JG-LEATHERS - ARTICLES
- PAGE FIFTY-FIVE -
AN INTERVIEW WITH 'PD' OF INSEX INFAMY - PART ONE
- DATE UPLOADED: 20TH MARCH, 2015 -
The interview that follows was conducted in person between PD, (formerly of InSex) and JG-Leathers, in conjunction with Mark of SeriousImages.com, during the last days of January, 2012, at his new studio in Oakland, CA.
In actual fact, the questions posed below were written out away back in 2006 and sent off to PD. He answered them fully at that time and had the answers transcribed to a written, digital format, but I never received them and so they languished in my files until January, 2012, with me thinking that they'd never get answered.
As many in the scene, I've been familiar with PD's work almost from its first appearance and have always wanted to know more about the driving force and evil, creative genius that did such astounding things. He was the originator of and the sometimes shadowy presence behind one of the Internet's most incredibly intense and real life sites and as such, many have wondered who the real person is.
InSex was most certainly an 'in your face' and 'this is really happening folks!' web site and as such was one of the gems that were (and still are) hard to find in the wasteland of BS internet S&M/B&D sites. Far too many out there are 'Hollywood' types, using the same tired settings and the same models; each of who seemed to have to manufacture an aura of distress. That was definitely NOT the case with InSex!!
Over the years that InSex was on-line, I subscribed a number of times and was continually amazed at what I saw there. PD always impressed me with his inventiveness, as well as his sense of fun, and he has continued to do so. That last being said,, he made no bones about the fact that InSex was all about the submission of the female of the species to his demands., controlled by inescapable bindings, and subject to apparent torment. His models availed themselves to his devices and situations, maybe with some knowledge of what was coming ... and then it actually happened.
However, due to the changing moral and political climate in the USA, particularly by the blue-nosed ass holes who were then in positions of power in the Administration of the time, political pressure was placed on credit granting agencies to prevent kink-sourced transactions from being processed on-line and so the InSex name and all of its materials were eventually sold, but can still be accessed still at INSEX ARCHIVES.
Being the creative man he is, PD did not retire, but has kept his hand in, and his continuing involvement can be seen on the following sites: HARD TIED (rope bondage), INFERNAL RESTRAINTS (device bondage), TOPGIRL (an archive of Sister Dee's training site), and REALTIME BONDAGE (the newest live feed site).
That gives you a little background on the person and processes that have gone on, but I feel it's pertinent for me to provide some up-to-date and personal impressions of the man himself, upon meeting him face-to-face at last.
Mark, Dalton and I arrived at the building housing the PD offices and studio in Oakland at 10:30 one morning and after a little searching of the massive place, found his new lair. We were warmly welcomed inside immediately and soon were introduced to all of the staff by a most cordial PD. I'm not really sure what I expected in terms of physical appearance, but found the man himself to be tall, well-built and with a most noticeable air of command about him.
As well, I quickly discovered him to be most articulate and eloquent when describing his views, designs and goals, and if you read the interview fully, you'll certainly see why. I felt immediately at ease in his presence and I believe he in mine, despite the fact that I was wearing my normal kink attire: ear rings, a skirt and breasts.
Being the true gentleman he is, PD paid my appearance no attention and told me that it was an honour to meet at last. I was astounded, actually, for I regard myself as only one of the many fish in a huge ocean of kink, and I felt more than a little awed that he would even know who I was. It is and is a huge honour for me to be accepted by him as an equal in the scene spectrum, for he is truly one of the 'movers and shakers'.
He showed us all around the facility and it's a huge one, allowing for all kinds of interesting things to be done, complete with office/production facilities and a large work shop area. I was certainly impressed by the size and wished that **I** had the same type of facilities available to me, but that's another story.
After our initial getting to know one another meeting, we made arrangements for the full-on interview process to happen the next day, complete with still images being taken and a video record of our conversations, then headed back across The Bay Bridge to Mark's place, well satisfied with the morning ... one that seemed to have just flown by.
Further arrangements were made by Mark to be present when a live web cast was done and a full video record of that and my interview will be available eventually in Part Three of this series of articles.
I hope you will find the following to be both an interesting and informative look into the life and intellect of one of the strongest forces in the world of B&D/S&M over the past 30 years.
Without further blathering from me, here's the interview.
Interview With PD - Pt. One
JG-L: OK! First things first. What does “PD” stand for?
PD: 'PD' stands for [Philly's] Dom and it refers back to my relationship with a former girlfriend who was also modeling for the very beginning of InSex. Her screen name was Philly, hence Philly's Dom, but that's not a very elegant solution or explanation so I later came up with the idea of Proteus Dominus for New Dominant, but it could also be Pro Dom, but maybe if we thought deep enough I could come up with some other more profound symbols for what it stands for.
JG-L: Where were you born and raised and how old are you now?
PD: I was originally born in in a very rural part of Maine. I was brought to Buffalo, NY at around 8 years old where I spent my formative years. I am almost 65 now - February 11, 1947 is my birthday, so I'll be 65 in February
JG-L: Any brothers or sisters? Are Your parents still alive?
PD: All of my brothers and sisters are dead. My parents are also dead.
JG-L: Did you have a happy childhood?
PD: I had an amazing childhood that was beyond happy. Probably ecstatic would be more like it. I was often in the care of my grandparents and their brothers and sisters and was an only child in that context, so I was extremely doted over. I would certainly say that I'm completely spoiled because of it, and my memories of that period are the fondest of my life.
