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Search for Nightlife: all about bondage

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AA Meat Market, 2933 N. Lincoln: "You won't believe this but I got into corporal spanking just a few weeks ago and I'm so happy," said a short, round woman in a black cocktail jacket. Her eyes were shining. She was talking to Aimee, the love reporter, who travels all over the globe gathering stories of romance.

Aimee was with her friend Mel, a businessman in his late 30s who likes to be tied up. They were at the monthly Saturday-night educational "Talk Only" meeting of the Chicagoland Discussion Group, which is for everybody--straights, bisexuals, gays, transsexuals, transvestites--who enjoys bondage.

Aimee wanted to change her clothes. She was wearing white chiffon, and except for a few men in double-knit T-shirts everybody else was dressed in black, like robbers and thieves. Mel told her not to worry because it's not looks or costume that matters but whether a person is convincing when torturing someone. Mel was trying to persuade Aimee to tie him up later but they had eaten too much sushi before coming and she was tired.

Aimee couldn't keep her eyes off the discussion leader, Z., a woman in her 60s who had yellow hair, silver fingernails, and large flabby arms like a grandmother's. She was wearing a low-cut strapless black leather bra top and a dog collar around her neck. She had a nice patter, like a disc jockey.

The discussion concerned questions of etiquette such as this: Let's say you're at a bar or a mixer--can a top (the one who does the tying and whipping) go up to a bottom and say "Can I be your top?" Or must a top wait to be approached by a bottom? Z., who was full of common sense, said, "Nnnooo, you have to let people know you're a top and you're interested in being a top and you want to be their top and if you click then you click. But don't just stand there waiting for a bottom. You see a bottom you like, go for it."

Talk flowed freely. A young woman with a soft brush hairstyle, blue eye shadow, and handcuffs in the epaulet of her motorcycle jacket raised her hand and said, "What do you do when things are getting too heavy but you don't want to use the safe word and make it stop?"

"Good question!" Z. said.

"Yeah, whataya do?" the crowd said. Apparently many were glad that this question had been asked, but no one had an answer.

Most of the talk was earnest. A bartender who had a chain around his neck that went down his chest and into his pants told the group that he likes to have everything nice before a person gets to his house. "It's all clean and I've got the candles lit!"

Mel whispered in Aimee's ear that the man next to them, Fred, was a top. Fred's slitty eyes were smiling at her from underneath his little visored motorcycle hat.

"I have to get out of here," Aimee said.

"It's just another way of getting close to people," Mel begged.

"You're disgusting."

"I knew you'd be great. Come on, tie me up."

Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): illustration/Tom Bachtell.

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