S&M sex master John Hopkins appeared in court this week and will proceed to trial next month. Hopkins, 45, was arrested in February after allegations arose that he had enslaved a 27-year-old woman who had responded to his Craigslist ad for S&M sex and then traveled from Wisconsin to Williamsburg to live with him free of rent.
Hopkins, an audio engineer, is charged with dozens of felony and misdemeanor sex crimes, including rape in the first degree.
The victim, who did not show up to court earlier this year, reportedly admitted that the initial encounter with Hopkins was consensual and that the two had an online correspondence before she came to Brooklyn. However, after living in his Williamsburg apartment for a week in February, the victim reportedly called her mother, who contacted the NYPD.
Police found the victim chained to a radiator and curled in a fetal position in Hopkins’ apartment.
Kings County Supreme Court Justice Patricia Di Mango said that despite evidence from both sides that the sex may have been consensual, the question is if the victim ever said “no.” Di Mango, however, did release the defendant from jail on his own recognizance pending trial, which is set to begin on Sept. 20. ...
It's a jungle in there. The lighting is dim, but you can still spy the wild life scattered across the landscape. Writhing, naked slaves are shackled to crosses, their desperate wails punctuated by the "thud...thud...THUD" of leather floggers meeting tender skin. A dispassionate domme watches her collared subbie boy struggle to free himself from the ropes that bind him and the saliva-dripping ball gag forced into his mouth. Audible moans pierce the collective consciousness (and the synth-pop soundtrack) as needles prick flesh, and the room is permeated by the heady aroma of glass electrodes hitting flesh.
It's Saturday night at the Denver Sanctuary, the only public dungeon club in Denver. Although many kinksters own and operate private dungeons in their homes and offices for events and play parties, those are strictly invitation-only. But the Sanctuary, located in a 3,200-square-foot industrial warehouse near I-25 and Sixth Avenue, is open to all who want to answer the call of the wild — and are willing to sign a disclaimer.
When she took over the Sanctuary five years ago, Love Slave's goal was to provide a safe, non-discriminatory place where everyone could express their kinks without being judged or experiencing negative reactions from the vanilla community, people whose only exposure to BDSM (bondage/discipline/sadomasochism), dominance and submission (D/s), and all the other sexual shenanigans that fall into the catch-all term of "kink" might be the movie Secretary or the occasional episode of CSI. In essence, she wanted to create a wild-life sanctuary.
Much like endangered wildlife, many kinksters hide themselves, their habits and their habitats from public view to protect their privacy — but they aren't just the girls with the blue bangs and lip rings or the guys with the bondage pants and the vampire contact lenses. Kinksters are everyone and everywhere, hiding in plain sight. They shop at King Soopers, sit next to you at the dentist's office and might be your boss, your landlord or the person in line behind you at the coffee shop. "Some people are so far in the closet they may as well be in Narnia having tea with Mr. Tumnus," says local kinkster Skylar.
"None of us are normal, but we hide it very well," says Nyx, an organizer with SKALES (Safe Kink Adult Lifestyle Education and Support, at www.skales.org). "A study was done that estimates 20 percent of the population is at least a little kinky. Whether you know it or not, we're all around you: at the grocery store, the gas station, on the bus, at the hospital — everywhere."
Even so, the mating rituals of Denver's kinksters are widely misunderstood by 'nillas, Love Slave notes. The scene at the Sanctuary is not a free-for-all sex orgy, and dungeons are not to be confused with swingers' clubs. There are both universal and location/event-specific rules to be aware of and followed — or else the leather boot will be used, and not in a good way. While this world might look dangerous to the uninitiated, the difference between kink play and actual abuse is simple: Play is done with safety, respect and consent; abuse is not, and abuse is anathema to the kink scene. The herd must be protected. ...
Not long ago, I sat at a cocktail lounge in the East Village with a realtor friend as she extolled the virtues of Le Trapeze, a swinger’s club in midtown. The experience, she swore, had cured her of “body image issues.” Which I took to mean that everyone else there looked worse. It didn’t really sound like my scene, to be honest, until she mentioned the buffet.
Now this was interesting. The scent of sterno mingling with lustful ardor. Ziti. Potato skins. Prime rib …
When she added that proper swinger etiquette requires all attendees to wear tube socks, I was officially intrigued. The fanciful vision of naked swingers wandering around in tube socks while gnawing on buffalo wings captured my imagination.
I resolved to write a restaurant review of Le Trapeze, picturing myself describing in florid detail the hint of dill in the green beans, the spicy chipotle sauce, the subtle saffron aroma of the rice pilaf. Rushing home to check out the website, I learned that tube socks are required at all times (whether for reasons of hygiene or aesthetics was not made clear) and that the club doesn’t serve alcohol, though a variety of mixers are on hand and patrons may bring their own booze. Which is how I came to be dashing out for footwear and vodka.
My bag bulging with swingers club supplies, I enlisted a friend and headed over to 17 East 27th street on Saturday night. Club rules stipulate that single men are not allowed inside, so as we neared the door, a guy stepped over to us.
“Do you want any company?” he asked.
“No,” I replied as we were buzzed in. “We’re just here for the hot buffet.” ...
SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- The videotape tells a different story -- that is the claim from a San Francisco lawyer accused of sexually assaulting three women he found on Craigslist. He videotaped some of those encounters, evidence he insists prove his accusers are lying.
The case has sex, the attorney says there are lies and there is videotape. The case also involves sadomasochism and sexual domination. All of it came out Wednesday at a preliminary hearing.
