Wednesday, February 28, 2024

NY archdiocese arts center cancels ‘kinky’ sex workshops

The Archdiocese of New York is looking into a series of “Improv for Kinky People” events scheduled at a Catholic performing arts space, which is billed as the “official arts center of the Archdiocese of New York.”

The series consists of three courses aimed at helping participants “generate wild, fun engaging characters who convincingly engage with your partner in the bedroom or a dungeon without it feeling stilted or awkward.”

Participants in the series are trained to “use the fundamental tools of improvisation to create a kinky scene or role-play” in order to “bring sparkle, spontaneity to your play, life, and beyond.”

One course, billed as “an exclusive workshop for dommes and tops,” promises that participants will use “the fundamentals of improvisation to make an engaging kinky scene/role-play with your submissive/bottom while also giving you tips on how to deal with the ‘OOPS’ moments.” 

The “dommes and tops” course encourages participants to practice course lessons with sexual partners, with promotional material urging them to “bring along your submissive/bottom to try out what you will learn in the class!”

Another event, “Masturbization,” is advertised as a workshop to help participants “play with yourself, kinky or not, on your own time, and anywhere.”

The workshops are scheduled to take place March 4, 6, and 9 at the Sheen Center for Thought and Culture, which bills itself as “New York’s leading Catholic center for artistic expression and intellectual engagement for all people of good will.”

Also scheduled at the Sheen Center March 6 is a screening of “Follow that Bishop!” a 28-minute documentary on the life of Venerable Fulton Sheen, which was produced by Rome Reports TV News Agency.

The “Improv for Kinky People” workshops are organized by a woman billed as “Mistress Diamondblu,” who identifies on her website as a “divine feminine sexual shaman who brings profound and exhilarating experiences to those who dare to follow me deep into the jungle of their most primitive and darkest desires.” 

Diamondblu says she is “a primal, erotic creature,” and a “mistress,” with “expertise in electro stimulation and torture, medical play, heavy bondage, urethral sounding, anal training, breath play, ruined orgasm/denial, pegging, pet training, cbt, fisting, sissification, humiliation, golden showers and especially role play: medical, ADBL, strict teacher, etc.”

“I love nothing more than to see and hear a grown man whimper and beg while under the heel of my stilettos, to feel them tremble in fear of the unknown or suffer as the result of their sexual frustration. When I step into my sovereign power over you as your Mistress – this is truly my drug of choice,” Diamondblu explains.

The Sheen Center, which opened in 2015, is the artistic center of the Archdiocese of New York, which says that its purpose is to “celebrate the creativity and imagination of artists and thought leaders in the pursuit of all that is good, true and beautiful” through “compelling performance and conversation.”

The executive committee of the center’s board of directors is led by Cardinal Timothy Dolan, as archbishop of the diocese, as well as the archdiocesan chancellor and vicar general.

Reached for comment Feb. 28, an archdiocesan spokesman told The Pillar that he was unaware of the scheduled workshops, and that the archdiocese would be looking into them. 

The building housing the Sheen Center originally served as part of a mission church for Italian immigrants in the 1920s and ‘30s. Founded by two Jesuit priests, the Italian Mission of Our Lady of Loreto included some 3,000 parishioners and a school for 500 children.

After it was purchased by Catholic Charities following the Great Depression, the site at 18 Bleecker Street became the Holy Name Centre, a residence and employment center for homeless men, eventually closing in 2011.

Following extensive renovations, the site was reopened as the Sheen Center in 2015.

The onanistic and sodomistic practica do not appear on the center’s calendar of scheduled performances, however the center’s space is available for private rent, to host “a wide variety of rentals, including performances, rehearsals, events, film and photo shoots, receptions and more.”

According to its website, the center has “a 274-seat proscenium theater equipped with five-camera high-definition livestream capability and a multi-track recording studio with 32 onstage inputs; an 80-seat black box theater; four rehearsal studios; and an art gallery.”

It is not clear in which space the workshops will take place, though according to their advertisements, attendance is capped for each workshop at 25 participants. 

In September, newly appointed Sheen Center director MaryLou Pagano explained that Dolan’s vision for the Sheen Center is “to have a place within the archdiocese to evangelize through the arts.”

“Our goal is to show all aspects of art through a lens of faith,” Pagano said.

The center’s website does not list any criteria or performance standards to hire the venue, but does offer reduced rates to “nonprofit artist groups.”

The NY archdiocese has faced controversy in recent weeks, after St. Patrick’s Cathedral hosted a funeral liturgy for a noted LGBT activist and professed atheist, in which intercessory prayers included a call for “gender-affirming” healthcare, prayers to the Blessed Virgin Mary were interrupted, with a participant shouting “Ave Cecilia” over the “Ave Maria,” and dancing around the deceased’s casket, and a transgender person could be seen kissing another man in the Church’s sanctuary while “words of remembrance” were offered.