A friend called me today and we spoke of the “January doldrums,” that time of emotional and psychological letdown after the holidays. My friend expressed hope that the pleasant weather today–it was warmer than usual–would herald a new, more positive feeling in general. I very much agreed with him.
I’ve been feeling down myself, partly also because of the economy. Today I read in the paper that we’re supposedly out of the recession. Really? That’s news to me and my friends.
Meanwhile I’m reading for a second time a book I mentioned in my earlier post “Sexology on Sunday.” It’s called The Men on My Couch by Dr. Brandy Engler and David Rensin, and it’s quite a good examination of the psychology of men and how it affects their sex lives.
When I read the book the first time, I didn’t make any notes, probably because I figured I’d go back and flip through it as I wrote my review. But now I’m going through the entire book all over again, seeing new and interesting angles and marking the book like a roadmap. In a future post I plan to point out several things in particular that I liked about it.
I’m also re-reading Venus in Furs by Leopold von Sacher-Masoch, from whose name the word “masochism” comes.
The edition I have opens with correspondence between Masoch and a nineteen-year old female admirer and aspiring writer who wrote to him in 1874. She became a successful author both under her real name Emilie Mataja and the male pen names Emil Marriot and Hugo Valentin.
In his letters Herr von Sacher-Masoch goes from literary man to a horny guy who can’t get his fetish for cruel women in furs out of his head. I actually find it kind of funny, because he goes from sounding dignified to almost drooling for Emilie to treat him with cruelty while she wears fur. The effect is like a stuffy snooty upper-crust character in an old movie being revealed in his vices, like in a Three Stooges film.
I admit to my own absurd and probably comical-seeming leap-frogging from self-consciously literary “man of erotic letters” to pervy acolyte of haughty hotties. The other night I finally caught up with The Face of Fu Manchu, a 1965 movie I’d heard about for years, about the world-domination seeking Chinese genius from Sax Rohmer’s early 20th century pulp fiction. (In fact, the movie was produced and written by a man for whom my friend mentioned above, a screenwriter, once worked.) Unfortunately the movie was kind of dry and not too exciting, even with Christopher Lee in the title role; dry, that is, except for the scenes where Fu Manchu’s evil daughter Lin Tang, played by Tsai Chin, watches a minion get punished…
She then prepares to apply some punishment herself…
…before she’s stopped by her father, who has even more nefarious plans for the minion. In the end, she is very pleased by the terrible fate of the poor girl…SPOILER…who is sent to a watery doom by Fu Manchu.
In the film’s most shocking image, Lin Tang and her father listen to a news report over the radio (the movie takes place in the 1920s) about the slaughter of an entire town by the use of a deadly biochemical agent sprayed by an airplane piloted by one of Fu’s henchmen. The film moves in this one image from corny mad scientist fiction into something far more sinister and apocalyptic about the cruel forces throughout history that seek to rule and subjugate.
Now, if you’ve read my Kindle ebooks, you know I am erotically enamored of the beauty of domineering Asian women, and I even loved just making the screen captures from the film when it played on Turner Classic Movies. There is something erotic in itself about sitting in front of the tv and making them…just as there is for me when I design the covers of my ebooks, even though I am no professional artist.
But the domination I get off on is erotic roleplaying, not the true horror of evil–wherever it comes from in actuality, not through pulp fiction–evil imposing itself on the world.
Meanwhile, I’ve heard that there is a new South Korean film version of Venus in Furs. I hope to see it when it’s released; here’s a photo from the film that I found online.
And of course my British friend, the master femdom artist Sardax who made two illustrations for his site inspired by Learning to Be Cruel, recently completed a series of masterworks based on Venus in Furs.
You can see more at his personal site, The Femdom Art of Sardax.