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|
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?