A 1950s household fetish?

For some reason the ‘1950s household fetish’ has been turning up on my radar recently. I don’t know whether it’s becoming more popular, or more people who are into it have been looking at my blogs, or what – but there it is. A fetish for the kinds of styles, culture and domestic and sexual relationships of the 1950s.

People who are into this often go deep into it. They furnish their house in a 1950s style and banish any devices (except possibly their PC) that wouldn’t have been available at that time. Books, magazines and newspapers of the time might be on display.

They dress the part, with full skirts and polka dots, elaborate hairdos and time spent baking things in the kitchen – that’s the women, of course, because the men would wear suits, waistcoats and ties, and smoke a pipe. They may listen to radio broadcasts of that time or watch 1950s TV programmes (for which they would, these days, need internet-ready TV or a DVD player, so technological compromises have to be made).

I can see the attraction. It was a period shortly after one of the most destructive wars humanity had ever waged, and many adults were simply relieved that it was over and they could get on with their lives. It was a period of fast economic growth, the beginning of a consumerist boom, and in the UK, a period in which government had responded to social need by creating the beginnings of the welfare state in order to make people more secure – free health care at the point of need, for example.

But it was also still an era of ‘traditional’ relations between dominant men and subservient women, with strongly defined roles and responsibilities. For many people this both echoes and reinforces the dom/sub roles of BDSM.

It’s an obvious point, but it’s a selective re-invention of the 1950s we’re talking about here. It’s based on middle- or upper-class homes, people who have comfortable lifestyles. We’re not talking about dingy 1950s council flats or the ‘prefabs’, temporary shed-like structures built to house those returning from war or who had lost their homes in wartime bombing raids. We’re not talking about couples where the role of the woman in the home excluded her husband, who spent most of his leisure time in the local pub. And we’re not talking about the era of food rationing, introduced in 1939 at the veginning of the war and not fully lifted until 1954.

Nor are we talking about the kind of society in which women could divorce their husbands for adultery only if it was proved (for example with a private detective and a photograph) or for reasons of drunkenness, insanity or desertion. The law was only changed and made more equal-handed in 1969.

Other negative aspects: the contraceptive pill hadn’t been invented, though the ‘upside’ of this was that a fairly sophisticated set of ‘petting’ activities were well-known so that sex that didn’t need contraception – handjobs, blowjobs and other forms of rubbing and mutual stimulation such as frottage using a range of materials – were widely practiced (and appreciated).

There was also widespread homophobia: the Wolfenden Report in the UK, which recommended a limited decriminalisation of homosexual acts, was published in 1957 and laws not enacted for another decade.

And in political terms, remember the Suez Crisis, the Korean War, the Hungarian Revolution and MAD – Mutual Assured Destruction in the event of a nuclear war? Yes, all in the 1950s and matters of worldwide anxiety at that time.

As best I can gather, those who follow what they think of as a 1950s lifestyle play with the idea of it to a large degree. In some cases it’s based on the fantasy that the husband goes off to work and has an affair with his secretary while the housewife entertains the milkman (remember them?) in the marital bed. I others, the household is female led and female-dominant, with the roles fully or partly reversed. In these latter households, sissification appears to be a strong theme as well.

Contemporary aspects BDSM such as highly technological toys are likely to play little part. Tease, bondage and spanking may be more common, even though the John Willie and Irving Klaw styles of heavier bondage were known in the sexual underground of the day. Oh, and rubber might play a part – rubber underwear was widely sold in the 1950s, ostensibly as an aid to weight loss because it encouraged perspiration. Though how people used it was of course up to them. This was the subject of some ribald comedy routines of the times.

For whose who engage in it, I suspect the value of the 1950s has something to do with the sense of retreat from troubling aspects of postmodern society (which I guess me might all want from time to time) and encapsulation in a more positive worldview. It might also be to do with a more rigid set of standards, values and expectations that some people may find comparatively easy to live inside. And there are aspects of 1950s fashion, design and style that remain alluring, from rocket fins on cars to stockings on women (yes, I know some men look good in stockings too, but it was a sexist era).

