Porn stars are people too

Bobby Lombardi laid on his stomach tied onto a glass case as his co-star implanted an inch-long metal catheter into the tip of his penis.

As she increased the level of electricity surging into him, he withheld from yelling his safe word and survived the most intense pain of his life until the director yelled, “Cut!”

This semester, the junior parks and recreation major shares his experiences within the realms of BDSM and porn with introductory human sexuality classes on campus.

By doing so, he hopes to educate listeners about the two widely misunderstood subcultures and point out common misconceptions people have about them.

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Common bedroom antics, such as role play, spanking or holding one’s arms above their head, fall under the BDSM umbrella. Photo credit: Kiana Alvarez

BDSM is an umbrella term for the many forms of sexual expression that involve the willing and consensual exchange of power.

The acronym represents three main categories of play:

1. Bondage and discipline

2. Domination and submission

3. Sadism and masochism

At 25, Lombardi said he has always had kinky tendencies and started dabbling in BDSM with his girlfriend when he was 18.

“It’s a way to explore my sexuality and keep things fun and new in the bedroom with someone I trust,” he said.

A lot of common bedroom antics, such as role play, spanking or holding one’s arms above their head, fall under the BDSM umbrella without people even realizing it, Lombardi said.

“It’s not just being tied up and whipped by a dominatrix.”

The key to enjoying fun and safe BDSM is communication, he said.

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Bobby Lombardi, junior parks and recreation major, has experimented with BDSM and worked in the porn industry. Photo credit: Kiana Alvarez

Lombardi expressed the importance of voicing limits and developing a safe word before playing with a new partner for the first time.

Although he accredits “50 Shades of Grey” for opening people’s eyes to BDSM, Lombardi agrees with other BDSM enthusiasts that it contributes to the stigma linking interest in BDSM with psychological issues.

“I want to show people that not everyone [into BDSM] has a problem— I live a normal life, I work two jobs, I go to school,” he said.

The stigma surrounding BDSM has made its enthusiasts victims of discrimination, shaming and harassment.

Members of the BDSM community are naturally private about their personal lives out of fear of someone from their professional lives finding out, Lombardi explained.

When it comes to the countless kinds of sexual kinks out there, preferences within the BDSM community differ for each individual.

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Wrists tied together is an example of one of the things a member of the BDSM community might try. Photo credit: Kiana Alvarez

Everyone also has their own reasoning for why they would prefer being submissive over dominate, and vice versa.

People who are constantly in control of their daily lives may like to give up some power in the bedroom or they might want to maintain control in their sexual lives too, he said.

By age 20, Lombardi had developed a strong interest in BDSM from self-bondage and BDSM play with previous partners.

He was between relationships and looking for another way to express his kinkiness when he decided to give acting in BDSM porn a try.

Lombardi applied through Kink.com, based in San Francisco, and landed himself a couple of interviews not long after.

“They liked me so I ended up driving up there and shooting BDSM porn for the world’s largest BDSM porn site,” he said.

Lombardi modeled in more than two dozen films as a submissive in female dominatrix, foot fetish and bisexual BDSM films during the course of three years exclusively with Kink.com.

He attributes his positive experience in porn to working for a large company with a high level of professionalism and respect for its actors.

“They really took things slow and communicated with me to ensure I didn’t do anything I didn’t want to do,” Lombardi said. “Everything from start to finish was really smooth and a lot of fun.”

However, it was only a matter of days after his first film surfaced when people from his hometown of Orland found out and began talking.

Lombardi said the backlash from people he knew was the only bad thing to come out of working in the industry.

In the face of criticism, he doesn’t regret working in the porn industry because it has taught him so much about BDSM and sex.

“I’ve been with some of the best dominatrix in the world and it’s been a great experience,” Lombardi said.

Cheyanne Burens can be reached at [email protected] or @cheyanne_burens on Twitter.