Contrary to popular belief, the practice of BDSM is not illegal in Nevada, as demonstrated by the following facts:
BDSM is never mentioned in the Nevada Revised Statues
Sadism is mentioned only once:
"....Depicts or describes in a patently offensive way masturbation, excretory functions, sadism or masochism."
In this statute, the only issue is displaying in public any material relating to acts of sadism or masochism.
The closest reference to BDSM play was last amended in 1981, where it only refers to the protection of minors from obscenity and assault - which of course Masquerade fully supports with our policy of 18+ ID carding and assessment.
In terms of whether BDSM falls under 'assault' or 'battery', let me direct you to the following:
NRS200.400 Definition; penalties.
1.As used in this section:
(a)"Battery" means any willful and unlawful use of force or violence upon the person of another.
This definition indicates that the act must be both willful and unlawful. Are there instances of lawful violence or force? In fact, there are - football, wrestling, comedy acts; but most importantly, the martial arts dojo. BDSM has a long history, in some instances deriving from martial arts (such as shibari, otherwise known by its original martial form - hojojutsu).
Martial artists spar, with the full understanding thatinjury can occur, but is not intended. In the case of Masquerade, this is very important. After all, what happens in a BDSM party contains no intent to cause injury; only stimulation and satisfaction - contrary to the point of the martial arts, which are geared towards the controlled disabling of a body. This leads directly to our second point:
NRS200.471 Assault: Definitions; penalties.
1.As used in this section:
(1)Unlawfully attempting to use physical force against another person; or
(2)Intentionally placing another person in reasonable apprehensionof immediate bodily harm.
Having dealt with 'unlawfully', we must now take hold of the word "apprehension". What does it mean?
" ap·pre·hen·sion (ˌaprəˈhenSHən/); noun: apprehension; plural noun: apprehensions
1. anxiety or fear that something bad or unpleasant will happen."
A BDSM submissive has anticipation of contact, a desire for a (to their sensibilities) pleasant situation and occurance. Someone being assaulted fears what is coming, and considers it to be bad. At Masquerade, we do not allow someone in without first ensuring that their definitions of BDSM are positive - and that safewords are established to prevent apprehension, rather than anticipation. Apprehension is not a sign of happiness; and in BDSM, apprehension must be prevented. Anticipation, perhaps mixed with the excitement of a roller coaster, yes - fear of life or limb, never.
In addition to this, local city codes and statues indicate that adult content (including adult shops, theaters, etc, such as you see in Downtown Reno) must be at least 1000 ft from residences and that there will be no explicit or obscene public displays which could potentially affect or disturb the populace (especially minors). Our location is in a non-residential building as far as possible from the general public, accessible only through a exterior self-locking door.
Finally, there was a concern over an intramural issue with a district court decision regarding the protection of BDSM under the Fourteenth Amendment (Due Process Clause) indicating that
“plaintiff has no constitutionally protected and judicially enforceable fundamental liberty interest under the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment to engage in BDSM sexual activity.”
Even were this binding in any way to the US in general, or not easily discarded by any lawyer worth his salt, this does not make BDSM illegal – what it indicates is that there is no currently-recognized inherent right to sexual activity (and yes, we do mean all sexual activity, because you can define any activity in sex as having Dominance aspects – therefore, there is no right to sex under current law). For that reason, given that there are state-recognized brothels (in which sex, visibly BDSM or 'normative BDSM', has been practiced), it is up to the specific locality to decide whether to impose a specific law specifically banning such activity.
As a cover-all to your BDSM concerns, an excerpt from Lawrence v. Texas
"The present case does not involve minors. It does not involve persons who might be injured or coerced or who are situated in relationships where consent might not easily be refused. It does not involve public conduct or prostitution... The petitioners are entitled to respect for their private lives. The State cannot demean their existence or control their destiny by making their private sexual conduct a crime. Their right to liberty under the Due Process Clause gives them the full right to engage in their conduct without intervention of the government. “It is a promise of the Constitution that there is a realm of personal liberty which the government may not enter.” Casey, supra, at 847. The Texas statute furthers no legitimate state interest which can justify its intrusion into the personal and private life of the individual."
This is the law as it stands, as it is written. To the best of our understanding - as explained here - there is nothing illegal whatsoever in the practice of BDSM, much as there is nothing illegal in a martial arts spar or a football game. There is no intent to harm or allow to come to harm any person or persons in our establishment. As Easton & Liszt say in their work on topping, "S/M bears the same relationship to abuse that consensual sex does to rape....In S/M, the participants have one another's well-being as their paramount goal".
We at Masquerade Reno do our utmost to remain within the letter of the law, and respect all members of the Reno legal authority (both kink-inclined and uninterested). So long as there is no impetus on behalf of the local legislature or the State to remove our moderating influence on an otherwise unregulated scene, we will continue as indicated (though of course we are open to advice and commentary from the legislature).
Thank you for caring enough to read this - only with your help can we keep BDSM
SAFE, SANE, and CONSENSUAL (SSC)
RISK-AWARE CONSENSUAL KINK (RACK)
An addendum for prodom/mes : in order to be fully compliant with all local regulations, you agree that by entering our establishment, there exists no prior agreement whereby you provide specific services and/or acts in exchange for monetary or other consideration. We understand that in the BDSM culture, you can receive tribute or other considerations, and that you may deem fit to give a submissive an audience - we understand that this, in our culture, does not obligate a prodom/me to perform or commit to any service and/or act; contrary to prostitution, where there is an understood transference of considerations for sexual gratification, gratification may be entirely withheld or absolutely denied in all ways by the very nature of (Y)our position. An audience can very much be just an audience, and any actions taken are at a personal level between Dom/me and sub. We must make this clear, as we do not allow any type of prostitution in our dungeon. In addition, you are obligated when using our service to indicate the correctness of this fact to us prior to booking.
Masquerade Reno does its best to maintain and protect the safety of our customers, as well as their comfort and happiness while using our services. However, due to the structure of the legal system as it stands, the following liability release stands as necessary.
Copyright Masquerade Reno
By using our services (inclusive of wedding services, event planning, furniture & DM rental, and all other services), you agree to hold yourself liable for your safety and that of any member of your party, and to hold harmless and indemnify Masquerade-Reno and all associated employees/owners from all legal and financial responsibility. Further, by using our services, you agree you find no aspect of Masquerade-Reno (or their associated workers) to be offensive or contrary to your consideration of a reasonable, decent, and moral establishment.
You are required to sign a liability form which includes a consent form prior to using our services - in the event you attempt not to sign the form but still use our services, this notice serves as reasonable warning that you are responsible for signing the liability waiver prior to using any service provided by Masquerade Reno and/or any employee thereof. To the best knowledge of Masquerade-Reno, your signature represents your consent for BDSM related activity and your lack of intent to commit and/or contribute to unlawful harm.
We want you to be safe, and we're always doing our best to make sure you remain so - but if you slip and fall, or incorrectly disengage yourself from the furniture, or if some accident occurs, you agree that we're not legally liable.
When you come in and sign the liability waiver you're saying that you want to perform and partake in BDSM, and that you have to do it responsibly. It also means that anyone who is with you (they have to sign it too) consents to do things with you. We listen for safewords, we monitor the dungeon - but the ultimate and final responsibility for your party's safety is with you. You agree that we (all of us at Masquerade, and Masquerade itself) are not legally liable if you have a consent issue - that's what the waiver is for; if you don't want to do BDSM with a person, don't use our services - please!