Don’t knock it. Just imagine for a second that in 2050, a ‘twenty naughty’ fetish might exist in which all the things we regard as troubling today – for example neoliberalism, economic recession, a struggle for non-discrimination and LGBT rights – is fetishised as being a comforting retreat from whatever world people are living in then…

 

Some sources for you:

A short, Christian-based account of the 1950s household fetish

The URGE (Ultimate Resource Guide to Explorations) page on the subject

The LPSG discussion group on 1950s household fetish

A Pinterest board on 1950s household fetish

 

 

 

 

Filthy Money

Filthy Money cover

Filthy Money cover (link to Smashwords)

Please read responsibly!

I’ve just self-pubbed this collection of eight stories, which I’ve described as quasi-erotica: Filthy Money, and other stories of sex in the gutter. And I’ve put it up at the bargain bin price of 99 cents.

Why ‘quasi-erotica’? As I said in the blurb, these are stories of desperate sex, sexual perversity and moral degeneracy from the margins of contemporary society – they’re mostly set in the kind of social situation where people are living in bad neighbourhoods, or in squats, or on the streets. The kind of situation where no one has any money but drug and alcohol use are common and life is chaotic.

It’s not, of course, an accurate representation of that life. The collection is BDSM themed, for a start. And many of the more unsavoury aspects of that life – self-harm, self-destructive behaviour, people who collect debts with machetes and so on – have been toned down. A lot.

I haven’t included a snippet as a come-on. You can see the first 20% for free on Smashwords anyway.

I’ve had these stories in my head for a while, maybe for a couple of years. And I’ve self-published them for two reasons.

Firstly, it was a form of exorcism. It worked, more or less. But secondly, since it’s unlikely to be a massive best-seller anyway, I’ve treated it as an easy introduction to self-publishing on Smashwords. At the moment it’s only on Smashwords (and thus ultimately its associates like Diesel, Ebooks-Eros and B&N). I haven’t decided if I want to put it anywhere else, like Amazon, yet. That’s a decision I’ll make a month or two.

Self-publishing it was a learning curve, but now I’ve climbed it I might try it again in the future with other stuff that’s a little less strange and dark.

Have fun. If it actually sells I’ll be gratified. But if you like it it’ll only encourage me – even if you only like it in a ‘That’s as entertaining as looking at a car wreck’ kind of a way.

Writing Voodoo Fetish

Voodoo Fetish cover picture You may have noticed the second novella in my Voodoo Trilogy was published last week. Since it draws, at least a little, on voodoo (or vodou, or voudun) practices I thought it would be worthwhile giving you some background.

Not being a practitioner myself, I drew on a bunch of sources – books and interweb stuff I’ll mention later.

The first thing they told me was that voodoo is a religion that probably started sometime in the mid-1600s but became more developed in Caribbean slave populations in the 1700s, based partly on Christian (mainly Catholic) beliefs and partly on older West African religions, generically labelled as vodun or voudun.

The second thing they pointed out was that there are several more or less distinct branches of voodoo, with both Haitian and Louisiana (or New Orleans) versions, plus santeria (in Cuba, and based largely on Yoruba rather than Fon and Ewe religious beliefs) and candomblé (Afro-Brazilian).

And the third thing was that the voodoo diaspora has spread worldwide as its adherents have migrated out of the Caribbean. So there are populations of believers in the US (particularly New York), Montreal, London and probably almost any other ‘world city’ you can name. Plus there are believers in West Africa where the original Fon, Ewe, Yoruba and other religions also still exist.

As it’s spread, of course, it’s become more varied. It started as a syncretic religion, putting together elements of other traditions. And it remains such, since it’s been taken up by a number of people who don’t (as far as I know) have roots or heritage in Haiti or New Orleans. So it’s still evolving, and that’s a feature I confess I’ve used to excuse a certain latitude in the way I’ve dealt with voodoo in the novella.

If you want to know more than Wikipedia will tell you, you should find (or at least I did) some books in your local library. Probably around shelfmark 299.67, which is where they are in my local library (you’ll find that shelfmark referenced in the novella).

