Sunday, March 17, 2013

Origin story

I had the pleasure of giving a class on the Perception of Kink in Popular Culture at Dark Odyssey Winter Fire in February and as I was preparing my presentation, it occurred to me that I really think this could be a book. I'm not sure what exactly it will be, something in between an academic exploration and a Taschen book. So, I'm going to be using this blog as a kind outline and a place to organize my ideas and thoughts and hopefully get some inspiration and information from all of you.

So here's where all of this started for me:

There were three things I can trace back to the origins of interest in BDSM.

Allen Jones, Table, 1969

The first was this photo of this Allen Jones (1969) sculpture. I'm not sure where I saw it, I'm assuming it was from one of my father's art magazines. I don't remember what I thought of it at the time or what I thought it meant, but it stuck with me and has never really left.

The Jones inspired Korova Milk Bar scene in A Clockwork Orange, 1971

The second was the nymphomaniac scene in Fellini’s Satyricon. Here, the hero who is suffering from some erectile dysfunction is sent to a man in the middle of the desert. To cope with his wife's uncontrollable nymphomania, she is kept tied up in a wagon, available for the use of any man who wants her.

Fellini’s Satyricon, 1969

The third is My Fair Lady. With it's blatant pygmalionism and dominant / submissive power exchange, I always thought it was one of the kinkiest movies ever made.

My Fair Lady, 1964

Bill Ward

Then I discovered porn, Anne Rice and the Sleeping Beauty trilogy and I started to learn what S&M was "supposed" to be and the visions I had in my head were replaced by what was essentially an Ellen Von Unwuerth photo.

Revenge by Ellen von Unwerth, 2003

That picture in my head turned out to be the picture in most people's heads, too. An ex-boyfriend once told me that he wasn't kinky, he just liked the way it looked. I understood what he meant immediately. I had a pretty clear image in my head and you probably have a similar image in your head, but then I thought what does that mean?

What does kink look like?


maevaj said...

A very intereting book idea indeed! I have been reading your blog with interest ever since I came upon it. A fellow graphic designer and kinkster, I often reflected upon the visual codes that are associated with BDSM and where those come from. Your blog serves as an interesting vantage points on such questions, and so will an eventual book of yours! Congratulations and good luck on that nice project!

Max said...

I stumbled on your blog coming from "Unspeakable Axe". I'll sure follow your plan with interest. The relation between kink and culture has its ups and downs but is always present.
I've compiled a IMDB list with bdsm moments in mainstream cinema. Maybe you can add something to your Netflix list:
You are absolutely right about "My Fair Lady", yet I've never seen it from a D/s point of view as the self righteous machismo has always been too disturbing for me.

MAX said...

For many their first kinky experiences were the super hero comics: Wonder woman, Batman, Superman, etc.
All those popular comics are full of situations of bondage, submission and dominance ... plus the fancy dresses!