Interview with Cecilia Tan

Interview with Cecilia:
December 8, 2014



When did you first realize BDSM was a part of your sexuality?
It’s hard to answer that question in chronological years. I was kinky before kink was a word and definitely before it was popular. I loved to wrestle with boys as a pre-teen and “pin” them keeping them helpless. At sixteen, I was drawing live size murals on my wall depicting whipping scenes. I didn’t realize what the drawings were nor why I was so drawn to them. Sadly, they were reasons for my family to label me “the problem child.” When I became sexual, I enjoyed making a lover beg for my attentions and getting passionately rough during sex was great. It wasn’t until I was in my thirties that I actually found the BDSM community and felt I truly belonged. Gosh that was almost 20 years ago.

Since then, I’ve been researching, exploring, and teaching various aspects of Dominance and submission throughout the US, Latin America and now Asia. In an attempt to reach even more people, ten years ago I developed and intensive D/s Therapy program for mental health workers and physicians. Four years ago, I create a three­-day BDSM Intensive for authors which has since morphed into BDSM Writers Con which now includes not only writers but readers as well. This year, we expanded the program bringing BDSM Experts from all over the country to share their knowledge with participants.


Why did you decide to devote yourself to helping others with their sexuality?
When I was working on my Masters in Psychology, I took a class on Sex Therapy. The class actually focused more on the relationship aspect than on the actual sexual component of the relationship; two vastly different dynamics in a relationship. As the class progress, I noticed that the majority of my classmates—future therapists—dispensed their treatment with prejudice and at times disdain when the sexual behavior of their patients didn’t conform to the therapist’s personal believes. Alternative lifestyles other than being gay or lesbian were frowned up and considered deviant, perverted and in need of treatment. Yes, sadomasochistic desires were at the top of that list.

I found myself disappointment with the sexual education I was receiving and went in search of knowledge. Sex and relationships are not the same though they exist side by side. That’s when I found the Institute for Advanced Studies of Human Sexuality and obtained a Doctorate in Human Sexuality.

My philosophical belief is that as therapist and educators:

It is not our place to judge, govern, nor restrict another’s sexual desires or preferences but to assist them in discovering the vast array of information and the possibilities available, both traditional and modern, concerning sexual health, satisfaction, pleasure and the quality of life, and let them judge for themselves.


What’s the thing about BDSM you think people have the hardest time grasping?
The hardest thing for people to grasp is that Dominance and submission is more than just spanking someone’s ass or wanting to be “beaten.” No one wants to be “beaten.” However, there are those of us who desire a more passionate, intense, physical, emotional and spiritual connection with their lover.

BDSM is not domestic violence. It is a consensual interaction between two adults.

It’s also hard for people to understand that there are so many levels and emotional connections within a Dominant and submissive relationship; sex is just a small part of that—and I dare say not even the most important.

We are in power relationships throughout our lives with everyone we meet. The difference in BDSM is that we choose the degree and intensity of our relationships. With love and respect, those relationships flourish.

What’s your dream for the future of BDSM?
My belief in all things is that the more you know, the more you educate yourself, the better person you are and the better lover, spouse, daughter/son, or friend you can be to others. It’s my hope that BDSM Writers Con will educate men and women (readers and writers) what Dominance and submission truly is. Without educating ourselves, we’ll continue to consider others that are different from us perverted or in need of treatment.

Unfortunately, there will always be individuals whose intentions are to hurt others and they will hide behind the label of BDSM. Yet, the more the general public—we—educate ourselves, our community, our friends, the harder it will be for those abusive individuals to hide amongst us.

It’s my dream that as BDSM Writers Con grows and we’re able to reach more readers and authors—more men and women—the prejudices and discrimination faced by individuals who identify with this sexual orientation and those who embrace this way of life will decrease. Through education, we can minimize the misconceptions so that mothers don’t lose their children merely because they’ve been outted as being “submissive”; that men and women won’t lose their jobs nor their family because their sexual desires were deemed inappropriate; and that individuals won’t face criminal charges because of the way they choose to consensually show their love and affection.

Anything else you’d like us to know?
I’d love to have everyone join us for BDSM Writers Con August 20-23, 2015 in New York City. We’ll have over twenty workshops and live demonstrations on various aspects of BDSM as well as a night out at a private BDSM club. Plus, we’ll have several author/reader Mix & Mingles and our prestigious Golden Flogger Award ceremony. We welcome the novice, the experienced, and everyone else who’s curious about discovering what it’s all about.

For those that can’t attend in person, I’ve put together an amazing audio program with over 16-hour of education on Dominance and submission called BDSM Intensive. This CD program is Live & Uncensored. On sale now through January 1, 2015 for only $99 after that it’s regular price is $257. Why such a huge savings? Because I believe this amazing program will make a difference in your life and the value of your relationships whether they’re based on Dominance and submission or vanilla. And because I love giving gifts on New Years!

Also check out our other BDSM educational programs such as eCourses and my book BDSM The Naked Truth.

Thank you Cecilia for having me on your website and thank you for sharing your devotion to education by being our Keynote Speaker for 2015.


Dr. Charley Ferrer is a world-renowned Clinical Sexologist and BDSM Educator. She is the host and founder of BDSM Writers Con. She is the award winning author of BDSM The Naked Truth and thirteen other books on sexuality and self-empowerment. Dr. Charley hosts workshops throughout the US and Latin America. Visit her at or

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