Monday, June 30, 2008

Farscape: A Leader In Pseudo-Bondage Poses

Farscape the TV series is long gone, but I wish SOMEBODY would follow SOME of the trails it blazed.

Normally, if you are looking at a woman kneeling with her head pressed to the ground, her kneels spread wide apart, butt hiked into the air, wrists tied behind her back, gagged with a ball-looking thing, she's naked and you're looking at bondage porn. ( See the very last image on my post about Jakki Degg to see excatly what I'm talking about.)

But this scene from "Farscape" in which alien prostitute Chyanna (played by Gigi Edgerly) is captured by someone for some reason or other is, um, not porn. Who cares what the rationale for its existence is? The point is the pseudo-bondage pose, however it's arrived at.

Farscape has done this sort of thing before with Claudia Black in the mother of all beam shots (except that she's clothed).

The idea of spicing up bondage imagery with poses copied from commercial bondage porn except the women are clothed is brilliant, and so far as I know, completely unfollowed-up-on by other series. What is everyone waiting for? Farscape has blazed a glorious trail, why does no one follow?

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Ghosts of Abu Ghraib and Women in Prison Movies

... processing ...

If you're wondering why all the sudden interest in women in prison films, I have a theory for ya.

The last eight years of the Bush Administration in particular and modern conservatism in general have been disasters for America's sense of itself as a decent society. We see the images from Abu Ghraib and we hear stories of much darker stuff going on in places like Bhagram and the CIA's secret prisons in Europe, and we wonder who the hell we are.

And then we hear grim statistics like the fact that the US has more people in jail per capita than any other country in the world, and we wonder how so many of us became the prisoners of the rest of us.

Fiction, whether books, TV or movies, serves the same function as play does for children, for adult minds. It allows us to safely process stuff we don't necessarily feel up to processing directly and consciously. As fiction, we can handle even the darkest stuff, especially if it has been transformed in some way so we aren't forced to directly confront the fact that we are dealing with stuff like Abu Ghraib.

Voila! Women in prison films! Suddenly, filmmakers want to make them and networks want to buy them. They are safely removed from the horrors of Abu Ghraib, they are sexy so they have been transformed, and yet they let us explore themes like imprisonment and cruelty and so forth in a safe manner. Like a child learning to control her body by pouring liquids from one container to another -- a safe and easy substitute for, say, making boiling hot coffee as an adult might -- so we watch women in prison movies and learn.

Friday, June 27, 2008

When Bondage Gets Weird...

Who knew that practicing sexual bondage with Weird Al Yankovic would be so painful -- for both parties by the look of things?

OK, they're not really in pain, they're just regular people having sex and not posing for the camera like the pros do. These people are actually working on having orgasms for themselves rather than trying to look a certain way so the viewer will. Another reason to like amateur stuff.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Post Prudo-Feminist Bondage

Dirty, dirty Lennon.

Here's John Lennon's granddaughter, Dirty Lennon, emgaging in what is fast becoming a ritual for former prudo-feminists -- the nude bondage photoshoot.

The nude bondage photoshoot is considered a way for former prudo-feminists to burn their bridges back to prudo-feminism by doing something that will surely raise a collective "EEEEEEW" of horror and disgust when discovered.

Typically, former prudo-feminists are not very good at bondage modelling. They just don't get into the spirit of things very easily, as is the case here. Dirty's whole pose says, "OK, I'm naked, I'm cuffed and shackled to this chair, take my picture already and let's get this over with."

However, when prudo-feminists go bad they can become wonderful bondage models, as they give vent to their every stifled sexually submissive impulse, displaying like baboons in heat (which is not far from the truth of things, as straight prudo-feminists tend not to get laid a lot) while in their chains, ropes, cuffs, gags, etc.

Dirty Lennon is clearly not one of these, staring at the camera with a long face, thinking sadly, "This is going to get me mentioned in a women's studies monograph on failed feminists, I just know it!"

However, look at Dirty Lennon's body. That curvaceous hip, that smooth, pale skin, that sleek torso ... here is a body that is just made for sex. It may be that Dirty Lennon's body is more informed about her desires than her mind is, and that she will soon turn into the dirty, dirty, dirty sex animal she would like to be on occasion.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Great tanned hottie in bondage

Mmmmm, hottie plus!

Look at those huge natural breasts, that beautifully tanned, sleek skin, the sexy pose with the woman seeming to fight the leather straps that restrain her, but somehow managing to do so in a way that only makes her look sexier. Wouldn't you love to have her ... even though she's ever so anonymous ... on YOUR bed craving someone to make her really feel those bonds as her body is forced relentlessly to orgasm.

And let me tell you, she's not a butterface.

Here's the reason I put the dot there:

...She's a granny face!!

And the sad thing is, I'd STILL do her. Mmmm, grandMILFy goodness ... they say the torso is the last to go ... and they're right.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

The "Just Do Me!" Pose

What a great smile!

The great thing about amateur bondage photos is that the models ARE amateurs -- and they have not learned the standard poses and expressions that pro models wear almost like all that clothing they're not wearing.

Here we have an amateur model in a very nice pose with a great smile. I'm pretty sure she likes the photographer a lot. If the pose had a name it would be, "OK, now you've got me all tied up, stop fiddling with those ropes and just do me!"

Even the most sophisticated model in the raunchiest pose can't match that kind of natural, wholesome lust.

I've heard of mail-order brides, but ...

...this is just silly!

More Women In Prison Stuff

My site is updated with a review of the women-in-prison themed commercial bondage video Prison World and my women in prison themed short story Doin' Time In The Blue Shadows. Perhaps you've been wondering if I can walk the walk as well as talk the talk where women in prison stories are concerned. Here's your chance to judge for yourself.

I'll probably be expanding on this post later.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Shibari Bondage Revisits the Mainstream

Here are some shots of Olga Kurylenko sexing it up while in shibari bondage in the French film, "Le Serpent." I'm thinking the titular serpent is a species of trouser snake, and Kurylenko's character, from the look of things, has become its slave. Here's a link to more and larger pics from the movie.

Olga Kurylenko, who's recently gotten a lot of press for being selected as a "Bond girl" for an upcoming James Bond movie, has also made another achievement. Kurylenko is the only actress in a mainstream film to follow the trail blazed by Tina Aumont in Lifespan where Aumont was the first actress to appear in shibari bondage for the first time in the history of mainstream movies. It has been over 30 years since that achievement, and Kurylenko is the first to appear in shibari bondage in a mainstream film since then. Interestingly, both movies are European in origin. When will the US realize it is losing the shibari bondage race, and losing it badly? Can a "shibari bondage gap" be far behind?

Sometimes Wishes Get Rewarded

I'm not sure what it is about this photo ... maybe the casual pose and the friendly smile, and the way the 3/4 pose of her head makes her nose look even snubbier than it actually is, but ... damn!

This is Jakki Degg, who started out as a very popular page 3 girl in England and has gone on to become a general professional model, successful enough to put out her own calendar every year. I came across this photo while doing a search for someone else, and was knocked over by her facial beauty, not to mention her sleek bod.

What a face! Degg holds her mouth open exactly like this in many photos. I don't think it's a Story of O thing (In The Story of O, O is forbidden ever to close her mouth completely in the presence of men, to remind her that it is always accessible to them. Now that's good writing!) I think it's more that Degg has absolutely perfect lips and teeth.

