Let’s begin in short how you both met.
Did you instantly know this was going to be a life partnership?
Sadie: Not at first, no. We met at a play party and were not on each other’s radar in the beginning. However, I knew it would be a lifetime partnership shortly after, when I traveled to Los Angeles for work and Devan watched my dogs. They are both Huskies and not easy to care for, but Devan grew up with dogs and was very knowledgeable about how to care for them. My dogs are stand-offish but soon grew to love Devan. That is when I knew I would be in for the long haul!
Devan: For me, I noticed Mistress Sadie immediately when she walked in the door at the play party. She later mentioned that it was me wearing latex which made her notice me. Our play together in the beginning was easy-going and fun, and I quickly grew to trust her judgement and wisdom. Right after she returned from L.A., she helped me move out of an abusive roommate situation and guided me through the aftermath of it. My love for her only grew from there on out.
Were there any challenges within your relationship and how did you deal with those challenges?
Sadie: The biggest challenge for me in the beginning was Devan’s abusive relationships at the time, and how those initially affected the foundations of our communication. Devan had been dealing with a lot of abuse, but I had to let them recognize it on their own terms for the healing to be authentic. It was hard for me to guide Devan without telling them a direct answer, because there is no answer when it comes to emotions and how you process trauma. Just from reading Devan, I knew I should need to expect a lot of potential growth and evolution if I was in a relationship with them. As a Dominant, I needed to adopt that idea and not have preconceived expectations.
No relationship is ever going to be “normal”, and every one has problems that arise which can lead to arguments, but it is important to handle them together and work on creating open communication. A lot of our challenges became sources of mutual discovery, once we established how to actively listen to each other. I now like to view these as opportunities for deeper trust.
Devan: My biggest challenge was our dynamic changing over time. I initially thought I was a slave due to years of abuse that taught me love was conditional based on what you could bring to the table. This made me prone to anxiety attacks when I thought someone was not pleased with my behavior. Mistress Sadie provided a comfortable and non-judgmental environment I could be myself and thrive. The stability of our relationship--and knowing I was loved unconditionally no matter what--allowed me to blossom and discover who I truly am.
Our partnership became more equal, which enabled me to find bottoms to play with and strengthen the Dom side of my Switch personality. Mistress Sadie officially became my mentor, and has continued to guide me in High Guard protocols and Dom mentality. Seeing myself as an equal in a relationship has been the biggest challenge to me. In the beginning I asked a lot of questions, because I didn’t trust the foundations we were building. Now I can look back and realize that every step was fundamental for our relationship to grow, and gave me the confidence to have deeper trust.
Now both of you are into BDSM/Fetish. How important was it that both of you had the same ideals of this aspect for the growth of your relationship? Do you agree or disagree that neither one would be able to have a vanilla partner or someone with the lack of an open mind to be involved with BDSM/Fetish in one form or another.
Sadie: Simplest answer first--I could definitely NOT do a vanilla relationship! I just don’t have an interest in that anymore. As far as our compatibility, it was less about similar fetishes and more about matching philosophies. We have similar views on dynamics and roles. Our fetishes have evolved a lot in the last few years, and I feel those are much more fluid. We have both given each other space to grow and evolve because of our matching ideas of what BDSM means to us.
Devan: Yeah, I definitely couldn’t have a vanilla partner. I have gone too deep down the rabbit hole now! Even someone who is into spanking and choking makes me ask, is that all? In seriousness, I did not realize in the beginning how similar our viewpoints were, but that has definitely made it easier for our relationship to grow!
Since your engagement, and becoming involved with the BDSMCommunity other than DomCon, what has been the most important causes that help you as a couple and as individuals.
Sadie: I am involved in the local Queer community and it is very important for me to provide safe spaces for others in my area. I never had safe spaces when I needed them, so providing them for others is an important part of my healing. I run a Women and Non-Binary People support group twice a month because I feel our city is focused a lot on gay men and the Leather/bar scene. Devan brings coloring books and we focus on providing a comfortable environment for others. Often times, people feel the space is trusting enough to work through trauma. Having like-minded listeners can be a very positive experience for everyone involved.
Devan: I help Mistress Sadie a lot with the support group, and I feel that we engage ourselves with other activities in the Queer community when the need arises. On a personal level, while we are always involved with both the BDSM and Queer communities, it is important for us to stay focused on self-care and dis-engagement from time to time. This prevents burn-out and feeling overwhelmed. It is necessary to remember that change is a trickle and happens slowly on an individual level. Our relationship depends on these moments of personal relaxation to thrive, while the advocacy allows it to deepen.
What does being asexual mean to you both?
Sadie: While I am not a super romantic person, I would not consider myself aromantic. I enjoy exchanging sexual energy, but very much on my terms and with some limitations. One of the questions I often pose to the kink community is: why would you confine your kink to encounters revolving around sex? By reducing your kink to sex, you minimize the experiences you can have. Kink for the sake of kink can be a very satisfying experience by itself.
