A new original anthology series has begun on SBS, exploring sex and intimacy with a star-studded cast.
'Erotic Stories' is a refreshing take on themes of lust and desire, dissecting our collective need for physical and emotional connections. Each episode introduces new characters and perspectives, but the series as a whole is tied together neatly by the overarching theme of eroticism.
'Erotic Stories' covers long distance, sex toys, fetishes, BDSM, and more.
Among the talented cast starring throughout the series, is Tim Draxl ('In Our Blood', 'A Place To Call Home'), who stars in an episode called 'Bound'. This episode deals with something Tim says is “quite taboo and probably carries a lot of stigma around it”.
Here, we speak to Tim about his involvement in 'Erotic Stories', and about his character, Jet.
Tim Draxl - Image © Lisa Tomasetti
First of all, how did your involvement in ‘Erotic Stories’ come about?
I’d heard about the project several months before casting began so it was on my radar and knew I wanted to be a part of it. I loved the premise of the series and what they were wanting to say with it.
What’s your favourite thing about being a part of something like this?
I love being part of something that challenges an audience. Creates conversation. Gives an insight into a world that most people would never have access to. That takes risks. As an actor, to have an opportunity to play a character that challenges your own perceptions and understanding is I think the ultimate. To get out of your comfort zone and ultimately make you grow as a person. Those roles don’t come around too often.
Tell us a little bit about your character, Jet.
Jet is a man with a very specific fetish. Very confident and comfortable with his own sexuality and navigating his way through his world but those boundaries are challenged when he meets CJ who offers a perspective that Jet hadn’t ever taken into consideration.
What makes ‘Erotic Stories’ special?
The subject matter. Sex and especially kink and fetish caries so much stigma and judgement in our society. I love how open 'Erotic Stories' is about the subject and how it shows sex in such a positive and beautiful way. We all have desires but so often those desires are never acted on for fear of being judged. People should be free to explore and express themselves sexually in whatever way they choose no matter who or what you are.
And what was your biggest challenge when preparing for the role?
I think the greatest challenge was showing a side of myself that I’d never shown on screen before. A very sexual side. It’s all well and good to say ‘Oh I’m just playing a character’ but when you’re on set in a leather harness and jockstrap for most of the shoot you do start worrying about how the crew are going to respond. Not that it’s; the first time I’ve worn something like that but it had previously always been in environments where I knew I was safe and accepted. It was two worlds colliding, but it actually ended up being quite liberating.
Were you able to tap into anything or be inspired by anything for it?
There was a specific moment this year at WorldPride that I remember. I was being interviewed for another TV show in the middle of the parade and as we were doing the interview the LGBTQIA+ people with disabilities float came past. I saw one of them holding a sign saying 'we get horny too'. That inspired me. It really made me question my own prejudices and judgements and why more stories about people with disabilities didn’t portray them as sexual beings. It made me want to tell this story even more.
On a broader scale, who inspires you, as an actor in general?
Paul Mescal. Ian McKellen. Philip Seymour Hoffman. Tilda Swinton.
How would you like audiences to respond to your character, and your time on the show?
For those people who identify with my character I hope they feel seen and represented in a very positive and affirmative way. For other people I hope it broadens their horizons, gives insight and sparks conversation about any prejudices or judgement they might be holding on to. I remember one of the first times I went to L.A I drove past the Penthouse sex shop on Sunset Boulevard. They had a massive billboard sign that read 'RELAX. IT’S JUST SEX'. It’s always stuck with me and something I’ve always tried to live my life by. No judgement. As long as it’s between consenting adults – go for gold.
'Erotic Stories' has premiered on SBS and airs every Thursday. You can previous episodes, including Tim’s, on SBS On Demand.
This story originally appeared on our queer sister site, FROOTY.