is sex for your brain -
Some days, I wonder how funny old European countries, ones that went through fascist dictatorships and religious persecutions, could end up being so much more sexually progressive than the U.S.
Especially when I read stories, like this one.
I'm mad about old-fashioned lobby cards. The cheesy art is often hilarious. Just spotted this, and clicked on it expecting some silliness involving Moe, Larry and Curly. You mean there are OTHER stooges? WTF. And what's with Snow White putting someone in bondage? And why does he look like a Neanderthal?
Has anyone, perchance, seen this cinematic gem?
Interesting article about a new London art show. Apparently one of the Russian czars (Nicholas, if you must know) kept such erotic works as his own little porn cache. Just think: you download yours to disk - he got to hang these on his walls.
It's good to be the czar.
"The Triumph of Eros: Art and Seduction in 18th-Century France," a show that demonstrates through paintings, engravings and sculptures how the French turned loving into an amusing pastime.
....most of the 100 works on display were collected in the early 19th century for the private pleasure of Czar Nicholas I of Russia.
The story of the guy with the mannequin fetish, who busts through display windows to grab the inanimate objects of his lust has been traveling around the blogosphere for a bit but now he's finally been sentenced. What caught me was the diagnosis. I wonder who came up with the name for this fetish.
Just what kind of treatment does she think a guy with a super-rare fetish is going to GET in prison? Cruel and violent men treating him like a statue isn't exactly a cure....
Everything (well, almost) you need to know about every girl's best friend.
I'm speechless about this one, so I'll just clip the article and let you have the joy of reaching your own conclusions...
An Australian psychologist....told a court on Tuesday that forcing his female patient to wear a dog collar and call him master was within a psychologist's ethical guidelines.
...Beaton was arrested when police, who had been secretly video recording the session with the woman, heard whipping sounds, reported Australian Associated Press from the court.
Beaton told the court he resorted to master-servant treatment with his bulimic patient because other methods had failed. He said he thought forcing the woman to wear a dog collar and call him master would build a more trusting relationship....
...scientists in Singapore have found certain types of light can make jumping spiders attractive to the opposite sex.
Writing in this week's issue of Science, the researchers said that when bathed in ultraviolet light, different parts of male and female jumping spiders glowed, making them appear sexually attractive....
Interesting little follow-up news about the visit that Mike Jones (now writing a book about the experience) paid to the church where his former trick, Rev. Ted Haggard, preached.
"A couple of ladies cried when they were touching me," Jones said. "I was thanked for exposing the church, for helping Ted Haggard. A couple of them said they hoped I get God into my life. And they all said 'God bless you,' every one of them." ....
The Dutch are currently upset by a proposed new dating reality show which matches visibly disfigured adults.
Although I generally dislike reality shows - mainly because they tend to pick idiots I wouldn't want to spend ten minutes with in real life, thereby making me that much less likely to want to welcome them into my living room via television - and though I understand that people feel this exploits people with handicaps, I am kind of intrigued by the idea of a show which features disfigured adults. Why not encourage minorities we usually isolate and consign to loneliness to step into the light and be part of the larger pop culture?
It doesn't sound as if the producers are doing this as a post-modern freak show, where participants are put on stage so audiences can laugh or jeer or gasp in horror. If that was the point, then yeah, I'd be all for stopping this before it airs. But this could be a useful lesson in diversity. We usually only see the beautiful few on dating shows - sending the message that only the beautiful are desirable and loveable.
It's fine to worship beauty, as long as you don't confuse a phenomenon with a norm. People who don't look the way we expect people to look are socially ostracized, forced into a closet. More than that, people look at the visibly disfigured with a primitive type of suspicion, as if there's something spiritually or morally wrong with them. Seems to me the ones who are protesting this the most may well be the people who should be forced to watch this show. Maybe if they got to hear the stories from, and develop some emotional rapport with, people they would otherwise avoid or stare right past on the street, they might discover for themselves that the way you look does not define who you are or what aspirations you should possess.