Devan: I am actually a very romantic and sensual person. I enjoy touches and being intimant--however, sex oftentimes detracts from a relationship with me instead of adding to it. While being asexual does not mean anti-sex, I do have boundaries to ensure my experiences remain positive.
What does “Intersex” mean to you?
Devan: I’m going to answer this question first, because I want to define what intersex means. Emily Quinn recently did a Ted Talk in November 2018 where she says, “Most people assume that you're biologically either a man or a woman, but it's actually a lot more complex than that. There are so many ways somebody could be intersex….Genitals don't actually tell you anything… Besides your genitalia, you also have your chromosomes, your gonads, like ovaries or testicles. You have your internal sex organs, your hormone production, your hormone response and your secondary sex characteristics, like breast development, body hair, etc.
Those seven areas of biological sex all have so much variation, yet we only get two options: male or female. Which is kind of absurd to me, because I can't think of a single other human trait that there's only two options for: skin color, hair, height, eyes. You can either have nose A or nose B, that's it, no other options. If there are infinite ways for our bodies to look, our minds to think, personalities to act, wouldn't it make sense that there's that much variety in biological sex, too?”
I wanted to add this quote because she talks about the seven different areas of sex variation. To me, being intersex means celebrating our own unique variations and embracing our differences.
Sadie: Oh my Goddess. Do we have five thousand words to discuss it? That is such a complex question for me. Being intersex has resulted in personal challenges too numerous to list: from being very sick before puberty, to being an AMAB person who menstrates and a trans woman who had to breast bind for twenty years before even transitioning. Being intersex has made me successful because of it, not in spite of it. Being an intersex person has grown my perspective and allowed me to empathize with other folx who may be more marginalized than I am. Intersex people are the final frontier of Queer-dom--because while we are the most visibly queer, we are truely the most invisible and most marginalized Queer group. This invisibility presents a huge struggle in our fight to gain freedom and has become an important aspect of my advocacy. It has grown my perspective, caused me to be more intersectional and allowed me to empathize with other more marginalized folx.
There are so many people who have paved the way for freedom and rights for the LBGTQ communities who is the one person who look up to or admire and still keeps you on toes in your own personal journey of making a difference for the communities moving forward?
Sadie: Hida Viloria and Sera Miles. Hida is a public role model for the intersex community. They are also a wonderful person. They are absolutely amazing and endlessly advocate for intersex people. The experiences in Hida’s 2017 memoir, “Born Both” really resonated with me. Hida has been fighting for intersex rights from the very beginning, and continues to do so.
Sera Miles is someone I know personally who has the most spot-on perspectives about everything. Sera’s opinions constantly have me re-evaluating topics I wouldn’t otherwise think about. I especially admire Sera’s diligence and sense of character, and their influence on the Queer and kink communities.
Devan: Oh wow, this is the hard question for me. Can I get back to you on this? There are so many individuals that have inspired my Queer journey, and continue to do so. A lot of people educate the public, and I grow more every time I witness these interactions. They teach me how to communicate with others on a very nuanced level--sometimes just having positive small talk with someone completely different than me can help them open up to Queer people in the future. I try to find compassion for others as much as possible, and carry that idea in my daily life. Every Queer person who practices this positive radicalism is an inspiration to me.
How has being involved as the group moderator for the @IowaLeatherFolx helped you on your personal journey? As a couple is it important to be involved and most importantly, stay involved.
Sadie: Being a moderator has made me consider the variety of challenges the kink and Leather communities face. It can be challenging to get a group off the ground and going. There are many details that go into making a group function, which are not realized until you have your own. I have learned a lot more about community building since starting the @IowaLeatherFolx group.
Let’s talk about FOSTA/Sesta. I’ve seen a lot of people on social media discussing how this hurts more than protects anyone. True or false and why.
Sadie: Sesta/Fosta definitively makes it harder for both sex workers and people fighting real sex trafficking, no doubt about it. I don’t think there is more to be said about this bill, except that we need to keep fighting against it!
People can easily buy other countries treat people of alternative lifestyles better or that life in another country is better than the U.S. – how important is it for everyone to do their research before making such claims or statements.
Sadie: Right off the bat, the concept that some countries are better than others is a fallacy. It is a trade off: some countries are just less worse than others. You cannot go into that without writing a whole dissertation. For example, you may not have to pay for a medical procedure, but you will be on a wait-list for years. In short, people tend to over-generalize and claim assumptions as statements. You must recognize individual factors and have reliable references.
What would the world look through your eyes?
Sadie: A world where no one is judged or discriminated against for things beyond their control.
Devan: The puppy in me wishes for one giant cuddle puddle where everyone is loved!
What are your individual goals?
Sadie: Right now I am dealing with medical issues that drastically reduce what I am able to accomplish. My current primary focus is working through those or learning to live with them.
Devan: I am focusing on building my brand and maximizing my potential.
Anything else I missed?
Both: Wow, Marabelle this covers a variety of topics and sounds like we discussed a lot already! Thank you so much for this opportunity and allowing us to share our opinions during this important month of PRIDE!