This week, psychotherapist and Alt Sex NYC Conference co-producer Dulcinea Pitagora launched her anticipated new web series, Kink Doctor, exploring the world of kink through insightful interviews and sharp humor. Since the release of the first episode, it has generated intense buzz throughout the BDSM community. Recently, I had a chance to catch up with her and find out more about this much talked about new online show.
Q: What is the Kink Doctor online series all about and why did you feel it was important to create it?
A: Kink Doctor is a labor of love I'm undertaking to help support and give voice to the kink community. There are too many misconceptions and misinterpretations out there about who kinky people are and what they do, and our goal is to help correct that by letting real people tell their own stories. Basically, on each episode of Kink Doctor, a different guest joins me and my co-host Bastard Keith on the couch to have a conversation about the way kink and BDSM interact with their lives. Each episode represents one person’s experience, one face, and voice in the very diverse world of kink.
Q: The show looks to be set up like a typical late night talk show, complete with a sidekick, Bastard Keith, along for the ride and providing added levity. In fact, humor appears to be a major component of the show. What were your considerations in coming up with the format, and why did you decide to play up the humorous aspects of the material you cover?
A: I confess that I had Johnny Carson in mind, who I loved as a kid, and I suppose the format is not far off. I’ve known Bastard Keith for years, and when I started working on getting my doctorate in clinical sexology, I realized I wanted to make this show with him as my sidekick. He’s hilarious, a great performer, and one of the few male submissives I know who’s out about their sexuality. Being out about being kinky is a big part of who we are on the show. There’s humor naturally in our banter because of our friendship, but I also wanted the show to be entertaining and fun. A lot of people who are unfamiliar with BDSM think it’s scary or serious, but more often than not it’s a lot of fun, and kink scenes can actually be super funny, or laugh-inspiring anyway. As for the format, I really wanted it to be about what the guest feels about kink and personal stories from their lives, so in that way, the format is dictated by the guests.
Q: What specific issues are you planning on exploring in the show, especially in forthcoming episodes?
A: In future episodes we’ll talk to someone who used power exchange and pain play to work through cancer treatment; we’ll talk to someone about his experience as a male dominant, and what sort of privileges and pitfalls are associated; we’ll have a guest who has been in a successful long-term hierarchical leather family and how on earth she keeps it all together; we’ll talk to someone who is in a 24/7 power dynamic with her partner and what that’s like; and we’ll talk to someone who navigates being a new mother while being the head of a female led D/s household. We’ll also be talking to a fetishist, an artistic voyeur, and a switch who plays with the fluidity of gender and power roles in their sexuality. The more I think about it the more excited I get to shoot all of them!
Q: In the first episode, you discuss transformational aspects of kink, specifically domination. How can kink be transformational?
A: In the pilot episode we talk to Domina Dia Dynasty, a professional dominant and “shamanatrix” about the mysticism that she incorporates into her sessions. She has her own way of doing transformational domination that she talks about on the show, but kink can be transformational in a lot of different ways. It’s something many people are afraid to tap deeply into, mostly because of incorrect stereotypes about kink they’ve internalized. When they are able to really get into the exploration of hidden and forbidden parts of themselves, it can unlock a sort of understanding that can lead to self-actualization. It can manifest in a variety of ways, but, as they say, you have to want it.
Q: In that very first episode, you also differentiate between good and bad shame. Could you tell us more? What is the distinction?
A: Without giving away too many spoilers about the pilot, we get into some examples of how shame can be really sexy when it’s played out in the context of a consensual (which should go without saying) BDSM scene. Bad shame is the kind of shame that is usually the residual effect of internalized stigma or negative social conditioning around sexuality, which can be damaging to mental health. Some people use kink to turn bad shame into good shame, by intentionally repurposing whatever the origin of their shame is into a sexually or relationally satisfying kink scene.
Q: Some people have stated that coming out kinky has been more difficult than coming out lesbian or gay. Do you believe that is the case, and if so, why?
A: I think it could be, but it depends on who the person is, the social and cultural context they live in, what sort of support they have, and how resilient they are. Most people feel like sexual orientation and gender expression is pretty straightforward as compared to kink, even though there are complexities to all of the above that people don’t often realize exist. Let’s face it—most people can wrap their heads around a sexual orientation that’s different than theirs because most people understand orientation as being about attraction to a specific gender. But because kinky sexuality can be expressed in so many ways, and is so misunderstood and pathologized, it confuses people. Which follows that it can be particularly risky to come out as kinky. There are more protections in place for LGBT people so that (hopefully) they won’t lose their job or custody of their children for coming out as non-straight, but there are no such protections for kinky people. There should be.
Q: My understanding is that you are currently seeking investors. What is your overall future vision for the show, and how can viewers and fans find out more?
A: We are, thanks for mentioning it! I invested everything I could in creating the pilot episode, and I am incredibly proud of the hard work my crew has put in and the support we’ve already gotten from friends and chosen family, but we need funding to shoot the rest of the season. People can support the show by contributing to our Indiegogo.com/at/KinkDoctor campaign, and those who would prefer to communicate with us directly can fill out the investor form on KinkDoctor.com. We think this show has the potential for longevity beyond season one, and we plan to continue talking to kinky people everywhere, for example in places like New Orleans, Amsterdam, Tokyo, etc, and hopefully, the show will be picked up and distributed in a high profile venue. In the meantime, watching the pilot episode on KinkDoctor.com via Vimeo On Demand is another way to contribute!