At Stockroom, October 1 means more than starting the countdown to that night with the pumpkins, candy, and costumes. Every year since 2012, we’ve celebrated October as National Kink Month. For us, it’s a time not only to celebrate the two and a half decades that we’ve been in business, but the kink community itself.
It’s appropriate that this year, National Kink Month starts right in the middle of Banned Books Week, because kink communities have suffered not only from moral censure, but are persistently teetering on the edge of illegality. Even here in the United States, where the law ostensibly protects our freedom of speech and of the press, kinky people have to be very careful about how and where they express their desires. The educational materials and resources that make it possible for people to explore BDSM in a safe, sane, and consensual manner can be suppressed using the slimmest of excuses. Our greatest protection against that is not the law, but the activists and educators in our own communities who have put so much time and passion into building spaces where people can explore taboo sexualities without shame.
This is undoubtedly an interesting time to be into kink. In 2012, when we declared the first National Kink Month, E.L. James’s erotic novel Fifty Shades of Grey had been in print for only seven months. In February of this year, a major motion picture adaptation was released.
A lot of experienced kinksters have feelings that could be politely called “mixed” when it comes to discussing James’s novels, but there’s one thing that can’t be denied: The success of the trilogy has made a lot of people more openly curious about BDSM and other forms of kink. James may get a lot of things wrong about consent and safety, but having Fifty Shades on the best-seller list and in the movie theaters means that people are more likely to look at our community with curiosity and as a source of education, rather than disgust.
The video below, starring Stockroom’s own Head Mistress, Hudsy Hawn, is a great example. Buzzfeed’s “Try Guys” came to Hudsy to see what “‘Fifty Shades’ Style BDSM” is like and put their experience on camera. (We’re not exactly sure what the difference is between Fifty Shades Style and regular BDSM, except that perhaps the former may require that one of the partners be a super-handsome mega-billionaire.)
The video is a good demonstration of the kind of experience that lots of people are having right now: They’ve heard about kink through rumors, cop shows, and the occasional porno, and so only have a collection of half-truths and fantasies about what it really is. If they’re lucky enough to hook up with someone as experienced and ethical as Hudsy for their first time, they’re going to learn very quickly about how essential consent and negotiation is in any BDSM scene.
The awkwardness of the Try Guys in the Buzzfeed video is not only kind of charming, but should also be familiar to anyone who’s been a newbie in a dungeon or a private scene. That’s why it’s such a great way to start off National Kink Month: We’ve all been there. Lots more will be there, especially now that E.L. James opened the Pandora’s Box for so many people who never noticed it sitting on the counter in plain sight. The reason that we celebrate National Kink Month is not only to pay tribute to the people who are already part of the community, but to make it a more welcoming place for those who would like to be part of it. There are a lot of pleasures to be had in kink, but a lot of responsibilities.
At Stockroom, this month will be a great time to get new gear and toys. Our Screaming Syren Sale will feature 20% discounts on clothing from Syren and Stormy Leather for the first nine days of the month. Throughout the month, you’ll be able to buy some of Stockroom’s finest gear and toys for 35-50% off.
But this month is about more than selling stuff for us; it’s also a time for education, because that’s what keeps us alive as a community. In addition to the usual workshops happening at Stockroom Hall in Los Angeles, we’re going to post more information about specific fetishes and practices that are hard to find right here on the blog and in our social media channels.
It’s going to be a great month for us all. Let us know what kind of kinks you’re playing with, and what you’re interested in exploring.
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.
The tradition of buying dirty magazines may not be as robust as it once was, but we’d like to recommend that you take a look at the August 2015 issue of Penthouse Variations. It’s kind of special to us because it stars not only their usual mix of steamy writing and pictures, but an excellent cover image of model Angela Sommers in all her domme glory wearing several of Stockroom’s best items. The pictures were taken by fetish photographer Tommy O, who more than does justice to both Angela and our own gear. She certainly lives up to the issue’s theme: Whether you’re looking for a Demanding Domme or a Bitch Goddess or a little of both, she looks like she can deliver. (And then some.)
