BDSM Club "The Facility" Now Open in South City

st-louis-bdsm-cages.jpg
photo by Melissa Meinzer
Cages at The Facility
​If you were to visit one of the newest businesses licensed to operate in St. Louis, you wouldn't see people having sex. Not that.

But you might see a person getting florentined: They'd be cuffed standing, facing a wall, with a person behind them wielding a pair of multi-stranded leather implements called floggers hitting them -- hard, yes -- in a pattern of interlocking ellipses. It's possible you'd see a woman bound to a pillar in the middle of the room with Saran wrap, her every curve hugged close by the cling. You might see people taking turns shocking each other with an ultraviolet wand. And you might leave with bruises on your ass that take weeks to heal -- but not if you don't ask for them.

BDSM -- which stands for bondage, discipline, submission and dominance, also known as sadomasochism -- is nothing new to St. Louis. The city has a sizable population of BDSM enthusiasts: folks who practice consensual exchanges of power or pain, or other forms of extreme physical sensation.

The news here is that these kinksters are coming out of the shadows and into your neighborhood. And that's a good thing, proponents say -- for the community, for the economy and for society at large. After all, they're already in your neighborhood. They just want to be aboveboard about it.

There are at least four groups around the city, if not more, who routinely host play parties. The parties follow strict codes of behavior: There is no sex and no nudity. Party guests compare notes on bondage techniques, pleasure and pain, and they demonstrate what they've figured out. Participants show identification at the door, and parties require guests to be of-age -- 18 years old at some parties, 21 at others.

But despite the strict rules, such gatherings have long operated in a legal gray area. One group had operated in a residential home out near the airport, drawing participants via word-of-mouth and FetLife.com, a kink-oriented social networking site. Other groups rent out halls for their parties. Some parties are hosted in back rooms of established venues like bars. All of them operate at the risk of running afoul of city codes, in terms of safety and occupancy permits.

satans-master-st-louis-bdsm.jpg
photo by Melissa Meinzer
Joe Kriegesmann: "Satan's Master"
​Joe Kriegesmann, also known as "Satan's Master," is tired of being in the shadows. After considerable work, he's opened The Facility, a legal, fully legitimate venue dedicated to BDSM educational workshops and gatherings off Gravois Avenue in St. Louis City. The unassuming and unheralded space is surrounded by empty buildings and lots, along with a few businesses, most of whom support his endeavors.

His business is operating as COTB LLC, which stands for Clan of The Barbarian, a decades-old national BDSM group dedicated to safety and standards in play. He's reviving the group after it had gone underground, and its new home is actually its second location in St. Louis.

Kriegesmann's previous landlord wasn't on board with the club seeking out proper inspections and permits, which led to a parting of ways this winter, he says. (The other landlord also never got around to turning the heat up very high, which put quite a damper on the corsets, miniskirts and shirtless leather vests favored by many guests.)

Kriegesmann is tired of the secrecy and misinformation surrounding the BDSM lifestyle, and has taken months untangling the decidedly unsexy red tape around getting a BDSM club to operate wholly within city codes. He estimates that in setting up the south-city location for fully legal educational workshops, he's been to city hall more than 30 times.

"We're not a sex club," Kriegesmann says. "We're a private educational business. We're trying to educate the community."

In order to open the space officially, he appears to have ferreted out all the legal loopholes and has closed them. He's got an up-to-date occupancy permit with a building inspection and a business license -- they're framed and hang proudly in his office.

Kara Bowlin, a spokeswoman for Mayor Francis Slay, says that to the best of her knowledge, Kriegesmann is now operating within the letter of the law. "As far as I know we haven't gotten any resident complaints about it," she says. (And, in fact, several neighboring businesses have given Kriegesmann "to whom it may concern" letters saying they're in support.)

The building is in the city's 20th ward, which is represented by Alderman Craig Schmid. Kriegesmann says that Schmid has been less than helpful in the process -- which he suspects is related to fear and mistrust toward the BDSM community.

But Schmid says kink has nothing to do with it: "I don't deal in speculation. The issue we always have to deal with is health, safety and welfare, how people are going to get in and out."

With the permits Kriegesmann has for the space, that shouldn't be a concern. The public areas are all on the first floor, which circumvents the need for elevators. The sprinkler systems are in good working order, and exits are clearly marked.

st-louis-bdsm-rack.jpg
photo by Melissa Meinzer
One of the Facility's racks
​The building has themed rooms for different sorts of role-playing and kink: There are human-sized birdcages, racks for lashing wrists and ankles apart, and a "littles" room full of toys for folks who enjoy role-playing as children. There's also space for socialization and business, decorated with tasteful photography of pinup-styled women -- complete with bright-red ball-gags in their mouths.

