Carter/Johnson Leather Library February 2011 - Volume 1 - Issue 2
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Published in Germany: Verlag der Kulturforschung, 1932. German Book
The Library has just acquired this pristine, rare first edition. “Erziehungs Flagellantismus” is a marvelous illustrated examination of flagellation, corporal punishment, male and female domination, legs, stockings, lingerie, bondage, spanking and buttock fetishism.
This beautiful tome is filled with unique “amateur” photographs, drawings, paintings and illustrations, many of which had not to be seen until published in this book.
Though most of the illustrations are in black and white, within its pages are also some hand painted illustrations. These illustrations are actually glued into the book on their own pages. A few of them look like they were done yesterday and so beautiful they could take your breath away.
With the rise of fascism in Germany, this publisher, specializing in books on sexuality and the nude, would cease to exist soon after the release of this book, seen by the government as decadent and unworthy to be part of Germany’s future.
This major work, which almost 80 years later, is still considered an important visual contribution to the subjects we love. Come visit the Library and see, hold and read this beautiful piece of our history for yourself.
Happy Valentine’s Day!
LPN Names CJLL as Beneficiary
The Leather Pride Night committee has chosen the Carter/Johnson Leather Library as one of the beneficiaries of this years charity auction.
The auction will take place Saturday evening, June 18th as part of New York City’s Leather Pride Weekend. Thank you, LPN!
Tales from the Librarian
There are wonderful things being planned for the Library. First, we’re going to have a special book case for Ziggy’s Corner, the Library’s new “Take a Book/Leave a Book” program.
The idea for the program developed because of a donation we received. A few months ago, Ziggy Ziegler donated four boxes of books to the Library. The content has enriched the Library collection. His donation included about fifteen books which the Library already owned. As you might expect, the Library has a number of duplicate books on its shelves. They’ve been acquired from a wide variety of sources: donations (as with Ziggy’s), gifts, sales and auctions, used book stores and even from fund-raising baskets at events in our community.
I got to thinking about those books, as well as the incredible spirit of this most recent donation, and its donor. That very same day, two of the Library’s TNG asked to borrow books they could not afford to buy. One of those books was a duplicate included in Ziggy’s donation. I heard the message I think Fate was sending me, and the idea for Ziggy’s Corner was born.
We’re going to start a “Take a Book/Leave a Book” program in the Library. In the next few months, the staff will be going through the Library collection and getting all the duplicate books together. They will be shelved together on a specially-marked bookcase. Members of the Library will be allowed to take a book from that shelf, but must leave a book for someone else. The value of the book taken doesn’t have to match the value of the book left behind. You just have to leave a book for another person to take. The contents of the bookcase will vary from event to event and, perhaps, even from day to day.
When I discussed the idea with Ziggy, he was delighted. He responded, “What a great honor….it so fits my love of education and support of personal growth….and of making the lives and experiences of others accessible to those who wish to learn, or just plain enjoy, the writings of others.”
I hope to interview Ziggy and his Mistress the next time that they are in the Library.
The second piece of exciting news is that we’re going be creating podcasts about the comings and goings of the Library, and the people who come through it. They’ll be posted on our website (www.LeatherLibrary.org).
Our own interviewer, Ms Khiki, is excited about the planning of a series of interviews she’s going to be conducting with our guests (Next Generation and “old folks” alike) about their experiences at events and in the Library. Next time you are at an event, stop in the Library and say “hello”. You never know when you may be heard on one of the podcasts! We look forward to welcoming you.
The Bishop Collection
This past Christmas I was given a very rare set of magazines. Starr and her partner Shokalata gifted me with a 14 magazine collection of the work of Bob Bishop.
The Bishop, as he was called, was an artist whose work is not well known to recent leather generations. Yet his artistic influence can be seen in the work of Olivia, Sorayama, the women of Ray Castro and many other fantasy fetish artists today. His untimely death in 1991 left the North American S/M, leather fetish community shocked, and the California community at a complete loss.
Just about everyone who came out in kink before 1990 and had an interest in female bondage knew the work of The Bishop. His pen and ink style conveyed emotion and detail. Bishop women were both excited and frightened by their situations.
His knowledge of bondage showed in the little, often unnoticed details of his pictures; the way a mouth actually stretches because of a ball gag, or the way the flesh really flexes under the ropes. His women were not as soft and femininely fragile as John Willie, nor as hard edged and wicked as Gene Bilbrew. His women were … Bishop’s.
I remember first seeing his work in Centurion catalogues in the early ’70’s. It didn’t take long for me to start buying the catalogues not to look at the toys for sale, but at the art work showing the toys. Soon after, I discovered a comic drawn by Bishop called “Fanni Hall”, and I became a fan for life. Bishop
Art was a major influence in the fantasies and play behavior of my leather generation. We shaped many of our predicaments in the playroom on the artistically interpreted fantasies of John Willie, Eric Stanton, Gene Bilbrew, and Tom of Finland.
