November 14, 2015 at 13:46 #26510
It is interesting to note the different attitudes to sex, BDSM and other adult pleasure in different countries and communities. I had one illuminating experience recently and wonder if other member have had others.
My wife and I recently attended the “BoundCon” convention in Vienna, Austria. On the morning of the first day, as the event was not opening until later, we walked down the road to a large shopping centre. We saw the chocolate bar in the picture. Obviously, we could not help buying (one or more).
Yes, those are cute white chocolate handcuffs and a dark chocolate whip. The bikini-clad girl looks like her legs are wrapped in dark chocolate rope.
The important thing is that this was not at the kinky convention: it was in the “normal” shopping centre. And it was not in any sort of adult store: it was in a “normal” sweet shop. And I don’t think they were bought in specially for visitors to the convention. It was the first time the convention had been held in Vienna and was not that big anyway. We could only say there was a very much more relaxed attitude to adult fun that we expect in England.
Has anyone come across any similar surprises?
November 15, 2015 at 10:20 #26512
- This topic was modified 2 years, 1 month ago by Hywel.
Thank you Andrew! (I was one of the lucky recipients of one of these choccie treats!)
I’ve been racking my brains to come up with a similar experience that wasn’t wrapped up in the British salacious-but-sneering sales technique.
What’s strange to me, as a naive scientist chap who doesn’t really understand human beings very well, is why there’s not more things like this around. I’m very glad that things seem more relaxed in places other than Britain.
I always found France and Germany more liberal- and in this particular thing, even the Swiss were a lot cooler about it than the Brits. I first saw Brian Tarsis’ City of Dreams in a French translation when I used to commute to CERN to work. It wasn’t in the CERN newsagents, but you could get it in most newsagents on either side of the Franco-Swiss border. I used to buy the latest issue at the airport on my way home. In the UK we’ve gone backwards- you can’t even buy a copy of Mayfair at the airport without it being hermetically sealed so as not to pollute passers-by. City of Dreams is not going to be on W H Smith’s shelves for a while yet, it seems.
In the UK we do seem spectacularly hung-up about it, don’t we?
There’s a high-street chain which will sell you (poor quality, rather unsafe as a result) bondage gear.
Fifty Shade of Grey sold 5.3 million copies in Britain alone. As a fairly conservative estimate that’s 10% of the adult population of the UK who BOUGHT the book.
Most surveys rank BDSM as something which a few percent of the population regularly enjoy, and more like 20% who’ve at least admitted to having had a go at some point.
That number is not too dissimilar from the fraction of people who paint or draw. (http://www.ons.gov.uk/ons/dcp171766_258996.pdf)
So while we are talking about a niche activity here- it’s not on a par with the percentage who watch TV or read for pleasure- it’s still MASSIVE. MASSIVE number of people. Millions of people in the UK alone.
So why aren’t there gifts like this in more places? If only everyone who was kinky would own up to it, everyone would see how many of us there are, it would cease to be something you could be blackmailed about or made to feel ashamed of, and treated as what it is- a leisure activity which gives harmless enjoyment to the vast majority of BDSM dabblers! 🙂 🙂 🙂
I think we’re in a comparable situation to where the LGBT community were a few decades ago- not enough people standing up to be counted because of the pressures not to, the fear of being ostracised, losing one’s job, etc..
Once there is a critical mass of people standing up for themselves, the societal view will hopefully slowly shift. Because by the numbers, even given the large uncertainties in self-reported samples, the fraction of the population who are kinky is probably of the same order of magnitude as the number who are LGBT.
I guess the best thing we can do for now is chip away at it- and buy kinky chocolate when it is offered! Nom nom nom nom…. 🙂
Cheers, HywelNovember 15, 2015 at 11:45 #26514
#Note: This post contains sweeping generalisations of peoples that of course contain exceptions in all ways. The intention is to refer to “the majority” “most of the time”..
I’m a UK expat in The Netherlands and I came here full of the international stereotype of the Dutch based I guess upon the legal drugs and prostitution etc. To an extent this is initially true in that I walk past brothels all the time and have bought cannabis from a vending machine in a bar.
However, over the last 5 years or so I’ve got to know hundreds of “locals” mainly through working in close teams and have been surprised by how “untrue” this stereotype is. Of all the people I’ve got to know only 1 has ever shown any interest or knowledge in drugs, all others (mainly guys in their 20’s) could not even imagine doing any kind of (legal) drugs beyond alcohol and a significant minority are very religious. Its difficult to know about sexual attitudes as although I’m pretty open talking about sex it’s a real taboo, people look embarrassed and give 1 word answers etc. Back in England its not exactly a utopia of openness and free expression but generally I’ve found most of by former colleagues were knowledgeable of (illegal) drugs and spoke openly about sex (when you work in small/close teams you really get to know people) faaaar more than here in the “liberated” NL.
Its strange, I used to think this was the result of a “public” taboo here and behind closed doors it was all going down, but thats really not the case. The best way I can describe it is that the Dutch, for the most part, are exceptionally conservative BUT believe strongly it the rights of everyone to do/say/act as they choose – even if they disagree with it themselves. I can think of lots of examples, my little son has a friend who’s a lovely little girl with 2 mothers. This raises exactly no eyebrows even though I’d bet in private 90% of the population would be personally against LGBT parenthood yet believe strongly that such members of society have equal right in all ways.
