February 05, 2003

Firehorse Productions, Inc. and Midori's Newsletter February 05, 2003 Table of contents:

  • Thanks for coming to my parties! (Special SF Fetish Ball announcement)
  • New Essay Draft "Kink Globalism: Do They Do It Like We Do It?"
  • 318 New Photos up on BeautyBound.com (Phew, I'm tired!)
  • See you in Toronto this weekend and Atlanta for Valentines
  • *~*~*~*~*~*~*~*

    Dear Readers...

    Thanks for coming to my parties!
    I want to thank each and every one of you who came to the parties at Bondage a Go Go to launch the new site BeautyBound.com and for the Bondage Model contest.

    Wow, that was wild!

    I saw old friends, dear friends, and really amazing people. And got to do speed bondage art on many gorgeous women (giggle ... this is not a bad career choice!) I was joking that I felt like I was part of the Iron Bondage Master Competition. You know, like "Iron Chef".

    Hey, maybe there's a game concept to that! Hee hee hee!

    The women who showed up as contestants were amazing. First prize went to a very flexible Finnish gal named Rachel Flame. More on that and photos from that at another time and on BeautyBound.com. The Judges had fun too!

    Thanks to pervy photog king Eric Kroll, babe shooter extraordinnaire Craig Morey and Tchukon of Madame S/Mr. S!


    Then there was the photo exhibit reception at Madame S. I've never seen that place so packed! It was fantastic that folks dressed up so elegantly and/or fetishy for that. They've just opened the top level to create a special section for kinky and intense toys. I'm looking forward to seeing that develop. Oh, and Tchukon announced the date for the San Francisco Fetish Ball. It'll be April 26th. You heard it here first!
    (Confession: To tell you the truth we were busy hanging photos on the wall until that very afternoon. Oops!)
    The photos will be up through the end of March, so I hope you'll stop by and check it out.

    A huge thanks to Team Midori for making this such a great event; Bailey, David, Frank, Joseph, Kyle, Lane, Loki, Michelle, Molly, Nija, Peter, and Shane. (In alphabetical order!) Thanks to the crew of Bondage a Go Go and Madame S / Mr. S for making the parties possible.
    Michael Blue and I are eternally grateful.

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    New Essay Draft
    Here's another draft of an article for your reading pleasure.
    Sometimes the program I use to send out these eNewsletters do odd things with the font, so if a few things look strange, please forgive the tech gremlins.

    Column Title: "Babylon Bound" Originally written for and appearing in Spectator magazine.
    Copyright: Midori October 15, 2002

    Working Title: Kink Globalism: Do They Do It Like We Do It? - Not Exactly. . . Do pervs and kinksters do it the same way everywhere? If you hail from San Francisco, the Mecca of kink, would there be any point to go elsewhere to seek your pleasure? Is there a "best place" for your particular predilections?

    I've been globe trotting and jet setting again. London, Copenhagen, New York, Dallas, etc... Soon I'm off to Bangkok, Canada and more... As affordable air travel and the Internet bring us potentially closer to one another in body and mind, we become more and more aware of regional differences. The closer we're brought together the more starkly the distance is illuminated. Thus I bring you tales and observations from pervy lands far, far away... and some in our very own back yard.
    Consider this simply a mid-journey dispatch. This essay certainly can't be treated as a final treatise on state of perv around the globe and the States. After all, there are so many more places to visit, people to play with and dungeons to lurk in!

    OK, So here's the reader's digest version. The Brits know how to party. The Europeans gets the sex bit. Americans fill the classrooms. The East Coast finesses D/s. The West seeks the spirituality in SM. The South ups the anti on hospitality. Dallas brings communities together. Most places, whether in the States or over seas, rely on the strong leadership or charisma of a few dedicated folks and beloved personalities.
    Read on for more details...

    I suppose it's because I'm an educator, one of the most prominent difference I noticed between North America (both Canada and US) and other countries, is the prominence of organized and formalized education about BDSM. SM in major cities have been, historically, more communal in nature in the US, led by the gay men's leather / Levi club tradition from post WW II as well as large and publicly accessible social clubs such as The Eulenspiegel Society and Society of Janus in existence from the 1970s. In these social groupings members taught one another on new skills. Americans also have a culture that encourages group seminars for just about everything from wallpaper stenciling, financial management to better fisting techniques.

