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Accent magazine
Photographs: Maya Fuhr
Styling: Jessica Canje
Interviews: Lucy Nurnberg
Design and art direction: Luke Tudor Griffiths

Work / Publication

Accent magazine shoot professional dominatrix for issue 3 (NSFW)

The Accent mag team are back with a characteristically explosive third issue. Due to be published on 20 June, this issue turns its attention to tarot readers, vogue dancers, cowboy artists, witches and activists, with Japanese Buddhist monk and make-up artist Kodo Nishimura as its cover star. In the lead up to the magazine’s launch, Accent offered us a sneak preview of one of the issue’s most explosive stories: an interview with professional dominatrices based in Toronto. Lydia and Lucy told us “for issue three, we profiled a group of young, urban dominatrixes in Toronto and ask them to share their experiences of BDSM, what they love about the kink scene and what they get up to outside the dungeon. Half the women have day jobs outside their dominatrix work, others are full-time — such as Headmistress Shahrazad (aka the Alchemical Seductress) who is the owner of the Ritual Chamber, a brilliant dungeon space in the city. We started working on this issue at a time when women’s rights seemed under threat, and we were excited to share the experiences of these phenomenal feminist icons. We asked photographer Maya Fuhr to shoot the dommes in three dungeon locations around the city (places they regularly use), and asked all our subjects to dress as they would for a session — we wanted the photos to celebrate their authentic, beautiful selves.” Enter the dungeon of Mistress Isobel — if you’re feeling brave enough…

I got into BDSM without knowing its name. I am attracted to people who are open to playing games with me, who allow me to guide them through sensation and imagination and get off on weirdness.

Role play is a big part of my love for this game. Creepy, unhinged and highly precise characters come out of me when I slip into certain roles. The sadistic medical professional has been surfacing more and more as I learn new techniques. I play her as someone who is institutionally cold, whose reassurance is not quite nurturing enough. I find I start dropping into a role when I put on certain clothes. The hooks and laces of a corset are tight on my body and it switches on the malicious temptress in me, the one that wants to see hot red lines along your flesh from where my spike heel drags deep.

My ideal play partner understands themselves enough to know what they need and what they aren’t ready for. They can slip out of the mundane and into the space we create, with all its jagged edges, trusting that I will meet them there. Their body responds to my touch by sighing, yelping, flexing, grinning or grimacing. I assert dominance by showing up with a smile and a mischievous look in my eye, aware that I have the skill to tear them open.

For me, being a Domme means manipulating sensory cues of femininity. My scents, my softness, how I cover and reveal myself, the way my shoes click the floor as I circle you when I first undress you, before things really begin. I know that I am beautiful, inside and out. I don’t shy away from that power, nor do I take it for granted.

When I step into a dungeon I see a room full of tools and I want to do everything all at once. I’ve learned that savouring a single act and drawing out the nuances of, say, picking out a pair of silky panties, sliding them up over a boy’s chastity cage and adjusting the lacy waistband, can heighten that experience by multitudes. I used to fret about how to talk, how to walk, what to wear, which boxes to tick, and then I found that I already knew how to do these things, I just hadn’t named them. I learned to focus and be completely in the moment, trusting myself and allowing things to flow. I am an artist and a performer, and the playfulness I feel in the creative flow – when the project comes to life and ideas fall into place to make something beautiful or silly or scary – that’s what I aim to get into when going through a scene. It’s a collaboration.

I have so many stories I could horrify and fascinate you with, anecdotes of blood, bruises and brutal humiliation, but these I keep them in confidence for the sake of my clients, my friends and lovers, and the community that works ceaselessly to provide safe spaces for people to be uninhibited. Any photos or writing that I publish have the explicit permission of the people involved. So you’ll have to come meet me and we can create our very own horror story.  

Photographs: Maya Fuhr. Styling: Jessica Canje. Interviews: Lucy Nurnberg. Design and art direction: Luke Tudor Griffiths

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