JG-L: Are they (siblings and/or parents) aware of your rather arcane hobbies, and the existence of the web sites? If so, how do they feel about them and what you do?
PD: To answer the spirit of that question, I will simply describe how my father or grandfather would speak about my childhood habits, proclivities and indications that existed within me back then, which led to the development of my current consuming interests. They would describe how I would sit and watch spiders and insects for long and uninterrupted periods of time, observing that I was an extremely self absorbed and contemplative child who was extremely involved in my surroundings which were a natural garden of delights on a farm. Hence, I was an observer of nature and of all the many living creatures that occupied and lived in that palatial surrounding.
JG-L: I know there were for me and so must ask, were there any signs of your liking for kink during childhood? Were you aware of the scene in general?
PD: The scene throws me off a little bit. I really was not aware of a formal or an informative scene until I came to NY with the InSex site. But I was interested in bondage and that type of freakdom at an early age.
JG-L: Did you play the usual cowboys and Indians games, where young Indian lasses got tied up and drug off to the stockade for arousal, torment or torture?
PD: I'm going to be a little more precise here because it was a very unique, or I thought, a very fascinating situation for me. I would play with a cousin - this was pre-pubescent, probably 8 or 9 years old. She was very interested in Wonder Woman comics and we would share those stories together when I would visit her. Finally the suggestion was that I should get tied up by her Magic Lasso, and indeed I did. That was when we began to associate sexual desire, lust and curiosity with objects like ropes and the general kind of playful atmosphere that a young boy and girl could muster together while playing.
JG-L: Many scene analysts tell us that what we do for entertainment and play is the result of some sort of childhood trauma. I disagree, but would ask what your opinions are?
PD: As a sheltered and precious child among grandparents and family, I never had any trauma. In fact, I was allowed to play on my own and with my cousins for hours on end, and it was a very sweet and euphoric period of my life. But the trauma that I did experience was in the the public school systems where you're thrown among all kinds of unknown children with strange desires and it was there that I was very traumatized by the what I would call almost the psychological violence and stratification of children based on their alleged abilities or behaviours, or their ability to conform to the structure of schools. I definitely did not like school, and it contrasted greatly with the pastoral life of the farm.
JG-L: Have you ever been married? Any kids?
PD: Yes I was married when I was 25, and I remained married for 25 years. I am no longer married and I never had any children. I married a fine woman who became a teacher. I would have to give some credit to her in the way that I was allowed to "as an artist" to pursue my interests while she basically subsidized me for many years. I was extremely thankful for the success of InSex because I was able to return in some measure the support, I was able to thank her in a very specific way for the support that she offered me during those many years and we continue to be good friends.
JG-L: What sort of education do you have? I.e. areas of specialization, etc.
PD: I was in college for most of my life, first as a student and finally as a teacher. Basically I was a professional student, you might say. The most interesting note of my earlier education was that I quit high school at 16. I hated high school. It wasn't for me and I went into the navy as soon as turned 18 and was very happy to do so. There, of course was where I got my GED and I actually received my professional training in electronics. In fact, I loved the Navy and I loved its method of teaching, and became very fond of mature adult educational systems, and went on to college from there.
I realize that this is probably a very important question, so I'm going to elaborate on it. When I was in college, I studied art, in particular, art education which ultimately led to my teaching, but not in the elementary or high school level, but in the college level as a professor. I introduced computer graphics and computer art to the art program at the university where I taught at. Mainly that type of educational environment was where I nurtured my interests as a performance artist, which is what I finally claimed I was, and we did put on shows. Of course the undercurrent of all of that study was the fascination with bondage. My eyes were really opened to sexual performance and content as a subject and as an entertainment form. When I was in Japan, ironically on my tour of duty in Vietnam, I did R&R in Japan and that's where I first saw the very open and loving entertaining forms of bondage entertainment. I was at a club where the girls were serving Sake to us and the next moment they were pulled up on the stage, bound and tormented sexually as part of a performance. Later on, they came back and served Sake and sat down and talked to us. It was just a beautiful, free-spirited exploration of sexuality among adults and I literally was shocked and galvanized by this alien culture's different interpretation of sexuality from the kind of Christian morality that so preoccupies the United States. I saw this ultimately as a form of inquiry and pursued this subject matter in contrast with the prevailing Christian morality in America, as a contrasting dialogue or inquiry. It was an undercurrent of a lot of my artistic aspirations or goals.
JG-L: PD, you come on pretty strong, especially on camera. Did you do any time in the military, and if so, what branch and for how long?
PD: I joined the Navy during the Vietnam crisis right after I left high school. I couldn't wait to get into the Navy. In fact I served on a Destroyer which was very exciting to me. I enjoyed that part of my life immensely. I was in a military training program for electronics for one year and I served for four years.
JG-L: How about involvement with law enforcement agencies?
PD: I'm obviously fascinated with law enforcement because of the fact that they use restraint, confinement and torment for uncivilized behaviour, if you will. I've always admired the police force as a legitimate force and also for the kind of danger or peril that they face. My first encounter with them on the wrong side of it was when I was in college, I was producing and practicing bondage art and my photography that I would send out to photo labs was blown in by some lab out in the Midwest, at which point it initiated an FBI investigation where they came knocking at my door. The claim was that there was a possibly some crime committed by the nature of the type of pictures I was taking. Needless to say, that was a simple matter for them to affirm or validate the fact that there was no crime committed, but that's not the main point. The main point was what that meant to me in terms of, here's this guy and the fact that the work that I shot at the time had no sexuality to it whatsoever. There was no genital or conspicuous sexual display in these particular shots, it was just a kind of violent and dramatic type of quality that I realize did have a certain potential. I certainly was striving for a certain type of potential or a certain type of look. Even though this is about law enforcement, I'm going to continue with this question because it points out the origins of some of the look and feel of my work which was originally inspired by movies such movies Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Last House on the Left. Ultimately, a lot of my bondage practice as an art form dealt with the spectacle and the horror of it as often epitomized in the American cinema. I transformed that type of display into my performance art which was more of a spectacle and had other kinds of intonations about the environment, about human independence, human control, metaphors about 1984, and etc.
