BDSM as business: An interview with the owners of a dungeon

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Torture proliferates American headlines today: whether its use is defensible in certain contexts and the morality of the practice. Wikinews reporter David Shankbone was curious about torture in American popular culture. This is the first of a two part series examining the BDSM business. This interview focuses on the owners of a dungeon, what they charge, what the clients are like and how they handle their needs.

When Shankbone rings the bell of “HC & Co.” he has no idea what to expect. A BDSM (Bondage Discipline Sadism Masochism) dungeon is a legal enterprise in New York City, and there are more than a few businesses that cater to a clientèle that wants an enema, a spanking, to be dressed like a baby or to wear women’s clothing. Shankbone went to find out what these businesses are like, who runs them, who works at them, and who frequents them. He spent three hours one night in what is considered one of the more upscale establishments in Manhattan, Rebecca’s Hidden Chamber, where according to The Village Voice, “you can take your girlfriend or wife, and have them treated with respect—unless they hope to be treated with something other than respect!”

When Shankbone arrived on the sixth floor of a midtown office building, the elevator opened up to a hallway where a smiling Rebecca greeted him. She is a beautiful forty-ish Long Island mother of three who is dressed in smart black pants and a black turtleneck that reaches up to her blond-streaked hair pulled back in a bushy ponytail. “Are you David Shankbone? We’re so excited to meet you!” she says, and leads him down the hall to a living room area with a sofa, a television playing an action-thriller, an open supply cabinet stocked with enema kits, and her husband Bill sitting at the computer trying to find where the re-release of Blade Runner is playing at the local theater. “I don’t like that movie,” says Rebecca.

Perhaps the most poignant moment came at the end of the night when Shankbone was waiting to be escorted out (to avoid running into a client). Rebecca came into the room and sat on the sofa. “You know, a lot of people out there would like to see me burn for what I do,” she says. Rebecca is a woman who has faced challenges in her life, and dealt with them the best she could given her circumstances. She sees herself as providing a service to people who have needs, no matter how debauched the outside world deems them. They sat talking mutual challenges they have faced and politics (she’s supporting Hillary); Rebecca reflected upon the irony that many of the people who supported the torture at Abu Ghraib would want her closed down. It was in this conversation that Shankbone saw that humanity can be found anywhere, including in places that appear on the surface to cater to the inhumanity some people in our society feel towards themselves, or others.

“The best way to describe it,” says Bill, “is if you had a kink, and you had a wife and you had two kids, and every time you had sex with your wife it just didn’t hit the nail on the head. What would you do about it? How would you handle it? You might go through life feeling unfulfilled. Or you might say, ‘No, my kink is I really need to dress in women’s clothing.’ We’re that outlet. We’re not the evil devil out here, plucking people off the street, keeping them chained up for days on end.”

Below is David Shankbone’s interview with Bill & Rebecca, owners of Rebecca’s Hidden Chamber, a BDSM dungeon.

Contents

  • 1 Meet Bill & Rebecca, owners of a BDSM dungeon
    • 1.1 Their home life
  • 2 Operating the business
    • 2.1 The costs
    • 2.2 Hiring employees
    • 2.3 The prices
  • 3 The clients
    • 3.1 What happens when a client walks through the door
    • 3.2 Motivations of the clients
    • 3.3 Typical requests
    • 3.4 What is not typical
  • 4 The environment
    • 4.1 Is an S&M dungeon dangerous?
    • 4.2 On S&M burnout
  • 5 Criticism of BDSM
  • 6 Related news
  • 7 External links
  • 8 Sources

Posted on September 18th, 2019 by eE73Dg  |  No Comments »

School on Australia’s Sunshine Coast makes staff redundant, requests they apply for ‘new’ jobs

This article’s primary contributor, Patrick Gillett, is an alumnus of Sunshine Coast Grammar School.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Wikinews has obtained a list of middle management teaching staff allegedly made redundant, or laid off due to restructuring, by Sunshine Coast Grammar School (SCGS), in Queensland, Australia. Sources say that those staff have been told that they can apply for new positions that have opened up.

