Carter/Johnson Leather Library April 2011 - Volume 1 - Issue 4
Support The Library
You can support us by becoming a member of the Library, linking to our website, shopping at our e-store or making a donation directly to the Library. You can also make a donation directly to the Library Van Fund.
A Special Thank You:
The Library would like to thank:
- Master Ron K.
- Dove DeLovely
- Mistress FireCat
Their generous donations will help with the Library travel.
Randall and T. Polhemus Serpents Tail Pub, London 1988
Publications LTD, London
These two new acquisitions are a wonderful addition to the growing body modifications selection of the Library.
“The Customized Body” is a beautifully illustrated tome that covers a wide range of examples of how man has used his creativity to make his outer covering match his inner feelings, ideals and fetishes.
The book talks about and shows artistically photographed examples of non-permanent body art, like painting and henna, and continues through the spectrum to hair and nail modification, tattoos, piercings, costuming and even gender play.
The writers touch on the many reasons people and cultures use the body as an artistic canvas and includes a brief statement from each of the models photographed.
“Body Art Magazine” strikes me as being the English version of Fakir Musafar’s famous magazine series “Body Play.”
With a beautiful eye-catching color cover, the magazine features articles and accompanying illustrations. Issue number 7 includes:
- Interview with Tattoo artist Frank Webber
- An illustrated article on female nipple development
- A fascinating interview with Hans from Copenhagen, replete with illustrated and humorous suggestions on how to creatively use a septum piercing.
I was so very delighted with this magazine that more were hunted down. The library now has issues two, three, four and seven and we hope that a more complete collection can be acquired in the months to come.
One of my great joys is taking people through the Library and showing them the many hidden gems of kink history that are on the shelves. Exploration and discovery often lead to the question, “Can you tell me more about this?”
Tales from the Librarian
The travel season for the Library has started with a bang. Since the last newsletter, the library has been bustling with activity.
In 2010, the Library was invited to Tulsa, Oklahoma to take part in an event called Xpressions of Tulsa, put on by Master Malik and his slave Cathy. They tried for almost a year to raise the money needed to move the entire Library, but could not come up with the funds. Malik called me so very disappointed.
But … just because the entire Library couldn’t travel to Tulsa didn’t mean that at least some of the Library couldn’t be there. I told Malik not to worry, Xpressions would have a large exhibit of kink history with a special section on Oklahoma and T.U.L.S.A.Xpressions Of Tulsa
Tuesday morning March 8th, I packed the car with four portfolio cases of art and posters, two containers of rare books, two more containers of books and magazines covering the last 100 years of kink and a folding 4×8 display board and got on the road for Jill’s and my home state of Oklahoma. Drove to Nashville and spend the night with my old friend Mistress Kaye, formerly of Atlanta, Georgia, Then on to Oklahoma the next day.
It felt so good to be back home again. Though Jill and I are Jersey girls born and raised, we lived in Tulsa for almost 10 years. Oklahoma is the state we still consider home, and T.U.L.S.A. will always be our home club. After five days of love and laughter with old friends, a wonderful reception for the Library’s history exhibit and 75 people in the “Leather History Show and Tell” class it was time to head back to Tennessee.
The exhibit and I arrived back at the home of Mistress Kaye and spend an evening showing all the treasures in the back of my car to the combined munch groups in the Clarksville / Nashville area. About 45 people attended and at least a third of the group was teachers and students from two of the local colleges. The evening was spent exploring, touching and talking about kink history. I arrived home early Thursday morning.
After a day of rest it was off to downtown Philly for an I.Ms.L. fundraiser and then to Baltimore for a special gathering of the women’s group “Just Us Women in Kink.” The guest of the night was Mistress Mir. Her talk that evening was filmed by our own tech-person Mistress Khiki. It is being edited now and will be the first interview that will be added to the library website. “Just Us” has graciously allowed the Library to come and film the guest speakers, preserving the stories of the amazing women who come to share their lives at these events.
The next day, Max, Jaki and I were off to the Crucible. Frazier had previously offered to donated a large portion of the books and magazines residing on the Crucible shelves to the Library. The afternoon was spent sorting through almost a thousand books and magazines. Because of Frazier’s generous donation the Library inventory is five boxes of books and magazines richer. Thank you Frazier.
