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Tag Archives: Sardax

Fond farewell to Japan’s Namio Harukawa, phenomenal artist of femdom

The great Japanese artist of femdom erotica, Namio Harukawa, died of cancer last week, 4/24/20, at the age of 72 or 73, and when I read the news (in the middle of a sleepless night) via a tweet posted by my colleague, the equally great British artist of femdom erotica, Sardax, I felt as if a part of my own consciousness had broken off and drifted away into eternity. Namio Harukawa dead? Not existing on this planet anymore? I felt similarly when I heard that Kirk Douglas, another important figure in my psyche, had passed away. Kirk?? Not amongst us anymore?? Hard to believe, yet it was true.

Namio Harukawa became most famous for his obsession with facesitting femmes, but to me personally that was never the focal point of his artistic achievement. It was the power of his women, psychologically and physically, that riveted my imagination in the many scenarios he depicted.

His work has been part of my femdom mindset and my aesthetic/erotic outlook for more than thirty years, ever since I first discovered him when I started editing CHEEKS magazine in late 1988, and I wrote a brief appreciation of him therein (and which you can read here). As his skill and artistry grew over the years, my admiration only increased. I wished I’d had a chance to meet and talk with him, but that never happened as he was in Japan and I was in America. In fact, in general he seemed a very elusive presence, except for his art–which became ubiquitous on the Web.

What I particularly always loved was how he portrayed an atmosphere of psychological ambiguity through his use of dramatic lighting that reminded me of what I saw in Japanese softcore erotic movies or films noir. Namio seemed to be saying (at least to me): yes, femdom is exciting, facesitting and plush domineering women et al are thrilling, but there can be an emotional price that comes with these fetishes, these passions, these pursuits. This message was in the lighting, the atmosphere often surrounding his characters–and I use the term “characters” deliberately, rather than just “figures”, because the men and women in Namio’s pictures seemed like characters: part of a continuing femdom psychodrama playing in his head, and through his works, in ours.

 

I feel similarly about Namio’s death to what I felt when I heard that the wonderful American composer Bernard Herrmann died in 1976. I’d admired Herrmann since I’d heard his score for Hitchcock’s North by Northwest in the early ’60s on tv, without then knowing his name; then I became a devoted fan after picking up his seminal recording, Music from Great Film Classics, in 1970; and his sudden death on Christmas Eve 1975 hours after completing his recording of the score for Taxi Driver was a sad shock. He was only in his mid-sixties and I, like all his fans, had looked forward to many more years of his fabulous creations.

Like Herrmann, Namio Harukawa was an artist not celebrated so much in the mainstream, but more someone revered in the specialist circles: fans of film music, and of femdom art. Herrmann and Harukawa were our artists, speaking especially to our unique interests, giants to us–and we knew they’d be giants to more people if they could only be discovered more widely and understood and judged on their own terms, not on some stuffy and condescending academic-critical musical or art history perspective. It is good to see, then, that Bernard Herrmann became more generally famous and celebrated after his death, and I have the feeling it will be the same with Namio Harukawa. His public recognition was broadened last year with a book and exhibit in Japan, and I think more salutes will follow as fans share their love for his work and they catch the eye of newcomers.

Rest in peace, Namio Harukawa, Master Artist of Femdom. Your work will live on forever.


For Sardax’s remembrance of Namio, please go here.

 

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Namio Harukawa, great femdom artist, honored in Japan!

The amazing work of Namio Harukawa, about which I’ve written before on this blog here and here, was honored this year 2019 in Japan with a major gallery exhibit that had crowds lining up down the block!

“Venus Callipgye”–a term which I used frequently myself when editing CHEEKS magazine. It means “Aphrodite of the Beautiful Ass”

 

A book of Namio’s work was also published and is available on Amazon here:

Haven’t seen this volume yet, but it looks wonderful!

 

I learned all about this from a Japanese blog that, to my surprise and delight, showcased one of my own recent blog posts. In English the blog’s  title is rendered as Bouquet for Masochism! through Google Translate. You can find it here.  A few screenshots:

Dealing with a wide range of BDSM and femdom topics, the blog of “Homer” (as he calls himself) celebrates artists such as Sardax, Nanshakh, and of course Namio Harukawa. Homer got to meet Mr. Harukawa!

 

 

The blog celebrates the sweet and humorous side of femdom as well as the more intense.

 

 

Here is a screencap of the post where Homer discussed my blog. It was in reference to posts the British femdom artist Sardax and I had written, on our separate blogs, about searching for dominatrices back in the day.