JG-L: Do you have any sort of medical training, or have you been involved with any areas of health care?
PD: No, I do not have any medical training. I am fascinated with medical care precisely because of it's invasive nature within the human body, if you will. Also, I can clearly remember the terror and horror of the possibility of having to face shots when I was a kid, so the medical environment is one of extreme terror for me I think, or dread and I certainly wanted to explore that when I was running the site.
JG-L: If so, did any of the above contribute to your later scene interests? Can you explain why or why not, please?
PD: I have previously elaborated on how the Navy gave me the opportunity to visit Japan which ultimately showed me another culture, an alien society with a whole different view of sexuality which expanded me, opened up my mind, pulled me out of the dregs of the Inquisition, if you will. As far as the medical experience, again, medicine's involvement in the body and their expertise with the body would be an area that I would want to inquire about. When I was in college doing performance art I created these twitcher pieces where the figure is suspended and I would trigger the limbs and cause the limbs to spasm with electrical pulses. I built those devices with [high 5-5 timers], I'm sure many people know what those were. I built my own electronic devices and I studied how electricity can be used in the body, what the dangers are and became thoroughly versed in that subject matter using a lot of my electronics training that I received in the Navy. My first medical experiences and endeavours were really through what we call TENS units that I manufactured myself. Ultimately I was interested in the arousal of the female with electrical stimulation, in other words, some kind of indirect control over the biological sexual response. I wanted to master those devices and understand how that electro-biological interface could be achieved with a willing human subject.
JG-L: What did you do in the vanilla world, before starting the InSex site? And, as a follow-on, what do you do now, to keep yourself amused, other than the newest sites?
PD: In the vanilla world, I was essentially a college professor in the computer arts. I practiced my own art form and exhibited in New York as a performance artist doing these electro-mechanical quiz-eyed bondage display spectacles, live performances. Now, I'm basically working very hard to train a whole new crew of young and aspiring people in the techniques of web based sites and particularly, bondage. Outside of that, I'm renewing my interest in Zen Buddhism and I'm practicing as much sitting (meditation) as I can. I originally became exposed to Zen Buddhism in my 20's after getting out of the Navy, my mentor first introduced me to the subject and made some rather lofty claims about it and after sitting for awhile I began to believe that it is a very interesting activity, a very interesting pursuit and a very interesting form of self-study.
JG-L: PD, how, where and when did you get started in the scene?
PD: This is going to be a terminology thing at first in order for me to answer these questions as best as I can. The scene to me is actually the formal practice among consenting adults of the BD/SM culture or activity. That particular aspect of what I would call a scene was introduced to me when I came to New York City and aspired to add more content to my web site by submerging myself 'in the scene'. But as for starting my interests in bondage, it was very early with a young girl who was my age, a cousin, and we began to explore bondage together. Not sexually, but just the thrills and chills of playing Wonder Woman scenarios where I was the bad guy that she would tie up or I was a powerful nemesis that would overpower her and tie her up in her own ropes. That was the beginning of my experience, and I couldn't have been more than 8 or 9 years old at that time. I practiced with her all the way through puberty and at some point we began to realize that it was too overpowering as cousins to continue, so that's where I really became intimate with the excitement of bondage as a form of foreplay.
JG-L: Who did you get started with (i.e. with a girl friend/wife, whatever)?
PD: As I said, I got started very early with a cousin and I continued to perfect and develop relationships with women with the notion of bondage as a kind of foreplay. Very subtle, very voluntary, if you will. I never really immersed myself in a relationship that was based around bondage. I was more interested in it as an art form, as an inquiry, as I alluded to in my earlier response to the influence of the Japanese. I was somewhat weary of it as a lifestyle. I didn't understand the idea of it as a lifestyle. It was merely part of a foreplay scenario with girls who were willing and my wife did it with me for several years before we got married but then very quickly conveyed to me how she wasn't that thrilled about it after we got married, at which time I completely abandoned it as a sexual and personal interest and developed it as an art form. That might be an important point. Because I was married and wanted to remain faithful to my wife, I really began to develop a method of working with models that did not involve my 'little man' because of the possibility of infidelity. I did remain faithful to my wife for the entire time I was married to her and my practice of bondage and photography was strictly where I began to nurture the idea of developing shoots and working for the shoots and for the camera, and not for my own sexual desire.
JG-L: Were there any seminal people, places, scenes, movies, etc., that inflamed your interests in the scene?
