I’ll admit, financial domination was a kink I didn’t really get, even intellectually. I just assumed it was something thought up by pro dommes for guys who were too anxious to meet them in person.
The interview with Mistress Harley on the People of Kink podcast opened my mind and showed me that financial domination and blackmail play is a kink with its own subtleties and intricacies. Money has its own fetishistic value, denoting power and potency, and to be deprived of it can affect some people as strongly as being deprived of the freedom of movement. A prodomme I know once told me about a man who wanted her to demolish his expensive car with a sledgehammer while he watched; she refused, not wanting to risk getting involved in an insurance investigation.
Even more interesting was when Mistress Harley talked about using applications like Teamviewer to remotely take control of her clients’ computers and phones. As technology increasingly becomes an extension of our selves, it makes sense that systems of remote surveillance and control would be fetishized as well. I am once again surprised at just how ingenious people are at coming up with new forms of sexuality.
An assortment of podcast episodes on the history or society and culture of consensual sadomasochism.
An interview with a veteran professional female dominant, Tara Indiana, who talks about the changes in the New York prodomme scene since the 1990s.
A two-part documentary on the idea of consenting to bodily harm, and the ramifications in BDSM as well as in sports and other realms. Includes an interview with Andrea Zanin of Sexgeek.
A short cultural history of professional female dominants.
The second half of this episode is about the mobilization of the kink community in response to the Fifty Shades of Grey phenomenon.
My interview on People of Kink podcast is now up. Nice to see some Canadian kink podcasts out there. This interview is more about my BDSM career and less about my research.
The Fetish Show has an interview with Nancy Ava Miller, who helped found a lot of the earliest above-ground BDSM organizations like TES and PEP and Society of Janus that began in the early 1970s. It starts around the 8 minute mark.
The Fetish Show podcast has an interview with Tim Woodward, the founder of Skin Two magazine, which was the first high gloss fetish magazines published in the UK. It starts about 37 minutes in.
One of my favourite podcasts, the Masocast, has an interview with Domina Irene Boss. Boss has been involved in both the pro Domme scene and the BDSM video scene for a long time, and has good historical insights on both fields. She was in both at the ground floor, and was able to vacation in Hawaii from the proceeds of her DVD sales. These days, particularly after the advent of Clips 4 Sale, the video market is so diversified that this isn’t possible anymore.
She also has some inside knowledge of the Other World Kingdom in the Czech Republic, which is about as close to “the Club” or “the Marketplace” or “the Network” as we’re ever going to get in real life.
Antoniou seems to be in the awkward position of being forced to debunk the myth she had a large part in reproducing, though not creating.
She also talks about the myth of the Old Guard, criticizing the belief there was an elaborate hierarchy of initiation for gay male leathermen back in the 50s and 60s, and especially critiquing the idea that this way of doing kink, if it ever existed, should be regarded as an ideal today.
What the myth of the Marketplace, and institutions like it, says to me is that a lot of people yearn for initiation. They want somebody out there to recognize their innate specialness, give them the Call to Adventure straight out of Joseph Campbell, and be swept off to the Realm of Magic. It’s what drives Harry Potter and Twilight and The Matrix. While I’m hardly an expert on the Marketplace, I get the impression that Antoniou wrote it in part to critique that myth and ended up promoting it.
The latest Overthinking It podcast (start at the 30 minutes mark) tangentially ties into the history of BDSM when they discuss the Jackass 3D movie and its relationship to the tradition of mortification of the flesh, which also mentions the Mondo sub-genre of exploitation film and the idea that what we see in the Jackass franchise is really only a pale, watered down of what you can see in the real modern primitive/body modification/shock carnival culture.
This struck me as a parallel to the idea that you can see lots of BDSM/fetish influences in fashion, music videos and so forth, but it’s still toned down and made acceptable to the mainstream. It means there’s still such a thing as alternative culture. (I was made aware of this when I was told that, during my former tenure as communications coordinator for a local BDSM organization, I chose poster designs that were too edgy for our avowed purpose of outreach to new people.)
The Oct 3, 2010 edition of the Masocast podcast has an absinthe-tinged interview with Dov, who talks about the history of rope and BDSM in general, including the development of Japanese rope bondage and the cross-pollination with American BDSM culture in the post-WWII era. It starts at about the 15:30 mark.