 

I’m proud to say I wrote an appreciation of Namio Harukawa in 1989 when, as far as I could tell, he was still virtually unknown in the United States. It was in the second issue of CHEEKS, which I edited from 1988 to 2005.

As I’ve no doubt said elsewhere on this blog, Cheeks was a labor of love for me. It celebrated the beauty of the butt, but also had a good bit of femdom elements too.

 

Here is what the article looked like in the magazine, although I added the sepia tint to post it here. The original pages were just straight black-and-white.

At this time, I was editing the mag under one of my other noms de porn, “Lester Bloom,” and I signed this article with that byline too.

 

 

And if you want to read the article for yourself, just click on these high-resolution versions of the pages below. I just redacted some outdated ordering information from the scans.

 

In the succeeding years, Mr. Harukawa’s work has become even more beautiful. I’ve only become a bigger fan. It must have been quite a thrill to see a gallery covered with his works. When you go to Homer’s blog, you’ll be able to read here, either in Japanese or in translation (which is a bit iffy, as these Google translations can be), a post about his encounter with the artist. Be sure to check out Bouquet for Masochism! It’s quite lively and full of a wide range of art and information about femdom, BDSM, and other topics as well.

Thank you, Homer, for posting about my blog. I’ve been getting an increasing number of visitors to my blog from Japan, and this is probably the reason why!

 

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Oh those Leg World days!

On the fetish femdom scene there is more than a little nostalgia about the glory days of Leg Show magazine, primarily under the editorship of Dian Hanson, who has since gone on to work for Taschen Books and their line of historical erotica tomes. I wrote for Leg Show from about 1995 through around 2003 or 2004, so I got to participate in that fondly missed era with my fiction, often illustrated by the British master of femdom art, Sardax; and I did many interviews with everybody from leggy softcore horror movie scream queens to imperious dominatrices.

But from 2004 through the beginning of 2010, I was also the editor of Leg World, a much lower-budgeted magazine but one into which I poured my quarter century of experience in writing for and editing magazines, as well as my decades of fascination and personal experience with femdom and fetish.

 

To use a Hollywood analogy, budget-wise, if Leg Show was MGM, Leg World was Poverty Row. But I put my heart and soul into it, and I think you’ll see in the intensity of these typical covers–for which I selected the shots, wrote all the lines, and supervised the layout–that I gave the readers their money’s worth starting with the covers themselves. I always aimed to show enough to the readers on the covers so that, if they wished, they could have a good time with them before they even opened the magazines; and since these periodicals were puritanically shrink-wrapped for display on the newsstands, I felt duty-bound to let the customers know exactly what they would find inside…once they shot their first loads for the covers! 😉

With my art director and talented group of contributors, both writers and photographers, a memorable magazine came into being with each issue. I didn’t have enough budget for art, or I would have asked Sardax to work for Leg World too (see his fabulous work here). Instead I illustrated fiction with carefully chosen photos from the archives.

 

So if you run into Leg Worlds at flea markets or online, take a minute and check out these lovingly crafted collectors’ items. If you’re into legs and feet and femdom, I think you’ll enjoy the mix of amazing pictorials and evocative stories. I poured my passion for editing images–I’d originally moved to New York City to get into the film business–into editing and even occasionally directing the shoots of erotic pictorials. In recent years, I’ve transferred my coverline writing passion into the writing I do for my personal Twitter and the feed for the femdom website Domme Addiction. There I happily conjugate my nouns and verbs in the service of celebrating the dominant female much as I did in Leg World.  🙂

 

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Ready to cuckold him on their first date!

Happy 2016 to all my readers! A safe and healthy new year to you all!

A few days ago I blogged about one of my two newest ebooks, THE SINS OF DR. JEKYLL. Today I’d like to tell you about…

IN TRANCE FOR A TRAMP…

Wherein my submissive hero Timmy experiences an incredible night of deep and lasting degradation! (Which he can’t resist and he deeply enjoys…)

TranceTramp PublicityCover

Do you like the cover? This girl really looks like trouble, doesn’t she? I am very fond of 1950s paperback books, with their femme fatale cover girls, and this model projects that same spirit. The image, which I found at a stock photography house, was shot by “xalanx” whose portfolio you can see here. I also used one of his images for the cover of RULE BY CLEAVAGE (read about that book here).

Getting back to the noir paperback aspects, even the typeface I selected for the title is similar to what was sometimes used on the covers of the noir paperbacks, stories crammed with mean, manipulative ladies.

