I’ve been quiet about the Ariel Castro case, and it’s not for lack of awareness of the case. It’s been on my mind a lot since the story broke in May. I was at DomCon LA when Michelle Knight, Amanda Berry, and Gina DeJesus were rescued. For those who don’t know, DomCon is an event that celebrates consensual adult behaviors that many people just don’t embrace. DomCon is a lively, playful event where you can indulge your fetish mind by buying porn, competing in The DomCon LA Pet Show and Awards, or taking a class called An Introduction to Psychological Warfare, to name a few options. And if you don’t understand it or don’t care for that kind of engagement, that’s fine. Part of consent means having your boundaries honored when you want or need to abstain from an activity or situation.

Ariel Castro’s case has fuck all to do with consent. Life in prison plus 1,000 years doesn’t seem like enough to me.

Where do I even begin to address my horror and disgust?

Is it because he said he’s not a monster, but a man with an addition to porn?

Maybe it’s because he claims that all of the sexual contact he had with Knight, Berry, and DeJesus was consensual, and that they weren’t virgins anyway.

It’s truly possible that my rage has something to do with the 92 pounds of rusted chain that were recovered from the rooms where Castro shackled his captives.

Or maybe it’s because this miserable, and admittedly sick, son of a bitch kidnapped three girls who he repeatedly raped, threatened, assaulted, and terrorized for a decade got away with it for so long, only to ask for forgiveness from them today for his actions. According to the New York Times piece released after Castro’s sentencing, he believes he has been unfairly characterized:

“These people are trying to paint me as a monster,” Mr. Castro said. “I’m not a monster. I’m sick.”

He apologized to the victims, and said that he was not a violent person and blamed his actions on addiction to pornography.

Earlier testimony from law enforcement officers on Thursday painted a picture of Mr. Castro as calculating, remorseless and sadistic, a man who kidnapped the three women, repeatedly beating and raping them, and often keeping them chained to a pole in the basement of his house.

Joshua Barr of the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation testified that Mr. Castro had a gun in the home and 92 pounds of chains that were used to restrain the women. Prosecutors also offered photographs from the home showing an elaborate system of alarms on the doors and a motorcycle helmet that Mr. Castro forced the women to wear when he raped them. Mr. Castro also made the women play Russian roulette and threatened them with a gun.”

Ariel Castro admits that he needed help-but he never got any. He didn’t seem to look for someone who might consent to extreme roleplay. No, he repeatedly violated these women and stole a decade from their lives. There is not a single element of this story that is OK. The Cleveland kidnapping case is so extreme that one of the only positive comments I’ve heard is “at least they’re all still alive.”

I might be into some bizarre and painful shit, but this is not the kind of person I am, and it’s not the kind of person who I would have found at DomCon nor any other respected fetish event. We might restrain one another in basements, we might stage elaborate kidnapping fantasies, we might engage in usual-and to some, disturbing-sexual practices, but the bottom line of our world is consent. There’s a reason we call it “play.” We encourage aftercare when a scene ends. In short, we don’t take by force and let people suffer through and after our play.

And yet, there is an upside in this nightmare in that Amanda Berry, Gina DeJesus, and Michelle Knight are moving on. I cannot possibly estimate what it will take to truly overcome this ordeal, but these women are incredibly resilient. Rather than use any more words of my own, I leave you with theirs:

XOXO OTK,

Dee

My mind was blown apart by an article the August 1995 issue of Spin magazine. The Internet was growing, and finding information about alternative sexual practices was still largely an effort of sniffing out and digging through tangible publications. I’d comb through Factsheet Five, the now long-defunct “zine to zines,” and thumb through the erotic photography and culture books in the basement of Tower Records on South St. for clues about fringe sexuality. I wanted to know about porn, about S/M (before I knew about “BDSM”), learn how to become a dominatrix, and discover how to modify my own body for additional pleasure while embracing methods of nontraditional beauty.

In other words, I sought the maps to the other worlds that were flickering in the distance of my mind. At 14, I knew that I had some peculiar interests, but I no idea where to go to deal with them-except to books and magazines.

And then that infamous 1995 issue of Spin, with a soaked Michael Stipe commanding the cover, appeared in my parents’ mailbox.

I don’t recall reading any of the music articles, but I read and re-read “Scar Lovers: Sex in the USA, Part One” by Eurydice in various sittings, repeatedly feeling washed over in arousal and horror. The idea of cutting a design into someone’s flesh seemed barbaric-and beautiful. I longed to find a BDSM club where I could explore cutting, blood play, and public punishment. I dreamed of getting Raelyn Gallina‘s work imprinted in my flesh. In contrast, I feared what these desires made me, particularly if it meant I might be socializing with people who are known for “going out in costume and dragging 15-year-old kids into the bathroom and raping them, ordering them to blow each other, that sort of thing,” as one of Eurydice’s subjects boasted.

While a recent read of the article still resonates with me, it does so much differently. Rather than fearing this odd world, I came to embrace it.  It took several stops and starts to finally feel comfortable with my kinky interests, but I can laugh at parts of the article now while still tapping into my initial reaction of primal desire.

I’m curious what other people think, and especially what impressions you get from “Scar Lovers.” Use Disqus to leave a comment now, or e-mail me at dee [at] fetishmovies.com.

XOXO,

Dee

I don’t even know why anyone on the Internet bothers to debate who made the best big screen Catwoman. Clearly, and unequivocally, this honor goes to Michelle Pfeiffer for her role as Selina Kyle/Catwoman in the 1992 Batman Returns. She radiates eroticism with an uncompromising ferocity that makes you want this villain to win. And that outfit is still to die for.

I love this scene that shows Selina’s transformation into her new identity:

Here is a montage of Catwoman’s slickest and sharpest moments throughout Batman Returns:

My imagination has been out of control lately. My mind is usually down deep in the gutter, but lately, it’s been working overtime. Not only have I been scheming on my own plans, I’ve been trying to draw my own map of kink development since my early days of being a teenage vampire aficionado. I’ve been poking around in buried memories, forgotten zines, and out of print books trying to stitch together my own story of how I got so perverted. I’m not trying to navel-gaze in front of y’all, but I do want to see who remembers some of these moments in pop culture and mainstream media.

I loved Six Feet Under and I was knocked out by handsome Justin Theroux’s brief appearance in it. Not only is this guy foxy as hell, but his kinky character is stubbornly lodged in my head and fantasies. I wish I had this issue to handle on a regular basis:

This clip is from Season Four and aired in summer of 2004. I was 23 and so not out about my interests when I watched this episode with my mom, and I’m sure I tried not to look excited when this scene played. 9 years later, while I’m not terrified of my perversions, I do still get flushed and hot over this scene. I only wish Justin Theroux had spent more of his acting career getting tied up in his briefs. If he ever wants to revisit this trope, I’d be happy to facilitate that in the privacy of my own home. With my own cameras. And Jen A. can come over to watch too.