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Friday, March 2, 2007

No One Thinks About Sex in the Suburbs

posted by on March 2 at 11:52 AM

Also in today’s New York Times, a story about a story about a professional dominatrix. What makes this particular domme attention-worthy, according to the NYT, is the location of her dungeon: the upscale, tony, horsey suburb of Bedford Hills, New York, where Ralph Lauren, Glenn Close, and Martha Stewart also have homes.

Apart from the phalanx of reporters and photographers, the only hint that something was a little odd about the charming old clapboard farmhouse on Haines Road was the black cloth hanging across the second-floor windows, blotting out the sun filtering down through lofty pines.

It was what happened behind those curtains that set the place apart: “Situated on four private acres, in a century old stately manor, here life is devoted to female superiority, proper training and etiquette for the betterment of men,” read the description on, a Web site.

The house, as nearly everyone in this genteel town now knows, was occupied by a 46-year-old reputed dominatrix, Sandra L. Chemero, who was arrested on Tuesday on charges of prostitution and weapons possession, accused of running a brothel, not just a chamber of horrors, amid the sylvan splendor.

Chamber of horrors? Puh-leeze. The only horrific thing about Chemero’s operation was her property tax bill. BDSM is a mainstream fetish these days, positively benign compared to many of the once-obscure sexual tastes. The ability of the Internet to create “fetish communities” out of what were, at one time, rare and obscure fetishes. On the kink-o-meter BDSM falls somewhere between boring and oral these days.

But it was this comment, given by one of Chemero’s neighbors, that caught my eye…

“The mailman, who goes there every day, he didn’t even know about it,” said Mario C. Chiacchia, who owns a service station down the road. “Around here, you don’t even think about things like that.”

Yeah… right. No one in the ‘burbs thinks about kinky sex. I’d like to see that statement backed up with a little evidence, please. Perhaps we could subpoena the browser histories on every computer in Bedford Falls—just to make sure that no one in horse country is using their riding crops for anything, you know, horrific.

RSS icon Comments


I don't suppose that "service station" happens to double as a truck stop...

Posted by Chris | March 2, 2007 12:36 PM

I’m sure they must have meant “chamber of whores”.

Posted by You_Gotta_Be_Kidding_Me | March 2, 2007 12:41 PM

generalized kink
whorehoue kink
media whore kink

and it all starts with ass slapping, and big hard on slapping, and bite my nips ..... oh well

Posted by erice | March 2, 2007 12:45 PM

I don't read that as him saying "no one around here thinks about sex", I read it as "no one around here thinks that the neighbor's house might be a BDSM dungeon". Which is probably true.

Posted by Fnarf | March 2, 2007 12:45 PM

There is plenty of evidence that the kink-o-meter's calibration doesn't only move in one direction. Recent history might suggest that tolerance inevitably increases, but I would bet that in 100 years necrophilia will still clock in as pretty fucking kinky on the old k-o-m.

An it isn't impossible that some day oral will be unspeakable again. These things move both ways, I'm sorry to say.

And if you know that, then it follows that people (perhaps Mario C. Chiacchia) can register their shock and horror in the NYT in an effort to push the meter back to simpler, happier times (in their opinion).

You might not want that to happen, but the world makes a lot more sense if you are open to the possibility that not everyone shares your standards. You'll find yourself saying "Puh-leeze" a lot less.

Posted by elenchos | March 2, 2007 12:46 PM

Surely some of these neighbors have pool boys?

Posted by Bill Clinton | March 2, 2007 12:58 PM

I don't think you really need a subpoena anymore...

Posted by Boomer | March 2, 2007 1:03 PM

I'm more concerned that they use those horses for something horrific.

Posted by keshmeshi | March 2, 2007 1:04 PM

I've heard that people in the suburbs not only think about sex, they actually have sex. Is this news?

People love to talk about and fantasize about sex of all sorts, but when push comes to shove, we're still a nation of puritans, and getting more so all the time. So, a story about a dominatrix in Connecticut is still magically titillating to us puritans in the US.

Posted by BD | March 2, 2007 1:14 PM


wow - i'm hot now

Posted by grrroowwwlll | March 2, 2007 1:35 PM

Bedford Hills (in the lede) becomes Bedford Falls (in the last para)?

Raises the question: What would George Baily say if ZaZu grew up to be a Dom?

Posted by bill | March 2, 2007 1:37 PM

Bill, she is a Dom!
And she opened up a fetish store:
Zuzuu's Paddles

Posted by jonathan | March 2, 2007 1:45 PM

We're the sauce on your steak
The cheese in your cake
We put the spring in Springfield

Posted by Kate | March 2, 2007 1:52 PM

Well, by golly, if only one man was bettered by this, it was worth it!

Posted by isabelita | March 2, 2007 1:55 PM

Great article, though I would say that oral is further down on the kink-o-meter (meaning it's less kinky) than BDSM. I'd say BDSM is somewhere between oral and anal. But it ain't the 'taint. You know what I mean.

Posted by Matthew | March 2, 2007 1:58 PM


I feel like the only posts I'm putting up are just nagging silly maybe errors. But was that intentional to change the name from Bedford Hills (the real name of the town) to Bedford Falls (from It's a Wonderful Life)?

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