Media Update – May 14, 2007

   1. Kinkfest provides a room to romp

   2. Ex in a Bind on Bondage Saga

   3. Owner plans a campground in full swing

   4. Hsu Out on $400K Bond, Into Treatment Program

   5. Judge: NYC jury cannot hear that employer was a dominatrix

   6. City acts against swingers



Kinkfest provides a room to romp:

If your curiosity, um, is aroused

by Athima Chansanchai

Seattle Post-Intelligencer

May 11, 2007


Forget bringing sexy back.


Borrowing a line from Prince, "sexy never left" the erotic ambassadors who will help visitors explore sexual boundaries at the third annual Kinky Carnival on Saturday night.


For $20, visitors can go as far as they're comfortable going without having sex, beginning with kissing demos and progressing to bondage, sex toys and a human petting/groping zoo.


While local sexperts argue Seattle probably is the country's most sexually liberated and tolerant city (yes, it even trumps San Francisco), something like the Kinky Carnival is still going to shock neophytes whose idea of a wild romp is changing positions with their partner. But organizers encourage them — and their significant others — to come out and play.


"Freaks already know how to get their freak on," said Teri D. Ciacchi, the event's organizer, a self-described "poly pagan queer" and head of the TerraFire Academy of Aphrodisiacal Living. "I want normal mainstream men and women to take the risk to come here."


"You don't have to commit to anything," said Allena Gabosch, executive director for The Wet Spot, Seattle's Sex Positive Community Center. "We give people permission to explore in a safe and welcoming environment, and because it's geared toward beginners and seekers, it's not as edgy or scary to the more mainstream public. We give people permission to be the sexual beings they already are."


Anonymity rules in the Little Red Studio, where the Kinky Carnival will take place. With or without masks, visitors and volunteers can play roles or reveal their true selves without fear of being outed, harassed or ridiculed. After they sign a form consenting that they are 18 or older, visitors are invited to test different "booths" or stations, such as the "Kiss," where Gabosch and other volunteers will welcome visitors by laying wet, sensual, erotic kisses on them — if visitors are OK with that.


There are self-explanatory stations such as "Hug & Cuddle," "Rub," "Rope" and "Submit" (which requires an additional consent form). Voyeurs get their own space, and in the "zoo" visitors enter a room with holes cut out in the wood. The holes are lined with cloth and once participants put their hands through, they'll find a body on the other side. Rub and fondle at will.


A bit more cryptic: "Whack" ("Enter and negotiate to be spanked, canned, flogged or paddled.") or "Zap" ("Violet wands and other electric toys are used in a negotiated manner on participants."). The negotiated part is very important: Nothing is done against the wishes of visitors.




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Ex in a Bind on Bondage Saga


by Laura Italiano

New York Post

May 11, 2007



Peter Braunstein's editrix ex was back at his kidnap-sex-assault trial yesterday for a final hour of hell – during which a defense lawyer forced her to recount the bulk of her previous day's testimony about the fiend's bottle-smashing temper and creepy bondage fantasies.


W magazine beauty director Jane Larkworthy bravely kept her steely composure despite the grotesque grilling.


"I'm not going to ask you questions about your sex role-play," defense lawyer Robert Gottlieb told the 43-year-old blonde, who had dated and lived with Braunstein for two years before their November 2003 breakup.


But the lawyer then launched into a long line of inquiry into just that – Braunstein's penchant for sexual role-playing games in which he would pretend to overpower a drugged, helpless woman.


"Now that included being tied up?" Gottlieb began.


"Yes," Larkworthy said, an answer she gave repeatedly – and with increasing impatience – as the lawyer methodically asked about how Braunstein would tie her to the bed or pretend to chloroform her.


Braunstein's lawyers are crafting a scenario in which Larkworthy's compliance in these games – along with her ultimate rejection of him – made his already-percolating mental illness boil over into the chloroform-and-bondage Halloween 2005 sex attack he is now on trial for.


Braunstein has admitted that he costumed himself as a firefighter, set off two homemade smoke bombs and tricked his way inside the Chelsea apartment of a Fairchild Publications co-worker of both himself and Larkworthy.


Once inside, Braunstein, by his own admission, held a gun to the victim's head and then chloroformed her into unconsciousness. Upon waking, she found herself stripped and bound to her bed – with a double-edged knife on her nightstand and Braunstein standing over her in a black ski mask. He proceeded to sexually molest her over the course of 13 hours.




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Owner plans a campground in full swing


by Jim Stingl

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

May 10, 2007


You might think someone running a campground named for its nudist policy and dedicated to mate-swapping would be discreet about it.


Marv Thomann sent out a news release.


"Grand opening of the first-of-its-kind swingers theme park," it begins, and then goes on to promise "ultimate stress relief therapy," "60 acres of erotic adventure," "an intimate playground for consenting adult couples" and other more specific things that I can't get in the newspaper.


Suffice it to say it's a campground with plenty of hookups. If this tent is rockin', don't worry about knockin'.


Thomann was eager to talk about his place when I called this week. He swears no one up there is complaining, even the Jackson County Sheriff's Department.


"They said we're OK as long as they don't see nudity from the highway," he said.


And is he zoned for, um, multifamily activity? That's no problem, Thomann said.


I had to run that one by Alma Town Chairman Charles Smith.


"We don't have an ordinance applying to that at this time," Smith said.


He's heard of the camp, but he didn't seem interested in discussing the direction Thomann is taking over there.


