This Week in Kink, November 25, 2017

Here’s something you may never have stopped to wonder. Why is it that so many gay leather bars have the word Eagle in their name? Mikelle Street at NBC News explains that after the 1969 Stonewall Riots, an old longshoreman’s pub was given a coat of black paint to become The Eagle’s Nest, and began attracting masculine-presenting gay men and hosting events for biker groups and sports clubs. It became a safe space and fostered a sense of community during homophobic times, and as patrons left New York they took that feeling with them, inspiring other Eagle-named bars across the US (and even as far as London and Canada). Today there are more than 30 internationally, and they’ve moved with the times, relaxing dress codes and accepting a more diverse clientele. The Baltimore Eagle is leading by example, combining leather bar, gastro-pub (with award-winning chef Ed Scholly), retail outlet and event space.

Los Angeles Leather Pride details were announced this week, and it will be held March 18 to 25, 2018. The theme is “We Are ALL LA Leather”. The packed week of events will include the 19th Annual Mr LA Leather Contest on March 24. Check their website for a full schedule of events. If you can’t wait until then, Belgium is February 21 to 26, so you get 3 weeks to recover if you’re doing both.

image: MIT Technology Review – The way people meet their partners has changed dramatically in recent years

Online dating has changed the way couples meet, and we’re all fairly sure that it is changing the types of relationships that are being formed, though we might not be sure how. MIT Technology Review reports that results of joint research by Josue Ortega of the University of Essex (UK) and Philipp Hergovich of the University of Vienna (Austria) show evidence that it is influencing levels of interracial marriage. Perhaps more surprising, they measured the strength of marriages and couples who meet online have lower marital breakup than those who meet traditionally.

MEL Magazine has an interesting history of the word “fap”, which originally came from 90s Japanese comic Heartbroken Angels. Apparently, guys “fap”, while girls “paf” or “squish”. While you’ve been focusing on the displays of facial hair of Movember, you might not have realised it was also the NoFap group’s very earnest New Life November which, if the mockery on Twitter is any indication, is unlikely to go mainstream anytime soon.

Since Louis CK’s history of forcibly masturbating in front of women came to light a couple of weeks ago, a new conversation about sex work has sprung up. Many have identified his actions as a fetish, and questioned whether he should have indulged this urge by hiring a professional. There are two sides to the story. Mel Magazine talked to some experts, who mostly agree that it might help, but that high levels of narcissism and sociopathy, and low levels of empathy, may mean that perpetrators prefer to sexually assault and force themselves on women, negating any form of healthy consent. Jim Pfaus from Concordia University in Montreal says:

Some men experience a thrill (meaning increased arousal) when they carry out the fetish on someone unsuspecting. Generally speaking, fetish behavior, which in this case verges on masturbatory exhibitionism, is hard to relinquish because sexual pleasure is related directly to the level of arousal.

Alana Massey penned a piece for Self Magazine drawing on her personal experience as a sex worker. She thinks the idea that a “fetish” drove CK to commit his abuses is nonsense and thinks it is predatory behaviour which will inevitably include crossing negotiated boundaries and putting sex workers in danger:

There’s no reason to believe that a predator will stop behaving abusively if he hires a sex worker.

feature image by Brett A. Schmidt for The Eagle NYC

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