The list, published on the SCGS alumni Facebook page, contains the names of twenty-two staff members, eight of which taught this article’s primary contributor. Seventeen positions are reportedly being opened up by the private Christian school, eight of which seem to significantly overlap the old ones.

The changes are, apparently, designed to get teachers back into the classroom. “We are not cutting subject choices and extracurricular activities, but retaining a student-driven curriculum that integrates with the new Australian Curriculum, in keeping with our commitment to teaching and learning opportunities,” said headmaster Nigel Fairbairn.

Fairbairn could not guarantee that any of the staff would be given a position in 2011. “That will depend on how many people on that list apply for new positions of responsibility and are successful,” he said.

“The Head of the School cannot guarantee the 21 staff a job at the School in the future, with many of the positions being advertised to external applicants,” said Terry Burke, secretary for the Independent Education Union of Australia Queensland branch (Queensland Independent Education Union, QIEU).

“There has been little or no consultation with affected staff, who should not have to reapply for their jobs,” he said. “Most of the proposed restructuring is highly questionable and places at risk the high quality education at the School.”

Some former students responded angrily to the news.

Four of the affected teachers “were the backbone of the school when [controversy surrounded founding headmaster John Burgess] happened,” a former prefect (student leader) said. “They got it through that crisis and this is the thanks they get.”

“People are angry and shocked,” they continued. “I am aware of at least 10 families who have said they will pull their children out of the school – it’s that bad.”

The student body has not ruled out protesting the schools plans. “It’s getting to that stage,” the former prefect said. “People are trying to look at it in an intelligent way but there is so much anger out there.”

Wikinews understands that Fairbairn attracted criticism when he was a head teacher in Christchurch, New Zealand, where a former student claimed that Fairbairn “replaced the open and welcoming culture … with the tyrannical and oppressive one.”

Posted on September 18th, 2019 by eE73Dg  |  No Comments »

Finnish Olympic champion skier Mika Myllylä found dead

Friday, July 8, 2011

Finnish cross-country skier Mika Myllylä, a six-time Olympic medalist, including one gold, has been found dead. He was 41. Police said he was alone at his apartment in Kokkola and no crime is suspected. His cause of death remains unclear.

Born 1969 in Oulu, Myllylä won Olympic silver at the 50km cross-country race in Lillehammer, Norway in 1994, and gold at the 30km cross-country race in Nagano, Japan in 1998. These two Games netted him four bronze medals. The 1999 World Championship in Austria saw him win three gold medals and one silver. This and other World Championships saw him gain a total of nine World Championship medals.

It was at the 2001 World Championships in his native Finland that things went wrong for Myllylä. A Finnish Ski Association bag was accidentally left at a petrol station close to Helsinki’s International Airport; it was handed in to police, who discovered needles, infusion bags and a prescription for banned drug Hemohes (HES) signed off by a team doctor.

HES had been banned the previous year by the International Olympic Committee because it reduced hemoglobin concentration and oxygen-carrying red blood cell counts; this allowed it to mask the presence of banned drug erythropoietin (EPO), which raises red blood cell production. Last year Myllylä provided a court with a sworn statement confirming he had used EPO in the decade preceding the controversy.

Myllylä and five other Finnish skiers tested positive for HES in what became a national scandal; the Finnish Ski Association’s president, and the team’s doctors and coaches left or were sacked. Myllylä was handed a two-year sporting ban, after which he returned to competitive skiing; although he twice won the national championships, he gave up in 2005.

A champion has passed into eternity

These events changed Myllylä, according to longtime friend and national cross-country skiing association chair Reijo Alakoski. “He should be remembered as a great athlete… Mika changed completely as a person on the day his doping was made public. It has been sad to watch his descent and anguish from the sidelines over the last ten years.” His passing “is a dark day in the history of Ostrobothnian cross-country skiing,” said Alakoski.

Since then his personal life has been difficult. Drink-driving convictions came in 2008 and 2010 as Myllylä fought alcoholism, and he was thrice convicted of assault. He and his wife Suvi were divorced in 2007.

“A champion has passed into eternity,” according to ex-Finnish Ski Association CEO Jari Piirainen. “Although Mika will of course be remembered for his sporting achievements, we should of course remember that he was also a father.” Piirainen also reflected on media attention towards Myllylä: “Maybe it’s just… how much pressure we put on our idols and sportsmen. And how do we deal with them when they are at the top – do we accept that people are people and accept that everyone makes mistakes, and forgive them?”

