The History of The Threshold Society


  • BDSM was not mainstream like it is today, most communication was through ads placed in certain underground publications. You had to be ‘vetted’ by more than one person. Threshold’s humble beginnings began with small parties held in people’s homes, using borrowed equipment, with maybe 20-30 people in attendance. The “bondage club” grew, and – with much energy expended by several early members – we became the Southern California Chapter of the Janus Society, with obligations and privileges thereof (Janus being located in San Francisco & dating back to 1974).


  • In the early summer of 1982, a group of friends decided to advertise in a local underground publication to see if there were more people in the Los Angeles area interested in SM. Thus, an ad appeared in the Personals section of the Los Angeles Free Press that read: “Bondage Club Forming, Send $1” and included a P.O. Box address.


  • In 1988, after much deliberation, it was decided that we would leave the Janus Society and go independent. Our organization had grown to over 500 members, and it was thought that we could best serve them by transitioning to a local leadership rather than relying on the San-Francisco-based Janus. We wrote our first bylaws and elected our first independent Officers that year. A year later, we voted on Threshold as our name.


  • This was the genesis of what would become Threshold in 1989. Prospective members sent in their $1 to the P.O. Box and began attending meetings. At first, the meetings were primarily social, but before long, they proved to be great opportunities for members to teach classes and share their experiences. These were the first of our educational programs; they were highly informal and held in people’s living rooms, but they were also extremely informative.


  • In the 1990s, we grew from a mostly informal organization into a solid, mature, and competent one. We put together a mission statement that defined us as: “An educational and social organization for adults who share a common interest in BDSM, fetish, kink, and the exchange of power.” We shared the idea that part of our mission was to simply “be there,” so that no kinkster would ever think they were alone again.


  • We saved our pennies over the years, and in 2003 we signed the lease on the space we currently occupy. Our dungeon today looks nothing like it did when we first saw it in August of 2003—the small rooms were run-down offices with bad carpeting, the lady’s room and lounge area did not exist, and we had no central heating!


  • It has been a remarkable journey, with a great many people working very hard to make Threshold what it is today. Our installations are constantly being renewed. Our bathrooms have been redesigned. Threshold is now equipped with a bootblacking station, patio, lounge, BDSM library, 2 bathrooms, lockers, a kitchen, 7 unique themed rooms, and a large main room with multiple play areas.


  • We are an organization dedicated to exploring BDSM and other forms of kinky play in a safe, sane, informed, and consensual atmosphere. We are a non-profit, education-based, volunteer organization that has empowered people of all gender identities, sexual orientations, ages, races, religions, ethnicities, roles, and affiliations to be who they truly are.
  • Our main room now includes state-of-the-art LED lighting and A/C. Additionally, soda and water are provided from the soda fountain machine with a donation of $1.


  • We have a sterling reputation locally and nationally. Our safety record is spectacular. We are proud to be active and contributing members of the worldwide BDSM community.
  • Our goal is to empower you with an understanding of Threshold, kink, and BDSM. We were ALL new at one point, and many of us were nervous about what to expect from a dungeon environment. We understand what it’s like to drive around the parking lot numerous times, building up the courage to cross the threshold.
  • So please, join us! We are here for you, as we have been for forty years and counting.