I think we should encourage everyone to come out of hiding and the only way to do that is to take bold new steps to encourage them to do so. If it upsets people to see those who don't fit the norm, you know what? Good. Let them be upset and then let them get over it. Let them see that people with physical challenges or disabilities are just as real, just as human, just as deserving of love and romance as anyone else. Let them get used to the idea that physical beauty is not a moral value, just a lucky throw of the genetic dice. Besides, as anyone who has a friend or relative with visible handicaps knows, the better you get to know them the less you notice the handicap.
We give a lot of lip-service to the saying "beauty comes from within." The time's long overdue to put that saying into action.
The artist known as the Pavement Picasso. (I love these street illusions!)
And now, some work I've been agog to share. The fantastic imagination of Felicien Rops (1833-1898) makes his work feel almost contemporary. The Wikipedia entry on Rops is just ok. A MUCH better read:
Musee Felicien Rops is located in an 18th century residence and is dedicated to Felicien Rops, famous painter, engraver and illustrator born in Namur. In his works, you can quickly see his favorite subjects, - woman, love, passion, death and the devil....In 1856 he founded the satirical weekly Uylenspiegel, and this marked the true beginning of his artistic career. Rops’ main works were engravings and illustrations, but in his leisure time he created many beautiful paintings of women and soft landscapes. His major works were very strange, to say the least. He was a lover of the fantastic and the supernatural. Symbolic themes such as the devil, skeletons and death dominated his work. Many demonstrated his belief that women dominated men and the devil dominated women....
Possibly one of Rops best known pieces is Pornokrates (1858) a naked woman, blindfolded, wearing only black stockings, gloves and shoes, walking on a marble stage, being lead by a pig on a leash.....
Herewith that fabulous work and many more to delight you. I'll have to divide Rops into a few posts since his work is very widely catalogued. By the way - anyone notice the name of his satirical magazine (Uylenspiegel) is the same as the long-established NY SM organization (Eulenspiegel)? Interesting coincidence that both were influenced by the same legendary character. I guess kinky minds DO think alike - even across the centuries.
A little 19th century tentacle sex...
A couple of fascinating crucifixions....
An interesting form of hydro-therapy...
And a fabulously sinister female...
As I merrily surfed antique erotica, I came across a handful of images so odd and expressive that, although I could not find attributions, I decided they had to find a little home here, alongside the works of Rowlandson, Gillray and Ramberg.
First, this 1798 drawing of a "virgin sacrifice to Priapus" (the god of fertility - or, more accurately, the god of the permanent erection!). Note the girl on the right? What is that little vixen doing? OHH.
Also from 1798, and positively surreal, is this drawing, titled "Ailing King Phallus."
And proving that everything new is really very very old, two cartoons about cuckolding. The first one shows a man selling his wife (note the bull's horns over the husband's head: horns are a traditional symbol of cuckoldry in art. Read about the old English practice of Wife-selling here.
This parody of heraldic orders is called "The Order of Cuckoldry."
I have neither a date nor attribution for this one but it certainly looks of the period...and reminds us yet again that modern people didn't invent sex....
And that brings the heady 18th century to a close for now.
But wait! There's more. A 19th century artist whose work will blow you away.
Stayed tuned: Felicien Rops is coming soon.
(Gee, I'm feeling punny today....)
Over in Germany, 18th century Hanoverian artist Johann Heinrich Ramberg (1763 - 1840) produced a number of explicit works during the same years Rowlandson and Gillray were working. Ramberg was especially hard to track down - the bio I found was on Wikipedia's German-language site. Here are a handful of his bawdy offerings.
Finally, what appears to be a bar game in which a nude women picks up cherries while drinkers enjoy the show.