On the 26th of March boy Robi took the traveling exhibit to Baltimore for C.L.A.P. The exhibit delighted the attendees.
On April 1st a special fundraiser was held for the Library by Dove DeLovely. It was definitely girl’s night out. Dove showed about 30 of her beautiful hand woven collars, and invited a number of other venders to join her showing and selling their wares to about 40 women.
Those not visiting the vendors got to watch International Ms Leather 2005, Jessi Holmanhart “teach” a class in erotic dance. Believe me there was not a dry “Ahem” lap in the house. Jessie donated all her tips to the Library as did the pride of the Bootblack Brigade Amelia Chan. That evening, $285.00 was raised. Thank you Dove.
Home just in time to participate in a telephone interview for the internet talk show Bent Radio hosted by Aurora Jones. The wires were buzzing as Mistress Mir, Spoken, and I discussed our lifestyle, Spoken’s new book and the Library.
Just when I thought there would be time for filing, inventory, rearranging the Library storage units and preparing the Library for an appearance at BootCamp in mid May, a call came from the University of Chicago and their official BDSM group R.A.C.K.
R.A.C.K. had contacted the Library earlier this year and had invited us for a visit during their up coming fall semester. Their student advisor however thought this spring semester would be a better opportunity.
Ssooooo, A very full van, one car, Max, Jaki, Robi and I are preparing to leave on the 22nd of April for our first college presentation. We will spend four days on campus and then move the entire Library to LRA and be hosted by Trident Windy City for another three days before coming home, doing some laundry and then heading off to BootCamp the following week.
News of Chicago and BootCamp in the next newsletter.
Until then …
Tell Me More About …
The Justice Weekly
The Justice Weekly was an 8 ½ by 11, 16 page newspaper published in Toronto Ontario Canada and distributed across the United States. It had a publication run from 1964 to about 1972. What made the Justice Weekly unique was its content.
The paper covered news that was, by and large, considered far to risqué or just plain sexual for others to print. If a man was arrested and found to be wearing his wife’s underwear, it was written about in the Justice Weekly.
If a “bawdy house” was raided by the police, all the details were to be found in the Justice Weekly. Cross dressing, fetishism, S&M all had a prominent place in this newspaper and its bigger brother The Justice Monthly.
I remember hearing conversations about the paper during my kinkling years in the early 1970’s and how sad the old timers were that the paper had gone out of business. I didn’t understand at the time how the demise of one publication could upset so very many people.
After all, The United States had tabloids, The Tattler, National Enquirer, The Mirror, and a host of others all ran titillating and sensationalized stories about Hollywood and a myriad of other topics as well.
I asked a few friends and mentors about the newspaper and if anyone had an old copy that I could read. It was explained to me that the J.W. as it was affectionately called, was not a newspaper that anyone really kept; rather it was read, make that devoured, and then thrown away.
Nuts, so much for finding out what all the excitement was about. I filed the conversations and my interest about the newspaper in the back of my mind, and stopped thinking about it.
Almost a decade later, I had the privilege of serving a couple who’s kink history stretched well back into the 1940’s. How the topic if the Justice Weekly first came up I cannot remember, but I can still remember my owner saying to me that she met her husband through an ad in the Justice Weekly.
“WOW, your kidding?” was my response. Much to my surprise, not only did both husband and wife have fond memories of the J.W. there were even old copies in the play closet. A few minutes later my owner came back with a brown paper bag filled with very fragile newsprint. “Here” she said, “Have a look.”
I sat down at the table and gently pulled this stack of newsprint out of its container. On top of the pile was a paper from 1961. Its headline was “Sadistic Sex Offender” and right below it, “4 Teachers Fired for Doing Twist”. OK, I thought and continued reading.
I got to page nine and realized another part of what made this paper so special. Running for the next three or four pages was a “Boy Meets Girl, Girl Meets Girl. Boy Meets Boy” section.
