Fetish 101: Casey Calvert on BDSM and Porn’s Impact Upon Relationships

CaseyCalvert

BDSM and fetish is breaking out of the underground. Whereas it was once only spoken about in hushed tones and desires outside of more “traditional sex” (i.e. two pumps in missionary and then falling to sleep) were thought of as taboo to discuss, the Western world is largely coming around to the idea that we should be embracing our kink and not shamefully sweeping it under the carpet.

A large factor in the rise of fetish is the overabundance of fetish porn available, and the porn industry’s recent targeting of female viewers thanks to the popularity of the novel Fifty Shades of Grey. Though it’s still not considered mainstream, fetish porn is certainly on the rise, so in order to get some insight on why the BDSM and fetish porn industry at large is booming, I spoke with Casey Calvert, an adult actress who believes in sex positivity, non-discrimination of adults preferences when it comes t consensual sex and gender equality.

Here’s what she had to say:

 

CRAVEONLINE: What are the more common fetishes you come into contact with in your own sex life?

CASEY CALVERT: Speaking about my actual personal sex life (versus my sex life via porn), I mostly come into contact with fetish that falls under the BDSM realm — power dynamics, bondage, impact play.

 

Speaking in general terms, in the past it seemed like men were more open about fetishes and kink than women, something which has changed somewhat in recent times. Why do you think this is?

The short answer: Fifty Shades of Grey. The long answer is much more complicated and discusses the history of the development of fetish in America versus the UK versus the rest of Europe. So we are gonna go with the short answer.

 

Fifty Shades of Grey Jamie Dornan Shirtless

 

Though in the West we’re more comfortable with talking about sex than ever before, there’s still a taboo regarding fetishes and kink – even foot fetishes, which are thoroughly innocuous. Why do you think this is?

In the West, no matter how open and conversational we become about sex, there’s still going to be that puritanical cultural history of “sex is terrifying and should be solely for procreation.” So even though we are talking about it, we are talking about vanilla sex, with maybe a little BDSM thrown in. We are talking about sex that, for the most part, is biologically procreation-based. As a culture, we just aren’t ready to talk about what too many of us consider “wrong.”

Speaking from personal experience, I know how isolating it feels to grow up knowing that your sexuality is different from what society says it should be. It’s hard to be open about that.

 

Porn has been accused of giving men an unrealistic expectation when it comes to their sex lives. Do you think that the abundance of fetish porn is increasing that level of expectation and could be of detriment to sexual relationships in general?

I do agree that porn can give men an unrealistic expectation when it comes to their sex lives. And I do agree that the abundance of BDSM porn can increase that expectation because now the women in the movie aren’t just ready and willing for sex, but for bondage, hair pulling, slapping, AND sex. However, I don’t think more niche stuff, like balloon popping or time stop, really affect expectations.

For one, in most BDSM porn, there is penetration involved, so men who aren’t necessarily into the roughness in the beginning still have something to watch. That’s not necessarily the case for other fetishes. I mean, if you aren’t into girls getting their clothes wet, you’re probably gonna turn off the wetlook movie. Also, every director and their brother are shooting BDSM porn right now. There’s such an over-abundance, and we have Fifty Shades to blame for that. It’s much easier to come across, even if you aren’t looking. But find me someone who’s stumbled upon a sneeze fetish video and thought, “Hmmm, I want my girlfriend to sneeze on me tonight.”

I think to combat any porn-induced expectation, men need to realize that what they are watching is entertainment — a fantasy designed to get him off. It’s not reality. Not even porn stars have porn sex when they aren’t in front of the camera. Trust me.

 

Do you think that porn is helping to break down the taboos regarding fetishes? If so, how?

Yes, without a doubt. Because of the Internet, you can find whatever you are into. And being able to do that, to watch it, to see people acting out your fantasy, that makes you feel less alone. Once you reach the place where you feel less weird about your sexual desires and fantasies online, then you’re more comfortable to talk about it in the real world.

CaseyCalvert2

It still seems like the world of fetish porn, and porn in general, is more geared towards the satisfaction of men. Do you think this could change in the future? If so, how?

Honestly, I don’t think this is going to change any more than it already has. I know that makes me a bad feminist to say, but there are already some great female directors making couples porn and porn for women, and Crash Pad Series is the best queer porn I know (and I haven’t even worked for them, so that’s an entirely unbiased plug). Porn is a business, just like any other form of entertainment, and it must cater to its target audience, just like any other form of entertainment. The fact is, more men watch porn. It’s as simple as that.

 

You recently took Hustler to task on your website for an article published in which you felt they made you come across as a “stupid whore” (read the blog post here) with them particularly focusing upon your interest in fetish porn and somewhat degrading you for it. Do you think this is a widespread problem when it comes to the media’s portrayal of porn, in particular the women performers?

Yes, I definitely think so. I knew going into that Hustler article that it was going to be about fetish porn, but I had no idea they were going to skew it in such a way to make me sound like, as I wrote, “a stupid whore.” There’s this continuing mainstream narrative of “porn stars are broken,” and I think it exists because it’s the easy way out. There’s still so much guilt in this country surrounding porn viewing. It’s easier psychologically to think that the girl degrading herself for your pleasure is a mess, rather than empowered, because you feel shitty about watching her in the first place. If she’s just a dumb whore, for some reason, that’s easier.

Mainstream media’s overall portrayal of porn is fucked up. It needs to change, but that’s like pushing a boulder up a mountain.

 

In what direction do you think the porn industry is headed when it comes to fetish porn, and what sort of impact do you believe this could have on society’s opinion of certain fetishes that are currently considered taboo?

I think the porn industry is headed towards even more openness towards fetish porn. The niche market is growing so rapidly right now, and I think that’s going to continue. I think the more accepting the porn world is towards fetish, the more recognition will trickle down into society’s overall opinions about what sex should be.

Images: CaseyCalvert.com

Follow Casey on Twitter: @CaseyCalvertXXX