Rachel May : Fetish Beginnings

Rachel May : Fetish Beginnings

fetish self portrait by Rachel May fetish webmistress

Fetish.com were curious about how I became the Fetish Webmistress, and invited me to an interview about my humble beginnings, running a business in the fetish and BDSM industry and my experience with the fetish scene, in general.

When did you get the idea to start a fetish web design business? How much has changed since when you first began developing your business?

I met a chap called Alan by chance, in London in early 2000, who needed someone to help him out with a website he was about to launch called WhatsYours.com. The concept was to present fetish and BDSM in a friendly, non-threatening way, to educate the mainstream, and to encourage people to talk about – what was back then – a very taboo topic. Alan also had a web design business that catered to the kink community. I learned a lot with him and met a lot of people who became clients (and friends). Word-of-mouth meant that my clients have always been in the adult industry though I have had a few mainstream clients. So, I never really had the idea to start a fetish web design business, it just kind of happened!

So much has changed: Technology, design style, attitudes towards sex and kink, perception of the sex industry, fetish fashion, the law, the way we communicate, the way we meet people and nurture relationships. My confidence as a photographer has also of course been affected by the introduction of digital photography. I’m much more comfortable with the fact that I can verify my shots on the spot rather than waiting for a roll of film to develop!

What is your mission? Why should people come to you for their creative needs?

I aim to provide a professional, bespoke service for each of my clients. So, even though I do offer packages on my website they are very much tailored with regards to my clients’ needs. I create websites that can be updated by anyone, not just me, so if my client wants to do this themselves I offer a training period where I walk them through the admin aspects of their website. I now have 18 years of experience creating websites for the erotic industry so I know a thing or two about what works on adult websites, in terms of user experience. I also provide basic to advanced SEO to attract traffic from the various search engines available and can advise on which websites are the best to advertise on etc.

Were you interested in BDSM/Fetish lifestyle before pursuing business ownership in the lifestyle?

I was 17 and my mind was totally corrupted when Madonna published her SEX book. The way I thought about and experienced sex was never the same again. When I moved to London and found the fetish scene by accident in 2000, I knew I had found my spiritual home.

What kind of clients do you attract? What can people expect when the sit down to discuss their ideas with you?

My clients are super-professional, motivated and keen to take charge of their personal brand. They understand that the cheapest option is not always the best option. They are non-conformists and think outside the box rather than submit to society’s conventions.

I admire each and everyone of them for their creativity and individuality and they can expect 100% interest and involvement in the development of their product from me, whether it’s a website design or a photo shoot. All clients are different, some want to be more hands on others just want to hand the whole project over and let me get on with it. Either way is fine for me.

Working within the Femdom community has been a wonderful experience. The concept of sisterhood is strong and I have found great support from women who are not only clients but those whom I consider good friends. I appreciate the confidence they have in me, especially for photo shoots and the end results are always mind blowing!

Are you involved in the local kink community (events, festivals, markets, munches)?

I am a sponsor of the annual FemDom Ball and over the last 18 years I have attended and had different levels of involvement in various events including Torture Garden, Rubber Cult, Club Rub, Club Blackwhip, Club Wicked and The F Club and the now legendary Skin Two Rubber Ball.

I designed (and appeared in) the last few issues of Skin Two magazine – if you are interested in the history of the fetish and BDSM scene, a good place to start would be issue 1 which is available as a digital download from Tim Woodward’s online store KFS Media.

I am also the web manager for the LAM – London Alternative Market – website. 

With thanks to Jacob Darkly and Fetish.com

Erotic and straight up kinky gift ideas!

Erotic and straight up kinky gift ideas!

I have been meaning to write a post about kinky gift ideas for years, and since Christmas is fast approaching I thought I’d take the opportunity to suggest some quality erotic items produced by my very dear friends and clients – some are great ideas for last-minute purchases as they do not necessarily involve a physical product.

Erotic and Fetish Art

Michael Manning creates some of the kinkiest, bizarre erotic art on the planet! I myself am so proud to have provided Michael with some inspiration for his art with my Puss in Boots persona that I used to play around with when I was fetish clubbing regularly a few years ago. That is another post entirely but here are two of the illustrations: That’s me, the kitty cat 😉

pony play fetish illustration by Michael Manning

Puss in Boots by Michael Manning fetish artist

I can’t think of a more perfect gift than an original artwork and you can commission Michael to create one in your loved ones likeness. There are also many other soecial pieces for sale on his website. Michael’s cool-as-fuck Spider Garden and Tranceptor graphic novels and Inamorata are also available to purchase too. His website is: www.thespidergarden.net and for a virtual gift why not sign up your loved one for a monthly fix of fetish art on his Patreon

Instant Download Fetish and BDSM Porn!

Maria Beatty is a pioneer of the artistic erotic porn genre, check out The Black Glove and The Elegant Spanking and for something a little edgier Post Apocalyptic Cowgirls…. Gift Certificates are available and the recipient of your gift will get instant access to 25 years worth of Maria’s stunning films that she has produced, directed and edited herself. You will also be supporting independent film makers meaning she can continue to produce this content in an uncompromised manner maintaining her unique vision. More info on the Gift Certificates on Bleu Productions Online

BDSM B&B Getaway in London

London’s Hoxton Dungeon Suite, owned by the lovely Madame Caramel, is a kinky haven set in the grooviest part of east London. Go with your partner, mistress, lover and don’t just stay one night as it is just not enough to truly experience all this pervert’s paradise has to offer.

