This interview was originally published on SexGoods.
La Dyvina is a very well-known radio personality, hosting sex-related shows on various major Italian radios like Radio Deejay and M2O. She also runs the SexGoods website, where she needed a hand with the more unusual aspects of sexuality. This is how we ended up collaborating – beginning with an inevitable introductory interview.
La Dyvina is pleased to introduce the new SexGoods ambassador, the leading Italian expert about BDSM and kink, Monsieur Ayzad.
A journalist and blogger specializing in alternative sexualities, he authored several books including the best-selling BDSM – A Guide for Explorers of Extreme Eroticism and XXX – The Dictionary of Unusual Sex. I am endlessly curious about his work: I got to interview him during the Xplore pleasure festival where he was a lecturer. Even if you are not interested in whips and bondage, I suggest you to follow him anyway on my SexGoods – The Joys of Sex in the “Unusual Sex” category to explore the universe of kink, open uncommon perspectives about sexuality in general and about relationship psychology. Are you ready for the strangest and most unusual sexual oddness? Ayzad will ensure entertainment, amazement and lots of surprises!
- What exactly is an “extreme eroticism explorer” and what do they do?
That’s my personal definition of those who find sexuality as it is usually intended too narrow, boxed into a few standard practices and behaviors that surely are pleasurable, but also devoid of imagination. They are people who choose to peek behind those boundaries, to open their mind toward the countless other forms eroticism can take and who find their own ways of titillating not only their genitals but their brain and soul too, one hundred percent. So extreme doesn’t necessarily mean to go overboard, but to seek very intense emotions to fully satisfy your deeper nature.
- Who is Ayzad?
I am a reformed journalist who began exploring thirty years ago and now keeps having loads of fun as he still discovers so many erotic secrets. Now that I’ve learned to live well, I find it morally and ethically correct to help others onto their own journeys; I write books and articles, I hold lectures and workshops, I organize events and I am a personal coach. It is a peculiar and a bit funny job, but it is also wonderful.
- Why did you choose to dedicate your life to working with BDSM, extreme eroticism and relationship counseling?
The choice to make it a profession came as a happy chance many years ago, when I used a sabbatical to write my first book as Ayzad. I thought that work would only tickle the (many) people curious about BDSM, but it turned out to be a best-seller now in its fifth edition, also available internationally. In all these years the biggest surprise was to receive literally thousands of emails and thank you notes from those who say that my writings finally allowed them to live their sexuality in a serene way, or saved their troubled love lives. With such feedbacks, how could I go back to a “journalism” that today unfortunately only amounts to fueling fear and hate in the name of one more click? So the alternative became to keep studying the subject, delving more and more deeply into it… and here I am!
- Sexuality: what is it for you?
An almost endless territory, whose real boundaries are only the law, the limits dictated by physiology, physics and the other rules we cannot control, but above all consent and awareness. Problem is, most people focus on the minuscule part of the map that is more or less reliably known. It’s a bit like growing up in flyover county, one of those anonymous places you just see from your car window, and stubbornly never leave it. That’s how you end up embittered by your dreams of those marvelous locations you occasionally see on television, maybe even feeling hatred born out your envy. I prefer traveling to them, enjoy what they have to offer and maybe choose not to return to them, but never clipping the wings of my dreams… and always bringing back home lots of experiences, notions, memories and new inspirations.
- Do taboos, false beliefs, cultural legacies still exist within sexuality in the Third millennium? Has anything changed?
Studying history you actually learn how sexuality has always been changing throughout the different times and cultures. Our times aren’t different, both for the good and the bad – you merely have to skim a newspaper to notice that. In this continuous evolution the one true constant is the conviction, for a sizeable part of the population, that the arbitrary rules of morals must be followed no matter what to please the somewhat wobbly authorities, even when ethics and sense suggest very different behaviors.
- Who does more serenely approach a kinky personal coach? Men or women?
Personal coaching is unfortunately mostly required by people who lost their serenity, specifically due to some issue with their way of interpreting sexuality. My role consists of helping them to better focus on where their problem arises from, giving them the information they need and plotting together the ideal strategy to overcome the obstacle. Luckily, we usually manage that pretty well! In time I possibly saw a slight female preponderance, but I’d say that quite obviously the people requiring a guide come from every gender and inclination, because eroticism concerns everyone.
- In your personal experience with clients, what is the strangest or more extreme thing they told you about their vices, perversions or secrets?
One of the first things you learn when you adopt a larger concept of sexuality is that oddness doesn’t exist outside of the statistical meaning. Some practices are objectively less frequent than others, but they are always an expression of the complexity and richness of each human being, and they deserve to be respected without being judged. The sole exception, also according to modern psychology, is represented by those cases where your sexuality causes distress for you or for the people around you: that should be treated for everyone’s peace of mind.
Having said this, if you read my website you can find many articles about some truly particular situations – from which you always learn interesting things about the world around us and about ourselves.
- How does a BDSM and extreme eroticism expert live his sex?
Besides the damn difficulty finding three-persons-sized bedsheets… pretty well, thank you!
But seriously, being used to address the subject in a rational and serene way prevents lots of problems which are unfortunately common in so-called normal relationships. Also, internalizing the culture of consent, respect, communication and safety that constitutes the foundation of smart sex makes living all the other aspects of the relation between partners in an equally pleasant way.
- Among S. Andrew’s crosses, whipping benches, cages, fisting slings, pillories and other unsettling furniture, what does really happen during those ultra-secret BDSM parties?
Truth to be told, serious BDSM parties are anything but secret: those cloaked in mystery usually have something to hide, which is a pretty good clue not to attend them at all. Lots of people imagine Eyes Wide Shut-like scenes, but that is fiction just as much Indiana Jones doesn’t live like real archeologists at all. For example, I have been organizing a monthly event in Milano for over twelve years now. It is called Sadistique and you can easily google it: besides the play part, it offers workshops about the various practices, art exhibitions and cultural mini-events. The most frequent comment from first-timers is that it feels surprisingly much more serene and respectful than most traditional clubs.
- Sexuality is a fundamental expression of humanity: how can Ayzad contribute to a better sexual satisfaction and freedom?
In my little way I try to go for it every day through the many sides of my job. Often the biggest difficulty consists in making people abandon just for a moment all of their entrenched prejudices about eroticism, so that they can open their minds to different visions – not necessarily to embrace them, but at least to broaden their horizons. The strategy I adopted is to stimulate people’s curiosity with particular, uncommon news and to lead them to discover what lies behind them.
Then, more practically… if any reader has a particular need they can always get in touch, so we can try answering their questions.