Sarah aka Sub in the City, offers BDSM coaching sessions to individuals and couples, online and in-person. As a submissive herself, she has been on her own emotional journey with BDSM, and now she helps others to explore BDSM healthily and have more pleasurable and open sexual experiences. 

We meet the angel-faced Sarah late on a Wednesday afternoon. She’s immediately warm and speaks with confident precision; she’s evidently both well versed in her profession and extremely passionate about it. We quickly get talking about her BDSM coaching: from her typical clients to what a usual session with her entails. 

How did you get into BDSM coaching?

I studied literature at university and I fell down a rabbit hole of reading erotic literature. I read a novel called The Story of O, a 1950s French novel. I felt really turned on but also felt I was wrong for being turned on. So I started reading feminist writing about porn, and most of it said that porn was inherently wrong, but I disagreed with that. That’s where my journey into BDSM coaching began.

When it comes to exploring BDSM myself, it started when a guy I was seeing choked me during sex (without asking). Obviously it wasn’t okay for him to do that, but I was also turned on. After that I experimented more and had a few more unsafe and not fully consensual BDSM experiences, and that pushed me to want to learn about kink properly so I could then teach others how to practise it safely and without shame. 

I was already training as a therapist at the time, so doing BDSM coaching just seemed very fitting with the path I was on. I started running workshops around BDSM, and during lockdown I moved things online and it just took off. The BDSM coaching followed where I do sessions with individuals or couples, and today I also run social events in London. My goal is to create an open and positive kink community. BDSM can be for anyone, you don’t have to fit into a certain ‘hardcore latex’ stereotype to explore it. 

 

[BDSM] is very mindful and spiritual in my opinion, similarly to a practice like meditation, it allows you to really let go of everything going on in your usual life and who you are to the outside world. 

 

What does BDSM mean to you?

BDSM is more than just bondage, dominance, sadism and masochism. BDSM is an umbrella term that houses a hold range of different kinks. BDSM is about understanding your boundaries and exploring anything that is deemed as taboo. It is very mindful and spiritual in my opinion, similarly to a practice like meditation, it allows you to really let go of everything in your usual life and who you are in your usual life.

It’s very freeing. It can also be very healing for people, especially those who have been through sexual trauma as it gives them a space to take control of bad situations that they have been in and to rewrite the narrative. Because this time around they are empowered, they have autonomy, they are choosing to do it.

There has to be a lot of self-awareness when exploring kink. It’s about opening up and understanding yourself. So of course, it is like a form of therapy. In my BDSM coaching, the first question I ask people is ‘how do you want to feel?’ as that informs everything.

 

Meet Sarah aka, Sub in the City
Meet Sarah aka, Sub in the City.

 

Who is your typical client that seeks BDSM coaching?

I work with individuals and I work with couples. There’s people who are new to BDSM and people who have been in the scene for a while but want to take it to the next level or switch things up. Most of my work in BDSM coaching is around confidence building, filling in educational gaps, and helping people connect better with one another.

 

What’s your favourite thing about BDSM coaching?

I absolutely love seeing people leave a session feeling empowered and excited, and also more light-hearted in that they know that they don’t have to get everything perfect. What holds many people back is the fear of getting something wrong.  I love to see that block be lifted. That’s when I know that they really are going to experience more excitement and pleasure than before the session(s).

 

What 3 words summarise the key to healthy BDSM?

Communication. 100%. The answer to the majority of questions that I get asked in BDSM coaching is communication. Patience is also important. People want to explore everything all at once, but it’s better to take your time and explore one thing properly first. And finally, self-awareness. If you are not able to understand  what you like or why you like something, and you’re not willing to even try to understand, then you can’t expect your partner to give you the things that you are looking for. 

 

What does a typical BDSM coaching look like?

Firstly, sometimes my sessions are one-off sessions and sometimes they’re ongoing, I offer both! What happens in the sessions is very much client-led, so it varies. For people who are new to BDSM, we start by doing exercises to see what they might be interested in, like a yes/no/maybe checklist.

We also dive into your ‘why?’ and the psychology element of BDSM. People often want to go straight into the physical but understanding why you like something first is getting to the root of the kink, so it’s the most natural place to start.

Whilst my BDSM coaching sessions can be intense for people and bring up certain emotions, I try to keep the sessions fun and light, on the whole- I don’t want it to feel like a chore for them. 

 

I love Sensuali as it’s going to be a platform that brings together all aspects of sex and things often stigmatised. Not just for people to find what they need, but for a sense of community, a tribe, a place where people can collaborate.

 

As a submissive yourself, how has your approach to BDSM changed?

I had therapy and that really helped me have a better relationship with my submissive side. At the beginning of my journey, I just wanted any submissive experience that I could get. It’s referred to as a sub-frenzy, where you’re just going along with anyone you meet who says that they are a dom, regardless of whether you’re actually compatible.

I’ve learnt that an important part of healthy BDSM exploration is also about the person you explore it with. You should really evaluate each potential partner and understand their attitude to you as a human being and their attitude to BDSM. 

I also used to hate having to tell people what I wanted because it didn’t feel very submissive, but that’s just not realistic- people are not mind readers. If you want to ask for something, you can absolutely do that within your submissive space. For example, you can sort of plead for it- and that still feels submissive.  It’s the same for doms. Doms can still check in with you and ask if you’re okay within their dominant space, they don’t have to come our of ‘character’ – communication is sexy!

I also thought I was a bad submissive if I needed aftercare, but in reality aftercare should be a non-negotiable for everyone- not just for submissives but dominants too.

