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"The business of BDSM: Will it fly in St. Louis?"

on Monday, 08 August 2011. Posted in Front Page Headline

STL Today

Joe Kriegesmann believes he has a business model that can work in St. Louis -- one that will fulfill a niche and be the only business of its kind in the state.

Selling it to city leaders and residents might be a hurdle, though.

Kriegesmann wants to turn an empty warehouse along Gravois near Benton Park into a S&M club, not a Sam's Club. He wants to provide an outlet for those who engage in bondage, dominance and sadomasochism.

But many of his critics can't get past the BDSM hurdle. It's immoral, some say. Not in my backyard, some say. Flogging, whipping and biting could spill out into the streets, say others.

While it may not have been big business, BDSM has been around a long time. It has been dated back at least to the ninth century B.C. in a religious area in Sparta. And it still has a pretty big following.

Massachusetts has at least 25 fetish or BDSM clubs. Alabama, at least eight. Arkansas, at least four. Don't expect to find any in Utah, though. As far as profitability, that's anyone's guess.

Kriegesmann, who is seeking the city's blessing, started off on the wrong foot, because of the way he has gone about trying to establish his business, critics say. They say he has lied, applied for the wrong permits on purpose and sidestepped public meetings. ...

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