Kink has many histories. There’s the history of sexual “deviance”: sadomasochism and other taboos that remain “alternative” today popping up in art and literature for millennia. Then, there’s our modern history: Contemporary subcultures that form community based on these interests— the idea of family, the idea of sharing and learning with others who feel the way you feel. Most of these groups as we would identify them today are well under a century old.
But what a century it’s been, from gay men creating leather culture and houses, to mainstream acknowledgement of sexual alternative identities in blockbuster movies (even if the movies themselves are less than great). The Eulenspiegel Society is the oldest official BDSM organization in North America, and possibly the world, and we are only turning 46 this year.
Which brings us to an important part of our legacy: Prometheus. This was a print magazine published by TES that ran for decades, beginning in the early 1970s. It has included everything from reviews of books about kink, to tips on how to play, to personal ads, to political treatises, to erotica, to photography and illustration, to discussion of BDSM Scene politics, to, well, you get the idea.
These old magazines are such a gem. It’s a gift to see what has changed, from terminology (did you know “switch” used to be short for “switchable?”), to the way we approach consent (RACK was first coined in the pages of Prometheus!), to seeing world events and culture through kinky eyes. It’s also remarkable to note that, yes, the more things change, the more they stay the same…
Well, we’ve compiled old issues of the magazine, going back over forty years, and we’re going to be doing some scanning and posting! We look forward to sharing old Prometheus articles with you, and hope that we as a community can get in touch with our history in a new way.
What we also look forward to is sharing new content, because this is Prometheus 2.0. In the era of the Internet empowering everyone’s voices, we need to build on this legacy of publishing kinky voices, and present a diverse, curated selection of kinkster’s opinions, concerns, attitudes, fantasies. It will be exciting, divisive, sexy, and certainly thought-provoking.
If there’s something you want to contribute to Prometheus, or want to talk about the past, shoot us an email. We’ll be waiting for you.
By Michal Daveed