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The ‘private’ photographs of Marie Høeg and Bolette Berg: Questioning gender roles circa 1900
02.27.2017
11:41 am

Topics:
Feminism
Sex

Tags:
photography
gender
Bolette Berg
Marie Høeg

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Marie Høeg (1866-1949) had short cropped hair. Bolette Berg (1872-1944) kept hers long. Marie was short. Bolette was taller. They were known to the people of Horten, a busy naval port in Norway, as the two ladies who ran the photography studio called Berg & Høeg. They made their living taking portrait photographs, landscape pictures and the occasional picture of ships. In the late 1800s and early 1900s photography was the latest craze where those who could afford it had their picture taken. There were many such photographic studios in Horten. Berg & Høeg may have been long forgotten had it not been for the discovery some thirty years ago of some 440 of their glass negatives in an old disused barn in Oslo.

Among these glass plates was a box marked “Private.” Inside this box was a set of images featuring Høeg and Berg playing around with traditional gender roles. Høeg dressed as a man with a waxed mustaches, or as a boy with white shirt, cap and cigarette, or in fur pretending to be an Arctic explorer like Roald Amundsen, who led the first expedition to traverse the Northwest Passage in 1903–06.

Berg & Høeg posed with their women friends indulging in some of the worst kind of vices usually attributed to men—smoking, drinking and playing cards. Høeg also posed as husband to an unknown male friend as wife and in a rowing boat as a bowler-hat-wearing suitor to Berg’s elegant object of desire.

The finished photographs would have been shared among their small coterie of friends in Horten. Their friends no doubt laughed at these daring, subversive images which cocked a snook at the strict conventions surrounding sexuality, gender and identity at a time when women were called the “weaker sex,” and forbidden the vote.

Marie Høeg was the main subject of these “private” photographs. During her life she was best known as a pioneering activist for women’s rights. She founded the Horten Branch of the National Association for Women’s Suffrage, the Horten Women’s Council and the Horten Tuberculosis Association. Bolette Berg worked more behind the camera. The two women are believed to have met while studying photography in Finland during the early 1890s. They moved to Horten where they set up a studio together in 1895.

In 1903, the two women left Horten and set up a new studio in Oslo (then called Kristiania) where they had a career producing scenic and portrait postcards. They bought a farm and at some point stored their glass negatives in the barn where these images remained long after both Berg’s and Høeg’s deaths until their discovery in the 1980s.
 
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More of Høeg and Berg’s cross-dressing pictures, after the jump…

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
They Live by Night: Photos of gangsters, prostitutes & drag queens from Tokyo’s red light district

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Kabukichō is the red light district in Shinjuku, a commercial and administrative ward in central Tokyo. Apparently Kabukichō took its name from plans to build a kabuki theater in the district sometime in 1940s. This never happened. Instead the area became a busy red light world of nightclubs, hostess clubs and love hotels. It’s estimated there are some 3,000 such enterprises operating in Kabukichō today. At night, the busy neon-lit streets thrive with the curious and the criminal—around a thousand yakuza are said to operate in the area. All this relentless activity gave Kabukichō its nickname as the “Sleepless Town” (眠らない街).

Among the curious drawn to Kabukichō was photographer Watanabe Katsumi (1941-2006). During the 1960s and 1970s, this seemingly quiet and unassuming character prowled the streets camera in hand offering to take pictures of the sharp-suited yakuza, the pimps, the prostitutes and the drag queens who lived and worked in and among this red light district’s narrow streets. Watanabe thought of Kabukichō as his theater and the men and women who posed for him as his actors.

He approached each of his subjects and offered to take their picture.  He took the pictures quickly. But whatever he said to make each individual sufficiently relaxed worked. His photographs captured something unguarded and utterly spontaneous about his subjects. The next night he would return, deliver three prints of each photograph for 200 yen—roughly around a dollar back then. This was how he made his living.

In 1973, the first volume of Watanabe Katsumi’s photographs The Gangs of Kabukichō was published. This book was reissued in 2006, details here.
 
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More after the jump…

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
Creepy short video exposes the very unsexy way sex dolls are made (NSFW)
02.22.2017
11:55 am

Topics:
Sex
Unorthodox

Tags:
Realdolls


 
Super Deluxe had a chance to go behind-the-scenes at the RealDoll factory, located in San Marcos, California, and show you how the dolls are really made. There’s nothing, and I mean nothing sexy about the manufacturing of these dolls. In fact, it’s downright creepy. Almost in a Dexter kind of way. The soundtrack to the video doesn’t help either with its creepiness level.


