In the Realm of the Subbies

Gram Ponante
Other than attending several years of Catholic school, I'd never been to a BDSM event before. What might I learn? I wondered. What can these people learn from me?

The small gala was a benefit for The Threshold Society, which now has a brick and mortar location, Hollywoodland Studios in North Hollywood (next to Burbank Airport), to keep their whips and chains.

"When we started in 1982 (as a chapter of the SoCal Society of Janus)," Threshold member Carlos P. said, "the only rules were 'Don't harass the doorman and Don't play with the owner's VCR.'"

Featured in the benefit was some of Jay Moyes' fetish art. I asked why many of the figures had antennae.

"I wanted to create a fembot out of motorcycle parts," Moyes said. "With cell phones already we're getting to the point of people having antennae sticking out of their heads."

The event was catered with fine Costco meats and cheeses, as well as a punch called Masochism Mango Madness. I thought about the significance of a BDSM fete serving punch. There was no corresponding treat called accept.

I spoke with director Jennifer James, who is going to be burning down a sound stage within the next few weeks as she begins shooting The Phantom of the Porn Stage. She told me that she is the only independent porn feature producer left, with everyone else having gone gonzo. She still owns a piece of all of her movies.

"All the big name directors don't have a pot to piss in," she said.

In the corner, an elderly woman with a mohawk called for snacks and a wispy young man got them. I talked with a woman for a while about 2257 regulations before she turned into a cone of snakes and caught fire. I overheard the following conversation:

Man 1: We were going to have a chariot race out back...tie a submissive to a chair with wheels...

Man 2: Do we have any pony girls?

Man 1: Maybe just another subbie that we could dress up...?

Man 2: The airport wouldn't like it.

I developed a new respect for S.E. Hinton.

There were very stringent rules about picture-taking, but I think it was more about having rules than what the rules were about. Everyone was very kind, but it was probably because, like Shaq, I am a dominant person when I loose my wrath.

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