Interview with Clips4Sale
I recently did a super fun interview with Clips4Sale. It can be found at here: http://blog.clips4sale.com/b/studio-spotlight-elise-graves-bondage-liberation/ or the full text is below. Enjoy!
I put together a lot of interviews for Clips4Sale studios, and it’s something I enjoy. I love the fetish industry and I love the people in it, because almost everyone has an interesting story of their journey to tell. But there is nothing I enjoy more than talking to real, lifestyle BDSM and bondage players. In this interview we speak to Elise Graves who runs the Elise Graves Bondage Liberation studio, which you’ve probably already noticed is an oxymoron in itself. But it does provide a small hint at the way Elise Graves views the lifestyle she absolutely loves. Get ready to enjoy one of the most interesting interviews we’ve posted in quite some time…
Clips4Sale: Hi Elise and thanks for talking to us today. Like always before an interview, I took a look at your studio, Bondage Liberation and wow, bondage heaven! And that had me looking forward to doing this interview with you because despite the fact there is plenty of bondage on C4S, it’s not something we’ve dug into too often. So, to kick things off, can you tell us how you discovered bondage, and when you realized that it was something you were very much attracted to? Explain to us your love of bondage and where it comes from.
Elise Graves: For me the conscious realization that I was into bondage play came much later than my inherent interest. Looking back, I see now that in my early childhood I adored going to the dentist, having my mouth held open, examined and the closeness that comes from that experience. I see that in my late teens and early twenties I was unconsciously deploying intense tease and denial tactics with my sexual partners. It was only when I entered my mid-twenties that I was introduced to the world of bondage and I was instantly obsessed! Everything made so much more sense to me and was vastly more interesting when I looked through a lens of power exchange, vulnerability and exploration.
Clips4Sale: Your Bondage Liberation studio is pretty unusual in the fact that it combines content with you as a Domme and with you in bondage. You don’t see that often. Most studios it’s either one or the other. So what is the philosophy behind the studio and the way you approach bondage and BDSM in general?
Elise Graves: Frankly, I am bondage slut. This means that I enjoy all aspects of bondage play – whether it’s topping someone, bottoming to someone, or facilitating play in some other role. When I first began exploring bondage, I felt most comfortable as a bottom, learning and experiencing a whole host of things. However, at some point in my process, I began to have a desire to explore the other side as a top. These days I am most happy switching – sometimes being a top, other times a bottom, particularly if I get to switch with other switches! Additionally, I feel that bondage play can be a great unifier. For me, I enjoy playing with all genders and sexual orientations, what’s important is that there is an interest in the subject matter of bondage.
I believe bondage to be so special as it inherently creates a space for exploration. For those who choose not to engage in a 24/7 BDSM dynamic, bondage play is temporary. Bound to a particular time and space. Whether one wants to engage in a particular role play scenario or not, bondage play inherently has a “top” and “bottom” which allows the freedom of setting aside how one might typically experience the world, and instead, try on something new. For me, this was vitally important to my development, as it enabled me to express myself, my suffering in a way I never had before. Life changing.
C4S: I also notice rubber features heavily in your studio and I know rubber is a common element of bondage and BDSM but can you tell us more about your attraction to it?
Elise: It is true, I love rubber! I can remember my first heavy rubber experience provided to me by my friend Mark from Serious Bondage. I entered an oversized heavy rubber, total-enclosure suit and came out transformed! I felt as if I had returned to the womb and travelled to a different dimension at the same time. Inside heavy rubber (different from latex, which is thin and worn tight) I felt held, nurtured, protected and warm. I think rubber is a powerful experience for people as we are electrical beings, and rubber makes a great insulator. I feel that my energy is very much contained and protected from others. I highly recommend the experience to others!
On a more practical level, I love playing with rubber bondage gear as it is both waterproof and airtight, which comes in handy for breath control, piss play, enema play and much, much more!
C4S: There’s a clip in your studio where you are locked in a cage wearing a rubber rebreather hood. I have to say, just the image of you playing in that self-bondage set up kind of alarms me a little! Can you tell us what motivated you to do that, how it feels while you are doing it, and the satisfaction you feel afterwards? Does doing something like that inspire you to maybe push your boundaries further and further? Is that the entire thrill of it, or is there more to it?
