I spoke to Kitten Skye, the BDSM queen of Brighton

‘My Grandma is nothing but supportive’

It is well known that there is more to Brighton than just fish and chips. The underground sex scene means that brothels and sex shops are located all over the city and with the right amount of inquiry, you can find out where they all are.

I was interested in this secret part of Brighton. However, many failed attempts to chat to the sex workers of Brighton lead me to believe that it would be a side of Brighton that would forever be buried, never to be unearthed. It was then, after visiting some eye-opening forums and a few badly designed escort websites that I stumbled across ‘Filth’.

Filth is a BDSM event night that happens every third friday of each month. Celebrating its one-year birthday on March 17th, I felt that this was my ticket to figure out what the Brighton BDSM scene was like.

Digging around, I found the organiser of the event, Kitten Skye.

The BDSM blogger has been involved in the BDSM scene since she was 18. She previously owned ‘The Dungeon Bar’ in Regency Square, which was the UK’s only fetish bar back in 2015. Membership was on a recommendation basis meaning that if you didn’t know someone who was already a member, there was no chance of getting in.

The bar has since shut down, meaning that Kitten Skye has had to look elsewhere in order to carry out Brighton’s BDSM desires. This was then the inspiration of Filth.

Since the event was coming up to its first birthday, I wanted to find out more about Kitten and the little known fetish scene in Brighton. I spoke to Kitten Skye online.

 

Firstly, when did you get involved in the bdsm scene and how did you know you liked it?

I started going to Fetish events as soon as I could, I had read about them and seen the pictures in magazines and online and I was excited by the idea of the people, the play and the fashion. I didn’t find the scene and then decide I liked it. Fetish and BDSM is as much a part of me as my taste in food. I’m not into BDSM because I found the scene I’m on the scene because BDSM is a part of who I am and a part best explored around other people who feel the same.

And how old were you when you wanted to pursue this as a hobby and career?

I started running fashion and burlesque events when I was 18 and realised I loved it. I suppose it was only a matter of time before my passions collided. A couple of years ago I was put in touch with Killing Kittens and started running their Brighton parties for a while, from then it just snow balled and I’ve had an exciting couple of years playing with and deciding on my own brand ethos and what I want my events to add to the community.

So, as a newbie how would someone get involved in the scene?

For anyone interested in exploring the fetish scene or their own fetish desires my first point would always be research. Particularly in regards to safety, consent and personal and event etiquette. There’s a wealth of knowledge and pointers from people who have been on the scene, made mistakes and learnt from them so you don’t have to. There’s also some fantastic books and great community support on online platforms like Fetlife. I think being humble is really important when entering into any strong existing network.

What do you mean by being humble?

Admitting and accepting that you don’t know as much as other people and having respect for how serious things like consent and sub space are. If you go in thinking you already know everything that there is to know and refuse to ask, listen and learn you’re going to make mistakes that hurt people and harm your reputation (rightly so) in the process.

So what could you say is ‘too far’ in BDSM?

Too far would be to breach consent. Just as in the vanilla world, anything other than enthusiastic consent isn’t consent. Consent may be given beforehand when communicating around hard limits and can be taken away at any time through use of a safe word.

Is the Brighton BDSM scene quite big and is there a lot of money in it?

Brighton has a big community of fetishists, kinksters and open minded liberal explorers. I wanted Filth to be a place where they can all explore themselves and their desires safely, close to home and without judgement. As with events generally it’s a bit of a labour of love but I’m looking forward to launching my new T-Shirt range Audacitee and expanding my events and workshops elsewhere later in the year.

You talk about Shibari on your blog, what is that?

Shibari is an ancient and very popular form of rope bondage originally used to restrain captives. On a personal level I find rope to be one of the most beautiful forms of BDSM, I often bunny (get tied) for the rigger (the person doing the tying) who does my rope bondage workshops which you can book through Filth.

There has been a rise of students partaking in sex work in order to support themselves in Uni, is BDSM popular with students and is sex work the right way to fund their studies?

As neither a student or a sex worker I really can’t comment on this. What I will say is I consider myself on a personal level and my branding to be sex work and sex worker positive. I would love to raise money with events in the future for some charities that genuinely support sex workers such as ‘Ugly Mugs’ or SAAFE.

 How did you get the name Kitten Skye?

I started calling myself Kitten Skye when I was running the Killing Kittens parties, the saying goes every time a woman has an orgasm a kitten dies…it kind of stuck as it fits into my personality and fetishes. You will often find me on the door at Filth in my kitten ears.

You run a BDSM night in Brighton named filth, describe what it is like

Filth is the event I always wished existed, it’s raw and real and exciting. I wanted it to give you that feeling, like, you were doing something wrong or naughty just by walking in the room, kind of underground. It lives up to it’s name. Above all it’s a safe place for people to explore their sexuality and fetishes without judgement.

If you want to get involved in workshops or get tickets for the event, you can email us at [email protected]

Is it common to get injuries in BDSM

That entirely depends on the submissive’s personal limits, some people play to mark and others prefer not to. I don’t pretend to speak for everyone on the scene but for me the marks serve as a reminder of an amazing session and a kind of battle scar to be worn with pride.

 Why do you think people like being dominated?

I think people in the fetish world are into it for a wide variety of reasons, it’s a big diverse scene after all which makes it such an interesting one. I think Fetish play can give people both the chance to be someone different to who they are in their day to day lives and the chance to be who they really are deep down. Submission can help you to shut off, de-stress, feel supported, feel strong, feel small, feel loved and a plethora more of desirable emotions. Some may simply be in it for the heady rush of natural pain killers and endorphins that are released or just to explore new things.

Do you think media, like 50 shades of grey, portray BDSM in a positive light as many have critiqued it for being exploitative? 

I don’t think anyone on the scene actually thinks 50 Shades of Grey portrays BDSM in a positive or correct manner but that doesn’t mean I haven’t met a few Christian Grey’s on the scene. True BDSM isn’t about abuse but we’re not immune to it either. It’s my hope that the more BDSM is talked about and explained the more people will talk about consent issues, new people on the scene will know their rights and that the understanding and legal rights for people who have been abused whilst engaging in BDSM will increase.

Do friends and family know what you do and what do they think about what you do?

I’m very public about my work as well as my support and involvement in BDSM, I often promote my events through my personal social media pages, even the one with my Grandma on it…who has been nothing but supportive. The bottom line is my personal play is just that, personal, but I have nothing but pride for the scene and my involvement in it.
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