So yesterday I presented the monthly rope bondage workshop at Threshold in North Hollywood. It went really well. The turnout was a bit small, about eight people, but everyone seemed engaged and I was feeling relaxed and completely in the zone during the presentation. I’ve been doing it now for about a year and a half and basically have about seven or eight different presentations that have developed over that time, and I’m going to be working on writing up a full schedule to post fairly soon on the Threshold website so everyone will be able to know what’s coming up next. I’m also always looking for special guest presenters, so if you’re a good rigger or know one who might like to give a demo, please let me know. You can leave a comment here or send an email from my trannies website.
The next workshop will be Sunday, September 23rd, from 4 till 6 PM in North Hollywood, CA.
(note: there are some spoilers in this post, but then the title of the movie itself is a bit of a spoiler. I’m not really giving much away that you can’t already guess.)
So I made it out Friday night, just in guy mode, to see the midnight screening of Amateur Porn Star Killer at Laemmle’s Sunset 5. I’d have to say I thought it was brilliantly done, though it’s going to be a tough sell. It’s one of those films that you’re either going to really love or really hate. And you could make an argument for it either way – is it morally bankrupt dreck or a brilliant and challenging art film? I’d go with the latter, but yeah, it is pretty disturbing. I felt a bit shook up afterwards, and driving home the city just seemed really nasty and menacing.
What I really admired, though, about the movie is the sheer ballsiness of the filmmaker Shane Ryan. He’s obviously not afraid to look at his own dark side. He was there at the screening and he seems like a perfectly normal and polite young guy. He plays the killer himself in the movie, though for much of the film he’s offscreen. We just hear his voice behind the camera as he talks to his victim. He plays the role perfectly, though, and in an interview (links below) he talks about how tough and emotionally draining it was to stay in such a dark place for so long. During the screening he also showed a trailer for another film, and an earlier short film, both of which also dealt with some pretty dark stuff – sex, incest, violence, and still more murder.
The movie has a simple but brilliant concept. Some young sleazeball talks this shy young girl into his car and off to his crappy motel room and then proceeds to degrade and videotape her. And I’m not giving anything away here, even the poster says exactly what you’re going to see. I mean, it’s totally sick, and is filmed as though we’re watching an actual snuff film – not a particularly “fun” experience. The pacing is also very slow, and the camera is endlessly jumpy and the motel room poorly lit. Lots of times it’s tough to even tell what’s really going on. One reviewer called it “Ted Bundy with a video camera.” You’re basically watching a young girl shut down emotionally over the course of 71 minutes as it dawns on her what a horrible situation she’s gotten into. Apparently the film was improvised a lot, and the actress, Michiko Jimenez, does an outstanding job. It’s so believable and painful to watch as she grows more and more passive, lost, and aware of what a huge mistake she’s made getting into this guy’s car.
But what really works about the film is that Shane offers up this sex and violence in such a disturbing way that you’re left questioning your own reasons for being drawn to such a film. At least I was. And on a deeper level, I think it looks at the propensity for violence that’s obviously hard-wired into the human creature.
I’ve long been of the mind that most people are capable of most anything. Obviously to be human is to have the capacity for love, beauty, connection, compassion, AND also the capacity for utter cruelty and degradation. It’s just the human condition and I don’t think any of us are free of those urges, though we can decide what to do with them, at least most of the time. I think under extreme stress people can and do snap and do crazy things that normally they would be able to keep in check. Just reading a newspaper it’s obvious how nasty we can be to one another. And the people doing those nasty things are people just like you and me. We sometimes have a tendency to distance ourselves from certain kinds of people: neo-nazis, child molesters, rapists, killers and so on – and view them as being so beyond the pale that they couldn’t possibly be like us. But I think they are like us. They’re flawed human beings, just as we all are. Perhaps their urges vary in the details (most of us probably aren’t pedophiles or death fetishists), and clearly their self-control is lacking, but the capacity for cruelty and violence lives in us all. And we can get glimpses of it every night when we’re dreaming. The unconscious mind doesn’t know anything about being politically correct or considerate of the well-being of others when it comes to those primal urges.
