Vintage Whipping

A final post to finish my trio of vintage images. This comes courtesy of this tweet by Pitt Prickel. It’s apparently a scene from the early 1930’s. For me it has the feel of an artists studio – as though it might be models posing for a picture or a sculpture. There’s a real sense of physicality and solidity to the scene. Almost like a statue from the classical era of Greece or Rome.

More communication is never a bad thing

This Frisky interview with Joanna Angel annoyed me. Her stated goal of creating toys more appealing to kinky dabblers is a good one. But then we get to her advice for beginners, which contains the following…

Some people make it out like you really need to plan this shit out and really discuss it, like, I don’t know, do you really need a safe word with your partner? It seems like everything has to be so formal.

To which I’d say “Yes Joanna. If you’re going to bind, gag and beat someone, which is what your toys are designed for, you’d better fucking discuss it first. And when you’re just beginning to explore kink, that’s absolutely the time you need a safeword.”

Ironically, given her claim, I rarely feel the need to agree a safeword when playing with professionals. They know how to read me and can tell the different between “No (but do it some more)” and “No (my back is playing up and I’m reaching my limit).” Playing with a novice, who might be unsure exactly how hard she can push, and doesn’t have the technique to smoothly escalate intensity, is exactly the time you need a clear communication channel. It’s reassuring to both parties if there’s a magic emergency button always available to push.

This rather beautiful image comes from a tweet by mrunderheel. Despite his gag, they look like they’re in a happy space for communication. I love her smile and the marks on his body. Sadly I don’t have an original attribution for it. Amusingly, when I do a reverse image search on Google, the only thing it suggests is that a related search term is ‘fun’ and then it gives me the Merriam-Webster definition for ‘fun’. It’s both very wrong and very right all at the same time.

Crack the Whip

This is the model Rosie Huntington-Whiteley shot by British photographer Rankin. The odd thing is that this version of the image, which I believe is the original one, isn’t the one that has been widely shared. That would be this cropped and color modified version that I originally found. I guess people are happy to trade bad composition for a closer look at Ms Huntington-Whiteley.

This is from a book by Rankin called Ten Time Rosie shot in 2010.

Side effects

Weird question of the week for my readers: Has anyone done a flogging or whipping scene that left their skin incredibly itchy?

Playing in LA last week, I did a scene featuring a fairly heavy flogging and a moderate whipping. It left me with some beautiful marks on my upper back, but it also left that whole area very rough and itchy. Given its inaccessible location for scratching, that makes it particularly frustrating. I’m guessing the skin was dry from the LA heat, and then damaged enough by the heavy flogger to trigger the wound healing itch reaction. It’s kind of odd however, as I’ve never had this kind of reaction before, and certainly nothing that lasts this long. Really hoping I’m not suddenly developing an allergy to leather. That would really cramp my play options.

Given the topic of leather and whips, this striking photograph of Mistress Adrienne of NYC seems an appropriate one to feature. Whatever I was hit with, it was nothing as fearsome as that particular single tail.

Empathy

In the past I’ve published posts on scientific studies when they had positive things to say about BDSM. For example, this one on flow and this one on psychological health. It seems only fair therefore to feature one that has a more troubling message.

The study in question looked at empathy in female submissives, and came to the conclusion that they have reduced empathy to other peoples suffering. As described in this article, the experiment was done by showing them photographs of people with neutral and ‘in pain’ expressions and watching what parts of the brain lit up. Apparently female submissives had unusually low responses to the ‘in pain’ photos in the parts of the brain normally associated with empathy.

I understand the methodology behind this approach. It reminds me of an anecdote from a doctor studying psychopaths who’d been jailed for violent crimes. He described showing an expression of a frighted man to one of his subjects and asked what he thought the man in the photograph was feeling. The prisoner laughed and said he didn’t know, but it reminded him of the looks on peoples faces just before he stabbed them. Clearly being able to relate expressions to internal emotions is a key part of empathizing with someone.

However, that said, while I understand the general approach here, it does seem flawed in this case. They’re starting from the premise that pain is a bad thing, and therefore seeing someone in pain should trigger empathy and concern. That’s true for most people but not for masochists. We have a much more complex relationship to pain. It’s an ambiguous sensation and therefore context is important. If I see someone stub their toe then I wince and feel bad for them. If I see someone tied up and caned in a BDSM movie I get excited and wish it was me. If I just see a pained expression alone, it’ll probably depend on my mood and what’s on my mind. Lacking context for the pain I’ll add my own, and that could generate all sorts of different emotional responses.