PD: Absolutely. I've already mentioned a few of them. I'll just itemize those again for the sake of reiteration. The first formal influence was the Japanese culture. The next major influence was in the arts itself, i.e., Salvador Dali, and then finally in the entertainment industry with 'House of Wax', 'Last House on the Left', 'Texas Chainsaw Massacre', men's magazines, crime magazines. This was all during my teens and early years. 'House of Wax', I couldn't have been more than 8 or 9 years old when that had a major impact on me. Finally the real influence or where I had 'true mentors' if you will, was when I got to New York, and I met a real top by the name of Sir Barry who took me on as a slave or submissive, and began to train me in the ways of pain and methods of enjoying that. I served him for two years. He was my master, and I was extremely grateful for his considerate training and considerate experience that he offered me. He and I are not gay, and we did not pursue the sexual aspects of it which was a blessing when you think about it, because again, he and I would concentrate on just the issues of pain and how that can be administered and how it can be handled safely and how it can ultimately reward the subject, the submissive. Again, I'm extremely grateful to him for that and he ultimately helped me bring that S&M experience into the InSex site and probably completely transformed it from a mere bondage kind of fetish that I had explored, to one where real pain and challenge or psychodrama could be used as a form of deep experiences for both the subject and the top.
JG-L: Before the Internet did you just play privately, visit clubs, etc.?
PD: I can't even begin to mention the number of people that informed me that I was extremely grateful to for their kindness and generosity. There's also this fellow named Sir Robert, who has a wonderful scene in another part of the country. I worked with him several times. He's an extremely wonderful man and I am indebted to him and his wife who also plays in the scene for the experiences they offered me. Another major influence on me was a woman named Sir C, who ultimately ended up working on my site. She was absolutely incredible, and an over the top sadist I believe, but also very kind and knowledgeable. She in fact, brought a lot of medical expertise to the activities on InSex and so I want to pay special mention to those people, and those dominants would be naturally emphasized. However, it doesn't take anything away from the girls who came through the site as well, who were willing to submerge and submit themselves to the most outrageous experiments in the pursuit of the subject. I'm not going to mention a lot of these girls and the ones that really stand out for me because they all in their own ways contributed to my knowledge and experience, and ultimately to the site itself.
JG-L: Did you personally conceive of and institute the various scenes and situations that were the hallmark of InSex, or did others contribute to them on a continuing basis?
PD: I would have to say that all my work has been eclectic. I do believe there is a personal emergence or quality that arises out of any enterprise where the individual controls the type of creation, but ultimately to be successful, all work is based on other people's activities before. In other words, InSex was highly referenced and highly derivative, and I'm especially obligated to acknowledge all those people, both alive now and dead who contributed to this genre. Just quickly I could site for example, JG a person who I did not know, have not known, but whose work was seminal in it's influence on me. When I first saw Pony girls and Pony girls II from House of Milan, I bought those tapes immediately and I was completely flabbergasted and totally impressed and inspired by the leatherwork that those girls wore in those pieces. A fellow that i did not know, but now I can and coincidentally acknowledge him since it is his questions that I'm now answering. Again, another fellow would be Bishop working for House of Milan. Fantastic airbrush illustrations of very ingenious devices. But these are, we could say modern fellows. You could go back to [John Wiley], a profound influence on me. [Stanton, Eng], just a whole slew of creators really. I think one of the most powerful influences that I remember reacting to was George Pichard. It's just phenomenal work and indeed, I think his work has had the most influence on me of any illustrator or artist. Then of course there's the extremely unique work of Gord, and the illustrator Gibson - his work appears in Gord's stories. These fellows are very influential. But also Hollywood's dramatic portrayals of violence of female victims has left a lasting impression on me as well, Last House on the Left in particular and then ultimately, the S&M community which I've mentioned earlier. So ultimately my work is very derivative, although, I think there is a personal style that emerged. A good example is that I have a very quirky interest in neck play, as we might call it in the scene. Strangulation or mock strangulation, pressure on the neck, hanging, or strong traction by the neck. That actually was cultivated when I was very young, in the fourth grade I believe, with the classic comics and the Frankenstein comic book from the classic series. I remember drawing that woman hanging on the gallows and trying to remove her clothes and trying to imagine what the body looked like. I must have spent several days on that project. Imagine what kind of imprinting that created. So I've very much been influenced by illustrators more than any single type of artist. Following that, we could say fellows like Gord and JG, even though I didn't know him at the time, who were producing bondage art before I even started InSex.
JG-L: Do you know why placing women in those incredible bondage situations appeals to you to the extent that it did/does?
PD: That's a very interesting question, actually very complicated. My immediate reaction is that human beings are extremely incredible creatures - [the] sophistication of their brains, their imaginations, and their emotions which are obviously the highest form of expression that we know in the universe or the galaxy. To elaborate on human sexuality in the way in which bondage allows is in fact an incredible tour, an incredible experience. It could even be the embodiment of the most erotic foreplay one could imagine. A seemingly dangerous or non-consensual situation is exactly the opposite of that where extreme caring is involved in a seemingly horrific picture of subjugation and domination is actually beautiful and enhances the eroticism and beauty of the human form, the female form. It could be extremely compelling - that entire situation becomes an extremely compelling image or desire. In other words it's one of many. One could contrast that with the motive of the biological imperative of men and women together which of course is to procreate and have children. But as human beings we're capable of much more than that, of that mere biological reaction. You could say among the morality and social obligation of sexuality, the family is the highest expression of a simple biological imperative, procreation. But in another matter, as choice by other humans to pursue a more corporeal or sensuous kind of life based around sexuality and the excitement and emotion in engenders is equally valid, particularly in a society where freedom is one of the requisite claims and hence it would be obvious that sexuality of various types of expression could arise. Indeed you could even say that "porn" or "BDSM" is one of the highest form of free society's expression. It's a very wide ranging answer to a complex question. Maybe I'll have more on this later.