    This is not to say that knowledge is not passed along in other countries, such as UK, Europe and Japan. It seems to be done so more privately. While there seemed to be some grumbling about the format of American style SM classes where it's brightly lit, public classes with a clear delineation between students and teacher, there has been a steady history private clubs and selective or secretive social groups where members share knowledge with one another. In such surroundings the flow of knowledge is intimate and preserves the mystery and magic as well as the sexual charge of kink. After all, the down side to the American style, openly accessible and public classes is that often the lectures may seem dry, technical, asexual and, well... like a "lecture." This may be due to several factors. The more publicly accessible the SM education efforts are, the more they fall under the scrutiny of general populace concerns and local / regional / national legal restrictions. This would not be the case for a private group meeting secretively in private residences. To ameliorate the legal concerns, American clubs must often remove obviously sexual activity from classes, socials and play parties. Penetration may not be allowed. Nudity may be frowned upon. Genital contact my not be permissible. In such a situation the only tool that may be left to presenter is the ability to incite the imagination to keep the presentation from drying out and simply becoming a technical presentation, rivaled only by engineering conferences.

    This is unfortunate, as it may send the mistaken message to attendees that SM is technically intimidating and lacking in erotic charge. This misrepresentation may also dovetail into the general ambivalence that Americans feel around sex. For all the sexual images in the media, we seem to be a culture that vilifies sex and celebrates violence. A Danish friend of mine marveled at the seeming contradiction of the power and relevance of American Freedom of Speech coexisting with a sexual code of conduct that still seems to echo the 17th century roots of the country. He's got a point.
    On the other hand, issues around safety may be more problematic in countries where the seminar culture is not prevalent. At many play parties and fetish events overseas I've seen techniques and sexual practices that would be considered high risk over here. Do we strangle and stifle our pleasures into the low-risk mire of Safe-Sane-Consensual play or do we grasp the fleeting pleasure and mystery for risk, disease and death later? Continual cultural exchange will, hopefully, lead us to strike a sensible balance between safety and adventure.

    As mentioned above, events and parties in Europe seem to be far more sexual than the ones here. Along with a revved up sexuality, they also dress for the occasion. People really take the time to dress for pleasure in the UK and Europe.
    A smashing party I attended in Denmark, called Manifest, was full of tall beautiful Scandinavians clad in fanciful latex dresses and uniforms. (They're all tall. I felt Lilliputian among them!) Unlike the States, the men also dress to the hilt at these events.
    At Manifest I saw something I had never seen at a mainly heterosexual event. They had a "Black Room." The gay male readers are quite familiar with the concept of a Black Room. Some of the dyke readers who've been to Throb parties in New York may have experienced this as well. It's an utterly lightless room, located at the backs of sex clubs and dungeons, where entering it is consenting to anonymous sex. It's a room filled with pheromone, desire, sex juices, taboo, anonymity, sucking, fucking and more. The other spaces, such as the moodily lit dungeon had lots of sex as well. Later on in the evening there was sex going on right on the dance floor.

    In the UK, it's also sensual but the focus is on the hot pounding music and amazing fetish fashions.

    The Rubber Ball, the annual fetish party of all fetish party, and its younger, rowdier and naughtier sibling, the monthly Torture Garden fetish parties are the crëme de la crëme of fetish events.
    The parties go until early mornings, then there are the after parties and after-after parties. The DJ's spin super high-NRG stuff with great light shows. Small stages all around are filled with cage dancers, burlesque acts, and wild fire-eaters. The Brits and the Europeans, with their long tradition of carnivals, masquerades and professional crowd pleasers, know how to put on a party that wards off the long cold nights.
    The outfits are simply out of this world. People prepare for months ahead to strut their stuff. The fetish designers are kept busy and on their toes to continue to come up with new and exciting bespoke fashion visions and recreations of the self for their demanding customers.

