Dear Dan: Is it legal for a man to procure the services of a dominatrix? In the kind of session I have in mind, there’s no nudity or sexual activity or contact involved. There’s not even any whipping or flogging or caning or hardcore BDSM stuff. I just want to see what it would be like to be bound and gagged. That’s it. So is it against the law to pay a woman to tie me up?

— Boy Into Nonsexual Domination

Dear BIND: “The short answer is no, he’s not likely to be arrested for procuring the services of a Dominatrix,” says Mistress Justine Cross, a pro-Domme based in Los Angeles. “What BIND desires sounds totally legal and safe — he just needs to find a Domme who is reputable (check out her website, read her reviews) and knows what she is doing in the realm of bondage. That said, I’m not a cop or a lawyer.”

Cross is, however, a business owner.

She runs two dungeons in Los Angeles — and she consulted with a criminaldefense attorney before going into the professional domination business. “He assured me that what I do is A-okay,” Cross says. “And even though he had practiced for many years, he had never defended, nor did he know any other lawyer who had ever defended, a professional Domme. Since Dommes rarely find themselves in trouble for their work, it stands to reason that BIND, a future client, will be in the clear as well.”

With the Feds going after websites like Rentboy and myRedBook (sites that make sex work safer), and with the never-ending puritanical, punitive crusade to “rescue” adult sex workers from consensual, nonexploitative sex work (by arresting them and giving them criminal records), how is it that professional Dominants and their clients aren’t routinely harassed by law-enforcement authorities?

“We don’t offer sex or nudity in our professional BDSM work,” Cross says, “and this keeps us out of the ‘criminalized’ categories of sex work. However, every state has different laws. NYC and LA both have large professional BDSM communities, but I can’t say every state or city welcomes or tolerates this type of sex work. In some places, the scene is more ‘underground,’ mostly because people still have a hard time understanding that some people just want to get tied up and not get a hand job, too.” Follow Mistress Justine Cross on Twitter @ Justineplays.

Dear Dan: I’m a good-looking, fit, younger guy living in Southern California. I’m getting older, though, and have never been in love or had any kind of serious relationship. I’m straight, but in the past five years I discovered that sexuality is gray, not black or white. I learned this when I accidentally dove into the world of trans. I go on Craigslist and other sites and find local trans girls to engage with in sexual activity. It’s hard to describe why I’m into it, but I just am — maybe it satisfies a sexual side of me that women don’t? Regardless, I’ve felt like this is an issue getting in the way of my quest to find a great woman and start a family, which I’d like to do in the next few years. I’m caught between thinking my sexual addiction is hindering my advancement toward a family life and enjoying the rush and sexual gratitude I’m inundated with when I meet up with trans girls. Is it something I definitely need to put an end to, or has it become a part of me that I can’t deny and hide?

— Rocks And Hard Places

Dear RAHP: Trans women are women, RAHP, and some of them are great. (And some of them, like some of everybody, are not so great.) You could date a trans woman, you could marry a trans woman, and you could have kids with a trans woman (through adoption or surrogacy). The only thing that stands between you and being with the kind of person you’re most attracted to (a trans woman) and having the other stuff you want out of life (marriage, kids, family life) is you.

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