Christmas, Bondage-Style

Spend the holidays happily tied up.

Indeed most of the people at Nelson's party are like Raiza. They grew up in Hialeah or Westchester and never really fit in the salsa or hip-hop club scene. Take Aquiles, for example. He's a 37-year-old UPS driver who started out listening to Bauhaus, Nine Inch Nails, and Skinny Puppy as a teen in the late Eighties. He grew up but never wanted to stop being a goth, he says. "It's underground, still, here in Miami," he explains. "In a place like New York, you can walk around dressed like this."

Although he describes himself as being a "proud" goth, Aquiles admits he is reluctant to walk into stores fully dressed in black with eye makeup, dark lipstick, and white contacts (which he is wearing at the party). Unlike Nelson, Raiza, and several others at the party, Aquiles is not yet into the fetish scene, though his girlfriend, Laidys, is — she clearly enjoyed being paddled by Raiza. "She actually wants me to hit her," he says. He's considering it.

Just then a silver Volvo drives into the parking lot. Two girls in black emerge. There are some 25 people at the party now. A guy named Jeffrey walks up to Aquiles. "Hey, did you know that coffin actually transported a body from South America?"

Ivon David Rojas
X marks the spot: Nelson Suarez, age 32, makes wooden bondage furniture.
Ivon David Rojas
X marks the spot: Nelson Suarez, age 32, makes wooden bondage furniture.

Nelson peers at a chalkboard nailed to the wall inside the warehouse. It's kind of a scorecard of who wants what, where. There's a Dom column (for people who want to hit), a Sub column (for those who want to be hit), and a Piece column (so people can coordinate which piece of furniture they'd like to use).

There are lines and arrows connecting 10 names with the contraptions.

Later Nelson flogs Raiza on the cross and in the stocks. He also whips Marlen on the cross. Raiza flogs Marlen and Leidys, and Leidys gets her wish to have her boyfriend, Aquiles, paddle her on the spanking bench. At one point, a professional dominatrix named Jenica pulls down her shirt, places blue electrical tape on her nipples, and poses for photos on the spanking bench with a girl named Ashley. Jenica holds a knife to Ashley's throat. The fog machine pumps out some white smoke, and on the stereo, the band Athamay sings what could be a song from central casting on a BDSM porn shoot: "Sex, pain, pain, pleasure/Eternal torture lasts forever...." It all seems a little forced, even for Nelson — who watches Jenica and Ashley near-kiss while playing with the knife.

"It's cool, it's sexy, I guess," Nelson shrugs. "But they're just tourists. For me it's only a turn-on if I'm doing something and the girl is turned on too."

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