Christine Borch Felix Ruckert Roger Butler Peter Banki Mistress Anna Juliette Dragon Eagle Leather
Felix Ruckert is Berlin based choreographer and founder of the Xplore: Festival of the Art of Lust (2004-present) and of the contemporary dance and BDSM laboratory/kingdom Schwelle7 (2007-2016). He is an internationally renowned choreographer with his own company, which has toured throughout Europe and the United States. He is also a composer and recording artist in his own right. In his early career as a dancer, he worked with Pina Bausch as part of the world famous Tanztheater Wüpperthal.
He is one of the world's leading innovators in the field of creative sexuality. Through performances, durational workshops and installations he seeks to interpret the BDSM ritual as an art form.
Juliette Dragon is a multidisciplinary artist. She has been a model for Martin Margiela and Jean-Paul Gaultier and danses for music bands all over Europe.
She has learned the circus arts and open-air theatre and specializes in fire. She was trained by Cassavetes's assistant, Kim Massee as an actor’s director.
In 2003, she created the Collectif Surprise Party, a new burlesque cabaret company, regrouping exclusively female dancers, acrobats, singers, comedians, pin-up and other performers that she directs in shows the she produces.
In 2008, she created l’"Ecole des Filles de Joie", which is the first New Burlesque Cabaret School in France. Whatever their age or body, the school teaches artists to use every trick in the book to seduce their audience. The goal of this school is to share professional tips with the students to help them to get rid of their inhibitions and boost their self-confidence by accepting their own bodies. Good times with the girls, to share, laugh, taming their feminity and develop self-assurance: a unique experience where you’ll meet yourself and your body, learn to love it and reveal its seductive powers. Fun and original art-therapy for all, even the shyest.
In 2009, she co-produced the first Paris Burlesque Festival thus federating the entire international scene for the Parisian audience’s pleasure.
Peter Banki, Ph.D
Founder and Curator of the Sydney Festival of Really Good Sex and the Sydney Festival of Death and Dying. Since 2011 host of Schwelle Sydney. From 2011-2013 artistic director as well as producer of the Festival on the Art of Lust – Xplore Sydney. Peter is also member of the Philosophy Research Initiative at the University of Western Sydney, where he has also lectured and tutored in the School of Humanities and Languages.
Peter publishes and teaches in the fields of continental philosophy and literary theory. In 2014, he spoke with Anne Dufourmantelle and Romana Byrne on the intersections between sexuality and philosophy on the ABC Radio National Program ‘The Philosophers’ Zone’.
He holds a Ph.D from New York University (September, 2009). His book The Forgiveness To Come: Deconstruction and the Holocaust is under contract with Fordham University Press. His current research interests include the resonances of German Romanticism, the intersections between philosophy and sexuality, and the politics of reconciliation and forgiveness in relation to cultural trauma.
Christine Borch is a choreographer, dancer, vocalist, writer, spiritual midwife and light warrior living as a contemporary nomad. The core of her work is based on experimenting with physical, personal and spiritual processes of transformation within choreographic structures. She presents her performances, texts and workshops throughout Europe grounded in her own lived female experience and drawing from her studies in Somatic Movement, Contemporary dance, Butoh Bodyweather, Contact Improvisation, BDSM, Continuum, Tao yoga, Breath work, Visual art & various massage techniques. Since two years she has been studying plant shamanism with indigenous tribes from the Amazon forest in Brazil.
Roger Butler is the driving force behind Curious Creatures, along with some very special co-facilitators. Roger Butler was brought up white, middle-class, mostly heterosexual, and male. He now identifies as kinky, tantric, polyamorous, queer, and very, very curious. His training is in psychology and the facilitation of groups coupled with an extensive education in sexuality.
Curious Creatures believes that sex is about delicious, hedonistic experience as well as being a path of self development and a contribution to a less violent world. They run workshops in a whole range of related topics, mostly in Brunswick, Melbourne, Australia.
Helena comes from a linage of female healers. Her mother was a midwife and carer of babies and women (both young and elderly).