But Kriegesmann wants it to make it clear that this isn't a sex club. There is no nudity, and no penetration of any sort. Sexy? Sure. But not sex.

That said, it's not a typical classroom. During workshops and social events, groups might bring in a DJ to spin some tunes. Social areas are comfortable and welcoming, and the lights might be just a little lower near, for instance, the rack.

Certainly participants aren't dressed for church. You might see a man in a dog collar with custom-made vinyl ears, or women with electrical tape covering their nipples. Surely you'll see a lot of leather and vertiginous stiletto heels. Most folks are fully dressed most of the time, though.

"It's not what you see in pornography," Kriegesmann says.

Or, for that matter, in a bar. Alcohol is not for sale, and visitors aren't welcome to bring it along to the Facility, despite its presence in other BDSM play venues around town. Not only does booze complicate the heck out of permitting, but, says Kriegesmann, it runs counter to long-accepted tenets of power and pain exchange: These acts might hurt like hell, but everyone is on the same page, and their consent is of the utmost importance. Alcohol clouds this.

"What we'd really like to do is start pushing our educational workshops so we can educate not just people in the lifestyle, but vanilla people as well," he says.

Just last weekend, for instance, The Facility hosted a workshop for Generation Kink. Scheduled for the evening were a BDSM Social Etiquette Class, an Intro to Dungeon Equipment demonstration and a Scene Negotiation discussion. One of the post-events comments on FetLife said "Thanks to everyone for making my guests (first timers to the scene entirely) feel welcome and at home."

And if that's not enough to make the Facility a good citizen, consider the private guard they hire to patrol the grounds at night, and the drug dealers and prostitutes Kriegesmann says he's scared off.

"This area is bad...maybe blighted," says Kriegesmann. "We've cleaned up a whole city block. What we're doing here is good for the neighborhood."

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120 comments
STLcougardomme
STLcougardomme

Having been a professional dominatrix for most of my adult life, I have seen the general public's ignorance about WIITWD escalate and educating them is a good thing.  What hurts us is when someone does something stupid and the resulting headlines are usually a public condemnation.  Educating the newer members of the community about what Safe, Sane and Consensual mean is important to prevent idiots from putting someone in a leather bondage suit and hood with a gag and putting the sub in a closet and going to lunch and then finding the sub has suffocated.  The resulting headlines are never good for the community.  For a safe, sane and consensual session, visit a professional and check his or her references.  No reputable BDSM practitioners, professional or otherwise will object to providing references and you should always ask!

STLcougardomme
STLcougardomme

It's always nice to have a place that is community friendly and with a new movie about BDSM coming out soon it will help to educate the vanilla folk on WIIWD so they can learn what BDSM is really about.  50 Shades of Grey may not be 100% accurate but it did make a lot of people re-evaluate their opinions and learn more about the subject.  I've met innumerable scene people I would trust with my life while I would not turn my back on most of the vanilla community.

afterglowdes
afterglowdes

This is Mistress Dominae Drakonis and I am very much looking forward to presenting at The Facility on December 7th and 8th, 2012.  I am presenting on Soundtracks to Scening on Dec. 7th and on Dark Supernatural Roleplay on Dec. 8th.  I am sure it will be a wonderfully wicked time!

Painmaster243
Painmaster243

all you idiots that claim you know joe know absoutley NOTHING about  him.. I know this man personally and he is a good man.. as for the facility,, well IT IS legal with city and state certificates hanging in the building.. IF you do not know any better than run your mouth about something you do not know about you are misleading and lieing about it,, so shut then hell up.

aldrin james
aldrin james

I can't wait to visit that club. I know that I will find all the best bdsm facility in that place. I always wanted to try different types of stuff that is used in bdsm.

domina profesionales barcelona

corsets
corsets

It is necessary to be able to identify each person's psychological squicks or "freakouts" in advance in order to avoid them. Such losses of emotional balance due to sensory or emotional overload are a fairly common issue. It is important to follow their reactions empathetically and continue or stop accordingly.

Mbnow
Mbnow

Hey I have been in this community for about ten years and for the most part we are normal folks with very vanilla lives. We just have fetishes different from others. I believe that as long as it is consensual among adults and legal great.

clubs liberales
clubs liberales

Many will be delighted to try this new place. I would like to try the cage and crosses.

