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Feature Wed Aug 25 2010

The Old Masters: BDSM's Popularity Grows Among Senior Citizens

This article was submitted by freelance writer Rachel Rabbit White.

Errol and I are in the car. He's been to The Sins Center before and I, well, I have never been to a BDSM club. "So tell me again about the last time you were there," I ask. He shakes his head. "So I walk in, checking out the place and I notice there are a lot of older people. I sit down and this little old lady comes up. Gray hair, you know someone's Grandma, here to pick them up. Then this guy starts tying her onto the equipment, pulling out crops and paddles. And she starts taking a beating. She's got age spots... this guy is whipping them."

We laugh, but Errol says he felt like he needed to watch to make sure that she was OK, and didn't have a heart attack.

The Sins Center is spacious and clean. Saint Andrew's crosses hang against the walls, empty sex slings sag in the corner. An older man with a beard flogs a graying submissive — a naked and bulbous woman bent into doggy style. Her purple posterior takes each of his toys: leather flogger, plastic cane, studded paddle.

sinscenter_logo.jpgThe Sins Center has become something of a hangout for older people in the lifestyle. Master Z, the owner of the club, says that about half of the clientele are over 55. "We have a club manager who's 75, a club manager who is 80. As a matter of fact I don't think any of our club managers are under 50 here," says Master Z.

According to sexologist, Dr. Carol Queen, there are precautions that come with age. "Some sorts of BDSM are the erotic version of high-impact sports, a person of any age must take their health and body resilience into account" she explains "Some things to pay attention to with an older partner, is whether the skin is thinning and how their joints are doing. They'll want to make sure they can communicate about health issues to partners."

When I ask Master Z if the aging bodies makes him nervous he replies, "Hell no." In his opinion, it's the kids that get into trouble with hurting themselves, the newbies. The older people tend to know what they are doing, they are the ones who will stop a dangerous scene, and show you how to do it.

But sometimes older people are the newbies. Peaches' hair is gray, her face sloped with age. In a voice shaky and warmed by southern twang she tells me she got into BDSM seven years ago.

"Well," she sighs, " I lost my husband in 1998. After awhile, my sister was trying to match-make but I was from a small town in Louisiana where everybody knows everybody." Peaches decided to play the field online. There, she opened up to a guy about her tattoos. "I always liked pain to a certain extent," she says as she motions to the faded designs on her upper arm. "He suggested I look up BDSM."

For Peaches, it just clicked. "I was born submissive. I mean my grandchildren tell me what to do!"

Online, she met her master. Propped up next to her, Master R looks like a teddy bear. His eyes are murky and blue in coke bottle glasses. In his 80s, he is a little hard of hearing but is still playing hard.

"[Master R] does the violet wand [electrical stimulation], he does knives, canes, he does staples on me. I mean, he does it all," Peaches says, looking at him, the lines around her mouth lifting.

Photo courtesy of The Sins Center

Master R has been in the lifestyle for about 15 years. He too got into BDSM when his wife died.

"I think I've always been interested in BDSM," he says. "I remember the comics that grabbed my attention, the light bondage scenes, I kept going back, re-reading those parts." He brought it up to his wife, but she wasn't interested. "We did some light bondage but nothing really worked. And eventually she died," he stutters. " It took me some time to get over that." When Master R was ready, the Internet was there.

According to Dr. Queen, the Internet is a catalyst for older people. "I think it's easier for younger people, in general, to go out and look for partners," she says. "The Internet levels the playing field and allows older people to seek partners, making it easier to find new romance — or, for that matter, a tryst with a sex worker. It also brings the sexual world to a generation of people who may not have had as much access to explicit materials earlier in their lives, so I think for some, it sparks or gives permission for new erotic interests."

The only worry for Dr. Queen is that being introduced to sex without much education brings risk. "There is recent research suggesting that [sexually transmitted infection] rates among elders is increasing. Widow/ers and divorce(e)s are out of long-term relationships. With a new partner, a person can reinvent her- or himself sexually, pursue long-held or new interests. However, it's obvious that being 'back in the game' brings risks that these folks may not have had to address earlier in their lives. Many seniors haven't learned enough about safer sex and sexually transmitted conditions."

One thing that may benefit older people getting into the BDSM community is that often experience is valued — age can be hot. "I have a number of the younger ones ask me if they could play with me," Peaches says. "Sometimes you get respect because you're older and sometimes you get respect because you deserve it."

