Meet The Craftsman Designing BDSM Furniture For All Our Freaky Needs

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Beyond our friends' sexy love stories and impersonal gossip columns lives a whole world of sexual exploration ready to spice things up for us in the bedroom. Welcome to the world of BDSM, and meet the carpenter revealing why quality matters.

In case you're not familiar, BDSM refers to the sexual practices including bondage, discipline, sadism, and masochism. Here's where you'll find the dominatrixes of this world, and the main inspiration of the likes of 50 Shades of Grey.

Bondage tables, crosses, horses and coffee tables are all regular items designed to help fulfill the experience in a safe, high-quality fashion. You probably could go DIY, but then IKEA won't be able to fulfill the needs that this craftsman is an expert in.

(Photo: Saxon Dungeon Furniture)

While it may seem like a joke or a distant alien fiction, the BDSM furniture industry is well and truly alive. We spoke to Simon from Saxon Dungeon Furniture to find out more about the requirements and qualities of specialized dungeon goods. 

Simon has been a carpenter for over 30 years. He's one of very few carpenters specializing in BDSM furniture and has been based in the US working with Saxon for over 10 years. "I still make custom kitchens and cabinets too," he casually adds. 

While the topic may lead to fantastical places of dungeoness sex scenes and whips, Simon simply tells Konbini that his work focuses on quality, strong, simple yet functional designs." Wood is wood after all, right?

(Photo: Saxon Dungeon Furniture)

It is this quality and durability that sets his work apart. Simon explains the niche for his work:

"I think people could obviously make do, but if you can afford a dedicated piece or multiple pieces to have a collection, then that has to be better..."

In terms of his clientele, Simon says that business varies. He previously told VICE that Saxon Dungeon caters for individuals, but also the dominatrix types you'd expect. 

"They'll want me to make everything for them," Simon explains.  "They have a theme in mind, and they want everything to match. It's always female dominatrices, middle-to-upper class."  

As well as individual dungeons, Simon also caters to clubs. Like any other fashion or interior trend, one item often has a spiraling effect leading to whole places being kitted out with Saxon pieces.

"Some of the nightclub places, they'll just have two or three nights a week where they want to use this furniture, so it takes a real battering when they store it and reassemble it. That can be a problem."

"The BDSM world is portrayed as a dark and weird place"

When asked on the relationship to our mainstream media understanding of the BDSM world, Simon acknowledges the somewhat lacking representation in the media. I think the BDSM world is a very unique place, not at all represented that well," Simon admits.

"I think it is portrayed as a dark and weird place which is probably quite a good thing and gives it some mystique," he says. Indeed, most people's average education of BDSM is probably limited to the likes of Christian Grey - if that.

Has Saxon been influenced by the 50 Shades phenomenon? While the community existed and thrived well before, Simon admits that the books and subsequent movies probably did have an impact on a surge in clientele.

Its mainstream impact could then be considered a good thing in terms of raising exposure for the practices that constitute Simon's everyday craftsmanship - without him ever seeing the movie, he confesses to Konbini.

With a range of staple favorites among customers (the Centurion is his bestseller, in case you were wondering), Simon still makes custom pieces and tailors to clients needs - creating wildly varying designs.

(Photo: Saxon Dungeon Furniture)

(Photo: Saxon Dungeon Furniture)

"Rock musicians may have a different idea and style in mind as opposed to a lawyer," he explains. The one line he won't cross? Safety. Honing in on his principals, quality, strength and safety are most important in Simon's work.

"I try to keep to what I'm good at," he says. Using hard maple or cherry, Simon uses the highest quality of wood and subs his metal elements from a custom fabricator. However wild the idea, Simon will make sure it will stand the test of time.

In terms of his personal investment in the BDSM lifestyle, Simon told VICE of his customer service trick:

"Whenever I speak to the customer before I shipped it, I'd always say, 'I take customer service seriously, and I had to try it out myself before I shipped it.' They always laughed. But nine times out of ten, we [meaning me and my now ex-girlfriend] would try it out."

So behind the mystique lies a real industry with dedicated, experienced carpenters and craftspeople. Like ironmongers, plumbers and electricians, carpenters cater to a range of needs - this one just fulfills more... extra-curricular requests.

So if your mind starts wandering to a place of spice and fiction - just make sure it's got a Saxon-esque promise of strength and safety at least, yeah?

(Photo: Saxon Dungeon Furniture)