On First Looking into Chapman’s Homer

The first time I saw the internet was a complete revelation.
One summer’s day around ’96 I was at the seaside home of an erotic writer, who also happened to be a pioneer of the web. He had invited me to see his new Apple Mac – “his wonderful machine” and the astonishing  ‘Internet’.
Through a fug of heavy cigarette smoke I gazed at his magic lantern, at something called a ‘website’!
“Surely they can’t show that ??” I gasped as we looked at some dubious page.
I was reminded of the famous lines of Keats poem, ‘On First Looking into Chapman’s Homer’ :-

Then felt I like some watcher of the skies 
When a new planet swims into his ken; 

I could see that the rules had all changed. We could now write and depict virtually what we wished. Oh, sure, the webhost was in between but they were usually quite liberal, hippy and unintrusive . And kinky art was liberated, as was a lot more. No longer did I need to worry whether my drawings would be published because I could be the publisher. (Though I still always self-censor I don’t know why …for reasons of ‘taste’?)

Censorship had almost always existed in some shape or form until the internet. My earliest published drawings were all made with a dark cloud hanging over them – “will the publisher accept this?” “Can I get away with this? ”
There were in fact no clear guidelines, which would have helped enormously. A lot depended on factors such as which party was in power or whom you were working for and we would all try to make sense of unclear directions. A mainstream magazine had to comply with the news vendor’s policies of what they were comfortable to put on sale. Smaller fetish magazines which allowed greater freedom could only be sold in sex-shops which were regularly raided by the authorities and restocked the next day. The extortionate mark-up on the goods meant they were never seriously out of pocket.
So life continued in a haphazard way.

The point of this rambling is that for the past few years we have seen greater regulation coming in as the Internet has taken over our lives and become much more portable, so the content of the web has become a much great concern. This week I was suspended from Twitter for the image above, one of a series I drew many years ago for OWK.  My fault, as I should not have been using such a “violent” image for my public icon, which is required to be squeaky-clean. Make of that what you will. But it has made me reflect on how much we take for granted. At my age I can compare this to what came before and take it philosophically – oh well, just going back to the way it was.
I don’t know how it will all play out but I remember clearly how one day pre-internet I tore up some drawings in frustration as I thought I was doomed to only ever get a single page in an obscure magazine that would never reach a wider public or earn me more than a few pennies. It is no exaggeration to say that without this disruptive technology coming along when it did, I might never have continued.

Other World Kingdom

It’s impossible for the femdom devotee not to have seen something of OWK* on the Net. From photos and videos all over the Net we are all by now very well-acquainted with the white walls of the palace exterior, the endless wooden-floored corridors and the vast halls with leather-clad ladies and their devoted naked slaves. Decent folk like yourself will probably have bought a membership to their website. Some might even have stayed for a holiday or attended the events participating in the occasional festivals. Anyone under 30 will hardly remember when it did not exist – it seems so long now since they started.

I remember my first contact was when I had come into the offices of Zeitgeist (one of the better femdom magazines at the time and only running for a few issues) somewhere round 1997 and was told there was a package for me. I opened a heavy envelope to find a beautifully produced book and a selection of well printed colour magazines with an accompanying letter explaining who they were and a description of their castle and vast complex of surrounding buildings.

OWK_No.1

It was extraordinary to see something so lavishly crafted coming from a country which had only recently thrown off the shackles of communism, and from someone totally unknown in the West. I asked around the people I knew – like Skin Two – if they knew anything about them. They too had received a package but were none the wiser. I was hesitant to make contact at first when I was commissioned to produce a number of watercolours for their magazine  and thereafter a few black and white line drawings. But all went through without any complications though I did not form any close association either; our negotiations were straightforward but formal. There was talk of murals for a room but that never realised.

owk1

owkdrawing6

Sadly I never had the opportunity to go there myself but enjoyed hearing the adventures of others who did. After some years of an uncertain future I believe the premises itself is no longer functioning but the website is still in existence.

Find out more at owk.cz

*It has been remarked often how inappropriate the name seemed-Other World Queendom would have been more suitable?

tommyo_owk2

A version of the OWK drawing was cleverly executed in photography by TommyO photographic maestro of Los Angeles featuring -from behind – Mistress Alexia Jordon=

Read also Femdom Resource’s blog-post about OWK