While many older BDSM'ers might know how to play, it can't be denied that as the body ages, play must be altered. Sometimes instead of safe-words, couples losing their hearing will use hand-signals. Doms also become more understanding, careful not to break a scene when a sub can't get into position.

"There is indication that heart attack risk increases with new partners, so if someone has heart issues that might dictate no electricity play or play that might result in very strong emotions and adrenaline rushes. This last caution would be especially true of someone just getting into BDSM," warns Dr. Queen.

"My knees burn sometimes, like when I go up two flights of stairs," Peaches says. She also just found out she has diabetes, which she is learning to play around. Peaches and Master R agree that with age, a lowered sex drive can be a limitation, but that playing is what keeps their sex drive healthy.

When I ask why people are so grossed out by older people being sexual, Master R quips, "No one wants to think that their parents have sex!" Peaches points out that even her conservative older sister and her husband, who sleep in separate beds, are still having sex.

"I've heard from more than one woman that as menopause changes their sexual response and how it feels to have intercourse, non-vaginal forms of pleasure gain new prominence," says Dr. Queen. "One of my post-menopausal friends discovered she really loved anal sex even after she was no longer particularly into vaginal 'vanilla.'"

According to a study by the University of Chicago, more than three-quarters of American men and half of women aged 75 to 85 are still interested in sex. But culturally, we don't see this.

Dr. Queen has two theories. "There had been an underlying bias in our culture that sex really is, at bottom, for reproduction. That's one of the things that continues to power homophobia too. After one is out of one's reproductive years, the notion of sex becomes unseemly and even unacceptable to many. The other thing, I think, is that there is societal pressure on us to fear aging, and seeing evidence of older people's sexuality brings up our difficult feelings about getting older, our own body image fears, fears of mortality."

Both Peaches and Master R have tried coming out to their adult kids. Peaches' kids didn't want to hear about it, shutting her up with a quick, "Mom, if you are happy, we are happy." Master R opened up to one of his children, who did not approve. "I know if one of them knows, then they all know, but no one mentions it," he says.

As our collective lifespans continue to increase, that stretch between 65 and 80 is no longer the last phase of life. "I love Sir and I love being out there in my sexuality. And that's it. My children have got their own lives now," explains Peaches. It's a new section of life that we've never had before, and it doesn't need to be spent solely with grand-kids or in retirement and inactivity. Some are realizing this, giving themselves the freedom to get what they want.


This feature is supported in part by a Community News Matters grant from The Chicago Community Trust and the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation. More information here.

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bdsm slave / August 25, 2010 3:10 AM

I love bdsm club

Amy / August 26, 2010 2:56 PM

This is one god-awful piece of journalism.The topic isn't what's disturbing at all-it's the fact that the direct quotes are better than the writer's own words. Epic fail.

Andrew / August 27, 2010 10:45 AM

Er, how is that bad journalism, Amy? Letting the subjects tell the story is pretty common technique. You're going to have to be more specific, or you just come off as lashing out for no apparent reason.

Michelle / August 27, 2010 2:18 PM

Lashing -- nice pun.

Andrea / August 27, 2010 7:23 PM

I have been to the other BDSM Clubs in Chicago and the SINS Center is by far the cleanest, nicest and most well maintained club in Chicago.

In addition they have their local, state and federal licensing displayed on the wall as you walk in as well as their Insurance Certificate and last inspection document, all giving us a feeling of safety.

I am very impressed that they have a huge exhibit for the National Cooalition for Sexual Freedom in thier lobby and give out their literature.

My husband and I attended one of the SINS Center's Free First Friday Events and joined the next day. It has changed our life.

BRAVO to the SINS Center!

Dave / August 28, 2010 8:10 AM

The Sins Center is by far the nicest club in Chicago. I was made to feel very welcome on my first visit 2 years ago and joined shortly after. I am only 31 years old and one of the things I like most about it is that I learn a great deal from the old timers there. They are always willing to share their knowledge.

Another great thing is that the younger members of the club never feel out of place because everyone is so nice. I can't wait for Kinky Kollege to get here.

citygirl / August 28, 2010 2:31 PM

It's too bad that "Master" Z is a major league asshole. I know of at least three women he played with where he ignored safe words/signals, in one case leaving permanent marks. He's married to some ignorant hillbilly porker who goes by Becky-I know he had a difficult time finding a long term relationship for several years. Also, Z continually lies about his age-just another example of his general untrustworthiness.

