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Bed-Stuy Vs. Felicia The Degenerate

Laurie Miller, 58, a black woman from Bed-Stuy, Brooklyn, was just minding her business, living alone in the same row house she moved into as a child in 1974, when she got a new next-door neighbor: Charlotte Taillor, a white queer feminist who works as a dominatrix and BDSM instructor. When she saw all the weird men coming and going from the house, Miller raised hell. Taillor doesn’t live there, but runs her dominatrix training academy out of it. The New York Times went to a recent community meeting about the controversy. [1] Excerpt:

One of Ms. Taillor’s supporters said critics just objected to the nature of her work and wouldn’t care if she were teaching knitting.

Ms. Miller said afterward that neighbors were able to hear “things like whips and chains and moans and stuff like that.”

“These brownstones are old and hollow,” she said.

Another block neighbor, Mary Patrick, said at one point about Ms. Taillor: “She should leave. She should take that to 42nd Street.”

Ms. Taillor told her critics in the room: “You don’t have to kink-shame or say that people are creepy because of what they enjoy doing.”

She added that her hope when she moved to Bedford-Stuyvesant was “to have a nice relationship with a nice community of woke people.”

“Oh, ‘woke’!” Ms. Miller fired back. “Bye, Felicia!”

Ha! (If you don’t get the joke, look here for the explanation [2].)

Read the whole thing. [1] Even though Taillor finally agreed to clear out, you’ve got to read the story to find out what Laurie Miller is doing now. She is not letting up! I’m guessing that’s her yelling on the street in this recent local TV news report about the controversy [3], in which the dominatrix complains that her angry neighbors are hurting her feelings. Shouldn’t she be thanking them for that? I’m so confused.

Here’s what I’m not confused about: Laurie Miller is the hero America needs! It might be Weimar America elsewhere, but not on her block of Bed-Stuy.

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46 Comments To "Bed-Stuy Vs. Felicia The Degenerate"

#1 Comment By Liam On March 16, 2019 @ 8:37 pm

Why do I have a feeling that the entire point for the author, Michael Gold, of this piece was a darling phrase towards the end, that his editors were clueless about in their zeal to maintain the freak human interest edge that the NY Times is using like a drag boa?

“none of The Taillor Group’s submissives are professional movers”

#2 Comment By David Prejean On March 16, 2019 @ 8:44 pm

I watched the video and I still don’t get the joke. Am I the only one?

[NFR: Follow the link to the explanation. — RD]

#3 Comment By Mr “Hate Crime” On March 16, 2019 @ 9:45 pm

Apparently “Kink shame” is a thing now.

Aside from being a “racist” is there anything in America today that can be properly considered shameful?

#4 Comment By Siarlys Jenkins On March 16, 2019 @ 9:54 pm

I keep telling you, move to a neighborhood where there are lots of people of African descent. Its the safest space from “wokeness” there is! Bye-bye Felicia!

#5 Comment By Joan from Michigan On March 16, 2019 @ 10:00 pm

Within the BDSM community, there’s an ongoing struggle between the majority who intend to be considerate of the larger society and an exhibitionist minority who persist in displaying their kinks to non-consenting strangers in public places. Usually that display takes the form of individuals dressed in fetishwear leading one another through the streets on leashes, but this sounds like the same kind of thing. Any person who puts themselves forward as a BDSM instructor should have some understanding of the importance of soundproofing. That Taillor didn’t even think about it, combined with her cluelessness about the kind of neighborhood she was moving into, suggests that, however woke she may be, she is not mature enough to be teaching anybody anything.

#6 Comment By charles cosimano On March 16, 2019 @ 10:35 pm

I’m surprised she did not sue the hell out of Miller for harassment. The people I know would have crushed Miller like a bedbug and would have turned her into a national laughing stock in the process.

#7 Comment By Maire On March 16, 2019 @ 11:05 pm

Just read the Times piece on this. Don’t you just love how Taillor has to toe a razor-fine line between outrage and magnanimity here?

On the one hand she’s the poor victim of ignorance and hate; on the other hand, she’s white and up against a black woman in a gentrifying neighborhood. The optics are not in her favor no matter how queer she is. Thus we get lines like “I want her to be queen of her block” and “I’m a feminist, I’m all about her rights.” Oh the sanctimony!

#8 Comment By RATMDC On March 16, 2019 @ 11:15 pm

OK… she could have put up some sound-deadening foam, or used white-noise generators, or whatever. That would be the neighborly thing to do.

You (and some of the neighbors) seem to have a problem with the existence of dominatrices and/or BDSM. Why is that?

