If you were keeping an eye on the Stockroom Twitter feed recently, you probably caught us showing off some shots from the July/August issue of Penthouse like proud parents. The photos are from a spread that’s part of Penthouse’s “Badass” issue, shot by TommyO and starring models Angela Sommers and Kendra James.
It also stars a lot of clothing from Stockroom, Stormy Leather, and Syren Latex, which is why we were doing the proud parent routine. Nothing validates our work more than seeing how people use our clothes and toys to bring their own imaginations to life. The imagination at work in the Penthouse pictorial is evident to even the casual observer, but the already vivid colors become just a little brighter if you know the story behind it.
Angela Sommers and Kendra James in a medical scene.
Every month, Penthouse invites a celebrity to come up with an idea for a pictorial. For the most recent “Badass” issue, they chose Jesse Hughes, frontman for Eagles of Death Metal to bring his vision to life. For inspiration, Hughes reached back over fifty years to an artist who had immeasurable influence on American culture, but who got little reward for his work during his lifetime: Joe Shuster.
Most people, if they know Shuster at all, know him for co-creating Superman with his childhood pal Jerry Siegel. With the 1938 introduction of Superman in Action Comics #1, Siegel and Shuster created not only an iconic character, but an entire genre. Imitators flooded the market, and eventually superhero comics evolved into the multi-billion dollar industry that we have today. Without Siegel and Shuster, our world would lack more than comic books; we wouldn’t have the blockbuster movies, video games, or television shows that now drive so much of pop culture.
Angela Sommers in bondage.
In a just world, Siegel and Shuster would have become wealthy within a few years. But before the first issue even hit the presses, they had signed all their rights to the character over to National Publications (now DC Entertainment) for a paltry $130 — about $2,000 in today’s money. In the decades to come, no amount of legal battling ever changed that.
While National raked in money, Superman’s creators — especially Shuster — struggled to survive on whatever work they could find after their ten-year contract expired. In 1948, a lawsuit to recover their rights to Superman failed; Shuster went through several unsuccessful projects, including a superhero book called Funnyman which flopped after only a few issues. By 1954, he was anonymously drawing kinky fetish art for an underground magazine called Nights of Horror.
In an unlucky series of events, those Night of Horror was blamed for a string of serial killings in a sensational murder trial in the 1950’s. the books were subsequently banned and burned, which makes original versions quite rare today.
Even among comics geeks, Shuster’s time doing kinky art was only faint rumor until 2009, when comics historian Craig Yoe identified the pictures and collected them in a book called Secret Identity: The Fetish Art of Joe Shuster. In an interview on Fresh Air, he described how Shuster’s art style remained the same even though the content was so very different.
Well, these are like Superman gone wild. I mean, characters look quite a bit like Clark Kent, Superman, and his counterparts Lois Lane, Jimmy Olsen and the villain who plagued him, Lex Luthor. You think they’re the citizens of Metropolis, yet they’re in these very compromising sexual situations. I’ve been kind of amused and annoyed that some people have called the illustrations kind of quaint or charming because they are from the ’50s. But I think they’re anything but; there’s bloodletting and there’s whips and chains and a man menaces a young girl with a cactus…. The illustrations are quite strong, quite pulpy, yet beautifully composed, beautifully drawn, beautifully rendered in Joe’s strong, sure style.
That was the art that Jesse Hughes took as the inspiration for his Penthouse spread. Photographer TommyO says that the intent was not so much to reproduce the images themselves, but to capture the spirit of them in photographs. One of the biggest differences is that Shuster’s original art was black-and-white line drawings. The pictorial that Hughes and TommyO created uses color flamboyantly.
A page of Shuster’s fetish art from the 50s. Note how much resemblance the characters bear to his most famous creations: Lois Lane and Superman.
TommyO’s shots are lit strictly with bright primary colors that would be used in the printing process of a comic book: blue, red, yellow, and magenta. “Since he’s famous for his comic book images, it made sense to create a strong graphic element in the photography by adding wide swaths of color with gels on the lights. I don’t believe we used any white light at all that day,” TommyO said. “Shooting this set was a definite challenge, but one which I really enjoyed .The idea was to make Shuster’s art jump off the pages and into real, albeit fantasy life. His somewhat simple drawings left a lot of space to fill when using live models and locations. He also drew very minimal backgrounds in order to keep the attention focused on his characters.”
