When I first arrived at the French Institute Alliance Francaise (FIAF) I filed into one of the few empty stadium seats left save for the neck busters at the very front. The place was packed for The Art of Sex & Seduction: Ceremonies of Love & Desire, I realized all eyes were pointed to a tiny, gray-haired woman immediately below and in front of me. She looked more like a gentle octogenarian nun than a famous dominatrix known for her cruelty. But every once in a while there were flashes of unflinching harshness delivered with a toothy, thin-lipped grin–there was a reason why people seemed to either tiptoe or burst into fits of uncomfortable laughter around Catherine Robbe-Grillet all night. She could turn even the most accomplished Tinder Queens amongst us to puddles of prudish mush.
This Latex Baroness Is Bracing For the Fifty Shades of Grey Effect
Fifty Shades of Grey is out in theaters today, amidst a flurry of criticism that its portrayal of BDSM closer resembles domestic violence than a consensual erotic relationship. In search of an authority on the matter, we ventured over to East 13th Street to spend an afternoon with The Baroness, a dominatrix and latex clothing designer who, rumor has it, once spit-roasted a man for three and a half hours.