The hidden surprises of a Denver dominatrix dungeon

The hidden surprises of a Denver dominatrix dungeon

SexAugust 30, 2017 By Lindsey Kline

Upon entering the doors of Mile High Dungeon, you can hear the reverberating crack of a leather whip on bare skin.

“Don’t mind that,” assures Domina Elle, headmistress of the dungeon. “That’s just Don getting punished for being a naughty boy.”

Domina Elle is wearing an electric blue latex catsuit. She introduces her fellow headmistress and dominatrix, Mistress Victoria. Both women are towering visions of femininity in their 6-inch platform heels.

I, on the other hand, am dressed for water cooler gossip — business casual and a good foot shorter. I’m worried they’ll be able to tell I’m an outsider; that they’ll read my pitifully childlike face and see a girl who’s never been bound, spanked, or humped in any fashion other than missionary. But since they offered me a tour of their dungeon, I seized the opportunity to be something other than that; something daring and sexually adventurous.

However, the dungeon wasn’t the medieval torture chamber I’d expected. And its mistresses weren’t the domineering dommes I’d feared for. Instead, they were welcoming, creative, and above all, in it for the altruistic benefit of seeing their client’s deepest desires realized.

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“Some people have a little box where they lock up all their sex toys,” Elle and Victoria tell me. “We have a whole dungeon.”

Mistress Victoria is being followed by an older gentlemen she lovingly calls her “personal submissive.” His name is Chuckie. He’s a quiet man, and he follows Victoria’s every order with obedient reverence.

When Victoria demands that Chuckie greets her properly, he gets down on his knees and holds his face to the floor. He makes the shape of a heart with his hands, and dutifully recites the phrase, “Thank you for allowing me to serve you Mistress Victoria. You are my queen and I am your servant. My only purpose in my life is to serve you.”

Then, he crawls toward her feet to kiss them, and presses his lips to each of her shoes while she slowly counts to three. After he’s finished, he’s permitted to stand again.

Two more dominatrices saunter into the room — Goddess Karin and Mistress Mia. Karin is squeezed into a jet black latex minidress, with her breasts spilling out. Mia is wearing a satin slip over lace lingerie. They greet me with affection, and welcome me to their dungeon.

Last in the introductions is Don. Turns out, the naughty boy who we’d heard getting whipped isn’t a mischievous boy at all — he’s a mild-mannered older gentleman. Don is Domina Elle’s personal submissive. He’s maybe 70 years old, but his face lights up like a child’s when he tells us stories about fun times at the dungeon. He eagerly begins our tour in his all-time favorite room — the “Sissy Boudoir.”

In the Sissy Boudoir, the walls are lined with shelves displaying dozens of colorful wigs. A clothing rack showcases dresses, kimonos, shawls, and blouses of pale pinks, purples, and blues. At every angle, an elegantly framed mirror reflects your face. The largest mirror, in the center of the room, is illuminated with vanity lighting, and an arrangement of blushes, lipsticks, and perfumes are laid out beneath it.

“This room is the favorite of our sissies,” Elle says. (Sissies meaning clients who crossdress.) Don does it so often that he has several female alter-egos, with business cards for each character. He hands me his card for “Cherry Tart,” featuring a picture of himself dressed in a skintight scarlet dress. His fake tits are tremendous, and his lips are painted the same shade of bright red as his ensemble.

The sissy room leads into a kinky classroom. It’s arranged just like an ordinary classroom — with desks, a chalkboard, and maps hung on the walls — but the paddle on the wall reminds you that this is a space for punishment. In here, a stern schoolteacher disciplines her naughty students.

“We love roleplay,” Victoria whispers. “And we take it very seriously. Once we start, you are stuck in that setting until you use your safeword to get out.”

Victoria’s favorite role is the kinky principle. Elle has played every role from governess to CIA interrogator. “I’ve even played ‘alien abduction,’” Elle says, “Where I wear an alien mask and ‘probe’ my specimen.”

From the classroom, we step into a doctor’s office. The only means of sitting is an exam table complete with stirrups to spread the patient’s legs apart. Beside the chair is a machine illuminating an X-ray of somebody’s lower half. Wedged between their hip bones is an enormous dildo. “A cautionary tale,” Elle giggles, “of what can go wrong if you don’t play safely.”

The final room of the tour is the largest one of all, with more than enough room to accommodate the bondage table, the antique bathtub, the bondage suspension frame, and the St. Andrew’s cross. Glass-doored display cabinets filled with whips, paddles, gags, and chains line the walls.

Perceiving that all these tools may send the wrong message, Victoria says, “There’s a troubling misconception that dommes always inflict pain and degradation. But it’s not true. We only give our clients what they ask for.”

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While these women adore the work they do, not everyone understands it. Thankfully, they're more than willing to explain why cross-dressing and role playing is more than just a kinky hobby; it's a mental health service.

“It’s dehumanizing to suppress your urges, your feelings, and your fantasies,” Elle laments. “Those things … You can’t just turn them off. Some of our clients have spent 20-30 years suppressing their desires.”

Victoria nods in solemn agreement. She says, “I have several people struggling with conflict. They let the voices eat away at them. They say ‘I can’t do this anymore,’ and they’ll cut contact with us. But they always always come back.”

“We don’t want people to come and go. When someone trusts us with their innermost fantasies, we want to give them something worthwhile. We really invest our hearts into our clients,” says Elle.

Their sincerity is clear in their faces. And an authentic understanding of these women and the meaning they find in their work becomes apparent. In grasping the significance of their unique form of therapy, I no longer feel like an outsider.

Before coming here, I’d envisioned a Black Plague-era prison. But the Mile High Dungeon is far from archaic. And the women who work within its walls aren’t aggressive sadists. I didn’t have to be bound and gagged to gain their approval. I just had to recognize the physical, psychological, and emotional merits of their remedies.

These women are more than just dominatrices. And although the world around them may be sexually suppressed, they’ve created a safe space to celebrate creative sensuality.

As Elle, Victoria, Karin, or Mia can all agree, “We’re going to be dommes for the rest of our lives. Whether we get paid for it or not is up to the universe. But this is who we are.”