May 102012

Gloria Brame posted scans from “Legs and Attitudes“, a leg fetish magazine published in July 1930, Paris.

1930s images of woman sitting and showing her stockings

In 1930, women’s legs and lower bodies were a relatively recent discovery, having been hidden away in Western fashion for centuries. The photos posted seem based on the idea of glimpsing a stocking top or bare thigh in an unguarded moment (in a boudoir, after tripping on the street, a woman carelessly sitting to let her skirt slip), not a brazen display.

Mar 092012

A quick sampling of the other posts on the A Carrefour Etrange blog:

Illustration of three need women on cushions being whipped

L’Étrange aventure de Miss Alice Simpson by Jean Bustarès, from 1922. No word on the story, but the pictures seem strongly on femsub and whipping. Illustrations by Gaston Smit alias Georges Topfer.

Illustration: woman sitting on man on all fours, second woman doing first's hair

La Comtesse au Fouet (The Countess of Whips) is more of a mixed bag, with both femsub and malesub. Illustrations by Martin van Maele. Originally published 1906.

Illustration, woman on floor facedown, second woman standing with whip

Les Malheurs de Colette
by Aimé van Rod, published in 1914 (reissued 1928) and illustrated by Georges Topfer.

Mar 082012

The Au carrefour étrange blog has several scans of vintage bondage and flagellation erotica from France. One of them is Les Confidences de Chérubin by G. Donville, originally published in 1939 and featuring beautiful spanking, lingerie and maid illustrations by Cheri Horouard, aka Herric.

Maid in uniform spanking young woman in bed

This is a great reissue the less fortunate will be able to buy, for lack of the original edition that not only is rare but does not approach within 100 euros you.
In addition to this text very pleasant, originally published by the great Jean Fort (Nettles White etc..), Whose narrator, Peter Thiverny tells, from initiation to sensual pleasure in voyeurism (parents) and the discovery of female buttocks (the young Monique and her swing) to various sexual practices including spanking with many companions of passage, and more so, this beautiful edition reproduces illustrations from the original edition (1939) Cheri Herouard (signed Herric).

[via Google Translate]

Man in turban and chains kissing foot of woman in quasi-Oriental headdress

While most of the illustrations are set in the present day, the one above indulges in Orientalist fantasy with the appropriate props.

Apr 262011

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Foucault, Michel. Politics, philosophy, culture: interviews and other writings 1977-1984 Routledge, 1988

If there’s an intellectual patron saint of BDSM, it’s Foucault. Looking back thirty years, it’s interesting to question how accurate Foucault was.

It’d be interesting to see Foucault’s views on recent gay struggles for acceptance in the military and equal marriage rights. I think he would see this as somewhat a defeat, or at least a wrong path, that gays invest in mainstreaming into established institutions instead of embracing the transformative potential of alternative sexuality. “… Foucault supported… the imperatives of the gay movement which, like other experiences such as drugs and communes, situated the individual on the threshold of other forms of consciousness and inscribed him in the ‘culture of the self’.” (Pg. xxii)

Sexual behaviour has become more diverse and visible, Foucault agrees:

In a civilization that for centuries considered the essence of the relation between two people to reside in the knowledge of whether one of the two parties was going to surrender to the other, all the interest and curiosity, the cunning and manipulation of people was aimed at getting the other to give in, to go to bed with them. Now when sexual encounters become extremely easy and numerous, as is the case with homosexuality nowadays, complications are only introduced after the fact. In this type of casual encounter it is only after making love that one becomes curious about the other person. Once the sexual act has been consummated you find yourself asking your partner, “By the way, what was your name?”

What you have, then, is a situation where all the energy and imagination, which in the heterosexual relationship were channelled into courtship, now become devoted to intensifying the act of sex itself. A whole new art of sexual practice develops which tries to explore all the internal possibilities of sexual conduct. You find emerging in places like San Francisco and New York what might be called laboratories of sexual experimentation. You might look upon this as the counterpart of the medieval courts where strict rules of proprietary courtship were defined.


This mixture of rules and openness [in an S/M master-slave relationship] has the effect of intensifying sexual relations by introducing a perpetual novelty, a perpetual tension and a perpetual uncertainty which the simple consummation of the act lacks. The idea is also to make use of every part of the body as a sexual instrument.

Pg. 298-299

In other words, as sex becomes more game-like, a sphere of activity with no consequences outside it, it becomes more diverse and experimental to maintain interest. It’s not “will they or won’t they?” but “how will they?”

Apr 072011

Gloria Brame has posted a startling image of a group of les femmes tondues, or shaved women. In post-WWII France, certain women, sometimes but not always prostitutes, were singled out for ritualized public humiliation for alleged “horizontal collaboration” with fascists. These women had their heads shaved, and this particular group seems to have been stripped naked and painted with a black substance (tar?), and are giving a fascist salute, more likely ironic than defiant.

I post this as an example of the kind of ritualized display of power that can evolve over time into sadomasochistic fantasy.