In the latest purge, Clips4Sale has removed the Damsel in Distress category and has banned all content that they describe as “non-consensual” which they describe this way: “You cannot show someone performing any acts (sexual or non-sexual) against their will.”
Apart from the fact that I resent banks and credit card companies dictating what constitutes moral or ethical conduct, this pretty much eliminates the core aspects of damsel in distress videos. But it also badly misunderstands it.
One of those core aspects in DiD for me has always been its role in fantasy. No one wants the women being bound and gagged to be harmed. In fact, as John Willie once pointed out, a core part of the fantasy is rescue as much as peril.
Viola Black described it beautifully in her essay on Willie here
It’s pure escapist, fantasy – we know Gwendoline is always going to be rescued, but the brief peril makes it exciting. There’s no real risk – Gwendoline is never going to be harmed, but, for a very short time, she is – gloriously – trapped in bondage.
Damsel in Distress bondage has always been for me about storytelling. Ever since I first encountered detective magazines as a kid in my local shop, I found damsel in distress fantasies as something which stirred my erotic imagination.
These stories go back as far as our earliest fairy tales, rescuing the Princess from peril, and are a basic part of so many of our core cultural narratives. We see it in nearly every soap opera and in most of our primetime dramas on TV and in countless films.
It is starting to feel like we are once again fighting the battles that Irving Klaw and others had to fight in the 1950s and 1960s. Their crimes, such as they were, was not to show bondage, but to make explicit the erotic nature of it. To say out loud that which everyone already knows and already feels.
DiD is erotic storytelling. There is something deep seated about the love of bondage. Depending on what survey you read, somewhere between 40% and 60% of people have sexual fantasies about bondage. That is probably not anything new.
These are not stories about non-consensual sex. They are not stories about rape.
They are stories about helplessness, desire, fantasy, rescue, and surrender. There is something fun, playful, and even innocent about a pretty girl being tricked, kidnapped, abducted and restrained in rope and tape, held against her will as we watch her squirm, struggle, and show us just how helpless she is. Securely restrained and tightly gagged, her helplessness inspires something in us to either to save her or, for some, to be her.
These are the stories I want to tell. To be in the tradition of those who want to show these beautiful women, for a very short time, gloriously trapped in bondage.
It is getting more and more difficult to do it.
I have a feeling it is going to get worse before it gets better.