Naturally, I did some subsequent searches for Ms. Degg, hoping I'd discover she'd done a lot of bondage modeling, or at least a couple of good photosets, but no, all the pics I found of her were of the page 3/nude model variety, all very tasteful and no bondage.

Until I found this one. I suspect it's one-off in a series of non-bondage modelling photos. But the scene itself is so great.

The bondage itself is simple, but well done -- Degg's wrists are secured behind her back by black tape. But it's the pose that really makes this pic: Degg is stark naked, kneeling, her face pressed against the floor, her butt in the air, gazing at the camera with that gorgeous face of hers bearing a hot come-hither look. Considering Degg's stunning beauty, it's one hell of a great bondage image. And the thing is, it's not at all unusual for models and/or celebrities who don't ordinarily do bondage imagery to do the occasional bondage-oriented shot. In fact, I would imagine it's fairly rare to find a top fashion model out there who HASN'T done at least one image of herself tied up, cuffed or chained.

Jeebus! Oh, to be behind her with my hands on her hips and ...

But when these models do their bondage shots, it's almost always very weak imagery. The bondage is often sloppy, verging on being loosies. But most of all, the poses are most often typical fashion model poses, with the model stretched out and looking very comfortable. They rarely look submissive, much less posed in ways that suggest they are presenting. (A term used to describe primate females who are posing in ways that invite males to have sex with them.) Even more rarely do they pose in ways that both constitute presenting and are submissive.

But sometimes, you do get lucky.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Bad Girls and Cherry Hill: A Thrill and a Pill

An inmate displays her chains to deeply shocked but "too stoic to show it" Brits at an abortion clinic in the women in prison soap opera "Bad Girls."

While doing research on the HBO and the Rodriguez women in prison series, I found a great many sites announcing plans for a Fox Network women in prison drama tentatively titledCherry Hill,a spinoff from Fox's popularPrison Breakseries, to premier in 2008.

Unfortunately, every last one of them was clearly based on a press release issued October 24, 2007. And I couldn't find ANY more recent information about the show. This made me suspicious -- generally when a network is putting a show into production, they try to build audience for it by issuing press releases about casting, plans for the show, anything really to keep it in the news. And they didn't even get it into Google. That's not making any kind of effort at all.

A check of the Fox Network website's listing of upcoming shows for Fall 2008 revealed no shows titled Cherry Hill and none of the other shows were women in prison dramas. (It could have been retitled, as often happens -- I thought it had been when I encountered a new show called Dollhouse but that turned out to be a Joss Wheedon vehicle). So I'm thinking the show was either shelved or delayed ... something they're probably kicking themselves for since this is building up to be the Year of the Women in Prison Dramas.

Bad Girls

But if you're hungry for a women in prison drama right now, you're in luck if you have liberal digital cable. That's because the extravagantly gay Logo Channel is showing reruns of Bad Girls the British women in prison drama which is notable among bondage fans for being the only mainstream women in prison drama to feature a bit gag in one episode.

Season Five, episode 1. It doesn't have a title, just a number (often referred to as 5.1). The combination of fur coat and bit gag indicate an extreme fall from grace.

I've watched a couple of eps of Bad Girls and plan to watch many more (I only discovered its reruns when I researched the other women in prison dramas). Bad Girls is definitely in the Lifetime women in prison camp, big on the melodrama and the humiliation and the emotional stuff, but weak on strong bondage imagery.

To put this show in context of women in prison themed movies and tv shows in general, go to my index page on women in prison themed articles and read the one on "How to Make the Perfect Women in Prison Movie."

But it does play up what imagery it has very powerfully. Let me tell you what I saw on the very first ep of Bad Girls I watched,"Victim."

In "Victim" a pregnant addict inmate named Crystal goes to the clinic to have an abortion. Zandra is one of those crabby pregnant women, which is probably pretty common among pregnant prisoners -- if being knocked up and locked up doesn't make you crabby, probably nothing will. Zandra is escorted by Lorna, to whom she's cuffed via a chain about six feet long, and a male guard, to whom she is not cuffed. We see the cuff applied, and next scene they're standing in line at the clinic along with a bunch of "civilians" (the term the inmates use for non-prisoners).

Zandra (staring at the other people in line, whom we would suppose are staring at her, but in Britain everyone's too polite to do so openly): You want to know what it's like on the inside? (Holds up chain attached to her wrist so all can see it.) They don't call 'em screws for nothin'! ("Screw" is slang for "guard," implying she had been knocked up by a guard.)

Now if this had been an American women in prison melodrama there would have been some nice reaction shots of the crowd around her looking shocked. But I don't think Brits typically react to things, so there was none of that.

There was more cuff talk later. Zandra feigns distress at being cuffed during the operation, so Lorna, who's a decent, good-hearted kind of guard, uncuffs her once she's in the room where she's to be inspected, and leaves the male guard outside the door to guard her.

Being a male, he's unreliable, and Zandra escapes. Both guards are sweating bullets over this and spend several hours searching for Zandra, but no luck. Just as they give up and are calling the prison to let them know they've fucked up, Zandra appears crying. Seems she went home (duh!) to see her mom and boyfriend, and receive the terrible news (the only kind women at this prison ever get, I believe) that her boyfriend has found himself a new girlfriend.

As they approach the car to return to prison the male guard says the warden "Is gonna love you when she finds out what you've done." Zandra (who has been holding her hand up so the cuff and chain are clearly visible, a nice touch) replies, "Whats' she going to do, put me in prison?" The male guard points out that running away will get her a three-month extension on her sentence. Lorna suggests that they don't report Zandra for running away, her having already had a tough time today finding out about her boyfriend and all. Lorna is really looking to save her job -- uncuffing Zandra was very much Not Official Procedure. (There was a big stink in England a few years ago about women being forced to give birth while cuffed to the hospital bed, so this was probably quite the topical episode.)

Anyway, to get to the point, once they're in the car, Lorna lets Zandra have it (I'm paraphrase here):

Lorna (after Zandra has ragged on the male guard): You just button up, you. Because of what you have done, I am going to give a lot of pain to a lot of women! Because next time someone asks me to take the cuffs off, I'm not going to! Because of what you did!"

All in all, great dramatic use of the cuffs, however badly the visual imagery of the cuffs is handled.

I'll be watching for other strong dramatic uses of bondage imagery, but offhand I don't expect a lot ... this is very much a soap opera.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

A Faux DiD on A Real Reality Show

Four point suspension. Not much to see from where we are, but she's presenting like a baboon to the other contestants. Of course, we never get to see that angle.

Reality shows are generally weak on scenes with one exception, and that show was the top-rated reality show for years, "Fear Factor." Fear Factor never had a gag scene that I know of, but they had plenty of bondage scenes relative to other shows, such as this remarkable faux DiD scene involving a faux watery doom.

The contestant, or damsel as we Hollywood insiders like to call female game show contestants, starts out suspended over a huge swimming pool in a skimpy bikini, in four-point suspension as seen above.

Three-point suspension. As you may note, Fear Factor had no problem with damsels with enormous ta-tas.

In a nice twist on the standard DiD scenario, the damsel's male teammate swims around the pool, diving underwater to cut the wires that keep the damsel above the water doom pool he's swimming in. It's a timed event. Above we see three-point suspension with enormous tatas.

We said enormous ta-tas, we meant enormous ta-tas.

Eventually the evil teammate would sever the second wire, putting the damsel in the two-point suspension seen below.