Also, she didn’t *consent* to having her feelings hurt (which I realize is different from other kinds of harm, but that’s what you referenced). This sort of activity is based on consent, so as to prevent feelings (and worse!) from being hurt!

Did you miss that?

[NFR: How many years have you been reading this site, and you *still* don’t understand that I am not a liberal, and don’t consider consent to be the only standard of morality governing acts between adults? — RD]

#9 Comment By redbrick On March 16, 2019 @ 11:45 pm

“It might be Weimar America elsewhere, but not on her block of Bed-Stuy.”

When an unstoppable force (woke sexual revolution) meets an immovable object (a confident elderly black church lady who can’t be bullied)

#10 Comment By Marie in Vermont On March 16, 2019 @ 11:49 pm

Of course she’s woke. Luckily for Ms. Miller it appears that Charlotte Taillor is not trans, because trans-ness would have trumped Ms. Miller’s blackness. We all know that there’s a hierarchy of victimhood, because Rep. Clyburn explained recently how it works.

Never had this kind of neighbor, but we’ve had a lot who decided that the entire neighborhood needed to listen endlessly to their choice of ‘music’ played at a volume just below a sonic boom. It’s the main reason we now live on a dirt road on top of a mountain with very few neighbors. I’ve been informed by the Woke Police over on DailyKos that it’s racist (what else?) for me, a white person, to complain about loud music, because being loud (and inconsiderate?) is supposedly a cultural thing amongst some groups of non-white persons. To object is to fail to recognize my white toxicity. Or something.

#11 Comment By Joachim On March 17, 2019 @ 12:00 am

Uh…isn’t she technically running a one-woman brothel and hooker training facility out of a row house? How is this even remotely legal?

#12 Comment By Stephen Hall On March 17, 2019 @ 5:30 am

[NFR: How many years have you been reading this site, and you *still* don’t understand that I am not a liberal, and don’t consider consent to be the only standard of morality governing acts between adults? — RD]

Isn’t he just straight up trolling you?

#13 Comment By Barbara James On March 17, 2019 @ 5:44 am

Who on earth would want to live next door to a sex club?

It isn’t about shaming people, it’s about whether that type of business is appropriate in a residential community. I’m sure there are other areas of Brooklyn, commercial or industrial, where she could run her business.

Oh, the irony. The dominatrix rents or bought a house in Bed Stuy, while living in an apartment in
Ditmas Park, a more integrated neighborhood with more middle class whites who would be likely to object to that sort of business.

She couldn’t pull that nonsense among other whites, so she tried to pull that among black folks. because she didn’t think they would care, and because she wanted to create “community” with “woke” people.

Bogus nonsense. She did it because she didn’t think the neighbors mattered or that they would even care.

Their “woke” doesn’t equal her “woke,” and she should have known that going in.

#14 Comment By JonF On March 17, 2019 @ 7:27 am

Re: I keep telling you, move to a neighborhood where there are lots of people of African descent. Its the safest space from “wokeness” there is!

Ironically the tern “woke” originated among the more radical civil rights types to describe black people who “woke up” and realized how oppressed they were. Nowadays the word is mostly just a slur word used by the Right. I don’t think anyone on the Left uses it

Re: people I know would have crushed Miller like a bedbug

Don’t be so certain of that, Charles. Some of these older black folk have been through hell and back and they have the resilience to prove it. I was once rescued from some delinquent teens harassing me on the subway here by a little old black lady who was so petite the wind could have blown her away. But she put the fear of God in the kids and without using a single F-bomb. She also had the transit police waiting to haul the brats off the train at the next stop. I’d love to have her as a neighbor.

Re: You (and some of the neighbors) seem to have a problem with the existence of dominatrices and/or BDSM. Why is that?

I’m pretty live and let live, but I’d rather not live next door to a brothel, even a vanilla missionary position one, either.

#15 Comment By Some reader On March 17, 2019 @ 7:37 am

You missed that Jesse Singal explained this already ten days ago in three hilarious tweets

[4]

#16 Comment By Ted On March 17, 2019 @ 8:34 am

Mr “Hate Crime: “Aside from being a ‘racist’ is there anything in America today that can be properly considered shameful?”

“A perfect democracy is the most shameless thing in the world.”–Edmund Burke, Reflections on the Revolution in France

Joan from Michigan: “Any person who puts themselves forward as a BDSM instructor should have some understanding of the importance of soundproofing.”

So true.

#17 Comment By John Sheridan On March 17, 2019 @ 8:46 am

Be careful in the use of words like ‘ degenerate’ and ‘Weimar’. They have nasty echos of the 1933. ‘Sodom’ and that lesser known place might do as well. Or the section of some city in America known for such things.

