- The big issue is the spread of Internet censorship, starting with Tumblr’s ban on adult content starting December 17th, 2018. The Verge says this will probably be the end of a unique, diverse and vibrant sex positive culture, such as a woman’s self-published nudes. Even before then, Tumblr was flagging completely innocuous posts as adult content. Wired has more details. While this may not be targeted at women’s sexuality, it will probably come down hardest on that.
- Engadget covers Facebook’s own crackdown on sexual speech.
- Perhaps paradoxically, Marcus K Dowling writes that kink is poised to explode into the mainstream in much the same way as porn exploded in the 1970s.
- As I’ve dug deeper into the silent film era in search of the proto-dominatrix and the roots of fetish fashion, I found that a certain image I and many other people thought was of Musidora in her famous Irma Vep black catsuit was actually someone else entirely, from a Musidora-inspired photo shoot. The perils of uncredited images.
- The Conversation documents the moral panic about sadism in 1930s Australia, and how this ended up doing a disservice to victims of violence.
- Margaret Cho is producing a web series about a queer, Asian-American, professional and lifestyle dominatrix, called Mercy Mistress. First episode on Youtube.
What are the sartorial origins of the black-clad dominatrix? I will skip the more familiar examples from recent years and try to find the earlier examples.
Certainly everyone will remember Diana Rigg as Mrs. Emma Peel (“Miss SM Appeal”) in the UK spy TV series The Avengers. Her most overtly kinky costumes were features in the episodes “A Touch of Brimstone” and “Death at Bargain Prices.”
T-Mobile recently launched at least two ads which make an interesting snapshot of how the mainstream views kink.
HBO’s Westworld TV series postulates a fantasy world where guests interact with non-human “hosts” in a simulated Wild West setting. The narrative, much like the previously discussed Dollhouse, explores the issue of what happens when people are removed from their usual social restrictions and are able to act on their fantasies and desires.
(Note: spoilers ahead)
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”.
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.
I suppose it was inevitable that, given the prominence of (a version of) BDSM after Fifty Shades and the creative opportunities of the golden age of cable TV, somebody would do a BDSM-themed TV series. To be honest, I went into Showtime’s Submission with low expectations.