Hey, that two-point suspension makes your butt look good. Sort of lifts and supports because you're upside down. By the way, it looks like she's wearing tights, but she's not, that's just the way the spotlight makes her look. All she's got on below ... no, in the instance, above ... her ribcage is the thin line of her bikini bottom.

There's not one-point suspension, the next wire that's cut releases the hook securing both her legs and she plunges to her watery doom.

Watery doom plunge with wrist and ankle cuffs. We give it a 9.2. The back is a LITTLE too bent at the waist and if she doesn't get her head down quickly, she's going to have a watery bitch slap to her face.

Having landed in the water, she must then swim to a marker at the edge of the pool and trigger it. The one who manages this most quickly wins.

So do most viewers, I believe.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

A Rare and Tasty Gag from a Reality Show

Former Playboy Cyber Babe of the Month Mary Beth Decker gets real in a very nice gag/headset ensemble.

This is about the coolest bit of gag imagery I've seen on any reality series. Which isn't saying a lot, reality series have been about the poorest provider of gag scenes in the history of television, and that includes news shows, which have the occasional gagged protestor to spice things up and even occasionally gag their own news anchors.

The thing that makes this gag so compelling of course is the combination of headphones and gags. They look great. In combination, they have an almost science fictional look to them at first glance.

The contest in this episode of Road Rules: South Pacific is to navigate an obstacle course while sensory deprived. Four of the team members are blindfolded and two of them can see. But the catch is that the two who can see wear headphones so they can't hear and duct tape gags so they can't talk to the blinded members of the team to help them. I guess they have to guide them by touch.

The scene lasts a good 15 minutes. That's one of the advantages of bondage scenes occurring on reality shows. It's not some hasty rescue scene that's compressed as tight as possible to move the plot along, it's a CONTEST and they take all the time they need to let it happen.

And it is our very great fortune that one of the team members who is gagged and headphoned is Mary Beth Decker, a former Playboy Cyber Babe of the Month. That's her in the photo. They were really serious about keeping her from talking to her teammates -- they used two pieces of tape on the gag. Tasty, tasty. A pair of dark glasses -- the big wraparound kind -- would have really hit the spot here.

I'd happily watch reality shows if they did this sort of thing more often. But of course, they don't.

Monday, June 16, 2008

2009: Year of the Women in Prison Series

Director Robert Rodriguez (Planet Terror, Sin City, Spy Kids, Once Upon A Time in Mexico) is proposing plans for a women in prison TV series that will have bondage and lesbianism as major themes, and will star his fiancee Rose McGowan. This is incredibly good news: a topnotch director is producing just the sort of stuff we like and is PROMOTING its bondage aspects.
To help Mr. Rodriguez do it right, I have published a review of Caged Heat 3000 and a description of how to produce the perfect women in prison movie. Now he will have no choice but to do a good job (in the incredibly unlikely event he visits my site).

Click here to read the review. And the essay.

In other absolutely great news, HBO is planning a Women in Prison series based on the British women in prison series "Bad Girls" (which is about the only mainstream women in prison anything to feature a bit gag) with hotshot writer/director Alan Ball at the helm (Six Feet Under, American Beauty). Great. Now I have to do something else: put every frickin' thing I've written on Women in Prison on my site. So I will. Because these people need my help, judging from what's out there in terms of mainstream women in prison films, which may well be the weakest, least well realized genre of films in existence. I mean, Caged Heat, FRICKING Caged Heat is its avatar, the film that all the others are based on. And it sucks big time!

It would be great if somebody finally got it right.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

When Female Orgasms Go Nuclear

Mimi Megayaya just moments after The Event.

It had to happen eventually. Female orgasms, as portrayed in porn, have been becoming more and more powerful over the years. First it was just loud cries and writhing, then screaming and thrashing, then squirting, then small explosions like you get with fireworks, and finally, the event pictured above.

On November 10, 2007, pornstar Mimi Megayaya of Japan had a very small nuclear orgasm, destroying much of the building she was filming in at the time, and blowing her outside into the parking lot where her bondage gear (apparently essential to really powerful female orgasms) lodged in a tree limb, leaving her swinging gently in the wind and feeling surprisingly relaxed and satisfied.

When images of the devastation appeared online, the crack researchers who make sure that porn scripts are accurate and make sense of some kind used their incredible Google-fu and information database hacking powers to make a discovery that convinced the porn industry that ever more powerful female orgasms are just too dangerous to continue working on.

The discovery: the Soviet Union once had a secret crash program devoted to studying female orgasms as a potential weapons system. The site of that research: a little place out in Siberia called Tunguska.

Friday, June 13, 2008

The Bohemian Girl Gets Naked from the Waist Up

Thelma Todd is chained naked from the waist up in The Bohemian Girl. Kinda unusual for 1936. You can see the Youtube video it was taken from by clicking on the pic.

This scene is from an oldie (1936) film called "The Bohemian Girl" a very early example of the superhero flick.

Bohemia is an area of Czechoslovakia known for its production of rhapsodies, some of them apparently written by the Queen of Bohemia herself. The place was known for being artisitically and intellectually well fermented, with all the artists, musicians, intellectuals (aka "bums") and beer brewers that liked to hang out there.

It was also a relatively easy place to get laid in those days, considering that the rest of Europe was dutifully churning out cannon fodder for the next Big Mistake (or World War as they were also called) and didn't have the time or the inclination to have fun.

Into this morass of European dullness and despondency rode a new heroine: The Bohemian Girl. She rode from village to village on her dappled mare Available dispensing free beer, artworks, musical instruments (kazoos, mostly) intellectual enlightenment and sex to benighted folks throughout Europe.

This of course alarmed the civil authorities of the times, who were mostly Republicans, only more so. So they attempted to hassle her whenever they could, and in central Europe when the authorities decided to hassle you, they REALLY hassled you.

In this scene, the guardia of the village of Bad Wallechenstein have charged the Bohemian Girl's horse with jaywalking, with a penalty of ten lashes (in a total miscarriage of justice, her horse only gets five lashes).

After the sentence gets carried out, the Bohemian Girl uses her super bohemian powers to easily break the chains that bind her, demonstrating that she could have done so all along.

"OK, she say, if you're going to strip me and whip me, somebody around here better be prepared to fuck me." And with those words, she leapt on the guy who'd been whipping he, ripped off his clothes, and fucked him senseless.

Which you gotta admit is pretty wild stuff for a 1936 movie, in the darkest depths of the grim evil of the Hayes Code.

What? You say that Bohemian Girl is a Laurel and Hardy comedy? That it has nothing to do with superheroes? That the whipping doesn't ever occur, much less the subsequent stuff I describe? That its sexual content fits quite comfortably inside the incredibly narrow limits of the Hayes Code? Well, uh ... I knew that! I just like my version better.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

The Irony, It Burns!

One of many sexy bondage items sold on I'd link to it, but they won't let me. ... And judging by her finger, I'd say she's looking for a fast ball, high and inside.

Well, Amazon has turned my bondagerotica site down for it's associates program because I have "explicit sexual images" on my site. (I do not in fact have explicit sexual images on my site, I even put little dealies on the ads to keep them from being explicit. Jeebus.)

Now, let me make it clear what Amazon has refused to do here: Amazon won't give me a cut of any of the sales they make of THEIR products that I link to from my site. Since I write about a lot of mainstream movies and TV shows, there's frequently an appropriate link to a video or DVD sold on Amazon, something I used to do regularly on my old Jolly Roper site. But my site is so redolent with sex that they won't let me link from it at all.