And my dominant heroine, Theresa Pendillac, is very mean and manipulative. She toys with shy Timmy, a fellow worker in her office, and when she finally goes on a date with him, it turns out to be only a pretext for an evening of sexual humiliation involving everything from foot worship to cuckolding to pantyhose sniffing to…well, suffice to say, Timmy realizes something about himself that he didn’t know until Theresa brings out Timmy’s deeply buried desires.

Yes, Theresa gives Timmy all the femdom thrills he craves, and then some. He should have known what to expect! The outfit the model wears on the cover is the one Theresa uses to tease her co-workers’ boners back in the office…

One reader named wylde64 enjoyed this story so much that he started riffing with me on Twitter about what could happen in a sequel. The possibilities are many. I’m not big on writing sequels (Learning to be Cruel Part 2 was the rare exception) but maybe I will consider it depending on how big a response I get to IN TRANCE FOR A TRAMP. Learning to be Cruel, for example, has been my bestselling title ever, so I did write a sequel…and you can read here about the unique way that came about.

Anyway, back to my original topic: I originally wrote IN TRANCE FOR A TRAMP in 1996-1997 and it was published in the May 1998 issue of Leg Show by editor Dian Hanson. It was graced with a beautiful illustration by the legendary artist of femdom fantasies, Sardax, which captured the almost hallucinogenic, trance-like feeling Timmy experiences when he is confronted by the luscious cruelty of Theresa:

TheTrance-Color-SardaxArt

 

You can see more of Sardax’s art here. Nowadays one of his specialties is doing commissioned portraits of dominatrices. And check out his recent illustrations for a piece of femdom fiction published by the New York-based mistress Mrs. Weltsova here. (This fascinating lady will be touring London, Paris, Berlin, and Washington D.C. this January 2016—for more information go here and look under her Travel News.)

I reprinted IN TRANCE FOR A TRAMP with only with a few minor adjustments. I kept it in the same time period, 1996, but I tweaked the names a little (Timmy is called Jimmy in the original) and I wrote an introductory scene so that I could use the new photo cover that I’d selected for the ebook. There was something about the way the model rests her hand on the front of her skirt that seemed like something the Theresa of my imagination would do, so it was a pleasure to describe her using that teasing gesture in the office where she and Timmy work.

I also altered the original title from the blander “The Trance” (okay for a magazine, but not for the Internet) because I felt it needed more strength to compete in the ebook market. To do this I emphasized the femme fatal-ish qualities of Theresa as a “tramp” right out of noir fiction, up to no good with ruthless vixenish ways paired with a remorseless voracious vagina.

IN TRANCE FOR A TRAMP is available at Amazon US and at the Amazon stores worldwide, ready to read on your Kindles, phones, and tablets.

I hope you’ll make a firm “resolution” to check it out as you begin a most Happy New Year!

 

————

The original art from “The Trance” is ©Sardax and used with his permission.

 

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Femdom thrills over the last 200 years!

One of the things that particularly interests me is the evolution of art forms, such as how stories are told, throughout the years.

I particularly recall the fantastic paintings for the macho “sweat mags” of the 50s and 60s–periodicals like FOR MEN ONLY or MEN’S WORLD or ALL MAN, that often sadistically portrayed GIs and Nazis and gorgeous women in a pulp phantasmagoria derived from World War 2. The great site Men’s Pulp Mags is the resource for these images and info, and here is an example of a femdom cover image from 1959 that they also sell as a note card:

Doesn't look like

Doesn’t look like “pity” is her middle name…

In an interview I read at Men’s Pulp Mags, artist Mort Küntsler explained why those publications declined in popularity as “More and more advertising money was going to television rather than print, and a lot of people were getting their fiction over television rather than reading it.” (Boldface italics are mine.) The phrase “getting their fiction” stayed with me. Wisely, Künstler moved onto other venues for his considerable skills and has had great success. You can read his Men’s Pulp Mags interview here. (He didn’t do the image above, by the way, but you can see many examples of his work at the interview.)

Now, we all know that in 2015 dominatrices can express their spellbinding narratives to their admirers through websites, Twitter, video clips, and phone services like NiteFlirt; that’s how sub males are primarily “getting their [femdom] fiction” today, as well as through ebooks and hardcover works such as the British artist Sardax’s new translation and illustration of the classic VENUS IN FURS. But how did the submissive males of long ago get their entertainment thrills?

In 1937 they could enjoy the story “Tiger Cat” by David H. Keller in Weird Tales magazine:

This wild cover is by Margaret Brundage, Weird Tales' premier cover artist.