I’d also recommend, from among a range of things I’ve read, Voodoo: Truth and Fantasy by Laennec Hurbon. You’ll probably only find it sporadically in Amazon’s ‘used’ lists, but the author’s written other similar books that I imagine are equally good. You’ll find this book name-checked in the novella too.

I can’t even begin to list the websites I looked at. A Tumblr blog, effyeahvodou.tumblr.com is a mine of information. Haunted America Tours is a page primarily for tourists to New Orleans and thus based on Louisiana voodoo, but contains a wealth of information and links. And in the UK, there’s a musician who’s also a voodoo practitioner whose blog is at www.doktorsnake.com. If you’re interested in visuals, the majority of stuff you’ll find on the internet is not of any serious interest. Some of it is Christian preaching against voodoo; some is deliberately sensationalist, and some is perhaps intended more for the low-end horror film market. However there’s one interesting documentary on Youtube that’s more anthropological in nature – Maya Deren’s 1945 ‘Divine Horsemen’ film of actual voodoo rituals, with a very open-minded take (it’s probably duplicated elsewhere on Youtube as well).

And so to the novella. Following on from part 1, ‘Ridden’ (also on Amazon.co.uk), our heroine Eloise finds herself back in London teaching English as a second language. Despite her change of location and culture, the lwa have a job for her. They don’t know the ultimate significance of it (which will have to wait for the third part of the trilogy) but they know it’s important. She’s nudged – in fact, thrown bodily – in the direction of doing their bidding. Eloise has certain supernatural powers that aren’t particularly flashy and spectacular in themselves, but only come into play in the course of sex that involves bondage and more. Hence she has to create the situations in which sex with very strong bdsm and fetish elements can take place. Which she does.

I’ve borrowed syncretically (i.e. mashed together) a number of real-life locations for the action, including a cemetery I know, and a magic shop (as in, it sold products for magical workings) that no longer exists but used to be close to where I lived in the days when I lived in London.

I might add that some of the scenes in the book are written from (ahem) personal experience, bearing in mind my connections with pagans who have been involved in sex magic. Not that I, or even they, have demon-battling experience or anything. But as a writer of imaginative erotica I’m entitled to stretch a point…

Find my novella Voodoo Fetish at Amazon.com and Amazon.co.uk.

Edgy, modern, industrial-flavored

‘Edgy, modern, industrial-flavored stories full of unlikely situations, grit, grease, and urban decay. Some are very strange, some are very sexy, and all are quite memorable… absolutely recommended if you are looking for something gritty, modern, playful, and strange.’ That’s the description of the Museum of Deviant Desires (also in the UK Amazon store) from BDSM Book Reviews. I put it out earlier this year with a new up-and-coming publisher, 1001 Nights Press.

BDSM Book Reviews gave it 5/5 overall and 4/5 for kink. Oddly, despite this and the other excellent reviews the story collection has garnered, it’s one of my lowest-selling titles. Am I not doing enough to publicise it? Or do people not like gritty, playful and strange? Have a look for yourself, see what you think. Amazon’s ‘Look Inside’ function should give you enough to make your mind up.

More Corporate Slave

It’s now available on Amazon for Kindle, in the US and in the UK.

And if you want an idea of what it’s about and an extract, in addition to previous posts here you can look at a different extract on my Fulanismut blog (opens in new window).

New Novel Corporate Slave

Corporate Slave Cover

It’s out. It’s finally here! Fulani’s latest Novel Corporate Slave will be available from Friday 2nd November. After Twelve months of Slaving away over a hot Mac, editing, proofing, then finding a delightful cover, it’s ready for you to enjoy. And I’m sure you will enjoy it. Fulani’s top quality writing (I know I’m biased, but see for yourself) will keep you turning the pages, stopping only to cool down!

You’ll be able to find it at Erotic Book Network initially, but later on Amazon and on lots of other websites such as Smashwords. 

Here’s the lowdown:

Life isn’t easy for Cassie. She’s a sales assistant in a convenience store, in a society where sex is used to sell everything and is one of the main commodities for sale.