And the funny thing is, Amazon sells a LOT of sexual bondage-related content. It's not like they're virgins or anything like that. Most especially, they sell the lingerie pictured above.

And I find it EXTREMELY hypocritical that they won't enter into any kind of deal with ME because of the sexual nature of my site, when their site, the products THEY sell, includes plenty of pics of practically naked women in bondage.

It would be different if I wanted to advertise my site on Amazon, but I'm not doing that. Just sending them business. Freaking hypocrites. This is the sort of shit you wind up doing when you get into censorship.

I don't see any point in bringing this up to Amazon. They'd just dump that Associate, too. They're big, they don't have to care.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Gorean Villainy on the BBC edition of Robin Hood

Very authentic-looking cuffs adorn Maid Marian's wrists in the BBC version of "Robin Hood."

Just caught an episode of "Robin Hood" (aka Robin of Sherwood) on the BBC in America which had a great Gorean-type guest villain, the Sheriff of Winchester. The evil Sheriff of Winchester is key to the even more evil Sheriff of Nottingham's plan to kill Richard the Lion Hearted when he returns from the Crusades, put Prince John on the throne. But he's pissed off at the Sheriff of Nottingham because the Sheriff stole the woman he loved from him: Marian's mother.

When he sees Marian he realizes whose daughter she must be, because she looks just like her mother, the woman Winchester once loved. So he insists on getting Marian (Nottingham's daughter) as a sweetener to participate in the deal. Since he's essential to Nottingham's plan, and Nottingham is evil to da bone, Nottingham's daughter Marian become Winchester's property. Her first notice of this is when a squad of soldiers come to her room, chain her wrists (shown) put her in leg irons (not shown) and march her off to Winchester's lodging.

And here's where a bit of very tasty dialogue occurs. The door opens as Winchester primps in a mirror. He turns to see Marian being dragged into the room.

"I will not be treated like this!" Um, you ARE being treated like that, Marian. And Winchester is completely on target about those cuffs. The usual Loosie caliber manacles.

Sheriff of Winchester: Ah, the icing on my cake, daddy's little girl.

Marian: I will not be treated like this. (Holds up chained wrists.)

Winchester: You are quite right. These handcuffs and leg irons should be made a little tighter.

Marian: How dare you!

Winchester: Oh, gag her, for God's sakes, she's pretty so she talks. (Walks out.)

We never see Marian gagged, we never see her in leg irons, we just see her manacles (though there are some nice closeups of these). But that dialogue! Clearly, Winchester has taken Marian for sexual purposes, but he doesn't feign courtly love or anything of that nature. Just has her clapped in leg irons and manacles and gagged, then hauls her off to his wagon to be taken like so much sexy baggage to his castle where he'd probably install her in his bed, still manacled and ironed and gagged. It's evident from Winchester's dialogue that Marian has some sexual bondage and sex slavery in her future.

Sadly, we never see the leg irons or the gag, just the manacles. But there are some LOVING closeups of those manacles, which look very authentic, even if they are loosies. And the actress who plays Marian "acts" her cuffs very well, pulling at them and displaying them rather than trying to hide them. Her prisoner status is not in doubt. Added to that is a very nice villainous turn. This is a very promising series, not just because of the great bondage and villainy. It also has that fun feel you (well, I) got from the 90s adventure shows in the U.S.

Um, how did Napoleon Dynamite get to be on Robin Hood?

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Third Prize At A Golf Tournament

Triumphant golfers parade down an avenue lined with booty from their victories on the course.

This is a photomanip that I made from a couple of images for a T-shirt design. One is obviously a photo from a golf tournament, with a horde of golf carts filled with middle-aged fat cats prepared to roll onto the course.

Sitting on the lawn facing them is a naked woman in bondage, with a big sign on the grass near her announcing that she's "Third Prize."

The reason I thought this manip worth doing was they way it updated traditional bondage imagery. There are a lot of images with themes like this out there, but most of them are things like slaves on the Via Appia kneeling as chariots roll past, etc. Very historical.

This updated image has a lot more bite to it. You can imagine the guys on the golf carts as a bunch of Rotarian types, probably already half looped before they hit the course, making all sorts of vulgar comments about what they plan to do if they win third prize. And she has to listen to it, alarmed, because she knows that whatever they want to do with her that doesn't injure or kill her, they'll be able to do. It's part of the terms of her deal with the local sheriff to get her off that methamphetamine distribution charge she's facing.

Or it's part of the deal the strip club she works for cooked up with the golf course, one she has to agree with because the strip club caught her blowing customers in the parking lot, and they'll fire her if she doesn't come through.

Oh, the scenarios are limitless. My favorite is, she's an art student who's trying to make money fast over the summer to finance her next year of college, as her parents have suffered financial reverses and can't support her any more, and this gig is the best deal she was able to find that didn't promise to land her in jail. So she must submit to men whom she considers trashy merchants, to whom she ordinarily wouldn't give the time of day. Very humiliating. And because she's not at any way at fault for her situation, it has a nice element of pathos as well.

Also, the golfers are fully dressed in casual golfing clothes while she's stark naked and staked out on the lawn. Very humiliating.

She's also third prize. Not first prize, not second. Third. I was thinking of displaying second prize as well, maybe a set of fountain pens or a desk calendar, but I couldn't think of a way to do it and make absolutely clear what it was. Too bad. That would have been very humiliating too.

It's the modernity of the image that makes all these interesting scenarios possible, and gives them their bite.

Monday, June 9, 2008

Candice Michelle: Walmart's First Bondage Model Doll

Candice Michael's box, now appearing at Walmart!

Walmart, that bastion of lower middle class morality, is currently selling a doll that is modeled on a real-life person who was once a well-known bondage model -- a fact that is widely known.

The WWE Ruthless Aggression series of dolls features one based on wrestler Candice Michelle. And prior to joining the WWE, Candice Michelle was a model for the Helpless Heroines bondage website and perhaps others as well.

Michelle modeled under the name Mackenzie Montgomery when she did bondage and fetish modeling. And that fact is well known to wrestling fans, as it has been publicized on the Internet and on television news, and probably in most shopper's guides as well. It is not a secret by any means.

The wrestling fans seem to be all right with that, strangely enough. And in fact, it is strange. I remember the media hubbub that arose when Sarah Kozer was a contestant on Joe Millionaire, a reality dating show, and it was revealed that she had been a model for Helpess Heroines. Oh, the alarums and excursions! Oh, the "what is this world coming tos!"

The producers at first disavowed any knowledge of Kozer's bondage past, but in the face of massive public disbelief, finally got around to admitting that they had known all along. (I don't know why TV execs bother with such obvious lies, I mean, nobody ever believes them.)

I read quite a few threads on general interest television message boards about the Sarah Kozer controversy ("scandal" seems too strong a term) because I was interested in the general public's reaction. The sense that I got of the reaction was "Meh." People generally found the whole thing titillating, but there wasn't a heck of a lot of moral outrage that a former bondage model was on a reality TV show.

I had expected Kozer to maybe get kicked off the show in the usual outbreak of phony morality that TV networks get up to when they think the prudes are going on the warpath. But she wasn't, I guess because there wasn't a rule about being a former bondage model, but more likely because they "heard" the titillation and the resounding "meh" that greeted the news of Kozer's bondage history. Kozer went on to be a finalist in the show, finishing in second place.