Elise: The rubber rebreather hood that you mention is indeed one of my most favorite pieces of gear to play with! I have many hoods of this sort, and they are all super fun. I like to think of it as a “forced meditation” hood, as it requires the wearer to get a grip on their breathing, as the hood collapses in on the face during inhales and expands during exhales. If you try to suck in too much air too quickly, the hood collapses on itself and allows less air to pass through. It’s genius and devious! Therefore, one must constantly monitor their breathing, much like meditation. (Side note: never leave someone alone with this hood on!)
I wanted to do a self-bondage video with this hood, because it scares me! I LOVE playing with these hoods when they are on other people but they terrify me when they are on my head. As with many things about bondage, I am compelled to explore and expand my boundaries. I consider myself to be a pretty big control freak (like many bondage freaks), therefore I crave the freedom from the need to control that bondage can provide. I have found that pushing my own boundaries in a bondage context really translates to regular life. After an intense bondage experience, smaller anxieties seem to melt away. If I can handle being locked in a cage with a rebreather hood while my pussy is electrified and my hands are locked out of reach, I think I can handle life’s smaller anxieties ?
C4S: As I mentioned, your studio is a mix between you as a Domme and you in bondage. Do you have a preference between the two? What do you enjoy more, giving or receiving, and why?
Elise: Oh my, what a question for a switch! These days I find myself topping others much more than bottoming, as there are many more people wanting to bottom than who are skilled in topping. After being strictly a bottom for my first several years exploring BDSM, I discovered topping was definitely fun for me. I had to come to an understanding that I could be whatever kind of top I wanted – I didn’t have to fit any particular image of a femdom, nor did I have to play like anyone I had seen before. I could just be me! This was life-changing for my play and beyond. Although I am a 100% switch, meaning I love both sides of play, I feel that my many years of very intense BDSM play experience has left me with an intense desire to create situations for others as a top. I enjoy both but find more meaning in topping these days. Being a switch, though, this can change at any time.
C4S: I checked out the categories within your store and it looks like you enjoy ALL things related to bondage. Is there anything within bondage you haven’t tried yet that’d you’d maybe like to try?
ELISE: Indeed, I am obsessed with everything that encompasses bondage play and I’d say I have explored quite a bit as it relates to its physical experience. I have recently entered into a chastity dynamic as a key holder, which I have always wanted to explore. This is a different realm of bondage play than I am used to, as it seems to be more mental than physical. Also it is long-term, and not confined to a couple hours. It has been interesting to explore and I look forward to learning more about chastity play and about myself as a key holder.
C4S: Of all the different bondage devices and equipment that you own and play with, can you explain which is your favorite and why?
Elise: As I have mentioned, I love, love, love rebreather hoods! I love them because they not only represent the control that one person has over another, but also the control that one has to have over themselves. I feel this is the case with many breath control toys, which I love.
Another absolute favorite is simply rope. Rope is so amazing! With rope, I can create anything! That’s not to say that I am a rope genius, but rather speaks to the fluidity and flexibility of rope. I am able to precisely set tension on the body, create whatever shape I desire and create any degree of restraint that I want with rope. It is beautiful, it looks amazing on everyone, and it smells nice, too ? Rope will always be my first love when it comes to gear.
C4S: What would you say to somebody who was looking to get into bondage and BDSM but doesn’t really know where to start?
Elise: Welcome to the wonderful world of the internet and all the amazing resources available to you! If you are looking to learn about topping, I recommend The New Topping Book by Dossie Easton, attending local BDSM classes and seeking out a sex positive, kink positive therapist to discuss your exploration with, particularly if you were brought up with shame issues around your sexuality.
All the same applies if you are looking to bottom in kink, except I recommend The New Bottoming Book by Janet W. Hardy. Additionally, as a person looking to explore their submissive or bottoming side, I highly recommend seeking out a vetted, trusted professional. Pro dommes are experts in crafting experiences to meet the desires and needs of any experience level, and offer a client-focused experience.