Nitzer
Nitzer

It truly is a shame that as the TRUTH continues to come out the lazy reporter who didn't do her fucking job isn't smart enough to cut her losses and pull this from the website.  You would think she would be beating down the doors of her superiors saying she fucked up and it should be pulled down.  Instead here it stays and the RFT gets to get a bad name just like the author gets for supporting a den of felons, rapists, and child molesters who have conned, ripped off, violated, and otherwise hurt countless people.

I am sex positive, I am kink aware and open but when idiots like this Melissa spread this filthy puff garbage on a group as downright shameful as these people it makes the entirety of the lifestyle look bad.  Same as her supporting the prostitute known as The Beautiful Kind who regularly fucks tricks in front of her child and was all but booed off the stage at Idea City.  Reporters REALLY should do their research and some higher up at the RFT should really be aware of the trash they are printing/supporting.

Nitzer
Nitzer

Update...an additional large group of people have been screwed over by the Clan and left.  God I love being right.

Melanie
Melanie

I'm really glad that I found this article and I'm young and in the lifestyle. I live in st louis and think it's great that there's a club for it... I think to the people who say it's wrong they've never parricipated or really thought about it. BDSM is just an extension of freedom, and as long as in the fight of freedom v order, order isn't threatened then why not have somewhere where you don't have to hide who you are? That's okay if you don't get it, you don't need to bash anyone for commenting and definitely don't bash the man who opened it, it's harder keeping it secret than some people know... A part of your life you hide from everyone? So good on you kriegesmann for doing what most don't have the balls to do

Curious_cat
Curious_cat

.....So.. where is it. I don't wanna bicker.. I just wanna participate.

Interesting
Interesting

Interesting how a man who has been charged with more than 50 times over the years (most of them felonies and many for fraud) can lead a group claiming to be built on honesty.  Interesting how a space that allows no alcohol had a post made in its group from one member to the other members apologizing for his drunken-ness.  Interesting as well that in that same thread another member (one under the age of 21) explained to the apologetic member his drunken-ness was ok because "everyone was drinking".  Interesting how a venue that is "legal" was raided and shut down this weekend.  Interesting how a group dedicated to the education and safety of its members has been accused numerous times of rape or non-consensual forced play including some rumors of such things happening to girls under the age of 18.  Interesting how one of the biggest non-member supporters of this group lost his chiropractic license years ago for molesting women in his care.  Interesting how this group instead of admitting its faults, down-falls, and mistakes tries to pass blame onto everyone else and screw over anyone who isn't them.

Interesting.

Nitzer
Nitzer

I have to add my 2 cents. I met Joe one night at the Benton Park west Neighborhood Meeting. We spoke for about 5 minutes about what his plans were for the property. At no time did he say that anything about BDSM. He did say that he was planning on putting in professional offices, one was to be a chiropractor. The way I look at it is that he disrespected me by misleading me. He also mislead the City of St.Louis, the businesses that supported him (most likely) and the neighborhood residents that in which his business is in.

 As for people who think I may be doing this because of what the place is... well I started to go to Fetish Night at the Other World (both times) as well as The Galaxy and even Orbit Room. At one time I had 12 piercings, one was a Frenum in which I got done at the Orbit Room when The Rack was in town. 

 I will show my hand. I don't like people who disrespect me. At this time I will give him one week from today and my horns will be coming out. I am a nice guy, but he did it wrong. He thinks he can not be touched, yet he did not yet meet my bad side....Nitzer!!! If he continues he will meet Nitzer and find that he plays a very interesting game.

If you know Joe let him know about this post so that he knows what he needs to do and/or what will happen if he continues.

Rob Wane
Rob Wane

I am into finding new ways to satisfy my heightened sexual needs and I think this will be a great reference along with mejores blogs bdsm that I have found recently.

Ambrosia Nectarine
Ambrosia Nectarine

From the looks of the picture it seems the members of The Facility dressed the mannequinns in their old prison hand me downs!

Honestly, with a name like Clan of Barbarians, what other sort of behavior does one expect?

Doesn't Matter
Doesn't Matter

Secrecy is a veil I gladly keep when it comes to my umm...desires.  But as much as "Elliot" and others want to say this is a sad vision of the way it is for our community here in St. Louis...honestly it's not.  It's fairly accurate, and the concerns are relevant and should be expressed.  The views of these people do not represent the whole community though.  Even though I'm involved in my own fetishism, I would never attend a club like this.  Why?  Because they have the wrong idea about sex positivity and educating the public.  They don't share my values as a moral and ethical human being who actually cares how my actions affect other people.  Yet they won't listen to other's opinions on the matter either.  Their way or no way.  That seems to be the consistent theme in St. Louis' community.  You want to talk about liars, cheats, predators, low character misrepresentations...go to any event and they won't be hard to miss.  In this community, there are a few well known individuals who fit that bill.  But don't take them as a representation of who the rest of us are.  They are a sad, very sad, representation of who we are as a community.

