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The Human Furniture

Danny describes himself as a British (otto)man about town living the California dream. He enjoys forniphilia [1] and being used as human furniture by ladies. He has been featured in Sunday Times Magazine (UK), Mashable, YouTube, & KOFY TV in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Hamish MacPherson: So how did it all start for you?

Danny: I'm not sure there was a specific time or place but have always enjoyed being used and objectified by women in an erotic context. One of my earliest experiences was almost entirely accidental. As a teenager, my then girlfriend would innocently rest her ashtray on my bare chest after sex while she enjoyed a cigarette. Unbeknown to her, this feeling of being used was absolutely thrilling for me, however I didn't explicitly connect it with being furniture at the time.

As I explored more BDSM [2] play, I discovered that human furniture was a great way for me to recapture the feeling of being used. A great example is mummification play - saran wrap (cling film) bondage was something that could easily be adapted to transform me into furniture. Simply being wrapped and lay on the floor meant I could easily be used as a rug, doormat, or a footstool! I'm an avid admirer of female feet and shoes so, perhaps naturally, over time the footstool or ottoman became my preferred furniture form (I'm also told it's one of the most enjoyable for the user!). That said, I'm always excited to experiment with new and creative furniture ideas.

Once I'd identified human furniture as a specific interest I began to explore it within BDSM relationships albeit usually in the context of a wider scene. At the times I wasn't in relationships I found that I still craved it as a standalone activity and began to advertise my furniture services online. I've now been serving ladies as furniture for several years, which has led to quite a few interesting encounters and experiences. At the time of writing I've been with my current partner for one year and am thrilled that she loves and shares my interest with me. I've enjoyed serving her as furniture in clubs, public places, even on television!

Image courtesy of Danny

Can you talk me through a particularly memorable session. Is that the right term? 

Sure, session or scene. There are a few that really stand out. Generally the situations where I've had multiple women using me at once tend to be most memorable.

One of my favorites was with a woman based here in San Francisco who I met on Twitter. She expressed an interest in using me as a footstool in a public place so we met up in a local cafe after work. She brought along a friend and we chatted for a few minutes to discuss how the encounter would go. They were both in their mid to late 20s, attractive and, as I was happy to see, wearing fabulous shoes :) The ladies ordered some food and drinks. I'd set up a tab for them and let them know to get whatever they wanted and I'd take care of it at the end. That was the least I could do. We managed to snag a little sofa area right by the entrance, which was pretty much the best spot in the whole place and perfect for what we had planned!

With the ladies relaxing, I got into position, kneeling in front of the sofa curled up all small with my face to the floor. They insisted that I faced toward the door as it would be more humiliating for me that way! I'd brought along a cushion and grabbed another one from the sofa - one for under my knees and one that goes under the ankles and top of feet. I knew I was going to be down there a while and wanted to make sure I could last the full duration without having to move or shift position. After all, furniture doesn't move - or make noise. We'd agreed that I was to be completely ignored and treated exactly like an actual footstool for the next hour. The two ladies placed their feet on my back and, with that, I was transported into furniture mode.

There was some background noise in the cafe, which made it a little difficult to figure out what was going on around me, but I got to hear snippets of the ladies' conversation. It always takes a few minutes for me to adjust to this new perspective on my surroundings.

Over the next 15 minutes or so two more friends arrived, pulled up chairs around me, and got involved in the conversation and food goodness. I was anticipating the two new ladies also resting their feet on me; there was nothing said, but apparently they chose not to. I had no clue who they were which was quite exciting in itself. I managed to catch small glimpses of their shoes and hear their voices but, face still firmly to the floor, those were my only frames of reference. Despite their non-participation, it was still thrilling to know that a larger group was witnessing my predicament!

I always find it exciting when the conversation turns to boyfriends, guys and dating however, on this occasion, it was mostly centred around work. I established that not only did the whole group work in the tech industry, the same as me, but at least one of the ladies worked in the same company as me! It's a pretty big company so I thought it unlikely that we'd know each other, but almost certainly we'd have people in common. This definitely added an interesting twist to the encounter. I envisioned running into one of them in a professional setting and wondered how that might play out... "imagine being in a business meeting with a woman who has used me as a footstool!".

