by Lorena O'Neil
Cassie Fuller is a teacher. She holds an education degree and has years of teaching experience. One of her favorite things is learning from her students.
No need to call her Ms. Fuller — it’s Madam Cassie to you.
Fuller, 30, is a kink instructor who teaches classes like grappling and struggling, polyfidelity and how to pleasure a woman. She likes to focus on “kinking responsibly.”
She’d like to expand the instruction of kink to those outside the tight-knit, secretive, kink community.
Kink is a softer way of saying BDSM, which Fuller says often has negative connotations. “You say BDSM and people start thinking dungeons and dominatrix. People in kink are your neighbors.” She defines kink as “anything that you add to normal, regular, missionary sex” including “eating strawberries off of your lover” or pulling someone’s hair while kissing them (with consent, of course). ...
Fuller explains that people are beginning to try kink at home, but there isn’t a great way for them to learn how to do so safely. She concedes there are “very good books” on the subject but “a book can’t tell me, ‘Hey this rope is a little too tight.’” She adds that the public is “going to try it with or without the education” and she’d like them to be informed properly on how to kink.
Her Baltimore-based business, TTB Ventures, teaches sexy education classes at kink conferences around the U.S., and began reaching out to the mainstream last year with a conference called Touch of Flavor targeted to people interested in learning about kink. Approximately 400 people attended. She also set up a booth with four other people at Baltimore’s Beer, Bourbon and BBQ festival teaching people how to do a rope tie.
“We had lines of people who were waiting to be tied up by us,” she says.
While interest is high, Madam Cassie’s mission isn’t without challenges. Her first Touch of Flavor conference had to be rescheduled when the venue’s management abruptly canceled the event because of its “adult topics” focus. Twitter and Groupon would not advertise her upcoming Touch of Flavor event in July, due to the content. These kinds of judgments from mainstream institutions are why the kink community remains tightly private about their interactions. ...