I Visited An S&M Club

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bdsm dungeon visit
Visiting a BDSM dungeon makes the writer examine her privacy boundaries.

Certain words I dread ("We need to schedule two more dental appointments") while others I would kill to hear ("Ann Coulter's physician confirms sex-change operation").

And then there are statements that defy imagination, such as; "My husband gave me the greatest birthday present last night—a public flogging." I actually overheard one of my exotic dance students say these exact words last week.

Now, I'm not exactly unfamiliar with the BDSM scene. My education began a few years ago, while browsing the aisles of my favorite sex shop. A man came up to me and asked, "Are you a Dom or a Sub?" I wasn't sure what he meant, but I was in a food and wine kind of mood, so I replied, "Dom," thinking that he wanted to know if I was a champagne or sandwich kind of girl.  Read: When BDSM Goes Way Wrong

It wasn't long before the light went on. In fact, it was pretty hard to miss the point as he trailed after me in the store, whispering in a plaintive, hopeful voice, "Do I need to be punished, Mistress? I've been so bad." I couldn't bear to tell him that my inexperience would only result in the blind leading the blindfolded.

After thinking about it more over the next few weeks, I began a journey of research and experimentation. As a result, I now understand that cropping is more than a scrapbook technique, dogs aren't the only animals that engage in kennel play, and you should never insert a CD-Dom into a computer drive. My education has paid off: I have a few flicks up my sleeve, and I've issued more than my share of restraining orders. Read: S&M For Beginners

But public flogging? I checked an online BDSM dictionary, and sure enough, there it was—right after posture collars but before quirts. Here was this very ordinary looking, middle-aged women extolling its virtues. "We went to our favorite dungeon, and he hoisted me up and proceeded to flog me." She went on, "Afterwards, the crowd applauded and sang 'Happy Birthday.' It was fantastic!"

I couldn't even begin to take this all in. How many dungeons do you have to visit before you can decide on a "favorite?" Was cake involved and if so, was it consumed or used against her as part of the punishment? Did her fellow dungeon denizens remove their leather hoods before the singing started? My head was reeling, so I took the obvious next step—I visited the dungeon. Read: She Wants To Be Dominated. He Doesn't Know How.

I wore my best corset and carried along my anthropologist's hat and a very good friend. We were greeted at the door by two fine male specimens garbed in leather hot pants. They asked us to sign a waver form and then encouraged us to mingle. I was on a mission so I walked right past the soda and bags of chips (alcohol is not allowed) and headed straight for the dome of doom. The apparatus was all vaguely familiar—think Cirque du Soleil meets Gold's gym.

I first encountered a woman splayed across a pummel horse moaning as a Clark Kent look-alike vigorously applied a paddle to her back. In between slaps, a group of handmaidens rushed in to massage oil into the tender, bruised skin. Another woman, trussed up in clothesline, stood against a rack-like device as several men repeatedly prodded her with a violet wand. The wand is a device used in electrical play that consists of a handle and a high voltage coil. I can only surmise that this was all part of some elaborate role-play with her tormentors taking the part of Nikola Tesla. Dommes walked their submissives around on leashes, public flogging occurred at regular intervals, and the sounds of agony and ecstasy could be heard over the techno-music. Read: 6 Sex Toys That Scare Us

After 30 minutes, two facts became crystal clear:

First, everyone was extremely well-mannered and far more respectful than the inhabitants of a typical dating/mating bar.

Second, I had to get out of there.

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