Switch Robin Ardeur is our resident body modification enthusiast, who fully embraces both her dominant and submissive predilections. If you’re looking for a true original, you’ve found her!
You started out as a professional submissive at the tender age of 18…
Actually, I’d just turned 19!
Oh right! It was October 2012 when you had your first session? Good times! So how did it feel turning 21 last fall…legal to drink and everything? Exciting or blah?
Turning 21 didn’t feel like an important milestone for me, but I do think it’s easier to garner respect and be listened to with a few more years under my belt. I did have a fun birthday, though- it coincided with Folsom Street Fair in SF, which I was attending. I went to the Cat Club with some friends to celebrate, and received some public birthday spankings in the playspace. There were supposed to be 21, with one for good measure, of course- but my tops were- ahem- “bad at counting” and I received closer to 100. My ass was red for days, it was great!
I seem to remember hearing that story from you for your 20th birthday too! Time flies when you are being spanked. So do you think starting so early in life affected you differently than someone who is older?
I think that because I met most of the people I know after I began this work, I felt safer being out and open about this part of my life. I didn’t have to “break it” to anyone I already knew, just to self-select the people I spent my time with to be accepting. The communities that I am now a part of- kinky, queer, radical, sex positive- all have a not insignificant number of sex workers amongst their populations, and I’ve never had to keep this part of my life a secret. I don’t think that many people who start later in life have that luxury.
Do you think your sexuality would be different now if you hadn’t embarked upon this path? Do you ever wonder what your life would look like?
I suspect my sexuality would be much the same had I not gone down this path. I may have ended up a little sluttier without all the extra play I get from pro sessions ;).
What do you think of the current trend of the intellectualization of sex work and the new generation of sex workers? Or as I call myself “Whore 2.0”? Strong, smart, educated, entrepreneurial…
Sex workers have always possessed these qualities; it’s only in recent years that any small sector of mainstream society has acknowledged this fact. The media has a tendency to portray all sex workers as coerced, broken and immoral, and this negatively colors most non-autobiographical portrayals of us. I do think that the migration towards internet based work over the past decade has given us a more prominent voice, access to safety measures and widespread community knowledge and discussion, all of which are a huge bolster to our cause. I see progress, but there is a long way to go if we’re talking mainstream acceptance.
You went independent over a year ago. How have your desires and scenes changed since then?
I actually tried offering vanilla dates when I first went indie, since it seems easier to establish yourself that way, but chucked that idea out the window after a bunch of boring sessions. I’ve become far more proficient and comfortable as a top over the last year and a half, and my desires and scenes have reflected that. I’ve been going deeper, both personally and professionally. My clients confidently place themselves at my mercy, and I feel equipped to take that on. I still bottom frequently as well, and my tastes in that realm have stayed much the same- activities like age play and consensual non-consent are my favorites and the easiest way for me to get into a submissive head space.
How do you work consensual non-consent into sessions with complete strangers, especially as a bottom?
I screen not only for safety, but for compatibility. I communicate extensively through email before meeting with clients to discuss things like desires, limits, etc., to make sure that we’re a match and that we will feel safe and comfortable with each other. I’m very clear about my boundaries, communicative during the scene, and set up safewords or signals. I also have safety measures in place at my incall location, and don’t submit to bondage or gags before meeting at least once.
You describe yourself as a “fetishist” – can you be more specific? What are your favorite fetishes?
I identify as a fetishist and a switch. There are a few objects and actions that are powerfully arousing to me, and things that I fixate on. Watersports and piss play has been a fetish of mine from a young age, and it’s one of many powerful forces behind my strange sexuality. I’m also really into nice leather boots, especially with metal harnesses. I think it’s an association with strap-on harnesses because they look pretty similar. I like having my boots worshipped and shined and doing so for others – it’s one of my only service oriented kinks. I’ve also been exploring material fetishes lately: latex and leather. A generous client recently gave me a translucent latex catsuit and it’s so sexy to be completely covered by it! In my personal life, I’d also consider ass play (giving) a fetish.
What about fetish play appeals to you?
Fetish play, as distinct from sexual interest, is incredibly powerful – the intense erotic desire surrounding the object that is being fetishized transforms it into something not just arousing but all-encompassing.
What is the psychology behind you as a switch?
I would be unhappy if I had to choose between submission and dominance. I like options and fluidity, and I like exploring different dynamics with the same people. It’s amazing how different some people are in top space vs bottom space, myself included! I consider myself a dominant-leaning switch. I enjoy both sides of the coin, but could only see myself in a long-term D/s relationship as the dominant partner. These things change, though- a few years ago I could see myself as the submissive in a relationship, and I may again in the future. It really comes down to how I interact with someone on a personal level.
So tell us about your tattoos and body modifications!
I’m working on covering my body with tattoos, which will probably be a lifetime endeavor. I have about a dozen piercings, a branded scarification, and my tongue is split. I have done several hook suspensions, as well. I’ve also been using a medicated gel for clitoral enlargement, which I personally consider a mod even though it doesn’t fall under the typical umbrella of body modifications.
What prompted you on this journey?
I’ve always had an interest in piercings, tattoos and the like. I used to draw on myself to mimic tattoos when I was small. I gave myself a nose piercing when I was in high school, and had a self done “stick n’ poke” tattoo before I covered it up with a professional piece. I can’t say that there was any one event that drew me to this form of art, just that it’s always been something that I’ve felt passionate about and driven to explore.
Do you view your body as a canvas for alternative forms of art?
These customizations give me an immense amount of power over my body. I’m putting work into it, crafting it into something unique and beautiful and deliberate. My body is ever-changing, a fluid work in progress. I have another scarification planned, but other than that I’m mostly working on tattoos. I give my tattoo artists a lot of creative control over the designs they put on me rather than going in with an exact design in mind, so I’m definitely a showcase of their work in that way.
What is scarification?
Scarification is the intentional practice of creating scars as adornment. It can be done multiple ways: cutting and branding are the most common. I had mine branded with an electro-cautery device by a professional in a sterile medical setting; it’s a nautilus shell on my thigh.
How does your physical appearance tie into your identity?
I modify myself for aesthetics, spiritual reasons and sexual reasons. The tattoos and piercings are mostly aesthetic. The scarification and suspensions were ordeals that I put myself through- to see if I could, to receive the high that extreme pain and bodily manipulation can produce, and to reach a heightened, meditative and sometimes out of body state. I find suspension a great (if rare) head-cleaning exercise. My tongue split and clitoral enlargement were both aesthetic choices, but also feel ‘right’ on my body and have hugely positive sexual side effects. My tongue(s) are now very, very dextrous, and I experience sensations in my clit that are incomparable to anything I’d ever felt before. I reject the gender binary and identify strongly with aspects of both femininity and masculinity, and that particular mod is a great way of getting the best of both worlds.
So what’s making you feel good these days?
Simple stuff, really. I love to cook, garden and read. I travel all over the country with my lover and doubles partner, TS Elle, and attend the odd sex party here and there. I’m also gearing up to purchase land in the rural south in the next few years to start homesteading, which is really exciting! I’m deeply committed to minimizing the impact I have on the earth and becoming as self sustaining as possible in the future. Solar electricity, well water, building my own house and farming my own food, etc., so I’m building skills now to prepare for that. I do plan on maintaining a base in NYC and visiting often, though!
Check out alternative darling Robin Ardeur on her artist page!