I think a big problem is the current censorship of BDSM related stuff on social media. Why can we watch movies and porn, but we’re not allowed to see posts on Instagram that are actually way more educational and realistic? There should be more of a space for educational BDSM content.  

 

 

How do you feel about BDSM in society today?

One the one hand, BDSM coming into the mainstream is great because it’s really making more people consider trying it out and also reducing stigma for those who are scared to be open about it. However it also creates misconceptions about the reality of BDSM. In my BDSM coaching sessions I remind people that porn or any movies that depict BDSM, are purely for inspiration but not education. These depictions are not usually a realistic representation of BDSM but they can still be exciting to watch.

I think a big problem is the current censorship of BDSM related stuff on social media. Why can we watch movies and porn, but we’re not allowed to see posts on Instagram that are actually way more educational and realistic? There should be more of a space for educational BDSM content.  

 

What are your thoughts on Sensuali?

I love Sensuali as it’s the idea of having a platform that brings together all aspects of sex and things often stigmatised. Not just for people to find what they need, but for a sense of community, a tribe, a place where people can collaborate- I think we are so powerful when we are together. 

 

Have you noticed any current sex trends in your BDSM coaching?

BDSM dynamics in polyamorous and non-monogamous dynamics. I’m hearing that a lot recently and I have been talking to people in my BDSM coaching sessions about how to navigate that. I also see a lot on the flip-side though. A common misconception is that if you do BDSM you should be non-monogamous. BDSM also works in a monogamous relationship! Kink can fit into all relationship dynamics. 

 

Do you have any literature or film recommendations that explore BDSM?

There’s a series called Bonding on Netflix. There’s also a movie on Netflix called Love and Leashes that I really like. It’s a refreshing and fun portrayal of BDSM and it’s about a female dom and male sub which is not often what we see, so I highly recommend that one. And of course, The Story of O for all budding submissives- that’s my number one! 

 

Discover more about Sub in the City and her BDSM coaching sessions.

Discover BDSM experiences, sex coaching experiences and more today on Sensuali

 

Interview
bondage
Coaching
Couples
Kink
Submissive
Iso

Iso

Author

Iso is a writer and filmmaker based in East London. She is passionate about all things erotic and leads a sexy, shame-free life in hope that she can inspire others to do the same. Originally from a Northern seaside town, she is naturally drawn to the best things in life: candyfloss, trashy karaoke bars and heart-shaped sunglasses.


Discover related Experiences

Bondage

Bondage

Bondage

All tied up with nowhere to go?

Couples

Couples

Couples

3 is a magic number.

Domination

Domination

Domination

Cutie in the streets, (control) freak in the sheets.

Dominatrix

Dominatrix

Dominatrix

Good girls go to heaven, bad girls go to dungeons.

FemDom

FemDom

FemDom

Let the matriarchy commence.

Latex

Latex

Latex

Want to see my second skin?

Leather

Leather

Leather

Dressed in leather whatever the weather.

Role Play

Role Play

Role Play

Because sometimes getting arrested is very...liberating.

Shibari

Shibari

Shibari

Tying the knot never sounded better.

Spanking

Spanking

Spanking

Spank me like you mean it.

Couples coaching

Couples coaching

Couples coaching

It takes two to tango.

GFE

GFE

GFE

The girlfriend experience. All of the cuddles without the struggles.

Swinging

Swinging

Swinging

And God created orgies.

Watersports

Watersports

Watersports

Sometimes self-care is asking to be urinated on.

Explore similar articles

Sensual coach: reconnecting you to yourself

Sensual coach: reconnecting you to yourself

Iso
Posted by Iso

Tuesday 26 September 2023

In our fast-paced world, where we live increasingly in our heads than in our bodies and natural surroundings, the sensual coach is here to bring you back to your body and the bodies of those around you.

My Experience at Les Chandelles, the Infamous Paris Swingers Club

My Experience at Les Chandelles, the Infamous Paris Swingers Club

Iso
Posted by Iso

Tuesday 25 October 2022

Looking back at my first ever sugar baby holiday- an escapade to Paris and a night at its most famous sex club, Les Chandelles.

Meet kink and sensuality coach, Ena Dahl

Meet kink and sensuality coach, Ena Dahl

Iso Ena Dahl
Co-authored by Iso & Ena Dahl

Friday 5 July 2024

Introducing Berlin-based sensualist, conscious kink educator and all round creatrix, Ena Dahl, who uses the fluidity of her multiple disciplines to create uniquely sensual experiences, from kink workshops to erotic bodywork.

Psychology of a Cuck

Psychology of a Cuck

Jules
Posted by Jules

Tuesday 9 August 2022

This week I sat down with a friend and ex-lover to discuss his unfilled cuckold fantasy. Digressions include virtual reality porn and how to not come across as a total douche on dating apps.

Meet international Dominatrix, Mistress Gemma Li

Meet international Dominatrix, Mistress Gemma Li

Iso Gemma Li
Co-authored by Iso & Gemma Li

Friday 12 July 2024

Meet the femme fatale you've always dreamed of. We chatted to international Dominatrix Gemma Li, who is taking over the world one whip at a time.

Polyamorous relationship coach: meet Open Relating

Polyamorous relationship coach: meet Open Relating

Iso
Posted by Iso

Friday 15 September 2023

Sensuali had a conversation with Open Relating, aka, Roy Graff, the polyamorous relationship coach. We spoke about his goal to help people relate to one another out of love rather than fear, the male struggle to ask for physical affection from a parter, and the socialisation that has made society terrified of polyamory.