 
The video, obviously, is NSFW even though it’s only latex body parts. You’ve been warned.

 

Posted by Tara McGinley | Leave a comment
Greatest hits: Here’s why the Ohio Players owned the album cover game back in the 1970s
02.21.2017
06:56 pm

Topics:
Art
Music
Sex

Tags:
Ohio Players
Junie Williams
Pat Evans


Model Pat Evans on the cover of the 1972 Ohio Players album, ‘Pain.’ Photograph by the late Joel Brodsky.

Though it appears at this point we are all collectively reviewing a daily damage report of sorts when it comes to the news, I have more for you to digest today. Though I’m not comparing the heartbreaking losses in the music community in 2016 to the ones we’ve had thus far in this still young year, I have to tell you 2017 hasn’t been all that kind when it comes to the departure of more of our heroes to the great beyond. Case in point is that late last month we lost Walter “Junie” Morrison. The almighty “Funky Worm,” Morrison was an instrumental part of the success of the Ohio Players and long-time Funkadelic, Parliament, P-Funk All-Stars, and George Clinton collaborator. He was only 62.

If it came down to living out the rest of my days listening to music only produced during the 1970s, it would be a sweet, finger-licking piece of cake. Growing up in Boston my folks had a record player and a nice stash of records that they kept in a built-in cabinet in the wall. I would spend a lot of time going through the albums just to look at them, opening up gatefolds and reading liner notes and lyrics. I especially remember being way too big of a fan of the original soundtrack to Star Wars by John Williams and The London Symphony Orchestra which I played over and over again until my folks got tired of that endless loop and started buying other records for me. My love of vinyl (especially vintage vinyl), was instilled in me very early on. So after Junie passed, I started looking back into the OP catalog and became obsessed with the images that graced the group’s early records, most of which feature the enigmatic, instantly recognizable model Pat Evans.
 

Walter “Junie” Morrison and model Pat Evans.
 
Evans appeared on several OP album covers in empowering, thought-provoking photographs, many of which were taken by Joel Brodsky. The most famous, but by far not the most controversial being the cover and gatefold of the 1972 album Pain on which Evans’ appears in a leather studded bikini, Rob Halford-style spiked armbands, defiantly clutching a cat o’ nine tails in her hand. And if you think that sounds like a good time, you should see the inside of the gatefold. Damn. Here are a few words from the late Mr. Morrison on the photos, which were his concept and working with the impossibly perfect Evans back in the day from an interview he gave in 2015:

I think the idea of Pain as it was conceived by me in that particular instant, was taken a bit out of context by others with different life experiences. To me, it had to do with a love affair gone wrong, something that most teenaged people can attest to from time to time. My limited experience was translated by New York photographer Joel Brodsky into something a young man from the early ‘70s Midwest would never have imagined. Pat’s incredible presence was carried forth through the remaining Westbound/Ohio Players offerings and to some extent, to their Mercury albums, as well.

Evans would make several more appearances on albums for the Ohio Players including the 1974 album Climax, their last one on Detroit record label Westbound. The gatefold image, again shot by Brodsky, shows Evans appearing to stick a knife in the back of the lucky/unfortunate guy on top of her. The image was chosen by Westbound as a dig at the band who dumped the label and went on to sign with Mercury Records. A year later their first album with Mercury would produce what most consider their most risqué cover for the album Honey. And instead of Evans and Brodsky, it featured Playboy magazine’s Miss October of 1974, Ester Cordet shot by Richard Fegley who photographed, ahem, 69 centerfolds during his 30-year tenure with the magazine.

I’ve included a pretty steamy selection of album covers from the Ohio Players catalog, and every single one of ‘em is NSFW.
 

The gatefold image inside of ‘Pain.’
 

Pat Evans and friends in the gatefold image for the 1973 album ‘Ecstasy.’
 
More after the jump…

Posted by Cherrybomb | Leave a comment
An erotic alphabet based on the Kama Sutra (NSFW)
02.16.2017
11:54 am

Topics:
Art
Books
Sex

Tags:
typography
Kama Sutra


 
In 2012 Penguin published a new “deluxe” edition of the Kama Sutra translated by A. N. D. Haksar. For the cover art Penguin hired a brilliant graphic artist named Malika Favre, who incontestably came up with a marvelous and witty design by inventing an entire sexy alphabet based on the positions in the book.
 

