Thursday, December 01, 2005

"sexual torture"

somewhere on the 4100 block of n. central ave (damn close to my house) lives a dominatrix who calls herself miss ann. she runs a dungeon out of her home.

miss ann is not a prostitute. she absolutely does not have sex with clients, nor does she draw blood or leave permanent marks. her dungeon provides a safe, discreet environment where clients (male only) can act out their bondage and dressup fantasies.

you'd never know from walking around the neighborhood that a dominatrix lives there. in fact, most neighborhood residents had no idea about her dungeon (and probably never would have) until wrtv first reported on her in 2003.

but now the city wants to shut her down:

The city of Indianapolis is asking a court to shut down what it calls a house-based sexual torture business, saying it violates zoning regulations.

The city on Wednesday filed a court complaint against Melyssa Donaghy, alleging that she is illegally operating a business in her home, located in the 4100 block of Central Avenue.

i must take offense at that term, sexual torture. what happened at abu ghraib, where arab men were physically tortured and humiliated by chuckling soldiers, that was sexual torture. what happens at mistress ann's dungeon is not. the biggest difference is that what happens in mistress ann's dungeon is consensual. she's not beating or shaming these men out of some twisted desire to harm them. these men want to be spanked around a bit. they love it. they even pay her to do it, and do it in a safe environment. that makes it pleasure, pretty much the opposite of torture. i find the city's use of loaded terms like "sexual torture" to be quite offensive. the city is using the most loaded, damaging language possible to defame mistress ann and her clientelle.

Authorities say an undercover Indianapolis police officer went to the home in September. He reported being forced to get down on his hands and knees and kiss Donaghy's boots and feet.

The officer also said he witnessed the use of spurs, whips, chains and clamping devices, and that he was subjected to degrading conversation, RTV6's Jack Rinehart reported.

duh! that's the whole point! that's what you go to a dominatrix for! this is like saying you went to wal-mart and found a dirty store with poor service where you had to wait a half hour in the checkout line—it's tautological.

In addition to seeking an end to the business, the city wants Donaghy to pay a fine.

People in Donaghy's neighborhood have expressed concerns about the business's proximity to a Catholic grade school and a public library, Rinehart reported.

the dungeon is right around the corner from the school; this is true. i went to that school for several years growing up. but the idea that the dungeon endangers the kids is a little peculiar. miss ann's clients are submissives. they go to the dungeon because they want to be spanked, not the other way 'round. the types of sexual predators who prey on children are not submissives. they're just not, pretty much by definition.

and besides, the pastor of that church said two years ago that he wasn't concerned:

The Rev. Patrick Doyle released a statement saying he had "no reason to believe the house poses a danger ... We have policies and procedures in place to ensure that our school is a haven for our children."

and come to mention it, the cops weren't concerned back then either:

Police are aware of the business, but say it's legal, Rinehart reported.

"As long as it's legitimate, it's not breaking any laws," Indianapolis police Sgt. Ron Brezik said. "We receive no complaints about mistreatment from people that are there. She has a legal right to have it open."

in 2003, the cops said miss ann's dungeon was perfectly legal. now the city is trying to shut her down. what changed since then? has the police dept changed its position, or is the city trying to shut down mistress ann against the advice of the police force?

note also that they're trying to shut her down based on a zoning ordinance. apparently they couldn't find any sodomy laws or anti-kinkiness laws, and went fishing for whatever law they could use against her. honestly, what kind of zoning do you need to run a dungeon? and more importantly, how do you get your property zoned as a dungeon? i suspect that if you went to the zoning board and suggested such a thing, you would be denied. and if it were allowed, where would it be allowed? a private residence seems like a much safer, smarter location for a dungeon than space that is traditionally zoned for commerce (say, for example, strip malls).

i repeat: in 2003, police said miss ann's business was legal. now she's accused of a zoning violation. what changed since then? clearly the zoning issue was not a concern back then, so why is it now? it doesn't take two years to check the zoning laws; something else is going on here. someone is on a crusade to shut her down, but who?

update: as miss ann explains on her site (which is remarkably tame), she doesn't like the word mistress, so i've edited this post to refer to her only as "miss ann".

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