- CBC’s Ideas podcast has a series called Body Language. One episode talks about the “the right to sex“, the thorny issue of sexual ethics and politics. In the BDSM world, we tend to treat consent as the be-all and end-all of sexual ethics, but that leaves issues of sexism, racism, transphobia, classism and so on, unaddressed.
- The Official Bettie Page Podcast, episode 5, discusses the 2005 biopic, The Notorious Bettie Page, and some other documentary and biopic film projects about the iconic pinup and bondage model.
- The Rialto Report covers the 1977 launch of the Ultra Room at the Mitchell Brothers’ O’Farrell theatre in San Francisco, a lesbian bondage show surrounded by two-way mirrors. This includes an interview with the room’s first headliner, porn star C.J. Laing, and photos.
- A Refinery29 post by Gina Tonic asks what it means to be a bottom. “…the labels ‘top’ and ‘bottom’ are often used interchangeably with the labels ‘dom’ and ‘sub’ – but is this always true?”
- 20 years ago, Fetish Diva Midori published The Seductive Art of Japanese Bondage, probably the first book published in English on Japanese bondage. Since then, kinbaku/shibari has grown immensely in popularity outside Japan, and some kinksters practice it exclusively. Spectrum Boutique interviews Midori about this pioneering project.
The Story of Joanna (IMDB) is a 1975 X-rated drama directed and written by Gerard Damiano and starring Terri Hall in the title role and Jamie Gillis as Jason.
Joanna comes from the “Golden Age of porn” in the 70s and early 80s when some hardcore adult films were made with higher production values for release with X-ratings in mainstream theatres, trying to reach a broader audience. This was also the heyday of mainstream softcore erotica films like Just Jaeckin’s Histoire D’O (1975) and the original Emmanuelle (1974), and edgier material like Nazisploitation classics The Night Porter (1974), Ilsa: She-Wolf of the SS (1975) and Salon Kitty (1976). (I’ve heard that Damiano wanted to film Story of O but couldn’t get the rights, and made his own knock-off.)
- The History of the Dominatrix talks about male masochism as a complex of behavior that goes back far earlier than 19th century Europe.
- On Them magazine, Danny Thanh Nguyen talks about being a gay BDSM top who does not fit the masculine stereotype.
- The Conversation talks about Fifty Shades of Grey 10 years later, mainly from a publishing perspective.
- OnlyFans said they would ban adult content, then reversed their decision, in August 2021. Bitch Media talks about the causes and implications of a new wave of censorship of adult content on platforms.
- The American Sex Podcast interviews Kitty Stryker about the OnlyFans flip-flop and goes into the peculiar history of censorship and pornography in the USA.
- Related to the above, auction site Ebay has also banned the sale of adult material, which has implications for academics studying the history of pornographic media, says the New York Times.
- IN magazine explores the history of the archetypal gay male leather accessory, the chest harness.
Bitter Moon (IMDB) is a 1992 erotic/romance film, directed by the notorious Roman Polanski, based on the novel Lunes de Fiel by Pascal Bruckner
Nigel goes on an ocean cruise with his wife, Fiona, where he becomes fascinated by a beautiful, mysterious woman named Mimi. Her husband, a paraplegic would-be writer named Oscar, demands that Nigel listen to his story of his obsessive love with Mimi before Nigel has an affair with her. Like another tale of twisted love, Nabokov’s Lolita, we shouldn’t take the narrator at face value. Mimi privately tells Nigel: “You musn’t believe all he says. He’s a sick man. He imagines things.”
In Oscar’s story, he is a self-consciously literary archetype, an independently wealthy young American living in Paris to become a writer. On a bus trip, he becomes smitten with Mimi, a young French woman.
Mimi is a cipher, with almost nothing more to her than being a beautiful French dancer, at least in Oscar’s telling. The early stages of their romance go from sweetly romantic to an adolescent’s idea of eroticism.
