Torture & Tenderness @ TEMPLE 22

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Leather and latex, whips and chains, gas masks, psychology, tenderness and torture; this level of fetish only scrapes the surface of what you’ll find at Temple 22, one of Sydney’s most exclusive BDSM clubs.

What is BDSM?

BDSM is the abbreviated term for an ancient tradition. Bondage and Discipline (BD), Dominance and Submission (DS), Sadism and Masochism (SM). Contrary to popular belief, the push and pull between pleasure, pain and power is not reserved for the bedrooms (or dungeons) of serial killers. According to Mistress Ruben, who founded Temple 22 in July 2015, their clientele give new meaning to the word diverse. In fact, people aged 18 through to 90 seek the services of the specialists at Temple 22.

“From couples seeking to spice up their sex life in our fully equipped dungeons and fantasy rooms (sometimes joined by a Temple 22 Mistress, Master or submissive), to intellectuals, spiritualists, creatives, corporate men and women wound incredibly tight and needing intense play and release, uni students, pensioners, tradies, celebrities, virgins wishing to pop their cherry in a unique way, experienced fetishists, complete BDSM newbies, adventurers and generally anyone seeking a life less ordinary…Temple 22 doesn’t discriminate and welcomes people from all walks of life and persuasions.”

Mistress Ruben has more than two decades experience working in BDSM and managing world-renowned establishments like Salon Kitty’s Dungeons.

“Once Salon Kitty’s closed its doors I needed to re-imagine a new, safe, beautiful, high standard, innovative establishment that could take BDSM into new, exciting and inclusive places.”

“My vision was to create a high end establishment embracing the ‘old traditions’ but also guiding BDSM into the new millennium. I wanted to create a modern space that allowed people the opportunity to experience their ultimate scene in a safe, supportive and luxurious environment, without losing the element of mystery or magic which has been synonymous with traditional BDSM.”

Mistress Ruben

Mistress Ruben at Temple 22, Darlinghurst, Sydney

At its core, BDSM is a type of role and/or power play where the limits of possibility only exist in the minds of those participating. At Fetlife.com, an online social network for the BDSM and kink community, members can choose up to 60 preferred ‘roles.’ In much the same way, when people visit Temple 22, they can chose who they want to be and how they want to act. “We provide them the freedom to become who and whatever they want for a moment in time…The potential roles that people can play here are limited only to the adventures people have in their hearts, minds and bodies,” says Mistress Ruben.

Each Mistress, Master and submissive employed at Temple 22 has a profile on their website outlining what services they offer, what they like and where they draw the line. For example, “No animals – crushing etc” is specified as out of bounds for Touring Mistress Lux. However, re-enacting kidnappings, needle work, foot worship through to life coaching and cognitive behavioural therapy is listed within her boundaries.

“A client once told me that BDSM is the thinking man’s sex,” writes Mistress Lux on her profile. But what does that mean for someone that is relatively new to this kind of sexual experience?

Fonda Pain

Mistress Fonda Pain, Temple 22

“Put simply, BDSM is multi-dimensional… it offers more than a standard sexual release which is often primarily physical,” explains Mistress Ruben.

“The majority of the scenes that take place here involve power play and role play to some extent. In my mind, there is absolutely an intellectual component but this does not have to be at the forefront of the clients’ minds. There are people who come here because standard sex is just not enough, they require more.”

There are all kinds of cultural, religious and spiritual clients… the beauty of BDSM is that it does not eclipse these existing beliefs but instead it gets people thinking. It opens up their minds and allows them to live a more complete and satisfying life because they are not limited to the confines of normative social constructs.”

So BDSM is not just intensely physical. It can also be psychologically complex and emotional. “People wanting to explore headspaces that they cannot easily access on their own particularly seek out our services,” says Mistress Ruben.

“The answer is not the same for everyone because people are individuals with a unique set of triggers and needs. However the minute you walk into Temple 22 the mood is set. You’re in another world where magic exists…your headspace changes immediately because of the obvious theatre of the surrounds and the contrast to the outside world.”

“Through the use of role play, restraint, physical stimulation, power play and mind play, for example, we enable our clients to access the aspect of themselves they wish to experience more easily.”

BDSM can also be pretty hilarious. While it is dark and seems kind of dangerous, there’s a theme running through the central concepts of role-play and power-play…play!

“Interestingly, we do attract a lot of comic book lovers,” says Mistress Ruben.

“Cosplay is very popular in our BDSM house and is a lot of fun. You’d be surprised by the number of times Catwoman has foiled Batman at Temple 22, and you know that Catwoman and Batgirl hold regular wrestling matches in The Vault…”

Temple 22 might just have something for everyone, if you have the nerves for it. Just don’t forget the cash – services cost anywhere from a few hundred dollars through to the thousands. But you can’t take your money to the grave, only the satisfaction of knowing that you’ve truly experienced everything life has to offer.

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