Feb 162021

Pete wakes up next to Josh and has a good day until he goes to the dungeon and finds that Tiff is AWOL and he has to deal with her client, a grumpy guy in a penguin costume. 

Pete tries to send him away, but Penguin Guy not only refuses to leave, he intimidates Pete into putting on another penguin costume and wrestling him. 

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Feb 102021

It’s date night for both Pete and Tiff. He gets dressed with the help of Tiff’s house slave, Rolph, while she checks out Doug on social media. 

Pete and Tiff get into a fight, made worse because they both know each other’s vulnerable spots. Pete needles Tiff over her reluctance to start a relationship with Doug, while Tiff brings up his fear of doing stand-up comedy. 

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Feb 052021

The third episode of Bonding has the least to do with BDSM so far. 

Tiff and Pete struggle with their inhibitions. Tiff avoids giving a class presentation on why she wants to be a psychiatrist, while the jock-ish guy who has been flirting with her gives a heartfelt, vulnerable speech. Meanwhile, Pete still hasn’t called the guy who gave him his number.

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Feb 042021

Pete backs out of going on the stand-up stage. Tiff gets him to admit that he’s turned on by feet, and says that arousal helps people “zombie out”. She takes him back to the dungeon and gets him to do his stand-up routine in front of the staff and clients. 

Tiff’s professor speaks about the emotional hazards of psychotherapy and the necessity of distance and control, while hypocritically flirting with her and another female student. 

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Feb 012021

Bonding is a dramedy TV series, launched in 2019. (IMDB)

Tiff, a grad student who works as a pro domme, recruits her friend Pete as her driver and assistant. Pete, a milquetoast, sexually inexperienced gay man and would-be stand-up comedian, is our window into this world. He is overwhelmed and confused with this new underworld, though that seems to be his response to everything. We see his discomfort with his roommate’s sex life and his inability to go on stage as a comedian. 

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Jan 302021

John: “Elizabeth, I don’t want to negotiate with you. Now crawl.”

Nine and a Half Weeks (IMDB) is a 1986 erotic drama/romance film, directed by Adrian Lyne, starring Mickey Rourke and Kim Basinger. Written by Patricia Knop & Zalman King and Sarah Kernochan. 

Adrian Lyne previously directed Flashdance (1983) and later directed controversial, sexually-charged films like Fatal Attraction (1987) and the remake of Lolita (1997). He learned filmmaking as a commercial director in London. 

Zalman King, the driving force of the film as one of the writers and producers, is an interesting figure in the history of visual erotica. He had a middling career as an actor, going back to the 60s. After Weeks, King started directing softcore erotica features, borrowing a lot of Adrian Lyne’s style. In the 1990s, he created the adult anthology series Red Shoe Diaries, which pioneered a particular style of high-gloss softcore erotica suitable for the mixed gender, home-viewing audience, and the later Chromium Blue series. For better or worse, Lyne and King defined what some people thought “visual erotica” should be. 

Hallmarks of the Lyne-King style: Heterosexual, with occasional girl-girl scenes. No frontal male nudity, and definitely no erect penises. Definitely going further than network TV, but stopping before hardcore porn. Loving high-contrast closeups on consumer goods like CD players and food. A middle-class aspirational aesthetic.

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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.
Jan 052021

Crash (IMDB) is a 1996 psychological drama written and directed by David Cronenberg, based on the novel of the same name by J.G. Ballard.

Crash was a highly controversial film when it was released, and that is worthy of its own post. This post will focus on the film itself. 

The film concerns James Ballard (James Spader), a film producer who, after a car crash, is drawn into a cult of car crash fetishists (for a lack of a better word) led by a visionary named Vaughan (Elias Koteas). 

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Dec 172020