NCSF on Twitter   Subscribe to the NCSF RSS Feed   NCSF Blog

NCSF Blog

Stay in Touch. Stay in the Know.

"How The Internet Killed (Or Maybe Just Changed) Dallas' Leather Scene"

on Thursday, 25 August 2011. Hits 817

Dallas Observer News

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." ...

"University chancellor, 64, quits after shocking photos exposed him as sex-dungeon master"

on Wednesday, 24 August 2011. Hits 1029

Daily Mail

The chancellor of the University of Northern Virginia exposed as a sadomasochistic sex-dungeon master following a school raid by federal immigration agents last month has submitted his resignation.

David Lee, 64, was revealed as a man so into domination and sadomasochism that he and his girlfriend turned their basement into a suburban sex dungeon.

He claimed in his letter of resignation that 'Discussions of my personal life have become a distraction for students and friends of UNVA at a time when we need to focus on more significant issues.'

According to his letter, Lee’s resignation was effective on Friday.

On July 28, the for-profit school was raided by immigration authorities seizing computers and documents and leaving a population of approximately 2,000 mostly Indian students in limbo.

The Smoking Gun found the personal ad after the raid - complete with photos of his dungeon and Lee performing sadomasochistic acts - on a website called collarme.com, which describes itself as the 'largest BDSM Community on the Planet'.

The ad sought 'attractive submissive women' who 'wish to be part of our poly family'. ...

 

"S.F. sex-harassment lawyer accused of rape"

on Sunday, 21 August 2011. Hits 823

SF Gate

A San Francisco employment lawyer who specializes in sexual harassment cases has been charged with rape and other crimes for allegedly attacking three women who came to his apartment in response to his Craigslist ad for rough sex.

Robert Michael Hoffman, 50, allegedly sexually assaulted a 36-year-old East Bay woman in March, a 19-year-old San Francisco woman in June and a 25-year-old East Bay woman earlier this month. The allegations include rape, sexual battery, forced oral sex and one count of false imprisonment.

Hoffman is being held at the County Jail in San Francisco on $3 million bail.

His lawyer, Stuart Hanlon, said the women had all come to Hoffman's Van Ness Avenue apartment to engage in what his ads in Craigslist's "Men Seeking Women" section billed as dominant-submissive sex.

"His ad clearly said he was seeking dominant sex with submissive women," Hanlon said. "It talked about getting controlled, getting hit and getting their hair pulled."

In at least two cases, the women had sex with Hoffman voluntarily before the incidents in which they accused him of sexual assault, Hanlon said.

Hanlon said the three women, along with a fourth alleged victim, had gone to police accusing Hoffman of having assaulted them in his apartment, but that the district attorney's office declined to file charges until the most recent case. Prosecutors have not filed charges related to the fourth alleged victim, whose accusations predate the other women's.

Hoffman was arrested Aug. 5 and pleaded not guilty at his arraignment Monday.

A spokeswoman for District Attorney George Gascón's office would not comment on why the office had initially declined to file charges against Hoffman when the first three women came forward. She said prosecutors were still reviewing the accusations that the first woman lodged against Hoffman last year. ...

"BDSM & Rape: What Now?"

on Sunday, 21 August 2011. Hits 1092

Charlie Glickman: Adult Sexuality Education

About a month ago, Kitty Stryker wrote a piece for the Good Vibrations Magazine, I Never Called it Rape: Addressing Abuse in BDSM Communities, in which she opened up a really important topic. It’s one that’s been simmering for a while and now that it’s come up in such a public way, there’s been a lot of different responses. There’s been the predictable set of comments, both on the Good Vibrations Magazine and on Fetlife (a social networking site for the BDSM crowd).

Some folks are making excuses for doms who assault their subs, some people are asking why people who have been assaulted don’t report it, and a few are trying to find ways to make room for both BDSM and rape awareness. I’m sure that there are other ways that people are responding, but those are the most common ones I’ve seen.

This is an issue that the kink community (if I can use that term to describe such a wide-ranging and diverse crowd) has been avoiding for a long time. And I understand why- if it comes to the surface, it gives a certain weight to the arguments that many anti-BDSM folks make about kinky sex being all about rape. But one thing that few BDSM folks seem willing to acknowledge is that, yes, some people are drawn to BDSM because it gives them an excuse to hurt others. To be 100% clear, I’m not talking about the kinds of intense sensation that some people enjoy, especially in the context of erotic energy (with or without genital stimulation). I’m talking about the people who take advantage of a newbie’s naïveté and tells them that “this is how this works.” I’m talking about the people who push someone past their limits without negotiating that. I’m talking about people who use BDSM as an excuse to violate boundaries under the guise of being Lord Domly Dom®. I’m talking about people who don’t care about the consent of the other person.

In addition to those folks, there are also situations in which a top is clueless or selfish. Malice isn’t the only reason people cross boundaries, and these other motivations don’t change the impact of the experience on the person who’s been assaulted. I’m certainly not suggesting that “I didn’t mean to” is an excuse. And I do think it can make a difference in how we choose to respond.

Unfortunately, in addition to the tendency of marginalized communities to avoid “airing their dirty laundry in public” (and yes, BDSM folks are marginalized, even with all of the S/M imagery in the media), there are a lot of dynamics that reinforce this setup. I think it’s important to look at them in order to deal with them, although I don’t expect that this is a complete list. ...