She grew up on a sheep station in NSW, where occasionally, a lamb would have white muscle disease or pink eye. She would look at them, tune into them, then lay my hands on 'where they needed it'. By the end of the day they would be cured. The first time she made love, light shot through my body ... then she grew up and forgot it all.
She became a contemporary dancer and Olympic gymnastics coach, always fascinated with the human body and curious about pushing its limits.
After having children, she opened a pilates studio ( which she still runs) and a dance and gymnastics school. After the break up of my marriage she spent 5 years delving into Tantric studies with Oceania and Icarus in Byron Bay.
BJ is well regarded around the Melbourne and interstate fetish scene as an expert in BDSM. BJ's accomplishments as a passionate advocate of the fetish and SM scene in Australia are wide and varied, including fetish performances, event management (Ligatio and Fantastic Party), seminar and workshop presentations, radio appearances, working at and later becoming co-owner of Eagle Leather, and plenty more. Through his career at Eagle Leather, he has focused on education and established himself as one of the main presenters at Eagle Leather's workshops and seminars for eleven years.
BJ is an accomplished master with over sixteen years’ experience in BDSM and just as long in the adult industry. What began as practicing flogging in the back room of the sex shop where he was employed at the age of 20 has since developed into a full time passion for everything that is BDSM and fetish. From this basis his interests begun to develop, especially in the areas of impact play and Japanese influenced bondage.
An experienced top, his creative styles are enjoyed by audiences and kink fans across the board. His major strengths involve flogging, caning, bondage, genital and nipple torture, discipline and humiliation. BJ was also awarded the coveted title of Best Australian Sex Educator at the Eros Shine Awards in 2011.
Natalia Jehas been involved with Schwelle Sydney and the associated ventures since 2011, as a Committee member, facilitator, administrator, volunteer coordinator, devil’s advocate and creative mastermind behind some of the wicked concepts that we have unleashed.
She is also a postgrad student with background in social work, psychology, alternative medicine, dance and bodywork. She is one of the convenors of Critical Perspectives on Madness Reading Group and a member of several mental health consumer and survivor initiatives. Informed also by her own history and experiences of ‘madness’ and distress, her research, advocacy and activism centre on challenging the mainstream bio-medical approaches to emotional distress and fostering emancipatory practices and discourses in and alongside the mental health sector.
Her favourite pastimes are reading, travel and bushwalking. She practices yoga and not taking herself too seriously. Both being damn hard.
Jack and Jo
We are a full-time Daddy/Babygirl couple, comfortably living on the fringe of the kink scene in Sydney. Both born in London, a few streets away from one another, we engaged in a youthful chaotic tryst 20 years ago and reconnected five years ago on the other side of the world. We now live in a full-time Daddy/BabyGirl dynamic and are continuing to enjoy growing and understanding what that means to us.
Austrian Sheila Crux (born 1975) has a diverse bodywork background – among other things she practices Shiatsu, Tantra, breath work, Contact Improvisation, Tango and martial arts. Adventurer with body and soul. Unbridled hedonistically and with a fetish for intensity, she is a restless wanderer who values the benefits of being caught in the middle. Vienna serves as her homebase for many voyages, from Europe´s urban jungles to Asia´s arcadian country areas.
She is passionate about sports, climbs mountains, flies hang-gliders and is trained in technical & cave diving, kayaking and whitewater rescue techniques. She has two decades of experience with BDSM under her belt, is a contact communication trainer and regularly teaches workshops on breath guidance and control, rough body play, water wrestling, playfighting and female dominance, both nationally and internationally.
Frank T Khani
Frank T. Khani studied philosophy, German philology and economics; for his Master’s degree he wrote his thesis on “Prejudices”. Frank has been practicing various martial arts since 1984 (incl. karate, jiu-jitsu and WingTsun since 1991). He is a self-defence teacher and runs his own martial arts school.
His experience in the area of martial arts and self-defense and his passion for playful fighting came together in 2005. Since then Frank has held numerous workshops, both in Germany (e.g. at Schwelle7, Zentrum für sexuelle Bildung, Zwischenräume, Haus der Kulturen der Welt) and internationally (England, Austria, Switzerland, the Netherlands, Finland, Poland, Czech Republic, Spain, Italy), primarily on play fighting and rough body play – he developed his own and unique approach to these disciplines. Frank has more than 20 years of practical experience with BDSM. E-Mail to Frank.