BenevDom / August 30, 2010 5:17 PM

I must agree with CityGirl. "Master Z" is a prime example of everything that is wrong with the BDSM lifestyle. He is a bully, he is dangerous, and has a horrible track record for how he deals with people who don't agree with him. I also know people he has played with and ignored their safewords, and caused harm, telling one person she didn't know enough to use her safewords, because she was young. Having seen "Master Z" play on a couple of occassions, I can honestly say, he is no model of safety.

In Chicago, I must prefer LRA or GD, since the folks who run those clubs at least have a measure of honor and integrity that "Master Z" only wishes he had. More over I wouldn't want to go to a place to hang out with people as old as my grandmother. I mean, seriously. Are you kidding me? It is obvious the author of this piece didn't do her homework, unless the only thing she was concerned about was really old people getting their kink on. If that was the case, then Sins is the perfect place to be. I think I even heard that they have an AARP membership discount.

Lawman / August 30, 2010 9:05 PM

Benevdom, What makes Master Z a bully?

The fact that he has agreed with the Leather SINS Board of Directors to ban you from the club and their events because you are a REGISTERED SEX OFFENDER?

If anyone has any doubt, I will be happy to post the link to the Illinois RSO Registry with your picture and name on it.
Of course you belong to the LRA and GD, they are the only BDSM Clubs that knowingly allow Registered Sex Offenders to attend by your own admissions here.

CityGirl... have you ever met Ms Becky in person? I doubt it. She will be graduating from college this year and is a very sweet, kind and INTELLIGENT woman.

Is Master Z a bit gruff, short and strict at times. YES. Does that make him a bad person? NO. He has done more for this lifestyle than anyone I have ever met.

It is quite obvious that you are both jealous of the press that has acknowledged the SINS Center and Leather SINS for giving back to the community and their hard working members.

In fact Leather SINS was just awarded the Pantheon of Leather Large Club of the Year last week.

You both need to grow up!

Lady C / August 30, 2010 9:43 PM

I have know Master Z for over 20 years. He is the most honorable person I know, in and out of the lifestyle.

Benevdom and CityGIrl you are totally out of line. You both should be ashamed of yourselves.

PrincessPia / August 30, 2010 9:56 PM

First off SinsCenter is a class act, I've been to all three clubs and have felt the most comfortable at the SinsCenter. The people there treat us (my slave and I)as friends and always welcome us with open arms.

As for Master Z, he's been nothing but a good guy to us. I remember him from the old Rose on Fullerton. I've seen him personally help many people in need. If he's the asshole you make him out to be, why do so many people attend the Sinscenter and his events?

His wife Becky is an absolute DOLL! We have bonded and have become friends, she is a true example of a SWEATHEART. Becky is smart, talented and sexy! Becks and I have even done some shoe shopping, I LOVE Becky and resent your rude and hateful comments (directed to citygirl).

For all the years I've been around in and out of the scene, I keep seeing these bullshit attacks on people, its such a turn-off and an embarassment to the our community. I've been to Leather Sins events and know they have donated A LOT of money to charity, what have you haters done for the community, other than mouthing off like a bunch of assholes.

Lastly, if there's a registered sex offender in the scene, I think we should know who it is. I often socialize with scene friends and include my children. This news is very disturbing to me.

I may just have to go underground once again....sheesh


outsider! / August 31, 2010 12:01 AM

To "citygirl". What is wrong with you? I have played with Master Z and I have seen other slaves request to play with him BECAUSE he is so respectful of other people's limits. What right do you have to personally attack either Z or becky?

You dont like Z, FINE! This is a free country. DO NOT GO TO SINS CENTER. As simple as that.

I swear some people have too much time on their hands.

Roger / August 31, 2010 2:31 AM

I am SO grateful there are clubs like the LRA and Galleria Domain II in Chicago

They keep the DRAMA QUEENS like "citygirl" and the PEDOPHILES like "Benevdom" away from the Sins Club.

I am proud to be a member of Sins and even more proud to call Master Z my friend.

The best advice I give people about joining a BDSM Club in Chicago is visit them all. See the seediness of the dirty basement where the LRA calls home. Twist your ankle once or twice walking down the gravel lot that never gets plowed in the winter. Or try parking at GD with the restricted parking ban on the sidestreets... and if you do find parking, be lucky if your car is still there or not broken into. Not to mention climbing the 4 flights of stairs.

My bet is that you will want to be a member of the classiest club in town, ground floor, private lot, and luxury of the Sins Club.