Nothing like the media hubbub that arose in the Kozer case has been present in Candice Michelle's case. I suspect that it's in part because Kozer sort of broke the ground in moving from porn modeling to the mainstream (not to mention Jenna Jameson) but because going from bondage model to wrassling diva is widely considered to be a lateral career move at best.

Still, I am a little surprised to see the Candice Michelle doll on sale at Walmart, which famously banned "laddie" magazines like Stuff, FHM and Maxim from its shelves (major supermarket chains, drugstore chains and such haven't been so picky, I suspect because they recognize that the laddie mag pics, which reveal no naughty bits, are no more risqué than the ads in many women's magazines, in fact, the ads are often quite a bit more risqué.

I have no idea if Walmart's execs don't officially "know" about the fact that their doll has porny roots, or if their position is, "What the hell, she's a wrestler now and it's being marketed as a wrestling doll, and if the kids want to tie it up in exotic ways, that's their business, not ours." (If so, would that they had taken the same laissez-faire approach to laddie mags.)

Of course, anyone with $9.99 can buy the doll for any reason they wish. And I have, to add her to the cast of my web comic "Tales of Lost Bikini Island." The first panel, by an amazing coincidence, is up on bondagerotica now and features Candy Michaels, a character not to be confused with Candice Michelle because they're COMPLETELY DIFFERENT. Check it out by clicking on the pic below.

No wonder people like the beach so much!

Saturday, June 7, 2008

The Clear Panel Gag: One Brilliant Invention Leads To Another?

Everything to tease, please and torment your submissive slave!
A dirty mind has obviously been put to good use here. This is Autumn modelling a clear panel gag for Click on the pic and look under gags and you'll find you can own this very gag. Hey, isn't Submissive's Day coming soon?

Sometimes you can just look at an image and know that someone had a lovely time thinking it up.

In the case of mainstream movies, that might be the scene where Nastassja Kinski orally gratifies a strawberry in the guise of eating it in "Barry Lyndon," a scene that was used in all the promos for that very reason.

In this case, we people who have looked at a common piece of bondage paraphernalia, one of those big leather over the mouth gags that has a built-in ball gag. Carolyn Ducey wore one in romance if you will recall.

He (or she) saw the problem from a bondage fan's point of view. Sure, the over the mouth gag is visually very dramatic, but its opacity creates a problem: how do you know that the wadding or ball or whatever is really in place? For all the viewer knows from looking at it from the outside, the gag has no ball or wadding or whatever. Most unsatisfactory.

The solution is brilliant: replace the opaque leather panel covering the lower half of the face with a transparent panel of plastic, which lets you see right through to the ball or whatever is behind it.

As you can see from the image on top of the page it works beautifully.

There's another set of images of a gag like this that I've seen that's even better, though much rarer (there are no commercially available versions I've been able to find, unlike the clear panel with ballgag).

The gag looks like a standard clear panel gag with ball but instead of a ball the wearer's lips are sealed around a pinkish circle. That pinkish circle is the back end of a dildo gag. (I've seen a series of photos of this gag in use, showing the dildo gag, though I cannot find the original photos. Water under the internet bridge, I guess).

The transparent panel means the wearer cannot hide the fact that she has the simulacrum of a cock filling her mouth. Thus it represents a permanent imposed blowjob that she can't remove or do anything much about. Her mouth has got a cock in it and she can't do anything about it so long as her hands are properly bound behind her back.

And the key thing is, everybody can see that she has a cock in her mouth. There's no element of privacy there. So long as she wears the clear panel dildo gag, she's in symbolically bound into a permanent imposed blowjob. Also, the panel lets you see her mouth, the way its shape is controlled by the penis shape inside it. Also very nice.

You have to admire the erotic inventiveness behind that gag. Somebody had a great deal of fun thinking it up.

But of course, not everyone is gonna know what that pink behind the transparent panel means. (I only know because I saw a different picture in the series with the gag out of the wearer's mouth, showing the cock head gag.)

I'm not sure there is a technical solution to that problem. My first thought was that you could make a cock gag out of transparent latex, like those transparent latex dildoes that show up in vanilla porn a lot because they show in a distorted sort of way what it is they are penetrating.

The problem there is that the shape of the gag would undoubtedly get lost among all those pink surfaces inside the mouth. It still might be quite powerful visually, but it wouldn't be evident what was holding the wearer's mouth open.

An approach that would undoubtedly work better would be to have part of the cock gag (a pink one) hanging outside her face. Say, slide a strap two or three inches behind the head of the cock gag so it can't be pushed out by the wearer (and so that it can't be pushed in, gagging her). You could even use one of those dildoes that includes dangling testicles so there's no doubt what's going on.

You could have a second set of straps made of transparent plastic that attached to the back of the dildo to help keep it from flopping about too much. (I've seen women in commercial bondage videos who've been ordered to hold a dildo in their mouths while bound, and the dildo end flopping about ruins the whole effect, in my humble opinion.) Plus, I always prefer a solution that involves bondage in any event. Call it a matter of personal preference, but if the back end of the dildo is held in place, it looks a lot more like the woman has been caught in mid-blowjob, with the gag sort of forcing her into blowjob mode for as long as it's in there. The dildo gag just looks kinda silly with its back end just waggling around there.

A woman forced to hold a dildo in her mouth while bound, naked and having a vibrator taped into her other pair of lips, from the ZFX video, "Blunt Trauma 3." It has the look of oral sex alright, but the back end of the dildo just looks kinda silly waggling around out there, in my humble opinion.

it would serve double duty, fulfilling the functions of a gag, but also putting the wearer in a state of permanent oral servitude.

In private it could be a great way to keep a sub reminded of her mouth's most important function between blowjobs, or even while another of her orifices received her master's cock. And it's be great fun at parties. If a woman ever wanted attention from guys, here's one way of getting it ... without saying a word.

I've not seen anything like that on sale at any of the bondage paraphernalia sites I visited to research this post (hellishly difficult work, I tell you, hellish!) but given that I've thought it up, I'm sure someone out there will eventually make it ... if they haven't already.

Friday, June 6, 2008

Lindsay Lohan Updates Old Bondage Theme

Lindsay Lohan lookin' good ... and lookin' captured.

I don't really follow celebrities much, but while engaged in other activities I ran across this image of Lindsay Lohan in a bikini and one of those monitoring devices they fasten on the ankles of drunk and drugged miscreants to ensure they are in their homes. Generally if they are not in their homes, they are carted off to jail where they don't need to be monitored because they're in cages.

That image really has my bondar (bondage radar) pinging.

I think it's a combination of things, not just the ankle cuff, because I've seen pictures of, say, Paris Hilton being hauled into a jailhouse and they haven't produced so much as a peep on my bondar.

Obviously the skimpy bikini and the really fine body inside it are a big part of my response. If Paris Hilton has been hauled into a jailhouse in a bikini, that might have had by bondar pinging too, though to my mind Lohan has a far superior figure to Hilton.

But the thing that really sets off the image is Lohan's carefree pose and the fact that instead of trying to hide the ankle cuff as most would, she's actually displaying it. She's presenting herself as a captive.

It's a sort of come-on ... come to Lindsay's house, she's cuffed there and helpless and barely dressed and waiting for you. The image has a vaguely Gorean feel to it, of the naked slavegirl chained helplessly to a block in the town square with a bowl beside her, free for the taking by anyone with a coin to toss in her master's bowl, piteously begging passers-by to use her.

