Helena Calmfors is a queer artist, performer and BDSM professional based in Brooklyn. Originally from Sweden, she has worked and performed in New York since 2014.
The act of creating intimate scenes and experiences is present in all aspects of her work, ranging from watercolor paintings and digital work to performance and photography. Helena’s work is centered around taking control of the male gaze through the practice of femdom. She addresses issues around reclaiming ownership of body and identity through the hierarchical power play present in BDSM.

Helena’s performances explore female domination through BDSM rituals. She uses instant photography as a means of representing the ephemerality of performance rituals and the intimacy of the Dominant/submissive relationship. By using fluid strokes of watercolor and ink in her paintings, she illuminates the stark contrast between the rigid structure of BDSM and the beauty of ultimate trust in the depicted scenes.

Ephemeral I by Helena Calmfors


My practice is centered around queerness and BDSM sex work and the way in which these intersect with each other and with the world. These specific photos relate to the theme “bloom” in the sense of a temporary state of being. Bloom is a state of ephemerality. These works comment on the ephemeral nature of sex work and beauty. Of the inevitable end to what you are valued for as a woman in a patriarchal structure. Making a living on that assigned value can be a way of reclaiming some power in such a system, but also a way of setting yourself up for a temporary solution to a permanent problem. What happens when you dedicate your working career to something that alienates you from mainstream society? How can you understand your own value beyond the value assigned to you in a toxic system? Can you truly thrive and bloom by taking control of and profiting off of your objectification and sexualization?


Head Mistress by Helena Calmfors
New Hampshire Fetish Scene II by Helena Calmfors
The Wanting I by Helena Calmfors
The Wanting II by Helena Calmfors