The bittersweet - behind the scenes - journey of making my film "tOuch Kink"

The bittersweet story of my film "tOuch Kink" a journey into the world of pleasure, pain, and power.

Eight years ago, my life was changed forever by a call from January Seraph, a jet-set dominatrix.

We became very close friends and learned about each other's kinky lives, and I also discovered that January was bipolar but wanted to finance a film demystifying kink. I loved the idea but didn't want to take advantage of her situation.

Then fate intervened, and I met someone who agreed to finance the film: a new kinky dating app called Whiplr. January enthusiastically connected me with a group of kinky people to start the film, and we filmed for a year, traveling from the UK to California, then Oregon, Washington state, New York, Rhode Island, Florida, Texas, Costa Rica, and Montreal.

During this time, I fell in love with Simone Justice, another beautiful and famous dominatrix, who helped me understand the world of kink even more deeply. I treasure the memory of how January would tease me mercilessly about that.

Feeling like I was losing objectivity, I contacted my old friend Grace to gain a fresh perspective. Despite being an all-American vanilla soccer mom who initially thought the kink scene was filled with damaged individuals, Grace was curious due to "50 Shades". She served as a sober companion, verifying our findings and ultimately reaching the same conclusion that "better understanding kink is beneficial for all".

I felt I had a movie and was ready to finish, but then tragedy struck. January, who had long suffered from mental illness, took her own life. I was paralyzed. I took a year off, not sure how to proceed, then ultimately contacted her family to see if I should continue with the film. Her father was okay with me proceeding as long as people understood that her suicide was about mental illness more than her interest in kink.

So I started editing in earnest again. But life had more challenges in store. I had a stroke ( a subarachnoid haemorrhage) that left me unable to function fully for about six months and was laid off by Whiplr. I said, “When you almost die, life gets very clear. All that was important was getting closer to my children and finishing this documentary. Nothing else mattered."

With little money left to my name, I paid for all the post-production expenses out of pocket. Just as I began working on the film again, the COVID pandemic hit us all.

Despite spending most of my money and more over eight years, I completed the film, and a major distributor gave me a generous advance on sales.

Now, the film is receiving interest from various broadcasters and theatrical release distributors worldwide.

And will have its World premiere as part of the Fantasia international film festival on July 30th, 2023

I hope that this film will honor January and the kink community that helped me.

It has been a bittersweet journey full of ups and downs, but in the end, I hope this film is a testament to the resilience of the human spirit and the beauty of diversity.

-Todd Max Carey

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