Got issues in your erotic life?

LET'S FIX THEM TOGETHER!

Reclaim your pleasure with the help of a coach

Between Coronavirus anxiety and the longing to return to our kinky spaces: interview with Ayzad

This article was originally published on Melania Mieli – L’altra da me

 

After months of seclusion and abstinence due to the lockdown, going back to our play, communication, creativity and affectional exploration spaces can be a cause for doubts and fears. To get my bearings about the BDSM scene and to imagine its immediate future I turned to the authority of Ayzad, a recovering journalist, author and alternative sexuality expert.

  1. Before Covid-19 arrived to mess things up, how were the BDSM spaces in your city (Milan) organized? How is the famous SSC (safe, sane and consensual) motto practically applied in those spaces?

Kinkwise, Milan is a very lively place. Besides those hosted by Nautilus, the historical center point for BDSM, there are several events focused on other aspects of unusual eroticism, bondage schools, munches and private parties. They all have different needs and possibilities, so they widely vary in terms of organization and quality. Still, the best cases are truly excellent even on an international scale, really caring for the participants’ safety and well-being, the cultural and artistic aspects, the equipment quality and so on.

Talking about SSC, I can only answer for Sadistique and Freedomina, which I personally organize. There the intensity of play can reach even seriously high levels, but the expertise of most participants and the dungeon monitors’ discreet supervision ensure that the principle of keeping every activity safe, sensible and conensual is more than respected. There have been very few problems throughout the years, and in each case the troublemakers have been forever banned from the venue. Other events can be a bit less strict, but in general they are far safer places than “normal” clubs and concert venues.

 

  1. From your point of view of an alternative sexualities expert, how do you think the virus pandemic affected the sex drive of the people who came to the events you organize?

Badly. After all, when the apocalypse is creeping in all around you it is a bit difficult to find the enthusiasm and energy required for having good sex. Many found themselves isolated far from their partners; others were segregated in the company of people hostile toward their sexual preferences, or with whom they had strained relationships in the first place. You must also consider that Milan was – and still is, in some respects – Pandemic central for Europe. Even if I am not aware of any COVID-19-related deaths in the local kinksphere, here virus anxiety besieged even the most optimistic persons, and is still keeping company to the most pessimistic ones.

On the other hand somebody did set up nightly online munches that helped dilute the tension somehow, and in the long run the wish to return to active erotic lives is starting to prevail. We can’t even think of restarting the parties, but there is no doubt that in the end we’ll all reclaim our social dimension too.

 

  1. According to the current legislation, what features should a BDSM space have to be compliant with the latest protocols? And how should the participants behave?

The official rules for private clubs – which are the only places legally authorized to host erotic events in our country – keep being amended every single day. I have seen rather ridiculous health protocols requiring the use of gloves, facemasks, disinfectants and plexiglas booths… featuring gloryholes for intercourse! Another proposal allowed contact only between those who underwent a lancet blood test right at the club. That would have been slightly more serious prophylaxis, but a legal mess. A survey revealed that most people were against it, and anyway I am not sure about the genius of imposing bloody wounds – no matter how tiny – in a place where those pricked fingers could end up everywhere.

I am sorry to say this, but the truth is that the current situation simply does not allow safe erotic interactions in a semi-public space. Either you are at home with your exclusive partner and you are both freshly certified… or an objective risk exists.
The real issue is that we ought to be able to quantify that risk and learn how to rationally manage it, but nobody has the data required to make this analysis so far.

 

  1. Do you know of anybody developing practical ideas to allow a safe reopening?

There are plenty of ideas being bounced around: some of them are completely bonkers and others are a bit more sensible, but risk profiling remains the central issue.

Practically put: you could safely reopen by keeping the participants distanced, forbidding physical touch and having table service instead of a bar. This is however impossible in most clubs, and you’d also have higher staff costs while the income would be smaller. But even besides this, such an arrangement would work for a munch or a cultural meeting – great for those into an intensely intellectual kind of eroticism, but pretty disappointing for those looking for a different type of stimulation.

So let’s imagine a venue putting no limits to interaction. It ought to allow medically certified patrons only, to ensure they had been infected and recovered already – or you could have asymptomatic infected individuals infiltrating the club. That would be rather dystopic, and yet I’d expect somebody to react by seeking contagion just to fit the bill… that’s definitely not the message any community would want to convey, although coronavirus bug chasing is unfortunately becoming somewhat frequent.
To recap, no matter how you approach the issue you end up clashing with risk assessment, which is something I don’t think should be left in the partygoers’ hands, nor of the club owners. Wouldn’t you wish for a real government, capable of scientific thinking and interested in the well-being of the country instead of collecting social network likes?