#18 Comment By Andrew On March 17, 2019 @ 9:42 am

Aren’t their zoning by-laws that would prevent this? I bet the neighbourhood does have legal means to oust this person.

RATMDC is partially right. There is an issue of consent here. The neighbours in the building did NOT consent to having their home turned into a brothel, nor did they consent to pathetic submissives wandering the hallways of the building where children might be. Give your head a shake. I’m sick of bullies like this dominiatrix who thinks she can force her sick proclivities on everyone.

#19 Comment By Wandering Neanderthal On March 17, 2019 @ 10:37 am

Isn’t this a zoning violation? Domination-for-pay is certainly commercial, and may occasionally rise to the level of “light industry.”

#20 Comment By McCormick47 On March 17, 2019 @ 10:38 am

Note to Joachim: since tying someone up, whipping them or degrading them isn’t technically sex, getting paid for doing so is not prostitution under New York law.

#21 Comment By Darwin’s S-list On March 17, 2019 @ 11:07 am

Stuff like this gives me some hope. Our institutions may be better off when the Diversity movement (peace be upon it) follows through to its logical conclusion. White liberals will finally run out of power and replaced by nonwhites who, despite my disagreements with many of them, don’t go through life in abject terror of being accused of bigotry.

#22 Comment By Andrea On March 17, 2019 @ 11:16 am

Doesn’t this woman’s business violate some sort of zoning law?

#23 Comment By Joan from Michigan On March 17, 2019 @ 11:29 am

@Joachim;

BDSM often does not involve genital contact or even any skin contact at all. (This is why there was a surge of interest in it during the AIDS crisis; no exchange of bodily fluids means no disease risk.) Therefore, even if someone does have an orgasm, it’s not sexual activity in the eyes of the law and therefore getting paid to do it is not prostitution. When the police arrest BDSM practitioners, they may use the assault laws, as in [5] because of the difficulty of getting prostitution charges to stick when nobody is even getting naked. So I’m not surprised that Taillor’s offended neighbors didn’t use the law against her; they really didn’t have a case.

#24 Comment By Dukeboy01 On March 17, 2019 @ 11:47 am

I think we all know that this story would have gone the other way if Laurie Miller was a white woman and the neighborhood was a mostly white suburb. Let’s not kid ourselves.

#25 Comment By Fran Macadam On March 17, 2019 @ 12:28 pm

Nothing wrong with slavery and exploitation, they are wonderful, as long as the abused CONSENT.

So how could a little thing like “blackface” be wrong?

How about if you consent to be tortured and murdered?

Going for broke woke.

#26 Comment By Fr Martin Fox On March 17, 2019 @ 1:24 pm

Why, yes, Ms. Taillor, there is a qualitative difference between knitting with needles, and stabbing people with them. One is worthy of being embraced and celebrated, and the other is utterly unworthy. One is sane and the other is madness.

#27 Comment By Richard On March 17, 2019 @ 1:48 pm

A masochist goes up to a sadist and says, “Hurt me! Hurt me!”

The sadist looks at him and says, “No.”

#28 Comment By Helena On March 17, 2019 @ 2:37 pm

Re: “It isn’t about shaming people, it’s about whether that type of business is appropriate in a residential community.”

True, perhaps, but I wouldn’t sell shaming short. Shame can be a good and useful thing, and why shouldn’t she feel ashamed? Most normal people would. I’m not terribly hopeful about this particular woman, but the function of shame is to develop the conscience. Given the degenerate world we live in, it’s possible that she has never developed a conscience because no one has suggested to her that the focus of her life is a shameful one.

#29 Comment By Ain’t Ben On March 17, 2019 @ 3:08 pm

This is near my neighborhood and, while I feel no particular solidarity with the BDSM “community,” I do support the right of law-abiding Americans to associate and do business as they choose, provided nobody’s rights are being violated.

Something tells me that Rod and the supportive commenters here would be singing a very, very different tune if the business being driven out was some sort of “weird” Christian enterprise that a busybody neighbor decided they didn’t care for.

For some people, it’s always a question of who and whom.

[NFR: For some people, there are no moral absolutes, and therefore no difference between a church group and people who want to be sexually tortured for pleasure. — RD]

#30 Comment By RATMDC On March 17, 2019 @ 5:01 pm

JonF: As others have noted, there’s no necessarily any sex involved here.

Andrew: Correct, Taillor definitely should have been more neighborly.

Fran: You’re trolling.

#31 Comment By Harve On March 17, 2019 @ 5:11 pm

Ms Miller is not in an enviable position unless she owns the building she lives in. I see that a building on her block recently went for 1.7M. As that area gentrifies and if she is in a rent controlled unit… I’d be anxious too.