 
If you take the jacket off of the hardcover edition and spread it out, it spells “KAMA SUTRA” in Favre’s alphabet.

There’s a website dedicated to the alphabet in which you can see the entire alphabet ... in motion! On the site you could once purchase lovely prints of individual letters, but it looks like they’re all sold out.
 
A closer look at the individual letters, after the jump…...
 

Posted by Martin Schneider | Leave a comment
Vintage guitar ads featuring hot chicks with big hair


Vintage ad for B.C. Rich guitars 1989.
 
Today’s post from yours truly is going to take you on a trip down memory lane to a time when magazines were the main communication device for rock and roll. Though some great rock oriented print magazines do still exist, for at least four decades from the 60s through the 90s magazines were what you spent your money on so you could be sure to get the recommended daily amount of rock and roll information, get fan club info, and pull out centerfolds of a young David Lee Roth to hang on your wall—right next to whatever else covered up the ugly wallpaper in the room you spent your teenage years in.

If you’re a guitar loving gearhead and also a fan of girls, then you’re going to get an especially good kick out of the images in this post that feature the famous “Dean Girls” who helped sell guitars for Dean in a series of ads in the late 70s and 80s, as well as some racy images used by B.C. Rich. All of the images in the post have pretty consistent themes that include bikinis, big 80s hair and lots of skin. Oh, and there’s guitars too. Though there’s really nothing particularly risqué about a girl in a bikini holding a guitar, some of the images are probably NSFW. YAY!
 

Aria Pro II ad.
 

One of the girls from guitar maker Dean and their series of ads featuring scantily clad ladies. This one is known as the Dean “Rip Girl.”

More after the jump…

Posted by Cherrybomb | Leave a comment
Valentine’s Day cards inspired by the master of horror, David Cronenberg
02.13.2017
02:35 pm

Topics:
Movies
Sex

Tags:
David Cronenberg


 
There’s a website out there claiming that in 1992 some company printed a set of 21 Valentine’s Day cards, each with a picture and come-hither motto riffing off the mostly grisly works of David Cronenberg. Whoever runs the site was cleaning out the storage space of a “distant relative” in North Hollywood, and came across several deadstock sets of the Cronenberg Valentine’s product, alongside similar Valentine items promoting “CareBears, Michael Jordan, and Jurassic Park.”

I ain’t buying the idea for a few reasons—not a single hit comes up for the set on eBay, which strikes me as a prerequisite to believing a story like this. The name of the company, Ephemerol, is a reference to a drug in Scanners that’s way too cute to be real, in my opinion.
 

 
Meanwhile, the picture of the set looks like it could have been made by anyone possessing a decent color printer, and the cards themselves seem decidedly post-Internet in nature. Having said all this, it would be cool and hilarious if something as dark as this had ever made it to the Spencer’s Gifts in your mall in the George Herbert Walker Bush years, but I’m betting ‘twas never thus.

Still, the cards are quite amusing. You can use the site to send your sweetie a Cronenberg Valentine’s Day card, virtual email style. Rigorously hewing to the 1992 premise, you won’t find eXistenZ or Eastern Promises here—the only movies available date from 1992 or before—Naked Lunch, Dead Ringers, Videodrome, The Fly, and Scanners are the main ones used.
 

 

 
Much more after the jump…...

Posted by Martin Schneider | Leave a comment
Finland unveils its new Tom of Finland emoji character
02.10.2017
01:31 pm

Topics:
Queer
Science/Tech
Sex

Tags:
Tom of Finland
emoji


 
Last year Finland became the first country to produce its own set of national emojis; last week the country enxpanded its collection from 49 to 56, and one of the new additions represents legendary gay icon Tom of Finland.

Keeping in the spirit of emojis, Finland’s full collection of emojis is quite whimsical. There are icons dedicated to “Headbanger,” “Fashionista Finns,” and “Four seasons of BBQ,” for instance.

The images of Touko Laaksonen, published from the 1950s to the 1980s under the catchy pseudonym Tom of Finland, consisted largely of fantastically muscular sailors, bulging cops, and lascivious leather enthusiasts, and rapidly became a key part of the gay aesthetic of the 20th century and beyond.

