I Stumbled Upon A Los Angeles Sex Dungeon & Here’s What Happened

I wouldn't consider myself to be particularly freaky. I'm used to being in safe, comfortable, monogamous relationships. However, I'm definitely curious about the wilder side of sex, and that led me to a secret Los Angeles BDSM dungeon. Here's what happened when I stepped inside.

Dakota Johnson In Red Room
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Image Credit: Courtesy of Universal Pictures

When I graduated from college and moved to Los Angeles from Massachusetts in 2014, I was determined to be open to new experiences. Regularly shy, I started taking improv classes. I hung out with new people – pretty much anyone who invited me. I went on a lot of adventures, always excited to check out new places. But when I stumbled upon a sex dungeon in my neighborhood, I took it to the next level.

It all started when I was scrolling through a community calendar of events online. One club was having a wine and cheese night, and made a note on the event: “don’t be scared of the location, it’s just for the ambiance.” What the hell does that mean? I thought. I clicked on the address, and was stunned by what I saw. Just down the street from me was a BDSM dungeon, complete with expensive membership plans, tons of equipment, and a very specific list of rules. As I clicked through the pages, I came across a list of “open house” nights – times that you could go onto the “campus” for what was basically a seminar and networking event. The next one was just one day later, so I thought f*** it, I’m going to see what this is about.

The next night I showed up to what looked like a construction zone – a plywood wall over a chain-link fence obscuring two houses behind it from the busy street – with a male friend and the $20 entrance fee (which could go toward the cost of a membership if you decided it was for you.) A very pleasant lady with wild hair and dark lipstick met us at the door, took our money, and told us to go into the main room, where the seminar was just beginning. It was about “chair knots.” When we walked into the red room filled with cages, chains, a cross, and various other sex furniture, my friend looked at me like we had seriously stumbled into the wrong place. The eccentric, large, older woman in a mu mu giving the lecture immediately asked him if he was my dominant. He said maybe, while I shook my head “no.” Awkward.

As soon as we sat down in the circle of chairs along with 20 or so other people, both single and couples, we were asked to sign a non-disclosure agreement. They made it clear that all guests had to have specified safe words and use protection while on the premises, and prostitution was a HUGE no-no. They explained that they have attendants to wander the rooms and make sure everyone is okay, and to keep an eye out for anything that seems illegal or non-consensual. The woman then talked about her BDSM lifestyle, casually using the sentence “while my slave was driving me to the store the other day…” I never realized that people maintain their roles outside of the bedroom, and I found it really interesting that she explained a dominant’s job was to take care of and protect their submissive. My friend kept cracking jokes, but I was intrigued.

After talking about the wonders of (terrifying) things like knife play, fire play, and needle play, we were free to roam the campus. A small, nerdy-looking guy in a short-sleeved button down shirt gave us the grand tour, which included two houses and an outdoor courtyard playing hardcore porn on a projector while people sat and chatted around fire pits. I was stunned by how many themes the rooms had: a child’s bedroom, a karate dojo, a cave, a garage, heck, there was even a kitchen with m&m’s that my friend so boldly grabbed a handful of out of the communal bowl. I was surprised by all of the bottles of Lysol, and the mounted hand sanitizer dispensers on the wall, but glad that they took safety and sanitation very seriously. Although, there was one kind of disgusting spot.

At one point we climbed down a dark stairwell with a small room at the bottom, painted black from top to bottom with just a candle burning in the middle and a cage in the corner. I felt for a light switch, and when I flipped it, a black light turned on to reveal bodily fluids all over the walls and floor. Needless to say, we dashed back up the stairs and doused ourselves with the provided disinfectant. The thought still makes me shudder.

More than once, while wandering around on our own, my friend and I ran into couples having sex despite the fact that we were told not to during the open house. It was weird, seeing such acts carried out with no regard for who was watching. It almost seemed liberating. While I definitely didn’t spring for the membership, or ever go back, my friend and I both admitted later that we had thought about hooking up in a dark corner of the sexy campus, and kind of regret the missed opportunity. While it seems totally bizarre to a regular person walking in off the street, the whole atmosphere was very comfortable and accepting, and it’s nice to know that there’s a place for you no matter what you’re into. But for now, I think I’ll stick to the improv classes.

HollywoodLifers, would you ever consider exploring a sex dungeon? Let us know!

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