With the blockbuster success of "50 Shades of Grey," an erotic novel that shattered sales records this summer, kink is king. The topic of BDSM – an umbrella term used to describe all manner of bondage, discipline, domination, submission and masochism role-playing taboos – is, well, no longer so taboo.
"Even though '50 Shades' depicts a fictional and inaccurate view of BDSM, I actually have seen an influx of the curious," said Mistress Zeneca, who hosts "Sacri-Delicious," a religious-themed role-play party held amid medieval statues and 19th century theological tableaux at Fleisher Sanctuary, a deconsecrated 19th century Episcopalian church attached to Bella Vista's Samuel Fleisher Art Memorial that now serves as a popular rental space for events, including weddings. "Pop culture opens the door, it is up to the community to offer the welcome."
She said the book's portrayal of a BDSM relationship depicts many traits that are actually unhealthy and abusive, but it has piqued the interest of many, leading to a largely positive impact on the city's already-robust community of those who like to spank and be spanked. "I think for all the inaccuracies the book contains, the real power of the book is that it got people talking about BDSM and learning more about it," said Zeneca, who declined to give her real name.
Zeneca herself began to dabble in BDSM culture 11 years ago as an apprentice to a mistress in Los Angeles. "I was amazed at the kinship and love that I felt in the air," she said of the first play party she attended. "That welcoming energy is what I try to recreate for my guests."
Though she finds Philadelphians to be more reserved about going public with their penchant for pain, Zeneca still estimates that there are over 1,000 people in the area who publicly participate in the practice in some way and another 10,000 who like it a little rough in bed but might not consider themselves part of the BDSM scene.
As far as the Sacri-Delicious' sacred subject matter, Zeneca said religion and BDSM surprisingly share many themes. "The topics of guilt, pain, suffering, redemption and desire are common between both religion and BDSM," she said. "The power in religion is that it is something we are both attracted to and rebel against."
Fleisher Art Memorial officials referred to Sacri-Delicious as a "costume party" and stressed that it was a private event, though tickets are available to everyone over the age of 18. "Fleisher respects diverse backgrounds, viewpoints, and traditions and applies this value to all its operations," the school said in a statement. ...
A Florida swingers' orgy went horribly wrong when a jealous couple lost their cool during the carnal proceedings and proceeded to assault each other.
Hernando Todayreports that Tina Michelle Norris, 39, and her boyfriend James Albert Barfield, 56, were arrested while naked and charged with domestic battery following the aborted late-night orgy at their home in Weeki Wachi, population 12. Norris and Barfield, both swingers, brought other sexual partners to their home in the wee hours of Monday morning. Barfield was accompanied by another woman, while Norris upped the ante by bringing home a pair of men. Temperatures and tempers rose as Barfield watched the two men pleasure his woman and Norris saw another woman sexing her man. It wasn't long before the couple went at each other, and not in a good way. Norris ended up with a bloody lip, beaux Barfield's back and neck were scratched and the objects of the couple's temporary desire fled in fear before police arrived and arrested the feuding libertines. ...
More proof that the Fifty Shades trilogy is dominating the books industry: Barnes & Noble got a much-needed rise from sales of the BDSM trilogy, which helped the bookseller narrow losses for its latest quarter. Quarterly revenue for the nation’s largest bookstore chain climbed 2 percent to $1.1 billion, partially due to last year’s closing of competitor Borders. But the CEO of the company’s retail unit told analysts that “clearly Shades of Grey had the biggest impact in the numbers.” All in all, Barnes & Noble’s net loss in the quarter revealed a 28 percent improvement from its net loss at the same time last year.
VANCOUVER, B.C. (CN) - A man claims in court that a sex educator defamed him on a social networking site for "kinksters" and BDSM practitioners. John Langdon sued Jennifer Skrukwa aka Jennifer Zurba, in British Columbia Supreme Court. Langdon claims that Skrukwa, a sex educator, defamed him in status updates posted on her profile at fetlife.com. On its home page, the website, visited this morning, describes itself as "a free social network for the BDSM & fetish community. Similar to Facebook and MySpace but run by kinksters like you and me. We think it is more fun that way. Don't you?" Langdon claims that he and Skrukwa have dozens of mutual friends on the site, and that Skrukwa defamed him in posts of Aug. 8 and Aug. 12, falsely accusing him of having sexually and physically assaulted two women. Langdon says the posts were removed after his attorney sent letters to the site's owner, but the damage was already done. Before the Aug. 12 posting was removed, Langdon claims, "a number of people reposted the offending post onto another group called Vancouver BDSM, which has over 2,000 members. Many of these 2,000 individuals would have seen this libelous post on their own Fetlife home page, or through a scheduled email update." Landon seeks damages for defamation and wants Skrukwa enjoined from any "further publication of the defamatory expression." He is represented by Derrill Thompson of Main Street Law Group in Vancouver.