Everyone who felt joy at the success of the team now feels betrayed

Piirainen himself was caught up in the doping scandal after a news story into Finnish doping led to a libel case. Piirainen’s statements in court led to him facing a fraud trial, but he was cleared.

“My heart is broken,” Myllylä said when his doping was exposed “and there is no way to describe the amount of my agony with words. I kneel down, admit my defeat and beg for peace for my soul.” The then-culture minister, Suvi Linden, said at the time “Everyone who felt joy at the success of the team now feels betrayed.”

Myllylä fathered three children, whom he is survived by.

Posted on September 18th, 2019 by eE73Dg  |  No Comments »

NHL: Stars advance in eighth-longest playoff game

Monday, May 5, 2008

Brenden Morrow scored the game-winning goal, 9:03 into the fourth overtime, as the Dallas Stars defeated the San Jose Sharks 2-1. The goal gave the Stars a 4-games-to-2 series win, and they advance to the Western Conference Finals, where they’ll face the Detroit Red Wings.

The game, which took 5 hours and 17 minutes to complete, was marked by the play of goalies Marty Turco and Evgeni Nabokov, who combined for 114 saves.

In the second period, the Stars took a 1-0 lead with an Antti Miettinen goal. However, early in the third period, Ryane Clowe tied the game at 1, with a wrist shot that soared past the outstretched glove of Stars goalie Marty Turco.

As the game went into overtime, both teams fought hard for early chances. Both Turco and Nabokov turned away great chances, including a glove save by Nabokov that appeared to pull his glove above — but not over — the goal line; while the goal light briefly went off, referee Tim Peel waved off the goal immediately. A video review confirmed that the shot was not a goal. The Stars outshot the Sharks 18-11 in the first OT.

In the second overtime period, the Sharks outshot Dallas a staggering 11-2, but Turco continued to keep the puck out of the net. A third OT hooking penalty against Nicklas Grossman gave the Sharks the first power play since the second period of regulation, but they were unable to even get a shot on goal, and did not capitalize on the man advantage

8:14 into the fourth overtime, a tripping penalty to Brian Campbell gave the Stars a power play. 49 seconds into the power play, forward Brenden Morrow redirected a Stephane Robidas shot to the right of Nabokov, his seventh goal of the playoffs.

Turco made 61 saves on 62 shots for the win. Nabokov made 53 saves in the loss.

The game is the eighth-longest playoff game in NHL history, and the third-longest in Stars history. In 2003, the Stars were defeated by the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim in a five-overtime thriller. A 2007 game saw the Stars defeated in four overtimes by the Vancouver Canucks.

Dallas avoided a deciding Game 7, which would have been held in San Jose. The Stars won the first three games of the series, but strong performances by San Jose, including a Game 5 overtime win, narrowed the series to 3-2.

The Stars advance to face the Detroit Red Wings in the Western Conference Finals. Game 1 of that series is scheduled for Thursday, at Joe Louis Arena in Detroit.

The Eastern Conference Finals, meanwhile, is an all-Pennsylvania matchup, as the Pittsburgh Penguins, who clinched their series with a 3-2 overtime victory on Sunday, face off against the rival Philadelphia Flyers. Game 1 will be held at Mellon Arena in Pittsburgh on Friday.

Posted on September 18th, 2019 by eE73Dg  |  No Comments »

Wikinews Shorts: July 9, 2007

A compilation of brief news reports for Monday, July 9, 2007.

On July 9, 2007, Sony Computer Entertainment America announced the release of an 80GB hard drive version of its PlayStation 3 video game console, priced at US$599.

Sony also announced a price drop to US$499 for its current 60GB model. Jack Tretton, Sony Entertainment America chief executive, said, “Our initial expectation is that sales should double at a minimum.”

Sources


Nigerian gunmen have released three-year-old Margaret Hill, after holding her captive for four days. The toddler has since been reunited with her parents. She is reportedly in good health but covered with mosquito bites and also hungry, having not eaten recently.

