Nov 162023
  • The Mary Sue reviews the new book Superfreaks by Arielle Greenberg.
  • Honey & Hot Wax is an anthology of games about sex by a diverse group of nine designers. It includes games that challenge players to think about sexuality, gender and identity in new ways.
  • Nov 19, the Tom of Finland Foundation will host an oral history of Onyx SW and BIPOC in the Kink community. Link
  • Petition to protect the funding for the Kinsey Institute. Link
  • Kinky and Loving It is a 2023 documentary about Black people in kink, part of a series called Sex in Color. It screened at Chicago’s Black Harvest Film Festival.
Oct 162023
  • Video tour of the Bishopsgate Institute, home to the UK’s largest queer archive and the UK’s only kink and fetish archive
  • Does the workplace romance of Secretary (2002) still hold up more than 20 years later, after #MeToo? Lithub
  • Women In Art explores the place of depictions of female slaves in Western art history.
  • While choking or other forms of breath play are seen as high-risk activities in the BDSM community, these activities have somehow been mainstreamed in what most people would be “vanilla” sex. Some of this is because of edgy TV shows like The Idol and so on. How has this happened, and what if anything should be done about it?
  • Also check out the history of latex fetishism video.
Sep 172023
  • 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.
Aug 162023
Jul 272023
Jun 152023
May 142023
  • The Imgur image sharing platform is planning a purge of adult content.
  • Sanctum Unmasked is a podcast series about Los Angeles’ most elite swinger/play party series, perhaps as close as the real world has ever come to the kind of masked orgies for the wealthy and powerful as depicted in movies like Eyes Wide Shut. It gets into the backgrounds of the organizers and the “atmosphere girls”, and describes how the business model slowly shifted into being more like a brothel than a club. It affirms the truism that “money changes everything”, then shows what happens when you add sex and drugs to that.
  • Flagellation and other forms of physical ordeals have been used in religious practices for millennia, as a means of achieving altered consciousness. Modern paganism in particular has an interesting parallel history with erotic flagellation, via the “father of witchcraft” Gerald Gardner.
Apr 152023
Mar 162023
  • Slate magazine has an article of a woman’s recollection of how she joined a Playboy journalist to be his “ticket” to explore New York City’s sexual underworld, circa 1983. “…675 Hudson St. that night was the entry point to a narrow staircase descending to the dark basement entrance to the Hellfire Club. Referred to as “Little Flatiron,” the 1849 triangle building was a natural fit for storied sex clubs, like the Manhole and the Vault, where gays and straights mingled in the brick-lined vaults that crisscrossed underneath the building and extended under the street.”
  • The American Sex Podcast has an interview with Fetish Diva Midori, who compares and contrasts the American and Japanese BDSM subcultures and explains how they evolved independently.
  • The Leather Archives and Museum is screening a series of fetish/kink films, including Cruising, In the Realm of the Senses, Hellraiser and Belle de Jour.
  • For better or worse, online media platforms like Instagram and TikTok are how a lot of people learn about BDSM. When platforms don’t try to exclude BDSM content, they may also end up with a lot of harmful misinformation, like the idea that consensual non-consent means you give up safewords. Mashable has the story.
Dec 272022
  • The Baffler has a review of Jordan S. Carroll’s Reading the Obscene. This falls into the class of think piece called “The professional-managerial class (PMC) ruined everything (including sex).” The book argues that “Instead of seeing sex as the zone of rationalism suspended, it became the ultimate staging ground for a systematization of life in which everything could be bureaucratized. Thus were PMC erotics born, as a technocratic desexualization of sex itself.” I’m sure this critique would extend to modern BDSM. I’ve encountered this line of thought before, and always considered it unfair. The very PMC-nerdiness of BDSM is what keeps it from being exploitative. (See also “The PMC has sex” excerpt from Catherine Liu’s Virtue Hoarders.)
  • High fashion intermittently draws on BDSM/fetish for inspiration (like it does with everything else) and Trendhunter showcases 49 fashion magazine editorials that get their kink on. This shows that the aesthetic of BDSM is quite separate from the practice or ethics.
  • Mardi Gras magazine has an in depth look into the making of Preaching to the Perverted (1997).