Three women who say they were victims are testifying. ABC7 has decided not to reveal their identities.
The 19-year-old woman says she responded to Michael Hoffman's ad on Craigslist in early June.
Hoffman wrote that he liked to degrade and dominate his partners.
The 50-year-old defendant is a labor lawyer with a downtown office. He specializes in cases where workers claim they have been wrongfully terminated and sexually harassed.
"Michael Hoffman put his ad in thw Craigslist looking for people to 'I want to beat you, I want to pull your hair, I want you to whimper,'" defense attorney Stu Hanlon said.
The woman, who responded with the name Liz, says she had sex with Hoffman twice before the assault in his apartment near Aquatic Park on June 25.
Liz says she told Hoffman she wanted to chat and did not want sex but that he raped her anyway.
Hanlon says Liz and the other two reported victims knew what they would encounter when they responded to Hoffman's ads for rough sex and that it was consensual.
Just before the noon break, Hanlon surprised the court by saying Hoffman had videotaped the sexual encounter with Liz.
"It's just the evidence shows to me she's lying, and the video will support it as does the audio; it's sad why she would do this, I have no idea," Hanlon said....
After months of wrangling with the city, the south-city BDSM venue known as "The Facility" is legally in the clear to operate, proprietor Joe Kriegesmann says.
"We are approved for educational seminars," says Kriegesmann, who is also known as "Satan's Master." He tells us he received a letter from the Board of Public Service giving him the go-ahead to operate the club, which mayoral spokeswoman Kara Bowlin confirms.
Kriegesmann and his associates, the Clan of the Barbarian, will use the cavernous south-city space to host experts in BDSM practices. BDSM refers to bondage, discipline, sadism and masochism and submission and dominance -- consensual exchanges of physical and mental power than can be erotically charged for participants. The space features human-sized birdcages, racks and spreader bars, among plenty of other amenities for painful pleasures.
Kriegesmann has been working to get the club operating within the strictures of every applicable city law, but it hasn't been easy figuring out just what those laws are. As we reported back in May, Kriegesmann obtained a business permit and an occupancy permit, which he thought were sufficient. But it turns out the city had more hoops for him to jump through. On July 28, Kriegesmann went before a three-member city panel to answer more questions about The Facility.
Alderman Craig Schmid, in whose district The Facility sits, had told Daily RFT in May that his reservations about the space weren't about kink, but public safety. At the July hearing, though, he seemed to switch gears. "Ostensibly, the application is for educational seminars," he said at the hearing. "But I cannot reasonably ignore what is the actual use of the facilities."
The experts will teach classes on subjects ranging from scene etiquette to toy and tool use to rope bondage techniques and everything in between. The club will also host parties with space available for BDSM play, although Kriegesmann has always stressed that sex, alcohol, nudity and minors are verboten.
Kriegesmann has said all along that he wants to know what laws apply so that he can bring the club into compliance. It's been his goal to operate a BDSM club that's fully legal and has no fear of being raided. But his is the only club he knows of that's not trying to operate under the radar; the trail he's blazing is a new one for St. Louis.
Hardy Haberman was in his local dungeon a couple years ago, beating a friend at a "play party," when things suddenly got weird. Wielding a soft leather flogger — a thick-handled instrument that resembles a whip, but with a dozen slender tails — he was lashing the slightly younger man's back. Haberman and his friend barely noticed the crowd formed around them; they were focused totally on each other. But Haberman did notice that his friend was enjoying the flogging. He knew it from the way the man moaned, writhed, screamed and cursed under his touch. True to leather-scene etiquette, though, Haberman's plaything remained unfailingly polite. "Motherfucker! Sir!" he yelled, as leather met skin.
As Haberman flogged away, a straight couple kept edging in close — way too close, stepping right into the backswing of Haberman's flogger. When he finally could sense their presence, he stopped to avoid hitting them. He gave them a look that, for most people in the crowd, would have been enough to get them to back off. But they didn't budge.
Now they were messing with Haberman's rhythm. He ignored their presence as long as he could, but then the man — wearing a billowy white Renaissance Faire-style blouse, for reasons Haberman couldn't quite make out — stepped even closer and started barraging Haberman with questions. "How do you do that?" he asked, staring in fascination as the flogger landed another blow.
Haberman was starting to understand: The couple was clueless, just the latest in a parade of curious amateurs who leather-scene vets swear are destroying Dallas' once happily insular leather community.
"Look," Haberman finally told the guy. "I'm not trying to teach a class here. I'm just trying to have a good time with my friend." He sarcastically offered to flog Ren Faire next, if he really wanted a demonstration of Haberman's "technique."
The guy and his girlfriend stormed off in a huff. Later, they complained to the party's organizer about Haberman's mid-flog display.
Haberman's a big man in his early 60s; he'd be a lot more imposing if not for the long, drooping mustache that makes him look like a friendly walrus. He's been around long enough to remember, wistfully, the way Dallas' leather scene used to be back in the 1970s. To hear him and his friends tell it, a contemporary leatherman can't swing a flogger or clamp a nipple around here without running into some "sexual tourist" poking around the city's dungeon and play-party scene — "looking," Haberman says, "to spice up their love lives."
"For years, we flew under the radar, and we had some fabulous times," he says, reveling in the memory of the scene's powerful "sex magic." "There was an erotic energy that happened that was palpable. Now you just don't see it as much." ...