LAS VEGAS—Careful, you might miss it! Tucked away above the mass of actresses and others exhibiting downstairs in The Joint, it's just a quick stair climb to reach The Lair, a short hallway lined with fetish practitioners of all stripes, often standing next to leather benches or wooden cross-beams or welded-iron contraptions with hooks and eyelets and everything else needed to introduce adult movie fans to what may be, to them, an unknown variety of sex-play.
"The Lair is a full-on dungeon experience," assured dominatrix "Goddess Victoria" Veil. "We have people who are knowledgeable about flogging and whipping and paddling and so much more. We have booths where they can be tied up or tied down, where they can be elevated, suspended in the air. We also have a photo booth where they can take photos with some of their favorite dominatrices or porn stars. Most of us have dungeons or do domination on the outside, so in part, this is a place where they can show off what they can do and maybe attract more customers for themselves.
"There are about 40 people here, some of them practicing their art and some of them selling fetish merchandise," she continued. "Mistress C, who's running The Lair, is one of the most respected doms on the planet. Everything you can possible think of in the fetish world, we probably have someone who is great at it and is willing to demonstrate it to the public. We've had lots of couples come through here who want to experience things like bondage or suspension themselves."
Some of The Lair's participants include porn stars such as Debi Diamond and well-known doms from across the country such as Master Snoopy, Mistress Thickxxx, Officer Will and Jocyln Stone.
As we walked through The Lair earlier this afternoon, we saw one woman who seemed to be in a sort of rope cage, hanging suspended from an iron cross-beam, while at another booth, a shirtless young man was leaning over a padded bench while another flogged him with a cat o' nine tails—but that's all in a day's work for the B&D practitioners.
"The idea behind facilitating the play spaces at adult fan shows is to educate, build both tolerance and respect for unique sexual expressions," said Mistress C. "It is my dream to build bridges so we can play safely together. The Lair is a dream come true. I look forward to showing the love that only a Domina can give."
And of course, one of them was in the position of being able to give a little extra: Veil is making her AEE debut both as a dominatrix and as a transgendered performer, and it's an experience she's intent on relishing.
"I believe this is the first time AEE has had a trans performer who's been able to practice her art in this kind of environment," she said, "and I'm truly happy to be able to have this opportunity to both meet new people and to demonstrate my skills to them—and I hope they're enjoying it as much as I am!"