This wild cover is by Margaret Brundage, Weird Tales’ premier cover artist.

You can enjoy it today yourself if you go here. One passage in this story of a beautiful demoness who keeps men as her prisoners reminded me of some of the things you can hear dommes say online today, especially when teasing and denying their slaves the merest touch of their alluring flesh:

“She was more beautiful that night than I had ever seen her. Dressed in filmy white, her beautiful body, lovely hair, long lithe limbs would have bound any man to her through eternity. She seemed to sense that beauty, for, after giving out the first supply of rolls, she varied her program. She told her audience how she had dressed that evening for their special pleasure. She described her jewels and her costume. She almost became grandiose as she told of her beauty, and, driving in the dagger, she twisted it as she reminded them that never would they be able to see her, never touch her or kiss her hand.[Boldface italics are mine.]

I recently read an informative post on The English Mansion blog here, by the renowned British domme Mistress Sidonia von Bork, which discussed the origin of her unique-sounding nom de domme, from the leading character in a famous and huge-selling 19th century German novel SIDONIA THE SORCERESS based on the life of an historical figure. She also mentioned how H. Rider Haggard’s 1887 novel SHE, similarly imbued with femdom themes, was another gigantic seller in the late 1800s. It got me thinking about these other incarnations of the cruel female, like “Tiger Cat,” which must have thrilled the slave males of long ago.

So another thing that springs to mind is John Keats’ 1819 poem “La Belle Dame sans Merci,” (“The Beautiful Lady Without Mercy’)  which became the subject of many famous paintings like this one by Frank Cadogan Cowper in the 1920s:

The red of that dress reminds would entrance anybody...

The red of that dress would entrance anybody…

In both “Tiger Cat” and the Keats poem (which you can read here), the women have enslaved or subdued many, many men. This makes me think of the work of my colleague Sardax, who frequently portrays this classic trope of mass subjection in his art, as in his recently published image “The Stockroom”:

Before these tigresses, the blush doesn't leave men's cheeks, neither top nor bottom...

Before these tigresses, the blush doesn’t leave men’s cheeks, neither top nor bottom…

Be sure to visit Sardax’s Wordpress blog here for more information about his work and how he created his edition of Venus in Furs, his new translation of Leopold von Sacher-Masoch’s 1870 classic of femdom literature.

Of course these stories and poems are not sexually explicit the way BDSM videos or, say, audio files are today–but the femdom vibe is still there, and strong.

Although I’m not into the idea myself of being enslaved with an entire horde of other guys–I really am a one-on-one kinda sexual serf 😉 –I even ended up using this trope in my own way at the climax of my supernatural femdom story THE DOMINATRIX WHO COULDN’T DIE, available on Amazon here. Perhaps mass enslavement by a few strong females is part of the collective male subbie unconscious?

She's a tiger in her own way, trust me!

She’s a tiger in her own way, trust me!

 

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Writing for Leg Show and illustrated by Sardax…

My friend and colleague, the great femdom artist Sardax, recently wrote a blog post about doing art for editor Dian Hanson’s Leg Show magazine back in the 1990s and early 2000s and creating some illustrations for my short stories there, among the many authors whose work he brought to visual life. You can read his post here.

I had been writing femdom fiction for other magazines like Leg Action for a few years before I started submitting stories to Leg Show, but once I began publishing in Dian’s publication, it became my favorite femdom venue. Two reasons for this are that there were fewer censorship restrictions on the subject matter–the strictness of restrictions varied from publisher to publisher–and Dian was also open to fiction that didn’t only emphasize eroticism but also the exploration of the psychological aspects of foot and leg fetishism and female dominance. Since my stories ranged from those designed mostly for stimulation to some very intense and dark tales about the ambivalence of submissive males toward their destiny to kneel before powerful women, Leg Show was a perfect showcase for my work.

One of the stories I wrote, designed primarily for arousal than for introspection, was “Enter the Governess,” about a young woman sexually in charge of a handyman at the New York City rooming house where she lives. Here you see the opening pages with Sardax’s illustration. This was in the December 1999 issue.

The young heroine teases the handyman with the encouragement of her landlady.

The young heroine teases the handyman with the encouragement of her landlady.

 

There were a number of other good illustrators who worked for Dian, but Sardax was always my favorite. The faces of his ladies especially reflect the teasing and often playfully cruel allure of the fictional dommes I write about…

She knows he loves to ache for her tantalizing skills!

In this detail we see she understands how much he loves to ache under her tantalizing power!