Below, you can check out the cover and a shot from inside the magazine:
In this inside shot, Angela shows off another piece of Stormy Leather gear: the Stormy Zip Corset, a really nice strapless corset with multiple zippers that make it adaptable for use in a wide number of looks and environments.
Congratulations to Angela Sommers and Tommy O in putting together such a great shoot with our stuff, and thanks to Isabella Sinclaire for letting them use Ivy Manor Studios for the shoot. We love it when people play with our gear and look so good doing it.
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.
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.
As an out-and-proud sex nerd, attending CatalystCon for the first time was a mind-blowing experience. With seminars entitled “Slut Shaming: The Clash Between Sexuality and a Sex-Negative Culture,” and “ECOSEX! Make The Earth Your Lover: Heat Up Your Sex Life as You Slow Global Warming,” and “Sex Toys: Past, Present and Future,” my two days of CatalystCon were jam packed with learning! It was kind of like being back in college except instead of talking about sex in secret, everyone there was talking about sex publicly in an amazing and open setting. Instead of a notebook full of penis doodles, I left with a notebook full of great information about all different facets of human sexuality (okay, and a few penis doodles.)
The seminars were led by some of the biggest names at the forefront of sexual education and sexual expression; Carol Queen, Annie Sprinkle, Cunning Minx, and too many other luminaries to name. It took a lot of restraint to not go full blown fan girl on some of my favorites (although I did wind up stopping Annie Sprinkle in the bathroom to take a photo.)
In the hospitality lounge, Wet Lubes had a full blown lube lab where you could try out different types of lubricants and offer up an opinion on your favorite. There was also a table full of books for sale by attending authors where I met tons of other kinky folks browsing tantalizing books about tales of sexual adventures, useful bedroom tricks, and how to safely and successfully fulfill your fetishes. I left CatalystCon a little nerdier, a little kinkier, and filled with a new appreciation for all of our amazing sex educators!
Check out this video from CatalystCon East to hear what Del Tashlin, Sex Nerd Sandra and others had to say about their fetishes, the kinkiest thing they’ve ever done and their secret sex tip! I cannot wait to get my geek on again next year! #CCONforlife
“Ernest Greene was one of the first 3 people I met when I decided to explore the kink subculture. Ernest has produced his own uncompromisingly and distinctively kinked version of the great American novel, and I’m pleased he chose Daedalus Publishing as the publishing platform to deliver it to the masses. We know his legion of existing fans will be pleased, and look forward to introducing his work to a wider audience.”
– Joel Tucker, owner of Daedalus Publishing, owner and founder of The Stockroom
Ernest Greene is renowned figure in kink circles for his longtime position as Executive Editor at Hustler’s Taboo magazine, as well as his directorial output including three erotic feature films featuring characters from the erotic classic The Story of O: O, The Power of Submission; The Surrender of O; and The Truth About O, starring his wife, legendary adult film star Nina Hartley.
“Like countless readers over the years, I found Story of O so compelling a tale but was disappointed by it for not being better,” said Greene. “I wanted to break down the walls of the cold, self-centered Steven and have him find someone who can give him the one thing he doesn’t have… love and slavery in the same place. In turn, I wanted O to have motivation for her passionate submission to him.”
Master of O is a completely new genre of romantic fiction that’s aimed at readers interested in the dynamics of power-based relationships, an appreciation for noir fiction and appetite for something more stimulating than Fifty Shades of Grey.
Update: Due to overwhelming response, we’ve expanded our celebration! Noir Lustre will now be a two night event, starting Thursday and Friday nights at 11pm!
New Year’s might be over, but that doesn’t mean the partying has to be! Not only will The Stockroom be a major presence at this year’s Adult Entertainment Expo in Las Vegas (as co-hosts of The Lair, an interactive playspace for attendees), it will also be continuing the celebration of its 25th year in business with the ultimate fetish party, Noir Lustre.
Come dressed in your shiniest latex or kinkiest gear, let loose and mingle with legends such as Nina Hartley and Annie Cruz!