Eagles of Death Metal frontman Jesse Hughes seated with Kendra James and Angela Sommers.
Anyone who grew up on superhero comics — whether the Golden Age ruled by the holy triumvirate of Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman or the modern era, where the stories travel almost immediately to the movie screen — knows how easily their fantasy world touches on the sexual. Even before Shuster moved to doing art for Nights of Horror, his reputation was built on creating stories that were pure id; good and evil clash without restraint or inhibition in comic books.
That’s why we especially love having been involved in this particular spread. The reality of the latex clothing that Syren makes has a huge amount of overlap with the fantasy of superheroes. It’s one of the reasons that it works so well both as fetish wear for the dungeon or as glamor wear while striding down the red carpet. It’s why we love what we do.
Kendra James and Angela Sommers
We had another great example of how those two realms overlap when Taylor Swift came to us to help outfit her music video “Bad Blood.” Swift has gotten seven nominations from the MTV Video Music Awards for “Bad Blood,” and we feel a little swell of pride in that, too. As both “Bad Blood” and the “Badass” pictorial show, the right clothes can bring the visual kick of a four-color comic book into real life. TommyO will be demonstrating that for us again very soon: he’s currently using the same fashions from Swift’s video for another Stockroom shoot.
Congratulations to Jesse Hughes, TommyO, Angela Sommers, and Kendra James on their fantastic work. We hope that Joe Shuster would finally be proud to see how even his most unacknowledged work is remembered.
In the three days since Taylor Swift’s new video “Bad Blood” hit the Internet, it’s been viewed almost 30,000,000 times. That’s only counting the official version, not the various mash-ups, annotated versions, parodies, and unofficial uploads that are already filling up YouTube.
The appeal goes way beyond the usual show-business hype. Take a look at it below, and you’ll understand. It takes its cues from the best of the superhero movies that have come out in the last decade or so: the action is fast-moving and elegant, the sets are beautiful, and the costumes are sexy as hell. We have to not-so-modestly admit to being proud of our part in helping with that last bit. Watch that first fight scene, and you’re watching the handiwork of Syren Latex’s designers in action. Literally.
That first scene features Swift in the persona of “Catastrophe” beating up bad guys while wearing our Newmar Basque latex dress. A word of caution: no matter how much pride we have in our craftwork, we wouldn’t expect any of our clothes to survive a ten-story fall out of an office building. Or the person wearing them, for that matter. Even we have our limits.
Catastrophe’s ally-turned-nemesis, Arsyn (played by Selena Gomez), is wearing Syren’s Garbo Blouse, a piece that we love because it’s a great combination of Old Hollywood style with modern fetish materials. The consensus around the Stockroom offices is that the metal briefcase that Arsyn slugs Catastrophe with looks suspiciously like the one our Agent Noir Neon Wand Kit comes in. If that were the case, the whole story becomes easier to understand: It’s one of our most beloved products, and certainly worth fighting over.
Finally, there’s a beautiful shot of Destructa X (Ellie Goulding) brandishing a huge rocket launcher while wearing Stockroom’s PVC Waist Cincher. While neither Stockroom nor Syren carry the rocket launcher, we have to admit that it makes for a great accessory.
Swift’s team came to Stockroom and selected some of our finest clothes during production, and we have say that we’re delighted to see what they did with them. A lot of creativity and hard work goes into Syren’s clothing, and even though we’re a business, not all of that labor can be counted in dollars and cents. “Bad Blood” with all its vigorous eroticism and bold heroics, depicts some of the things that we love most about the clothing we make, and we’re honored that Taylor Swift and her creative team were able to capture that in their video.
From The Illustrated Master of O. Image by Fernando.
Jacqui, dressed in her “work clothes” – a black cotton garter-tank that covered all but her most private real estate (which still bore traces of O’s recent dressage work) and opaque black stockings to match – dug her black stiletto pumps into the carpet and strained at pulling O’s already compressed waist in a bit further.
“That’s it if you’re interested in breathing,” Jacqui declared.
Jacqui posed her in front of Marie’s tall rolling mirror, a big smile spreading across her face as O stared at the transformation.