 

  1. What differences and similarities are you seeing between this historical moment and the AIDS peak in the Eighties? What sort of impact can we imagine on our way to experience sexuality?

I guess that anyone who lived the purple auras era is noticing many similarities. The uncertainty, the anxiety, the fear of getting infected, the self-destructive desperation of those who cannot stand the stress anymore, the doomsayers, the conspiracy nuts and medical research being always slower than we’d like. COVID-19 is especially unpleasant due to its mode of transmission, although it is naturally far from being as dangerous as HIV.

The uncomfortable truth is that sexually transmitted diseases – and coronavirus seems to be vectored by sperm and vaginal fluids too – have been always there, and unfortunately they were often underestimated. Just like in the past, today we must realise that a condom is not enough to ensure “safe sex”, and you must care for yourself by keeping yourself monitored through full (blood + swab) STD tests, respecting your partners by offering and requiring the results of such tests.

A mood killer? Sure, but becoming a syphilis and gonorrhea epidemic statistic sounds even less pleasant to me – and that’s a worldwide reality, just like sexually transmitted hepatitis. It is also true that an effective cure is easily accessible in most cases – but not having to undergo that at all still seems preferable.

The most probable future scenario is to integrate the coronavirus test into the other STD exams (which I would like to remind you are freely and anonymously available in pretty much every civilized country), while promoting a culture of sanitary respect between partners. This is something we owe not only to ourselves, but also to those around us; how would you feel about risking to kill your granma with COVID just because you had one random sex encounter?

I am really sorry to sound tragic, but you cannot cherry-pick scientific data.

 

  1. This is an undoubtedly hard financial time. What measures have been taken, or should have, to support the BDSM community?

This is a great question, even if it may sound very odd. What connection is there between the BDSM scene and the financial crisis?
Fact is, in order to enjoy parties, workshops, performances and the such, the people behind all that must have the means to do them – and yet the extremely unusual nature of this field hit them especially hard, while preventing them from accessing the institutional financial support given to other, more “normal” businesses. Many clubs closed down for good, and lots of apparently “big” names who already struggled to make ends meet through their kink-related activities had to go looking for a job in a market that stigmatizes against all kind of sex-related resumes.

In that light, I would have loved to see a modicum of initiative from all those people who benefitted from the passion spent by these “operators” through the decades… but everything boiled down to frankly pathetic campaigns of “support your favorite porn star or prodomme” – the same ones who were already happily earning even more than before the crisis by grinding their stuff on a webcam, by the way.

The same goes for the opposite, of course. Some big enthusiasts who were a staple of the BDSM scene fell onto very hard times due to the pandemic, but the “community” did zilch for them. That’s weird, if we consider how other groups born around a common passion banded together to provide mutual support.

In the end, everything boils down to the usual problem of thinking of sex as a world separate from “real life”, of little importance even if it so often fills our thoughts. Again, it would only take a little education on these topics…

 

  1. What are your future projects?

First of all, surviving the end of the world. I recently completed a restyling of my website; then I am working on the English edition of one of my books, organizing a few cultural initiatives about unusual eroticism, and I should really get started on making the second season of my podcast. Oh, and there is that other project I cannot really talk about, that…

Try also reading...

Do you like this site?

GET UPDATES IN YOUR INBOX

Join my newsletter featuring articles, events invitations and more

NEXT

APPEARANCES

2 Mar 2021
h. 23:59 - 2:00
Rebel Yell
3 Mar 2021
h. 22:00 - 23:00
Esploratori del sesso insolito – ClubItalia
5 Mar 2021
h. 22:00 - 23:00
Smart Sex – Conosciamoci!
UNUSUAL

SEXOLOGY

Men who wish they had a larger penis: 45%
Who wish it was smaller: 0.2%
Women dissatisfied with their partner’s size: 15%

BECOME A

SEXUAL EXPLORER

Improve your life now!

Read my

FREE EBOOKS

Online or downloadable

Click to visit

THE MUSEUM

OF INEXPLICABLE MOMENTS IN THE HISTORY OF SEXUALITY

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This