practitioners of consensual erotic BDSM, Adam and Gillian
have been providing a wide variety of "implements of affection"
from their Long Island Workshop, since 1987.
they began to play in New York City’s public venues in the mid
‘80s, they soon found that … in BDSM, as in golf --
“you can't play with just one club.” As a matter of economy, they
began to design and build their own toys. As they filled their
toybag with whips and paddles for all seasons, and to suit the
preferences and tolerances of a variety of play partners, they
were repeatedly asked, "Could you make one for me, too?"
early sales paid for the cost of club visits and the cost of materials
-- but more importantly, they put Adam
and Gillian directly in touch with a wide spectrum
of play styles and equipment needs. As a result, they enlarged
their scope and their line of products, developing several unique
and unusual designs that people could not find anywhere else.
Eventually they would put together a mail order catalog,
and also begin selling to a select number of boutiques.
their designs, with few exceptions, lean toward a classic and
rather traditional set of styles -- the domestic and judicial
punishment implements of the 18th and 19th centuries. This is
especially apparent in their straps and paddles. However, underlying
the retro look lies a great deal of development and innovation.
Adam and Gillian were
among the earliest pioneers in using leather in colors
other than Black, as well as “exotic” materials such as deer
and moose hide, nylon & neoprene rubber.
They were among the first to manufacture high quality rattan “schoolmaster”
style canes on a regular basis in the US. More recently they brought
the mythical Dragon Canes to the American market.
design philosophy is to first devise a way of producing a desired
sensation and intensity -- then to engineer it to sell
for a reasonable price, without compromising the quality of workmanship
of Adam and Gillian’s products
have been “feel tested” … on each other –- or on people capable
of enjoying their more severe creations. Most designs have also
been tested for long-term durability and overall practicality
by placing them with professional Dominatrices, where years of
home use are simulated in a matter of weeks! As a result, Adam
and Gillian’s toys are built to last a lifetime
of “ordinary” use. It's been said that their implements are so
durable, the only replacement items they have made were because
of fire, theft ... or divorce.
after they met in 1984, Adam and Gillian
became pioneers on the information superhighway as operators
of The Utopian Network--
a computer bulletin board system -- one of the first “BBSs” recognized
in the FidoNet (Node 107/269 followed by 107/169) as devoted
solely to sexual interests and alternative lifestyles.
they learned of the possibilities of the Internet as a commercial
venue, they saw an opportunity to reach BDSMers across the country
and around the world via their computers. In 1995, still the era
of self-operated servers and expensive hardware, they put their
paper catalog online at catalog.com/utopian and have become
known as one of the premier providers of high quality BDSM gear
online and worldwide! This URL followed as soon as it was feasible
for them to design and run a commercial site on their own.
1995 they bought The Guardian, believing it was a valuable
resource that should not be allowed to just "die" as
the then publishers were about to let happen. As publishers, they
returned the magazine to regular quarterly publication, emphasizing
its original mission to be the, “factual, practical, pansexual
and pro-feminist journal of record for the BDSM/leather scene”
… a kinky cross between "Popular Mechanics" and "The
Nation" … with no fiction, poetry or eye candy. Since 1995
there have been radical changes in the publishing industry as
well as the growth of e-zines and blogs, which have not only undercut
the commercial viability of niche-market magazines … but have
absorbed much of the “content” formerly published in hardcopy.
By the end of 2000, having “said most of what they had to say,
”and having published 21 issues successfully as Gerrie Blum and
Mitch Kessler, Adam and Gillian put
The Guardian on hiatus. All the back issues remain available
be ordered here.
Biographies Credits and Credentials
and Mitch Kessler (Adam)
both have long histories as activists and community workers:
he as a phone peer counselor; she as a lobbyist who campaigned
successfully against corporal punishment in the schools and for
the decriminalization of marijuana in New York State. In community
activities, they were founding officers of the Metro New York
Chapter of the National Leather Association, the NY
Area Bisexual Network and the Bisexual Pride Discussion
Group. Gerrie was also a member of the
National Council of the NLA for a time and served on the
Chapter Concerns Committee. They have been called to be
guest speakers and presenters at a number of conventions and conferences.
Their NLA chapter began the informal get-togethers that later
became "munches" and Gerrie has been dubbed
"the mother of the munch" in some parts of the country.
television appearances include HBO's "Real Sex" (#6);
"Inside Edition," "A Current Affair,"
"Evening Magazine," and both the "Joan
Rivers," and "Geraldo" shows. Gerrie
also had a featured role in the independent film, "Girlquake."
Mitch's first career was as an actor (Equity),
stage manager (SSD&C) and non-union technician. Gerrie
had her own radio interview show on a suburban station, worked
on the staff of a weekly newspaper, and appeared in community
1992, Adam and Gillian's Sensual Whips and Toys was
Nominated for Business of the Year, and Adam
for Businessman of the Year at the Pantheon of Leather
in Los Angeles. In 1997 Gerrie was nominated
for Businesss Person of the Year. Their magazine, TheSandMUtopian
Guardian, was nominated in 1999. In 2013 they were awarded
a plaque naming them among the "Best of Copiague."