MiniatureMouse
MiniatureMouse

 Rly Craig? That's not what you told me. "Sex parties" you said. You mentioned proof and "closure". Are you really spending your time "watching" this place? Don't stand and stare to long lest your "health safety and welfare" become negatively affected by one of the dealers or street thugs who are the real danger around here. if it's a church or bondage club, it don't matter as long as they keep their shit to themselves and do their part to make this place safe and liveable. Would be righteous to if our reps stuck with the same story in public as theyre handing out in private.

Joe
Joe

This is interesting, someone is censoring the comments. I love how two faced the RFT is becoming. now you can not even comment on a story. So much for a free society. 

Joe
Joe

I wanted to add that I have cleaned up the area. Just by being there we make property value go up. We have brought money to the area and are educating anyone that wants to learn. I personally am bringing people in from around the world to the Facility to teach. I do not know why everyone is having so many problems at all.

If the other places in town can not follow suite then they must go. We have plenty of room for everyone and Saturday we will be having an open door night so that anyone member or not can come down and see what this is all about. Please come to

3130 GravoisSt Louis Mo., 63118phone number 314-601-3984

You can call if you like someone will be there to answer any questions at all. I would love to see the neighborhood come down and walk through.

Joe

NancyB
NancyB

I do find it slightly funny but disturbing that a man that calls himself Satan would move into a black community and open a place called the "Clan" and then boast that he is cleaning up the neighborhood. The picture is reminiscent of a grand dragon posing for the camera. He must be so proud of himself.

Concerned Citizen
Concerned Citizen

Since this venue is an"adult" type venue and there are rumors of having questionable people attending these functions, maybe this phone number will help anyone concerned about the safety in that neighborhood. School officials would want to know what has moved in less than 1000 ft to the school grounds.

 SLPS School Safety Anonymous Tips Hotline: 314-345-7577

Stl_REAL_BDSM
Stl_REAL_BDSM

 Oh and I forgot to add their leaders and "teachers" have numerous times been exposed for having less knowledge then they claim.  They have ripped off real presenters and instead keep using people who will work for free despite an overall lack of experience.  It is people like the Clan and their subsidiaries and venue's like the Facility that give the entire world of BDSM and Fetishism a bad name.  They are nothing but a den of outcasts, liars, predators, cheats, and more.  

arabelle
arabelle

 @afterglowdes

 Bad, bad idea.  Stay far away.  This guy is not welcome anywhere in the BDSM community other than at his own "facility."

Nitzer
Nitzer

Melanie there are much better and SAFER resources for you in Saint Louis if you are truly interested and especially if you are a young person.  This article was a desperate reach to save a dying club.  A club dying because its members are the outcasts of the Saint Louis community.  They are the outcasts because among them are multiple time felons, convicted sex offenders and more and even recently their venue was raided after allegations of rape were brought about by someone under the age of 18 who they not only admitted to their event but gave alcohol too.  If you value your safety, your privacy and actually have a legitimate interest in the lifestyle I implore you to seek out the respected Saint Louis groups/events as I can assure you no good can come of you going to the facility unless you seek to be ripped off and/or raped or unless you lack any integrity.  These people have been banned from every other Saint Louis event and venue WITH GOOD REASON its just a shame that the reporter didn't do her research and allowed herself to write a puff promotional piece for rapists, con artists, felons, and child molesters.  

nevermind
nevermind

Melanie, you're right, you shouldn't have to hide.  But please, choose your friends and the places you hang out very, very carefully.  Just because someone has been written about online doesn't mean he is to be trusted or has a good reputation.  Please do some research and safeguard your privacy and safety. 

StL_Real_BDSM
StL_Real_BDSM

I WISH I could have been the one who posted this because frankly its just fucking phenomenal!

joe
joe

Secrecy is a veil for individuals that fail to pay taxes, have illegal venues where people can get hurt just because the building codes have not been kept to the standards required.    tinder box fire traps with no escape. liquor venues where the owners can lose their venues or be arrested and fined. All they care of is greed and a false power over people.    something like this comes to mind.... Real criminals have something to hide. If a venue is legal, there is no need to worry about being outed. Of course the cost of being legal is time consuming and expensive.  But as Alderman Craig Schmidt clearly states as a matter of record. Its not the business I am worried about, its the safety and welfare of the people, Having a way in and a way out.  Clearly the occupancy permit met the codes.Thank you for the concerns Mr Schmidt. The security guard is certified and licensed.    He has also contacted Barbra Pots with some plate numbers as well. We have also called her about some terrible abandoned buildings behind the Facility that have drug deals going on last week...Oddly she has not contacted us about this problem yet.   With cleaning the neighborhood up we do need the assistance of Barbra Pots and Mr Schmidt.   

