Tea for Two

This is one of those strange fashion shots where I can think of only two explanations. Either the photographer isn’t kinky at all, but wanted to shoot something that was, and so just threw a bunch of random kinky stuff into a scene. Or the photographer is extremely kinky, with a very specialized niche taste, and is therefore shooting on a frequency I just can’t pick up on. Whichever of those it is, I do like the china and her beautiful red corset.

This was shot by Aleksandar Alek Živković for Vice Serbia. I found it on labstrakt’s tumblr.

Face Funnel

Regular readers of this blog will know I’m not a big fan of hoods. I have to make an exception in this case however, because this one is just so fucking hot. There’s something incredibly objectifying and utilitarian about it. I’m not sure I could cope with wearing it in reality, but I do love the idea of it.

This is from Mistress Natsumi’s twitter feed.

Euphoria – Beauty In Pain

I’ve some follow-up thoughts from yesterdays post on Protonmail vs Gmail to share. Unfortunately, I don’t have the time to get them down right now. So consider this an interlude, a little visual intermezzi, before returning to the more boring technical stuff.

The images below are from this Vice article on the photographer Carolin Auer  who is working to capture some of the authentic pain and emotions that go into BDSM play. The ultimate goal is a book entitled Euphoria – Beauty In Pain, which is currently still in the production stages. It looks like it’d be an interesting title for fans of the marks, cuts and bruises that kinky play often leaves behind.

Protonmail vs Gmail

When the FOSTA-SESTA bill was passed into law there was a rush of sex workers and clients moving from Gmail to the enhanced security of Protonmail. Since then I’ve noticed a backlash to Protonmail, with complaints about its reliability resulting in some people moving back to Gmail. At the same time I’ve also observed some confusion about the security issues involved, with comments like “Gmail uses encryption anyway” or “I’m on a VPN, so why does it matter?” Obviously, everyone can make their own judgement call about utility vs security, but I’d like that decision to be an informed one. Hence, this post to dig into the issues.

When it comes to encryption, Gmail does use an encrypted connection between you and their servers. That’s nothing unusual. So does pretty much every internet service that carries personal data (banking, shopping, email, etc). That’s necessary to stop people in your building, coffee shop or  IT department sneaking a look at what you’re sending and receiving. Obviously this is a good thing, but pretty much irrelevant when it comes to law enforcement. Even if they could do it (which they can’t), they’re not going to try and hack your internet connection and reconstruct your emails from the data you send.

Similarly, while a VPN (virtual private network) is generally a good thing for privacy, it’s irrelevant when it comes to law enforcement and email. Normally, even with encrypted connections, it’s still possible to see what sites someone is visiting. With a VPN, a remote computer (typically in another country) makes all those connections for you, and you just have a single encrypted connection to the VPN. That’s great if you don’t want someone to be able to trace your interactions with sites like eros or slixa, but kind of pointless when it comes to Gmail. If you’ve got a public web presence tied to a known email account, there’s absolutely no value trying to hide the fact you’re connecting to that email service. The fact you’ve got the email address on your website proves that you must be using the service.

The key difference between Protonmail and Gmail is how the data is stored on the email servers. In Protonmail the data is encrypted so that even the people running Protonmail can’t read it. That is absolutely not true for Gmail. Google’s entire business model is based on mining user data. In some cases it’s even possible for third parties to access the data. As Google describes here, they will produce the content of your Gmail account in response to a search warrant. And, as they document here, they produced user data for around 80% of the legal requests they receive each month. So if a prosecutor has your Gmail address and a search warrant, he can read your emails. The bar for obtaining a search warrant is simply showing probable cause. That is not a high bar. In contrast, even if US and Swiss law enforcement cooperated to get hold of Protonmail data, it would be a jumble of meaningless numbers. They’d need the account password to make sense of it.

One could argue that there are easier and more likely ways for law enforcement to hassle sex workers than trying to access their email accounts. Or that if an investigation has reached the point of getting search warrants, it’s unlikely to be stopped simply by a lack of email data. However, in the current climate, I tend to take the view that safer is always better. Would you want to bet against the possibility of a prosecutor going on a fishing expedition after scraping the web for pro-domme and escort email addresses? Or getting hold of the data from sites like eros or slixa and then using some bullshit sex trafficking story to get a load of warrants signed off? No tech company is going to want to be perceived to facilitate sex trafficking, even if the trafficking story is a fiction with zero relationship to reality.

