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Crossing the Fantasy Line

In a little clapboard farmhouse in New Bedford, NY, a dominatrix reigned. The website (the site is no longer up) described her activities “Situated on four private acres, in a century old stately manor, here life is devoted to female superiority, proper training and etiquette for the betterment of men.” Her alphabetical list of activities she enjoyed included blindfolds, candle wax, dacryphilia (arousal from tears), doctor/nurse fetishes and rack/medieval devices. The New York times reported this story and her recent arrest on Friday, March 2nd.

The neighbors were mortified as you might expect of this upper class neighborhood shared by celebrity residents like Martha Stewart and Ralph Lauren. The rumors of a dominatrix in their midst created quite the buzz locally. I guess the police staked the place out for a couple of months recording license plates, not unlike the raids early in this century on extremely popular brothels with 25-50% of the male population in the town visiting multiple times.

Prostitution and brothels have existed for thousands of years in some form. I didn’t actually realize it was still illegal, although only a misdemeanor. Probably she was arrested because she set up shop in such an exclusive neighborhood and who knows what she was charging in that stately manor…

The story’s shock appeal is that this kind of sexual behavior isn’t supposed to happen in those good neighborhoods. So here is the question- Is it ok to live out fantasies with people who offer these kind of services? Many people can’t even acknowledge the place where fantasy lives in them, let alone share it with their partner. Does our silencing of what is probably inherent in all of us create the need for services like this to exist?