By Jesse Marx
By Chris Parker
By Jake Rossen
By Jesse Marx
By Michelle LeBow
By Alleen Brown
By Maggie LaMaack
By CP Staff
"I love what I do. I hold a little secret that I carry around all day," Sybil confides. "I have this pretty girl character I can spring out on you at any time."
It all began at the age of 7 when he got his hands on Cosmo, and some of those old detective magazines with girls tied up on the cover. He imagined what it was like to be a woman, to dress like a woman, but didn't have the guts to make a first move.
It wasn't until that toasty Halloween evening in Boca Raton, Florida, at the age of 20, that he got his first taste. That began a lifelong obsession with satin, lace, corsets, stockings and garters, leather, and latex.
Dressing up in women's clothing was a different sensation than anything Sybil had ever experienced. Some compare this rush to a runner's high. Sybil doesn't need sexual release to have a good time.
"Bondage is about the sensations. I love the feel of being tied to something, my freedom being taken away—I give control over myself to someone I completely trust," Sybil explains. "It feels good to be wrapped up and kept. It feels like I am loved."
"The most rewarding part of our job is knowing we are getting people off," Joshua exclaims, pouring iridescent pigments into the mold, his head cocked to the left as he inspects the flow of the silicone goo.
When John, Amy, and Joshua found each other, they realized that their collective fetish was a love for creating orgasms. And so their "synergistic interdisciplinary art practise," as they call it, began—crafting handmade silicone sex toys under the name Free Range Silicone.
Formally trained in sculpture, these young artists want to, as their tagline says, "help people get they fuck on 'mo betta."
Joshua looks up as he completes the top-secret process of sealing the psychedelic mixture into the mold and says, "The intensity of discomfort can be exciting, too. Like sharp bits of pain that linger out, and kinda sparkle at the finish."
John adds: "Pleasure is anything that makes you feel worth something."
Amy reaches for a bucket of recycled silicone materials and shuffles across the room to find the scissors. She returns to mix the unique shapes into a bold blue pigment she created. Joshua adds a scoop of cosmic neon colors. As the particles fold on top of one another, they settle into a tranquil harmony.
"It's like I birthed a baby from the molds," Amy says. "The process of creating something with your hands is erotic. This is my ultimate labor of love."
Specializing in custom fetish objects such as dildos, cock rings, masturbation sleeves, butt plugs, kinky finger puppets, and dental dams, Free Range Silicone believes that sex toys are essential to maintain a happy and healthy sex life.
But stimulating your senses isn't the only goal this threesome has on its collective minds. They also enjoy fostering the community's cultural growth by hosting workshops and encouraging discussion.
"You can't forget voyeurism is participation," John says. "So if you are going to just look and watch, you are, in essence, part of the kinky activity. And you are actually involved in kink whether you talk about it or not."
The theater goes silent as Jean Bardot snaps back. She scans the mass of smiling faces from the stage and takes a bow to the roar of applause.
After seven months of intense planning, the Fetish Ball concludes, and the last guests are ushered out. For at least one evening, they enjoyed a space where they were accepted, free to be themselves, not judged or looked down upon.
"Everyone should be able to feel this loved," Bardot says.
Growing up in a conservative suburb of the Twin Cities, Jean Bardot found her place at the Minneapolis College of Art and Design. From falling in love with latex to interning with Prince in his costume department, she always knew this was the work she loved.
Every time she covers her body in lube and slips into the soft latex, the tightness transforms her into an international fetish goddess. The feeling is still as exhilarating as the first time she put on a latex dress back in 1992 for a fashion show.
Mistress Bardot closes the door to her studio, plops down on the leopard-print chaise lounge, and lets out a euphoric cry.
"It was an amazing feeling," she explains of her sudden vocalization. "I didn't know what to do but let it all out!"