Aldermen bickered Thursday night over responsibility for a sex-themed convention held in the city last weekend.
The event, billed as "Beat Me in St. Louis," was the focus of heated discussion at a meeting of the Board of Aldermen's law enforcement committee.
"This may not be the type of event we may want to be known for," Alderman Sandy Baldwin said. "I think of Fairview as being a place with great Midwest values. I don't believe (holding the convention here) would fit in with most residents' value system."
The convention, held at the Four Points by Sheraton Hotel and the Fountains Conference Center, was promoted as an exclusive event. It included sessions on water torture and bondage and clothing optional swimming.
Alderman Norm Miller said the hotel posted signs saying it was closed for a private function. Windows also were covered.
The issue, said Alderman Pat Baeske, is that the city sold itself short in the contract with the hotel. She said the city has no say in events there, although the convention center is city-owned. ...
An anonymous flier accused Mayor Gail Mitchell of allowing a sex convention in town last weekend, but the mayor said he had no say in the private event.
The "Beat Me in St. Louis" event at the Fountains at Fairview was for people exploring or practicing bondage, discipline, sadism and masochism in sexual relationships. The conference center and adjoining Four Points by Sheraton hotel were closed to the public from Friday to Sunday.
On Saturday, some Fairview residents received a political flier that said Mitchell allowed a "porn convention on city-owned property" and tried to keep the event a secret, and questioned whether his continued leadership would benefit the city.
Mitchell, who is up for re-election in April, said the flier was inaccurate and "the lowest political thing that somebody could stoop to."
Mitchell said he could not stop a private event that did not violate any criminal or city code. When he found out about the event Friday afternoon, he had the Police Department and city attorney look into the matter.
"You bet I would have stopped it if I could have, because I don't want that kind of stuff going on in my city," Mitchell said. ...
An anonymous flier was distributed in Fairview, Ill., notifying residents that Mayor Gail Mitchell had "allowed" a group of bondage enthusiasts to hold “Beat Me in St. Louis” in the Fountains at Fairview and the adjoining Four Points by Sheraton hotel. The flier's author called the conference a “porn convention on city-owned property,” and claimed Mitchell did what he could to keep it a secret.
Mitchell says he couldn't have stopped the conference if he wanted to. But he absolutely wanted to.
“You bet I would have stopped it if I could have, because I don't want that kind of stuff going on in my city,” Mitchell said. Lawmakers say the conference will be the first item on the agenda at their committee meeting. And Mitchell had the police department and city attorney look into the matter. ...
Pornography now has its own online domain -- to the chagrin of pro-family advocates.
The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), which oversees the creation of Web addresses, approved the establishment of the .xxx domain for sexually explicit material in a 9-3 vote at the March 18 meeting of its board in San Francisco.
The decision does not mean all pornographic sites will be limited to the .xxx domain, however. Porn businesses still will be able to use .com and other domains.
Pro-family leaders decried ICANN's action.
"The addition of this new domain will just make the Internet even more of a moral minefield," said Dwayne Hastings, vice president at the Southern Baptist Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission. "Anything that further legitimizes pornography as a morally neutral endeavor is not good."
Pat Trueman, chief executive officer of Morality in Media, said the new domain "would increase, not decrease[,] the spread of pornography on the Internet, causing even more harm to children, families and communities, and make ICANN complicit in that harm."
The spread of online pornography will come with great costs, opponents said.
"Pornography is not a victimless crime," Hastings said. "It contributes to prostitution, sex trafficking and sexual assaults. It destroys lives and tears families apart. ...
One of five Missouri men accused of participating in the sexual slavery of a mentally disabled woman admitted in federal court Thursday that he tortured her and paid to watch another man torture her.
James Noel, 45, of Springfield, Mo., pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court in Kansas City to one count of conspiracy to commit sex trafficking by force, fraud or coercion. He faces up to five years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000, although he has agreed to cooperate with prosecutors and could be rewarded with a lesser sentence.
Authorities began investigating last year, after the woman had a heart attack and was treated at a hospital in Springfield.
She had been living in the trailer home of Ed Bagley near Lebanon, Mo. Authorities claim that Bagley held her against her will, forced her to undergo torture and sex acts and rented her out to other men.
One of those others, officials allege, is Kirkwood resident Bradley Cook, of the 11500 block of Big Bend Road.
