I am not actually showing any covers of Bound in this, the 35th entry in THE RARE DIGEST SERIES as they are a bit WAY too risqué for the blog. Even to a man with little taste, which would be me, they are most distasteful…bondage being a game for others than myself. So why discuss them? Because they are a large part of the story being told here, and involve many of the characters who figure on the blog and in my forthcoming book TIMES SQUARE SMUT. They have also appeared in numerous other posts in the series. Book censorship is funny. It is always wrong, but sometimes one wonders.
Once Irving Klaw "got out of the way" so to speak, having been forced to go out of business in New York, he took his ideas and product across the Hudson River to New Jersey. His Satellite publications limped along for a while, but with the added punch of some bad guys, the line took off in a big way. Initially put together by mobsters Stanley Malkin, Pat Martini (and some say artist Eric Stanton...who is reported approaching the principles with an offer to sell illustrations) the below-ground publisher began cranking out dozens of sleazy and scary S&M titles. Aimed at the extreme fetish market of the time (unfortunately, and apparently, influencing a few true psychopaths along the way) they found a small but voracious market.
The initial merit they had was artistic. The early covers were illustrated by Eric Stanton and Eugene Bilbrew, with cartoony nightmares in bright colors. But once less expensive photographic printing techniques (and willing, or suitably paid models) came along, their imaginative and extraordinary fantasy drawings, influenced heavily by the earlier work of John Willie, gave way to pictures of what were euphemistically called damsels in distress. The carefully cropped "damsel" in pink below happens to be twisting a chain link garrote around a model's neck.
The damsels were low paid amateur models, prostitutes, and on occasion burlesquers. "Distress" to one consumer was "hog tied" to another, including the censors, and the books depict models tied with intricate knots some consider an art and skill, but others consider devious and demented. Hence, censored. These are fairly rare books as a result. As they were "speciality" items to begin with, and many were yanked from distribution, quite hard to find today. Thankfully. The brochures are more interesting than the actual books anyway.
When one reads the numerous true crime accounts from the 1950s and 1960s, which offhandedly say "also confiscated from the suspect's home was pornographic material" it could well be Nutrix, Mutrix and Satellite digests they found. OK, so there was probably a Bible and a Reader's Digest around too, not to mention Playboy and a few best sellers… but a few criminals went so far as to recreate the scenarios themselves, sometimes taking their own photographs, and decidedly WITHOUT willing participants. I would name a handful here, but they are really despicable, most disturbing and I don't want to lead anyone to them. I mean, well…murder is horrible even if it took place 75 years ago. This stuff ain't kitsch and I draw the line.
This post will not win me any friends in the underground fetish community, but as I have written before, a woman pretending to be tied up with a ball-gag in her mouth still has a ball-gag in her mouth…even if it is glamor queen of the century Bettie Page. This stuff is not a pat on the rump either. Have fun, but remember your safe word.
Tickling a blindfolded lover lightly with a feather, with her consent, is clearly NOT what appears in these publications no matter how often anyone claims they are either inept or harmless. I am afraid they are neither.
Satellite even encouraged participation. As seen below, Satellite asked for reader submissions, pun intended, and even facilitated it with release forms. Whether they got anything back is unclear, but at least one of the principals publishing this stuff, who I will not name and is not mentioned above, was said to be a big fan. Don't give him any freebies.
Bound brochure material. No Dates (all circa 1955 - 1960)
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THIS IS NUMBER THIRTY FIVE IN THE SERIES 'THE RARE DIGESTS' Small essays on hopelessly obscure and scarce soft-core publications of the 1950s. Enjoy them All!