She wasn’t wrong. The corset took O’s narrow middle in a good three inches, exaggerating her breasts, hips and buttocks even further. With only the faint contrast of her brown leather collar and cuffs and her nude high heels, O appeared to be sculpted entirely of gleaming flesh, Jacqui having oiled her exposed areas lightly before wrestling with the cincher.
Her proportions were so extreme she resembled an unpainted mannequin. O was going for that effect. Though never fully satisfied with her appearance, she was at least grateful for her rigorous exercise, light diet and regular lacings. In profile, the impact was even more arresting.
“Well,” O conceded, “at least it’s comfortable.”
Jacqui threw her hands in the air. “You’re insane! I’d be passing out about now.”
“You just have to breathe from your diaphragm,” O explained, “and it’s good for you in reasonable doses. Helps take the weight off your spine.”
Unconvinced of the practical benefits, Jacqui admitted that the look was, literally and figuratively, breathtaking. To underscore the point, she stole a kiss and copped a feel.
“Steven’s going to want to fuck you the minute he walks through the door.”
If there’s a single object more directly associated with fetishism than the stiletto heel, it has to be the tight-laced corset. A stern bulwark of steel (originally whalebone) boning and sturdy laces, it not only configures a woman’s appearance, but also constrains her movements, making it a wearable instrument of bondage. Limiting flexibility at the mid-section, it imposes an upright posture that presents the chest in full glory while thrusting the backside outward.
As men and women alike became obsessed with reduced waistlines, corsets became more extreme. They increasingly constricted breathing, producing dizziness and even fainting during carnal exertions. Thus, they function in this form as both a mobile bondage device and an instrument of erotic asphyxiation. At the height of the corset’s most punishing period – the end of the Nineteenth Century –waist reductions of four inches or more were not uncommon. The legendary Ethel Granger tightlaced her waist down to a gasp-inducing 13 inches by the early years of the twentieth century. To this day, The Guiness Book of World Records lists her as the smallest tightlaced waist every recorded, while the record for the smallest waist on a living person now belongs to Cathie Jung, who can lace down to 15 inches.
Predictably, fashion appropriates fetish just as fetish appropriates fashion. Corsets can be seen adorning the youthful figures of style vamps who have adopted them as outerwear in various colorful fabrics, not to mention leather and latex, on the dance floors of nightclubs all over the country.
However, a thriving sub-culture of old-style corset enthusiasts persists. Models like Dita von Teese — who can get down to a sixteen-inch waistline doing up her own laces — have been elevated to iconic status. Thanks to them and their admirers, the modern practitioners of the corsetiere’s traditional art remain very much in business.
Just like the skyscraper heels and seamed stockings with which they’re often paired, genuinely constricting corsets that give no quarter to comfort or convenience continue to enjoy a secret life as fetish confection. The public more often sees the less severe forms in music videos and on the racks of trendy retailers. However, many a fetishist owes their interest to a first glimpse in such a seemingly vanilla setting.
While they may wax and wane in popularity as club wear, the corset’s position in the bedroom remains as secure as the garment itself, ever a totem of femininity and the passions it inspires.
Ernest Greene is a writer, producer and director whose body of work comprises over five hundred adult titles, including Tristan Taormino’s Ultimate Guide to Anal Sex for Women and Jenna Loves Pain. His first novel, Master of O, is available in trade paperback and illustrated editions from Stockroom.
The lovely Stoya dropped by our Silverlake boutique where we outfitted her in some luxurious handmade leather pieces from the JT Signature Collection.
Each piece in the JT Signature Collection is designed and assembled in our Los Angeles workshop from garment leather and gold-plated hardware personally selected and approved by The Stockroom’s founder and president, Joel Tucker.
2014 was one of the busiest years for our design team, and it shows with a huge selection of new original Stockroom leather fetish wear and Syren Latex pieces making their debut. Here’s a small sampling of our personal favorites from the last twelve months.
In the bedroom or at the ball, this mysterious mask will command attention and add an enigmatic air to your ensemble, making it the perfect fetish wear accessory for practically any occasion. It’s available in four colors (Black, White, Yellow, and Red) to compliment whatever you’re wearing, even if it’s nothing.
