Of human bondage - Page 5

THE SEX ISSUE: The Bay's wonderful women of BDSM aren't bound by convention
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ROBINSON

A former Catholic schoolgirl who attributes her sadistic tendencies to "all of those Sunday mornings spent contemputf8g the bloody figure of Christ," Raven began her pro-domme career in a structured, hierarchical way: she apprenticed. "There aren't a lot of other women who are practicing BDSM as professionals who went through the process of apprenticing themselves to an older mistress. There's only one other woman in SF right now, Eve Minax, who has actually done things in a more traditional manner."

Now Raven is not only one of the most established mistresses in San Francisco (and a 2007 Guardian Best of the Bay winner), but something of a mentor to up-and-coming dommes. Perhaps it's because Raven benefited personally from the tutelage of an older mistress, Sybil Holiday, that she "always resolved to be a friendly face in the community, in being that person who I wish was around when I was 18: a little wicked but armed with good information and good experiences. That's why I see myself as Mrs. Robinson."

A popular guest lecturer at UC Berkeley and sex educator at the Academy of SM Arts, an organization based in Menlo Park with workshops around the Bay Area, Raven is a happily-settled Oaklander with a supportive leather family. "I have my slave, and I have my former apprentice. And her boy lives with us too. I do not lack for love and companionship, but it's not in the traditional hetero-normative form."

www.selinaraven.com

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EVE MINAX, THE TRANSFERRED QUEEN

"I love diapering," says Eve Minax. "Age-play is a huge force in my life."

AB/DL, which stands for adult baby/diaper-lover, is a paraphilia most people tend to find either comical or disturbing. Minax disagrees. "Diapering in and of itself isn't about age play as much as it is about getting somebody into a primal state — that baby state, that place before you're actually living, thinking, feeling, in civilization."

In terms of maternal figures, Minax — who is six feet tall in heels, with short spikes of orangey-red hair and a fluty, theatrical voice — looks more Auntie Mame than Mommy Dearest. That is, if Auntie Mame looked like she could flog you into an intensive care unit. (In fact, the first time I met Minax in person, her right wrist was in a cast. She sprained it while flogging a client too enthusiastically.)

And speaking of intensive care, Minax is known as much for her medical play as she is for age play — in case you're on the market for a rectal exam.

After eight years of working in San Francisco and living in Chicago, Minax finally made the decision to make SF her home base last year, much to her own delight. "I come from Chicago. I've lived in Paris. I've lived in Melbourne. But San Francisco is the mecca for alternative sexuality. All everyone ever talked about was San Francisco! It was almost like having a religious experience. I wanted to wait until I was about to retire, but then finally I was like: fuck it, I'll just move here."

Minax's current projects writing a cookbook of "food and BDSM pairings", such as "pork ribs with a side of rubber gimp".

www.mistressminax.com

Editor's note: This list is by no means exhaustive. There are an impressive number of women making an impact on San Francisco's BDSM scene. In particular, we'd also like to give a nod to Cleo Dubois, Sybil Holiday, Madame Butterfly, Luncida Archer, Mistress Morgana, Fivestar, Maitres Madeline, Janet Hardy, Hollie Stevens, and Princess Donna.

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