Jun 172021
  • The Leather Archive & Museum in Chicago celebrates it’s 30th anniversary, as told in the Chicago Reader, which talks about staying operational during COVID and being more diverse and inclusive.
  • Sleek magazine talks about the costumes Karl Lagerfeld designed for the 1976 film Maitresse (previously discussed), and says that the men in the BDSM scenes were real-life members of Paris’ Scene.
  • The new British TV biography, Ann Boleyn, not only progressively casts black actors in a historical story, but includes hints of bisexuality and BDSM sexuality in the title character’s relationship with King Henry VIII, says Radio Times.
  • It’s June, and that means Pride Month, which means another round of the perennial debate over the presence of kink in Pride events, as XTRA magazine shows. VICE magazine says that the debate needs to be retired in favor of community solidarity against rising transphobia. The Atlantic says “the discourse is a strange sign of progress“.
  • The SF Gate examines the history of the landmark Armory building in San Francisco, once the home of Kink.com’s adult video production facilities and the company’s trademark. “The idea that a deviant sexuality would exist in plain sight was anathema to the growing movement for queer respectability.”
  • Though it doesn’t touch on black as the fetish colour par excellance, Nautilus’ “The Reinvention of Black” does cover the technological history of producing black dyes and paints, striving for the elusive true absence of reflected light, and how that affected the arts.
May 172021
Apr 192021
Mar 152021
Feb 162021
Jan 182021
  • I’ve talked before about the role of kinky people in the culture wars, and how kinksters get dragged into conflicts whether they want to be involved or not. Case in point: Blaire White is an alt-right Youtuber who, despite being a transwoman herself, posts a lot of videos criticizing other trans people for not being the right kind of trans. She’s extended this criticism to other people with non-normative sexualities. On December 15, 2020, White posted a video titled “‘I Identify as a Dog’..Okay, Bro.” This was a ten-minute clip of her commenting and criticizing on a Snapchat video documentary about a transman who does puppyplay. White is using this as a vehicle to push the “I identify as a helicopter” anti-trans canard, making it sound like if we recognize gender diversity, we will have to accept all kinds of bizarre identities. This is despite the fact that the transman in the video never says he “identifies” as a dog, or thinks of himself as “really” a dog. White also insinuated that the couple in the video are also committing bestiality because they own real dogs. This might seem to be a tempest in a teapot, but White has over 900,000 subscribers on YouTube, and this particular video got over 200,000 views. Once again, kinksters have been used for shock value.
  • Kinky Youtubers Kat Blaque and Evie Lupine have posted videos countering Blaire White’s misrepresentations.
  • A short piece on the history of the iconic Muir cap or leatherman’s cap. I’m curious when and how this particular item of fetish fashion began to appear on female dominants.
  • The Elephant in the Hot Tub blog has its own take on the history of fetishes.
  • Another piece on how the kink scene is adapting to the pandemic.
  • A Psychology Today article says that kink education is necessary, especially for clinicians. It cited a 2012 study which found that 25 per cent of clinicians automatically pathologized kink.
  • Meanwhile, another study debunks the idea that kink is the result of childhood trauma.
  • The Stop Internet Sexual Exploitation Act (SISEA) is another clumsy, moral-panic-based piece of legislation that would do more harm than good to sex workers and content creators.
  • The People’s Story Project has an essay by Bakang Akoonyatse on growing up black, queer and kinky in Botswana, which also talks about the sexual revolution in South Africa and Nigeria, instigated by performers and educators.
Dec 172020
Nov 222020
  • 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.
Oct 152020
  • 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.
Sep 192020