Black Rose (BDSM organization)

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Black Rose is a pansexual educational and support group for the BDSM community in the Washington, D.C. area. It was founded in June 1987 and was the center of the local BDSM community for almost 20 years.

Black Rose hosts regular educational classes addressing BDSM activities, issues, and safety, currently at a hotel in Arlington, VA. For most of its history, the group has also hosted monthly socials whose emphasis have varied over time from hands-on educational workshops to social play parties. These events have been suspended during periods when The Crucible, Washington's longstanding BDSM club, has been closed as it sought new quarters. The club hopes to end a two-year hiatus with the opening of a new location in the spring of 2017.

Black Rose is governed by a board of directors elected by its membership. [1] In 2002, one of the group's then-leaders, Jack McGeorge, was "outed" by news articles using his activities as one element of an argument that he had not been appropriately vetted for his national security-related position.

From 1997 through 2012, the organization held hotel-based conventions that included educational sessions, vendor rooms and play parties. For much of that time, the events were annual and by 2000 had grown to be among the largest such events held on the East Coast.

By 2010, however, Black Rose's event had lost its primacy, challenged and then overshadowed by events organized by Dark Odyssey. One factor was Black Rose's policy barring sex acts at the event. In 2007, a group of Black Rose members, including some prominent figures in the BDSM community, attempted a takeover based mostly on that issue but narrowly failed to elect its slate of candidates.

Annual events continued through 2009. The group's last large event was held in 2012 to celebrate its 25th anniversary. [2]

The increased prominence of the internet, and especially the founding of the social networking site Fetlife in 2008, allowed alternative sexuality groups to multiply and flourish. This further diminished Black Rose's central position in the Washington BDSM community, although it remains a significant presence. It is an especially important resource for newcomers to BDSM, for whom its educational emphasis is both practical and less intimidating than other points of entry.

Special interest groups[edit]

Black Rose includes several special interest groups (SIGs):[3]

  • Bondage
  • Cultural, Arts & Theatre Social (CATS)
  • Hypnosis
  • Tethers and Feathers, for those interested in tickling
  • The Next Generation (TNG), for those aged 18 to 35 and their partners


Among its other activities, Black Rose annually grants awards:[4]

  • Jack McGeorge Excellence in Education
  • Membership Service Award

Similar organizations[edit]


  1. ^
  2. ^ "BR Event Fetlife page". Retrieved 2017-04-03.[dead link]
  3. ^
  4. ^

External links[edit]