Tuesday, July 27, 2010


Hulu is the second best place on the internet, folks (after yours truly, of course).  Not only does it allow me to watch Glee on my own time (read: when I'm alone so I can cry in peace when Kurt's dad vies for father of the year, or, you know, they come back from commercial or something), but it introduces me to documentaries like Fetishes.

you have to sign up and prove you're a grownup to watch it...you won't die from it

Fetishes is a notch on the belt of prolific BBC documentarian Nick Broomfield, auteur of such films as Kurt and Courtney and Aileen: Life and Death of a Serial Killer.  He embeds himself and a small camera crew, for two months, in Pandora's Box, a high-end S&M dungeon in New York City run by the inimitable Mistress Raven.

submit to the cheekbones, bitches

Now, it's relatively difficult to shock me.  I'm fairly knowledgeable about non-vanilla sexual practices, and while my eyebrows do raise from time to time, it's pretty rare that I have a true omigod-did-you-just-see-that?! moment.  While watching this film, I had at least two.  These ladies are not messing around.

See that cig she's got in that long holder in that picture up there?  She's happy to put that out on your tongue.  Don't get me wrong, I fully support and defend her right to put her cigarette out on your tongue, provided you've given her the thumbs up before doing so, but man...that is hard core.

...sexy?  Well, OK then!!

Clientele featured in the film range from a wealthy banker with latex/asphyxiation fetish to an extremely submissive and masochistic woman.  A man with self-reported obsessions with homicide and genocide who goes in to be degraded and humiliated in order to deal with the resulting anxiety - seriously degraded and humiliated.  Like, damn.  

There was one part, in particular, that I found fascinating and incredible and inspiring:  apparently, there is a section of the Jewish community that have Holocaust/Nazi fantasies.  This is not what's inspiring - stay with me here.  What was amazing was watching one of the mistresses interview a Jewish gentleman interested in this type of scenario.

A picture break is needed here, but I'm SO not trying to make a joke about Nazis

She asked him if he was interested in basic Nazi-themed humiliation, or if he wanted to go so far as to re-create a concentration camp scene (he chose the former).  If he wanted his mistress to use general slurs, or if he wanted specifically anti-Semitic language to be used (chose the latter).  She even asked if he'd had any family who had been killed in the Holocaust (he did).  

She explained to him the reason she was asking was so his mistress could gauge how far he wanted to take the session.  Explained that this type of session can get very, very intense, and that his emotional and physical safety is important.  All said in a very matter-of-fact tone, always being extremely respectful of the client and his wishes, no matter how she felt about what he was saying.  She also had a really sexy French accent, which didn't hurt at all.

everything is sexier in French

This woman normalized something that many people, myself included, find pretty shocking.  I have no doubt that this man felt some amount of shame for having the fantasy in the first place (he wouldn't allow his face to be shown on camera), but the mistress gave him a safe space to explore himself, to express what his insides needed to express in a way that was not harmful, except in ways he needed/wanted it to be.  Whatever his reasons for developing this fantasy (I worry he's dealing with a lot of internalized racism, but it's really none of my business), I'm glad he had a place to live it out safely.

Dominatrices: like therapeutic angels in PVC

I really enjoyed this film.  It wasn't afraid to show that some people with extreme fetishes indeed have them because of past trauma or abuse, but was also unafraid to show that others are just wired kinky.  A professional dominatrix may seem a strange role model for the world, but the acceptance and respect these women show while humiliating and beating the crap out of their clients is a lesson to us all.  


  1. Great doc by Broomfield. Seattle does _not_ have a high end full service dungeon for pro[fessional] dom[dom / domme] female on male. Heck, we don't have a high end full dungeon, at all. The Wetspot is an awesome resource, but there's absolutely no pro dom / domme allowed. And, not "high end" I'd say. The pro dom within Puget Sound exists in fairly hard to learn about very small mini-dungeons.

  2. Always always always something to learn on Chakabox! I had never thought of a lot of this... Nazi fantasy... wow.