Yesterday I had the pleasure of spending the day with my friend, Chris, owner, designer, janitor, secretary, CFO, CEO, and, most importantly, artist in residence of Steelwerks Extreme in Montreal, Canada. Thanks to Mother Nature and the inability of Delta Airlines to be able to fly through “extreme wind” in New York, I then had the pleasure of spending an almost extra whole day with him too.
To be honest, Chris and I rapidly developed a friendship last year when I ordered my first custom hollow barbell and the relationship has continued to grow as my purchases have as well. It’s an unusual friendship for both of us as he generally is a shy, quiet “artist type” and I generally can’t be friends with anyone who won’t return an email within a week, but, somehow, like Felix and Oscar we bonded. He’s teaching me all about metal, latex and kinky people while I am teaching him about airplanes, time sheets, and my own brand of kinky people. He’s a good guy, a super friend, and, for the record, has a wife so charming, sweet, and, well, hot, that the tiny less than one percent of me that might have a straight gene took note. Just sayin’.
Anyway, this is not about Chris the man, as much as it is Chris the artist and I only stated the above to make sure my clear bias as to his business is stated and to basically say that I understand that my 48 hour all access pass to him, his family, and his business team is a rarity reserved for only a few. However, because of that, and with his permission, I decided to write this ad hoc review of Steelwerks as an “insiders glance” at how, what, and why things are the way they are. Specifically, these days with him showed me why he doesn’t return emails quickly, why every piece that comes out of there is different than the previous one, and, probably often the elephant in the room, why his pieces are at the top of the price spectrum and why he generally asks each client not to talk about what they paid for their device, as there really is no actual comparison piece by piece.
Steelwerks Extreme is a small, non-descript building in downtown Montreal surrounded by new construction, chain link fencing, and a lot of German cars. From the outside, one could say that it looks like a small house or flat, however, as soon as you open the door, you are hit with an aroma of metal, wood, and burning hot machinery that makes me think of my grandfather’s workshop from when I was a wee lad combined with a sweet yet smokey smell that just screams the word masculinity. Upon entering you see machines, benches and raw metal rods that are rather innocently stacked there having no idea that they will wind up one day wrapped around a man’s junk or inside (or outside, I am still really not clear about this) a lady’s most private parts. This is where he takes the most simple of elements and heats, bends, shapes, and molds them in painstaking detail one by one by one.
Yesterday, he and I spent the morning adding a “gap protector” to my cage, the Axel, because I was having issues with my really delicate skin (I’m like a daisy, you know) becoming irritated between the gap opening which caused me the kind of swelling one doesn’t really ever want to see in their pants. When this happened, I texted him a picture of my puffy penis (you know, like we all do to our friends), saying something like “the cage is fighting me” to which he said, “I have no idea what to do about that, but give me some time and I will make it right, but take that off right now”.
As requested, I gave him time he needed and he took all of it, seven or eight whole minutes, before texting me back with “I have three ideas, but here’s the one I like most” which was accompanied by a 3D sketch of a piece of titanium perfectly sized to “mind the gap” and slide right in thus protecting my tender testicles from ever trying to escape via the northern path again. My trip to see him and his shop was already planned, so he said to just bring it with me and that we’d fix it together, which I did, and then we did.
He picked me up from my swanky hotel with a great tub and fascinating carpet and we went to the aforementioned shop, I got settled in this fascinating 1920’s kinky barber chair he has mounted in the front, and then he produced the roughest looking little piece of titanium that matched the 3D drawing and said, “Here it is. I am going to see if it fits and then make it pretty”. He disassembled my cage and slid that piece right into the sweet spot (yes, I know how that sounds) and said “Perfect”, while complimenting himself immensely, and then disappeared for what seemed like an hour to a really loud machine in an equally loud part of his shop. I stared both at him and what he was doing and at all the pretty metal “things” that are everywhere and when he was done that piece of metal could have been worn as jewelry, it was that shiny, sparkly and smooth.
