Aug 202022
Jul 172022
Jun 162022
  • The newly launched Zipper magazine has a feature article on “How the Pandemic Made Us Kinkier“.
  • Cornell University has an online exhibition on the making of On Our Backs magazine, the pioneering lesbian sex magazine in the early 80s.
  • Get Your Hands Dirty has an essay on the history of bootblacking, going back to our friend Hannah Cullwick, and the rise of bootblacking contests in the 1990s.
  • I had long thought Robert Yang’s Hurt Me Plenty was the only videogame to incorporate BDSM themes directly into the gameplay, but further research led to Mighty Jill Off, a platformer game that makes playing it an act of masochism, and Consensual Torture Simulator, a text-only game about a sadist negotiating with a masochist.
  • By 2022 standards, the nude photos published in Penthouse that cost Vanessa Williams her title as Miss America back in 1984 were a bit tame, and the controversy even more quaint. What I didn’t realize was that the images had her in black leather boots, harness, cuffs and collars, in other words, BDSM gear. Penthouse has always been a little racier than Playboy (within the constraints of the heterosexual male gaze), and would tiptoe onto the side of fetish and kink imagery. Perhaps that was what pushed the pageant into de-crowning Williams. A black Miss America was already a stretch, but one who associated with deviant sexuality was too much.
  • My interview on the Betwixt the Sheets podcast introduced me to another historical figure with at least an interest in kink: Christian apologist and fantasy writer C.S. Lewis, best known for the Narnia books. He was one of those individuals whose sexuality was hard to pin down; was he closeted homosexual, closeted bisexual, asexual, or just upper-class British? Regardless, he did have an interest, if only theoretical, in the idea of whipping beautiful women, including Lily Greeves, the sister of his friend Arthur.
May 242022
Apr 162022
Mar 172022
Feb 212022
  • Fashion designer Thierry Mugler, who did a lot to bring the worlds of fetish and fashion together, died on January 23rd 2022, at age 73.
  • The American Sex podcast has an in-depth report on censorship in the podcast space, particularly regarding sexually explicit works, which is exacerbated by Spotify’s project to monopolize and exploit the entire podcasting ecosystem.
  • The second episode of the On Guard Salon talks about dating and cruising for gay leathermen in the pre-Internet days.
  • The Dildorks podcast interviewed Leigh Cowart, author of Hurts So Good: the Science and Culture of Pain on Purpose, a book that explores the many ways in which people seek out pain and other intense sensations, including BDSM but also experiences like eating hot peppers, body modification, marathon running, and more.
  • In Rolling Stone, Tina Horn profiles Netflix’s thriller Brazen, which reiterates tired stereotypes about kink and sex workers.
  • Internet platforms come and go, and Tiktok is in the “come” phase of that cycle. For our purposes, Esme James is running a video series called Kinky History, and you can read an interview with her on
Jan 172022
Dec 152021
  • The Kinky Cocktail Hour interviews Vi Johnson, BDSM world elder and keeper of the Carter-Johnson Memorial Library.
  • Octavius King’s video profiles the notorious X-rated Atari adult videogame from 1982, Custer’s Revenge, and its bondage box art.
  • Back in 2011, there was a videogame for the Wii console called We Dare. Among other things, it encouraged you to put a wiimote in the back of your pants or skirt and get spanked.
  • Anne Rice, best known in the BDSM world as the author of Exit to Eden and the Sleeping Beauty quadrology, died on Dec 11, 2021. The Claiming of Sleeping Beauty was a huge influence in the 1990s BDSM culture.
  • Auto Erotica in San Francisco’s Castro district, located in the former office of Drummer magazine, is a shop/museum for kinky and queer books, posters, magazines and other materials.