Lisa Ling of "Our America" and community members discuss the "swinging" lifestyle and the challenges of being in that style of relationship. She chats with very proud swinger couple Scott and Nicoletta Purcell. He and his wife Nicoletta are swingers and feel that we are too repressed as a nation. He started a social networking site for swingers. "It's a Meetup.com and Facebook for swingers," he explains.
After the sensational story of a hot-blooded break-up between a young Manhattan sex slave and her high-powered CEO master -- coupled with the popularity of "Fifty Shades of Grey" -- a curiosity is emerging for New York City's underground fetish world.
And it's prompting those who live it to speak out.
The city plays host to dozens of sex clubs, both public and private, visited by thousands of people looking to quench their sexual desires. Though the mainstream perception of BDSM (bondage, dominance, sadism, masochism) and S&M (sadomasochism) is a sexual free-for-all, those who practice it say a relationship formed within these communities is just like any other.
"People fail to realize that BDSM is just a microcosm of the population as a whole," Guy Sanders, spokesperson for The Eulenspiegel Society, a BDSM education and support group, told Metro. "It's kind of like how being gay was years ago. Because people have formulated their own opinions about you and what you are, it's not prudent to allow your sexual history to come out."
And many more Americans have engaged in some type of BDSM sex play than one may realize: According to the 1993 Janus Report on Sexual Behavior, 14 percent of men and 11 percent of women in the U.S. have experienced a sado-masochist sexual experience.
But don't expect those involved in such relationships to be very forthcoming about it. The stigma that surrounds alternative sexuality makes many of those who practice it keep it under wraps.
"One in three people who are kinky are persecuted. That could be losing a job or losing child custody to having troubles with your family," Susan Wright from the National Coalition for Sexual Freedom said.
And she applauds books like the "Fifty Shades" for making bondage sex more accepted -- or at least, easier to experiment with.
"[Fifty Shades] has been wonderful publicity for the BDSM community," Wright said. "I'm hoping ... that it will become tolerated that people have kinky elements to their sexual relationships."
BDSM and S&M relationships can be monogamous or polyamorous, meaning couples either swing together or both partners share other lovers. And insiders said plenty of solid relationships and marriages exist among community members.
"It's not all whips and chains and sleeping around," Sanders said, "There is a love and commitment in these relationships." ...
he enjoyed the daily morning whippings — but she did not like being kicked to the curb by her beloved master.
Frankie Santiago embraced a role as live-in fetish slave to dominating Manhattan investment-banker beau Edward Sonderling, playing out a bondage fantasy similar to college student Anastasia Steele and older Christian Grey in the erotic novel “Fifty Shades of Grey.”
But it all took a twisted turn when Santiago, 27, found out Sonderling, 53, had been training his whips on her replacement.
The submissive Santiago exploded in a fit of rage, law-enforcement sources said, allegedy shattering Sonderling’s car windshield and bombarding him with dozens of text threats.
“If I ever see you with her I will not hold back. I have nothing to lose,” Santiago railed in one text. “I hope she has a disease you catch.”
Santiago — who is known in the bondage-domination S&M community as Althea Lyn — was arrested Monday after what sources said was a knock-down, drag-out fight with Sonderling at the East 57th Street apartment where she once did his daily bidding.
She was arraigned yesterday on charges of stalking, criminal mischief and aggravated harassment.
Santiago and Sonderling — who has the body of a much younger man and is known as King Eddo — were regulars on Manhattan’s BDSM circuit, where Sonderling boasted of being a “whipping aficionado,” said a source who knows the pair.
She was his live-in slave for about three years, the source said. “Basically, she was there to serve his sexual needs. She’s his toy, his fetish slave.”
At one downtown fetish event, a source recalled Sonderling openly whipping Santiago and boasting, “She has had a lot of practice. I whip her every morning before breakfast.”
Scads of photos posted on social media sites show the two — clad in leather, latex rubber and bondage gear — hamming it up and grinning for the cameras.
Sonderling chronicles his escapades, which have taken him around the world, in dozens of pictures on his MySpace page....
Alderman tightened zoning rules for sexually oriented groups and businesses tonight. The zoning regulations that apply for adult bookstores, video stores, escort agencies and strip clubs will now also apply to swingers clubs.
That means swingers clubs will only be allowed in areas zoned heavy industrial, and not within 1,000 feet of a church, school, park, day care facility or residential area.
The changes are nearly identical to the zoning rules Machesney Park adopted in the fall after discovering a swingers club in a machine shop on Product Drive. The club didn’t have a special-use permit and was in a light industrial zone.
The club opted to shut down when the members were asked to apply for a permit, according to Machesney Park officials.
While no such club has been found in violation of any city rules in Loves Park, the City Council wanted to be prepared, Mayor Darryl Lindberg said.
“When we heard of the one in Machesney park we said we needed to look at our ordinance,” Lindberg said. “We thought, ‘you know what, we need to tighten that language up so if (a swingers club) does happen to open up at least we’ve got some force in the ordinance.’”
Heavy industrial zones tend to be farthest away from neighborhoods and shopping centers. The city defines swingers club as any “establishment, whether public or private, where persons and/or couples engage in any specified sexual activities.” ...