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Madison Young: Making queer, kinky representation possible
by Angelique Smith
2020-06-18

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Queer author, adult film star and podcaster Madison Young further secures her "Queen of Kink" title with the new sex-positive docuseries, Submission Possible. This informative exploration into kink culture kicks off its first episode in New Orleans, where Young introduces the viewer to sex magic, spectrophilia, herbalism and masturbation rituals.

Taking time from finishing up work on an anthology to be released next spring and also a children's book about being non-binary, Young spoke with Windy City Times about her docuseries debut.

Windy City Times: How did you start your journey into kink and fetishes?

Madison Young: It's just inherently always been a part of my sexual identity. Even with my very first sex partner, we used handcuffs and really enjoyed public sex, spanking… I just really dove into that. At the age of 20, I moved to San Francisco and I got much further into the kink scene, going to public parties, as well my career as a bondage model. Having the experience of working with some of the top rope artists and dominants, and really exploring true submission and masochism, was really incredible.

WCT: Do you feel like there any misconceptions about BDSM?

MY: There are a lot of misconceptions about BDSM, largely because there aren't enough safe spaces to talk about sex and sexuality; it's still something that carries with it a lot of shame. And things like BDSM and fetish carry even more shame. One of the big, significant misconceptions is [around] consent. I think people often have this idea that BDSM and abuse are similar, which in no way are they. [With BDSM], there's communication, a shifting of energy and sensation with different types of touch. But I think that people sometimes get this idea that if someone is being spanked or engaging in face slapping, they're thinking about that in a context that is non-consensual and are confused about how that works.

WCT: Ah, that makes sense.

MY: And also, the misconception that you can't be feminist and also be a submissive or masochist. Whether you're a dominant or a submissive, a top or bottom, you're building the scene together. You're building this safe space, this play, that can look like so many different things. Within that play, you're building that container based on what your mutual desires are. Both of you, or all of you, depending on how many people are in the scene, are able to surrender to that based on negotiations and communication. I feel like that's an incredibly empowering thing.

WCT: It sounds like it.

MY: Often in vanilla sex, you don't see that so much, that degree of communication and negotiation. I've done sex coaching in the past and I've talked to many people that have had years of sex. They're feeling very unfulfilled and want to talk their partner about having sex that they truly desire, but don't have that space. It's not built into vanilla sexual relationships. Within BDSM, it's built in: that communication—that consent—is a key element before any play happens.

WCT: That's a good segue into you telling us more about feminist porn and your advocacy for authentic pleasure?

MY: I've been creating feminist porn since 2005, and performing in it since 2002. I started doing that as a way to make money for my non-profit, feminist art gallery in San Francisco, that [gave visibility to] women and transgender artists and performers. I found that within pornography, there was this really rich and powerful medium in which to document our sexual culture. It's really the only medium in which we see our sexual relationships being depicted, documented and explored. This is really fucking political and powerful, because it matters who is being documented. Authentic orgasms, and documenting queer, trans and women's sexuality, is really powerful. Hearing them talk about it, living out their fantasies in front of the camera with someone that they want to have sex with, in the scenario they want to be doing, where they feel the hottest, wearing what they want to wear and holding that space for someone to have their ultimate sexual experience and being able to document that? Every time, I feel immensely honored to bear witness.

WCT: That is really powerful.

MY: There's a lot of work that goes into that, really cultivating that safe space for folks to be that vulnerable. That's been a really important part of my journey because representation matters. That's one of the reasons I wanted to work within television, because I know that telling our stories matter. It's how people see themselves represented and lets them know that they're not alone in the world. Knowing that there's another queer, kinky feminist out there, you know? To [help them] feel empowered to speak out loud their truth and to have the sex that makes them happy.

WCT: How did Submission Possible come about?

MY: Many of my films and projects come to me in kind of a dreamlike state. A few years ago, me and my kids took off for Western [Massachusetts] in the Berkshires. Before falling asleep one night, I had a vision of this show and I just knew it needed to happen. I'm really able to dream big dreams and then manifest them, so from that point I started working on a script, put together a sizzle reel, and then shopped that around for a while. So, I said, 'Fuck it, I've just got to make the pilot.'

WCT: Yes, I saw the pilot. How far have you gotten into production due to COVID-19?

MY: It's been somewhat of a challenge for a travel docuseries. However, the next episode is actually going to be on how kinky, queer culture has adapted to quarantine. Visiting folks, some virtually, some at a social distance… I've done a lot of research on the best modes of shooting at this moment in time. Some production is starting to open up [this] week, but we're being tentative. The next episode I'll be shooting at the beginning of July if everything goes well.

WCT: What do you hope this series accomplishes?

MY: My purpose for creating all of this work is for that girl that is left back in Ohio. That's where I grew up: conservative, homophobic Ohio. The more queer, trans, Black, and POC voices that we have on screen, the more visibility happens. When we're able to start conversations and normalize kink, BDSM and queer sexuality, then we're able to have these conversations more openly. I create this work for the queer in Smalltown, USA, who is seeking out a reflection of themselves. I hope that I'm able to visit different cities around the world and show all of these very unique voices that will resonate with different people.

Submission Possible will premiere on Friday, June 19th on the LGBTQ+ virtual cable TV network Revry. Visit Revry.tv for more information.


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