So I think Shane’s film touches on these kinds of questions and on why so many of us are drawn to darkness. I mean, when I heard the title of this movie and read a couple reviews, I said, “I gotta see that.” Why is that? What does it say about me? Obviously my own sexual fantasies can get pretty dark sometimes. I’m not turned on by death but clearly if you’ve read any of my stories on my website, fear, loss of control, and being in “over one’s head” are indeed sexy to me. And those sexual fantasies obviously plug into a deep primal place way down in the animal side of my brain.
If you want to read some more about APSK, there are quite a few reviews online, and apparently it’ll be coming out on DVD soon. I just want one of those super-cool t-shirts that Shane was wearing at the screening. The poster art is really good, though the suggestion of bondage, I should point out, is a bit of a tease. The actress in the movie never actually gets chained up or cuffed, though the movie’s so nasty that I’m not sure it would have been much of a thrill for me even if she had been.
Anyway, here are a couple more links to check out below. It probably WON’T be coming to a theater near you. But there is the DVD. It’s not an easy watch, but I’d definitely recommend it.
Interview on Cinema Crazed
Film Threat Interview – Part One, Part Two
There’s another sicko horror film coming out that looks right up my alley, something called, “Amateur Porn Star Killer,” that was apparently shot on digital video for something like $45. There’s a midnight screening at Laemmle’s Sunset 5 Cinema in Los Angeles, on the 24th and 25th. Think I might have to make plans to see this one: Article on Skullring.org.
Update: just heard from Chad at Pollystaffle.com, where he’s doing a free ticket giveaway. Also sent a press release on the film. This thing sounds so appalling that I’m afraid I’m going to have to see it.
Another highlight from FetishCon was the insane Reverend B. Dangerous freak show performance at the Sunday night party. He’s a crazy guy who puts scorpions in his mouth and electric drills up his nose. I love this kind of sick stuff. Here’s some pictures from the 2006 FetishCon but it was essentially the same show.
I got some much needed sleep last night and am still on a high from the weekend at FetishCon. Forgive all the name-dropping in the following post, but there were so many wonderful people there and everyone was really nice. First off, after being hit by the heat and humidity outside the airport, I hopped on the minibus to the Hyatt and was delighted to find Tom/Cindy and KKY, both of whom I’ve shot pictures with for my site. I also got to meet a couple other lovely ladies going to the show – Mistress Sable and Mistress Gemini. A very nice start to the weekend that put me in a relaxed mood.
However, one of my least favorite things in life is to walk in alone to a big cocktail party where I don’t know many people, so I began to feel a little nervous about the Meet and Greet party that was coming up. After getting ready, I went downstairs for a while and checked it out, but my nerves were getting to me so I took a little break in the ladies room, regrouped and got myself together, and tried again. After a while I started to get into the flow of the evening and it turned out really well. Obviously there were dozens of gorgeous women there, lots of them in full-on fetish wear, with lots of corsets, stockings, and heels. I mingled around and met several nice people, including toon guy Andre, whom I’ve known online for quite a while – a really sweet guy with whom I got to chat several times over the weekend. And I also got to meet a lovely tg girl, Angela, whom I’d written a few times just before the show. She was very cute and a really fun person to hang with.
Friday morning, I arrived a little early at the show and chatted with a cute girl doing security, whom I later learned was Michelle Peters from Dizdat. She also was the model for several bondage demos over the weekend. She did one later that afternoon with Dominic Wolfe that was one of the hottest things I’ve seen in years. (I’ll be posting more pics from the weekend on my Yahoo Group in a folder called FetishCon 2007.) And she did a great demo with Phil Carson showing some thin-lace bondage, which was equally amazing and hot.
Once the show opened I got to meet quite a few of the big name guest models who had booths there. I was pretty nervous approaching Emily Marilyn and was afraid I’d pee myself, but she was really cool and actually very nice and graciously let me take a picture posing with her. One of the things I love about her is that she has a dark unknowable quality to her persona. Mysterious enigmatic women are always terribly attractive. And of course she’s so stunning that I can barely form intelligible sounds in her presence. Meeting her was just amazing.
Later that day I had a chance to sit down for lunch with my new friend Jeff Jamm, whom I’ve been talking to online for the last several months. I was really glad that he was at the show, as we’d been talking about shooting some pics for some time, and he recently sent me some nice new ballgags, which he makes himself. I remember seeing and admiring his work from way back in the old Harmony Concepts days, so it was nice to actually meet in real life. I had a nice visit with him and his lovely girlfriend K. and we made plans to shoot later that night.
When I showed up that evening, he was just finishing up a shoot with a cute young model named Trinity, doing a nice set of pictures with her in a stretchy spandex dress. It wasn’t till later that I realized that it was Trinity from Hunter’s Lair. She’s a really cute girl and she and her boyfriend were both really nice. Once they finished their set, Jeff and I shot two sets of pictures that I’m looking forward to posting on the Trannies site in the future. I asked Jeff to tie ‘em tight, and boy did he ever. For the second set that we did I was on my knees on a small rotating platform, tied to a short pole in front of me. Jeff clicked away and then finally after fifteen minutes or so my elbows were just dying and that was it. No more bondage that night! But I sure slept well.
I met lots more people at the show that weekend, including the amazing Darla Crane, whom I’ve loved for years. I also talked to a nice guy from New York who said he knew an AES model who wanted to do some shots tied up with a tranny. My hand went up and I immediately volunteered. To my great surprise, though, when we finally got together, Annie, the model, brought a friend with her to do the rigging and it turned out to be none other than fellow AES girl Lyndsey Sinclaire, who’s absolutely stunning. So yeah, I can now say I’ve been tied up by Lyndsey Sinclaire! Pretty cool. I don’t have the pictures just yet but I’ll be posting some of them on my Yahoo Group once I get them.
Later on that Saturday I finally got to meet my friend Judy from Florida. Judy and I have been emailing each other for a few years now and it was really nice to finally meet her and her lovely and supportive wife. We had a nice visit down in the bar and briefly tried out an arm binder back up in her room. Then later that evening I went to the Midnight Masquerade party, held at a club nearby. Wow, that was amazing. I’ve been to lots of parties where later you come home and say, “Well, that was kind of fun.” But this one was a total blowout. The energy level was really high and I spent most of the night upstairs where the bondage and bdsm people were playing. I got to tie up my cute new tg friend Rachel, whom I’d met the day before and had a really nice time with her. I really got into the zone and felt her up and she seemed to be enjoying it too, with her eyes closed and her head rolling back. I love it when the bondage sends you away like that. There was also another ultra-freaky tg girl with these huge pink platform shoes and watching her dance to the music was hypnotic. I just sat there with my eyes glued on her. She danced really well, in this bizarre and exaggerated manner, like she was possessed by something. The whole vibe of the evening really brought on the feeling of an altered state of consciousness, and hell, I haven’t drank or done any drugs in well over a year. But I was definitely zoning out. I’m so glad I didn’t miss this one.
Sunday the show was winding down and after spending a few more hours meeting people and buying some new heels from the Shoe Guy, I took a much needed nap before heading down to the Sunday night afterparty. This party was held in the hotel ballroom itself so there was no way the energy level could compete with the previous night’s bash, held at a private club, but it was still a lot of fun.
I missed the very start, but Midori and Kumi Monster did this amazing performance where Midori, as a sophisticated Japanese mistress, puts her maid Kumi through all kinds of bizarre torments as punishment for her numerous errors. At first I thought is was kind of slow but then it just got weirder and weirder and I couldn’t look away. At one point Kumi, wearing white kabuki makeup, ends up bound and has japanese symbols painted onto her body, then gets doused with black paint and finally is whipped with a couple of dead squids, which she’s then forced to wear on her head, while Midori lets the tentacles slide down into her own mouth. It sounds nuts but it worked really well as a performance and Kumi was a mess by the end of it, bound and utterly degraded and objectified. Sounds good to me!
