A Clean, Well-Lit Place for … BDSM Gear? Yes — Mr. S Leather

San Francisco's leather community — and BDSM in general — runs a lot deeper and is a great deal more complex than many people imagine. It's often portrayed in Hollywood as the purview of serial killers and the types of people who make their own explosives and hold others against their will in underground bunkers. Our experience, however, is that those who are seriously into SM are among the most boundary-conscious and self-aware people on the planet, and their negotiation skills are often a lot better than those of John and Jane Q. Public.

Sure, some pretty harsh stuff goes on behind closed doors, but it's subject to detailed agreements, physical cues, and so-called “safe words.” (We once knew a woman whose safe word was “Sacramento.” Asked why she chose that one, she replied, “Why the hell else would I scream 'Sacramento' in that context?”)

It's no surprise, then, that one of our contributing photographers, Gil Riego Jr., was shocked by what he found on a recent visit to Mr. S Leather, one of the best-known purveyors of SM gear in the world. It wasn't the intensity of the gear that shocked him, but rather the large, clean, well-organized space with a friendly and welcoming staff. He calls it “the Nieman Marcus of sex shops.”

See some photos from his slideshow below:

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