Say hello to Owen Gray! If you don’t know who he is yet, buckle your seatbelts – because Owen is a man of substance, of intelligence, plus he’s gorgeous to boot! I’ve worked with him four times now, in a variety of scenes – from “I Put a Pagan Spell on You” with his close friend Vex Ashley, to a foursome in “Sweet but Psycho“. In a few weeks I’m releasing “I’m Obsessed with Owen Gray“, where Owen meets a real-life fan for the first time on camera, and they have sex. It’s an incredibly intimate, moving film, and I can’t wait to share it with you! This week however, we are focussing on his next release with me, “Feminist and Submissive“. In the film, Owen dominates Lina Bembe (having previously discussed rules, desires and safe-play together beforehand), and the film features a round-table including myself and voices within the industry discussing whether you can be a feminist and be submissive in the bedroom. I wanted to hear more of Owen’s opinion on BDSM, as his tumblr FAQ’s led me to realise that he has A LOT of very interesting, insightful things to say on the subject. His exploration of BDSM both on the sub and Dom sides is fascinating, so if you want to know more, keep reading! But be warned – consumption of this material may lead to a little bit of a crush…
Hi Owen! So, what was it like shooting your first BDSM scene with me? Was it different from working at kink.com and other places?
It was very fluid in what myself and Lina wanted to do which was nice because it would involve a bit more sensuality than most typical BDSM scenes. Often times working with companies like Kink.com it is focused on a specific fetish where there isn’t a lot of flexibility in the general storyline. This scene was a bit more playful and I enjoyed being able to discuss with you my thoughts on how to approach dominating Lina once I learned about Lina’s interests.
Can you divulge as to what drew you to BDSM?
When I first started exploring BDSM I was curious as to learn what the mind could feel by stimulating the body in different ways. I approached it not from a sexual point but purely physical sensation as I had stronger masochistic tendencies that I wanted to understand. I eventually met lovers who I explored BDSM with in a sexual context and found the strong connections where our interests aligned.
You’ve said on your blog that you have tried being both dominant and submissive. Can you tell me about the power dynamic for you in these scenes – do you feel more powerful in one or the other? Do you feel that when you are subbing, perhaps you are actually the one in control, and vice versa?
In my experience I feel mostly a sense of responsibility when doing anything BDSM more so than focusing on the idea of being powerful. I have never identified as feeling submissive and typically when people treat me that way I just feel irritated. When I am submitting my body to another person I am more focused on being able to dissolve in to an over stimulation of my senses and to release emotion that I often feel I must contain because of expected roles in our culture. When playing a dominant role I enjoy being playful but I can also be very strict depending on the dynamic. When dominant I am fully aware of my partners boundaries as I feel like they are in a place of indulgence and am focused on their pleasure. While there are dominant activities that I enjoy more than others they would hold no pleasure for me if they weren’t what my partner wanted. As well when in a place of someone dominating me I think there is an equal responsibility for me to communicate my boundaries both prior and during the experience. It’s important for me to be aware of what my body is going through when heavy amounts of pain are being inflicted and when I can communicate to either slow down or stop.
Do you think a man can be a feminist and be a dominant? Is there a dichotomy between the two, or is that just a social construct around masculinity and violence? (Virginie Despentes once said “all masculinity is linked to violence” in media and society etc.)
Certainly, I would like to believe that the two can exist together quite easily. To myself being feminist simply means that I believe women are equal and should be treated as such. I think that it means that a woman should have to power to pursue her own desires without the criticism of others, including other women, because what may be empowering or desirable is going to be dramatically different for all individuals. In a BDSM type setting there should always be healthy communication with clear boundaries. While different people have approached BDSM differently, I would not ask someone to do something that I haven’t experiences being inflicted on myself in some manner, let alone something that they just simply said no to. I think that masculinity often can be violent but not all who identify as masculine are violent or are even men. While there certainly is violence in the world I think that with the overbearing pressure for young men to identify as being manly that having a stronger balance of feminism in men and supporting them in being more in touch with their feelings and gender could help that a lot.
You work a lot with me, and with ethical, progressive companies such as Four Chambers. Can you tell me a little about why you enjoy working in porn that is more indie and alternative, and consciously pushing against the mainstream?
I think in a much broader sense than the porn industry that our culture pushes for a prescribed type of sex on camera, an “ideal” that people are told is the most desirable to attain. These ideals are often very unrealistic to how people have sex in real life and how people enjoy sex in general which leaves people being confused, insecure, and often feeling inadequate. I enjoy working with smaller companies who are pushing to show an alternative to sexuality in general. It’s easy to target the general mainstream porn industry because they are following the capitalist agenda to make a product that sells when often everyone is happy to ignore mainstream movies and television where the same patterns of unhealthy sex and relationships are being shown constantly. I would like to hope that in time these companies showing a healthier representation of sex and communication around sex and relationships will slowly have an impact. At least from the people who follow me online I am told they do.
Do you think BDSM has infiltrated the mainstream, and if so is this good or bad?
It has definitely broken in to the mainstream which I think has plenty of positive and negative impacts. I think that it’s important for people to be aware of healthy alternatives to vanilla sex and to not feel alone in their search for what they would like to explore within their own sexuality. Demystifying BDSM and fetish will help people not feel as though something is wrong with them and that they are not alone. It will also in time help people understand that BDSM is not abuse and can be done consensually in a wonderfully fun way for all people involved. The negative impacts I think are where people don’t understand consent and respecting people’s boundaries. Some people want to say that they are in to BDSM when really they want non consensual control over the other person which is terrible and is definitely not BDSM.