- 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
- I recently purchased a copy of Charles Guyette: Godfather of American Fetish Art, by Richard Perez Seves. Guyette was possibly the first American kink entrepreneur, beginning in the 1930s selling “theatrical footwear” and branching out into fetish photography. He influenced the careers of John Willie, the Klaws, Leonard Burtmann, and others. The book is full of vintage fetish photography, reproduced art, and a short biography of Guyette.
- In light of the resurgence of fascism and white supremacism in the US, Vox published a short essay on the sexual appeal of fascists.
- Rolling Stone examines the changing leather scene at International Mister Leather.
- Review of the biopic of the classic gay fetish artist Tom of Finland.
- Obituary of the late Chuch Renslow, gay male fetish entrepreneur.
- Essay on the history of nuns in pornography.
A lot has happened recently. I have officially signed a book deal and my book will be published sometime next year, probably the summer. This is the fruition of twelve years of research, writing, submitting, presenting, and networking.
Right now, I am working on cutting the 120,000-word current draft to under 100,000 words. Most of that 20,000 words were a couple of chapters that I freely admit were a bit weak, and that material may appear on the blog or in other work. The rest of the words to cut are mostly overly long quotes and some redundancies.
I am also sourcing images. I had always assumed that publishers would pay for licensing of images, but this is not the case. The author has to do it. For a while, it looked like this work would be without images, but I’ve found some of the images I want to use for free in the public domain. There are other images I would like to use, and I’m debating whether it is worth paying for their licenses.
I will be updating this blog as I continue this work with my agent and publisher. In the months to come, you can expect to see a new title, cover art, and more.
I will also be in San Francisco for my first Folsom Street Fair in late September. If anyone there recognizes me, please say hello.
- On June 29th, 2017, Chuck Renslow passed on. He was a major figure in the mid- to late- 20th century gay kink world. Among other things, he founded International Mister Leather, the Gold Coast leather bar, and many gay physique and leather magazines. Here’s an hour-long talk with him, courtesy of the Leather Archives & Museum.
- A history of the Dore Alley leather street fair
- Rodney Burger’s editorial on “I am not hanging up my leather in your closet“
- History of the lesbian magazine On Our Backs, which also dealt with lesbian kink
- The impact of Tindr-like contact apps on the Scene
- The “Masochist’s Lib” editorial by Terry Kolb, co-founder of TES, published in the Village Voice in 1971, after the newspaper refused to run ads for TES.
- Professor Marston and the Wonder Women is a upcoming drama film about the creator of Wonder Woman, the two women he lived with, and their lesbian and BDSM relationships, in the 1930s and 1940s.
I haven’t done one of these in a while, but there have been important developments.
The first is that I have signed with an agent to represent this project, with the working title of The Marriage of Heaven and Hell. (Title borrowed from William Blake.) This is actually my second agent, but I broke it off with the first agent a while back. The new agent sounds pretty enthusiastic and optimistic about the book, as both a commercial trade book and an academic reference.
I’ve been researching historical images at GettyImages, though I don’t know if this will be an illustrated book. I think it could have a strong visual appeal, but illustrations would require a lot of extra work and money to source the images and get their rights.
I’m also thinking about another book project,. One possible topic would be looking at heterosexual male submissives, which I see as an under-examined quadrant.
Second, I will be presenting on the history of female-dominant/male-submissive BDSM at the Enclave femdom conference in July. My first trip to the US since last year.
- A brief look at the Hannah Cullwick-Arthur Munby relationship on Dangerous Minds
- Indiegogo page for Kink Doctor web video series
- A look into the BDSM culture of India, focused on the Kinky Collective group in major cities
- Short bio of Bettie Page
- Interview with a professional submissive sex worker
- 2001 academic article by Andrea Beckman on Deconstructing Myths: The Social Construction of “Sadomasochism” versus “Subjugated knowledges” of consensual “SM”
- In the US, a sherriff’s deputy has turned out to have once worked as a pro domme and video performer, which people have used to question her ability to do her job. Some familiar anti-kink sentiments crop up, with an unnamed source saying: “The department’s “worst nightmare is if she’s out there and she’s really a dominatrix type and she beats the sh-t out of somebody,” the first source said. “The county [would be] liable.” ” Sources: NY Post, The Mary Sue, NJ.com
- Everyday Feminism’s three-step guide to practicing non-oppressive BDSM
- Gloria Brame on standing up against racism, sexism and other oppression in the BDSM community