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Marianne Breslauer’s gorgeous photos of queer, androgynous and butch women of the 1930s


 
The photography of Marianne Breslauer is striking for both its intimacy and its subjects—women, usually of the sleek, chic and gender-bending variety, posed to optimum androgynous elegance. A bohemian Berliner by birth, Breslauer studied under Man Ray for a time in Paris and achieved some commercial success before returning home to an increasingly volatile Germany. As a Jewish artist working in an obviously queer milieu, Breslauer eventually fled to Switzerland and retired from photography early, eventually marrying a man and becoming an art dealer.

Among the many beautiful faces captured by Breslauer was her dear friend, Swiss writer, journalist and photographer Annemarie Schwarzenbach, who she described as “neither a man nor a woman, but an angel, an archangel.” A libertine and rebel, Schwarzenbach defied her wealthy, Nazi-sympathizing family, funding anti-fascist publications and later supporting American unions at the height of the Depression—this is not to mention her adventures hitchhiking across India and Turkey, or the many lesbian affairs. Surviving addiction issues and a suicide attempt, Schwarzenbach nonetheless died at the young age of 34 after a fall from a bicycle, leaving behind a prolific body of work, 170 articles and 50 photo-reports.
 

 

 

 
More after the jump…

Posted by Amber Frost | Leave a comment
Vintage photographs of dominatrixes
06.27.2016
11:41 am

Topics:
Fashion
History
Sex

Tags:
dominatrix


1968
 
Here’s a gallery of vintage photographs of women dressed in dominatrix gear. Not all of the women pictured were necessarily dominatrixes by trade, some were no doubt fetish models for BDSM-style magazines back in the day. I’m digging the costumes, hairstyles and… the boots. Just look at those kinky boots!

I tried to keep this as safe for work as possible. But, you know, it might be a tad NSFW-ish because of the topic.


 

 
More after the jump…

Posted by Tara McGinley | Leave a comment
Switzerland to open Europe’s very first ‘fellatio cafe’
06.24.2016
10:54 am

Topics:
Food
Sex

Tags:
Switzerland
fellatio


 
An establishment where customers would receive oral sex while drinking lattes and cappuccinos is anticipated to open in Geneva, Switzerland, by the end of 2016.

The “fellatio cafe,” as it is being termed, is based on similar establishments in Thailand—the cafe would cater to men (yes, just men) ordering a coffee and choosing their preferred prostitute on an iPad.

The company behind the plan is called FaceGirl. For an upfront fee of £42 (about $60) patrons would receive a morning joe job while drinking their beverage at the bar.

A representative from the company named Bradley Charvet told the newspaper Le Matin that “In five or ten minutes, it’s all over.”

In Switzerland, prostitution is legal and sex workers are required to have permits to operate. Establishments with 2 or more prostitutes are required to register as massage parlors.
 
via Dazed

Posted by Martin Schneider | Leave a comment
Underground erotica: Konstantin Somov’s secret stash of gorgeous gay art
06.22.2016
01:22 pm

Topics:
Art
Queer
Sex

Tags:
gay
painter
Konstantin Somov
Russian


The Boxer (1933)
 
Russian painter Konstantin Somov isn’t very well known for the dreamy, homoerotic portraits you see here. He was a successful commercial artist from an artistic family, but his most acclaimed work might better be described as “retro,” or even “camp.” Somov was essentially a Rococo revivalist, forgoing the somewhat harsh realism that was popular in Russia at the time for a whimsical gouache and watercolor style that was nearly 200 years old—think big wigs and giant skirts, a lot of fussy-looking depictions of 18th century aristocracy. In some ways, his commercial work was even gayer than his gay boudoir scenes.

In Russia, Somov was an integral part of a thriving and lush arts community centered around a publication he co-founded—World of Art, which also included lavish costume and set design for the Ballets Russes. There were a lot of gay men involved in World of Art, and its predilection with fantasy and luxury were very much out of step with the 19th Century Russian Realism. After the Russian Revolution, Somov likely anticipated his work being denounced as decadent so he immigrated to the U.S. and then Paris. His commercial work is auctioned off for millions at Christie’s, but it’s his underground gay portraiture that’s got the cult following.
 