I think if you’re going to study empathy in kinky people, you really need to take into account their sexual wiring. For example, study their responses to happy or surprised faces rather than people in pain. Or put the pain into a suitable context. I’m sure non-kinky people would be disturbed by and empathize with the apparent pain of the man in the image below. As a masochist my reaction to the image is quite different, because I understand in this context the pain for him might be a sort of pleasure.

I’m afraid I’ve no idea who created this image. If you can help attribute it then please leave me a comment.

Crime Flick

I’m not normally a fan of using big industrial spaces for kinky shoots. They often seem very artificial and impersonal. I’ll make an exception for this striking shot however. It puts me in mind of British crime and gangster movies from the 70’s and 80’s. Flicks like The Long Good Friday (which had a scene with men suspended upside down in a warehouse) and the original Get Carter (one of my favorite movies of any genre).

In a modern movie, this’d be the scene where the hero is captured and tortured by the crime bosses evil female lieutenant. In the downbeat 70’s, the anti-hero would be working with the lady with the whip, and this’d be the point where the plan starts going sideways and just before everyone ends up dead. Of course no matter what the era, the plot or the identify of the hero, I’m sure my readers would all be rooting for the lady with the whip.

This is Mistress Manouk, a Dutch pro-domme, as shot by Alex Charilaou. I found it via this tweet.

Update: You can also see a very short clip from this shoot here. Thanks to Daria for the pointer.

Why would you do that?

My previous post, featuring a brief description of a mouth suturing scene I did, generated a very reasonable comment. The gist of it was – and I’m paraphrasing here – why on earth would you do that? Isn’t this stuff supposed to be sexy?

So I should start by saying it wasn’t actually my suggestion. Like I lot of the things I do in scenes, it was the domme’s idea. However, I was certainly eager to  be the guinea pig. She wanted to play around with controlling my mouth and doing a quite invasive scene. The reason it was ultimately enjoyable was for the same reasons a lot of my D/s scenes are. It’s about giving up control, being objectified, accepting pain, handling the intensity, placing trust in the domme and allowing her to take me on a journey. So while I don’t find mouth suturing a turn on per se, it is a turn on in that specific context.

One general observation I’d make is that I think there are some people who enjoy very specific activities and others for who enjoy the dynamic a variety of activities can produce. I used to be the former and over the years have transitioned to the latter. I don’t think it’s a binary categorization – you can certainly be a bit of both – but I think people tend to fall into one camp or the other.  Some submissives are into feet, or leather, or corporal scenes, or bondage, etc. That’s the thing that turns them on and the activity is the goal. Others are into control, or humiliation, or objectification, or pain. The activity is just a means to get there, and so the form it takes has different requirements.

For anyone else out there finding all this talk of weird mouth stuff equally strange, here’s something a little more traditional. Hopefully this shot has a little bit in it for everyone.

I’m afraid I don’t have an original source for this. Please leave a comment if you can help me attribute it.

Updated: Thanks to a helpful comment I can attribute this to Nikki Next shooting for the Men Are Slaves site.

Suspended Target

A few posts back I was musing on scenes where the level of pain is radically different from the visual the scene presents. This is the exact opposite of that. The scene looks awesome. I love the suspended bondage, the minimalism of the space and the dynamism of the whip. Yet I’m sure it also hurts like hell. The bondage alone looks challenging. Adding the sting of a single tail against taut flesh is particularly cruel.

This is from twitter feed of Mistress Iris. However, I believe that’s Mistress Rika on the other end of the whip.

Have you seen this whip?

I think most kinky people have a favorite toy. It might be the one that pushes their buttons perfectly, has sentimental value or is simply something that’s impossible to buy anymore. Nobody wants to lose a toy like that. All that said, I don’t think I’ve ever seen anyone offer a financial reward for the return of a particular implement, much less a $1000 reward.

The toy in question in this case is a rare 15 year old signal whip and the owner is the famous Isabella Sinclaire. She was attending an event called Ellismania in Vegas when it went missing. I’m not really sure what that event is, but based on the photograph below, it seems to involve some sort of fighting ring, women in sexy outfits and Isabella whipping them. What’s not to like? I’m not sure if being whipped was the punishment for losing or the reward for winning. Seems like a no lose type situation either way.

If you were at this event and have any information on her whip, I’m sure she’d be very happy to receive it.