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.”



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
Local

MTA announces service changes for Sunday

The MTA has announced service changes ahead of Sunday's People's Climate March, which will be held from 11:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Sunday. Riders using…

Local

NYPD launches Twitter account for L train

The NYPD recently launched a Twitter handle dedicated to the L train and its riders. According to @NYPDLtrain, officers went underground Thursday morning to hand…

Local

Bushwick community space offers activists a place to…

A new Bushwick community space offers community activists to meet, create, learn and throw back a few cold ones. MayDay, located 214 Starr Street in Bushwick,…

Local

Activists gearing up for Sunday's "historic" People's Climate…

If all goes according to plan, more than 100,000 people will gather near Central Park West on Sunday morning and march through midtown to raise…

Movies

Kevin Smith makes peace with the Internet

I was thinking about Ain't It Cool News and Harry Knowles last night, wondering if anyone from Ain't It Cool had reviewed my new movie…

Movies

Art imitates life in 'Swim Little Fish Swim'

There's a certain comfort to be taken in finding that young artists are still moving to New York and trying to make it — and…

Movies

Review: Terry Gilliam's 'The Zero Theorem' is better…

Terry Gilliam's latest, "The Zero Theorem," concerns a reclusive malcontent (Christoph Waltz) struggling with the search for the meaning of life.

Music

Esperanza Spalding and a being called Emily get…

Esperanza Spalding is about to spiral off in a brand new direction that may or may include an alter ego named Emily.

NFL

Oday Aboushi ready for increased role, and to…

Oday Aboushi might feel comfortable enough to engage in some trash talk the next time he is on the field.

NFL

Giants vs. Texans: 3 things to watch

The Giants host the surprising Texans (2-0) in what may already be a must-win game for Big Blue.

NFL

Eric Decker misses practice again, could miss Monday

Jets wide receiver Eric Decker missed practice Thursday as he continues to rehab a hamstring injury suffered last Sunday.

MLB

Derek Jeter still focused on baseball as final…

Derek Jeter has effectively hid his emotions for 20 years in the Bronx.

Parenting

A sneaky way to serve kids fruits and…

"My First Juices and Smoothies" gives smoothie recipes for kids.

Style

3 things we love from Day 1 of…

The highlights from Day 1 of Milan Fashion Week.

Sex

Why don't more couples use condoms?

  Call it the “condom moment.” That’s the name the authors of a new study have given to the pivotal conversation every couple should be…

Sex

Need an idea for a first date? Here's…

Picture your idea of a nice first date. Is it dinner and a movie? A visit to an interesting museum exhibit? Instead, an expert on…