Same with Sheriff Duane Waldera and the head of the area chamber of commerce, who both passed on calling me back. But the woman who answered the sheriff's phone had this reaction when I called: "A what? Oh, my God."


Thomann, 58, said he was raised on a Wisconsin dairy farm by religious parents who would not approve of this venture if they were alive to see it. He worked as a trucker for years, and he ran a swingers club in the Madison area before moving to Black River Falls.


He bought the campground in 2002 and began welcoming nudists. He also has put on concerts there, attracting up to 3,000 people. The noise and sometimes-obnoxious behavior of these guests brought far more complaints than the swingers.


"I could never give up the swinging lifestyle," said Thomann, who partakes with his fiancie, Sunita. He's marrying her – fully clothed – at the camp in June.


"You meet the greatest people," he said. "It could be your next-door neighbor and his wife."




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Hsu Out on $400K Bond, Into Treatment Program


by Kristiana Glavin

New Canaan News-Review (Connecticut)

May 10, 2007


New Canaan resident Albert Hsu was released from prison last week after paying a court-approved lower bond, and was turned over to a residential psychiatric treatment program.


Hsu imprisoned for two months on charges of sexual assault and attempted kidnapping made his $400,000 bond May 9. He was to start 30 days of in-patient treatment for bipolar disorder immediately at SLS Health in Brewster, N.Y. Hsu then will live with his parents in New York City, prohibited from entering New Canaan.


The bond was cut from $1 million with several other conditions imparted. Stamford Superior Court judge Robert Devlin also stipulated that Hsu must not contact the victim or her family in any manner.


Hsu allegedly posted an online profile on a bondage Web site for his former mistress after their break-up in 2005. The profile stated that she wanted "a real-life abduction and rape scene," and included personal details about her and her schedule, according to Hsu's arrest warrant.


Attorney Robert Bello claimed that Hsu's need for further treatment drove the request for a lower bond, as well as his inability to pay the $1 million bond.


The state prosecutor objected, arguing that Hsu could not be monitored across state lines, and questioned his returning for trial.


The prosecutor also doubted Hsu's promise not to contact the victim. He cited prior police records showing that Hsu continued to write to and stalk the victim after police formally ordered him to stop.


Judge Devlin later emphasized the no-contact condition.




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Judge: NYC jury cannot hear that employer was a dominatrix


by Larry Neumeister

AM New York

May 9, 2007


A jury that will decide the back wages claim of a Brazilian nanny will not be allowed to hear that her boss was a dominatrix, a judge has ruled.


The pay dispute arose after Scarlet C. LeMay hired Luzenilde Campos in December 2000 as a full-time, live-in domestic worker and caregiver for her then 2-year-old son.


U.S. District Judge Laura Taylor Swain said in a written ruling signed Monday and made public Wednesday that she would not let LeMay's status as a dominatrix be introduced at trial.


The judge said both sides in the dispute had agreed the status would only be relevant at trial if LeMay were permitted to pursue her claims that she was defamed and had been subjected to emotional distress and fraud. The judge tossed out those countercharges as part of her ruling.


In asking that the dominatrix references be kept out of the trial, lawyers for LeMay said the introduction of the status at trial had the potential to "shock … or otherwise distract the jury."


The judge did not comment on the argument but included it in her written opinion.


LeMay worked as a dominatrix for many years and was identified as the contact for Ultimate Encounters, a business listed in telephone books in the section for escort services, the judge said.




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City acts against swingers:


Schenectady presses inn's owner to move parties to industrial zone

by Mike Goodwin

Albany Times Union (Albany, NY)

May 9, 2007


The party might soon be over at a Union Street inn that hosts sex bashes for swingers.


The city plans to file a citation against Union Street Bed & Breakfast owner Bob Alexson as soon as today, accusing him of violating a recently amended adult entertainment ordinance that city officials say requires him to move the parties to an industrial zone.


Alexson will have to end the parties at the 1362 Union St. inn by Oct. 23 unless he can convince the city's Zoning Board of Appeals to grant him a temporary waiver to stay put.


"The law is the law. It has nothing to do with swingers. It has everything to do with Bob Alexson not complying with the law," Corporation Counsel L. John Van Norden said in a phone interview, following a City Council meeting on Monday.


Alexson, who has waged a high-profile war of words with city officials over their plans to end the parties, said he welcomes the prospect of a legal fight.


"Bring it on, baby. I can't wait," said Alexson, who has vowed to challenge the constitutionality of the city's adult law. "Let's end this thing once and for all."


Under pressure from some of Alexson's neighbors, the council last fall amended its adult entertainment ordinance to end the gatherings at the inn.


The new legislation dramatically expanded the ordinance to require that nearly all sex-themed businesses move to industrial zones.


Alexson, who lives at the inn, has continued to host the parties, arguing that they are simply part of his private social life rather than a component of his business. He said he has yet to receive a letter or any other correspondence from the city alleging he's in violation of the zoning law.


Phoenix Avenue resident Dana Swalla blew the whistle on the parties in January 2006 and convinced the City Council to beef up its adult entertainment ordinance to force Alexson to move to an industrial zone. The inn was back in the news last week after Alexson and one of the people who attends his parties alleged that the city was secretly running the license plates of patrons.


City officials don't deny they checked the license plate numbers through the state Department of Motor Vehicle database, and hint that they did it to find witnesses needed to prove that Alexson was charging people to attend his parties, which could prove he violated the adult ordinance.




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