When she buys one of the new Intelligent Dresses to wear when she’s out clubbing, it sparks a sequence of events that lead to her being accused of using the garment’s on-board computer to carry out industrial espionage. Her captors assume she’s part of the resistance movement, seeking to bring down the group of multinational corporations that rule the country. She is imprisoned, interrogated and tortured, and ultimately sold as a slave to a senior corporate exec, Mistress NightMaire. She becomes a pleasure slave to be used for the entertainment of guests and clients.

Meanwhile she discovers a friend of hers, Lorne, is also being held by Mistress NightMaire. And Lorne, it turns out, does have connections to dissident groups.

Cassie begins to plan her escape. But will she be able to find Lorne? Will she be able to join up with the dissidents? Can they change the world? And just as importantly, now she knows the capabilities of the Dress can she get her hands on another one?

Don’t miss this one! VelvetTripp

[Edited 1st Nov to add: read a short sample of the novel, which sets out some of the setting and characters, over at Fulani’s other blog – fulanismut.blogspot.com]

Bondage. Question: How does it Feel?

hogtied

Me, hogtied

On a Pagan camp during the summer I was asked ‘how does it feel?’ right after the question ‘are you OK?’ when the audience (we were doing a demo) saw me flat out, face down, hogtied and very, very quiet.

Very good questions. Of course, I was OK. They laughed when the tone of my reply (‘I’m OK,’) was so obviously one of bliss. And that’s how it felt. My introduction to the world of BDSM at the tender age of forty+ was a bondage demo in a club. A Goth club. I watched a man tying up someone and fancied trying it. I was impressed to see he was monitoring his charge as he progressed with the tying. His approach was safety-led, ensuring no tendons or joints were under too much pressure, that arms and legs were in safe positions and his charge could breathe properly.

So I had a go while friends watched to ensure my safety, as this man was a stranger. The club was packed. Big Goth boots walked around me hogtied on the floor. Goth music blared out loudly. Weirdly in such circumstances I felt…spaced out. It was such a strange feeling. Unexpected but really good. Much better than I’d anticipated. As someone who has done a lot of meditation and has had hypnosis, this felt like some kind of trance. I was blissed out! In the middle of a busy club! I still am not sure why this should be. Is it to do with being swaddled as a baby and being tightly bound made me feel safe? Is it that I had always had to be in control in my daily life as a single mother and business manager, so here was a chance to give up control and relax? I think maybe it’s a little of each.

One thing it wasn’t and isn’t is scary. Fulani was that stranger. He is now my partner. I still enjoy being tied up. He still enjoys doing it. My birthday this year will be special, as we’ve been invited to a Rope Bondage party that very day. Fun! Scary is actually something I like when we’re playing, but bondage alone doesn’t do that. Mind-fucks do that. And they aren’t physically dangerous.

Bondage is only one aspect of BDSM, and it would be a while before I gradually found out about some of its other delights. Fulani has many years more experience than I, and has always treated me with the utmost respect. Our BDSM is a game. We do not ‘live the lifestyle’ that some choose to, but still get a lot out of it in terms of pleasure, as well as it making our relationship stronger. That’s because of the levels of trust involved. Trust is a very important issue when it comes to BDSM. As the submissive, I give my power over to Fulani whenever I put my collar on and we play. If I give him my safeword, I know that he will instantly stop what he’s doing and release me or check with me what’s wrong. This is VITAL. I might feel ill. I might feel upset. I might feel that a rope is too tight or pressing somewhere it shouldn’t. Rope can damage tendons if it presses on them for too long. Your top or Dom needs to know what he/she is doing and be able to correct a problem quickly.

So if you want to try bondage, you should trust the person who is tying you up, be certain they will respect your limits and have a safeword in case you need it for any reason at all. Communicate with your top. Tell them if something hurts when it shouldn’t. Tell them if you suddenly feel scared or upset.  Of course, if you are playing with pleasure/pain as well as bondage, ‘ow’ will not suffice. Be specific and say ‘The knot on my wrist is digging in,’ if that’s what’s happening, so he can correct if for you.

But as for how it feels, two people at that demo had a go once I’d been released. They both experienced the same blissful feeling as I did. They had never ventured into the BDSM world before. I can’t guarantee you will but how will you know if you don’t try it? And don’t forget to try something twice, just in case it was done badly  the first time!

VelvetTripp