JG-L: What do you think of the gay/lesbian S&M/B&D scene? It would seem to me that those of the same sex that play these games can be much more evil to one of their own sex. Agree? Disagree?
PD: Frankly I think that people can be more evil or not based upon their temperament. As a submissive I would have to say that the females that have dominated me were much more sadistic than the men. That's just my personal opinion, whether it's gay or not. But since you invoked the gay/lesbian idea, I have a whole different take on the influence of that particular lifestyle has had on me in the S&M B&D scene. Some of the most intelligent and eloquent writings that I have ever read were from this woman, Pat Califa, who was a female dominant and talked about - of course, being a gay person she's well aware of the oppression, and so created a very interesting expose as well as a real-time sort of experience about S&M/B&D. It was the first intellectual or analytical discussion that I had. Another important person who influenced me that was gay is a person by the name of Barbara Bell. A lesbian author who wrote a very successful book called Stacking in Rivertown and her intellectual prowess and sympathy for oppression, being a gay, has been a tremendous and informative influence on me. So ultimately, my experience with the gay community... this is another interesting personal experience. I personally don't care if it's a man or woman that dominates me. Ultimately it's my persuasion that seems to rule my sexuality, in other words, my interest in bondage overcomes gender phobias. Hence, I've had some very wonderful male tops who were not gay and were also gay and as long as I'm tied up, I'm happy.
JG-L: Did you have any misgivings about your interests or some of the sessions you did when InSex was going full blast?
PD: I always had misgivings. Basically around safety issues and I would often test the equipment repeatedly. A particularly dangerous area of course is suspension and the mechanisms for that, hence we would have 2 or 3 guys hanging on those devices, on the chains, on the joints, the swivel joints, etc. to constantly keep testing their safety. There was another outrageous safety issues that came up with a girl who's hair I had tied and suspended her by. I was practicing this new thing called a sheet bend which is a particular knot that I was fascinated with. I used it on her and once she was suspended I decided to use a pogo on her, hence the horrific fear that I had that if that tie wasn't done right and she suddenly slipped or fell, she would obviously impale herself on this dildo. I had a lot of confidence in the knowledge and experience, I had tied her that way before. She was very confident about it, but I couldn't overcome the unease and the sense of danger that pervaded these things. So ultimately I was also subjugated to a lot of slander about the alleged safety and lack thereof, but in fact all of these things were extremely safe and I was extremely conscientious about it. It was for that reason that they could also appear so horrific and so outrageous because it was a lot of thought and care and practice that went into these sessions.
JG-L: Similarly, did it take you time to accept that your ideas and likes were OK?
PD: Actually I never accepted that my likes and ideas were okay. I think that when you're a freak in this society, you remain that and there’s been nothing about this society's actions that have ever encouraged me to believe otherwise. Certainly, I've taken some solace in the fact that the Japanese were very open about sex, and I took a lot of optimism from that idea that there are human beings that can examine sex as an ongoing sort of experience that goes beyond just breeding, if you will.
Again, it depends on if you're looking at the ruling class in America and whether one should conform or get their praise, or even their gifts, or is one trying to make peace with themselves and do some kind of form of self-discovery. I basically relied on the history of BD/SM, the historical context that I saw it occur in, similarly in another society that accepted sexuality and fetishes more openly. So hence I realized that for myself, personally I had no problem with it because in my heart I knew that I was the same person. I was still considerate, I was still kind with the people I wanted to "hang out" with, which included models and women who wanted to play like this, so I had no problem accepting what I was interested in. But I was definitely afraid and paranoid over the ruling class. Their history is very obvious, very conspicuous. So in that sense, it was always a nerve-wracking sort of project, in a way.
JG-L: You’ve lived out the fantasies of an uncountable number of guys (and maybe ladies too). Was it like being in a big candy store with a wad of cash? How much did you ‘spend’?
PD: Absolutely. When it became obvious that the InSex site was being supported, fondly praised and sought after and ultimately even ripped off in an almost feverish manner, I was definitely very gratified. I can remember once walking down the streets of New York City, which is a vicious city, especially when you don't have any money, and when I'm talking about no money, I'm referring to anything less than a couple of hundred thousand. I felt like I was no longer a tourist but that I could actually move around that city with some finesse and some comfort. That to me was a sign that I had accomplished something, that people were supporting me and supporting what I was doing, and that ultimately it was an inquiry in the end, InSex remained an inquiry. I don't think I was ever seduced by the success of it, but continued to pursue the questions and challenges that the entire scene presents. I think that if one talks about elation or joy, i.e., the candy store, I think the approbation of so many people, the approval suggested that I was really pursuing, that it was an affirmation of my activity, that I was sharing with others this amazing experience.
JG-L: Obviously, you’re a Top of the first order. I won’t give the title ‘Master’ to anyone ‘s not proven themselves to me personally, but feel that you, of all people, deserve it in spades. That being said, have you ever tried the other side of the equation?
PD: I've always been on the other side of the equation. Indeed the first bondage that I ever pursued was figuring out how to use handcuffs and still be able to unlock them. I moved away from the mechanics of the cuffs to actually figuring out how to use ropes, nooses, loops that wouldn't lock on me after pulling them tightly. So I've always been a devout "sub", if you will and the position that people see me in through the site is really dictated by the site and my own personal desires to be handled by a well informed ... well actually, I bet you my own ultimate desire is to be handled by someone like me. I guess you could say I'm a switch and I swing from one temperament to the other.