Given that it’s a residential street, Taillor should have sounded out the neighbors before committing to the unit. An aerial view shows a likely parking issue and nothing sets off city folks like parking.

A friend of mine owns a goodly amount of commercial/ warehouse/manufacturing space in the L.A. area (SFV). A few spaces are rented out for just these purposes and as film/video venues. No neighbors for blocks, no parking problems, no noise issues.

(Given that the guys would be submissives, Miller should have cracked the whip and tasked them with yard work and street cleaning :-))

#32 Comment By Someone who doesn’t post often On March 17, 2019 @ 5:21 pm

Fr Martin Fox: Why, yes, Ms. Taillor, there is a qualitative difference between knitting with needles, and stabbing people with them. One is worthy of being embraced and celebrated, and the other is utterly unworthy. One is sane and the other is madness.

I agree completely. I embrace and celebrate the wonderful doctors and nurses who gave me tetanus shot so I didn’t get lockjaw, who injected me with various medicines that allowed me to survive meningitis, and who saved my Dad’s life when he recently had a heart attack. On the other hand, those weirdos that give me sweaters that I wouldn’t be caught dead wearing…

#33 Comment By Tirant On March 17, 2019 @ 6:01 pm

Franky, this woman protesting the dominatrix was allowed to do and to say what she did because she (the woman objecting) was black. Otherwise, the media and courts would probably destroy her. I’m not sad she won though.

#34 Comment By Joachim On March 17, 2019 @ 6:43 pm

Re: the responses I got,

It seemed naive to assume that the clients never go all the way, so to speak, but I guess that isn’t as farfetched as I imagined.

Still, even in that case it seems like the fetishist’s equivalent of a strip club and I’d think the police would have no trouble at all getting her on zoning laws or somesuch, as others have commented.

#35 Comment By redbrick On March 17, 2019 @ 8:22 pm

[Be careful in the use of words like ‘ degenerate’ and ‘Weimar’. They have nasty echos of the 1933.]

Yea I think you’re missing why Rod uses those words…..he is trying to warn us that something wicked this way comes.

He is not rooting for it.

As they say on the HBO show West world “these violent delights have violent ends”

#36 Comment By TR On March 17, 2019 @ 8:40 pm

William Blake: “The cut worm forgives the plow.” Blake is not talking about Christian “forgiveness” here. Ask your neighborhood dominatrix what it means.

BTW: Wasn’t 42nd street cleaned up a few years ago?

#37 Comment By Lee On March 17, 2019 @ 9:46 pm

Funniest post ever including the comments.

I do also find it funny that I have learned more about weird sex from your blog than I’ve learned since I read “All You Wanted To Know About Sex But Were Afraid To Ask” when my Dad put it on my bed when I was in High School over 40 years ago. (What else is a single Dad to do?)

#38 Comment By TA On March 17, 2019 @ 10:02 pm

[NFR: How many years have you been reading this site, and you *still* don’t understand that I am not a liberal, and don’t consider consent to be the only standard of morality governing acts between adults? — RD]

I’ve also been coming here a long time, but I don’t really have any idea what you actually think about this stuff – not really.

What you’ve said is that you believe in orthodox Christian sexual morality which states that any sexual activity outside of heterosexual marriage is immoral.

That is helpful, but leave way, way more questions unanswered than answered. A couple examples that I don’t believe you’ve ever addressed, but would at least start to enlighten:

1. Where is the line between moral and legal? For example, you believe pre-marital sex and adultery are immoral. Should they also be illegal?

2. Small-o orthodox Catholicism, Orthodoxy, and Protestantism all have different definitions of what constitutes “sexual activity” and what activities are moral even within marriage, so saying you believe in the orthodox view doesn’t illuminate all that much. For examples this time, are oral sex and anal sex moral within a heterosexual marriage? If not, should the state make them illegal between married couples?

As far as I know, you never addressed any of this. Specifically, I have no doubt that you think being a dominatrix is immoral. Do you think it should be illegal? I have no idea.

#39 Comment By Siarlys Jenkins On March 17, 2019 @ 11:56 pm

The people I know would have crushed Miller like a bedbug…

Not in Bed-Stuy they wouldn’t… and not in my neighborhood either.

Franky, this woman protesting the dominatrix was allowed to do and to say what she did because she (the woman objecting) was black.

Fine. It just goes to show that “marginalized and excluded” is not a homogenous mass.

I don’t think anyone on the Left uses it

Actually, a lot of “white” liberals talk about it a great deal. Mighty white of them.

You (and some of the neighbors) seem to have a problem with the existence of dominatrices and/or BDSM. Why is that?