Bagley and his wife, Marilyn Bagley, told the Post-Dispatch after Bagley's indictment that the sex was consensual and the "torture" was actually role-playing — part of a chosen lifestyle involving bondage and acts of sadism and masochism. They, and Lebanon-area residents who were interviewed, said the woman showed to signs of being mentally disabled.
In Noel's plea, however, he said that he knew that the woman "was not smart and did not appear to have a full mental capacity of someone her age." He also said she "lacked the ability to communicate normally and had a limited vocabulary" and was an unwilling participant in the torture.
Noel said that he originally heard about her from a co-defendant, Michael Stokes. Authorities allege that both men watched as Bagley tortured the woman. Noel tortured the woman himself and paid Bagley $300 to watch a two- to three-hour session, Noel's plea agreement says. ...
Morality in Media announced today its strong opposition to the creation of .xxx domain, which ICANN (Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers) will determine by vote on Friday, March 18.
"The establishment of a .xxx domain would increase, not decrease the spread of pornography on the Internet, causing even more harm to children, families and communities, and make ICANN complicit in that harm," said Patrick Trueman, CEO of Morality in Media and former chief of the U.S. Department of Justice Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, Criminal Division.
"There is no evidence that the public wants or needs this domain. In fact, each time this idea has been proposed it has been overwhelmingly opposed by the public and governments throughout the world," said Trueman.
Hardcore obscene pornography on the Internet is already a violation of U.S. law. However, the U.S. Department of Justice under U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder is not enforcing the law. Trueman said those who argue that the Internet porn problem can be solved by establishing a new .xxx domain and then passing a federal law requiring pornographers to use that domain are mistaken.
"It would not only be unconstitutional to force pornography from the .com domain, but, if the Department of Justice is not prosecuting Internet porn companies now for violating U.S. obscenity laws, it is not going to prosecute such companies for merely locating in the wrong address."
Pornography addiction is rampant, leading to grave social costs that are documented at www.pornharms.com. "A more appropriate goal should be to stop the distribution of this destructive material by prosecuting those responsible for it, not protect pornography through the use of an .xxx domain," said Trueman. "We take this opportunity to urge U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder to enforce federal obscenity laws."
A man accused of killing a Lennox bondage club owner was a disgruntled former employee who was angry that he had lost his job, a position that enabled him to socialize with dominatrixes and fulfill a sexual fetish, court testimony revealed this week.
David Edward Albert, 54, of Simi Valley allegedly was so upset he confronted owner John Lavine in his office, attempted to strangle him, shot him repeatedly - including one bullet to the back of the head - doused his body with rubbing alcohol and set it on fire, detectives testified.
On Wednesday, after a two-day preliminary hearing in Inglewood court that included testimony about leather floggings, spankings and "swingers' parties," Albert was ordered to stand trial for killing Lavine and intentionally setting the bondage club ablaze. ...
S&M (sadism and masochism) references abound in popular culture, from racy rom-coms to Rihanna music videos. But psychiatric medicine seems a little behind: “Sexual sadism” and “sexual masochism” are still diagnosable mental disorders in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, the current list of mental disorders and criteria published by the American Psychiatric Association.
So does being kinky really mean you’re crazy?
The term “BDSM” refers to a variety of bondage/discipline, dominant/submissive and sadomasochistic behaviors, which may include pain, pleasure or both. These practices are often referred to as “kinky,” since they differ from what most consider normal sexual behavior.
But kink is or is becoming more mainstream. As far back as 1953, Alfred Kinsey found that 12 percent of women and 22 percent of men felt an erotic response to S&M stories. Janus found 11 percent of women and 14 percent of men have engaged in some form of S&M.
Discomfort toward BDSM usually stems from disbelief that pain might be enjoyable, from uneasiness around consent or from concern about safety.
Some people can like pain or even feel pain as pleasurable. It’s like picking scabs or getting a deep tissue massage.
As for consent, most BDSM practitioners are meticulous, even painstaking, in negotiating terms of consent before any sexual play. For example, “safe words” are used to stop unwanted play.
BDSM practitioners are also careful about safety. Acronyms like SSC (safe, sane, consensual) or RACK (risk-aware consensual kink) are used as guides.
BDSM is part of the whole spectrum of sexual activity and interest, ranging from tickling and ear-nibbling to whips and chains. The goals are the same, pleasure and intimacy. This is bondage as a form of bonding.
Psychiatrists who have supported the pathologization of BDSM cite psychological distress, serious health risks or non-consent. But there is little data to support these claims, and distress and non-consent are not used rigorously as criteria. ...