Into The Night is an ongoing project I started in New York City, documenting an unseen side to the city that lives on after dark.
As a concept, “Into The Night” aims to capture my journey through the night at street level. My use of flash borrows from the style of crime scene photography. I see the images almost like crime scenes waiting to happen. I recently decided to evolve the project so that each installment, with a full photo shoot and an accompanying interview, becomes a character study. My subject becomes my muse and my accomplice for the evening as we journey through the night together.
On my latest adventure, I invited Ms Anthrope to join me — a professional provocateur whose specialties include spanking, public humiliation, golden showers and body worship. As a practicing domme, she brought along a submissive whom she tied up and led through the city streets. Starting in Williamsburg, we crossed the bridge and finished our shoot the early morning of the Lower East Side. Passersby remained unfazed, a testament to a city inhabited by those who have seen it all.
Over the last year, I have watched your personal evolution as you embarked on a journey to explore the darker parts of your personality and adopt an unconventional lifestyle in the process. What was the catalyst for change, to become a professional?
After a longterm, monogamous relationship, I had found myself single and sexless for a long time.
Dating seemed too casual with no meaning and I had the idea that it was for people with no hobbies or friends. Sounds harsh, right? But that was my conviction. After a few years of maintaining that belief, (and celibacy) I realized that I was sexually dissatisfied and pretty unhappy without any intimacy in my life. It became clear to me that I needed to challenge my judgement towards dating. Being used to dealing with my own demons growing up, I decided once again to face my fears; this time my social anxiety. I put up a profile on OkCupid and went on numerous dates with half of Williamsburg. […] Without knowing what I was looking for, I [realized] it wasn’t a monogamous relationship or casually dating (which I had mistaken as a hooking up).
I questioned myself and wondered why I couldn’t relate to people. As a consequence of going on so many unsuccessful dates, I concluded that my sexuality was different from the mainstream. When I found out about the sex-positive movement, I was instantly attracted to the community and their progressive attitude towards sensuality and sexuality.
You practice polyamory. What types of challenges do you face in those types of relationships?
Being fairly new to polyamory, I still face challenges that deal mostly with unlearning behavioral patterns of monogamy. In the past, I have compared myself to my partner’s other female partner, instead of thinking: “How nice that he has connected with someone who enjoys gardening just as much.” In those situations I like to make a list to compare my patterns in monogamy and polyamory just to remind myself that my goal is to mature emotionally and mentally. When my needs are being met, I realize that I have absolutely no reason to be jealous of any of my partner’s other partners. Plus, I hate gardening.
You define yourself as an erotic provocateur. How did you initially get into the line of fetish work and what does a typical day look like?
I initially reached out to friends of friends, asking if these pro-dommes were interested in having me for double sessions. It was surprisingly easy to find a nice and professional establishment!
As a domme, I have clients who come in to live out their dark side, while others seek out reassurance that it’s okay to have a fetish. I am very intuitive and need to establish trust before I can lead my client out of their comfort zone. I either praise or scold, which is easy for me as the oldest, bossy sibling of three. I’m naturally drawn to being in charge.
In your personal relationships do you prefer to be the dominant or the submissive?
I am submissive to one partner only and have no desire in the near future to be submissive to others. I do identify as a ‘switch’ but before submitting myself to someone, my partner needs to prove himself as a trusting and deserving person. I see my submission as the biggest compliment I can possibly give.
Have you ever been asked to do something that you felt uncomfortable with?
It happens. Men always want to push the boundaries, don’t they? I get asked to be their submissive but I politely decline those requests. If it’s playful, I will let a regular client spank me but only as long as I am in control of the situation.
How do your partners feel about your line of work?
They are very supportive of my job because they see how much it empowers me sexually and as a woman. Also, I pay for nice dinners. They love it.
What does being sex positive mean to you?
Being sex-positive encourages people to embrace intimacy and sexuality with a liberated attitude and few inhibitions. I needed to unlearn hetero-normative and societal conventions to really understand and express myself sexually. In my opinion, as long as everyone involved gives their consent, there is no reason to create limitations on your expression but to explore actively.
Where did the name Ms Anthrope come from?
I used to hate people. (Or at least believed I did.) I would sometimes say: “People are my least favorite animal.” So naturally, my partner refers to me as Miss Anthrope. We can laugh about the tragedies and darkness of life and I guess that’s my way of dealing with the skeletons in my closet.