Naked Young Man (1937)
 

Portrait of A Man (1933)
 
More after the jump…

Posted by Amber Frost | Leave a comment
HUH? Kirsten Dunst made a sexy cover of the Vapors’ ‘Turning Japanese’


 
At the “Pop Life: Art in a Material World” exhibition that ran at London’s Tate Modern in 2009, there appeared an unusual video in which a major movie star vamped and pouted in the middle of a busy Tokyo thoroughfare while singing the Vapors’ surprise 1980 hit “Turning Japanese.” (You have probably heard the song on the radio countless times if you don’t also recall its use in comedy classics like Sixteen Candles and Romy & Michelle’s High School Reunion.)

The video showcased Kirsten Dunst, a multi-million-dollar Hollywood star best known for her appearances in the Tobey Maguire Spider-Man franchise. It was directed by McG (Charlie’s Angels, Terminator 4: Salvation) and produced by prolific Japanese pop artist Takashi Murakami, whose signature “superflat” style involves heavy use of turbo-sexualized images of women dressed up as little girls and women with exaggerated cleavage. Basically, Murakami’s work is like an overdose on the saccharine and cartoonish side of Japanese sexuality.
 

Murakami and Dunst cavort during the video shoot
 
True to form, in the video Dunst is wearing a neon blue wig, pink high heels, and revealing blue tights and is toting a parasol worthy of Penelope Pitstop herself. The video was shot in the hectic boulevards of Akihabara, a crowded and pulsating shopping neighborhood in Tokyo where electronics and video games are available.

As McG said at the time,
 

What made us select Akihabara for the filmis that it is a unique expression of Japanese culture that’s not derivative of an American domination. Of course you flip it by getting a very Anglo woman to play the part of the magical princess.

 
Watch the video after the jump…

Posted by Martin Schneider | Leave a comment
TV taboos: Things you can’t do on television, 1949 edition
06.08.2016
02:01 pm

Topics:
Drugs
Sex
Television

Tags:
censorship


 
I don’t know who wrote and photographed this guide to “Television Taboos” but it seems to have appeared in 1949, just as the new household technology of television was on the verge of staging a massive takeover of the American mindshare.

Taking a cue from the Hays Code that enforced strict standards of chastity and morality in the movie industry after 1934, TV producers after World War II were worried that a reputation for indecent programming would cause a severe backlash among the American viewing public. You may think of these censorious regimes as having died out long ago, Jimmy Fallon still can’t say the word “shit” at 12:25 a.m. on NBC—even in 2016. These taboos are deeply embedded. 

At the same time, it’s fun to imagine the gales of laughter you’d elicit if you tried to tell the producers of True Blood, Girls, or The Americans that they are henceforth forbidden from showing “too much leg” or sweaters that are too tight.

I really appreciate the tongue-in-cheek tone of the captions, which make a show of agreeing with the TV censors while winking at the reader (and showing exactly the things that TV isn’t supposed to show). Here are a few samples from the captions, all of which cleverly start with the word “TOO”:
 

TOO-HOT KISSING is a major television “Can’t Do!” Here she is wearing too little clothing. He isn’t allowed to put his hand around her waist. She mustn’t swoon.

TOO MUCH BUST is revealed in this shot, as you can see by the shocked expression worn by the director. Also she isn’t permitted to adjust her stocking on television.

TOO-GAY DRINKING scenes aren’t permitted by television censors for fear they’ll give the viewers some ideas. The actors mustn’t enjoy drinking.

 
Here’s the full magazine feature, just to remind you what not to do if you ever find yourself on TV in 1949…....
 

 

 
Much more after the jump….....
 

