Welcome to potentially the first-ever, one-question interview with renowned kink/BDSM coach, sexologist, sex educator, bestselling author, artist and self-proclaimed pervert, Midori (aka Auntie Midori), who brilliantly crafted a single answer that addressed (nearly) all of our questions in one poetic response. (What do you expect from a world-class creator, negotiator and trailblazer in alternative erotic expression?)
If you're new to Auntie Midori's work, she's founder of Rope Dojo, a space to explore rope bondage, and ForteFemme: Women's Dominance Intensive, workshops geared around helping you unleash your power. She's written the first English instruction book on Shibari, Seductive Art of Japanese Bondage in 2001, which has fast-tracked this kink's popularity, and Wild Side Sex: The Book of Kink, deliciously playful and naughty lens into Midori's adventures in BDSM, kink and fetishes.
Whether you're a beginner or pro on your own "pervert" journey, check out Auntie Midori's take on the taboo and more below, plus find links below to all the places she plays. You'll quickly see why sex columnist, author and activist Dan Savage
calls her the "Super Nova of Kink."
You help people tap into their authentic power. What is it about your work with BDSM that plays into accessing deeper parts of yourself and unleashing your power?
Midori Let’s first talk about what BDSM is. Many readers already know that the acronym stands for; bondage, discipline, sadism and masochism — or variations similar to this. But this isn’t a definition or explanation. So what is it?
Here’s my definition. BDSM, we can also call it kink, is about childhood joyous play with adult privilege and cool toys. It’s about opening the creative imagination unfettered by the stifling mediocrity of socialization into acceptable adulthood. Then apply that to having fun and connecting with another human being in a private, intimate context. Sometimes that includes activities commonly thought of as ‘sex,’ but it might not. What ‘sex’ is or isn’t in itself a fascinating and big discussion. Sometimes some people want sex with their kink, at other times they might not. Arguing over whether sex must or must not be in BDSM is akin to arguing whether chocolate chip cookies should have dark or milk chocolate chips. Just try different cookies at different times, as the mood strikes you.
Our early minds and imagination are powerful and fascinating. Our capability of make-believe allowed us to travel to wondrous worlds and possess amazing abilities. I would be Xena on Mars fighting vampire mole people to rescue the Good Witch Glenda. I could fly and breathe underwater. I had powers. They felt so real. They were real. But adults just patronized, trivialized and squashed this wonder of imagination. Inside our own heads today, our adult minds do the same ourselves.
Innovators of arts, science, business, sports, activism… really all aspects of human endeavor… have either not lost this creative mind or have intentionally cultivated it. It’s the same for sexuality, intimate communication and erotic creativity. We can settle to be who people tell us to be. Or we can be ourselves. For most of us, achieving this is difficult as we live under the constant pressures of society.
Returning to, and fostering our mind’s native creativity is also about venturing into the parts of our minds that we’ve been told to stay away from or lock away. The child mind is brilliant in navigating and playing with power, joy, fear, fearsomeness, vulnerability, competitiveness, selfishness, destructiveness, belonging, crying, shouting, giggling, laughing until it hurts, and imagining the improbable.
The idea of breaking taboos is often associated with BDSM. Commonly people think of taboo as sex in places or contexts we shouldn’t have sex with or with people we shouldn’t have sex with. At a basic level, this is true. For example, shagging in the middle of Times Square is not allowed legally and goes against the societal norm of not screwing in public. Because it’s ‘forbidden’ it’s exciting to even simply think about ‘doing it.’ The human mind is so amazing that just the act of ‘thinking about it’ can give a small dose charge as if we were actually ‘doing it.’ This gives the zing for make-believe in sex. If we consensually role-play captor and captive, it’s nibbling on the brain charge of taboo-breaking without the real horror of being incarcerated.
But the deeper Taboo of kink might not be the “who/where/what” of sex play.
The word Taboo comes from the corruption of the words in the Pacific island cultures; kapu, tabu, tapu, etc. When a Hawaii folklorist friend explained a sacred place is kapu, so much made sense to me. Kapu is the sacred, to be visited by those who sanctified into the mysteries. The English word Taboo, comes from ignorant colonial fear, judgment, and control that which they didn’t understand.
Is it possible that the deeper Taboo of kink is about the power to freely access that creative mind? Creativity is an anathema to those who control and wield power over.
I have found that most fear or trepidation about exploring kink comes from ‘being bad,’ or ‘being bad at’ doing a thing. The first is the fear of judgment in the moment of self-discovery and the second is the fear of inadequacy and disappointment. All of this holds up back from innovation and self-actualization.
I think of kink and BDSM as a safe sandbox playground to explore power dynamics, imagination, strategies of communication, desire, boundaries and deep emotional states. It’s a safe sandbox because the participants already like each other, want the best fun for all parties, agree on limitations of time, the objective and scope of activity, and exit plan, all in relatively low-stakes conditions. BDSM can also give a steam vent to let out desires and emotions that would not serve you well in the world outside of your bedroom. If some part of my inner truth is the powerful queen of everything, selfish and imperious, this does not make me a good manager at work. No. But are there facets of my “Queen of Everything” that might serve my team and mission well when I’m in a pitch meeting with executives? Yes. What if I accessed my sexually commanding and confident Queen of Everything self with my beloved? Would that be fun and appreciated? Yes. Could that playtime help me access that attitude of authority during the pitch meeting? Yes.
You asked me about ForteFemme and who attends it. They’re women-identified people who want to have fun with kink, yes. And also they’re people who have a sense that their creative potential will help them soar and succeed in the playroom as well as the boardroom.
The same is true for people I coach. In my coaching, I work with adults of all orientations and genders — and the desire to understand the self, to find joy and success is common to all my clients.
I also work closely with therapists and coaches to help them serve their kinky and kink-curious clients with greater cultural competency. I’m finding that the new generation of mental health providers is better informed about the diversity of human sexual expression and the importance of sexuality in the greater human condition. This is so encouraging! I support this forward momentum in the capacity of my work as the Co-Director of Curriculum Development for Kink Informed Certification with Sexual Health Alliance.
Wanna experience Planet Midori? There are numerous ways to play, learn and get inspired:
and Private Sexological Consultations
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