Can I rub your toes for an hour? Inside the life of a fetish model.

By Amber Von Blonde

Miss Lyrah K, as she has become known in the modelling scene, specialises in a style of modelling that might make some people a little bit uncomfortable - and others curious to hear more.

Lyrah's speciality is fetish modelling and I recently got together with her to talk about the underground art of the fetish model. From the corporate schoolgirl play, to choosing an alter ego Lyrah delves into her wild world with me.

A&I: How would you describe your modelling style?

LK: I am interested in meeting with unique individuals and being involved in making their dreams, fantasies and visions come to life. It’s not just about fetish, its about having a creative vision for a project through artistic expression and this is what really excites me about the projects I get involved in.

A&I: How did you get into modelling?

LK: I used to have a very goth style of dress, and one day I was walking down the road and a guy ran out of his studio up to me and asked if I would be interested in modelling. So, I ended up doing a shoot for his gothic street fashion book and things went from there.

A&I: Is there a lot of work around for a fetish model?

LK: Yes, I get a lot of work doing different shoots, my favourite shoot was for eagle leather, who have been in Melbourne for 20 years making leather and latex products, we did a marathon eight hour shoot that was so much fun. I also do runway and events. It’s a niche market, but once I got into the scene I found a lot of industries overlap.

A&I: I understand you did a corporate gig recently, what did that involve?

LK: My most recent corporate gig was for a video production company, I was required to dress up as a schoolgirl and give people detention.

A&I: Your real name is Tayla, so, tell me about Lyrah, how did she evolve?

LK: When I first got into modelling the pseudonym served a few purposes, firstly, it was to protect my identity, because I had a job at a well known retail store, I needed to be professional by day and fetish by night. Secondly, having an alter-ego that embodied who wanted to be helped me when I was younger to get into character, it gave me the confidence that I needed, when I may have felt a bit more insecure inside than I portrayed. These days I have grown into my character and I am not afraid to be myself, Tayla and Lyrah have become one in the same.

A&I: How did you decide what to call your new persona?

LK: Lyrah was a character from the novel the Golden Compass, this name stuck in my head growing up. I used to paint a lot and the figures I painted would always be named Lyrah, so when I was thinking of my alter-ego, it was the name that came to mind.

A&I: Do you get any weird requests?

LK: I get odd requests most days, such as ‘Can I come over and rub your toes for an hour?’ In my experience its better to ignore these comments and I always keep my personal life separate from my public life.

A&I: For someone that is curious about fetish, where would you suggest they start?

LK: For those new to the scene, in Melbourne I would suggest trying out the nightclubs Abode and Provocation. Abode is a nightclub in St Kilda, they have different them nights and are open to all style of dress. Provocation is a city based club.  This is a great place for the new and curious, as its an open space where you can check out others’ personal style and get a feel for the scene. I’ve also been involved recently with the launch of a new magazine called BIND, the publication is specifically geared towards newcomers, so its a great first step towards getting comfortable with the scene.

A&I: What is next for your modelling career?

LK: I have just quit my day job to pursue a different career path that also allows more flexibility for my creative pursuits. I have quite a few different shoots coming up, some of which I am further involved with the entire creative process, as opposed to just modeling. Its very challenging but also very exciting! I'm not entirely sure where my modeling is headed, but it's a big part of my life and it's not going anywhere but upwards...keep those eyes peeled for a film or two also!

A&I: Where do you see the future of fetish going?

LK: I think that Australia is still fairly conservative, people will be supportive of alternative lifestyles, but they won't necessarily talk about it willingly. What is great is that, if you go looking for it, you will find there are a lot of subcultures springing up that support open conversation. Slowly 'kink/fetish' is becoming more apparent in mainstream products and fashion. Although I certainly do not endorse or support books such as 50 shades of Grey, it brings the topic to a more accessible platform and gives a wider population the permission to talk about their otherwise 'secret' needs and desires...from there, there is a plethora of support and information that guides people in the right direction.