The kidnappers had threatened to kill the toddler unless a ransom was paid or Mr. Hill came to take her place. The family claims no ransom was paid for her freedom. She was kidnapped from her car on July 5, on her way to school. Her driver was stabbed trying to protect Margaret.

Sources


Posted on September 12th, 2019 by eE73Dg  |  No Comments »

Category:Country music

This is the category for country music.

Refresh this list to see the latest articles.

  • 17 August 2011: Indiana State Fair stage collapse kills four, injures forty
  • 20 February 2011: Music duo The Bellamy Brothers accuse Britney Spears of plagiarism
  • 5 August 2009: Stage collapse at Canadian “Big Valley Jamboree” kills one, and seriously injures four others
  • 7 April 2008: Feist leads 2008 Juno Award winners
  • 13 February 2007: Dixie Chicks, Blige, Underwood big Grammy winners
  • 7 November 2006: Faith Hill says reaction to Carrie Underwood’s CMA win was a joke
  • 16 September 2006: Dixie Chicks show documentary at TIFF
  • 26 March 2006: Buck Owens, country music icon, dies at 76

From Wikinews, the free news source you can write.



Sister projects
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Pages in category “Country music”

Posted on September 12th, 2019 by eE73Dg  |  No Comments »

David S. Touretzky discusses Scientology, Anonymous and Tom Cruise

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

David S. Touretzky, prominent free speech activist and critic of Scientology, discussed his opinions on the recent Internet backlash against the Church of Scientology in an interview with former Scientologist and Wikinews reporter Nicholas Turnbull. The recent conflict on the Internet between critics of Scientology and the Church has been spurred on in declarations by a nebulous Internet entity using the name Anonymous that the Church of Scientology “will be destroyed”. Anonymous has directed recent protests at Scientology centres across the world, which have attracted significant numbers of individuals supporting the cause. In recent e-mail correspondence with Wikinews, a representative of the Church of Scientology declared that the Church considers the activities of Anonymous to be illegal, and that Anonymous “will be handled and stopped”.

Touretzky, a research professor in artificial intelligence and computational neuroscience at Carnegie Mellon University, has been a prominent critic of the Church of Scientology since mid-1995, and has been protesting against Scientology vociferously since then; he has also run websites that publish material that Scientology wishes to keep suppressed from the public eye, such as extracts from Scientology’s formerly-confidential Operating Thetan (OT) materials. Touretzky views the actions of the Church of Scientology as being “a threat to free speech”, and has endured harassment by the Church of Scientology for his activities.

The Church of Scientology continues to suffer damage to its public reputation through increased exposure on the Internet and vocal protests by Scientology critics such as Prof. Touretzky. A recent event that focused intense attention on Scientology’s totalitarian attitude was the leak of an internal Church of Scientology propaganda video to the Internet video sharing site YouTube, in which celebrity Scientologist Tom Cruise spoke heavily in Scientology’s jargon and stated that that “we [Scientology] are the authorities” on resolving the difficulties of humanity. The declaration of war by Anonymous followed shortly after this leak, in the form of a video posted to the Internet.

The ongoing dispute, cast by some as Scientology versus the Internet, brought Scientology terms such as “SP” (Suppressive Person, an enemy of Scientology) and “KSW” (Keeping Scientology Working) into general usage by non-Scientologists from the late 1990s onwards; increased attention has been drawn to Scientology by the release of the Cruise video in addition to media coverage. This focus has caused an even greater propagation of these terms across the outside world, as Touretzky comments in the interview.

Wikinews asked Prof. Touretzky about the impact that the activities of Anonymous will have on Scientology, the public relations effect of the Tom Cruise video, the recent departure of individuals from the Church of Scientology’s executive management, the strategies that Anonymous will employ and Touretzky’s experiences of picketing the Church.

Posted on September 7th, 2019 by eE73Dg  |  No Comments »

Judge sets 2016 trial date for London serial murder accused Stephen Port

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

The Recorder of London, His Honour Judge Nicholas Hilliard QC, today set a provisional timetable in the case against Stephen Port, an alleged serial killer. January 9 was set for a plea and case management hearing. The trial has been scheduled for April 2016, and is currently expected to last four weeks.

