Bondage club operates near pre-school, church; works as a non-profit

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BRENTWOOD, MO (KTVI) – There’s a club in Brentwood where you can get tied up and whipped, right next to both a church and a preschool.

Fox 2 News obtained exclusive video from a woman who calls herself a “submissive.” She fears the activity at the club could turn abusive.

Inside the club, you can hear the sound of human flesh being lashed with leather. You can hear yelling as dozens of people drink alcohol, watch, and sometimes participate in the activities.

These parties happen one Saturday night a month in the American Legion Hall off Manchester and Brentwood. It’s suburban St. Louis County, near St. Mary Magdalene and next door to the Schnucks shopping center. The legion hall shares a driveway with the Elaine Rossi Academy for Children. A playground sits directly behind.

The monthly event is called FLOG. When you enter, it becomes immediately obvious the event lives up to its name.

The woman who recorded the video does not want to be identified.

“That is an out of control, dangerous place where people can walk in, appoint themselves a ‘dom’ (and) say, ‘Oh, I’m a dom. I’m an expert at this. I know what you need, bend over, and let me give it to you,’” she said.

She lives this lifestyle and considers herself a submissive in the world of BDSM. Her fear is the alcohol at the events, leading her to question whether the participants are really consenting adults.

“People being hit to the point where they’re leaving welts and marks, sometimes blood, and then in the other hand they’ve got a beer,” she said.

Fox 2 News contacted Brentwood City Hall to ask if FLOG had a liquor license. A city hall operator confirmed the group does not and doesn’t need one, but that the Legion Hall has one. However, once we identified ourselves as a reporter, the representative at city hall stopped talking. The bondage club then posted the following warning on a website called Fetish Life: “Fox 2 has contacted Brentwood city hall inquiring about the parties.”

We then attempted to get answers in person. The Brentwood City Administrator would not talk. Her assistant told us she was in a meeting. A representative at the legion hall said, “There’s parties here all the time. I don’t know what goes on, you know, if there’s a wedding reception up there, I don’t know what`s going on. I think you need to leave.”

Attorney Dan Emerson, who spent a decade prosecuting violators of St. Louis City’s liquor laws, believes FLOG’s parties could classify under state law as a cabaret, a “sexually-oriented business.”

“There is certainly fertile ground for violations of the sexually-oriented business state statute, as well as their ability to maintain a liquor license with the State of Missouri,” he said.

Missouri revised statutes defines “adult cabaret” as an “establishment in which persons regularly appear in a state of nudity … or semi nudity in the performance of their duties.” “Typically, alcohol sales are prohibited at a place like that. Plus, adult cabarets can’t be close to a school,” Emerson said.

Joe Kriegsman runs a legal bondage business called The Facility. He operates on Broadway in an industrial area of St. Louis, away from churches and schools.

“We are not allowed to have any alcohol on the premise at all. You don’t want to be impaired because some of the toys that are used are very dangerous,” Kriegsman said. “They can kill you, they can hurt you, they can do a lot of damage if you’re impaired.”

Kriegsman’s ‘Certificate of Occupancy’ in St. Louis states “for use as BDSM/safety/education/training/ meeting hall.”

He says alcohol takes away somebody’s ability to consent.

“You can be raped. You can be sexually assaulted. Once you’re bound to a one of these pieces of around here, how are you going to get loose? They can do what they want with you,” Kriegsman said.

FLOG did not respond to my request for comment, but Susan Wright did. Wright is with the National Coalition for Sexual Freedom. She said it’s in FLOG’s rules:

– You must leave if you’re intoxicated.
– No nudity.
– No sex.

“What we do is we teach people about affirmative consent and that means getting agreement before you actually start anything,” Wright said. “That means finding out what somebody likes, what they don’t like, what their limits are, how to stop what’s happening at any time.”

Wright said she agrees alcohol presents a problem with consent.

“Volunteers are constantly watching,” she said.

And she points out FLOG is a nonprofit club, not a business, that would be subjected to liquor laws. She said FLOG suggests a $10 donation.

”Some people certainly don’t pay to get in,” Wright said. “We do not want to restrict this kind of education because you can’t afford the $10 fee to get in the education is the important part.”

“There’s a reason people don’t know about FLOG in Brentwood,” she said. “We can’t be in a place for 15 years without ever having the police called once to FLOG, without it being a testament to the fact that we follow rules.”

No one from Brentwood ever did respond to Fox 2.

FLOG’s website claims city hall says, “As long as there (is) no nudity, sex, prostitution, drug use or selling, and the group remained a non-profit organization, there is no need to acquire a business license or permit.”

The pre-school next door did not give me an official comment, but an employee said they are aware of FLOG and that the monthly event does not take place at a time when there would be anything going on at the school.

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