JG-L: If so, how deeply did you explore that aspect?
PD: As I alluded to above, I pursued it from the very beginning. You could say culminated it once I started making friends in NYC where there was a large BD/SM community and a very accomplished one. And I ultimately subbed for a fellow by the name of Sir Barry, and others such as Sir Robert, Sir C and Mistress [Lavik?]. For two years I basically explored S&M where I was just a bondage freak before, obviously getting involved in pain and the use of pain as a tool for emancipation or subjugation is something that I devoutly sought at some point. I think in a way, I was mercantile about it because I wanted to add S&M to my site and I felt that I really needed to feel what that was like and to learn how to apply it by people who were very accomplished.
JG-L: I understand that the current moral climate and the views of the US Government Administration played a part in you selling off InSex. Have you also ‘been there and done that’, to the extent you were a little weary or perhaps bored with the scenes?
PD: I wasn't necessarily bored with the business, but I was certainly very frustrated by it. It had leveled off maybe a year or two ago, and I felt like without some kind of growth that the thing was ultimately doomed. It appeared to be a part of a typical business cycle and I was on that downward slope, so that was somewhat anxious for me. Ultimately one of the conditions that creates that business slope, that bell curve, the negative side of the bell curve, is regulation and you could indeed say that the US government - the current administration imposed regulations that were Draconian for a business like InSex. Essentially they basically attacked the freak shows, where InSex was probably the quintessential ones, and I couldn't resist that. Ultimately, they cut off my ability to get merchant account processing. I honestly believe that the merchant accounts, all of them were actually looking for the content from InSex, and eventually it was just impossible to get any financing for the business and hence that's what led to it's demise. Indirectly, one could say that the government precipitated that but they did it in a very clever, back manner.
JG-L: This is a little self-serving, but how, where and when did you hear of me?
PD: The first time I heard of you was probably the best possible way I could. I actually didn't hear of you as a name or as an individual, but certainly seeing your work for the first time invoked nothing but awe and inspiration and I can honestly say that that very work was a very important impetus and inspiration for a lot of the things that I did subsequently. I mean, there were many artists at the time that were effecting me, the Japanese, John Willie, Pichard, Stanton, Eneg, all of them all the greats, and after seeing you work on Pony Girl I would have to say that you were up there among those ranks. So it's a really interesting fortuitous circle that I come to be talking to you in this way now.
JG-L: PD, you must surely know that you’re the envy of untold thousands out there who would love to do what you did on InSex, and on the new sites. Does it tend to ‘get old’ after a while, or is there always the thrill of introducing some one to your style of B&D/S&M?
PD: First and foremost I will say that there is indeed a thrill to introduction new people to BD/SM at all. Preferably young women in their twenties, or young aspiring male handlers, indoctrinating or helping anyone who wants to get into the business. That certainly is a thrill for me, that kind of contact and help. Does it tend to get old after awhile? Well, I can tell you that the business gets old, that's for sure. And the relationships that develop out of business is beyond old. It's tiring and wearing and certainly not something that I particularly savor.
JG-L: Other than the rush we get from being in a position of total control of a willing (or perhaps unwilling) female as the session develops; are there other parts of a scene that turn your crank?
PD: I believe the essence of this question is: What is the sexual excitement for the scene, and how does it progress? I felt that my own sexual arousal during a scene was ultimately an impediment, particularly when I started doing it for business purposes. I found that the sexual energy was very sort of mean or forceful, in a sense that I would probably tie the ropes too tightly at first and then the model or the girl couldn't actually endure what was to follow because of the tightness of the ropes. That was the most conspicuous example of how I felt the sexual state of mind was tantamount to a drug that created that kind of insensitivity to the other person as I pursued my own wants and desires, and this certainly wasn't going to fly in light of a business situation or a situation that was cleverly or dangerously contrived. Ultimately the suppression of my sexual libido in this affair was the ultimate aspect in my success. There is some far-reaching implications to this in terms of how I was raised or tutored in this affair, or how I tutored myself. I was married for 25 years and remained faithful to my wife until the very end. But during that entire time, I had a studio and was practicing bondage with it and in order to remain faithful, I had to refrain from elaborating on the relationship with a model even though some of these girls were extremely excited about what was going on, it was very apparent to me, and it was actually through their obvious excitement over this situation that led me to experiment with some of the tools that I used later on InSex. I basically had to refrain from indulging or taking advantage of that opportunity and so I developed very early on a sense of "business" in light of, or in the face of this outrageous passion
JG-L: When doing a shoot, did the session just happen, i.e. just improvise as the whim strikes or did you pre-plan it, script a scene, then go from there?
PD: Yes, all of the above. I've used all of those methods. I would say that the ones where I perform extemporaneously with a girl that I can trust, are probably going to be the most exciting ultimately. And the devices that cleverly contrived or painstakingly built can be nothing but an impetus or a stimulus for that type of spontaneity to occur and because of that I need really good and experienced models that I can trust when I do go out on my own in an extemporaneous manner.
JG-L: Speaking for myself, I like to ‘watch the lights come on’ in a play partner’s eyes when I take her to ‘the undiscovered country’ right there in her own mind. Do you find that something similar brings you pleasure also?
PD: It brings me much more than pleasure. It's probably the utter and absolute delight and fulfillment for the scene when you can take a play partner, or even a model or young woman and show them for the first time the sexuality that's part of their own body. And indeed to use bondage as a foreplay tool to understand that that very act of imposing some kind of helplessness on someone and then proceeding to care for them in a certain erotic way is a tremendous form of intimacy that often could possibly happen in a vanilla relationship, if you will. So yes, I've taken great delight in enabling women to become the centre of attention in a sexual manner where their own response is the most important thing.
