- Profile of Henry Kenneth Bulmer, who wrote a series of exploitation novels concerning antebellum slavery, under the pen name of Clint Rockman. This was a sub-genre of novel popular in the 1970s but didn’t last into the 1980s.
- Discussion of the character Iron Bull as a positive depiction of a dominant in the video game Dragon Age: Inquisition, compared to Venus in Furs and Fifty Shades of Grey.
- Advocate’s slideshow on LGBTQ people of color in the leather/festish scene.
- Nine of the most iconic retro BDSM illustrators
- The Rise of BDSM (Sub)culture and Its (Dis)contents: A Literature Review, by Ying-Chao Kao
Ortmann, David M., and Richard A. Sprott. 2013. Sexual Outsiders: Understanding BDSM Sexualities and Communities Lanham, Md: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers.
Sexual Outsiders is primarily a guide for people in the helping professions (psychiatrists, psychologists, therapists and counsellors).
If you need to ask why this book is necessary, there is a problem of “therapy refugees”, people who have been unable to get therapy because they have been, or fear being, rejected for being kinky:
“After an off-hand comment made by the therapist about ‘those sick people who beat each other,’ I was put into a position of being unable to talk about any connections I had to BDSM. I also felt that it was unsafe to discuss that I was raped by a partner (which was something I needed to talk about) because we had been involved in a Dom/sub relationship.” [Pg.122-123]
- A brief video on the brief history of kittenplay, which appears to be a young and purely internet-based sub-subculture
- Portland, Oregon’s new BDSM-themed club and coffee shop, the Moonfyre Cafe
- The first 10 minutes of a presentation on the kinky origins of comic book superheroine Wonder Woman. The main takeaway is that all descendants of the creator’s family are under a gag order from DC Comics/Warner Bros. not to talk about anything that isn’t already published.
- Remember Second Life? The BDSM scene in that virtual world is still thriving.
- Measure for Measure wasn’t Shakespeare’s only kinky play. There’s a lot in The Taming of the Shrew too.
- More on the lesbian/feminist struggles over SM in the late 1970s and early 1980s.
- Short bit on Victorian flagellation.
Our Lives, Our History: Consensual Master/Slave Relationships from Ancient Times to the 21st Century is now available for pre-order on Amazon.
For a while, I’ve seen references to a 1980 documentary about kinky people, aired on public television station KQED. Online searches turned up nothing, but I finally put in the effort to look up KQED and see if I could somehow get access to it, if only partially. After a few emails, they were kind enough to give me access to a stream of the 36-year-old documentary. I had to sign a fairly restrictive agreement, so I can’t share any of it.
Elliot and Ahsley continue their relationship, now into vanilla sex. This scene is fully in the conventions of softcore porn, with soft lighting and rich textiles in Elliot’s bedroom, instead of the hard lighting and concrete walls of his dungeon. He even makes her breakfast the next morning. While it’s competently done, it’s pretty standard, instead of the kink we were promised. I have nothing against romance, but you can get that everywhere.
This episode starts off with another soft-core BDSM scene in Nolan’s dungeon. It’s competently shot, with implied cunnilingus and male butt exposure, but doesn’t go into the characters at all, except for hinting that Dylan is getting jealous of the women she brings to him.
Most of this episode revolves around a party. Borrowing Linda Williams’ observation in Hard Core that sex serves the function in porn that singing and dancing does in musicals, this provides a premise for various subplots and couplings. Such as Elliot getting Ashley in his sights. She fascinates him more than Dylan’s latest acquisition for him, who promises “nothing is off limit”.
- A Brief History of the Dominatrix, not terribly deep.
- Dominatrix imagery in fashion photography, also not terribly deep.
- Ever wonder what happened to the Vault, the Mineshaft and other BDSM bars and clubs? Now they’re restaurants you probably can’t afford to eat at.
- An in-depth essay on Leopold von Sacher-Masoch and Venus in Furs.
- The Political Uses of Lesbian Romance Fiction: Reading Patrick Califia’s Macho Sluts as a Response to 1980s Anti-Pornography Feminism
- History of leather women’s groups in San Francisco
- An essay on Wonder Woman creator and bondage fan William Moulton Marston
- Bet you didn’t know that in 1972, Bernie Sanders wrote an essay about men and women having sadomasochistic fantasies.
Lying somewhere on the boundary between affectionate fetishism and domestic violence, spankings between lovers or would-be lovers were a staple of Hollywood romance movies. Jezebel has a pictorial and essay on the subject, by Andrew Heisel. This was reflected in real-life practices of the time, when husbands were expected to treat their lives like children.