Smutlancer Spotlight: Orpheus Black
A dom went to a nearby field where his submissive loved to sit. As he approached, he noticed that she seemed transfixed by the rolling green hills in front of her. As he sat down next to her and gazed out into the field he asked,
“What are you looking at, little one?”
She looked down for a moment then back out across the field as if it was an endless green ocean and said,
“I am watching the nature of dominance and submission, Sire.”
The dom, perplexed, repeated,
“Watching the nature of dominance and submission?”
“Yes Sire,” she replied.
“The wind is like a master and the grass is like a slave, and when the wind blows, the grass bends gracefully to its will. Like the grass I desire to yield to my master, to bend gracefully to his will.
I want to be guided by him. My every motion dictated by him. And when the wind is weak, I will stand tall until he commands me. This is the nature of dominance and submission and when I sit here, Sire, I know that I am not strange or different.
I am as I am supposed to be: a blade of grass bending in the wind.”
The above meditation was my introduction to Orpheus Black (he/him). I was in my first BDSM dynamic and the dominant I was involved with was a little frustrated with my submissiveness. So, a friend of mine recommended I look up Orpheus to get a better idea of BDSM and I’ve been in awe of him ever since.
Orpheus Black is the author of “The Enso: A Philosophy of Submission.” He is an educator with 25 years of experience and several titles in the BDSM and kink community. He has done everything that has to do with kink and sexuality, including porn, erotic tv shows, music, and other forms of entertainment. So, if it has to do with sex, he probably has been in it. With an insightful practice steeped in spirituality and intimacy, he is a living bridge between healthy sexuality and enlightenment. Many today look at him as the “coach’s coach.” It’s this depth of mastery that has earned him nods from trusted news sources such as Mashable, Playboy, Marie Claire, and Ebony.
Our interview was so jam-packed that not every detail made it to the article. So for the first time, we are releasing the full video interview in addition to this article. *cheers*
In the video, not only will you hear about the above in its entirety, but you’ll also hear about how he connects spirituality with sexuality, the impact of 50 Shades of Grey, power dynamics in the workplace, and our dialogue about poverty mindsets. You can find the video on www.orpheusblack.com!
In this article, you can read about how he feels about being open about what he does, who inspires him, a life-changing experience he had as a phone sex worker, and much more.
Please let us know your thoughts with comments below and share across your socials with your favorite quote.
Let’s dive in!
How do you make money as a smutlancer?
I am an intimate empowerment coach who specializes in empowerment from the boardroom to the bedroom. For me, working with people and helping them realize they are both worthy and deserving of having what they want and need is a very rewarding thing. Most people don’t know what they want. And the idea is if you don’t know what you want, it’s probably because you already have it but that’s not true. There are a lot of people who don’t know what’s out there. So for me, I look for what they’re craving… what they’re hungering for… what they’re longing is and I help them connect with it in a way that’s safe, sane, and consensual. And then I give them empowerment around it. I want them to make sure that they are able to not only want it but attain it, have it and grow from it. So for me, that’s how I make money in a way that I feel is the most rewarding.
How long have you been a smutlancer? When did you get interested in sex and creating content about it?
It’s been about 20 years now. I’ve been in the game before the internet was a really big thing. And it was important for me, in the beginning, to reach out to people who look like me, who shared the same cultural narrative, who shared the same history, who weathered the same amount of oppression, who came from economically disadvantaged communities, and to say that it’s [not] just about survival, it’s about enjoyment. It’s about pleasure…
And it really came about because I was poly and I didn’t know anyone else who was and I was like, “Can we be the only black people who were poly? Like ever? I mean, is this a thing?” I’ve seen inklings of it… you know, family who had a special friend or this group of people have that partner that’s always around and maybe they’re in the back in the bedroom. It’s like, “Why are three people in the back in the bedroom hanging out? Doing their thing?” Just not asking questions… But we found our way into it and I had a desire for community and I had to create it.
Are you a full-time or part-time smutlancer? Do you have a day job?