After a while (I estimated around 30 minutes), as with all footstool encounters, it becomes a little challenging to hold the position. I try to shift a tiny amount to relieve pressure on specific points but without disturbing my furniture users. Ideally I wouldn't move at all but sometimes needs must. From then on there is definitely an element of focus and determination to hold the pose, this is when it becomes almost meditational or yoga-like. It was my first encounter with this group of ladies, and pretty much my first time doing this in public, so I wasn't about to bail before the agreed time. I was all set to stay there a while longer when, suddenly, there was a tap on my shoulder to signal that the 60 minutes were up.

It's always a relief to be allowed to move again and I slid my legs out from under me and sat on the floor with my back resting on the sofa. I got my first look at the two latecomers, which was kind of interesting to put faces to voices, and did my best to reorientate. It turned out the co-worker and I didn't know each other after all. The physical discomfort went away pretty quickly but, as is usual, it was 10 minutes or so before I could think or speak coherently. We all chatted for a while which was a nice way to adjust to being a person once more rather than an object. It's always interesting to hear about the experience from the users' perspective. They told me the whole spectacle received some interesting looks and reactions from customers going in and out of the cafe, which was definitely fun to know.

It seemed like the ladies all enjoyed the experience and the hospitality (apparently the waffles were a hit!). We discussed the possibility of a repeat encounter, perhaps in a bar next time just to be a little more daring. I thanked them for using me and, after we said our goodbyes, I took care of clearing up and settling the tab and headed out into the night. Just another day in the life of a human footstool.

What kind of physical sensations do you experience, go through?

I'm not going to lie, most of it is pretty uncomfortable! If I'm kneeling in a footstool pose, which is my usual form, then it's probably OK for the first 15-20 minutes but then my feet and ankles tend to go numb and start to hurt. Beyond 30 minutes or so I pretty much can't feel my feet. I try to do a few small discrete movements to allow more blood to flow but it only helps a little. It's also not uncommon to get a few bruises on my knees. There are things I can do to help though. I usually try to kneel on a cushion or bring along a yoga mat and kneepads which really help. The most important is having a cushion under my ankles and the tops of my feet as that's the place that starts to hurt first. Whether I'm wearing shoes or not, and which type, is also a factor. Once the scene is over it typically takes 10-15 minutes for the numbness to completely go away. I've never had a medical opinion on this activity but perhaps I'll ask a doctor at some point. For now though, the physical discomfort is more than worth it for the psychological thrill of the experience.

Do you get into a furniture 'headspace'? What's that like?

I do! I find it meditational. I try my best to actually "become" the object that I'm being used as. It's a great way to clear my mind, considering that objects don't tend to have thoughts, feelings or responsibilities. They simply serve a purpose and, when I'm in role, I focus on doing that as best I can. I'd say it's a mixture of yoga-like meditation from holding a pose combined with the occasional piece of background noise or conversation that I hone in on. It's probably also a version of the "subspace" that submissive partners can experience in any DS [dominant-submissive] situation. Often I like to match the colour and the feel of the real furniture and decor of the room I'm in. It can be fun to play with different costumes and accessories which really help me blend into the background and feel like a real piece of furniture. There is definitely a mental as well as physical comedown period after a scene, it probably takes a good 30 minutes for me to return to reality, and an element of the zen will usually stay with me for the rest of the day.

Has forniphilia changed how you think about actual furniture or other inanimate objects? About the relationships between people and objects?

I don't think it's changed how I think about objects in any serious way. Perhaps more in an amusing way if someone refers to, or I see someone using, a particular piece of furniture. I enjoy seeing women using real furniture and objects and sometimes wish I could trade places with whatever they're using. A good example is women using luggage as a footstool in an airport lounge. That always gets my attention! I've shared a few anonymous examples of this on my Twitter account.

How do you negotiate consent when you are a piece of furniture?

Typically a set amount of time is agreed on beforehand and for that duration I'll basically be ignored, and used and treated as a real piece of furniture. One hour is generally a good time period because that's usually as long as I can tolerate kneeling in a footstool pose. If it was a more comfortable pose or a different type of furniture I was serving as the scene could potentially go on for longer, which we'd also agree on beforehand. In general I try my best to stay in role and remain perfectly still. If I'm really struggling with the physical discomfort I'm usually free to move around a little, which helps. Fortunately so far I haven't had to break out of a scene entirely. For something involving more restraint and bondage, where I'm held in position, I might need to use my safe word, which somewhat ironically is "IKEA" :)

Image courtesy of Danny

Are there other forms of objectification or submission that you enjoy outside of forniphilia?

