Rita Seagrave

Eibon: Hi Rita, thanks for agreeing to this interview. How old were you when you first got interested in BDSM, and what initially caught your attention?

Rita: There are two things that got me interested in BDSM and leather. Growing up in the San Francisco Bay Area in the 1980's meant that I oftentimes caught passing glimpses of leathermen and bikers. They stirred my early erotic longings. The second influence that shaped me was the bondage imagery found in the original Wonder Woman comics created by William Marston.

Eibon: I grew up about one hour north of where you currently reside Columbus, Ohio. A cursory look reveals there are several BDSM groups in and around Columbus which is the biggest one, and what is the scene like in general there?

Rita: The scene in Columbus is rocking! The community is big enough to support 2-3 munches every week, several workshops and parties each month, special interests groups for rope enthusiasts and TNGers, plus two annual events with national presenters and vendors. We're very, very lucky.

Eibon: After witnessing both your presentations at Thunder in the Mountains ("Designing Assignments for Submissives" and "Playing with Strangers") I'd have to say you were the most entertaining educator that weekend. How long have you been presenting on BDSM topics, and how did you become interested in being a presenter?

Rita: I think what propels a lot of presenters-- in addition to sharing our practical skills-- is that we want to inspire the audience to play. Like, tonight, or...right after this workshop. Or *during* this workshop! I include a segment in Playing with Strangers where I invite participants to negotiate a scene with a stranger. What makes me happiest is when someone comes up to me later and says, "After your class, we played and it was awesome!"

Eibon: You published a BDSM zine called "Orders" and distributed it for free at parties and other events in central Ohio. What inspired this, and did you accomplish what you set out to do with it?

Rita: As I mentioned, we've got going on in Columbus, so I wanted a central forum to publicize a calendar of events. I also wanted to give my kinky friends an outlet for their creative writing. It was important to me that "Orders" be available in only hard-copy format because I wanted to give shy people something to read and talk about at munches. I wanted "Orders" to be an experiment in non-internet-driven social media. It was a good experiment and it worked. When I have more time to devote to publishing, I will revive "Orders."

Eibon: What got you started as a professional Dominatrix?

Rita: I was working at an adult toy store in the Bay Area. Two of my co-workers did sessions at a local house of domination called Fantasy Makers, so I started doing sessions there, too.

Eibon: What did you most enjoy most about your Dominatrix work, and what about it did you not enjoy?

Rita: My favorite sessions involved tease and denial, where I would tie up a client, talk him through some hot fantasies, but not let him have an orgasm. Those sessions turned me on a lot and I would have to lock myself in the dungeon to masturbate after the client left. What I did not enjoy was trying to navigate the blurry legal issues surrounding professional domination work, the same issues (I think) that led to the recent police busts in NYC.

Eibon: Since you've traveled all over the United States to do presentations I'd like to know: what differences in states/regions do you notice? Do different parts of the country favor certain activities or styles of play?

Rita: What I have noticed is that someone will go to a national event, get excited about something new, bring that new skill home, and it will spread throughout the region. It is always cool to see how we teach each other, whether in workshops and classes, or in less formal settings like parties and smaller gatherings.

Eibon: You are moderately deaf, and while that obviously doesn't impair your presentation abilities I was wondering if it has ever hindered your scenes - or in other aspects of the lifestyle?

Rita: I teach a class called "Deafness and Power Exchange" where I give guidelines for playing with deaf people, but what's interesting is that many hearing people find the class useful because they can't always hear their partners when they are playing in loud dungeons. I think the nonverbal feedback systems that deaf people use are also helpful to people who want to check in with their partners without actually asking aloud, "Is everything ok?"

Eibon: What is it about BDSM that keeps you interested and engaged?

Rita: Two things come to mind. First, there's always something new to learn or try. Second, I keep coming around full circle back to a lot of the same fantasies I originally started with. My core erotic themes involve basic stuff like bondage, spanking, and clothespins. These have always been the foundation of my sexuality and probably always will be.

Eibon: Is there anything else you would like add?

Rita: Thanks for your patience, Eibon!

You can learn more about Rita at her website: Kink Mogul
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