Love and latex: Get the buzz on Beantown’s BDSM culture

Hubba Hubba seems to have all the leather you could long for.

Kinky sex play like BDSM is not something you typically talk about while riding the T — but after talking to a few local aficionados, there is no doubt that the edgy trend has been going strong in Boston’s underground for years.

“I think people like to push the limits. We all want to do things that we haven’t done before,” said Rain Hageman, manager of the Hubba Hubba sex shop in Cambridge.

For decades, the store in Central Square has flaunted the city’s kinkiest gear: corsets, latex, vibrators, anal beads, whips, feathers — the works.

And the people looking to get their hands on it ranges from the girl next door, to the granny upstairs.
“You’d be surprised at the people who come in here and are into [BDSM] — every sort of person,” Hageman said.

Hubba Hubba’s owner, Suzan Phelps, believes that the little taste of danger is what draws people to BDSM.
“It’s good to explore your fears, and everybody has a little secret side to them that wants a little something other than loving missionary sex. It’s just a chance to express another side of one’s self,” she said.

Her employee, Nancy Neon, couldn’t be happier that more Bostonians of all shapes and sizes are coming out of the woodwork, something she credits to the top-selling novel “Fifty Shades of Grey.”

“It’s almost like it’s given people permission to explore the kinkier side of themselves. Things that used to be considered ‘fringe activities’ are now more mainstream,” Neon said, adding that the hit HBO show “Sex and the City” “opened the door” more than a decade ago.

Neon says many newcomers shyly inch into the store, saying they’re buying the sex-themed merchandise “for a friend.” Others come in to buy “gag gifts” for a pal’s bachelorette party, but they end up leaving with gifts for themselves.

“There is nothing better than somebody coming in here and trying on corsets and fetish clothes and seeing themselves as sexy and beautiful in a way they’ve never seen before.”

BDSM, FYI:

   
Stands for Bondage & Discipline, Dominance & Submission, Sadism & Masochism
   
In these consensual relationships, people take on a role of dominant or submissive, and play with restriction, discipline and punishment.
   
The “Dom” is in charge, and the “Sub” is in a position of vulnerability.
   
Some of the most popular “beginner” items for BDSM newbies are small whips, corsets and cuffs.
   
Some of the newest kinky trends are anal and prostate stimulation and burlesque-style getups.
   
Fetlife.com is like Facebook for “kinksters.”


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