Lord Morpheous, arguably Toronto’s reigning king of kink, lives in a downtown penthouse with a panoramic view of the skyline. He’s one of the city’s premier.
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A growing cohort of Torontonians are indulging their wildest fetishes—and negotiating every slap, spank and lash of the whip. His decor only hints at his adventurous sexuality, like a framed print of an Alberto Vargas pin-up girl and an oversized painting of sexy stiletto heels. He keeps his toys tidied away but is happy to showcase them when I ask for a tour. In the office there are boxes of coiled rope in every colour, and a small horse saddle designed to fit a human.
The living room has a custom-built side table that magically converts into a spanking bench, with metal loops for convenient restraint. Morpheous, kink dating app, who asked me not to reveal his real name, grew up on a farm near Hamilton. His parents wanted him to stay in his hometown, get a blue-collar job, find a wife and have a bunch of kids. Morpheous had other plans: he wanted to live in the city. He wanted to go to art school.
And he wanted kink, specifically bondage and domination. I thought there was something wrong with me because I wanted to tie girls up. I tied her like I would tie a bale of hay. All of his intimate relationships from that point forward involved dominant-submissive or master-slave dynamics.
As his reputation grew, people started to seek him out. He brought in high-profile out-of-town presenters, like the Japanese bondage expert Midori and the American erotica author Laura Antoniou. Everywhere else, he was in the closet, worried about alienating his family and losing his job which he asked me not to disclose.
Once, when he was house-sitting for his parents, his mother found kink dating app few sex toys in the dishwasher leftover from a day of play.
He started controlling his image to protect his family, making sure that when a camera popped up at a kink okcupid mobile search, he immediately turned away.
Things changed for Morpheous a few years ago, when he redeemed a quick pick lottery ticket at the corner store. Suddenly he could quit his day job, allow his family to retire, and set up education funds for his nieces and nephews. Yet despite his new wealth, his kinky friends treated him exactly the same as before and never asked for a dime. Lord Morpheous is at the centre of a thriving kink culture in Toronto, an underground community of people who derive their pleasure from pain, congregating at parties, meetings and classes.
BDSM is an overlapping abbreviation of bondage and discipline, dominance and submission, sadism and masochism. It covers a continuum of practices outside of mainstream sex, which means something as tame as a blindfold or as intense as a caning falls under the same wide umbrella. A kinky encounter is often referred to as a scene: a single interaction where participants pre-negotiate safe words and acceptable activities.
Though from the outside doms seem to be calling the shots, the submissive partners hold equal power. Arrangements are as varied as the people who create them, and can be complicated and delicate to maintain, which means constant communication is key to their success.
That puts some Toronto practitioners in a precarious position—a rope burn, bruise or chokehold could lead to a potential assault charge. It was in these societies that the movement finally crystallized, and practitioners developed a shared ethos, rules and vernacular. By the end of the millennium, BDSM imagery had bridged into pop culture—Madonna played the sub and the domme in her music videos, Isabella Rossellini begged to be hit in Blue Velvet, and CSI detectives encountered the wisdom of the dominatrix Lady Heather.
More recently, the practice of BDSM has grown from a niche subculture into a mainstream obsession. All across town, entrepreneurs are capitalizing on the growing demand for kink. It used to be a challenge for kinksters to find like-minded practitioners, but now there are dozens of places for them to congregate. Munches are designed to be as anonymous as possible: organizers prohibit photography and toys, and guests wear street clothes instead of fetish wear.
The city is also packed with places for kinksters to indulge their fetishes. Craig Galbraith, the owner, refers to it as a kink clubhouse, and sees consenting adults of all ages and body types drop in for birthday parties, private photo shoots and bondage classes. In conjunction with the studio, he hosts Subspace Fetish Party, a lavish monthly event that takes place at venues like the Great Hall on Queen West or the Opera House in Riverdale, with a mandatory dress code of fetish wear. Another destination is Genesis, a monthly do at the Oasis Aqualounge sex club on Mutual Street, featuring private bedrooms, saunas and toys.
In the last two years, the event has expanded to satellite parties in Orlando and San Francisco. A couple of years ago, I attended MBE at the Great Hall.
In a sweltering room, amid a н‹ґлЌ” overload of lasers, black lights and ambient music, scores of people were tying or being tied. Some performers were bound with rope to makeshift frames, some suspended in the air, others spanked, whipped and confined. I stood, overheated and overwhelmed, among the hordes of gawking viewers—kinky and otherwise—all clamouring to get a look at the sexy display.
On my way out, I spotted a lingerie-clad woman tied with rope at her wrists and ankles to a small metal bed frame, her body contorted at an awkward angle. From only a few feet away, kink dating app, I watched as she lay there on the exposed mattress, writhing in ecstasy against her restraints. BDSM was only depathologized after a lengthy campaign by the National Coalition for Sexual Freedom, an American advocacy kink dating app that argued the existing definitions failed to distinguish between consensual sadism and abuse.
