Oct 162018
 

Divine Deviance panel, 28 September 2018. L-R: Peter Tupper, Carol Queen, Gayle Rubin, Mufasa Ali, Dr. Robert Bienvenu, and Rostum Mesli.

One of the best things about subcultures is that it is possible to meet all of the major people involved in them. In the case of the micro-field of sadomasochism history studies, it’s possible to get the leading people sitting around a single table.

I was deeply honored to be sitting at the same table as the people whose work I had read and built on for many years: sexologist & Center for Sex & Culture ED Carol Queen, academic & activist Gayle Rubin, ONYX founder & Mr World Leather 2006-07 Mufasa Ali, anthropologist & historian Dr. Robert Bienvenu, and academic & author Rostum Mesli. The shoot was at the Catalyst playspace in San Francisco.

The shoot took about seven hours, including lunch breaks, but all of it was fascinating. A lot of the discussion revolved around what exactly BDSM was, and what wasn’t BDSM, and whether certain activities and cultures grouped together really had anything to do with each other. This also raised the question of, when we looked into the past to find antecedents of modern BDSM (whatever that is), do we find anything, or do we see something else that only superficially resembles modern BDSM but isn’t actually. A lot of my thinking on the subject was put to the test, in a dialog that refined everybody’s thoughts.

It was also just a pleasure hanging out with people who have lived through some of what I have been studying. Not only did I meet Carol Queen and Gayle Rubin, one of the producers was Race Bannon.

L-R: Carol Queen, Peter Tupper, and Race Bannon

My thanks to Race Bannon, Jörg Fockele and the other producers.  I look forward to further developments in the Divine Deviance documentary series. Donations would be greatly appreciated.

Jan 092018
 

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.

Me outside of Wicked Grounds, September 2017

Me outside of Wicked Grounds, September 2017

Oct 152017
 

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.

Jul 162016
 

SM One Foot Out Of The Closet 1980

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.

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