Amy Boyajian, better known as professional dominatrix Amy Wilde, made a name for herself as the sex-positive sex worker out and about on New York City's queer party scene who aimed to change the way we thought about sex workers. Now, Boyajian has left behind both sex work and New York for a fresh start in California and a new project: Wild Flower, an alternative sex shop that aims to destigmatize pleasure.
OUT: What led to your decision to stop working as a professional dominatrix?
Amy Boyajian: I think if you've ever lived in New York City or any comparable metropolitan area, you feel the stress of money constantly. As a creative, this can be a stifling situation. Being a dominatrix gave me certain freedoms, empowered me personally, and genuinely made me feel like I was empowering others to explore their sexual natures. However, the abuse, fear, and generally lack of respect I was experiencing regularly made me question if there was a better way to go about destigmatizing sex. That's why I created Wild Flower.
What were the parts of sex work that you enjoyed and wanted to bring to your life going forward? What did sex work teach you about sex?
Being a sex worker taught me to take control of my own sexual desires and taught me the responsibility I had to myself to make myself sexually happy. Many times I saw first hand how debilitating it can be, in every area of your life, to not express your true sexual self. Sex is so personal and intertwined with who we are at our core, that to deny myself the freedom to explore was not the way I wanted to live. It also taught me a lot about non-judgmental communication and the freedom you feel when your partner understands your needs and desires.
Tell me about the genesis of Wild Flower.
The creation of Wild Flower was an organic retaliation to the unethical and discriminatory practices often in place in the sex and pleasure industries, many that I experienced first hand. There are so many contributing factors alive within our society: the unrealistic expectations of sex and bodies projected by mainstream porn with it's unfair promotion of stereotypes; the country's failure to properly educate children on sexual health; and the sexist and shameful portrayals of the female, queer, and trans experiences in every medium of the sex industry.
What kinds of products and services will Wild Flower offer?
All of the products carried at Wild Flower are body safe to ensure peace of mind and the freedom of confidence with all of your purchases. We focus on supplying products that made for pleasure as opposed to patriarchal or out dated standards of other sex toy and sexual wellness companies. We also will provide an education section covering an array of topics as well as informative videos, tutorials, and interviews to better educate our customers and community in an open and non-judgmental way. I want to create a radiant community through promoting self care, sexual well-being, and an all inclusive atmosphere as Wild Flower grows.
Is it important to you to destigmatize sex?
Yes, absolutely. Although there are pockets of alternative thought slowly becoming more mainstream, the sex and pleasure industries in this country are very problematic. Real sex can be surrounded by so much fear and shame that people don't feel they have on outlet to express themselves. It seems the only accepted forms of sex in our society are in media and advertising and in the most sexist and objectifying ways. Sexuality needs to be explored and expressed more openly and not at the expense of others. It's simple -- there should transparent and shameless dialogs about all sexual experiences.
What makes Wild Flower queer?
Wild Flower is proudly queer because we refuse to follow to heteronormative and gender binary standards in place in the sex and pleasure industries. It's astonishing how many products are made for women and/or transgendered persons that were created by people who have no idea of that experience. We need to change the current standard of the cis white male gaze on all sex products and materials. Wild Flower is about every sexuality, every gender, every experience, and every body.