- A short essay on Jack Fritscher’s life as founder of gay leather magazine Drummer.
- The BackStory history podcast has a segment on the lurid, porno-Gothic, anti-Catholic accounts of Rebecca Reed and Maria Monk. (Episode transcript)
- French philosopher and historian and practicing sadomasochist Michel Foucault was an influential figure in the study of the history of sexuality. Now, more than thirty years after his death, the fourth volume of his History of Sexuality, Confessions of the Flesh, will finally be published.
- Yes, Fifty Shades Freed is in theatres. No, I don’t want to see it or talk about it. You can read reviews at Pajiba or the BBC. There’s also an interesting essay about how Fifty Shades dramatizes the dilemma of affective labor.
- Leatherati has an interview with longtime leather writer and titleholder Guy Baldwin, from 2012.
- Garage magazine has an essay on the recent history of BDSM, especially in the arts, from the Old Guard leatherman days to the post-Internet world.
- In Alaska, Rep. Zach Fransler allegedly assaulted a woman he was dating by hitting her during sex hard enough to rupture her eardrum. In a later text message apologizing to the woman, Fransler called what he did a “BDSM kink”, but the woman said in interviews she never negotiated.
- Katherine Gates, author of the new edition of Deviant Desires, talks on the Sex Out Loud podcast about fetishes. Specifically, she came out of the zine scene of the late 80s and early 90s, when people would self-publish and distribute paper zines for their own niche fetishes, such as sploshing or crushing or giantess. This was largely supplanted by the Internet in the mid-90s.
- Susan Wright, NCSF co-founder and tireless advocate, talks on the Kinkycast about the threat to kink and freedom of expression from the National Center on Sexual Exploitation, formerly known as Morality in Media. Among other things, it claims that the EBSCO academic research database is a purveyor of pornography to children.
- A 2016 GQ article claims that “Kink isn’t just for weirdo side characters anymore.” I don’t know about that, but it is an interesting list about kink in mainstream television, including Transparent, Nip/Tuck, Billions and other series.
- BDSM has always been influenced by the changing times, and new technologies. An Engadget article talks about a pro dominatrix who specializes in “consensual blackmail” and Internet-enabled surveillance.
I’m glad I had the opportunity to visit Wicked Grounds cafe in San Francisco in September 2017, now that it has closed as of January 6, 2018. It saddens me that so many public kink spaces don’t seem to last.
There is a last ditch hope of saving it via Patreon, though. Hopefully some white knight investor will pony up the cash.
- Princeton University now has its own officially recognized BDSM club, Princeton Plays.
- An essay on the Israeli “Stalag” Nazisploitation paperbacks of the 1960s.
- In-depth exploration of the Nazisploitation film genre.
- Katherine Gates has published a new and expanded edition of Deviant Desires.
- Gloria Brame, author of Different Loving and Different Loving Too, lists five clichés about BDSM that kinksters need to stop repeating.
- A 2013 Atlantic essay on whether consent-based sexual ethics is enough.
- A brief look at the Lust Doll kink-based video game.
I only know the broad outlines of the life of Touko Laaksonen‘s, AKA Tom of Finland, so I can’t attest to the historical accuracy of this film. It is definitely a biopic, not a documentary.The film spans a considerable span of time, from Laaksonen’s furtive outdoor experiences during WWII to his celebrity in HIV-era America.
- This blog explores in-depth the themes and history of Story of O, including its authorized and unauthorized adaptations.
- Gloria Brame lists funny BDSM scenes in mainstream films
- The Guardian interviews Clive Barker (writer and director) and Doug Bradley (actor who played “Pinhead”) about the BDSM-inspired Hellraiser film.
- Tina Horn’s account of the last days of Kink.com at the San Francisco Armory.
- A short history of gay leather bars and why they often have the word “Eagle” in their names.
- The dialectic between fashion and sex work.
- The Tom of Finland fetish artist biopic has been released and is coming to North America.
Who was Professor William Moulton Marston? A fantasist in the tradition of Frank Baum or Lewis Carrol? A guy who ruled a secret menage a trois with his wife and his younger student? A failed academic turned huckster and pornographer with a line in psychobabble? A loving father and husband with an unorthodox, closeted family?
The complete manuscript is now with the publisher, along with the bibliography and a variety of other paperwork. Right now, the biggest problem is getting the art I want. I know the images I want to use, but finding high resolution (300DPI or better) scans is hard enough. The real struggle is getting the rights. Figuring out if a given image is in public domain is far more complicated than it ought to be. Images published between certain dates are probably public domain, if they haven’t had their copyright renewed. But finding out who has the proper rights to an image published decades ago, by a company that has probably long since dissolved, is very difficult. Some of the pieces I would like to use have been located in public domain archives, which only require proper credit to use. Others I’ve located are available, but cost money, and I as the author would have to pay for it. I am convinced that this book would benefit greatly from an authentic piece of vintage fetish art on the cover, instead of a piece of stock art, but it remains to be seen what the art department will come up with for the cover.
It’s too early to make any precise predictions, but it looks like it will be released in the summer of 2018. I’m already thinking about a book tour on the west coast.
Last month, I visited San Francisco for the Folsom Street Fair, and got to see Wicked Grounds, Mr. S Leather, Leather Etc, and the Citadel BDSM club. I wanted to see the Armory, but this was well after Kink.com had left. More to come on another post, with pics.
- Slave david stein, with whom I collaborated on Our Lives, Our History, passed away on October 11th, 2017. Among many other accomplishments, david coined the phrase “Safe, Sane and Consensual.” He was a great guy and I’m sad to see him go.
- How Leatherdykes helped change feminism, by Samir S. Patel, in Atlas Obscura
- Back2Stonewall has an article on NYC’s legendary Mineshaft leather bar
- As does the Village Voice on NYC’s Vault BDSM club
- Jack Fritscher’s account of the origins of the Folsom Street Fair, Leather’s Burning Man
- And another history of the Folsom Street Fair
- And yet another of the Folsom Street Fair
- Short biography of Cleo Dubois and Fakir Musafar
- San Franscisco’s Armory, formerly the headquarters of the Kink.com online porn empire, moves to the next phase of its existence
- The Rolling Stones’ notorious “Black and Blue” bondage-themed ad campaign in the mid-70s
- Review of Professor Marsten and the Wonder Women, about their kinky and poly triad
- Profile of GB Jones, a Canadian artist who draws what Tom of Finland would have drawn in he was a lesbian.
- Review of Richard Perez Seves’ book on fetish pioneer Charles Guyette