I just renewed my dues.

Roger / August 31, 2010 2:31 AM

I am SO grateful there are clubs like the LRA and Galleria Domain II in Chicago

They keep the DRAMA QUEENS like "citygirl" and the PEDOPHILES like "Benevdom" away from the Sins Club.

I am proud to be a member of Sins and even more proud to call Master Z my friend.

The best advice I give people about joining a BDSM Club in Chicago is visit them all. See the seediness of the dirty basement where the LRA calls home. Twist your ankle once or twice walking down the gravel lot that never gets plowed in the winter. Or try parking at GD with the restricted parking ban on the sidestreets... and if you do find parking, be lucky if your car is still there or not broken into. Not to mention climbing the 4 flights of stairs.

My bet is that you will want to be a member of the classiest club in town, ground floor, private lot, and luxury of the Sins Club.

I just renewed my dues.

pixter / September 5, 2010 8:35 PM

My husband and I plan on attending free first Friday to check it out. We are in our lower 30s and are still going to review for ourselves bc this article is so wishy washy.

princesspia / September 5, 2010 8:55 PM

Pixter, how was the club Friday night, couldn't make it, but always love free Friday.

Did you guys have fun?


tammy / September 9, 2010 2:51 AM

I was at free Friday and it was my first visit to the sins club. Besides being very crowded, I guess cause it was free, I had a great time. Everyone was very nice. The place is really clean and the dungeon is awesome. In my opinoin it nicer than the other clubs I have been to. I liked that they had signs directing me to the parking lot across the street cause the lot next to the building was full. Everything seemed very organized. I plan on taking a trial pass to check it out on a non free night when its not so crowded.


PrincessKM / September 9, 2010 11:14 AM

The SINS Center, I am sad to say has become a swingers centered, sex-club. Where very distasteful, young, impressionable girls are being used by the club members. These girls reek of desperation, lack of self-confidence, and any sort of care for their self-image.

Obviously, if some people are commenting on how "Master Z" (If you want to even call that fat MOFO that) goes beyond safe words is disturbing to me to say the least. He says that it's OK to go on after the person says their safe word. I'm sorry, but when a safe word is spoken, any and all activities should cease and desist. Like that "legal language", "Master Z"? Thought you would.

Anyone that deals with this "Master Z" person should watching everything they say and do. IT is very sue happy.

Keith / September 9, 2010 4:59 PM

It is very sad that the Chicago BDSM Community is so splintered, divided and full of hate.

I am not sure how an article on aging kinksters got turned around and became a "Z Bashing" but I have know Z for many years and he is a good man. Sadly when he stepped up to the plate and began organizing events and clubs he became a target for every coward that wants to take a cheap shot behind the anonymous protection of the internet.

It is VERY obvious that the powers at be at the lra and gd are behind this "Z bashing", when in fact Master Z has done more for the lifestyle and raised more funds for worthy lifestyle and main stream charities than anyone I know.

I belong and pay dues at all 3 clubs and I think I may be rethinking that in the future.


Laura / September 9, 2010 5:50 PM

I agree with Roger... THANK GOD FOR THE OTHER CLUBS.

It gives the drama queens and troublemakers a place to go.

I LOVE the Sins Center and can't wait til the tapas tomorrow night.

Thank you to all the people that work so hard to keep the club so lovely.

PM / September 10, 2010 2:50 AM

I would like to know who the Registered Sex Offender is. I belong to the LRA and would seriously reconsider my membership if it could be proven that they have allowed a RSO to attend the club.

I feel this information should be publicly availalbe to its members and call upon Min and the Board to tell us if this is true.

maria / September 10, 2010 6:11 PM

I would also like to know if there is a registered sex offender or convicted rapist that is a member of Galleria Domain or the LRA.

If this is true why hasn't someone done something to notify the members and protect the single ladies? Isn't there a law that they have to register with the police where they go?

Lushy / September 11, 2010 12:52 AM

I am very curious myself now. Does the lra and gd have a convicted sex criminal as a member?

Marc & Judy / September 12, 2010 4:18 PM

We attended the Sins Center for the first time last night and really enjoyed the BDSM Tapas program they put on. We were very impressed.

The place was first class all the way. The pizza was great, the play was hot, the equipment is the best we have seen and the club was pristeen and immaculate. You can tell that they really take pride in the place.

Although the play spaces were very crowded, we were assured that on non-event nights there are not as many people.

We plan on joining and returning very soon. We highly recommend this club.

