com­mand per­for­mance

The Wharf - - Focus - Florence Der­rick Go to for in­for­ma­tion on Madam Storm’s up­com­ing events and to book (from £16)

Pet, get on your knees.” A mid­dle-aged man, dressed in noth­ing but a patent leather thong and col­lar, kneels and starts lick­ing the dom­i­na­trix’s stilet­tos. “See, I train my pets very well,” says Madam Storm, hold­ing high in one hand the leash that’s at­tached to the man’s col­lar and a wooden cane in the other.

I’m at Learn The Art Of Se­duc­tion, the first sem­i­nar the dom­i­na­trix and fe­male con­fi­dence coach has held with her part­ner Mr Mar­cus, at Hox­ton Square Bar And Kitchen in Shored­itch – an event that show­cases what she teaches in the one-to-one se­duc­tion classes she holds with women, along with her Strut work­shops.

It’s been fairly rau­cous un­til this point. The night kicks off with smoky whisky cock­tails and a BDSMthemed game of cha­rades, with the au­di­ence of around 40 – nearly all fe­male – shriek­ing clues to each other to de­scribe spank­ing horses, la­tex gloves, nip­ple clamps and an elec­tric shock crop.

Then the power cou­ple struts in, Madam Storm head-to-toe in a dark glit­tery dress that shim­mers like the night sky. Mr Mar­cus takes his seat next to an ar­ray of whips, ball gags and sen­sory de­pri­va­tion masks dec­o­rated with hand­painted flower pat­terns (he’s a de­signer and fetish wear artist).

The first third of the night is struc­tured as a Q&A hosted by erotic writer Yve Nimi, who first asks the cou­ple how they met – which in­stantly de­scends into the story of when they first had sex.

This sets the tone for the rest of the night. As Tor­ture Gar­den reg­u­lars (the world’s largest fetish club, in Lon­don) and BDSM con­nois­seurs, Madam Storm and Mr Mar­cus re­spond openly and non-judge­men­tally to au­di­ence ques­tions about in­tro­duc­ing kinks to the bed­room and their part­ners, how to “play” safely and what all the equip­ment is for.

The vibe switches be­tween se­ri­ous dis­cus­sions about the im­por­tance of hon­est com­mu­ni­ca­tion be­tween men and women, and up­roar­i­ous chats about the eti­quette of send­ing dick pics.

Au­di­ence mem­bers are telling per­sonal sto­ries about their re­la­tion­ships, ask­ing ques­tions that would be out­ra­geous in al­most any other con­text, or whoop­ing and clap­ping at the cou­ple’s kinky sto­ries, in turn.

We’re a few cock­tails in and have just taken five to grab an­other from the bar, when we’re sur­prised with a se­duc­tion demon­stra­tion by Madam Storm and Mr Mar­cus.

She per­forms a sexy dance for him, dressed in a leather har­ness, be­fore he pulls a sen­sory de­pri­va­tion mask over her face and pro­ceeds to spank her.

We’re all start­ing to get a bit hot un­der the col­lar when Mr Mar­cus calls time out, the mu­sic stops and we all laugh and ap­plaud.

An au­di­ence mem­ber speaks of how “re­fresh­ing and beau­ti­ful” it is to see a black cou­ple oc­cu­py­ing the stage, and how she feels this is un­usual in the kink and BDSM scene – which is also met with ap­plause from the ma­jor­ity-black crowd.

Then it all gets a bit more in­ter­ac­tive, as Mr Mar­cus takes a back seat and Madam Storm calls for her “pet” to join her on stage.

For the first time, the au­di­ence is quiet, study­ing the dom­i­na­trix’s body lan­guage and vo­cal in­struc­tions as she demon­strates the dom-sub dy­namic.

Now it’s our turn. “Who wants to spank him?” she asks, and a few ten­ta­tive hands go up.

Au­di­ence mem­bers try their hand with the cane and the flog­ger whip, while Madam Storm makes cer­tain that they’re al­lowed to ex­plore the tech­nique in a safe space – no laugh­ing is tol­er­ated, only en­cour­age­ment.

Madam Storm teaches one woman in the au­di­ence how to use her voice to in­struct the “pet” – “Come here, pet. Stand up straight. Kneel down.” – and asks her, af­ter­wards, how it made her feel.

“Lib­er­ated,” she says, smil­ing broadly.

We’re pretty sure the “pet” is en­joy­ing him­self, too, which is con­firmed when Madam Storm gives him per­mis­sion to speak about his fetish. He’s as en­thu­si­as­tic as his mis­tress al­lows him to be.

Af­ter a quick crash course in can­dle wax drip­ping, the night draws to an end and we re­luc­tantly cheer the cou­ple off stage and tipsily make our way home.

I’m sure ev­ery­one in the room left with an opened mind, a feel­ing of free­dom and the con­fi­dence to tell their kinky se­crets to their part­ners when they got home.

That’s what Madam Storm’s art of se­duc­tion classes are all about – giv­ing peo­ple the con­fi­dence to own, and ex­plore, their sex­u­al­ity. And that’s a pretty pow­er­ful gift.

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