Oh, she's got the sunglasses on, party stuff in her hand, she's TRYING to look cool, but that ankle cuff belies it all. She's as chained down as that slavegirl in the market. She put that bikini on and those fuck me shoes on for a reason. It's visual begging for sex. She needs the party to come to her, just like the slavegirl in the market.

The electronic ankle cuff gives the image a nice modern feel. An excellent update of an old bondage them. Way to go, Lindsay!

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Criminals Minds vs. ZFX

This is one of three essays that have been inspired by the "Limelight" episode of Criminal Minds. None of the thoughts I've had about the episode are all that related to one another, so I thought I'd make up three short blog posts rather than a single long article.

Y'know, you never know just how much better commercial bondage imagery is until it comes butt-up against a mainstream bondage scene, as happened with a scene from the ZFX film "Art of Darkness" and the "Limelight" episode of Criminal Minds.

In both dramas, we have a scene where a damsel in distress is tied up against a metal frame and electrocuted for the sexual pleasure of their captor.

In "Limelight," Andrea Roth, the woman whose gag worked out so badly for her in this episode, is captured along with another woman by the bad guy, a serial killer who enjoys electrocuting his victims to death. They're both bound and dumped in the back of a van, with the unknown woman cleave gagged as well.

When next we see them, Andrea Roth is sitting on the floor, wearing the cleave gag that does her face so few favors, holding her hands behind her back as if tied there. The unknown actress has been stripped to her bra and panties and is tied at the wrists and ankles to a steel bedframe to which a sinister-looking electrical device has been attached. She's not gagged any more and looks the worse for it, in that she's one of your more ordinary looking professional actresses.

And of course the panties and bra is a television stand-in for nudity. They're asking us to believe that a psycho who has no problem with kidnapping and stripping women to their underwear would have a problem removing that underwear so he can "play" with them. I suppose there are a few psychos like that out there, because that's the nature of psychos, they come in all flavors. But I bet they're few and far between. I bet when most of them have their victim in hand, they do whatever they like, and if it's a sexual thing they like, they'll want her naked in most cases. Just stands to reason.

And it also just stands to reason that you can't show nudity on prime time TV. There are several routes around that, and one of them is to have undies stand in for nudity. That's clearly what's happening here. And sadly enough, this is one of the sexiest examples of underwear-as-substitute-for-nudity that I've seen on US television. I'll never forget when the defunct live-action TV series based on "Witchblade" had a scene where the Witchblade essentially binds and gags Sara Pezzini as she sleeps. It was then that we learned that this hottie New York cop based on the Top Cow comics sleeps in ... grannie panties. Not just non-thong cover-your-butt panties, but grannie panties which extend well down on the thighs and up almost to the navel on the waist. Grannie panties, ugh.

(Other options for handling nudity in a basic cable production include very poor lighting, blink-and-you-miss-it shots that reveal nothing while appearing to reveal much, careful placement of the body, concealing foliage, folds of cloth and what not, and blurring out the naughty bits. They're all kinda obvious, and have become accepted, just as we now "accept" the movie convention that women who've supposedly just been fucking like monkeys pull the sheet up over their breasts while they talk to the guy whose cock was just in them.)

Symbolically nude victim tied in place, the bad guy then turns on the juice and we get a lot of great reaction shots from Roth as she watches the other woman being electrocuted to death.

It's a pretty well worked out damsel in distress scene for television, but it still has its flaws and to demonstrate those flaws, let's look at the ZFX scene.

Here's the ZFX version of the scene. As you will note, the nudity is not symbolic in nature, although the dildo insertion is not shown on this blog. I mean, c'mon.

In the ZFX story, a woman played by Cindy McReedy goes to a female psychiatrist played by ZFX stalwart Chandra Sweet because all sorts of kinky bondage fantasies have been manifesting themselves in her dreams.

Psychiatrist Sweet is very supportive and understanding of her patient, looking at McReedy's drawings and asking her questions abut them and being very psychological. This being a ZFX film, you know this won't go on for long, and it doesn't -- in very short order, Sweet hypnotizes McReedy, then literally attacks her patient, binding and gagging her, then begins the process of molesting McReedy to wakefulness.

Things proceed along ZFXish lines from there, with Sweet relentlessly tormenting and molesting McReedy.

One of the torments involves McReedy being bound to an electrified metal frame. Here's one of the big differences right away: the patient is of course stark naked -- no undies as a stand-in for nudity here. And she's placed in a wide spreadeagle, and for good reason, because she had a dildo jammed up her pussy, that has wires coming out of it. Very ominous, very dramatic.

Also very dramatic, the victim's head was secured by a headband and chinstrap, and she was gagged with plastic tubing.

The ZFX damsel looked a LOT more like the victim of a psycho electroshock fiend than the Criminal Minds damsel. It was about a hundred times more dramatic in every respect than the Criminal Minds damsel.

But it didn't stop there. Instead of using a mysterious-looking black electrical thing, the ZFX guys had the crazed woman psychologist using a pair of jumper cables hooked up to an ordinary car battery. She even brushed the cables against each other to make them spark and show they were live before clamping them onto the metal frame. (The psycho does the same thing in Criminal Minds, making the wires spark so the audience "knows" they are carrying a lot of voltage.)

(Of course, a suspicious fellow like myself might assume the bedsprings in the Criminal Minds scene were extremely well grounded and thus presented no danger, or more likely that there was no juice in the wires when they were attached to the bed frame. And in the case of the ZFX film, one suspects that a stagehand on the other side of the jumper cables, which are unseen after the initial hooking up sequence, simply unhooked them from the battery before they were applied to the bed frame.)

The thing is, seeing the arcing between the clamps on the jumper cable hooked up to the auto battery lets viewers know on a visceral level that there is a lot of juice in them. And anyone who has ever jumped a car has a feel for that. Whereas the mysterious black box is, well, unknown as to how much juice it carries.

In Art of Darkness, when the clamps are put on the frame, McReedy starts shaking violently, rolling her eyes back in her head and drooling copiously. And by copiously, I mean unbelievably copiously, the drool was coming down her chin in sheets.

And being the cynical, suspicious reviewer that I am, I couldn't help but suspect that there might be some link between the fact that the gag consisted of rubber tubing and the fact that this damsel was drooling more than any other damsel in recorded history ever had. Like, that there was probably a hole in the rubber tubing that was in her mouth, and that some drool-like liquid -- possibly water -- was being pumped into the actress' mouth through the tubing, allowing her to "drool" so copiously simply by letting the liquid ooze out of her lips.

Despite the obvious stagecraft employed in the scene, it was a very powerful piece of imagery.

The ZFX filmmakers took full advantage of the relative freedom they had because they were making porn. It's not just that they didn't have to pay any attention to network standards people. It's not just that they didn't have to have to pay attention to any ratings standards to get distributed in theater chains. It's that they didn't have to pay any attention to common sense, good taste or the laws of physics.

So the ZFX guys put on their video with a glee that reminds one of the old B-movie horror movie producers. In fact, that's what the scene reminded me of more than anything -- a scene from some great grade z shlock horror film from the 50s, sort of "Death Circus of Dr. Feng Shi."

Of course, the total nudity and the closeup dildo insertion scene weren't something you'd ever see in a 50s horror film, but let's be truthful here -- you know they woulda if they coulda. Well, they guys at ZFX coulda.

The only real problem with the ZFX scene is that it went on for way too long. It's porn after all, and so the scene must last long enough for the guys who really like the electroshock to fully, um, enjoy it.