Steve E / September 13, 2010 9:47 PM

I've been around a few years and have learned not to listen to everything you hear. I listened to the lies and rumors for years about Master Z until I learned the truth. He may be a little rough around the edges but he is an honorable man. I have been to the sins center and find it to be a clean, well maintained club.

Master Ed and marge / September 15, 2010 5:45 PM

We have been to GD a few times as well as the LRA for programs they run. We attended the tapas party last Saturday and it was our first visit to Sins. We were so impressed by how much "bang for your buck" you get compared to the other clubs that we join the next day.

The main thing that was so nice at Sins was the committee that was waiting at the door to greet us as we came in and then one of them gave us a personal tour of the club. Everyone was so friendly and welcoming.

We will still go to the other clubs for special programs but sins will be our new home base.

Master Ed and girl marge

Mike / September 16, 2010 7:19 AM

I just bought a trial pass to Sins Club for this weekend with my Domme. Hope its as nice as people have said.

Mike / September 20, 2010 6:36 AM

I just wanted to report back. Mistress and i visited the Sins Center for the first time this past weekend. We had a wonderful time. The Managers on Duty were a young couple in their late 20s/30s. They were very polite and professional. They made us feel very welcome and gave us a personal tour of the club abd showed us where everything was. The club is immaculate. Mistress is an Emergency Room Nurse and her standards of clean are cvery high. She was very impressed on how clean everything was. She was also impressed that they use a special cleaner (she had a conversation with one of the staff) to disinfect the equipment after use. It is the same cleaner they use in the ER she works in and the surgery suites as well.

We had an awesome time, and were treated very well. Mistress ran into an old friend she had not seen in years at the sins club that is now a member there. We played and then spent the rest of the night in the cafe talking to others and feeling right at home.

Sunday afternoon Mistress called me and informed me to go online and purchase a 3 month memership to the Sins Club so we will be seeing everyone there more often.

All in all... a very positive experience.

Bob and mandy / October 2, 2010 3:09 PM

All we can say is WOW!

We visited the Sins Dungeon last night for the First Friday party. It was our first time there and we were very impressed. The level of excitement in the air, the atmosphere and the sounds alone were worth the trip. But the real surprise was Sins itself.

We have been to the other clubs in town and were very surprised to see how perfect things can be if you put a little work into creating a dungeon. The decor, lighting, equipment and ambiance were amazing.

We were given a tour of the club by a man named Master Chuck when we came in and it seemed like the place would never end. The place is huge. He made us feel very welcome and introduced us to people and we felt very comfortable.

We liked the private rooms alot. The cafe is nice too, lots of friendly people. We loved the floor to ceiling glass wall to the medical room where we could watch what was happening. The dressing room is a nice touch and I will bring my fetish clothes with to change next time we go. The free private parking lots were a nice surprise. All in all it was a wonderful night.

Master did the math and when you consider that the membership fees are only $20 a month, on a 4 week average if you go both nights it comes to $2.50 a night. We can't even buy a Starbucks Coffee for that. Needless to say we will be buying memberships this payday.

Deus / October 6, 2010 10:53 AM

I just want to say kudos to all of those who are getting it on in their golden years. It makes my heart happy to see people living their lives to the fullest and on their own terms.

Min / October 18, 2010 9:12 AM

Having been directed here by a friend, I can say, this. There are NO registered sex offenders who are members of LRA. End of story. In reading over the comments here, I don't even understand how one could get that impression. If people would take the time to read, they will see that the person that was accused did not say they were a member of LRA or GD, only that they preferred LRA and GD. Jumping to such conclusions is in very bad form.

Furthermore, the suggestion that LRA allows sex offenders is a FLAT OUT LIE. Anyone making such an allegation is purposely stirring up controversy, while their motivations are known only to themselves.

I will also say this. This is the ONLY time I will answer such queries in this manner. "PM," if you are truly a member of LRA, you know how to get in touch with myself and the board at any time. There are many more appropriate forums than this. In the future, please contact myself or any other member of the board directly and we will be more than happy to address any concerns you may have.

If one wants to know why the Chicago community is so fractured, all they need to do is look at the behavior of certain posters in this thread to see why (although I maintain it's not as fractured as some would alledge). Other comments made in this thread are not worth commenting on or responding to.


LAWMAN / October 29, 2010 2:32 AM



As President of the LRA you should not hide these facts from your members.