 

…and there was always a smile on my face when I got my complimentary writer’s copy of a new issue of Leg Show in the mail and saw that Sardax had illustrated my latest opus.

Check out his official website The Femdom Art of Sardax here and look for info especially about his illustrated version of Venus in Furs, which in his pictures and translation Sardax captures the atmosphere and essence of Leopold von Sacher-Masoch’s groundbreaking femdom novel. The rest of us femdom writers only stand in the shadow of Sacher-Masoch’s masterpiece, an essential read for any lover of erotica, much less any submissive male or dominant woman!

 

 

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The New York Post: friend to legmen, foot lovers, and bathwater drinkers!!

Hope you’ve been enjoying your weekend. After a Friday of rain and wet snow, we here in NYC got a beautiful sunny and almost spring-like Saturday and Sunday. What a pleasure to walk around and check out the flea market with a friend…

I want to thank the readers in the U.S. and Germany who bought copies of Learning to be Cruel and Learning to be Cruel Part 2 over the last couple of days. Did you hear about them on my blog here, or did you find them via Twitter or elsewhere? I welcome your comments!

After almost 2 years this remains my top seller!

After almost 2 years this remains my top seller!

This sequel is one of the craziest stories of my twisted career!

This sequel is one of the craziest stories of my twisted career!

You can leave them anonymously on this blog or in a review on Amazon! I hope you’re enjoying the adventures of my submissive hero Lester as he tangles with Miss Meirong, the cruel and inventive Chinese-American goddess of his dreams. As ever, you can find the books in the Kindle department of the Amazon stores in the U.S., UK, Japan, Germany, Italy, France, Spain, Canada, and Brazil. Just click to the right under the bookmark “My ebooks” to be taken to the U.S. Kindle store.

In other news, the terrific British artist Sardax has just published his own illustrated translation of Venus in Furs on Kindle, the great 19th century classic of femdom.

The narrator of Venus in Furs tends to his mistress at her bath...her whip nearby!

The narrator of Venus in Furs tends to his mistress at her bath…her whip nearby!

I urge you to check it out! Go to Amazon here to check out a sample of the book and read my full review.

Now one thing I enjoy doing is reporting to you readers all over the world about the kinky coverage that appears regularly in the New York Post. First last Thursday 3/1/13 we got an amazing leg shot of Selena Gomez, Justin Bieber’s ex-girlfriend…

Those are indeed impressive pins. Fill me with vim and vigor!

Those are indeed impressive pins. Fill me with vim and vigor!

Then on the same day we got a story about that actress from Game of Thrones doing a nude scene on Broadway. I liked one of the theatergoers’ comments: “I would drink Emilia Clarke’s bathwater.” I frequently use that expression myself as a way of denoting my admiration of a lady’s charms…I wonder if I could actually ever do such a thing. Never say never, I guess… 😉

I've never watched Game of Thrones but I know some people swear by it.

I’ve never watched Game of Thrones but I know some people swear by it.

Finally today in the Post we got a story about a girl’s adventures serving up her feet at a foot fetish party. The photographer for the story got a very nice toe cleavage shot…

Nice toe cleavage on the right footsie...but nails should have been polished a color in small shot!!

Nice toe cleavage on the right footsie…but nails should have been polished a color in small shot!!

You can read the full story here.

I knew a topless dancer from Europe here in NYC who was thinking of trying this as a way to make extra money. She had nice legs and feet, and I’d known her for about a year as a customer, and I said, “Hey, I’ll worship your feet.” She knew I liked femdom but she wasn’t very good at roleplaying; it wasn’t her thing, so she just generally gave me a pretty vanilla dance with no bossy mistress-like chatter. When it came to the foot parties, though, she seemed more inclined to the idea of letting total strangers do it instead, and it never happened between us. Maybe she thought I just wanted a freebie, but I would have been willing to pay her just like the guys at those foot parties. Except I would have felt more comfortable doing it with her in private, rather than as one of a line of gents glomming onto her heels and soles. No matter how much the feet are wiped off between “sessions” at a party, I wouldn’t be able to erase the images of the joes who’d been drooling on a girl’s toes right before me…

In any case, after that, I lost track of her until about a year later when I ran into her at a totally different club. I didn’t ask her about the foot fetish parties; I don’t know if she ever did them; and if she did, I wasn’t interested in what she did with her insteps with other people. I guess I was hurt that she didn’t want me to worship her legs and feet…that after visiting her in the club for so long, I wasn’t her go-to choice for a toe slave!   😦

 
 

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