As I said at the beginning of the post, the utility vs security trade-off is a matter for individual judgement. But nobody should assume that there isn’t a trade-off involved here. Gmail and Protonmail offer very different levels of privacy. Personally, even though pro-domination is legal and I only engage in non-sexual BDSM activities, I’ve switched to Protonmail for my personal account.

If anyone has questions about any of this feel free to leave a comment. I’m absolutely not a legal expert, but I do know a bit about computers and networks. I also added some follow-up thoughts in a subsequent post.

This domme certainly takes security seriously. She doesn’t ever turn her computer on. That’s hardcore security.

As far as I can tell the website originally associated with this image has ceased to exist.

Hush

This shot is a personal one from ‘The Worst Photographer Ever‘ tumblr. Clearly his tumblr is inaccurately titled, partly because there’s a far worse photographer writing this post, and partly because I think it’s a very sexy image. It’s interesting to have the man staring into the camera and the woman focused on the action, when the stereotypical shot is always the reverse of that.

Stylish in White

This isn’t really femdom, but I’ll give myself a pass on that just this once. I love the duality of this image. On one hand the models pose and the image composition is a very conventional fashion one. Much more D&G than S&M. The lapel, collar and zip elements also suggest a more conventional fashionable outfit. On the other hand, it’s this incredibly fetishistic, monochromatic latex suit, with extreme boots and a skin tight hood. Those contrasts really make the image work for me.

This is from Reflective Desire. You can see some more shots of the same outfit on their twitter feed.

Changing of the Guard

The kink.com site has a new CEO. As covered in this Vice article, Alison Boden has replaced Peter Acworth. I’m happy to see a woman get the top job at a very high profile kinky porn producer and, an engineer myself, I’m particularly happy to see that she got there via a technology background. She started as a software engineer and was their VP of technology prior to the CEO job. It’s frequently the finance, marketing or product management people who get the fast track to the top job. Given the lack of female software engineers in general, and in top positions in particular, it’s great to see one heading a company like kink.com.

These images feature Lorilei Lee shooting for Kink’s Divine Bitches site.

Mounting Her Horse

As I’ve posted in the past, I get my fair share of odd emails. Today’s example might be weirdest yet. Apparently somebody thought this’d be a great site for someone to contribute an article on pulmonary hemorrhage’s in horses. I say it was ‘someone’, but I’m sure it was a very confused computer algorithm that was spamming me. In its defense I have written about horses, blood and breathplay, which do all kind of relate to the topic of bleeding in a horse’s lung. But probably not in a way that my spammers customers are looking for.

Of course in writing this post, I’m probably just going to encourage the algorithm to continue think I’m a horse related blog. Hopefully this ladies mount isn’t suffering from anything pulmonary or otherwise.

I found this on the mrunderheel twitter feed.

The Prodigal Pervert

It’s possible that I’m a bad son. I’ve always suspected this might be true, but I think my twitter feed just gave my proof.

I was browsing the aforementioned feed and marveling at how many amazing UK dommes there were on it. It got me thinking seriously about planning a trip back to England to play with some of these fabulous people. Then it struck me that I hadn’t been back to England for many years, and what would it say about me if my primary impetus for a visit wasn’t to see my parents, but to indulge in some kinky shenanigans with ladies in leather? A subsequent rationalization suggested that if I got to broaden my kinky horizons and also see my parents, should I be worry about the whys and the wherefores? Isn’t it the end result that matters? So like I said, probably a bad son.

Note, in case anyone thinks I’m a terrible son rather than simply a bad one, I do pay for my parents to visit the US regularly. And so far, despite temptation, I’ve resisted the urge to sneak off to get my ass beat when either of them has been visiting me.

This is Mistress Silver, one of the UK dommes whose tweets prompted my thought process. She based in Bristol – not a million miles from some of my old stomping grounds.

Cleaning Up

I did a pass today across the Femdom Image page and cleaned up all the links that were dead, taken over spammers or hadn’t been updated in many months. My thanks to a very helpful reader who emailed me a number of pointers to those issues on the page.

The next step is to add new and interesting image site links. So if anyone has non-commercial image sites they like and frequent (tumblr or otherwise) then please leave a comment or  email me. I’m particularly interested in ones that focus on male submission. They’re the trickiest ones to track down.