On a Monday night in late January, Liam and Tracie are cooking dinner for their daughter Emily. It’s her 16th birthday, and they’re having nachos and birthday cake.
As Liam and Tracie prepare dinner in the kitchen, Emily is on the couch in the living room talking with Melissa and Matthew.
Liam and Tracie are a married couple, and so are Matthew and Melissa. But they are also polyamorous. Liam and Melissa are paramours, which means they share an intimate relationship with each other. Matthew has a paramour outside the group, and Tracie currently is not in another relationship.
“Right now I’m invested in my own individual exploration,” she says. “I have a couple of projects that I want to work on now and am not really looking for another romantic attachment.”
THE START OF LIAM AND TRACIE’S POLYAMORY
Liam and Tracie decided to open up their marriage after Tracie had an affair with a friend.
“I made the mistake of not talking with Liam before I went ahead with it,” Tracie says. “But we decided to see what this could add to our marriage instead of taking away from it.”
Tracie and Liam met Melissa and Matthew through an online dating site a couple of years ago in Missouri. Liam and Melissa immediately hit it off, and got permission from their spouses to begin dating. After two years of the couples living separately in Missouri, they decided they were ready for their next adventure. They found an apartment in Rock Creek, a Portland suburb, and moved in together. They’ve been here for five months. ...
A metro Atlanta dominatrix who does play for pay is suing a DeKalb County private investigator for secretly filming their “role-playing” session as part of sting in a child-custody case.
Lakenya Monfort also contends Reginald Walker and Southern Professional Investigations also should be punished for breaching her privacy.
In the lawsuit filed Monday in DeKalb State Court, Monfort, of Clayton County, said she was contacted by Walker, of Woodstock, who posed as potential client for a “dominatrix session.”
She met with Walker at a Holiday Inn Express in DeKalb County in 2013 for an “unique role-playing session specifically requested by Mr. Walker” in exchange for a $300 fee, the lawsuit said.
Walker, however, had hidden a video-camera to record the session without Monfort’s knowledge. While the camera captured the couple in stages of undress, the video depicted no sex in exchange for money or requests for sex for money — acts interpreted as prostitution—according to the lawsuit, which was sparse on other details.
The hidden recording violated Monfort’s expectation of privacy, which was further “aggravated” because it was evidence against Monfort in her child-custody case, the lawsuit said.
Cassandra D. Sims, the paternal grandmother of Monfort’s child, sued for custody of her grandchild in 2013 after hiring Walker and Southern Professional Investigations to gather evidence, the lawsuit said. The video was played in Gwinnett County Superior Court in October 2013 in hearing for temporary hearing in the still unresolved custody case, the lawsuit said.
Monfort’s case boils down to the Georgia law that prohibits secretly filming or video-recording someone in a place where he or she has a reasonable expectation of privacy.
It is akin to the case brought by Waffle House CEO Joe Rogers against his former mistress who he said tried to extort money from him by video-recording potentially embarassing acts. ...
A Romeoville man pulled out of a bondage “slave school” business scheme, costing his partner nearly $15,000, according to a lawsuit filed in Will County court.
Defendant Scott Baker conceded that the allegations were “partly true” but denied owing any money to Dean Schoenewald.
“He’s a con artist and a scam artist,” Baker said of Schoenewald. “He’s a true sociopath.”
Schoenewald, who said he lives in Atlantic City, NJ, claimed in his lawsuit that Baker “withdrew from any and all participation in our start-up ‘BDSM slave school’ business, failing to adhere to our agreement and signed contract.”
Schoenewald, who wants $14,840 from Baker, said he did not wish to discuss his lawsuit.
“I’m not interested in publicity,” he said. “I’m interested in winning.”
Schoenewald was willing to talk a little about the slave school idea, which he said never got off the ground because of Baker.
“This is a sexual revolution that’s going on,” he said, claiming the market for sadomasochism is a veritable goldmine and pointing to the erotic romance sensation Fifty Shades of Grey as proof.
“In one month in 2012 it made $95 million,” Schoenewald said. ...
Calling a proposed swingers sex club “evil” and a would-be “cancer” on Madison, the leader of a Christian school put voice to local concerns during a meeting Monday that aired opposition.
“We will exhaust every legal, every political, every kind of resource we can find to stop it,” vowed Ricky Perry, president of Goodpasture Christian School, about a half-mile from the proposed club.
