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

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