JG-L: What about ‘progression’ or, if you prefer, ‘process and ceremonial’. It’s been my experience that a these are important to a successful session and I see in all of your image series, and of course the video shoots from which they are drawn, that there’s always a series of steps from the beginning and fully clothed, to some of the most extreme B&D/S&M on the web. Is this intentional and do you feel that it adds to the total ambience and reality?
PD: It's absolutely intentional and I think it just makes a good show and a good story. It is a very contrived or compressed sort of process, there is really no story in terms of the emotional background or the back-story, if you will, that's typical of cinema or storytelling. But within that tableau or within the moment of the shoot, within the studio, within an article there is certainly a progression that I feel is just good strategy and makes it all interesting.
JG-L: When InSex was in operation, there was sometimes a lot of background noise and it appeared as though people were phoning in and offering suggestions about what next to do with/to the model. True?
PD: Absolutely. One of the very first things I did with InSex and wanted to do right from the beginning was to incorporate a show-like atmosphere with a live audience, this was informed by the Japanese performances and clubs, and I wanted to do that here and the Internet with it's potential for real-time interaction was an astounding opportunity to actually pursue that. I didn't have to do physical locations, worry about community standards, I literally was able to take advantage of the amazing opportunity the Internet had at that time allowed for freedom of expression. I don't know if you've participated in live feeds, but they were absolutely the most amazing events that I've ever participated in really, or had the honour to.
JG-L: How many of the suggestions did you use?
PD: I tried to use all of them. I may not have been able to use them at the time of the show because some of them were elaborate or out of context, but InSex was very much a part of what I would call an interactive BD/SM scene where members would make suggestions that we would then try to actually produce. So in that way it was a membership driven process. That was beautiful in a way. It was the ultimate academic trip for me because I suddenly had the source of many thousands of people to refer to to help pursue what I ultimately believe was an inquiry, a discovery, a journey of discovery into this seemingly scary, dark practice.
JG-L: Did the models understand that this could happen and that they had no control over what was to come?
PD: First of all, the model always had control over what was happening. I wanted to make sure that they did and I only worked with models who actually understood that as well. Or worked with models who could understand the difference between what our goals were for a show and what reality was. In fact the InSex process was to actually filter talent to the point where we found the best and quintessential models. That's ultimately what made those shows as spectacular as they were as well, the models were just unbelievable. I can only admire and envy the men who finally become their partners, because they really are admirable people as far as I'm concerned.
JG-L: Did this aspect add to the ‘terror factor’ for them and thus become sort of an addiction, perhaps?
PD: Yes, we're talking about how people evolved into the situation, particularly maybe young women who were just drawn to the business aspect of it or were at least trying to augment their education with a little extra income, and then suddenly being transformed by the scene. I certainly did use techniques like dread and terror as part of the shoots and I think that women that did indeed appear in live feeds were smart enough to understand that this was a momentary sort of effect that they could submerge themselves in. So yes, I think they did allow themselves to be terrorized and frightened. They just were very able and very capable people that were able to differentiate between a very elaborate form of adult play and what reality is, which of course is the horrendous violence that people perpetrate on each other that governments institutionalise which is really a kind of horror that has no part in what were doing. We were really just playing. Adults who were playing.
JG-L: I know that there was a deal of friendly rivalry between you and Gord, in that he’d do something and you’d go him one better and vice versa. True?
PD: Affection for Gord was very palatable to be when I remember starting InSex up in 1997 there was really nothing out there like it. At the time, I was inspired a Japanese site called Kinkos. Gord was selling books at that point. I think he had a web site that did sell just his hard copy material. Of course, I would see his materials and Gibson's illustrations being ripped off on the Internet by people who would just scan the imagery and put them up on another sites and I was very shocked about that. I imagined and hoped that Gord would ultimately have a site where he produced content that was web-based and web-centric and I think within a couple of years he did and I was very gratified for him that such a great creator-artist could partake of this freedom that the Internet offered.
JG-L: Obviously, InSex was a labour of love for you, as are Gord’s sites and productions for him, and it showed, big time. Was it an instant success, or did things take a while to get going?
PD: 1997, second week of September, the site opened up. It was, as far as I can tell, an instant success. It was just unbelievable and astounding in a way and beyond anything we had expected. I was creating a gallery for my artwork and if you look at those very early pieces, they were all about how to make things, how things were done, the aesthetics of it. It was very much an aesthetic activity. It was a showcase for my work, really. But the demands of what this business ultimately is, which is of course, sexual literature or sexual information, there was a demand for more and because of that, I had to start dealing with serious production issues, how to produce. And that kind of began to take over the aesthetics or my desire to be an artist in this activity and became more of a producer, really.
JG-L: Do you have other areas of interest within the scene?
PD: No, I don't. If it wasn't for the business I doubt if I would have even explored it to any depth of degree that I did. InSex was definitely a phenomenon of education apparently for many people, but it was also one for me.
JG-L: PD, it appeared as though you could do almost anything you wanted in your set ups. Do you feel you covered all the ground available to you? Is there something else you’d like to do in the scene area?