Perry spoke to more than 200 people who packed the Madison Police Precinct. Even before arriving, almost 3,000 had signed petitions — including online — against the relocation of The Social Club to 520 Lentz Drive.
Current zoning would allow a private club at its proposed location, officials said. But Bennett has started asking city staff about changes that might prevent it — although she wouldn’t share details and made no promises.
“Let’s face it: In the end, we will probably be sued,” Bennett said. “It’s what they do.”
The councilwoman noted she’d spoken to some club members in favor of the location. But none spoke up.
Many who did speak Monday had their minds made up, raising a loud alarm about the future of Madison, invoking their faith and asking about tactics to derail the club. They raised the spectres of alcohol, sexually transmitted diseases and sex offenders.
“Will we be a place where children are safe?” asked Pastor Maury Davis ofCornerstone Church. ...
Miju Han lives in the Bay Area, works as a product manager and shares a charming apartment with her fiancé.
Here's what makes her love story a bit different: She's also in three other relationships. In addition to her fiancé, Han has been seeing a woman for two years (they recently said, "I love you"). She also dates two other men.
Han, 27, says she never quite colored inside the lines. She grew up in the South, was attracted to women and fascinated by programming. In 2010, she moved to the Bay Area and has since worked at several major tech companies. Han declined to name her current employer.
She met her fiancé when he was 21 and she was 23. They fell in love but weren't ready to cut off other options.
"He hadn't dated many other women in the past, and I wanted to explore too," she explained.
Han says the term for her relationship status is polyamorous, meaning "many loves." People who identify as polyamorous are often in multiple romantic relationships. The arrangements vary, but they have a lack of exclusivity in common.
Han and her fiancé practice a hierarchical style of polyamory. Her fiancé, who asked not to be named, is her primary partner, meaning all other relationships are secondary or more casual. They spend five to six nights a week together and plan on marrying in 2016 and having children at some point. Han's fiancé is also dating three other women.
Han compares her experimentation with her relationship to the experimentation that happens in the Bay Area, a mecca for entrepreneurs who question the way things work.
"I think that in technology, people have higher appetites for risks," she says. "Opening up your relationship is really risky, kind of in a similar way that starting a company is really risky."
In fact, it's just a part of a rich history of sexual exploration in the Bay Area that far precedes the tech boom.
"There's still a lot of cultural taboo around open relationships and polyamory," says Polly "Superstar" Whittaker, who a started a private sex club called Mission Control in 2001. "This is a town that accepts alternative structures."
This year's Mid-Atlantic Leather may have been the largest yet, eagerly embracing newcomers and veterans alike
by Doug Rule
Over 3,000 people attended Mid-Atlantic Leather, held last weekend at the Hyatt Regency Washington on Capitol Hill. “It was definitely one of our largest, if not thelargest,” says Patrick Grady, chair of the event, which originated 41 years ago.
The second largest leather and fetish event in the U.S., MAL has grown even in the five years since it moved to the Hyatt. Certainly, it’s an eye-opening experience for any newcomer, as well as for those veterans, such as Mauro Walden-Montoya, Mr. MAL 1996, who haven’t been to MAL since the move. Walden-Montoya and his husband flew in from Albuquerque, N.M., arriving late Friday evening.
“Just watching his face as we walked in was priceless,” Walden-Montoya says of his husband, who was attending his first big leather event. “Like a kid in a candy store mixed with a shocked nun — the emotions across his face were hilarious. You just look down and there’s this sea of black leather and naked butts and beautiful men with no shirts.” Soon enough he got a kick out of another sight: His husband wandering the hotel in a jockstrap, “which he never thought he’d do in his life.”
Jerry Overby was another first-time attendee relishing in the kind of freedom MAL allows, even encourages. “It was pretty dreamy, a complete eye-opener,” says the young Virginia native, who had no previous experience with leather or kink but opted to go after a friend invited him to join. “I lost a lot of my shyness. I would have never been caught dead in public in my underwear, or even without a shirt on.” At this year’s MAL, Overby walked around wearing just a harness and a jock. “It was a super-friendly environment. Everyone was so chill. There was no judgment at all.”
The weekend “was a huge success,” Grady says. “Lots of happy people and good energy everywhere. There were no problems, no issues at the hotel.” In fact, the hotel’s new general manager, who was on site all weekend, called Grady on Monday morning “to thank us and to thank our guests for coming. The hotel received lots of compliments from our guests.” ...
