Of human bondage - Page 2

THE SEX ISSUE: The Bay's wonderful women of BDSM aren't bound by convention
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Most have participated in the community for more than a decade — and all really, really love what they do.

In San Francisco, the old Rousseauian adage "Man is born free, but everywhere he is in chains," could easily be rephrased as: "Woman is born free, and everywhere she uses chains to get off".

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Madison Young, photographed by Pat Mazzera

MADISON YOUNG, THE INGÉNUE

Madison Young refers to herself as the "kinky girl next door." With blue eyes, strawberry blonde hair, and a translucent, Kidmanesque complexion, Young is one of the most recognizable performers in the adult entertainment industry, though perhaps more recognizable to those who enjoy inflicting pain on women tied with rope.

"I found a Kink.com posting on Craigslist," Young says. "I had been involved in kinky sex before then, and was really into things like fisting and golden showers and light bondage. But I had never really done flogging or anything around rope bondage. Peter [Ackworth] was the first person who ever tied me up, and I fell in love with it instantly." Since then, she's become famous, adored by fans for her raw, honest performances and for her incredible toughness.

And Young is really, really tough. Run a simple Google Image search and you'll find photos of her subjected to things that would make a Navy Seal weep — like being suspended from one elbow by a single rope strung from the ceiling, with her legs pulled apart as far as legs can go. Young is one of the few working models who can withstand what is known as a "category five suspension," bondage positions so grueling they can only be endured for mere seconds. "I have a really high pain tolerance," she says. On a scale of 1 to 10? "Out of the models that exist, I'm a 10."

A self-identified masochist, Young's interest in bondage is uniquely centered around rope. "I'm not really into metal restraints, scarves, zip ties, or anything like that. It has to be rope."

Young is also among a small but growing number of women who are writing, directing, and producing porn, and runs her own production house called Madison Young Productions. She also finds time to run Femina Potens, a female-focused art gallery located in the Castro.

www.madisonbound.com; www.feminapotens.org

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Midori, photographed by Constance Smith

MIDORI, THE SENSEI

Midori, the artist formerly known as Fetish Diva Midori, is adamantly opposed to being portrayed exclusively within the confines of BDSM. "A lot of people, sure, see my bondage stuff. But that's just one of many, many things that I do."

That may be so, but all the same, you can't talk about San Francisco's women of bondage without including a legend like Midori. While she might claim "I don't distinguish S-M, because it's just all sexuality," she is a huge personality, respected sex-educator, and popular author in the realm of BDSM. Her sought-after bondage workshops include weekend-long intensives on "rope bondage dojo," a type of bondage she developed and trademarked.

For Midori, growing up in Japan has had an enormous impact on her work, and her heritage manifests itself not only her rope bondage specialty in but also in her academic interests. She published a collection of S-M stories titled Master Han's Daughter based in a Tokyo of the future and developed a course on contemporary sex culture in Japan.

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