, it’s really going to suck. Nobody wants you to have a bad time, especially the company you’re working for. Sometimes, yes, speaking up is going to mean a job getting cancelled. If electricity really freaks you out, you shouldn’t be on an Electrosluts set (lesbian sex with bondage and electricity), topping or bottoming. But most of the time, there’s an easy solution. If you are shooting for Assume the Position Studios (spanking), and you have no problem with paddles or canes, but wooden spoons remind you of your childhood, all you have to do is say, “no wooden spoons please.” And the problem is solved. Don’t be worried about your concern seeming benign. I won’t shoot smoking fetish, even if faking it would be okay. It’s something many models would gladly do, but it makes me uncomfortable. So I don’t do it. I haven’t lost a job over it yet. • Just like a regular porn set, you should expect professionalism from the people you are working with. If you are having sex, you should only be asked to have sex with the tested talent you were booked to work with. If there’s no sex, you shouldn’t be asked to have sex. They should ask before touching you if it’s not part of the shoot. They should offer snacks and water, not hard drugs. They should check in with you often, especially if you are in bondage or some other compromising position, and they should be concerned about your comfort paramount to everything else. • Even if you are working with the best, most professional crew of all time, it’s still your job to take care of yourself, even, and especially, if you are playing the bottom. Your job is not to be submissive for the day; your job is to be submissive while the camera is rolling. If something is hurting you beyond the scope of the scene, if you are thirsty, if you’ve got a hair trapped in your mouth behind the ball gag, speak up. (Speaking of ball gags, make sure a way to communicate while you are wearing one is established before it goes in your mouth.) All of this isn’t to say that you have to bite your tongue if you are the top, or if there are no specific roles. Maybe your strap-on is pinching, or your abs are tired from holding up your feet for the camera. A fetish set is no different than a regular set, really. If you’re falling off the sofa in missionary, you stop to fix it. This is the very same thing. There’s a theme here: communication. That’s the key to all of this. Ask questions if you aren’t sure what you are supposed to be doing, or if you aren’t sure what something means. There’s a lot of vernacular in the fetish world so don’t agree to something without knowing what is it. (Heard of bastinado? No? Well, it’s hitting the soles of your feet with a cane. It fucking hurts. Aren’t you glad you asked?) Be concerned for your own well-being. Speak up if you feel uncertain, if anything makes you uncomfortable, or if there’s something you just straight up don’t want to do. Don’t worry about being a pussy. Ask for what you need. If the people you are working with don’t communicate back, if they require something of you that feels “wrong,” leave. No paycheck is worth sacrificing your sanity, and they obviously don’t deserve your awesome modeling skills anyway. P.S. Hey, I know I just made shooting BDSM and fetish sound terrifying. It’s certainly not for everyone. But if you are interested in giving it a try and keeping an open mind, there are some amazing people out there shooting it. And who knows, you might find something new that you love. P.P.S. Yes, there’s a difference between fetish and BDSM. That’s an entirely different article.Calvert is the BDSM and fetish expert for Gamelink, and has been featured in many fetish titles, including Jessica Drake’s Guide to Wicked Sex: BDSM for Beginners. Photo courtesy CaseyCalvert.com.

 
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