Torture generally and electroshock in particular don't do a thing for me, so I had an almost vanilla reaction to the scene -- once I'd taken in the bondage, I got tired of watching the woman shake, roll her eyes and drool copiously. Thirty seconds of it would have been more than enough for me.

That said, it was a MUCH more dramatic image, and a much more dramatic scene than the one in Criminal Minds. If the people who made Criminal Minds had the same kind of artistic license that the people who made Art of Darkness did, it's possible they would have done a better job than the ZFX guys ... except they would still have been bounded by their own sense of what is in good taste and what isn't. And when it comes to lurid melodrama (and believe me, Criminal Minds is every bit as into that as the guys at ZFX are) good taste is a limitation.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

The hottest image of submission in mainstream film or TV

Anne Parillaud assumes the position in Innocent Blood.

I've not seen anything hotter in any mainstream film or TV show. The setup: Anne Parillaud is a sexy vampire helping the detective played by a Baldwin brother to battle a vampire outbreak in New York City. They hole up at a hotel and Anne's character is VERY interested in fucking the Baldwin. The Baldwin's character, however, is kinda nervous about fucking someone whom he knows could accidentally rip him in half in the throes of passion. To calm him down, Parillaud hands him a pair of cuffs, strips off her clothes, and assumes the position seen above. She's hot for it and is willing to do anything she has to in order to get some detective love. The Baldwin obligingly cuffs her and they go at it. About ten seconds into the scene, Anne casually breaks the cuffs apart so she can embrace her lover, in a loving way, not in a ripping in half way. A very nice scene, all told, and the funny thing about it is, it's not really a scene of erotic submission, because Parillaud knows all along that she can rip the Baldwin in half ... she's just trying to seduce him.

It's a brief scene, and the thing I most remember about the film, but the movie itself isn't bad ... it's a mildly funny over the top spoof of both vampire flicks and mob films, with Robert Loggia doing a nice turn as a mob boss. (We're not talking a Chupacabra Terror-type situation here.)

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Criminal Minds: Let's Base Our Freedom of Speech Policies on the Ideas of Serial Killers

Part of the stash of bondage porn amassed by the serial killer. He's supposed to be straight but the one mag looks like gay bondage porn. Not that there's anything wrong with that. Except it makes no sense. But there's a lot of that not making sense going on in "Limelight."

This is one of three essays that have been inspired by the "Limelight" episode of Criminal Minds. None of the thoughts I've had about the episode are all that related to one another, so I thought I'd make up three short blog posts rather than a single long article.

In an early scene in the "Limelight" episode, the Criminal Minds team (FBI profiling experts) discover a storage room full of gear used by a serial killer. They find some porno, both regular porn (magazines called "Boudoir") and bondage porn (though it seems to be gay bondage porn, and the killer is identified as straight). One of the profilers holds a bondage magazine up and asks "Who buys this stuff?"

Straight porn, the gateway porn for bondage porn. Actually, this doesn't look much like modern straight porn ... apparently this guy was born in the 1920s and got his porn in the 1930s and then was cryogenically frozen for a couple of decades. Or maybe he lived where you could only get antique porn. I mean, I read all of Shaw's plays when I was a kid because I had no access to modern humor. It happens, people.

Well, the correct answer to that question is "No one, at present" because all the bondage magazines folded back in the early 90s because of the advent of all that free bondage porn on the Internet (which consisted mostly of scanned-in photos from bondage magazines, at first).

This was actually a minor gaffe and not really worth complaining about. The REAL lollapalooza comes when the head of the the profiler unit, played by Joe Mantegna, looks at a porn mag and quoted Ted Bundy saying, "If we want to get rid of serial killers, we should censor Hustler, not Catcher in the Rye."

This is lame on SOOO many levels.

At last, something that actually looks like bondage porn, even if it IS a drawing.

First of all, I don't think we should be taking our cues on free speech issues from Ted Bundy, or anyone like him. (More to come on this.)

Second of all, I had no IDEA it was that easy. Because of course, it isn't. Serial killers existed a long time before porn did.

Now let's go back to that first part. America has a long and stupid habit of listening to imprisoned criminals on free speech issues. The most powerful instance was the institution of the Comics Code. That came about largely because of the publication and subsequent politicization of a book called "Seduction of the Innocent" by a an idiot named Dr. Frederick Wertham.

Wertham got onto the horrors of comics as a result of his job: he was the resident psychologist at a big New York prison for delinquent kids. Being a psychologist and all, Wertham was very interested in finding out what had made the kids get all delinquent, so he interviewed a lot of them.

What he discovered was indeed startling. Practically all of the kids in his reform school had read comics at one time or another! And many of them reported that the comics led them to Evil Thoughts and Bad Ways!

It's a well-known fact that residents of our fine reform schools and prisons will say anything they think an authority figure wants to hear, so long as they think it will get them out or improve their living conditions in some way. So I can imagine how Wertham got his data.

Let's imagine Wertham interviewing a fine young gentleman temporary housed in a New York juvenile detention center, named Alex.

Wertham: So, what kind of things do you like to do for fun, Alex?

Alex: Oh, mostly I like what's horrorshow. Me and me chums like to cruise about and play hog of the road, and have conflicts with others like ourselves over lovely young ninotchkas, and of course there's doing the lovely young ninotchkas, too.

Wertham: I didn't mean that so much as what entertains you: music, TV, that sort of thing.

Alex: Oh, I love the classical music, yes I do! Especially the great Ludwig von. Especially his fifth! It's the greatest!

Wertham: Classical music? Really? That's MOST unusual. What about other media? Books, magazines, comics, sort of thing.

Alex (noting Wertham's lack of response to his interest in classical music and shelving it for that reason): Oh, I have me a few of those lying about in my flat, yes I do.

Wertham: What sort of comics?

Alex (noting Wertham's interest in comics in particular. Alex does not own any comics but has riffed through a few of them while visiting with his droogs and found them peurile and uninteresting, though he wouldn't have put it like that): Well, mostly I likes me the horrorshow kind of comics.

(Wertham's eyes gleam a bit and his grip on his pen gets a little tighter as he continues taking notes. Alex notes this and thinks, "Well, I know what this chap's on about. Now I'll just bag him up.")

Wertham (carefully keeping his voice calm, unaware that he has given his game away already): So what is it about these "horrorshow" comics that you like? Can you name some of them?

Alex: Oh, sure. (Alex thinks back and remember the titles of some of the comics his droogs used to like.) "Oh, I liked the Eerie Comics, and the Fight Comics, and the Ranger Comics, and a lot of others I can't remember right now."

Wertham: Can you remember any specific images or stories that you particularly liked?

Alex: Sure. I remember one, there was a lovely ninotchka with her dress half ripped off, chained up in a dank, dark, cell looking all scaredy-waredy like, and there was a brutus there with a knife and giving her the glinty grin, and the red wine had already started to flow, and you can tell there's gonna be a lot more before old brutus is through.

(Alex actually does not recall any such specific image, he's just making up a generic horrorshow image on the grounds that it should be close enough to the sort of things found in his droog's comics to fool Wertham, which of course, it does. Alex himself is not at all affectd by comic book images, as he has personally been engaged in activities that approximate what he's decribing, and the vividness and power of his memories of the actual things he's done absolutely overwhelms whatever mild effects a comic book image might have on him.)

Wertham: I see. And how did that image make you feel?

