• Sticky Shifting to a new site: historyofbdsm.com

    After seven years and over 700 posts, I've learned that beautyindarkness.blog.ca has somehow shifted out of the good part of the Internet and into the bad part. When I google "history bdsm", my site doesn't turn up on the first ten pages of search results. Obviously, this is a problem. Nobody is finding me, therefore nobody is aware of my writing, and also nobody is clicking on my ads.

    I've finally taken the big leap and moved to a new site with a more SEO-friendly domain name: historyofbdsm.com Thankfully, I've found it pretty easy to copy-and-paste the old posts over to the new site, and I'll soon have several hundred posts up on the new site. Eventually, beautyindarkness.blog.ca will be downgraded to a free hosting plan and, sometime after that, shut down.

    I'm going to put more thought into SEO, and also start a new sub-series on reading through Fifty Shades of Grey with my idiosyncratic commentary. As I mentioned before, I'm putting most of my attention into getting a draft of the book done, and therefore won't be posting detailed essays as much.

    I may shift over to another host, depending on the performance of the new site. My only real hitch is that Wordpress, the CMS for the new site, has some kind of unreasoning hatred of Amazon product banners. This is the major source of ad links for my site, and I'm not sure what to do about this. I've tried many different plugins, but none seem to work. The fact that I'm using a free hosting plan that doesn't allow certain functionalities is complicating the matter.

    One solid improvement over the old blog.ca hosting service is that I can backup the entire site and transplant it to another hosting service if I wish.

  • Follow the history of BDSM on Pinterest

    I've started a "pin" for BDSM history images on Pinterest.

  • Help Janet W. Hardy publish her book "Girlfag"

    To my friends, family, colleagues and supporters:

    With just two weeks to go, we're past halfway in our fund-raising project for Girlfag: A Life Told In Sex and Musicals... but we're Image
    going to need a big last-minute push to take us over our goal amount of $7500.

    Fortunately, we now have a great new tool to help with this project - an absolutely gorgeous cover by my longtime collaborator John Brenner of Johnny Ink, which you can see here. Hope you like it!

    However, new donations have slowed down in the last week, and if we don't get a kick of new people in the next couple of weeks we may miss our $7500 goal. Now, don't get me wrong - I am going to publish this book anyway, somehow. But in order to do it justice - to back it with the marketing, PR and merchandising it needs to reach its intended audience of people who don't feel comfortable with traditional categories of gender and orientation - we need to raise that money.

    So, please: If there's any way you can help - by donating what you can spare, by telling friends who might be interested, by posting our link to your Facebook page, or anything else you can think of - now's the time to do it!

    And, as if you needed any more incentive... if you refer a friend who donates at least $50, you'll qualify for a free Girlfag patch. Just ask your friend to drop me a note along with their donation so I know who's responsible.

    So stop by now to the Kickstarter page. You'll find everything you need - a complete description, some excerpts, and a nice big picture of the cover - plus a wide range of awesome incentives to loosen the strings on your wallet. Plus, of course, the knowledge that you've helped bring important new information into the world of sexuality and relationships (and, of course, musical theater)!

    Thanks to you all,
    Janet W. Hardy

  • Vancouver BC BDSM Conference Westward Bound

    While I missed the opportunity to present at this event, I will be attending Vancouver's Westward Bound BDSM conference on February 3-5, presented by Metro Vancouver Kink. This promises a great weekend of educational events and play parties in Vancouver's Maritime Labour Centre.

    I'm a co-founder and former board member of Metro Vancouver Kink, and I'm always pleased to support the organization.

  • Roman sex tokens

    UK newspaper the Guardian has a piece on the recent discovery of a bronze token specifically made for spending in Roman brothels in Britain.

    While the Putney token has been hailed as a rare discovery from Roman Britain, such artefacts showing similar scenes were actually well known in Renaissance Italy. Scholars in the 16th century didn't know what they were maybe something to do with the reputed excesses of the emperor Tiberius? but they did leap on evidence of ancient Roman erotic art. Anything from antiquity was considered noble in the Renaissance, so these "coins" (as they were misnamed) licensed saucy 16th-century art, including Giulio Romano's famous series of pornographic illustrations I Modi.

    Again, this ties into Howard Bloom's "strong misreading" idea I talked about earlier, that this misunderstanding of a given text (the token) fertilizes more creativity.

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