I read through the pages of ads laughing at much of the wording. “Sincere couple seeks others interested in topics written in this newspaper”. Today we would have said “Kinky couple seeks other kinky folk for fun, games and who knows what else”. But I did understand just how radical these pages probably were, especially in the 1950’s.
I was shown the ad that had brought two people I adored together. Then the greatest “in crowd” secret was revealed. My owner bent the paper vertically in half and put it into her purse with only the top third of the paper showing.
If all you saw was the newspapers logo and name, your first thought as an observer would be that the person carrying the purse or briefcase was somehow connected to the justice profession; lawyer, judge, legal secretary. “This is how we met each other.” she went on to say. “Those who knew, KNEW!” WOW! I was holding the forerunner to the hanky code. This was how flagging was done decades ago.
Many years later I was asked to come and speak in Toronto. The promoters asked me what I wanted as my fee for the appearance. At the time I was on the board of directors of the Leather Archives and Museum. I knew that one of my mentors, Tony DeBlase, and another good friend and fellow board member would give much to get their hands on an original copy of the Justice Weekly. That is what I asked as my fee; a copy the paper.
On my arrival I was presented with not one, but fifty issues. Each had been copied and the original preserved. I made three sets of these precious copies; one for myself, one for Tony and one for Gayle with the Archives getting the originals. Over the years I have added to the number of copies found.
Now seventy copies are in the library for a all to view.
Points of View:
Kink & The Next Generation Perspectives – by Jaki Grier
Disclaimer: I don’t have authority to speak for everyone who identifies as kink or The Next Generation. Nor do I believe my definitions for both groups are universally accepted. However, as a person under 35 who is navigating the kink community, I have noticed a disconnect that really boils down to failing to understand the opposite point-of-view. My goal is to take situations and phrases then give a side-by-side explanation of both group’s perspective about the subject.
A TNG Perspective on Labels
I meet someone new and I give them my label. We all do it. “I’m Master’s pet.” or “I am a sadist and a Dominant.” After I say my label, then this person sits there and tells me all the ways that I’m not a “real” whatever because that’s not what that word means. Then they give me dictionary definitions, their opinions or personal anecdotes all meant to give me evidence that what I choose to call myself is wrong.
They give this information like I’m going to jump up and say, “Thank you, stranger! Thank you for knowing me better than I know myself!.” And it frustrates me to no end.
Then there are times when I meet some person who claims to be One Thing that to me looks like Something Else. Most times I don’t say anything. But sometimes I give books, information, and tales about my life to illustrate the nuisances of That Label. And it’s the same thing isn’t it? Haven’t we all done this? Why do we feel comfortable imparting wisdom to others but get upset when people question us?
When you break it down, it comes to one question. “What does That Label mean to you?” Asking this is a beautiful way to find out WHY someone choose that word. Even if you don’t agree with the 18 year old who calls himself a Master, would you feel less angry when you find out it’s because he has to be the parent in his home?
Maybe a Master to him means a caretaker who protects his family. You may feel differently about him. You are beginning to understand him. Or if she tells you she is a slave because she feels most loved when she is needed? It may resonate with you or it might not. You don’t have to agree with it to appreciate their reason.
What would you think about the Master who tells you they feel a strong need to serve? Or the slave who is a natural leader?
We defy expectations all the time. We’re all made up of our memories and experiences. We make a little pile of them and say, “This pile is This Label.” And people come by and want to argue the semantics for our personality filing system.
This is not to say that words shouldn’t have concise definitions that promote clarity. A label is supposed to be a shorthand method of expressing larger ideas. Yet, some things are more difficult to define.
No one will ever 100% agree how to define “chair” but does that stop you from enjoying a rest in a comfortable recliner? You might not be able to encompass everything that “chair” means but you sure as hell know when you’re sitting on the floor.
Agreement doesn’t mean people are compatible and the reverse is just as true. Even if you change someone’s mind, what then? Do they fall into your arms? Are you destined for a deeper relationship? No, you’ve just come to
an agreement about a definition. Nothing more. You don’t lose anything from having different definitions. But you gain so much when you ask questions. Labels are these funny little word-boxes we create to hold aspects of who we are and the only way to understand the contents is to peek inside.