I’m a full-time smutlancer and my business model is to be here in this space, in this place [and] in this time for people looking to have more, expand [and grow]. My job is to make that easier. You know, to help them integrate their desires, to not just know what it is but to find it and integrate it. So I have to be at my post doing my duty. I’m like a Buddha that sits on your shelf just waiting for people to come up and start talking.
I don’t go out and look for clients. If a person comes to me, finds me, and there’s congruency, then I’m willing to work with them and help be part of their evolution. I want to be part of that necessary next step. You have to already want to look for it. You have to already be searching for it. There has to be a hunger for it. And if there isn’t a hunger, then you’ll never find me. This is the path of desire.
Are you open with anyone about the work you do?
Yes, Orpheus Black is my pen name. But everybody from my kids to my mom to everybody knows what it is that I do. I’m very proud of what I do… It’s important for me to be proud of what I do and not to insist that other people be proud of what I do.
I don’t experience disappointment in that way because I’m only thinking about my perspective of myself. I have to live my life and if other people can see that what I do is valuable… and helps people connect in ways that are different than what they’re used to then I appreciate them, I recognize them and I feel good about it.
Other than that, I really don’t have a vested interest in what other people think in that way. With my mother, I’m only hoping that she sees me as a good son. And my kids, a good father. But in addition, they’re proud of the work that I do, that’s great too. It’s just more icing on the cake.
When and how did you realize this was what you wanted to do professionally?
I knew I wanted to do this professionally when I realized that I couldn’t be paid and be myself simultaneously. Think about this:
Within a hierarchy or any power dynamic, you have to let go of some autonomy. Ethically, I would say, “Hey Chelsea! You have your own set of rules that you use to govern yourself. What safe container could I provide for you so that you will allow me to give you the laws and the perimeters by which you govern yourself?” And then Chelsea has a choice to say, “Okay, yeah. I’m interested. Let’s talk about your rules.”
As opposed to when you go to a job and you accept a job, they don’t tell you, “I’m gonna tell you when you go to the bathroom, when to go eat, how long you can talk on that phone call, what you can say, what you can’t say, how you need to dress, where you need to go. And then, I’ll pay you in a way that’s most convenient for me.”
As a dominant, that doesn’t sit well with me. I realized that if I want to have agency that is actionable… and maintained [by] my own autonomy, I had to do this for myself.
I didn’t want someone to tell me when I can pee, when I can eat, what I had to wear. And also, to me, it’s not ethical because we didn’t discuss it beforehand. So when I realized the hierarchy, I’m like, “no, I don’t wish to do that anymore, and I need to come up with a way of feeding myself, so I don’t have to live in accordance with someone else’s laws and morality.”
How did you get started and how long before you felt like you had “made it”?
You know, I have not made it. I’m making it. For me, this is a life-long journey and a lifelong path. What’s important is for me to recognize that it doesn’t end until someone puts on the grave that “this was a very important, very special person who achieved their goals in the end.” So I’ve never made it. I’m making it. I’m striving. I’m always pushing to be better. I’m hitting the marks that I laid out for me and I’m chasing those goals.
So, for me, I’m never going to get to the point that I’ve made it. But I’m always going to be in the process of becoming better. I think that’s more important than this idea that there’s a magic number, a business, a thing that once I get it, I’m done. I’m not looking for that. I’m looking to be and become better than I was before. That’s it. In every aspect of my life, be $100 richer than you are today. [Get] an hour or more love than you had yesterday. Have sex 5 minutes longer than you did the day before. Keep getting more incrementally. Keep doing it and you’ll be happy. If every day you made $100 more than you did the day before, how much money would you have? $500? $700 more? Then it goes $1400, $2100 MORE than you did before. That’s the model I’m looking for, that’s the model I’m chasing every day.
What’s one thing you wish you had known when you started creating content about sex or became a smutlancer?