Port, 40, attended the hearing from HMP Pentonville via videolink. He spent the ten-minute hearing looking down, and spoke only to confirm his identity. He wore a bright yellow and green prison-issued uniform designed to make him highly visible should he escape.

Port faces four counts of murder and four counts of “administering a poison with intent to endanger life or inflict grievous bodily harm”. He is alleged to have given overdoses of recreational drug GHB. He allegedly murdered the men at his home before dumping the bodies, after finding victims online using gay dating services.

He was charged on Sunday. On Monday he appeared before a Magistrates’ Court which sent the case to today’s hearing at the famed Old Bailey courthouse. Port has not applied for bail and remains in custody.

The Metropolitan Police has referred itself to the Independent Police Complaints Commission concerning what police called “potential vulnerabilities in [our response] to the four deaths.” Police only linked the deaths a week ago on Wednesday, when they were passed to serious crime investigators.

Three of the deaths occurred last year. Anthony Patrick Walgate, 23, was found dead on June 19, 2014 in Cooke Street. Port lives in Cooke Street. The other three alleged victims were found in the vicinity of St. Margaret’s Church on North Street. Gabriel Kovari, 22, was discovered dead on August 28. Daniel Whitworth, 21, was found dead the following month on September 20. Fourth alleged victim Jack Taylor, 25, was found a year later on September 14.

Whitworth and Kovari were known to each other, according to testimony at the inquest.

Port was arrested following a police appeal to trace a man seen with Taylor shortly before his death. Police at the time released security footage of Taylor’s movements, with an officer telling the press “the man captured on CCTV may well be the last person to talk to Jack.”

Posted on September 7th, 2019 by eE73Dg  |  No Comments »

Australian refugee contractor accused of breaching its duty of care

Friday, December 30, 2005

Contents

  • 1 Richard Niyonsaba
  • 2 Denial of food
  • 3 Background and Criticisms
  • 4 Sources

The Australian Centre for Languages, a company which has a multi-million dollar contract with the Australian government to provide refugee services, has been accused of breaching its duty of care following the death of a chronically ill child and allegations of failing to provide three women in their care with food.

Posted on September 7th, 2019 by eE73Dg  |  No Comments »

U.S. anti-war mom calls it quits

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

War protestor Cindy Sheehan, the mother of fallen soldier Casey Sheehan who was killed in Iraq 3 years ago, wrote on what has been published by the Daily Kos as a personal web journal on Monday morning, a day in observance of Memorial Day in the United States, that “This is my resignation letter as the ‘face’ of the American anti-war movement.”

Her son Casey would have been 28 years old Tuesday. In what she writes are meditations upon developments in Sheehan’s life after she began a war protest that led her and a following of people to Camp Casey, beside the Texas ranch of President Bush in August 2005, included the notion that, “The most devastating conclusion that I reached this morning, however, was that Casey did indeed die for nothing. His precious lifeblood drained out in a country far away from his family who loves him, killed by his own country which is beholden to and run by a war machine that even controls what we think.”

I have come to some heartbreaking conclusions this Memorial Day Morning. These are not spur of the moment reflections, but things I have been meditating on for about a year now. The conclusions that I have slowly and very reluctantly come to are very heartbreaking to me.

In the text of Sheehan’s diary she is unable to reconcile herself with the Democratic Party that on Thursday, May 24, succumbed to the Bush administration on language for a troop funding bill that at one time tied funding to a time limit for U.S. involvement in Iraq. The presidential veto of that legislation to set a deadline for withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq resulted in the U.S. Congress caving to executive branch over the issue of war funding, and may have been the final straw for Sheehan.

“I am deemed a radical because I believe that partisan politics should be left to the wayside when hundreds of thousands of people are dying for a war based on lies that is supported by Democrats and Republican alike,” wrote Sheehan.

Sheehan said that she has spent every bit of money that she has received as compensation for the loss of her son from the U.S. government, and as a person who garnished speaking fees from the national attention on her campaign against the Iraq war, on trying to bring peace.

“I am going to take whatever I have left and go home. I am going to go home and be a mother to my surviving children and try to regain some of what I have lost,” wrote Sheehan.

Posted on September 7th, 2019 by eE73Dg  |  No Comments »