C4S: Away from the clips and the bondage, who is Elise Graves? What kind of things do you like to do when you are not playing with rebreathers and suspension devices?
Elise: Much of my life does revolve around bondage, yes. I am so grateful to have been able to create that for my life. When not engaging in such activities, I enjoy riding my bicycle around the city and on longer rides. I enjoy camping a lot! I enjoy traveling (not during the pandemic, of course!) to visit all the wonderful nature California has to offer, especially hot springs. I generally enjoy exercising and slathering love upon my cats. I am in the early phase of learning to ride a motorcycle, which I am excited about. And one day soon (I hope) I will be able to travel the world again in search of kinky bondage people to play with!
C4S: Who or what is your favorite:
Band/Artist – I LOVE music! My most favorite band of all time is Bright Eyes. I am the same age as Conor Oberst and I have essentially grown up alongside and intertwined with his music.
Book – I used to read a lot – mostly non-fiction books about consciousness, psychology and self-improvement. Now I feel my ADD doesn’t allow for traditional reading, so I am now listening to audio books. Even then, I still find myself starting many and bouncing between them. Currently I am listening to Sylvia Plath’s The Bell Jar, Robert Reich’s The System: Who Rigged It and How to Fix it, and Ibram X. Kendi’s How to Be an Anti-Racist
Food – I eat a plant-based diet, aka I am vegan. I feel that I was born a vegetarian but it wasn’t until transitioning to a vegan diet that I discovered my joy for food! Yummy vegan food makes me SO happy! I honestly feel joyous when I discover new vegan dishes and restaurants. Thankfully Oakland, California has much to offer in this regard. I recently found the absolute best vegan pizza, which was the final piece of the puzzle.
Place – I really enjoy traveling and have been to some amazing places. I love, love, love Japan. But if I had to select one place I enjoy on many levels the most, I’d say the desert. Specifically Death Valley and Anza-Borrego come to mind. What unites my most favorite experiences – whether it’s heavy rubber or the desert landscape – is their alien nature. Not sure why, but it brings me such peace.
C4S: We are living in crazy times. If you could change one thing about the World right now where would you start and what would it be?
Elise: There is so much right now that needs our focus. All of us to really focus, and to be real with ourselves. We have been living extremely unsustainably. We can not continue disrespecting our planet, each other or ourselves like this. Racial equality, gender equality, income equality, LGBTQ rights, sex worker rights, the ethical treatment of animals, the whole gamut. If it were up to me, I’d suggest we tackle our planet issue first, as that might help us to see that we are the same. I think we have deluded ourselves into thinking that some of us are more worthwhile than others, and that simply does not make any sense. No person is an island.
C4S: What are your ambitions for yourself and your studios over the next few years? Do you have goals?
Elise: My ambition for Bondage Liberation is to continue to meet and work with awesomely kinky people who inspire me to explore different parts of myself. This will obviously have to wait until the pandemic is over. In the meantime, I have enjoyed exploring self-bondage for the first time in my life. I have always said that I wish I could clone myself, so that I could play with myself, and recently it dawned on me that I could with self-bondage! I am enjoying it a lot.
C4S: I look at your studio and what I see is something a little different to most others. I see somebody doing something because it’s who they are, and it’s what they love. I get the feeling you’d be doing it anyway, and the fact you can film and monetize it is a bonus. I don’t know if that’s accurate or not, it’s just the feeling I get. For the amount of time you’ve been with C4S is there anything you’d change about your journey to this point?
Elise: Yes, you are exactly right in thinking that I am creating this work because it is something that I absolutely love to do. I am SO grateful that I am able to make a living off of doing what I love. To each and every person who supports my work, I am forever grateful.
I would not change anything – for all the good and some of the bad, it has all congealed to create who I am today.
C4S: Are you on social media Elise, and if so, where can people find you?
Elise: I am on Twitter at @EliseGraves, @BondageLib and @BondageTherapy.
C4S: Thanks for talking to us today Elise, is there anything you’d like to say to your fans and C4S customers?
Elise: A tight, bondage hug to each and every one of you who has ever supported my work. It is an honor to share my erotic exploration with you all and look forward to exploring more. Forever grateful.