Following neatly from my last post which mentioned the “castle of kink” maintained by in the Old Armory building in San Francisco, Mistress Matisse (who went down to San Francisco to do a shoot) painted a delightful (if somewhat surreal) word picture of what it was like to spend the night there. This is not the jacuzzi in the infamous Grotto at the Playboy Mansion, that’s for sure!

I want you to imagine an enormous warehouse. Huge. Big enough to comfortably house, say, a DC-9. It might be even bigger, but the bare bulbs hanging from the ceiling only dimly illuminate the raw and rather dirty walls and concrete floor, so the furthest corners simply fade into unmeasurable blackness.

There’s some detritus here and there – pallets, tarps, boxes – but it’s mostly empty, except for four cars parked in the center of the room, and in one far corner, an RV. A gallery runs around the perimeter of the room, at second-floor height. The lights don’t reach it, so it’s impossible to see what – or who – is up there.

And in one corner of this vast, chilly room, there’s a hot tub. And in that hot tub, quite alone, and naked, is me – lounging against the jets and smiling to myself at the oddity of it. Here I am, in what is arguably the kinkiest place in town, and I am engaged in that most vanilla of all the pseudo-sexy experiences, hot-tubbing. Alone. Edgy, huh? Not so much.

I am choosing to ignore the fact that there is a security camera nearby, and there is a security guard sitting, with a bank of screens in front of him, just a few hundred feet away from me. He’s around a corner, out of sight, but there is no door between us. But what the hell – if the camera is on, and he sees me – well then, he sees me. It seems silly to cavil, when after tomorrow, he’ll be able to very easily buy much better quality images of me. (However, he has been strictly polite and professional to me, not so much as a flicker of anything else, even when we had to go exploring together to find this hot tub. He himself was unaware that it here, and while his English seems fluent enough, he literally did not know the meaning of the phrase “hot tub”. He seemed a little confused even when I pulled off the cover and showed it to him, splashing my hand in the water. But he shrugged and left me to it.)

Soon I will get out, dry myself, and go up the stairs and down the long hallway to the little dormitory-style room I was assigned and go to bed. My shoot doesn’t begin too early, but I have a feeling the building will come to life tomorrow morning and be a very different place than the silent, echoing place it is now.

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