The last twenty four hours hours I barely got any sleep at all, so by the time I packed and sat down in the lobby waiting for the shuttle bus, I was beat. There are a lot more people that I met and things I saw but if I keep on writing, this’ll be as long as a New Yorker magazine article. Oh, yeah, like I mentioned earlier, Rubberdoll was amazing. I paid five dollars to spin her “wheel of pain” where she then puts you in the stocks and does wicked things to you depending on where the wheel falls – “spanking,” “violet wand,” “mistress’s choice,” etc. The violet wand was great. I’d never done it before and she was an expert with it. I enjoyed it so much that I went back twice. Best ten dollars I ever spent.
Other people I met include Vivian Irene Pierce, who’s super hot and a really fun person. She was one of the last models I got to talk with and I’m glad I did. There was also Diana Knight, Eden Wells, Smoking Mary Jane, Anastasia Pierce (really sweet), and of course Stacy Burke. What a fabulous weekend. I was floating on a cloud by the time it was over. It’s good to be home again, but I’m definitely planning to go back next year for more.
(More FetishCon photos here at Eros Arts.)
Dominic Wolfe with Michelle Peters
Rubberdoll and furry friend
Michelle Peters bound by Phil Carson
Sandra and her furry friend
Miss Stacy Burke and Jim Weathers’ hand
FetishCon was a huge success! I had an awesome time and will definitely be going back next year. I’ve been up for 24 hours from Sunday till Monday, got a little rest on the plane, but am really beat and badly need a nap. One highlight I can mention is getting stocked and violet-wanded by Rubberdoll at her “wheel of pain.” I’ll post a full report with lots of fetish name dropping in the next day or so
I’ll be away from the computer for a few days while in Tampa at FetishCon. I’m really looking forward to it and hopefully I’ll have a lot of new pictures to share when I get back.
This week’s update I’ll probably post early on Wednesday since I have to travel on Thursday. As always, if anyone has password problems or anything, you can get help on the CCBill help page. For other billing companies there are links on my Help Page. I’ll probably get online a few times but my email access will be spotty at best.
One of the things I try to do is be open to other people, especially people I don’t know and run into during everyday activities. I often fall short but it’s something to aim for. I do a fair amount of walking and hiking in my guy mode life and when I’m out and about I like to make eye contact with people and say hi or good morning if they seem at all open to it – nothing more than that, just trying to acknowledge the other person. If someone has their ear glued to a cell phone or is intently studying the ground, of course, I won’t say anything. But so often, maybe especially in a big city, it seems people generally go around avoiding each other, refusing to make eye contact or even smiling. I don’t think it has to be this way, though maybe I’m being a bit of an idealist.
So this morning when I was out walking, I was in an area with a lot of homeless and “interesting” people and this guy with only a few teeth was approaching, maybe listening to an iPod, I couldn’t tell for sure. He was looking right at me, so I smiled and nodded and said, “Hey,” and as he’s going by I hear him saying, “You better watch you’re f**cking mouth.” It was actually kind of funny. I didn’t feel in danger or anything, since I think he was talking to his own inner demons as much as me. But it was like an illustration of exactly the kind of thing I would often tell myself, that I have to “watch it” or “be careful.” And I’m not sure that being careful has really served me that well over the years. I know I’ve shut myself down and told myself I couldn’t do something or wasn’t good enough many times, all in the name of being careful. Of course, there’s reasonable caution, such as not walking down a dark street in the city in full drag with six inch heels. But there are many areas in life where taking some risks can really pay off.
Okay, I know this is probably sounding pretty New-Agey but that’s what’s on my mind. Maybe I’ve been in Southern California a little too long.