Many kinksters still feel like their sexual preferences put them at risk of persecution: most of the people who appear in this story asked that I use a pseudonym, afraid they might be outed to their families, friends and employers. Even Lord Morpheous hides his real name and face from the public. I like my world a size I can manage. Heather, who grew up in a conservative family, was raised to believe that sex was something dangerous and that expressing her kink dating app would brand her as slutty.
Heather describes herself as a public player, meaning she likes to experience pain at dungeons or play parties. Her current favourite activities include whipping, caning and face slapping.
Receiving pain, she explains, can be a calming, centering force for her. Kink also brings out the qualities in relationships that she finds sexiest—vulnerability, honesty and passion.
I learned to stop being embarrassed by my masochism and just enjoy it for what it is. He gets the benefits of having someone focused on making him happy, and I get structure and accountability and focus and praise. Andrew identifies as a daddy-dom, engaging in what he calls positive-reinforcement age play.
He likes kink dating app his partners bend over his bed and count down the strokes—how hard he hits them is negotiated beforehand. You can do it. Humiliation was her kink, and she wanted him to arouse her with public embarrassment.
After they ordered dessert, kink dating app, he told her to remove her underwear at the table. She grabbed the black lace fabric under her skirt, hooking her thumb around the waistband and pulling it down as far as it would go.
Her face turned red as she pulled them off one foot and then the other, balling them up and handing them to him across the table. She looked down at her plate, thanked the server and put them in her purse. Good kink practice means following a strict code of etiquette. A crack of a whip or a drop of hot candle wax should be thoroughly negotiated, with explicit consent that draws the line between play and abuse.
Even after meticulous negotiations, consent can be kink dating app or modified at any time. She ran into Nathan, a slim, long-haired friend of a friend. At the campsite, she decided to give it a try.
The plan was for him to warm up, gradually escalating the impact of his strokes to prepare her skin for the hardest blows. She also asked him to turn down the intensity from his usual level. Nathan, using a solid metal rod covered in rubber, started to hit her. Things were moving too okcupid, yet she became insecure about not being able kink dating app play hard enough.
At first impact, he hit her so hard on the upper thighs that she thought she was going to vomit. The second time, he hit her even harder. At that moment, her self-preservation kicked in: she collected her clothes, told him to go fuck himself and walked away.
In the end he was just a liar. She understands that kink is an ongoing process of learning to make yourself and your partner as comfortable and safe as possible, kink dating app. Along with her colleague, J, kink dating app. Now you see that sort of thing pop up in mainstream media. Even Peter Griffin on Family Guy has safe words. Under Canadian law, consent is not obtained if a person says or acts in a way that suggests no either before or during an actis incapable of saying no, or is coerced into saying yes by means of threat or an abuse of power.
For her, BDSM is worth the potential dangers. All of these things also have risks. The stakes are kink dating app, but the principles remain the same. The people I met have a heightened awareness of what their partners think and feel, and how to bring them pleasure.
They are in constant, rigorous communication about their wants and needs, sexual and otherwise. For the past few years, Morpheous has been in a committed relationship with a woman he met at an event—someone who eventually became his collared slave. He prioritizes communication to ensure things are working for both of them, asking that she keep a journal to document her feelings about their master-slave dynamic and ask any questions she has about structure and protocol.
Opening it, kink dating app, he dramatically reveals an organized array of pleasure and pain implements—riding crops, floggers and switches, bottles of lube, blindfolds, and various other accessories. He hands it to me with a smile. Reproduction in whole or in part strictly prohibited. Toronto Kink dating app is a registered trademark of Toronto Life Publishing Company Limited. The Kink Club: inside the secret world of BDSM, kink dating app.
In a converted Parkdale factory, around the corner from the Cadillac Lounge, he received an accelerated education in the finer points of BDSM, kink dating app. After they broke up, Morpheous started teaching rope-bondage classes at Come as You Are, the sex shop that had just opened on Queen West. Ghomeshi-gate has been a PR problem for Toronto kinksters, who worry their consensual practices are now wrongly tied to allegations of violence.
A few years ago, Andrew took a date to the Rosewater Supper Club in the Kink dating app District. Robichaud describes himself as a dominant sadist. Heather knelt in the grass outside her tent, and the scene began. She and Nathan agreed to finish the scene with five final strokes of a solid wood cane, two and a half centimetres in width.
For Heather, the entire experience was a lesson in developing exit strategies. All responsible kinksters have their own best practices for discussing consent and adhering to its terms.
Beyond the leather, riding crops and master-slave dynamics, BDSM confronts head-on many of the things vanilla relationships struggle with—risk, communication, honesty and intimacy. Subscribe to the magazine.