When my little son is in the car I’m careful with the radio as there’s so much swearing both in the songs and from the presenters it makes (English) me a bit uncomfortable but god help anyone who dares to suggest censoring what they can say.
Right now in the Uk there’s a Putin-esque creeping media/porn censorship being introduced without regard to the principles of democracy or freedom that would cause riots here in The NL, but if you put a bondage chocolate display in the shops they would mostly rot on the shelf.
Richard.November 21, 2015 at 01:00 #26537
Wow — defending the right of others to do things you wouldn’t necessarily want to do yourself. Makes this Yank all nostalgic for what I was taught in civics class the US was supposed to be about, all those years ago.November 24, 2015 at 15:29 #26556
Ah, anonanonanon7 that makes me sad; what a lovely thing to be taught, and how hard it is to find that attitude in society. And I admit that it’s sometimes hard to foster that feeling in myself. It’s so easy to fall into being judgemental about other people’s live choices – I think that maybe if I wasn’t kinky I wouldn’t have confronted that attitude in myself as early in life/thoroughly as I hope that I now have.
And Merlin, cannabis in a VENDING MACHINE! Sorry, I know you’re making some really interesting points in your post, but I can’t get beyond the magical image of that in my mind. That said, I do find vending machines generally fascinating and exciting. Like the ones at airports with novels in them. And in Italy I found one that’d cook fries! It blows my mind. I want there to be vending machines with people in them. There must be an idea for a photoset in that. Albeit a kind of ambitious set.December 13, 2015 at 17:23 #26650
Greetings from New Jersey,
Being a long term member of the site I’ve been remiss in getting thoughts out on the forum of late, well actually for far too long. Just never seems to be enough time to sit down and think long enough to put thoughts into words. But when asked to re-engage with the RE community it was time to get things moving again, at least once some log on issues were cleaned up.
I found the posting of the bondage chocolates interesting given what the reaction to the same thing would likely be here in my area of the US. I’m about an hour out of New York City which thinks of itself as a fairly liberal entity. Yet you will from time to time see a local NYC TV news segment covering a local bakery or the like with some similar items to Andrew’s chocolates and the reporters are always a bit flustered on how to report on the items. America’s underlying Puritan element is always flowing a little below the surface I’m afraid.
Unfortunately both the US and the UK are in the grips of what can only be called for what it is, at least my opinion, creeping fascism. Corporate greed has seeped in most every level of government in both countries and we are both the worse for it partly because it is always inherently very conservative. It is such a sad legacy to those who gave the ultimate sacrifice from 1939 – 1945 defending the rights of others to just be themselves. I can’t speak for the UK but I am very disappointed in the “dumbing down” of the general US public in terms of their civic responsibilities and general knowledge, the purpose of democratic governments, the role of the “press” in a truly “open” society and so forth. Hopefully people wake up to their responsibilities but one never knows.
As far as Bondage goes, I tend to agree with what Merlin said. I think given what the Dutch have been through they are much more inclined to defend the rights of people to do things that they themselves might not do. I very much remember the oft quoted phrase in ‘60’s and ‘70’s America that “I don’t agree with what you are saying but I’ll defend to the death your right to say it.” Now it tends to be far too much of “I disagree with you therefore you are wrong and I’m going to shout over you because I don’t want to be bothered considering your point of view” and “I’ve been told repeatedly that 2 + 2 = 5 so I’m going to agree with it even though I know it really isn’t true. There are several website that feature bondage based in Holland and Germany that I go to from time to time. There are two Dutch sites, both supposed to be personal sites of the models, that fairly frequently show the young ladies outside in bondage and on some of the videos you can hear other voices off camera. Hard to say if they were actually seen by the “public” or not. There is one current German video site that often does bondage in public including having the models walking around city plazas and streets in fiddle restraints, arm and neck stocks, arm binders and ball gags though fully clothed. I’ve only seen one negative reaction on a video when a police officer asked them to take things off the main street. I’m not sure I condone such a public display in front of children but it is refreshing to see that there are at least pockets of tolerance still to be found. One can only imagine how such activity would be received in any major British or American city which probably explains why what outdoor bondage is shown is often (or at least seems to be) far from the general population.
I do hope that the “Censor” does not have an impact on RE and its future. I’ll certainly do what I can in terms of forum posts and I’ll make another contribution to Backlash. One tries to get involved and help where one can. After all, as the saying goes:
First they came for the communists, and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a communist.
Then they came for the trade unionists, and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a trade unionist.
Then they came for the Jews, and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a Jew.
Then they came for me and there was no one left to speak out for me. – Martin Niemoller
Cheers and all the best,
JeffDecember 15, 2015 at 20:18 #26658
Wow, “Greetings from New Jersey” nice to see that back 🙂
Tbh it had never occurred to me until you wrote “what the Dutch have been through” but I’d say you’re spot on there. The ghost of Anne Frank lives on in Dutch society without anyone being consciously aware.
I’ll see your Niemoller quote and raise you:
Get up, stand up, Stand up for your rights. Get up, stand up, Don’t give up the fight. – B. Marley.
(Yeah I’m deep)
RichDecember 15, 2015 at 20:21 #26659
Err, Ariel.. can I just point out that I bought the weed just because of the novelty of finding a vending machine with drugs in it.
I mean who wouldn’t? Nothing I could do about it.. Really.
You must be logged in to reply to this topic.