Local News

Women Seek License for Domination Parlor

Posted August 28, 1997 12:00 a.m. EDT

— Raleigh is quickly becoming a bigger city, which means learning to deal with big city issues. For the first time, two women are seeking to locate a domination parlor within city limits. Local leaders are trying to decide whether or not this fits the city's definition of an adult establishment.

This is definitely a new one for the city of Raleigh. A domination parlor is a place where patrons pay to be dominated and engage in sadistic or masochistic acts. City and state statutes don't address this type of business. But when the two women went to apply for a business license, they were turned away and told the city needed to look at the issue first and decide whether or not it fits the definition of an adult establishment.

Movies likeExit to Edenhave poked fun at domination, but in reality it is a thriving subculture which has found a home on the Internet and in the form of alternative nightclubs in large cities.

While Raleigh may not be ready for it yet, the attorney for the proposed business owners says it is not illegal. Tom Mansfield says the parlor would not involve nudity or sexual acts which means by law it is not an adult establishment and should be granted a license.

WRAL'sAmanda Lambtalked to the city attorney Thomas McCormick shortly before noon. He declined an on camera interview, but he would say the city's public safety committee is looking at the issue of domination parlors.

He also says that there is nothing barring the business license office from granting the license to the two women. That's not what the business license office says. They have referred it to the city zoning department.

So right now, there seems to be a lot of roadblocks for this business, and no one from the city wants to take responsibility for the roadblocks.