Dominatrix visits campus to discuss BDSM, tackle taboo around sex

Lady+Sophia+the+Dominatrix+talks+about+healthy+BDSM+relationships+at+a+Sex+Week+event.+Sophia+said+while+communication+is+important+in+a+BDSM+relationship%2C+many+face+difficulty+in+articulating+their+desires+because+society+discourages+dialogue+around+sex.
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Dominatrix visits campus to discuss BDSM, tackle taboo around sex

Lady Sophia the Dominatrix talks about healthy BDSM relationships at a Sex Week event. Sophia said while communication is important in a BDSM relationship, many face difficulty in articulating their desires because society discourages dialogue around sex.

Lady Sophia the Dominatrix talks about healthy BDSM relationships at a Sex Week event. Sophia said while communication is important in a BDSM relationship, many face difficulty in articulating their desires because society discourages dialogue around sex.

Catherine Kim/Daily Senior Staffer

Lady Sophia the Dominatrix talks about healthy BDSM relationships at a Sex Week event. Sophia said while communication is important in a BDSM relationship, many face difficulty in articulating their desires because society discourages dialogue around sex.

Catherine Kim/Daily Senior Staffer

Catherine Kim/Daily Senior Staffer

Lady Sophia the Dominatrix talks about healthy BDSM relationships at a Sex Week event. Sophia said while communication is important in a BDSM relationship, many face difficulty in articulating their desires because society discourages dialogue around sex.

Catherine Kim, Web Editor

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Lady Sophia the Dominatrix visited Northwestern on Thursday to promote healthy bondage, dominance, sadism and masochism in relationships.

The talk was part of Northwestern Sex Week 2018, a weeklong series of events held to tackle the stigma surrounding the public discussion of sex. Sophia, who is the owner of Chicago Dungeon Rentals, spoke to about 30 students in Harris Hall, giving a rundown of how to pursue a healthy BDSM relationship and addressing the taboo toward sex in society.

“It’s ridiculous how taboo sex and sexuality (still) is,” Sophia said. “I am happy to break that down where I can and also to be a good ambassador for the BDSM community.”

Sophia said she decided to professionally practice BDSM because of the trust and intimacy she gains through the experience. The human connection between two people practicing BDSM also provides her more physical satisfaction, she said.

Medill sophomore Isabelle Johnson said the event taught her about the importance of honesty in a BDSM relationship.

“We struggle saying exactly what we want because we feel awkward about it,” she said. “But it’s the best way to get what you want and enjoyment out of it. And I think that’s a great way to move on to the next subject –– like the taboo that comes with sex.”

Johnson added it is important to continue informing young people on college campuses to tackle the stigma surrounding sex. She said she encourages news outlets to spread information about healthy sexual relationships to reach a wider audience.

In BDSM relationships, Sophia emphasized three parts to having healthy interactions. During the “pre-scene” negotiation, a couple should set boundaries, and then act on those agreements during the “scene,” she said. During the “aftercare,” partners should take the time to debrief about the experience, she said.

For those first dabbling in BDSM, Sophia said it is important to articulate one’s desires. However, many people have difficulties communicating because modern society discourages dialogue around sex, she said.

“A lot of us don’t get tons of practice communicating about (sex),” she said. “Building up your vocabulary and dealing with any shame and embarrassment that may impede you from having these experiences will serve you well.”

Despite the taboo surrounding masturbation, Sophia encouraged self-exploration as a way to understand one’s desires. Masturbation is not only great for physical and mental health, she said, but also a great way to learn about one’s body.

Event organizer Caitlin Capriotti said Sophia was invited to talk about BDSM because it is a topic that has not been covered in detail in past Sex Week events.

“We live in a culture where sex is taboo … and that can lead to really toxic beliefs and practices,” the Weinberg junior said. “So during Sex Week our goal is to bring those conversations into the mainstream, just acceptance of all sorts of lifestyles, (and) we just want to have the conversation in a positive way that everyone can feel safe on campus.”

Email: catherinekim2020@u.northwestern.edu
Twitter: @ck_525

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