See, that’s the thing about Chris, he’s a perfectionist and he was not going to let that little piece of metal, one that will hardly be seen and barely felt, be anything less that absolute perfection. This was evidenced once more when he was finished and didn’t like the way the anodized blue on my cage had aged, so he asked me if I wanted to redo it while I was there and then, just like the hamburger helper kid, he said those magic words every man with metal locked on and in him want to hear, “And, you, Drew, can help!”. Woo to the hoo, I got to assist in what essentially a process akin to dying Easter Eggs as he carefully dipped each piece into a charged chemical bath. As the process happens, I watched my metal member turn gold, then a deep purple, and then various shades of blue until it finally reached the exact color I wanted to see every time I pee. For me, it’s a shade very similar to Dodger blue, you know, for the best team in Major League Baseball and all. My job “was to watch” and I did it really good! So good so that he then let me dry each piece before he assembled it all back together (I tried to do that but would have had my PA sticking out the top had he not intervened). The end result was beautiful as I will proudly show you in the pictures below.
Following that we had some kinky shopping to do and he needed to show me the underbelly of Montreal and I emerged all latexy smooth looking, well, we will talk about that in a future post.
Fast forward to Friday and while my plan was to always stop by the shop, I never intended to stay until I suddenly had many extra hours to kill. He graciously let me hang around and watch and while I did do some of my own work, I could not help but just watch the work that he and his team do, and how slow, careful and methodical it is.
As a case in point, today he was multitasking by working on one new creature cage, resizing an existing client’s cage, and then starting a new one. In my head, I think I had always assumed the process was a bit like assembling Ikea’s furniture where everything is cut, assembled and shined but I very much underestimated the time it takes to create that type of precision. For instance, when I first arrived he told me that he was about to make a cock ring and walked me through the drawing, the setting of the cut and various other things. What I didn’t realize was that two hours later, he was still making that cock ring because he was tweaking it by micro millimeters to make sure the client would be happy with the end product. Two hours for that which still does not include all the polishing and micro cutting that will also take place on this one simple cock ring later in the process.
While this ring cut, I got to watch him make a hollow curved barbell that will be locked into the client’s Prince Albert piercing. Since that one item is what started my steely business love affair in Canada, I was fascinated to watch him take a piece of metal, set it almost on fire, and then bend it to the exact specifications needed. He acted just like it’s an everyday thing for him, but for me, it was like watching magic happen. Having said that, seeing the metal glowing before bending sorta made my own hollow barbell burn in my dick in sympathy or something which was odd, but now I finally know how Harry Potter felt when that lightening bolt started acting up, so that’s a plus.
Throughout these two days, he and I had some really nice talks about the business, what works well, what doesn’t, and what the future might hold. We also talked a lot about perceptions of his product, his knowledge, and how, really, nobody but him can answer his email because he is the knowledge bank that, should they turn into a client eventually, for which they will be paying. He showed me what a typical day of email looks like and for every twenty “dude, what happens if I get hard in one of those things?” emails there is an actual potential client mixed in asking very specific questions about what he offers, as they should. I should note that once an order is placed or serious discussions have taken place, he gives an alternate contact method, but it was watching this act and hearing the constant ding of the Mac mail that allowed me to cut him some slack (while also suggesting about 900 different ways he could do it – it’s what I do for a living, you know, consulting at its finest) which was rather hard for me. I should also note, damn, that straight man has a lot of penis pictures on his phone which I also found really, really amusing.
Finally, pricing, that big kinky elephant in the room. Steelwerks is not for the starter chastity man or woman. In fact, I am probably less representative of his actual client base because I am still rather new to this world and my husband and I don’t follow anything conventional chastity wise, if there actually is such a thing. When I first started working with SW, I was frustrated that his website offered nothing, not even a hint, as to what things cost and I didn’t understand how and why he could run a business that way. However, soon after the process started, I realized that the devices shown on the web should be considered as more of a portfolio of his work, versus a catalog of items. True, each piece is usually based off of something seen there, but the amount of customization that is possible (as an example, several clients have him customize down to special screws) really means there is just no way to even begin to list things. That said, Steelwerks is not inexpensive, but having both gone through the process of ordering, which is by far a more thorough self examination of your private part specifications than you likely have ever done with a pencil and a tape measure, and seeing the inside work of the operations and the amount of time, detail, and craftsmanship that goes into each piece of what is usually a many piece product, I can tell you that every dollar spent is reflected in the final product in how it looks, feels, and functions.
In summary, if you are considering the ultimate in chastity jewelry, there is no other place. Just be patient.
Oh yeah, the unfinished “Axel” is here, and the finished is just below the NSFW warning jump:
Final product with gap protector: