... Savage has for 20 years been saying monogamy is harder than we admit and articulating a sexual ethic that he thinks honors the reality, rather than the romantic ideal, of marriage. In Savage Love, his weekly column, he inveighs against the American obsession with strict fidelity. In its place he proposes a sensibility that we might call American Gay Male, after that community’s tolerance for pornography, fetishes and a variety of partnered arrangements, from strict monogamy to wide openness.
Savage believes monogamy is right for many couples. But he believes that our discourse about it, and about sexuality more generally, is dishonest. Some people need more than one partner, he writes, just as some people need flirting, others need to be whipped, others need lovers of both sexes. We can’t help our urges, and we should not lie to our partners about them. In some marriages, talking honestly about our needs will forestall or obviate affairs; in other marriages, the conversation may lead to an affair, but with permission. In both cases, honesty is the best policy.
“I acknowledge the advantages of monogamy,” Savage told me, “when it comes to sexual safety, infections, emotional safety, paternity assurances. But people in monogamous relationships have to be willing to meet me a quarter of the way and acknowledge the drawbacks of monogamy around boredom, despair, lack of variety, sexual death and being taken for granted.”
"...Lifetime monogamy may not be the evolved human template. But I'm pretty sure that carefree polyamory isn't either. And at some level, who cares? Rape seems to be pretty "natural", but I'd still like to build social institutions that fight this "natural instinct". The book might have been thought-provoking, but so far, in trying to prove too much, they end up proving nothing at all."
Few mainstream therapists would contemplate trying to persuade a gay man or lesbian to "grow up, get real, and stop being gay." But most insist that long-term sexual monogamy is "normal," while the curiosity and novelty-seeking inherent in human sexuality are signs of pathology. Thus, couples are led to believe that waning sexual passion in enduring marriages or sexual interest in anyone but their partner portend a failed relationship, when in reality these things often signify nothing more than that we are Homo sapiens...
1. LLAMA SUTRA: BDSM, Roommate Crush
2. Sunrise Prostitution Sting Details Emerge
3. Absolute Domination: Mistress Absolute Whips Through L.A.
4. Whip Smart
5. Attorney for Lynn 'dominatrix' lashes out
NCSF Media Updates represent a sampling of recent stories printed in US
newspapers, magazines, and selected websites containing significant
mention of SM-leather-fetish, polyamory, or swing issues and topics.
These stories may be positive, negative, accurate, inaccurate - or
anywhere in between.
NCSF publishes the Updates to provide readers a comprehensive look at what
media outlets are writing about these topics. NCSF permits and encourages
readers to forward these Updates where appropriate.
LLAMA SUTRA: BDSM, Roommate Crush
by Dan Copulsky and Kat Corcoran
The Llama Ledger (Bard College at Simon's Rock, Great Barrington, MA)
March 4, 2009
[A] BDSM, often distinguished from "vanilla sex", is triple acronym that
stands for Bondage and Discipline, Dominance and Submission, and Sadism
and Masochism. It is an umbrella term that includes a wide variety of
sexual activities that often overlap and can be practiced with a wide
range of intensity, some of which may be erotized rather than overtly
sexual. These activities usually take place within a defined "scene".
Bondage is the use of tying up, handcuffs, or other restraints. Discipline
is the use of rules and punishment, which can include physical pain,
humiliation, or loss of privileges. Dominance and submission is the
control of one party over another. Sadism is gratification from inflicting
pain or humiliation. Masochism is gratification from receiving pain or
BDSM usually involves unequal roles. Typically, those who are active and
in control are known as dominants, doms, tops, or masters and those who
are passive and controlled are known as submissives, subs, bottoms, or
slaves. Those who may take on both these roles are known as switches.
To keep activities safe, participants in BDSM use pre-negotiation of
scenes, safewords, and heightened knowledge of the body's and mind's
limits. Many measure activities against the yardstick of "Safe, Sane, and
Consensual" (SSC). Others hold a more permissive idea of "Risk-Aware
Consensual Kink" (RACK), believing that anything done between fully
informed consenting adults is acceptable.
Sunrise Prostitution Sting Details Emerge:
Police Report Finding Sex Toys, Whips Chains, And A Human Cage
by Carey Codd
WFOR-TV (Miami-Ft. Lauderdale, Fl)
February 27, 2009
SUNRISE (CBS4) -- A month after CBS4 cameras watched Sunrise police bust
an alleged house of prostitution, we are learning the lurid details of the
sex acts that allegedly took place there.
The report details whipping and bondage and lists a number of items police
found in the home, like ropes, chains and even a human cage.
Sunrise Police arrested two women on January 28 -- Katherine Eby and Chu
Tang -- for prostitution. Timothy Moon was arrested for battery on a law
enforcement officer and failing to appear on a child neglect charge in
According to the report, the women enticed men to the home through an
Katherine Eby told police the economy forced her into a life of
prostitution. She told police "she was a real estate agent and was unable
to earn a steady income from that profession due to current market
An undercover officer pretended to be a customer and arrested Eby after
she began performing a sex act on him for $140.
While Eby was in a room with the officer, the officer heard strange noises
emanating from a nearby room. The report says Eby told the officer "Tang
was whipping" a man.
The report says Eby gave a cut of her earnings to Tang, who rented the
house with another woman for $1200 per month. The report says Sunrise
Police learned about the house from an anonymous person complaining about
the amount of men going in and out of the house several times a day.
As police officers led the suspects out of the home in handcuffs, nearby
"They did a great job," the neighbor said who asked to remain anonymous.
"I don't want that scum here. Drags everybody's property values down."
...inside the house police found a plethora of sex items, including "an
assortment of various sex toys, dominatrix business cards, sex videos,
assortment of condoms with money, restraining furniture, human cage,
ropes, chains, whips, paddles...."
The report details one man they found in the home, naked and bound by rope
to the frame of a table.
Chu Tang told detectives she and Moon operated a "sex content web site."
She said they filmed several movies for the website at the house.
Absolute Domination: Mistress Absolute Whips Through L.A. to Teach Torture
for Pleasure at Coco de Mer on Melrose
by Gendy Alimurung
LA Weekly (Los Angeles, CA)
February 25, 2009
When the dominatrix was a little girl, she was constantly locking people
in cupboards. In the bathtub with her brother, she would instruct her
sibling to close his eyes and open his mouth.
"But you'll put the bar of soap in it", he'd say.
"No I won't. I promise".
"Aaah", went his mouth. In went the soap.
It's one of those classic dominatrix stories with a foregone conclusion.
Hannah, or Mistress Absolute to those with whom she is on whipping terms,
has a naturally domineering personality and has, in a sense, been
tormenting people her entire life. "When I told my mum what I was doing
for a living, she said, 'Oh, darling, you've always been like that'".
Mistress Absolute, who prefers her last name remain private, is lounging
on a leather chair in the dressing room before the "Art of Restraint"
class she teaches at the only U.S. branch of the elegant little sex shop
from London called Coco de Mer, a gilded, luxe place on Melrose with
naughty toys in Victorian cabinets where you can pick up $10,000 gold
vibrators and almost-as-expensive La Perla lingerie. Mistress Absolute is
herself an elegant, slinky person, with pale skin, red lips, long black
hair, and a fun-loving, puckish air, without which she would be scary. She
lives in London, but regularly includes Los Angeles on her teaching
circuit (she returns in April), and when her flight to LAX got in, a
female slave met her at the baggage carousel wearing fishnet tights, a
tailcoat, a leather chauffer's cap, a sign that said "Mistress Absolute"
and a huge grin.
"There's a school of thought that says you should start out submissive
before you become dominant", the dominatrix says as students begin to
arrive. "That if you don't know what it feels like, how can you do it to
someone else? I don't follow that thought. I don't have a set of balls,
but I torture balls".
She is 33 years old, and found her calling at 23. She went to a fetish
club for the first time on her own. She bought her first rubber dress,
strapped on her first pair of boots. "Within 15 minutes I was giving
somebody a caning. I was somewhere I fitted. Finally I had a name for how
These days, when people in session confess their desires, she sees a
weight come off their shoulders. "It's about being able to release a side
of somebody that they kept hidden, and not judging them. They tell me
about their fetish, and maybe it's something they haven't told their wife,
they haven't told their best friend, they aren't even sure they should be
telling me. So when they say to me 'I just love to be spat on or kicked
about. Is that normal?' I say, 'Well, define normal'".
Whip Smart: A documentary explores the dark, kinky world of online BDSM
by Linnea Covington
New York Press (NY)
February 25, 2009
The girl looked like an amputee. Positioned on all fours atop tall, metal
pedestals, her eyes were wild as she moaned through a ball-gag. Short,
brown locks framed her face, and her white limbs were encased in
bright-yellow latex, binding the hand to the shoulder, the foot to the
thigh. She wore a matching corset under her dangling breasts. Artist
positions, crippled or beaten came to mind. But this girl was real. And
she was just a piece of the larger world of fetish from the now-defunct
Started in 1997, Insex.com was a way for Brent Scott, aka Pd, to further
his erotic bondage art after leaving a teaching job at Carnegie Mellon.
His art showed vivid paintings of women in various BDSM positions - and
wasn't well-received among the community. Bondage had long been an
obsession for Scott from the time he was tortuously tickled into his first
orgasm as a child. He began to think of his fetishes as wrong because they
weren't socially acceptable, but through art, he found a way to live
them.The workings behind the website can now be seen in a new documentary,
Graphic Sexual Horror, which premiered as the highest rated film in Utah's
Slamdance Film Festival in mid-January and is included in the Cinekink
film fest this week. Two women direct the film: novelist Barbara Bell and
photographer Anna Lorentzon.
Both Lorentzon and Bell worked for Insex.com, never as models, but as a
photographer and screenwriter respectively. Lorentzon first met Scott at a
fetish store and later at a bondage demonstration. She reached out to him
coincidently on the same day he needed a photographer, so she joined the
team and stayed there for six years. Bell got into Insex.com through
Lorentzon and began writing short screenplays for his scenes. Both women
enjoyed their time there, but some of their encounters bothered them, like
Scott's pushiness when he wanted the models to "play" with him after their
set. Lorentzon said making this documentary became a way for her to
decompress everything she experienced in the studio.
As the two female directors explain in the film, Scott's fascination with
bondage isn't as unusual as one might think. Insex.com had 35,000 members
who paid $60 a month to sign on. "It was almost as if everybody was
waiting for this site to come up", Scott says in the documentary.
The interest Insex.com received, however, shouldn't be so surprising.
Scott put a lot of time and effort into creating scenes that were both
convincing and horribly graphic. He hired models at around $300-anhour to
be placed in shackles, in cages, tied up, whipped, dunked in water and
ball-gagged. He created leather masks, steel stilettos, cuffs and iron
casings. And for seven years he produced short films, live feeds and
images of pretty girls getting tortured.
While the documentary touches on the closing of Insex.com, the purpose is
to show a side of the business that the regular customer or sexually
stifled viewer never saw - what the girls actually thought of their work.
Near the beginning of the film, Scott explained that his purpose to being
there was to "give the girl an orgasm". There was a part in the movie
where a girl, tied to post, is whipped with a switch. She has large, red
welts over blackening bruises down her backside. After they stop filming,
the girl looks high and, with a gentle smile, explains to her questioner
that she felt "really good".
Lorentzon, the cinematographer, explained that the girl's reaction was due
to the adrenaline pulsating through her body. "When feeling enough pain,
the body produced endorphins and adrenaline, which makes you feel high",
says Lorentzon. "At that point, you don't feel the pain anymore. Not all
models were willing and able to go that far".
Attorney for Lynn 'dominatrix' lashes out
by Dan O'Brien
The Daily Item (Lynn, MA)
February 19, 2009
LYNN - The lawyer for a Lynn dominatrix arrested for sodomy and rape
lashed out at the victim and police Wednesday, saying Ariana Murrell's
boyfriend only filed cha-rges after she kicked him out of her house the
Attorney Elaine Whitfield Sharp of Marblehead, who also represents Murrell
in a lawsuit against the Lynn Police Department that is pending in U.S.
District Court, says the 46-year-old alleged victim is a bipolar, illegal
immigrant from the Dominican Republic who was allowed to leave Murrell's
home in the three years he's lived there.
Murrell, 40, even bought the victim a plane ticket to the Dominican
Republic a few months ago but he declined to accept it, said the attorney,
who forwarded The Item an electronic copy of the plane ticket for a flight
that departed from Boston on Jan. 20.
Now, Whitfield Sharp says Murrell is "humiliated" and lost custody of her
two grandchildren Wednesday only 14 days after they were awarded to her by
Judge Nelson Dillday of the Salem Probate Court.
In addition, Whitfield Sharp provided copies of court records showing
Murrell has a pending assault and battery case against the victim after he
allegedly attacked her and a handyman inside her 35 Baltimore St. home in
2007. Murrell filed a separate police report against the victim after he
was allegedly caught on video stealing Murrell's credit cards, which were
later used fraudulently, from her pocketbook.
"He is not a reliable source," she said. "The night before he went to the
police Ariana said she intended to be a witness against him... She told
him to get out of the house." Police arrested Murrell on Monday at her
workplace, a Lewis Street tax preparation business, and charged her with
sodomy, rape, assault and battery with a dangerous weapon and assault and
The victim says, among other allegations, that Murrell sodomized him when
he didn't agree to photograph himself naked to post on the Internet. She
also allegedly forced him to wear costumes and participate in bondage
sessions with other men.
Murrell filed trespassing charges against city workers in June after when
they tried to impose a cease and desist order because she was building an
illegal room on her house. The victim tells police the room was being
turned into a dungeon, according to police reports.