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Playing with Desire: UNH students push sexual boundaries

Staff Writer

Published: Friday, November 13, 2009

Updated: Wednesday, February 13, 2013 15:02

BDSM graphic

Courtesy Illustration

Courtney Jane and Regina Mae have asked that their real names and majors not be published with this article, as to avoid unnecessary scrutiny by professors, peers and google searches.

Courtney Jane always liked kidnapping movies as a kid. She was drawn to ropes and being tied up, but never really thought twice about it, until years later when she and an ex-boyfriend had a rough sexual experience. But it was a good kind of rough.

Since then, she's become enthralled with ropes, trying to learn all that she could about them and other fetish toys.

Courtney Jane, or CJ, is the creator and coordinator of UNH's BDSM group; an unrecognized organization that looks to give people an outlet for fulfilling their kinky sexual fantasies in a safe environment.

"Everything is pretty much kink," said CJ in an interview last Monday. "Anything that isn't normal is kink. It's just to what level."

When dissected, BDSM stands for bondage-discipline, dominant-submission, and sadist-masochism. CJ, a grad student at UNH, began exploring BDSM last January on her own, before starting the group and putting up advertisements for members a couple months later.

Regina Mae, a sophomore at UNH, was the first student to respond to one of the ads.

"I've always been a sexual person," said Mae, in the same interview on Monday. "I think it was a matter of me realizing that I could go out and do these things with other people and have it not be this stupid secret desire."

CJ and Mae are two of at least 10 regular UNH members of the 15-plus-member club that meets once a month for a "munch" at a local restaurant.

According to CJ, a "munch" is lunch for kinksters, an open place to meet, chat or even make connections with others. Usually, the munch begins with general chitchat, before moving to conversations about people's experiences "in the scene."

"I'm very comfortable with myself and a lot of that had to do with meeting these people and finding out that I could say these things and it's not that bad or odd," CJ said. "I mean, it's how I am, it's what makes me feel comfortable and it makes me so happy. If people don't like it, well, I guess it sucks for them."

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Courtney Jane
Wed Mar 31 2010 12:12
One final comment from this wonderful article and all the positive feedback - We are having another Kinky Con on April 10th - only 4 tickets left. I am sorry for not posting earlier. I tried to contact Amanda with the information a few weeks ago, but I never heard back from her. - The new group name is NH Seacoast Kink and you can reach me with questions at Please dont hesitate. We welcome all new members,

Courtney Jane

Floating World
Fri Jan 22 2010 05:00
@CJ - Great job on starting an S&M organization at UNH! Kuddos. I hope it does really well!

@detractors in the comment forum - Nobody who matters gives a rats ass about your objections. Be shocked all you want, but please, keep it to yourself. Your whining is annoying.

A different "CJ"
Mon Nov 30 2009 09:46
As a parent of 2 college age children, I say KUDOS to the school for bringing to light what has always been enjoyed behind such a veiled mask. I will say that as a mother, I'm happy when my children find something enjoyable in life. My son came forward to me about a year ago disclosing a foot fetish. I gladly pointed him in safe directions to learn and explore.

Hats off to you Regina Mae and CJ!

Explore, learn and most of all, enjoy safely!

