- Rolling Stone profiles the latest iteration of the anti-porn movement, linking husbands’ porn consumption to “betrayal trauma” in wives. The illustrative anecdote is a woman who makes her husband promise to keep his eyes closed during the sex scene in Oppenheimer. “For the anti-porn movement, the use of the phrase betrayal trauma takes porn from a personal decision to one of active mistreatment.”
- Cartoonist Kayfabe looks at the hardback edition of John Willie’s Sweet Gwendoline.
- The Ohio Players were a funk/R&B group that originated in the 1970s. At a time, record album covers were becoming more than just a platform to display the artists’ faces. They were a frontier for graphic design, sexual explicitness and the aesthetics of the black body. The Ohio Players were notorious for putting sexy images in their album artwork, including bondage. Photographer Joel Brodsky shot model Pat Evans in a black leather bikini, posing with a bullwhip in a victorious pose, on their 1972 Pain album. The next albums, Pleasure (1972) and Ecstasy (1973), continued the theme, with the edgier stuff hidden below the fold of the album cover.
- Notches Blog writes about the peculiarly sexual accounts of alleged demonic possession of women in England in 1645-7. It’s interesting to compare these accounts to the “transverberation” allegedly experienced by St Theresa of Avila about a century earlier; both described sensual, bodily visitations from supernatural beings. However, Theresa was canonized, while the women of the witch hunts were brutalized.
The Counterfeit Traitor is a 1962 spy thriller starring William Holden. I’m covering it solely for a couple of scenes.
Holden plays Eric Erickson, an apolitical American everyman living in neutral Sweden in the early days of WWII. Allied intelligence blackmails him into working as a spy in Nazi Germany. While slowly paced at the beginning, the tension picks up as Erickson sinks deeper into his cover and becomes entangled into the war whether he wants to or not.
Inevitably, Erickson’s cover is blown, and he has to depend on the resistance network to get him back to Sweden with vital intelligence. His backup contact is just a street address in Berlin. This turns out to be in the city’s red light district, with sex workers standing on the street or posing in windows.
Verfolgt, also released as Hounded or Punish Me, is a 2006 German drama directed by Angelina Maccarone
As I’ve pointed out before, female dominants who aren’t sex workers are almost invisible in popular culture. Verfolgt is one of the rare examples of a dominant woman who is not in part motivated by money. Elsa, a youth probation officer, has an obsessive, sadomasochistic affair with Jan, a young offender fresh out of juvenile detention.
Elsa Siefert (Maren Kroymann) is in her 50s, and looks like it. You can see her wrinkles and soft belly. She does wear a black leather coat and shoes, which hint at her interests. Early in the film, her daughter moves away, and her relationship with her husband, Raimar, has begun to sour. She resents his past infidelity. The loss of her roles as wife and mother has left her adrift.
- Puritanism is a sociopolitical stance that cuts across the usual political boundaries in the USA and can unite strange bedfellows. Most media attention has gone to right-wing puritanism (e.g. transphobia, no-fap incels, etc) over the last decade, but there’s also an active progressive/leftist strain of puritanism. Vox describes how online fandoms, which were once vibrant communities of sexual experimentation, succumbed to puritanical anti-fandoms. The generation that has been brought up with greater access to sexually explicit media than ever before is dusting off old feminist debates about pornography and sexuality.
- The Sex and Psychology podcast explores the new frontier of sex doll brothels.
- The Discourses of Suffering blog explores the story of Saint Jerome and how he was held captive and tormented by a woman with erotic strangulation. The original Latin of the text is much more sexually explicit.
- In Poland, a conservative minister is using an academic study on transfemininity and sadomasochism as an excuse to change how the government distributes research grants. He calls it “nonsense and pseudoscience”. In other words, trans people and kinky people are being dragged into the culture war.
- In the US, recent Supreme Court decisions allow businesses to discriminate on the basis on sexual orientation. NCSF has tells how a swinger company lost their event hotel without explanation.
- Swingers can also get in trouble with jobs requiring security clearances, despite official claims that they don’t care about people’s sex lives.
Welcome to Elust 164
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L-R: Josef von Sternberg, Marlene Dietrich, on set
Dishonored is a 1931 spy thriller directed by Josef von Sternberg and starring Marlene Dietrich as Marie Kolverer, aka “X-29”.
Set in during the First World War and loosely based on the life of historical spy Mata Hari, this is the third of seven collaborations between director von Sternberg and star Dietrich, following The Blue Angel (1930) and Morocco (1930). Dietrich usually played remote, independent and seductive women in these films.
I’m giving my history of BDSM talk on Zoom for Wicked Grounds on Tuesday, September 5th, 6:00pm – 8:00pm Pacific. This presentation will cover everything from ancient flagellation cults to Nazisploitation films.
Purchase tickets on a sliding scale at Forbidden Tickets.
Nymphomaniac Volume 2 is the second part of notorious director Lars von Trier’s 2013 film about a woman with sexual compulsion.
The framing story is that Seligman, an elderly academic, finds a beaten women in an alley near his apartment, and takes her home. She says her name is Joe, and when Seligman asks her how she ended up in his alley, she says she would have to tell him her entire life story. Over one night, Joe tells Seligman her biography in search of sexual pleasure, with frequent asides from both of them on topics ranging from techniques of fly fishing to the history of religious art. This dialog also acts as a kind of trial, with Joe prosecuting herself as a bad person who deserved her mistreatment, and Seligman defending her decisions and her worth as a person.
I’ll be doing my History of BDSM presentation online for Wicked Grounds.
Time: Tuesday 5th of September 2023, 6:00 pm–8:00 pm (PDT)
Tickets are sliding scale. Paying the high end amount allows Wicked Grounds to sell discounted tickets.
Le Streghe (The Witches) is a 1967 Italian comedy anthology film. Each segment had a different director, and they all starred Silvana Mangano.