    Even within the US, there are some striking regional differences that I've observed. Obviously these are not absolutes. They are simply my observations. Some of these patterns, however, are shifting as major events in a particular area draw presenters and players from all over the country, such as DC's Black Rose and San Jose's Folsom Fringe.
    One region's style will influence players from another area and they'll take that back home, which certainly changes or influences their local styles. I've noticed that in the East Coast heavily ritualized and formal D/s is very prevalent. Strict contracts between the dominant and submissives are not uncommon and the classes and discussions on contract writing and formal service protocol are quite popular.
    This may reflect the more formalized and European influenced class/caste system and formality present on the East Coast in general. In the more populist and rebellious West Coast, the social relationship preferred seems to be more fluid and even vaguely suspicious of overly regimented Ds dynamics.
    The West Coasters seem to dive head long into intense physical sensations and find a natural connection between the soul and spirituality with intensely physical SM. Perhaps this is the influence of Asia and the residue of 1960's mysticism.
    My few trips into the South and the Bible Belt have shown me that they up the anti in terms of hospitality. Their dinners, events, receptions and club activities are often planned carefully and elegantly. They consider the comforts of guest and create an atmosphere for celebration. I also noticed in certain Bible Belt communities such as Richmond VA and Dallas, the often disparate communities-within-communities, come together in unexpected ways.
    Here I have seen gay men, dykes, pans and hets working closely together as organizations and individuals to make events happen. I've also seen this in Colorado and Utah. This leads me to believe what a sub of mine, who had spent some time in the South, observed. The more oppressive the social climate of the surrounding area, the more likely it is that the various 'freaks' and pervs will put aside their differences to mingle and collaborate with one another. This makes a lot of sense to me.

    One thing that's common to all the areas I've visited is the power of personal leadership and individual charisma. In each region there's a person or a small group of core people who get things done. Sometimes they're community volunteers such as Lolita in New York, Mark and Dean in Dallas and Ms. Twisted in Austin. Business partners / party promoter par excellence like Allen and David of Torture Garden, Stig of Manifest Denmark, Demask / Europerv of Amsterdam become the focal point in other places.
    Publications such as Skin Two with its solid team of Tim Woodward and crew become the style mavens to a whole population set.
    Events and clubs such as Richmond Leather Club, South Plains Leather Fest, Thunder In The Mountains, the Wet Spot of Seattle rally activism and action.
    Personalities like Daddy Alan Selby of San Francisco, Master A of Utah, Master Steve Samson and Fakir Musafar may inspire simply by being honest to their passions.
    The power of personality is profound, and their influences are stronger and longer impacting than rules, policies or regulations.

    *~*~*~*~*~*~*~*

    318 New Photos up on BeautyBound.com (Phew, I'm tired!)
    Ok, I released a bunch of new photos today on BeautyBound.com.
    1. Just released "Sinnamon Love finds Headspace I" to New Images Gallery. Gorgeous and deliciously submissive, she's bound and suspended... then undone in an abandoned basement. Hauntingly sexy.
    2. Released the new "Events Gallery" where we feature the actions and candid shots from various kinky events Midori travels to.
    You'll find photos from demo suspensions with Claire Adams - BondCon Las Vegas 2003, Seven - BondCon Las Vegas 2003, and Gwendoline - BondCon Las Vegas 2003, and Misc. BondCon Las Vegas 2003 (Kumi being nutty, the hallway from "The Shining," Shane looking fetching for a lighting test, and Midori being butch. Again.)
    3. Will release James Mogul of nawashibari.com as featured artist tomorrow. That'll be hot! Stay tuned!

    Let me know what you think of them...

    Oh, and as ever, the Beauty Board discussion forum is free... I'm trying to get that up and going for the bondage lovin' folks.


    *~*~*~*~*~*~*~*


    See you in Toronto this weekend and Atlanta next
    A brief summary of Toronto and Atlanta classes and appearances. (What a contrast in weather and geography!)

    ** Toronto**
    Introduction to Japanese Rope Bondage
    Friday, February 7, 2003 7:30 pm to 10:00 pm
    $30.00 (Canadian $)
    @ Come As You Are

    Flogging 101: Hands-On Workshop
    Saturday, February 8, 7:00 pm to 9:30 pm
    586 Yonge St, Toronto
    (416) 972-1037.
    @ NorthBound Leather

    The Art of Feminine Dominance
    Sunday February 9, 7:00 pm to 9:30 pm
    $30
    @ Come As You Are

    Seduction by Voice & Erotic Storytelling
    Monday February 10, 7:30 pm to 10:00 pm
    $30
    @ Come As You Are

    Love Hurts! Kinky Valentines with Midori
    Friday, February 14th and Saturday, February 15th
    Bondage and SM performance at the kinky night club, The Chamber

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    Hope to see you guys in my travels!
    Midori

    With pervy wishes
    Midori