An article on This is Finland’s website states:
 

[Laaksonen’s artworks] made, and continue to make, a significant contribution to the way sexual minorities perceive themselves. Laaksonen is often considered Finland’s most famous artist internationally. His work has adorned postage stamps–the most popular stamp set in the history of the Finnish Postal Service–and now it has also become an emoji. The emoji recognises the impact and importance of Tom of Finland’s art, and appears just before same-sex marriage officially becomes legal in Finland (as of March 1, 2017).

 
Here’s what the emoji looks like:
 

 
It’s clear that whatever discrimination and abuse Laaksonen may have experienced in his lifetime, Finland has recently made a concerted effort to embrace its country’s most famous artist. As mentioned, three years ago the country released a line of Tom of Finland postage stamps, sparking international headlines. Now you can find an emoji of his likeness on the country’s main website.

More after the jump…

Posted by Martin Schneider | Leave a comment
‘Barbarella Does Her Thing’: Behind the scenes of the sexiest sci-fi movie ever made
02.09.2017
01:45 pm

Topics:
Movies
Sex

Tags:
Jane Fonda
Roger Vadim
Barberella


 
There’s no movie quite like Barbarella, the delicious sci-fi allegory about sex and war, based on the Jean-Claude Forest comic book of the same name. If you’ve seen it, you surely remember it.

“Barbarella Does Her Thing” is a 6-minute behind-the-scenes promotional featurette on the making of Roger Vadim’s masterpiece. We get to see some footage of Jane Fonda and Vadim pantomiming connubial bliss, as well as a goodly amount of on-set action, including Fonda and David Hemmings rehearsing the scene in which Barbarella and Dildano experience mind-obliterating sex merely by placing their palms against one another.
 

 
They also show the filming of the revolution in the Labyrinth as well as some footage of John Philip Law as Pygar flying around carrying Barbarella in his arms.

“Barbarella Does Her Thing” features the kind of hyperbolic voiceover that could only appear in an advertisement of this type, like: “Barbarella is a five-star double-rated astro-navigatrix whose specialty is love—40,000 A.D. style.”

Barbarella is such a mesmerizingly funny movie, it’s easy to forget what an ambitious production it was. This short clip is a useful reminder.
 
Watch “Barbarella Does Her Thing” after the jump…

Posted by Martin Schneider | Leave a comment
Funny and revealing pictures of the Playboy Mansion
02.09.2017
01:41 pm

Topics:
Art
Sex

Tags:
Playboy
Playboy Mansion


 
Of all the places on earth that I know to be real, the Playboy Mansion is the one that in my mind, probably features as fictional. Sure, there’s a Playboy Mansion but—it has an actual address? Someone pays the heating bill? People actually go there? One thing I discovered while researching this post is that Google Maps will not give a result for the search input “Playboy Mansion”—but of course, they do have it.

Yes, the Playboy Mansion does exist, tucked between Westwood and Beverly Hills in Los Angeles. Playboy bought the 21,987-square-foot house in 1971, and the house features a wine cellar with a secret door dating from Prohibition, a screening room with a built-in pipe organ, a game room, three zoo/aviary buildings, facilities for tennis and basketball, a waterfall, and a swimming pool area, which has a patio and barbecue area, a grotto, a basement gym with a sauna below the bathhouse. The grounds include a large koi pond with an artificial stream, a small citrus orchard, and two forests.

Clearly, they chose well…..

2016 was a pivotal year in the history of the legendary empire built on masturbation, what with Playboy ceasing publication of nudes as well as announcing the sale of the Mansion for $100 million. In effect we can say that the “Playboy era” may have definitively come to a close, all the more bizarre that this would happen the same year that Donald Trump would secure the White House.

Shortly before the sale of the house, Hugh Hefner gave well-respected photographer Jeff Minton permission to photograph the house and the property exhaustively, and Minton took full advantage, taking nearly 6,000 photographs. Minton believes that Hefner became interested in hiring Minton based on Minton’s picture of a monkey that had appeared in New York magazine, and suitably enough, Minton commenced his photographic tour of the Mansion with “Hugh’s monkeys” and went from there.

Minton’s goal is to generate “the most comprehensive look at the mansion ever, down to the smallest details.” Minton’s strategy was to stay away from what might be called “explicit” material in favor of odd glimpses of forgotten corners that prompt speculation about who chose to place that particular object in that setting or what was happening just outside the frame.

For those who have never been to the Playboy Mansion, Minton’s photographs provide a fascinating insight into the creation of what is arguably the most hedonistic estate on earth.
 

 

 
Much more after the jump…....

Posted by Martin Schneider | Leave a comment
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