Taking a thrilling and adventurous visit to one of the last old-guard BDSM houses in the world

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By: Lorelei Erisis/TRT Columnist-

By now, many of you have either met me in person or encountered my ubiquitous online presence. If you haven’t, rest assured, you soon will. I do get around some!

One of the questions I get when out and about and handing my card to folks is this:

“So, Lorelei, I understand the ‘Pageant Queen’ and ‘Improviser’ bit. But what exactly do you mean by calling yourself an ‘Adventurer’?”

Well, I’m glad you asked. If I have any sort of fetish that I can really pin down, it’s that I really, really like to say “yes” to any kind of new experience or fresh adventure. I like to go places I’ve never been before and meet all kinds of new folks. In fact, I also have a penchant — which has occasionally gotten me in trouble over the years — of wanting to be in places I’m not supposed to be. Like, for instance, the roof of my old high school for a midnight stroll. Or the decaying hallways and tunnels of the old Northampton State Hospital before it was torn down.

I’ve hung out with old-school hackers and Irish mobsters. I’ve gone alone to strange countries where I did not speak the language, and I once lived for a couple of months in a storm-damaged movie studio near New Orleans’ lower 9th ward, post-Katrina.

Over the past seven years, I have shared many of these adventures with my girlfriend, the fabulous Widow Centauri.

Honestly, I’m a sucker for anything that’s going to make a good story.
As it happens, I am right this very moment in the midst of another rollicking adventure with Widow and I wanted to tell you about a place we just left, a place my adventures have occasionally brought me to several times in the past. A place called “La Domaine Esemar.”

Among other things, Widow is a famous dominatrix (and also a stand-up comedian!) and my close association with her has brought me many places that not very many people get to see. La Domaine is one of those places.

Their website announces them to be the “world’s oldest SM training chateau,” and I have very little doubt of the authenticity of that statement.

In many ways, La Domaine is one of the last remaining vestiges of a quickly disappearing old guard of the BDSM community. It’s located in a private home somewhere in the woods of upstate New York. There is a fully equipped dungeon, private outdoor space and a whole community of folks with an interest in BDSM that ranges from the neophyte to folks who live the lifestyle 24/7.

The Chateau is run by a couple of absolutely wonderful folks. Master R, who founded La Domaine Esemar some years ago and who has been immersed in the BDSM community longer than many of us have been alive. And the lovely Mistress Collette, the skillful and charming headmistress of Esemar. It is their home and the center of their family, which includes a range of house and personal slaves as well as masters and mistresses in training and an orbiting coterie of experienced, professional and lifestyle players.

Although at any given time of the year you will find a warm and welcoming house full of the most unexpected delights, the pulse of La Domaine centers on a number of special parties and events held throughout the year. There are regular “play parties” featuring well-known and highly respected visiting mistresses. It is in this capacity that Widow and I first had occasion to visit. There are also dinner parties and drink tastings with some of the tastiest food and palate-pleasing, expertly chosen liquors I have had the pleasure of experiencing. R and Collette are both supremely talented cooks. They are also skilled mycologists and though I normally despise mushrooms of any kind, the freshly picked wild mushrooms I have had served at their table were hands-down heavenly!

I absolutely love visiting Master R and Mistress Collette at their home! At the door I am greeted by the sight of naked, often smiling, slaves and a comfy, welcoming living room with a view of well-attended bird feeders and green woods. In winter, a stately old black iron woodstove radiates warmth and the full bay windows reveal a landscape peacefully blanketed in thick, white snow.

R, Collette and their extended family are always welcoming and wonderful. Hugs abound when greeted by friends both old and new. Whether you are newly exploring the boundaries of your sexuality and totally new to the world of SM or you have been in and around “the scene” for years, there is a place for you and you will be made to feel both comfortable and welcome.

Make no mistake by my warm fuzzy sentiments, though. If you read Story Of OVenus In Furs, or Anne Rice’s Exit To Eden, know that many places like the ones in those stories actually existed. There was an entire underground world and culture that is sadly disappearing in the post-Madonna, SM-as-fashion world. And La Domaine Esemar is one of the very few houses left in the entire world in which those fantasies you only dreamed about are actually made real.

As I said, it’s old-guard SM and there are rules. Still, you are in good hands with Master R and Mistress Collette. But why take my word for it? Have an adventure yourself! They gladly welcome guests! Go to LaDomaine.com. Your most secret dreams can be made real.
Slainte!

*Lorelei Erisis, former Miss Trans New England, can be contacted at: loreleierisis@therainbowtimesmass.com.