House call: Dominatrix dungeon

Just like pleasure-inducing pain, this temple of torment is both naughty and nice.

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Photo by Patrik Rytikangas

The most illustrious torture chambers are far from cozy (think the Bastille or the Tower of London) and are usually known for their iron maidens, rusty chains and dank interiors. But one lair, located in the depths of a two-bedroom Financial District duplex, looks as if it sprang from the pages of Martha Stewart Living rather than the stories of the Marquis de Sade. As its owner—a 33-year-old female pornographer, teacher and ten-year disciple of BDSM (bondage, domination, sadism/submission and masochism) who goes by Domina M—explains, "I try to keep mine more homey." In the larger of her two fetishistic rooms, which she calls Dreamland, mustard-hued chiffon curtains, bronze filigree and matching candleholders scored from discount emporium Daffy's share space with Japanese nipple clamps, leather whips (organized from "lighter to heavier flogging") and surprisingly plush vinyl-covered pieces from L.A. fantasy furniture supplier Sonny Black—including a Black Stallion spanking bench and a worship throne where vassals can kiss her shoes. "I like to control people's sensations, so that's why my furniture's so comfortable," M says. But of course, long manacles dangle from the ceiling for full-body suspension (M actually prefers Home Depot rope), an archfeminine dresser brims with medieval-looking medical gadgetry, and wooden stocks promise old-fashioned corporeal punishment.

By default, she painted the smaller den, which was recently the setting for her DVD Yesterday's Slave, with 11 coats of crimson paint. "I hate red dungeons," M demurs. "It looks really cool when you walk in, but when you're tanning someone's hide it's harder to gauge when to stop, because the color reflects off their skin." Despite its functional drawbacks, the rouge walls strike a slick contrast with her collection of straitjackets tricked out with leg binders, plastic male chastity devices, and a latex body bag from kinky Orchard Street boutique DeMask that looks like a hybrid between a Missy Elliott costume and a Helmut Newton prop. Far less exotic but equally menacing is a standard-issue chiropractor's chair, which actually works well for nonmedical interactions. "It's meant to tie them down and spin them around 360 degrees. And it's much cheaper than most bondage pieces."

Though M admits to loving her job as "CEO, cheerleader and spokesmodel" of Luxuria Productions (luxuriaproductions.com), which offers mostly female-on-male bondage flicks, she keeps her prized crocodile Kiki de Montparnasse cuffs for personal use in her boudoir upstairs. "At the end of the day, I get so sick of looking at other people's vaginas."

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