Posted by Martin Schneider | Leave a comment
Sex, drugs and terrible things: Lurid and decadent poster art from the bad old days
06.07.2016
03:16 pm

Topics:
Art
Drugs
Sex

Tags:
posters
Thomas Negovan


A Socialist “Murder of Crows” poster uses the horrors of war for its political agenda.

Thomas Negovan, the gallerist behind the quirky Los Angeles-based Century Guild specializes in Art Nouveau and the Symbolist movement. He’s an expert at tracking down weird and wonderful things and now he’s offering new “Patronage Prints” struck from rare images from his archives. The prints are produced in small editions and prices start under $50. The idea is to support the research and also make it so that affordable versions of what would otherwise be ungodly expensive can be appreciated without spending your life savings. (And if you want to do that, no problem, he can sell you the originals.)

The originals of these posters are excruciatingly rare works on paper; in some cases, the ones Century Guild have exist in quantities fewer than five and they’re primarily in museums.  They’re true “underground” modern art. When they were created, they were meant to be destroyed, not kept, but their designs and sensibilities permeated the underground art culture and informed works that blossomed decades—or a century—later. Their common thread is that they were once trash, but we recognize them today as incredibly modern treasures—and the reason is because of that underground influence.

They’re printed on 11” x 14” archival paper. Order from Century Guild.


Decadent Weimar-era icon Anita Berber seductively reveals her heroin injection marks in a 1919 film titled ‘Prostitution,’ its racy subject matter disguised under the auspices of being a “social hygiene film.”
 

A giant poster celebrating a 1907 novel studying the life—and death—of Nostradamus.
 

White Slavery was a hot button in popular culture, capitalized upon in this 1927 “grand adventure” film by legendary political illustrator Mihaly Biró.
 
More mayhem after the jump…

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
The delightfully sleazy sex paperbacks of the 1960s
06.03.2016
09:39 am

Topics:
Art
Books
Sex

Tags:
Feral House
pulp fiction
sexy


 
Last week I hipped a book dealer friend of mine to a decent estate sale score. As his “tip” to me for the heads-up he gifted me a nice-sized box full of old pulp fiction titles with an emphasis on lurid covers.
 

A few of the titles in my gift box.
 
The very same day, synchronicity dropped the new expanded edition of Feral House’s exhaustive study of Sixties sleazy sex paperbacks, Sin-A-Rama onto my doorstep.
 

Now available via Amazon.
 
If you have an interest in vintage erotic paperbacks, either from a literary standpoint or as a connoisseur of the tacky cover artwork, this book is an absolute must-own.

The bulk of Sin-A-Rama consists of hundreds of cover reproductions with date, publisher, author and artist credits. The photos alone make this worth the price of admission—so much delicious eye-candy. But what makes Sin-A-Rama an important work is the twenty-two essays on various aspects of the filthy book business, covering publishers, writers, artists, and themes. The majority of these essays are written by dirty novel experts Earl Kemp and B. Astrid Daley who clearly display an affinity for their subject through their comprehensive research. Sin-A-Rama also contains an index of publishers and authors (with their pseudonyms). The new “expanded edition” contains profiles on “Occult Sleaze,” “Swinging Sleaze,” and the “tawdry taboo stuff that sleaze literature fell into during the 1970s”  that were not included in the original edition.

There are so many titillating, shocking, and hilarious titles on display in Sin-A-Rama—so many I’d love to have in my own collection. Until I find that mother lode of sticky originals at some dirty old man’s garage sale, I’m satisfied to have the cover reproductions included herein.

Dig these kinky covers with their vivid depictions of lusty, busty sexpots:
 

 

 
Many, many more lurid pulp paperback book covers, after the jump…

Posted by Christopher Bickel | Leave a comment
Henry Rollins and Lydia Lunch in the erotic, violent ‘The Right Side of My Brain’ (NSFW)


 
Richard Kern was a big part of the underground cinema of the East Village in the 1980s. Among other things, he directed videos for Sonic Youth’s “Death Valley ‘69” (which featured Lydia Lunch, of course) and King Missile’s ”Detachable Penis.” Kern was very much a part of the same scene that was more or less defined by Nick Zedd. He made many experimental and sexual movies on Super-8.

