TROY ORLEANS IN CONVERSATION WITH PENELOPE DARIO
PHOTOGRAPHY by PENELOPE DARIO
Troy Orleans is a legend in the BDSM demimond and the steward of one of the most sophisticated heavy bondage collections in the world. She is highly sought after by fetishists for the sublime experiences she offers, and by writers and film makers for her expertise on kink and sex work. Petit Mort was granted access to her private dungeon to witness the master at work. After manipulating a submissive Adonis through space in her massive custom-built suspension rig, she indulged us as we dug into her career development and professional ethos.
I've heard so much about you since I entered the industry in terms of you being someone who has carved a niche and a legacy around their work. I've always gotten the impression that you were very serious about your craft and that there wasn't a lot of smoke and mirrors to your persona with a lot of frills and artifice. It’s very evident how well respected you are in the industry. I'm curious about how you built that up, and how your practice has evolved since you began working as a domme.
When I entered the scene, I had already graduated from college and finished my master's degree. I'd been workingas a journalist, and so I had a life and a career before I started doing this. When I started, I'd been around the other block at least once or twice, and this was an exploration for me that started out of curiosity and a sincere interest, having been given the vocabulary after meeting a few people in the scene.
That introduction was its own ignition for me. I was just looking to add some tricks to my sex bag. And instead I found it to be so gratifying, it was hitting me at multiple points. It was intellectually stimulating; I loved the geekiness of learning the technical work of it, and it was really about profound emotional connections for me as well. And it was sexy; it was actually a consensual place to put a lot of my sexual energy.
When I was in my 20s I was very flirtatious. I was very sexually forward and experimental. This was a safe place to channel all that energy and to do it consensually. When I started I was in my early 30s, and I was doing this from a place of real joy, enthusiasm, and curiosity. There was a deliberateness to it, because there was also a little bit that was at stake here— I did have a career, and public facing one at that. So I wanted to make sure that I protected my work and my experience up to that point. I also was looking at the women that I was meeting in the scene, and looking at the ones who seemed to have practices, personalities, and personas that resonated with me. The ones who seemed to be happiest or most content did bondage and they tended to do longer sessions with fewer people and had very intentional specific practices. Some of what I concluded from observing them and also through my own experiences was realizing that seeing clients who were specifically fetishists wasn't satisfying for me because it was rarely about me. It was rarely about a personal connection with me so much as me serving a particular fetish like, “Oh, are you wearing the stockings? I just need feet, it doesn't matter whose feet they are.” It felt like an on-demand experience as opposed to a personalized one-on-one where we're coming to do together.