PD: Yes, I do believe I've covered a lot of ground. If you look at how the knock-offs have refined all those different activities and matters, you could say that they really started or nurtured a whole new trend in content. Water, machines, electrical. Some of the more scary stuff, of course, was never really pursued here by anyone on the West Coast, i.e., scat, bodily waste, vomiting, breath play, enemas, etc. A lot of different areas were explored on InSex but were never picked up because of the obvious problems with the legal systems over them, probably. In fact I'm sure that was what InSex's undoing really was, was it's ability to explore all avenues of the human physical in sexual play.
JG-L: How about vanilla hobbies like golf, travel, etc.?
PD: I really don't have any hobbies, although I do read science journals at night. Before I started InSex and right after I got out of the Navy I did many years of Zen Buddhism practice. I wasn't really interested in the religious aspects at that time, and Zen allowed for a very sectarian view of things, so I found it very attractive for that reason. Recently I've sort of gotten back into it again as I knew that I wanted to for many years, so I can even look at the InSex activity as a kind of oasis and an enabling activity for me that would allow me to pursue other inquiries without worrying about work or anything.
JG-L: Are you a breast or butt man?
PD: I'm a breast man.
JG-L: You had an amazing selection of women who became your ‘victims’. Where did they come from, geographically? Did you advertise, was it word of mouth, or did you deal with agencies?
PD: I think one of the most significant sources for talent was from a fellow in the city here, who had a lot of experience with procurement, or working with women, or directing them to various types of client jobs. He became my agent, if you will. We also ran ads in local newspapers and for those occasions, we would occasionally get these women from the universities, and they were typically from the West Coast. I found the most talented and capable women were from other areas outside of NYC. That's the truth of it. Even now to this day, I do not relish the possibility of local New York talent coming into my studios.
JG-L: By way of clarification, were the ladies you tormented, models, hired for that particular occasion, or were there other facets?
PD: As I indicated previously, there were definitely other facets. A lot of these girls were not models. They were often women who were trying to augment their expenses who were in college and studying. We had some girls with fantastic academic credentials and they were simply being very strategic about their young bodies and probably their desire to be exhibitionists or their desire to be involved in the scene. There were many reasons why. I will say that one of the things we tried to watch out for were girls who were just doing it for the money and could not see anything beyond that and ultimately found themselves in a very unsavoury situation that I don't think they could really differentiate. What I mean to say is that when the bondage was applied to them, they appeared to act as if this was a form of abuse, as if it was part of an abuse they had known before, girls who were very despondent about their situations or addled with drugs. These types of folks we really wanted to quickly pay them and get them out of the studio, which I did many times. I wouldn't even use their content, but would pay them the full model fee and thank them very much and send them on their way. I was very sensitive to this idea of a woman sort of being forced into this job because she desperately needs money.
G-L: You had ‘regulars’ who kept coming back for more. Any idea why they did?
PD: I believe that in a certain way, they became professional talent for InSex - part of a traveling show, if you will. Because of their reliability, their intelligence, their beauty, they were paid very well, extraordinarily well and it became a life work at that moment, for all of us, a troupe, really.
JG-L: Were they in it for the money, or did they become ‘subjects’ for other reasons?
PD: That's a tricky question, in a way because it glosses over the really complex matrix of being in a society like ours that’s premised around a financial economy. Absolutely, we all did it for money. I certainly did. I didn't start it for the money, it was really an act of artistic creation, an artistic expression very commiserate with the web sites I had started before. But indeed it became about money very quickly, and I'm sure the models were there for the money and I was very glad to give it to them. But there were also other reasons that models came to InSex, I won't mention names, but some of these girls were just plain horny about the subject matter, just like we are, just like as men. They just wanted to explore the subject matter and they had fantasies about it. I also found women were very much into exhibitionism, and they certainly had a great opportunity to do that to. So at certain stages of everyone's life, money and motive become indistinguishable, or let's say money and personal reason become indistinguishable. Money is so much a part of our lives.
JG-L: The women that allowed themselves to be subjected to your equipment and scenes were not only beautiful, but also pretty incredible in many other areas. Is there a particular type of woman who will play with your gear, or is it a broad spectrum?
PD: I think it's a broad spectrum. I believe that women are spectacular humans who are capable of great things and are capable of imaginative things, and to be part of that, I think that women are just as horny as we are. It was an honour for me to have a system that would actually select the best, ultimately. If you look at the progress of a model working in the studio for the first time and then appearing on a live feed not once, but many times, you're absolutely right when you think about how spectacular and beautiful they were. It was really an honour and a tremendous thrill. I had models who just would call me up and say I want to work, and I jumped around to provide a forum for them. I would build devices for them, for that particular model and I felt very much in their service.
JG-L: How aware of the depths of their subjugation were the models before the events actually began to unfold? Or, do they just take their chances?
PD: That's a complex question. Subjugation. I want to first say that live feeds were the most challenging and the most dangerous and the most spontaneous. That would be the area where anybody who was taking a chance, that's where they would be doing it - in a live feed. We had machines and gear, suspension devices, etc., that we would rehearse and practice beforehand on the day of the show, or before the show began just to promote safety, but as for the actual events, everything was up for grabs, they just took their chances. At the same time, they always could say no. It was kind of like a truth or dare, I guess, or truth or consequences in a way.
JG-L: How carefully did/do you gauge the ability of the model to move through the events before they actually happened?
PD: I spent every moment with every fiber of my cells to garner or understand what that model was capable of doing or not. It was one of the most all-consuming aspects of an encounter with a person that I did not know, that's a fact. But also, when a new model came in I kept it simple, very simple, not unlike what they would encounter with their boyfriends probably.