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In Virtual Dungeons, Less Flogging and More Key-Logging

Charlotte Taillor. (Photo: Julia Assis)

I first met dominatrix Charlotte Taillor in February at her home in Ditmas Park, Brooklyn, where her male submissives were curating pastry spreads and rolling her spliffs. While she usually sports a leather catsuit, this day she wore sweatpants and a t-shirt reading “sex worker rights are human rights.” 

Charlotte runs The Taillor Group, a feminist kink collective that encourages explorations of BDSM and other fetishes. The operation is entirely female-centric, comprised of about 30 dommes, and rather an anomaly in the world of kink; dominatrixes usually fly solo. “BDSM is the only way I’ve found for women to achieve the agency we’ve been striving for,” Charlotte told me confidently, before bellowing at one of her subs: “Roll me more spliffs!”  More →

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Village Bars Reeling From Pride Cancellation Now Worry About Illegal Crowding

Pride weekend, 2016. (Photo: Rhododendrites on WikiCommons)

A year ago, the streets of the West Village were resplendent with rainbow flags sporting the number 50 to mark the bicentennial of the Stonewall Riots and New York’s first time hosting World Pride. Throngs of people from across the globe spilled out of the neighborhood’s iconic LGBTQ drinking establishments, swapping sweat and saliva. More →

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Songwriters Meet Online to Craft the Music You’ll Hear Live This Fall

Sitting in her Greenpoint home on a Friday night, Lorraine Leckie opens up a Zoom video session and gets ready for a night of crafting songs. Around 7:30 p.m., video squares begin to pop up on her screen, revealing her friends’ heads and torsos and a snapshot of their living rooms. The Greenpoint Songwriters Exchange had to move out of Leckie’s home to an online platform to accommodate for social distancing rules, but just because gigs are canceled doesn’t mean writing new material has to stop. More →

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Is the NYPD Capable of Reform?

(Photo: Erin O’Brien)

Since protests of police brutality and racial injustice broke out across the city in recent weeks, public calls to drastically reform and even defund the NYPD have resurfaced and intensified as police beat and tear-gassed protesters. Meanwhile, police unions have gone on the offensive, conceding almost no culpability for the escalation of tensions. Earlier this week, MTA Police Benevolent Association president Mike O’Meara angrily complained that police officers have been “left out of the conversation” about defunding.  But so far, they haven’t appeared willing to participate. More →

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‘Make It a Little Kinky’: City Updates Its Viral Sex Advice

As New York was hunkering down for the Covid-19 pandemic on March 21, the city Department of Health released a statement advising New Yorkers on how to have sex while saying safe and healthy. The guide, which advised residents to abstain from rimming and to engage in virtual sex, circulated widely on social media. Now, as we’ve entered phase 1 of reopening and New Yorkers are looking to restart their romantic and sexual lives, the Department of Health has updated those guidelines. More →

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These Bikers Wear Masks, and Distribute Them

(Photos courtesy of Engines for Change)

When Kirsten Midura started Engines for Change in 2019, she was merging her love for motorcycle riding and environmental activism. The nonprofit started off hosting beach cleanups. But as times quickly changed and the coronavirus pandemic hit New York City hard, Engines for Change volunteers began using their motorcycles to transport groceries to those who are unable to leave their homes, and they delivered Personal Protective Equipment to hospitals and health care centers across the city. With times changing yet again, the group is once again shifting gears – this time to support New Yorkers protesting police violence against black people. More →

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East Village Shopkeepers ‘Not Losing Hope’ After Looting Delivers a Second Blow

After scraping by during the Covid-19 shutdown,  East Village businesses were looking forward to New York’s reopening when police-brutality protests broke out around the neighborhood. The looting that followed quickly became a talking point for conservative commentators looking to discredit protestors, but many local shopkeepers who experienced break-ins continue to support the ongoing protests even as they pick up the pieces.

“We support the Black Lives Matter movement, and it being a movement and not a moment,” said Laura Sewell. More →

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Have Police Been Illegally Seizing Protesters’ Bikes?

(Photo: Erin O’Brien)

Shortly after the 8 p.m. curfew on June 3, journalist Armin Rosen was following a protest that was making its way through Downtown Brooklyn. The NYPD had rushed the crowd a few times and made some arrests, but the demonstrators had continued peacefully until they got to Borough Hall. That was when the rain came. “It went from nothing to a monsoon in like 30 seconds,” Rosen recalled.  “It was just total confusion. There were people flipping and running into each other.” More →