Alex: Oh, it made me feel all warm in my gutty-wuts. Like the feeling you get when you're about to do a cute ninotchka, mixed in with the feeling you get when you just get started on a good and proper drubbing of some citizen, and the red stuff is just starting to flow, and you know there's going to be a whole lot more. Like that. Only kinda softer and less loud, you know?

Wertham (scribbling furiously): I see. And tell me, have you ever acted on these feelings, and if so, what did you do?

(Alex pauses, looking sorrowful, as if he were contemplating past sins. Actually, he is thinking. He has acted on such feelings many times, although never once because he'd been reading a comic book. That's not his concern -- easy enough to lie about that. He just doesn't want to go telling Mr. Wertham about any of his activities that the law doesn't know about, which might net him some extra time in stir.)

Alex: Well, the event for which I am currently incarcerated ... me and me droogs tied and gagged a woman and had some fun with her after giving her hubby a taste of the old ultra-violence so he'd be all quiet and peaceful like while he watched us, like. Well, while reading the comics I've seen so many piccies where some brutus has a ninotchka all tied up and gagged, maybe on an altar or in a dungeon, and her citizen boyfriend is all angry and helpless likes because the brutus' droogs have got him. Well, you can't see stuff like that a lot without wanting to try it out, y'know?

Wertham (trying to be calm, but barely able to suppress his excitement) Thank you, Alex, thank you very much for your honesty.

Alex (reading Wertham like a book): No problem at all, guv'nor. Hope you'll put in a good word about me to the warden.

Wertham: I shall inform him that you were most cooperative.

* * * * * * *

I'm sure things didn't go down exactly like that but I'm sure I'm pretty close. Most kids who wind up in reform school have a long history of lying to authority figures, so much so that it comes quite naturally to them. They would have lied to a guy like Wertham instinctively, without even thinking about it. And because Wertham bought their lies, hook line and sinker, and because comics had been indulging in some powerful imagery throughout the 40s and 50s, the Comics Code Authority went into effect and American comics were infantilized for two decades.

And let's not even get into the subsequent "studies" of porn's effects on criminals that were conducted back in 1970-1990 which were funded by political think tanks that wanted to demonstrate that porn caused crime, so the researchers had an agenda, and every motive to telegraph that agenda to their subjects, imprisoned criminals who had every motive to give the researchers exactly the results they were looking for.

Under circumstances like that, what could possibly hinder the flow of true and accurate information?

That's the historical context in which I view Mantegna's character's statement: an endorsement of a blunder of historic proportions. Way to go, dumbasses, endorsing the idea that the statements of jailed criminals looking to make brownie points with authority figures is a sound basis for making social policy. If you believe that, you're dumber than the imprisoned goons who gulled you.

And in FURTHER news, Britain appears ready to lead the way for American dumbassery with a bill of their own. They have recently passed a bill outlawing extreme pornography. They're pretty clear about what's extreme, but their definition of what's pornography is just as fuzzy as any the US Supreme Court has ever come up with. British mainstream bondage fans are understandably concerned that if the cops ever have occasion to search their computers or log their visits to various sites, they could find themselves prosecuted under the new law.

Right now, it seems farfetched, but prosecutors are very fond of using badly written laws to imprison folk who they think are guilty, when they can't imprison them under well-written laws. I live in a state where a man was prosecuted for consensual oral sex with his wife (i.e., she gave him a blow job) under a badly written outdated law that was designed to outlaw homosexual activities. I live in a state where the state Supreme Court had to strike down an incredibly badly written law designed to stop strip clubs from doing business, because it would also have outlawed showering in the nude and changing a baby's diaper.

I'm hoping for the best for my friends across the pond. But I'd advise them to keep an eye on the cops.

And I'd also advise everyone to take anything that the Criminal Mind crew says with a grain of salt. Or three. The Boston Strangler is just not anyone we need to be listening to when it comes time to develop social policy about free speech. And apparently, the writers of Criminal Mind fall into the same category.

Monday, June 2, 2008

Criminal Minds 1 - Chipmunk Cheeks

Andrea Roth, gorgeous guest star in a scene from the "Limelight" episode of Criminal Minds.

This is one of three essays that have been inspired by the "Limelight" episode of Criminal Minds. None of the thoughts I've had about the episode are all that related to one another, so I thought I'd make up three short blog posts rather than a single long article.

I would say the most remarkable thing about the "Limelight" episode is the way it has changed my views on the way gags affect a woman's looks.

I have always thought that gags were basically appearance-neutral, and I still think that's the case for most gag scenes: a woman who appears beautiful prior to being gagged will appear beautiful afterward, and a woman who appears, shall we say, ordinary, will still look ordinary.

But there are clearly exceptions, based on this image:

Andrea Roth, tightly cleave gagged on the "Limelight" episode of Criminal Minds.

Hell, it doesn't even appear to be the same woman, but it is, believe me. The tight cleave gag has given Andrea Roth, the actress playing Jill Morris in this episode a REALLY bad case of chipmunk cheeks (you may remember Andrea Roth from such Loosie Award winners as Dangerous Attraction). Tight cleave gags frequently do that to the wearer, but don't generally change their appearances much, and rarely for the worse when they do. Chipmunk cheeks aren't all that unattractive, in and of themselves, IMHO.

But something about the way this gag drags backward and downward at the same time makes Roth appear to be, well ... jowly. There, I've said it -- jowly.

And the thing is, the image of Roth's face without the gag isn't an extraordinarily good shot of her face -- there are plenty of others like it that bring out her beauty. That's what she really looks like -- she really does look like a different person without the gag. Don't believe me? Check out two other images of Roth with and without the gag from the same episode below:

I suspect that the great changes wrought in her appearances by the gag are the result of a perfect storm of coincidences having to do with the structure of her face and the way the gag was applied -- it's very tight and the knot appears to be slightly lower than her mouth, dragging her cheeks down. Roth is also playing a woman watching another woman get tortured to death who is in fear for her own life and at the same time enraged at her captor, with much more dramatic lighting, so you'd expect some difference in appearance. But still ... wow.

My advice to Andrea is this: avoid gag scenes involving cleave gags, especially tight cleave gags. Tape gags like the one you wore in Dangerous Attraction are OK, but you might want to watch the ball gags. We know you're a trooper because of the bondage scenes you've already done, but you, unlike most actresses, have a legitimate reason to avoid cleave gags.

And obviously, there may be others out there like her. So I stand corrected in my viewpoint, though I think the basic principle that gags are appearance-neutral is still sound, there are clearly exceptions to the rule.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Return of the Loosie Awards

Adrienne Barbeau from the film Swamp Thing. If you're wondering how she got a Loosie Award and was thus inducted into the Bad Bondage Hall of Shame, check out the size of those manacles. Then check out the size of her wrists. If Barbeau wasn't keeping her fists clenched the manacles would slip right off her wrists.

This week, a major announcement that will shake the Oscar Awards and Emmy Awards to their very foundations, and possibly beyond that to the core of the Earth itself!

I have revived the Loosie Awards!

Loosie Awards are given for extraordinarily bad bondage imagery in mainstream films and TV shows. No less than thirty scenes were inducted into the Loosie Awards before they were, um, given up on because their creator, which would be me, realized that there was more bad bondage than good bondage out there in mainstream movies and TV, and it was just TOO easy to find Loosie Award material. The ease with which Loosie Awards are given made the activity pointless.

But I forgot one thing in my original calculations, one very important thing that merits their revival: it's a hell of a lot of fun snarking on those bad bondage scenes. And fun is never pointless.