To celebrate the launch of Kink University, we went looking for the kinkiest city in America, and were shocked by what we found. It wasn't the old stalwarts that surprised us — we had a pretty good idea that New York and San Francisco would make the list — but the breadth and diversity of our United States of Kink this year did. We looked at 50 major American cities, ranking them for total kink population (as measured by active members on kink social network Fetlife), the percentage of the population that identifies as kinky, the number of kink-aware professionals (therapists, doctors, lawyers) listed on the NCSF's excellent resource directory, and by the porn purchases of their inhabitants, using data from Kink.com.
Along the way, we came across some interesting side notes. Would you have guessed that El Paso has the smallest kinky population of any major American city? Or that in tiny Harrisburg PA, over 10% of the population identifies as kinky? We found thriving kink outposts in Tampa, a thriving dungeon scene in Atlanta, and porn lovers just about everywhere. (To keep statistical noise to a minimum, we limited it to cities with populations over 500,000.)
The State of Our Kinky Union is strong, we're happy to report. Welcome to the 10 Kinkiest Cities in the United States 2015. ...
Alaska has a tightening kink community made up of people living alternative lifestyles that range from discomfort with mainstream society to unconventional sex practices. But they have struggled to find spaces in which to gather. Now, after a lengthy tenant dispute and thousands of dollars worth of property damage, the Alaska Center for Alternative Lifestyles–ACAL– is ready to open it’s doors.
“Our stairwell, when we finish staging, will be full of pride-flags from across the lower-48,” explains Sahra Shaubach as she shows off the staircase leading into the 2000 square-foot basement she rents in downtown Anchorage, formerly the site of the Kodiak bar. ”Those will include Bear pride-flags, and GBLT pride flags, of course the Leather pride flag, the Trans pride flag and so on and so forth.”
ACAL is meant to solve a years-long problem of where people interested in unconventional sex can get together for events.
”You name it, we’ve rented it,” Shaubach explains. ”We’ve done this out of restaurants after they’ve closed, we’ve done this out of convention halls, we’ve done this out of hotels–we’ve rented entire floors of hotels and done theme rooms. We’ve rented basements, we’ve rented empty houses. And we’ve been doing it with the respect of the greater community in Anchorage, I believe. We haven’t had anyone call the cops and say ‘Oh my god the perverts are screaming next door.’”
“Kink community” is the umbrella term covering everything from bondage and leather aficionados to erotic artists and exotic hula-hoopers. Though Alaska’s kink community is dwarfed by cities in the Lower-48, it is far more widespread than the uninitiated may realize. In the last two decades, different groups like The Northern Lights Dungeon Society and Alaska Dark Realms organized coffee meet-ups and dinners nicknamed “munches.”
“It was just amazing to realize that people across the board–young, old, fat, ugly, educated, not, your doctors, your lawyers, your school teachers, your single mothers, your college students–everybody shows up to those munches,” Shaubach recalls from when she began getting involved eight years ago. ”If you saw us sitting at a restaurant–20, 25, 30, 40 of us–you would have no idea we are Alaska’s alternative community. We look like the people you’d see at Fred Myers.”
Shaubach pounced on the opportunity to rent out the basement in the old Kodiak, even though it meant cleaning up years of broken furniture, trash, and remnants of people crashing when they had nowhere else to go. Upon seeing the space for the first time in two years, the landlord wept. Shaubach and volunteers organized “work frollicks”–a borrowed Amish term–to haul trash, paint, clean, and disinfect the industrial kitchen on the top floor. It took months, but the results are impressive. The rambling chambers of the basement are primed for activities: a tiny stage surrounded by tables, studded leather straps to hang donated art, and “playrooms” holding a few daunting apparatuses.
“There’ll also be a large padded table here that also has a cage that goes underneath it,” Shaubach explained, pointing inside her favorite room. It was filled with supplies and equipment, including an X-shaped St. Andrew’s Cross and wooden stocks affixed to a spanking bench.
“Forgive me if this is a little bit suburban,” I asked, “but what is the table and what are the cage for?”
“Umm,” Shaubach paused, a smile spreading over her face, ‘there’s so many options for a table and a cage!”
Alaska’s kink community numbers in the hundreds, and is committed enough that Shaubach can finance the costs of rent and upkeep by collecting membership fees.
“It’s like having a Sam’s Club Card,” said Shaubach, “you don’t get the groceries for free, but you definitely get a discounted rate for being a member.”
$120 s a year buys access to the space, along with priority rates on workshops and educational events on eclectic topics like knot-tying. ...