Donald Turton is a fundraiser at Men at Work and disability ambassador for Sexpo Australia. He studied Business at the Australian Catholic University.
He performed with Annetta Luce at the inaugural Sydney Festival of Really Good Sex in January 2015.
Martha Tara Lee, Ph.D
Founder of Eros Coaching, Dr. Martha Tara Lee is a Clinical Sexologist in Singapore who has a doctorate in human sexuality. She also holds certificates in counselling, coaching and sex therapy. In practice for seven years now, she is the only certified sexuality educator by the American Association of Sexuality Educators, Counselors and Therapists (AASECT) in Singapore.
Often cited in the local media, Dr. Lee is the appointed sex expert for Men’s Health Singapore, and Men’s Health Malaysia. She was recognised as one of ‘Top 50 Inspiring Women Under 40′ by Her World in July 2010, and one of ‘Top 100 Inspiring Women’ by CozyCot in March 2011. She has published two books: Love, Sex and Everything In-Between, and Orgasmic Yoga.
Martha works with individuals and couples in private coaching sessions, and conducts her own workshops. She takes prides in making sure all her workshops are also fun, educational, and sex-positive. This comes easily to her because even though she is extremely dedicated and serious about her work, she fundamentally believes that sex is meant to be fun, wonderful, amazing and sacred. As such, this serious light-heartedness has shone through again and again.
Mynx and Kintamar
Rebecca Rose is a qualified Sexological Bodyworker and Sex Educator, certified through the Institute of Somatic Sexology. Her challenges, explorations and moments of profound connection and joy in her own sexual journey, have led her to work with other individuals, partnerships and groups in their explorations.
Her vision is to create a culture where sex and sexuality are regarded as an integral aspect of each of us and honoured, respected and taught as such. By increasing our knowledge and understanding of our own sexuality, she believes we can better understand our emotional make-up and ourselves as a whole. This then flows into the types of relationships we create, the way we love and how we choose to direct our lives.
Rosa and Tod McGill
Rosa McGill has been coaching and facilitating workshops nationally and internationally for the past 6 years. An advocate for women's empowerment, in 2012 she founded Girls in Tech Las Vegas, a non-profit women’s networking organisation. In 2014, she founded an Australian branch of an international wellness organisation, OneTaste. This included opening a Wellness Centre in Bondi Junction. She is currently on the committee of the League of Extraordinary Women, a networking organisation for female founders in Sydney. She has spoken at several conferences including SXSW in Las Vegas, been featured on ABC Television and in articles by Forbes, Marie Claire and Sneaky Magazine. Find her work at www.rosaimcgill.com
Todd McGill has always had an intense interest in human beings and the human condition. This has expressed itself through involvement in a wide variety of lifestyles and practices from Thai Massage to trading financial markets. He got involved in the recovery movement over 17 years ago and as part of that exploration he developed a keen interest in psychology and counselling, specifically a variant of Gestalt termed Conscious Integration. Todd was recognised for his emotional courage, empathy and technical aptitude and was asked to co-lead and later lead emotional exploration process groups. Todd has always had a keen interest in the nexus of sexuality and authentic relating and the issues that arise through relating and how those issues can be a portal to healing less than optimal formative experiences. Since 1992, Tai Chi Chuan has been a consistent source of experiencing and healing on the physical, emotional and energetic levels for Todd. It has been a source of great insight and inspiration and a touchstone in being present and harmonious in relationship.
Mistress Anna is a Sydney-based Sex Educator, BDSM specialist and Dominatrix. She has over a decade of professional experience in the areas of alternative sexuality, BDSM and the adult industry. She is also a qualified Personal Trainer and Yoga Instructor and her Boot Camp Mistress sessions and Kinky Yoga have become a hot topic in the media, as well as become popular within the BDSM community as a kink-friendly way to improve fitness and strength.