James Gillray (1757-1815) was a more successful, widely hailed contemporary of Rowlandson, and a mentor to Rowlandson. Reknowned for his biting satires, Gillray's work was decidedly political, to a point where most contemporary viewers (myself included) don't quite get all the jokes. Despite this, the images remain humorous. Perhaps the best example - and his most famously naughty one - is this:
I was hard-pressed to find more than a handful of his truly naughty works. Here are a couple that spankers will enjoy...
Corset fans should enjoy these two....
Some miscellaneous naughtiness:
These are the "three graces" - in a strong wind:
A rumor about lesbianism among the royals yielded this cartoon:
We can still laugh at this one, though it's good to know that a woman straddling a horse - instead of riding side-saddle - was considered scandalous in its day. The joke about the way to "stretch it" is a bona fide 18th century pun.
(The text, as best I can make out: Woman: "Pray, Sir, is this the way to Strechit?" Man: "Shiver my top-sails, my Lady, if I know a better way.")
At a reader's request, starting today I'll consolidate the art to limit the overall number of posts, putting half a dozen images in each, give or take.
I'm starting with the famous late 18th century English caricaturist (I guess we'd call him a cartoonist today) Thomas Rowlandson (1756 – 1827). In addition to publishing biting political and social satires in popular magazines of the era, Rowlandson published a large collection of explicit erotica. Although efforts were made to suppress and censor his bawdy stuff, my on-line research yielded a trove of them (which suggests that far more work by him may still be in collectors hands). I have 23 explicit images by Rowlandson to share, so expect three more posts after this one. To us, they mainly look very naughty. Most of them are actually social or political satires with layers of meaning for readers of the period.
(Thanks to Mary for sending this bit of hilarity. Make sure you watch it to the end.)
Poor little fella!
Mozart, an iguana with an erection that has lasted for over a week, will have his penis amputated in the next couple of days.
Veterinarians at Antwerp's Aquatopia had sought to treat the animal's problem, but decided removal was the only solution because of the risk of infection. The good news for Mozart and his mates is that male iguanas have two penises....
Dare I ask what iguanas do with two? Do they offer the ladies simultaneous front-door and backdoor service? Or is every iguana mating a menage a trois?
Ah, if only we COULD talk to the animals....
Ever wonder why the study of sexuality hasn't advanced the way other sciences have advanced? Usually it's because the same benighted nuts who think gay people are box turtles shoot down any and all funding that would move our culture out of the dark ages on matters of sexuality. But sometimes it's organizations whose putative goals are humanitarian - or, in the case of PETA, animalitarian - which instinctively react with fear to research they don't understand.
There are so many reasons why Dr. Roselli's research could prove important to the field of sexuality. I understand PETA's protests about animal testing: yes, it would be fabulous if we could study healthy, live specimens only. But why PETA seemed to believe that the next step here would be eugenics is beyond me.
Here are just three of the good things that could come of Roselli's study (beyond the actual reasons he's conducting the research). 1. People might finally learn to accept that homosexuality is a NATURAL BIOLOGICAL phenomenon across many (if not all) species. 2. Instead of trying to "cure" gayness, which I doubt will ever work, farmers may finally realize that it's useless to try and force animals to go against their nature - and instead consign to other uses those rams who won't mate with ewes. 3. Science needs to know and understand more about actual sexual behavior across ALL species, based on facts culled from research, and untainted by folklore, myths, sexual phobia and religious repression.
Dr. Roselli, a researcher at the Oregon Health and Science University, has searched for the past five years for physiological factors that might explain why about 8 percent of rams seek sex exclusively with other rams instead of ewes. The goal, he says, is to understand the fundamental mechanisms of sexual orientation in sheep.....
But since last fall, when People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals started a campaign against the research, it has drawn a torrent of outrage from animal rights activists, gay advocates and ordinary citizens around the world — all of it based, Dr. Roselli and colleagues say, on a bizarre misinterpretation of what the work is about.
The story of the gay sheep became a textbook example of the distortion and vituperation that can result when science meets the global news cycle....