People in Kinky History

I know about Bettie Page, even before watching the movie on NetFlix. I know about the Marquis de Sade and Fanny Hill (though I haven’t read it). I like reading about people in history so it’s good to have some new names to look up and research.

“People who want to live like Olympian gods must have slaves whom they throw into their fishponds and gladiators who fight during their masters’ sumptuous banquets–and the pleasure-seekers never care if some blood splatters on them.” — Leopold von Sacher-Masoch

The term sadism – the act of finding pleasure in the degradation or pain of others – originated from Marquis de Sade’s title, the author of the infamous 18th century text 120 Days of Sodom. Napolean Bonaparte, the man responsible for approximately 2.5 million deaths during the French wars, thought the the Marquis de Sade’s fiction was written from “the most depraved imagination” and ordered Sade’s imprisonment. Perhaps the Marquis’ literary fame invoked the jealousy of Napoleon, who was also a writer – but of markedly less-imaginative romantic fiction.edenfantasys.com

Vatsyayana, a celibate Indian monk who penned the Kama Sutra in the 2nd Century, wrote, “[sex] can be compared to a quarrel, on account of the contraries of love and its tendency to dispute.” The Kama Sutra not only tells readers where to “strike with passion,” but how – “back of the hand, fingers constricted, fist or palm.”

Pain can feel great. It leads to a rush of endorphins in the body similar to a push of morphine. Leopold Ritter Von Sacher-Masoch, like the Marquis de Sade, was an erotic author and imaginist who modeled his life after his fantasies. Sacher-Masoch traveled across Europe with his mistress, whom he requested be a “Venus in Furs” and enslave him – “the more cruelly she treats him and the more faithless she is, the worse she uses him, the more wantonly she plays with him, the less pity she shows him…she increase[s] his desire.”

In his 1748 novel Fanny Hill, the most frequently seized novel from United States mail, John Cleland tells the tale of young fictional Fanny – an English prostitute- who acts as a submissive. Cleland writes that the way Fanny’s body looked when she was being whipped, “feasted the luxury of the eye.” Literature isn’t the only place that BDSM elements have been shown as both sensual and aesthetic.

Bettie Page, a 1950s pin-up model, helped bring BDSM into mainstream American culture. Her infamous photos were the subject of public hearings headed by Estes Kefauver, a senator who twice ran for president. The Kefauver hearing centered on the indecency of pornography – especially images and video featuring BDSM elements. The 1959 trial was based on the premise that “merchants of filth” were “as dangerous to society as dope peddlers.”

Bettie herself was subpoenaed for the 1959 Kefauver trials in violation of obscenity laws, after a few of her naughtier photos, of her dressed in fetish heels and black lingerie, resurfaced in a porn shop. The stills and videos of Bettie spanking disobedient yet consenting women were seized by New York police.

Via edenfantasys.com

When Women Carried Swords

Hat pins were not a joke. If women still wore hat pins there would be a hat pin fetish.

Being stuck with a hat pin would not make a good fetish. Too dangerous.

Some of them were 12 inches long, sharp and not used as a medical instrument traditionally.  I’m sure there would be a lot of accidental deaths by hat pin.

On the other hand, they may have been better than pepper spray at keeping the mashers at bay. 

In March 1910, Chicago’s city council ran with that idea, debating an ordinance that would ban hatpins longer than nine inches; any woman caught in violation would be arrested and fined $50. The proceedings were packed with curious spectators, men and women, and acrimonious from the start. “If women care to wear carrots and roosters on their heads, that is a matter for their own concern, but when it comes to wearing swords they must be stopped,” a supporter said. Cries of “Bravo!” from the men; hisses from the women. Nan Davis, there to represent several women’s clubs, asked for permission to address the committee. “If the men of Chicago want to take the hatpins away from us, let them make the streets safe,” she said. “No man has a right to tell me how I shall dress and what I shall wear.”

Despite Davis’ impassioned speech, the ordinance passed by a vote of 68 to 2. Similar laws subsequently passed in several other cities, including Milwaukee, Pittsburgh, Baltimore and New Orleans. Ten thousand miles away, in Sydney,  Australia, sixty women went to jail rather than pay fines for wearing “murderous weapons” in their hats. Even conservative London ladies steadfastly refused to buy hatpin point protectors.

Via smithsonianmag.com

Was Marilyn Monroe a Domme?

Could Marilyn Monroe have been a Domme?

You could see her that way. Her media career was mostly about being sexy, curvy and soft in the right places and times. Yet she was actually a clever woman, making a living from her Hollywood image. All these years since her death and she is still an icon for the sexy woman image. People still imitate Marilyn Monroe, her walk, her voice and her fashion style.

Based on her image, she could have been a very successful FemDom, likely a financial Domme asking for jewels and cash. She would pick men of fame and fortune or at least great looking and intelligent, strong men. Marilyn would have had her pick of clients but I think her first choice would be personal, not professional.

I think she would have enjoyed domination. Having the power rather than playing up to men as she did in her movies and personal appearances. I don’t think Marilyn would have been the type to do everything his way once she closed the door on the public. In private it would become her turn, her way.

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