When the bondage mask doesn’t fit, you must acquit

By on March 1, 2006

Immortalized in song by the Velvet Underground’s, “Venus in Furs.” Dominatrix’ were once thought only to be rumors. The dark and disturbing underground profession, whose clients delve in the art of sado-masochistic fetishes, may soon be entering the limelight.

Barbara Asher, a resident of Dedham, Mass. has recently found herself strapped to the proverbial rack of modern law, bound and gagged and left for dead. Asher’s case, of which she was acquitted, poses a question for many in her line of work. How far must we go to defend those who readily choose to immerse themselves in a known illegal activity? Since only a vocal testimony was reported, and not recorded, evidence linking her to the murder of her client has not even been acknowledged as reliable by any means. Without any trace of DNA about the confines of Ms. Asher’s lair, there is really no other conclusion the judge could have came to. But to these people who flock in throngs and thongs, what can be said that hasn’t been already about this growing or stretching trend in society?

One can only assume that the stereotypical nature of the dominatrix be brought into question here. Foreboding incantations and dimly lit dungeon scenarios come to mind far too often, but perhaps these people are just as sane as we make ourselves out to be. Instead of engaging in other more practical means of relieving stress, they wish not to cut tension with a relaxing cat nap but rather with a cat of nine tails. Freshman Joe Pernice elaborated on the subject that ‘dominatrix’ may happen to be more prevalent in society than first thought to be, that this may be a practice extending farther than first conceived possible, “it is an imaginary community, in which members are part of, but don’t realize.”

This, “common bond”, may find itself woven within the threads of many a subculture, with those seeking acceptance in modern day society. To think that in this day and age dominatrix’ are not an acceptable part of society is appalling in itself when compared to all other routine acts of debauchery committed on a daily basis. With that being said, the question begs to be asked if someone happened to be interested in founding a dominatrix of their own, how would one go about doing so, and if so, where would one find the means necessary to build a legitimate medieval rack? To find the answer, I went to freshman and Massachusetts local Sean Perkins who commented, “I feel as though there should be government regulations which ensure the safety of the bondage racks in question.” If nothing else, it can be agreed upon that certain safety precautions must be taken to ensure the safety of all participants in medieval sexual fantasies.

One belief, held by many, is that the usage of a designated safety word, agreed upon prior to torture, should be employed at all costs, as to avoid any miscommunication on behalf of either partner, or partners. But what constitutes a “safe word?” In the heat of the moment, complications may arise and under the given circumstances may not necessarily be taken as serious as they would in a normal sexual position.

Freshmen Mark Sogoloff and Joe Runfola debate the hot topic, as they ponder what may or may not be P.C during S.M: “Help?” suggested Mark. “No, you see, that could be part of the situation” replied Joe. “How about, I’m really having a heart attack, this isn’t a joke?” Mark shoots back. “It needs to be one word. What about Irmagarde?” Joe said. Joe then proceeded to demonstrate the proper expression and delivery of the safe word in context with the given scenario. Without turning back, I slowly left the room and made way for the confines of my own residence.

Another question I asked was if people even thought the sexual activity was consensual. I’m no Matlock, but if I were to hoist someone up on a medieval torture device, I figure there would be some sort of DNA surrounding the crime scene. Could this very well have been abduction, or was this all just an honest misunderstanding? The lengths at which Asher went to disclose any evidence pertaining to the slaughter of her slave is shocking. But in the end, nearly everyone came to the conclusion that the sexual activity had to indeed be consensual.

To avoid any confusion on the matter, freshman Eric Byrd proposed that “a waiver be signed” upon entering. Freshman Brad Bory, on the other hand, offered that a disclaimer perhaps be posted outside, such as one would find at an amusement park clearly stating that if you have heart trouble or any other medical complications you may be subject to injury. A dominatrix should be taken into consideration the same way any attraction would. “It’s like the tea cup ride, you go round and round, but when the fun stops, you better get off,” Brad said. Regardless, both Byrd and Bory agreed that Asher’s client’s death served as the “ultimate punishment” and that the 275 pound fellow would have “wanted it this way”.

One can only imagine how a case such as this would have gone over in the 1600’s, back when medieval racks were an integral part of society. Asher herself, who looks as if she was lifted from a local Renaissance Fair, will face no charges in the murder of the retired telephone repairman.

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