There are always BDSM topics being covered in the news. In most instances, these stories make it to the “freaks-and-geeks” section of your local newscast and usually don’t get more than 30 seconds of air time or a little corner on the bottom of a page buried in the middle of the newspaper.
Not so in the Village Voice, however, when this week’s cover story is all about how the now-defunct Vault club closed.
Anthony Marini was the manager at the Vault, the old S&M club in the meat-packing district on the western edge of Greenwich Village, during its heyday in the 1990s.
As such, he never lacked for entertainment.
Marini was there right up until the day when the State of New York stepped in and spoiled all the fun by condemning the property.
The article, titled The State Pays for Sex: How a mob-run S&M club put your tax dollars to work, comes to the the anti-climactic realization that instead of dragging out a court battle with the Vault owners, city officials paid them the appraised value of their club totaling about $1.8 million as judged by the Vault’s own appraisers. Even the article itself says there was nothing wrong with anything that happened there. Not with the alleged unsafe sex accusations, or the re-appraisal:
Mayor Giuliani had already tried to shut the place down for unsafe sex practices; club lawyers beat him in court.
Asked to review the case, state transportation department officials say that regardless of the kinky nature of the business, the payments reflected prudent decision making.
“The operators exercised their rights under the law and sought a ruling from the courts on initial payments they had received,” says transportation department spokeswoman Jennifer Post. “After subsequent talks with the parties, a settlement was reached which involved additional moneys.”
State officials noted that the Vault payments were just a small part of the $104 million that was spent to acquire properties for the West Street projectâ€”a task that required condemnation of some two dozen properties in a three-and-a-half-block stretch.
So after all that, why did this rather mundane article make the front page of the Village Voice? Well, for the kinky sex, of course! Everyone likes to ogle the “kinky freaks”, but I think this is pathetically adolescent behavior coming from adults—not to mention the Village Voice, which is a newspaper that should know better.