Originally Posted 12-4-2020
There are not enough words to express the gratitude I have for Queen Ariana Chevalier for creating such an amazing atmosphere as the NYC Rubber Studio to be a home for so many dommes to flourish. Through my tears, I will use the words I’m able to find at this moment to do the best I can.
Ten years ago I was house domme with only a couple of years under my belt when I made my first visit to the Parthenon. It was also my first time meeting Queen Ariana. That event changed the course of my domme career almost instantly. Shortly after I went fully independent, making the Parthenon my home dungeon.
That studio became my touchstone through a decade of changes. A few heartbreaks, several friend break-ups, 10 apartments, countless tours (including the bi-coastal years), and too many loved ones lost. The NYC Rubber Studio kept me grounded. I always had a home to come back to, even when I only had 8 hrs to stop over in NYC. It was my safe space.
I used to go in for a session and end up spending hours chatting and playing dress-up with Queen Ariana. It was like a domme blackhole. Being there made you so comfortable that time disappeared. “Just cleaning up and leaving” turned into ordering dinner, trying on new latex pieces, filming a quick POV, and/or learning a new skill.
Queen Ariana was always happy to share her knowledge, skills, equipment, and even wardrobe. There’s actually an entire period where every single outfit, toy, and piece of equipment I used to film was all loaned to me by Ariana after I lost everything from Sandy. Later I was lucky enough to be gifted quite a few items from her wardrobe.
During my tenure at the studio, it went through almost as many changes as I did. Ariana was always remodeling and upgrading the space to best meet the needs of the scene. The rooms grew and shrunk to keep us happy. I’d go away for a month and come back to a fresh coat of paint or a new floor so our videos would look new and fresh. I even spent a day on the floor of the Parlor Room placing pennies, one by one, with Queen Ariana and the rest of her helpful crew. That floor may own a piece of my soul.
That dungeon houses my blood, sweat, and tears, as well as some other unmentionable fluids. I feel like I “grew up” there as a domme. It’s where I became independent, I learned about touring, I built my filming business, launched Fascist FemDom, and became part of a community.
The NYC rubber Studio can never truly be gone.
Losing the space is like hearing the home you have been in for most of your life is being sold. Like some Hallmark Christmas movie but no amount of fundraising and community support is enough to save the town and supply a happy ending.
Seeing the announcement of the NYC Rubber Studio’s closing broke me. I knew it was closing, Ariana and I had talked many times this year about the possibility. I knew that the community had exhausted all of our appeals to save it.
I understand it. I support her decision to do it. I prepared for it. I was warned it was being announced. I know that my friendships with Ariana and all the amazing people I met because of the studio will continue on without a physical clubhouse of sorts.
None of that saved me. There is no way to prepare to move on from a decade of your life. Grieving will be a process, a painful one right now.
What hurts the most is to see this beautiful institution slip away from us when we can’t even be together one last time to say a proper goodbye. I’ve been very fortunate over the last 10 years to either be at the studio surrounded by friends or already have a plan to be at the studio that day when receiving bad news.
Taking this one alone, in our quasi-quarantine lifestyle, goes against everything the Rubber Studio stands for. We are a community, we are there for each other. The studio deserved better than to be another casualty of 2020.
I find solace in knowing all that Queen Ariana cultivated in and for us, in that studio, will live on. The Parthenon is closing but the Parthenon Family is forever.