As a first-year, I’d never heard of Mistress Megara Furie – a regular visitor to St Andrews for five years now – but I can now tell you what CBT stands for, what sploshing is, and why the law needs to change in order to secure the safety of sex workers across the UK.
‘Off the Cuff’ is a part of SHAG week – a university funded week focused on safe and consensual sex – and it’s probably not wrong to say that Megara’s appearance is the climax for the week. Sexpression organised this particular event to talk about safe sex in a different context – we’ve all heard the classic ‘don’t be silly, cover your willy’, but have you ever talked about safe kinky sex at four on a Saturday afternoon?
I had absolutely no idea what to expect from the Mistress herself – would she be donning full Dominatrix gear, with knee-high lace up heeled boots, leather galore and a paddle in one hand? In fact, Megara was normally dressed, fairly informal and not at all intimidating. Despite a slightly slow start, she headed straight to the main event – kinky 101. What struck me particularly was how Megara presented the information in a totally inclusive way – she stressed that everyone can be kinky and should not feel embarrassed to try out new things.
Having covered what her job and kinky sex can entail, the Mistress moved onto how to be safe when it comes to being kinky – the use of safe words if appropriate, the importance of hygiene and ensuring that all involved are comfortable and trusting of their companions. I think it’s a credit to Sexpression to include something a little different when covering safe sex.
Megara didn’t just concentrate on what kinks could entail and how to be safe within your play – she took on the politics of sex work as well. Sex work has just been accepted into the second largest workers’ union, GMB, in the UK – and Megara has been actively involved with making progression like this happen. She is currently pushing for the law on sex work to be changed in order to make sure workers are safe – for example, at the moment, it is illegal for an escort to work as part of a group or organisation. However, this means that if the worker has a bad feeling about a client, they have to deal with them entirely alone since if another person is involved – even present in the same building – both parties can be charged. By decriminalising this, escorting could be a lot safer.
In clearing up misunderstandings about her work, Megara was quick to highlight that sex workers are not ‘just’ sex workers – she, like many others in her profession, runs everything herself, from cleaning her dungeon to running her own website, as well as the dominating itself, of course.
The session wrapped up with a series of interactive activities that required both newly-acquired knowledge from the talk and sex toys to address scenarios where there might be issues of safety. Although a small group – some might say the intimacy complemented the subject matter – there were lots of laughs, making it an entertaining end to an informative and interesting couple of hours.
If you feel that you missed out by not rocking up to see the Mistress, don’t worry! Channel 5 are bringing back their slightly risqué ‘The Sex Business’ for a second series – the first covered sex workers on the streets and porn stars – and Mistress Megara is a feature in this series. St Andrews students might well make an appearance as the session was filmed in order to show Megara as a well-rounded individual.
The session was fun, light-hearted and enlightening – a definite success (or should I say sex-ccess) for SHAG week.