This handsome harness takes its inspiration from ancient Roman military garb, and although it won’t particularly protect your neck in the event of gladiator attacks, its distinctive ornamentation is certain to turn heads wherever you suit up.
Fearsomely fashionable, this heavy 30-gauge latex jacket with oversized industrial zipper is stunning zipped all the way up or left open to provide a daring asymmetrical accent to your favorite fitted evening dress.
These comfortable and sturdy leather and nickel-plated steel suspenders look great as a top all on their own, and keep you in style while keeping your pants up…which will be a challenge if you wear them to the club
This heavy-duty 3-inch wide latex belt bridges the space between fetish and fashion with its nickel-plated attachment points and buckles while helping to create an enticing hourglass look that pairs beautifully with a catsuit, a skirt, or almost any piece of latex wear.
Finally, a latex bra that provides the comfort and support of a conventional bra without sacrificing style. This is one of the most popular undergarments we’ve ever created, with good reason. But don’t take our word for it – see for yourself!
Want to see more of our picks for the best gear of 2014?
Check out our sex toys and BDSM gear lists!
We’ve tailored our patented Bolero Straitjacket design to fit the male frame with spectacular results! Every functional feature that garnered the original model acclaim and high demand remains intact, but is thoroughly designed and refined to improve the experience for the discerning gentleman.
The new model includes long, buckling leather straps which can be secured around a removable steel cock ring, attaching at three points, and meeting behind the back for seven points of restraint. The arm restraints of the straitjacket can be attached and secured with a strap on the chest, with the closed sleeves attached behind the back in the traditional style, or anchored to other objects for unique and creative bondage opportunities.
Each Bolero Straitjacket is made to order in our Los Angeles workshop according to the rigorous standards and quality assurance that is the hallmark of our creations. Designed to be attractive as well as functional, much care was put into creating clean lines to avoid the unsightly bulk and bulges of other straitjackets on the market.
RuPaul’s Drag Race Season 6 contestant and show stopping death dropper Laganja Estranja in “Scarlett Siren” – a mini film noir.
What did she wear?
A fully custom, head-to-toe Syren Latex ensemble: mini beret with pheasant feather, driving gloves, waist cincher, cross over body suit – all totally couture!
She left a lasting impression on us all with her jaw dropping glamour, talent and personality.
We adore you Laganja, OKAYYY!?!
We will be releasing designs inspired by Laganja’s ensemble this season! Stay abreast of all our fashions on Syren.com!
Above: Laganja Estranja poses with Syren’s own O’Shay and Christina.
Stockroom and Syren’s Designer Oshay Nunn – a huge fan of LogoTV’s wildly popular RuPaul’s Drag Race — noticed various items from the 2809 1/2 Sunset Blvd boutique adorned by multiple queens in the super tease trailer for the sixth season of the competition.
Tagging a few and proudly tweeting about this surprise product placement resulted in LA’s own Laganja Estranja collaborating with Syren Latex in a soon to be released video.
The collaboration included a few visits for fittings, where Miss Laganja sans drag collaborated with our video team for an episode of Inside 2809½
Oshay, pattern maker Christina Wheeler, and the entire Syren Latex crew created a unique couture ensemble for Laganja which she wore for this dynamic short video.
Entitled “The Scarlett Siren” the art work created from the collaboration of designers, star and crew was inspired with a noir aesthetic.
What she wore? Mini beret with pheasant feather, driving gloves, waist cincher, cross over body suit – all totally couture! We will be releasing designs inspired by Laganja’s ensemble this season! Stay abreast of all our fashions on Syren.com!
Mummification fetishists enjoy the feeling of being tightly bound, restrained, and deprived of sensory input. Very few of them are actually the shambling corpses of cursed pharohs of old. We celebrate all walks of life (and un-life) here at The Stockroom.
Long ago in the steamy sex dungeons of ancient Egypt, a perverted priest placed an ancient and terrible fetish curse upon an unsuspecting pleasure slave. This Halloween, foolish archeologists broke the seal, unearthing the horror of…
These latex rubber bondage strips are often used for cock and ball bondage, blindfolding, or restraining. Each strip is lightly powdered with cornstarch to keep it dry, silky, and non-sticky. The thickness is 14 gauge.