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"Yes, I'm a Dominatrix"

on Wednesday, 08 February 2012. Posted in Front Page Headline, Media Updates

Not only do dungeons thrive in the East Bay; they're also largely above ground.

East Bay Express

In the old days — "old" meaning pre-Internet — members of the BDSM community had to find one another in newspaper personal ads, using heavily coded language. A hypothetical example: "Leggy blond trapped in body of middle-aged secretary. Really into The Story of O." Nowadays, bondage geeks meet on the web, do PayPal transactions, and even post "dominatrix" as a profession on their OkCupid profiles. Not to mention that some of them actually do subscribe to the term "geek." Many are even out to their friends and families.

The scene certainly isn't what it used to be, particularly in the sexually progressive Bay Area. For one thing, it's gone above ground. Although most BDSM workers still keep mum about the location of their services, they're at least easy to track on the Internet. Most reputable dungeons have websites, and some — like the long-running fetish playground Fantasy Makers — have their own e-stores and gift certificate packages. Many advertise in web portals Eros Guide, while others use local newspapers. Fetishists who want to play for free have an easy time going that route, too. A North Bay-based "daddy" who goes by the name "Big Poppa" said it's pretty easy to meet like-minded people at social events, and arrange play dates on the spot. Moreover, members of the BDSM community often meet through chat forums, Facebook groups, or online dating services, where it's now okay to be up-front about your proclivities.

BDSM work still exists in a legal gray area, since state law prohibits the selling of "lewd acts" — meaning physical contact with genitals, buttocks, or breasts. But many people in the scene have found ways to circumvent the law by prohibiting sex, using coded language, and keeping their brick-and-mortar addresses under wraps. Generally, they also vet the clientele fairly thoroughly, requesting references or a hefty deposit for first-timers. ("Police aren't going to put down $50 just to make an arrest," said one domme who does, indeed, have sex with her clients.) Such precautions have enabled them to render BDSM a viable cottage industry, and by extension, a visible subculture. ...

 

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