Did you have a pony girl fantasy? You looked no farther than the work of John Willie. Were you looking for the stern faced mistress of your dreams? Until she walked into your life, you could stare at the art of Eric Stanton. Want to tie up or get tied up? Bishop was the artist of choice.
Have I piqued your interest? In the precious box of Bishop Magazines are:
- Bishop The Art of Bondage 1 and 2
- Bishop on Bondage 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5
- The Bishop Photo Album
- Five Books of the Adventures of Fanni Hall
- And a few other surprises you will have to come to the Library to find out.
See you in the Library!
Points of View:
Leather & The Next Generation Perspectives – by Jaki Grier
Disclaimer: I don’t have authority to speak for everyone who identifies as Leather 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 Leather Community, I have noticed a disconnect that really boils down to failing to understanding 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.
“Let’s talk about safety”
People talk about playing safe in terms of BDSM activities. It’s important that everyone understand there is no safe BDSM activity. None. All the classes, workshops, training and personal lessons are meant to give you information to make informed decisions about the level of risks and their consequences. When you spank someone, have unprotected sex with your partner, hang from flesh hooks or whip someone’s back, there is a potential for physical and physiological harm.
It would behoove us all, older Leather and the Next Generation to remember that the danger is part of the allure. I think sometimes we forget. We say, “My kink is safe because I wear gloves and use condoms but what YOU do isn’t.” Perhaps some older community members have forgotten the mistakes of their youth. Perhaps younger eyes entering this realm are shocked by the wide variety available and point at others accusingly.
Everyone, it’s time to take a step back. If you are playing right… it ain’t safe. Taking it out of a BDSM context, when people truly share a moment together there is no safety. Trust, honesty, and love are not for the faint of heart.
You can not say, this is less safe than that because there are too many factors involves. Factors like who the people are, their backgrounds, why they are sharing their activity and so much more. From the outside, your input only serves to further separate us but outside of this community, the world thinks we are all monsters.
We are creatures who bring unrest to society which makes everyone else feel unsafe. If you are with us, embrace your part. Being unsafe is not a negative thing if it is purposely chosen. Being unsafe is scary for us to identify with because we are taught that safe means protection.
What are you protecting yourself from? The relationship you yearn for? The potential of your desires? Your destiny? The best orgasm of your life? In that light, is safety really what we should strive for?safety pin
The fear, excitement, and adrenaline of BDSM create a mixture that is addictive. Sometimes our addiction leads to a complacent attitude where we believe that our kink is safe. That is when mistakes can happen.
People fear the newbie with their unsteady hands learning to place needles. You should also fear the veteran who thinks they know it all so well that they don’t look closely at their hands. In order to appreciate the beauty of our opportunity to learn, we have to first accept the danger involved.
For those involved in power exchange relationships, do not think for a moment that there is no danger in playing inside the mind and heart of another human being; recognize the danger a slave feels when they finally surrender to whatever demons might be lurking inside their Master. This is just as deadly as a loaded gun against the temple. The potential for harm is very real and must be acknowledged with full awareness.
Fear is not meant to be hold us back from our desires. That fear should fuel our passion for play and our desire for preservation. Once we’re acknowledged that what we do is not safe, we have to educate ourselves.
Enjoying the danger does not negate our responsibility to learn skills and techniques. There is no safe way to whip someone’s flesh. However, there are places on the human body that can not stand the blow of a whip. Learn them. Use that knowledge to inform how and why you whip your partner. Use that knowledge to decide how and where you’ll allow yourself to be hit. Preservation of yourself and your partner will help ensure you can continue to play another day.
Just as you realize these activities are not for the overly-cautious, an added extension of that is the duty to prevent unintended harm. You can not be safe. You may not always be sane. And even consensual becomes a gray area. But you can make informed decisions based on personal experience and additional resources. You can use your best judgment and assess your particular situation.
Most importantly, since all these activities are unsafe, we each have to make judgments about how we wish to play. You have the right to be risky. You have the right to break the “rules”.
Many of the older Leather generation have personal stories they can share with you that would shock even the most fearless TNGers. Many of them will also tell you that there were incredible high points. Some of the most amazing experiences of their lives are our collective community horror stories. High on mind altering drugs, play with loaded weapons, inches from death and soaring from the connections that would not have been possible without the risk.
They survived and will gladly tell you not to follow their footsteps. But they also look back fondly as if to say, “But I’m still here.” Yet that contrasts to the many people who lived on the edge and fell away because of preventable measures and misjudgments.
As TNGers, we feel the weight of your responsibility, like a parent over a child. How it must feel to see us struggle and remember how many good people were lost in the pursuit of their demons.
Yet, we are adults making decisions for our lives and we deserve the space to do so. With that, comes our responsibility to look at the experiences of those around us so that our haste to enjoy life doesn’t shorten it. Our partners have the right to expect skill and intention from us. We have the right to demand knowledgeable abandonment of the “rules”.
Recognizing that there is an deadly allure to these taboo games does not absolve us from educating ourselves. Safety is gone once you step into this community but the ability to make informed choices is all we can hope for, even if the ultimate choice is to embrace the danger within.