I have seen [Redacted] at the LRA with my own eyes. In fact i was there a few months ago on a night he was there when he was speaking openly to others about recently joining the LRA once again.

He has also been at programs at Galleria Domain II. In fact his new slave is an employee of Galleria Domain II.

He is a Registered Sex Offender and it can be verified by going to the Illinois Sex Offender Information website (or click my name here and it is linked to the page) and typing in [redacted] as the last name in the search window. It is a matter of public record!

He was convicted and did hard time for "Producing and Selling Child Pornography".

Why lie about your actions? He is a member! Don't your members have the right to know the truth about who the LRA has visiting the club? Or maybe not!

An occasional visitor to all 5 Chicago clubs.

Will / October 31, 2010 9:17 AM

I live in Arizona and am a member of fetlife as well as Apex in Phoenix.This article was posted on fetlife in an over 50 forum. It is nice to know that there are indeed so many other people over 50 that do play and do so safely. The bashing in these comments is rude and unnecessary.If you want to bitch about someone, do it to their face. All you accomplish here is to give us all a bad name. The community already suffers enough from misconception. Please don't add to it.

seekingsub78 / November 9, 2010 9:53 AM

There is a difference between someone visiting a club and being a member. I am someone who is a member of LRA and help out when I can. Lawman, if that is your real name, do you have a copy of LRA's membership list that you know who is a member and who is not? If LRA is such a bad place why would you come visit? It is people like you that kept me from going back to Sins. The people there were so rude. I almost dropped out of the scene entirely because of people like you. I volunteer at LRA and the person you mention was not listed on LRA member roster 2 weeks ago which I have seen with my own eyes.

LAWMAN / November 14, 2010 8:21 AM

The facts don't lie. [Redacted] joined the club and is a member and I know for a fact that at least one Board Members new of his past. TOO LATE FOR DAMAGE CONTROL... THE LRA MEMBERS WERE ALREADY SUBJECTED TO THIS SEX OFFENDER.

Debbie / December 6, 2010 9:07 PM

Child Molesters at the LRA? ....crossing that place off my list.

How do the members feel about this?? How can you condone this ?

I'm a single woman who walks to her car alone from the LRA basement, and you're letting in Child Molesters? WTF?

I'm still in shock after looking at the Illinois Sex Offenders Website

Dee Z. / June 29, 2011 2:32 PM

You guys are ridiculous. I'm 26, I grew up with the internet, and this is some of the worst Anonymous Scenester Trolling I've ever seen. Mad props to 'Lawman' for outing someone in the BDSM community - first and last name, and picture, even! - while staying comfortably behind an anonymous handle. Damn, it feels good to be an internet gangsta, huh?

In regards to the article, I would have liked it better if the author hadn't made it abundantly clear that she was disgusted by the sight of an older person naked. 'Graying', 'bulbous', 'sloped with age'...I hope you never get old, little miss Rachel Rabbit White. Thankfully, the quotes from Peaches and Z far outweighed her obvious ageist issues and made this article at least generally worth my time to read.

In regards to the sex offendor - do you want your kink clubs doing a full background check on YOU when you join? Last I checked, there were no under-18s at kink clubs...and therefore no children to molest. No one here has to think of the children. Calm the f*ck down.

If YOU want to do a background check on someone before you play with them to make sure they've never done anything on public record that turns your stomach, do it - but don't expect your local, likely VOLUNTEER (for those of you who forget, this means they aren't PAID for their time) kink club organizers to run every single name through a full background check before they let someone in the club. Oh, and keep in mind that lots of folks use pseudonyms when they join...which is their right.

The only thing your kink club has a right to ascertain about someone joining your kink club is that they're legal, 18, to play. They don't pull up their criminal history, last four places of employment, last three landlords, or the hard drive from their computer ... and they shouldn't. Personally, I have nothing to hide, but I certainly wouldn't want my kink organization running my name through a background check in order to decide whether I'm enough of a moral, upstanding individual to join their club - and if they did, I wouldn't want to attend.

So...if you don't want a play partner with a criminal history of ANY stripe (frankly, I'd be worried more about doing kinky things with someone with a history of assault or battery before I'd be worried about a child molester - just being practical, here) then YOU pay for an in-depth background check before you allow them to lay a finger on you, or vice versa. But don't expect your local kink org to do that. Policing everyone's criminal histories is not their job, nor is it any of their business.

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A/C is the arts and culture section of Gapers Block, covering the many forms of expression on display in Chicago. More...
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Editor: Nancy Bishop,
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