Oscar: (to Nigel) “I’m only going into such detail to show you how completely enslaved I was, body and soul, by this creature whose dangerous charms have made such an impression on you.”
- Kids comics of the 1940s and 1950s seemed rife with children being spanked, as revealed by the Teen Sleuth Haunted Library. Strangely, the Comics Code Authority, implemented in 1954, said nothing about the corporal punishment of children.
- The Rialto Report explores the strange history behind the sadomasochistic film The Image (1975), including the first meeting between the film’s director Radley Metzger and the original 1956 novel’s author Jean de Berg, and the story of the film itself. Did you know that while there were exterior scenes shot in Paris, most of the interior scenes were shot in a building in New York City owned by the notorious Roy Cohn, former attorney of Donald Trump?
- The FeatureBang podcast explores the 1975 art-porn movie The Story of Joanna, directed by Gerard Damiano.
- The KinkyCast interviews Susan Wright of the NCSF, talking about how the new Model Penal Code decriminalizes consensual BDSM.
- Actor Brendan Scannell, who played Pete on the Netflix dramedy Bonding, talks about his Emmy nomination and his experiences on the show.
S&M Judge, originally titled SM Rechter, is a Belgian 2009 drama based on a true story. (IMDB)
A few months ago, I perused the used books section at Vancouver’s venerable queer bookstore Little Sisters. In addition to a book on Kenneth Anger’s underground gay leather film Scorpio Rising, I happened across a book without a barcode or copyright date or even an author, titled The Female Disciplinary Manual. I had heard of this before and remembered something about it being connected with some kind of schoolgirl discipline fantasy operation. As it was only $9.00 Canadian and in excellent condition with dust jacket (copies on Amazon are priced at $148 or more), I snapped it up.
The book itself is a rather odd work, purporting to be from the 2030s when the school disciplinary regime of the early 20th century in England has been reinstated as the solution to a decadent culture. The prose is in an arch, deadpan tone that leaves the reader guessing how much of this is part of the school discipline fantasy and how much is sincere.
By happenstance, I also came across the strange story of the organization that wrote and published the book and apparently lived by its ethos. The fifty-year saga links into pagan cults, lesbian separatists, Victorian-Edwardian cosplay as a lifestyle, early text-only video games, the English schoolgirl-discipline fetish, and far-right politics.
Welcome to Elust 139.
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Books and Movies
Thoughts & Advice on Kink and Fetish
Before there was Dyanne Thorne as Ilsa, there was Audrey Campbell as Olga.
The Olga films were a series of exploitation “roughies” or “kinkies” released in the 1960s, all directed by Joseph P. Mawra, and starring Audrey Campbell as the sadistic mob boss, Olga. These films were released under several different titles and release dates.
- The Leather Archive & Museum in Chicago celebrates its 30th anniversary.
- In the 1960s, sculptor Nancy Grossman started a series of head sculptures covered in black leather, zippers and buckles, and later made larger works. This forerunner of the BDSM/fetish aesthetic talks about her career with Interview Magazine.
- An English translation of an article on the birth in the early 1950s of the Japanese SM magazine Kitan Club, said to be the first “abnormal” (hentai) magazine.
- The Rialto Report has the second half of their interview with Porsche Lynn, a big star in the VHS era of American porn, who talks about her transition from exotic dancing and vanilla porn to bondage movies and pro-domme work, and working with Leonard Burtman and Jutka Goz, major producers of BDSM magazines and videos.
- A report from the US General Accounting Office says that the SESTA/FOSTA law, passed three years ago, has resulted in just one federal prosecution, and definitely had a chilling effect on free speech. The New Republic.
- Now that Tumblr has been scrubbed of adult content and Youtube keeps changing its policies, video platform TikTok may be new new platform for BDSM education online.
- Ezada Sinn, a pro-domme, talks about her experiences at the famous femdom/malesub Other World Kingdom in the Czech Republic, and how it has fared after the financial crisis and the pandemic.