Same reason we have laws against assault, battery, mayhem, etc. Not everything that some obsessed fool wants to do is cool.

Also, she didn’t *consent* to having her feelings hurt

The epitome of a snowflake. So what? The man holding up a grocery store who got shot by a customer with a concealed carry permit didn’t consent to be shot while holding a gun to the head of a cashier either.

#40 Comment By Fran Macadam On March 18, 2019 @ 2:14 am

“Fran: You’re trolling.”

Name-called because you had no reasonable answer?

#41 Comment By JonF On March 18, 2019 @ 6:20 am

Re: Yea I think you’re missing why Rod uses those words…..he is trying to warn us that something wicked this way comes.

Yes, but Weimar Germany is not at all a good analogy for 21st century America. France of the late ancien regime works better– it captures the vibe of a powerful nation that has hit the limits of that power as well as the class extremes and even the allure of globalism. And the failure of the old time religion to handle any of it, in part because the religion itself has been seduced by the Brave New World.

#42 Comment By Bob Loblaw On March 18, 2019 @ 11:10 am

Good for Ms. Miller. Aside from the inappropriateness of running that kind of business in a residential neighborhood, I’d have to think there are zoning laws that prevent running any kind of business out of a residence.

I also have to think that the only reason Miller won this is that in the intersectional hierarchy, she, as a black woman, trumps a white lesbian.

#43 Comment By Greg On March 18, 2019 @ 11:27 am

This isn’t that complicated. Regardless of whether any sexual intercourse takes place within the confines of Ms. Taillor’s establishment, or whether it technically violates the city’s zoning ordinances, it’s still a business that provides sexual services. It would be seen as such by most reasonable people, who wouldn’t want it next door – just as they wouldn’t want a massage parlor, strip club, or dirty book store moving in. If the law makes a distinction between these businesses and a “kink collective,” then I’d raise hell with my councilman about amending the law.

#44 Comment By EarlyBird On March 18, 2019 @ 1:53 pm

True story: my wife and I have lived in Park La Brea, a large apartment community in the heart of LA for nearly 25 years. Lots of families with small children live very close to one another. It’s a wholesome, nice community. Given that we’re in the World’s Best Weather, we all like to have our windows open.

Tell that to the 20-something year old woman and her boyfriend who were apparently filming – every day, 12 hours a day – porn in their living room, with the windows wide open, day and night. They were on the top of a two story, and their performative porn “moans,” “gasps,” etc., were emanating throughout the neighborhood. They were without a doubt aware that they could be heard across the neighborhood.

People were outraged and demanded to management that these cretins be evicted. After a couple of months of complaints and personally being confronted, they were driven off.

I was very proud that parents and adults actually behaved as such, and held the line. Imagine that, in 21st Century America, that people were less worried about being seen as judgy, and more interested in maintaining a decent neighborhood.

#45 Comment By Harve On March 18, 2019 @ 5:06 pm

Just found this:

“In the meeting, several residents questioned why Taillor had decided to bring the space to a solely residential block, instead of busier local thoroughfares such as Nostrand Avenue. “She could have saved everybody a lot of trouble if she just, like, talked to [her] neighbors first and said, ‘Hi, look, here’s what we do,'” says Pablo Power, a resident of the block…”

[6]

Turns out there’s also a church on the block. This is less about morality and more about respect and Taillor’s cluelessness. Note that Nostrand would be just around the corner. Also note that Lexington is the next street over, which brought to mind:

“I’m waiting for my man
Got 26 dollars in my hand
Up to Lexington 125
Feelin’ sick and dirty
For a day and a life
Huh, I’m waiting for my man”

“Hey white boy, what you doin’ uptown
Hey white boy, you chasin’ my women around
Pardon me sir, it’s furthest from my mind
I’m just waitin’ for a dear-dear friend of mine
I’m waiting for my man, come on”

While that Lexington 125 is in Manhattan and the world (and the neighborhoods) have changed since Lou Reed wrote “I’m waiting for the Man,” the principle is the same – you show respect and Taillor didn’t.

The numbers on those blocks in Bed-Sty are wild. The owner of the building is planning on selling soon and this has to be creating insecurity in folks like Miller.

“Imagine that, in 21st Century America, that people were less worried about being seen as judgy, and more interested in maintaining a decent neighborhood.”

Most people will seek to protect their neighborhoods, nothing unusual here.

Re: All the references to race, I doubt the reaction would have been all that different on Sutton Place.

#46 Comment By JoS. S. Laughon On March 19, 2019 @ 10:42 am

Is there anything cringier than seeing white progressives seriously and unironically using the word “woke”?