- Like many other events, the CineKink BDSM film festival is going virtual this year, with streaming offerings December 2-6. According to the Pinklabel.tv FAQ, these streams can be viewed anywhere their website can be viewed.
- Westworld magazine profiles Elle, proprietor of the Mile High Dungeon in Denver, Colorado, who is struggling to keep her venue and her pro domme business afloat under COVID. The quasi-legal status of businesses like hers makes it difficult to get relief loans and grants.
- Future of Sex profiles the r/ToyControl sub-Reddit, in which users allow anonymous strangers around the world to control their sex toys remotely. “One of the appeals of remote connections was the ability to meet new people without shame, embarrassment, or the usual complications that social discourse and interactions sometimes bring with them.”
- Bound (not to be confused with the Asylum’s film Bound) is a forthcoming French documentary film about Japanese rope bondage, particularly focused on women in the dominant role, instead of the usual male-dominant/female-submissive pairing.
- CVLTNation has a complete scan of a 1973 underground comic called Tales from the Leather Nun, which includes work by Robert Crumb and other noted comics artists, combining sex and anti-Catholicism.
- The BBC has a short documentary on a Swedish bodyworker who uses Japanese-style bondage and suspension for therapeutic purposes.
- How and why fetishes are born and grow remains a mystery, but VICE covers the genesis of one in detail, known as “fedlegs”. The originator, for whatever reason, locked onto women with bare legs painted yellow, and retroactively fabricated as rationale a dystopian story about a mad scientist punishing immodest women by painting their legs as a mark of public shame. Perhaps by chance, this caught on with other people in the fertile medium of the Internet, and people are making fedleg fetish niche porn.
Going Under is a 2004 drama film directed by Eric Werthman and written by Werthman and Jessica Gohlke. IMDB
Peter (Roger Rees), a married therapist, regularly sees a pro dominatrix, Suzanne (Geno Lechner), with the permission of his wife. On a summer when Peter’s wife is out of town and Suzanne has quit the business, they try to form a romantic relationship outside the dungeon.
Cleopatra is a 1934 historical epic/romance, directed by Cecil B. DeMille. It came at the end of the pre-Hays Code era, when American films could be more sexually explicit. Just to be clear, it is also far from historically accurate.
The film sets up a contrast between austere and republican Rome and the decadent and autocratic Egypt, personified by Claudette Colbert as Queen Cleopatra in a series of extravagant, revealing dresses. We’ve seen this divide before between the West and the Orient. The film also borrows a lot from the Orientalist art tradition of the previous century, with Cleopatra lounging on silken beds, surrounded by slave girls in chains.
After the credits and a quick shot of the pyramids and palm trees, the first thing we see is a nearly nude woman (in silhouette) in chains, standing and backlit. Sex appeal is front and centre.
Welcome to Elust 135 –
The only place where the smartest and hottest sex bloggers are featured under one roof every month. Whether you’re looking for sex journalism, erotic writing, relationship advice or kinky discussions it’ll be here at Elust. Want to be included in Elust #136? Start with the rules, come back November 1st to submit something and subscribe to the RSS feed for updates!
~ This Month’s Top Three Posts ~
NOTE from FEVE: I have highlighted my personal favorites in purple.
All blogs that have a submission in this edition must re-post this digest from tip-to-toe on their blogs within 7 days. Re-posting the photo is optional and the use of the “read more…” tag is allowable after this point. Thank you, and enjoy!
Thoughts & Advice on Sex & Relationships
Body Talk and Sexual Health
Thoughts & Advice on Kink & Fetish
Books and Movies
The documentary Bloodsisters, covering the San Francisco leatherdyke community in 1995, is currently streaming online as part of NewFest, New York’s LGBTQ+ film & media festival. The streaming will last until October 27, 2020.
You can view the trailer and some supplemental interviews and other materials on Vimeo. There was an online discussion with the director, Michelle Handelman, and others in August 2020, available on Youtube.
NOTE: I attempted to view this stream in Canada and was refused. It may only be available for viewers in the USA.
- My attempts to learn more about the history and tradition of Japanese sadomasochism has been hampered by the language barrier. The Kinbakunomicon and its accompanying podcast by Faviola Llervu are goldmines for English-speakers wishing to learn more, including English translations of Japanese articles going as far back as 1920. One of the many interesting elements was learning that even among Japanese practitioners, there is little agreement about the “right” way to do shibari/kinbaku. More reason to be suspicious of anyone claiming to know the “one true way” about anything. (Llervu also edits the Nawapedia wiki on Japanese BDSM.)
- CvltNation has a piece on influential fetish artist and photographer John “Willie” Coutts and his model/muse/wife Holly Anna Faram.
- While many BDSM and swinger events have had to shut down because of COVID-19, the Club Passion swingers event in Abbotsford, BC, has reopened. The operators say they are taking precautions by taking the temperatures of people entering, and requiring that people who meet outside of their six-person “bubble” wear masks.
- TASHRA also talks about the many BDSM parties and social gatherings that have had to close down under the pandemic.
- ExpensiveHoe.com has scanned a pictorial and an autobiography of early 80s bondage model Sarah Foster Tate.
- The Boot Fetishist explores the extreme high heel shoe and boot culture of the pre-WWII era, publicized through magazines like London Life and centered on the products from National Shoe Stores and Regent Shoe Stores, both based in London’s Wardour Street.
POSE is a drama series set in the ballroom culture of New York City, set in the late 1980s and early 1990s. In contrast to the beauty and glamour of the ballroom scene, the performers (mostly poor, non-white, and queer/trans) make their livings through work of varying legality. The second season features a plotline about working as a pro domme.
- Did any one woman do more to popularize fetish fashion than Diana Rigg, who passed away on September 10, 2020? The Guardian looks at how she became a fetish style icon as Mrs. Emma Peel on the cult UK TV series The Avengers.
- Though just about everyone has heard of the term “masochism”, Leopold von Sacher-Masoch himself is a largely forgotten literary figure of the 19th century. I found a couple of articles, from Forgotten Galicia and The Wave of Things, that reveal a few tidbits, such as he had a desert cake named after him, and there is a Café Masoch theme bar in the Ukrainian city of L’Viv.
- Dangerous Minds has a feature on Possibilities! an art book (with more than 1,300 images) and biography of fetish/BDSM pioneer John Willie, aka John Coutts. It includes a short summary of Coutts’ life. Published by Belier Press.
- The BBC has a quick look at the history of latex in fashion.
- Another Man magazine has another history of leather in fetish fashion.
- The BDSM culture has a knack for adapting to and eroticizing social anxieties. For most of 2020, we’ve been anxious about the COVID-19 pandemic, and naturally that fear has been eroticized. Insider talks with pro-domme Victoria Rage about how she has catered to new requests from her clients, such as kinky “CDC inspections” and even mock executions.
- The famous Hedonism II adults-only resort in Jamaica has also adapted to the times with branded masks and hand sanitizers, social distancing markers, regular temperature checks, on-property quarantining rooms, and banning the foam party and “human car wash” events.
- In the UK, a new domestic violence bill has been hailed as “ending the rough sex defense”, which may also mean that even mild, consensual “actual bodily harm” – such as bruising or scratching – could be seen as assault.