According to Richard Kostelanetz in A Dictionary of the Avant-Gardes,
 

This fascination with the dark side of looking—with the dynamics and aesthetics of voyeurism—is Richard Kern’s theme and it runs through his films and photography. In many ways, Kern’s work is a culmination of self-referential approaches to depicting the artist’s relationship to his “subject.” And his subject is a kind of seeing. ... In many ways his movies are responses to popular film and commercial culture as a whole.

  
One of Kern’s early movies was The Right Side of My Brain, a 23-minute black-and-white experimental movie that is unabashedly about sex, violence, and control. This movie is about as NSFW as anything we’ve ever presented on the site.
 

 
The whole movie is told from the point of view of the character played by Lydia Lunch in a dreamy and sexualized and insular mode that was well-nigh invented by Maya Deren in 1943’s “Meshes of the Afternoon.” Lunch’s character goes through a series of assignations that involve varying degrees of violence. Around the 10th minute an actor credited as Clint Ruin (actually the musician J.G. Thirlwell) shows up and he proceeds to dominate Lunch’s character somewhat, after which she gives him a blow job. Yes, you read that right, most of that highly X-rated act is captured in the movie.

The bulk of the movie was shot in some claustrophobic NYC tenement, but in the sole outdoor sequence—possibly shot in Central Park?—Henry Rollins appears and follows the Lunch character. They too start making out and then the Rollins character has a kind of tantrum.
 

 
By the bye, when this was shot Rollins had the “SEARCH AND DESTROY” part of his back tattoo in place but not the rest. At one point Lunch is shown wearing a T-shirt with the Einstürzende Neubauten homunculus on it.

The images of sexual violence are, of course, disturbing; many ladies in the audience will enjoy the three smoking hot dudes in various states of undress.

The Right Side of My Brain is available on Blu-Ray in Hardcore Collection: Director’s Cut.
 

 

Posted by Martin Schneider | Leave a comment
Awesome cheesecake photos from the weirdest, kitschiest ‘sex hotel’ in Colombia
05.19.2016
01:12 pm

Topics:
Art
Sex

Tags:
Colombia
cheesecake


 
Here’s a fascinating collection of pictures from Kurt Hollander, a photographer originally from New York City whose current base is Mexico City.

Recently Hollander visited Cali, Colombia, in particular a remarkable “sex hotel” called the Hotel Kiss Me, each of whose 180 rooms is painted and decorated according to its own different theme by local artists. Hollander was given the run of the place for two weeks, during which he invited some female friends of his—they’re not prostitutes—to pose in the rooms as if they were seducing a lover.

To be clear, while prostitution is legal in Colombia, the main purpose of the Hotel Kiss Me is to serve as a venue for a sexual getaway for couples.

While the purpose of the Hotel Kiss Me is certainly interesting, it’s the vibrantly decorated rooms that are the real star. “Kitsch” might be too bland a term for the hilarious and lovely rooms on display in Hollander’s pictures—many of the rooms are based on representations from a certain country, and the artists were just as likely to stick in an image of Adolf Hitler saluting a Volkswagen Beetle as they were to put Saddam in the Iraq room next to an image of burning oilfields. (One of the rooms has an image of 9/11, which you can see at Vice.)

Hollander’s show about the Hotel Kiss Me is called “The Architecture of Sex” and can be seen at Proyectos Impala in Ciudad Juárez until May 25.

He’s an interesting fellow. After a nasty case of salmonella, which led to severe chronic ulcerative colitis, Hollander wrote a memoir called Several Ways to Die in Mexico City. He’s also published a book of photographs documenting the rough-and-tumble streets (really, they once were that!) of downtown Manhattan called Low Rent: A Decade of Prose and Photographs from The Portable Lower East Side.
 

 

 
More from the Hotel Kiss Me after the jump…

Posted by Martin Schneider | Leave a comment
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