What: Noir Lustre, Play Party & Anniversary Celebration
Where: Vinyl at Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas
When: Thursday, January 16th at 11pm and Friday, January 17th at 11pm
Who: Lovers of kink, latex and fetish looking for an outrageous Vegas experience!
We’ve announced our list of the most exciting new sex toys of 2013! These top 10 items will be featured on Stockroom.com during the holiday season, along with a sale launching on Black Friday, November 29, 2013.
Rather than the traditional buzzing or pulsing associated with classic vibrators, this revolutionary, rechargeable sex toy features an organic thrusting motion that stimulates your every hidden part! Why you need this: Did we mention that it THRUSTS?!
Makers of the original Cocksling, Oxballs, present a sleeker, more compact version by Atomic Jock. A combination cock ring and ball stretcher that’s super stretchy and designed to accommodate most men. Why you need this: Experience firmer erections and more intense orgasms!
Big, thick and firm, this dildo comes packed with bumps and ridges, complete with a stimulating curve. The attached handle allows complete control over the depth of penetration. Why you need this: You promised yourself you’d take more control next year…
This modern version of a classic fraternity paddle is made of premium, flexible silicone, which transfers energy directly, rather than absorbing it like leather paddles. Sensations range from severe to sadistic. Why you need this: We all know someone who deserves a good “thwack”.
Aesthetically reminiscent of traditional medical gear, this set is ideal for any medical fetishist. The deluxe padded wrist restraints, arm splints, ankle cuffs, and posture collar are handmade in the USA and constructed of heavy-duty, high-quality leather. Why you need this: This is how modern kinksters play “doctor”.
This sleek, sexy metal implement is made of aerospace-grade aluminum with a stainless steel stem. The hefty lollipop-shaped slapper is anything but sweet, upping the ante on traditional corporal punishment. Why you need this: Your ass will wear out before this crop does.
Anyone who is looking beyond traditional nipple clamps will love these super magnetic balls! Simply hold 2 balls on either side of your nipple and the intense magnetic strength will pull them together while your nipple screams for mercy between them. Why you need this: “…because magnets – how do they work?”
The snug indent at the tip of the Sakura makes it ideal for pinching or hugging various body parts. The incredibly soft silicone texture also makes it perfect for all-over body massage. Why you need this: This non-threatening toy is the stress reliever every woman needs.
Quickly and easily transform your ordinary bed into a bondage scene! Adjustable to fit any bed, the sexy leather look and high-quality hardware take your bedroom play to the next level. Why you need this: They’re ready to go and easy to hide.
Made from top-quality elastomer and fully reversible, this stroking sleeve comes in four different styles, all offering unique textures to grip and satisfy you. Say goodbye to basic, ordinary masturbators and upgrade your experience! Why you need this: Your hands only come in one texture.
25 YEARS OF KINK
CELEBRATE STOCKROOM’S 25TH ANNIVERSARY!
Stockroom will be ending our year off with a BANG!
Stay tuned on stockroom.com for details on Stockroom’s 25th anniversary blowout on New Year’s Eve in Hollywood!
Have fun this holiday season with any or all of our featured favorite new sex toys!
Adult industry trade magazine, XBIZ, has announced the nominees for the 2014 XBIZ Awards, the industry awards event of the year. Stockroom, long-time makers of high quality BDSM gear, has been nominated for an unprecedented nine awards, including:
Shawn Gentry, Director of Operations at Stockroom, is pleased to hear the news: “It’s a big year for us as we prepare to celebrate our 25th Anniversary in 2014. This is truly an amazing way to end the year, learning that we’ve been nominated for a record 9 XBIZ Awards. We couldn’t be more proud and are very thankful for the support of our peers.”
The Stockroom is getting ready for a very exciting holiday season with the launch of their annual Black Friday sale and their SEXmas sale. This New Year’s Eve, Stockroom will also kick off their yearlong 25th Anniversary celebration with a giant bash in Hollywood and a year’s worth of special events and promotions.