Mistress CJ

Courtney Jane
Tue Nov 24 2009 13:23
I thought you guys might like to know this and the shackle your judgment article have been added to the National Coalition for Sexual Freedom - SPECIAL Media Update November 11, 1.Lolita Wolf: The Kinky Lover2.A Kink in the Campaign3.Hello Pell? Itbs Me Mell, and I am Really Mixed Up About This Election Thing4.Swingers arrested in Iran5.Sex game beatings bring long prison term6.Progress Through Education7.Shackle your judgment: BDSM deserves respect8.Playing with Desire: UNH students push sexual boundaries9.Getting into the swing of things10.Sex toy research causes a stir at Duke11.Mate debate: Is monogamy realistic?To read NCSF Media Updates on a daily basis, visit our blog at: http://ncsf.wordpress.comNCSF Media Updates represent a sampling of recent stories printed in US newspapers, magazines, and selected websites containing significant mention of BDSM-leather-fetish, polyamory, or swing issues and topics. These stories may be positive, negative, accurate, inaccurate b or anywhere in between. NCSF publishes the Updates to provide readers a comprehensive look at what media outlets are writing about these topics. NCSF permits and encourages readers to forward these Updates where appropriate.Lolita Wolf: The Kinky Lover New York TimesFor me, having found BDSM it's not just about sex. I find very fulfilling that I can educate people, because it's something I needed. So many people have come to tell me that I made them feel 'not guilty'...To read this article, go to: [ million/index.html#/lolita_wolf]( million/index.html#/lolita_wolf)A Kink in the CampaignChicago ReaderBut he says he raised $1800 at one leather party, and he pitched members of the Next Generation Chicago, a pansexual BDSM group for the 18-34 set, ...To read this article, go to: [ democratic-primary/Content?oid=1236242]( democratic-primary/Content?oid=1236242)Hello Pell? It's Me Mell, and I am Really Mixed Up About This Election ThingChicago ReaderHe wrote for Gay Chicago magazine for 17 years, penning a "Leather Views" column under a pseudonym. Expect the content of those articles to be a huge campaign issue. ...To read this article, go to: [ really-mixed-up-about-this-election-thing,92492]( really-mixed-up-about-this-election-thing,92492)Swingers arrested in IranStraits TimesTEHERANIRAN'S moral police have arrested a dozen couples for engaging in illicit sexual acts, including swapping of partners. Extra-marital sex is illegal in Iran where Islamic sharia law is the principal source of legislation. If found guilty of adultery, those arrested in the crackdown face being stoned to death. ...To read the rest of this article, go to: game beatings bring long prison termHillsboro Argus"If you know anything about (sadomasochism), both parties are getting pleasure," Knapp said. "I don't believe it was sadomasochistic at all. ...To read the rest of this article, go to: Through EducationJusticeBrandeis University Transgender, polyamory, sadomasochism and asexuality are topics that still need to be introduced into the dialogue. "There's no overt prejudice,...To read the rest of this article, go to: [ ucation-3834004.shtml]( ucation-3834004.shtml)Shackle your judgment: BDSM deserves respectUNH The New HampshireDurham, NHIt is a little hard to imagine the person sitting next to you in class choosing to wear a diaper and roll around like a baby, but BDSM is just as unique as ...To read the rest of this article, go to: [ deserves-respect-1.898694]( deserves-respect-1.898694)Playing with Desire: UNH students push sexual boundariesUNH The New HampshireDurham, NHCourtney Jane, or CJ, is the creator and coordinator of UNH's BDSM group; ... CJ, a grad student at UNH, began exploring BDSM last January on her own, ...To read the rest of this article, go to: [ sexual-boundaries-1.898361#5]( sexual-boundaries-1.898361#5)Getting into the swing of thingsLas Vegas WeeklyAfter a few minutes of trying to remember...
Fri Nov 20 2009 13:16
This is a student newspaper and should have articles ranging from far right to far left in terms of politics, human interest, blogs, columns, etc… We are all adults here and should not have a problem with an informative article about sex. There is nothing explicit in the article. There are far more explicit things that can be seen on cable television during the day and at primetime.
Wed Nov 18 2009 12:35
to those who are upset and "disgusted" by this article- why don't you go out and get laid. then maybe you wouldn't be so prude and sad. don't knock it 'til ya try it dudes.
Courtney Jane
Tue Nov 17 2009 19:07
@Katie Anderson: I am glad I am not your daughter, because my mother is very supportive of me and believes that it is important that I strive for what makes me comfortable and happy. If this is what it is, then so be it.

