📚 Bibliographies: 003 – Rethinking sex, Asian Hollywood, and Fetish-core
In which I reconsider stereotypes
I’ve just started reading Rethinking Sex by Christine Emba, which as its name suggests, calls for us to question how we think about sex.
In an interview with Anne Helen Peterson from Culture Study (another great newsletter), Emba talks about how criticising current sex culture is often viewed as being anti-sex. But the truth is, there’s so much to question, including:
Why is casual sex “empowering”?
Why is celibacy “missing out”?
And if I’m being honest, what’s wrong with being anti-sex?
Young Hollywood was Asian
As part of my explorations into race and film studies, I stumbled upon Half-Caste Woman, a newsletter by Katie Gee Salisbury about Anna May Wong, the first Asian American movie star. In one of the recent issues, Salisbury writes about how in the early days of Hollywood, film productions were powered by Asians.
A spike in fetish-core
According to an article explaining the fetish-core trend – that I found via a Diem newsletter issue on the commonalities between NFTs and “Fetish-Core” – there is an increased mainstreaming of BDSM looks, which means BDSM accessories are now more accessible. One no longer has to ask around in the community or look for niche craftsmen online to get these products (speaking as someone who’s looked for whip makers on Etsy).
However, Mistress Marley, who was interviewed for the article, says, “The biggest flack that the BDSM community gets is that we’re weirdos; that we’re into all this crazy stuff. But then they turn around and use our look as an aesthetic.”
A recent representation of BDSM that I felt made progress was the Korean movie Love and Leashes (2022). Both protagonists are just into it – it’s not a predilection they developed because they were abused in childhood, are suicidal, have a mental illness or whatever. They’re just into it.