Has BDSM’s time come?

From the looks of last night’s sold out screening of Barbet Schroeder’s Maitresse at the Egyptian Theater, the first of its new monthly Fetish Film Nights inaugurated and hosted by Antebellum Gallery‘s Rick Castro, one could draw the conclusion that BDSM’s time has come to enter the mainstream.

About three quarters of the audience remained to participate in a spirited conversation led by Castro (a longtime champion of fetish as a lifestyle) about the film, its depiction of BDSM and the viewers’ first hand experiences with the subject. There were the professional (dominatrices) and the curious, the hardcore and the dabblers; doms and subs; gay, straight and bisexual; young, middle-aged and older couples and singles, dressed for a night out at the movies, not the dungeon. The talk was, by turns, an unflinching, intelligent, cheery, serious and respectful exploration and celebration of what is becoming everyday BDSM culture.

After the discussion, 30 or so viewers followed Castro back to his gallery around the corner to continue talking. As is commonplace these days, the presidential race came up. One man opined that if McCain is elected, “all of this might become illegal,” gesturing to the erotic art on the gallery walls. I asked Castro if he felt like a canary in a coal mine.

Unflappably ebullient, he said, “I think of myself as a harbinger of things to come.”

Fetish Film Nights returns to the Egyptian on October 17th for a screening of Pier Paolo Pasolini’s Salo, The 120 Days of Sodom.

Photo: Wikipedia Commons