I did not come to the paper to cause controversy. They asked me for an interview to learn about what it important to me. We should be supporting diversity and praising those brave enough to admit their likes and dislikes.

I was always told that if I wanted to find my place and friends, I needed to do what I like, and I would find others that liked that too, and bond with others. Nothing about this article is wrong. It is just different. But that is life, filled with different people and perspectives. If we were all the same, live would be pretty boring, and unrealistic. We were always taught be to open and accepting of those different than us. I think this should be taken as an example to be open to something new, even if you dont agree with it, and move on, with knowledge of this new perspective in the back of your mind.

I would also like to commend Amanda for taking the time to interview me and give me a voice. I apologize if my previous message sounded like I was not impressed. My only off context was the littles aspect, which I cleared up by stating that is actually age play she mentions.

Just because this article upsets you over the concept of BDSM, you really should not be being so rude to someone who is just trying to explain something that has been going on since the 70's and will continue (underground if it must) to keep the people involved happy.

Kate Anderson
Tue Nov 17 2009 11:19
Disgusting. These are things that should be kept personal. Sexual fantasies is extremely personal and I can not believe how many teenagers-early twenty year olds do not treat sex and its nature more privately. CJ if you were my daughter i'd be embarrassed- embarrassed not by your choices of what you want to do and like- but embarrassed that you want to share it with thousands of people "to make an impression" Screw that!
Good job
Tue Nov 17 2009 05:16
Even though I won't join the BDSM group, I'm glad the TNH took a chance for once and reported on something student related that isn't going to please nor appeal to everyone. Discussion has obviously arisen from this article, and sexuality on campus and as a college student is certainly an important issue.
Your name
Mon Nov 16 2009 22:27
I am disgusted that this was on the front page...I am severely disappointed in the TNH!!!! And how do you not judge this behavior!?!?...sorry girls(and boys) considered yourselves judged
Courtney Jane
Mon Nov 16 2009 15:50
Well, it is quite interesting to hear the controversy that has come about from this article. I will admit that a good portion of this article was a bit off in context, and I would also have liked to see her focus on something more than the littles aspect. May I please correct that littles are part of the overall "age play" in which a D/s relationship can form a relationship of teacher/student or as a mentor or educator to the sub.

I understand that it sounds crazy that UNH has supported and educated this lifestyle in the New Hampshire. I am more surprised than you when I got an email asking for an interview.

My only motive for this article was to let people know that there is more out there and there are many people who have the same desires. I have already recieved a few emails from people interested in the group and one that came to the event after reading the article.

I am not looking for any debate of what is right or wrong. It is just what works for some people. That is all. Everyone deserves their own opinion. Thank you for your time.

I would also like to add that you can reach me about information on the group through


Rich LaBombard
Mon Nov 16 2009 14:02
I wish this group was around while I was attending UNH from 00-04. I can understand why some people may object to the article being in TNH, but I disagree with them. I find a university newspaper is a great way to broaden the horizons of the readers. Most papers are too conservative and worried about offending even a small portion of the population to attempt including intriguing information. You don't have to agree with everything you read to be tolerant of it. I personally have a strong distaste for politics, and the personal attacks that tend to follow in a political discussion, but I don't write nasty comments or letters about how horrible it is. If you don't like what you read, shut your eyes. If you don't like what you hear, cover your ears so you don't hear me applaud this interesting article, and amazing group. THANK YOU!
Clark Kent
Mon Nov 16 2009 01:51
I agree that both the university and the university's student paper have a mission to educate. But just because their missions are similar, doesn't mean they're the same.

The paper is in the unique situation where it is editorially independent of the administration and, therefore, the official university mission statement. It's totally possible that the student newspaper will publish things that the administration doesn't agree with. I'm sure the admissions people aren't thrilled by having the school associated with BDSM. But I think that feeling is countered by the benefits the university receives from having a student newspaper. One of those benefits, in fact, is receiving "bonus points" on those college rankings that so many high school seniors and parents turn to when choosing a school.