Joe
Joe

 I would assume they are removing the morons that are using My name like the reply above. It has to be the one the first reporter fondly called the village idiot.you also need to learn how to write in My lazy mode.

There is never a open door night and its not a club.  

EugeneNormusJohnson
EugeneNormusJohnson

Hey joe. Is your club totally legal though? There are rumors that you only have a occupancy permit for office space and not a club venue. Is this true?

Truth
Truth

It is actually more than 1000 feet.  It is about 1050 feet.

Concerned Citizen
Concerned Citizen

Someone should call the school board to tell them that there are questionable people attending this new adult club that is less than 1000 feet from a school.

StL_Real_BDSM
StL_Real_BDSM

I know someone else said it above but I felt it so poignant that I wanted to reply to this post here to reclaim what the person above said.  You are attacking venues in this comment that supply liqour yet I know no other venues that allow liqour in Saint Louis.  However in your very group one of your members apologized for his drunkeness at this weekends event and was then consoled by other members including one under the age of 21 saying that everyone was drinking...

Doesn't Matter
Doesn't Matter

Secrecy depends on the context.  When I spoke of secrecy, it meant I do it in the private of my own home.  I don't put it all out there for others to see, because honestly they shouldn't have to.  It's my choice, not theirs.  However, I can understand the whole "being outed" thing.  BDSM is not widely accepted.  So yes, if they're outed, it will cause an uprising!  "No...we have those damn kinksters in our neighborhood!  Burn their house down!" 

Genconstconcepts
Genconstconcepts

yes, private group is legal...its is actually not a club ( not a night club atmosphere)

Bummed
Bummed

Even if the building is legal MO has doesn't have a "consent to assault" law so if a cop were to come in and you were flogging someone or hurting anyone in any way, you can go to jail for assault, no matter if the other person is consenting to it. So is the building legal, I guess....can u get arrested for participating, yes. After this, I'm not going back and risking it. This whole thing I think has done the complete opposite of it's purpose... Males the community look like immature fighters, name callers, and mistrusting. I don'tThink anyone new would want to join THIS kind of community....heck, I don't want to be a part of it anymore. :((((

joe
joe

Why are you trying to stop people from comin down to my club. the Clan welcomes all,even the cup holders had to start somewhere. everyone is welcome by the clan.

please do not listen to this person pretending to be me.

Concerned Citizen
Concerned Citizen

I believe the law states that it is from property line to property line. Not front door to front door. This would make it less than the 1000 feet. The question is that is this an adult business and what do they sell? Are there products available? If this an educational company is there some kind of standard or morality factor involved in what they teach? The article mentions that it is not pornagraphy. Since it has now been promoted by this advertising like article, isn't it pornagraphy now? if not what is it classified as? What type of business is it?

Truth
Truth

It is actually more than 1000 feet.  It is about 1050 feet.

anonymous
anonymous

are you fucking serious with this shit?

these people have zero impact on the lives of people who aren't participating

get a fucking grip

Whazthehoorah
Whazthehoorah

hmmmm, then they'd need to know about the other one near the Catholic Church.  

Nitzer
Nitzer

More like the last event was shut down BECAUSE of drinking, on premises sex and quite possibly the rape of a girl under the age of 18.  Course that shouldn't be any surprise for a group compromised of people with over a dozen felonies, convicted sex offenders (including some with charges dealing with children), and other scum of the earth type individuals!

Shhhh
Shhhh

the event last week was shut down. after, some people decided to go to a BAR where yes there was drinking (obviously). no drinking took place at the facility.

last days
last days

Secrecy is required by the shameful......Shame is indicative of knowing right from wrong.....but the lack thereof proves the total rejection and mockery of God......after all, this guy calls himself Satan's master.......thats not a game or a joke

joe
joe

There are no BDSM laws , confirmed by the registers office and the FBI

Concerned Citizen
Concerned Citizen

In researching the business license of this company, it revealed that it is 1.  PROPERTY MANAGEMENT, 2. Private Fund Raiser, 3. STORAGE, 4. GENERAL CONTRACTING, 5. PRIVATE GROUP. Apparently Mr. Joseph Kriegsmann lives at this building because that is the address he gave on the business license as the Organizer. This article is not as revealing of the nature of this group as it says it is. What funds are being raised and for what purpose are these funds being used if it is a licensed fund raiser?

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