Yes, I like most forms! Basically anything that makes me feel objectified or places me in a vulnerable position tends to push my buttons. One of my other interests is CFNM (Clothed Female Naked Male) which is - pretty much as the name suggests - a man made to be naked in front of a fully clothed woman or group of women. I also love physical restraint and bondage whether that's with rope, leather straps, saran wrap (cling film) or whatever else. The great thing is that most of my other interests can be combined with human furniture play as well as explored separately.

How does becoming furniture fit into your wider relationship?

I'm very fortunate in my current relationship that my partner fully embraces and participates in my human furniture interest. We can move pretty seamlessly from snuggling on the couch to me being used as furniture. We also do more formal human furniture sessions but overall our dynamic is very natural and fluid. Such enthusiastic participation definitely hasn't been the case in most of my previous relationships. I think it takes a special kind of person to understand it. That's true of many fetishes and kinks but human furniture as a discrete fetish is probably more niche than most.

I wonder how gender plays into forniphilia? As far as I can see, there are and have been in history,lots of mainstream images of women as furniture or decorating furniture. But from your Twitter feed it seems like with forniphilia it is often men that are the furniture. Is that a fair assessment?

This is a very interesting question. I think it really depends on whether we're talking art or erotica. In art I'd say it was almost entirely women being used as furniture. In erotica, if it's a paid for porn website dedicated to forniphilia or objectification then I'd say it's also mostly women. The content with men used as furniture is mostly from professional dominatrices who are selling video clips or sharing session photos. I'm really only interested in seeing women using men as furniture, hence my Twitter feed skews heavily that way :) Ultimately, as with the majority of paid for porn (and especially fetish or BDSM porn), the women are the stars and that's who people are paying to see. This applies whether it's a woman in some elaborate human furniture bondage, or a dominant woman using a man as furniture. In the case of the latter I view the man more as a prop for that particular scene - which admittedly fits well with the objectification angle - however it's the woman people are paying to see.

1960s human furniture and pop art pioneer Allen Jones has been in the news quite a bit over the past few years with work on show at the Tate London and Christies Mayfair. Inevitably this has led to a moral debate over whether his work is misogynistic, but that kind of misses the point. The other, more contemporary, artist in this genre is David Blazquez who uses exclusively male models which might address the misogynistic angle to a small extent.

There are doubtless other examples but these are the two I encounter most often.

In the same way that artists like John Willie and Eric Stanton, and images of Bettie Page, may have influenced the BDSM and fetish scene as a whole, the work of Jones and others may have raised awareness of the idea of human furniture.

One of the pioneers of the fetishistic angle, and who coined the term forniphilia to refer to this, was fellow Brit Jeff Gord who sadly passed away in 2013. Unfortunately I never got to meet him in person but have friends who did. Gord featured in the (UK) Bravo TV show Sin Cities with Ashley Hames several years ago, as well as multiple other shows and documentaries. Unfortunately, the Sin Cities footage of Gord is now hard to find.

In the fetish sense (and in common with Jones) most examples of this you find on commercial websites tend to be males using females as furniture for example House of Gord [NSFW], Decorative Girls [NSFW]. While the women (hopefully) enjoy being transformed into furniture, it seems to be more of a dominant male interest to actually DO the transforming. Similarly, there are a whole bunch of (usually submissive) males out there who enjoy being USED as furniture - but you probably see less of this on websites.

In my experience the latter group would tend to explore this with their significant other, or with a lifestyle or professional dominatrix. Although mostly in private, you might see some examples of it at fetish clubs or parties. While it seems to be mostly males driving this, I've met quite a few females who are open to (and even love!) the idea once they learn about it.

Do you have any unfulfilled furniture fantasies?

I'm mostly very happy with the experiences I've had and the memories they've created. The only real area I'd love to explore more is to incorporate more bondage and devices into my human furniture transformations. House of Gord and Decorative Girls are probably the best examples of what I'm referring to. I've really only seen women used as furniture in these elaborate constructions and creations, so would love to be the first male example. I like the idea of being physically transformed or incorporated into a piece of furniture so I have no choice but to be, and remain as, that specific object. This requires some pretty serious equipment and skill on behalf of the person doing the transforming, hence it probably mostly exists only on commercial porn websites, but it's definitely something to aspire to.

[1] Forniphilia is a form of bondage and sexual objectification in which a person's body is treated as or incorporated into a piece of furniture.

[2] BDSM - bondage, discipline, domination, submission, sadism, masochism.

June 2017.