So, even if the student newspaper publishes articles that are stupid, poorly written or offensive, the university receives a greater benefit from having an independent newspaper than not having one, because it attracts more students and more money. In reality, the university's mission is "to make money" rather than "to further education". (Maybe "to make money in order to further education"?)

That's my long way of saying that merely by existing, TNH furthers the university's mission.

However, TNH's mission is not to bring more money into the university. Its mission is to act as a news source for the university and as a educational organization for journalism students. The "big picture" benefits it gives the university are secondary.

It is also important to note that TNH isn't an "official university publication". Those publications, such as Campus Journal, UNH Magazine and the research journal, carry a seal that say it was created and edited by the university's Creative Services department (It looks like the T-Hall clock, I believe). TNH doesn't, and shouldn't, carry that seal. Personally, I don't think they should use the university seal either, if only to avoid any confusion that the paper is the university's voice and not the students'.

Finally, to ask a newspaper to either cover all subcultures or none of them is impossible, that's practically the same as asking them to write a profile piece on every UNH student. Instead, we should be asking them to continue to find and write about as many subcultures as they can, so that they can educate themselves and become better journalists, and so the the campus community is educated about those cultures.

(Of course, none of that has anything to do with the decision to put the article on the front page. That decision comes down to the judgment and tastes of the paper's editors. BDSM got the front page because the editors decided it did, simple as that.)

Your name
Mon Nov 16 2009 01:14
Joe Berlinger, why do you seem to angry about this article? YOUR logic doesn't make any sense. If you're against BDSM, then say that. Don't just throw out random ideas about other subcultures at UNH. It really doesn't make much sense.
Joe Berliner
Sun Nov 15 2009 22:39
The newspaper isn't meant to "serve the mission" of the university. Otherwise every article might as well be written by the administration. I would like to see more articles like this that show the true colors of UNH.

I have no idea what crazy species of logic you are using to deduce this non sequitor.

Joe Berliner
Sun Nov 15 2009 22:38
OK, I am waiting for all the church folks to write about their gazillion denominational church experiences for the front page. This article is equally irrelevant and frankly boring as that hypothetical church article might be.

In fact, I am surprised the churchy folks haven't raised a storm over this yet.

I agree with all the points about keeping a tab on the admin and not just writing about student orgs.

I am not sure about CK's point about univerisyt mission abd paper mission being different. Since TNH is part of the university, its mission is the same as the university mission: to further education.

Sure, the article does inform us (a little bit) about a niche culture. But I think before we talk about bdsm, we better have already talked about ALL the other subcultures that exist on campus. Why does BDSM get front page?

Sat Nov 14 2009 23:31
I gotta say, this is one of the more interesting articles I've read in TNH. Good work.
Sat Nov 14 2009 17:06
The newspaper isn't meant to "serve the mission" of the university. Otherwise every article might as well be written by the administration. I would like to see more articles like this that show the true colors of UNH.
Your name
Sat Nov 14 2009 16:27
Not appropriate for the front page, in my opinion. Pretty freaked out by the "little play" part, not gonna lie. Interesting but also appalling. Informative but suggest move to main street magazine.
Clark Kent
Sat Nov 14 2009 13:28
I think that some people here are confusing the university's mission with the newspaper's mission. I think part of a paper's mission is to present a diverse picture of the people that make up its community, or the "niches" as Joe Berliner called them. That's what this article is doing.

There are other parts of its mission, namely to monitor those people that are in positions of power and influence and to identify injustices that need to be rectified, but those things can't be done in every article (and honestly, those things take a lot of time and effort that a lot of papers don't have).

There are some that would prefer that the newspaper spend all its space covering the Undergraduate Research Conference, or every single student-sponsored event. But then you have the people who complain they don't see enough international news in the paper. Space is limited and finding a balance that pleases everybody is almost impossible.

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