Whatever you write is out there forever! And no matter how much your opinions change, no matter how much your thoughts change, it’s out there now… and it may come back [to] haunt you. *laughs*
It’s really important because I had the book, The Enso, for a long time and I produced that book with the help of Cameron Ashby, rest in peace. Almost instantly after it was produced, I was like, *gasp* oh my god, there [are] so many things that I want to say that I didn’t say. I should’ve said this, I should’ve twisted that. I should’ve done this thing.” And now it’s out there and is a very real thing in the world, and it’s shaping ideas and opinions about you.
It’s polarizing people as we speak. There’s no book that’s worth anything that doesn’t polarize people. People are going to like it or not like it. They’re going to like you or not like you. They’re going to shape their ideas about you and that’s a book.
Can you imagine now how many posts we can post, blog things that we can do, things that we can put out there, and once it’s out there, even if you can change it instantly, someone saw it, someone screenshot it, someone did a thing and now you can’t take it back?! That genie is not going back in the bottle… This thing is going to be held against you in the public opinion court of law.
So, I definitely am all about the “Write it, read it, reread it, sleep on it, come back to it. And before you send it, read it again and then let it go and let whatever happens happen”.
In a perfect world, what would you want your legacy to be as a smutlancer?
I want disadvantaged communities around the world to open their minds in a way that is reflective of their desires. I want them to think about their world in a way that is reflective of the way they want to interact with it. Don’t just touch it in a way that you’ve been told to touch it. Don’t just live in a way that you’ve been dictated to [do]. Search your wants, your needs, your desires, and then try to live in a way that is congruent with your wants, needs and desires.
What do you absolutely need to have when you’re ready to sit down and work to be productive?
Tea. I need my tea. I fidget, so if I’m sitting down to work, I need something in my hand to do – that’s my cup. The cup may stay filled all day, to be honest with you, but I need to have something I’m picking up in my hand and going “Mmm, let me think” [so] that’s what I do.
Who or what inspired you to become a smutlancer?
Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz. She was a woman who lived out loud before it was even something that you could think about doing. She’s the first feminist to exist in the western world and she spoke truth to power in a way that was congruent with her identity. I wanted to be like her.
Are there any social/charitable causes that are close to your heart and connected to your work as a smutlancer?
I don’t think I can because all the ones I wanted [to mention] are gone now. They went away during COVID… They were small mom-and-pop little shops and they passed.
They had one. It was something like “The People’s Kinky Credit Union.” Basically, [the founder] would take donations and as people in kink fell on hard times, they would fund them, give them rent money, or whatever to get them on their feet. This person would do auctions and donations. Sometimes he would take [money] out his own pocket. So, now that he’s passed, there [are] a lot of people who won’t have those opportunities but that doesn’t mean there’s not a lot of people doing great work out there.
I will say [that] I would like to shout out Mistress Cyan over at Sanctuary LAX who’s always doing charitable work. Everything that we can do to support her is supporting the community. She does can drives, clothing drives and she does fund-raisers for all of the LGBTQ and leather organizations. She does great work with trans outreach. She has so much stuff it’s absolutely ridiculous. She had her bout of cancer and she’s beat it. She’s back, she’s powerful and she’s gonna go on to this new 2021 blowing the doors off. I think she’s gonna kill it, so I always want to shout her out.
Name the best, strangest, funniest, wildest thing you’ve experienced as a smutlancer.
I worked in a phone sex place and met a guy who had lost his partner to HIV. He called me because he hadn’t slept alone in 20 years and he wanted to just listen to me talk while he fell asleep for the first night.
That was the best phone call I had as a sex phone call worker. It changed who I was fundamentally. I’ll never be the same… It really helped me to get out of this idea that I was performing masculinity. I was performing heterosexuality.
And also, this idea that homosexuality was something that was done to you as a result of not performing heterosexuality correctly. That shook me loose of this social narrative that being a man looks like this and being a man does that and [these are] the requirements and you can be penalized for doing it wrong. I heard a human being speaking to me from a very human place and that was the most authentic and life-changing thing that I ever had.
Want to follow Orpheus Black, get to know him, and the work he does? Connect with him across the web: