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April 2023

  1. Another kink purge by social media – or is it always like this?

    We’re sure a lot of Libidex lovers are looking forward to giving their latex an airing at one or more of the fetish parties and festivals returning to kink’s international calendar over the next few months.

    So it’s disappointing to see complaints on social media this week that Meta (owner of Facebook and Instagram) might be having another of its occasional ‘kink purges’. The last one, back in early 2021, involved a crackdown on people using the hashtag #latex, and led to indiscriminate bans, takedowns and account deletions of people posting latex images that were mostly non-explicit fashion shots.

    This time, there are fears that those irrepressible Meta bots are set on causing problems for organisers of fetish events. Perhaps the very events you’d be interested in attending… if you could only find out about them.

    Vancouver Fetish Weekend promoter Isaac Terpstra certainly caused a stir when he posted on Facebook earlier this week: “It’s looking very much like the Vancouver Fetish Weekend Instagram account has been taken down for ‘soliciting sexual so and so’, despite logging a dispute. FFS. Beyond brutal.”

    He added: “I appealed it when it first was taken down, and it said, we'll review it, and if your dispute is successful, you’ll be able to access it within 24 hours. For 24 hours it was disabled, but then it was actually gone.”

    Happily, after Isaac “dug up an even deeper way of disputing it”, the Canadian summer festival’s page was reinstated — although he admitted he would be holding his breath for another day or two to see if it was going to stick. “Ugh, so stressful!” he complained.

    His post attracted a flurry of responses from other event hosts reporting similar problems. Florida Fetish Weekend organiser Glenn Catapano, who has had endless problems with Facebook over the years, commented:

    “We live this hell every day as a business. By putting the word fetish in our brand, we shoot ourselves in the foot. My livelihood is constantly at risk.”

    Davide LaPara of Montreal’s Cirque de Boudoir commented: “We lost our Instagram and had no recourse… had to start over with a new account.”

    René de Parade, host of the German Fetish Ball Weekend, wrote: “I had this three times now. Algorithm takes it down, I click the review button, 24 hours later, page is gone. I go to the help site, request a manual review and the site is up again. And the next day the algorithm takes it down again.”

    While London’s Torture Garden did not join in this specific thread, it too is known to have had its share of social media problems. So being the world’s biggest fetish partying brand is no guarantee of immunity either.

    But despite what victims of these actions often believe, it’s unlikely that these takedowns were triggered by ‘haters’ making complaints. In the case of 2021’s so-called ‘latex ban’, there was a far more prosaic explanation.

    Basically, the bots were encountering such wide use of #latex by accounts promoting banned sexual services and porn that other, legitimate users of the hashtag became collateral damage — like dolphins caught in a tuna net.

    So there may be an alternative explanation for what some fear to be a new crusade against kink by Instagram and co. It could just be that after almost three years of little or no fetish event activity because of the pandemic, this year’s return to full service has registered as a sufficiently unusual spike to trigger automatic algorithmic countermeasures.

    If so, things should settle down a bit in due course. But in the meantime, for event info, remember that most events have their own websites that are not vulnerable to the arbitrary decision-making of social media algorithms!

    Cirque de Boudoir
    Florida Fetish Weekend
    German Fetish Ball Weekend
    Vancouver Fetish Weekend


    Vancouver Fetish Weekend co-host Isaac Terpstra: stressed out by Instagram takedown

    Vancouver Fetish Weekend co-host Isaac Terpstra: stressed out by Instagram takedown


    Vancouver Fetish Weekend co-host Isaac Terpstra, aka DJ Pendemonium


    Libidex Blog Celebrity Beatrix Devine catches some late sun during Vancouver Fetish Weekend


    Vancouver Fetish Weekend provides great views of the Canadian city’s skyline and, er, more…


    Aerial performance by Felix Volatile at Montreal’s Cirque de Boudoir (photo: @Jo Gorsky)


    RubberFreak captured in one of Florida Fetish Weekend’s various open-air settings


    Ready To Ship range by Lady Lucie Latex, one of the brands on this year’s German Fetish Ball catwalk


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  2. Alejandra Guerrero’s Auto Erotica photo book launches on Kickstarter

    Alejandra Guerrero, the Chicago-based photographer who had a big hit back in 2020 with her first fetish photography monograph, Wicked Women, expects to have her second book out this autumn with the same publisher (London’s Circa Press).

