In a cavernous dungeon basement in Flatiron, I walked in on something kinky; men in spiked chokers and tight briefs were bent against the wall and being spanked, dominatrixes in black corsets and demure pencil skirts were playing with nipple clamps, and mistress/slave role-playing was not just expected of me, it was demanded – or else.
In this dimly-lit world where every kinky desire was expressed and whim acted upon, perhaps the greatest surprise of it all was this: it was purely educational. And that’s where the Domi Dollz come in.
The Domi Dollz are a group of professional dominatrixes who seek to bring kinky, non-conventional play out of the dungeon and into the mainstream. They do this by educating, titillating, and spanking the masses of people who crowd the monthly workshops at the Museum of Sex with their friends, dates, and insatiable curiosity for something a little bit more. Christian Grey and Anastasia Steele look-a-likes and enthusiasts, these audiences are comprised of regulars – or newbies that frequently become regulars – thanks to the disarming quality of the mistress in charge: founder and president of Domi Dollz Ms. Nina Payne.
Here’s what you need to know about Ms. Nina Payne: she’s that girl from high school who exudes sex, humor, friendliness, and sincerity – to the point that you can’t stand the fact that you like her so much – but dammit, you do. When (seemingly) innocent guests are asked to whip other (seemingly) innocent guests with suede floggers, Payne assists with accessible language, such as, "It’s like a tennis swing, follow all the way through," and "It’s kind of like that, but not like that; you know what I mean." She assiduously moves through whipping, spanking, flogging, blindfolding, and nipple clamping, to bondage, and eventually role-playing, all while miraculously convincing audience members to come up and try it themselves.
Payne is flanked by not only the straight-out-of-a-guy’s-dream Ms. Mona Rogers, but also two muscled, shirtless, collared men with wicked grins on their faces whom, according to Payne, can each be regarded as "Boy. They have no name."
But perhaps what is most stirring about the Domi Dollz workshops is their ability to uncover something very deep within yourself – and the person you bring – that you didn’t know existed before. After a 60-minute dose of pure kink – you find yourself in one of two places: shamelessly turned on, or just not that into it. You surprise yourself. And regardless of where you stand and how many whippings it took to get there, it’s a pretty pleasurable place to be.