in BDSM - literature and film
is evidence of BDSM in artwork and literature throughout
history. Probably the most famous descriptions come from
the works of the Marquis de Sade (from whom the word "sadist"
is derived) in the late 1700s, however there are countless
other examples to be found in books, illustrations, and
early photography. Unfortunately people of color were sadly
underrepresented in most cases.
wasn't until bondage magazines became popular in the 1970s
that we began to often see women of color engaged in acts
of BDSM. Previously detective magazines, which were published
as early as the 1930's, had covertly provided a way of publishing
bondage imagery but they rarely featured models of color.
Although these images largely objectified and over-sexualized
Black women, bondage pictorials did create a successful
niche in the industry and for many people of color these
magazines were their first exposure to BDSM.
the 1970's adult films featuring BDSM content often used
ethnic actors and actresses because of the added interracial
taboo. Early porn films had BDSM content that distributors
today would never dare include because of today's harsher
obscenity laws. Blaxploitation films first came on the scene
in the mid 70's and were frequently criticized for stereotypical
characterization of Black people and glorification of violence.
The heroes and heroines of these films had extremely dominant
personalities, and most of the films featured dominant/submissive
sex scenarios as well.
BDSM magazines and newsletters began publishing in the 70's
and continued for many years. "Black Amazon Digest",
"Black Mistress Review", "Obeah" and
"Black Leather In Color" are a few of the more
recognizable publications. Most of the early magazines were
used primarily by White males searching for Black female
mistresses. "Black Leather in Color" was the first
fetish magazine created specifically for people of color
by people of color. Today most Black BDSM newsletters have
been replaced by online versions or ezines.
the 80's Black bondage pictorials had become fairly commonplace,
and in the late 90's the fashion and entertainment industry
seemed to discover BDSM. Corsets, chains, latex and leather
were increasingly displayed on runways, in movies and music
videos. Celebrities began sporting daring fetish styles
and sometimes made veiled comments about BDSM. Janet Jackson's
"Velvet Rope" album hinted at her enjoyment of
BDSM and during a magazine interview she talked about her
high threshold for pain and how she enjoyed pushing the
limits of pleasure.
new millenium ushered in an age of both sexual expression
and censorship. A fetish attired Janet Jackson "accidentally"
bared her pierced nipple during the 2003 Superbowl halftime
show causing an outrage among viewers. Halle Berry's catwoman
doll came complete with leather mask and singletail but
was criticised as being too perverted for children. Rap
and goth musicians turned leashes and collars into fashion
accessories and black bdsm websites continued to sprout
up all over the internet. It is now fairly easy to find
tasteful, well composed black bondage imagery, however representation
of heterosexual black male dominants is slim to non-existent.