    Titled Auto Erotica, the new book combines two of Guerrero’s enduring interests: powerful cars and even more powerful women!

    “This collection of vignettes features not only captivating models but also an assortment of cars as protagonists,” she says. “I started working on this project nine years ago, keeping the majority of the work unpublished. Now, I feel it's finally ready to be released, showcasing many never-before-seen photos.

    “In Auto Erotica,” she continues, “I draw upon my lifelong passion for cars, stemming from childhood memories of sitting in my mother's Mercedes and watching my mechanical engineer father fix up cool cars. These experiences inspired an adult fascination that eventually led to this electrifying body of work, following the success of Wicked Women.

    Set to be crafted in Belgium with fine art paper, featuring striking duotone and colour offset-lithographic printing and a beautiful binding, Auto Erotica promises to a feast for the senses — something for which all Circa’s fetish and erotic photography books are renowned.

    Another thing this publisher is known for is producing high quality books that sell at half the price they would retail at using the traditional publishing industry approach. Circa’s ‘secret’ is that it crowdfunds its high-end projects on Kickstarter, setting targets that enable it to cover the bulk of upfront production and, especially, printing costs.

    As long as the publisher has set the target correctly, the book gets printed and delivered to everyone who pledged support in return for one of the rewards on offer. And every book sold after all advance orders and rewards are fulfilled is then profit that keeps the publishing business going.

    Auto Erotica’s Kickstarter campaign began about a week ago and runs until mid-May. The campaign target is £22,500 and at the time of writing, the chances of reaching it were looking good.

    For supporters of the campaign, ten levels of reward are on offer, from a basic £60 for a signed copy of the book up to £2,500 for a very fancy boxed collector’s edition including signed prints. And beyond that there’s the offer of an Alejandra Guerrero photo-shoot for a supporter and partner.

    You can read all about the Auto Erotica campaign, see images from the book and check out all the rewards on offer by clicking on the link below.


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  3. Obsession: new BDSM drama streaming on Netflix from April 13

    To judge from the column inches devoted to it by the British Press in the run-up to its release on Thursday April 13, the Netflix miniseries Obsession could turn out to be the streaming service’s equivalent to the Fifty Shades trilogy.

    Equivalent, that is, in the sense that it may well tap into a massive audience for the kind of ‘vanillarised’ BDSM relationship drama that was peddled so profitably by the E L James books and movies.

    Whether Obsession can successfully engage both kink curious and/or romantically adventurous mainstream viewers and those who would consider themselves fetish and BDSM literate remains to be seen. From what has been gleanable before its release, it could go either way.

    This four-part series (dropped in one bingeable bundle) certainly has rather more respectable antecedents than 50 Shades. It’s based on the late Josephine Hart’s critically acclaimed 1991 novel Damage, which in 1992 was made into a film by Louis Malle starring Jeremy Irons, Juliette Binoche, Miranda Richardson, Rupert Graves and Ian Bannen.

    As in Damage, Obsession depicts an intense affair between talented medic William (Richard Armitage) and his son’s fiancée Anna (Charlie Murphy) that spirals into a dangerous, all-consuming obsession with devastating consequences for the whole family.

    The precise nature of that obsession is good old domination/submission, which was restricted in Malle’s film to the realm of the psychological. At least in this new adaptation, the sub-dom theme is physically manifested, albeit through the softly-softly medium of silk rope and ribbons, and at least one blindfold that looks to have been borrowed straight from the 1986 Kim Bassinger and Micky Rourke movie 9½ Weeks.

    Equally importantly, Obsession’s narrative has been rotated through 180 degrees by screenwriter Morgan Lloyd Malcolm, with events now seen from the viewpoint of submissive girlfriend Anna, rather than the dominant surgeon William’s male gaze presented in the Damage novel and film.

    In one press article, Lloyd Malcolm is quoted as saying it was really important “not to be saying anything like ‘BDSM sex is bad sex’, and that for her, it was all about “who is in control” of the relationship. “For me it was always Anna,” she says, “every single scenario.”

    It’s a viewpoint that Charlie Murphy, playing Anna, also endorses: “She is completely in control … She is the dominant submissive, and the power she gives to him is a very cathartic experience for her.”

    For viewers, will Obsession (which also stars Indira Varma and Rish Shah) prove to be an equally cathartic experience or a mere feather’s tickle on the BDSM impact play scale? That will become clear soon enough!


    First two photos Anna’s wrists are bound by William in Obsession (Netflix)

    William blindfolds Anna in Obsession (Netflix)

    Anna (Charlie Murphy) and William (Richard Armitage) embrace in Obsession (Netflix)

    Anna (Charlie Murphy) is fed by William (Richard Armitage) in Obsession (Netflix)

    Richard Armitage plays dominant medic William in Obsession (Netflix)

    Charlie Murphy plays submissive Anna in Obsession (Netflix)

    Anna (Charlie Murphy) and William (Richard Armitage) in Obsession (Netflix)

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  4. Libidex supplies shop-full of latex for Danny Boyle’s Pistol series

    We’re sometimes asked by customers whether Libidex, like other latex brands, ever supplies latex clothing to makers of movies, TV/streaming dramas or music videos. The answer is yes, we most certainly do! But we haven’t promoted this side of our work as much as some whose designs you might see sported by celebs on social media.

    However, since there is obvious interest in our own collaborations in this area, our intention is for the Libidex Blog to bring you more of these stories from now on. And we’re going to start with our very substantial contribution of latex to a streaming series globally on Disney+ and on Hulu in the USA.

    And when we say “very substantial”, we don’t mean a couple of outfits for some aspiring popster to wear in their promo video. We mean a whole shop-full of the stuff!

    How did it come about? Rewind to autumn 2020, which is when we were approached by Lettie Grumbarl, the project’s art director. She asked Libidex to supply the latex clothes for Pistol, the biographical miniseries created for FX by Craig Pearce, directed by Danny Boyle and based on Steve Jones’s book Lonely Boy: Tales from a Sex Pistol.

    Lettie — whose previous art department includes Florence Foster Jenkins, Entebbe, The King, Emma, and The Great — explained that the clothes would be displayed on the rails of a recreation of Vivienne Westwood and Malcom McLaren’s iconic King’s Road shop SEX. In total the production company wanted to rent 50 Libidex pieces, which we were very happy to provide.

    We were informed that the latex would only be used as set dressing and not worn. So it was a very pleasant surprise to see lead actor Anson Boon (who plays Johnny Rotten) trying on our Ashleigh Hood in his opening scene. There is a full close-up scene featuring “Johnny’s” mouth behind the hood’s open lips.

    A few episodes further on, we were as delighted to see Talulah Riley, who plays Vivienne Westwood, holding one of our suspender belts during a poignant scene in which she delivers a passionate speech to two teenage girls about freeing women from the oppression of the patriarchy. We’re sure everyone will agree that nothing says ‘freedom from patriarchal oppression’ like a Libidex latex suspender belt!

    You can see the Libidex latex we provided scattered all around the show’s SEX shop, which was recreated for the project right down to the bright pink latex SEX sign adorning the entrance. Visible throughout the series’ six episodes are myriad Libidex stockings, hoods, tops and skirts hanging on rails and displayed on wall-mounted mannequins.

    But hang on a minute, we hear you saying! The stylish latex that Libidex designs and makes is light years ahead of the kind of basic black sex shop/mail order rubber fetish gear that was actually available to stock Westwood and McLaren’s shop in the mid-1970s! And you are not wrong.

    This, we admit, was where a bit of artistic licence was unavoidable. But it did mean that at least the atmosphere — and, for the actors, the full fragrance! — of a shop full of 50 items of rubberwear was faithfully recreated. Albeit with pieces less basic and more stylish looking than anything that would have actually been found at SEX all those decades ago!

    Watch the Pistol trailer here:

    First six images below show Johnny Rotten (Anson Boon) in Pistol’s SEX shop; all but one show him trying on our Ashleigh latex hood.

    The actors playing the four Sex Pistols recreate a band photo in front of a US tour bus

    Maisie Williams in latex for her role as Jordan, in Pistol’s recreated SEX shop

    Maisie Williams in latex for her role as Jordan, in Pistol’s recreated SEX shop

    Jordan (Maisie Williams) in latex for her role in Pistol

    Sid Vicious (Louis Partridge) and Johnny Rotten (Anson Boon) on stage in Pistol

    Band members (right) arrive at Pistol’s recreation of Westwood & McLaren’s Kings Road shop SEX

    Jordan (Maisie Williams) dressed for the English weather in Pistol

    Jordan (Maisie Williams) makes a first class job of her daily commute in Pistol

    Latex-clad Jordan (Maisie Williams) with Siouxsie (Beth Dillon) looking on in Pistol

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