Erotic, Fetish and BDSM Bookstore

If you want to view a collection of some of the best kinky books, magazines and DVDs ever published, then KFS MEDIA is where you should go! Tim Woodward, founder of the famous Skin Two magazine personally curates and manages KFS Media himself. I highly recommend a look at the Troupe of Slaves book – if you like your BDSM with a healthy dose of humour this book is a real page-turner. Also highly recommended is the great femdom artist Sardax’s exquisite version of Venus in Furs

Femdom, Fetish and BDSM and VANILLA Photoshoots

Purchase a photoshoot with me, Miss May, for Mistress or your lover and I will send you a personalised gift certificate that you can send to their inbox on Christmas day, Valentine’s day, their b’day etc. However, I don’t only offer photoshoots for Mistresses – everyone is welcome to, and should experience at least one in their life, a professional photoshoot. I love photographing women and women with their loved ones, children and grandchildren. The photos are printed on beautiful fine art paper and are presented in a beautiful hand made leather or leatherette folio which becomes an heirloom for future generations to enjoy and treasure. If you would like to hear more about my mainstream portraits service, please do not hesitate to contact me and if you would like to see some of my photography of my prodomme clients you can visit this gallery

Tart Cards and a very brief history of adult web design on the WWW

Tart Cards and a very brief history of adult web design on the WWW

Some of my first regular sex industry clients came about after the Tart Cards were banned in London’s phone boxes in 2001. The escorts and professional mistresses who relied on these for their clientele became my first clients who really needed a strong internet presence. SEO brought them valuable traffic and therefore new clients various search engines of the time – AltaVista and Ask Jeeves come to mind; Google did not even exist. So my SEO experience, in the adult industry, spans a good 15 years.  (more…)

Fetish Social Networks and Dating Sites

Fetish Social Networks and Dating Sites

Fetlife Friends

There’s a multitude of fetish and BDSM Social Networks and dating sites but do they really work? Well it depends on the way you want them to work for you, I guess. I’m on several; Facebook (not originally intended for us perverts!), Fetlife (aka dirtydollbaby) and a number of others that are more visual based like Instagram and DeviantArt.

I’m not on them to meet the love of my life, or even a play partner. My dance card is already full. But I have met nice people on there, particularly Fetlife, and those people have since become real-life friends – some of the best friends I have, in fact.

I have, however, witnessed quite a few romantic success stories through the use of these networks and dating sites; friends who have met their lovers, play partners and even spouses. Oh, and one serious D/s relationship that I believe is still going strong.

The age of online communication is very real, from Skype dates to Snapchat, people are hooking up with potential partners from all over the world. Social Networks are bridging the gap and there is a Social Network for everyone, whatever you may be into whether it’s the spicy kinky type you are looking for or, the ‘vanilla’ variety.

I’d recommend all of the above, by the way and here are a few others that I am yet to check out: Kinkaholic – a blend of BDSM and alternative swingers’ community and another; XXX Sex Guides – a dating site with worldwide listings for kinksters.

If you are thinking about starting a profile on a Social Network or dating site, my best advice is to be as open and honest as you possibly can, and don’t be creepy or unnecessarily pushy. Add some genuine writing in your About Me section and upload some real photos of yourself (wear a mask if you want to keep your face concealed for privacy reasons). Interact! Comment on some other photos that you like, and participate in the group discussions. Most of all, enjoy and don’t take it all too seriously!

Rachel May

P.S That is a photo of me with some of my Fetlife friends ?

What’s the point of making art if no one is going to see it?

I’m struggling with the concept.

Dear Friends and Family, if you are reading this (doubtful), I have a confession: I make erotic art. But you will probably never see it. Nor will probably alot of people. So why do it? I recently did the Enneargram test and turns out I am type THREE. The Achiever aka The Performer and my personal strapline to go with that is “I need to succeed” What this means to me, is that my accomplishments need to be recognised. Seriously, recognition is important to me (but only in select areas). I guess the art is so intensely personal that it means alot more than I wish it did. I am not claiming to be great nor do I think in the grand scheme of things am I important, but I really really really feel good when I have my achievements recognised by the people whose opinion counts, to me.

I believe, that to become a truly important artist that leaves a mark in art history one must firstly commit to that as a main goal in life. It is a full time job and career – and then there is the promotion aspect. And all the really special artists have some kind of genius.

So. Why make art at all if it is going to be stored away, for the eyes of only a handful of people. And further still, why worry about that at all?

I know when something is good, I’ve been working with imagery for too long not to be able to recognise when a photograph or a drawing is good or not, so why care if someone else ‘approves’?

And there is so much to consider: People’s tastes vary, there is always going to be a common theme that the majority of people are going to be drawn towards. Stick within that genre and you’re guaranteed success?

Does sex always sell?

Would the same image be received differently with the inclusion of a famous personality/model or even just a really hot chick?

Where and how does one find recognition?

How very little facilities there are for erotic artists.

tbc…