 

 

"BDSM's Dirty Secret – The Real Risk of Kinky Sex"

on Tuesday, 16 August 2011. Hits 1217

SEXIS

As kinky folks, most of us have heard of the risks associated with certain activities we like: rope cuts off circulation, bruises invite suspicion and speculation, infected wounds or bites just plain suck and breath play can flat out be deadly... but there's more.

 

"HBO Documentary Series Presents - Gloria: In Her Own Words, preview"

on Monday, 15 August 2011. Hits 432

Monsters & Critics

I was a little girl when Gloria Steinem came on the scene. My mother was an early N.O.W. member in Massachusetts, and a subscriber to Steinem's MS. Magazine.

Gloria was the sexy feminist; the one with long back combed hair, nails and was always a chic understated fashion icon. She was the kind of feminist that made men soften, important men like Henry Kissinger.

Gloria was a feminist at a time when women were invisible on the news, or high up in corporations. As a nation we were coming out of out "Mad Men" Joan Holloway imprint and diving headfirst into the woman's user manual, "Our Bodies Ourselves" and Bella Abzug, Betty Friedan and the ERA amendment. ...

The subject of the "Mad Men"-inspired network dramas for fall, specifically “Pan Am” and “The Playboy Club,” both set in the ’60s, about stewardesses and the Playboy bunnies, and “Charlie’s Angels,” another new series coming was broached.

Steinem shared her thoughts.

"The hierarchical response has two poles: The very worst men are into sadomasochism, and the very best men are into nostalgia. So I think this is like the nostalgia industry. It’s like the World War II industry. It’s the last time we were really right. So someone told me that we had actually put more money into making films and television series about World War II than we put into World War II. I don’t know if that’s true or not, but it would be interesting research to figure out. It sounds true, right? But it is a problem; I agree." ...

"Second Life revenues at $7M per month, $100M per year"

on Thursday, 11 August 2011. Hits 344

Macgasm

The rumors of Second Life’s demise are apparently somewhat exaggerated as Linden Labs, creator of the popular virtual world, announced that profits are comfortably over $100M per year and that Q1, 2011 was their best quarter to date. The online 3D community that looks like a game (but isn’t a game) arrived in 2003 and has been the subject of both accolades and ridicule by the media and gaming community alike. Carrying both the promise of a free frontier for innovators and creative thinkers as well as a stigma for giving seedy, weird sex fantasies a place to take root, Second Life does not give the users missions or objectives the way a typical game would. Instead, the user has tools with which to interact with a virtual world and is free to develop their experience there according to their own personal interests and level of commitment. Within it, a virtual economy exists that turns real US dollars into an in-world currency called “Lindens” (worth roughly $4 USD per $1000 Lindens) and encourages trade and commerce.

Second Life surprises the tech world with its longevity (the most common reaction you may find is “that’s still around?”), but has also failed to revolutionize real-world business and education the way some interested and possibly over-excited tech pundits predicted. Never the less, news of strong revenues has raised an eyebrow or two, proving that money can be made by giving people a chance to dress up like demon werewolves who dance to techno music at BDSM clubs.

"Hot spots for next year’s vacation"

on Thursday, 11 August 2011. Hits 1091

Bluffton News-Banner

We get some great emails here at the News-Banner.

One last week informed me that according to the website AlterNet.com, one of the smaller towns in Indiana has the distinction of being the kinkiest city in the United States.

(And it was interesting to find out just who on our staff already knew of the town’s “charms” - although they assure me that it’s “by reputation only!”)

Roselawn, just a little northwest of Rensselaer - or southeast of Chicago if you prefer, actually beats out New Orleans and Las Vegas for the top honor. The town apparently boasts a thriving (and family friendly!) nudist resort, the Ponderosa Sun Club, which hosts a yearly pageant called “Nudes-A-Poppin,” emceed by none other than “famed” porn star Ron Jeremy.

(Does the fact that I’ve never even heard of him mean I’ve missed out on something?) ...

Continuing the prominence of mid-west locations on the list, the AlterNet list ranks Chicago itself at ninth.

If intellectual activities are your thing, you might be interested to know that for three days each October, Chi-Town’s Kinky College (a “Pansexual BDSM Institute of Higher Yearning”) allows you to get your masters’ (or master’s) degree in all things kink.

Now wouldn’t that look great on my resume?

If, like me, you’re really into culture and history, you can also check out the Leather Archives and Museum in Rogers Park. LA&M is a library, museum, and exhibit space devoted to leather, sadomasochism, and alternative sexualities. It also hosts erotic film screenings and houses a collection of old time sex toys and lascivious devices.

Quimby’s bookstore boasts an extensive collection of erotic comic books and magazines, and to help you relax after a hard day of study there are three nearby leather-friendly bars, Touche, Jackhammer and the Granville Anvil.

Chicago hosts “Shibaricon,” an international rope bondage conference. Unfortunately I won’t be able to attend as I’m tied up that week!...

Latest Reader Comments

  • This seems to me like it was a BSDM arrangement, which explains why she kept going to work and then went back to the apt. That said, even...

    luisa

    22. February, 2011 |

  • This is a right sentence. How could you fail to share your condition in this situation. You left all these people without any choice.

    John

    23. January, 2011 |

  • Taking pictures with one of her own graduate students wasn't the most bright move.

    Inferno

    22. September, 2010 |

  • We chose polyamory because love could not be denied.

    twowives

    27. August, 2010 |

  • [...] (That link is not remotely work-safe.) I’ve never been, but I surely will someday! And the National Coalition for Sexual...
  • We loved the ethical slut! Great Book!

    Fellow Swingers

    06. July, 2010 |