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"Bondage Club Gets City Approval -- Will Host BDSM Seminars"

on Tuesday, 30 August 2011. Posted in Front Page Headline, Media Updates

Riverfront Times

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.

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